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How to Speaker Upgrade Tutorial: 4x6" to 5.25" (Lots of pics)

74951 Views 141 Replies 40 Participants Last post by  esad_b
Figured I would do a write up and make it as detailed as possible so that people see how to upgrade their 4x6" speakers to 5.25" up front in their TJ. This is a decent improvement over the stock speakers when done and I was very pleased with the end result. The main issue with the stock speakers was that as soon as I turned up the music a bit up, the fronts would rattle this was because the screws were loose and the speakers just plain sucked for any decent music output.

It is a fairly straight forward procedure but it does involve some cutting on a little bar inside the dash as the 5.25" speaker is oval so its not a simple plug and play. This guide is good for 97 to 06 year TJ's.

This install took ~2hours and I took my time and I even had a bite to eat in between.

Tools needed:
Philips Screw Driver
Allan Head Screw Driver
Pliers
Wire Strippers
Dremel or some sort of hack saw in order to cut steel beam - Dremel recommended
5.25" NalinMFG speaker adapters
PolyFill
5.25" Speakers of your choice

*****
Another member mentioned that he used 18 gauge tin-snips to cut the steel beam off instead of using a dremel. So if you don't have a dremel guess you can try tin-snips.

Just wanted to add; I cut the bar with a pair of 18 gauge tin-snips that I paid $15 for. Just wanted to add this in case folks are thinking they need a higher priced Dremel or other tool.

- Chris
*****

There is a variety of adapters plates online and they range from 10-20$. I really did not want to go with some plastic ones due to maybe cracking or rattling so I opted to go with the NalinMFG. I had previously read some good reviews about them and figured why not give them a try considering they are 14g CNC laser cut steel. These plates will also fit ANY 5.25" aftermarket speaker. The quality of these adapters is really superb and solid. In your package you receive two (2) adapter plates(driver & passenger), (8) #8 machine bolts, and (8) #8 nylock nuts. and you really can't beat the price of $14.99.

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Procedure:
Okay, here we go.

1) Start of by removing the 2 Philip head screws

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2) Once removed you will find your speaker setup. As you can see from my pictures this was quite a ghetto setup. Remove the 4 or however many screws hold your speakers.

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3) Once the speaker is removed, you will be left over with other adapters/random stuff perhaps like me. I removed everything and just left the bare steel framing there. Because the NalingMFG adapters bolt straight into the steel frames holes you don't need any of this extra stuff.

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4) This is the tricky part, this is what you want to cut as much as possible off in order to fit the speakers in. It's quite heavy steel so get your dremel out and start cutting. This was the longest part of the entire upgrade. And I highly recommend to use the dremel as it makes the job fairly easy. It was a bit hard getting the dremel in there due to space constraints but I managed. Also I did remove the glove compartment to make things easier.

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You also might want to put something in the rear because there will be sparks flying, I had this towel lying around, soaked it a bit with water and covered the rear so no sparks would get anywheres and damage anything.

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Once you cut one part off you can easily bend it at the upper portion, this will make it a lot easier to get to. Also you can probably just cut a bit at the top and wiggle it until it breaks off if your in a hurry. Here is a picture of the bottom all cut.

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5) This is what the end result should look like when you finish taking the bracket off.
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And here is how much I actually cut off from the actual steel framing. I had no issues fitting the speakers in afterwards.

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6) After this it's pretty straight forward and you just have to attach your speakers to the bracket and screw the bracket on and connect the wires.

Here are the speakers that I had picked up online. They are Polk Audio DB521 5.25". They came with screws but I did not have to use them at all. The nice thing with these speakers is you can move the tweets around and position them at different angles of your liking.

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7) Use the screws provided that came with the adapters plates to attach your speakers to the plate itself.

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8) After the speakers are mounted, you want to connect the speakers to your existing wires. IMPORTANT: Usual colour code is the wire that is striped (red/white) is the (+) and the solid colour wire (white) is the (-), you don't want to flip the polarity on the connections you could ruin your speakers. If your not sure what's what, before disconnecting your old speaker look carefully and you should see a small (+) and (-) on the board so make notice of that.

The speakers I bought came from a 04 TJ so they already had the pigtail on them for straight connection, but I just cut those off and spliced in the wires.

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If your upgrading in a newer TJ, I guess this would of been just straight plug and play setup.

