Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsProject Vehicles
1988 Ford Mustang GT Project Hypersilver - Sound System
Livin' Loud - Kicker and Soundwaves of Tampa install a killer sound system in Hypersilver.
To drive all of this output equipment, we needed an input, like a stereo head unit. But that would be just too plain and boring. We opted for Kicker's PXi50.2 ($199.95). This two-channel amplifier and controller for i-devices allows your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to provide the input, and the PXi50.2 delivers the signal directly to the amplifier without the need for a head unit. “Kicker also offers the PXiBT502, which communicates through bluetooth, so it can be used with any device that has bluetooth capability,” said Myers. The result is a clean-looking dash with no clumsy head unit. Sure, we won't have terrestrial radio, but who cares?
Kicker also included all of the necessary wiring and accessories necessary for installation, but there was no way that we were going to tackle this one ourselves. Instead, we turned to Soundwaves of Tampa, which is only about five minutes from our headquarters. We talked to owner Peter Ruiz, told him what we wanted to accomplish, and he jumped right on board.
On a strict timeline (a week before the Reliable transport truck was to arrive), he didn't waste any time diving in. Ruiz has a team of renown installers in the car audio world, including Scott Nelson and Chris Ott. Nelson's specialty is building boxes. He dove in first, assembling a sub box in the first day. Ott, on the other hand, spent the next four days working on fabricating the rest of the system. First on his list was the dash mount for the PXi50.2.
At the direction of Ruiz and Ott, we chose an iPad Mini. It fit the blank spot in the center stack almost perfectly, provides plenty of versatility for other uses, and offers a look that few have seen, especially in a Fox-body Mustang. In fact, we haven't seen another one yet. Ott spent the first two days fabbing up the iPad Mini mount, which incorporates a removable faceplate. He also incorporated the cable into the mount, allowing for ease of installation and removal of the iPad.
He then made custom kick panels for the QS65.2 mids, mounted the amp, and trimmed out the rest of the hatch area around the subs, amp, and our fuel cell. Then they wired it up, put the iPad Mini in place, and powered it up for the first time. I chose Beastie Boys' “Sabotage.” It combines rock guitar rifts combined with drums, yelling, and everything in between. As expected, it sounded amazing.
It seems all of our hard work installing sound-deadening and new seals paid off. There were none of the rattles you would expect from a 25-year-old Fox-body—just clean, loud music.
For awesome video of the installation and finished product, check out www.mustang-360.com, which is live now. There are three other videos on this build, so go check them out!
13. He then began tying in the subwoofer box to the rest of the floor using thin pressboard.
14. Using the same style of template, Ott made a pedestal for the amplifier and a trim ring for the subs and amp.
15. Next, Ott and owner Peter Ruiz upholstered everything using fabric supplied by TMI Products so it would match the rest of our interior perfectly.
16. Before final assembly, Ruiz routed all of the wiring, which was supplied by Kicker.
17. Ott permanently mounted the subs and amp.
18. He also installed the console and kick panels.
19. Here’s the rear finished. Boy, are we glad we didn’t attempt this ourselves. Even after watching the pros at Soundwaves work their magic, it’s still beyond our skill level.
20. Ruiz went ahead and adjusted the switches and knobs. It’s all Greek to us.
21. Our two 10-inch subs hit hard! Ruiz attributes that to a properly built box, sufficient wiring, and having all of the components working with each other properly.
22. Here’s a finished kick panel.
23. The coolest part of this system is the iPad Mini. Ott did an amazing job mounting it, and the Kicker PXi50.2 does a great job transferring our iTunes to the amplifier and through the speakers.