This week in the shop – Custom Jeep Wrangler Subwoofer and Pioneer AVH-4100NEX

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2014 Jeep Wrangler – Another Full Audio System Upgrade

This week in the shop we had another Jeep Wrangler here for an audio upgrade. For this Jeep system, the customer opted for the new Pioneer AVH-4100NEX and a stealth custom Jeep Wrangler subwoofer upgrade.

Pioneer AVH-4100NEX Jeep Wrangler

Pioneer AVH-4100NEX Jeep Wrangler

The AVH-4100NEX is a great option for Wrangler owners for a variety of reasons:

  • Apple CarPlay Compatible
  • Android Auto Compatible
  • Anti-theft Detachable Face!
  • 4 Volt preouts for Front, Rear and Subwoofer
  • 13 Band EQ
  • Digital Time Alignment

For anyone looking for great cell phone integration, anti-theft detachable face and a great head unit to build an audio system with – the AVH-4100NEX really fits the bill.  You can read more about this model in this post here. Additional equipment in this build included Morel Virtus component speakers for the front, Morel Tempo coaxes for the rear sound bar, an Alpine PDX-V9 5 channel amplifier and a good amount of Dynamat.

Jeep Wrangler Custom Stealth Subwoofer

Jeep Wrangler Custom Stealth Subwoofer

Since theft is always a concern in Jeep Wranglers, we chose to go for a custom built Jeep Wrangler subwoofer enclosure molded into the rear quarter panel. Although JL Audio offers a few different Jeep Wrangler subwoofer boxes, none of them would really work well for this customer’s application.

Jeep Wrangler Stereo Upgrade - JK-Unlimited-Subwoofer

JL Audio offers a Stealth Jeep Wrangler Subwoofer Enclosure for 2007 and up Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

The 13″ TW5 is a bit oversized and it’s really the first generation of JL Audio’s slim line subwoofers – meaning JL Audio has had time to perfect their flat line subs and in our experience, the newest TW1’s have the best sound quality out of all their flat line subwoofers. The 13″ TW5 is not bad, but the TW1’s are definitely tighter, cleaner and more natural in tone.

JL Audio 10TW1 Jeep Stealth Sub Boxes

JL Audio 10TW1 Jeep Wrangler Subwoofer Sub Boxes

JL has had made some new Jeep Wrangler subwoofer enclosures using the 10″ TW1, but the enclosures are placed in a somewhat awkward position. Additionally, there are different methods for mounting the TW1 enclosure depending on whether you have the hard top or soft top. Well, in New England, we usually have both. So that wasn’t really going to work for us.

We decided to remove the stock Jeep Wrangler subwoofer panel in this 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and replace it with the plain panel from Jeep and build an enclosure to fit in the factory location using the JL Audio 12″ TW1. The enclosure was made with some fiberglass and some wood and was build exactly to manufacturer recommendations for the 12″ TW1 (.65 cubic feet – sealed).

Preparing for Custom Jeep Subwoofer Enclosure

Preparing for Custom Jeep Subwoofer Enclosure

First John removed the OEM panel and began prepping the area to begin fiber-glassing.

Marrying Wood and Plastic Panel to Make Custom Jeep Subwoofer Enclosure

Marrying Wood and Plastic Panel to Make Custom Jeep Subwoofer Enclosure

The enclosure needed to be attached to the new plain Jeep panel and worked together to create an aesthetically pleasing appearance that was also functional.

Fabricating Custom Subwoofer Enclosure for Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Fabricating a Custom Subwoofer Enclosure for Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

He continued to blend the two panels together.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Custom Subwoofer Enclosure

Starting to look like a finished product.

Once the material was dry, he smoothed it all out so it could be carpeted to match and blend into the vehicle.

Custom Jeep Subwoofer Enclosure

Custom Jeep Wrangler Subwoofer Enclosure – Blends in nicely.

The finished product sounded amazing and is blended into the vehicle in a clean and unobtrusive manner. The customer still had access to the lower storage compartment as well.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Custom Subwoofer

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Custom Subwoofer – Storage still accessible.

The end result was a well integrated Jeep Wrangler audio upgrade that provided crystal clear, punchy, warm and smooth sound even at extremely loud volume levels – perfect for those warm summer drives with the top off. If you’re a Jeep Wrangler owner in need of an audio upgrade in CT or NY, please contact our shop Sounds Incredible Mobile (proudly serving customers from Brookfield, Danbury, New Milford, Newtown, New Fairfield, Ridgefield, Brewster, Mahopac, Carmel and more).

