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Thread: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

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    1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    This is my first attempt at a build log... This is my first attempt at a serious build. This is all being done solo.

    The build:
    Front:
    Hertz Dieci series DSK 165.3 components
    Hertz Dieci series DCX 87.3 coaxials
    Rear:
    Hertz Dieci series DCX 165.3 coaxials
    Subwoofers:
    4 CT Sounds Tropo 10" 1.2 net cube per sub tuned to 30hz
    Power:
    250 amp alternator
    60ah AGM under the hood
    100ah AGM in rear
    2/0 Big 3, fused at alt
    2/0 power wire to rear, fused at battery
    Amplifiers:
    Taramps TS 400x4
    Taramps DS 440x4
    Taramps Smart 3
    I'll post pictures in subsequent posts to show the progression up to this point.

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    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    The electrical:
    All of the wire was purchased from AC Wire and Supply:

    This was the first time I've ever done a Big 3 and a battery swap. I thought that routing the power cable to the rear would be difficult but the grommet was easy to access from the inside. I got kinda lucky.

    Here's some pictures.
    The car:
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    The wiring:
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    I ran the cable to the rear without a problem. There's actually some kind of wire trough with plastic clips that's hidden below the passenger and drivers side carpeting.

    Took a total 11 hours to do everything including the alternator swap, the battery swap, The Big Three, the grommet through the firewall and running the cable to the rear. Most of that was due to my inexperience. Came out decent but I'm sure there's room for improvement.

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    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    I ran speedwire from the front cabin to the rear trunk as well. The wire is 14 gauge and has seven individual wires of 14 gauge inside of the big wire which made it easy to run from front to rear.

    The hard part was creating a second set of door looms to run two sets of the 14 gauge wire for the component system going in the doors.

    I didn't get pictures but I basically had to create door looms by using the $6 ones that they sell on Amazon, threading them through a grommet of the correct size to fit the holes, and rubber cementing the grommet to the door loom. The really hard part was running the wire through the grommet and door loom and the holes that were created in door and the metal on the side of the car where the wire needed to come from.

    The door loom is the one on top. The OEM is on the bottom:
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    This is where the tweeter wire exits for the panel where the tweeter goes:
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    The wire and where it comes out in the trunk:
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    To tell the truth I don't even KNOW how many hours it took me to figure that out but I do know that I ran out of curse words. I quickly learned that precision work and tight spaces are not friends.

    It worked though. I ran the power wire down the passenger side and the speaker wire down the driver side through the same wire clips.
    Last edited by Original wis; 1 Week Ago at 03:10 AM.

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    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    Next I fabricated or tried to fabricate a place where I could put the tweeters in the plastic panel that covers the mirror electronics. I made a few mistakes and this took me a while to figure out as well.

    I cut a hole in the panel using a hole saw then inserted the tweeters casing into the hole. I used glue to stick everything together. Before I put the tweeter in I sanded everything down to make it as even as possible and then coated the entire piece with 12 coats of Krylon spray paint.

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    As you can see it didn't come out as smooth as I intended. I'm still not quite sure why to be honest.

    I also removed the rear deck and reupholstered it in black so that it would match the new interior.
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    I cut out the speaker holes:
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    Then covered the entire deck and black grill cloth:
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    I used gorilla glue heavy duty spray adhesive and it worked okay for the most part. There's a few places where I had to use the roller multiple times to get it to stay set and there's a couple places that I missed apparently. Overall for my first time I don't think it looks too bad.

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    Dickhead SublimeZ's Avatar
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    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    Looking good, especially for a first build.

    For the sail panels, most interior plastics have some texture to them. If you use something like bed coating they will better match the rest of the interior. Gives you a finish like this



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    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    Quote Originally Posted by SublimeZ View Post
    Looking good, especially for a first build.

