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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Working pictures in pdf format in this post


When I ordered my Scat Pack, I knew I would be upgrading my stereo, so I opted for the Base Alpine System with 6 speakers (2 door, 2 dash, 2 rear).

Two weeks after taking delivery, I have replaced the door speakers. I will be doing the rears later this week and as soon as I decide on dash speakers, I will get those in as well.

Following is an installation "how to" guide for the door speakers. I will do a similar write up for the other pairs once I get them done. Credit to forum member Trickster729 for providing the initial guidance.

Disclaimer: I cannot take responsibility for any damage you may do to your own car, but follow this guide and you should do fine.


Tools required:
small ratchet
7mm, 10mm sockets and extender
Phillips screw driver
Small prying tool (or plastic knife)
Dremel with coarse sanding drum
Large, towels, foam mats or other soft material (the length of the door)


Time required:
45 - 90 minutes per door depending on your mechanical inclination and bravery.


Let's get to it:
First things first. Using the ratchet and 10mm socket, disconnect the negative connection to your battery and lay the hardware on the top of the battery. 1 minute's work to avoid any potential electrical issues.

The door panels are very straightforward to remove. There are 5 screws (2 located under covers, 3 at the bottom of the door), 1 pin, and around 5 fir tree connectors inside the door.


First, remove the exterior fasteners:
3 phillips screws at the bottom edge of the door panel (one pictured):



There is 1 Phillips screw under the plastic cover behind the door release. It took me 20 minutes to try and figure how is it clipped on for fear of breaking off a tab. In the end, I realized all you have to do is extend the door handle with one hand and with the other, gently and firmly pull it and it will release:




The last screw is located under the rubber trim in the armrest. Use a soft prying tool to lift it out and the fastener is exposed. Use the 7mm socket and extender to remove. The cover is shown slightly lifted away:




The last exterior fastener is the pin located in front of the speaker / near the kick plate. Gently press in the center of it with your phillips screwdriver until it clicks. Once you hear the click pull the panel an inch or so away from the door and the pin will pull out.




Removing the door panel:
You are now ready to remove the door panel. A calming word of caution. It takes a good deal of leverage to release the fasteners. You will hear LOUD snapping plastic noises as the fir tree connectors release that may sound as if the whole panel snapped in half. This is normal. Fear not. I suggest not pulling on the outmost edges of the panel, but rather to reach in a few inches to gain some leverage and minimize flex of the panel.

Here is a picture of some of the internal fastener sockets so you can see what you are dealing with:



Before you begin, put your towels, mats or whatever you are using directly under the fully extended door. You will use this to rest the panel on once it is removed.

Start in the area in front of the speaker, near the pin you removed. Reach in under the pin area and slide your hand up towards the top of the door. Remember to reach in and not just grasp the edge. Pull firmly. You may need to wrestle with it a bit, but the fastener will give and you will hear your first loud "POP". First one done. <sigh of relief>

Now do the same on the back edge of the door, and again you will hear it release. Move up towards the top of the door near the lock pin and repeat. Now return to the front of the door and begin working the pins out along the top. I found it helpful to push my fingertips against the inside of the panel as I worked and to leverage my knuckles off the glass.

Once you get the last internal fastener released, lift the door over the lock pin. You'll want to make sure the pin is pushed down to make clearing it easier.

I like to keep things simple and realized I did not need to disconnect every wire or the door handle cable. There are 2 wires located near the center of the door and they were the only ones I needed to release. These have simple push connectors that you can press in with your thumbnail while pulling the harness from the socket. One is about 1" x 1" with a green connector near the window switch. The other is about 1/4" x 1/4" located in front of the green one and slightly higher up on the door. Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of these as I was working alone and did not have enough hands. But you should have no problem finding them.

Once you get these connectors removed you can up-end the door panel and rest in on the padding you put on the ground and lean it against the door skin, leaving you plenty of room to work. Pictured below (with the new speaker already installed):




Removing the speaker:
OK, now that you are over the anxiety of pulling the panel, here are some easy steps. To remove the speaker, it is easier to first remove the entire enclosure. Remove the 4 phillips screws holding the enclosure to the door skin. Leave one of the top ones for last and as you remove it, hold the assembly up or it will fall. Disconnect the speaker wire from the harness.

