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

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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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Discussion Starter · #124 ·
ShizfunK said:
I did but the pic is wrong for some reason. They're shaped alpt more like yours than that pic. Rounded corners and 3 mounting holes for the speaker holes.
Ok I'm confused. In the first post you said you didn't buy the NALIN adapters? But now are saying you did? Because the picture you posted does not look like NALIN adapters..

NALIN adapters if bought from him/his website don't interfere with anything been running them now for 3 years, flawless!

Sent from my iPhone using JeepForum
 

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Ok I'm confused. In the first post you said you didn't buy the NALIN adapters? But now are saying you did? Because the picture you posted does not look like NALIN adapters..

NALIN adapters if bought from him/his website don't interfere with anything been running them now for 3 years, flawless!

Sent from my iPhone using JeepForum
The only places to buy NalinMFG speaker adapters are from NalinMFG.com and eBay seller Nalin_Manufacturing_LLC. I have no resellers/affiliates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
Got the Polks in today. Installed without a hitch, must've been a defective speaker. Now if only i knew if buying an OEM soundbar and harness would work, audio would be done.
Why wouldn't it work? It's straight forward to add the soundbar. You can even add PODS like the newer TJ's have instead of the whole bar..

However if you do get a OEM soundbar, get ready to replace the speakers in there also as the stock ones are junk.

Need a wiring diagram for the soundbar too? ;) I can get you the diagram if you need?
 

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I read that you can't add a sound bar with harness in the ones that didn't have it stock. Because there's no place to plug in the harness. As far as wiring diagrams goes, yes please. I'm liking the pod idea will 6.5 speakers fit or is there mods necessary. Will the lights come on with doors and headlight knob?
 

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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
I read that you can't add a sound bar with harness in the ones that didn't have it stock. Because there's no place to plug in the harness. As far as wiring diagrams goes, yes please. I'm liking the pod idea will 6.5 speakers fit or is there mods necessary. Will the lights come on with doors and headlight knob?
The harness for the soundbar is in the drivers footwell, look under there you should see a maze of wires.

This I found with a quick search, if you dont have the connector (C323) you can make one. Or simple just run the speakers straight to the back of your stereo..

The bottom slot for a connector is 2 pins high, by 5 pins wide, and is where the harness for the sound bar plugs in. If your lucky, they left a blank connector there. I also bought a sound bar used so had to make my harness. I found a 2x5 connector off a friends wrecked cherokee, and sanded it to fit. Then hooked up my speaker wires, and light so that they connected with the respective pins in the terminal block.
Or go to the wrecker and find a Jeep that has the soundbar and take the bar along with the harness off it. If you run it to this main connector down in the footwell area this will give you power for your lights also. If you simple just run the speakers to the stereo, you will need additional wires to run for the power of the lights etc.. I'd simply just make a harness or find one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
Has anyone used baffles instead of polyfill to "insulate" the 5 1/4s in the dash?
Only reason you might not get away with using baffles is because spacing restrictions in the rear of the speaker as the air vent comes up on the passenger side if I recall.

The drivers side might have a bit more clearance..
 

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Only reason you might not get away with using baffles is because spacing restrictions in the rear of the speaker as the air vent comes up on the passenger side if I recall.

The drivers side might have a bit more clearance..
I actually used some of those boom mat baffles in mine, they crushed a little while pushed up against the vents, but fit fine and I think help with keeping the sounds going forward. With the tweeters mounted with nalin brackets, the front speakers clarity is amazing.

One issue was with the volume turned up, the air vents vibrated against the baffles and made terrible noises at certain frequencies, like distorting speakers from too much power.
I ended up stuffing some rubber in between the two and am very happy with the results, my 100wrms polks can now scream at a full 45w rms (hpf set to 80 hz) without the air vents making them sound like they are distorting
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
I actually used some of those boom mat baffles in mine, they crushed a little while pushed up against the vents, but fit fine and I think help with keeping the sounds going forward. With the tweeters mounted with nalin brackets, the front speakers clarity is amazing.

One issue was with the volume turned up, the air vents vibrated against the baffles and made terrible noises at certain frequencies, like distorting speakers from too much power.
I ended up stuffing some rubber in between the two and am very happy with the results, my 100wrms polks can now scream at a full 45wrms without the air vents making them sound like they are distorting
Which baffles are you exactly speaking of?

I plan on swapping my nalin plates from my 97 into my 05 LJ this spring along with my polks. I used polyfill but might just stick baffles in there if it does work!? :cheers2:
 

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Which baffles are you exactly speaking of?
:
They were like these, thick airtight Styrofoam that is somewhat flexible (not like a cheap Styrofoam cup that just cracks)

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-6FRlVm...ch-Speaker-Baffles-Slim-line-2-1-2-depth.html

I think mine were deeper, (I want to say 4"?) I wanted more volume for the mid component speaker... Ended up being squished a little, but once I kept it from vibrating directly on the hvac vents I've been loving the crisp mids....
Also , cut a small round hole in the back for the wires, might try to seal up that hole just to see if it makes a difference, but I've read some people leave a dime sized hole sort of like a port...

On a side note, this brings the speaker forward in the brackets almost a 1/4 inch, and I actually reverse mounted the top of the 5 1/4 bracket ( think under the metal, not over) so that the speaker leans back for more clearance behind the metal dash sub frame. coincidentally, they are now aimed towards your stomach/ ribs instead of your knees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
esad_b

Thank you for this post! You're right, cutting the bracket was the hardest part of the job. I have the mechanical aptitude of a rock, so if I could do it, anybody can!! Thanks again.
No worries glad it helped, hard to believe that this was almost 4 years ago!

I'll be moving my brackets in the next week or so to my new LJ. Not sure if the newer Jeeps also have brackets in the same spot or not..

Sent from under the Jeep
 

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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.
Since you provided NO instruction for install on your DB5251 kit, where do the tweeters go??
 
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