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Old 7th July 2019, 11:53   #1
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Default DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

It has been almost 7 months in waiting for this DIY to happen. I have been waiting for the amplifier to arrive from US since I purchased in Jan2019. And finally last week, I was able to get my hands on the amp when a good friend of a friend agreed to carry it. It was a good thing though- gave me enough time to learn about ICE upgrades, order other parts and tools and get ready for the DIY. I didn't waste a single moment and went right into it this week. Took me about 3 days to get the job done.
Interestingly I was not inclined towards the upgrade when I purchased the amp. Our S-Cross whatsapp group was awash with ICE upgrade discussions and I got drawn into it.

There is not a lot of new information to add here since most of the knowledge is shared here on TBHP in elaborate DIY threads and discussions by ICE experts. Here is a run-through of the install.





Equipment and Tools
  • JL Audio RD400/4 four channel amplifier
  • Knuconceptz OFC 8 gauge wiring kit
  • Infinity Kappa 60csx component speakers(only front channels upgraded)
  • ISO 20 pin coupler harness for Suzuki
  • STP silver damping sheets
  • 3mm Closed Cell Foam sheets(adhesive backed)
  • Damping roller
  • Tesa tape
  • Electrical tape
  • 3M dual lock strips
  • wire cutter and crimper
  • crimp connectors
  • Bosch cordless drill
  • Bosch X30Ti drill bit set with countersink
  • Rainguard PVC speaker adapters
  • Heat Shrinks
  • IPA solution
  • RCA coupler
  • Zip ties of different sizes
  • Vaccum cleaner
Thanks to bhpian Sudeepg for lending the drill machine and the vaccum cleaner.



Damping

I finished the front door damping couple of months before the amp install. Beside using STP damping sheets, I also added a layer of closed cell foam on the door and the trim. Filled the large gaps in the trim with some old towels.

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-door_interior_damped.jpg
DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-door_exterior_damped.jpg
DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-door_ccf.jpg
DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-trim_damp1.jpg]DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-trim_damp2.jpg

I also damped the floor- see the Amplifier install section.


Head Unit wiring

The center piece of the HU wiring was this 20pin harness with coupler for connecting to the stock harness at one end and the HU at the other. And what ever cutting/splicing/soldering required is done on this harness. This leaves the stock wiring pristine and made the HU wiring a snap for me.

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-harness.jpg


The amplifier accepts both low and high level inputs. But the inputs are only RCAs and does not have molex like connector for input signals which many amps have. Only way to connect the amp to HU output is using RCA patch cables. At the HU end my options were to buy Hi-Lo converter(at least another 3k for a good quality 2 channel one) or solder some rca connectors to the harness and connect the patch cables. I had some old rca male connectors which I soldered on to the harness. Since the patch cables were also terminated with male rcas, I bought a rca female-to-female coupler too. The whole thing after connecting looks quite ugly to be frank(forgot to take a pic) but it works just fine. The speaker inputs from crossover are also connected to the harness and then driving the speakers via stock wires. In fact I haven't routed any wires at all in the door as the crossovers are also placed under the dash.

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-harness_diag.jpg



Amplifier Install and Wiring

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-amp1.jpg
Pièce de Résistance

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-amp3.jpg


I chanced upon a good deal on an open box item on sonicelectronix. Wasn't sure of the condition of the amp since it was open box but turned out to be all fine. The amp pairs well with the Infinity Kappa speakers(which are at 2.5ohms impedance). The amp has enough juice(100W RMS at 2ohms per channel) to drive the speakers with lots of clean power.


Before beginning the amp installation I did a quick dry run by firing up the amp. I wanted to be sure the thing works before ripping out the seat and carpets.

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-dry_run.jpg


Once the dry run was successful it was time to dive in. I decided to put the amp under the front passenger seat like most other installs I have seen so far.

Took out the front passenger seat, door sill trims and the left side carpet.

