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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've owned my 2009 XLT for about a month and it's time to stop obsessing over it and get on with replacing the 4 factory speakers. I have the stock CD/radio system without subwoofer. I'm about ready to place an order for new equipment, but wanted to ask for feedback/opinion/advice first:

1. How hard is it to get the door panels off without breaking anything? I've noted that each panel has some screws around the outside. Are there any hidden screws? My assumption is that these screws come out, then the panel is held on by plastic push-on connectors. How many of these plastic connectors are there and can they come out without breaking? Are there any other connections to the door panels that need to be addressed, e.g. wires to power window switches? Are there any issues to getting the door panels back on properly?

2. I've read the stock speakers are 6" x 8", is this true? How much mounting depth is available? Is it different for the front speakers vs. the rear?

3. Can the stock wiring to the speakers be counted upon to be in phase? Is the (+) lead going to each speaker actually the front of the waveform? Is there some way to check this?

4. Is there any advantage to surrounding the new speakers with foam baffles? Will they fit?

5. I'm leaning toward either the Infinity Kappa 682.9cf or Infinity Reference 6822cf as my replacement speaker. If you have experience with either/both of these speakers, is there any advantage/disadvantage to selecting either one? For instance, the Kappa has an outboard crossover which will need to be secured somewhere inside the door. Is there room for it? The Kappa also has a hard spacer around the outward-facing edge of the frame that would seem to guarantee the cone can move without hitting the inside of the door frame. Does this matter or is there already adequate room behind the molded factory grill area? All in all, the Reference is my first choice since it seems like an easier install and is a bit cheaper.

Any responses would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
 

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Hi, Well i cant answer most of your questions but i know the "push-on connectors" that hold the door on after you get the screws out will most likely either break or the teeth get bent back on them rendering them pretty much useless But you can buy them at the local auto parts store. usually there in the "HELP" section with all the other odds and ends. might have to take one in with you to get the right size. I cant remember but i think there was 4 in each door They just slide into the door panel. "when you see them you'll know how they come out"
My 2001 escape has 6x8's in the front and there's tons of depth for mounting new speakers.
You should be able to do the job without taking the door panel the whole way out. theres little slider things the top of the door panel slides into to keep the seal tight to the glass. that can be a pain in the butt! "If you do want to take it the whole way off. when you get all the screws out and all the push on connectors free you have to lift up on the whole door panel to slide it out of slider things lol
Sorry i couldnt help with more.
 

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Be carful when taking the door panels off, there are 2 hidden screws other than the ones around the edge of the panel. In the handle on the inside right next to the window switch, there should be a screw holding that piece in, and there is a small plastice piece behind each door handle on the inside, all you do is get a small flathead and pry that little piece out and there is another screw. Refer to this thread
http://www.escape-city.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=871
 

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If you are just going to replace the speakers (and not the H/U or Amp), I would look into getting some 2 ohm speakers as opposed to 4 ohm speakers. Infinity and JBL both make some 2 ohm speakers; I'm not aware that anyone else does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I completed this work last week and it went pretty well. One thing to know before you try this is that the bolt under the door handle is a Torx T-25 so you need an appropriate wrench. The green plastic snaps holding the door panel in place after the screws are removed will come out without breaking; just be patient with them. I used a big, wide flathead screwdriver wrapped in tape to avoid scratching the paint. The door panels are still held on by the cable that goes to the door lock and the electrical connection to the power window switches so they make it tight getting in there to remove/replace the speakers. This was the one part of the job where I wished I'd had a second set of hands: holding the panel just right while I swapped the speaker. One the front doors, remove the little plastic piece at the front top where on the driver's side is the power mirror switch. It is held on by two metal clips and pulls straight out. Once this is done, you can see the first green snap and are able to wedge your screwdriver down there to lever it out.

I bought the Infinity Reference 6822 from Crutchfield and they are an exact replacement for the factory units. Crutchfield supplies an adapter to mate the Ford connectors to the speakers and you definitely need them. It would have been much harder given the tight conditions to cut the factory connectors off and solder on speaker clips. You'd also need to solder on an additional length of speaker wire as the factory connectors don't give you much slack.

