How to install coaxial car speakers
The basics of do-it-yourself installation
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This brief video will introduce you to the basics of car speaker installation. With a little knowledge, plus our illustrated Crutchfield MasterSheet™ and friendly customer support, speaker installation can be an enjoyable do-it-yourself project. You'll save money, too!
Use our Vehicle Selector to see the speakers that fit your vehicle, and give us a call if you have any questions.
How to install coaxial car speakers
Hey. I'm J.R. at Crutchfield, and today I'm going to show you how to replace the speakers in the front door of a vehicle. This vehicle is a Ford F250, and I've got the Mastersheet here, which shows me where to start — which is by prying off this sail panel here with a trim panel tool. Not every vehicle is exactly the same, but for the most part, taking the door panel off is required to replace the speakers in most cars. And you are probably going to remove things like the sail panel and the control cluster here for your power windows, and there are probably some retaining clips around the door holding the panel in place. And in most cars, the grill for the speaker. You can't just pop that out, so we're going to go ahead and take this door panel off and I'm going to start right up here with the sail panel.
Put my little trim panel tool in and twist, and it's always a little bit disconcerting when you pop those retaining clips off. You feel like you're breaking stuff. Most of the time, you're not. There's just a little tension holding them in. There are our retaining clips. They are intact and they just go in those little slots right there. So we've got our first piece out. We'll set that off to the side and go to work on our second spot which is the power window/power door lock — control cluster for the power windows and power door locks. We're just going to pry up, release that first clip, and then pull it out. And usually you'll have some connectors to disconnect once you're here.
All right — four connectors out, set that off safely to the side. And the Mastersheet said that the next thing we need to do is remove this 7mm screw inside the door panel. Careful not to drop the 7mm screw down into the door panel because inevitably it will fall into some crevice you won't be able to find. So be very careful. Grab your screw and put that in a cup holder or something where it can't get lost.
Next, we're going to move down here to the reflector lens. And that reveals another screw that needs to be removed. Mastersheet says that this one is a 9/32nds. Sure enough. Again, careful not to lose the screw.
In a lot of cars, you would be prying the door panel out because it's being held in place by retaining clips. And this door has no retaining clips around the edge. We've got the two screws removed, we've got our connectors disconnected, so the next thing to do is simply to lift the door panel off of the door. Wow. That was literally one of the easiest doors I've ever had to take the panel off of. As you can see here, it kind of slid into place. Often times, again, there are retaining clips and stuff. In fact, I'd like to show you what it looks like in a lot of other cars. I'm going to show you that in another car we've got right back here.
The door panel from the Ford came off really easily without any retaining clips or anything. It kind of lifted out of there. So I'd like to give you an idea of what it looks like in a lot of other cars, where there's maybe a little more to it than that. With this one, we are going to go ahead and use our panel tool. We're going to get it in the little seam here and release the retaining clips around the edge of the door panel. There we go. I think that's all of our retaining clips. All right, so we can lift this off. We're not quite done yet because there are some connectors down in there for the door handle. So to get this door panel off, we have to undo those connectors and the cables. There we go, and now, now we're ready to replace our speaker.
All right, so we've seen how to take the door panel off in an average car as well as this super easy Ford. Now we're down to the speaker. We'll go ahead and remove the four screws to get this factory speaker out of here.
Four screws, and the speaker comes out, and now we just disconnect the harness. We're ready to put a new speaker in there.
We've got our new speaker and we've got our harness. This harness has a plug that matches the plug in the vehicle, and the other end has two female quick slides. You can see there is a fat one and a skinny one, which will perfectly match these male quick slides on the back of this speaker. Take the skinny one; put it on the skinny connector. Make sure it's good and snug. Every now and then the female quick slide will feel a little loose on there. And if that's the case, you might need a set of pliers like needle nose or something to just squeeze that tight a little bit, so that there's not a chance that that's going to slide off later, once you get it in the door. And we do the same thing with the fat one. They're both good and snug — they're not loose at all, so we can go ahead and turn into the door now and plug this in and bolt the speaker back into the door.
That's a perfect match, and the wires can go in to door. It looks like, on this speaker, the screw holes match the screw holes on the door. That's not always the case. When it's not always the case, there's often a bracket needed. We just don't happen to need them in this car, which is kind of nice.
Now that we've got the speaker in we can go ahead and put the door panel back on, and in pretty much every car this is simply the reverse process of taking the whole thing off. We'll go ahead and grab our door panel here. The little pieces fit into the holes. There we go. Good. Now we can start screwing it back together. Put our reflector back on. Put our 7mm screw back up here. Got our electric panel —let's get that reconnected. I like it that they use different sized connectors for these so that you can't plug them in wrong. There we go, get that back in place. Pop it down in. You heard a click we know it's in place. And the last piece of the puzzle is the sail panel and the two retaining clips that hold that into place. And that's how you replace the speakers in most cars.
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