Audio and Upgrades
The custom 0.40cu ft sub box made from 5/8" MDF and lots of caulk. The notch allows the box to fit up against the right wheel well, maximizing usable wagonness.
Powering the sub is a small bridged US Acoustics amp that is mounted to the back of the box. To make it fit, I took a hacksaw and a hammer to the small opening in the frame sheets where the old stock POS "sub" went (it was a paper 5.25" driver in a thin plastic box). With some enlargement, the amp snuggles back in there comfortably, but is still accessible by removing one bracket that holds the box against the corner of the car.
This is how the whole thing looks installed. My camera exaggerates a slight difference in color between my interior and the fabric used to cover the gaping hole in my interior.
Look at all that room! By going with such a small sub, I can still make use of Oskar's Volvo-ness, and also get great sound quality. I have absolutely no interest in poundin, dawg, nor wakin da nayburs wit my thumpin system. I listen to all kinds of music, and I just wanted it all to sound right.
Here's the brains of this operation. Its a double-din Pioneer unit that fills the factory HU location. It plays CD/MP3 etc discs, and has a fold-down lower face that allows access to the tape unit. I just can't get ride of some old-tech music media! This is a great unit with unbelievable flexibility, and I wanted something that would match the factory look, not some kiddie unit with lots of flashing lights and a tiny screen with pictures of 50cent, yo.
I replaced all of the factory speakers with Infinity Reference series coaxials. Once the student loans get paid down, a good set of components will go in. I used the grills that came with the 4" speakers to cover the 5 1/4"s in the door. They fit very nicely in the door panel after some minor modification with an exacto knife, and look much better than the factory covers. One sheet of Dynomat Extreme covers the area around the mounting location of the door speakers.
The 6 disc Pioneer changer is mounted below the floor of the trunk above the spare tire. It is actually much easier to get to than it sounds like. The power cable from the battery runs through a small hole in the firewall below this thingy (I dunno what it is), and I had to take out the glovebox to get to the wire. It was a pain in the arse. The power cable runs along the passenger side of the car under the interior panels, and all signal cables run through the center console into the trunk area,
I bought an IPD rear antisway bar 2 years ago. It never quite fit right, and a little later IPD replaced the whole bar, stanchions, bushings and hardware. Incredible customer service and a great resource for American Volvo enthusiasts.
The grill is easily removed, and the Volvo emblem (which I believe is an ancient symbol for iron) pops off with a bit of work before painting.