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

74954 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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No problem glad it's helping out people! Any questions just ask!

:cheers2:
It certainly make my life easier!

Your thread is more detailed than any instructions I could ever hope to include. Not only does it have step by step photography, but viewers are able to get instant input from hundreds of other people that have already performed the installation.

:thumbsup:
 

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It certainly make my life easier!

Your thread is more detailed than any instructions I could ever hope to include. Not only does it have step by step photography, but viewers are able to get instant input from hundreds of other people that have already done the installation.

:thumbsup:
It's a great thread, coupled with a great product/company. Glad I was lucky enough to come across it (the original Nalin thread).
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Nicely done esad_b with the pics and explanation. My brackets have arrived from NalinMFG and I'll be installing my new speakers tomorrow. Your thread here will really help make my install easier.
Thanks a lot! its a fairly straight forward install, the hardest part is probably cutting that beam off unless you have a newer TJ than your all set.

It certainly make my life easier!

Your thread is more detailed than any instructions I could ever hope to include. Not only does it have step by step photography, but viewers are able to get instant input from hundreds of other people that have already performed the installation.

:thumbsup:
Haha no worries Nalin! Glad to give back to this forum, it's saved me a few hundred dollars from some of the DIY's and tips that I used. :cheers:

It's a great thread, coupled with a great product/company. Glad I was lucky enough to come across it (the original Nalin thread).
No doubt its a great product. They have plastic ones on crutchfield as well but I've heard the quality is junk and they tend to rattle. So I knew it wasn't worth my time and that I should give the Nalin ones a go.

The Nalin adapters are an amazing product and quality. :thumbsup:
 

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Got my Nalin bracket in today, I'll be dremmeling later this evening..... :)

Some observations:

- DB651's fit into my stock soundbar but mounting holes did not line up. Drilled some new ones right through the fabric and it worked great.

- Way, way easier to do this by taking the soundbar off. 4 bolts -- easy mode.

- For you midwesterners, ABC warehouse sells these. And price matches. I got DB651+DB521 for $118 out the door including tax.
 

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Do the adapters.

One of my best mods up with regearing - no joke.

I put some seriously good quality hertz audio in the front and they just blew apart my clarion 4x6s.

Take the time, find a good set of speakers. 5.25" all the way around.

Oh and consider the tweeter moutns NalinMFG makes. I got bummed on shipping due to being in Canada and made my own mounts by the sun visor.

They're overpowering everything. These tweeters need to be moved farther back - like right where the nalinMFG mounts are?!?!
 

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Do the adapters.

One of my best mods up with regearing - no joke.

I put some seriously good quality hertz audio in the front and they just blew apart my clarion 4x6s.

Take the time, find a good set of speakers. 5.25" all the way around.

Oh and consider the tweeter moutns NalinMFG makes. I got bummed on shipping due to being in Canada and made my own mounts by the sun visor.

They're overpowering everything. These tweeters need to be moved farther back - like right where the nalinMFG mounts are?!?!


Right where they need to be :2thumbsup:
 

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I have read this whole thread and book marking it so I can start working on my Jeep when I get home next week.

But what I have seen is if anyone has used the Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System in the pods? Where is the best place to put the tweeter from these?

I have Nalin's adapters for the 5.25's for the dash and the bought the Polk Audio db5251 Component System with the tweeter mounting brackets from Nalin as well.
 

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I have read this whole thread and book marking it so I can start working on my Jeep when I get home next week.

But what I have seen is if anyone has used the Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System in the pods? Where is the best place to put the tweeter from these?

I have Nalin's adapters for the 5.25's for the dash and the bought the Polk Audio db5251 Component System with the tweeter mounting brackets from Nalin as well.
The Polk Audio DB6501-s (slim) is what I put in my soundbar and it fit like a glove. I didn't have to adjust anything or worry about tweeter location. Sounds great to me. Screw holes matched right up. That'd be the way to go I'd think. Not sure if you can Exchange the ones you say you bought. I also paint my speaker grills black.

Purple Mode of transport Automotive exterior Vehicle door Head restraint


Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Sleeve Hood
 

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I have a question for those of you who have done this modification. While doing your due diligence by looking up write-ups and searching the internet for information...were you able to identify which adapters were made by NalinMFG by their unique rounded shape/visual appearance? I am seeking direct consumer feedback through this survey question in order to supplement consumer testimony in a lawsuit from an eBay seller claiming that he has the right to sell exact copies(minus the logo). Secondary meaning( http://www.wiemeltlaw.com/id16.html ) must to be confirmed in order to uphold a previous eBay ruling of trade dress violation. Thank you in advance for your time.
 

