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I installed new Polk Audio DXi650 speakers in the door of my Spyder as the factory speakers were getting a bit buzzy and would distort rather easily. The Polk speakers are generally $79-99 depending where you buy. Mine were essentially free as I had a Best Buy gift card to use, but I paid on the higher end ($99).





They are coaxials, and I left the factory tweeter in place and it remains connected to the coaxials.

First, have a decent set of tools available for taking the inner door panel off (I used the writeup on Spydermagazine.com for that part, but it's really straightforward). 4 screws and some plastic pop rivets/clips, and the door panel easily comes off.


(from Harbor Freight- ~$13)

(made in China...where else?)

(this is the specific tool I used- worked well, no panel damage)

Now onto the speakers:

Door interior with speaker removed and wire harness visible:





The problem with most speaker sets is that the adapter rings supplied with the speaker simply do not fit the Spyder (even on Crutchfield.com, the installation instructions indicate the door must be re-drilled to screw the adapter plate to the inner door). I didn't want to do that, and wanted to use the factory harness for my speakers. Plus, I wanted to solder my connections for a more secure signal.

After removing the speakers, you need to gut them (ala precats)- they have some kind of fiber cone, like a stiff paper- I basically tore mine out of the plastic mounting plate after clipping the radials that hold the magnet in place on the posterior of the speaker, then used a razor scraper to carefully remove the residual paper and glue (easier than it sounds). Prior to this, I held the speaker face over a stovetop burner (at a distance) to melt the glue somewhat, then used a pair of pliers to pull the wood spacer ring away from the assembly- came off in just a few seconds. Clean the mating surface of the speaker mount ring with some denatured alcohol to get any residual glue and paper off.

Prior to attaching the speaker to the mounting ring, I soldered a red wire and a black wire to the mounting ring at the terminals existing from the factory setup- I also used the soldering iron to melt the solder holding the old connection to the speaker to free it up for the new connection. The black and red wire will directly connect the clip on the mount ring here:


(a bit blurry, but you get the idea)

to the harness on the door when it's all connected.



Now I was able to use adhesive silicone on the mating face of the mounting plate and the posterior speaker rim (it's not possible to screw it into the ring as there's no plastic in the area for a solid hold):

Be generous with the siilicone



Then I used some C clamps I bought from Home Depot ($1.87 each):



and left these on long enough for the silicone to set up (few hours)- silicone fully cures in 24 hrs. or so.

I then soldered the red and black wires to the + and - terminals on the speaker once everything was assembled:



Use a decent amount of flux and make sure the soldering iron tip is really hot and clean - the solder should flow onto the connection, not ball up and make a bad solder joint. The joints above are nice and snug.

Here's what the speaker looks like installed in the ring- finished product before installation in the door:



Reassemble in the door and plug in the connector:



Put the inner door panel back on (4 screws and pop clips/rivets)- door assembly takes <5 minutes, and you will be using the factory grilles already a part of the door panel.



Lastly, how is the sound? Well, the frequency response on these speakers is 32 - 22000 Hz, so the bass response is actually pretty good for door speakers and the factory tweeters are connected for some fill in of the higher frequencies. These are substantially better than stock, and I'm running the factory head unit (I typically use my iPod or iPhone with Pandora in the car connected via a Blitzsafe adapter). This is a good, relatively inexpensive way to go. I'm sure there are systems that blow the doors off what I have, but I want to retain my storage compartment.

Anyway, the Polk Audio speakers are very good for the money, and I highly recommend them for this application.

Thanks for watching.
 

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Nice install. I did not think to use the factory connector when I did mine. I cut the wiring harness and connected into it. Oh well, not like it will ever see the factory speakers again as I cut mine up like you did.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice install. I did not think to use the factory connector when I did mine. I cut the wiring harness and connected into it. Oh well, not like it will ever see the factory speakers again as I cut mine up like you did.
I hate crimp connectors- sometimes you don't have a choice, but I wanted something akin to factory spec.
 

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Nice write up.

As for Harbor Freight, I buy stuff there. Quality isn't the greatest, but for once in a while use of a specific tool, can't beat the price or availability.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great write-up, Bob. Thanks, man. You rock!
Thanks for the :icon_thumright:

I'm no expert when it comes to these upgrades, so once again, if I can do this, anyone can. On the 0-10 difficulty scale, I'd give this one a 3-4 (assuming your soldering skills are OK- mine aren't great, but they worked well for this project).

I took the Spyder out for a while today with the HT on- sound from the stereo is really quite good with the new speakers. They blow away the factory speakers in terms of sound quality and absence of distortion. They have decent bass (considering they're door speakers) and excellent treble response.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm in South Carolina with the 300ZX right now (on vacation). That car had a Valor stereo put in by the previous owner, and it was having some issues (actually the Valor unit was a piece of crap). I had the windows tinted and a new head unit installed at a radio and tint shop down here (a Pioneer DEH-P8400BH with Bluetooth so it connects with Pandora as well as the iPod function of the iPhone). I like the head unit so much, I bought one for the Spyder (through Crutchfield).

Here's some pics of the Z and the head unit:







I'll post pics of this head unit in the Spyder once I get it installed. It comes with the mic for the phone function, which works very well (it imports the phone book of your phone but the only downside is no voice dialing, so dialing is a scroll til you find your phone entry, then just push the main button and call). I'm really pleased with it, especially for $189. I paid $189 for the head unit at the radio shop as well, so that's pretty much the going price. Amazon has it for a bit less, but Crutchfield will include the wiring harness and the single Din adapter at no extra cost. I had it installed in the Z for $50 which was a bargain, and it was done in 30 minutes. Since Crutchfield is including the single Din adapter and wiring harness as well as free shipping, that $189 is a bargain for all of the stuff it'll do. It automatically connects to your bluetooth and Pandora or the iPod function of the iPhone, depending on what you were playing when last in the car. You can also use an iPod or thumb drive via the USB connection from the back of the radio- I have the wire from this going into the glovebox. On both cars, I envision myself never using it, since the music from the iPhone is wireless and essentially flawless.
 
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