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Old 07-19-2014, 06:49 AM   #1
Sebastian Focus
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2014 speaker replacement photo album and some tips

I don't have a lot of time to post a step by step on this, and Jason Georgievski videos are more than enough to get anyone started, in fact I couldn't have done it without his videos (so thank you Jason), but I wanted to show some pictures of the 2014 Focus, which differs a little bit from Jason's 2012 model.

One important advice, if you're not a seasoned car audio installer, but just handy with fixing and installing things and have lots of tools, you still might want to leave it in the hands of a pro if you have some extra cash, because it will save you a lot of time. I didn't want to rush things, this being a brand new car and having done only one more speaker install before, and almost ten years ago. So I spent the better part of a morning taking measurements, doing the math (Thanks Lowe's for stocking at least one measuring tape in the metric system), and planning things. Then I spent several hours in the afternoon working on this until the sun came down, because if you've seen Jason's videos you know that in this car it's not as easy as unscrewing the factory speaker and screwing the aftermarket in.

The factory speaker consists of a plastic adapter that screws into the door metal frame, and the hole in said metal frame is about an inch larger than the speaker diameter. In fact, if they made 7" speakers (I've only seen a Kenwood model that was rather expensive) and the screw holes were in the right place, you could probably screw regular speakers in there.

The speakers I'm installing are the Pioneer TS-A1675R, which I got for like $90 for all four of them on Amazon. Cruthcfield sells them for almost twice as much, but it comes with all the extras that they send like instructions and some tools I think. Having seen Jason's videos, it didn't seem to me like I would need more instructions than that, but that's up to each of you.

One thing that you can be sure of, as of now, apparently nobody makes replacement brackets for this model. Meaning that if you want to install aftermarket speakers, you either have to cut out the woofers and part of the plastic bracket, or you have to manufacture a bracket yourself, or have a custom shop do it for a hefty price. Believe me, I looked it up online extensively, and I called five of the main car audio shops in Raleigh, and they all told me nobody makes them and that when they have to work on a new Focus, they have to cut out the woofer from the factory speaker to use the bracket.

Also, this is on the 6 speaker model, I don't know what you might encounter for this model year if you got the Sony speakers, if the speakers and the bracket are one and the same as is the case here or not.

To do this you need certain tools, that if you don't already have, the cost of buying them will be more than what you would paid a car audio shop. Off the top of my head, you need these:

  • jigsaw (there might be a better saw for this that does a more accurate job. A hacksaw perhaps would work if you have the patience) Be really careful when using it so you don't end up with chopped fingers.
  • screwdriver or with different bits (one of them a Torx 25 since most screws are that size)
  • drilling machine with a very small bit
  • soldering iron and solder
  • Dremmel kit, preferably with the Flex-shaft attachment, and grinding and polishing or smoothing bits to get rid of the plastic debris
A tip about removing the door panels: it seems to me, from my rather inexperienced perspective, but succesful removal of the front and rear driver side door panels without breaking anything, that once the screws are removed, it's better to try to move the panel in a clockwise fashion (for the driver's side) rather than just pull it straight out. Those damn clips or pins are everywhere, and they are damn hard to pull out. But when you see my photos of the inside of the door panel you'll see that it's easier to slide out the door panel clockwise (I imagine counter-clockwise for the passenger side, but I haven't detached those yet) because then you can pull the pins one by one with a tool like this:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_464640-16878...%3D3&facetInfo=

Then you can slide them back in their respective places in the door panel to push the panel back in, because I think it would be rather hard to try to put the door back in place by sliding into each of the pins that was left on the door.

Also, if you have to buy a screwing bit set for a screwdriver or drill, this is a fairly inexpensive and good one:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-Ma...LS45/204786432

That magnetic attachment makes things quite easier, although it's a bit fat and doesn't fit in all places, but it did for this.

Another thing, Jason and other people used hot glue to mount the speaker to the bracket, but it seems to me that the speaker holds pretty well with the screws and metal tabs that come with it, so I didn't see the point in messing with hot glue, even though I had bought the gun just in case.

