By John Meyer
I felt that the factory speakers that came as a part of the "premium sound"
option were not all that premium. The factory units are 6"x8" oval full-range
drivers with paper cones and a "wizzer cone" to help with the high end.
It was not much help, since the sound was muddy and boomy. I debated on
what to replace them with and had looked at the Pioneer TS-A6813 (2-way)
and the TS-A6815 (three-way), as well as some Polk and Infinity units.
The decision was made easier when I talked to the guys at the local stereo
shop who said they had installed some of the Pioneers and were pleased
with the results. They also had the 6815's in stock, and I had some gorgeous,
spring-like weather handy to ease the installation.
The Pioneers are designed to directly replace the factory units in Ford,
Mazda, and Nissan, and they went in fine, using the same screw holes and
openings, with no interferences from the magnets with window tracks, etc.
I am happy with the resulting sound. Far more clarity on the midrange and
high end, and clean bass, without the "boom" of the factory drivers. The
Dynamat may be partially resposible for that, damping out the sheet metal
to eliminate its functioning as an extended woofer. The sound could be
better, I imagine, if you wanted to fork over more cash for amplifiers
and parametric EQs, aftermarket head unit, etc., but I feel like the $99
a pair I paid for the speakers got me where I wanted to be. It is still
an automotive sound system, It just sounds like a better automotive sound
Here are some (hopefully) helpful notes for getting your doors apart
and speakers installed without breaking anything. In general, in order
to get the trim panels off, one part must be unsnapped to expose the screws,
etc that hold on the main trim panel. I looked these disassembly procedures
up in the F150 shop manual, so as to know the correct way to do things.
I decided to share the pictures to help those without the book to avoid
damaging expensive plastic parts.
I provide this material as an educational service, and do not accept
any responsibility for what you do to your or anyone else's vehicle. Though
this is pretty easy stuff, I have to tell you to use this information at
your own risk.
Let's start with the rear door:
First, unscrew the two phillips head machine screws that hold the flip-out
window latch to the door frame. Swing the latch toward the window to get
it out of the way. Then the upper trim panel pulls straight away from the
door. You may want to slide a thin screwdriver (wrapped with masking tape
or similar) between the trim and the doorframe and gently pry each clip
from its slot. These clips are pretty tight, and feel like you are gonna
break something when you first start pulling on the panel. As shown, there
are two clips at the back (hinge side) of the door and three at the front.
Just be careful and take your time. When re-installing, just line up the
clips and pop them back in. a little "pop" with the palm of the hand over
each one does the trick.
This exposes the fasteners for the lower trim panel. There is one nut,
two screws, and one plastic rivet. to remove the plastic rivet, push gently
on the dot in the center until it just snaps in; don't push it out the
back. This releases the tension on the rivet. while it is out, push the
center part back out the front to make it ready to put back in. The screws
and nut work in the usual way.
Now, just lift up to release the tabs and the panel pulls away. Don't
try to pull out on the panel until you have lifted in up enough to completely
disengage the tabs (i.e. don't force it).
I chose to use Dynamat, so I had to peel off the plastic barrier. Just
be careful, take your time, and the barrier will peel off pretty easily.
This is how it looked after the Dynamat was fitted. I took the piece I
cut out for the speaker and stuck it to the inside of the outer skin, just
to help deaden any resonance that may occur.
The new speaker is in, after installing the Dynamat and replacing the
factory plastic barrier. To help align the barrier sheet, note that there
are two little bumps in the sheet metal (at the top corners) that line
up with holes in the barrier.
Reinstallation is generally just the reverse of the disassembly process.
Line up the tabs on the panel with slots in the door, and slide them down
until seated and the screw holes line up. Reinstall all four fasteners
and replace the upper trim panel. Be careful with the screws that hold
the window latch! Unlike most of the screws you will deal with in this
project, these go into threaded inserts that appear to be made of brass.
Don't cross thread them! It may help to have someone press on the window
from the outside to help line the holes up.
Now we tackle the front door. First, the trim piece at the rear of the
window is popped out. It is held with two of the same type of clips that
hold the rear door upper trim. Again, gentle prying may help to get this
Next, the control panel and the trim behind the door latch need to come
loose. If you don't have power windows, you will need to remove the crank,
but I have no pictures or help for that. Note that both of these pieces
have only a clip on the front, the rear of each has a tab that slips under
the mounting surface. Pry up the front and rotate each away from the mounting
surface, pulling the rear tab out from under the surface. To disconnect
the wiring, press the release clip on each connector and pull straight
out of the socket. There are also some smaller clips along the edges, but
they slip easily out once the main front clip is loose. You'll have to
pull the door latch handle to slip that trim piece off.
The main door trim has two screws holding it, one is at the rear of
the door, and the other is by the latch handle. Then the panel is lifted
up so that the tabs disengage, just like the rear door trim. The marker
light bulb socket is released by twisting it about a quarter turn (counterclockwise).
(Note: I just realized that I drew the leader line incorrectly to the screw
by the latch handle. it should point to the front of the opening (to the
left in the photo below) Sorry.)
Again, I removed the factory barrier/insulation in order to install
the Dynamat. I also stuck the part cut out for the speaker to the inside
of the outside skin.
Here is the completed installation showing the speaker installed over
the replaced factory insulation sheet. As before, everything goes back
in the reverse of the disassembly. Don't forget to replace the marker light
socket, and be careful to get the door lock knob through the hole. It may
help to pull the knob up first.
I used the factory wiring. I cut off the special connector, and soldered
the wires that came with the speakers on to the ends. These colors refer
to the wires right at the speaker, they are not necessarily be the same
as these further up in the harness, since in several cases there is an
inline connector and a color change before you trace back to the radio.
I can verify the color codes for the Supercab, but I took the ones
for the regular cab out of the manual. Note that there is only one difference.
Note also that the first color is the predominant wire color, and
the second is the color of the stripe on the wire.
Color (super cab)
Color (regular cab)
|Left Front (+)
||same as SC
|Left Front (-)
||same as SC
|Right Front (+)
||same as SC
|Right Front (-)
||same as SC
|Left Rear (+)
|Left Rear (-)
|Right Rear (+)
||same as SC
|Right Rear (-)
||same as SC
Take your time, be careful, and good luck!