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Thread: HOW-TO: Mazda3 Front Speaker Install

  1. #1
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    HOW-TO: Mazda3 Front Speaker Install

    Ok so i finally got around to installing my Infinity 6812CF speakers today...well, sort of anyway. the rain preempted me finishing the drivers side but here is a photo essay from the passanger side install. BTW, it took me 6 trips to 4 different stores to collect all the parts neccisary. Hopefully this will help others know what and how to swap out there speakers.

    Your going to need a few tools. A Door Panel removal tool will help a lot! you will need a #2 Phillips head screw driver, and a small flat blade screw driver (not show) to pry open the screw caps.

    I picked up this pry tool at a discount tool store for $2.99 (Thanks Rebecca)




    You will also need a set of Metra Speaker wire harness adapters. Turns out Mazda Uses Ford Plugs. this set is part number 72-5600 and is labeled Foord Speaker adapter!



    Wrap the end of the pry tool with some Masking tape to protect your paint. I used some nice Cloth tape i had on hand.



    here is a shot of my door.



    I used a flat blade screwdriver the first time i removed the panel and scratched my paint every place the screwdriver touched! the paint is VERY soft and even with the cloth wrapped tool i still made marks! These are the scratches from the first time i removed the panel before i bought the tool. But the scratches came in handy to line up the Panel tool the 2nd time around....



    Start by gently prying open the covers inside the door release cup and the door handle to reveal the phillips head screws inside. The covers stay attached to the door so dont pull on them. Remove the screws noteing which one went where as they are different. Just in case you forget. the flat head screw goes inside the release cup and the standard screw goes inside the handle. Make sure you put these some place safe where they wont get lost.




    Slide the release lever cup away from the handle and pull out. this takes a bit of fiddling. be carefull. there is a catch that holds it in place. you must slide it first then it will come off. dont force it. Unplug the door lock switch and remove. Look at the photo closely to see how this comes apart.




    Alright next step is to pry off the panel. BUT. we are going to jump ahead for just a second and i am going to show you the inside of the panel so you can visualize where the plastic pop rivets are



    Take a good look at the inside of the door panel and if you print this, you will have a better idea of where the plastic pop rivets are.



    Note in the photos the white arrows. these are the plastic pop rivets you need to locate and use the tool to gently remove. you will notice the location that is circled. this rivet is very hard to get to as it is in the middle of the panel. It did not come off with the door.



    Place the pry tool under the panel, locate the tool so that the groove down the middle goes around both sides of the rivet and pry them loose. they should POP as you do so. Work your way around the panel until all 9 plugs have popped loose.



    To lift off the panel, you must tilt and slide the panel off. This is the passanger side (US) door so lift up on the right side slightly, and slide to the right as you lift the panel off. But dont pull it off all the way just yet.



    Inside you will first need to disconnect the electric window switch. there isnt much lenght on the cable so you will need to balance the panel on against the door as you work the window switch plug loose. use caution as it is easy to drop the panel and yank on the wires. After unpluging the harness, you can remove the panel and store someplace safe.



    I had to pry this one rivet out by itself and replace it in the door panel. note how nicely the tool fits around the plug.



    Here is a shot of the stock door speaker. The dent in the dustcap was there from the factory! Yikes! Note the foam surrounding the edge of the cone. this seals the speaker to the door panel. this becomes a problem as you will see later.



    Here is a comparison of the backs of the stock VS Infinity speakers. That TINY magnet on the stock speaker is actually a neodymium Magnet is is VERY strong for its size. These two magents are probably comparable in power. Still, the stock speaker weighs only a few onces and feels very cheap!



    This is the speaker harness plug. you cannot use standard spade lugs on this. buying the proper adapter is pretty much madatory. OR, you could cut the plug end off about 3" or so and attache bullit plugs on the harness end and plug end so you could then later reinstall the stock speakers i guess. I almost did just that. but a trip to a total of 3 Best Buy stores yeilded me the proper plugs. and just a note about that. I had to go to the actuall install bays and talk tot he guys. they did not have these parts in the store. but the isntall bays have a store counter inside. i didnt know that. the plugs cost me $7.99 for a set of two. Not bad considering the amount of hassle it would have taken me to dig out the soldering iron and heat shrink and cords etc. (I dont use crimp lugs, only solder type.)



    Remember what i said about the the foam around the stock speaker. Well after i received the Infinity's I noted that the surround was very wide. meaning it went all the way to the rim of the speaker. I noted from the first time i removed the speaker, the ridge in the middle of the foam on the stock speaker, and the ring on the inside of the door panel. I checked the infinity's for clearance and just as i suspected, the rubber surround on the infinitys will hit the ring on the inside of the door panel. just barely but enough to cause noise and unwanted rubbing. Sorry about the strange looking photo, i had to rotate it in photo shop due to the angle at which i had to place the camera to get a good shot of the point of contact.



