AUDIO INSTALL - Amplifier Placement

CheckMax

Member
Hi All,
I am mounting a 600W amplifier in my 144 passenger van. Question is where to put it (10-1/4"W x 2"H x 7-1/8"D ).
I have yet to pull the dash apart and I am thinking there is limited space in there for it. I do not believe it will fit under the driver seat. I would like to put it under the passenger seat but would also like to add an Espar under the passenger seat.
1) Does anyone who has installed an Espar know if the amp could be placed over it? I was thinking attaching the amplifier to a removable panel that attaches to the seat base.
2) However, two heat producing items in the seat base may be a problem. Anyone know much heat Espar actually produces inside the seat base versus what is vented/blown out and whether that is problematic? One thought was adding a louver and small PC fan.

Separately, any first hand experience at what levels heavy audio power draws become burdensome on the alternator/battery system? I am being advised to expect 40 amps draws from the stereo at operating levels with spikes to 80 amps.

Thanks,
 

Tiny Travels

2017 170"ext, 4x4, 2500
I can't answer all your questions, but I did utilize a very similar install. I have my amp mounted to a couple of aluminum straps inside the passenger seat base pedestal. The Espar D2 is mounted in the usual way, inside that same seat base.
So essentially the amp levitates above the heater. I like that I can access all the adjustments on the amp easily through the opening in the seat base.

I haven't seen any heat issues yet, but I also haven't been monitoring for that specific concern. I will say that heat/ventilation was on my mind when I installed them both. I purchased Hein's CNC seat base panel that has the vent slots in it. I also removed the factory foam piece that closes off the top of the seat base.

I have really good pictures of it on my instagram, if you want to check it out. I'd upload them here, but I'm not on the same computer that has the pictures. The instagram is: _our_tiny_travels_
 

CheckMax

Member
Tiny Travels - Thank you! That was exactly what I was thinking. I like the gram photos. Bike drawer looks pretty cool too. What front bumper did you install?
 

gltrimble

Well-known member
I installed my 1100 watt subwoofer amplifier in the passenger seat along with the Espar D2. Plenty of room for both. My amplifier measures 13.5” x 10.5” and is mounted to the rear inside wall of the passengers seat pedestal. I believe the amplifier produces more heat than the Espar.

BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Monoblock Car Amplifier - 1100 Watts Max Power, 2/4 Ohm Stable, Class A/B, Mosfet Power Supply, Remote Subwoofer Control https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004S4XNEO/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_jV3kFb83MA5E0
 

sprinterPaul

Well-known member
Hi All,
I am mounting a 600W amplifier in my 144 passenger van. Question is where to put it (10-1/4"W x 2"H x 7-1/8"D ).
I have yet to pull the dash apart and I am thinking there is limited space in there for it. I do not believe it will fit under the driver seat. I would like to put it under the passenger seat but would also like to add an Espar under the passenger seat.
1) Does anyone who has installed an Espar know if the amp could be placed over it? I was thinking attaching the amplifier to a removable panel that attaches to the seat base.
2) However, two heat producing items in the seat base may be a problem. Anyone know much heat Espar actually produces inside the seat base versus what is vented/blown out and whether that is problematic? One thought was adding a louver and small PC fan.

Separately, any first hand experience at what levels heavy audio power draws become burdensome on the alternator/battery system? I am being advised to expect 40 amps draws from the stereo at operating levels with spikes to 80 amps.

Thanks,
I put my amp in the wall next to the crew seat opposite the slider. The sub is in the next slot over. No issues after 3 years.
 

Tiny Travels

2017 170"ext, 4x4, 2500
Tiny Travels - Thank you! That was exactly what I was thinking. I like the gram photos. Bike drawer looks pretty cool too. What front bumper did you install?
Thanks. After I made sure that wood mock-up worked the way I wanted, I rebuilt the drawer in aluminum. I'm not sure it saved me much in weight, but it did save me almost two inches in height. I really wanted the vertical space so I could lower the bed platform and have as much room as possible up there.

