Author: Todd Marcucci
So What Fits?
What fits depends on how much destruction you are willing to undertake. If you are looking at smaller coaxial speakers (or separates) that are shallow (less than 2") with a small magnet structure, they may fit without any problem. The first few steps of this install guide will get you there. If you are looking at big drivers, well, there's a little more work in store for you.
Most 5" and 5.25" will fit with cutting plastic (and maybe drilling new holes). If you are looking at a larger 6" or 6.5", you'd better break out the Sawz-All. The speakers installed here are Boston 5.5's, with some notes on the older 5.4's. We highly recommend that you test fit whatever you buy before you buy it; try and buy from a shop with a liberal return policy. If you use something other than the Boston 5.25's, this install guide serves only as a rough estimate.
Wiring will also be covered here; this install used aftermarket wire, ran through the doors. Not a fun job, but it IS possible. This isn't necessary, but recommended for an external amp, especially one over 50W RMS.
What You Need
OK, so that's your door. Or something like that. Start by popping off your grille; you can work it out by pulling it straight out from the door, the edge further from the door hinge first. Once you've exposed the speaker, remove the screws:
The three screws closest to the speaker are just for the speaker; it needs to come out, though, so hit those first. The speaker comes right out, and the connector needs to be squeezed on both sides to come off. Go ahead and remove the other 3 screws, these hold the panel to the sheet metal around the speaker.
Now undo the other screws/plugs:
Remove the two screws (white circles) numbered 1 and 2. Then remove the trim plug (#3) with a trim tool. If you don't have one, it might be easier to remove it after steps 4 and 5: you can do that with a trim tool or with your fingers (and a little pinching). There are trim clips along the inside edge; try and apply even force towards you all around the lower and left edges of the panel; too much force in the wring direction and the panel can break (rather easily, I've done it).
BEFORE you remove the panel (but after it's loose), you need to remove the door handle/tweeter panel. Now that the screw is removed, you can slide it towards the back of the car and pop it out. It won't come all the way out, though, until you undo this clip:
This picture shows the clip undone; you simply need a small screwdriver to unhook the clip arm from the push rod. You can then lift the push rod out of place and undo the switch and tweeter connectors.
Now all you have to do is lift the door panel up and off- it helps to lift the panel from the latch side and drag it towards the back of the car. This is what you'll be hacking:
You can't see it in the thumbnail (click for a bigger pic), but there is a red line outlining where the speaker baffle needs to be cut. The serrated edge of a Leatherman works great here, or a pair of "dikes" (diagonal cutters). Be careful not to trim too much (for 5.25's or small speakers) or too little for those big 6's ;)
You'll also find a swell place for a crossover:
Undo the 3 circled screws and it's all yours. It fits a Boston .4-series crossover fine; the Boston .5-series requires you to remove the cover (permanently):
If you are using the factory deck (and no amp), all you have to do is intercept the wires going to the woofer and you're off. The factory wires come in to the stock woofer, then branch to the tweeter out of the same connector (no outboard crossover). For coaxial, you just need to used the stock woofer connection. For separates, park your crossover somewhere, then tap into the stock woofer wires for the crossover "input." Now you can run new wire to the woofer and tweets from your crossover. If you are using an amp, you may want to skip to our page on installing new speaker wire before you button everything up.
You'll need to re-install the door panel to mount the woofers. The Boston 5.4's fit with the included spacer and mounting ring perfectly. You will have to drill new holes for the screws, and get 2" long sheet metal screws (stainless is recommended). The Boston-supplied screws aren't long enough. The 5.5's fit with a little work; Boston changed the woofer such that you need a spacer (they thoughtfully didn't include it for this model) but not as thick as the 5.4's. The shop I got mine from took some 5.4 spacers and shaved them down to half-size, about 1/4" thick. This (along with the mounting ring) fit perfectly. 4 new screws and you've got new bass drivers!
The tweeter mounts are a bit trickier, but you have a little more room to work with. I simply used the stock mounting plate to mount the Boston Neo tweet. I also turned around the mount so that it faces the driver (and not the windshield), though this is mainly a matter of personal preference.
If you don't have an amp and are using stock wire, you're done. If you are using a high power amp and want to run new wire, continue on...
If not, and if you have any comments, additions, or corrections, as always, email the author.
This page last updated 4/3/01.