Now that you have the assembly removed, unscrew the 4 phillips screws holding the speaker to the enclosure. The speaker is also adhered to the enclosure with a rubber gasket, which will hold it in place. Turn the speaker over and press on the basket with your thumbs and the gasket should release.

My new speakers did not come with gaskets, and to avoid any vibrations, I reused the factory gaskets. If you are going to do this, carefully peel the gasket from the back of the speaker. It appears to be adhered with rubber cement and just peels off. It will stretch a bit but will shrink back to size.


Trimming the enclosure:
Test fit your new speakers in the enclosure. Mine required that I trim the enclosure. I used a Dremel with a coarse sanding drum. You can see in the photo below where I removed material. The rounded indents appear to be to channel away water so be careful not to cut through them.




Mounting and testing the new speaker:
If you are using the factory gasket or one supplied with your speaker put it in place and position the speaker in the enclosure and replace the 4 phillips screws.

When you order your speakers, also get a pair of Metra 72-6514 harnesses as these make wiring simple plug n play and eliminate any need to hack the factory wiring. Connect the harness to the speaker, then snap the harness to the factory connector. Screw the enclosure back onto the door skin and you are ready to test!



Reconnect the battery. You don't need to clamp it, just make the connection. Your screen may say "radio locked". You'll just need to push the start button to the RUN position, you don't need to start the car. Make sure your speaker works and disconnect the battery.

NOTE: The system has crossovers and you will only get mid-bass from the door speakers, so if you chose full range coax speakers as I did, instead of dedicated mid-bass drivers high frequencies will be filtered and you will have no sound from your tweeters, this is normal. I chose these in case I rewire in the future with an aftermarket amp.


Reinstalling the door panel:
This is pretty easy. First lift the door panel to where the wiring harnesses you disconnected reach and reattach them. Lift the panel over the lock pin and insert the top edge into the groove along the glass. Reach around and hold the outside of the door and press the fasteners back into place starting from the center and working your way towards the front and rear. Replace the 5 screws. You'll need to push the pin in the center of the pin fastener back out, but not all the way. Press the fastener back into the door and push the pin in and it will click into place. Replace the rubber and plastic covers and you are done with the door.

Repeat the testing procedure and remember to disconnect the battery again before starting the second door. When you finish the second door, of course remember to clamp down the battery terminal.

Once I install my rear and dash speakers I will continue this "how to" guide.

Enjoy!


15RT
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Part II - Rear Speakers

Tools required:
small ratchet
8mm, 10mm sockets
Plastic (or nylon) prying tools
Time required:
1 - 2 hours

Getting started:
Again, before you begin, you might want to disconnect your negative battery terminal.
The rear speakers are much easier to reach than the doors, though there is some wrestling with the parcel shelf cover involved.
To begin, move and fold your front seats all the way forward. Fold your rear seats down. There are pull tabs to the outside of each headrest. Just give it a tug.

Removing the pins:
Once you have folded the seats, you will see 4 black plastic fir tree pins. Use your pry tool to pull them out. Note for when you reassemble, the ones on top are a different size for the ones on the bottom.


Removing the C Pillar Covers:
Next you need to remove the C pillar covers on both sides of the car. This is easier than you might think. Grab the sides near the top with your finger tips and pull. They will unclip, on the top, then just pull it from the bottom clip. Notice they are held to the pillar by safety straps so don't try to take them all the way off, just yet. I assume these safety straps are so the airbag curtains, should they deploy, don't launch the cover as a projectile.

Look underneath the cover and you will see 2 clips that are strapped into aluminum sockets on the car. These clips work much like a buckle on a laptop bag, or similar. You need to pinch down a little tab on the face of the clip to slide it through. It will catch again half way through, and you will need to push the clip again and slide it the rest of the way. Here are a couple pictures of the back of the cover and of the exposed cover.

Back of C Pillar cover


Exposed C Pillar


Close-up of clip socket


You will see a blue wire running up the back of the C pillar to the rear defester that needs to be removed. It's just another simple clip.