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Yes, the speaker covers fit back on. My TJ, even with the MTX mounts that tilt the speaker up to vertical instead of contouring to the dash profile, has them on it and it doesn't look like anything's changed.
I'm going to be doing my DB521's in the front soon. I bought them used and they already came with plastic adaptors that look like Nalin's metal ones. Curious about the MTX mounts now that you've used them for awhile. Do you think it makes a difference having the speaker tilted up vertically? I am concerned about the tweeter sound being lost behind the dash and it seems like that might help and allow me to remedy the issue without putting tweeters in view / harm's way.

Your goal is to break up the backwave of the speaker do enough to occupy the space behind the speaker (a lil different than packing a sub box) but loosely pushed in...not crammed in. It gets caught in the speaker basket and wiring so don worry about it falling out.
When I put my DB651's in the soundbar I stuffed my pods really tight until the polyfil was about 1" from the back of the speaker. Still have the stock deck pushing it for now so of course it doesn't sound much different than stock 5.25" speakers yet (I have an Alpine unit and Power Pack that are going in soon). Did I make a mistake cramming the polyfil in so tight? Doesn't seem like it would cause a problem to me.

More specifically the polyfill in this application is to lessen the chance that the sound from the rear of the speaker doesn't cancel out the sound from the front of the speaker. If you were able to completely "enclose" the rear of the speaker with fiberglass or something airtight you would get better bass and mid range.

You can test out the difference this makes with a home system easily. Simply reverse the wires on one of the speakers and you will know what is happening with the front speaker setup in a jeep.
This kind of supports the idea that maybe me cramming the polyfil in the rear pods kind of tight wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I bought foam speaker baffles for the front speakers and they completely close off the back of the speaker. Kramer from Crutchfield advised me to put a dime sized hole in the front speaker baffles to allow the right amount of air to move in and out (just enough for the wiring to comfortably go through ironically). What are you getting at about reversing the wires with regard to that stuff? BTW I guessed polarity on the rears because there was nothing to tell me for sure and it "seems" like everything's fine ...never thought to try reversing them. I think it's right though...just used some logic to make my choice (lol don't remember what that was now).



Right where they need to be :2thumbsup:
May be a dumb question; so you can remove the tweeters from your existing DB521's and place them in these brackets? So far this is my favorite as far as that goes, although I fear they might get kicked or get wet. Better than up in the dash in your face though IMO.
 

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When I put my DB651's in the soundbar I stuffed my pods really tight until the polyfil was about 1" from the back of the speaker. Still have the stock deck pushing it for now so of course it doesn't sound much different than stock 5.25" speakers yet (I have an Alpine unit and Power Pack that are going in soon). Did I make a mistake cramming the polyfil in so tight? Doesn't seem like it would cause a problem to me.

This kind of supports the idea that maybe me cramming the polyfil in the rear pods kind of tight wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I bought foam speaker baffles for the front speakers and they completely close off the back of the speaker. Kramer from Crutchfield advised me to put a dime sized hole in the front speaker baffles to allow the right amount of air to move in and out (just enough for the wiring to comfortably go through ironically). What are you getting at about reversing the wires with regard to that stuff? BTW I guessed polarity on the rears because there was nothing to tell me for sure and it "seems" like everything's fine ...never thought to try reversing them. I think it's right though...just used some logic to make my choice (lol don't remember what that was now).
Polyfill in an enclosure breaks up the waves and makes the enclosure seem larger to the driver than it is (generally more bass in a smaller space or lower extension).

Unless you are tuning the enclosure with a port, you generally want to completely enclose the speaker. This is better for bass output so the wave from the back of the speaker doesn't cancel out the wave from the front. I was saying you can simulate this by taking some home speakers and reversing the polarity of one. The bass will be gone and it will sound weird. That's one of the reasons you don't get much bass from the front of a wrangler.

Reversing the polarity front to rear doesn't have as big of effect as left to right, but it still does make a difference.
 

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How much of a difference will the DB521 make over Polk 4x6's?
Also, if I were to go with the DB521 up front and the DB651s in the soundbar, would I need an amp? I currently have a JVC KD-HDR70 headunit (MOS-FET 50W x 4 (20W RMS x 4)). Would you recommend running new wire to the speakers or is the stock wiring sufficient?

I am also looking to add a sub since there is 0 bass in my current set up. I only want some bass. I'm not looking to shake my whole jeep apart and I don't to spend a lot of money. I don't want to put anything behind the rear seat, or in the bottom of it. I've seen some center console subs (my center console did not come with a sub) and I think I want to take that route. I saw someone with the Sound Ordinance B-8PT http://www.crutchfield.com/S-wphI5kufksZ/p_777B8PT/Sound-Ordnance-B-8PT.html. I like it because it has a built in amp. I also saw something where a guy cut a hole in the side of the plastic liner of the console and mounted a 6.5" sub directly to that and sealed the top with a piece of plywood.
 
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