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Thread: Rear speaker and shelf install

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Augusta, GA
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    Default Rear speaker and shelf install

    I use my car as a frequent driver and one of my biggest gripes is the sound system. I upgraded to a subwoofer and amp which helped to some degree, but finally decided I just needed rear speakers.

    Several others have posted regarding: BlackNoble's install- and Spitfun posted using Klipsh SS type surround sound speakers:

    The Klipsch speakers seemed pretty small and I looked at comparable car audio speakers. To get decent car audio speakers I would need to build an enclosure and I wanted to keep space down and not get in the way of the rear window. Spitfun's install also used the existing harness mounting points as an anchor for speaker.

    My criteria for install:
    -Had to look OEM and high quality sound
    -Had to mount easily with removal in approximately 2 minutes without any special tricks like seat removal. This is for removal at track.
    -Avoid anchor or drilling into existing upholstery (had to clamp on to roll cage or anchor to seat harness mounts)
    -Minimal space intrusion

    So I looked around for home theater satellite type speakers used on Craigslist/ e-bay and it turned out the Klipsch that Spitfun used were about the best quality and smallest I could find. They are 12 5/8" x 5 3/4", weigh approx 5 lbs ea. They are 8 ohm speakers, 50W continuous, 200W peak. The Pioneer AVIC system and existing front Polk speakers are 4 ohms incidentally, however going up in impedance will not hurt system. It will half the power to speakers but this is not a problem (and probably desireable).

    I decided to make a single plate that covers entire rear parcel shelf from aluminum and anchor to four seat harness points. I made a cardboard template for rear shelf, it turns out to be much too large than practical to fit in easily. You need to go with a maximum length of approximately 40" otherwise it will be difficult to guide this long object into place around seats and roll bar. The depth of parcel shelf is 8" and curves down in front. The total width of piece is approximately 9 1/2" including flanges, but I started with a 12" piece to be safe. I went with the thinnest/ lightest aluminum that would not deflect easily. I chose 1/16" (0.063").

    After bending to exact shape I curved and smoothed all edges. One last bolted in trial fit and marking for speakers. I ended up moving speakers approximately 1/2" inward from initial fit on each side as it makes it MUCH easier to maneuver if you are not banging up against roll bars. Even though parcel shelf is 8" deep, it is slanted rear ward so top rear of speakers almost touches rear wall even when placed inline with front curved edge. See pix.

    I sprayed aluminum with 3M upholstery adhesive and used alcantera look black fabric to cover. I used painters tape on back side to cover any exposed adhesive. I screwed speakers in with multiple #8 screws. The assembly weighs approx 11 lbs. Standard pitch 9/16th bolts fit the harness mounts to speaker mounting plate. It feels rock solid when bolted in.

    The OEM install Pioneer AVIC F700BT has standard wires for speakers as well as RCA jacks for front/rear and subwoofer. It turns out the existing system front speakers are connected to the *wires* in harness (not RCA jacks) but there is also a duplicate set of RCA front/rear jacks as well. Apparently you cannot mix/match RCA with standard wire for front/rear system. I ended up using the existing rear wires (which are left: green/green with stripe and right: violet/violet with stripe) as I did not want to cut into the existing front intall. The funny thing is I still soldered in RCA jacks to wires so I could run high quality RCA cable to rear. I also attached RCA jacks to rear speakers so connection is plug in even though there are screw posts on speakers. This was mostly to make install/removal easy and quick. The Pioneer system is set up to run a subwoofer off the rear wire pair system (through subwoofer amp and then out to rear speakers) and yes you can do that, but you can also run the subwoofer off the RCA jack to subwoofer. I ended up doing that at it allows me to further independently tune the subwoofer component. Summary: subwoofer will run off subwoofer RCA jacks regardless if you run front/rears off wires or RCA but you cannot mix/match to the regular speakers (RCA vs. plain wire from harness).

    The speakers do exactly what I needed, add some fill to rear. They are probably the smallest I could find with good quality and fairly cheap used. Klipsch makes newer home theatre type surround speakers, but you can go with some older cheaper one in my opinion. It turns out that half power to these speakers (8 ohms) is just about right as they are just behind rear head rests and don't need to be as loud. See pix. I only set balance one step up to rear to get excellent speaker balance. I also went slightly down on subwoofer (again) as the rears now add a little more punch lower down.

    The speakers do take a small amount of the useable space from car, but it's pretty minimal. There is definitely no impact on vision to rear. I can easily get the assembly out by sliding seats all the way forward in 2 minutes or less.

    Hope this helps
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  2. Default

    Excellent mod and write up as always! Well done.

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