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Complete 2013 Boss 302 audio system upgrade

It's widely known that the OEM audio system in the 2012/2013 Boss Mustang is the cheapest and lowest quality available for a Mustang. Not knocking Ford for this, this model is touted as 'a race car with a license plate', so anyone who expects good tunes from the factory will be in for a big disappointment. The speakers are suitable for AM radio only, and the head unit lacks power. The sad part is, if you just replace all of the 6x8 speakers with any decent coaxial, you will quickly discover that the signal quality and lack of power requires a complete replacement of the head unit.

Once you know you need to replace the head unit, finding a replacement dash panel is required. I really wasn't too impressed with the appearance of the Metra & Scoche kits, and was glad to see the iDatalink Maestro kit hit the market. I was critical of the initial cost when this was released, but I got lucky and snagged the ADS-KIT-MUS1 and RR module for 249$ new/shipped from eBay. I couldn't be happier with the quality, fit and finish. Props to the manufacturer, iDatalink really impresses with their product line, engineering, web site, and attention to detail. The fact that we have 12v Guy here to answer questions and offer help and advice is a much appreciated bonus.

Since I had tried the incremental upgrade approach - replace all speakers - suck - add PAC Audio interface to feed amplifier - more suck, fail - it was time to go whole hog. So the time came to put together a list of components and materials. Since I had already installed an old, scratch that, *ancient* Yamaha 4ch amp to power the JL Audio coaxials, I already have the amp install kit installed. Now it's one inline fuse and wires run through the firewall from the pre-cut hole in the firewall thanks to the sound tube delete kit grommet. My arm is sore from patting myself on the back for running TWO power wires, as I knew I would be adding a second amp. I figured I could address the need for a 2nd fuse later (now if recommended), but at least that part is done.

Another reason my shoulder is sore, is that I came up with an innovative way to temporarily mount the amplifier in the trunk. I got some industrial strength tie wraps, and looped them around the rear deck and seat area. From those I was able to suspend the amp by running another set of tie wraps through the 4 corner mount holes of the amp through the loops created by the 1st set of tie wraps around the body panels. The beauty of this setup is that you can adjust the tension of the wraps as needed. A piece of foam can be wedged between the rear deck to prevent the amp from bouncing upward in event of a hard bump. This setup is also quite handy as you can snip the secondary set of ties to 'uninstall' the amp so you can make adjustments as needed, and then re-tie. I may copy the plywood and angle bracket setup shown in clucas build thread for my amps.

On a side note, using this old amp wasn't such a hot idea. After a few weeks use, one of the channels started to fail. As a side effect, Sync voice prompts ceased to function, even after yanking the battery cable and performing a factory reset. Once the faulty amp was removed, Sync functions returned.

The equipment list (links provided for reference only, all gear purchased through Amazon, Parts-Express, or Ebay);

Kenwood DNX690HD
http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Car_Entertainment/eXcelon/Mobile_Video_n_Navigation/DNX690HD
iDatalink ADS-KIT-MUS1 & RR Module
http://maestro.idatalink.com/search/search?vehicle_make_id=12&vehicle_year_id=2013&vehicle_model_id=66&vehicle_audio_id=8478
Crunch Audio DRA 1450.4 4x175w
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/pictures_new.php?id=67958&picture_id=1300073
Infinity Kappa 6.5 60.11cs
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/pictures_new.php?id=60700&picture_id=-1
Dayton Audio RS-255-8
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-rs225-8-8-reference-woofer--295-356
Cerwin Vega HEDBK212
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_39705_Cerwin-Vega-HEDBK212.html

When I bought my Boss, I knew I would be upgrading the audio, so I purchased a pair of GT Premium door panels, complete with all hardware and switches.

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As I was having a hard time finding some JL ZR-800s for a decent price, I picked up a pair of Dayton Audio RS-255s. Great reviews and feedback on these, and I'm very happy with the pair of 10" Dayton Audio powered subwoofers, so I'm liking the brand so far.

