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2002 Dodge Dakota, Bed Cut Through, Work in Progress


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Back to the drawing board. By this point I was ready to give up, but I'm not a welder and wasn't sure how to seal up the holes on the cab and bed. So I did a search to find a different boot, one that was not as wide and would be easier to seal. After quite a search I finally found some at an online Ambulance supply company they had enough and shipped it out.

It arrived after expensive 2-day shipping, since I was on a deadline

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Time to rip the old boot out...again. I tore out the boot and reground down the edges to make way for the new leaner boot. I went back to the 3M Window-weld, and also sealed the edges with silicone. I wasn't taking any chances at this point.

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Once the edges were cleaned up (I don't have any pics to show), I installed the new boot. This go around, I took my time installing one edge at a time. I made sure to apply the urethane in both the boot edges and on the cab and bed edges. This time there was only one seam, and since the boot fit the gap better because there wasn't so much excess rubber, I was able to seal the seam with no issues.

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With the boot on and sealed, I did another quick water test. Absolutely no drips or leaks. I was super thrilled. Third times the charm I guess. 

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Once I installed the frame, I made sure to coat it in a layer of fiberglass just in case any water did leak, it wouldn't soak in and expand it. I also layered the frame in sound deadening material to further protect it and give a little cushion when the subs were playing.

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Time to install the box...finally! It's a super tight fit, but it works. Had to put some foam pads underneath the back of the box in the bed to accomodate the weight of the box during the cab/bed flex

Well, not much progress to show. I'm still without a system, but I got a new job and haven't been driving, so no big. Did decide to go with (2) new DC Level 2 12's to start. I know they're not the mos

Finally a shot of it playing! However, ripping it out today...Moving the amps into the center console, and redoing the box. Also taking the truck in to get bagged, so I need to remove the system anywa

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I decided to proceed with another test fit of the box since I installed a new boot. I also wanted to make sure there was still enough of a gap between the box and the bed to account for the movement.

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Since there was still a good fit, I decided to finish putting the box together.

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I made sure to bondo and seal all the outer edges. I also routered a channel behind the baffle to run the speaker wire.

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Even though I have a Tonneau on, I didn't want to take any chances with the box getting wet. So, I decided to roll on some Herculiner. I should have gone with something a little less rough, but the protection is there, and it seems to hold up well.

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You can see where the router got away from me. The channel cut is all over the place, but it works

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I also started building the amp rack. I originally purchased an Alpine PDR-M65 for the subs, and a PDR-F50 for the front stage, and was going to install them under the seats. But after thinking about it, the M65 didn't quite have enough power for the subs. Plus my original design had them mounted in front of the box, but the Alpines are taller than I initially thought. This is the problem with not planning out the system ahead of time.

I decided to stick with the original plan and traded in the Alpines for Kicker CXA series amps since they are narrower, and the CXA1200.1 has more than enough power for these subs. So I went with the CXA1200.1 for the subs, and the CXA300.4 for the front stage. The amp rack is going to sit in front of the box at an angle, with orange LED's glowing from behind. The rack was created out of MDF and will be covered in vinyl.

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The light will be coming through the gap at the top of the rack

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Below, I'm test fitting the amps and Stinger distro blocks

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Here's the equipment I'm using. Besides the amps, it's all Stinger

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For cables and wire, I'm using the following:

- Stinger Pro 0 Gauge (red) Pure Copper cable, from the battery to the amp rack
- Stinger Pro 0 Gauge (black) Pure Copper cable, from the ground on frame, to the distro block
- Stinger Pro 4 Gauge (red & black) Pure Copper cable, from the distro blocks to the amps
- Stinger Pro 12 Gauge Speaker wire for the subs and front stage

I also have Excelene 2 gauge cable to upgrade the electrical system under the hood
 

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Here's the Stinger 0 Gauge grommet I'm using for the firewall

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And the 0 Gauge running through the firewall. I used the old location I created when I was running 4 Gauge and enlarged it for the 0

Into the cab

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From the firewall, and run along the cab wall to the amp rack behind the seats

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