A large percentage of my upgrades to the 2002 M Coupe involved ditching the horrendous Harman Kardon  system.  That’s pretty easy to do if you don’t care what it looks like, but I wanted to maintain the stock look of the car, inside and out.  So everything had to fit behind interior panels just like from the factory.  The original HK system uses a separate amplifier from the head unit in the dash.  This amplifier is located behind the passenger seat, underneath a plastic cover that also hides the CD changer (not installed) and the HK subwoofer enclosure.  So rather than reinvent the wheel, I used what was already there.  The factory amplifier would serve as the crossover mount, and the JL 500W 3-channel amplifier (actually just as small as the factory amp) would go where the CD changer would normally go.

JL 500/3 Amplifier Mounted

The JL amp was mounted directly to the thick carpet using industrial Velcro in addition to Rivet-Nuts and bolts.

Mocking up rack in car

I cut the irregular shaped top off the stock mount and replaced it with a flat sheet of aluminum. Here I’m testing fitment using some clamps to hold it in place.

Drilling for rivets

Once I had the size and shape set, I secured the new top with pop-rivets.

Completed Rack with Crossovers Mounted

The final mount, painted semi-gloss black, with the two crossovers mounted.

Wire Labels

The JL amp allows for high-powered (speaker level) input. So the stock wires running from the Business CD were labeled using the factory wiring diagrams (in German) before being cut and spliced. The same was done for the outputs to the speakers.

Lots more to come.  Most of the work is complete already, I just have to get around to sorting through the photos.


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