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-seats_removed.jpgDIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-carpet_removed.jpg
Tied the carpet to the driver seat allowing me to keep my hands free for the install

Used pieces of wood salvaged from old discarded furniture to make a base for the amp. Almost all installers drill self tapping screws into the metal floor to fix the wooden base. I was averse to this and kept it as a last resort. Came across this velcro like product called 3M dual lock which gives better rigidity compared to velcro. It comes as a single strip(unlike velcro which has two separate strips- hook and lock) and locks onto itself with a snapping sound. Sticks well to wood and metal. Cleaned the surfaces with IPA before fixing the strips. They are doing the job quite well. After putting the carpet back and bolting the amp on to the base there is no movement or play at all. But the rigidity is going to be as good as the glue lasts. Will see how it holds in the long run.


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-3mduallock.jpg
DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-dual_lock_applied.jpgDIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-amp_base_fixed.jpg


With the base fixed with 3M dual lock, I decided to add a little bit of damping to the floor since the carpet was already removed.

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-floor_damped.jpg


Next up I finished the wiring. All went as planned. Routed power cables(including 12V Acc remote turn on wire) via the door sill. The signal cables run alongside the transmission tunnel up the center console. Tesa taped and zip tied where required.
I heard about some folks getting noise in audio output due to interference when signal cables are routed alongside transmission tunnel and was afraid I might get the same. But I haven't been able to identify any interference yet.


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-wiring_kit.jpgDIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-wiring_kit_lable.jpg
Knuconceptz wiring kit


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-wire_crimp.jpg
Power cables crimped and heat shrink applied


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-wire_tesa_taped.jpg
The rca patch cables are quite long. Rolled up the excess, taped up with tesa tape and placed it in the top right corner. Taped the wire to floor with some small pieces of damping sheet.


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-wire_probe.jpg
The grommet probe! Taped the positive power cable to this piece of iron wire and pushed it through the firewall grommet on the passenger side.


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-fuse_holder_and_wire_loom.jpg
Fuse holder added to the positive power cable within 12 inches from the battery terminal. The fuse holder was fixed in place with some 3m dual lock.


Once the wiring was complete, dropped the carpet back on the floor and laid it out securely before bolting the amp on to the base.


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-amp_installed.jpg



Tweeter, Crossover and Speaker Install

Tweeter install was probably the easiest since they fit right in to the stock grill. Wasn't a snug fit but enough to hold it in place with some rubber cut pieces from an old mobile phone case. Tweeter wire routing was also a breeze.


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-mobile_cover.jpgDIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-twitter_fix1.jpg


Crossover install was time consuming for me due to various reasons- first I chose a somewhat difficult location to install them(see pic) and second the crossover design made it difficult to quickly fix to any surface. Third the crossover terminals had very little gap to push through 16awg spkr wires and had to use spade connectors to finish the connections. But the crossover works great and can even be setup for a 3-way system.


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-xover_location_damped.jpg
Fixed the crossovers to these steel frames under the HU. Added some damping to the frame.

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-xover_damped.jpg
Crossover damped



DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-xover_install.jpg
Crossover installed







The woofer speaker install in the doors was straight forward again. Since the speakers are being driven by stock wires, I used some spade connectors to hook up with the molex speaker connector in the door. Didn't want to splice. I plan to rewire the speakers at a later time with new 16awg speaker wire.
I used PVC Rainguard speaker spacers for the install. I am not aware if these are good or bad sonically but made it very easy to install. Used speaker gasket to seal the speaker on to the spacers and bolted them.


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-spkr_spacer.jpg
Spacer installed


DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-spkr_installed.jpg
Speakers bolted on


Fired up the system to check if all was good and I was done with the install.



Tuning and SQ

I have little to no knowledge about tuning. The amp has clipping indicator LEDs for each set of front and rear channels. When adjusting the gain these light up at the mark where maximum unclipped output is achieved. In other words the amp output is distortion free till this point. It makes setting the gain an easy and sure shot task. Played 50Hz to 8KHz audio samples at 3/4th volume on the HU with speakers disconnected to set the gain. Reconnected the speakers and then played some favourite tracks while adjusting the HPF filter control for optimal sounding bass performance.

