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Old 10-04-2016, 02:00 PM   #11
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More Mods and Additions

My wallet dictates this slower metamorphosis. Wait! Who am I kidding?

Just some things to keep me excited about my van:

1- New Tires - BFG K02's all around. Love 'em, tho my gas gauge doesn't.

2 - New AV receiver, first installment in a several level change - Installed the Pioneer NEX 4200 with CarPlay. Loving it. Siri even reads my text messages to me. But the Sound! The radio plays in HD - terrific digital sound. But the interface with my ITunes is really something... it upscale the smaller files to sound just like a CD. Now all I need is a way to transform my vinyls...

I paired the new deck with a small behind-the-deck 4 channel amp. Absolutely amazed at the increase in sound quality. Kept the stock speakers for now... you wouldn't believe how good they sound, even great bass without a sub. Future mods may include a small sub and maybe speakers if I need them. Pretty glad I didn't spend big bucks up front for those (yet?), because I'm pretty happy with how this first half turned out.

Here are a couple of links:

AVH-4200NEX - 2-DIN Flagship Multimedia DVD Receiver with 7" WVGA Touchscreen Display | Pioneer Electronics USA

AlpineAmp

And pics:














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Old 10-04-2016, 02:16 PM   #12
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Forgot to add... I put in a good alarm with shock and glass sensors. So much glass in these passenger vans, I wanted to minimize the risk.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:02 PM   #13
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Looks super good, your basically building it the way I wanted to!
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:09 PM   #14
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I put that little Alpine amp behind the stock headunit in my 2016 Subaru Outback. Made a huge difference!

While your OEM speakers may sound good now, I'm sure even a lower-end set of JBLs or Infinities will be really noticeable. I found the ones I put in my van used on Craigslist for pretty cheap.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:29 AM   #15
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Looks super good, your basically building it the way I wanted to!
Hahahaha! Mind-meld, sweezy!
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
I put that little Alpine amp behind the stock headunit in my 2016 Subaru Outback. Made a huge difference!

While your OEM speakers may sound good now, I'm sure even a lower-end set of JBLs or Infinities will be really noticeable. I found the ones I put in my van used on Craigslist for pretty cheap.
Brian, yeah, it was great to have the option of hiding that amp out of the way and then having it work out so well. I was looking at Focals for the speakers, but don't know whether they're worth the extra $$. Thinking I'll wait till I start taking the current sound for granted. Wish there was an easy way to just try out the combo in-van before you commit. But that that's what I like about folks sharing their experiences here. Thanks!

Just as an aside, I'm fast becoming one of those weirdos sitting on the side of the road in a van... I'm just lost in my music, assembling cameras and lenses, but hope no one's thinking I'm planning my next heist.
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:41 AM   #17
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PhoTow Gets a New Axle, Swivels, and Leather Seats

What a day yesterday! A beautiful Fall day here in Oregon, out in the countryside at Jsweezy's shop. I tried to get a shot of the hills out back because they looked like a painting, framed by J's huge open back garage door, but just then my phone's camera died. What a great place to work. Thanks for sharing your time, talent, and tools with me, J. So glad to count you as a friend. And not just because I'm envious of that shop.

So... Here in Oregon, we're lucky to have friends to play musical chairs with. MG put a stunning new rear axle in his rig and we put his old/newish one in mine. I decided on a limited slip differential in the rear, having weighed the lsd vs locker idea till my head hurt. So, using lots of brains and a bunch of brawn moving those monsters, Josh got out the old and put in the new. Rides great, hit some gravel on the way home pulling out in traffic and felt it kick in. Really happy and looking forward to keeping out of trouble with less slip.


Had been holding on to a pair of 1der's seat swivels and those went in as well. They look and feel great and, maybe it's just me? But it feels like I'm sitting just a tad higher, which I like. Can't wait to get my table setup going. With both seats swiveling, we can have a party with passengers in the Siennas.


Just this week, got my new leather seats back from the shop and I'm really pleased with the job. I chose to reupholster the stock seats because 1) I like them, 2) I wanted swivels, 3) the stock seats are new 2014 and 4) I got sick of researching aftermarket seats that never seemed to fit the bill. I found a guy here, Mike Weiler of Bright Upholstery (http://www.brightautoupholstery.com) and he matched the color, texture, and stitching on the Siennas to a "t". Interesting guy, a bit of a curmudgeon, but did fantastic work.

In all, a great week and feeling good. Sharing pics below:


The setup:



Wrangled out the old axle:




In with the new and a bigger spare:





Tightening everything up:




New leather seats:




Great stitching job:




Dual swivels:




Nice finish on these:




Driver swivel:




Passenger swivel:

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Old 10-11-2016, 11:54 AM   #18
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In with the new and a bigger spare:


Just be mindful of the proximity of the new larger spare to the exhaust. Tried as I might, I couldn't get a larger size spare on and F250 I owned because the hot exhaust was too close and I knew I would compromise the integrity of the spare by keeping it down there. I didn't even have room for an additional heat shield.


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Old 10-11-2016, 12:00 PM   #19
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Nice looking project, Otter. I'm a photographer, and my SMB is perfect in every way. I do a lot of landscape work, and the van puts me at the spot in comfort. You'll love it.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:09 PM   #20
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Just be mindful of the proximity of the new larger spare to the exhaust. Tried as I might, I couldn't get a larger size spare on and F250 I owned because the hot exhaust was too close and I knew I would compromise the integrity of the spare by keeping it down there. I didn't even have room for an additional heat shield.


Herb
Thanks, Herb. That makes sense and good to keep in mind. I think we're ok. It's just a bit wider (265) but no taller.
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