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post #21 of 92 Old 07-01-2015, 01:28 AM
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Where to mount crossover

Thinking about upgrading just front speakers, but wonder how/where to mount the crossovers since I'll be probably replacing the tweeters too in the A pillars. Is it easy to get at both the door and tweeter wires? I'm either going to replace all four doors with Sound Ordnance or Kickers just in the front doors. From what you are all suggesting, looks like I'll unplug the center speaker too.

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post #22 of 92 Old 07-01-2015, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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@AzEscape - On the non-Sony system all the crossovers (xo's) are mounted on the speakers (capacitor on each speaker frame). So, when you pull the OEM speakers you've pulled the OEM xo and just connect your xo>speaker at that point.

For the front I would AVOID any component speaker system that uses a single xo box requiring connection to both the woofer and tweeter; use a system which has each xo separate or an inline xo between the woofer and tweeter (very common) so you can locate the xo for the woofer in the door and for the tweeter in the a-pillar. This because
1) It is extremely difficult (i.e. impossible) to get to the wires where they split for the front tweeter-woofer to tap for the xo at that point (deeply buried behind the dash on each side); and,
2) it is very difficult to run new wires through the lower A-pillar to the doors (but not impossible*).

There are plenty of options that meet the 'separate xo' criteria I suggest. Many component speaker pairs use a capacitor on the woofer for protection and a small inline xo between the woofer and tweeter for the tweeter; just mount that inline xo in the A-pillar or if too big, run a wire down the door trim to a space under the dash and then back up to the tweeter. If the specific S.O. or Kicker speakers you are considering don't have separate xo or an inline xo between the woofer and tweeter then I strongly urge you to look for something else - there are plenty of choices in the price and performance range similar to those that do.

*see next post
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post #23 of 92 Old 07-01-2015, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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HOW TO GET NEW SPEAKER WIRES INTO THE FRONT DOORS

I would NOT do this for 99.9% of speaker replacement / audio upgrade projects. The OEM 18ga wire is perfectly capable of carrying all the output from the OEM head unit or an added amp up to 100+ watts driving a 4 Ohm speaker assuming 10 feet of wire from the amp to the speaker. This project is high difficulty level and should be avoided if possible, IMHO.

Use the speaker wire calculator on this page WIRE and consider how conservative it is before attempting this project.

IF you must proceed ....

1. At the point where the OEM wiring flex-duct attaches to the Escape A-pillar is a multi-pin connector which completely fills the hole through the body panel. If you try to drill-out this complex connector (many separate interlocking parts comprise each side of the connector) to run new wires through it you run great risk of ruining the connector and suffering great expense and hassle to replace it. You can pull-off the flex duct from the outside if you want to look; be sure to re-seat the duct-end properly if you do to ensure the water-tight seal is preserved. The connector is made to separate at this point (caution - must press locking tabs) to allow removal of the door for body service. Half of it stays connected to the A-pillar, the other half stays with the harness on the door. Again I urge you in strongest possible terms ... do not try to alter this connector; you might succeed but it is a high-risk approach, IMHO.

2. Instead, pull-out the body plug a few inches above the duct in the A-pillar. Behind that is a SMALL gap and the bolt for a main cross-body stiffener frame that runs full-width under the dashboard. Do NOT loosen that bolt.

3. Amass a selection of scrap stiff but bendable wire, long (18" heavy duty) zip-ties, coathanger wires, etc, etc. along with small bright flashlights.

4. Remove the dashboard end-caps, A-pillar trim and door trim in this area. On the passenger side, removing the glove box is essential.

5. Muster all the patience and time you have; small hands and contortionist experience is a plus.

6. Probe with your wires, zip-ties and whatever else comes to mind, approaching from both the inside and outside of the car, until you manage to find a path from the inside of the underdash area to the small gap at that plug; tape your new speaker cable to whatever you got through the hole and carefully feed it back through the path you found. I cannot overstate how long and tedious this process can be, especially for the first side you try. Allow hours. It is impossible to give a better description of how to do it. The challenges are different on each side of the car but the second will likely go much faster (probably doesn't matter which side you do first). Hint: Use all your senses of sight, touch and sound to assist in locating where the end of your probes are relative to the goal.

