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Andyrt200

E39 component door speaker install

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I know this had been covered a few times, but I thought I’d just share in my thoughts.

 

I have done many installs in all my other cars, my E34 had the best one, I spent a very long time building custom mounts for every speaker in that, but with kids running about these days I just haven’t got the time anymore so thought I try some of the ready made solutions 

 

I got the MDF mounts from eBay as mentioned in a few other posts, but I’m not at all impressed. 

 

OmgBhSI.jpg

 

BMW went to great lengths to make a nice sealed box to house the stock speaker (at the top), I was assuming these custom made speaker mounts would seal to the door in some way, but they don’t. 

 

ukMilSG.jpg

 

There is virtually nothing to  separate the back of speaker from the front. 

 

IIScut6.jpg

 

As the speaker cone moves back & forward to create the sound waves it creates an inverse wave from the rear (the cone moving backwards creates an opposite version of what’s coming out of the front). At  certain lower frequencies the sound wave from the rear will come back around & largely cancel out the wave from the front (hence BMW making that box for their speaker). 

So it’s pointless putting these slightly larger speakers in the door hoping to get a bit more base! I wonder if you wouldn’t get better results just replacing the standard speaker in the BMW box with a better one. 

 

Luckily I had just installed a sub in the boot 

 

iZzC1cf.jpg

 

https://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/136948-amps-for-a-sub-when-to-fit-in-a-touring/

 

That is working very well so I have just set the amp to high pass on the front components to cut the low frequencies from going there at all.

 

I did try with it on flat but the distortion was terrible at quite  modest volume, the speaker is designed to push a fair bit of air when it’s in its correct sealed enclosure, but when installed like this there is no resistance of air pressure on the cone moving forward as it all comes straight round from the back where it is  creating a vacuum of equal pressure. 

 

All that is irrelevant with the  tweeters as air pressures are far lower & there just isn’t time for the waves from the back to get round the front. It is however important to get them pointing at your ears as much as possible as the higher  frequencies are much more directional (hence why you mount a sub in the boot). 

 

While they will fit in the doors:

wtpLKNH.jpg

 

you shouldn’t fit them there as they are pointing the wrong way. 

 

BMW helpfully fitted them facing you, the originals come out easily with out removing the upper trim:

VIC3o8S.jpg

 

They pop out easily:

xTjLOOH.jpg

 

Cut the mount off:

VghtuBo.jpg

 

Glue the new tweeter in:

hsWqNvB.jpg

 

I used a glue gun, but epoxy etc would be fine too. They are a little larger than the originals but fit back in behind the standard grill fine. 

 

jU2eAqx.jpg

 

(Not really much of the tweeter in that picture but you can just about make out the torx bolt holding the mount in at the top)

 

I would normally run the slight over kill thicker cable directly to the doors but BMW put that connection block there, great for removing the doors, not so much for stereo installs! So I just soldered it on as close to the connection as I could either side. 

 

PfNbDa4.jpg

 

The thicker cable is really more for the length of run from the amp in back of the boot into the front doors so that little bit won’t make much difference. Doing that way also means you can connect the new speakers up to the original stereo if you’re doing that way round & wanted do the amp install later without having to take anything in the door apart again. 

 

They do sound good for mid & top end, but not for the bass in those mounts. 

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Hiya. I was looking to do this also. I was contemplating 6.5" components using these mounts or 5.25 in the standard housing. What amp are you running? 

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On 27/05/2019 at 13:06, Qasim said:

Hiya. I was looking to do this also. I was contemplating 6.5" components using these mounts or 5.25 in the standard housing. What amp are you running? 

 

I haven’t tried doing anything with the standard mounts so can’t  comment really, sorry. 

 

I’m just running an old CA 80.4  Performance by Calibre amp I had spare. I just thought I’d try it first & it’s actually ok. It is about twice the size & half the power of the newer amp in my 200sx, so obviously can’t get the SPL of a bigger amp but its fine up to levels that can still do serious damage to your ears. The bigger amp will of course go louder & sound great doing it, but it’s seriously bad for your long term hearing to listen at those levels for any length of time. 

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Hi, 

 

Andy - Fantastic writeup from you there - thank you for the effort you went though for it !   I'ts been a long while since I did installation work, but,  it's good practice to use the door cavity as the 'enclosure' for when it comes to a front end upgrade. Done properly and by a reputable and experienced installer, the resulting SQ/Audio performance is brilliant!  There's a number of threads on various BMW forums to give an overview of this and they have pictures etc as well. I went a step further and have a discreet door build solution in my car. I used the DLS R5A's for my front end and the amount of mid bass these things kick out is nothing short of amazing! I've had a number of the UK's better known car audio competitors have a listen to my setup and they've given me good feedback and pointers and always been very impressed/appreciative of the R5A's performance. The 6 inch subs in my build aren't operational as yet. You are right about the backwaves coming through to interfere/cancel out as it were the front audio wave, and as I say above, install well, use the door cavity for the enclosure and seal, the results can be spectacular !

