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View Full Version : Driver Kick Panel Subwoofer Box 02 X-Star (or free-air?)


nmcjr
02-22-2009, 03:56 PM
Hi,

After a long time debating a JL free-air sub vs. an enclosure behind the driver's kickpanel, I decided to go the enclosure route. That is, until I tried to remove the kick panel. I have seen several posts with pictures of such an enclosure in place, but can't find much on the procedure. I can't even seem to get the kick panel to budge, and am wondering how one could ever get it back in place with an enclosure etc.

Has anyone done this and would you shed some light on the process? How much do I need to disassemble under the dash to get it out, and how do you re-assemble with the new enclosure? I have seen references to the kick panel being tough to remove, and now I can really see why.

Sub-topic: should I just go the easy route with the JL free-air, or will that just be a nominal increase in sub-woofer performance over the stock Clarion? I certainly don't need the loudest boat on the water, but right now I cannot get any volume of bass out of the Clarion without distortion.

Thanks,
JR

brucemac
02-22-2009, 05:12 PM
getting the panel out is a little tough but not bad. did you know that it sits in a channel, or groove. that's why it won't pull straight out. you have to remove the screws, then lift it up while firmly scootching it out from i believe the right hand side. did you try that?

i have a custom box under there. 1.25 cubic feet net. you could probably do a much smaller sealed box and get the panel back in. my installers built somewhat of a carpeted false wall and then put the heater vent through that, but that's because of the ported box size sticks out further than the old panel did.

what are you using to power your current sub? maybe if you just used the JL free air and got some decent power behind it you'd be happy.

hope that helps. let me know if you have any other questions.

thanks!

craig3972
02-23-2009, 12:01 PM
i had a 12"sub in a ported box in that location on a 2000 xstar. sounded great! One trick to getting a sub to sound good is to fit the enclosure tightly in position. That panel is a pain to get out but the tight fit will help to transfer some of the low frequencies into the hull (with a sub enclosure in it)My enclosure was located behind the kick panel.

Free air subs dont provide as much "thud" as ported or sealed enclosures. Ported enclosures give more thud than free air and use less energy than sealed. Ported subs are slower responding than sealed. sealed enclosures are less loud than ported, use more energy to drive them, but respond faster (nicer sound quality - depending on your taste).

the 12" ported was a good fit cause we only used one battery in that boat

skeeler
02-23-2009, 12:15 PM
I did two JL Audio 10"s in a sealed enclosure, back when I had my '04 X-2. Tight fit, but well worth it.
.

craig3972
02-23-2009, 12:30 PM
Skeeler... did you use the grill on those subs?

skeeler
02-23-2009, 12:41 PM
Skeeler... did you use the grill on those subs?
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No, I guess for me, I never really needed them. I am about 5'10", and always drove with the seat all the way back. Never touched them, but grills would be an easy add on for sure.

nmcjr
02-23-2009, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the response.

I have a Pioneer Premier 4 channel amp bridged with 300W going to the sub at 4 Ohms. I would love to go the free air route, but really have a hard time getting a good opinion on it. I wish I could hear one, but concensus on this site seems to be that most people lean toward an enclosure, which I have to admit makes intuitive sense to me. That said, would JL make a sub that doesn't perform well? I tend to think not, but who knows. I have never seen anyone who put in the free air and removed it due to being dissatisfied.

Back to the kick panel: I haven't spent a bunch of time on it yet, but I don't see any screws on the right side, is that your recolleciton also? Is it just the two on the left and the groove holds the right in place?

Also, did you attach the enclosure to the kick panel and install it all at once? Or, do you set the enclosure in first, install the kick panel and then attach the enslosure once the kick panel is in place, by having someone hold it in place?

Thanks!

shunra
02-23-2009, 12:47 PM
nmcjr, I went with the free air sub for the same reasons you are considering it, but now regret it. I would definatly suggest putting an enclosure in there. I replaced my stock clarion with the wetsounds WS10-FA, and a Kicker 400.1 to power it. The sub is much better than the Clarion, and it does sound better, but it is still not that great. This year I plan to put that sub in a small sealed box, and I expect a big improvement.

That kick pannel is just not solid enough for a sub. There are just the two screws on the left hand side and nothing on the right (at least on mine). Also it is not sealed at the top of the kick panel, so the back wave from the sub can make it to the front, which is a problem for free air subs.

As far as removing that panel it is a real pain. I removed the screws and removed the sub. After the sub is out you can get at the back side of the panel (bring a light). There are 2 more screws that hold down a small block on the floor of the boat. That block holds the back of the panel tight into the channel. I took that block out and it made removing the panel easier. It still was a pain though.

nmcjr
02-23-2009, 12:47 PM
Ahh, I think I might see what I have been missing--Skeeler, am I correct in assuming you are ditching the factory kick panel all together and simply placing a box in its place that just looks like the original kick panel, but maybe does not go up as high?

Is that also what most others are doing? I had thought that people were making use of the original kick panel....

skeeler
02-23-2009, 12:50 PM
Ahh, I think I might see what I have been missing--Skeeler, am I correct in assuming you are ditching the factory kick panel all together and simply placing a box in its place that just looks like the original kick panel, but maybe does not go up as high?

Is that also what most others are doing? I had thought that people were making use of the original kick panel....
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You are correct. I installed the enclosure first, then made an exact duplicate of the factory trim panel and attached that to the enclosure.

craig3972
02-23-2009, 01:06 PM
Ahh, I think I might see what I have been missing--Skeeler, am I correct in assuming you are ditching the factory kick panel all together and simply placing a box in its place that just looks like the original kick panel, but maybe does not go up as high?

Is that also what most others are doing? I had thought that people were making use of the original kick panel....

on mine, the front of the enclosure was the kick panel. so when the enclosure was dropped into the groove/slot you saw the speaker and the carpeted front of the enclosure.
I think the beauty panel method would make it much easier to install. but once mine was in place, i didnt use any screws to hold it in postion - it was in tight.

edit: the flimsy OEM kick panel was not used.

nmcjr
02-23-2009, 05:26 PM
Thanks everyone, this has been very helpful, I think I now have a good understanding of how to make this all fit together.

macrogp18
02-23-2009, 08:19 PM
I have 2 12's iunder the kick panel. Mine was professionally done though.

nmcjr
02-23-2009, 08:57 PM
Very nice--that's a good photo for showing how it fits in there, height-wise. I should probably have mine professionally done also, but the first quote I received was $600 just for the enclosure which seemed like a lot to me.

Any ideas what a box like this should cost, professionally?

Thanks again.