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2016 TC Cargo Aftermarket Sound System

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@stanger_missle - Don't think you're overthinking this at all. You're just exploring the what ifs, which is cool. I too have a cargo van with only two speakers in the front doors. Below is a pic of the slider doors speaker mounts you're referring to. Your concerns about road noise are valid. I personally wouldn't bother mounting speakers there. I think that mounting point would be good if you had passengers in this area but it would be a waste otherwise. If you want music for the cab area, then that's where I'd add or upgrade speakers for better sound. If I spent more time in the van I would consider an audio upgrade. Good luck!

 

slider door open.JPG

Edited by windguy

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On 8/20/2019 at 3:28 PM, i86hotdogs said:

I decided against the line converter, and bought an aftermarket head unit. I missed having a CD player, and the Bluetooth is a nice perk to have. I also enjoy the ability to tune the audio controls via the Sony app.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158GS920BH/Sony-WX-GS920BH.html?cc=07

@stanger_missle Here's the link for the head unit I put in. This one has a 45 watt amp build into the system. It even has capability to hook up a powerless sub to the unit without needing an external amp. Your link didn't work when I clicked on it BTW. Cost about $250. Mind you, if you do opt for one of these powered head units, you will need to run a dedicated power wire to the battery from the unit. I did not read the fine print on that, and had to order a wiring kit separately. 

 

When I looked around the rear doors, I did not see anything where the speakers should be. I can't guarantee buying a set of speakers, wire, and mounting hardware will set you up for an easy install. I don't plan on expanding into the rear of the van with speakers, I haul stuff too often to do that. What I would recommend for better sound is a few things:

 

Upgraded speakers, and either an amp and a head unit, or the combo of both like we mentioned will help significantly. I am content with my Rockford 3-way speakers and my powered head unit. If you want to stretch it further, I personally feel like wiring your own tweeters in the a-pillars will be an easier job than putting more in the back of the van. Road noise has to be battled with insulation. I have not gotten to that point in the build yet, but as you can see yourself, there is a ton of opportunity to insulate. 
 

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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Of turn speaker wiring up the A-Pillar, you can install speakers in the overhead shelf or the headliner.  

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On 8/23/2019 at 12:01 PM, windguy said:

@stanger_missle - Don't think you're overthinking this at all. You're just exploring the what ifs, which is cool. I too have a cargo van with only two speakers in the front doors. Below is a pic of the slider doors speaker mounts you're referring to. Your concerns about road noise are valid. I personally wouldn't bother mounting speakers there. I think that mounting point would be good if you had passengers in this area but it would be a waste otherwise. If you want music for the cab area, then that's where I'd add or upgrade speakers for better sound. If I spent more time in the van I would consider an audio upgrade. Good luck!

 

slider door open.JPG

 

 

Thanks Windguy. Trying to improve the soundstage in these vans looks like it will be a challenge. The front door speakers are mounted very low, which is not ideal. I wonder if I could mount some angled boxes to the roof just behind where the headliner ends? I think that would fill out the sound pretty well.

I regret that I didn't take the time to install some sound deadner material while I had the entire interior pulled out. I underestimated the amount of road noise that enters the cabin. Its a loud roar on worn asphalt. I'm thinking Kilmat 80mil and Noico Green 170mil on top of that for the floor and sides. I might do something else for the roof. I'd like to install a roof vent first though.

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On 8/26/2019 at 12:06 PM, i86hotdogs said:

@stanger_missle Here's the link for the head unit I put in. This one has a 45 watt amp build into the system. It even has capability to hook up a powerless sub to the unit without needing an external amp. Your link didn't work when I clicked on it BTW. Cost about $250. Mind you, if you do opt for one of these powered head units, you will need to run a dedicated power wire to the battery from the unit. I did not read the fine print on that, and had to order a wiring kit separately. 

 

When I looked around the rear doors, I did not see anything where the speakers should be. I can't guarantee buying a set of speakers, wire, and mounting hardware will set you up for an easy install. I don't plan on expanding into the rear of the van with speakers, I haul stuff too often to do that. What I would recommend for better sound is a few things:

 

Upgraded speakers, and either an amp and a head unit, or the combo of both like we mentioned will help significantly. I am content with my Rockford 3-way speakers and my powered head unit. If you want to stretch it further, I personally feel like wiring your own tweeters in the a-pillars will be an easier job than putting more in the back of the van. Road noise has to be battled with insulation. I have not gotten to that point in the build yet, but as you can see yourself, there is a ton of opportunity to insulate. 
 

