Well, it was a ton of work but I finally have a decent little system in my truck. Components of system are:
Pioneer DEH-80PRS head unit
Pioneer TS-D1602R Coaxial 6.5" speakers (front stage)
Polk Audio PA-D4000.4 class D amplifier (125wrms x4 @ 4 ohm; 400wrms @ 4 ohm bridged)
Pioneer TS-SWX2502 compact sealed downfiring 10" subwoofer
NVX speaker wire and RCA cables.
I followed some good practice with setup- I ran the power cable down the driver side of the truck, and the RCA cables/ speaker wire down the passenger side. I used the passenger seat belt bolt as a ground. I kept the RCA cables separate from any power wires in the truck. I used zipties extensively to hold wiring in place, and all connections for the deck wiring harness and speaker wires were soldered w/ shrink tubing. I brought the power wire (4awg) through the firewall right behind the fuse box in the engine compartment and placed a plastic insert in the hole to present chaffing of the power cable (the cable is fused at the battery just in case). Results: first install of a stereo in my own vehicle, and I have no noise, no alternator whine, no interference, good radio reception, no rattles or vibration, etc.
I also did extensive door prep. Heres the door after removing the speaker and the moisture barrier:
And heres the door before putting the new speaker in and moisture barrier on (I also dynamatted the large plexiglass covering over the big hole):
I used 1/2" MDF board to create adapter plates for the speakers. As the Ranger has 6x8 speakers standard, this was a lot of work. i used a grinding wheel and vice grips to make the hole large enough to fit 6.5 speakers. Before anyone asks, I plan to run serious components in time, and 6.5 is much more commonly found. Many folk seem to think round speakers offer less distortion too, so.. I fit checked the speakers I have and noticed the tweeters on my speakers wouldnt allow the door panel to fit- the tweeters where up against the plastic grill on the door panel. I placed the MDF adapters IN the door using the lip to recess the speaker in a bit. I placed cheap walmart mattress memory foam behind the speaker to catch/break-up the speaker backwave. I used black/grey permatex RTV on the MDF ring where it mates to the door, and put a bead where the speaker attaches to the ring, mainly to avoid vibrations.
Heres the door with the panel ready to go on:
The amp was a pain. The seat hump under each seat made amp install difficult. I screwed the amp in at the back, and used doorstops under the front to support it. I also had to relocate where the seat plug (for seatbelts/airbags) came out of the carpet.
I took the driver side jumpseat out as I dont need it. I kept the passenger one in case I need to emergency carry 2 other people, but the truck is usually just carrying me. I mounted the sub on the floor behind the driver seat- the seat can still go all the way back and can fully recline. Id like to hit a junk yard and see if I can find the cargo panel that goes where jumpseats go since theres now empty space. Heres what the sub and amp looks like:
I see now the sub doesnt need as much room underneath, so I might lower it. Heres the head unit, and notice the mic on the steering column (for bluetooth handsfree calling):
Cleaned it all up, put the seats in, set my gains (50hz and 1khz at 55/62 volume with DMM), and tried it. HORRIBLE. It was seriously disappointing. However, after playing with crossovers for the sub, doing driver level matching, setting time alignment, toning down a few peaks with the EQ, and most importantly letting the sub and speakers break in, im impressed. It sounds incredible now!
I like that it sounds great but is pretty stealth- nothing except the subbox is visible, and even that you really have to look for since its on the floor and I have decent tint (not blackout, but dark). Most people see "Pioneer" on the head unit and think "cheap." The amp is hidden under the passenger seat. Of course, I have an alarm that warns me, and protection
Any advice, concerns, or criticisms- bring it! Im no expert at this
My goal eventually is to use some JBL P660C component speakers, add a small vertically mounted amp where the jump seat was (for tweeters), and run 3-way active with the DEH-80PRS in network mode. I will only need a distribution block, 8 guage wire, a small amp, the speakers, and some speaker wire to make this happen. Thoughts?