80 Series Speaker Upgrade - The Final Thread

Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
99
Location
St. Louis, MO
ok, I was as frustrated as anyone by the odd speaker sizes, shallow mounting depth and poor sound quality and set out to upgrade them right after I had my new head unit installed (Alpine INA-W900BT DVD/nav). I decided to focus on the front and rear doors as it just doesn't seem to be worth messing with the dash and rear headliner speakers due to their impossible-to-match sizing. After going through 2 sets of door speakers here's what worked with minimal modification and very good sound quality:

front doors - after researching the various threads I was convinced shallow mount 6.5" mounted under the door panel with factory grills was the way to go. There's just no aftermarket grille with low enough profile to fit when you close door. I ended up going with Rockford Fosgate P1S652 shallow mount with a 1.89" depth and hole diameter that matched the factory of 5.59". I ended up dispensing with the foam you see in pics and just used the spacers made out of vacuum tubing to prevent magnet from touching the window lift and grey foam tape for vibration issues. I had to enlarge the door liner opening with a tin snips to accommodate the larger speaker. reinstalled door panel, drilled 3 holes in factory grille, then mounted to speaker/door using 1.5" black phillips head screws. you have to be very careful trimming the leather so as not to split it beyond grille diameter but I think it came out pretty good.

rear doors - first iteration was modifying the existing plastic ring by cutting out the back and mounting 4" Rockford Fosgates so as to use the factory grilles but they just didn't put out good sound. I knew some had fit 6.5's by making mods such as cutting a larger hole for magnet but I really didn't want to do that. The solution was as close as Wal-Mart, minimal mods and only $40! Pioneer TS-1643R 2-way 6.5" with only a 1 5/8 mount depth and 3" magnet which fit existing hole with room to spare! Best part is they mount right over the door panel with the included grille with only a few mm space. I taped 5/32" ID vacuum tubing on back of the speaker as a spacer/vibration absorber; it fit perfectly in the curved recess of the metal ring and prevented the terminals from rubbing on the metal cutout. I soldered the wires to terminal to ensure they'd never come loose. it was a little tricky drilling the 4 new holes since the triangular recess curves in a few mm but turned out fine using #8 2" black phillips head screws. all in all much easier than the fronts and great sound for the $$.

next step - definitely need to upgrade the crappy woofer in back with a basic mono amp and either an 8 or 10" sub. Kicker and Pioneer make one with less than 3.5" mount depth to maintain factory look.
front speaker.jpg
rear speaker mod.jpg
rear complete.jpg
 
Joined
May 10, 2007
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1,028
Location
Snohomish, Wa
I got lucky and somone had already installed some Boston acoustic, 6.5's in the front and rear doors. I was going to put separates in the front but decided to see how they sounded with some power behind them. Bought a Soundstream 5 channel, 800 wat amp and mounted it in the rear kickpanel. Added a 12" DVC Bazooka tube and topped it with a Pioneer premier headunit with bluetooth and IPOD controls. Sounds pretty good. might still go with seprates in he front, but this will do for a while. its loud and the Bostons have a pretty decent amount of mid bass.
 

Eicca

Professional Noob
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
2,379
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Utah
Very nice. Personally I'd get a 4-channel amp and have that drive the front door speakers and bridge it to the sub. It'll sound better and you'll get more power.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
220
Location
Central NJ
Heres what I did. Used 1/2" MDF to pad out the speaker and covered it in the stock cloth (I used the headrest cloth from the 3rd row seat). I went this route because I wanted to use the speakers I had (old school MB Quarts) and like most had an issue with mounting depth. With components you'll need to put the tweeter somewhere. I thought this was the best spot all things considered.

