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-   -   DIY: E46 M3 Front/Rear 6.5" Install (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=956852)

SmokeyDP 11-19-2012 08:50 PM

DIY: E46 M3 Front/Rear 6.5" Install
 
I've installed a lot of speakers in cars I've had over the years and the E46 M3 is the most challenging because the speaker fitment. I have a few 6.5" speakers laying around from previous vehicles so I decided to try each out to see what is the best solution. I also read through all the DIY's over the past few years trying to get this to work and this is what I came up with.

The outcome of this project is I spent $150 on the radio, $150 on the Amp, $100 on wire and $250 on the speakers and the stereo sounds great. The basic error I see in most of the DIYs is an incorrectly size speaker which means the front of the speaker aren't isolated from the rear resulting in no bass and very little midbass.

Here is some background of the full install.

Radio: I recently upgraded to a Sony MEX-BT4000P because I have the same one in my truck and liked the interface and options. The radio cost $150 and does everything you could want it to do. It even has a color setting called 'M-Red' which matches the car. Mounting the mic up in the top left corner by the windshield gave the best sound quality to those listening while driving. I bought the PAC controller so my steering wheel controls work too. When you wire up the harness, don't worry about hooking up any of the speaker wires since you will use RCAs.

SiriusXM Antenna: The best placement for this is on top of the cabin filter box under the hood. You can only see the antenna if you look through the black grill by the windshield and you know it's there. The signal never cuts out and it took 10 minutes to run the wire into the cabin using a rubber seal in the ABS compartment.

Amp: Alpine MRP-F300. Run 2 sets of RCAs from the back of the radio to the amp. $175 for AMP and RCA wire. My car was stripped of his NAV setup before I got it so the main harness was all that was left. For the front doors I cut and labeled the 2 sets of wires that from the harness to each woofer up front. For the rear 2 speakers I ran new wires since it was simple to do. The amp itself is installed under the carpet with the flat tire kit.

Front Door: I went with Alpine SPR-60C Type R component speakers and you should be able to get these for $150 for the pair. As you can see from the pictures I had to cut 3 notches on the speaker with a dremel that the round OEM ring would fit over the frame. I have found on the rear set that one of those multi-tools with the flat blade works 5x easier and makes less of a mess.

http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0550.JPG

It is very important to seal the front of the speaker to the thin ring that clips to the front of the OEM speaker and the speaker opening on the door. If you do not do this, the front of your speaker will not be isolated from the back of the speaker and it will sound like crap. What I used to seal it was the black sealant that holds the dust shield to the actual door. I was careful not to get it onto the woofer itself. I'm sure there might be a better material to use but it's what I had at the time.

http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0551.JPG
http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0552.JPG
http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0548.JPG

At first these didn't sound all that great because the speakers just didn't have enough air space behind them. Using a dremel as per another DIY, I carefully cut a hole in the door itself. I unscrewed the window frame to prevent from cutting it since it sits very close to the skin. Also pictured is the factory wires to the front woofer with new connectors on them. I saw a few DIYs where you can mount the speaker to the door itself if you build a bracket, but this method made such a massive improvement with these speakers that I don't find it necessary.

http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0546.JPG

Pictured here is the crossover and tweeter setup. I removed the factory mid and the tweeter fit in perfectly once I set the adjustment ring to the correct width. Make sure you lower the tweeter adjustment on the crossover or your highs will be too bright. I put some dynomat over the hole were the tweeter was(missing when I bought the car) since t's important to seal up the door panel from the cabin.

http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0547.JPG

If you install just the fronts like this up to this point you will already have a good sounding setup. For a few weeks I just ran the front speakers until I got around to finding some rear OEM speaker baskets and speakers to replace my missing ones. It's very important to use the OEM speaker basket to once again isolate the front of the speaker from the back of the speaker.

Rears: The rears were pretty simple once I got the front's just right.

There were 4 metal tabs I had to bend then the speakers were easy to pry from their OEM mounting ring (this ring fits the front and back speakers FYI)

http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0539.JPG

Here are 3 different fitments that should help clear up which speakers will fit without any adjustments. The first is a Alpine SPS-600 6.5" speaker. Note that the screw mounts stick out from the ring on the speaker. Because of this, the ring on the speaker fits inside the OEM bucket without modifications.
http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0540.JPG

Here is a set of MB Quartz speakers I had laying around that I attempted to modify. They are also 6.5" speakers, but the ring extends to the edge of the mounting holes so you would need to trim these down. I started too then realized that the magnet won't fit in the baskets which is why I went with Alpine SPR-60 Type R spears. They are the non component version of the fronts that I used before.
http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0542.JPG

Here are the SPR-60's from before just as a test fitment. As you can sit once you cut the 3 tabs out of them, they will fit in the front or rear. When I went to put them in the car I noticed the back rear deck fits very tight. It's best to trim a way a bit of the rear deck around the speaker so that it fits better. I used a hot glue gun to attach them to the ring. The easiest way to cut out the 3 tabs was with one of those multi-tools with the flat blade that oscillates.
http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...124_145323.jpg
http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...124_154134.jpg

After that just bolt the rears in like the stock ones came one.