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No comparison to the wimpy & cheap stock speaker.

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So the first order of business is to remove the stock door panels, remove the JL Audio coxials, and re-purpose the OEM speaker bracket to house the 6.5" Infinity driver. The problem using the bracket is that now there is open air space on either side. The solution was cut out material from a heavy duty storage tote. I had tried a small tote, but the plastic was brittle, but the bigger green tote lid was just right. Once I'm ready for final install, I will seal up the bracket surface & tote material with silicone adhesive.

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As this post is already long, the component tweeter & Dayton woofer install will follow.
 

ufnavy06

Some say he has a tattoo of his face on his face.
Feels good to be back on the site again (busy, busy) but I love your write-up and I too have thought about upgrading. I've already replaced all of the speakers so the head unit would be next. And as you pointed out, that's a big problem.
 
ace72ace said:
Are you going to use the Maestro kit, or Scosche/Metra?

Curious about this myself too. I've heard people have issues with secondary screen. I'm going to go with the Maestro MUS1 on my upgrade. I like what I saw on it at CES, I like that it retains the OEM screen, I like the little storage cubby and two USB be ports, most of all I like how the head unit is higher up in the dash than the other kits. Easier to reach while driving.
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
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Depending on which head unit you buy, there may only be 1 USB cable on it. I had to buy a USB hub so both ports in the MUS1 will be live. Since I have a '13, I have Sync, so I'll also be hanging a USB ext cable off the spare port in the back of the module so I can put an old ipod or thumb drive on it.
 
I have a 13 too. Just found out the Pioneer units won't support all of the Sync features, OEM features and most importantly climate control.

Now I have to decide on a Kenwood unit. Just not sure if I want to spend $1500 for their flagship. And Kenwoods website is the worst to compare features of their other decks compatible with iDatalink.
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
Darth Boss said:
I have a 13 too. Just found out the Pioneer units won't support all of the Sync features, OEM features and most importantly climate control.

Now I have to decide on a Kenwood unit. Just not sure if I want to spend $1500 for their flagship. And Kenwoods website is the worst to compare features of their other decks compatible with iDatalink.

I feel your pain, I originally wanted to go Pioneer as well, I didn't care about Nav, and paying retail is for suckers. But now that I will have Garmin Nav as part of the new unit, I'm glad to pay a little extra for it. Oddly enough, you can find better pricing here, posted by another Darth over on SVT. You can get the complete kit too. See the links the link below. I decided to take my chances with a factory refurbished model that still had a warranty. It's either gonna work right out of the box, or not, so it was worth saving almost 200$ going this route for me. I'm glad Kenwood offers a wide variety of models, including one that has a good old fashioned knob, I got the 690HD, this years newer version is the 691HD. The refurb came in a brown box, and had zero cosmetic blemishes.

http://www.svtperformance.com/forums/showthread.php?971334-New-ADS-Meastro-Dash-Kit-2013-test-fit-installed/page11

These units really have a good amount of power for 4 channels, so you can start with a 'simple' upgrade with the head unit, ADS-KIT-MUS1 panel, Maestro RR module, 4x 6x8 speakers. You can plan ahead and run amp & subwoofer RCA cables off the back of your head unit when you install it, as well as a remote signal wire to your trunk for a future subwoofer/amp install. You will also need a scosche antenna adapter, that you can get for about 3 bucks off ebay.

If you are serious about your audio, then saving up to buy a salvage yard pair of GT or V6 Premium panels with the factory 8" enclosure on the bottom of the door is the way to go. I'm hoping to have my install finished this weekend.

[Edit] Just spotted my amp on Amazon at very, very good price. This would be a great deal for someone that wants to add a 4ch amp to their Mustang - http://www.amazon.com/Crunch-DRA1450-4-Drive-Car-Amplifier/dp/B00AXX1058/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1397924004&sr=1-1&keywords=crunch+dra1450.4+v+drive+car+amplifier
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
Spent the last few days finishing up the speaker install in the doors. It's kind of funky in that the combination of the component speakers plus the 8 inch woofers require each speaker to be installed in 3 separate locations, door panel, door, & A pillar trim piece.

