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

74958 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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Bamajeepman When you say the 6.5 polk speakers fit fine with the stock grill or you referring to the
cover that goes over the speaker with the light, the one that comes with the jeep? Mine is 2004
and when i looked at one of the pictures above in this thread the stock grill with dome light is gone
and there was only what looked like an aftermarket speaker cover.
When I measured my speaker the other day it was around the 5.5" mark so I dont see how a 6.5" fits. ???
 

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More great info. Use a pillow. got it.

Has anyone put the 6.5" into the soundbar and still used the factory cover with dome light. I saw the picture in
this thread but they just have the speaker exposed with no cover or dome light. I want to use my cover with dome
light. Is this possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
More great info. Use a pillow. got it.

Has anyone put the 6.5" into the soundbar and still used the factory cover with dome light. I saw the picture in
this thread but they just have the speaker exposed with no cover or dome light. I want to use my cover with dome
light. Is this possible?
Can't help you with this, sorry. I think the actual factory cover is not deep enough to fit over the 6.5" speaker so you might have to use the cover for the new speakers you buy usually speakers you buy come with their own covers but you will lose the dome light.

Again not 100% sure on this.

When you talk about wiring and splicing did you cut the existing wire to the old speaker
and put that red clip on in the picture to connect to the new speaker? Is that what you mean
by splicing?
Yes that is correct. The speakers I bought were previous installed in a 2004 Jeep, the newer jeeps have nice connectors on them so if you have a newer Jeep you could of just plug these in.

Since mine is a 97 it didn't have the nice connector, I just cut the white connector (on speaker) off and connected some wire with the red connector to plug onto the speaker.
 

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93 Posts
More great info. Use a pillow. got it.

Has anyone put the 6.5" into the soundbar and still used the factory cover with dome light. I saw the picture in
this thread but they just have the speaker exposed with no cover or dome light. I want to use my cover with dome
light. Is this possible?
I just installed 6.5's in my 2006. Not sure why you would think you would lose the dome lights? When people say that you will not be able to use the factory cover, they are talking about the speaker cover only. The 6.5" speaker will be just a little too big to fit in the factory speaker hole, and thus not allowing the use of the factory 5.25" speaker cover. I used the bracket supplied with the 6.5" polk speakers to mount them in the factory hole. Then used the new speaker covers to mount the speaker to the bracket. You dont lose your dome lights this way.
 

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I'm confused where you said the 6.5 is too big to fit in the hole but then you said you used the supplied bracket to mount
them in the hole. The hole hasnt changed so how does the bracket allow the speaker to fit into the hole?

And is this speaker flush enough to use the factory cover that includes the dome light?
 

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I'm confused where you said the 6.5 is too big to fit in the hole but then you said you used the supplied bracket to mount
them in the hole. The hole hasnt changed so how does the bracket allow the speaker to fit into the hole?

And is this speaker flush enough to use the factory cover that includes the dome light?
I dont have a picture on hand, but the bracket supplied has holes to mount to a surface, then corresponding holes that the speaker will mount to. The bracket bigger than the factory speaker hole, and you can mount the bracket onto the sound pod. This makes the speaker stick out of the sound pod more, but its better than cutting up the pod, or atleast for me it was....I would find a way to hack it up. The factory hole is plenty big enough to clear the speaker's magnet, but it is just small enough that the 6.5 will not sit all the way down into it. The bracket allows you to mount the speaker ontop of the factory hole. I hope this helps, but I am struggling to explain without photos. I will try to remember to post a pic when I get home.

Look at the links Nalin posted in regards to the dome light. You do not remove the lights. They are not part of the speaker cover. They wont fit flushe enough to use the factory covers, you will have to use the aftermarket covers. But they will not interfere with the dome lights.
 

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The Nalin pictures helped. Now I see what you mean. I will probably just opt for the 5.25 polks because I would have to trim the hole for it to sit down into it according to you and I would probably need more power to push them than what an aftermarket deck delivers.
Dont you think? Besides not sure 6" speakers are really going to be drastically better than the 5.25. Again, dont you think?
 

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I would love to see a picture of the db 651 installed if you have one. Were you able to mount the speaker cover on it
since it sat up higher according to your earlier post?
And mounting it was no problem with the bracket that comes with it from Crutchfield. Right?
 

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I would love to see a picture of the db 651 installed if you have one. Were you able to mount the speaker cover on it
since it sat up higher according to your earlier post?
And mounting it was no problem with the bracket that comes with it from Crutchfield. Right?
I will post a picture tonight. Mounting was NO PROBLEM whatsoever. It just makes the speakers stick out a little more. You will still be able to use the speaker covers that come with the speaker. Not the factory speaker cover.

The brackets come with the speakers from POLK...so no matter where you get them, they should have them in there.
 

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Alrighty. That's what we'll order then. Gotta keep that stock look.

Help me out with the process. You pull off the speaker box, and then what? just eyeball how much to trim off the speaker?
Can you use the stock speaker cover as a guide?
 

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Wow, I know this is an older post but it's new to me. What a great write up! Thanks so much! I'll be doing this very soon and this will come in handy.
 
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