Making a Parcel Shelf for Speakers

In a previous post I mentioned not wanting to mount some rear speakers in the side panels because of the problems involved. So I’ve decided to experiment with a parcel shelf to sit behind the rear seats which will house 2 6×9’s. Not sure if it’ll be what I want to do in the long term but at least it’ll keep me going for now.

Rear parcel shelves in Pajeros seem to be held in place by brackets in the side panels about the same height as the seats. I say seem to be as I’ve not actually seen one in the flesh – just the odd photo. I decided that at this point I didn’t want to be screwing brackets into the panel as I’m not sure this will be my long term solution.

I’m also not sure about having them so high up as this then totally rules out using the space provided by folding down the seats – unless the shelf is removable. Being removable is OK in theory, but the 6×9’s I’ve bought are pretty heavy so it starts to become impractical. So I decided to try and make a shelf that would sit on the rear wheel arches and would need no drilling of holes into panels or bodywork.

What I did was to make a rectangular frame using 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch aluminium angle that can be picked up from DIY shops although I got it much cheaper from a metal supplier. I simply punched holes in the 4 corners and held them together with pop-rivets. This frame is very light and yet pretty strong. I made it slightly smaller than the full length and width available when it sits on the flat tops of the wheel arch panels.

Next I took some thin MDF and cut to size to fit in the frame. I glued this in place using some very strong all-purpose adhesive (similar to “No-Nails”) and left it to set rock-hard overnight. And that gave be a basic, strong yet light shelf.

Then I fitted a pair of Kenwood KFC-6970ie 6×9’s to the shelf. I positioned them as far to the left and right as possible whilst allowing for the wheel arches underneath.

Before putting in the truck I took a length of 15mm bore rubber pipe insulation and cut 2 pieces to the width of my shelf plus 2 inch. Then I clipped this around the ends of the frame on each end with 1 inch sticking out on either end.

This unit then sits straight on top of the wheel arches as it is. The rubber insulation plus the weight of the speakers stops the shelf moving in any direction. The rubber also stops the frame from scratching the panel underneath and should stop vibration from the speakers. The rubber also raises the shelf enough for it to not touch the thumb screw that opens the driver’s side panel that houses the jack. I can also still fold the front seats flat for extra luggage space and remove the shelf completely if required.

Obviously this is pretty crude for now. I reckon before any off-roading  I’ll need to have it secured in place even better. And of course it doesn’t look too good either. If I decide to keep it I’ll get some proper fabric wrapped around it. The jury’s still out to be honest, but at least I have a reasonable stereo sound while I live with the idea for a while.

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