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This is a discussion on Aftermarket speakers within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; Crutchfield do you guys like getting ripped off? I saved hundreds of dollars purchasing my stuff somewhere else....

  1. #16
    Registered User GregFarz78's Avatar
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    Crutchfield do you guys like getting ripped off? I saved hundreds of dollars purchasing my stuff somewhere else.
    2003 WRX this summer
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  3. #17
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    Howdy folks.

    As promised, here is the straight and narrow on putting in aftermarket speakers, at least for a WRX wagon, WITHOUT having to modify the door panels. I'd expect the sedan to be pretty much the same; perhaps someone can give input one way or the other. I have fotos and drawings that I can put on my server if anyone is interested.
    I'm pretty sure I hit every auto sound shop in town over the weekend. There just doesn't appear to be a "bolt-in" replacement for the front speakers. Even the Fosgate driver referenced in an earlier post will require the installer to fabricate an adaptor plate. Altho there is adequate space in the tweeter pod, plan on building a custom bracket here as well. There is lots of room in the back, tho; most any 4in aftermarket will fit into the stock "adaptor", and I suspect that anyone wishing to do so will be able to fit a 5&1/4 coaxial without too much bother.
    Using my special and highly technical "internal clearance gauge set" (modeling clay and a steel ruler) I measured clearances around the speaker mounting locations on the passenger side doors (I'm assuming symmetry left to right; gulp ;-). There is 1& 9/16in of clearance behind the stock mounting points before you are into one of the mounting screws for the window. There is 5/8in clearance in front of the stock mounting at the closest point (the top screw) before you run into plastic.
    That doesn't leave much room for noisemakers, does it?
    After weighing the options, and measuring several "shallow" aftermarket drivers, here is what I decided to do:
    The 5&1/4in Infinity Kappas have a 2in depth. These will clear the window hardware if mounted on a 1/2in thick adaptor plate (trace the "triangular" stock speaker onto 1/2in thick material (I plan to use acrylic ((it's THERE in the junkbox)), but plywood would be an obvious choice), cut out, drill for stock mounting holes, mark and cut 5&1/8in cutout for the Infinity speaker, pre-drill mounting holes, etc.). If you take a close look at the Infinity speakers, you will notice that the rolled surround actually protrudes from the front a little. By my calculations, this will just miss touching the inside of the plastic, but I plan to trim a couple of the high spots just to be on the safe side. The tweeter will mount in the stock location on an appropriately shaped and drilled strip of sheet metal. The (rather large) Infinity cross-over will have to be mounted somewhere as well, but I haven't addressed THAT issue yet. Some older 4in Alpine speakers will fit in the stock mounting in the back. (will probably go to Infinitys later, but I already had the Alpines)
    Someone had mentioned using the 6 1/2in Kappas. Probably not unless you want to modify the plastic; those surrounds are gonna hit otherwise. Of course, if you don't mind heating and reforming the plastic, cutting the door panels, trying to match an aftermarket grille to the graceful curves of the panel, etc. you can probably fit pretty much whatever you want with an appropriate adaptor.
    All of this is still somewhat hypothetical; darkness and snow overtook me yesterday, and it's awfully cold/snowy/windy today with more on the way. As soon as it warms up enuf that the tools don't stick to my hands I'll finish things up and let you know how it went.

    ByeBye! S.
    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101

  4. #18
    Registered User PlatinumWRX's Avatar
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    Re: COUPLE ?'S

    Originally posted by MAGMORE
    Is the sub under tha passenger seat and are the controls easy to get to ?
    what did you do turn up the gain and turn down the crossover frequency?
    Just curious.
    thanks
    The crossover and gain screws are on the left side of the sub under the passengers seat. They are not easy to get to. I put the seat all the way forward and went after them from the back seat with a phillips head screw driver.

    labman,

    The MB Quart 6.5" Components that I have feature a complex hole pattern on the outside in out to fit in speaker holders with 3 or 4 holes. The 4" MB Quarts have a four hole flange that should align with the WRX's four holes on the rear doors.

    -Jim

  5. #19
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    Hi Jim!

