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Old 08-02-2008, 10:57 PM   #1
hotshot2003
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Default DIY-Oversize Tweeter installation in factory location

Hopefully you guys have already seen my door panel/speaker installation thread. I will now go over how to replace the factory tweeters in the dash. This DIY lacks some pics for showing you exactly how the panels are removed but the removal is simple enough to explain with words only.

First of all you must remove the a-pillar panel. You can grab at the top of the plastic A-pillar panel and pull toward the center of the car. There are 2 or 3 clips that hold it on and it will simply pop off. There will be a plastic mechanism that holds it somewhat attached. This mechanism is to keep the panel from flying at your face should your side curtain air bag deploy. In order to remove this cable, twist it and slide it out through the groove on the a-pillar panel. There are two parts that hold it in so you will have to twist it slightly to get the second part out after the first part is removed. It will be rather self explanatory once you see it.

Now that the A-pillar is removed you need to remove the panel that covers the factory tweeter. This panel is tucked behind the vent underneath it. if you have a small pry tool you can usually fit it between the vent panel and the tweeter panel and pry the vent panel just slightly toward you. This will be just enough to pop the tweeter panel up and out from behind the vent panel. Once you've lifted this up, you pull the tweeter panel up and toward the back of the car. There are about 5 pins holding this on. The only one you really have to be careful with it the one closest to the center of the car. Sometimes it gets stuck and you will need a pry tool to carefully work it out of its retainer in order to keep from breaking it. Maybe this picture will help you visualize whats underneath the panels:





Once the panel is removed you will see the factory tweeter which is mounted by a metal bracket with a single screw. The pictures below begin after removing this factory tweeter and bracket. Due to the extremely large size of the Focal TN52 tweeter I am installing I had to do some modification. Keep in mind you could fit a larger tweeter and fire it straight up through the factory grill with no problems but it will not image as well at the center of the dash as what I'm about to show you.

Here is what we have after removing the factory tweeter:



Disregard the location of the Focal tweeter. I already had it wired up and originally had it firing directly up through the factory grill. In pursuit of perfection I began modifying this area to fit it at the proper angle. The gold part where the screw for the factory tweeter mounts will be cut out as shown:



Now you have plenty of room to drop the large tweeter down below the point where the factory tweeter mounted. This will give you the clearance needed to angle the tweeter toward the center of the dash and still be able to fit the panel back on over the top of it.



You can see the same thing was done to the other side of the dash:



Factory bracket cut out:



Final placement of tweeter:



I stuffed a small amount of thick carpet underneath the tweeter and used some 3M velco in order to hold the tweeter in place. After its mounted securely you can begin reinstalling the panels. Take the tweeter panel and slide it forward and down back into place. You will have to again pry the vent out slightly so that the panel tucks behind it and fits back in properly.

After doing this you can reinstall the Apillar panel. It will slide down the A pillar and into the dash then pop back onto the Apillar with the two pins that hold it on. Don't forget to re-attach the plastic cable that keeps this panel from being launched at you should an accident occur that deploys the side curtain airbags. At this point you can enjoy your sound stage which will be much improved over simply firing the tweeters straight up through the factory grills. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:54 PM   #2
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Hey Matt, it looks like your work was done at David's? I used to be a manager for them when I was in college. Id love to hear yours when I pick up mine.
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:46 PM   #3
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Yea, I did all the work at David's. I worked there all during college as well. They still let me use the shop sometimes to work on my car. They are good people. I assume you know Brice? IMO best installer in the state! Whats your name?
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:52 PM   #4
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Nevermind, I just read your profile, I remember you. We met a couple times when I was working there. Let me know if you want to hear the car. I'll be in BR until the end of December then I'm headed to Houston for work. I'll be ordering the carPC and putting subs/amp in soon to go along with the other stuff I have already.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:23 PM   #5
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Any finished pics, with the panels all back in place?
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:23 PM   #6
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Looks just like it did before I took it apart. Cosmetically you can't see that I've changed anything in my car. That is the goal of my install!
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob.au View Post
Any finished pics, with the panels all back in place?
man!!! thats a hot car
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:28 PM   #8
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How's the imaging with the tweeters installed like this? I'm getting ready to drop some speaker in and was looking for ways to improve the imaging.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:03 PM   #9
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Where did you run the wiring? Is it pretty easy getting wires from the kick panels up to the tweets?
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:11 AM   #10
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I just dropped wire down from the tweeter location to under the dash and tied it in there. The imaging is ok, the processor made it much better. It gets a pretty good center image but it lacks depth due to the placement of the midrange in the doors. I think this car would be ideal with a 3'' and tweet molded into each A-pillar and a midbass driver in the door or kick. You have to take into account the side curtain air bags that deploy from the A-pillars though. It appears that the bag deploys from the top and the panel slings out. If you devised a way to make a two part panel and still maintain a oem cosmetic appearance the air bag could deploy without slinging speakers at your head. I recommend extreme caution with this and it would probably be best to have it done professionally. I would not recommend it.
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:46 PM   #11
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^^^ That should be a separate thread, not in the tweeter installation thread, lol. Definitely worthy of a new thread.

