Our System – Part 3: Audio System

Here’s the latest on our install…

We completely replaced the audio system in our Toyota MR2 project car, pulling out the 10-year-old Sony CD player (which was on its last leg) and the six factory speakers.

To keep the upgrade as simple and trouble-free as possible, we ordered all of our new components from Crutchfield. For those of you that don’t know the benefits of buying through Crutchfield, here are a few…

  • Free expert advice to help select the right components and phone assistance to get them installed correctly.
  • Free custom speaker wiring kits with speaker purchase. This makes installing your new speakers as simple as plug-and-play — no wire splicing necessary.
  • Free custom wiring harness with the purchase of a new stereo head unit. Again, plug-and-play, no splicing.
  • They also include detailed printed instructions for your specific car.

I think the services Crutchfield offers are amazing, especially for the casual do-it-yourselfers like us.

Since we are using the Mac mini for all audio duties in our install, we decided to go headless and did not purchase another stereo unit. The Mac mini audio would be fed directly into an amp that would drive all the speakers in our system. We decided on a single Polk Audio MOMO C400.4 4-channel 300 watt car amplifier that was more then capable of driving our new speaker setup.

Our MR2 came stock with a six speaker system: two 4″ speakers behind the driver and passenger seats, two 5″ mid-range speakers in the doors, and two 1″ tweeters also in the doors. We matched up our Polk amp with a Polk Audio MMC5250 component system which included two 5-1/4″ midrange speakers with removable 1″ tweeters for installation in the doors. The other 4″ speakers were replaced with two Audiobahn 2040N 4″ 2-way speakers. Both speaker sets included crossovers which were hooked to our 4-channel amp. Additionally, we added a powered Bazooka subwoofer for some extra bass.

Very little modification was necessary to get all of the components installed. We were able to mount the 5-1/4″ speakers directly on the included mounting rings and into the current speaker openings and the 1″ tweeters miraculously fit right into the stock tweeter location. The 4″ speakers required the most work, but we only needed to drill a couple mounting holes. We fashioned a simple mounting bracket for the amplifier out of a piece of 1″ stainless steel that we picked up at Home Depot and mounted the amp behind the passenger seat, right up against the firewall. The Bazooka subwoofer was mounted behind the driver seat.

We are currently running the entire system off of the standard MR2 battery but are planning on swapping it out with a Optima yellow top deep cycle battery for better performance.

Next up on our plate is the install of the LCD and CPU, stay tuned!

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