Removing the Rear Shelf Cover:
Next you will need to loosen the top of the main rear panels. All you need to do is pull the top of the panel out towards the back to realease the first clip, then do the same under the rear window.

When you are done, the panel will look like this:


This is where things may get a little frustrating. The good news, is this is the only difficult step. The rear shelf cover needs to be slid down behind the side panels. You will need to wrestle it over the seat latches and slide it down. Think of the motion of closing a roll-top desk or a garage door. Also notice the back corners of the rear shelf cover have little cut outs that might get caught, but you will need to manipulate them as you go.

Here are a couple pictures of the rear panel after it has been slid down:

Side view:


Front view:



You will need to reach over the panel to work, but there is adequate space. The other alternative is to fully remove the side panels to be able to move the rear shelf cover more, but I saw no need.


Removing the Speakers:
The speakers are each attached with 3 bolts. Use your 8mm socket and remove the bolts. Like the front speakers, the rears are adhered to the rear deck. Use your pry tool to loosen an edge and you should be able to peel the speaker off. Once you have done so, unclip the wiring harnesses from the speakers.

As was the case with my front speakers, my new rear speakers did not come with gaskets, and to avoid any vibrations, I reused the factory gaskets. If you are going to do this, carefully peel the gasket from the back of the speaker. It appears to be adhered with rubber cement and just peels off. It will stretch a bit but will shrink back to size. I then tacked them to the back of my new speakers with a few dabs of rubber cement.


Installing the new speakers:
When you order your speakers, also get a pair of Metra 72-6514 harnesses as these make wiring simple plug n play. Connect the harness to the speaker, then snap the harness to the factory connector. Drop the speaker into the rear deck cutout, while making sure the harnesses are tucked under and that the wires that route out are going through the cutouts.

Align the holes in your speakers or brackets. I would suggest at this point to put in 1 or 2 bolts on each side, finger-tight and test the speakers. Once you have verified they work,bolt them into the rear deck.

Speaker dropped in with 1 bolt finger tight, before aligning to all holes (sorry for the glare through the glass)


Speaker properly bolted in


Pretty picture



Finishing up:
The rest is easy. Slide the rear deck cover back into its correct position and make sure the seat latches come through. Reconnect the defroster and check the wire routing into the rear cover cutout. Then press the rear side panels back into their fasteners.
Reinstall the C pillar covers by first pushing the lower straps back into the sockets, then the uppers. Snap the covers back into place. Reinsert the 4 plastic pins into the rear shelf cover and rear side covers. Fold you seats back up, and you are DONE!

15RT
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Part III - Dash Speakers

Here is the 3rd installment of the 2015 Challenger speaker upgrade.

Tools required:
small ratchet
1/4" socket
Plastic (or nylon) prying tool

Optional materials:
Fiber fill
Double-sided foam tape

Time required:
~1 hour

Getting started:
Anyone who was around in the 70s or 80s, or worked on stereos on cars from that period shudders at the thought of doing any in-dash work. Between the parts that were difficult to disassemble and fit back together, fragile fasteners and brittle plastics, it was a nightmare.

The dash speakers in the Challenger are by far easier to replace than the doors or rear deck. And as an added bonus, to my ear, they bring the largest improvement of all 3 pairs I replaced.

NOTE: Since the only disconnects were of the speakers themselves, I did not disconnect the battery. But if you want to be extra careful you can do so.


Removing the A Pillar covers:
To reach the first clips and to give the grill room to come out, you need to remove the A pillar covers. These are attached with only 2 clips, similar to the C pillars described in the rear speaker write up. The first clip is located near the top curve of the windshield. Reach behind the weatherstripping and get your fingers underneath. Use your other hand to get your fingers in through the top, where the cover meets the headliner. Pull firmly and the first clip will release. Again, there is a safety strap so it will not be fully freed. The second clip is about half way down the windshield. Pull from both sides and it will release. Disconnect the strap as described in the rear speaker post. Now you just need to lift the cover up towards the roof to pull the bottom tabs out of the grill notches.

