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Thread: Jimmy C's Coupe

  
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    Jimmy C's Coupe

    Welcome ladies and gents! I'm mainly going to concentrate my auto-biography on my ICE install as that's been a fairly major project where the most time, money and effort has been spent on the car.

    For this first part I'll briefly go over the changes I've made to the exterior of the car since owning it, everything has been fairly simple with no real modifications required, just a few tweaks and adding a couple bits. The aim from the outset was always a BTCC / 888 theme, and I think I've stuck to that fairly well, without trying to completely imitate the T8 coupe.

    So for starter's last september I part-x'd the GSi for the 1.8 Coupe...

    From this....



    To this....





    As you can see it had full Irmscher kit already, including the mirrors, airdam and 17" Spectra Sport Line alloys, combined with the flame red paintwork it was fairly rare and stood out a fair bit.

    At my first show with A-S, Trax 2005, I spotted a brand new 888 spoiler on the LMF stand so I snapped that up fairly quickly, that really started the BTCC theme going.

    Had the spoiler fitted and took the opportunity to completely debadge the rear and have the holes filled. The alloys had to go as they were far too blingy and fussy for my liking and never fitted the touring car look. Again LMF provided the answer with a set of Vectra GSi alloys (plus I missed my old Veccy GSi so it was ideal), these we're closely followed by Bilstein Dampers and Jamex springs to reduce the comical ride height.

    Those few small changes made a massive difference, for the better I hope and had the coupe looking a bit cooler and a slightly more BTCC looking....



    Around this time I took the plunge and decided to get the centre console out and paint it flame red, was a bit lazy however and didnt spend enough time on prep so the finish was never that great so I knew I'd come back to that one day.

    Christmas time once again saw LMF draining my pockets (and Han's), new additions we're Remus centre pipe, Sebring backbox, Irmscher Pedals and Irmscher mats. Oh and some vintage reg plates that have got me in some bother with the law on a couple of occasions... but they look cool so hey!

    Not much happened between Christmas and summer, a minor set back on the way to The Fast Show around easter time saw the coupe spend almost a couple months off the road.

    Some big time Stig - Vectra VXR style understeer resulted in me hitting a curb at about 40mph sideways....mucho damage.





    Once the coupe was back in the road it was time for the install to go in, with aim of competing in the UK IASCA championship, a number of delays meant that never happened but I will be back ready for next season! More on the install in the next installment.

    The final exterior changes came in the last couple months.

    FK Coilovers and Morette headlights (and what a surprise, both from LMF) The jury is still out on how the headlights will be finished, one thing's for sure they won't be staying matt black for much longer . A couple dinks with my good friend the curb meant I needed a refurb, so I took the opportunity to get them all cleaned up and painted gloss black....absolutely love them!

    Again a couple small changes have completely changed the look of the coupe, the lights make the front end much more aggressive and the coilovers (almost on the lowest setting) really help with the touring car look, but also makes it a bugger getting around town

    Here's how the coupe looks at the moment....





    LM Audio - Knebworth Herts - 01438 812444

  2. #2
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    Right...on to the serious stuff, ICE!!

    Early part of this year I decided on a decent ICE set-up but on a fairly small budget, I already had a decent headunit (Alpine 1004) and 6 Disc Alpine MP3 CD Changer so the basis of a decent system was already in place.

    The new gear was to be all JL as it fit in to my budget nicely and most importantly it was very good equipment for the money.

    So in went a set of JL XR components up front with 12" JL W3v2 woofer both powered by a JL e4300 4 channel amplifier. The boot build was very simple and left a fair amount of space in the boot still.







    It sounded awesome for what it was, very basic install, basic equipment and most importantly for less than £1000. So needless to say I loved it. Unfortunately a couple weeks later I crashed the coupe and it would be nearly two months before the car was driveable again.

