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Posted (edited)

This summer I am building out my 2014 XLT Cargo to better function as my traveling snowboarding rig.

 

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I owned the van last winter and love the space it has and the fact that I can change my clothes/boots in the back hassle free out of the elements. 

 

I put on Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 studded tires and the van was unstoppable in the snow.

https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/nokian-tire-hakkapeliitta-8-studded/p/24922

We had a big winter here in Utah and even on the worst days with those tires the van was a beast. This is the first non 4WD/AWD vehicle I've owned in 25 years and I was a bit apprehensive when I made the decision to get the van, but with the right tires the apprehension was proven to be unwarranted. The only thing that ever gave me an issue was about 12" new in the parking lot one day as the van has low clearance, but with a heavy foot on the gas and knowing how to drive in the snow I was able to manage. Ground clearance is the only thing I can ever see being an issue, and the days that it is will be very very far and few in between, in other words, they will happen so infrequently that all the other days having the van will far out weigh those days when and if they do happen, and I'll make it through those day by not being an idiot.. 

 

This summer I am going to be building benches/cargo boxes to keep all of my stuff in. I'll build a short one on the drivers side to sit on and be able to change which will keep all the winter necessities, washer fluid,tow ropes, chains, jumper cables, snow shovel, emergency blanket and emergency food/water. On the passenger side I'm gonna build one pretty much full length that will hold 2 (or maybe 3 ) snowboards. This will keep them from flying around in the back, keep them hidden from prying eyes and keep me from having to bring them in the house every single night.

 

So to get started the stock mat had to go. Vanrug finally started producing a rug for the newer body style in the last few months and I loved the Begrug I had in my F150, so I bought one.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y2CCH3G/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Then under that I decided to lay down a layer of sound deadener, Stinger Roadkill is super well priced and you can get a bulk pack for around $100 on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ATJ04S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I did the floor and the rear wheel wells to help cut down on some of the road noise. The van rug, being a carpet type material quites the van a nice bit compared to the stock mat which reflects quite a bit of sound being a closed cell rubber mat. I also bought a cargo net to hang from the cross beams which will come in handy for gloves, beanies and goggles after a day of snowboarding so I won't have to shove them in my gear bag right away. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016YTNWSW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I bought a sheet of Alumalite and will be making panels for where the rear window cutouts are and will mount hooks and a few things on them. 

About a week ago I pulled the door panels, sanded them and painted them black to have the back match a tad bit better.

Today was sound deadner and Vanrug install day. All in all it went well.

 

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The next two things happening will be the cargo boxes, which I'll build at my dads house as he has a full metal and carpentry shop, and then a stereo system, I like my music and I travel a bunch in the winter. 

For the cargo boxes I'm gonna drive over to PDX and visit my old man for a week and build them with him probably in the first week or two of August.

The stereo I'll do here in SLC myself...

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For the stereo I go high end, you get what you pay for...

The Amp is an Audison AP 5.9 - 5 channel amp

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audison-AP-5-9bit-car-audio-5-channels-amplifier-and-processor-/262776470995?epid=2118060557&hash=item3d2eb2bdd3:g:ILgAAOSw44BYXp9s

it runs 40x2 - 90x2 - 1x270 

Even though that is only 530w, since the amp is an Audison it's really like running a cheaper 1000w amp... If you know anything about mobile electronics bench testing and sustained output then you know what I mean..

The Amp also has a built in Digital Sound Processor so you can fully tune the system, the amp also uses line-in connections so you can run it off a stock radio and retain all of your factory functions. 

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I also bought the dash remote kit for it so I can adjust the sub/speakers on the fly. I'm gonna mount it where the stock 12v port/change bin is and relocate the 12v port to inside the console box next to the AUXin jack.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audison-DRC-MP-Digital-Remote-Control-Media-Play-DRC-MP-/331962025664?hash=item4d4a7a86c0:g:jC8AAOSwOdpXzrrS

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For the door speakers I went with Focal K2 Power 165 KR2.. These are 2ohm speakers and will let the amp run with a higher output, once again spendy, but you get what you pay for..

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091165KR2/Focal-K2-Power-165-KR2.html?tp=106

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Then for the sub I went with a JL Audio 10TW3-D4, this is a shallow mount sub, with dual voice coils so you can run it @ 2ohms to get the most out of your amp. It's gonna go under the the passenger seat and I'm gonna utilize the space from the little storage compartment that is built in by making a fiberglass box that perfectly fits in that space and then pours out to the surrounding area as well, but that space will let the sub sit plenty low under the seat, really it's kinda perfect.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_13610TW3/JL-Audio-10TW3-D4.html?tp=111

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So we will see what the next month or so brings and I'll update this as I complete more things...

 

 

 

Edited by txb0115

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Nice work, do you stay in the Salt Lake City area or do you travel around a lot.  I hope to have my van built before winter and able to have a long ski trip too!

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Posted (edited)

I was in your neck of the woods back in March:

33251348710_9790ce4b2c_o.thumb.jpg.1037612df4e64fcd6f5538ed033ad70f.jpg

I'll have to disagree that the van handles well in the snow. I run Blizzak WS series tires in the winter and I'm pretty confident that my WRX with the summer tires could, literally, run rings around the van in the snow. I put up with the compromise because the van gets such good fuel economy and I have a full size memory foam bed in it ;)

Edited by chong

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True, Mk1 is superior in the snow.

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On 7/10/2017 at 5:24 PM, chong said:

I was in your neck of the woods back in March:

33251348710_9790ce4b2c_o.thumb.jpg.1037612df4e64fcd6f5538ed033ad70f.jpg

I'll have to disagree that the van handles well in the snow. I run Blizzak WS series tires in the winter and I'm pretty confident that my WRX with the summer tires could, literally, run rings around the van in the snow. I put up with the compromise because the van gets such good fuel economy and I have a full size memory foam bed in it ;)

It's not a Subaru for sure... I'd take the summer tire challenge... 4WD doesn't help you stop or corner in the snow ( for the most part ) it's all about your tires...  The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 with Studs are a worlds better tire than the Blizzaks, so maybe that has something to do with it, I can speak from experience of owning both tires... Either way, my van had no issues in BCC/LCC last year or on multiple trips up to BC... Maybe part of it is the driver? Also maybe part of it is that I only drive on intermountain snow, which is pretty easy to drive on ( super dry ) compared to west/east coast and midwest snow, I'm confident that if I lived in Seattle and was trying to go up Snoqualmie pass all the time ( in the shitty wet packy PNW snow )  my opinion of the van would differ... 

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I am with you on the snow worthless of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8s

 

 

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I bought a set of WS70 for my Mazda 6 once, was like driving on a waterbed.

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