I guess that I am not that different from everyone else when it comes to wanting to be able to hear some good tunes as I motor along with the top and down and the wind blowing in what is left of my hair. Not wanting to lose the original look of having the factory JH 8-Track in my dash, I went on a mission to come up with a plan for having my cake and eating it too.
My first stop was Crutchfield to search for the stuff that would meet my needs.What I came up with was this:
The CD Changer was a straight forward mounting in the trunk, running the wires through the rear bulkhead and along the transmission tunnel to the radio. Also using the same routing for the remote control to the bin in the center console.
To mount the speakers and amplifier on the parcel shelf took a very simple little bit of carpentry. Using 3/4" Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) I cut out two pieces that look like the figure below.
One piece , the front, 35 1/2" long by 8 3/4" wide, cutting out two holes to mount the speakers, using the template supplied with the speakers. And the other piece , the top, 5 1/2" wide, 35 1/2" long on one side and 33 1/2" long on the other.
Once the two pieces are cut, attach them together with the top overlapping the front using some wood glue and 1 1/2" sheet rock screws.
The next step was to cover the front and top with padding, for this I used headliner material that I purchased at the local fabric store and a staple gun. Once the material was attached, cut out the holes for the speakers.
I then attached the speakers on the backside of the front piece using machine screws and nuts rather than attaching the speakers on the front as Sony's installation instructions called for. I figured this would give me a much cleaner look than the garish plastic grills that came with the speakers. Once the speakers were mounted I connected the wires to the amplifier then mounted the amplifier in between them using short wood screws. One of the nice things about having the amp so close to the speakers was that the wires didn't have to be very long at all. After the speakers and amp were mounted I covered the "enclosure" with speaker cloth that I also purchased from my local fabric store. This black cloth made it blend right in with the carpet so that you can hardly even tell that it is there.
The only thing left to do was to run the wiring from the battery and from the speaker outputs on the radio to the amplifier.
This setup gives me good sound and a clean appearance.
The only thing that I may have done different would be to incorporate some sort of plugs on the wires that would allow me to unplug the amp and speakers for easy removal from the car. I will probaby end up doing that this winter (one more thing in the off season to do list I guess). Of course if I could have found an equalizer/amplifier that let me use speaker level inputs I would have used that simply to be able to tailor the sound better than the tone control on the original radio lets me do.