DIY: How to Replace the Front Speakers on a Camry
You may want to upgrade the factory 6.5-inch front speakers in your Camry using the existing factory speaker door frame. This article will show you how to do this without having to fabricate or purchase a custom frame (assuming one is even available).
The problem is that all round replacement speakers have 4 connection points spaced evenly apart that will not mount into the speaker opening within the door frame of the Camry.
The factory speaker has a combination triangular mounting frame and speaker dome stamped out of sheet metal. In addition the factory metal speaker frame is recessed into a plastic frame that acts as a cushion or buffer between the metal door and the metal speaker frame.
One past solution to the mismatch between factory and replacement speakers was to:
- purchase a thick sheet of plexiglass;
- draw the outline of the factory speaker frame on the plexiglass;
- cut around the perimeter of the outline;
- mark and drill the mounting holes to the door;
- make an outline of the new speaker on the plexiglass;
- cut out the speaker hole;
- drill the speaker mounting holes;
- and finally mount the new speaker into the plexiglass.
This time, in lieu of doing all this work, I decided to use a high speed dremel tool with a metal cutting wheel to cut around the edges of the factory speaker and glue the new speaker into the factory frame using epoxy. For additional strength, there is enough room to secure the new speakers into the factory fame with sheet-metal screws. I believe that using the original factory mounts will eliminate sound leaks as well as vibrations and distortions you might get with a makeshift mount.
1. Remove the Door Panel
If you need instructions on how to remove the door panel on a Camry, they are in a previous article I wrote.
2. Remove Speaker Mount Bolt and Detach Wire Lead
3. Remove the Round Cardboard Speaker Buffer
A carboard speaker buffer with a foam cushion is lightly glued to the speaker frame. Use a knife to cut into the glue. With some light tugging force, the buffer will separate.
4. Remove the Black Plastic Speaker Mount
Remove the black plastic speaker mount which is glued to the metal frame. Start from by pulling the tab away from the mount and gently peel the plastic away from the metal.
5. Cut the Speaker Dome From the Metal Speaker Frame
Secure the speaker frame in a vice or on a table top with some type of C-clamp and begin cutting around the base of the speaker doom with a metal cutoff tool. I used a high speed dremel tool with a small metal cutoff disc attachment.
6. Use Epoxy to Glue on the New Speakers
The outer edge of the new speaker, assuming it is a 6.5-inch speaker, should fit into the opening with no problem.
- Mix some epoxy glue (no other type of glue is likely to be strong enough) and place a heavy coat of the glue around the front of the speaker frame.
- Use some 2x6 blocks of wood to elevate the speaker frame above the table.
- Set the new speaker into the speaker frame and let the glue set. The weight of the new speaker magnets will apply enough pressure on the speaker's rim with the mount.
- Ensure that the positive and negative speaker connectors are facing up toward the top of the upper mount hole.
- Allow at least an hour to let the epoxy dry before handling.
Optional: After the glue has set, the new speakers can also be held in place in the speaker mount by drilling holes behind the new speaker screw mounting points. Then use sheet metal screws to secure the speaker. Personally, I found the epoxy glue held the speaker in the frame firm enough.
7. Attach the Speaker Wire Leads
- Attach the new speaker wire leads to the speaker's connectors.
- Attach the black plastic speaker mount to the metal mount. The existing glue along with the connection tabs should suffice.
- Cut the original wire lead from the factory speaker and splice with the new wire lead.
8. Glue the Speaker Buffer Back on
Using a quality glue, spread glue on the base of the cardboard-and-foam speaker buffer and place it over the face of the new speaker. Large alligator type clamps would work nicely for applying pressure to the connection points.
9. Mount the New Speaker to the Door
- Run the wire lead from the speaker close to the speaker's connector in the door.
- Position then bolt the speaker mount to the door.
- Connect the speaker wire.
- Re-assemble the door panel.