Okay, I got the wife am '89 YJ for her birthday. The "aftermarket stereo" had a chopped off dowel rod jammed into it as a replacement tuner and there was one radio shack indoor/outdoor speaker mounted behind the passenger seat with exposed wiring.
The Jeep is an extra vehicle for fun running around in good weather, but we still needed some tunes.
I was inspired by another post to try the Ammo Can Speaker Box solution.
I went to a couple pawn shops yesterday looking for a deal on a radio that would accept an auxiliary input for Ipod, but didn't come up with anything. A stop into a local car audio place yielded a $119 Sony... after install, harness, taxes and running wire to the rear seat area I paid about $175. I also picked up a pair of 4" Boss M5's that were in the "used but working case" for the project. A stop at the Army/Navy yielded 2 boxes for $7 each. A stop at the hardware store for some Roll Gasket, spray paint and some nuts & bolts set me up for the project.
First Step: Prep Boxes.
Sand the rust off the ammo cans. I could've gone to a gun show and gotten "like new" cans for under $20 each, but I was in a rush to get the project done over the weekend.
Second Step: Base Paint.
Set a base layer of Primer. I knew I would need a couple coats, so I wanted to get one on before I did the drilling.
Third Step: Drilling for Speakers.
I printed out a pattern of dots and taped the template to the front of the box. After drilling the pattern I wanted for the sound to go through, I made another template for the mounting bolts out of Roll Gasket. I wanted to use the gasket to lessen the likelihood of rattle from the cans themselves.
Fourth Step: Another Coat of Paint.
After discussing with the wife, we decided that the flat primer gray actually matched the interior and the padding on the roll bar nicely. So, I put another coat on.
Fifth Step: Mount Boxes to Jeep.
I took the boxes out to the jeep and figured out where to place them so that the lids could still be opened. One of the nice things about this Speaker Box solution is that they can be used for some temporary storage also. In this case, mounting the front of the boxes (speaker side, not latch side) even with the front of the wheel well was going to be about perfect.
I put two 3/8ths inch hole straight through the box, the carpet, the wheel well and the liner. I put a third hole under the speaker to run the speaker wire through.
The truth is that the "third" hole was actually the 2nd one I drilled, intending to use it as a mounting point. Because of the curvature of the plastic wheel well liner, the drill bit did not reach down far enough to get through it. Even with the box removed, I couldn't get through the liner. A better craftsman would probably have put the time & effort into getting it right. My thought process was that even if I get through the liner, my intended mounting solution of a simple nut & bolt through everything wouldn't work if the liner wasn't flush against the wheel well itself. For this reason, I put the middle hole in last as the second mounting point.
I also put a textured roll gasket material in the bottom of the boxes to mitigate rattle from items that might end up in the boxes in the future.
With all the holes drilled and aligned, I ran the speaker wires under the carpet and up into the boxes, then put the two bolts in place for each box.
Sixth Step: Wire Speakers
Of course, I had tested the speakers before mounting them, but now it was time to do it for real. I don't remember why I bought a soldering iron and some solder many many years ago. This, however, was my big chance to use it... so I dug it out of the bottom of a closet and attached the wires to the speakers, covering the (sloppy) soldering job with some electrical tape.
Seventh: Attach Lids and check for rattles
After getting the lids on, I cranked the speakers up to REALLY LOUD and found a couple rattles. The first was on a Locking Nut & Bolt on one of the speakers. Apparently, while tightening the last bolts in place, I had taken up some slack and one there was a enough play on one corner of one speaker to allow it to rattle. Easy Fix.
The second rattle source was more subtle, but definitely present on both boxes. It was the wire handle on each side. this is a supplemental hoop of wire that it neither part of the latch or the top handle. Both boxes were getting a slight rattle from them and they served no real purpose for the project. After a little effort and a few minutes with some pliers, both were ripped off and the rattles were no more.
Lastly, one of the niece things about DIY is that it is also DIFY (Do it FOR yourself). I am sure that many would've spent more than an evening and one afternoon on this project and made the boxes look nicer or worked cleaner holes, paint and wiring. The fact is that I like the way the boxes look and their roughness matches the twenty year old vehicle pretty well. More importantly, the wife likes it and its her Birthday Jeep!
I hope this is helpful to anyone interested in this cheap and easy project.
(not sure why pics aren't "live".. they show up in preview???)