Here are a couple pictures of the pillars after the cover has been removed:




And the back side of the a pillar cover, showing the fasteners and bottom tabs



Removing the Grill:
For a big piece of plastic, this is really easy. There are a lot of clips (14 in total) but they all pop out with little effort.

Unless you have really long arms (I don't), you might want to retract your telescoping steering wheel all the way towards the dash to give you some extra reach.

First release the top clips on the side panels of the dash. You might need your pry tool to pull it away from the dash to get a couple fingers underneath.


After it pops, you need to release a small notched tab that connects each end of the grill to the side panel. Use one hand to keep the side panel away from the dash and the other to lift the end of the grill away from it.

Then reach in between the windshield / A pillar and grill and pull up. This will release the first of the top clips. Then all you need to do is walk your thumbs across the dash and lift out each successive clip. Then all you need to do is wiggle the grill away from the windshield and dash and remove it from the car.

Here are a few pictures of the grill to show some of the fasteners mentioned above:


Clips


A Pillar notches


Plastic hook the connects to dash side panel:



Removing the Speakers:
The speakers are each attached with 2 screws. Use your 1/4" socket and remove the screws. Once they are each out, unclip the wiring harnesses from the speakers.


Installing the new speakers:
Again to avoid hacking my factory wiring, I used Metra harnesses (71-039C). The dash harnesses are differnt than the others, and the ONLY place I could find them was Crutchfield, and they are listed as a Mazda part, but they fit. Simply connect the harnesses adaptor to the speaker and to the factory harness. Drop your speakers into the dash cutouts and test.



This is optional but I decided to insulate the dash speakers with some fiber fill and used some double-sided foam tape to cover the open gaps on the back side of the enclosures. I think it helped the bass repsonse a bit, but could be a placebo effect. In any case, it didn't hurt anything. If you want to do this just use an old pillow or buy a $5 pillow from Walmart or Target.



Then all you need to do is align the speaker mount with the screw holes and screw them down.

The new speaker, installed:


And a shot of half the dash before I closed everything back up:



Finishing up:
This is as easy as everything else. First lay the grill in place, making sure the rubber insulator is pressed towards the windshield. Start at one end, and reinsert the hook on the end to the side panel. Again, just walk your fingers along the grill pressing each successive clip into place. Some may not seat until you move on to the next so you may need to take a step back to the prior clip with each one you do. Finally, insert the hook on the other end, then seat the side panels.

Finally, position the A pillar cover tabs into the grill notches, reconnect the strap and press each clip back into place. Check your weatherstripping to make sure it is not caught under the cover.

So that's it. Six speakers in about 1/2 a day's work. These interiors are so easy to work with.

Initial impressions:
So, does it sound better? In a word or two, hell yes! While the factory speakers were not the bottom of the barrel crap that often plagues factory systems, the upgrades still made a huge difference. I'll assume the aftermarket speakers are more sensitive and efficient so there is a slight gain in sound level. But the real upgrade comes in a great improvement in clarity and dynamics. Bass booms, vocals are clearer and cymbals and strings are much more articulate. Also, I found with the added clarity, perception of the sound stage, location and channel separation also gained some significant improvement.

As an aside, even if the factory amp isn't particularly loud it sounds pretty damned clean. Depending on the source, I can get up to around 28-31 on the volume with barely any distortion. Certainly not enough to prompt me to turn it down.

For under $300, and having never heard Sound Group II, I'll hazard a guess that just upgrading the SG1 speakers greatly surpasses the sound quality of the $500+ SGII option. Of course SGII still has the added advantage of the rear deck subwoofer, but the bass from the door now shakes my seat so the rear sub is not notably absent, but still something I want to do.

Future Plans:
I am in the process of planning the addition of a couple amplifiers and a rear deck subwoofer, and possibly a line driver and/or eQ. Given the Scat Pack does not come with a spare tire, I am planning to mount the amps in the spare tire well and to use an 8" sub in the rear deck.

Once I get the ball rolling on these upgrades I will be sure to post again.

15RT
 

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Nice write up...you are a brave soul! Brand new Challenger and already yanking on door panels...definitely got some guts I don't LOL.
I was thinking the same thing. That picture of the door totally taken apart made my heart skip a beat! LOL
 

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Subscribing for when I actually have a car.
 

