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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Months of painstaking back breaking work in the burning hot sun of Orlando FL. Hope you enjoy.

Message me if you have any questions regarding any of my mods.


List of MODS:

Blacked out taillights, Neons in the footwells and trunk, leds in the dome lights and behind my custom alpine logo (made it myself with some help from the gf), gapped exhaust to make the car sound beefy, big three under the hood all done in 4 gauge plus extra grounds, 4 gauge going to my alpine mrd m1000 (have custom fan setup on the alpine to keep it cool :D ) and battery in the trunk (stinger spv 44 glassmatt audio battery), Crunch highs amplifier under drivers seat pushing kenwood component speakers in the doors, 2X crunch ground pounder subs 600 watts rms each 1200 max each, ported box for the subs, ENTIRE trunk is dynamatted (two layers on the trunk hatch), pioneer deh 5100UB deck with ipod usb hookup and 4 volt preouts, very dark tinted windows

Soon to come: H.I.D.s and hopefully blacked out rims

(the blue sub box was my old box (which was destroyed by my subs) along with the directed audio d1200 which also sadly died a horrible death a couple months ago due to
 

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im sad that the elantra community thinks 2 600 watt woofers are an audio overhaul.... no offense. but im saving up for 4 15"s walled off ;) got the subs just ready to upgrade alt, batt, 0 guage, and wall this bish off. oh yeah, all going on 3.5k
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well freebird joe, i did think about getting 15's, but it isnt really all that practical for a hyundai elantra considering i want to keep my back seats and not shell out 400 dollars for an aftermarket alt. I have a friend with 2 RD heavyweight 15's in an 8 cubic foot 6th order bandpass box pushed by sundown audio 5k amp, aftermarket alt and 3 industrial sized batteries. Its definately an awesome setup but it is so loud that it choked him out while we were driving and has seriously messed up his ears... not to mention the cost of it all and the fact that it rattled his car to pieces and caused alot of problems. 2 12's in an efficient setup are definately enough for me...... definately a good cost efficient choice with less chances of damaging your vehicle. Even though it is only 1200 rms it is still VERY loud but i still get really good soundquality which is also very important to me (12 inch subs hit a wider frequency range than 15's). I didnt want to mess with my factory alt because it will def void the warranty and it will make your car slow as a turd FOR SURE (bigger alts put alot of strain on your engine). The weight of the 15's plus your batteries plus the dynamat that your gonna need plus your box will slow it down even more. But that is just my opinion. If you can get it to work, more power to you brah. Let me know how it works out.

I put a ton of pics in attachments but they dont seem to show up.... Do you know how I can put them in with a post?
 

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I think super has to approve them until you have XX posts.

2600W ? The XD1/2 if you have the better alt, you have 90A. A 2001 you're more likely to have a 75A alt. 2600W is 180A. You're double what the elantra can produce. Car still needs some of that for itself to run.

Lots of variables to think about, yes you can make anything happen.
Are you willing to change the alt?
Yea your battery can make up for some power if your system is averaging 1200w, preferably less. (peaks 2600w for a few seconds but mainly runs a lot lower under 500w)
Now, is those subs really rated at that? Or are they "over-rated."
2600 / 4 = 650w per sub. A 15" sub that can only handle 650w? That is a weak sub. You will be happier with a single 10-12" around 1000-1500w. Elantra can handle 1000-1500w just fine. It will be cheaper to purchase one expensive sub than four mid-priced subs, and less work.
1 high quality sub will out do 4 cheaper subs any day.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Smileymattj, i have two 600 watt rms subwoofers. My 08 elantra has a 90 amp alternator. 90Amps * 14.4Volts = total of 1296 watts output. my subs are probably a bit over rated but they still sound great. I have an alpine mrd m1000 capable of pushing 1296 rms at 2 ohms ironically lol according to its birth sheet. However, I have the alpine in 4 ohm mode to increase the sound quality and to prevent my amp from frying my alternator. I am currently only pushing 500 rms divided amongst both subs. This may sound like a weak setup but with the dynamat and the efficiency of my box design and the true 500 rms rating on my alpine it definately hits really hard. Hard enough that it broke some weld points behind the headliner by the top of the windshield. I also have another 400 rms amplifier for my highs. I had to turn the gain down because it was hurting my ears so im proabaly pushing about 300 rms total to all four door speakers. The battery in the trunk helps alot too with the sound quality. I plan on getting rid of my crunch subs and replacing them with a single mmats audio juggernaught 12 inch sub
 

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I was referring to freebird's 4x 15"s, not yours. LOL I read 2 600 as 2600w in Freebirds post, when he meant 2x 600w. 2x 600w subs are just fine on the electrical system. I'd suggest a single 1200w rms sub over two 600w.
I thought Freebird meant he was going to setup a 2600w system with 600w 15"s, but he didn't really say. Sorry.