7. Use a pliers-type leather punch tool to punch a small hole in the body plug and the lower-end of the flex-duct; Force your new waterproof and protected cable through those small holes and seal at each penetration with silicone RTV.

See attached pic.

In this case the pictured new speaker cable (white) is this product Product Details for PID 4041

Good luck, this project is not for the timid.
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'14 Escape SE 2.0 FWD (25 Sep 13 build); 201A SE Convenience Package; Power Liftgate; Leather Comfort Package; Oxford White on Med Light Stone Leather (SYNC 2 w/8" MFT screen)
I love my hard-working '05 F-150 XLT 5.4 V8 trailer-towing truck, too !

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post #24 of 92 Old 07-03-2015, 01:56 PM
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Wow Centex....that's a lot of detailed info. Thank you. This just popped in my head, and tell me if it's not even possible...but could you mount the crossovers behind the head unit? (was looking at the pics) Is there enough room? Or even run a loop straight down toward the floor, mount the crossovers there and connect that loop back up the head unit wiring? Then you could keep factory wiring running to the A pillar and doors, right? I'm just doing a simple speaker upgrade, mostly use this vehicle for work. (Kicker 40CSS654 a possibility)

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WeatherTech throughout
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post #25 of 92 Old 07-03-2015, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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For readers jumping in late .... all of this discussion relates to the non-Sony 9-speaker system ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzEscape View Post
...This just popped in my head, and tell me if it's not even possible...but could you mount the crossovers behind the head unit? (was looking at the pics) Is there enough room?...
Room isn't the issue. At the HU you only have harness for each of the four channels (Front L&R, Rear L&R) ... the harness at that point is not separate for tweeters vs woofers either front or rear. So, while you might fit the xo's there, you will then have to pull wire from that point to each of the separately xo'd speakers. I can't see any advantage in that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzEscape View Post
... Or even run a loop straight down toward the floor, mount the crossovers there and connect that loop back up the head unit wiring? Then you could keep factory wiring running to the A pillar and doors, right? I'm just doing a simple speaker upgrade, mostly use this vehicle for work. (Kicker 40CSS654 a possibility)
It is very hard to grab any of the speaker wires at any of the pillars (A- or B-).

Recap of harness routes:
Front Channels
HU > split buried deep behind dash
Split out to tweeter > stays buried in dash to tweeter on each side
Split out to woofer > to lower console C214 > Under front seats > along base of door opening to A-pillar each side

Rear Channels
HU > to lower console C214 > Under front seats to B-pillar each side
Split at woofer connector in the door > up to tweeter in the door

In all cases, the OEM harness is carrying a full-spectrum audio signal all the way to the connector on each speaker frame (harness wiring to ALL woofers and ALL tweeters); nothing is filtered except by the capacitors mounted on each speaker.

With the Kicker 40CSS654 having a single-box xo for each side with both HP and LP outputs to woofer and tweeter, I can see two choices for the front if I were going to try it:

1. Mount the xo's in the lower console area (there's plenty of stash spaces); find the wires out of C214 for the front woofers between C214 and where they dive under the seats; cut those wires, use the C214-side for xo input; use the underseat side for the xo woofer output; run new wires from the xo tweeter output > under seat > under door trim > up to tweeters (insulate and abandon the OEM tweeter wire ends, they'll still be 'hot'). This avoids the dread post 23 procedure.

2. Mount the xo in the door as suggested in the Kicker installation manual and run a new wire out of there up to the tweeter (the dread Post 23 procedure).

Having been all over this car's audio wiring, I'd go with 1 (actually, I'd not use that type of xo for a speaker-only replacement).

