Dicky

17cm (6.5") Front Speaker Install E46 Coupe

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BMW E46 17cm (6.5”) Front Speaker Installation

Into Factory Location

Right well here is my guide to installing 17cm component front speakers into the BMW E46 3 Series. Now the factory speakers aren’t up to much but if I was going to upgrade I wanted a better bass response from them which meant I didn’t want to go for 13cm speakers using the Autoleads adaptors as although this would have been nice and simple those extra 4 cm make all the difference :)

Now I didn’t want to cut into the metal work of the door at all and I wanted them to be hidden behind the factory locations so it didn’t look like I have been up to anything, which meant I couldn’t go for anything with a massive magnet. Obviously this is aimed as a guide and this is how it worked on my car, don't forget yours may be different in someway, I have just done this as a point of reference for people who fancy doing the same mod giving you something to go by.

So I decided upon the Pioneer Speakers as I have used them in a number of previous install and always been happy with there performance and I knew that there magnets were going to be of a reasonable size to squeeze into the space available.

Anyway here is what I started with, Pioneer Components for up front and Pioneer two ways for the rear, I also got some MDF adaptor rings from the USA, which would allow 16cm (6”) speakers to be installed.

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So first off we need to get the door card off, you need a T20 bit and there are 5 bolts to undo, one is hidden behind the Airbag plate which you need to lever off, and one is hidden in behind the handle under a plug, if you carefully use a small flat blade screwdriver to push on the edge of it, it will lift out the opposite corner and save you scratching it :P Once they are all undone ideally use a panel lifter but if not a flat bladed screwdriver and start at the bottom back corner and gently pull it away then once the bottom and the sides are pulled away, you need to pull the top up and away over the door button. Then unclip the interior door release and unplug the speaker and mirror switch.

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Always worth buying some replacement grommets as you are bound to have some broken ones then you can quickly replace them and won’t get any rattles :rolleyes:

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So know you need to remove the standard speaker

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Now also unclip the extra ring around them as this will be in the way later

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Next up you need to use the Dremel to shave a few bits off here and there to allow the adaptor ring to sit flush

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Now the these speaker adaptors well they were a bit to big for the door card and to small for the speakers so they had a lot of work done with the Dremel to allow the speakers to sit in them and allow the rings to fit in the panel properly.

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At first I had mounted the speakers on the outside of the adaptors as they would have fouled the inner door trim if I had put them on the inside. Now I did a number of trial fits at this point and I found we weren’t going to get the panel back on the door without quite a bit more work as the magnet was hitting the door and leaving a 1 ½” gap between the bottom of the door card and the door!!!

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So I had to trim the door card back a bit which isn’t as bad as it sounds, juts carefully used the Dremel to cut the ring out between the speaker and the factory grill, don’t take it all out as the grill will fall out, so I just cut as much as I could back but left enough at the grill support places to hold it firm and again no rattles.

Before:-

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After:-

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This now meant the speaker could be mounted inside the adaptor and it wouldn’t foul on anything whilst in use and meant that we could now get the door panel back on properly but it was ever so close, so much bigger magnets would cause you a problem.

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Now that we had that out the way it was just a case of installing the tweeter and the crossover, which was like a walk in the park compared to the earlier part of this install.

The tweeter is held in by 3 torx bolts so undo these and have this out for the next stage.

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Then carefully unclip the tweeter and take that out the way

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Then I was in luck and in this case the Pioneer tweeters just slotted straight in and a couple of small blobs of hot glue and that was not going anywhere.

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So you can now reinstall the tweeter and the mid/bass unit using the factory screws into the factory locations.

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Then it is just a case of installing the crossover, which as it was nice and small meant it easily slipped in the bottom of the door, then gaffa taped the wiring to the door again to stop any annoying rattles at a later date.

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Then it is just a case of hooking it into the factory wiring plug that is in the door and then reinstalling the door panel, which is the reverse of removing it.

There you go all installed and no one would be any the wiser except when you sit in the car and listen to it as they sound so much richer than the factory standard speakers with a far better bass response and a lot less distortion at lower volumes.