    Do you remember what the MBQuart model number was? I looked at some 6 1/2 MBQuart speakers they had at Cartoys; mounting depth aside, there was no way they would have lined up with the stock mounting holes. The diameter of the Sub mounting hole circle is about 1/2in larger than what I observed on anyones 6 1/2in components (I had the stock speaker in my hand to compare). Did yours mount right in, or are you using a spacer/adaptor of some sort?. Is your WRX the sedan? If so, there must be some pretty significant differences between the sedan and the wagon.
    I'm sure there are lotsa people (myself included) that would love to find a "drop-in" replacement; if MBQuart's THE ONE, please let us know.

    ByeBye! S.
    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101

  6. #20
    Registered User PlatinumWRX's Avatar
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    labman,

    I have not installed my speakers yet. I'm not too pleased to hear that the mounting flange is a different diameter. Speaker installation is supposed to be an easy mod! I can't say for a fact that the MBQuarts will be a drop in replacement. I guess I'll just have to find a way to MAKE them fit!

    -Jim

  7. #21
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    Lots of good info

    Thanks for all the info. I think the quarts are typically pretty deep and I am sorry to hear the infinity kappas ar to deep as well.
    Crutchfield doesn't always have good deals but those kappas for $299.00 looked sweet .
    I guess I will wait and see what you all figure out .
    I am going to check a few car audio places and see if they have done any of the new rexes and see what they think.
    thanks
    I'm here to chew bubble gum and kick ass.........and I'm al out of gum....

  8. #22
    Registered User GregFarz78's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of good info

    Originally posted by MAGMORE
    Crutchfield doesn't always have good deals but those kappas for $299.00 looked sweet .
    Kappas for $299 a deal

    www.ikesound.com

    5 1/4" kappa comps $159
    6 1/2" kappa comps $169

    5 1/4" kappa perfect comps $269
    6 1/2" kappa perfect comps $285

    Crutchfield blows dude...
    2003 WRX this summer
    GregFarz3@excite.com
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  9. #23
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    '02 WRX Wagon replacement speakers

    I too have a '02 WRX wagon with the "upgraded" speakers and factory sub-woofer. The system sounded like mud and my girlfriend kept asking me what the people on the radio just said. I retained the factory head unit but replaced the speakers with:

    Kenwood KFC-P603 6.5in components (front doors)
    Kenwood KFC-P403 4in components (rear doors)
    Kenwood KSC-WA62RC powered sub-woofer (under driver's seat)

    I mounted the front tweeter on the "bent metal" factory mount using the included adhesive. I made a spacer for the front woofer out of .75in MDF by using the outline of the factory speaker (sort of triangle shaped). This gave me the added depth for the new speaker with no problems from the door panel.

    The rear woofer is just a drop-in. I mounted the rear tweeter on the upper leading edge of the rear door (can be heard well from both the front and rear seats) really adds to the high-end and separation.

    I used the wiring for the factory sub-woofer for the Kenwood unit. The Kenwood comes with a remote control to adjust the cross-over and gain/volume while you are in the driver's seat.

    I'm very pleased with the sound improvement and even the non-tech girlfriend commented on how much better it sounds without being prompted. Good luck with your mods.

    Jeff

  10. #24
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    Done with install

    Hi All!

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote:

    >All of this is still somewhat hypothetical; darkness and snow overtook me yesterday, and it's awfully cold/snowy/windy today with more on the way. As soon as it warms up enuf that the tools don't stick to my hands I'll finish things up and let you know how it went.

    We've had a few warm days, enuf that I finally finished the install. Here then is a summary, refer to the earlier post for particulars.

