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Old 01-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #1
ColinG
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Speaker upgrade for Sport S soundbar?

Has anyone looked into the limited output of the soundbar? I have all factory stereo equipment (not the Infinity system) and it sounds weak.

I have read the head unit is programmed to kill the volume on them so they limit the vibration in the soundbar plastic and dome light. Some said the HU needed to be replaced to have any luck. Others said a simple subwoofer kit will fill out the factory sound enough. Others said replacing the sound bar speakers with the Kicker replacement ones make a difference.

I dont really want to take away any cargo space, and I would prefer to keep my factory head unit because I like it.

Anyone have concrete results before I spend money on something I may not end up needing?
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:58 PM   #2
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I have a Clarion FZ501 head unit, Infinity Reference Coaxials crossed over and powered by the internal amp on the Clarion, and a Bazooka BT6100 internally amplified bass tube. The sound bar and front pods are dampened with SecondSkin too. Sounds great and there is no issue with sound output from either set of speakers. The factory deck does two things, it limits output to the bar and it has a bass contour circuit to reduce bass as the volume goes up regardless of your equalizer settings to keep warranty claims to a minimum.

Sucks huh?
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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Yes it does...

That's what I thought after a quick look online but I was hoping there was a magic solution somewhere.

I'm about to just ziptie my Bose SoundLink to the soundbar and plug my iPod into that.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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No magic bullet, just good ole fashioned stereo work. I may eventually add more bass, but for now that little SAS Bazooka is doing fine.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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I replaced everything with aftermarket, but did speakers first on a base system (not infinity). I bought Polk 6.5" coax speakers for the soundbar and Polk 6.5 components for the dash. I covered the inside of the soundbar with fatmat and stuffed with poly fill.. I did the same with the speaker boxes in the dash. The improvement was huge. I went with polks because they come with an adapter ring and are an easy install....
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:04 PM   #6
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Go to crutchfield.com or a similar website. Buy plenty of Dynamat and Polyfill. Pull out your front speaker pods and remove your sound bar. Remove the speakers from all. Dynamat as much of the pods and sound bar interior space as possible; stuff pods and sound bar with Polyfill; reinstall speakers and put everything back together.

This will give you the most out of your stock speakers, and cost you about $70. Your best overall improvements, along with the above, is to replace the head unit and add bass.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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Im leaning toward replacing the head unit with an in-dash GPS/stereo unit. I found some deals on Double DIN units with all the fixins (dvd, sattelite radio, backup camera input etc.) but I still don't know how excited I am about using an aftermarket stereo.

Is the factory navigation/stereo unit available somewhere other than the dealership? If so, is anyone familiar with the sway from base stereo head unit?

I would like to believe it does not self-govern the speakers, as I've read the upgraded JK stereo systems run a cheap-o amp. The fix for those specific systems is to replace the amp with a similar model from a Dodge Nitro. Therefore, if the factory nav unit were to be installed in my Sport X JK wouldn't the factory speakers start speaking up?

I like the idea of replacing the speakers also but not if they will just be underperforming from the get-go
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:00 PM   #8
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The Mygig system is where I'm headed. It appears to be a direct plug. I'm not concerned with no navigation, more interested in the stereo performance and factory styling.

Anything I should be nervous about? Will it need a bezel our should it fit correctly?
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #9
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I like the idea of replacing the speakers also but not if they will just be underperforming from the get-go
Generally speaking, the speakers are not the problem. The biggest problem with any stock stereo, no matter the automobile make/model, is the lack of quality power. Now, this lack of stock power can be corrected with the addition of an after market amplifier which more then likely will open up another can of worms. For example, once sufficient power is added into the system then the quality of the speaker enclosures becomes apparent.

In the case of the JK the speaker enclosures are horrible at best. They are made out of molded plastic that does a very poor job at handling resonance and vibrations. In a nutshell, once sufficient power is added into the system the stock enclosures resonant like a swarm of bees which most people mistakenly attribute to bad speakers. This inaccurate assessment cannot be farther from the truth.