2010-10-24_10-19-09_990.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
1,171
Location
San Diego, CA
Regarding the future subwoofer... By the looks of things you are a sound guy, like myself. Being the son of an acoustic engineer I too couldn't stand the overall frequency output from the oem speakers. When you add your sub, wholehog technologies makes a aluminum replacement bracket for the oem one. It allow you to replace the oem sub with a 8 inch sub under the factory grille. The sound is much more full but by no means great, by my standards anyway. You'll have to build a fiberglass box to really again it's full potential. Great work and write up.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Messages
288
Location
South Africa
Nice work! I have a 4 channel rockford amp lying aound unused with splits and sub, but they were intended for another car which didnt happen and have a mount depth issue for the 80, but I need to decide on HU, like the nav option etc of a MM double din, I see many good installs on the stock sub location but if I am to use the sub I got I should prolly go with a box or custom rear panel which might be more than I need in terms of fabricating in the back of the truck
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
220
Location
Central NJ
Regarding the sub location, my plan is to replace one of the upper parts of the rear seat with a slim box holding a 12" sub. It actually fits perfect and will still fold down just like a stock seat. You want the sub to fire towards the rear to get the best sound out of it. And this way, there is no box in your way of the cargo area.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Messages
288
Location
South Africa
Regarding the sub location, my plan is to replace one of the upper parts of the rear seat with a slim box holding a 12" sub. It actually fits perfect and will still fold down just like a stock seat. You want the sub to fire towards the rear to get the best sound out of it. And this way, there is no box in your way of the cargo area.

Please do a wright up on this!!
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
99
Location
St. Louis, MO
ok, since I was on a roll I decided there must be a solution for the 3rd row headliner speakers. Most 80 owners seem content to just upgrade the front and rear doors but I refuse to compromise! I had initially measured the cutout and determined 3.5" speakers wouldn't fit but apparently I didn't have my creative hat on that day. after removing the factory "speakers" I determined that mount depth was a more than adequate 2" but mount diameter (distance between screw holes) was an odd 3.25". The min mount diameter of the Rockford Fosgates I'd ordered was 4" with a depth of 1.4" so I had to widen the existing bracket by .75". I found this to be a simple matter of bending each leg to the widest part of the hexagonal shaped opening in headliner (see pic). It wasn't even necessary to remove the bracket as they bend very easily. I zip tied speaker to cutout in order to solder connections - critical for such a tight space - and screwed in place. The speaker tabs slightly overlap the headliner but they look fine. I'll likely just velcro some tan felt over them for better aesthetics/dust cover rather than try and mod the factory grilles. You may want to look into Pioneer TS-A878 3.5" which are designated custom fit and might be lower profile. While small the overall sound is definitely improved and will be nice when camping with hatch open. I don't know if the 3rd rows are driven by the new Alpine HU or factory amp if anyone is wondering. Sorry for not taking more pics but you'll see what I mean. Next, sub upgrade...
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Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
99
Location
St. Louis, MO
yes and maybe even better since the Pioneers are even shallower than the Rockfords. You will need to drill new holes in door since pattern is different but in retrospect that's not really a big deal. You'll still need to mod the door liner and use factory grills. I can't say the Pioneers sound better than the Rockfords but you may as well run same speakers front and rear if you're starting from scratch. If I had to do it all over again I'd go Pioneer front, rear and third row.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
36
Location
madison ms
hope this helps but i put polk db651s they will fit the front at rear doors with a spacer between the door panel they are 1 of the best speakers on the market and they fit i plan on outing a 8 inch sub in the back in a whole hog indestries mount and try puting some of the polk 3.5 speakers in the rear head liner and the front dash should sound good
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
144
Location
Leavenworth wa
Heres what I did. Used 1/2" MDF to pad out the speaker and covered it in the stock cloth (I used the headrest cloth from the 3rd row seat). I went this route because I wanted to use the speakers I had (old school MB Quarts) and like most had an issue with mounting depth. With components you'll need to put the tweeter somewhere. I thought this was the best spot all things considered.

2010-10-24_10-19-09_990.jpg

I see that it's been a while.. But I am thinking of putting my mb quart reference 6.5s in as well. They are circa 1996 vintage. Q series. What ones are you using?
 

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