    Here is the ring on the inside of the door panel



    I took my Dremel tool and a cut off wheel and removed as much of the ring as i could. i then used a sanding wheel to remove what the cut off wheel couldnt and then cleaned up the remaining bits with a X-acto knife. here is the panel with the ring removed before clean up



    I noticed that the stock speaker had a foam rubber gasket around the inside edge of the speaker. and i noticed in test fitting the Infinitys in the hole that there were small gaps along the edge. so i used some caulk to fill in the voids, seal the speaker to the door panel and help prevent unwanted ratteling and resonances. I used GB brand electrical caulk. $1.99 for a 1lb plug. I pulled off pieces and rolled them into long tubes then worked them as flat as i could around the edge. making sure not to get any in the screw holes.


    I connected the Metra Harness adapter to the speaker. it comes with crimped on speaker plugs. I Zip tied the plug to the speaker frame to hold it in place and avoid any door rattles. I then carefully placed the new speaker into the hole aligning the screw holes before pressing the speaker into the sealant. I tightened the screws just enough to hold the speaker in place. then i snugged the speaker up working each screw 1/4 turn at a time so as not to twist or bend the speaker frame. this also allowed the sealant to work its way out a little bit and fill in the gaps. This takes a bit of patients to not just crank the screws all the way down. But once all were tight, i then worked the sealant into the edges of the frame, making sure not to get any on the rubber surround. I filled in all the gaps and made sure the speaker was tight after letting it sit for a few minutes.



    To replace the door panel, you must first get the side that goes under the tweeter lined up. this takes a bit of work and maybe easier with the window down. you have to gently pull up on the window rubber gasket to get it to fit over the door edge, then slide the panel under the tweeter a little bit. once in place, use your fingers to make sure the plastic rivet closest to the tweeter is lined up with the hole. pop it in place and work your way around the door and make sure you dont forget the weird one in the middle of the upper panel. Dont forget to replace the screws int he door panel.


    It started sprinkling a bit and i wasnt able to finish the drivers side. But i did check to make sure the speaker worked etc. Without a detailed listen i noted that the Infinitys have slightly less sensitivity. meaning there not quite as loud, and they have a bit less bass then the stock speakers! but the sound overall is much better. but again. i was listening with the door open while it was sprinkling on me. I will give a more detailed write up after i live with them a few days....


    Stay tuned for Part 2


    Zc

  2. #2
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar
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    Great documentation of the process. This should be moved to the HOWTO section.

    FYI, the inner ring on the door panel can be removed with a utility knife or sharp razor. You don't need a dremmel just for that step.

  3. #3
    El Tres Rotor Antoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1
    Great documentation of the process. This should be moved to the HOWTO section.
    I agree...Done and done

    Great writeup...I hope to see more!

  4. #4
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    I got up early this morning and get the drivers side speaker installed and i learned a few things. One a HELLOVA lot of water gets in the doors. i figured some but dang! So this time i fabricated a water shield for the speaker. I wish i had the type of stock speakers where i could remove and resuse the water shield but these newer speakers have the shield built in as part of the actual speaker frame! I could dremel it off but then the speaker would be shot and i have plans for the stock speakers.....

    Two, I have a new found respect for the stock speakers thats for sure! The differences between the two i would say dont make swapping out the speakers worth the price of the Infinitys if you had to buy them new.
    The Infinitys are cleaner overall, they extend up higher then the stock speakers. the bass is less, but it is cleaner. the mids are more present. But overall. an unknowing person might not be able to tell the difference between the stock and Inifitys in the front as the differences are quite suttle.

    And while were talking about bass. where the hell does it come from? I have mainly listen to the radio in the car since i got it. But as a test i grabbed my trusty Crystal Method - Vegas CD and persused the tracks and DAMN! where the hell did all that bass come from? Fade front and nope its not the infins...fade back and holy shnikes is there a sub hidden someplace i dont know about??? can't seem to find one. But i will tell you i did take the rear of the car apart looking for something hidden thats for sure! The back speakers have much more bass then the fronts. I wonder if they are not using some of that DSP power to EQ the rears a bit? In any case i think i am going to keep the Infinitys up front and the stock speakers in the back. it seems to be a nice combination. clean up front and subs in the back.

    In fact, an interesting test would be to keep the stock speakers on all four corners and add a low pass crossover to the front stock speakers, then add a small high quality mid and tweeter up higher in the doors and i would bet it would sound pretty damn good!

    I have come to the conclusion that the stock radio section sucks! It is very weak and thin sounding, even on stations known to have better sound. but the rest of the stereo isnt bad. the CD section sounds pretty good and running an iPod through it sounds as good as MP3's get. I mean were not talking audiophile grade here but good enough for sitting in traffic thats for sure!