I built those bumpers with a friend of mine who used to be a professional welder. There are some small things I'd do different next time on the front one, but I'm very happy with them overall. The beer opener slots in the rear bumper are the big winner. My wife came up with that idea. :cheers:
 

CheckMax

Member
I put my amp in the wall next to the crew seat opposite the slider. The sub is in the next slot over. No issues after 3 years.
I thought about that as well. Is the amp completely hidden? Any venting? I assume once it is in there and adjusted there's not much reason to access.
 

CheckMax

Member
I installed my 1100 watt subwoofer amplifier in the passenger seat along with the Espar D2. Plenty of room for both. My amplifier measures 13.5” x 10.5” and is mounted to the rear inside wall of the passengers seat pedestal. I believe the amplifier produces more heat than the Espar.

BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Monoblock Car Amplifier - 1100 Watts Max Power, 2/4 Ohm Stable, Class A/B, Mosfet Power Supply, Remote Subwoofer Control https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004S4XNEO/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_jV3kFb83MA5E0
Good to know. What kind of battery supply do you have and how long can you run the stero with the engine off? I have the factory aux which is where I am thinking of connecting the amp and sub too. I think this should work and alternator should be able to charge. Next near term add-on is getting a solar panel and extra battery figured out to augment or replace the aux battery (separate post in the works).
 

sprinterPaul

Well-known member
I thought about that as well. Is the amp completely hidden? Any venting? I assume once it is in there and adjusted there's not much reason to access.
nothing special to vent. It has some air space.
The only adjustment is gain for the sub and I have the remote on my seat base.
I have to pull the wall panel. But you could easily make an access hatch.
 

gltrimble

Well-known member
Good to know. What kind of battery supply do you have and how long can you run the stero with the engine off? I have the factory aux which is where I am thinking of connecting the amp and sub too. I think this should work and alternator should be able to charge. Next near term add-on is getting a solar panel and extra battery figured out to augment or replace the aux battery (separate post in the works).
My sub woofer is powered by my auxiliary battery. Ran the power supply from passenger seat to the drivers seat via the floor duct. Planning to change this soon, going to eliminate the auxiliary battery. I also plan to power the stereo and subwoofer from the house batteries to avoid draining the starter battery.
 

TrackSprinter

2016 Low Roof 144 2500
I have both my amps behind the panel behind the driver seat, in the middle slot similar to sprinterPaul. The panel has magnets in it so when I want access behind there its not much to pull off. I mounted the amps to lengths of aluminum angle bars and they are screwed to the sheet metal so all surfaces of the amps have air, and I have the amp heatsink sides facing upward.

I wired it to manually switch between aux and main batteries when Im parked. According to the battery monitor, at or just above conversation sound levels, the stereo system draws 4-6 amps. I watched a movie on my headunit on my last camp outing and it didn't strain the supply at all.

The RMS ratings of amplifiers are good measures of power however, its a moving target between what voltage the batteries produce while driving and the voltage provided while engine is off, or voltage drawn from static house batteries. Amps tend to provide more power at higher voltages. The point is, trying to extrapolate current draw from max power ratings of an amplifier is not practical. For example, lower frequencies require more power and will draw more current. Music doesn't normally contain one long low frequency, and so the power requirement itself bounces around and is determined mostly by gain. Higher the gain, higher the current to be stored for use by the amplifier.

So unless you're using your van to fill the whole beach with sound and/or you leave it on all day, you don't need to worry too much about current draw. If you have a way to charge your house batteries, you are good to go at low to moderate levels.
 

CheckMax

Member
I have both my amps behind the panel behind the driver seat, in the middle slot similar to sprinterPaul. The panel has magnets in it so when I want access behind there its not much to pull off. I mounted the amps to lengths of aluminum angle bars and they are screwed to the sheet metal so all surfaces of the amps have air, and I have the amp heatsink sides facing upward.
Thank you for the input - you do not happen to have a photo of this do you?
 

TrackSprinter

2016 Low Roof 144 2500
i found a photo, with the middle brace removed, as i was working on the system. trying to eliminate the dreaded alternator whine.'

(also, i went to the harbor last night with the pup. switched the stereo system to house batteries and the battery monitor displayed -2.5A at about 25% volume)
 

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