Now, there is truth in the belief that speakers can and do affect the output of the audio spectrum. However, in the case of the JK the speakers are not the problem, it's the lack of power and the quality of the speaker enclosures. The stock enclosures can be improved by adding 2 or 3 layers of resonance dampening material like Dynamat extreme or Secondskin Audio Damplifier Pro. This material will help eliminate resonance and allow the speakers to operate more efficiently.

Some folks like to add some sort of poly fill inside the enclosure because they've heard that this procedure also helps improve the performance of the speakers. Although this is true it's only true to a degree. There have been several performance tests done by respected audiophiles not only in car applications but in home applications as well that have determined that the benefits of poly fill are minimal at best. These tests have also determined that the biggest gains in performance can be had by reducing or eliminating the resonance created by poor enclosure construction or materials. Regardless, adding some sort of poly fill or fiberglass inside the enclosure won't hurt or diminish the quality of audio output from the system. If you want to perform this mod then rest assured you won't be screwing anything else up.

Another culprit in poor audio output is incorrect equalizer adjustments. The first thing most people do when they get a new stereo is maximize the EQ which ultimately decreases the distortion ceiling of the system. In essence, with a maxed out EQ your music may start to distort around 60% of the head unit's volume rather then 75% volume of a properly EQed head unit. This distortion caused by poor EQ adjustments is then blamed upon the speakers which again, cannot be farther from the truth.

When I adjust my EQ I start out with the bass, mids and treble set to "0". Then, if the music sounds too bright I turn down the mids and treble. If the music sounds too warm I turn down the bass. By no means do I ever adjust the EQ into the positive as my values live in the negative side of the scale. As a result, I'm ensuring that I can increase the volume of my stereo without distortion; at least within reason. Here's how I see it, if modern stereos are designed to start producing distortion around 75% of their output then I want to ensure that I get all 75% of that clean music out of it. Why would I want to decrease the distortion value by maxing out my EQ settings?

Now, after making all of the above corrections to your stereo you might hear the result and say to yourself, "It's too soft, it needs to be louder!". If this is the case then the problem is not power, speakers or enclosures; the problem is there simply is not enough air being pushed by your system. What is "air"? Well, in a nutshell, when you place your hand in front of the speaker you will feel a rush of "air". This "air" is the frequency waves that our ears/brains translate into music. The more "air" a speaker moves the louder the music will be perceived. Having said this, it's easy to now understand why larger speakers are louder then smaller speakers; it's because the larger speakers push more "air".

In the case of the JK there are two tweets and four 6.5" mid woofers. It really won't matter how much power you feed the 6.5" mid woofers because physics dictates how much "air" that sized speaker can push; a 6.5" woofer CAN only sound like a 6.5" woofer, it will never sound like an 8" woofer because it doesn't have the same surface area as an 8" woofer. This is why just blindly throwing lots of power to a speaker doesn't always net the desired results we're after. The best course of action is to find out the recommended power ratings of the speaker and provide that amount power, any more then that and you're wasting your money.

Well, now you may ask how in the hell do you make your system louder? The answer is easy, add more speakers AND more amplifiers. By adding additional speakers you are exponentially increasing the amount of "air" that your system is pushing, thus, making it exponentially louder. By adding more amplifiers you are ensuring that each speaker is receiving quality power and operating in a distortion free setting.

Adding more speakers and amplifiers is a pretty simple thing to do in a home setting but unfortunately, it's very difficult to do in an automobile. This is why car audio guys spend thousands upon thousands of dollars chasing the Holy Grail of car audio only to be disappointed with every venture. The "Holy Grail" just doesn't exist because there are too many factors working against a pristine stereo in an automotive setting. The best we can do is recognize the limitations of car audio and create a system that reaches it's potential. Then, LEAVE IT ALONE! If you start chasing the "Holy Grail" you will never stop.

Good luck all.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:09 PM   #10
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^^ To add to his statements about the enclosures, that holds true for any type of speaker enclosure and more important on subwoofer enclosures. If any part of the enclosure is able to move with the standing waves inside the enclosure, then you lose power and efficiency. The damping material and the fiber fill kill the standing waves inside the enclosures in the JK creating a more neutral sound. I have been toying with the idea of glassing the pods and bar internally and then adding the damping material after that to increase the rigidity of the enclosures to eliminate the angry bee sound from those crappy plastic boxes. Not real high on the list at the moment.