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Now yes I know I could have upgraded all the speaker wiring, but at this point I just wanted to upgrade the speakers and I will probably do all the wiring at a later date when I install the amp :)

Now I am sure there are things people won’t agree with or would have done different but that’s modding each to there own :P

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top DIY demo mate

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Quality write up dicky - Do you have any idea what the mounting depth of your Pioneers was?

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Top DIY mate.

Good work with the dremmel, gonna have to get me one of those. And you gotta love the girth on the magnet of the new speakers in comparison to the old.

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Quality write up dicky - Do you have any idea what the mounting depth of your Pioneers was?

I knew someone would ask this :P

I just checked on line and I found the spec but no mounting depth :) I have the boxes at my parents, i will check and let you now :P

Top DIY mate.

Good work with the dremmel, gonna have to get me one of those. And you gotta love the girth on the magnet of the new speakers in comparison to the old.

It is all about the girth :rolleyes:

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It is all about the girth :)

Thats what she said :P

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nice one mate, you always have to do things the hard way dont u! lol

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Spot on, near enough what I did so could have done with this write up. Top job!

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Would this DIY also work with the HK system? my front right speaker is playing up so thought I may as well upgrade them while have the card off the door

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did u disconnect battery before you did this?

i could do a diy for a saloon door as i doing it if anyone is interested. the door panal screws are in different place and soo is the tweeter

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did u disconnect battery before you did this?

i could do a diy for a saloon door as i doing it if anyone is interested. the door panal screws are in different place and soo is the tweeter

No mate, I didn't bother as I was only nessing with the speakers :D

But some people may want to as you are near the airbags which after 20 minutes of the battery being disconnected shouldn't go off ;)

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I shall be using this guide next weekend, cheers dicky :)

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Excellent guide dicky. Did mine today :)

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Good find mate, the MDF ones are the ones I used which still required some work to get them to fit nicely :)

Not seen the plastic ones before they look like they should fit properly but aren't as good to mount the speakers to as the MDF ones B)

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After long research on differents forums, I finally bought Focal 165VRS Silm Polyglass. I've read this topic with care yo see how to install 16,5 speakers in the front doors of my E46 coupé. With those adaptors, i hope that i can mount my speakers. Can somebody have a look ?

It's not easy to use english for frenchie ! :)

Thanks a lot !!!

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http://www.focal.tm.fr/catalogue-docs/EN/15/files/1307.pdf

http://www.focal.tm.fr/catalogue-docs/EN/15/files/1303.pdf

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Mate

They should fit fine they have a smaller magnet than the Pioneer's I stuck in so that should make life alot easier :)

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Mate

They should fit fine they have a smaller magnet than the Pioneer's I stuck in so that should make life alot easier :)

Really thanks for all dicky !

So, normally, i just need my MDF adaptor and work a little bit ( with dremel ) on it to mount my speakers ? Another question, i saw that nobody talk about wires change. Everybody seems to keep orginals BMW wires. Are the originals wires need to be changed or not ?

Thanks again !

B)

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For this install the dremel is your friend ;)

The original wiring is fine, I would only bother to change it if you are going for an all out competition system ;)

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I've finished yesterday the same sound upgrade for my E46 Coupe. It's exact, the Dremel is your friend !!! I have to say thank you, dicky, because your tutorial was very usefull for me. I've mount a pair of Focal Polyglass 165 VRS and i am a little bit disappointed with the general rendering of the sound. It's like if i invere the wires of the speakers. I have no good bass, just some middle and good sound with the tweeters.

I saw on french boards that an ampli was recomended with those speakers to have a greatest sound.

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What are the fronts running off at the moment?

Focal components will run alot better of an amplifier and you will get a better bass response, but don't expect the world from them as they are still only small compared to a sub :)

I am going to stick all mine on a amp hopefully this week, my fronts sound great as you say great mid and top and a little bass so we will see how that sounds :)

Glad the DIY was of use mate :)

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Thanks dicky !

;)

What about the general rendering of the Pioneer G-S1749 at the rear of the Coupe ?

I'm wondering for buy the same speakers for mine. I just wish to have some bass.

What can you say about those sepakers ?

Thanks

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Again they are great little speakers and the quality of sound from them is excellent but the bass response is not all that brilliant, I am going to put them all through an amp which should improve things but I bet it won't be bass as we know it ;)

I think you need a sub mate ;)

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