Sunday, April 17, 2011

Murphy's law.

First of all, sorry for the lack of content lately.  Like I said before, I got nailed with a wall of schoolwork last week.  When I wasn't doing homework, I was sitting on my amazing couch watching old Mega64 podcasts, or doing other "real life things".  Speaking of real life things (nice segway), Murphy's law is a fucking bitch. (and to make up for my lack of posting, here's a nice long wall of text containing nothing but rambling about things you don't care about.  Just like the rest of my blog :D)

A few years back (before I even owned a car) I snagged some free car speakers from a garage sale I was helping out at.  Last week I decided to install them in my car, since the back 2 speakers were blown, and the front two were stock anyways.  Little did I know that this simple DIY install would be a clusterfuck of bad things. 

I started with my rear passenger side door.  I pulled the door panel off, and removed the blown speaker.  When attempting to test fit my new speaker, I realized that this was most definitely NOT going to fit.  Turns out my rear doors have 5 1/2 woofers, and I was in possession of 6 1/2 woofers.  Seeing as they were free speakers, I decided what the hell, may as well try and make them fit.  So I ran out to the store to buy some longer mounting screws, and screwed it in anyways (I had to drill new mounting holes in the 6 1/2 speakers to match up with the factory holes).  Aside from the fact that the woofer stuck a solid inch and a half out, it actually screwed in fairly easily.  Unfortunately there was no way in hell I was going to be able to get the door panel back on, so I dismounted it, and admitted defeat.

After that ordeal, I went on to Crutchfield to see how much money a new set of speakers would cost me, and conveniently enough, I noticed my car was listed as having 6 1/2 woofers in the front 2 doors.  So excitedly I went back out into the garage, and ripped my passenger door apart, and ripped the factory speaker out.  Only to find that I needed to buy an adapter.  Defeated yet again.

I patched my car up (which at this point now has 1 working speaker) and ordered a pair of 5 1/2 woofers for the back, and some mounting brackets for the front from Crutchfield.  (Really great website, if you ever need to buy any car equipment, order from them.  Their customer service/product support is freaking amazing.  When you call, the people who help you actually know what they are talking about.  Unfortunately these days, that's really not a common trait in product support.  Also, I got my order in like 3 days.)

Thursday, I get back from school with a package on my doorstep.  So excitedly I return to my garage, and open my little present.  I then found out I had to drill new mounting holes for the rear speakers, but that really wasn't a big deal.  Then I test fit the mounting bracket with my 6 1/2.  Doesn't fit.  Apparently I have "6 3/4 speakers, which don't work with that bracket, even though the box says 6 1/2) Defeated yet again.

So I think, fuck it, I'll just install the rear ones, and worry about the front later.  Install the right side, works flawlessly, put the door panel on, alright.  Things are looking up, time to move on to the driver's side rear door.  When I removed the factory woofer I was kind of surprised at how it didn't really look blown.  Everything seemed to be intact, but I'm no speaker expert, maybe it was some internal damage or something.  So I drill my mounting holes, wire it in, go to test it out.  Nothing.  Nothing coming from the factory tweeter, or the new woofer.  So I uninstall it, plug another speaker in.  Nothing.  Turns out something's wrong with the wiring for that door? Defeated.

So now I'm in my garage with a car that has 2 working speakers,  a pile of shame and sadness.  But do I give up?  No.  Because I'm a real man! 

After looking at the brackets more, I concluded that with a little dremel work I could totally fix this.  15 minutes later I had 2 functional brackets.  I had to mount the brackets at a wonky angle, but I finally got it to a point where the speaker fit in the car almost perfect.  And for a free new speaker, almost perfect was going to be okay enough for me.  But wait.  Maybe I should check and make sure none of my wiring interferes with the window mechanism.  Turns out my wiring was fine.  But there was a big speaker  in the way, preventing the window from going down fully.  Fucking defeated.

In a feat of hobo engineering, I found some bolts to use as spacers between the bracket and speaker, which pulled the speaker out just enough to allow the window to go all the way down, while at the same time mounting perfectly centered without interfering with anything else (doorframe, door panel etc)  Now I mount the crossover, dremel a nice tweeter mount, and throw everything together.  Success! Time to do the driver door.

Same process on drivers side door, everything goes flawlessly, then I get into the car, shut all the doors, and prepare for a final test.  Crackling audio from the passenger side door... defeated.
In a fit of rage cursing Murphy for his stupid law I rip apart the door, fiddle with wires (I still have no idea what the issue was, but my fiddling apparently fixed it.) and re-attached it.  Finally, I have a kickass new sound system in my car.  Easy right?

I still have no idea what the issue is with my rear drivers side wiring, nor do I know how to troubleshoot it.  At first I thought it was my headunit wiring, but after messing with that, everything matched up fine, and even then, that speaker should have been blown out like the other backseat.  But at this point, who cares?  My car still sounds god-tier.  Was it worth it?  Hellyeah.  Plus now I have the pride of knowing I did it myself.  I didn't take the easy way out, paying someone else to do it.  Because I'm a real man.

tl;dr:  Installed new sound system in my car.  Pain in the ass, but well worth it, sounds awesome. 


  1. sounds like it took a lot of time.

  2. I should do something like that one of these days, I'm pretty sure half the speakers in my truck are gone.

  3. Seriously, this is how it ALWAYS goes with me when I work on cars. It's always something. It's a freakin' chain reaction, I swear.

  4. atleast it was worth it! great :-)

  5. It's always refreshing when you call customer support and have a real knowledgeable person answer. Too rare indeed!