A Little Fuzzy On Upgrading Speakers...

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The Fixer

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Hello all! Long time member, first post in a while though. We've still got our '03 KJ Limited. My wife bought it new in September of '02 and drove it for almost 16 years until she was finally ready to get something new, and we passed it along it to our son. We did a lot of maintenance, and he drove it daily and wheeled it a few times out at AOAA and Rausch Creek in PA over the last 4 years. He got a newer Jeep a few months back, and our daughter will be getting her license soon so we're passing the KJ to her. It still runs great and only has 105K on it. The rockers are slowly disappearing by the rear doors, but the rest of it is in good shape.

Since it's a Limited, it has the Infinity system. We upgraded the headunit a few years back to a JVC with Bluetooth for hands-free calling and the AXXESS gizmo to have the steering wheel controls function. It's worked fine, but all of the speakers are bad now after 21 years. The dash speakers crackle, and the rear doors and passenger door sound awful with even the smallest amount of bass going through them. The driver door is completely dead, but the dash speaker still makes sound so I believe the speaker is toast since the signal comes from that amp/crossover in the driver door.

So, long story short, I need to replace the speakers. I was sick yesterday so I spent the day poring over the FSM and various links found on the site here. Some people bypassed the amp, and some connect the new speakers to the amp, but they were running the OEM headunit. Not sure I want to add the amp back in, since all aftermarket speakers are at least 4 ohms; doesn't that cut the volume output? We're not audiophiles and the ol' girl has plenty of creaks and rattles so we just need something that sounds better than blown speakers LOL.

My thought is to bypass the amp now and run new 4-ohm speakers which will work well with the JVC headunit. This will eliminate the blown dash speakers as well and I'll just have the 4 6.5" speakers, unless someone else has a good suggestion there. Here's the pinouts for the doors -

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My plan, instead of running new wires through the A-pillar and B-pillar, is to cut the connector off and solder the wires at Pin 7 and 10 together for Rear + signal with headunit voltage, solder 5 and 6 together for Rear - signal, and Pin 1 and 2 will be Front door + with headunit voltage and - . I can run Pin 3 to a ground inside the door, but what about Pin 8, the Radio Choke Output? From the FSM, "The amplifier choke and relay is used to control the supply of fused battery current to the front door speaker-mounted dual amplifiers. The speaker relay is energized by a fused 12 volt output from the radio receiver whenever the radio is turned on." If I get rid of the amp, I should just remove the relay, right? It's under the dash according to the FSM.


So, has anyone bypassed the amp in this way? Were you successful? Looking forward to the responses!
 
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Luke

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Wish I could help… Welcome back nonetheless!

The electrical gurus should be along shortly ;)
 
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GreatWhiteBob

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I had rotted out cone foams on my Infinity system on an ‘03 Limited. You can actually remove the amps off of the two front door speakers (the amps are only on the front door speakers and power the other speakers on each side of the vehicle) and reuse them with aftermarket speakers. I attached the amps low in the doors with bolts. You will most likely have to purchase some adapter plates for the new replacement speakers, as the original ones are an odd size. Have a look on YouTube for videos showing the process.
 

The Fixer

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I had rotted out cone foams on my Infinity system on an ‘03 Limited. You can actually remove the amps off of the two front door speakers (the amps are only on the front door speakers and power the other speakers on each side of the vehicle) and reuse them with aftermarket speakers. I attached the amps low in the doors with bolts. You will most likely have to purchase some adapter plates for the new replacement speakers, as the original ones are an odd size. Have a look on YouTube for videos showing the process.

Thanks! I did see a good detailed video yesterday about how to adapt new speakers to the amp in the doors. I was just concerned about volume output since the new speakers are double the ohm rating, I think it cuts the volume in half. Though, I don't want her blasting the music too much and getting distracted, so.... ;)

I'll order two pairs of budget-friendly Kenwoods along with the mounting adapters and try it both ways with some jumper wires just to make sure it works, and hear which way sounds better. I'd be more inclined to keep the amp if I could find drop-in replacement dash speakers but I've had no luck there. I'm not really looking to complicate things by adding tweeters and crossovers for this project either, cause my daughter is not interested in sound staging and all that good stuff. She just wants to be able to listen to her music over the MBRP exhaust and not sound like it's coming out of a broken metal garbage can.
 

GreatWhiteBob

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Yeah … I didn’t want to spend a lot fixing it. Definitely not as good as factory and lacks the bass. Anyway, my days of rocking to AC/DC and waking the neighbours up a 2 am are long behind me.
 

nbas

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The path I went through had 2 steps:
1. Replace OEM Head unit with a new Kenwood DMX-8020DABS (European Model) unit along with AXXESS ASWC-1 to retain steering wheel buttons. I refurbished the speaker cone suspensions with "6.5" Speaker Foam Repair Kit for Jeep" and all speakers worked fine. Used this system for 2 years and then went to step 2.
2. Bought FOCAL ES165KX2 speakers for the front and a Helix sub. Also 2 amps, the FOCAL FPX 1.1000 for the sub and the FOCAL FPX 4.800 for the front speakers. I also bought the HELIX DSP.3S, a DSP so that it controls the Headunit's output. The front speakers are running active so did not use the crossovers. I had to put new wiring from the battery to the 2 amplifiers. I fabricated under seat bases from ABS plastic, one under each seat for the amplifiers. All wiring was easy to fit underneath the carpet. The only pain was to get the front speaker wiring through the doors. I chose this route because I wanted to be able to revert it back to stock if I ever wished. The stock wiring and amps are still there...
Finally I decided to leave the stock tweeters in place and mount the new tweeters on a Pair of Aluminum Pods as it was much better acoustically.
I also put Focal BAMM in all 4 doors in order to avoid rattling. Having speakers playing with separate amps, means more power that the doors can handle without insulation.
It was a lot of work but it paid off! I am very happy with the result!