I had also bought a set of pick tools, which I didn't open and I will return because I used the grinding attachment in the Dremmel to modify this hard plastic thing that came with my soldering iron and I never used, and a plastic pick tool is much better because it won't damage the plastic in the door.

Oh, and the tweeter cover, when removed, doesn't have a screw behind it, which I think it does in the 2012 model.

Ok, so I will post a photo album rather than link to each photo here because that would take too long. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, although keep in mind I'm not an expert, just a guy with tools that enjoys doing this kind of thing every once in a while.

http://imgur.com/a/vQo2X

One more piece of advice, this not related to the speaker replacement. The factory stereo is obviously rather cheap, but I don't want to replace it because I don't want to mess with a brand new car and I love the bluetooth integration with my phone, even if my phone is just an LG Tracfone that is not even in the approved list, but it pairs right away and integrates beautifully with the stereo. So if you like me prefer not to change the stereo but still want better sound, the phone gives you a choice. For Android there's a great music player called Poweramp (it's paid but has a trial) which has excellent sound processing capabilities. It has bass & treble knobs, but also a ten band equalizer, plus a stereo spatializer (which I almost never use). These audio adjustments turn the awful sound quality into an aftermarket stereo and speakers if you adjust them right. With this I'm not saying that you will have a five star audio system just by using this program, but it's a really drastic difference in sound quality. Most importantly, you get an equalizer without having to spend hundreds of dollars in equipment. You have to be careful with the bass though, because Poweramp can output a lot of bass and in fact it has blown many people's headphones for not being careful, so if you hear your speakers make a noise like ploc ploc ploc instead of smooth bass, turn the bass knob down, or the low frequency bands in the equalizer.

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Old 07-19-2014, 06:50 PM   #2
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An additional tip now that I finally finished: before you screw the bracket with the new speakers, make sure you check the magnet to be sure that it didn't catch any metal part lying around. I was almost done, I was putting the screws in the last speaker, and I was missing one screw. I cleaned the work bench and I still couldn't find it, so I freaked out thinking that the last speaker I had worked on had caught it, and that I would have to remove the front passenger door panel again.

However, after several minutes of looking, it occurred to me that maybe a magnet had caught it, but not from the new speakers, but from the old ones. And I was right, the magnet of the last speaker I had sawed off the bracket had it there stuck to it. But I realized that I hadn't checked the last speaker for metal objects caught in the magnet, so that's something you should always do if replacing speakers.

But again, if you can afford a pro to do the work, it will save you a lot of time, unless your day job is working at a car audio shop installing speakers. It took me two days to finish, and that's because I was extra careful so I wouldn't break or mess up anything, but still, I lost two days on this.

Plus, if you're leaving the factory stereo, you might want to make sure you're using an external player with EQ at least, because if you play a CD or from a player without EQ, it won't sound so much better than the factory speakers, since the stereo is not very good. With the player software I use in my phone, Poweramp, the speakers sound better than the factory ones, but it's a far cry from my old system with a Pioneer stereo, four Pioneer speakers, and an amped Infinity 12" subwoofer.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:42 AM   #3
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Sebastian, This is a very helpful write up and pictures! THANKS so much! for newbie like me who is not very comfortable with mods to a factory built vehicle, this is a great manual. I am planning on getting 2 pairs of Polk DB651s for front and rear doors from Crutchfield. Do you have any idea if the brackets they send along will do the job in the Focus? Also, with just the speaker upgrade, does the music sound better ( i mean more crisp and a decent thump) than the stocks? I am also considering the Pioneer TS-A1675R for both front and rear. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks so much!
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rramach8 View Post
I am planning on getting 2 pairs of Polk DB651s for front and rear doors from Crutchfield. Do you have any idea if the brackets they send along will do the job in the Focus? Also, with just the speaker upgrade, does the music sound better ( i mean more crisp and a decent thump) than the stocks? I am also considering the Pioneer TS-A1675R for both front and rear.
Well, I can't say for sure, but if you see the brackets they sell for the Focus, you can read in the reviews that they're not the right size and don't work. So I would guess that no, they don't work. Plus, before doing this, I called all the major car audio shops in Raleigh and asked them if they sold brackets for 2012-14 Focus, and they all told me no, that they could either make them from wood at a price, or they would have to cut off the woofers in the factory ones.

