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Making the plunge to a Double DIN

This is a discussion on Making the plunge to a Double DIN within the Stereo and Electronics forums, part of the General Help category; It's been many years since I built a custom stereo system (in fact, it's been nearly 5 years since I ...

  1. #1
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    Making the plunge to a Double DIN

    It's been many years since I built a custom stereo system (in fact, it's been nearly 5 years since I built my last custom box), so I've decided to jump head first back in with the Hawk. My steering wheel controls stopped working, speakers started crackling, lights going out in the HU, and the volume control would go down before going up when you turned the knob- basically, the stock system is falling apart at the seams.

    Got my Kenwood DDX-714 in from UPS and started my test fitting yesterday. Granted, the weather was in the low teens so I made very little progress, but I'll post pics as I get the process rolling.

    I'm still trying to decide whether to pay for a bezel or do it myself and save the money... time=money, but a little more of my time is worth the money I can spend on the car! The last box I built squeezed two JL Audio 10W3v2's into the space where the rear center console should have been in a Harley Edition Ford F150. Carbon Fiber, polished aluminum, MDF, vinyl, diamond plating, LEDs, and HD emblems to keep the theme going- I hope I still have it and can make a simple bezel!

  2. #2
    Member 173rdbrandon's Avatar
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    Black
    2000 Trans Am WS6

    you can always check out 6litereater. I just purchased a double din bezel off of them

  3. #3
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    His DD bezel does look good and if I royally screw up my attempt at making my own, I can always go to him. (I bought a back-up bezel just in case I screw it up... that ought to tell you what sort of confidence I have in myself!) I'll post some pics along the way... stuck at work now and it's actually a halfway decent day (it's now a sweltering 30 degrees outside...)

  4. #4
    Member 173rdbrandon's Avatar
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    Black
    2000 Trans Am WS6

    Ya, I got the better of the two. I would love to learn how to do that stuff. Good luck and keep us posted

  5. #5
    I'm (Hurst) Equipped... davebowtie's Avatar
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    Onyx Black
    '02 Camaro SS(replica) M6

    -Subscribed-
    I've always wondered if the double DIN stuff would fit our F-bods. I mean how extensive could the fab work get? lol!

  6. #6
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    Cut the tray out and it fits in perfectly. Going to fab up some brackets tonight. I'll post pics and pdf templates of the brackets if y'all want them. Right now I'm trying to splice the harness together and then I have to trace down the reverse light, parking switch, and then install the PAC adapter for the steering wheel controls. Also found that one of the tabs on my ac controls was broken off so I'll have to epoxy that.

  7. #7
    Member 173rdbrandon's Avatar
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    Black
    2000 Trans Am WS6

    I would very much like a template for brackets for the double din. Thanks

  8. #8
    She Moderator KahanaReef's Avatar
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    Arctic White
    2000 Camaro Z28

    subscribed

  9. #9
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    Installed radio today- I'm using a Kenwood DDX714- I do not claim to be an expert, just a schmuck with too little money to pay someone else to do it and just enough tools to do it myself- do this at your own risk! I'll post the template tomorrow when I get to work and can scan the image.

    Step 1.

    Remove radio. You'll need to cut out the plastic tray, but that is real easy with a Dremel and a cut-off wheel.


    The removed tray and my sexy hand.

    Step 2.

    Bend this bracket out of the way. I pushed it down and this is what I zip tied my PAC unit to that makes the steering wheel controls work with the Kenwood.

    Step 3.

    I made a template of the opening so I could make the brackets.

    Step 4.

    Cut strip of 22g steel and used the template to form the rounded ends.

    Step 5.

    Using the template and my drill press I drilled out the appropriate holes for the screws, the nipples sticking out from the dash, and the hols for the clips from the bezel. Since the tray and bracket were removed, the only thing holding the radio steady is this bracket. I figured a bigger bracket that the clips also held in would help in stabilizing and hopfully reduce the risk of a cd skipping.


    I then cut the strip in half and cleaned up the rough edges with a grinder.

    Step 6.

    I then bent the ends (using a bench vice, a hammer and a piece of 2x4- not the most professional method but it worked), measuring in about 1.25" in from the end of the bracket.

    Step 7.

    I then made templates for the sides of the radio, drilled the appropriate holes, cut off the excess length from the brackets, cleaned everything up and painted them satin black.

    Next up: Bezel, installing more secure bolts (may not stop a thief but it sure will slow them down and tick them off!), adding on components to the radio, and then it's off to amps and speakers.