So the existing speaker wire that had powered the old 6x8s will now drive the woofers, and I needed to run an additional wire to the crossover for the Infinity components. Put Velcro on the door panels, mounted the crossovers, routed all the wires, and mounted the 6.5" driver in the factory bracket to the door panel.

Unfortunately, some of the plastic tabs that go into the square hole had broken off during previous remove and reinstall, so just trying to secure the speaker to the door would fail because the screw would not have the other side of the plastic tab to expand against the hole. If you've seen what the factory bracket looks like you would know what I mean. But a few tie wraps did the trick for the Infinity woofers.

The mounting hardware behind the A pillar trim panel tweeters require the door panel to be installed as one hole is in the door, an the lower one is actually part of the door panel. After the test fit of the panel on the door to verify clearance of the crossover and new wiring, it's time to reconnect the door pull cable. Ford did a good job with an easy to install design, where the cable end bullet drops into the assembly and the green plastic behind it easily fits into the assembly collar.

The door panel is secured to the door by 2 sets of fasteners. 2 torx flat head bolts, one behind the door pull handle trim piece, and one behind the armrest trim panel. Each pop off with a flat blade screw driver. 7mm perimeter bolts, 2 ea on either side and 3 down the bottom. You can see the white plastic female parts in this shot of the door;

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The trick to reattaching the door panel is to position the panel slightly to the outer edge of each door so that you clear those big while plastic posts that provide the screw hole for the 2 outer door panel screws. There are raised sections of molded plastic on the under side of the panel, that are meant to align with the white posts. So if you align the panel for re-installation, and just drop it straight down, these raised bumps behind the panel will hit those white posts and hang up on top of them, and not align. Once you have the outer edges that clear the raised white posts, loosely install both torx bolts, allowing you wiggle room to position the remaining bolts. Once they are all centered in their respective holes, tighten up the torx bolts and the remaining 7mm bolts. Dont' forget to position the wiring harness cables on each side to reconnect to the power window and door lock switches.

For this install I re-positioned the drivers power mirror switch to the arm rest trim panel. You can loosen the connector from the harness by cutting the electrical tape, but there are 2 wires that you must lengthen by about 30". Once I had spliced in and soldered the added section, I tested the switch operation, then taped it all up. After I finish testing all connections and fine tuning the sound, I may or may not re-install the the plastic vapor barrier.



Here you can see a better view of those pesky out screw posts that make the door panel re-install tricky.

Before;

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After;

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Yes, I can see the extra piece of GTMAT poking out from under the panel, I may put a piece of reflective tape on there, or remove it later.

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Glove box still removed as I have yet to splice in the blue sync wire for the Maestro module.

I'm pleased with the finished result, it has the factory look I wanted to maintain. It will look a lot better once I clean it up and put some 303 protectant on it. Man the flash makes the panel look like crap, kinda like your own face under florescent lighting... :fear:

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Today I will button up the hardware, and then run all the speaker wire under the dash, then through the center console then into the trunk. I was going to reuse the existing RCA jacks, but I have a matched set of nice monoprice 15' cables, so I'll yank the old ones out and install the new set. Then I can get the head unit in, and make the final connections and begin testing for proper phase and polarity for all the speakers. Then the final step will be to remove the trunk trim near the tail lights to fit the massive Cerwin Vega daul 12" subwoofer box. I can fit the box in so it lays flat with the drivers pointing up, but I think if I remove the trim panels, I will have enough clearance to rotate the box so the drivers are facing forward.

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ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
Thanks for the kind words. Yesterday's efforts triggered some back spasms, so I'm waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in before continuing. Here's hoping I did the toughest parts first and the remaining tasks won't be that hard.
 
Awesome job. Isn't there someone else on here that did something similar? I cant seem to find that thread...