Pictured is the MB Quarts PVI-216, Alpine SPR-60C, and Alpine SPC-600. The Alpine SPR-600C is the one with the smallest fit which makes the install easy. I tried all 3 sets and it's the best sounding bass wise by far. The crossover is easy to deal with too.
http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...2/IMG_0555.JPG

Here is an updated shot that shows how some 6.5" speakers don't fit through the oem mounting rings. You can see the one on the left is too large and doesn't sit flush where the one on the right does because of the frame behind the speaker.
http://www.scotts-basement.com/Galle...124_145440.jpg

SmokeyDP 11-19-2012 08:53 PM

Reserved for Part 2: HK 6x9 Sub upgrade

I have a HK 6x9 Sub box on the way and I will fit it with these, unless I find another option.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_206KS69/Kicker-KS69.html

They go down to 30Hz and cost around $100.

deliroast 11-23-2012 07:00 AM

Subd

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MikeS123 11-24-2012 10:58 AM

Thanks for sharing. I plan on ordering a set of Boston Acoustic Pro60's for my M3 vert, and I'm trying to decide if I want to mount them to my door panel or make mounting rings to mount them to my door panel.

SmokeyDP 11-24-2012 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeS123 (Post 14923078)
Thanks for sharing. I plan on ordering a set of Boston Acoustic Pro60's for my M3 vert, and I'm trying to decide if I want to mount them to my door panel or make mounting rings to mount them to my door panel.

Not all 6.5" speakers will fit because the OEM mounting rings won't fit over the speakers from the back because the opening in the rings is too small. The MB Quart ones I have the back of the speaker is a bit too wide.

My SPR-60 speakers for the rears shows up today and I'm cutting the 3 notches in them. The ring barely fits around the back of the speaker. I'll take some pictures once I cut them up.

SmokeyDP 11-24-2012 04:19 PM

I updated the rears now that I got the SPR-600 2 way speakers. The fit was pretty much the same, but I had to cut a bit of the cardboard deck in the rear so that the speaker would fit through.

Unless you take the mounting ring with you to see if speakers will fit, its pretty much a crapshoot seeing if they are going to fit. There are other issues too if the magnet isn't too large you will run into fitment issues behind the door and in the plastic OEM baskets.

SmokeyDP 12-05-2012 11:49 AM

After letting the rears break in a bit, I have to say they put out a lot more mid-bass than the fronts. I ordered some kicker 6x9s that go down to 30Hz that I will be putting in this winter, if its not too cold out.

MikeS123 12-05-2012 05:56 PM

Do you think that is because you mounted them to the door panel and not the door itself?

SmokeyDP 12-05-2012 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeS123 (Post 14954817)
Do you think that is because you mounted them to the door panel and not the door itself?

Probably, but without going through the whole project of mounting them to the door itself I will never know. The fronts by themselves sounded pretty good. I didn't realize what was missing till the backs were in place. That said with the fronts and rears blended it sounds great. I put on BPM(SiriusXM electronica) and the setup puts out some serious sound without distortion with it cranked up. I couldn't imagine getting much more bass/mid-bass out of just some 6.5" speakers...

M3Gav 12-07-2012 11:59 AM

Subed I want to upgrade my HK soo bad sounds like crap.

SmokeyDP 03-01-2013 08:11 AM

I still have the new kicker 6x9s sitting in the box waiting for it to get warm out. I'm sure all the info in here though can really help someone out. There is a new thread on this subject every week.

SmokeyDP 05-20-2013 01:15 PM

Well after several months I have a bit of an update after driving the car around again this summer. I've yet to put the 6x9's in, but I have noticed that the 6.5" Alpine's by themselves sound quite well and have decent bass. Maybe its because they have been broken in a bit more and I've played around with the EQ enough, but if I didn't already have bought the 6x9's, I would abandon the project at this point. Nothing is really rattling either, everything sounds solid.

M3 boyzky 05-20-2013 10:24 PM

DIY: E46 M3 Front/Rear 6.5" Install
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SmokeyDP (Post 15438123)
Well after several months I have a bit of an update after driving the car around again this summer. I've yet to put the 6x9's in, but I have noticed that the 6.5" Alpine's by themselves sound quite well and have decent bass. Maybe its because they have been broken in a bit more and I've played around with the EQ enough, but if I didn't already have bought the 6x9's, I would abandon the project at this point. Nothing is really rattling either, everything sounds solid.

Could you let us know how much deeper the bass sounded or didn't make much difference. I'm planning to do the same with my woofers. By the way, what amplifier are you using?


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Martialartsblac 05-22-2013 02:19 AM

did u use adapters for the front?

SmokeyDP 05-22-2013 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martialartsblac (Post 15443575)
did u use adapters for the front?

They sit inside the OEM adapters after 3 notches were cut as per the pictures(same as the rear).

Sloop 04-03-2014 05:26 PM

As someone not that well versed in fabrication, how was this adventure?
I want to buy them, after I get my HU installed.

SmokeyDP 04-03-2014 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sloop (Post 16086553)
As someone not that well versed in fabrication, how was this adventure?
I want to buy them, after I get my HU installed.

It wasn't that big a deal and they really do sound great. I used hand tools for everything and just took my time.

Last fall I picked up a pair of 6x9 kicker subs and I modified the stock HK box to hold them. They aren't adding any bass at all at the moment and I suspect they aren't sealed to the rear deck correctly. Winter rolled around before I had a chance to play around with them more though.


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