Early in July of 1996, one of the most exciting contests in dB Drag Racing
history took place at the
Idaho fairgrounds. For the first time ever, a competitor officially broke
the 160 dB barrier! That competitor was Bill Proud of Reseda California.
When you first meet Bill, you'll almost immediately notice that he's a
soft-spoken kind of guy. The same cannot be said about his 1990 Ford Ranger!
With 8 Cerwin Vega Stroker 15's and more than 6400 watts of power, Bill brings
new meaning to the phrase, "walk softly and carry a big stick."
One of the most impressive characteristics of Bill's system is its
efficiency. Somehow, he is able to accomplish these high SPL numbers with only
1/3 the number of amps and speakers of his closest competitors. Bill attributes
this efficiency to meticulous engineering and the high efficiency of his Stroker
The total installation time for Bill's system was approximately 18 months.
Total cost? $50,000.00. Here's how he spent the money
1990 Ford Ranger
Electrical Power Plant
A good electrical system is like a good foundation. If its not designed
properly, you're almost certain to have problems later on. To prevent this, Bill
spent a substantial amount of time engineering his electrical system. By
calculating the current requirements of his amplifiers, he was able to determine
the quantity of alternators that would be required in the system.
Bill utilizes three Streetwires alternators for a total output current
capability of 590 amps. To install the alternators, it was necessary to
fabricate custom brackets for the engine of his 90 Ford Ranger. According to
him, this process took about a week to complete.
To ensure an ample power reserve, the electrical system also contains 16
Group 31 batteries. (That's more than 800 pounds of batteries!) 0 gauge power
cable is used throughout the system to distribute power from the batteries and
alternators to the 6800 watts of amplification.
Bill uses Linear Power amplifiers exclusively in his system. All of the
amplifiers are mounted on sliding panels that lock into place for easy access.
This makes it possible to replace the amps easily if the need arises. Squirrel
cage blowers are used for cooling. In addition, each amplifier has its own 1
Farad Streetwires capacitor. For maximum effectiveness, each capacitor is
mounted directly behind the sliding panel of its corresponding amplifier.
For speakers, Bill selected the Cerwin Vega Stroker 15. According to him,
the high efficiency and large power handling capability of the Strokers make
them an ideal choice for competition vehicles.
Because of space limitations, Bill was forced to use a compression loading
technique in his vehicle. In addition to saving space, this configuration also
resulted in increased power handling and better cone control.
The woofer enclosure in the Ranger was designed using Bill's own
proprietary formulas. It is a Vented enclosure, which is a pretty rare sight in
the competition arena. The enclosure is constructed from ¾ inch MDF and
internally braced. No damping material was used. The enclosure is secured to the
Ranger with lag bolts. Grey Tweed covering material was used to cover the box.
dB: Why do you do this?
Bill: "Car audio is my hobby. I also like the challenge of competition."
dB: What was it like to build this truck?
Bill: Painstaking tasks. Physically demanding. Enjoyed it. Garage.
dB: Why do you like dB Drag Racing?
Bill: "I like the format. Its also a spectator sport. I get a real rush
when competing in front of the crowd. I also like the fact that dB Drag Racing
is an organization dedicated to SPL."
dB: Do you have anything special planned for the upcoming season?
Bill: "I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."