The next job on my list in terms of upgrading the music system was to add some rear speakers. Like the front doors, my Pajero didn’t have any rear panel speakers either and not even any holes in the panel.
So since I’d bought the truck I’d been running around with a home-made parcel shelf in the boot containing some 6×9 Kenwoods. This was OK, apart from the fact that I was compromising the little boot space I have in the shortie by having this shelf in place. Much better to have some in the rear panel I reckoned, plus this would free up space in the boot to house a sub-woofer box – I mean, who needs boot space?!! Seriously though, the sub-woofer box will be easily removable whereas my shelf wasn’t.
I’d done some reading about this job and it seemed that the only way to add speakers in the rear is to completely remove the rear panels. Once this is done you can in theory add 6×9’s. So I had in mind to add the existing Kenwoods I already had. They’re only cheap ones but could handle the power of my new head unit and would only be for fill really.
Removing the rear panels proved to be a complete nightmare. It’s very quickly obvious that you have to remove the rear seats completely for a start, which I did. Then the arm rests need to come out too along with the ash trays. Not too difficult this lot, but a little time-consuming.
At this point I discovered there were screws to be removed around the bottom of the panel where it fixes to the floor. Then you need to remove the runners that go along the bottom of the front doors. Then you can have some fun peeling the front end of the panel away from the edge of the door. Horrible job to do without damage the panel or the metalwork underneath. Once you’ve done that you can start to unclick away the panel and pull it away from the metal – carefully.
Bearing in mind this job was starting to take a long time and wasn’t at all easy, I was pissed-off to find out that the back end of the panel gets even harder to remove. From what I could see, you really need to take off the whole panel that leads to the back door. So as I’m contemplating this I can clearly see that the actual hole where I need to place my speaker is now pretty accessible. I think “sod it, I’m not removing any more – I can slip them in from there”. And this is what I was able to do. So my advice to anyone trying this would be to forget about removing the seats and just remove the front end of the panel as I’ve described.
So here’s a photo with just the front end of the panel removed and enough access to fit the speaker (note the seats in place too):
Now that I had access to the hole behind I had to work out how to position the 6×9 speaker that I’d heard could easily be fitted. I didn’t like what I saw. Although the hole in the panel is plenty big enough, the position of it would mean that a 6×9 would hang over to the right (in the pic above) where the curve of the panel starts to bend. I decided that the speaker would therefore have too much of itself not sitting flat on the panel and wasn’t happy with that. Not sure how people fit 6×9’s here, but I think it must be a case of them fitting it behind the panel as they must have a factory grill on the front. Not an option for me with no grill as I need to fit it on top of the panel. I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts on this.
So the 6×9’s were headed for the bin and I needed a new plan. I decided to get myself some smaller round speakers instead. Initially I thought about getting some 6.5 inch ones like I have in the front, but I still think they’d stick out over the curve too much. So I went smaller and bought some Alpine SPR-13’s which are only 5 inch but are plenty powerful enough for what I wanted to achieve – essentially just some fill.
Once I had the new speakers I just had to cut some holes in the same way I described in the front speakers post. Here’s how the hole looks:
Then I simply fixed the speaker in place. I also took the opportunity to run some new, quality speaker wire down the gutter at the bottom of the front door and in through the rear panel. There is factory-fitted wire already in place, but I don’t think it’s too good.
And here’s the speaker fitted:
Refitting the panel is pretty much the opposite of what I described earlier. The hardest part being to hook the front end of the panel around the edge of the front door. Very difficult to do without damaging the panel or the metalwork. The way I did it was to cover the metal with a strip of insulating tape first and then use a couple of flat-ended screwdrivers to coax the plastic gently around the edge.
And the result? Well, at the time of writing I still have the old, cheapo head unit in place, but I now have a very respectable sounding stereo system. Both sets of speakers were pretty expensive but I’m sure it’s worth it. All that remains is to fit the new head unit and a sub-woofer box in the boot.