Since I absorb so abundant time photographing cars in accident yards, it stands to acumen that I’ll do some arcade at the aforementioned time. My barn boasts a massive and circuitous junkyard-parts-built audio system, featuring both Lexus LS400 and SC400 ceiling-mounted subwoofer speakers, but it lacked acceptable low-frequency ascendancy aback arena Paul Wall’s latest at my contempo Honda Civic engine-swap party. What to do? Look for a accord on added branch amplified subwoofers in easy-to-find junkyard cars, of course!
Many Subarus of the 2000s accept this independent amplified subwoofer assemblage beneath the advanced commuter seat. Photo by Murilee Martin
The way that best big self-service accident yards amount items is to accredit a accepted amount to anniversary basic on a absolute list, and the cashiers accept a lot of elbowroom aback applying definitions to being you appetite to buy. If the accountant says that a car apostle should be authentic as, say, a “premium aftermarket amplifier” instead of aloof an accustomed speaker, the amount goes up several-fold. A abundant big amplified subwoofer, say the massive assemblage from the burden breadth of a Lincoln Navigator, will amount plenty… but the bunched amplified subwoofer begin beneath the advanced commuter seats of abounding 2000s Subarus usually sells for the $4.99-$8.99 apostle price. These subwoofers aren’t decidedly loud, but they’re cheap, calmly removed, and accept simple electrical wiring.
This 2003 Subaru Baja appeared to accept been the victim of a annoyed accurate parking garage, but I was able to abstract the subwoofer. Photo by Murilee Martin
Once I added a distinct 2001 Subaru Legacy subwoofer to my junkyard-parts barn boombox, I started befitting my eyes accessible for added of these things (which I alarm “Butt-Thumpers” due to their area beneath the commuter seat). It wasn’t continued afore I had several added Subaru Butt-Thumpers in my stash, purchased for $4.99 apiece.
Subaru isn’t the alone car aggregation to accept offered a Butt-Thumper option. Photo by Murilee Martin
The first-generation Toyota MR2 came with a Butt-Thumper beneath the driver’s seat, so I affective one of those while affairs MR2 bench advance for my 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe auto race-car project.
Like the Subaru Butt-Thumpers, the MR2 assemblage accepts speaker-level inputs and fits beneath the seat. Photo by Murilee Martin
While not absolutely as amazingly 1980s as the Nissan BodySonic Butt-Thumper rig (which featured speakers congenital into the seats themselves), the Matsushita amplified subwoofer from the aboriginal MR2 sounds appealing acceptable for its admeasurement and era.
Starting at aerial left, clockwise: 1988 Toyota MR2, 2003 Subaru Baja, 2004 Subaru Outback, 2001 Subaru Legacy. Photo by Murilee Martin
The MR2 assemblage is a Matsushita, while Subaru got their Butt-Thumpers from Panasonic. All four of these are active the aforementioned way: 12-volt adeptness added speaker-level inputs for one brace of left/right speakers. Since my barn complete arrangement already incorporates abounding car speakers and has a high-amp 12VDC adeptness accumulation to run the junkyard-obtained RV propane furnace, I can add as abounding Butt-Thumpers as I can acquisition ascent amplitude for.
This array of activity is best done with atom plywood and lots of eyeball measurements. Photo by Murilee Martin
I was declared to be alive on soldering up an OBD1-to-OBD2 engine-computer accouter adapter for my brash Civic engine-swap project, but I allocated two hours to the Quadra-Butt-Thumper™ project. This included rounding up a well-weathered plywood atom and award an accessible way to attach all four Butt-Thumpers to it.
It took beneath an hour to get from four apart Butt-Thumpers to this point, acknowledgment to my airy quality-control standards. Photo by Murilee Martin
Once anniversary Butt-Thumper was busted to the crudely-cut allotment of 3/8″ plywood, I gave the solder-splice-and-tape analysis to the wiring. I begin the base diagrams for anniversary subwoofer assemblage online, again grafted all the adapted power, ground, and ascribe curve together. For garage-audio stuff, action over anatomy is the rule.
Getting a speaker-level ascribe arresting meant borer into a brace of apostle wires. Photo by Murilee Martin
For the ascribe audio source, I broke into a brace of speakers amid on the bank on either ancillary of the barn door. I’ll go aback anytime and tidy up these wires… or maybe I won’t.
The barn aperture aloof clears the Quadra-Butt-Thumper™ aback it opens. Photo by Murilee Martin
A few copse screws, some base connections, and the Quadra-Butt-Thumper™ is army and functioning. The Subaru units accept adjusting screws for aggregate akin and blaster cutoff, so fine-tuning is possible. While it doesn’t complete so abundant at aerial volume, it fills in the bass frequencies in that allotment of the garage. At this point, my mostly-junkyard barn complete arrangement has 12 full-range speakers, seven amplified subwoofers, and four stand-alone alien wireless speakers, added the adeptness to address on FM radio frequencies and about-face any FM radio into an added amplified speaker.
Here’s the adept adeptness ambassador for my barn audio system. Photo by Murilee Martin
The 12-volt-DC adeptness for the Junkyard Boogaloo Boombox, the Quadra-Butt-Thumper™, and different sound-activated blinking lights comes via this ascendancy box I congenital with mostly-junkyard-obtained components. The beautifully busy faux-LED REAR WIND DEF about-face came from a 1978 Honda Civic, best of the ellipsoidal indicator lights were affective from Fiat 124 Sport Spiders, the little aboveboard brand ablaze already lived on a 1970 Toyota Corona, and the voltmeter originated in a 1969 Volvo 142S.
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