My opinion is, if you do not want to spend much money, to refurbish the cone suspensions of your woofers with a 4 6.5" speaker Foam repair kit, if your tweeters are still playing. Easy job, doesn't cost much, and the sound will be as it was before...
 

The Fixer

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The path I went through had 2 steps:
1. Replace OEM Head unit with a new Kenwood DMX-8020DABS (European Model) unit along with AXXESS ASWC-1 to retain steering wheel buttons. I refurbished the speaker cone suspensions with "6.5" Speaker Foam Repair Kit for Jeep" and all speakers worked fine. Used this system for 2 years and then went to step 2.
2. Bought FOCAL ES165KX2 speakers for the front and a Helix sub. Also 2 amps, the FOCAL FPX 1.1000 for the sub and the FOCAL FPX 4.800 for the front speakers. I also bought the HELIX DSP.3S, a DSP so that it controls the Headunit's output. The front speakers are running active so did not use the crossovers. I had to put new wiring from the battery to the 2 amplifiers. I fabricated under seat bases from ABS plastic, one under each seat for the amplifiers. All wiring was easy to fit underneath the carpet. The only pain was to get the front speaker wiring through the doors. I chose this route because I wanted to be able to revert it back to stock if I ever wished. The stock wiring and amps are still there...
Finally I decided to leave the stock tweeters in place and mount the new tweeters on a Pair of Aluminum Pods as it was much better acoustically.
I also put Focal BAMM in all 4 doors in order to avoid rattling. Having speakers playing with separate amps, means more power that the doors can handle without insulation.
It was a lot of work but it paid off! I am very happy with the result!

My opinion is, if you do not want to spend much money, to refurbish the cone suspensions of your woofers with a 4 6.5" speaker Foam repair kit, if your tweeters are still playing. Easy job, doesn't cost much, and the sound will be as it was before...

Wow, that is a lot of work but I bet it sounds fantastic! Where did you install the BAM - on the outer door skin, or between the inner door frame and speakers? That might be something to add since the doors will be apart anyway.

I also looked into the speaker repair kit as it's something I could definitely handle, but the dash tweeters are blown as well, and the driver door speaker is completely dead. Even new foam won't help since there's no sound output currently.
 

klc

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I have read somewhere that the dash speakers are not tweeters, but smaller speakers in parallel with the front door ones. I did have beast buy replace them with component JBL’s. I still have the RBQ radio and stock amps.
 

nbas

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Wow, that is a lot of work but I bet it sounds fantastic! Where did you install the BAM - on the outer door skin, or between the inner door frame and speakers? That might be something to add since the doors will be apart anyway.

I also looked into the speaker repair kit as it's something I could definitely handle, but the dash tweeters are blown as well, and the driver door speaker is completely dead. Even new foam won't help since there's no sound output currently.
I installed BAMM (well not exactly BAMM, this was from another company which was easier to install on the inside of the door) on the outer door skin, then BAMM on the inner door skin (closed it completely) and then BAMM on the door plastic. I attached some photo's...
Sound is fantastic! Also door closing is nice!
Speaker repair kit has everything, including the glue needed, but if your tweeters are shot, there is no need to go that route. The easiest thing to do, is to remove the door speaker and insert a new complete speaker. Then disconnect the dash tweeters. Prefer a 2Ohm speaker. If you buy a 4 Ohm speaker, the infinity amps will not be able to play on high volumes. Also install another 2 complete speakers on the back doors.
Otherwise, my recommendation would be, if you also change the head unit, to re-cable from the head unit to the doors, dash, etc and buy a split speaker system with crossovers.
 

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nbas

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I have read somewhere that the dash speakers are not tweeters, but smaller speakers in parallel with the front door ones. I did have beast buy replace them with component JBL’s. I still have the RBQ radio and stock amps.
Most of the car manufacturers don't use crossovers, they only use a capacitor for safety reasons, so that the tweeters will not blow up with the signal's lower frequencies...
The dash speaker is a midrange speaker.
I also kept everything, in case I decide to sell it. Although, with all the things I have done to it, I do not thing I will ever do it... :) :):)
 

CRD-Joe

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I Ran JBL GTO 629s in mine. Sounded great without adding anything extra, or removing any amps. I since removed them when I parted mine out. I've listed them on eBay, with the mounting rings. I was going to put them in my Passat but decided differently. If anyone in this forum would like them I'll give any member a great deal. Here's the link : https://www.ebay.com/itm/325996530321
If any one is interested lmk, an it'll be much less than u see there.
 

Ohio-white-kj

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The Fixer

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Thanks for all the help and suggestions!

I ordered up the Scosche adapters and some Pioneer 6.5" speakers from Amazon, and got around to installing them today. My idea worked, and I was able to bypass the amp. I tested first before committing to the mission.

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And here's a few samples of what the door speakers looked like. This was the passenger front.

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And here's the driver's front. Guess that explains why we had no sound coming through.

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nbas

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They need a new suspension repair kit.
 

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