Darksider's Realm

(this is not a place for lazy video game freaks. We Darksiders have been around doing our thing for decades before the mindless couch blobs latched onto the term Darksider)



DARKSIDER In the world of automotive hobbyists a Darksider is one who modifies and or customizes any and all sorts of vehicles. The Darksiders are in a class of their own simply because they endeavor to be different and do things that others would not attempt for a number of reasons mostly being related to a lack of ability and fear of non conformity.

This is a forum for people who think outside the box in everything they do. It doesn’t matter if you are modifying or building from scratch. It doesn’t matter what brand or brands of vehicles or components you are using. It doesn’t matter if you are working on a mini car or a bus.

We will not be asking you for donations or any kind of monetary payments. We will be asking for help in terms moderators and encouraging you to spread the word and add to our membership.

Darksider's Realm

A message board & forum for automotive builders, fabricators and customizers who think outside the box.


    A Warning...

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    Darkside Dave
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    A Warning...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:13 am


    Hi Folks,
    I recently acquired a '90 T-Bird Super Coupe that had been wrecked. Prior to it's demise it spent the first 18 years of it's existence with it's original owner being cared for and pampered with extensive maintenance records to prove it. You could tell this guy was not opposed to spending a lot to get something he wanted for the car. It was not until I started taking the expensive sound equipment out of the trunk space in the car that I found a disgusting and pitiful attempt at the installation of that equipment. Better still it would be less that forthright if I failed to describe this mess as anything less that dangerous. Although this is not the first time I have seen this sort of thing, I think it is an excellent example of what is going on in countless thousands of Car Audio installation shops. Here is a picture of what the customer saw when he got his car back from the shop. At first glance it really looked great. It's what's behind the dark gray mouse fur covering that should scare the hell out of any sane and reasonable person.



    Nice picture huh??? Looks can be deceiving...
    The picture is of the installation in the car mentioned above. Please keep in mind that this car has been impounded in the outdoors for two years and there have been attempts to vandalize it. At first glance the work looks neat. It's what is behind that is disgusting. I decided to remove this stuff at first because I needed to gain access to the rear shocks which are only accessible through the trunk. This is where the disaster begins. No auto repair shop would ever have attempted to do the work. They used a shit load of those black self tapping drywall screws made to fasten the stuff to metal studs. They punched those damn things through everything, not caring or knowing what might be on the other side including stuff like brake lines, fuel lines and electrical wiring. The worst part for me was the fact that there was no clear way to determine what to take out first or how since there were endless cases or covering fasteners with that hideous fuzzy shit using glue. Finally I decided just to start removing everything I could where the fasteners I could see which seemed to be a hodgepodge whatever was handy at the time. There was little if any consistency. I decided just to start removing everything I could where the fasteners I could see. After getting the power amps out I made my way to the 75 pound Woofer box that seemed to be mounted with no real plan. They just drove in big 3" self tapping screws where ever it struck their fancy. I finally just started ripping out mouse fur and filler strips any way I could. The guy must have gotten a glue gun and a screw gun for Christmas. What a disgusting mess!!! I further discovered that even after I got the box loose it would not come out because these clowns had screwed and glued a simple piece of plastic drain pipe as a port for the woofer box that protruded out the top up into the rear speaker shelf of the the car. There was no way to removed it with out breaking something. I finally got that piece of shit removed and then the real mess was to be seen. They had ripped down the cars wiring and just left it lay as well as the anti-lock brake control module which I might add had printed on it that it had to be mounted in a specific position to work properly. It was haphazardly screwed onto the back of their woofer box and another computer control module was just tossed back in there left to bounce around. Their wiring was a real mess where it was hidden. They had put two speakers in the shelf wit connections pushed right up against the metal panel that the shelf rests on and where they cut away the metal. It looked as though they used a hatchet. This thing was a fire waiting to happen.

    OK, here the real scary part... Keep in mind the reason this car was wrecked is because of a failure in the anti-lock brake system. Remember what I said above about the anti-lock break module being mounted wrong??? So what do you think??? Fortunately the guy was not seriously injured, and that was at least partly due to the design of the car. One has to wonder how many people have been killed or seriously injured due to poor installation practices like this. I have spent a lot of time in junkyards and I have seen a lot of burned vehicles. I also see a lot of them had electrical and or audio work done to them.

    I think it's time to get serious about this kind of thing and start checking out the work these people are doing. I don't doubt there are shops out there doing the work right but there's no way to know if you can't see what they are doing. Most people don't know if the work is done right even when they see it. If they did they would probably be doing it themselves. I strongly recommend to you folks who do their own work, as all of us here do, that you buy the equipment and do your own installation work. The time has come to put an end to these shops that run out and hire some kid who read a few magazine articles about car audio, and pay them at the amazing labor rate of barely over minimum wage. These people are a menace to society and the well being of those of us who pay them very high fees for shoddy work.

