How-To: Installing different sized speakers in your car

chuyler1

goes to eleven
Moderator
:
2013 CX-9
Many people ask, can I install 5.25" or 6.5" speakers in my Mazda even though I have 6x8" factory speakers?

The answer is yes! Here's how:

If you have basic woodworking skills you can take an hour or two and fabricate custom baffles to hole any size speaker. All 5.25" and 6" speakers and most 6.5" and 6.75" speakers will fit in a standard 5x7/6x8 opening. You will need a drill with assorted bits and a jig saw. A router with a perfect circle jig is recommended but not required.

1. Remove door panel and remove factory speaker and rain guard. This is covered in another how-to and will not be detailed here.

2. Remove the rainguard from speaker by prying it off with a flat blade screwdriver.

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3. Using the factory speaker, trace the outline of your new baffle onto a 1/2" or 3/4" piece of MDF (medium density fiberboard) and mark the factory mounting holes. Draw a straight line between the holes to mark the center of the baffle.


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2. Place your new speaker onto the baffle and trace the outline of it. Depending on the size of your speaker, you may need to enlargen the the baffle.

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3. Cut out the mounting hole in the center of the baffle. You have two options for doing this. One is to just use a jig saw. If you have a steady hand you can do a decent job. A better way is to use a router with a perfect circle jig as shown below. Drill pilot hole for the center pin and a second hole to get the cut started. If you use a router, be sure to make several passes and lower the bit a little more between passes. Once the center of the circle is partially detached, it doesn't act as a very good guide, especially when you are torquing the bit through 3/4" of MDF.

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4. Test fit your speaker. If it doesn't fit in the hole try sanding the edge of the opening down a little until it slides in. A little bit of extra space is ok but you don't want to see any of the opening through the screw mounting holes.

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5. Drill holes for mounting the speaker. Make sure you offset them from the original mounting holes. You'll see why in the next step.

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6. Next use a larger drill bit to drill the factory mounting holes. You want to give the screw some space to move around since the spots you marked may not be perfect.

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7. Using a countersink bit, open up the holes a little more so that the factory screws will sit below the baffle. If you use 3/4" MDF you'll have to sink pretty deep if you want to still use the factory screws.

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8. Using a jig saw, cutout the perimeter of your baffle. Don't forget to make it larger to account for the new speaker. If you're not paying attention you might cut off the top and bottom accidentally.

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9. Your new baffles are now complete. Do a dry run test of the baffle, speaker, and rain guard before you head back out to the car. Remove the sealant from the rain guard. You want to ensure a tight seal with the door frame so the partial gunk on the inside and outside of the rain guard will only cause problems. You can add a bead of silicon or cauck to it when you put it back in the car if you are paranoid about proper sealing like me.

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10. Optionally, add a coat of paint to them to protect them from the elements. I just used some flat black spray paint I had around the house.

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11. Another trick I like to do is to add some foam around the perimeter of the baffle. This will make up for the missing plastic ring that we will remove from the back of the door panel
in step 13.

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12. Install your baffle by first placing the rainguard in the door frame, then the baffle. Attach the baffle using the factory screws. Finally attach your speaker wires and screw in the speaker.

(sorry no pic yet)

13. On the back of the door panel there is a thin piece of plastic around the edge of the speaker grill. Using a utility knife, cut this ring of plastic off so the panel is flush. Otherwise it will get in the way and prevent you from putting the door panel back on.

(sorry no pic yet)

14. Turn on your stereo and listen to your speaker to make sure it is installed correctly. (Do this before replacing the door panel just in case you forgot something.)

15. Replace the door panel and you're done.
 
Last edited:

meGrimlock

forever waiting
Contributor
:
'03 Protege ES 2.0
excellent write-up and pictures...but couldnt someone use a pair of speaker adapters for $15?
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
Moderator
:
2013 CX-9
I haven't seen 6x8" to 6.5" speaker adapters before (6x8" to 5.25" maybe).

However, this will provide more mounting depth and a more rigid baffle for the speaker instead of some flimsy piece of abs plastic.

If you have the necessary tools, this will cost you less than $10. All you need is a 1/2" or 3/4" piece of MDF or birch ply.
 

Poseur

stop honking I'm surfing
Contributor
:
03.5 Lsr Blue P5
Your sealing and use of rainguards takes care of it fairly well, and I know your old rings for the eclipses still looked fine, but it's also not a bad idea to paint these puppies. There's alot of water that moves through our doors.
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
Moderator
:
2013 CX-9
LOL...tell me about it. I went to the no-touch car wash this morning with my door panels off. Boy was that a surprise. The water comes in like you wouldn't believe!

I've got some flat black paint at home that I'm going to use. I also like to add a layer of foam around the perimeter to compensate for the missing plastic ring around the stock speaker opening. If it does anything at all, it will dampen panel vibrations a little. I'll add the additional pictures when it is finished.
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
Moderator
:
2013 CX-9
Added a few more steps including painting and wrapping the baffle with foam to create a better seal with the factory door panel. Not sure if this helps but it will at least dampen some of the vibrations in the door panel.
 
:
06 Mazda5
chuyler1 said:
Added a few more steps including painting and wrapping the baffle with foam to create a better seal with the factory door panel. Not sure if this helps but it will at least dampen some of the vibrations in the door panel.


I've made adapters like that hundreds of times, and they work great. With such a small opening you can usually get away with 1/4 MDF or masonite without any problem, but if there is enough clearance the 1/2" will definitely be a more stable option. I like the foam baffle ring especially, hadn't ever thought of that, and it looks like you picked the right material. I also used to add a ring of butyl rubber around the back edge of the adapter to help seal and dampen the mount, or a bead of silicone caulk works if you can't find the butyl. (cheers)
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
Moderator
:
2013 CX-9
I usually do silicone cauk between the baffle and door also but I didn't have any lying around.
 

TStar

^o,O^ weltschmerz ^o,O^
Contributor
:
2002 EDM 323F
some templates for a quicker work
 

Attachments

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rain guard

Oh, well i have a maz3 and if i chnage the speakers to maybe 6x8 or or 6.5 do i need a rain gaurd or will the speakers be fine without them
 

chuyler1

goes to eleven
Moderator
:
2013 CX-9
If you can utilize the rain guard you should use it. It is there for a reason. Water drips down from the window, especially when you open it when it is raining out.
 

Konkinator

2002 Black Protege5
:
2002 Protege5
Thanks

Just wanted to say thanks for this, I did my rear speakers awhile ago and now I just need to get around to the fronts.
 
sorry about the bump to the max.. but if you dont have the resources or the ability to make your own... here are adaptors that were kinda hard to find

my old contour needed these for my alpines... they worked fine.

http://www.buy.com/prod/scosche-sa68-speaker-adapters-6-x-8/q/loc/111/90144049.html

Kind of glad you did since I'm about to do my Mazda 5.
I found these on ebay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/6x8-5x7-to-6-Sp...ics_Parts_Accessories?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

They have a 5-1/2 cutout which is enough for most 6-1/2 speakers.

But I have been looking for a 6x8 mazda template for a while.
Very nice find. :)
 
Help!!!!

I know it will not be pretty but is it possible to instal a pair of 6x9's in my P5?
front or read i dont care.
I have a really good pair of kenwoods I want to use and I am on a budget.