The team at Ridin’ Shiny Luxury Auto Detailing in Mesa recently contacted Handcrafted Auto Marine and Off-Road to inquire about adding a stereo system and accent lighting to their 2018 Polaris Ranger Crew side-by-side. They wanted something that would sound great, play loud and look cool while ripping across the desert, navigating the forest or when partying with friends. After inspecting the vehicle, we talked to the client about how they listen to their music to make sure the system we designed would meet their expectations.
Bluetooth Audio Source for Polaris Ranger Stereo
We started by installing a JL Audio MBT-RX Bluetooth receiver in the dash of the Ranger. The client can pair a smartphone to the JL Bluetooth piece and play music stored on the phone or use a streaming audio service like Pandora, iHeartRadio or Google Play Music. A pair of rotary level controls mounted to the left of the instrument cluster are connected to the output of the JL Bluetooth unit and serve as the master volume control and a subwoofer level control for the system.
Custom Overhead Speaker Console
The next step was to fabricate a custom overhead amp rack and speaker mounting panel for the Ranger. We used a combination of fiberglass and plastic to create the panel so that fits perfectly into the roof to house a pair of JL Audio MX-770-CCX-SG-WH 7-inch coaxial marine speakers and a pair of Wet Sounds STX Micro amplifiers. We added trim pieces around the speakers and amplifiers to mimic the contours of the plastic trim on the interior of the vehicle for a factory-built look. The console is finished in Rhino Liner truck bed coating to make everything water- and dust-resistant.
A set of MX-650-CCX-SG-WH speakers is mounted underneath the dash of the Ranger and faces directly rearward to help deliver great sound to the interior of the vehicle.
Custom Side-by-Side Subwoofer Enclosure
The icing on the cake for this Ranger Stereo system upgrade is the custom subwoofer enclosure we constructed that fits under the passenger-side front seat. The enclosure is built for a single JL Audio 10W6v3 10-inch subwoofer and features clear plastic front and rear panels with green LED lighting inside. The clear panels are mounted using stainless steel fasteners and the enclosure is finished in Rhino Liner for durability and to match the texture of the factory plastic panels.
Powersports Amplifier Solution
As mentioned, we used a pair of Wet Sounds STX Micro amplifiers in the overhead console to power the system. An STX Micro-4 four-channel amp powers the front and rear speakers with 80 watts of power per speaker and a matching STX Micro-1 delivers an impressive 600 watts of power to the system’s subwoofer. We configured the level controls and crossover adjustments on the amplifiers to work with the output from the JL Bluetooth piece so that the client can crank the volume without running into clipping or distortion.
Polaris Ranger LED Accent Lighting
The client asked that we install LED accent lighting on the Ranger to attract attention while at shows or events. We used 12 rock light pods in the wheel wells, under the vehicle and in the front grille to light up the vehicle. We also added a strip of RGB LED lighting to the leading edge of the console to add a little extra flair to the install. The lights can be set to cycle through a multitude of colors, or the user can choose a single color from an app on their smartphone.
Mounting rock lights around the vehicle is a relatively simple task. Ensuring that they will function reliably is much more difficult. We bundled all the wiring for the lighting to keep it safe and routed it cleanly along the factory wire harnesses already in the vehicle to the main controller. Once done, all the wiring looks as though it came from the factory.
Chandler’s Off-Road Audio Experts
With the lighting installed and the Polaris Ranger Crew audio system dialed-in, the guys from Ridin’ Shiny returned to Handcrafted in Chandler to pick up the vehicle. They were thrilled with the installation and loved the way it sounds. If your side-by-side needs a stereo or lighting upgrade, drop by our store or get in touch with us by using our contact page.