Front Speakers - Doors or Kick Panels

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Jun 22, 2005
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I pulled the factory speakers out of the dash. I'm not going to use them. When I pulled the first one out, I dropped it, couldn't find it - later found it wedged in the tread on my shoe. Seriously, those are the smallest speakers I've ever seen in a car or truck. I thought they might be for the ignition buzzer.

I may start on the front half of the stereo - head unit or bluetooth amp and a couple of speakers. The factory dash speaker locations might be good for tweeters (components) but not much more. So, I'm thinking kick panels or doors for 6.5" rounds. There are pros and cons...

Kickpanels...
Pros:
- Cutting up or replacing (fiberglass) cheaper part - that needs restoration anyway
- Wiring is cleaner
- Less modified look - although, painting the speaker grilles in the doors Bluebird brown would mitigate it a bit
Cons:
- By definition, the speakers will get kicked and scuffed a bit
- Sound won't be as good as in the doors

Doors...
- The opposite of all of ^that^

What am I missing? With wing windows, there's more room for a speaker. But, is the door still a good location for these trucks?
 
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Speaker pods in the doors get beat too. Six of one, half dozen of the other. ;)

I ran 6x9s in the doors of my 86 and had to use pretty large standoffs to keep the speakers out of the windows.
In my 89, i have molded door panels and dont want to mod them. I cant cover my kick areas. These are 75w kickers. Im in the middle of install, so no feedback yet.
 
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The more I use the iPhone and a bluetooth speaker, the more I think I want an actual head unit to operate the stereo. And, while it may pain me to remove that knock-out panel (how has that and the button knock-out just above it lasted 36 years?!), I think a double din would be pretty badass in there.

Might snag one off eBay already cut up - and save this one.
IMG_6555.jpeg
 
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Idk how much different a quality 6.5 will be depth wise.
In my 86, i only ran the two speakers. Non wing. I ran 6x9s in my 79, also non wing.

Current project is these fours with 6x9s in pods in the rear.
IMG_20200321_181501.jpg
 
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As much as i hate using my phone, i shelled out money for a head unit in my van. Im less than impressed.
I decided to spend money on a better crossover and possibly an equalizer later.

This is all just kinda see what happens. I haven't used a head unit offroad in close to 20 years now. They just can't hang.
 
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I’ll second the fact that door speakers get beat on as well. There is no real benefit to door mounts. Especially if yours are in good shape. Door panels are hard to come by. With your “extended cab” I’d just do something small in the kick panels (5” or even 4”) and some bigger ones behind the seats. There isn’t much other use for the little shelf back there.
 
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I think you guys are right... smaller speakers up front - maybe 4" in the kick panels; and more in the back. The reason I was focused on the front, is well... the back is somewhat unfinished. I have all but given up on finding the three O.E. panels to finish the interior. The two sides appear to be available as fiberglass - but kinda spendy. Don't think I've got much choice. The back panel - under the window - may be easier to fabricate since it doesn't have the windows, belts, etc.

Maybe I'll put some cheap rounds in the factory locations until I figure out what I'm doing back there. I foresee some custom MDF boxes, panels...
IMG_7016.jpeg
 

c2dfj45

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If you measure your door panels.....I could measure these. We use these for the 70 series(I import them). No reason why they wouldn't work for any flat door panel if the length is correct. Might be too long.

We run a 6.5" speaker in ours....have to trim some of the door away but that's no big deal. Pocket holds a water bottle.
20200318_155408.jpg
 

ntsqd

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I put decent mids (Alpines, I think) in the OE dash location and their separate tweeters velcro to the dash cover up against the A pillars. In my Xcab I had a cabinet shop employed friend build me some MDF enclosures with an included shelf to replace that little shelf. The new shelf ended up being about 1.5" higher than original. The 4rnnr already had some Pioneer 6x9's in the side panels just behind the rear seat. I replaced their puny wires with a reasonable size speaker wire (not monster cable type stuff) and drive them with a simple Class D amp off amazon.

I got excellent durability and life out of the first Pioneer head unit in the Xcab, it's replacement was still in the truck when I sold it, but was starting to fade. In the 4rnnr I'm trying out one of the Jenson HD tractor intended head units from Heavy Duty Radios The model that replaced the unit that I have is this one: JHD1630 Normally I'm not a great fan of Jenson, but so far it is working out very well. Found out about these in a post in the FJ60 forum. I do have an older, but new in the beat up box JHD3510 available should anyone fairly local be interested in it.
 

yotadude520

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My truck has two speakers in the doors and two in the rear panels powered by a 100 Watt Amp and an Alpine head unit.

Out of all the vehicles I've owned, this truck by far has the best sound system in it. Not too crazy on the bass, but nice and clear and hits when it needs to.

I've found that speakers in the kickpanels can make the foot area feel a little bit more cramped. I like having the ones in the door.
 
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@c2dfj45 those panels are very cool. But, given my 7/8 coverage panels... I'm thinking they might look a bit odd - unless they're exactly 36.5" Love the idea though.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 1.57.36 PM.png
 

c2dfj45

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@c2dfj45 those panels are very cool. But, given my 7/8 coverage panels... I'm thinking they might look a bit odd - unless they're exactly 36.5" Love the idea though.

View attachment 2247682
32" long....10" tall at their high point, about 6" tall at their lowest. Didn't realize you had the metal at the bottom of the odor....would look kind of odd...might be a challenge to mount too.
 
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I guess, since I've got to have an upholstery guy make those missing lower carpeted panels, I'll go full-custom (okay, semi-custom) and incorporate a spot for a speaker.

Something like this:
Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 2.58.23 PM.png
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
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That could work! Get more fabric/carpet than you need for the door lowers, and use it to cover your rear panels too. I’m sure this is already your plan. I’d look at Baltic birch ply too for the back panels. MDF is horrible stuff, but seems the go to for speaker boxes etc.
 

ntsqd

technerd
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MDF is the go-to for speakers because it is accoustically 'dead', it doesn't easily vibrate in the audible range. I used it to make a baffle muffler for the vent into the dyno room at a previous employer and it cut the noise at the control station by almost 10dB.
 
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