 

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18 comments for “This week in the shop – Custom Jeep Wrangler Subwoofer and Pioneer AVH-4100NEX

  1. Michael
    December 19, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Annie, What kind of modifications are needed for the Morel speakers you listed for this install to fit my 2015 JK 2DR? Does using the coaxials on the roll bar mean you take out the tweeters that are in there? Also, where to the crossovers mount?

    • February 4, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Michael, there is room for the crossovers in the sound bar and behind the dash. If you have the stock components in the sound bar you could also go with rear components if you’d like (I believe they just started doing this in 2015, but still don’t think all models have this option). Totally a personal choice. I don’t see the need for the separate tweeter in the sound bar, I mean the tweeter is right next to it anyways! But also depends on speaker choice. For example if you wanted to do Morel Virtus front and rear, you’d have to go with components front and rear because they don’t offer a coax version of those speakers.

  2. Jimmy
    January 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I love your write ups. i have a 2013 Wrangle Unlimited and really like to sub enclosure. Were the dimensions used based on the JL Audio specs sheet?

    • January 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Jimmy,
      Whenever we build boxes we use the manufacturer’s recommended enclosure volume, but we create an enclosure that also fits the vehicle. We also use software called Bass Box Pro which helps us calculate the enclosure shape and size and predict how it will perform.

  3. Webster
    February 1, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Annie,

    Just thought you might enjoy the unique install I did in my 2015 Wrangler (4-door). I went with the Alpine CDE-W265BT HU as I wanted a non-touchscreen unit that had time alignment as well as the 9-band parametric EQ. The upper dash speakers are the Alpine 3.5″ full-range speakers from the 2015 and up Alpine premium system. These are truly excellent little drivers that beat out a number of big name 3.5″ co-ax’s that cost many times more. The HU powers them and they are crossed over at 160hz with a 24dB/octave slope. The soundbar speakers are Alpine SPS-610c components. The are also powered by the HU and crossed over a 63hz with a 12dB/octave slope. And now the unique part…in the lower dash pods I installed Tang Band W5-1138SMF 5.25″ subwoofers. The 2.5 liter pods are almost an ideal sealed volume for the TB’s. They are powered by a Kenwood KAC-M3001 class D amp that is mounted beneath the steering wheel. They are crossed over by the HU at 160hz at 6dB/octave along with the amps cross over at 200hz at 12dB/octave (wish the amp had crossover bypass). These little subs must be heard to be believed. Most people think I’m running a single 10″ sub and are speechless when I tell them it’s a pair of 5.25″ drivers mounted in the stock dash locations. Thanks to the audio tuning capabilities of the Alpine HU along with a calibrated Dayton i-MM6 mic and the AudioTool app, I’ve been able to get an RTA curve which is pretty much ideal to my ears. While far from the loudest systems I’ve ever installed, it’s one of the best sounding.

  4. James M
    February 18, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Love your articles! I have a 2015 Rubicon and the first thing I notice is that the sound system must go. I see that you use morrell speakers but not subwoofers. What do you like about the JL better than the Morrell subwoofers? Next question. My Jeep did not come with the Alpine upgrade. But I think there is a wiring harness installed innall jeeps that goes to the back for the subwoofer. I know the wiring harness is different that goes to the radio from behind the front speaker but do you know if it at least carries power to the back? Have you used it for anything such as an extra power outlet or maybe power for a rear view camera?

    • February 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Hi James,
      Thank you, glad you are enjoying them. Every brand tends to excel in one area or another and for speakers I like Morel, for subs I’ve always felt that’s JL Audio’s specialty. Morel makes good subs too, but they almost remind me of a home audio subwoofer – good in an open room. Like their speakers, they’re also very tight, clean and accurate, but at least the one that I tried (Primo), it just didn’t do it for me in the car. It was very natural and clean and sounded great in our big open sound room, but I felt that when cruising down the road at 50 mph it wouldn’t have the output necessary to overcome road noise and still be audible.

      I don’t know about the stock harness running to the back in basic models, but even if it was there I’m not sure you could really use it for anything other than it was designed for. Stock wiring harnesses are thin – like 18 or 22 gauge. Reverse camera wiring needs to be shielded and at that, you’d have to extend it. Good thought, but I wouldn’t use it for anything.

