The 180SX Pages

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© Peter Ogden, 2007

Stereo Install

Speakers in door The first item to get installed was a stereo (even before the engine!). This covered the unsightly hole in the dash where the previous owner had removed his stereo system and allowed me to continue to ignore the noise in the engine for a few weeks while I got the necessary parts together (and the courage) to attack the installation of the engine. I knew that as I had not installed an engine of this complexity before (so many hoses!), I would take a couple of weeks at least to complete the swap.

As I had a limited budget and the fact that my aging ears can no longer tell the difference between a $400 system and a $2000 system, I opted for a system from the lower end of the market. I looked around for a system that at the very least had CD capability and had reasonable built in amplification as I did not intend to purchase a separate amplifier. I settled on an end-of-line Sony head unit (CDX-CA590X) with remote (I still don't understand why you need a remote in a car?) that has been discounted by $100.00 and a pair of Kicker 6 inch splits. I managed to get both of these for a total of $400.00.

Installation wasn't too difficult, especially as there had already been a (good) system installed previously. The door mounts were still in the doors and as luck would have it, were even the correct size for the 6 inch mid-bass speakers. The tweeters I mounted direct to the top front edge of the door trim (drilling holes in the trim already!). Unfortunately, when it came to mounting the head unit, I discovered that there was no mounting cage. It seemed that the previous owner had removed it with his system. I temporarily left the head unit resting on the floor of the car while I tried to contact the previous owner. Luckily, I was able to contact him a few days later and I was able to retrieve the cage (he was unaware that the item was actually part of the car and not part of the stereo system).

I found the sound quality to be acceptable, though a little thin at the bottom end. Stereo imaging was excellent. After adjusting the equaliser to try and improve the bass, I found it really wasn't able to produce quite enough bass for my tastes (even though I'm not one of the "Doof Doof" brigade). I later found that the 6 inch splits were always intended to only be components in an overall system which included a sub-woofer. I will rectify this lack later.