    During April I was asked to help LM Audio with a challenge they had been set. To build an IASCA standard install from scratch in Pug 106 GTi in less than 7 hours at Donny North, for all to watch . There was a team of 4 of us, my job was custom A-pillar builds for the Exile tweeters....I did a pretty good job seeing as it was my first time doing anything like that.

    Anyways it was that weekend at Donny that I really started getting in to the car audio thing and realised after spending time with the other demo cars that my little setup wasn't really cutting it.

    I wanted a proper boot build with a bit more wow factor, but the equipment I had didn't really allow that. So I got myself a JL e1400d monoblock with the idea of some kinda of build with the sub in the middle and amp either side. Then I started getting greedy. Another 12" was thrown in the plan with a nice big build.

    Finally got the car back from the bodyshop all fixed up and it was taken straight to LM Audio's workshop in Knebworth for the install to begin. This is when it got a little bit silly. I was chattin to the guys at LM about the install and how it would be cool to do something with a W7 or maybe a couple of W6s....I was purely dreaming at this stage and was no where near serious. However, there was 4 10" JL W3v3 (brand new version, amoungst the first in the country) sitting in the store room waiting to be snapped up. Lee and Barry (owners of LM audio) suggested bunging all four in, powered by a couple monoblocks in a big fancy fibreglass install....

    Quite how I went from a simple build with one 12" sub and one amp to 4 10" subs with 3 amps I'm not quite sure.

    More on the monster install next time....
    LM Audio - Knebworth Herts - 01438 812444

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    Now....on to the big install....v1.0

    The main aim for this was to get it done for PVS, with very limited time it meant getting the equipment in but leaving the final details and cosmetics to a later date.

    A quick 'pimp my ride' style strip-out and we had a nice blank canvas to work on and plenty of room to put down a fair amount of dynamat to soak up any stray noise and to try to stop the bass from shaking the car to bits.

    The box was a little tricky to get right, some calcs were done to get the volume about right but due to the nature of the front of the box it would have been impossible to get it spot on.

    The 4 sides and back we're bunged together to start with to get something workable...



    The box itself is fairly compact and the depth is not much bigger than the actual mounting depth of the subs, so even though 4 subs are going in the box remained fairly small.

    Now on to the very tricky bit which took a fair amount of time for us to get right. Myself and Barry set about making rings for the subs and offering them up to try and find a good set-up. We already had an idea how we wanted it to look but trying to achieve this was a little more tricky.

    Getting it all symmetrical was even trickier, plenty of measuring and plenty of hot glue did the trick in the end



    Plenty of bracing went in to keep if stiff when putting the fleece on to stop it going 'wonky' before everything had set. First of all it was off in to the boot along with the amps just to make sure it was all looking right....



    Once we was happy it was time for the fleece and plenty of resin to get it very very solid.





    Next stage was lots and lots and lots of rubbing and filler work, somehow I managed to miss this part of the build, such a shame

    Once all this was going on the work upfront was carrying on nicely, new JL XR speakers in the front doors, Alpine D310 Headunit and all the wiring and power from the front to the amps in the back could go in...





    With all the filling and sanding done on the box it could be trimmed, this version of the build was trimmed in Anthracite carbon fibre effect vinyl...looked awesome but was an absolute pig to work with due to the shape of the box, but the final result was really starting to come together.....



    A very blurry photo, but the amps we're hooked up with plenty of power



    And the dashboard looked a bit smarter with the new D310 fitted and the controller for Alpine Media Manager (EQ), however at this stage the controller was fitted for show purposes only We ran out of time to get it all fitted and working properly so that would wait for the next stage.



    The end result (finished friday evening before PVS) was excellent, it was much better than I had imagined and sounded awesome, my hats go off to LM Audio for getting it done in such a small amount of time.





    So in summary the spec list for the v1.0 build was:

    Alpine D310 DVD headunit
    JL Audio XR components
    JL Audio e4300 4 channel amplifier
    JL Audio e1400d monoblock amplifiers (2)
    Jl Audio W3v3 10" woofers (4)
    Plenty of Dynamat
    Streetwires cables, interconnects, terminals and accesories etc.

