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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last month I installed the Infinity BassLink sub in the trunk, which I've been very happy with so far. It was suggested, and I thought it made sense, to have an opening between the trunk and cabin to allow more of the bass inside.
I have a Sport which doesn't have the factory sub and opening on the rear deck, so using that was not an option. I checked into ordering a new EX rear deck, but that would be about $180 to my door.
So I thought using the area behind the rear arm rest would be a good place to add a "hole." At first I thought I could just get a couple throw-away speaker grills from the local stereo shop, but they are all too thick since the arm folds up right against a plastic panel on the seat back. So this is what I came up with. I removed the panel behind the arm rest, cut a rectangular hole in it, and ordered a custom speaker grill from SpeakerWorks.com. For the trunk side I also cut openings and used speaker cloth behind those. Total of 4 layers to cut through: plastic panel, 2 cloth, and 1 metal.
Anyway, just finished putting it together today. I'll try to add to this thread some more info as soon as I put some text to some pics.


 

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Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Had three others in the car tonight, and they all thought it sounded awesome! I think it does make a difference, and may be able to turn the sub volume down a bit for the same sound as before the hole. To me the bass sounds less muffled, but I'm definitely not an audiophile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's some pictures of what I did, and hopefully some coherent comments. I merged pictures into one to reduce the number. Tear apart your car at your own risk! :thmsup:
The plastic panel behind the arm rest comes out fairly easily. This allows you to work on this piece first without putting the car out of service or without a back seat. It flexes, so put your fingers underneath each midside and pull outwards while working the top part out of the pocket of material. There's a plastic pinch type clip on the bottom, but you should be able to lift it right out.

TL: I'm using the inside of these ribs as the opening, which will be about 11.375 x 4.75 inches. Drilled large holes at the inside corners so I can get a blade in there to start cutting.
TR: Used one of these hacksaw blade holders to rough out the opening to within a 1/16 or so.
BL: Used a blade like a plane to remove the material down to the rib.
BR: Used a rough file to get the opening to to match the edge of the ribs. If you're real careful with a blade, and depending on what you are going to use as a grill, a blade may be all you need. I wet sanded with 320, then 600, but probably not needed.

TL: Finished with the opening. Measures 11 3/8" x 4 3/4"
TR: Using a pair of tin snips I trimmed some 1/2" wide pieces from the scrap to be glued to the backside of the panel.
BL: I glued these pieces to add some thickness to the panel and provide a way to use small screws to fasten the grill.
Panel is made of Polypropylene plastic (has "PP" id) which is one of the hardest type plastics to glue. Don't bother with 2 part epoxy, Gorilla glue, etc. Get some "Loctite Plastics Bonding System." After the material was glued to panel I drilled down to within 1/16" from the finished side with my drill press being careful not to drill through. 1/8" holes were drilled in grill.
BR: Here's the finished backside with # 1/4" long screws. I trimmed them down to about 3/16" with wire cutters to be sure they wouldn't break through the other side. I was hoping I could glue the grill to the back but this plastic is like Teflon.

If you want to just use a flat piece on the backside, here's what it may look like. Not as finished looking, and more work to finish the exposed edges. Spend the extra $20 for the formed piece.

Here's the speaker grill I ordered from SpeakerWorks.com (~27 + ride). I talked to Richard (541-207-2579) and told him exactly what I needed before entering order on their website. I placed order for a 4.75 x 11.5 custom black grill with a .25" flange. In comments I typed:
"Actual size needs to fit 4.75 x 11.375 opening with 1/4 high edge on all 4 sides, and additional 1/2 leg on both long edges. Basically hat shaped."

The opening was actually 1/32" larger than those measurements, and the grill came as a tight fit. Also ordered some speaker cloth.

TL: After removing the seat bottom and side bolsters, two 12mm head bolts hold the seat back to car.
TR: Remove the two push pins and the seat is free to remove.
BL: Loosen the velcro and lay back the truck fabric to expose the seat cover plastic channel the fits over these tabs. Pull plastic off of tabs.
BR: There is a wire clip on the arm rest shaft that can be removed by hand.