Back on topic, I just bought a $0.89 metal bracket from home depot to mount my tweeters. I just broke off each end for each side. Sorry that this picture doesn't apply, I used the same brackets for my bike and have this picture handy. You can see the brackets have 3 offset holes on each end. I broke it off at the third hole in the center hole secured the tweeter, and the outside hole mounted it to the factory location via factory screw. (Note that the picture may be confusing, because I drilled more holes for the wingnuts/bolts).

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Old 05-26-2009, 05:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel View Post
Hi all, I'm working on designing a clean, stealth install in my new car. I'm going to document the process to gain insight and opinions from you, the knowledgeable group of people I have learned to listen to. The system is a work-in-progress, and as such, it will change drastically as I go. Your ideas, solutions, and knowledge are more then welcome in this post! Criticism, notes, and complaints are all welcome, provided they are constructive. I have thick skin, so don't worry 'bout my feelings, and just say whats on your mind, OK?

That said, let me lay down the foundation of this project:
The car is a fairly rare one! The MAZDASPEED version of the Mazda 3 hatchback is unique in that it is a factory high-boost turbocharged car. 5000 total are slated for production. It is not a race car, but it can be raced, road course style, with little to no mods in the suspension. Much like the STi's and Evo's of this world. The car, like the STi Limited Edition, is a wolf in sheep's clothing, with 263HP and 280 lbs/ft of TQ. It has a unique interior, suspension, wheels, and body panels. With this in mind, I have chosen a stealth install, to keep the car under the radar, so to speak. This is my daily driver, so maintaining the utility of a hatchback car is one of the most important parts of this install, which means no amps mounted on the backseat, and no sub box taking up the whole trunk.

The system goals are simple - produce fantastic SQ performance with a nice SPL potential, all the while maintaining a stock-like look wherever prying eyes would dare to. This means that the stock HU will remain, so long as it doesn't affect the audio performance negatively. Time will tell if the stock HU has the ability to play cleanly to a set of LOC's, but I hope so! The dash is very integrated, and the steering wheel has audio controls. Notably, this car has one of those LCD panels located in the middle of the dash that provides readouts on the audio, A/C, and ambient temp. This means that removal of the stock HU would disable some of the display.

The other important part of this install is that I must utilize the factory locations of the speakers, which means no kickpods. The sail panels are where I plan to install the tweeters of a good set of comps (or active-fed separates), simply because buying a plastic sail panel replacement is easy. However, doors panels are not, so they will stay as stock as possible. That in mind, I'm open to any and all ideas, as I mentioned above.

The equipment that I've picked out thus far (and this list evolves constantly)

Audio Control Crossover (haven't picked a model yet), mounted in the glove box's cavernous storage space, making the factory HU's line outputs RCA's. Mounted in the G.B. to accomplish a close wiring connection from the HU's output wires, and to make minute adjustments in the crossovers and/or gains from the passenger seat.

Pioneer Premier components, Eclipse SC8264 comps, or DIY it w/ a nice, clean off-axis capable tweeter and 6.5" midrange.

Rears installed just for the hell of it, and to appease my passengers who will cram in the car, occasionally. (Please don't tell me to ditch the rears, this will be the first car I've owned that is a 4 door, and thus the first one that I've installed performance audio in the rear on, so while I do agree it does nothing for SQ performance, I just want to keep the passengers comfortable, k? K. I promise to leave them off when there are no passengers behind me. Pinky swear. )

Subwoofer will be either the almighty linear motor SW8000 or its lil bro, the SW7000. Runners up were Diamond's D6, Polk's SR, and the Adire Brahma. According to WinISD, the SW8000 trumps them all, and reviews seem to show that the LMT woofers do put up amazing performance in both SQ and SPL. Since I have room for only one sub, and a 10" at that, might as well be one of the most cutting edge subs out there, eh?

Amps...ah yes, its been an internal battle to pick the perfect set. After much deliberation, I decided (so far) that the Eclipse XA4000 and XA1000 would be a nice combo. Why? Because their ICEpower technology (from the B&O boys) would leave my alternator happier, and the size and power of these guys, along with their ability to stay cool, all meet my needs. Runners up were Audison, Diamond, JBL, and Polk.

Wiring will be KnuKonceptz, because everyone I know who's used them likes them, and the prices are great.

Sound deadener will be B-Quiet, or Raammat, can't decide which.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:03 PM   #13
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great write up I like it
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