Cisco’s Rocco

  Do you remember your first car?  What about your first stereo?  Did you have a sweet install or some box with some 12″ subs that you got from the local pawn shop?  Do you even remember?  After all, we’re not all car people.  As you can probably guess, I remember very clearly what mine were.

  Well some of us would have been pretty lucky to have this 1986 VW Scirocco as our first car.

  You may remember Morio’s TT and the custom install I created for him, well this is the car that Cisco, his son, now owns as he received it for his 16th birthday.  The icing on the cake?  Delivering the car during his Birthday Bash with a custom JMD installation terrorizing the neighborhood as I drove up.

  Morio wanted to keep it old school with a name well known in the audio scene back in the day, who still is a major player, Clarion.  We collaborated on the components and chose to replace the Sony head unit and speakers that were previously installed as they were outdated and just plain worn out.  In the process we would add a custom sub and amp enclosure to provide some bottom end to the 4″x6″ speakers in the doors and rear decks.

  With both of us being OCD about having matching gear throughout, everything was picked from Clarion’s line-up.

Head Unit: CZ202 w/ iPhone/ iPod and Pandora integration.

Front/ Rear Stage: SRG4622C 4″x6″ MIPP cone woofer and 1″ PEI tweeter.

Amplifier: XR2120 400 watts x 1 at 2 ohms.

Sub Woofer: WQ2510D 500 watts RMS dual 4 ohm voice coil.

  To ensure the amplifier would be fed properly I suggested Stinger’s 4000 Series 4 AWG wiring kit in which I used Stinger’s 16 AWG speaker wire to complete the sub’s wiring set up.

  Once all the gear arrived, it was time to get started on the build.  There were a couple obstacles I had at hand to deal with and the design came down to what I envisioned, so began by creating the sub enclosure and amp rack.  I set forward to allow access to the spare and to provide a solution to organizing what older cars should always have on hand: tool box, jumper cables, air compressor, etc.  This would require a false floor height of 9″!  I was a little hesitant in following through with the design but after going over other viable options, chose to push on.

  As you can see from the evidence in the spare tire well, I meticulously trim to find the right fitment to create the false floors that I build.  This process would be repeated to ensure the right fitment of the main false floor that would cover the storage area.  After creating the sub enclosure and the amp rack it was time to build the false floor support structure.  Once completed everything that wasn’t going to be visible was treated to a few coats of semigloss black paint.  Why?  So that the entire install would be in a “finished” format, because it’s all in the details.  Which can also be attested to by the installation of matching carpet to the body of the Scirocco.

  And yes, I did apply Meguiar’s Hot Shine Tire Spray to the spare.  Presentation is everything when it comes to those details I spoke about before.

  When I removed the existing head unit, I found that all the connections were simply twisted together with electrical tape wrapped over the wires.  There were a few wire nuts as well which just didn’t look like they belonged, because, quite frankly, they don’t.  I cleaned everything up, removed the previous harness and cage and installed the Clarion counterparts.  I had already installed the Stinger amplifier kit so connected the remote power during this time.  The new head unit slid into place, locked and looked the business in the retro dash, bringing a little new school to the old.


  The, supposed to be OEM fit, replacement 4″x6″ speakers were then installed into the doors and rear decks which was no easy task.  Note to self: Purchase an angle grinder.  I was able to trim each speaker’s metal mounts to fit securely in their respective locations.  In addition, I replaced the rear speaker grill cloth to hide each of the location’s contents as the original had deteriorated during the 26 years of the Rocco’s current life span.

  With everything installed it was time to reconnect the Optimum Red Top battery and begin testing and tuning the gear.  Upon powering up the head unit, it was quickly determined that all the time that went into the build was worth it.  All systems were a go, each speaker working correctly, amp powered up and some rumble from the sub were proof.  Spending time to learn the head unit and tune the system isn’t ever a 5 minute job, but once the time is invested, the sound quality is clear evidence that the time was put in.

  After rolling up to the Birthday Bash, you could see the excitement in Cisco’s face.  I don’t think I have ever seen a kid smile as big as he was, but who could blame him?  I had cleaned up his 1986 VW Scirocco inside and out and had the JMD install bumping.  He thanked me quite a few times, hooked up his iPhone and started jamming his tunes!  I don’t think all of his friends got the full aspect of what was going on here, after all, we’re not all car people.  Luckily, I am and I got to be a part of it all.  Thanks again Morio!

Mission complete.