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Ken Nail's 1998 Ford Ranger

Items installed:
Ken Nail decided to deck out his 1998 Ford Ranger pickup with a system that would keep him entertained on his daily commute. He began by replacing the factory radio with Kenwood's KDC-6015 CD receiver, which features 4-way high power (22 watts RMS x 4), CD changer controls, and the D MASK detachable stealth faceplate. Through the ec4+ equalizer, Ken can access 5 different preset EQ curves and also tailor the receiver's output to suit the speakers in his truck.

To satisfy his wide-ranging tastes in music, Ken elected to install Pioneer's GEX-FM903XM add-on XM Satellite Radio tuner in the Ranger, and groove on 101 channels of diverse XM programming. The kit supplied by Crutchfield with the KDC-6015 includes a pocket that fits below the receiver — Ken installed the GEX-FM903XM's display/controller in this pocket with a cover plate which he fashioned from ABS plastic. The FM modulator transforms the XM signal into FM, sending it directly into the receiver's antenna jack.

With entertainment sources in order, improvements to the Ranger's speaker system were next on the agenda. The front door speakers were replaced by Polk's EX572a 5"x7"/6"x8" speakers, which boast polymer-composite cones, butyl rubber surrounds, and polypropylene semi-dome tweeters. Dynamat speaker kits reinforce the door panels around the factory speaker openings, improving speaker performance and eliminating rattles. The Kenwood receiver powers the Polks up front, with PAC's Bass Blockers (150 Hz) cutting out the low bass for improved efficiency; the Ranger's rear speakers have been deactivated.

Ken built a small sealed enclosure behind the driver's seat for the MTX Thunder6000 T6104 10" subwoofer. Jensen's XA2150 amplifier (also mounted behind the driver's seat) cranks out 200 watts RMS (in bridged mode) to the MTX sub for bass that's loud and clean in the Ranger's confined interior. All connections are from StreetWires — an 8-gauge amp wiring kit, RCA patch cables, and 14-gauge speaker wire.

Recently, Ken decided to bypass the Pioneer FM modulator in order to improve the frequency response of the XM signal. He purchased the Precision Interface Electronics PIO/P-RCA adapter, which converts the changer connection on the Pioneer GEX-FM903XM XM tuner into RCA outputs. A patch cable connects the P.I.E. adapter to the Kenwood CA-C1AUX auxiliary input adapter (which converts the changer input on the KDC-6015 to an auxiliary input), sending the XM signal directly into the Kenwood receiver. The KDC-6015 allows you to name your auxiliary source — when Ken switches to satellite radio, the display reads "XM." Cool.

Ken did all the installation work on the Ranger, assembling a clean, versatile system that doesn't take up too much precious space. Thanks for the look at your righteous Ranger!

Ken Nail with his 1998 Ford Ranger.

Kenwood's KDC-6015 CD receiver and Pioneer's GEX-FM903XM display/controller rock the Ranger with endless entertainment. The display is framed with ABS plastic cover plates for a professional look.

Polk's EX572a 5"x7"/6"x8" speakers create an impressive soundstage from the mounting locations midway up the Ranger's door panels.

The Jensen XA2150 amplifier pumps out 200 watts RMS (in bridged mode) to the MTX Thunder6000 10" subwoofer in its custom-made sealed enclosure.

The Pioneer XM tuner is mounted on the Ranger's rear wall, completing an ultra-clean behind-the-seat installation.

Ken ran the cable from Terk's TRK-SR2 XM antenna under the Ranger's roof brake light to the XM tuner inside.

Compare the sound