    I fabricated spacers for the front speakers from 1/2in delrin plastic. Plywood would have worked as well, but I HAD the delrin . . . I used some 1/2in wide double stick foam tape (originally intended for weatherstrip ?) and appropriate sheetmetal screws to seal/mount the speaker to the adaptor, and the adaptor to the door using the original mounting positions. Additionally, the screws that mount the speaker to the adaptor must be short enuf that they don't penetrate the adaptor and hit sheetmetal. The Infinity tweeter came with mounting adaptors that allowed the use of the stock tweeter bracket. The stock tweeter is screwed and glued to the bracket, but the glue isn't very strong, and it's pretty easy to remove. The stock tweeter's crossover is a tiny capacitor mounted on the tweeter its' self. As I didn't want to try and stuff additional wires thru the rubber wiring boot I had to find a place on the door to mount the Infinity crossover. After a few false starts, I decided to mount it at the back of the door "pocket". I accomplished this with some 2in wide double stick velcro tape; wooly side in the pocket, hook side on the back of the crossover. Works great so far, but we'll have to see how well it stands up to the summer heat. I pulled the stock woofer wiring loose, clipped off the connector, and removed the plastic "stiffener" and clips. I isolated the wires going to the tweeter and cut them close to the wiring harness, leaving just enough wire to enable re-installing the stock setup if desired. I soldered a 6ft length of 18ga speaker wire to the woofer, and installed the stiffener and clips as per the original. This routes the wiring neatly away from the window mechanism. I soldered a shorter length of speaker wire to the tweeter leads and applied heat-shrink tubing. Use electrical tape if you can't find heat-shrink, but I'm pretty sure you can get it at Radio Shack. I also soldered a length of speaker wire to the remaining two wires that used to go to the woofer; these are the speaker output leads from the head unit. I gathered all three cables up near where the original woofer/tweeter wiring exited the wiring harness, and bundled them together for about 2ft using electrical tape. I then wrapped a length of the double-stick foam tape around the bundle in a loose spiral. At least in theory this will keep the cables from rattling around behind the plastic. I drilled a 3/8in hole in the bottom of the door pocket, routed the cables up thru it, wired the crossover, and velcro'd it in place. Upon inspection I determined that some of the molded ribs on the inside of the door plastic were very close to the rolled surrounds of the woofers. I trimmed them flush with a sharp knife, determined a suitable routing for the wire bundle between the vapor barrier and the plastic, stuck it in place with the double-stick tape, and snapped the door plastic back in place. Nice, neat, un-obtrusive install; looks stock xcpt for the crossover.
    The install for the rear speaker is straightforward; the Alpine 4in driver fits right into the factory adaptor. I soldered on about a 4in pigtail, as the stock wires were pretty short.
    The Infinity BassLink Sub requires either a line-level (RCA plug) or speaker-level input, and a 12V 20A DC power connection. As the stock head does not have a line-level output (well, maybe on that connector for the factory sub . . . who knows), I ran the enclosed speaker-level input wires forward beneath the cargo area flooring, under the rear seats, under the carpet, thru the console, and up behind the head unit where I tied them into the speaker wires right behind the plug. (carefully strip 1/4in of insulation with sharp knife, solder subwoofer input lead, tape) While installing a bypass switch for the ABS I noticed an unused circuit (at least on my WRX wagon) that was destined for rear seat heaters/cargo power outlet. Input (always hot) and output wires were already in place, as was a 20A fuse. The output wire (red/black) was a bit longer than the rest of the wires in the harness, and ran up to an un-occupied relay socket. I clipped this wire, leaving a short length still connected to the relay socket (ya never know . . .), and soldered on one side of a 16ga extension cord cable (you'll probably want to disconnect the battery). The negative side of the cable received a crimp terminal, and connected to one of the studs holding the fuse box in place. This cable was run back along the right side of the floor beneath the plastic trim pieces (grab 'em and pull up to release), under the rear seat, cargo floor, etc. to exit beside the input connectors. Right now I have the sub sitting horizontally, held against the right side of the cargo area with a bungie cord, but eventually I will cut a piece of plywood to fit in and mount the sub vertically on it. Then I will be able to access the spare tire/tool compartment without having to move the subwoofer.
    My original plans included upgrading the head unit as well, but the improvement over the stock speaker setup was SO monumental that I have decided to spend the money for performance goodies instead, and do the head if and when the stock unit starts to give trouble.
    I hope this helps to answer some questions raised in this forum. Feel free to e-mail me directly if you have additional questions.
    ByeBye! S.
    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101

  11. #25
    Registered User klancek's Avatar
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    labman, you are an electrician god. Here, please accept my offering of rosin and a wet sponge. Thanks for the detailed posts, man.

