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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.
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
I got my replacement head unit installed, and finally got the huge subwoofer box in the trunk. Now I need to secure the box so it doesn't slide around. Also experimented with numerous methods to secure the 2 amps so that they are removable on track days. I have them 'hammocked' below the rear deck with heavy duty tie wraps. This allows for the best accessibility and heat dissipation, as I didn't want to put them in the spare tire well. I could change my mind and build my own mounting board as others have done and add a 12v 120mm fan or 2 to keep things cool, but that's another side project.

One thing that sucks about getting a system that allows you to hear everything, is that no matter how you fine tune the speakers, once you switch source material from one singer/artist to another, you often have to tweak the settings. I wish I had a set of presets for the speaker crossover frequencies and then could just use the graphic EQ presets for making adjustments as needed. I'm just getting used to this setup, so over time I will probably find the sweet spot. My preference is for tight, punchy bass, with good vocal separation and clear highs. I like to be able to hear the drummer hitting the high hat along with the powerful bass and rhythm guitars while the vocals are center stage.

I was waiting to sort out my last issue with the iPod setup before posting my final update. Things got busy fast around here with the nice weather coming in and yard work, etc. Sync has always hated my iPod, and even before the upgrade to the Maestro system, I would have to careful on which order that I plugged in the USB cable, and selected the source. What I would happen was I wanted my audio through the USB port, but the sound was streaming via BT audio instead. I have the OEM Kenwood lightning cable for my iPhone, and I see my library, album art, etc, BUT NO AUDIO, it only comes through over Bluetooth.

It's nice to now be able to drive the Boss, after the long winter in the Marquis that needs brakes and a fuel pump. Look for my final update (working iPod or not) later this week.
 

Flight96

69 Mustang Vert Restomod BOSS 351 & 2013 BOSS 302
Well I think I will do this as well...Looks like a great mod and you're not really changing the car. You can always go back to stock. So I picked up the DNX691HD today for a decent price. Now all I need are the rest of the pieces...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/canond...s/14152943419/

Wish me luck ! I can do stereos in my old cars, not too sure how I am gonna be doing it to this one !
 
Flight96 said:
Well I think I will do this as well...Looks like a great mod and you're not really changing the car. You can always go back to stock. So I picked up the DNX691HD today for a decent price. Now all I need are the rest of the pieces...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/canond...s/14152943419/

Wish me luck ! I can do stereos in my old cars, not too sure how I am gonna be doing it to this one !

Good luck. I recently had my done but at a shop. I'm not that brave. I love it because I love listening to music while I drive. If you live in a hot climate, I suggest using the air buttons and program the secondary press and hold function for the gauges and vehicle diagnostics. If you have Sync, be sure to program your steering wheel controls as you like them as the standard settings are a bit wonky.

The only thing I font like is you have to reprogram the RR module via a computer to update maestro firmware or change button settings. Wish you could plug a computer into the dash kit's USB inputs.

FYI Memphis Audio makes some components that you can mount the tweeter as part of the 6.5". This way you don't have to mount in the pillar or move to the mirror control locations. I almost went that route but decided to splurge a little more on the New Focal 165 Expert Series Flax Cone speaker. They sounded too good to pass up. You will need to make a speaker mount as it is a deep speaker.
 

Flight96

69 Mustang Vert Restomod BOSS 351 & 2013 BOSS 302
Whooo-hooo....The postman has my parcels !! Finally here. Looks like installation shall start tonight ! ;D I just gotta decide on what buttons I want to program for the Maestro RR. Any installation tips would be greatly appreciated ! :eek:

Thanks for the tips Darth Boss. I don't live in a hot climate. Im in Victoria BC Cananda.

For now Im just gonna change the door speakers to the JL TR570-CXi (5X7/6X8) http://www.jlaudio.ca/tr570-cxi-car-audio-tr-coaxial-systems-91031.
 

Flight96

69 Mustang Vert Restomod BOSS 351 & 2013 BOSS 302
Well...So much for my enthusiasm....Just went through the items and It seems like im missing things...First off there are no installation instructions except for a small one in Spanish, which I do not speak. Second, there are no USB cables.

1_zps2e8a8407.jpg


So now I have all these wires and no guide or anything to tell me what to do with them? Who knows what the hell else is missing !?

I have looked through everything in the package and nothing is there for the USB ports....
 
Flight96 said:
Well...So much for my enthusiasm....Just went through the items and It seems like im missing things...First off there are no installation instructions except for a small one in Spanish, which I do not speak. Second, there are no USB cables.

1_zps2e8a8407.jpg


So now I have all these wires and no guide or anything to tell me what to do with them? Who knows what the hell else is missing !?
I have looked through everything in the package and nothing is there for the USB ports....

I didn't do the install, but I believe the USB cables are from the head unit?

Here is a link to the instructions on Crutchfield.

http://a248.e.akamai.net/pix.crutchfield.com/Manuals/794/794KITMUS1.PDF

Good luck! I love my setup.
 

Flight96

69 Mustang Vert Restomod BOSS 351 & 2013 BOSS 302
Thanks Darth Boss. I went to the ADS site and downloaded them there. And you are correct, the USB cable comes from the radio. After getting home from work last night I finally had a chance to get through all the stuff :eek:...yikes...looks like I have my work cut out for me !!
 