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9) Start sliding in your speakers into the hole and it should be a easy fit if you have removed enough from the steel frame.

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And here is a picture of the speakers actually mounted on the frame. Nice and tight and there should not be any rattling.

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Optional: Polyfill

I read online that polyfill helps with keeping the sound waves from bouncing around. Especially since the TJ is not that great of a vehicle for sound any little bit helps. You can pick up polyfill at walmart and it was like $5. I just kept stuffing it in until I noticed it was getting really full back there.

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Conclusion and Thoughts:
Overall this upgrade cost me just under $80 for the speakers and the plates. Personally think it was well worth the price especially since we all listen to music on a daily basis in the Jeep. Driving the Jeep earlier tonight I noticed it sounded a lot more balanced inside and almost as fell I was being hit by music all around me and not just coming from the sound bar.

The NalinMFG Adapters were wonderful and of high quality and they were designed to be a perfect fit. I would highly recommend these for anyone planning on doing this upgrade. :2thumbsup:

And here is a couple of images from the finished product. If you have any questions or if something is not detailed enough please let me know. Cheers.

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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002BEQWK?tag=diecastpro&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B0002BEQWK&adid=15JM1KS3T9054TJV9Y79&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2F4x4icon.com%2Foffroad%2F121606_cherokee_speakers%2Findex.htm

I recall them being cheaper somewhere else though, may try searching the part number.

The most popular speaker in my experience has been Polk's DB521.

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-5-25-Inch-Coaxial-Speakers/dp/B000P0PF8C/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1329588870&sr=1-2

Man this adapter sounds great. I'm extremely new to audio and I'm just plain not good at this stuff. What are some of the best 5.25" speakers? A lot of people in this thread have had to splice wires. Can you not get speakers that plug in?

How hard is it to get 6.25" speakers in the sounds bar? One said it was a pain in the *** but didn't go into detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
BamaJeepman21 said:
Man this adapter sounds great. I'm extremely new to audio and I'm just plain not good at this stuff. What are some of the best 5.25" speakers? A lot of people in this thread have had to splice wires. Can you not get speakers that plug in?

How hard is it to get 6.25" speakers in the sounds bar? One said it was a pain in the *** but didn't go into detail.
DB521 is your best bang for the buck.
The splicing of wires will be necessary as the speaker is not a stock component. It's quite easy to do nothing about it really, you can splice connectors and then plus the speakers in if it would help ;)

6.25" speakers in the soundbar can vary because different 6.25" speakers vary slightly in size and throw stuff off and make it harder to mount. But either way you will need to make the soundbar hole a bit bigger for the speaker to fit in any case.
 

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6.25" speakers in the soundbar can vary because different 6.25" speakers vary slightly in size and throw stuff off and make it harder to mount. But either way you will need to make the soundbar hole a bit bigger for the speaker to fit in any case.
Polk's matching 6.5" speakers go into the soundbar without any mods to the bar itself. :rolleyes:
 

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Polk's matching 6.5" speakers go into the soundbar without any mods to the bar itself. :rolleyes:
So, if I get the DB521's for the front, and want to get 6.5" in the pods. Which should I get, the DB651s or just DB651. Someone said earlier if you are not running a sub go with the slim mounts. Whats the difference? I plan on replacing my factory sub, but not sure if I will run an amplifier.

Thanks.
 

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So, if I get the DB521's for the front, and want to get 6.5" in the pods. Which should I get, the DB651s or just DB651. Someone said earlier if you are not running a sub go with the slim mounts. Whats the difference? I plan on replacing my factory sub, but not sure if I will run an amplifier.

Thanks.
These are good comparisons:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f13...ces-between-polk-audio-db651s-vs-db651-90072/

"As it turns out, in terms of mounting dimensions, both Polk Audio db651 and db651s are the same. The 'slim-ness' or 'shallow-ness' refers to what is being protruded out in front, ie the height of the dome. See merged non-scaled picture. (courtesy of Millionbuy.com and sonicelectronix.com).

This protruded dimension, unfortunately, is not reflected in the spec sheet released by Polk Audio.

Since the dome is higher for db651, it would be a little more work to reuse the OEM ring + grille. Hence using Polk's grilles makes more sense.

Reusing OEM ring+grille on db651s is not a problem.