The real truth in wattage can only be measured by an amp meter. Going by specs is more of a rule of thumb. It generally isn't a good idea to double the alt by rule of thumb (2400w). Peaking, pushing a few watts, yea not ideal if you max it, but it works (1200w).

Your Alpine is 500w @ 4 ohm
My MTX is 850w @ 4 ohm

My MTX pulls 30-40 A true measured at listening levels. 45-50 maxed out (I have to stand outside the car it's so loud).
50 * 14.4v = 720w this is at 4 ohms. I could adjust the gains, and meet that 850w rating, but I don't have any desire too.
I definitely see a drain and alternator will begin to strain when it is running at ~700w.

My point here is that most people are not going to max out their specs. We all will adjust our amps to make the sub sound the best, not blow the speakers. We will then turn the radio to a confortable listening level, not max. Setups that appear like it is maxing the alt, really isn't.
It has the capabilities of peaking the electrical system at times, but normally it doesn't.

You can build a really nice system in an Elantra without going over 1200w rms "spec'ed on paper" and not hurt the electrical system, because in reality it's running much less, especially if you average it out over a time span.
I wasn't saying yours was over rated, I was talking about ~2000w range. 2000+ is possible, but not on the factory electrical.

However 2x, 4x etc... the subs doesn't mean 2x, 4x the sound. It does mean 2x, 4x power requirements. Multiple subs should only be used when there isn't a single sub available up to the job. Say you want to produce different frequencies on different subs for clarity. Such as components in the doors for mid-bass, sub in the trunk for low-lows. Or in competition. Say a mid-grade sub is rated to produce 115 spl, 4x of those subs is not 460 spl, it's more like 120 spl, which can be accomplished from a single better quality sub. And the reality is humans wouldn't be able to handle that much volume. 80-90 is what you would really be playing it at to be enjoyable. Maybe push it a few times to 100-110 to impress friends, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah smiley i know what youre saying about the single sub. I would have done that initially but a single sub that will put out a true 1000 rms is really expensive and im usually tight on cash so I got two mid grade subs that were alot less expensive than the one sub I would have bought. But yes I will ultimately end up with one sub for sure and will most likely be running in the ball park of 700 rms possibly a little more but i dont want to push my luck with that factory alt. replacing it just isnt something i want to do considering the cost of doing so and the fact that i know it will put more strain on my engine. I already did the big three so it would just plug and play into my existing setup but the whole cost and straining the engine deal is kinda putting me off on that idea because the elantra already is pretty slow as is. How badly does your aftermarket alt impede your performance? Dont know if im dreaming but I feel that the big three and my added battery definately made my car run better performance wise. Btw my amp has a digital voltage and amp meter built in so i do keep tabs on current draw and voltagee. I can even keep track of the temperature. With the volume on the deck almost maxed it pulls about 28 amps, and sometimes peaks a bit higher, but like i said im barely pushing this beast. it still has about 75% more power to be unleashed if i desired (has an 80A fuse rating). anyways im gonna try and get my pics posted up if i can figure it out so you can see my setup.
 

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I don't have an upgraded alt. I use the factory system, factory grounds, 4 gauge wire, 5F cap, etc... with no problems.

It's hard to get pictures of colored lights, neons. I'm sure that looks sweet at night. :) You cut the Alpine logo into the cover behind the seat? That looks nice.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you are worrying too much. Nothing wrong with trying to take care of your equipment / car. It's psychological the benefit gains from things like the "big 3." You feel better because you did something that in theory you felt to be better. Your brain looks for some improvement, and you notice things that you normally didn't because you're now paying more attention than previously.

Factory electrical will be able to handle a 1000w sub. And your Alpine and 4 gauge can handle it. Ignore "peak" ratings on audio, that's in extremely ideal conditions (which is most likely not happening). RMS is the real life peak, and it will most likely run under that RMS most of the time. You still need to take rms into account, making sure the car can produce that RMS for at least a few milliseconds-seconds. Elantra can do that for 1000w.
It could definitely handle 1000w with a cap. Many people will say capacitors are "band-aids." But a properly sized cap that's not constantly drained completely will help and relieve the battery of stress.

