Monday, November 26, 2012

New Speakers

One of the downsides to driving an 18 year old car is that stuff starts to wear out. I know, you're shocked. Today's particular example is the front door speakers.

You know how when the speaker has worn out you get that humming sound when deep tones are playing? That was pretty much happening all the time with both the front door speakers. They are 5-1/4" speakers with paper cones and the paper had pretty much deteriorated. So I took the door panel off to get at the speaker so I could measure and start shopping for new ones. Then I found a hitch.

The factory speakers have this special configuration for extra shallow mounting depth. I have never seen a speaker that thin and the ensuing search revealed that this is a most rare situation. Of course, when it comes to cars, another word for rare is expensive. My options were pretty simple: buy new factory speakers from the dealer (~$200 for the pair according to or try to find something close and make it work. I decided on the latter option.

I found some entry level pioneer speakers (TS-G1344R if you care) for around $30. It was nice that the speakers with the shallowest mounting depth were also the cheapest. But, despite being the shallowest I could find, they were still far too deep to just bolt in. I had to make some kind of adapter for them to fit in the existing space.

The strategy I settled on was to use 1.8" thick MDF sheet (~$3.99), cut into appropriate size rings. I would need to stack three rings under each speaker to provide the necessary space (3/8" total depth). This is what the rings look like:

Cutting circles turns out to be tricky business, though. I was using my Dremel (like I do for almost all my little projects) and I tried using a string tied around the Dremel and a screw to get the circle but that didn't work well. Dremel has this cool attachment specifically for cutting circles. Check it out.

But there were two significant downsides to this. One is the cost, about $15, which I wanted to avoid at this time, and the other was time. Nobody in town had this thing so I would have had to order it. I was interested in getting this job done now so I decided to make my own.

Mine's not as fancy as the Dremel brand one, but it only cost me $0.50 worth of aluminum stock which they had on hand at Ace Hardware (I love Ace Hardware). I already had the part that attaches to the Dremel, so all I needed was the metal piece. Easy. (I also used the Dremel to make the circle cutter—a very versatile tool.)

Here's how the install ended up. Of course, nobody will see that since the interior door panel will cover it up. I like coming up with a $40 solution for a $200 problem.

Passenger Door
Driver Door

Here one last picture for curiosity sake.

Here's the MDF sheet with holes cut into it.

Tags: 1994 Landcruiser speaker install, Pioneer TS-G1344R, home made Dremel circle cutter


Post a Comment

<< Home