 

Qasim - the OEM plastic pod is meant for the OEM spec speaker. IF you put in an aftermarket component 5.25 inch  set, what happens is the volumetric size of the enclosure means it 'emphasizes' the mid range frequencies and thus the end result is a less natural sound. Many people go ahead and use it, cover it with sound deadening material too, but it's not best practice. Running 6.5's behind the OEM door card will require custom baffles  and quite a bit more work to have them fit properly and well and not to catch the back of the door card with the woofer surround excursion. 

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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11 hours ago, DennisCooper said:

it's good practice to use the door cavity as the 'enclosure' for when it comes to a front end upgrade. Done properly and by a reputable and experienced installer, the resulting SQ/Audio performance is brilliant!  There's a number of threads on various BMW forums to give an overview of this and they have pictures etc as well.

 

Thanks, yes that’s what I meant by sealing to the door, you explained it better! 

 

I had a quick look about & found this for an example of what I was thinking you’d really need to do & what you’re talking about https://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/804147-post2.html#/topics/63744?page=1

 

I had seen some other mounts like the one I used but longer, looking more like the factory one, however on a closer look they seem to be just the same as mine, being open at the back. I did notice one came with a foam ring to try to seal the speaker to the door panel, I guess that is better than nothing but the door panels wasn’t designed for that so isn’t exactly smooth to get a good seal. I think quite a few other car manufacturers used that method as standard, they certainly did my on my Nissan 200sx so just fitting replacement speakers in that gives much better results than the MDF mounts in my pictures above, though it’s certainly not the best way to do it!

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I was searching on the internet yesterday and came across this thread. 

 

 

Cut into the vapour barrier and seal with dynamat. That way the door cavity is used effectively and you won't get waves coming from the back of the speakers

Edited by Qasim

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4 hours ago, Qasim said:

I was searching on the internet yesterday and came across this thread. 

 

 

Cut into the vapour barrier and seal with dynamat. That way the door cavity is used effectively and you won't get waves coming from the back of the speakers

 

I had seen that thread, its the reason I got these mounts! 

 

The vapour barrier is there for a reason, you need to be careful not to get water into the back of the speaker doing that. 

 

It may help a tiny bit but the vapour barrier won’t stop lower frequency sound waves, they pass right though it, so it’s unlikely to make a massive difference. There is a huge opening in the lower part of the inner door frame, in that link I found the guy had covered it with fibre glass, that will seal them into the door cavity much better. But there are still quite a lot of other smaller holes that need sealing up, he seems to have just used dynamat on those. 

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Hi

 

Useful pics for me as I'm trialling some MBQ 5" components in the doors. Luckily I found the BSW youtube videos which made removing the door card much easier than I thought it was going to be.

 

I discovered that the stock mid-bass plastic pod has a gap at the bottom of the baffle (see below) which isn't great if the new driver won't fit exactly into the recess, and which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a sealed enclosure! So I used some rubber draughtproofing strip to seal it up.

 

2019-06-11 11.21.36-1.jpg

 

 

However I'd welcome any advice on how to route new speaker wires into the door, specifically how do you get them to & from the door connector?

 

(The MBQ Musicomp crossovers are pretty big so I'm assuming I'm going to have to run both tweeter and mid-bass wires into the door. Either that or put the crossover into a door pocket ...)

 

Edited by mr-b

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To jump in on this I have some speakers to fit in the front and i also have some MDF mounts - whats the consensus then in light of the above? Use the OE mounting or the MDF?

 

I'm not after huge sound volumes as i'm running the OE head unit possibly with a Sony in line speaker amp.

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One way I saw of getting the wires into the door is to cut the OEM speaker wire close to the door connector leaving enough wire to solder the aftermarket speaker wire on to. And then the same inside the door. I'm sure there are plenty of unpopulated spaces in the connector so all you would need is the right pins.

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1 hour ago, Qasim said:

One way I saw of getting the wires into the door is to cut the OEM speaker wire close to the door connector leaving enough wire to solder the aftermarket speaker wire on to. And then the same inside the door. I'm sure there are plenty of unpopulated spaces in the connector so all you would need is the right pins.

Thanks - I've not managed to find any pics of the door connector other than in the OP so I've no idea what parts are req'd or what's involved. The weather has precluded any investigative sessions!

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1 hour ago, duncan-uk said:

 

The MDF ones in the first post and some 5.25" Clarion SRG1323S speakers with tweeters

I don't know those specific speakers but generally drivers are designed to work best inside a sealed enclosure, rather than with an open baffle, where bass response is likely to be rather limited.

Ideally one would suck it and see, but I'd assume that using the stock pods will be best if you have sufficient clearance, even though it may resonate at certain frequencies. Some folks put dynamat inside as well as all over but I've not seen firm conclusions of any benefits.

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1 hour ago, mr-b said:

Thanks - I've not managed to find any pics of the door connector other than in the OP so I've no idea what parts are req'd or what's involved. The weather has precluded any investigative sessions!

 

I didn’t use anything other than the new wires, heat shrink insulation & solder. I just left the original speaker connections where they were & soldered onto the original wires both sides. 

 

There were lots of empty connection slots in the plug, some for much bigger connections than the standard speaker ones. So if were feeling very adventurous you could find out what the correct connectors for those were on each side & crimp the new cable into those properly. 