My amp is usually going to peak at 45A at the volume I listen to it at. But on average over the time span of listening it pulls 9A. (There goes my bragging rights, my TOL MTX sub is only operating at 130W) A capacitor can provide that 45A for the fraction of a second/seconds it's needed and then the Elantra's electrical can easily provide 9A. I run my amp on a 30A fuse with the cap the amp is capable of pulling 50A, the cap prevents that 50A from coming from the battery. 1F = 1As/V 1 Farad = 1 Amp second / Volts. Most caps are 16Vs. RMS peak of mine is 60A. 60A/16V = 3.75F. My cap beeps when it's fully drained, I only hear this when running the sub with the car not running and the battery is nearing depletion.
Your Alpine at 1000w would produce simular needs. With you're rear battery, you've already got some padding from stressing the car's electrical. Looks like a stinger so it should be a good one for audio. Caps are faster at charge/discharge and lighter than SLA batteries. But you're perfectly fine with what you have. At 28A you're peaking at about 400w and probably averaging 5-7A.
Avg Ampere usage:

Wire runs from engine to trunk are between 10-15'.


Any decent amp has thermal overload shutdown, and your amp definitely has it. (From Alpine - Current Protection: Over-Current, Over-Voltage and Thermal Protection)
Cars get extremely hot and amps are designed to take that heat. Has your amp ever cut off on you? If not you don't need extra cooling. The entire chasis of the amp is a heat speader for those tiny black FETs you can see in the picture of your opened amp. The amp chasis has a lot of surface area to absorb the heat from them. They don't really give you any decent fins to move air pasted to lower the temperature. And you have to cool the entire amp chasis for it to be effective since the chasis is the heat sink.

You need some fins like this for the fans to be effective:


Big 3, adding grounds, etc (whatever you wanna call it) is more problematic than beneficial. It introduces the potential for ground loops. Ground loops are very bad for audio. The chasis of the car is the a greater conductor than any wire you could ever purchase. The problem is not the chasis being a good ground, it's your connections to the chasis. Make sure there is no paint, connectors are tight, use bolts not self-tapping screws, etc... As long as the connection to the chasis is good and solid, you're fine. Any ground upgrade should ONLY be a larger ground strap from the battery to the chasis. Ground will travel the path of least resistance, it doesn't care what it's flowing through. Giving it multiple paths to flow through means you can't control or prevent it from traveling through a conductor that has noise such as the engine.

The best way to illustrate the potential grounding problems by adding ground wires is in the image below. The engine is already sufficiently grounded, adding a second ground allows power to flow through the engine. The blue line shows how the amp could use the engine as a ground to the battery. If that extra ground was never added, this issue wouldn't have a possibility of occurring.
groundLoop.png
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Btw smiley, ive been doing some research on HIDs for my low beams and havent come to a definative choice. Any suggestions?

Smileymattj, I monitored the temp of the alpine with and without fans. I realize that the factory fins are not very efficient but the fans do move a very large volume of air over them and it does lower the temperature of the amp by about 15 degrees. While i realize that those fins you showed are more efficient they would definately kill any aesthetic value that the amp has, not to mention i would be unable to fold my seats up, but thanks for the info. I did look for similar heat sinks btw, but i couldnt think of a way to mount the heat sinks to the amp properly. No the amp has never cut on me, even in the summer. Works like a champ, I just want to be precautious and keep it as cool as possible. As for the big three I do realize that electricity takes the path of least resistance and by that logic my additional grounds should be of no hinderance to my electrical system due to the fact that it will take the path of the shorter leads going straight from the battery to the left quarter panel. There is however a reason why I added those grounds. I added those grounds because they are far better than the factory ground points as the steel on the strut towers is 4-5 times as thick as the steel where the original ground goes (also tested resistance with my volt meter). As for ground loops and noise entering the system, I have had no problems whatsoever, clean as a whistle. I am not saying that this cannot cause noise interference because I definately know it can. I have also tried removing those grounds to see the difference. My voltage actually drops a little when i remove them. Goes from 14.3 to 14.0 - 13.9. From what I can see it is helping.

Back to the subject of those heatsinks...... If you know where i can obtain heatsinks that are shallower with finer blades please let me know as i would like to get some as long as they are somewhat shallow, with thinner blades to make up for the shallowness. I also need to figure out a way to mount them. I already plan on using thermal paste as a heat conductor, just dont know how i can mount them without drilling holes into my amps case.

