Subwoofer Expedition

Childhood Projects

At 15 years old I decided to build the loudest car on the street. I set off to create a car stereo system that would shake the ground it traveled on.

The Beginning

I began by measuring the back area of my fathers Ford Expedition.  He did not know what I had in mind.  Well, to be honest, I didn’t really either.  I created schematics and technical drawings of the back of the Expedition, taking out the extra row of seats to make room for the soon to be installed subwoofers.  All my drawings were done in Microsoft Paint.  It was a tedious, but necessary step.  It helped me visualize the layout of the back of the car.


I then began to measure all the components I planned to buy using their online descriptions.  I drew up technical drawings of the subwoofers, amps, wire harnesses, etc.  Anything that was part of the stereo system I drew.

The shopping list was:

  • QT x 4- 12-inch subwoofers
  • QT x 3- amplifiers
  • QT x 2- 4-farad capacitors
  • QT x 1- 4 channel head unit
  • QT x 2- tweeter and woofer side door speakers
  • QT x 1- deep cell car battery

First Iteration Mock-Up

Using this information I began to throw together some mockups.  They were simple drawings and slowly increased in detail through each iteration.  Once satisfied I modeled it to scale in Google SketchUp.

(feel free to click the models, they’re 3D)

The Design Flaw

I noticed after making the 3D model that the left subwoofer would not clear the backside wall of the box.  This stumped me.  I was forced to redesign.  Luckily, this was noticed before any fabrication was made.

Second Iteration Mock-Up

 To make more room for the left subwoofer, I decided to turn the subs inward.  This would now allow the back of the subwoofer to clear the backside wall of the box.  Along with the design, I also threw together wiring schematics.  This helped me estimate what wires were needed as well as their quantities.

  • Wiring Schematic

Next came building this design.  Luckily the 3D model was built to scale.  Every measurement was taken from this model.

The Build

 The goal of the build was to completely assemble the box outside of the car and slide it into the trunk in one piece.  The boxes were built first in sections with calculated amounts of airspace.  Once finished, the boxes were carpeted in a charcoal fabric to match the interior of the car.  Next came the installation of the components.  All wires were run, connected, and tested before the box was placed in the car.

Finished Results

After 4 long months, the finished product was something I could be proud of.


There’s More

My insatiable appetite to outdo myself lead to another subwoofer design.  This time two more subwoofers were added, two more capacitors, and two more amplifiers.  With this new endeavor came the same processes: 3D model, wire schematics, and technical drawings of the components.

  • Wire Schematic

Okay, Now It’s Done

After 6 months of building, the project was complete.  This system was so loud that the sound waves alone could suspend an empty Coke can, in mid-air, in the drivers’ side window.  It was loud and worth every penny.  Since this project, my style has changed quite a bit.  Music that I once loved has changed into something more calmer but I still carry my passion to create into every project I pursue.