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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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Both affect the backwave. The baffle forces the pressure on the back of the cone limiting the cones movement. The polyfil disperses the backwave. Most prefer the polyfil including myself and I've tried both. Adding the dime sized hole turns the baffle into an aperiodic enclosure. The hole should be off center up or down not right behind the center of the speaker (vent pole).
 

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Both affect the backwave. The baffle forces the pressure on the back of the cone limiting the cones movement. The polyfil disperses the backwave. Most prefer the polyfil including myself and I've tried both. Adding the dime sized hole turns the baffle into an aperiodic enclosure. The hole should be off center up or down not right behind the center of the speaker (vent pole).
It was my understanding that you need a restrictive membrane covering the hole to be considered an AP enclosure. Isn't just a random hole in a box just a poorly vented enclosure with no tuning?
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
dougiefresh131 said:
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.
Any 4x6 speaker just doesn't have enough kick in it for you to notice the particular speaker upfront. The 5.25 however does somewhat and you can hear the different between the two speakers.

There is consoles that came in jeeps that had the 7 speaker setup from the factory which had the sub right inside the console. I've seen a guide on here before how a guy turned his ordinary console into a sub one. Or you can just look on the classifieds and find a console that is sub ready?

I do know that the stock sub in the console is not that good tho and also recall seeing a thread of how some members actually upgrade the stock sub from the console to something aftermarket.

Also you wouldn't need an amp if you were to upgrade your front and rear speakers. I have 5.25 upfront and 6.5 in the rear, no issues and for me it sounds great.

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Any 4x6 speaker just doesn't have enough kick in it for you to notice the particular speaker upfront. The 5.25 however does somewhat and you can hear the different between the two speakers.

There is consoles that came in jeeps that had the 7 speaker setup from the factory which had the sub right inside the console. I've seen a guide on here before how a guy turned his ordinary console into a sub one. Or you can just look on the classifieds and find a console that is sub ready?

I do know that the stock sub in the console is not that good tho and also recall seeing a thread of how some members actually upgrade the stock sub from the console to something aftermarket.

Also you wouldn't need an amp if you were to upgrade your front and rear speakers. I have 5.25 upfront and 6.5 in the rear, no issues and for me it sounds great.

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An amp makes ALL the difference in the world. I have a small amp (KTP-445) that only puts out 45 watts RMS per channel but it made a HUGE difference in my 5.25 / 6.5 Polk combo. If you drive with the top and/or doors off above 35 MPH you're really going to need an amp. Even at low volumes it made a big difference in mine. The stock head unit sounded like crap through nice speakers. I tried it but didn't tolerate it long at all.
 

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An amp makes ALL the difference in the world. I have a small amp (KTP-445) that only puts out 45 watts RMS per channel but it made a HUGE difference in my 5.25 / 6.5 Polk combo. If you drive with the top and/or doors off above 35 MPH you're really going to need an amp. Even at low volumes it made a big difference in mine. The stock head unit sounded like crap through nice speakers. I tried it but didn't tolerate it long at all.
Check out this neat little amp install:
http://www.jeepz.com/forum/product-reviews/31154-skinny-pedal-jeep-tj-amp-bracket.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
An amp makes ALL the difference in the world. I have a small amp (KTP-445) that only puts out 45 watts RMS per channel but it made a HUGE difference in my 5.25 / 6.5 Polk combo. If you drive with the top and/or doors off above 35 MPH you're really going to need an amp. Even at low volumes it made a big difference in mine. The stock head unit sounded like crap through nice speakers. I tried it but didn't tolerate it long at all.
I get that an AMP would make a difference, but I think his actual question was more along the lines "does he NEED an amp to run these speakers.."

But I'm sure an AMP would give it that extra kick, especially on top/door off days.
 

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I get that an AMP would make a difference, but I think his actual question was more along the lines "does he NEED an amp to run these speakers.."

But I'm sure an AMP would give it that extra kick, especially on top/door off days.
No doubt. I was just surprised you said it "sounds great" even without an amp. That just wasn't my experience at all, but maybe for whatever reason mine didn't sound as good as yours set up like that.
 