Finished another mod today btw. I ran my ipod usb cable up through the storage bin above the radio and got a mount kit for my iphone. Looks pretty cool. ill post up a pic later tonight or tomorrow.
 

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I've never messed with HIDs, you might want to start a new post on that topic to get more input on it. I do know that they recommend not to turn on one to compare it to the old headlights. They say to run them both equally, else it will cause one to be brighter than the other.

You're probably getting the same wattage out of the electrical system. Adding the grounds increased the voltage, but you are probably pulling less amps now. Higher voltage & lower amperage is usually cleaner power but with the short distance of a car and the small gain, it shouldn't matter much.

You could remove the factory ground strap and upgrade it's wire to receive the same results. If the HD's ground is located on the frame under the battery cable like the XD, that's in a crumple zone area. It doesn't look as strong as the strut tower, but its the frame and should be a good solid grounding point. Everything is connected to the chasis, not the strut. Strut tower has to be more steel, but it's welded to the chasis, so ground still has to travel through the chasis. If you don't notice any problems, you're fine. Most people won't notice any problems with it. But with the undefined path for electricity to flow, I'd advise against it. If your engine has the best ground, the factory ground strap from the engine to the firewall wasn't designed to handle the entire electrical system's grounding needs.

That heatsink is just something from google, not really meant to be a recommendation. Most FETs should be able to handle 125 C / 257 F. Cheaper amps maybe less, more expensive maybe more. But a good retail brand like Alpine should have good handling components somewhere near that range. It's really not going to produce the sound any better, because it's not even sweeting yet.

If you really wanna try to keep it cool, I'd add internal heatsinks, add an input vent and an exhaust fan on the opposite side of the input vent. Don't remove the FETs from the chasis, use the heat sinks as an addition.
Do it all internally on the amp and it will look clean. But I don't think added cooling is necessary. With the amp not turning off ever, it's well in confortable operating temperature.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835108071
 

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i bet you could 2ohm that amp WITHOUT any of the extra fans or sinks or nothing. Ive had a few alpines and they all ran hot but never hot enough to casue problems or overheat and shut off. let the thing push its rated power. i bet it would still be in just fine shape. and i bet the car handles it too.

I have a cheapo boss amp that pushes over 1000w rms and an infinity pushing 444 (111x4 cea2k6 on the money rms) so im pushing ballpark 1500+ off the factory wiring. I do have a second batt now though. A Stinger Dry Cell with isolator in the trunk. But i ran the same setup without that for years. I added a 5f Cap to help with the headlight dimming. Even with the cap i had slight dimming. Without it, i had some moderate dimming if i really cranked it, but it was still fine :p

boss says the amp pushes the full 2200w.. yeah right. with a 90a max.. sure it does :p
max is 1296 off 90a @ 14.4. and @ 1ohm it benches around there. ive seen people post 1100 and other post 1200, some even 1250 (quality control anyone?)
anyway.. the point is if i was pushing 1500+ off a factory system with just a 5f cap. im sure youll be fine as well. Id go for broke and see how it goes.

and freebird has been talking about this 3000w system since he joined.. PUT UP BRO! hahaha
Also he wrote: im sad that the elantra community thinks 2 600 watt woofers are an audio overhaul.

technically saying your doing an audio overhaul just means your changing it out.. so just getting a new HU and some speakers would be an audio overhaul. overhaul from stock that is. and pushing an elantra over 1000w is a hell of a feat anyway. its just that what freebird wants to do isnt at any of our levels. doods aiming for competition level. and a full SP competition at that. -just not what most of us are looking for here.