Let me know if you have any other questions!

@i86hotdogs Thanks! I was looking at that Sony since I'm not a huge fan of touchscreen head units but I want Android Auto, which kind of necessitates it. The Alpine I was looking at; the ILX-W650 with the KTA-450 has a nice, big,  capacitive touch screen and Android Auto but is significantly more money for the head unit and amp. The other Sony I was looking at, the single-DIN MEX-XB120BT, also has the built in Class D amp. That would allow a small cubby in the center stack but I would have to forgo Android Auto as well.

I'm kinda shocked that there are no tweeters behind the A-pillar trim. Those should be relatively easy to install. With running 2 speakers on your Sony head unit, did you have to do anything special to only run 2 channels? Thanks!

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8 hours ago, stanger_missle said:

With running 2 speakers on your Sony head unit, did you have to do anything special to only run 2 channels?

 

I purchased my unit through Crutchfield. They offer discounted or free hardware to assist the install. They give you a new dash piece, and harness adapter. For an additional cost, they'll wire the harness for you, so all you need to do is plug it in to the stock plug and head unit. As mentioned earlier, since this is a high powered unit, you will need to run a dedicated power wire to the battery. There are a ton of posts on this site that tell you how to get through the firewall. I went the route the factory suggests when installing a trailer hitch: through the a-pillar.

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On 8/20/2019 at 2:28 PM, i86hotdogs said:

I decided against the line converter, and bought an aftermarket head unit. I missed having a CD player, and the Bluetooth is a nice perk to have. I also enjoy the ability to tune the audio controls via the Sony app.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158GS920BH/Sony-WX-GS920BH.html?cc=07

 

Quick unrelated question about that radio.  I just installed the lesser WX920BT in my car but it looks to have the same front end and display.   Do you have any problems reading the display in sunlight?   

 

Mine is hard to read.   It reads fine when I put my head in roughly the same place it would be in relationship to the display on any other car, but on the Transit connect, it's mounted at an upward angle and it makes the display appear dim.  Not sure whether this is a flaw in mine, something I just have to live with or if I should try another radio.

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On 9/5/2019 at 1:49 PM, Eilif said:

 

Quick unrelated question about that radio.  I just installed the lesser WX920BT in my car but it looks to have the same front end and display.   Do you have any problems reading the display in sunlight?   

 

Mine is hard to read.   It reads fine when I put my head in roughly the same place it would be in relationship to the display on any other car, but on the Transit connect, it's mounted at an upward angle and it makes the display appear dim.  Not sure whether this is a flaw in mine, something I just have to live with or if I should try another radio.

 

Yup. Near impossible to read in daylight. That was one of the biggest complaints from other buyers on the product page. 

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On 12/20/2018 at 8:56 AM, tcconvert said:

The dealer informed me this can be done, but they had to refer me to an outside independent installer and told me I would likely lose some of the control functionality on the steering wheel.

 

I was shocked to discover, after purchasing, that there was no easy way to connect satellite radio! Seems that today, if what you want is not already on the vehicle when you buy it, it is very difficult to add aftermarket electronics, essentially because the necessary interfaces aren't there. Maybe this is not the case with other vehicles. In any case, it was too difficult and I didn't want to lose my steering wheel controls, so I gave up on it. After a while I accepted that the interior road noise was so overpowering that I would have to crank up the volume of ANY add-on to such a level that what is left of my hearing would be compromised (you probably don't worry about that unless you are my age).

 

This opens up an even bigger can of worms.....considering how to noise-insulate the interior so you can hear your music (and everything else). I gave up on that partway through. It was all just too overwhelming for a vehicle I would not own any longer than 5 years. There are some great things about the TC. And some not-so-great. I would like to see a cargo version with interior insulation and paneling for those of us who value the space and don't need the seats, but would appreciate a higher level of comfort.

It only took me 4 orders of kilmat to do a majority of the TC XLT - I just did a new section every night for about an hour.  Bed, Liftgate, door x4, roof, 2nd row, front seats, headliner.  I'd say each one took 1-2 hours roughly 12 hours total.

Edited by Connect
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