Datsun S30 Stereo Installation
  Craig Borden  



The following install was my first stereo installation. I have since taken it all out and am accumulating the equipment for the new & improved system!

As all Z lovers know, the car does not afford very much room for a good stereo system. The later Z cars such as mine - from 1977 and 1978 - have raised luggage decks that make a stealth installation even harder. I actually used the raised deck to my advantage and ended up with a killer stereo system that is fairly stealth and didn't break the bank.

The system components include:
Kenwood KDC2005 AM/FM CD Player
2 - Kenwood KAC-425 Amplifiers (35W x 2 RMS)
MTX 1 into 2 Active Crossover
Blaupunkt separates w/ passive crossovers: 4" mids, 1" tweeters
JL Audio 10W-1 Subwoofer

The AM/FM CD player is mounted in the factory location in the center console. There are no problems with mounting the unit and no adapter is needed.
One amplifier is mounted behind each seat. I made a custom mounting surface out of 1/2" MDF, formica and black carpet. I drilled out the stock mounting holes in the chassis of the amps and threaded them using a 1/4 x 20 tap. This allowed me to bolt the amps to the mounting surface from the underside which hinders theft. The MDF is then bolted to the metal riser behind the seats. The amp install is very attractive, rugged and out of the way. Also, the amps are not easily seen from the exterior of the car.
The 4" mids were located in the stock positions just beneath the quarter windows.

The tweeters were fastened to the surface of the metal dash plate that fits over the defrost ducts between the windshield and the dashpad. The tweeters look very nice and really bring the highs to the passengers. The passive crossovers were mounted underneath the rear deck against the passenger side wheel well. I used silicone to glue them to the metal surface.

The crossover is countersunk in the rear deck behind the driver's seat and right next to the sub box. I made a cover for the unit out of plexiglass, carpet and formica so that it is almost undetectable with the cover in place. The controls face forward in the car and are adjusted from the driver's side door.

I built an enclosure for the subwoofer - a compact 0.75 cu. ft. - out of the 1/2" MDF, wood screws and LOTS of wood glue and silicone. The MDF is really nice material, more durable and holds a screw much better than regular particle board. I used a black/gray formica for the speaker mounting surface and used stainless steel allen screws with spiked T-nuts to secure the sub to the box. I then wrapped black automotive carpet around the sides and bottom of the box and secured it with contact cement. The last step was to cut a hole in the side of the box, close to the bottom, for the wiring terminal. I used the circular kind with red and black spring-loaded terminals.

I fabricated a new rear deck, using the old one for a pattern, out of 1/4" plywood. I didn't want to cut the factory deck in case I ever wanted to sell the car but remove the stereo. I cut a hole in the new deck so that the sub box would rest on the metal floor in the center of the car just behind the metal riser. This resulted in a protrusion of only about 3.5" above the rear deck. The box could have been designed a good bit thinner but I wanted to stay as close as possible to the "perfect" cube shape per the tips from the installers where I bought the sub.

Notice the cover of the sub box that is propped to one side. I made this to help the box blend in with the black interior (to help deter any stupid and half-blind thieves) but mostly just to help protect the sub from damage.

The install worked out well and sounded pretty good. I was unhappy because the sub box got in my way and the sound was not very good with the windows down at highway speeds. The car needs speakers up front and that is my task - custom speaker pods for the front doors. Check back for my next install ...