He's right about the equalization too, just about everything on my set up is set to zero. Everything is crossed over properly, and it sounds balanced. The only thing I emphasize is the treble by one or two because I like it a little brighter. More than that and it becomes brash.

In progression I followed this path.

1.) Changed the speakers. Bleh, underpowered and the stock head unit still had the crappy bass contour that pretty much neuters the low end past 40% volume plus now with stiffer speaker cones the buzzing started.

2.) Pulled the speakers out again and did two layers of Damplifier. Buzzing gone, still sounded like crap, still underpowered. I was determined to keep steering wheel controls and the shitty OE radio for theft deterrence.

3.) Added a seal sub enclosure with around 400 watts pushing it using high level inputs. Bass was back, but still didn't sound right and I could hear the new speakers clipping at higher volume due to the anemic power level.

4.) Added the Clarion, wow, okay now it was where I wanted it to be after tuning it. Sealed enclosure was taking up too much room and wanted some of that room back so I switched to the Bazooka tube for its size and output.

Now the system sounds great, doesn't disappoint, and surprises people when they hear it. I don't think anyone that likes music will ever be content with the stock system even with a speaker change.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:25 PM   #11
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Thanks a bunch guys, really great info. The dynamat is a must, I agree. The stock look is important to me (like you said to help deter theft is a bonus) so I feel the mygig head, with a 4 channel amp helping new speakers with sound deadening material, and a bazooka tube (to retain cargo space) and I could have a well-glanced setup. Still just brain storming but so far that makes the most sense for my wants and needs. Unless the my gig doesnt have a sub-out..
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #12
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As far as I know, the MyGig has zero low level outputs. However, you can do something like the MTX RE-Q5 to give you low level outs for the full range plus a sub out with a simple inline solution.

Linked.

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-SPe3nbi...MTX-re-Q5.html
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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Interesting, I had no idea that existed. That would settle the bass out of the mygig HU.

But now with all these parts im still thinking of taping my bose dock to the roll bar
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I would like to believe it does not self-govern the speakers, as I've read the upgraded JK stereo systems run a cheap-o amp. The fix for those specific systems is to replace the amp with a similar model from a Dodge Nitro. Therefore, if the factory nav unit were to be installed in my Sport X JK wouldn't the factory speakers start speaking up?
I may be wrong but everyone that I've seen talk about the reduced output has been running the upgraded Infinity stereo. The upgraded Infinity stereo comes with a separate, external, 368 watt, 8 channel, 2 ohm amplifier.

The problem that Jeep was trying to fix was the buzzing/rattling of the overhead sound bar resulting from the upgraded power from the Infinity amp. Instead of engaging in the correct solution of dampening the sound bar, Jeep, in all their wisdom, decided the cheapest thing to do was turn down the amplifier gain of the 2 channels going to the sound bar. As a result, the power is decreased to the sound bar resulting in a simple, albeit lazy fix to the problem.

Some guys have installed the Dodge Nitro Infinity amp and claimed that their entire stereo became louder. I have no concrete proof but I believe this is because the brand new Infinity amp has not been set by the dealership to the correct settings of the vehicle. In a nutshell, installing a brand new Dodge amp would be like installing an after market amp and leaving the gain maxed out which would give the impression that the volume is much louder. This theory has been somewhat supported by the fact that once the dealer got their hands on these specific JKs and hooked a Starscan tool up to them, despite the reason, the Infinity amp always went back to the reduced output at the sound bar.

With my experience on how Jeep/Chrysler operate I believe the brand new Infinity amps are delivered "wide open" in terms of gain and it is expected that the dealership would hook up their Starscan tool to upload the correct settings to the amp (I.E., gains, crossovers, digital time delay, etc...). After all, there are several other electronic devices that simply won't work until the dealer enables them with Starscan; I.E. uConnect.