    The v1.1 build would have to wait a month or so to get holidays out of the way etc but basically it would include finishing off the bootbuild with an amp rack cover, fitting 2x screens to the boot trim panel and getting the Alpine Media Manager fitted and running.

    Stay tuned!
    LM Audio - Knebworth Herts - 01438 812444

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    So with v1.0 of the build complete it was on to the next stage to get it all finished up and tidied up nicely.

    The ultimate aim has always been to produce an SQ system to compete in the 2007 IASCA SQ competitions, the original plan was to do this with fairly modest equipment. Although the 4 woofers was a little OTT we still tried to stick with entry to middle level equipment which doesn't cost the earth.

    All that left us to do to come up with a winning (hopefully) system was to finish off the trim panels over the amplifiers and get the sounds sorted with the Alpine EQ / Media Manager.

    The coupe was once again dropped off to LM Audio to have some magic worked on it, should only take a couple days.....3 weeks later it was finished

    There was a small change of plan, we felt the sub box needed something a bit more special to go with it, rather than some flat MDF panels trimmed in vinyl to go over the amps.

    So I basically left it up to Barry to come up with something suitably wild, I know what he's capable of and have seen plenty of his work so I was 100% happy to leave it to him. I wasn't disappointed

    v1.1 was canned and we went straight to v2.0

    There was also some changes of equipment along the way, I couldn't resist upgrading the amplifiers to the brand new JL A series amps...which matched the new style W3 subs alot better than the old E series amps. Being a massive JL fan I've always wanted the ultimate JL speakers....the top of the range ZR components. Not cheap but they are amazing bits of kit. The mids went in to the standard door locations but the tweeters were moved up in to custom built A-piller pods to give a better sound stage.

    The bottom line of this stage of the build was to produce panels that covered up the amplifiers but something that was more of a feature than a flat panel and something that would 'integrated' much better in to the build as a whole.

    So Barry set about putting together an MDF skeleton to get the right shape and then it was on to the hard work of fibral and matting and lots of filler and sanding.





    The boot trim panel was getting a similar treatment to house the 2 Necvox screens that would be linked to the D310 headunit.

    As the build was now to be trimmed in Alcantara the filler work had to absolutely spot on, with vinyl you can get away with a bit of a rougher finish but Alcantara will show up any imperfections in the panels....so a spot on finish was what I got.









    With the finishing touches of filler and even more sanding the panels were ready for trimming, again Barry was more than up for the job and got to work with the spray glue, a blade and lots of Alcantara. Even with the complicated shapes, angles and profiles all of the panels are trimmed without any stitching, and from one piece of trim....good work Barry

    The new ZRs were in, along with the Alpine EQ / Media Manager and given a quick tune-up, and of course the amps were tweaked a bit to up the power

    The EQ controller doing it's thing....


    The new ZR tweeter pods....


    ZR cross blocks....


    Finally some pics of how it stands at the moment...







    Always looking to move things on a bit v2.1 of the build is scheduled for a couple weeks time....

    Thanks for reading.

    Must say a massive thanks to Barry for his work on this stage of the build, and also to Lee and Dan for all their help along the way.

    LM Audio....01438 812444
    LM Audio - Knebworth Herts - 01438 812444

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    A little teaser for something that's currently in the pipeline...

    LM Audio - Knebworth Herts - 01438 812444

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    About time I updated this some more.

    The only major change to the car its self is the addition of the Powerflow side exit exhaust system....big thanks to Top Gear in St Albans for that.

    We decided to go for replica Porsche 996 Turbo tips, as they are slash cut very slightly on two different planes so they fit the curve of the bumper almost perfectly.







    I've decided to leave the original bumper cut out as it is, a lot of people have suggested having it flushed in but its low on the list of priorities as to be honest it's hardly noticable at all. It will probably get done at some point but just not yet
    LM Audio - Knebworth Herts - 01438 812444

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