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DIY B&O Speaker Replacement w/ Emphasis on 6" Kick Panel Speakers

cmcbronco

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haha, I am waiting on someone to do the same before I dive into there. Maybe one day!
I suppose I’ll be the Guinea pig then lol. Just ordered the b&o sub enclosure from my dealer. Crutchfield order in too. 8” shallow mount kicker with kicker key mono amp. Let’s hope it all works lol.
 
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Personally, I'd leave out the tweets down low with the 6.5's. I'd imagine it would just mess with the stage/imaging 🤷
Not sure about all of that as like I said, i played around with the position before mounting them. Besides, the instructions clearly discussed keeping them 8" or less from woofer. Mounting them further than that is what they said would throw off "staging/imaging". To each their own. Feel free to experiment yourself vs. taking my word for it.
 
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Thanks! I hope it sounds better than I'm imagining, but this has narrow staging with a wide center written all over it. It boggles my mind that Ford spends money on licensing and design of a system that has little or no high fidelity qualities. SMH
I agree 100%. They have made this super difficult to upgrade on a vehicle that many are buying for its modification possibilities.
 

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Thought I would include a write-up on how my install went to replace the 4" Dash (minus center channel) and rear pods as well as the 6" kick panel speakers in the B&O system. However, this post will focus more on the 6" installation since when I went looking for tips and advice I discovered there wasn't much out there or that it was very piecemeal. The same cannot be said with the 4" speaker replacements (minus the Center Channel - more on that later). Anyway, I actually wrote this up more than a week ago but did a Bronco Camping/Offroad meet and greet style at Ol'Florida Offroad Park with a few other new owners last weekend so ran out of time!

First, I decided to replace most of my B&O speakers with a mid level upgrade form JL Audio's C1 series, including component systems for the 6" kick panel since the one thing I did hear about was the lack of space behind the grill. I started off with the easy ones first, the rear pods. These went very smooth and the detail to do the work has already been discussed. I did line my rear pods with the KILMAT 80 mil (similar to dynomat). https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082Q2J2T4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This stuff is so easy to cut using a box cutter and sticks very easily to the surface. I also used the speaker connectors found here:

These are not a perfect match but the held close enough to where they will not pull out. Make sure you get the polarity correct. In my case, I had to bend the metal prongs just slightly in order to get it to line up better on the female end. There are a couple more posts about this issue here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09DXYG2HF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

Before adding the grill covers I lined the circumference of the speaker with some extra window seal I had lying around. The audio stores charge 2-3 times as much for similar products! In the end, it's about the same thing as you can buy at Lowe's to seal windows/doors. One-Five-One Garage has a good video on this too.

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Warning, with this particular model of speakers the grills are not a perfect fit. Matter of fact, the tweeters touch the pod grills, so much so that the center of my grill's bulge out slightly. However, I do not see this as an issue. The speakers are well made and I do not see the pressure from the grill covers being a problem down the road (press hard on the tweeters if you want to confirm). In contrast you could probably figure out how put the grill covers on, but not as tight as stock but I don't think that is worth the trouble. Anyway, if something like that bothers you then I would chose a different brand/model of speaker where the tweeters do not stick out as much. I think these now sound much better. I even played one without the kilmat installed and it definitely had a more hollow sound to it. Thus I am happy with these additions.. However, you can tell these two pods are not getting the full range as the dash speakers receive. It's hard to figure out just how much bass they are getting since the subwoofer is so close delivering most of that frequency.

Now on to the left and right dash speakers. As I wrote in another post, I originally wanted to replace all three of the dash speakers (left, center, and right) but believe it or not you cannot buy speakers (at least at Crutchfield) in singles. Thus I would have had an extra speaker with no home.... that is unless some of us here worked out a trade. I discussed doing that very thing here ;):

I did try to open up that center channel just to see if the new JL Audio speakers will fit. I was not successfully and made a separate post about that here 😢 : https://www.bronco6g.com/forum/thre...-with-3-matching-upgrades.33541/#post-1145830

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The left and right dash speakers were the easiest to replace of the group and there is already plenty out there on how to pry them open and remove them. I did use the same sound deadening and cheap amazon.com connectors that I discussed for the rear pods. See pics for how they look. I would say replacing these made a huge improvement in both bass and treble!