Specs wise, the differences are:

db651

Power Handling (RMS) : 60 Watts
Power Handling (MAX) : 180 Watts
Frequency Response : 35Hz~22kHz

db651s

Power Handling (RMS) : 55 Watts
Power Handling (MAX) : 165 Watts
Frequency Response : 50Hz~22kHz"

http://www.c-j-l.net/Home/audio/db651_vs_db651s







(photos taken from second link)
 

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Thanks Nalin....I will be ordering some brackets from you soon...

So I understand the difference. My next question is, would I be able to use factory speaker covers on the non s version. From what I understand from the link you posted, you may or may not be able to. Has anyone installed the non s version and used their factory covers?
 

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Thanks Nalin....I will be ordering some brackets from you soon...

So I understand the difference. My next question is, would I be able to use factory speaker covers on the non s version. From what I understand from the link you posted, you may or may not be able to. Has anyone installed the non s version and used their factory covers?
Judging by the picture I would say no, although I can't say from first hand experience. The speakers will come with new ones (however I know that a lot of people prefer the factory look for security reasons):

 

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The brackets are wonderful!

I also packed the holes with 16 oz of poly-fil ($4 at walmart). The second picture is my hack job on installing the soundbar speakers. I stupidly cut the material when I didn't need to. Simply removing the sticky padding is enough, combined with the mounting adapter that Polk provides. I'm including it as a lesson to others as to what not to do.
 

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Got my brackets from Nalin....they are awesome! Easy install. Now...for the 6.5's for the pods.... I dont see how you guys got them in there with no modification. Any help would be appreciated!
I had to cut the outer lip off my 6.5's to get them to fit. They fit great after doing that. Sounds amazing.
 

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Yep. 6.5" Polk Slim mounts fit just fine in the 97-02 soundbar. The stock grille fits perfect.

I've had my system here since Tuesday but have yet to put it in. Only tested if the speakers would fit. Maybe it has something to do with the $200 quote a shop gave me to install everything. :rolleyes:

...and I really don't want to do it myself.
 

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Yep. 6.5" Polk Slim mounts fit just fine in the 97-02 soundbar. The stock grille fits perfect.

I've had my system here since Tuesday but have yet to put it in. Only tested if the speakers would fit. Maybe it has something to do with the $200 quote a shop gave me to install everything. :rolleyes:

...and I really don't want to do it myself.
I never caught on to the fact that there was a difference in the early and late model TJ's. Is my newb showin?:rolleyes:

It's really not that difficult. All you need is some wire strippers, spade connectors and some poly fill. Ill be finishing mine up this afternoon.

Church, What did you use to cut the outer lip of the speaker? Did you have to drill new mounting holes in what was left of the mounting surface of the speaker?

I may try and put the 6.5's in the dash, and move the 5.25's to the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Yep. 6.5" Polk Slim mounts fit just fine in the 97-02 soundbar. The stock grille fits perfect.

I've had my system here since Tuesday but have yet to put it in. Only tested if the speakers would fit. Maybe it has something to do with the $200 quote a shop gave me to install everything. :rolleyes:

...and I really don't want to do it myself.
No need for the shop to do it, to install that system you don't even need any special tools.

Considering the TJ being so accessible with no hidden things you should be able to run the wire inside the roll bar padding and everything look proffessionaly done. Probably take you a day to do while having a few beers.
 

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That was an awesome tutorial. Well done! Where can I buy online the NalinMFG Adapters? I live in the gulf so I doubt there are any
stores over here that have them. So would have to order online and have em shipped. Also there is no wallmart here
so what is another word for polyfill or description of it so I can search here.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
That was an awesome tutorial. Well done! Where can I buy online the NalinMFG Adapters? I live in the gulf so I doubt there are any
stores over here that have them. So would have to order online and have em shipped. Also there is no wallmart here
so what is another word for polyfill or description of it so I can search here.

Thanks
Thanks! I figured it was time I gave back to the community as I received lots of information on this forum myself and saved myself a lot of $$$ with different projects.

Get the adapters from http://www.nalinmfg.com/TJ-525-Speaker-Adapters_p_8.html

It's a great price and he will have them shipped straight to your door :)

About the polyfill, take the pillow you sleep on and cut it up ;) hehe just kidding. You can pretty much find that stuff in any pillow, just go to a store that sells pillows and find the cheapest one and tear it up to get the stuff. Also it doesn't need to be a big pillow, something small will do.
 
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