 

I didn’t take any pictures from inside the car, where they connected in there (it was dark by then) but they looked the same as in the door.

 

It’s easy to get in to the passenger side connector, once you realise the cover panel under the glove box just pulls forward to unclip! 

 

The drivers side is a little harder (better to do the passenger side first so you know what you’re doing). There a lot more screws to remove to get the panels off, then you need to unscrew the LCM module & movie it a little to gain access to the back of the door connections. You don’t need to unplug anything from it & it screws back in fine after. 

 

Good luck!

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4 hours ago, duncan-uk said:

To jump in on this I have some speakers to fit in the front and i also have some MDF mounts - whats the consensus then in light of the above? Use the OE mounting or the MDF?

 

I'm not after huge sound volumes as i'm running the OE head unit possibly with a Sony in line speaker amp.

 

It’s a difficult one to answer, the MDF mounting properly sealed into the door cavity is by far the best, but it needs to be sealed up with something very firm that can’t be moved or penetrated by the lower frequency sound waves (the original vapour barrier fails badly on both those fronts). To do it properly is a very big job.

 

I’m just fixing a broken door handle cable on one of the rear doors at the moment, I left the door panel off while waiting for the new cable to come & just noticed the amount of water that leaks in (where the vapour barrier isn’t sealed to the door properly anymore at the bottom) with the rain is frightening! Luckily it’s finding it way out before filling up the rear foot wells. But it shows you need to be very careful what you do / use when messing about on the other side of the vapour barrier. 

 

I can’t comment really on using the standard enclosures as I haven’t tried, though Denis said it’s not great. They certainly should be tuned to the original speakers so it’s perfectly logical after market more powerful ones, even of the same size won’t be working properly.  

 

With a separate sub fitted it’s fine, but I think the bass would be quite disappointing with just the MDF ring on its own without a lot of proper sealing up work. As I said it just distorted (made farting noises) at relatively modest volume. Depends what you’re using to listening to of course, but the old school 6x9 in an MDF parcel shelf (in hot hatch of your choice) would likely sound better, for bass at least. 

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1 hour ago, duncan-uk said:

I'm not after big sound and these were suggested as a direct fit i think i will try the stock mounting first as i'm not after door rattling base and ear splitting volume!

 

 

I’d imagine that is the best bet for what you’re after.

 

I have just had 10” subs in all my cars. Many years ago my dad used to laugh at me always using ear defenders when using power tools to make the sub enclosures... 

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Indeed, to be honest i'm just looking for a little more than OE - mostly i listed to spoken radio (radio 4/ TMS etc) or music but generally with the family on board so at conversational levels and occasionally when traveling alone it might get pumped up so i think amps and subs are wasted on me.

 

My feeling is a car will always be a compromised sound stage so i'd rather decent kit at home - its been a long time since i had 6x9's on an mdf shelf in a hot hatch!

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On 12/06/2019 at 19:27, mr-b said:

Humph - just managed to snap the OEM tweeter plug (the small white one at the top). :-(

Anyone know how to extract it properly? 

 

I dugout my old one, they usually have a little leaver tab to press & release but this hasn’t for some reason. So you need to poke a little flat blade down the side of the connector to release the fixed tab from the square hole:

J0gPXLB.jpg

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Thanks! I'd just worked that out last night after looking at pics of tweeter plugs on ebay!

 

I'm having some interesting results with the MBQ mid in the pod. I use my trusty Alan Parsons - Soundcheck 2 CD to verify things sound OK. I'm getting a fair amount of vibration, espec on a bass guitar track. Swapping to the other MBQ driver does it too so it's not a faulty driver. Will have to investigate clearances and wrapping the pod with something to help kill any vibrations. I hear Screwfix do some flashing strip that helps with sound deadening. https://www.screwfix.com/p/bostik-flashband-grey-10m-x-100mm/57969?_requestid=208183

 

The big difference though is in the tweeter, the stock one really is poor, although I know the MBQ Q-series one is an expensive unit. I've got it down in the kicks on the 0db crossover setting and it's sounding great so far. I will also try it attenuated in the mirror sails but my experience is that it's likely to be too close to the ears.

Edited by mr-b

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I found that the mid driver itself was vibrating, even out of the pods - but it's most likely because my phone and head unit were turned to the max!

 

Then I managed to get the passenger door kick panel removed but the door connector looks pretty inaccessible. So I'm wondering which of the various looms present that are accessible contain the original blue/brown and blue/red speaker wires. It doesn't help that I'm colour blind! ;-) Are they in the smaller bunch that go off to the left underneath the insulation, or the thick one that goes upwards?

 

Also on the actual door side, how did you access the door connector? Guessing you need to remove the door retaining pin to open it fully and acces the wiring harness boot?

 

 

 

2019-06-14 17.34.28.jpg

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Its pretty straight forward for the door rubber. Try and get a 8mm socket onto the nut and undo that and slide the rubber down and out. Then there's a clip on the connector that needs to slide up to get both sides apart.

Everytime I've done it, I've never had to remove anything other than the 8mm. It might be easier if you could get the door full open.

Edited by Qasim

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