A client from Westminster, Maryland came to WSS Westminster Speed & Sound with a very unique vehicle. It was a 2012 Mitsubishi FG140 commercial cab over truck. What made this vehicle even more unique was the fact that it was four-wheel drive! We were already in love. We scheduled a time for a consultation with the client and his vehicle. We were impressed with this thing. Solid axles front and back for the four-wheel drive, turbocharged diesel engine, sitting up high, you get the visual here. What we learned from the consultation was this vehicle was going to be the flagship vehicle in his commercial business and he wanted it to have certain safety functions like a backup camera, some technology to make the vehicle more efficient like Bluetooth and a GPS Navigation system. He also wanted a great sounding stereo system. Now I don’t know how many Japanese cab over trucks you have climbed in lately, but saying their stereo systems were lousy would be an understatement. They are not a good platform to try to make something sound good. At WSS Westminster Speed & Sound, we love a good challenge, so we said “sure, we can make this thing sound incredible.”
The first thing we needed to do was disassemble this truck and see what we had to work with. We scheduled a two-hour diagnostic appointment to survey everything from the dash, the doors, the area behind the seats, and the room under the seats. After we did that, we got back together with the client and laid out a game plan that achieved the customer’s goals. So, let’s get started.
Commercial Vehicle Stereo System Presents Quite a Challenge
We will start with our biggest challenge: The stereo system. The only upgrade that was not a complete custom job was the Alpine INE-W927HD Navigation system. The dash opening did not need much altering to hold this unit and there were no mounting depth issues, so we installed this unit first. The Alpine unit uses a beautiful 7” display and is very easy to use. That screen will also serve as the display for the backup camera. He gained Bluetooth for hands-free calling so now he can have important business discussions while driving. He also gained Bluetooth capability for streaming music wirelessly from any of his electronic devices. He gained control of his iPod for music, and now when he uses Pandora Internet on his Android phone he can control it wirelessly from his Alpine unit in the dash. This unit was also chosen because the sound quality is top-notch. We all know the old saying garbage in, garbage out. So we started with real hi-fidelity at the start of this commercial vehicle audio upgrade!
German Maestro 6.5″ Components Replace Puny 4″ Factory Speakers
What we found when we investigated the doors for speaker options was a small 4” speaker with less than 2” of mounting depth. The door panels and metal were also not conducive for good sound. We attacked this by applying Hushmat to the entire inner door to eliminate the possibility of rattling or sound resonance and their Wavebreaker product to the inside of the outer door skin to eliminate sound reflection inside the door. We then custom made a mount on the front side of the door to accommodate the 6.5” woofer out of a German Maestro SV6509 speaker set. Now this door had possibilities. We mounted the tweeter on the A pillar near the windshield to significantly raise the sound stage up out of the floor area.
JL Audio Shallow Mount Subwoofer in Custom Enclosure Provides Bass
We knew this vehicle was going to need a subwoofer to really perform but all we had was the area behind the rear seat which was less than 5” deep! The customer only wanted us to use the space behind his seat as he wanted the rest of the area for storage. JL Audio to the rescue! The 13TW5v2-4 subwoofer is only 2.5” deep and will work in an enclosure well under one cubic foot of space. We made a custom enclosure out of wood and fiberglass to eek out every last ounce of airspace and keep it behind his seat. Hushmat was also applied liberally around the subwoofer enclosure to eliminate rattling and sound resonances.
2 Arc Audio KS300.2 Amps Power Up This Commercial Vehicle Audio System
When it came to power we chose two Arc Audio KS300.2 amplifiers. We knew he needed real muscle in this area. One amp runs mono to the subwoofer sending over 700 watts of clean power to it, and the second amp send over 175 watts per channel to the front speakers. We ran all new wiring in this vehicle because the stock wiring was not up to the challenge of this new system. When we sat in the vehicle to do some fine tuning we were blown away by the accuracy and spaciousness of the sound, and the effortless way it could achieve concert level volume. This was definitely a work truck we would love to drive!
The Finishing Touches
The last piece to the puzzle was a commercial grade low light backup camera that we installed at the rear of the vehicle. We left an extra 2 feet of cabling near the camera since the customer is having a custom dump bed installed and wanted flexibility in the final location for the camera.
We were looking forward to delivering the truck to the customer. If I told you he was grinning from ear to ear, that would be a gross underestimation. He was thrilled with everything. He said he did not imagine it could look this good, sound this good, or make his life this much more efficient. This is another job that the crew at WSS Westminster Speed & Sound can be proud of!
We really do love a challenge as this project shows! If you have a unique vehicle or installation challenge, bring it to us. You will be happy that you did!