    Hopefully I have ears like Platinum, and I will be satisfied with the "upgrade" stuff. ..we'll see when the blue wagon gets here Friday.. Since I can't rev the engine for 1k miles I'll have to play with the radio.

    -KLK

    PS Labman did you ever find a good relay for the ABS switch? (sorry wrong post, but still)

  12. #26
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    New car stuff

    Hi Klancek, All!

    Thanx for the kind words, dude!
    Waddaya mean "can't rev it for 1000mi"? I hit red-line pulling away from the dealership ;-) But seriously!
    Unless they've made big changes recently, Subaru motors use a Nickel-Silicon cylinder liner (flash coated on the Aluminum bore) that is at best a fraction of a mil thick, and very hard. Not much break-in / ring-seating / etc. with this arrangement, and any "settling in" is pretty much gonna happen during the first warm-up cycle.
    Let the motor come up to temperature before you hammer on it, don't work the motor real hard for the first couple outings, change out the oil when it starts to discolor, replace the oil filter with the first change (I did mine the first warm Saturday after I got it, 'bout 800mi), and every other change thereafter (so long as you're changing the oil before it picks up too much contamination), and it'll reward you with many miles of faithful service. It IS a Subaru after all!
    I WOULD highly advise that you take the first opportunity and spend a hour or so under your new car with a wrench; I found a tranny mount bolt only about 1/2 way threaded, and a couple of the motor mount bolts weren't very tite either. Inspect all suspension/steering, and exhaust hardware as well. A little effort early on could save lotsa grief later . . . Also check all lug nuts, tire pressure (for some reason the dealership had inflated mine to 45psi !), air filter (be sure it's seated correctly), engine belts, coolant, brake and clutch fluids, all lighting, and anything else that you can push, pull, tweak, or get a tool on. I'm not suggesting that you make 'em titer, just be sure they are titened properly, filled to the proper levels, and working as intended.
    I also plan on replacing all of the tranny and diff fluids as soon as I have the opportunity (it's snowing again this AM). If its anything like the LSDs in my Jeep, the rear diff is gonna require frequent changes; limited-slip is hard on the fluid, and hard driving works that LSD.
    Some of this is probably in the owners manual, (What? Me read the manual? Only as a last resort . . .) some is just common sense, but I sure wouldn't trust the wrenches at the dealership to get it right; it's just another car to them . . . But it's YOUR new baby! Just like any female (no sexism intended, insert "male" if you are of the opposite gender or whatever), she'll respond nicely to love and attention! Do it often.
    Oh, regarding the ABS relay; I simply wired in a switch for the time being, but I still intend to put in a relay. I'll post when I get it working to my satisfaction. Also, I took lotsa fotos while I was working on the speaker install, that show the door panels, instrument panels, console, glovebox, etc removed, along with locations of the retaining clips and wiring points. Be happy to put them up on my server if anyone is interested. While under the car I also installed a factory short-shift kit and rear diff skid-plate. Be happy to craft a tutorial if anyone needs the info.
    ByeBye! S.
    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101

  13. #27
    Registered User klancek's Avatar
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    From Labman
    Also, I took lotsa fotos while I was working on the speaker install, that show the door panels,instrument panels, console, glovebox, etc removed, along with locations of the retaining clips and wiring points. Be happy to put them up on my server if anyone is interested. While under the car I also installed a factory short-shift kit and rear diff skid-plate. Be happy to craft a tutorial if anyone needs the info.
    pics &/or tutorial of the skid plate install would be great. Though compared to the speaker work you've done that's gotta be a no brainer, right? If I decide to upgrade the speakers, pics of the adapter plate you made would be helpful. (It would also be cool to see a WRX with dismantled dash) ..but we'll see how cheap my ear$ are first before I decide to do that.

    About the occasionally loose bolts underneath: are you the torque wrench type? How can I tell what's "supposed" to be loose and what's supposed to be friggin tight?

    Hey Moderator: the part in the previous post about the <4k breakin [[although I don't completely agree with it]] would be really valuable in a "newbie" thread or topic heading. Possible to copy it to an appropriate place? The advice to newbies seems to be spread all over the place at present thanks

    -KLK

  14. #28
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    Hi Again!

