This is my race car. It's a 1998 Subaru GL Wagon. Ignoring the burning desire to impress others with a BMW, this car fits my lifestyle perfect... Show morely. I can beat on it, which includes standing on the fenders, NEVER washing it and driving it into the deepest woods, hiding it from the forest rangers that don't take too kindly to us riding our moutain bikes during the winter months. Note the HARMONIC VIBRATION ASSEMBLY on the roof. Man, that baby gets pretty loud when Korn is stress-testing the car's integrity!
How much Dynamat is enough?
I have $1,400 in Dynamat so far, and I'd like to put more in. When I first started, I didn't know that there were different grades of Dynamat, so I grabbed what the first shop had: Original. What a pain in the ass to use! I still have a scar on my arm from the heat gun! After I cleaned them out, I discovered Premium at the next shop, which I used on the doors. One would think that I learned my lesson and asked if *that* was the best grade, but I didn't. When I cleaned them out of Premium, and hit the third store, I discovered Xtreme. Being a "if it cost more, it must be better" kinda guy, I gobbled up their entire inventory and moved onto the fourth store, after which I had the balance special ordered from the first store. (got that?) The Xtreme is an absolute pleasure to work with. It's literally FUN to apply -- I swear! It ain't fun paying for, though. Xtreme was brand new at the time, and no online sources carried it, like they do now. I was paying $90 per box, as compared to $45 or so, online now!
Dash Sale Everything must go!!! Might as well use up them Dynamat Scraps inside the dash, right? The silver stuff is Dyanamat Xtreme. Very easy to apply and definately fun, too! Maybe now I'll be able to slam the glove box, without having the CD skip?
Too much extra Metal? I think there's too much metal in this car -- let's get rid of some of it. Aren't Dremmels the most usefull little things? Carefull - watch them gas lines!!
With only 1,000 more Dremmel cutting discs, I might lighten the car up enough to get it really fast! It took, like six discs just to cut this little hole! Of course, the three hundred pounds of Dynamat might offset the lost metal!
Kicking Room OK, the truth is that I wanted to move the wiring harness into the frame, to make room for the custom kicks.
Fuse Block: I *think* I need to move this Fuse Block, to make room for the driver's side kick. This is not particularly appealing to me, as there are fifty-something wires that would need to be cut/spliced and extended to relocate this block, afterwhich, I would have to pray that the car would start.
Doors All four doors are Dynamatted (Premium -- I didn't know Xtreme existed at the time). They are also sprayed inside. It took one can of spray per door. I might put more in, before I'm done, as well as those big, thick rubber discs that stick to the inside of the outside door panel, directly behind the speaker. The rear hatch must have an extra fifty pounds in it, at this point -- that baby is S O L I D!
Baked Potato One With the ceiling, trim, and rear walls all coated in Xtreme, the car looked like a giant baked potato, with more than a little glare from the sun! I covered the shock towers and walls, as well as inside the wheel wells, both inside panels and outside. Show Less
How NOT to upgrade your system
Taking stuff apart is easy. Putting it back together is another story, all together: The car's apart, there's little c... Show morehance of remembering what goes where and I've broken a fair number of the plastic trim pieces. Three out of four windows don't work anymore, each due to a different problem (can you say HACK?). This seems like the "perfect" time to decide on the new, replacement equipment.
How good is "good enough"?
I tried to understand that any of the better amps would most likely be amazing and perfectly adequate for me, but that's not how I work. I want "the best" and surely, if I dig long enough, I'll come across "the truth", right? HA! Anyway, to make a VERY LONG STORY SHORT, I ultimately decided on Zapco, primarily because of their reputation and thier Symbilink system ( DAMN! That $180 in twisted RCAs is useless now!). The Zapco amps are no where near as flashy as some of the others, but I ain't goin' for flash! Finding information on Zapco products is far from easy, though. Half way through the process, I discovered that they were ending their famous Competition series, replacing it with a new line. Oh God. I am *not* starting all over again, researching them. And you can't find the new stuff on Ebay. The local shop has had four chances to get me pricing on the new stuff, and each time didn't get around to it. I'm going with the Competition series. Numerous discussions with Dave Ritter at Zapco produced the final equipment list. It was a bit painful, due to my staggering ignorance in the field. I don't think he was used to dealing with someone of my level, but we made it through the process, over the course of several months, with a dozen or so faxes, ultimately ending up in one of the most beautiful combination of words of I've ever had the pleasure of reading:
Excellent! So it's decided! Let's go! What??? Oh No!!! ... I seem to have spent my $5,000 stereo fund on dress clothes, a Harley jacket and a Nikon 990 digital camera -- D O H !!! Buying the new stuff may take a little longer than I had expected ...
((Insert three seasons here))
OK, so now that I know what I will be putting in the race car, I just have to buy it! I want to try to get good deals on it, though, so I'll be looking on EBay quite a bit, as well as the online stores. Hmm ... this Zapco stuff is actually kinda hard to find.
Anyway ... Here's what I've decided on:
HEAD UNIT: Nakamichi MB-100 - $1,000 - ALREADY PURCHASED
EQ/XOVER: Zapco SX-SL - $325 plus comp equip trade - ALREADY PURCHASED
EQs: (2) Zapco EQ30-SL processors - $400 (deal) - ALREADY PURCHASED
AMP: Zapco Z200C2-SL for left front channel - $265 - ALREADY PURCHASED
AMP: Zapco Z200C2-SL for right front channel - $250 - ALREADY PURCHASED
AMP: Zapco Z600C2-SL for subs $1,050 - ALREADY PURCHASED
SUBS: (2) 12" Eclipse 881200 Aluminum subs - $500 or so.
SPEAKERS: Focal Utopia 165W 3-way for front - $700 - $1,050, depending on source.
KICKS: Custom - $500 (approx, maybe more)
WIRING/FUSES/BLOCKS: Scosche eFX - $500
DYNAMAT: Original, Premium & Xtreme out the wazzoo! - $1,500 - ALREADY PURCHASED
VIBRATION: Thule Harmonic Vibration Assembly. Also hold bikes on roof - $500
Optional (still researching):
CAPS: (2-3) 1 farad - $300 - $400
Trickle Buying: I'm in this mode of "buy a piece here, buy a piece there, but leave enough money for dancing/drinking and maintaining the mountain bikes". I don't plan to have this going anytime soon. In fact, I expect next spring or even summer! I'll be needing the help of experts, once the equipment is stock piled, to make sure that imaging and tuning is correct, for sure. Gotta make key decisions on amp placement (wheel well?) and sub enclosure design. The custom kicks, especially, need to be right.
Expectations: This system damn well better bring a tear to my eye when it's done. I cannot WAIT to hear Ani DiFranco's amazingly crisp and energenic acoustical guitar work, the sound of her fingers sliding down the strings and the subtle sound of her taking a breath between words; all things you miss on an inferior system. Now, there are plenty of times when I'm feelin' rowdy -- when only Korn, Rage Against the Machine or Sevendust will satisfy the itch. And boy will those subs, powered by 900 freakin' watts into 1 ohm should beat that feeling of nausea into me, for sure!
To compete or not to compete: I don't really think I will compete. It's not my intention. If it comes out well enough, and I'm encouraged to compete, maybe I will, but this is really just another typical hobby on steriods -- the kind that I seem to gravitate to, over and over again.
Pile O'Parts: Here's what I have so far (picture to be updated, since I have a lot more now): Show Less