Help me install front door speakers on my Accord.
March 17, 2007 7:13 PM   Subscribe

How do I install these speakers on the front doors of my 1999 Honda Accord? Should I even try to do it myself?

So here's the situation. I bought a '99 Honda Accord a few years ago, used, and the front door speakers have never worked. (I'm pretty sure there's something in there, though.) I finally decided to get new replacement speakers for the front door, and I got a pair of Sony XSV160HP's at a *really* good price -- it was the store's display model and the last one they had. Unfortunately, that meant it didn't come with instruction manuals, or whatever extra parts would normally be in the box (connectors, clips, wires, etc.). The store's installation fee would be about twice what I paid for the speakers, and since I actually installed a new receiver myself a year ago, I thought I might give it a go myself again. However, I'm stuck. I've got so many questions:

1) Is there a way to get a copy of the XSV160HP's manual? I couldn't find one in my online searches.
2) How do I get inside the car's front doors? There's no visible screws on the panel and grill over the speakers don't appear to come off easily.
3) On the entirely possible chance that this is just something I can't easily DIY, what are recommendations for some reliable and reasonably priced car audio installers around me? I'm the San Francisco Bay Area - preferably East Bay and North Bay (where I live and work, respectively).

And really, any other tips that I might have not even thought to ask about would be welcome too.
posted by lou to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Here's how for a '98. I am guessing the '99 is similar. Accords are notorious for not accepting deep speakers by the way. You may need to do some door mods to get them in if they are too deep.
posted by caddis at 7:45 PM on March 17, 2007

It isn't that difficult to install door speakers. I've done it a couple of times on a 90s-era Integra, and each time it took less than a half an hour.

There are a lot of people whose livelihoods depend on convincing you that you can't perform simple installation tasks like this yourself. Don't believe them. If you really get stuck you can always bring it to a professional.
posted by killdevil at 8:09 PM on March 17, 2007

Should be straightforward once you get into your doors. Caddis seems to be on the right track. My only worry is if the front speakers don't work after a new deck, the wire could be shot which would add to your work. Good luck Car audio is most appreciated when done DIY in my opinion.

Good Luck, remember test them before you put the doors back on!
posted by imjosh at 9:33 PM on March 17, 2007

I changed the speakers on my 91 honda accord without problems, and I'm not exactly an automotive guru. I do, however, find that the repair manuals by chilton very helpful for these types of things. The manual for your car is here i believe.
posted by escher at 10:29 PM on March 17, 2007

You might be able to get the missing bits for cheap from Crutchfield; ordinarily, they're free with an original purchase but you can buy their harnesses / adapters / installation instructions separately, IIRC. Worth a free phone call at the very least. Good luck!
posted by ZakDaddy at 11:12 PM on March 17, 2007

Personally, I found it a huge pain in the ass to install speakers in the front doors of my '94 Honda Accord. I bought a manual that was available at a car parts store and it told me how to disassemble the door panel. Actually screwing the speakers in wasn't hard, but it was a real son of a bitch getting the door panels back on properly. It'd be a different process for a '99 Accord, but there are manuals that will be useful. Good luck!
posted by Jupiter Jones at 9:10 AM on March 18, 2007

Best answer: The hardest part is taking the door panel off.

I'm doing this from memory, as I haven't replaced speakers in a honda in a few years, but i'll give it a go:

1. Locate the screws on the interior door, there's one in the little handle thing (not the one you open the door with, but the one most folk keep a pack of cigs in), and two or three others. They'll have little caps on them.

2. Once you've removed the screws, carefully yank it upwards to clear the doorlock knob dealy, and carefully maneuver it off of the door handle. out of everything, the door handle is the trickiest thing to get in and out of, but don't worry, you're not going to break it, but putting the door interor back on once your done is a bit like getting a small child to get dressed; sometimes it behaves, sometimes it takes some coaxing. Don't sweat it.

3. Once you've cleared those two hurdles, disconnect the window switch wires. it's a snap-on plug so it's nothing too tricky. there might be one for the powerlocks too, i forget. If you have a window crank, I have no idea, but i imagine it's not that difficult to figure out.

4. Now that you've got the panel off, you'll see the speaker. Yay! unscrew it, and take that badboy out. now, you CAN buy a speaker wire harness like listed above, OR, you can just yank the connectors off the old stock speaker and reconnect it with some electrical tape (or soder if you're feelin fancy). Not a major difference, but it might save you a trip to radio shack.

5. Here's something irritating about Hondas you might encounter: you might find the big magnetic ass end of the speaker doesn't fit in the speaker hole. Take a pair of scissors or wirecutters or a steak knife or something and cut out the plastic thing that's in the way. No really, it's just in the way.

6. Once you've ensured the wiring is straight, turn on the car and test the sound. Sound good? Now, re-read this list backwards and put your door back together!

I've owned two hondas, and replaced the speakers in both of them, it's at most tricky, but by no means impossible. Good luck and happy rocking!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:35 AM on March 18, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the really in-depth walkthrough, Uther Bentrazor! Following your tips and the advice of everyone else here I did give it a go, and it turns out that yes, those are aftermarket speakers already in there, and they didn't work because they weren't even plugged in. And these were a pair of Rockwood 3-way speakers too. I decided to plug them in and leave them there, and they work great.

So, does anyone want to buy my brand new Sony's? :P
posted by lou at 5:17 PM on March 18, 2007

I'll second Crutchfield. You can buy a set of step-by-step instructions for nearly any model car from them for something like $5. Those instructions are gold. I puzzled over installing a new receiver in my Odyssey for an hour or so, then called Crutchfield and got the guide. Once I had the paper, it was two minutes to get the new unit in. I never would have been able to figure out that I needed to take the glove box out to get at a screw or two.

The great thing about the Crutchfield instructions is that they are purpose-built for installing car audio. You don't have to look at the exploded view in a generic service manual and puzzle out which of those panels and screws you need to remove. They take you to the prize in a quick and straightforward manner.
posted by chazlarson at 5:34 PM on March 18, 2007

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