Below is grill partially off revealing factory left dash speaker:
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Below shows the kilmat lined speaker opening before adding the JL speaker:
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Finished dash speaker install before reinstalling grill:
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Now onto the kick panels. First of all, I took my time on these and did the driver side woofer, which has extra steps thanks to the foot rest, late at night while leaving the passenger side woofer and both tweeters the next day. When I say late, I mean I didn't even get started on them until 930PM and worked on it until 1AM. Part of that time was simply trying to figure out how to properly remove the panel and figuring out the wiring for the tweeter, which must come back out to be mounted externally. I searched for videos and forum posts on the kick panel removal and there is very limited info out there. Just a few details makes a big difference on how easy or hard this can be. Although once you know how it becomes simple too. First of all, I was already familiar with removing the grab handle and the adjacent side panel, as well as the bottom door panel that both surround the kick panel after accessing them to run wires for an earlier dash cam install. Once those are removed, it's time to tackle the driver side panel that includes the speaker grill and foot rest. This is how I did it:

First figure out where to pull up the foot rest mini panel cover so you can access the 7mm bolts. Believe it or not, this was the hardest part for me as mine was so dirty it was hard to tell where the gaps were and once you did, it was in very tight. Obviously you want to do this smart so you don't break anything and that slowed me down quite a bit. In the end I was able to use one tool to keep it pried open while using another to continue to pry up the areas above and below it (I did the side facing the brake pedal). Once that is pried up enough, it will snap up at an angle.

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The next big challenge is finding a tool to fit down into these two long holes to remove those 7mm bolt heads. However, the bolt themselves are very long so its best to use a long 7mm socket, if you have one. Here's a tip that I eventually figured out, Ford happily supplied the correct long 7mm socket that fits in these! Not sure if it just for these or other parts but if you don't have one, just immediately find your Ford tool kit and grab that one. Of course you will need a long socket extension too.

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Once those two sockets are removed the kick panel snaps out fairly easily and you can remove the entire thing. I didn't even bother unsnapping the speaker grill itself. I had already read how flimsy it is and in the end removing it would not have helped my install.

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The speaker itself is removed with another set of bolts and then slides right out.

20220125_145745 web.jpg


Crutchfield did supply me with the correct connector for these (came with the speaker for free) and I can confirm it is a perfect fit. Before putting the new speakers in I lined the inside of the speaker opening with plenty of kilamat, as well as along the speaker opening just thick enough to give the new speaker a cushion against the bare metal.

20220125_145511 web.jpg


After looking over the included mounting bracket and comparing it to the free one crutchfield included, I decided it was best to use the JL Audio bracket since it is not as thick and the speaker would not protrude out as much. Regardless. the included bracket worked just fine for my case.

Because my set of speakers are component, I have a set of four wires that need to go into this opening (two coming in from radio and two going out to tweeter). Instead of drilling a new hole, I slide each pair of wires into two predrilled openings. See pic below where red/black wires and white/black wires are coming out of predrilled holes, just outside of factory speaker opening. Note that my larger (+) speaker connector will only fit thu these holes by trimming off some of the plastic cover (if not you either have to drill the holes larger or run the wires underneath the mounting bracket, which I didn't want to put that much pressure on them. I then moved the wires for the tweeter, small crossover, and warning harness into a spot that the panel would not interfere (plenty of room for that). I kept the tweeter itself out of the way since I decided I would mount it externally after replacing all the panels. Then it's a matter of reverse installing the panels and foot rest.


20220125_145648 web.jpg


The pic below shows the clearance I have with my component woofer when adding the kick panel back in place.

20220125_145551 web.jpg


Okay, that was the driver side. THe passenger side is much easier since there is not foot rest to deal with. Instead it has a couple of extra snap connections in the back. Other than that, I did that side the same way.

After all of this was together I started to play with the tweeter location by using strong double sided tape and listening as I moved them around. The instruction recommend against placing the tweeter more than 8" or so away as it supposedly degrades the sound quality. I tended to agree and besides, there are not a lot of good places to put it since when the door closes it takes up alot of space between the dash and the door. I thought hard about that flat surface just below the vent but I did not want to drill holes there, although it looks doable since I think there is space back there. In the end, I thought the sound quality was fine mounting the tweeters low in the car, just above the front upper corner of the woofer. I was thinking of doing a flush mount but figured I would try it as surface mount for a while since it only requires three small holes and not one large one. The panel is also angled there so it would not be very flush.... I added a thick rubber washer, which I cut in half at an angle, in order to actually angle the tweeters up toward the occupants. I thought that would help direct the high frequencies just a bit. I know it doesn't look very custom but its so low I am not sure most would notice.