All in, the work of swapping out four speakers took about 2.5 hours at a somewhat leisurely pace. The new speakers do sound better! Even more as they have begun to break in.
 

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Just a heads up:

This door is pretty robust and will hold 6.5" speakers with ease. The door panel (the metal) is flat and is easy to make an adapter for, which some cars simply don't let us do easily (us being audio installers.)

The best material to make a baffle out of is cutting board plastic, known also as HDPE. You can make them out of MDF wood and/or strong plywood, but it is a smart idea to use fiberglass resin, undercoating spray, or something extremely waterproof as a top layer since your doors are "wet" and wood doesn't like that.

To make a baffle, all you do is pick a material relatively thin (so it doesn't contact the plastic door skin), usually 1/4" thick will do. The idea of a baffle is to take the stock speaker shape and size and build an adapter to a more "appropriate" size, like a 6.5" round shape for example. The easiest way to do this that I have found is to make an oversized outline of the original speaker's shape, cut out with a jigsaw. Then, take the intended speaker's inner mounting diameter and trace that in the center-most area of your cutout. Then, simply cut the inner diameter's shape out. I recommend cutting a little bit smaller than expected, and trim out more if you need to. You can always cut more, but you have to start over if you go too big!

A door must be properly deadened to enjoy the full benefit of any speaker. Hell, even stock speakers sound much better with a deadened door. The short version for everybody who's new to this stuff...here goes: Get some butyl mat deadener (Secondskin, RAAMmat, and maybe yes, the Dynamat Xtreme stuff if you don't mind overspending), about 10 sq. feet per door on average. Now, for a bit of glossary terminology to understand what we're doing here... A door has an outer metal skin, and inner metal skin, and a door "card" or plastic skin. Clean very thoroughly all the metal and plastic you can in the door, both the inner and outer skins. Focusing on the flat metal portions the most, stick on your deadening mat. I recommend taking 1/4 of the mat you have for the door card, and split the 3/4 left in half again, and use one half in the inner metal, and one half in the outer metal. You don't need to deaden metal that is creased or curved aggressively, this metal doesn't resonate. Only flat or smooth curves. You don't need to cover 100% of the area, either. I do recommend that you double up around the area you are going to install a door speaker, however. Use a wooden or hard rubber roller and/or a thick plastic spreader to press the mat to the metal. Good mat sticks REALLY, really well (to clean metal.) For the plastic door card, the rules are a bit different. I recommend sticking much smaller pieces of mat to the flat sections of the plastic, and try to use the mat as a way to stop things from rattling.

Once you've laid and rolled down your mat, there's a bit more deadening (actually damping) to do. Use a closed-cell foam such as Ensolite or Overkill on the inner skin and/or the door card. This stuff IS waterproof and makes a good replacement barrier for the factory clear plastic. Just use a strong spray adhesive and stick it to your deadened door. Overlap your intended speaker installation spot, then cut out your needed shape after the stuff is stuck on to the door. You'll also need to cut small parts out of the foam for wires and cables and such. Once you have your door properly damped, install your speaker baffle, and your speaker (and of course solder up the speaker!)

Before reinstalling the door panel, there's a bit more work to do. Most likely you'll have to remove a bit of plastic off the door card. It depends on the vehicle and speaker you've chosen, but look for a plastic lip on the door skin and see if it will interfere w/ the new speaker. If so, trim the little lip down and you're good. Lastly, and this is a BIG one...you need to create a "gasket" to seal the speaker from the door skin's inner material. To do this, some people like to use weatherstripping tape. I prefer to use a bit of Ensolite lightly rolled into a loose tube, then I take that tube and wrap it around the speaker itself, securing it with the spray adhesive. I don't think it matters much how you do it, so long as you seal that speaker's output to the door panel instead of letting errant sound bounce around inside the door skin. That would create some nasty peaks and resonance in your output, and that's no good my friends!

You'll have to clean up the spots where the door skin reattaches to the door. I recommend an exacto knife and a careful hand to cut only the needed material out. Once this is done, just install your door skin and you're good to go.
 
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