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What? I did the same thing to my 240 around 05' and now that I think about it, I kinda remember it was a lot heavier back then. But there was no "Xtreme" back then, just the heavy blue foil stuff IIRC

What's more weird - Dynamat being lighter than we remember, or that we both had 240s and now the same trucks?

EDIT: Looked it up, Dynamat Xtreme is .44 mil
hahaha twinzies.

well truck looks good and sounds good too i bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
Full Audio Upgrade, part 4 – Installing the Main Stage (02.29.15)

(UPDATE 10.18.16: Replaced Component Speakers, see #399)

Yup – it was time to upgrade the main speakers. I had been researching main speakers off and on for about 4 months now (since I got the first Kicker subs), checking into a bunch of different brands and comparing specs and reviews and even listening to a few setups in friends/relatives vehicles. I ended up selecting a set of Image Dynamics CXS v.2 6.5" 2-Way Components. With a 125w RMS rating, they matched up pretty good with my Alpine amp’s output. Also, I decided to put the bulk of my speaker budget for the front speakers since 95% of the time the music would be just for me, or me and a front passenger.

I began by removing the front door panels and pulling the stock front speakers and speaker mounts out. I was not surprised that the OEM speakers were nothing to be excited about, and when I compared them to the Image Dynamics drivers, there was a big difference for sure:


Here’s a comparison of the X-65 6.5” driver on the left and the OEM Nissan driver on the right. The woven fiber cone is pretty nifty looking.


Here’s a comparison of the rear; the OEM speaker magnet is so small compared to the ID magnet.

So I go and drop the speaker into the Scosche adaptor plate ($12) and it doesn’t fit. Then I realized that the adaptor plate was “5.25”/6.5” to 6x9”, which explained why the adaptor plate hole was only 5.25” from the factory. No problem, I pulled out my trusty Dremel and easily enlarged the hole to 6.5” in a matter of minutes.


ID basket is 6.5”, but out of the package the adaptor plate is only pre-cut for 5.25”.


Nothing a little Dremel work can’t fix; I had to enlarge the opening approx. 15mm all the way around.

With the hole enlarged to 6.5”, the X-65 driver dropped right in. I thought the large magnet would cause me to have to also trim the back of the OEM speaker housing (it has a curved part in the back that I presume is a “splash guard” to protect the speaker cone and magnet from any water or debris dropping through the window seam) but luckily the magnet was low enough to clear the back of the housing without and need for further trimming/modification. I soldered the new speakers to new 14-gauge speaker wire that I pre-installed during the Dynamat installation.


Test mounting the X-65 driver into the OEM speaker mount using the adaptor plates


The ID’s large magnet just barely cleared the rear “splash guard” of enclosure; no modding needed here.

With the midranges out of the way, I turned to the XS-28 1-1/8” tweeters. The OEM 3.5” dash speaker was also as flimsy as the OEM full range in the doors, and had a built-in metal frame that bolted to the dashboard. I removed the stock speaker and ran thicker 14-gauge speaker wire first. The driver’s side was easy (you can see the path just by looking under the dash) but for the passenger side I used fish tape to snake the speaker wire down behind the HVAC components.

Next, I traced the metal frame of the stock speaker onto a piece of 1/8” thick clear Polycarbonate sheet. Thanks to my brother and his garage full of machinery and tools (he’s a hardcore home audio guy, makes his own speaker cabinets and stuff), he helped by cutting out the two mounting adaptor plates. I used the flush mount ring to install the tweeters and then reused the factory hardware to attach the new tweeter plate to the dashboard. I had to use 1/8” Polycarbonate, as anything thicker wouldn’t give enough clearance to fit the tweeter underneath the shallow factory grille, and there was no bottom-mount option for the tweeters.


Here’s what the stock dash speaker looks like before taking it out.


Tracing the OEM speaker onto 1/8” Polycarbonate sheet to make adaptors for the Image Dynamics tweeters.


Wires soldered, tweeter mounted, and adaptor installed into the dash openings.

With the speakers in place, there was one last step – figuring out where to put the two large (about 3” x 4” x 2” WxLxH) passive crossovers. I was initially planning on hiding them somewhere under the dash until I realized that there was a perfect spot under the driver’s seat next to the Audio Control Epicenter, right on top of the rear vent duct.

