How To: Installing 6x9" rear speakers

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Guides (For How-to guides, NOT how-to ' started by vortex2450, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. vortex2450

    vortex2450 Buying Parts...

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    Anyone who has owned a SHO knows that after 15+ years the stock speakers are usually toast and in need of replacement. Unfortunately Ford/Mazda used a 6x8 speaker which limits you choices and for me personally I am big on audio quality and the 6x8 speakers I listened too just were not up to par.

    I have seen some install where people tried to just jam a 6x9 in the factory space provided and not only did it look bad and not allow you to use the factory grills but it also takes away from SQ as the speaker isn't properly mounted to it's baffle (in this case the rear deck of the car).

    I saw that no one has made a clear cut guide for s clean install and while it is a pretty straightforward process I figured it would not hurt to have a good thread for reference.

    So if your wanting to upgrade those stock 6x8 rear speakers with a more versatile 6x9 set here's a basic how-to.

    Things you will need:
    - 6"x9" speakers
    - Cut-out template for your speakers (most brands include a template with the speakers)
    - Some form of a small cutting tool (I used a Dremel, a generic rotary tool like this could work as well)
    - 2-3 Metal Cutting Wheels/Cookies for your tool (trust me I ate through 3)
    - Grinding wheel attachment for said tool
    - Drill/Cordless Drill
    - 1/8" drill bit (may have to go smaller/bigger depending on your mounting screws)
    - Mounting screws of your choice
    - Some form of gasket material ( I used 3/16" x 1/8" gray weather stripping)
    - Sharpie
    - Flathead screwdriver (medium)
    - A couple of hours of free time

    Items I would suggest:
    - Safety Glasses!
    - Particle/Dust Mask
    - "EZ-Lock" cutting set for the Dremel
    - Wear a long sleeved shirt! ( I didn't and paid for it)
    - Ear protection
    - 3/8" ratchet w/ 12" extension and 12mm socket


    Start off by setting out everything you'll need close-by and in an orderly fashion. This will make life much easier instead of climbing in and out of the back seat repeatably for tools like I ended up doing.

    Step 1: Pop out the factory speaker grills. You should be able to do this by pressing your thumbs up and against the edge and pushing with a backwards and upward motion. You can pry it up with the flat head but this will probably damage the grill so just be patient and use a constant force. :)

    [​IMG]


    Step 2: Unscrew and remove your stock speaker and disconnect the connector (obviously someone replaced mine but they still didn't pass judgement).
    [​IMG]

    Step 3: Place your cut out template to what you consider center of the hole and trace the edge onto the fabric/insulation with the sharpie.

    [​IMG]

    Step 4: Put on your safety glasses and mask!! ( I went overboard with the respirator but it's what I had, any white paper mask will do). It's not fun coughing up particles of fiberglass/metal.

    [​IMG]

    Step 5: Cut out the fabric with your Dremel/cutting tool , run it along the cutout line in the fabric until it touches metal to be sure it's cut. (If your using a bigger cut-out tool you'll find cutting the edge closest to you will be difficult, you can use a razor blade with a fresh blade but it will take some considerable force, be careful)

    [​IMG]

    Step 6: After 15-20 minutes and some profanities toss the cut out material.

    [​IMG]

    Step 7: Cutout the metal along the edge of the remaining insulation. I suggest using something to the keep tiny, hot pieces of metal from flying everywhere while you're cutting. Try to cut out as much of the raised stock mounting tabs as possible without deviating too far from your cutout line..

    [​IMG]


    When cutting remember to cut in the direction the blade is spinning , if not you don't you'll dramatically shortening the blades life, probably gonna have the blade catch, and put yourself at risk of having the blade shatter and cause either damage to your rear window or yourself! Start at the right side and work your way around to the rear of the hole and then the left side ( unless you blade spins counter-clockwise then go in the opposite direction) .