So, the answer to your question is I believe the loudness level of your stereo will not be affected if you are not running the upgraded Infinity amp. If you are running the Infinity amp you should already be dealing with the reduced output and shouldn't notice a difference.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:48 PM   #15
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As far as I know, the MyGig has zero low level outputs. However, you can do something like the MTX RE-Q5 to give you low level outs for the full range plus a sub out with a simple inline solution.

Linked.

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-SPe3nbi...MTX-re-Q5.html
That's looks like a nice product and I know JL Audio makes a well reviewed version called the CleanSweep. I've know a few guys that have installed the CleanSweep and even though it works as advertised they are constantly tweaking the settings in order to try and achieve the best output.

The one issue I have with products like this is the fact that they require a gain adjustment in order to run effectively. Then you add the gain adjustment on the external amplifier itself and that adds up to TWO gain adjustments in the audio signal path which creates too much room for error for my liking. I'd rather buy an amp with high level inputs, hooked up directly to the factory speaker wires and use the single amplifier gain to adjust output level; one gain, less room for error.

In fact, this is how I have my sub woofer amp hooked up, directly off of the factory speaker wires. It runs great and there have been no issues whatsoever. Call me crazy but if an extra component is not necessary then I don't see the reason to add it into the equation.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:52 PM   #16
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That's looks like a nice product and I know JL Audio makes a well reviewed version called the CleanSweep. I've know a few guys that have installed the CleanSweep and even though it works as advertised they are constantly tweaking the settings in order to try and achieve the best output.

The one issue I have with products like this is the fact that they require a gain adjustment in order to run effectively. Then you add the gain adjustment on the external amplifier itself and that adds up to TWO gain adjustments in the audio signal path which creates too much room for error for my liking. I'd rather buy an amp with high level inputs, hooked up directly to the factory speaker wires and use the single amplifier gain to adjust output level; one gain, less room for error.

In fact, this is how I have my sub woofer amp hooked up, directly off of the factory speaker wires. It runs great and there have been no issues whatsoever. Call me crazy but if an extra component is not necessary then I don't see the reason to add it into the equation.
Agreed, the only reason I suggest devices like the CleanSweep, RE-Q, or the JBL version is to be able to override the bass contour built into pretty much all factory head units. The JL and JBL are hands down the best, but for the money, the MTX will get the job done.

The problem he would have with a high level right into the amp is that you're just amplifying the same anemic signal at higher volumes. Then the natural instinct for almost all people who listen to music is to compensate with bass adjustments. Better to normalize the signal before it enters the amplifier stage.

Just a different take on it. Both ways will work and sound many times better than even the premium Infinity set up.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:00 AM   #17
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the other day I was driving my JK. My son let me drive my own JK so nice of him. well anyway. I noticed very little sound coming from the rear speakers, I thought they were bad now I'm reading tha the head unit is doing this. I guess buying the new replacemnet speakers wont help? Also if someone could tell me how they installed the Dynamat on the speaker boxes, I would like to do that I also want to line the inside of the doors, I hate the way they sound when you close the door.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:41 PM   #18
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Anyone have pics of soundproofing

Does anyone have pics of their soundproofing projects. I am thinking of Infinity Reference-X 6 1/2" 2 way component audio aftermarket automotive speaker system for the dash, Infinity Reference-X 6 1/2" 2-way coaxial aftermarket automotive speaker and keeping the Alpine woofer and stock HU. But i also want to replace amp with Harman Infinity Kappa 5-Channel Class D System Amplifier. Any opinions from you experienced folks out there.. Thanks

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Old 06-02-2013, 06:21 AM   #19
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I fixed the sound bar.. and now by base stereo sounds better than the premium stereo

Here's what you do. First order 2 Kick10 speaker upgrades or shop around for 6.5 inch speakers that will work with the current layout. Pay attention to
the sensitivity rating of the speaker...the higher the better.