For the rear, mount the xo's in the doors exactly as shown in the Kicker installation manual, using the OEM wire feeding the woofer as the xo input.

IMHO any speaker using a single xo box to feed both woofer and tweeter like the Kicker model you cite does not meet your criteria for "...just doing a simple speaker upgrade" for the Escape front. They may well be nice speakers but the installation is inherently not simple. Not worth it, IMHO, if you don't intend to go farther into separate speaker active xo's and/or DSP (and then I'd go with different speakers anyway). There's too many other choices in the price and quality range of those Kickers with easier to use inline passive xo's for this installation. You can use the treble setting on the HU to adjust EQ of the tweeters relative to the woofers.

From post 23 you can see I've gone to the great trouble to essentially re-wire the FE downstream of the HU. That only because I've gone totally nuts and am now running a DSP, 9 discrete amp channels and 3-way active xo speakers in front. Yeah, it sounds great but the install does not pass the "simple" test by a long shot. Short of that degree of audio madness, I'd do all I could to avoid the post 23 procedure.

As always, my opinion is worth exactly what you're paying for it

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I love my hard-working '05 F-150 XLT 5.4 V8 trailer-towing truck, too !

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post #26 of 92 Old 09-06-2015, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Pig View Post
Great thread! Wish someone had compiled all of this a year ago before just diving in.

I recently replaced my 3.5" center speaker with a Polk 4 ohm speaker. You want to talk about a massive upgrade to the sound! It was much like getting a high quality center channel speaker for your home theater system.

It pulled out the muddled mid-range only sound and gave both volume and vibrancy to music.

Considering I paid $25 for it (two were $50 and I have a spare) and it took five minutes to replace, it was well worth it.
Did you replace ONLY the center speaker or have you made other changes as well?
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post #27 of 92 Old 09-06-2015, 10:29 PM
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I have been reading through the audio threads and I am considering doing something like what you did @centex I'd offer to buy your used equipment but I'm in Canada and shipping and exchange rate would make it more expensive then just buying new ones!

I do have some questions though.

1. In my 09 Ford Focus, non sync I replaced the door speakers with some MTX speakers I got on sale at Best Buy. The system then sounded a lot WORSE, I lost all the bass and volume. It was clear it could not power them. Are people finding this when they go with something like the Alpine components you suggest? I'd like to avoid the 4 channel amp... BUT I don't want to spend a few hundred dollars on speakers and have it sound worse either.

2. Related to number 1, I wonder if you keep the mid bass factory speakers in the rear or replace with aftermarket midbass speakers and then put the components in the front if you would get decent sound without an amp.. curious on your thoughts? I do prefer matched speakers though.

3. If I go with 2 sets of the Alpine components and disconnect the center I take it I will have very little bass and need a sub? does anyone make one that fits in the cubby hole in the rear? how did you find the one you put under the seat?

The stock system isn't to bad but it does not go loud enough for me, I was really disappointed with the sound quality and lack of volume. I do want to retain the stock head unit though, that's not changing
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post #28 of 92 Old 09-07-2015, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
...
1. In my 09 Ford Focus, non sync I replaced the door speakers with some MTX speakers I got on sale at Best Buy. The system then sounded a lot WORSE, I lost all the bass and volume. It was clear it could not power them. Are people finding this when they go with something like the Alpine components you suggest? I'd like to avoid the 4 channel amp... BUT I don't want to spend a few hundred dollars on speakers and have it sound worse either.
Please understand, in this thread and here 2014 SE Alpine Edition (Non-Sony audio upgrades), I'm not suggesting any specific brand or components, I'm just sharing info about what I did and my impressions about the outcome.

Personal preference plays a huge role in audio gear and what each listener likes/dislikes. Review of this thread DIY: Installing/Swapping Factory Rear Speakers especially starting at post 22 gives an indication of that and an example of at least one person who found the coax Alpine 610 speakers lacking for their tastes.

