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Captainobvious

2016 TC Wagon Competition Stereo Install

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I compete in sound quality mobile audio competitions across the US and my new vehicle is a 2016 TC LWB wagon. Sound quality competition dictates that the system must produce the audio very accurately and with a high degree of realism- something that is challenging to accomplish in the destructive environment of a vehicle cabin. Unlike the home, where speakers can be placed equidistant to the listener and in a large open space, the vehicle rarely if ever allows speakers to be identical distances to the listener as we are seated to one side of the vehicle. In addition to distances, speakers producing the entire audio spectrum are installed in different locations, heights, angles and reflecting off of different shaped surfaces and materials which are more or less absorbent. In short, getting excellent stereo sound in *any* vehicle is extremely difficult due to the inherent challenges of the environment.

This thread will likely be the 1% of audio upgrade type builds in the TC and much may not necessarily apply to what the vast majority of owners are doing, but keep in mind this is built for competition and pushes the boundaries a bit because of this.

 

This is my 4th competition vehicle over the years and I've learned a lot along the way (and have much more to learn!) and have made some great friends. With each build I try to improve upon what I have done before and try to improve my fabrication skills and continue learning.

This thread will serve as my "build log" for this vehicle, sharing the information I learn about this specific vehicle and the reasonings why I choose to do things the way I do with the TC as I progress. Hopefully it will provide some useful information to you all, and if not- a little entertainment at least.

 

To start off, here is the vehicle: A 2016 Transit Connect LWB Wagon. It has been lowered a little and the wheels are upgraded to 19".

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I started off by doing a LOT of speaker testing in the house and then also inside the vehicle. I wanted to check speaker response in various locations and angles and see what performed the best for my tastes. I demo'd stuff for about 4 weeks total before making the decision on what to install and where. What I settled on was a full format tweeter in the sail panel window location, a 5" midrange in the dash corners and a 10" woofer in the kickpanel area. Obvioulsy, these are all non-stock locations and would require plenty of custom work to make that happen.

 

Here are some pics of the completed pieces. The a-pillar/dash speakers and sail panel pods were built by my friend Nick Apicella of Apicella Autosound in NY. They are wrapped in Alcantara suede. The kickpanel pieces I built and wrapped myself in vinyl.

TC Speakers 050.JPG

TC Speakers 051.JPG

TC Speakers 057.JPG

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I also had to run new speaker, signal and power wiring in the vehicle. I removed all the seats and the carpet and ran my wires, including 1/0awg power from the battery position to the rear. While the carpet was out, I also installed some Roxul Safe N Sound insulation in all of the open voids and space under the carpet to reduce noise.

 

 

TC Install 139.JPG

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I replaced the stock battery with a Stinger SPP1500 unit. More capacity, lower ESR. It is nearly identical size to the stock unit and fits in the stock tray, however the battery tie down may need a little adjusting. Whenever you are adding power wires, they need to be fused. for the main power feed to the audio system, I installed Stinger 250amp circuit breaker next to the battery and needed a place to mount it. I made a cardboard template and then duplicated to a piece of 1/4" type 1 pvc board. I thin used bolts and nylock nuts to attach.

 

TC Speakers 068.JPG

TC Speakers 071.JPG

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I'll add more as the build continues to progress. I still have to fabricate the amplifier rack and subwoofer enclosure for the rear.

 

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Great thread, thank you, your timing couldn't be better for me. I'm in the process of upgrading my sound system, and these photos with the carpet removed is very helpful. I've attended a few car audio shows and seen the competitions, but I haven't competed myself. My upgraded system will be nowhere near the level that you are at, but it is serious eye candy for me. I'm looking forward to the rest of your build.

Edited by zalienz

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Thanks zalienz. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to post them in this thread or message me.

I'm doing some amplifier testing this upcoming week and deciding which ones I want to use in this build and then the amprack and sub enclosure will be completed.

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What ever you do @Captainobvious do not read through my radio/navigation install in my 2012. It will only make you cringe at the way I am so amateurly doing this install. LOL      Love this thread and will be following it. Maybe I can learn something. 

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Hah, no problem BSUPC. We all have different goals and skillsets to accomplish them.

 

As a quick follow up, the TC performed great throughout the season and at the Car Audio North American Championships in October I was able to get a podium finish in all 4 events I competed in: One 1st place, one 2nd place and (2) 3rd place finishes. The North American finals bring the top level of competitors who have received invitations based on season points earnings from Canada, USA and Mexico.

Just goes to show the potential these TCs have.

 

This 2018 season I will have some other crazy changes in the works and will be pushing toward my goal of winning the championship.

 

 

Cheers

 

 

.

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I know this thread was started almost a year ago but do you have any more pics of your install with amp and speaker choices? Also what did you do for your low end? In an SQ install do you rely on the 10s in your kick panels or do those just cover a wider mid base spectrum? I am waiting on the delivery of my 2018 LWB XLT and plan on installing a decent system in it in the near future. My biggest issue is where to put subs for the low end, I will be hauling my kids race bikes and everything else in the back so I won't have a lot of room for a sub box. Your pillars look awesome and the 10s in the kick panels are nuts! I don't think I could talk the wife into letting me do anything like that...

 

oh and im assuming you went with an audiophile grade receiver and aren't relying on the factory deck and a DSP.

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I don't have the skills or budget to install a system comparable to the Captain. I chose to keep the audio system simple and looking like stock. I used the factory head unit (mfg by Sony) and a DSP/amp by Audio Control:

 

https://www.audiocontrol.com/car-audio/power-amplifiers/d-4800/

 

The amp has a great PC based app that that allows adjustment of every audio parameter for precise tuning and seems to handle speaker level inputs very well.

 

I powered the amp using the Battery Junction Box attached to the battery. It was very clean. I put the amp under the driver's seat since I don't have the aux blower for the rear passengers.

 

I installed Morel Hybrids in the front doors and some basic 2-way speakers in the rear sliding doors.

https://www.morelhifi.com/product/hybrid-2-way/

 

The sub is a 10" self powered tube-type that I can move around as needed.

 

I added sound deadening in the doors and insulation on the door panels.

 

Overall I am very happy with the sound quality, but I am not an audiophile. I really like the convenience and simplicity of using the stock head unit. I listen mostly to music via USB or smartphone app and the sound quality is very good. I have the basic Sync system (small screen). The Sync 3 unit appears to have some audio settings you may be able to configure using Forscan e.g. set pre-amp outputs, sub outputs and speaker number and type. If you want to do this there is a lot of info on the F-150 forums.

 

Congratulations on your new TC!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hey Don, thanks for the install info. My van is supposed to have the Sync 3 radio so I will definitely look into the Forscan for changing the parameters. As long as it doesn't have any issues staying connected to my phone I will keep the stock radio. I don't have any problem putting in a high powered aftermarket deck if i need to then I won't need to worry about AMPs with DSP.  I will be adding sound deadening to the doors and floor as well just to quiet it up a bit more and avoid any annoying rattles both from road vibrations and stereo vibrations. It also should have the rear air so I will have to find another spot for the amps. I'm hoping there's some room in one of the rear panels....

My van is on a slow train from New Jersey to California right now so I'm hoping it will be here by the end of the month.... Time will tell. 

Edited by MTB MVR

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