Start with the soundbar upgrade. Buy a bag of polyfil.. my wife grabbed three bags at Wallmart. Buy enough Dynamat to get you two 5" x 3" strips.
Remove the soundbar speakers. Glue in a strip of dynamat in each side ofthe soundbar start the dynamat above where the speaker sits.
Let the glue cure... wait @ 3hrs. Stuff the soundbar with polyfil astight as you can. Jam the polyfil in there leave a loose pocket where the speaker is going to sit. Install your replacement speakers. Find a small piece of rubber that you can jam between the light canopy and the soundbar. The buzz you hear is air rushing over the light canopy and vibrating the clear light canopy cover. Next... set yourfader all the way to the rear. Find your favorite tune that you have not been able to listen to because you didn't want to be annoyed... set your bass to +8, treble to +6, midrange to -5
play your song... notice no buzzing.. next set the fader to center. Know hear the difference. Now you are ready to tackle the front dash...
stuff the speaker boxes with polyfil, replace the speakers.. .. you will be amazed.




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I may be wrong but everyone that I've seen talk about the reduced output has been running the upgraded Infinity stereo. The upgraded Infinity stereo comes with a separate, external, 368 watt, 8 channel, 2 ohm amplifier.

The problem that Jeep was trying to fix was the buzzing/rattling of the overhead sound bar resulting from the upgraded power from the Infinity amp. Instead of engaging in the correct solution of dampening the sound bar, Jeep, in all their wisdom, decided the cheapest thing to do was turn down the amplifier gain of the 2 channels going to the sound bar. As a result, the power is decreased to the sound bar resulting in a simple, albeit lazy fix to the problem.

Some guys have installed the Dodge Nitro Infinity amp and claimed that their entire stereo became louder. I have no concrete proof but I believe this is because the brand new Infinity amp has not been set by the dealership to the correct settings of the vehicle. In a nutshell, installing a brand new Dodge amp would be like installing an after market amp and leaving the gain maxed out which would give the impression that the volume is much louder. This theory has been somewhat supported by the fact that once the dealer got their hands on these specific JKs and hooked a Starscan tool up to them, despite the reason, the Infinity amp always went back to the reduced output at the sound bar.

With my experience on how Jeep/Chrysler operate I believe the brand new Infinity amps are delivered "wide open" in terms of gain and it is expected that the dealership would hook up their Starscan tool to upload the correct settings to the amp (I.E., gains, crossovers, digital time delay, etc...). After all, there are several other electronic devices that simply won't work until the dealer enables them with Starscan; I.E. uConnect.

So, the answer to your question is I believe the loudness level of your stereo will not be affected if you are not running the upgraded Infinity amp. If you are running the Infinity amp you should already be dealing with the reduced output and shouldn't notice a difference.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #20
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Not exactly true, radio's are fine, but lack bass and amps.
You hack into the new Canbus system you are asking for trouble
Canbus runs everything,from dome light to engine rpm.
I just added 2 amps, upgraded speakers, and you hear the radio in next county.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:10 AM   #21
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^^^ not sure the Canbus goes all the way to the SPEAKERS... FWIW.

Alot of guys have added cheapo Wally-world pillow stuffing to the sound bar and dash pod.

I personally have a speaker line-output hooked to the bar speakers to drive a cheapo amp and older, comp. worthy 12". I keep the fade centered in the forward, so my mids and highs come from the dash and bass is fed by the reduced rears- this is in a usually nekkid Jeep.

Alpine makes a great, tiny amp that will fit in your glovebox. I personally am selling my amp for a 3 channel to mount BEHIND the glove box and power the sub and dash speakers. Works for us, FWIW.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:12 AM   #22
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^^^ broke d*ck that keeps electronic mods to what I can afford to have stolen or flooded. Oh, and my current amp is mounted to the box and the box I put in a $30 Wally-world waterproof duffel bag. As long as I bump it often, the Houston humidity has not killed an amp yet.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:27 PM   #23
jerryn
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Member # 10711
Posts: 98
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You gotta be stealth about your stereo upgrade or some idiot is going to steal it.
I am still working on locating a sub. I don't want to sacrifice space.. I need tools where I go four wheeling. I need a collapsible shovel, wooden planks, and a tow rope.
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