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Posts Tagged ‘Bmw’

How to install/upgrade new speakers on BMW e87 120i 2005

In Minihacks on 22/10/2015 at 11:37 AM

Finally I owned a BMW. An object in life completed I guess 🙂 .However the moment I turn on the sound system, hate it ! I played with their EQ in my Professional HU but I must admit that the sound is less than a Toyota Camry Altise 2003’s sound system. The worse things is that I discovered my new car has a total of 6 speakers when compare to 4 speakers from the Toyota. What sup with that? After digging around the internet, I finally summed up my courage to dissect my BMW and changing those damn front speakers.

Initially I only intended to install the tweeters (alpine sps-110tw) into the tweeter sails and be done with it. But after digging through numerous posts from BMW forums and follow intensely one member from bimmer forum (Evlengr), I decided to buy 2 way Alpine speakers (SPS 410) to replace the front speakers. One main reason I did this is that the price for the tweeters around $75 and the whole new speaker SPS 410 (included tweeters) are $88. From an economic term, that’s is a yes for me. Also Evlengr continuous raved for these speakers so why not ?

Before I started the installation progress, I want to give kudos to Evlengr, A9ennis, x3oiler and numerous other members in the forum that help me to make this a reality. Check them out at Bimmer forum.

 

What you need?

Equipment

Equipment

The washer specs

The washer specs

 

• Alpine SPS 410 140W (4 inch). Bought them from Nofrillssydney eBay
• Flat head screw driver
• Torx screws. I got one of Ozito cordless screwdriver hanging around. You can buy one @ Bunning for $30.
• 6x Washers. Bought from Bunning as well. Zenith brand with 5/16” & M8. Or if you got any washers lying around that would be good as well.
• Wire stripper.
• Scissors.
• Electric tape.
• Voltage meter (not necessary needed if you know the color code of the speakers). You can find the information through Google. I just happen to have them 🙂
• And 2 hours labours. That was the time I took to finish the job but you can do it faster.

 

Should I do it?

 

Yes you should upgrade:
• If you often listen to music in high volume.
• love to hear fuller sound.
• broader stage.
• possess high quality of music library .
• Intend to have more upgrade in the future (amp, subs) .

 

No you shouldn’t upgrade:

• If you prefer to play the music in low volume (the kind of volume for background music). From my own experience, I can only detect the different in sound quality when I crank up the volume ¾ of the way. The sound is pretty much the same as the original speakers when you left them in lower volume and sometimes even smaller when compare with the same setting from OEM speakers.
• However if you crank them up more, the sound is completely change and become alive. This indicated the need for additional amp hence the future upgrade. My other suggestion is if you can find a reasonable tweeters for sale (1 inch) then that should be enough for your requirement.
• Also the high note from the Alpine SPS 410 makes my ear tired. I don’t know how to describe it properly but prolong listening around 1h30 made me appreciate a silent break.
• If you have a low bit rate music library, please upgrade them otherwise you will feel disappointed when you start hearing the sound. Dull, low volume and overall broken sound. May be it is my only experience but the OEM speakers actually made low bit rate songs sound better (less or equal 128kps). Once I started play some 320kps mp3 song, the sound is so much better. I can hear beautiful treble and the singer’s breath while listening to the Wicked Games (Parra for Cuva) or the crisp sound of the cymbal from the song As We’ve Ended As Lovers (Jeff Beck).
• I also read from Bimmer forum that the Professional HU in my car is more powerful than the Business HU. Therefore if you possess the Business model you might find the sound not much improve or you might crank up the volumne max all the time. Something you might one to consider.
• The potential sound of the SPS 410 might urge you to do some more upgrades which means cost more money and time…so be warned.

 

My car configuration:

 

2005 BMW 120i e87 hatch back with 2x front speaker (FS), 2x rear speaker (RS) (4 inch), 2x under seat sub (US) (8 inch) and Professional HU (head unit). My car does not have any amp or Bluetooth module in the trunk 😦 Just plain simple configuration where the HU supplies everything to the speakers. If you have an amp in the trunk, you have your work cut off when you want to install additional amp and sub.

 

How do I do it ?

Ok ok ok. I am getting to the juicy part. First off it is up to you to remove the battery or not. I choose not to but lots of people from Bimmer forum warned against this practice as it might fried your car’s electric system. DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Here is the picture of my car’ s front door. You might want to watch this video from Bavsound clips to have a main ideas of how to remove the doors.

The door

The door

Next using a plastic handle prys through the handle to remove the cover. I started from the bottom as it was easier for me that way. There will be 2 torx screws needed to be removed.

Handle removed

Handle removed

 

Using a flat head screwdriver remove the small plastic cap next to the handle. You will see another screw (+) need to be removed.

Remove the plastic cap

Remove the plastic cap

Using the same screwdriver pop out the windows control and remove the connection. There should be a leverage to push forward and pop out the connection. Don’t try to yank it out.

Pop open the controller

Pop open the controller

Now, as the dude from Bavsound suggested you will remove the door part by gently pull out the part. I found it easier to do it from the place near the tweeter sails.

Pull it out

Pull it out

Don’t just yank out the door part. You will need to disconnect the door handle white bit, the door lock and pull out the speaker connection. Again I might do a shortcut here by holding the speaker wire and slowly apply enough force to wiggle the connection out. You are at RISK of tearing the wires out if you follow my footsteps.

Naked door

Naked door

Do the same for these other site and leave the door there for a moment. Now you will need to splice the wires and applying the Alpine connection wires accordingly. I tested my speaker wire and the positive wire will be the one with BROWN color. Make sure to check yours as different models might have different colors. Also with the Alpine speakers, the bigger plate head will be the positive (+) wire.

2 speakers comparison.

2 speakers comparison.

Evlenger might shout at me here for splicing the wire but since I cannot find the splicing female adapter he mentioned here in Australia (the one where you only need to crimp in the wire and it will automatically cut through the wire to come into contact with the metal). Here are the picture of my work. It is ok as I am able to remove them later with minimal effort. Remember to test them if you can to see if you want to go ahead with the rest of installation.

 

Ok job i guess

Ok job i guess

Splicing the wire

Splicing the wire

Final product

Final product

Next to the door part. Remove the old speakers. Applied foam to the new speakers. At this step, I find the Alpine SPS-410 speakers are smaller than port and I need to use 3x washer to make sure it clamp down properly, something that’s did not mention in the forum at all. I also put some electrical tape around the edge to make sure no sound leaking out. If I need to do it again, I will buy the adapter ring from eBay to make sure proper fit. But overall with the help of 3x washers, the speaker clamped down tightly.

The new beef up speaker plus the electrical tape seal

The new beef up speaker plus the electrical tape seal

Finally, putting everything back together by following the reverse order of the Bavsound instruction. Congratulation, you are now officially pimp up your sound system. Crank it as loud as you can and appreciate the clarity.

Attached the speaker

Attached the speaker

Final look

Final look

 

Bye bye OEM speakers

Bye bye OEM speakers

Bye bye OEM speakers

 

What is my next move ?

 

I am planning to put an amp and sub in the trunk. I am lazy when it comes to wiring and would rather not running any wires at all. This is the configuration I came up with:

 

Car audio plan

Car audio plan

I will splice the audio supply from the rear speakers. Since it is full range, I will connect them to an audio converter to get a preamp source. Then I will find a 2.1 amp and connect them together. Finally, I run the wires to the sub and the 2xFS. I still need to run the wires all the way to the front door but it might save me some additional wires running through the car. Not sure if it works so please give me an advice for this plan.

Good bye and see you next time.

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