    For the sail panels, most interior plastics have some texture to them. If you use something like bed coating they will better match the rest of the interior. Gives you a finish like this

    Nice do you think I could realistically send those down and redo them without making them look worse?

    And thanks I never knew those were called sail panels.

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    Dickhead SublimeZ's Avatar
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    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    Quote Originally Posted by Original wis View Post
    Nice do you think I could realistically send those down and redo them without making them look worse?
    yes, just scuff them a bit, then 3-4 light coats of truck bed spray.


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    Wave Shepherd - aka Jazzi Justin Zazzi's Avatar
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    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    Quote Originally Posted by Original wis View Post

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    As you can see it didn't come out as smooth as I intended. I'm still not quite sure why to be honest.
    This is something I struggle with all the time! I finally asked the pros how they do it and one answer I was surprised by was "this can of spray paint is $30 each". That particular one resulted in a thick finish without needing multiple coats that would fill in the small imperfections kinda like I think you were hoping for. I couldn't justify buying a whole paint can for a relatively small project like this or the work I did in my car though, so it's a hard one to solve.

    I hear other people have good results with Rage Gold filler since it is great to work with and allows to get the shapes you want with the least amount of effort. I, other other hand, usually look for bargains and used the less expensive body filler stuff at the auto parts store and had results that were a solid "meh".

    It's hard to make fabrication look easy!
    Measure with mics, mark with chalk, cut with torch, grind to fit, sand to finish, paint to match.
    Justin Zazzi's tuning companion for room eq wizard
    Do it for them.

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    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    First try at sound deadening:

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    I'm not sure if it came out well or not. What I did was I took an entire sheet, put it on each side and filled in the rest with the pieces that I cut from the first two sheets. And then I took a third sheet and cut it into pieces as well to fill in as much as possible.

    Some things that I learned along the way:

    1. Whatever tools you use to cut the butyl should be disposable because it's pretty difficult to get it off of anything.

    2. The aluminum is sharp it'll cut you quicker than a paper cut.

    3. The best way to clean it is to first take paper towels wet them and wipe up the surface dirt.
    Next take a nylon disc rubber pad and some dish soap and scrub off the more difficult dirt.
    After that I used a steel dish scrubbing pad the round ones and scraped as much of the difficult dirt off of there as I possibly could.
    The car is 21 years old so there was a lot of dust there.
    I sprayed it down with a cleaner degreaser and wiped that up with more paper towels.
    Then I took additional paper towels and wiped off to make sure that there was no residue left.
    The last thing that I did was scrub a microfiber towel over the entire top to make sure that all of the debris was absolutely gone.

    4. It was 102 outside while I was doing the work. The Beatles was so soft kind of like almost marshmallow. It pretty much flowed into all of the nooks and crannies like with a few simple presses. So yeah the warmer outside the easier it is to work with.

    5. When you start to press it down start from one corner and work diagonally to the opposite corner. There's a couple spaces where my application was off because I didn't do that and parts got scrunched together.

    6. Plastic panel tools are great for pressing the butyl and aluminum into tight rings and spaces where a normal roller may not fit.

    Overall it was about medium difficulty a little bit better than what I expected but still a lot of work.

    Any feedback anyone would care to give?

    Thank you,

    Lewis King

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: 1st build log ever. 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE

    Continuing with sound deadening for the trunk:

    I cleaned and degreased the entire trunk as well as the rear seat well. I removed all paneling the back seats and all of the carpet inside of the trunk.

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    Next I used the same process that I used yesterday on the rear deck on the entire back end of the car. I completely cleaned and degreased every single surface in the pictures.

    I originally attempted to remove the old sound deadening material that was placed in there 21 years ago by Nissan, but it proved futile. The old material is fused to the body of the car and practically impossible to remove.

    I elected to cover it with the new sound deadening material. I'm guessing that those areas will probably have a less effect but given that the rest of the bare metal is being covered completely I guessed that the net effect would still be positive.

    The after pictures will be in the next post.

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