A client from Richmond recently visited Extreme Audio to discuss his 2002 Ford F-150 Lightning audio system upgrade project. We had installed an audio system in a previous Lightning for this client, and he wanted something even better for this truck. Factory audio systems, especially those designed 15 to 20 years ago, simply don’t sound very good or play very loud. The client knows what’s available from the aftermarket and came to us for a system that he could crank up and enjoy. After having a look at the vehicle and discussing different system design options in our store, we came up with a plan that would make this Lightning a rolling concert on wheels.
New Radio from Alpine
The first step was to install an Alpine iLX-F309 radio. The iLX-F309, also known as the Halo 9, is a unique solution that includes a 9-inch screen that floats in front of the dash. The radio also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration so the client can communicate safely while driving.
JL Audio Subwoofer System
As we mentioned, the client wanted a system that would play loudly. As a part of that expectation, he also wanted to have lots of bass. We created a custom subwoofer solution behind the seats for four JL Audio 10W6v2 subwoofers. Each pair of subwoofers has a dedicated enclosure on either side of the truck and we integrated an amp rack into the space in the middle. We wrapped the enclosures in a grey vinyl that matches the interior of the truck. We added a contoured trim panel to the top of the enclosures that blends nicely into the factory panels.
Ford F-150 Lightning Audio System Amplifiers
A pair of amplifiers powers the sound system. A JL Audio HD1200/1 powers the four subwoofers and is mounted on an angled panel between the enclosure. We added a strip of white LEDs above the amp to give the install a little extra bling. An ARC Audio XDi1200.6 six-channel amplifier mounted under the passenger seat powers the front stage speakers. This amp can produce an impressive 150 watts per channel into two- or four-ohm loads. The amplifiers are wired with Stinger Pro 4-AWG power wire.
High-Performance Front Speaker System
We installed two sets of midrange drivers and two sets of tweeters in the front of the Lightning to keep up with the quartet of subwoofers. After applying a layer of Soundskins damping material on the doors, we installed an Audiofrog GB60 woofer in the stock speaker location. We added a GB10 tweeter to the upper trim panel of the door.
Next, we installed a set of Q-Forms kick panels in the footwell area and added another GB60 woofer and GB10 tweeter. The provided grille for the GB60 was too large for the application, so we used a grille from a set of ARC Audio speakers.
Audio System Tuning
Each GB60 woofer has a dedicated channel on the XDi 1200.6 amplifier, and the tweeters are wired in parallel to a pair of channels on the amp. The crossovers on the amp are set to filter the signals going to each driver to create a fully active audio system.
The last piece of the project was to tint the driver and passenger windows for the client. He chose 3M Color Stable tint film because its carbon construction gives it a very black look that matches the factory-installed tint on the rear window almost perfectly. Color Stable film provides excellent protection against UV rays, so the client and the interior of the truck will be well-protected.
After about a week of work, it was time for the client to come back to Extreme Audio to see and hear his Ford F-150 Lightning audio system for the first time. He loved the way it sounds and was blown away by the clarity of the system, even at high volume levels. If you are in the Richmond area, drop by Extreme Audio in Mechanicsville or Midlothian and talk to our team about upgrading the audio system in your vehicle. You can reach us by e-mail using our contact page if you have any questions about our products or services.