Kick Panel Speakers

When I ordered the new vents for the dash install, I also added fiberglass kick panels to allow me to install front speakers. Because I have spent so much money already, I did the sensible thing and ordered Pyle speakers (Amazon link).

I have had nothing but good experiences with Pyle products in the past. They have always fallen into the “this thing has no business being this good” kind of category.

I previously had an 8 inch bass cannon (Amazon link), multiple sets of 5x7s (Amazon link), and my drum recording setup has four Shure 57 knock-offs (Amazon link) that were a fraction of the price. They have all been great!

I traced the openings using the paper template that came with the speakers. I drilled a hole just large enough for my jigsaw blade to fit through, then cut them out.

That is not the right blade, but it’s all I have. It needs to have much finer teeth.

Next, I put the speaker in place and drilled holes for the mounting screws.

Obviously, I don’t want to leave this ugly, raw fiberglass panel in view, so I started looking around for something to cover them with. I can order carpet pieces if I need to, but like I said before, I have already spent a lot this year.

I grabbed the bit of vinyl I peeled off the dash pad (what a fiasco), but it had too many cuts in not the right places.

Then it came to me! I had previously made a speaker hutch for the luggage compartment and just had a saddle blanket draped across it. There’s plenty of extra material there, so I cut off what I needed.

I’m confident in the strength of the 3m Super 77 (Amazon link) and have plenty left over, so I hosed the kick panel down and let the glue start to set up.

When I got the blanket fitted on the front, I flipped it over and sprayed some more glue around the edges on the back, to hold the blanket in place.

The pattern is a little crooked, but it was my first attempt. Now I know what to look out for next time.

I think they turned out great!

My original idea was to mount the speakers from the back and not use the speaker grills. The center bit of the speaker protrudes quite a ways and it wouldn’t have been flush with the face of the kick panel. OK, so I have to use the plastic trim piece and speaker grill.

I’m an idiot and got the first speaker mounted before realizing I needed the plastic trim piece under there to house the speaker grill.

Didn’t make that mistake again!

I think they turned out wonderfully!

Speaker hutch

The car came with a tape deck and one four inch speaker in the dash to the left of the steering wheel.

I bought a couple of cheap Alpine 6x9s (Amazon link), traced and cut out a template for the space behind the rear seat in a flattened cardboard box, and then cut and screwed some plywood scraps together. Cut a couple of pieces of white metal gutter guard from Lowes to use as speaker grills and covered the whole deal in a saddle blanket.

I replaced the Sony cassette player in the dash with a cardboard blank…

Why Philco?

…and installed a cheap Boss head unit (Amazon link) in the glove box.

The car came with a single 4″ Kicker speaker mounted in the dash to the left of the steering wheel. I left that in place and connected front left and right speaker wires to it.

Speaker wires were run under the carpet to the luggage compartment behind the back seat, connecting the speaker hutch.

I was expecting them to rattle, but they don’t actually sound too bad.