Sometimes buying equipment and then finding it doesn't meet your needs is the nature of audio modification. There's no shortage of such stories in most all of the car audio specialty forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
...
2. Related to number 1, I wonder if you keep the mid bass factory speakers in the rear or replace with aftermarket midbass speakers and then put the components in the front if you would get decent sound without an amp.. curious on your thoughts? I do prefer matched speakers though.
Really hard to offer meaningful comment, again that personal preference thing. Perhaps the second half of this post will give you some food for thought DIY: Installing/Swapping Factory Rear Speakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
...
3. If I go with 2 sets of the Alpine components and disconnect the center I take it I will have very little bass and need a sub? does anyone make one that fits in the cubby hole in the rear? how did you find the one you put under the seat?
Don't mean to be redundant but see my impressions here 2014 SE Alpine Edition (Non-Sony audio upgrades) and in the other posts by folks that have done speaker upgrades without adding a sub. Just depends on what you prefer.

As to the center speaker, IMHO that plays no role relative to the bass output issue as bass is not within the meaningful range of its output. The center speaker does add "more sound" and some folks confuse "more sound" (e.g. 'loudness') with better sound quality; that's a hard distinction to make due to how the human ear works with the mind but with practice and by judging SQ of different components at the same sound level you can learn to make the distinction. OR, maybe you find that 'loud = better' for you and there's your answer !

I've not found a sub that's a 'direct fit' for the cubby in the Non-Sony rear panel. That space is too small for the enclosure of any sub driver I've run across, either sealed or ported design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
...
The stock system isn't to bad but it does not go loud enough for me, I was really disappointed with the sound quality and lack of volume. I do want to retain the stock head unit though, that's not changing
OK, finally some hints in your statements here .... and the clue that maybe you should try to define more exactly what you find lacking to help plan what/how you modify ...

1. Re: "not go loud enough for me" .... IMHO the only cure for that is added amplification AND speaker upgrades to accommodate that added output power. IMHO changing speakers only cannot improve 'loudness' because I don't think there's any aftermarket speaker(s) that are significantly more efficient than the OEM (maybe a match at best). Personally 'loudness' at max volume wasn't an issue for me, I found that the OEM system could be driven to what I considered 'painful' levels (that personal preference thing again).

2. Re: "really disappointed with the sound quality" .... maybe try to more specifically define what that means for YOU. Is it lack of bass, lack of crispness/punch, lack of high frequency clarity, poor imaging/staging, etc, etc ....? Those answers (and budget) can help define your upgrade plan. Some of those shortcomings are improved with speaker-only upgrades, some require added amplification and some require more radical (expensive) steps like adding a DSP.

3. Important - Don't ignore the effect of your Music Source.... IMHO it is a huge mistake to judge the system's "sound quality" (SQ) potential with any source other than a CD in the player or "lossless" format files on USB / SD card media. If you try to judge the 'system sound quality' by listening to Sirius, MPx, iTunes or anything played via Bluetooth you are listening to sources that are compressed or altered and suffer inherently limiting factors affecting SQ. Even if those are your preferred music sources, you can't determine whether your 'problem' is the system or the source using those to judge. You can only 'optimize' the system with the cleanest/best possible source and then what you hear from those other 'compromised' sources will be the best they are able to deliver.

Sorry I can't be more specific but I keep getting back to that personal preference thing .... IMHO it's impossible for anyone to know what will make you happy by exchanging words on an internet forum, that's just the nature of 'audio' ;-)
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post #29 of 92 Old 09-10-2015, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
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Did you replace ONLY the center speaker or have you made other changes as well?
That was the LAST speaker I replaced. It was also the only factory speaker I had left. Look in the DIY sub forum. I wrote up the DIY on how to swap the rear speakers.

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post #30 of 92 Old 11-13-2015, 09:10 PM
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Where did you buy the molex connectors from?
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