To go along with the rest of the styling cues in the dash, a double-DIN dash kit was modified and molded to fit in a factory radio area," says installer Louis Gonzales. He filled the top portion of the kit in with ABS plastic and smoothed it over with Duraglas. The head unit sticks out a bit so the screen can clear the dash when it folds out. The kit and radio mount together and have to be installed as one piece. "This made for a heavy, tricky, delicate installation," Gonzales reveals, "with lots of wires!"
To go along with the rest of the styling cues in the dash, a double-DIN dash kit was modif
For the .1 channel, Kane originally got 12" subwoofers, which clearly wouldn't fit as the build progressed. "Anyone that has ever worked on a 350Z can appreciate the lack of space and awkward layout of the behind-the-seat area," Gonzales says. Eight-inchers triumphed as their best option. "Because we were going to use only 8" subwoofers and still wanted plenty of bass to realistically create all the sub-bass information from the 5.1 movies, as well as all ranges of music that might be played on the system, our choices of driver got real small real fast," Gonzales says. In the end they went with JL Audio 8W7-3's in separate ported enclosures.
As Gonzales installed the various pieces of equipment, the look of the system didn't seem right. "Midway through the build," Kane relates, "Louis gave me a call and said, 'I'm just not feelin' it.' " Kane thought it over and had to agree that the Z's factory interior didn't have much going for it aesthetically. "It's quite basic and Spartan inside," he says, overcoming his reaction to preserve the stock look. "In this case... I was worrying about aesthetics that didn't exist!"
With a green light to pump up the interior with custom details, Gonzales trimmed the speakers with frosted acrylic and black acrylic. Blue LEDs illuminate the clear acrylic for a distinctive "show" look. The same treatment follows to the Brax amps, which could've been covered with a panel instead of being put on display. In the painfully cramped and difficult-to-work-in area behind the strut bar, Gonzales mounted the pair on angled MDF racks.
Gonzales removed the door to the factory storage pocket and cut away enough plastic to make room for half of a JL Audio ZR650-CSi component set. The new midrange of the center channel sits in a MDF baffle, which was shaped with fleece, resin and body filler. Another MDF baffle holds the tweeter, which also received a fair amount of decorative shaping.
Gonzales removed the door to the factory storage pocket and cut away enough plastic to mak
Though the Z turned out a little different than Kane intended on the onset, the resulting combination of eye and ear candy makes for an enjoyable daily driver and a powerful competitor car. Kane had never entered vehicles in competitions before, but Gonzales introduced him to the scene and the Z recently won second place at CAE's Trifecta event in San Antonio, TX. Despite the fun of going to SEMA and winning trophies, it's the pleasure of a good drive and great sounds that gets Kane going. "Carving hills in the crisp early morning air with the sunrise at my back, the stereo and the engine on song," he muses about solo drives through the Texas hill country. "It may sound a bit hackneyed but it's awe inspiring."
With a job in sales and management, Jeff Kane spends a lot of time on the road. Fortunately he loves a drive and will go the distance to get a good one. "South Texas is flat," he explains, "so the roads to the west are the closest 'driving roads' available. I'll get up early on a Sunday morning and go for a long drive while my better half sleeps." Thanks go to "God, my loving wife Amy, Louis for all his tireless efforts, my parents, family, friends and everyone who's a positive force in my life."
GReddy intercooled twin turbo kit
with Profec-S boost management
Jim Wolf Technology clutch
UTEC TurboXS engine management system
Bay Area Audio Video
Corpus Cristi, TX
Installer: Louis Gonzales