Flight96 said:
Thanks Darth Boss. I went to the ADS site and downloaded them there. And you are correct, the USB cable comes from the radio. After getting home from work last night I finally had a chance to get through all the stuff :eek:...yikes...looks like I have my work cut out for me !!

Good luck. Keep the RR module where you can easily get to it if needed. To reprogram it or upgrade the firmware, you have to disconnect it and hook it up to your computer.
 

Flight96

69 Mustang Vert Restomod BOSS 351 & 2013 BOSS 302
Ya I see that alot of people re-program the module quit often. Do I have to remove the center console completely or is there a way to just slide it back enough to get at the 2 lower screws ?
 

Flight96

69 Mustang Vert Restomod BOSS 351 & 2013 BOSS 302
So I have hit a small snag...lol...Im connecting the wire between the MUS1 and the Kenwood harness. There are wires that dont quit match up..

1- On the back of the Kenwood there are 5 wires that are curled over,sealed and labelled (ILLUMI,P.Cont,Ant Cont,Remote Cont & Mute) unlike the rest of the wires. Which of these, if any, are used ?
2- Being that I have a base OEM system to start with, there is no AMP/ SUbs (I may install at a later date), Do I just tape up the RCA connections for later use?

IMG_4606_zps960205c9.jpg


3- Not pictured is the park brake and backup light accessory wires. I will not be installing a back-up camera and I don't want the park brake safety on so can I just leave these off ?

Thanks !
 

Flight96

69 Mustang Vert Restomod BOSS 351 & 2013 BOSS 302
Well I got er done. Took about 3 hours total and it all works !! Dunno how the hell that happened...

So now I am working on a good startup screen and background image...So far I've made this for my boot screen..

Startup6_zpsc312e4d7.jpg
 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
Just ordered a brand new Kenwood eXcelon DDX9905S to replace the old 'showing it's refurbished age' Kenwood head unit I installed over 4 years ago. I will post a new thread once this bad boy arrives!

 

ace72ace

Zaino, I put that $hit on everything
1,239
70
For anyone wondering why on earth anyone would spend this kind of coin on a stereo, the answer here simple. PERFORMANCE.

By leveraging the iDatalink Maestro interface, you replace the OEM climate controls with a touch screen interface, much like the top end OEM Ford head unit with Nav. One thing that annoyed me about this user interface (UI) is that it's painfully slow. Think of how happy you are when you finally upgraded that super old cell phone and finally got a brand new, current model. Same deal here, where when you watch the demo video, you can see the snappy performance anytime he hits a button. That very small delay you get transitioning from one screen or menu to the next will slowly add up over time to make you dread having to navigate down into the bowels of the UI. I wish I had the total wireless connectivity the Android offers, but I have an iPhone 6S+. I also think you get superior audio quality with a wired connection, so it's not a big deal - just a convenience factor.

This is also the first true high definition (720p) mobile audio display. Big deal right now? Not really, but I will have to give a review at a later date on what a DVD looks like, or video clip from any of the available apps. Over time this may become a mainstream feature on other top end head units, both aftermarket and OEM, so I like the idea of a bit of future-proofing obsolescence with this model. Sure the wiring and speaker install is already done, but this is still going to be a 2-3 hour project to replace the head unit, probably rewire the main harness connection, and install dash cam. Not having to upgrade again for the next 5+ years is a big plus for me.

Which brings me to the feature that really appeals to me. APP integration capability, specifically Waze. I have a much older Kenwood eXcelon head unit and the Garmin nav has basically turned into a vegetable without purchasing what appears to be a mandatory Garmin map update. While I can appreciate the desire for companies to maintain a revenue stream, I cannot tolerate the fact that simple GPS map display of my current position and surroundings becomes inoperable because I didn't feed them more cash. Since smart phones have Google maps and Waze apps that update constantly, you don't have this problem with the added benefit of real time traffic and weather alerts. Now I can use the Weblink feature to have Waze run on my primary display without having to mount my phone up in the dash (blocking a vent). This for me is HUGE because of the extra level of real time alerts you get from Waze, so to have it integrated into my head unit was the cherry on the sundae.

Hoping to get started on this install this weekend as the weather warms up, it was just too damn cold last week up here in southern NH. Will start a new thread with my unboxing video footage later this week.
 
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Would the OEM Shaker1000 head unit provide more power to better power a set of aftermarket speakers?

I dont need much, but oem is complete garbage. My electrical skills are limited to anything with a plug and my budget is focused on vehicle performance, not audio.
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,063
3,058
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
My daughters mustang has the shaker system, we ungraded the speakers to a set of pioneers. Huge difference. And yes, you will notice a difference. Door panels and back deck are fairly easy installs.
 
My daughters mustang has the shaker system, we ungraded the speakers to a set of pioneers. Huge difference. And yes, you will notice a difference. Door panels and back deck are fairly easy installs.
Well, i notice that Shaker 500 and 1000 systems come with separate amplifiers(looks like the 500 might have 2 and the 1000 with 4), and the 1000 specifically appears to come with a subwoofer setup in the trunk.

All im looking for is an easy OEM headunit and speaker replacement. But if the power and sound quality is coming from the separate amplifiers and not the head unit, it appears it might be a waste of time for me to procure the Shaker head unit. Comments?
 
Bump, any help on the shaker head units providing any additional amplification over the base OEM boss head unit?

Ideally id like to install shaker HU and upgraded speakers but no need for the HU if there is no extra power.
 

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