    You'll eventually reach this point where the metal closest to you isn't cut, you have two options. Continue as you have which means reaching around and contorting your arms/body to get a clean cut.. OR laying in the trunk and finishing the cut from there..


    [​IMG]


    I went into the trunk because I didn't feel safe with so little control over the Dremel and this turned out to be much easier.

    Step 7b: Remove the sub-woofer (4 12mm nuts) for more arm space.

    [​IMG]

    Ste 7c: Grab your dremel/cutting tool, your cut-out template, the sharpie and climb into the trunk. Once your in there (it's quite roomy ) place your template against the existing cut and trace the rest of what you need to cut.

    [​IMG]

    Cut away but remember your under the cut so you'll have hot metal flakes falling on you, no big deal if your wearing safety glasses, your mask, and a long sleeve shirt.


    Also, this is time consuming so be patient, and remember that your cutting with a high speed device mere inches from your rear window, disaster is only inches away.

    You'll eventually have to change blades, DO NOT use a worn out blade, if your using the Dremel with the EZ- Lock here is a worn out blade:

    [​IMG]


    Step 8: Once you have the holes cutout place them against your template for a general idea of how close your cut was as you may need to do some trimming.

    [​IMG]

    Step 9: Even if your a master with el' Dremel your probably going to have meat hooks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Go ahead and grind those down to an even and smooth surface.

    [​IMG]

    This is not done but here's the idea:

    [​IMG]

    Step 9: Place your new 6x9s onto the cutout and if necessary mark along the edges where the insulation is still in the way and cut it out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 10: Test fit your speaker into the hole.

    [​IMG]

    Once your sure it'll fit wrap the part of the speaker's frame that touches the metal of the car with your gasket material. The goal is to have the gasket in-between the speaker and the edges of the cutout hole to reduce vibration/rattle.

    [​IMG]

    Step 11: Find a drill bit that is slightly smaller in diameter than the threads of your mounting screws (1/8" is a pretty common size to use for this).

    [​IMG]

    Position and maneuver the speaker to where you'll want it to be mounted and using the speakers mounting points as a guide drill out one hole at a time and place a screw into it to hold the speaker still as to prevent holes from being drilled in the wrong spots.

    [​IMG]

    Step 12: Tighten your speaker down and replace the factory grill

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 13: Hook up your speaker via butt connectors ( I didn't take any picture here but this is pretty easy). Use both sets of wires in your connections so if and when you upgrade your head unit you won't have to worry about rewiring here.

    Step 14: Reinstall your sub-woofer, plug it back into the amp. Vacuum up all the mess from cutting the metal/carpet.

    Step 15: Enjoy your new rear speakers and start pondering on upgrading your front speakers/sub-woofer/head unit. :)

    I hope this helps anyone contemplating a rear speaker upgrade.

    Keep in mind I in no way am responsible in any damages you may inflict upon yourself/ your car while operating high speed tools.

    -Josh
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  2. 1993MTXSHO

    1993MTXSHO Its a Taurus...

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    Cool writeup man, you make me wanna pull mine now haha. I did this kinda cutting job on another car I had a while back to fit 6x9's, but I haven't bothered with my sho since its got some nice aftermarket 5x8's.
     
  3. kevinspann

    kevinspann 87 Octane

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    Nice writeup
     
  4. zach44102

    zach44102 BIG TURBO

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    I put in my 6x9's without doing all that mess.
     
  5. vortex2450

    vortex2450 Buying Parts...

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    Some 6x9 speakers may fit fine but most are too tall due to the co/tri-axial set up most after market speakers incorporate and I just can't justify the after market grill versus keeping a stock look. Plus this way you know the speaker is sealed up nice and tight to the rear deck creating a solid baffle which in turn keeps the front and rear waves separate as they should be.

    Although the down side is that you loose the carpet enclosure although I found you can always hot glue it to the back side or make custom ones to fit the speakers specs.

    -Josh
     

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