Back in the day, it seemed the center of the universe for car audio was located around Phoenix, AZ, but things seem to have shifted out to the coast of sunny California over the past few years. There, you find pretty much all of the major source unit manufacturers head offices and much more. Huntington Beach happens to be the home of one Mr. Erik Harbour, Western Regional Sales Manager for Kinetik. Surely you know Kinetik? The guys that make some of the loudest power cells in the car audio industry. If you don’t, you will in a few minutes, so read on.
Erik has been around the car audio scene for a good long time. He’s built up a Mustang, Astro Van, 300ZX and an Expedition over the years. Several have been previously exposed here in the pages of PAS and this most recent build is focused on a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab. The truck is reborn though, as it now wears a front clip from an ‘08 Ram. But the body mods obviously didn’t stop there. You can clearly see that the doors, antenna, roll pan, brake lights, rain gutter and gas door were all given the Gillette treatment and what was left was smoothed and painted like no other.
Props go out to Todd Faulkner and Scott Seratta at 714 Motorsports for their great body work which includes an 8-inch flare on the fenders to let the 24-inch Lexani Dagger wheels tuck in just right. Hiding under the awesome paint work by Todd Faulkner and Jeff Merzee, the pinstriping by Kent Garcia and colour sanding by Sal and Louie are some craftily concealed suspension modifications. These include a Z’d frame up front, dropped front frame horns, Devious Monster notch out back and a triangulated 4-link rear end. To cap it off just right, the body was dropped an additional 3-inches, just to make sure all the right parts hit the road when Harbour lets the air out of the Slam Specialties air bags. Erik reports almost loosing a foot first time he dropped it and his toes are always in danger when the doors open at full slam.
One look in the window or into the bed of the truck and the ‘corporate eyebrow’ gets raised a few notches. Out back lives a whole catalogs worth of Kinetik Power cells. From the compact HC600 to the mind-blowing HC2400, there is enough energy stored back there to light up a city block, and keep it running long enough to watch an episode of Pimp my Ride. Each battery flows electrons through Streetwires 0awg cables. And how does Harbour charge these beasties back up after giving them a beat-down, thanks to a chrome Ohio Generator alternator strapped to the 4.7L V8 under the hood. I overheard someone at SEMA ask Kinetik if there were any capacitors in the system, and we are fairly sure they’re still laughing.
In case you missed that, this many Kinetik batteries trump any number of capacitors, any day! And what is it that puts the beat-down on these batteries? Interestingly enough, a healthy dose of super-efficient Alpine PDX amplifiers. In fact, there are eight of the compact little beasties arranged throughout the interior. Harbour employed the assistance of Brent Davison of Alpine Electronics, as well as Big Bill Watson of Auto Enhancement and Rob Milton both of Relaxed Atmosphere to perfect the interior. The systems main source is a multimedia Kinetik mini PC that lives under the rear passenger seat. This gives Mr. Harbour access to his entire music and video collection via iTunes. Getting the sound from the PC to the amplifiers involves an Alpine RUX-C701 and PXA-H701 controller and processor. Video from the PC heads to a 17-inch Sony LCD display that was mounted in the dash. Overkill? I think not!
The mother of all armrests is home to that octet of PDF amps. The new console extends from the base of the dash right to the rear wall of the car. There are five amps on top and three underneath. A very cool suede-wrapped armrest lets the Kinetik team be comfortable while commanding the system via the Alpine controller. The six sub amps run a total of four Alpine subs. There are three 12-inch Type X’s firing through the back wall, and a 10-incher that’s mounted in a sealed enclosure for some awesome punch. The 4-channel amp runs two sets of 6.5-inch Type X components and a set of 5.25-inchers to make sure everything comes through loud and clear. If you look closely at each speaker installation (each door and the dash), you can see the attention to detail in the installation. The tweeter for each location is suspended over the midrange for the best possible sound.
The whole build took about 3 months and a $20K cash budget with another 60K in total products if you tally up the sponsorship parts. But as with any build, the end-product is only half the story. Erik sent us a shout-out list that would take up as much space as the story itself. The short list includes Todd Faulkner and Manny, Allen, Big Bill, the crew at 714 Motorsports, Brent Davison, the great guys at Alpine, Grant Customs and Devious Customs, Ryan Parma, ‘Pops’ Bret Oaks, Ken at Klassix and the always classy Kevin Kuenzie, who is credited for prompt and efficient beer delivery and grinder operation. There are many more people who had a part in the project, and Kinetik thanks each and every one involved. When the truck rolled into SEMA last fall and everyone on the shop stopped what they were doing to look, it was the hard work of all the contributors that made this build as awesome as it is.
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