CAR SPEAKERS HOW TO INSTALL
Modifying your door to accept speakers requires ingenuity and labour, but allows you to position the speaker at a location you prefer. You also can usually choose whether to top-mount or bottom-mount your speaker. (Top mounting tends to be easier and requires less mounting depth.) This work involves cutting metal, plastic, and/or fabric. (Note: Component speaker installations typically make use of the factory speaker location to mount the woofer. The custom installation of the tweeter and crossover is covered on page 3).

To find the best location for your speakers, look at the template that comes with them. You'll find it with the instructions, or printed on the box. Place the template over the potential mounting areas and observe any obstructions behind the surface (such as interior door parts) or obstacles (such as an irregular mounting surface).

When you examine the surface you're about to cut, make sure that the installation won't affect other mechanisms. In particular, check to ensure that the speaker and grille will not interfere with the window and crank. Look at the clearance with the window rolled down. If it's close, roll the window up and down before you do anything permanent. Also, close the door. The mechanism that holds the door open can intrude into the speaker cavity.

Check behind the door panel to see how much metal you need to cut from the door frame. Locate the speaker mounting position on the back of the door panel. Tape the template on the exact spot and trace the inside edge with a pen. Lay the panel flat on a clean surface and cut out the circle with a sharp utility knife. Be patient. A dull blade or too much haste might rip the fabric.

Cut your metal using a jigsaw, but be careful here. You need to wear eye protection, and cut very carefully to make sure you don't mar or rip the surface. Don't cut through the door panel and metal at the same time. If you try to cut both layers at once, you might rip the panel covering. When cutting exposed metal or metal covered by a plastic panel, wrap the base of the saw with electrical tape to prevent marring. Also, keep the blade clear from the car's exterior, where it could cause pockmarks. Vacuum the debris when you are finished.

Connecting the full-range speaker in your modified door
You might need to do a little extra work to connect the speaker you've installed in a non-factory location in your door. Start the wiring process by using the factory rubber tubing between the door and the door jamb to run speaker wires from the door into the car body. (If needed, you can get some from the car dealer or a junkyard.)

If you don't see a factory boot or plug, use a drill to create a 5/8" hole. Make sure the hole gets you to the desired speaker location. Sometimes, structural steel supporting the hinges will isolate this edge of the door.

Protect the wiring from the sharp edges of the holes with a rubber grommet, several layers of electrical tape, or flexible tubing run between the two holes. This will keep the insulation from becoming cut or worn when you open the door. Also, position the wire where it won't be pinched by the hinge or a portion of the door jamb. Leave enough slack so the door can open all the way.

If your new speaker is designed to be top-mounted, you can replace the door panel after you run the wire through the jamb. (If you're using bottom-mount speakers, attach the speaker to the panel before you reassemble the door.)

When the door panel is properly positioned, push the friction fittings back into their seats and replace enough of the screws, armrest, etc., to hold the panel loosely in place. Do not clip on the window crank, since you might have to remove the panel again.

Hold the speaker in its new home, mark the screw holes and remove the speaker. Drill the holes. Crimp quick-slide terminals onto your speaker wire and connect the wire to the speaker, noting the proper polarity. If you can, use "speed clips" over the new screw holes. Speed clips are slotted pieces of metal through which you drive the screw. They give the screws something extra to hold on to, providing support when the door is slammed.

After you've attached both speakers to the panels, connect your wires to your receiver or amplifier and listen to some music. If they work properly, finish re-attaching the panels, window cranks, door handles, and trim pieces.

Installing rear speakers
Again, speakers labelled "E-Z" by our Vehicle Selector will fit in the factory speaker openings and use the factory grilles and brackets. Installing "E-Z" rear speakers is much like installing "E-Z" door speakers. You'll follow the same basic steps:

   remove the factory grilles

  • unscrew the factory speakers
  • unplug the factory speakers and plug in your new ones
  • then reverse the procedure to mount your new speakers

Some rear speakers fit into specially molded speaker housings or wells. For example, many GM models include under-deck speaker hangers designed for factory 6"x9" speakers. Your Crutchfield MasterSheet instructions will detail how to install speakers in these locations.