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Old 12-25-2007, 12:58 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,478
DIY - W202 front door speaker install w/ adapters

Spent most of the day working on installing a pair of 6.5" Alpine 17C2 speakers in the front doors of my 2000 C230, using JCE's excellent write-up and this post at Club202 for inspiration.

Instead of modifying the stock speaker mounts, I bought a pair of Autoleads SAK-2001 front door speaker adapters, which are supposed to allow mounting of 6.5" speakers in the stock space. They're available from retailers in the UK for about $40 or so, shipped). Unfortunately, unlike the poster on Club202 who used them successfully with a pair of Boston coaxials, I ran into a few problems with mine:

1. The magnet on the speakers interfered with the sheet metal frame of the door, making it impossible to line up all three mounting holes with the adapter screw holes.

2. Two of the adapter screw holes have plastic columns behind them that raise the adapter off the sheet metal. I had to take about 1/4" off each of them to allow the new speaker + mount to fit underneath the door panel.

3. The adapter screw holes are tapered and non-threaded. Although the kit comes with self-tapping screws, they're too long for the application and don't go all the way through. The best solution would be to drill out the screw holes, but I didn't have my drill with me and so I used the self-tapping screws to ream out the holes, then finished up with the shorter mounting screws supplied with my new speakers.

Anyways, on with the pictures:

Here's a picture of what you get with the adapter kit, along with one of the stock speakers for comparison.

Stock on the left, adapter on the right. Note that the bracket is asymmetrical.

On to the install:

There is one screw on the bottom securing the speaker cover, then pry the rear of the cover down and towards you, before sliding it forward.

The tabs on the cover preventing you from just pulling it out.

The stock speaker is secured by three screws.

Now here is where you decide whether to take the door panel off or not. The instructions say to remove the door panel, in order to unplug the speaker wires and remove the rear dust/water cover. If you don't want to take the door panel off, then keep reading.

Cut the speaker wires at the speaker terminals, then pull the wires through the stock bracket.

Next, remove the dust cover by releasing it from the waterproofing sheet, then pulling it off the door. Note that the cover is secured by clips into the metal door frame, so it will take a little tugging. Also note that although the waterproofing sheet stretches, it doesn't stretch enough. I made a cut below the lower front mounting hole with some scissors that let me pull the cover through, then I fixed it with some duct tape.

Everything out.

The back of the dust cover. It does look like it keeps water off the back of the speaker - I thought about fabricating something similar for my new speakers, but I didn't have any materials, and I was running into fit problems with the door frame, so I ended up not replacing it with anything.(*)

Last edited by anthonyb; 12-27-2007 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 12-25-2007, 01:33 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,478
Pictures get a little scarce here, but the next steps involve:

1. Mounting the new speaker onto the adapter.
2. Soldering speaker leads and clips onto the stock speaker wiring.
3. Test-fitting the speaker + adapter multiple times.
4. Trimming plastic off the adapter mounting holes to improve the front clearance.
5. Transferring the foam insulation off the old speaker to the new speaker to protect the front, reduce the possibility of rattles, and reduce movement (important because...)
6. Finding out that either the front two holes would line up, or only the rear hole would line up. Here again you get to choose which path to take.

Finished product, pre-installation:


Overall, I'd give these adapters a B-. They are useful if you don't want to modify the stock speaker mounts, but I would have a drill, a hacksaw and maybe some plastic card handy for modifying the adapters as necessary. Also, following the instructions and taking the door panel off first might improve the fit.

The new coax's provide a noticeable improvement in mid and upper frequency clarity, along with some increase in midbass. I'm hoping they'll fill out as they break in, but with the currently less-than-secure mounting and lack of an amplifier, I know that there's only a limited amount of additional oomph I'll get out of them.


* Update: After thinking about it some, I went back in and played around with the bracket some more. I was able to get it to attach to the door at three mounting points (instead of just one), which resulted in noticeably better sound from the speakers. Also added some plastic sheeting behind the speaker, to provide some water and dirt protection to the magnet.

Last edited by anthonyb; 12-27-2007 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:52 PM
3 MB's and counting!
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,825
Very good write up and pictures!

I must say, the non-bose system looks quite different from the OEM Bose setup in the front especially.
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DIY - W202 front door speaker install w/ adapters-16-05-07_1738.jpg   DIY - W202 front door speaker install w/ adapters-16-05-07_1818.jpg  
99 C43
98 S420
99 C230K
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