    Next up. I have a 6-disc changer upgrade that i will be attempting... the first attempt failed miserably as i purchased the wrong cd changer then lost my A** reselling it....



    Zc

    P.S. oh and the stock speakers i removed. they are SUPER lightweight, like less then a pound for both. I am going to fabricate a very light weight box and build a iPod blaster! You can buy a 30 watt SonicT amp from parts express that runs on 8 AA batteries and cost $30.00! i have used these a lot and they sound great and weigh less then 2 lbs. the stock speakers, amp, battieries and case would wieght less then 5 lbs total and would have some seriously good sound!
    Last edited by Zero Cool; 06-25-2006 at 12:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered Member WetsuitxNinja's Avatar

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    Thats kinda the trade off with stock speakers...very little power to produce decent bass from them, but they dont get very loud before distorting.

  6. #6
    hickalicious!! tsunami's Avatar
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    not sure on the 06 zc but on my 04 there was a plastic shield attached to the old speaker that acted as a rain gaurd and protected the rear of the speaker from water. some guys that were the first to mod their stereo didn't know this and ended up with rusty magnets that actually rusted through the connections and lost their sound completely. if you had that plastic piece make sure you put it on to cover your new speakers as i didn't see you mention it.


    edit... saw in your next post you mentioned about the rain.. on my 04's the rain guard was siliconed (or some other sealant) to the back frame of the speaker i just pryed it apart at one spot and worked it free around the speaker.

    also great write up i am sure this will help people as i had to look all over the place to peice this information together when i did mine.
    Last edited by tsunami; 07-21-2006 at 11:48 PM.

  7. #7
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    Front tweeter panel

    Working the door panel around that front tweeter panel is a royal pain. I yank off a few panels every day, and I have to tell you it is a lot easier to just pull that panel right off. There are just a couple little metal clips that hold it on, and you can use that same upholstry/door panel tool to carefully pop it right off. Just unplug the tweeter if your car has one and it's out of your way for the rest of the installation. The clips on that wont break like the plastic door panel clips, either.
    Nice work sonny.

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    Front door panel loose

    Hi all

    I know this is an OOOOLLLLDDD thread.

    I had my driver's side window smashed and had to take it into the glass shop for repair. The door panel isn't on properly and there's about a half-centimetre of play at the top left side of the panel now.

    It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is -- now there's annoying squeaking sounds when I'm driving, as the panel shifts due to the play, and at high speeds, I can hear wind whistling.

    I know there is definitely too much play in this part of the panel because when I hear the wind on the highway, and push the panel flush against the door, the whistling stops.

    I have tried pounding the top left are of the panel to see if there are any push clips that might not have clicked when they put the door back on. To no avail. I also notice that the plastic rivet/screw on the side of the panel (the side that faces the back of the car) was slightly damaged, although it was sitting in its hole. Perhaps if I got a new one, it would hold the panel in more firmly?

    Anyone have any ideas on how I can fix this play without having to bring it back to the glass shop. Thanks.

    Oh and PS by "top left", I mean, as if you were sitting in the driver's seat looking at the panel - left side is nearer to the rear of the car.

  9. #9
    That's what she said. RedKatanax9's Avatar
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    Sounds like the panel wasn't reinstalled correctly, a busted window shouldn't affect the panel fitment. I would remove the panel and see if any of the plastic fasteners are missing or not seated properly, replace if necessary. And get a roll of .5" or .75" weather stripping and tape it on the top side of the metal panel, where the glass retracts, and run it all the way.

  10. #10
    Registered Member meicalnissyen's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark2000 View Post
    Hi all

    I know this is an OOOOLLLLDDD thread.

    I had my driver's side window smashed and had to take it into the glass shop for repair. The door panel isn't on properly and there's about a half-centimetre of play at the top left side of the panel now.

    It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is -- now there's annoying squeaking sounds when I'm driving, as the panel shifts due to the play, and at high speeds, I can hear wind whistling.

    I know there is definitely too much play in this part of the panel because when I hear the wind on the highway, and push the panel flush against the door, the whistling stops.

    I have tried pounding the top left are of the panel to see if there are any push clips that might not have clicked when they put the door back on. To no avail. I also notice that the plastic rivet/screw on the side of the panel (the side that faces the back of the car) was slightly damaged, although it was sitting in its hole. Perhaps if I got a new one, it would hold the panel in more firmly?

    Anyone have any ideas on how I can fix this play without having to bring it back to the glass shop. Thanks.

