A client from Midlothian recently contacted the team at Extreme Audio to inquire about upgrading the stereo in the 1985 Ford F-150 that he’s been restoring. The client found out about us when he was at his dentist’s office, which we had supplied with face shields earlier in 2020 to help protect the staff from COVID-19. Intrigued by our resourcefulness, he asked about installing a modern stereo system, along with a healthy dose of sound deadening, in his classic pickup truck. After a quick inspection, we came up with a plan that would make the truck quieter while ensuring that the stereo would offer state-of-the-art performance and connectivity.
Sound Deadening Adds Comfort
The first phase of our upgrade plan was to remove the seats and carpet from the truck’s interior so that we could install sound deadening on the floor, firewall, back wall and doors. We used a total of 44 square feet of SoundShield deadening in this truck. SoundShield is a three-layer energy absorption material that adds mass to the truck’s metal panels to reduce the transfer of sound energy into the vehicle. The quarter-inch foam top layer reduces buzzes and rattles from plastic panels and wire harnesses as the vehicle moves down the road.
We installed a new carpet kit while we were putting the truck back together to freshen the interior’s appearance. Our fabrication team created a new trim panel for the back wall to keep things neat and tidy and round out the clean and fresh look.
Custom Stereo System Upgrade
For the audio system, we started by mounting an Alpine iLX-207 multimedia receiver in the dash to replace the receiver that came with the truck. The Alpine radio has a single-DIN chassis behind the double-DIN 7-inch touchscreen display. This design let us complete the installation without having to modify any of the support structure in the dash. A custom ABS plastic trim ring around the radio face gives the installation a clean and tidy appearance.
The Alpine radio includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. These technologies allow the client to use his phone’s voice recognition features to make phone calls, send text messages or select an entertainment option. The system doesn’t play CDs or DVDs but has a USB port to connect a memory stick for MP3 or WMA digital audio files.
The output of the Alpine radio feeds an ARC Audio X2-450.4 four-channel amplifier. The amp is mounted on the new back wall trim piece. This amp produces 85 watts from channels three and four to drive the door speakers while channels one and two are bridged to provide up to 250 watts to the system subwoofer.
Speaker and Subwoofer Upgrade Deliver Great Sound
Speakers are a crucial part of any audio system upgrade. For this Ford pickup, we suggested a set of the JBL Stadium-Series GTO620 coaxial speakers. These 6.5-inch speakers were mounted in the factory speaker locations at the forward part of the door.
For bass, we installed an Alpine SBR-S8-4 subwoofer enclosure behind the rear seat. This compact enclosure is home to a single 8-inch driver, and the system features a vented design that offers excellent low-frequency output performance. Given the small confines of this truck interior, this subwoofer delivers a perfect balance of enclosure size and output capability and is quite reasonably priced.
Richmond’s Classic Vehicle Technology Experts
After a few days of work, we had the truck back together and the audio system sounding great. The sound deadening not only cuts down on road noise to make the cabin more comfortable, but it improves the accuracy of the voice recognition system and the quality of outgoing audio on Bluetooth hands-free calls.
The client was absolutely thrilled with the new stereo in his classic Ford F-150 pickup truck. The system plays nice and loud, and the sound quality is exactly what he wanted. We showed him how to use the smartphone integration features of the radio before he set off. If you’re interested in modernizing the technology in your vehicle, drop by Extreme Audio in Midlothian or Mechanicsville and speak with one of our product specialists. You can also reach our team using the contact form on our website or by phone.