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Kinda wishing I'd have gotten base and upgraded myself......oh well, maybe later. Very nice instructions!!! Looking forward to more posts from u......and a review of audio quality when your done.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Rear speaker write-up completed above (post 2)


I was thinking the same thing. That picture of the door totally taken apart made my heart skip a beat! LOL
I'm not going to lie. I winced when I first heard the POP and meekly looked for any damage. Once I saw all was OK, I just kept going.


Kinda wishing I'd have gotten base and upgraded myself......oh well, maybe later. Very nice instructions!!! Looking forward to more posts from u......and a review of audio quality when your done.
You still can. The only difference is the rear seat speakers and the rear shelf sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How is the improvement right now with no new amps yet? Dramatic?


Yes, well worth it. See post #3 above, where I install the dash speakers and give initial impressions for details
 

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15RT.....I'm proud of you dude! You really took the rear deck apart! You didn't have to take the trim off because the deck is so flexible. But I understand being extra careful.
Are you going to add an amp to the system? I've been doing more research and even though the system sounds good with the upgraded speakers and amp, its still a factory headunit, we do need an equalizer to balance all of the together. And that equalizeris is the clairon EQS746. Read up on it fellows. I will install it in a few days. And I guess I have to take pictures like you did (to help our brother challenger owners)
And fellows, its not that bad of a job to do. Just take your time and ask us here on the board

PS......my only concern with the equalizer is where the heck I'm going to put it. I'm thinking inside the glove or the arm rest. And I will use velcro to mount it inside, that way it ill be secure and also ez to move somewhere else if I want
 

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a video would go a long way for removing the door panels (hint hint) :wink3::grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
15RT.....I'm proud of you dude! You really took the rear deck apart! You didn't have to take the trim off because the deck is so flexible. But I understand being extra careful.
Are you going to add an amp to the system? I've been doing more research and even though the system sounds good with the upgraded speakers and amp, its still a factory headunit, we do need an equalizer to balance all of the together. And that equalizeris is the clairon EQS746. Read up on it fellows. I will install it in a few days. And I guess I have to take pictures like you did (to help our brother challenger owners)
And fellows, its not that bad of a job to do. Just take your time and ask us here on the board

PS......my only concern with the equalizer is where the heck I'm going to put it. I'm thinking inside the glove or the arm rest. And I will use velcro to mount it inside, that way it ill be secure and also ez to move somewhere else if I want
Thanks trickster. It was your tips that gave me enough to have the nerve to do this.

I didn't remove the rear panels I just popped the first couple clips for a little more wiggle room.

As far as amps, yeah I started another thread here: http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f202/long-er-term-audio-system-plans-275962/

But I'm 95% sure I'm not going to use the NVX micro amps in my initial diagram and instead looking at some outgoing Alpine models. I was going to use the NVXs behind the wheel well but realized I can build a board in the spare tire well, since there is no spare and open up my options.

If I go with an EQ, I would just set and forget it on my board otherwise I'd be forever tweaking it. The cold weather is setting in and I want to spread out the cost so I will take my time building and laying out the board over the winter and save the wiring and install for the spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
a video would go a long way for removing the door panels (hint hint) :wink3::grin2:
You really can do this with just the write up. There is really very little to it. And in hindsight, start with the dash. It's the easiest pair to get your feet wet and brings the most improvement to SQ
 

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head unit

Question on the head unit. Does it have standard RCA plugs for amps and such?

I have the HK system on my SRT but the bass from the sub is just not controllable. I am looking to replace that with an after market one and add an EQ to kill the bass.

Can't replace the head unit cause you lose all the toys. I don't think there are any pictures of the back of the head unit. If some one has one please post it.
 

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Mixiao, , I think that you already have an amp but I'm not sure. But if you have same Uconnect radio that we have, there are no RCA jack in or outputs.
 

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Yes this thing has an AMP no question. Two Subs as well. I just wish there was a way to control the bass on the subs. The audio engineers that tune the factory HK system on the 392 had to be Bass heads. I love me some bass but they over did it.
 
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