    Oh and PS by "top left", I mean, as if you were sitting in the driver's seat looking at the panel - left side is nearer to the rear of the car.

    see the how to on door panel removal
    perform the task
    pay more attention to detail than the glass slug

    and yeah its just a pop connector that did not get seated, and is misaligned with its hole

  11. #11
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    Great post, helped me with my install last night. Here are a few tips:

    • The sail panels that hold the tweeters are VERY easy to take off, so just start pulling at the top and it'll come off with very little effort.
    • The plastic panel that holds the window up/down button was very hard to remove. I tried pulling up from the rear but the thing didn't want to budge at all. I ended up breaking one or two of the plastic snaps on the passenger side. I'd suggest prying up from the side of panel if possible. (note: Just realized that the OP didn't remove this piece- this may be a good idea. The crutchfield install instructions shows the removal of this panel.)
    • Try to get all the plastic "rivets" off with the door panel - they are very hard to remove from their slots and I ended up scratching a bit of paint trying to pry them off.
    • Don't use a flat pry tool for the doors, get the style that the OP used - some of the plastic rivets are located in narrow metal "valleys" that the flat tool is too wide for.
    • In my case (2009 MS3 non-bose) the speakers didn't just come right out when I unscrewed them - they are held in place by some sort of plastic clip and takes a bit of force to take off.
    • The speakers I used fit perfectly - I didn't have to dremel my door or anything: Infinity Reference 6832cf
    Last edited by minnesnowta; 03-19-2010 at 06:28 PM.

  12. #12
    Overkill is underrated !! leadf00t's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesnowta View Post
    Great post, helped me with my install last night. Here are a few tips:

    • The sail panels that hold the tweeters are VERY easy to take off, so just start pulling at the top and it'll come off with very little effort.
    • The plastic panel that holds the window up/down button was very hard to remove. I tried pulling up from the rear but the thing didn't want to budge at all. I ended up breaking one or two of the plastic snaps on the passenger side. I'd suggest prying up from the side of panel if possible. (note: Just realized that the OP didn't remove this piece- this may be a good idea. The crutchfield install instructions show the removal this panel.)
    • Try to get all the plastic "rivets" off with the door panel - they are very hard to remove from their slots and I ended up scratching a bit of paint trying to pry them off.
    • Don't use a flat pry tool for the doors, get the style that the OP used - some of the plastic rivets are located in narrow metal "valleys" that the flat tool is too wide for.
    • In my case (2009 MS3 non-bose) the speakers didn't just come right out when I unscrewed them - they are held in place by some sort of plastic clip and takes a bit of force to take off.
    • The speakers I used fit perfectly - I didn't have to dremel my door or anything: Infinity Reference 6832cf
    What wiring kit did you use for the stock adapters ? Same as OP, or something different ?
    2010 Mazda 6 GT
    2008 Mazdaspeed 3 - Traded

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    Quote Originally Posted by leadf00t View Post
    What wiring kit did you use for the stock adapters ? Same as OP, or something different ?
    Not sure, I went through crutchfield and they gave exactly what I needed since it asks you what car you are working on.

    Edit: from my crutchfield order: 12071048 Ford Wire Harness speakers, 1998-up (and I believe it was metra brand).
    Last edited by minnesnowta; 03-19-2010 at 11:32 AM.

  14. #14
    Overkill is underrated !! leadf00t's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesnowta View Post
    Not sure, I went through crutchfield and they gave exactly what I needed since it asks you what car you are working on.

    Edit: from my crutchfield order: 12071048 Ford Wire Harness speakers, 1998-up (and I believe it was metra brand).
    Thanks !!
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesnowta View Post
    Great post, helped me with my install last night. Here are a few tips:

    • The sail panels that hold the tweeters are VERY easy to take off, so just start pulling at the top and it'll come off with very little effort.
    • The plastic panel that holds the window up/down button was very hard to remove. I tried pulling up from the rear but the thing didn't want to budge at all. I ended up breaking one or two of the plastic snaps on the passenger side. I'd suggest prying up from the side of panel if possible. (note: Just realized that the OP didn't remove this piece- this may be a good idea. The crutchfield install instructions shows the removal of this panel.)
    • Try to get all the plastic "rivets" off with the door panel - they are very hard to remove from their slots and I ended up scratching a bit of paint trying to pry them off.
    • Don't use a flat pry tool for the doors, get the style that the OP used - some of the plastic rivets are located in narrow metal "valleys" that the flat tool is too wide for.
    • In my case (2009 MS3 non-bose) the speakers didn't just come right out when I unscrewed them - they are held in place by some sort of plastic clip and takes a bit of force to take off.
    • The speakers I used fit perfectly - I didn't have to dremel my door or anything: Infinity Reference 6832cf
    Its actually very simple to get the door panel off. Position your shoulder against the top of the door panel so it keeps that part in place then pull the door panel pocket out. Try more of a snapping pull and most of them if not all will follow. Then you can use the tool if some stragglers are left behind.

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