To mount them I had my brother cut a square piece of 1/4" MDF board and slid it under the floor carpet, above the plastic vent duct. With the crossovers bolted down, they basically sandwich the floor carpet, keeping them securely in place. Seeing how solid this mounting method was, another piece of MDF was cut for the Epicenter as well.


Image Dynamics CXS crossovers mounted securely under the driver’s seat, next to the Audio Control Epicenter.


Here’s how they look with the driver’s seat back in place, viewing from the rear foot well.

Initially I wired the crossovers to the Alpine amp in bridged mode, feeding 200-watts into each front channel. I did not do anything to the OEM rear speakers except turn them “off” by moving the fader all the way to front only. I tested the sound using a lot of different music with a wide range of instruments and vocals - everything from live percussion to Jazz to EDM to Metal and everything in between, and with the default crossover settings the CXS-64 combination was excellent! Granted I’m comparing directly to the OEM speakers, but the increase in clarity was obvious.

Needless to say, the sound quality was a huge step up from my factory speakers, and unlike the factory speakers I can crank the volume up now and the sound doesn't get distorted at all. I did notice that some of the lower frequencies (mid bass) still seemed a little weak, and the highs were definitely better than but not as crisp as I was expecting. These traits were more obvious the more I turned the volume up, and I’m pretty sure it’s because of the limitations of the factory head unit. So for now the sound was better, and I was fine with the improvement so far, since I knew that the following weekend I would finally get another component that I pre-ordered 1 month prior to its release (see next).
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
Full Audio Upgrade, part 5 – Swapping Out the OEM Head Unit (03.07.15)

(UPDATE 05.01.09: Head unit was upgraded, see #859)
The timing couldn’t be better – when I was looking at double-DIN head units I saw word of Kenwood’s upcoming Excelon DNX-892 Double-DIN unit and it had all of the features I was looking for: 7-inch touchscreen, built-in Garmin navigation, hands-free phone integration, dual USB ports, steering-wheel control compatibility, and iPod control. It also had extra features I knew I would find a way to make use of: digital time alignment, full-size HDMI port, iPhone screen mirroring, programmable aux. switch, etc. Luckily, the head unit was released and I took delivery the following weekend after my main speaker installation.


Super fresh from the factory after pre-ordering about a month in advance – Kenwood’s Excelon Series DNX-892 Receiver.

Since I was going with a full aftermarket head unit, I could remove the line output converter from the original setup since I could now connect the Alpine amp directly to the Kenwood’s RCA outputs. This also gave me a reason (or excuse, depending on how you look at it) to completely replace the current wiring with all new stuff including matching JL Audio RCA cables, direct amplifier turn-on, as well as run the wires for the new features that the Kenwood had like the hands-free microphone.

Just for reference, on top of the head unit cost, the extra wires/adaptors I needed to get everything working as described in this post include:

Main Harness: Metra 20-pin Harness, $17
OEM Steering Wheel Control Adaptor: Axxess ASWC-1, $50
OEM AM/FM Antenna Adaptor: Metra 40-NI12 (included with head unit purchase)
OEM USB Adaptor: Axxess AX-NISUSB-2, $7
OEM Rear Camera Adaptor: Axxess AX-NIS32SWC, $12
Aux. Front Camera: Pyle PLCM38FRV, $19


Lots of new stuff to install to go with the new head unit.


Not sure how many times my garage floor was covered with all this stuff.


Interior bits removed so I can install all the new wiring.


Strip, solder, shrink, and tape. New wiring harness for all the connections for the Kenwood receiver.


Removed the OEM Bluetooth mic to install the Kenwood hands-free mic in the OEM location.


ASWC-1 steering wheel control interface and Kenwood/Garmin GPS antenna mounted on top of the head unit.