  10. #10
    Member El Toro Loco's Avatar
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    pewter
    2001 Trans AM WS6

    subscribed nice!!!!!!

  11. #11
    Member 173rdbrandon's Avatar
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    Black
    2000 Trans Am WS6

    looking good, and looking forward to the template

  12. #12
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    I apologize for the quality, it's the best I could do. I traced the flat pieces I had cut so you should be able to cut along the line and be good. The bend should be made 1.25" from the end with the holes in it and you'll still need to cut a few inches off the end that goes back into the dash to get them to fit (I left them long so I could screw it into the radio as far back as possible to help sturdy it up). A cheap metal brake would do wonders with bending them, but I used a bench vise, a 2x4, and a big hammer.

    Download the template from here (pdf)

    Hope this helps- feel free to modify and improve upon my design but share it freely!
    Later-
    Bryan
    Last edited by bberretta; 01-19-2010 at 08:06 AM.

  13. #13
    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    "Arrest Me Red"
    2001 trans am

    lloos good so far i would like to do this in my ta.

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    Senior Member Z28boy2000's Avatar
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    2000 Camaro B4C

    lookin pretty damn good, been thinking about doing one in mine for a while now
    2000 B4C Special Service Package Z28 - Kooks 1&7/8 Stepped 2'' - TSP Torquer V.2 - FAST 92/92 - BDR 4000 Conveter - Xtreme Trans Stage II - Full UMI Suspension - Pacesetter LT's - Comp Drag Shocks - Magnaflow - Cutout - ZO6 MAF - FTP LID - Street Tuned -

  15. #15
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    Heads up for anyone looking to purchase a double DIN unit- get one that the whole screen doesn't fold out- or at least one that doesn't fold out like the Kenwood ddx714! I'm having to cut out the plastic between the head unit and the ac controls b/c when the screen folds out it slides down slightly - just enough to hit the plastic. I could have adjusted the HU out so that it would stick out far enough to clear, but I've decided to just cut out that divider so I can keep the radio flush with the bezel. It'll still look good in the end, but its just one of those little hurdles when you start doing custom work. I'll take some pics tomorrow when I start cleaning it up.

  16. #16
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    I refused to give in...

    While digging through the stuff that came with my radio I ran across a bezel that came with the radio:



    So I trimmed off a bit more of the bezels and fit them together:



    After doing some test fitting with the radio closed:



    And with it open:



    I got it to fit and I epoxied them together. I'll let it set up over night and tomorrow I'll start the bondo work. As you can see the bezel comes a little low but it doesn't cover the fan or any other image on the a/c controls.
    Last edited by bberretta; 01-19-2010 at 08:18 PM.

  17. #17
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    1998 Camaro Z/28

    it looked better before you added the bezel

  18. #18
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    The pics are pretty rough and they are taken at night with my iPhone and a drop light- I know, real professional work...

    I am a bit impatient (understatement) so I let the epoxy cure for a couple of hours and then I started the bondo work. I grew up in body shops and my dad is a Michelangelo when it comes to body work. Needless to say, I am nowhere near as good as he is but I'm no stranger to bondo. I filled it in, finished it with some finishing cream and sanded it smooth. I've primered it and left it to dry. I need to stop and see if I can find some interior/vinyl paint and hopefully I can match the color and texture tonight and snap a few pics. It's turned out halfway decent, but I don't want to jump the gun until I'm finished. Who knows, it could end up looking like a painted turd and I'll be buying another bezel off Ebay in the morning!

  19. #19
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    Here's a before and after pic of the bezel:


    The rain has moved in for the night so I won't be able to finish matching the color perfectly until the humidity drops a bit, but I finally got the texture about perfect. I used a rattle can of VHT Wrinkle Finish paint and dusted it on. It took some testing and then a couple of tries, but the texture is just about spot on. It's a little more dull than the original, but I'm going to see how well it cures and then hit my tester panel with some Armor All to see if it shines up right and holds up (I figure the paint is made for motors and high temp, so as long as it is cured it should hold up). As soon as the rain clears up I'll put it in the car and take a few final shots.

  20. #20
    Member bberretta's Avatar
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    Bright Red
    2000 TA Firehawk 0041/742

    Here are a couple of pics with the bezel installed:

    This is with the radio on. The radio tilts out slightly at the bottom when the radio is on. The nice thing about the Kenwood is you can set the angle to which you want it to tilt. I also like the custom background image feature.




    And, of course, radio off in which the radio sits flush.




    The one bad thing is that the divider between the radio and a/c controls covers some of the icons on the a/c controls. Poor guy with the vent blowing on him had his head lobbed off.

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