Also, if you're really careful you will probably spend a couple of days working on this, you could do it faster but you don't want to rush it, although watching Jason's video and reading my post and taking a look at my photos you should have a pretty good idea of what to do.

Also, if you don't have much experience with tools, and you don't have the tools I listed, definitely take it to a shop, because unlike other cars, this is not a matter of just replacing the factory speakers, once you unscrew the factory bracket/speaker set, you will have to do some surgery on all four of them, and you need the tools I mentioned for that, if you have to buy them it will cost you as much as taking it to a pro.

As for the sound, don't expect much if you have the basic stereo. The only thing that will make this sound good without spending tons of money is if you have an Android phone and you buy Poweramp for it, because it has two stages of sound processing, and if you adjust the EQ properly, it will turn that awful factory stereo into something much better. When I show it to people they can barely believe it. I play music with the EQ and Tone controls off, and when I turn both on their eyes open up and they are blown away. Of course the Pioneer speakers help a bit, especially with the bass, because the factory speakers can't handle too much bass.

Of course probably replacing the factory speaker with a good Pioneer would be the best option if you have an iPhone since Poweramp is not available for it, although there may be something else just as good. Then there is the JBL MS-8, which is some kind of addon to your factory stereo that is supposed to make it sound much better (and I'm guessing the result is similar to what I get with Poweramp), but that's at least $500, plus the installation.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Focus View Post
Also, if you don't have much experience with tools, and you don't have the tools I listed, definitely take it to a shop, because unlike other cars, this is not a matter of just replacing the factory speakers, once you unscrew the factory bracket/speaker set, you will have to do some surgery on all four of them, and you need the tools I mentioned for that, if you have to buy them it will cost you as much as taking it to a pro.
Well, my workplace has a pretty good tool shop. So i found all the necessary tools you have listed here. I am hoping to try this one out and do it myself. :)
It looks like will have to remove those wings from the existing bracket for the pioneers to fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Focus View Post
As for the sound, don't expect much if you have the basic stereo. The only thing that will make this sound good without spending tons of money is if you have an Android phone and you buy Power amp for it, because it has two stages of sound processing, and if you adjust the EQ properly, it will turn that awful factory stereo into something much better. When I show it to people they can barely believe it.
Well, it now makes me think is it worth all the effort to change speakers if they don't do much! I will try power amp with the existing speakers and see how they change. thanks for that tip :)

Thanks so much for explaining things out. i am going to sleep on it
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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Well, it now makes me think is it worth all the effort to change speakers if they don't do much! I will try power amp with the existing speakers and see how they change. thanks for that tip :)
I'll tell you this much. The improvement in sound will be much more just by adding Poweramp into the mix than by adding new speakers. However, once you introduced Poweramp, the new speakers will make the sound better. However, if you don't have Poweramp, or any device that will provide EQ (be it a phone, iPod, any music player) then don't bother changing the speakers.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:54 AM   #7
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So, your post really helped with changing the front speakers of my 14' SE. I ended up modifying the existing bracket to fit the new speakers. However, I now decided to move the co-axials that I installed in the front doors to the rear doors and install a set of components in the front doors. Just to reduce the number of steps involved, do you happen to remember if the brackets that came in the rear doors are the same as the ones in the front doors? That way, all i need to do is unscrew from the front and screw them on the rear doors. Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:09 PM   #8
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If I remember correctly, no, they were similar but not the same. I could be wrong though, but well, as soon as you pull them out you'll be able to tell.
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