Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication Installed A Custom Autosound Stereo Head Unit In A Hot Rod Pickup Truck
Tommy Lee Byrd
Tight spaces are commonplace in the hot rod world; pre World War II Fords and closed cab pickups are especially tight. The 1934 Ford truck in this article is an in-depth project at
and it has lots of trick details inside and out. The owner wanted a full array of creature comforts, including an LS engine, overdrive transmission, and Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication . Additionally, he wanted a stereo system—a tall order in such a tight space. The guys at Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication came up with a plan to tastefully fit the Vintage Air heat and AC components inside the already-crowded cab. Custom Autosound
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The starting point for this install is a 1934 Ford truck. These trucks are naturally tight on space but can become even more cramped with a chopped top. The guys at Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication will have to get creative to fit a custom audio system.
The plan involved fabricating an overhead dash panel that would house the Custom Autosound head unit and extremely small speakers that come with the System 1 kit. Also in the System 1 kit is an amplified subwoofer unit that is slim enough to mount behind the seat. In addition to these components, the
unit needed to find a home. All the stereo parts are designed to fit in tight spaces. Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication has used them on previous hot rod project cars. Custom Autosound Secretaudio SST
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The truck has extensive fabrication work inside and out. Check out the lower dash panel that holds the Vintage Air controls and vents as well as the ignition switch. Disrupting the beautiful lines with a stereo head unit or speakers wasn’t an option.
Overall, this install took quite a bit of fabrication, but the slick appearance makes all the effort worthwhile. Now that the truck is finished, the upper dash is hardly noticeable until you slide behind the wheel. The head unit is within arm’s reach and the overhead speakers are surprisingly crisp for their size. All the other components are hidden under the seat, and no wiring is visible. Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication knocked this job out of the park and gave this old-school pickup some high-tech features. MR
Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication has installed several of these Custom Autosound stereo systems. One of the key components is what they call the System 1, an amplified subwoofer that is slim enough to fit behind or beneath just about any hot rod seat.
A bracket is fabricated to make the amplified subwoofer fit as tightly to the body as possible. The pieces of the bracket are MIG-welded with mounting flanges on either end.
A grinder is used to dress the welds and then work can begin to lay out the lightening holes as well as mounting tabs for the Custom Autosound unit.
Lightening holes always provide a hot rod look, and the six large holes did the trick on this bracket. The mounting holes have been drilled and the bracket is temporarily in place with Cleco fasteners.
Nut inserts are welded to the custom bracket, providing easy mounting of the amplified subwoofer unit. Plenty of room is allowed for wiring to feed the unit.
Next is the Custom Autosound Secretaudio SST unit. This system features a small head unit that will be mounted in an overhead dash panel, while this control unit will mount to the custom flat bracket under the seat.
Notice the welded nut inserts on the four corners that allow for easy mounting without dealing with nuts on the backside. The mounting plate is then welded to the floor pan once the wiring path is laid out.
The Secretaudio SST head unit is bolted to its mount during mockup. Wiring for other electronics are also laid out to determine other mounting points under the seat.
This 1934 Ford truck is packed with electronic goodies, and its wiring, computer, and fuses ride beneath the seat riser.
With the seat board in place, the mockup for the under-seat electronics is complete. Notice the small notch in the seat board for the Custom Autosound amplified subwoofer unit.
The inside of the cab and all its inner structure is painted matte black and then covered in for insulation. Final assembly can now take place. Boom Mat material
Up top, there is still work to be done, as the overhead dash panel is under construction. Notice the upright steel brackets already in place. The brackets are welded on the bottom and feature welded nut inserts for easy installation of the dash.
After measuring and trimming a piece of sheet metal to size, the overhead dash is mocked up on its custom mounts. Now it’s time to measure and lay out the holes for the overhead speakers and head unit.
The overhead speakers came from Custom Autosound with the System 1 kit. They are very small and feature a chrome bucket with a custom outer bezel. Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication cut the back off of the bucket since this is such a tight space.
With the overhead dash measured and marked it can be removed from the truck cab and the cutting can begin. Round holes are cut and an extra layer of sheet metal is added to the backside of the area for strength.
The speaker is now assembled with the cutdown bucket. Here you can see the four welds holding the extra layer of sheet metal. The inner bucket and outer bezel are threaded for easy assembly.
Finally, the Custom Autosound head unit can be installed in the dash. A rectangular hole is cut with notches on each side, which allow it to snap into place.
One final mockup gives us an idea of how the overhead dash will look when it’s complete. Now, it’s time for disassembly, paint, and final details.
After the interior is treated with Boom Mat and interior panels are painted, Ryan begins the final assembly process. The first step is routing the speaker and head unit wiring.
Now that paint is complete, we can see the final product. This upper dash is a simple solution for any hot rod with space constraints. A fabricated panel of this nature can be bodywork and painted or upholstered for a cool look.
With the lights dim, we get a glimpse of the truck’s awesome interior, complete with Dakota Digital gauges, Vintage Air controls, and, of course, the new stereo system from Custom Autosound. The slick work from the guys at Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication makes all the difference!
Precision Hot Rods and Fabrication