    I'll put something together and put fotos on-line first part of next week.
    Way off topic here, I'll start another thread later on . . .
    No fotos of the skid-plate install, but it was pretty simple. The enclosed instructions suggested undoing the exhaust hangers, presumably to obtain clearence for a couple of the longer bolts, but (at least on my wagon) there was enuf room to make it happen without messin' with the exhaust. You may have to try a couple different sockets before you find one that fits the 19mm diff nuts; there's not much room. Two tabs at the back of the skid plate slot behind these nuts. The instructions seemed to indicate that these tabs needed to go between the diff and the cross-member, but that just didn't look right. I slid 'em up betweed the nut and the cross-member; worked great.
    I'm not particularly anal about torque specs, except perhaps on critical parts like cylinder heads, flywheel and pressure plate bolts, and the like.
    Put a wrench on the bolt in question and give a firm tug. If you can't get it to turn easily (subjective, I know; ya kinda develop a feel for it), it's probably OK. If it turns easily, titen it til it doesn't.
    Obviously "tite" is a bigger value for a 14mm suspension bolt than for a 6mm fuse-holder screw ;-) If you are using appropriately sized (alas, more subjectivity) tools, and are not gifted with superhuman strength, you'll have to work at stripping or breaking steel fasteners. Or as my stock-car buddy sez: "torque it til it breaks, then back off 1/4 turn" ;-)
    Gotta go; got a class to teach.
    ByeBye! S.
    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101

  15. #29
    Banned dark_rex's Avatar
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    redlined out of the dealer's lot huh?

    hope your piston rings are going to seal!

    honestly? stay out of significant boost until you break 1K miles. give your engine a chance to complete the machining and seal the rings.

    dR

  16. #30
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    More off topic discussion

    Hi dR, All!

    You wrote:
    >hope your piston rings are going to seal!
    >honestly? stay out of significant boost until you break 1K miles. give your engine a chance to complete the machining and seal the rings.

    Well, that procedure certainly won't hurt anything, tho I fail to see why 1000mi is a magic number, better than say 100mi, or 2000mi . . .
    However, long experience with Nickasil in other Soobies, Moto-X bikes, Craftsman lawnmowers, etc. suggests that there really isn't any "break-in" per se, at least not between the rings and cylinder wall. The Nickasil coating is "as good as it gets" immediately after it is deposited. It is very thin, and you'd better hope that the rings aren't honing any of it away, 'cause there ain't nothing but soft cast Aluminum underneath. The outer face of the ring comes polished to a extremely smooth finish. Again, the ring material is very hard, and shouldn't ever wear significantly, tho they will loose springiness and hence sealing ability over time, and/or with overheating. Also carbon deposits in the ring grooves contribute to a loss of sealing ability. As the sealing ability is compromised, exhaust gasses begin to escape past the rings (blow-by) which exacerbates the sealing problem, and around you go . . .
    Break-in is more of an issue when you have steel cylinder liners. New (or rebored) steel liners are ALWAYS honed in a cross-hatch pattern before the piston assembly is installed. This raises microscopic ridges inside of the cylinder. During the first X period of operation, the rings actually polish the honed cylinder a bit, and achieve a somewhat better seal.
    This is a matter of long standing debate among motor-heads. My personal philosophy is to avoid running a new motor at or near maximum output for extended periods for the first few hours of operation, more to give bearing surfaces and valve guides (which sometimes get installed with only marginal clearances) a chance to wear in than anything. I can't see that instantaneous surface velocity (RPMs) really has much to do with the argument, seems to me to be a matter of giving excess heat that may be generated by snug fitting components a chance to dissipate. A brief journey thru the power band isn't more likely to generate excessive internal temperatures than prolonged operation at 3000RPM on the interstate, rather the opposite in my experience. IMO, one of the WORST things you can do to any motor is prolonged operation at WOT, low RPM, heavy load; AKA "lugging".
    Perhaps this is why Subaru advises against using the cruise control for the first 1000 miles.
    We are seriously off topic here. Think we otter start a new thread in the maintenance forum? Be happy to argue the finer points of engine longevity with ya until the boss yells at me or something ;-)
    ByeBye! S.
    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101

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