    I strongly recommend that anyone reading this forward a link to others considering getting this kind of work done.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my little rant here. I hope it prevents someone else from being a victim.

    Later Folks...




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    58 ford

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    Re: A Warning...

    Post  58 ford on Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:26 pm

    Hey Dave
    Did you just put one pic on this topic ??

    Sounds like a REAL mess!!

    Just thought more pics might get the point across!!
    I know what you mean about shoddy work i install fixed wireless internet how do you like installers who ground the system to household GAS LINES Evil or Very Mad .
    Or they mount the receiver to the hydro mast!! Shocked
    Later Andrew


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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: A Warning...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:22 pm


    I probably should have taken more pictures but After I got into the mess i just wanted it removed. I could still take a picture of the mess that's left and the holes they ripped in the deck. What really pisses me off is that they hide this shit and people never see it.

    Later Man...


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    wmjoe1953

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    Re: A Warning...

    Post  wmjoe1953 on Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:32 pm

    I'll be more than happy to take all that stereo "Crap" off your hands. I could use some more speakers, and amps to piss off the wannabe gangsta round here. Crank me up some Charlie Daniel's Band, or some CCR, or maybe some Hank Jr. It's the really whiney (Wade Hayes) that really gets em. Ooh ooh I know, they really get to staring when I crank the National Anthem. Yeah, I need more speakers, and amps.......


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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: A Warning...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:29 pm


    The only things worth saving are the actual components and speakers. the rest of their stuff is pure crap. You need a big alternator and a capacitor bank to really push this stuff. I will either sell the stuff or use it. Their woofer box is a joke. A waste of good components. The amps and the digital line level processor are the best parts but there are also some of those high dollar premade cables with the gold connectors. Some of the gold plated power distribution components are OK too. A really good head unit would really set this stuff off. I'm going to research the components and get the specs on everything.

    Later...



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    Darkside Dave
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    Hatchet Job...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:56 pm


    Here are pictures of what was behind that cute box.













    Real nice work huh ???

    The anti-lock brake module and the PCM were just tossed in there. Notice that all the cable had been pulled down off the clips. Take notice of the way they just butchered things in the rear shelf deck.

    All this was done by a so-called reputable installer with a big fancy store. Need I say more???

    Later Folks...


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    evs1

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    Re: A Warning...

    Post  evs1 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:25 am

    I know those guys very well. I used to work for the parent company as an installer and the younger brother that runs the audio shop would occasionally go out on jobs with me to "learn the business".
    I can honestly tell you that he never learned that crap from me, and the problem could be with some of his install staff. Not taking sides, just throwing another aspect into the barrel. Either way that is a problem that needs corrected.
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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: A Warning...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:14 pm


    Understood... However, just seeing one job like this is enough to keep me away unless they would let me supervise the installation and we know that ain't gonna happen. I have seen the aftermath of a lot of electrical fires in cars and 90% 0f what I have seen have had some kind of botched after market install in them. I go to the Pull-A-Part yards in Akron and Canton frequently and they get a lot of partial burn outs that aren't hard to figure out what the cause was. Just because it's only 12 VDC doesn't mean it doesn't have the potential to create fires. The work shown was probably done circa 90 to 92. More recently or club had a give-a-way car done by them and it wa not any better.



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    evs1

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    Re: A Warning...

    Post  evs1 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:12 pm

    Yeah, after looking at it again I realised that they haven't used that name for quite a while. Got into some kind of copyright issue over it, so it is older work. However, I don't think a whole lot has changed from what I've seen. I think every install shop in the country uses those same techniques, except mine, and I only did commercial two-way radio and related equipment.

    They ain't touching my vehicle either.
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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: A Warning...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:56 pm

    evs1 wrote:Yeah, after looking at it again I realised that they haven't used that name for quite a while. Got into some kind of copyright issue over it, so it is older work. However, I don't think a whole lot has changed from what I've seen. I think every install shop in the country uses those same techniques, except mine, and I only did commercial two-way radio and related equipment.

    They ain't touching my vehicle either.


    Good Points...
    I spent a lot of time in the Air Force installing Motorola 2way radios in the trucks and I have been working wth electronics for over forty years. I am a retired IBEW commercial and industrial electrician with a Master Electrician's license. I also hold an FCC amateur Radio license and I have designed and built VHF and UHF radio transmitters. With all the hardware and technology out there, as well as all the tech support that is available online, there is no excuse for anyone with even a limited skill set to do work like this.

    Later Man...


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