TL: On the other side there is a plastic clip that snaps over the shaft, which needs to be removed.
TR: Theoretically, you should now be able to slide the arm rest toward the now missing plastic clip and the other end of the shaft should slide enough to lift out and slide it out of the other side.
BL: The trunk fabric and seat cover are joined using a plastic channel and V shaped piece, which can be pryed open enough to start separation.
BR: The head rests have plastic mounts with tabs the can be squeezed from the inside to allow removal. Seat belt guide has one phillips screw holding it.

TL: The top the seat cover has a similar fastening channel as the bottom.
TR: After laying the new grill panel in place, I marked where the holes should be in the fabric and cut them. And mark the holes for the metal panel.
I decided to use two smaller holes instead of one large one.
BL: The metal frame can be worked out of the foam and removed.
BR: I did it the fast way with a cutoff wheel. I'm sure a hack saw or jig saw with metal blade would have worked, just slower. Deburred edges and gave it a light coat of black primer.

TL: This shows were the panel will lie. On the bottom there are two tabs to the hold the short plastic connector on the seat cover. On top the panel is used to push the seat cover around the rod and apply tension to that area of the seat cover.
TR: I used a 9 x 15 x 1/8" piece of MDF to mount the speaker cloth to. Used spray adhesive.
BL: Pop riveted MDF with cloth to the steel panel.
BR: The trunk side material was marked and cut. A 1 inch edge was left to fold under.

TL: The fabric folded over and glued to the backside of itself with the same spray adhesive I used for the speaker cloth. Wood was just to push against.
TR: Reassembly begins. Metal frame is worked back into the foam. Top seat cover channel installed over their tabs. The bottom is the same but wait until you get the arm rest back in.
BL: Side the longer end in first (drivers side) then the other.
BR: Install the plastic clip over the drivers side of the shaft.

TL: Needle nose pliers will help you get the wire clip back on the passenger side of the shaft from the back of the seat.
TR: Here's the finished trunk side. Color could be a better match. And I should have used chalk instead of ink to mark holes.
BL: Head rest mounts are pushed back in. They slope towards the front and the adjustable one is on the left for all three. Reinstall seat belt guide.
BR: Seat is now ready to reinstall back in the car.
 

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freakin sweet. i wish my coupe had a rear arm rest so i could do this. removing the factory sub helps after installing a basslink but in my previous 7th gen with rear seat pass thru, it sounded much better. yours looks great but i woulda left the opening and used it as a pass thru for things like skis and trim that i frequently slid thru there and just lifted the arm rest if i wanted it covered.
 

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Very nice man. Impressive and clean. I wanted to do something similar to my Altima when I had it, but ended up just cutting a bunch of holes in the back of the seat. The seat back was all plastic, so I thought it did the trick.

You got me really thinking about picking up a bass link now.
 

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I am very much impressed. Thank you for the ideas and steps. Another addition to my summer project. :)
 

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this is awesome. Was thinking of doing something similar. So Im curious, why did you leave the little bit of plastic showing in the hole and not just make one large opening? Sorry if you mentioned just curious

Also if you had to do it over again, what tips or changes might you do? I am looking to do this but to build a ported sub box where the port goes into the hole so its pushing air into the cabin.

Additionally Im trying to make it as reversible as I can. I understand once the hole is cut there is no turning back but for whenever I go to sell the car I want to be able to put it as close to stock as I can, or at least make it appear stock. :)

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
this is awesome. Was thinking of doing something similar. So Im curious, why did you leave the little bit of plastic showing in the hole and not just make one large opening? Sorry if you mentioned just curious
Just thought leaving a small strip in the metal panel would add a bit of structural integrity. I'm sure it would be okay without it.
Also if you had to do it over again, what tips or changes might you do? I am looking to do this but to build a ported sub box where the port goes into the hole so its pushing air into the cabin.
No changes, I think it would work great for a ported sub box. If I were a skier I'd try making it into an opening somehow. Last time I skied I broke my leg, so I stay away from skis nowadays.
Additionally Im trying to make it as reversible as I can. I understand once the hole is cut there is no turning back but for whenever I go to sell the car I want to be able to put it as close to stock as I can, or at least make it appear stock. :)
I think the inside plastic panel costs about $30. Not sure about the truck side material. Probably some Sports will pop up on Craigslist for parting out where you could snag an extra rear seat.
 

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I thought about doing this same thing when I installed my infinity bass link but my car is leased and I figured I better not..
 
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