At this point I had the head unit installed, and all of the factory features were retained:

- The OEM factory steering wheel audio controls work 100%, I can adjust the music volume, change tracks/stations, and I also reprogrammed the ‘mode’ button to attenuate the music at the press of a button;

- The OEM factory telephone controls work 100%, I can answer and make calls in combination with the Kenwood’s voice recognition phone feature;

- The OEM factory USB port in the center console works 100% to allow me to play iPod audio and charge my iPhone at the same time;

- The OEM rear camera in the tailgate works 100%, activates whenever I put the truck in reverse OR I can also turn the camera on with the touch of a button. The Kenwood also has its own programmable parking guidelines, and the OEM backup radar is fully functional. Also, the rear camera would show in screen immediately whenever I started the truck and put it in ‘R’, even if the head unit itself wasn’t done booting up yet (takes about 15-20 seconds.)


OEM Nissan rear camera integration, picture is pretty good even at night. I don't know who that is behind me.

To make use of the head unit’s dual camera inputs, I installed a front camera in the bumper opening, right above where the license plate holder is. It is also a day/night camera with IR LEDs that work pretty well for its size. I can also switch between the rear camera and front camera with a single tap on the touchscreen. Helps when parking in front of low obstacles, or checking for small animals in front of the truck. Just kidding. UPDATE: This second camera has been relocated, see more info here: Rear Auxilliary "Shuttle Camera"


Installed a front camera relatively incognito right above the license plate holder.


Here’s how the front camera looks on the head unit’s screen.

As for the built-in HDMI port, I plugged in an Amazon FireStick powered by the second USB port. It’s been pretty useful whenever I wanted to catch the highlights of the UCI World Cup Downhill Mountain Bike racing while on my commute, or if passengers want to watch something on Netflix or Plex during road trips. With this I don’t have to have my iPhone tied up to playing video.


Took advantage of the Kenwood head unit’s on-board HDMI plug to install an Amazon Fire Stick for more multimedia.

Before playing with any of the audio tuning functions of the head unit, I fired it up in “plain stock” mode just to hear how the Image Dynamics speakers sounded with the new head unit. Within seconds of hearing the first few notes of the test song, I knew the head unit made a big difference, as it was not limiting or attenuating the extreme high and extreme low frequencies that the OEM head unit was doing; the Kenwood let the Image Dynamics speakers work the way they were meant to. The highs were very crisp, midrange was clear, and vocals were very sharp. I popped in a test CD that had a bunch of dynamic tracks and the DNX-892/ CXS-64 combo did the job in produced amazing sound. It wasn’t perfect yet for my ears (rememner, I had yet to start playing with the audio tuning features), but there was a significantly huge improvement in sound compared to when my source was the OEM head unit. In fact, the OEM head unit really sucks soundwise.


Before: factory Nissan Frontier head unit.


After: Kenwood Excelon DNX-892 installed using a Metra double DIN dash kit. Like the custom wallpaper? Heh
 

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Nice write-up!
Question:
Did your stock reverse camera setup come with the reverse screen WITH the helpful distance lines/grid? IFF so, were you able/not able to retain them? (Perhaps this is the parking guidelines you referenced?)
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Nice write-up!
Question:
Did your stock reverse camera setup come with the reverse screen WITH the helpful distance lines/grid? IFF so, were you able/not able to retain them? (Perhaps this is the parking guidelines you referenced?)
The OEM head unit had the usual "green-yellow-red" hash marks/distance indicators, they do not show up on the Kenwood screen so I assume they're built
into the OEM head unit to display when it gets a video signal; this is how the Kenwood works too... but instead of hash marks I get full width green-yellow-red lines that I can adjust both width and length to match the factory style
 

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how exactly does the Amazon Firestick work in the truck? I am soon going to start doing audio/video in my truck... I thought that the firestick needed wifi to work... or no? I'd rather do this than buy a dvd player and have to worry about swapping out DVD's, etc, while driving down the road...
 

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I have an 890 I was debating installing, this is making me lean towards ripping the Fosgate unit out.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
how exactly does the Amazon Firestick work in the truck? I am soon going to start doing audio/video in my truck... I thought that the firestick needed wifi to work... or no? I'd rather do this than buy a dvd player and have to worry about swapping out DVD's, etc, while driving down the road...
It does need WiFi to work since it streams, I just tether the FireStick to my iPhone's unlimited data plan
 

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It does need WiFi to work since it streams, I just tether the FireStick to my iPhone's unlimited data plan
Gotcha. Not really an option for me then. Thanks for the reply man

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

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The fact that you can watch WC DH in your truck on the go makes any short comings of that stereo (if it had any) insignificant. I put the sony XAV stereo in my truck because I thought it would do all the cool stuff that it was advertised to do, then after found out I needed a bunch of extra crap to use those functions.