Below are pics of final tweeter placement on driver and passenger sides, respectively. Forgive the dirt/mud as I actually did some serious off-roading in the Bronco over the weekend. We drove it RT to Florida and back to NC (16 hours total) and all day offroading Saturday and Sunday and didn't even notice they were there.

20220204_125401_resized.jpg


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Okay, that's about it. I am very happy with the sound. The next steps for me are to either replace the subwoofer or at least line it with my leftover kilmat. I think it's okay but at higher volumes it tends to vibrate a bit. I do feel that center channel needs to go. I think the new speakers play at a different volume level than factory, so they are not fully matching until I get a similar speaker in there. There is a lot of sound coming from that center channel regardless if you are running it in surround or stereo mode. As I indicated above, I had a big discussion on that and a solution here: https://www.bronco6g.com/forum/thre...-with-3-matching-upgrades.33541/#post-1145830
thanks for this. I don’t know a lot about the topic. Did you run crossover for all the speaker ranges or just for the tweeters?
 

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Not sure about all of that as like I said, i played around with the position before mounting them. Besides, the instructions clearly discussed keeping them 8" or less from woofer. Mounting them further than that is what they said would throw off "staging/imaging". To each their own. Feel free to experiment yourself vs. taking my word for it.
I wasn't refering to phase interference with the driver... More the imaging between the floor tweeters and the dash tweeter. Like you said, audio is highly personal. Whatever you like!
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thanks for this. I don’t know a lot about the topic. Did you run crossover for all the speaker ranges or just for the tweeters?
just for the tweeters but keep in mind they come with the crossovers, you just have to connect the wires. The other "coaxial" speakers I believe always build those in.
 

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Personally, I'd leave out the tweets down low with the 6.5's. I'd imagine it would just mess with the stage/imaging 🤷
This.....plus wave lengths are additive, so theoretically the amplitude of your high frequencies would double. Without moving your speakers can you really hear a difference in staging/imaging. It's hit and miss. Also I believe the kick panel speakers are a sealed system so the oem speaker was probably engineered to the size of the baffle. Any replacement of it is just a guess that it will have acceptable output.
 

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Not sure about all of that as like I said, i played around with the position before mounting them. Besides, the instructions clearly discussed keeping them 8" or less from woofer. Mounting them further than that is what they said would throw off "staging/imaging". To each their own. Feel free to experiment yourself vs. taking my word for it.
There is a formula for the difference between drivers based on frequency output.
 
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Thanks for the write up, it was very helpful. I ran into a strange problem after replacing my speakers. I did the 4” dash speakers with no issues. When I did the driver kick speaker, I no longer get ANY sound from either the driver dash or driver kick speakers. Any clue how to trouble shoot this?
 

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Thanks for the write up, it was very helpful. I ran into a strange problem after replacing my speakers. I did the 4” dash speakers with no issues. When I did the driver kick speaker, I no longer get ANY sound from either the driver dash or driver kick speakers. Any clue how to trouble shoot this?
Was this for the Base or B&O system? If B&O, is the subwoofer still working? Somebody had your problem with Base system.
 
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Thanks for the write up, it was very helpful. I ran into a strange problem after replacing my speakers. I did the 4” dash speakers with no issues. When I did the driver kick speaker, I no longer get ANY sound from either the driver dash or driver kick speakers. Any clue how to trouble shoot this?
Was this for the Base or B&O system? If B&O, is the subwoofer still working? Somebody had your problem with Base system.
thanks, I’ll search again for this! I have the base system.
 

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Thanks for the write up, it was very helpful. I ran into a strange problem after replacing my speakers. I did the 4” dash speakers with no issues. When I did the driver kick speaker, I no longer get ANY sound from either the driver dash or driver kick speakers. Any clue how to trouble shoot this?

thanks, I’ll search again for this! I have the base system.
Check the wiring carefully on kick panel speakers. I think they may have a common ground. Make sure connection is tight.
 
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Panzer948

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Thanks for the write up, it was very helpful. I ran into a strange problem after replacing my speakers. I did the 4” dash speakers with no issues. When I did the driver kick speaker, I no longer get ANY sound from either the driver dash or driver kick speakers. Any clue how to trouble shoot this?

thanks, I’ll search again for this! I have the base system.
Sorry to hear your problem. I have the B&O system but I would think it would be similar. Just redo your connections as it has to be there...
 
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I messed with the connector again and got it to work. Sometimes it’s the simple things. My new problem is I don’t like the way they sound 🤣. Focal RCX-165. The factory speakers had more oomph than these do! Clarity is great, but without a sub, these are a no-go for me.
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