course i see even myself getting that "need for power" heh. now that i got the second bat i think imma sell my l7 (its a few yeras old), get the latest model. and sell the boss amp and get a soundstream tower. the boss still get it done, but im starting to itch for a couple more watts and some quality
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ugzz , I looked up the temps for which the alpine lowers the volume and then cuts. As it turns out there are 3 thermal protection modes. the first one i think is at 172 deg Farenheight and it cuts output by 6 db's classifying this as "warm" lol. at 178 it will decrease volume by 12db's (Hot). Beyond 181 deg farenheight (HI TEMP lol) it shuts down. It currently runs at an average temp between min 113 - 137 max in 4 ohm mode. im just concerned that when I drop it down to 2 ohm mode (and i will :D if my car can handle it and i find a decent sub) that it may decrease the output due to overheating. I also wonder if my voltage will drop too low if I do run it at 2 without a aftermarket alt. As is with the Headlights on with both amps running and deck volume maxed my voltage on the alpine's voltage meter drops to 12.0 - 12.5. Cant remember if i had the ac running on setting 1 or if it was off but i def dont want my voltage dropping below 12. Im also very picky about being able to run my headlights wipers and ac on low without dropping below 12(hate compromising comfort for sound and vice versa). I also wonder if the reading the alpine is taking is different than the voltage reading i would get straight off the alt. Im gonna assume it is because the battery in the back is probably preventing the voltage from dropping below 12. Guess im gonna have to whip out the voltmeter when i find it and test.

Smiley, that sounds like an interesting project that i would like to do just to be absolutely sure that i dont fry this amp because it is my baby. and my last baby got fried a couple weeks after the fans broke (Directed d1200). on my directed amp there was an aluminum shroud that sat about a quarter inch about the sinks and had a hole for the badge which i removed and inserted a vga fan card in its place. actually worked really well because it provided a good channel for air flow over the heat sinks plus the amp had a dedicated fan port that turned the fans on automatically once the temp exceeded a user defined threshold. apparantly there was some kind of remote device made for directed amps that lets you digitally adjust internal and externally available settings. never got to pick one up tho :(. I still have that amp and am looking to repair it myself. I do have lots of experience with soldering (Ive made a couple custom circuits and repaired too many things to count) and a little experience with the voltmeter. The amp pops its fuses (not hood fuse) only when I start the car not while in ACC mode. Made a loud squeeling sound before it died. Pretty sure it didnt come from speakers. Internal components all look fine upon inspection except for one cap which is obviously bubbled. Its a small cap though so im not sure if it is causing all of the problems or if there are more problems hidden away (maybe the internal relay or some gate resistors??)

Anyways.... I am interested in installing the internal heat sinks on the alpine. Just need to find a way to keep then securely mounted so they dont rattle loose and cause a short. I also need to find a slot fan that moves a huge volume of air at low decibels.

Btw HID's are ordered. 35w 6000k from DDM tuning with lifetime warranty. Making the leap because i saw someone on this forum install them in his elantra with slight modification to the harness coming from ballast and the end result looked great.
Ill post up when they come in in about a week. Cant wait X-)
 

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i duno, i had a 500w mono alpine and a 300w stereo alpine, both were circa 02-04 and played at the lowest ohm rating all day long. sure they got hot, but never enough to go into protection or do any damage. and i Cranked em! i have never really heard of anything having big issues with alpine,. they make solid products meant to go all day long. (except for the tweeter on the old R-type speakers :p haha)

and if your dropping voltage as is, you have a problem right now. ditch your battery and get a better once. something rated for extra draw. I have an optima yellow top, more juice than the red and still plenty of CCA to start the car. my friend who i bought the stinger dry cell off of used that for his main batt as well, eliminating his voltage drop problems. if you have a beefy good battery you really should be seeing 14.4 all day.
 

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Those heatsinks should have self-adhesive thermal pads on them. So you won't need anything to mount them.

But I don't think you need to worry about the heat. You will definitely notice if it lowers 6 db. If the temperature inside the car is hot enough to make the amp reach 172 F, you'll most likely be passed out from heat exhaustion well before hand.
I really don't think you need to worry about cooling the amp. But if you just wanna do it just because, something to do. It's not going to hurt. But I don't think you will get a actual benefit out of it.

Alpine is much better quality. And if an amp has a fan to begin with, it's not made with good components able to withstand heat. Good electronics are capable of handling more heat than 172 F without damage and without forced cooling. I'm sure the Alpine can actually take 200 F + without any damage. It's just a precaution because if it actually rises to that temperature something is bad wrong and it's most likely increasing very rapidly.
 

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4 15s won't destroy your hearing, and the car shouldn't be that bad. I've sat in 150db vehicles on music. They werent exactly rattling "apart" and higher pitched noises will hurt your hearing more than lower pitched noises
 

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higher pitched noises will hurt your hearing more than lower pitched noises
Any frequency can cause hearing damage. However, hearing damage is most noticeable in the 3000-4000Hz range.

FIGURE 1. Audiogram findings in the patient in illustrative case 1. The area below the curves represents sound levels that the patient could still hear. (X = left ear; O = right ear)
 
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