Your build looks nice and clean. Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
The amount of electrical work you've done is insane! I'm hoping it sounds as good as it looks.
sounds pretty good to me ::grin::

The fact that you can watch WC DH in your truck on the go makes any short comings of that stereo (if it had any) insignificant. I put the sony XAV stereo in my truck because I thought it would do all the cool stuff that it was advertised to do, then after found out I needed a bunch of extra crap to use those functions.

Your build looks nice and clean. Keep up the good work!
Thanks... yeah man, gotta keep track of Gee, Rach, and Pompon ::wink::
 

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What would you recommend for an inexpensive replacement option as far as speakers go? I'm no audio nut, but the factory speakers absolutely suck. I've chosen a head unit already, but don't want to spend a fortune on speakers

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #54
What would you recommend for an inexpensive replacement option as far as speakers go? I'm no audio nut, but the factory speakers absolutely suck. I've chosen a head unit already, but don't want to spend a fortune on speakers

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
Give me a budget number, and if you want front only or front/rear upgrade and I can come up with some options for you
 

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Give me a budget number, and if you want front only or front/rear upgrade and I can come up with some options for you
Front and rear, close to $200 as can be

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Front and rear, close to $200 as can be

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
Are you okay with running new speaker wire to the dash positions?
 

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Love the Build. Glad to see someone went all in on the Audio. I have 15 DR currently with 3-Way PPI Components up front and a PPI 900.4. I have yet to do a sub box but plan on running the JL audio TW Series. I did take the time to sound deaden, Dynomat, Duct seal and seal the door 100%. My mid bass is crazy in this truck. I have to say the sound deadening alone is well worth the amount of effort. Just to have a quieter cabin.

All your other Mods are very simple and tastful!

So with the Kenwood head unit swap, Did you eliminate the Epicenter? Im still running the stock Headunit but not really enjoying it. I want to go Full Android Headunit just havent done enough research.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
I'm sure I could figure it out.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
Here's 3 examples under $200, you can research and compare the actual specs but I have listened to all of these before:

$129 Polk Audio db5251 5-1/4" component speaker system
$69 Polk Audio db651s 6-1/2" 2-way shallow-mount car speakers

$129 Kicker 40CSS654 6-1/2" component speaker system
$60 Kicker 40CS674 6-3/4" 2-way car speakers

$99 Rockford Fosgate Prime R165-S 6-1/2" component speaker system
$59 Rockford Fosgate Prime R165X3 6-3/4" 3-way car speakers

At this price point, personally I lean towards the Polks - I've had Polks before in a couple of my cars and they have always had nice sound even if they're not top-of-the-line models. The Kickers and RF's I've heard as well, the kickers have some nice midrange punch for the buck but not as crisp as the Polks... the RFs are somewhere in between. All prices above are from Crutchfield.com; you can probably find them cheaper but Crutchfield includes any speaker adaptors and harnesses needed
 

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Here's 3 examples under $200, you can research and compare the actual specs but I have listened to all of these before:

$129 Polk Audio db5251 5-1/4" component speaker system
$69 Polk Audio db651s 6-1/2" 2-way shallow-mount car speakers

$129 Kicker 40CSS654 6-1/2" component speaker system
$60 Kicker 40CS674 6-3/4" 2-way car speakers

$99 Rockford Fosgate Prime R165-S 6-1/2" component speaker system
$59 Rockford Fosgate Prime R165X3 6-3/4" 3-way car speakers

At this price point, personally I lean towards the Polks - I've had Polks before in a couple of my cars and they have always had nice sound even if they're not top-of-the-line models. The Kickers and RF's I've heard as well, the kickers have some nice midrange punch for the buck but not as crisp as the Polks... the RFs are somewhere in between. All prices above are from Crutchfield.com; you can probably find them cheaper but Crutchfield includes any speaker adaptors and harnesses needed
Hey, I appreciate it. I honestly have no idea what I'm doing as far as picking components. I can install them, but just not sure what to pick.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 
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