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everyone thats purchased the Nalin/polk packages, where are you guys mounting the crossovers. I can't decide on best spot. PLEASE HELP
Have you looked at inside the panel under steering wheel and inside the glovebox?
 

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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.
I've been asked this a few times now so I want to make sure that this information is available for the masses.

Coaxial speakers, like the DB521, have tweeters that are literally part of the speaker and cannot be removed to be mounted in my tweeter bracket:


Component sets, like the DB5251, have everything mounted separately. A component set consists of the speakers, crossovers, and tweeters. Note how there is no way to mount the tweeter in the center of a component speaker(think of it like a mini subwoofer and the tweeter takes care of the highs). This is the type of setup that the tweeter mounts are made for.
 

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Front Speakers Location: Dash
Left Front Speaker Wire (+): Brown/Red
Left Front Speaker Wire (-): Green
Right Front Speaker Wire (+): Blue
Right Front Speaker Wire (-): Purple

Found this on the web, can anyone confirm?
Keep seeing conflicting posts on here.

This is for 98 TJ
 

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Bought the adapters and all was great except two problems.
1. When i rotate light switch it hits the plate. (Not too big of a deal)
2. Driver side speaker will work until I mount the plate to dash.

Not Nalin mounts bought these before discovering this thread. Are they side specific?

Mounts I have http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007ZDCGVG/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Do I need to move the grounds attached below? The speaker crackles then the head unit says failure on display. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Upon further testing same problem when i switched the sides of the speakers. Must have got a defective speaker. And switched plates, not hitting headlight switch anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
Bought the adapters and all was great except two problems.
1. When i rotate light switch it hits the plate. (Not too big of a deal)
2. Driver side speaker will work until I mount the plate to dash.

Not Nalin mounts bought these before discovering this thread. Are they side specific?

Mounts I have http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007ZDCGVG/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Do I need to move the grounds attached below? The speaker crackles then the head unit says failure on display. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Upon further testing same problem when i switched the sides of the speakers. Must have got a defective speaker. And switched plates, not hitting headlight switch anymore.
1) sounds like you might have the plates reversed.
2) sounds like a grounding problem between plate and speaker. Since the speaker works until you mount it, clearly that means you short circuit something, check if anything is loose on the speaker. After reading your wiring info, and responding below.. it does appear like you got your polarities flipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #117 ·
Front Speakers Location: Dash
Left Front Speaker Wire (+): Brown/Red
Left Front Speaker Wire (-): Green
Right Front Speaker Wire (+): Blue
Right Front Speaker Wire (-): Purple

Found this on the web, can anyone confirm?
Keep seeing conflicting posts on here.

This is for 98 TJ
This is for a 97 TJ, but I am sure its the same. Straight from the service manual.

left front (-)= brown/red
left front (+) = dark green
right front (-) = dark blue
right front (+) = voilet

Seems like you got your stuff reveresd tho...
 

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I had it wired the way you said as the way in my post sounded tinny. I'm returning those speakers and getting the polks since everyone has good luck with them. So those ends you put on the wires just slip on the posts of the speaker?
 

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Discussion Starter · #119 ·
I had it wired the way you said as the way in my post sounded tinny. I'm returning those speakers and getting the polks since everyone has good luck with them. So those ends you put on the wires just slip on the posts of the speaker?
Yea exactly, you can get those little connectors at any electrical store. Just splice them in then they can slide on the posts of the speaker. This will make a better and sturdier connection than just trying to tie up/wrap the wire around the posts of the speakers.
 

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Bought the adapters and all was great except two problems.
1. When i rotate light switch it hits the plate. (Not too big of a deal)
2. Driver side speaker will work until I mount the plate to dash.

Not Nalin mounts bought these before discovering this thread. Are they side specific?

Mounts I have http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007ZDCGVG/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Do I need to move the grounds attached below? The speaker crackles then the head unit says failure on display. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Upon further testing same problem when i switched the sides of the speakers. Must have got a defective speaker. And switched plates, not hitting headlight switch anymore.
Post a picture.
 
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