NVM, found it.
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
Well I hit a snag. Good news is that unit powered on and the 2 pairs of door speakers sound great. Will need to fine tune the system as the component speakers are 2ohm and sound 'louder' than the 4 ohm woofers. Bad news is GPS unit is defective. When you buy refurbs, this is the chance you take;

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Looks like some hammerhead just ripped out the head unit while the GPS antenna cable was locked into place, so now even holding the antenna jack firmly in place, I never got more than 2 yellow bars. I know its not my location either as my Garmin Edge bike computer has no issues finding the satellites...

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Now to pack everything back up and get to UPS so this ships out today, hopefully I'll get my replacement some time next week. This will also give me some time to sort out the subwoofer install. I may end up just mounting the Cerwin Vega amp to the box, so when I hit the track, both pieces will be coming out. Also I must have tapped the wrong blue wire for Sync, the voice functions aren't working, and the phone and OK buttons on the steering wheel don't do a thing. Got some tips from the iDatalink support guy that posts on TMS and SVT, 12V Guy. There's an LED on the RR module that you use with the dash kit, and if you are pressing buttons on your wheel and not seeing green LED flashes, then you need to recheck your connections.

I did manage to hook up the OBD2 wires though, and getting the user configurable gauges & TPMS readings *per wheel* is worth buying the Maestro kit. The supplied bracket bolts to the head unit perfectly, and it's a rock solid mount in the dash. Here you can see the yellow alerts for open door/trunk.

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ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
Whoa, slow down, hold your horses, it's not finished yet! I haven't even hooked up the subwoofer setup! Stay tuned.... <groan>
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
You don't have to wait for my build to be done to see the completed product, check these 2 threads;

http://www.svtperformance.com/forums/showthread.php?971334-New-ADS-Meastro-Dash-Kit-2013-test-fit-installed

http://forums.themustangsource.com/f803/kenwood-double-din-dash-kit-524857/
 
Darth Boss said:
To each his own should be just that. I honestly get perturbed by posts like this. I get it, we all get it, our cars sound awesome stock and modified. There's no point in stating it. ace72ace took a lot of time to detail what it takes to do a proper upgrade. I for one appreciate the insight, but also the care and attention to detail in documenting it is not so easy.

If you want to make the perverbial all I need to listen to is the car speech, keep it to yourself on in the right context. If it was a debate post, great.

We can have our own opinions, and though your comments are not rude or insulting, it can be viewed borderline disrespectful. I personally find it hard to believe that in two years you have not used the radio.

Bottom line, regardless if you are a track head or just a lover of cars, the stock radio sucks. I love how my car sounds, but it sucks when it's difficult to listen to tunes or talk radio over what makes this car great.

Nice job ace72ace, can't wait to see the finished build. Hope ur photos get relinked, as I was going to use them as a guide at some point.

I find it very easy to imagine he has not used the radio in two years. Ok, I find it very easy to imagine that he has not used it TWICE in two years. lol. Once was enough for me. I am reading this thread because I just have to do something about that horrid system. Then.....trying to figure out if I can get the MyColor installed. Love the color changes as I drive this car a lot at night to work and would love the extra color. Not worried about weight as I am not trying to beat everyone on the street, nor will I be likely to go over 160 at any point (if I have to use the GT Premium gauge cluster).
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
If it's extra color choices you want then you are in luck. This Kenwood Excelon head units allow you to scan the color palette and choose what you want for the head unit button back lighting. I think it also does this for the row of 5 switches above the head unit as well, I will verify this later when I button up the dash panel. It was connected but off to the side in the passenger footwell when I adjusted the head unit color to match the icy blue of the OEM display. I was able to get a nice match of my Race Red, so I bet you could get Grabber Blue or GHIG if that's what you want.

I will post my progress update later after I upload more pix to the hosting site.
 
Hey Ace...Any updates? I just had my system installed. I'm no audio head so I had it done at a shop.

Curios, do you have Satellite? If so, how many presets channels can it hold? Just curious as their new flagship DNN991HD can only hold 6.
 

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