Today marks the completion of all but one of the planned upgrades to my truck that I got back in Sept.

For those in the dark, I traded my 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis in for a 2006 Honda Ridgeline RT (Ridge) in September of '09. My dear sweet Julia (Grand Marquis) was just requiring more and more face lift issues than I could afford any more. After 7 months and almost 1500.00 in repairs for front end suspension issues I just couldn't keep up any longer. And I am still paying off those repairs (read: C'MON TAX RETURN!) And so looking I went.

Originally I had hoped to make use of the Gov't Cash For Clunkers program which my car more than qualified for in all but one category - There was still a loan out on it.. apparently you had to own the vehicle out right with no pay off to help the environment and economy... Leave it to the fed's to find a way to screw up a good thing. ANYWAY! So I had given up when I found I couldn't make use of that program to help cover my pay off, but just when I had run out of hope and was becoming resigned to the idea of endless car repairs, the salesmen called me and said he thought he might be able to get me the 4k for my car and maybe a touch more.

Why, that was brilliant news since I only owed 2,900 at that point. So in I went and we went through a Honda CRV -too small, Honda Pilot - better on room but too much $$$, and finally he brought up a used truck. Now I had totally forgotten that Honda even MADE a truck... let alone one so funky and cool and gadgety! If you've never seen a Ridgeline up close, then go check it out - storage galore, a trunk in the bed of the truck, full 4 door cab, unique all wheel drive PLUS variable traction control with the option of locked on 4wd. And more interior room that I thought possible!

So after my first foray into trading cars without the help of my father or grandfather who both have been there for all of my previous purchases and also getting approved for the loan without a co-signer, I was off in my first foreign car, first truck, first all my own purchase, first major loan on my own.

But Ridge needed a few things - You see after years and years I have become used to 2x 12" subwoofers in a car, with aftermarket decks plus satellite radio. And living in the great white north Ridge also needed a bed cover and remote starter to be prepared for winter.

The first order of business was the Extang soft top bed cover and tailgate lock. With the help of my mother for Christmas we got the cover in and in place well before the first snow, And I got the remote starter installed as well. (I also got the driver/passenger door windows tinted).

Next up was to get the stereo from the car installed into the truck with my sat radio running. Up till this point it had been the old Roady XT 2 for the sat radio which was fine - but WOW the sound was not acceptable to me. Too many years of upgraded mobile audio I guess. Plus I wanted it all slick in the dash and not things stuck to the dash and so on.

Finally I got the pieces parts I was missing for the sat tuner that I was unable to extract from the old car and I was off to get it all going. The sound improved, and sounded VERY good. Especially compared to the weak audio I was getting from the factory unit. But something was still missing. The music just didn't have any ass in it. Yes, ass. It's bass but its just the feeling.. I mean the stereo replacement did a lot for it, but it still wasn't right...

So since I had to give up my dual 12's because they just wouldn't fit in this truck it was time to get a new custom box and look into dual 10's. This was after a failed attempt at an all in one 10" sub w/amp that just wouldn't fit either. I ended up for the same money, and using my old 300w amp, putting in dual 10" Kicker subs. And with the help of some wonderfully timed and unexpected Christmas gifts and my no fear attitude of talking to store managers I managed to come out with gift cards enough to pay for HALF the install! w00t! And the appointment only took 2 weeks to get..

Well, all is installed and well hidden away. I had thought the Amp would be in a more accessible position but its just as well hidden away now - though I fear I am going to have to dig in there and actually turn DOWN the bass boost just a touch cause DAMN these things hit hard! and almost overpower the rest at lower volumes. I have managed to custom balance things via the stereo head unit but would like the presets to be a bit more scaled back just a touch. Maybe lol

Ridge truly has found his voice, and its loud - proud - and full of ass!

Whats the one last change you ask? Well speaking of ass, I need to move the driver seat back about 5 or 6 inches so that I get maximum adjustment. You see I don't actually need that much full room but I do need 2 or 3 inches between the tummy and the steering wheel, A. so I can get proper benefit of the airbags, B. Can sit my seat up straighter without a pillow bungee corded to the seat to let my lower torso back but prop upper torso up.

I am hoping that this can be done soon and for less than 200 bucks. Once that is complete? Well that's all I have planned for now. Perhaps at some point a push bar or something but there's no rush on that and its really just cosmetic.

So for now... I am VERY VERY happy with my newly and completely upgraded audio in Ridge. His voice just shakes my pants off!