The system overall sounds bright and I have turned down the treble on the HU to counter this. The overly bright nature has already mellowed down and I am hoping it will become smoother after the run-in period.


Current settings-

Gain/Input sensitivity- 40%
HPF- approx 70Hz
HU Preset EQ- Flat
HU Bass- 0
HU Treble- -2


I haven't heard the system extensively yet but the SQ is at another level compared to stock. Vocals and mids are extremely clear. Bass is sure footed and distortion free even at higher volumes.

Over all I am happy that I was able to pull the install on my own and thoroughly enjoyed it. Next up is upgrading the rear door speakers and routing new wires for all speakers. The itch to upgrade ICE is contagious and that is exactly what has happened to me but I will just put a stop here .
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Old 7th July 2019, 20:17   #2
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Default re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

A closeup pic of the amp after final placement and fix with wiring.

DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross-b088eca3931347b0a728dd3debd08712.jpeg
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Old 7th July 2019, 21:36   #3
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Default re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

That's phenomenal effort.
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Old 7th July 2019, 22:59   #4
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Default re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

Wow! That's one helluva DIY and thanks for putting up this thread, the less brave amongst us now know what to keep an eye out for when getting the work done from a installer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaunthead View Post
With the base fixed with 3M dual lock, I decided to add a little bit of damping to the floor since the carpet was already removed.
Did you also cover the driver side or is it left for later stages ?
How much time did installation take ?
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Old 8th July 2019, 06:16   #5
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Default re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
Did you also cover the driver side or is it left for later stages ?
How much time did installation take ?
Driver side will do later during the rear spkr upgrade. Took me about 3 days excluding door damping.
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Old 8th July 2019, 15:57   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaunthead View Post
It has been almost 7 months in waiting for this DIY to happen.
Attachment 1891058

Came across this velcro like product called 3M dual lock which gives better rigidity compared to velcro.

Over all I am happy that I was able to pull the install on my own and thoroughly enjoyed it. Next up is upgrading the rear door speakers and routing new wires for all speakers. The itch to upgrade ICE is contagious and that is exactly what has happened to me but I will just put a stop here .
Wow! The thought and effort is impressive.

That you thought to use Dual Lock (this product is used by professional touring guitar players to anchor their pedals to their pedal boards) is creditable. I was not aware anyone on TBHP even knew this product existed.
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Old 8th July 2019, 16:17   #7
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Default Re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

Congratulations on a Professional level DIY install. You have seriously taken a lot of pain to get this across. but why Towels inside the door ?

I can see it is on the door pad, but still, being a water absorbing material, water going inside the door panels may soak it and create other issues on the door. Just a thought from my side.

Good work.

Swami

Last edited by swami69 : 8th July 2019 at 16:21.
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Old 8th July 2019, 17:02   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

That's one labour intensive install. One needs a steely resolve to rip out the entire interior. Seems you've done it well.

One change which I would have made is having the amp installed in the boot - specifically screwed in on the seatback. Plus your's has a nice little blue LED which would look cool when seen.

The area below the seat generally tends to accumulate all sorts of dust, water particles over time that eventually seep into your amp. Also not the best location for heat dissipation.

Last edited by McLaren Roxx : 8th July 2019 at 17:04.
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Old 8th July 2019, 18:38   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
Wow! The thought and effort is impressive.

this product is used by professional touring guitar players to anchor their pedals to their pedal boards
Thanks. I did read this somewhere while looking up 3M dual lock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swami69 View Post
Congratulations on a Professional level DIY install.
but why Towels inside the door ?

door panels may soak it and create other issues on
Thanks. Towels are actually great sound absorbers/barriers and sometimes perform better when compared to similarly thick acoustical foams. I had the same concern about water soaking the panels. But firstly not much water gets inside the door trim(unless you leave the door open in rain for long or pour water over it), secondly I applied the CCF in way that it seals off the entire panel except the connectors.



Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Roxx View Post
One change which I would have made is having the amp installed in the boot.


The area below the seat generally tends to accumulate all sorts of dust, water particles over time that eventually seep into your amp. Also not the best location for heat dissipation.
Boot would have been nice, wasn't very sure about wire routing. Yes the underseat location collects a lot of dust but heat dissipation is not a problem in the S-cross. At least a good 4-5 inches gap between the seat and the amp. This one is class D so doesn't run too hot either.
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Old 9th July 2019, 01:33   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

Fantastic effort on the build. I'm really interested in the damping, did it help quieten the car down? and did the what is the black rubbery thing that you put on the doors? Is it the damping sheets or is it something else?
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Old 9th July 2019, 11:33   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

How has the damping worked out for you?
Did you buy the whole roll/sheet?
How much Outside noise has been blanketed? (Sound insulation)

P.s.
Try swapping the head too, if you are still using the factory fitted one.

Want to share my setup build in a course of 4 years after lots of swapping/testing and backfiring too :(

Headunit: Sony XAV100 (android auto)
Wiring: The best generic available
Front tweeters: Pioneer S20
Crossovers
Soundstream Components (Front)
Rockford Fosgate 3 way coaxials (rear)
4 channel amp driving the 4 speakers
Infinity Reference 1220de Dual 12-Inch Preloaded Enclosure
Rockford Fosgate Prime mono amp for the bass setup

Planning to swap the bass setup with either DD or LBM (I am a basehead)
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Old 9th July 2019, 15:43   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

Jaunthead - That's an awesome effort dude! You pulled this off all by yourself and it's commendable. Congratulations on a job well done. From the idea of doing it yourself to the research on how to install it (without any wire splicing) is awesome. Even more commendable is the quality of install, specially the use of dual lock to secure the amplifier. I believe it should last. It's the vibrations which amplify problems in a moving car. The specifications for dual lock indicates they are highly resistant to vibrations. so you should be good there.

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/9...sh-germany.pdf

Finally, thank you for taking the time to put up the details of your DIY. I hope to install the amplifier in my next car all by myself.
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Old 9th July 2019, 19:47   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Audio install & ICE upgrade in my S-Cross

Quote:
Originally Posted by tupai View Post
Fantastic effort on the build. I'm really interested in the damping, did it help quieten the car down? and did the what is the black rubbery thing that you put on the doors? Is it the damping sheets or is it something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitish.arnold View Post
How has the damping worked out for you?
Did you buy the whole roll/sheet?
How much Outside noise has been blanketed? (Sound insulation)
The tyre noise and ambient noise is noticeably reduced. But you can't expect complete isolation. Damping has become a generic term to incorrectly denote 3 different things- damping, absorption and soundproofing/isolation. And there is a lot more treatments available than what I have done. To gain that 1-5% better acoustics in the car it all boils down to the law of diminishing returns for the money you are comfortable to part with. The floor damping was mainly to address- well just damping. I did a little extra damping in the doors mainly to enhance the SQ after amp and spkr install. In cars like marutis it would be a disaster to put powerful full range spkrs in the door and then blast them at high volumes.


The black rubbery sheets are CCF sheets backed with adhesive; helps in soundproofing. There are some products which come as a single sheet of butyl layer and ccf preapplied on top of it. I think icopper has a product like this.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitish.arnold View Post
P.s.
Try swapping the head too, if you are still using the factory fitted one.

Want to share my setup build in a course of 4 years
Vitamin M issue at the moment so no HU swap. That is some setup you have and lot of patience to tinker for so long.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
Jaunthead - That's an awesome effort dude! You pulled this off all by yourself and it's commendable. Congratulations on a job well done.
Finally, thank you for taking the time to put up the details of your DIY. I hope to install the amplifier in my next car all by myself.
Ha ha, well it all began with you and the Morimoto installs. The spirit of DIY lives on!
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