  5. Boomer
    March 2, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Thanks for all this great info Annie!
    If I have a 2015 wrangler unlimited and I switch for hard to soft top a few times a year, does that mean that the JL stealth box won’t work for me? Are you just saying its a security issue?

    Also, do the Morel tweeters with their raised housing fit the flat mount tweeters in my 2015?

    Thanks!!
    Boomer

    • March 3, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Boomer,
      You could put the Morel’s in the flat tweeter housing, but for the best sound stage we prefer to use the included surface mount tweeter housings that come with the Morels so you can mount them more like the previous Jeep tweeter set up. There are different bolts included with the enclosure depending on whether or not you are using the hard top or soft top. If you look at the install guide you’ll see how you’d have to unbolt that enclosure too when switching between hard and soft tops. Just kind of a pain in the butt I think, that’s all.

  6. George
    April 2, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Annie,

    Thank you for all the informative posts, I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles about upgrading a jeep’s sound system. I’m soon going to purchase a Wrangler Sport and have some questions.

    I’m really interested in getting Android Auto Integration so I’m looking to purchase the Pioneer 4100 NEX you’ve mentioned in this article, but I’m having trouble understanding how my phone would connect to the pioneer system. Android Auto requires a USB connection but as far as I understand the Wrangler Sport has no USB connections, so how can I successfully connect my phone to the pioneer system?

    I have seen some videos on youtube where people integrate USB/AUX into their dashboards but they provide no information on how they managed to get it or where it can be purchased. I would really like to integrate a USB connection into my dashboard as to miniseries clutter and get it looking as professional as possible.

    Again thank you for your insight, and I look forward to reading your reply!

    • April 6, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Hi George – for a do it yourselfer, you can use one of these Pac Audio USB flush mount ports like the USB-DMA or USB-CBL. If you wanted Aux input you could use the IS335. In most Jeeps we are routing this into the center console. You can drill out a small hole and snap it in place and then route the USB up under the center console behind the radio. I hope that helps!

  7. Adam
    May 20, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Hi Annie – Is the double DIN mount you used a custom creation or something you can purchase? All of the kits I have seen for the JK jeeps have raised “humps” on both sides of the stereo. The one in your picture shows them flat and even with the surface of the cars dash. A much better look in my opinion!

    • May 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Adam, we use the Best Kits BKCDK642 in those pictures. The Metra version is a slightly different design, not as flat, perhaps that’s what others are using? Also, some people are lazy. If you don’t take some time to line it up nicely, even the Best Kits version will stick out a bit.

      • Adam
        June 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm

        Thank you Annie for the link! I was not aware of that mount and it looks much better (IMHO).

  8. Adam Albers
    September 28, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Good evening Annie, I love this writeup but do you have more pics of the box, how and where it was cut and the specs on the box? I currently have the OEM sub and want to upgrade to a 10 or 12″ JL. Thank you!

    • October 1, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Adam,
      I’m sorry I don’t have a how to or any specific steps on how it was made. I know we followed JL’s recommendations on cubic volume for the enclosure (I think it’s .65 on the 12Tw1) and I’m pretty sure we used a panel from a car that had not been equipped with a factory subwoofer. And then fiberglassed the two together and cut out the panel so the woofer could fire into the sidewall. I don’t know if it helps, but I’m pretty sure the stock 8″ sub enclosure is only .35 so you almost have to double that. Sorry I don’t have any more specifics!

  9. Shane
    November 5, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Annie.
    I have just discovered some of your great articles,thanks.I have a question please regarding a 2011 Jeep Liberty.I am looking at installing an Australian KENWOOD DDX-9016DAB which I think is the same as the DDX9903S model in the USA just different model numbers mostly.I am not sure which CAN unit to use to retain all my steering wheel functions including the VR button.Which unit would be best between the PAC-RP4-CH11 and the iDatalink Maestro unit for the Jeep.I can only purchase the PAC in Australia so if that can get all my steering wheel functions to work then that would be the easiest option or else I would have to wait a bit longer for the delivery of the iDatalink unit from the USA.My main concern is losing the VR and phone buttons connection,can that still work with Siri.Thanks in advance.

    • January 13, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Shane, sorry for the delayed response – busy holiday season – you probably figured out you can use the RP4-CH11, just might have to do manual programming if it doesn’t automatically map over. We’ve used this before in the Jeep Wrangler’s for the same thing.

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