Speaker Locations and Directions

(archive link: http://www.bimmer.org/5series/messages/archive/msgsy2000w52/13119.html)

Posted by Brian Lewis (00 540iA Sport) on December 31, 2000 at 10:14:47:

In Reply to: Stock Speakers and silly fold down seats. posted by Mark Leidlein on December 31, 2000 at 09:43:47:

Front Speakers

Front Speaker Installation

Well, now it's time to get to the speaker installation. Overwhelmed yet? It's really not that big of a deal, especially since I've got all these nice pictures here to show you what to expect. Repeat these steps for each front door.

Door Panel Removal - Steps

  • Remove screw from inside forward vent flap (very important you do this first to prevent cracking the vent)
  • Remove screw behind door handle (pop off cover plug first)
  • Remove window switch (pry out with micro screwdriver, pull out and disconnect wire connectors)
  • Remove lamp unit from bottom of door and disconnect wiring. Pry out with micro screwdriver from the front-most edge.
  • The entire lower portion of the door panel is fastened with plastic push in clips around its perimeter. Use a long flat screwdriver (or similar) to pry the panel away from the door at each clip point. Start at the outside upper edge just above and below the opening for the lock (striker). Look for the next clip point and pry as close as you can to it. Be careful at the lower outside area - the clips are mounted on the rear of the plastic storage box (not on the panel). You have to push the screwdriver in all the way to the box and pry on it as opposed to prying on the edge of the panel - otherwise you can end up prying the panel off the storage box.

Left Front Door Panel - Rear View

  • With the lower panel clips all free, pull out slightly on the arm rest handle and then twist and slip the door handle unit back through the opening.
  • Now pull the entire door panel slightly outward at the bottom and then lift upward - may take some wrestling to free it at the connectors by the window. Before removing the door panel reach in and disconnect the midrange speaker wiring connector.

Left Front Door - Fully Exposed

Woofer Replacement

  • Carefully pull the foam surround away from the speaker.
  • Using a small allen wrench, remove the (4) retaining screws - one at each corner.
  • Disconnect the (4) wires from the woofer and remove the driver.
  • NOTE: The woofers in the doors are dual voice-coil woofers. One coil is used for the stereo system, the other is for the cellular phone. DO NOT TWIST THESE WIRES TOGETHER AND USE BOTH PAIRS. I know this because that's what I tried and got hosed. If you wire it this way you'll get mono cross-talk between your left and right channels and the impedance rating for your amp will be all wacked out of joint - not a good thing. I believe the correct pair to use is the shorter one, but double check it using your DVM. I removed the crappy poly fill and replaced it with the good stuff I bought for my sub. Not sure it makes a difference, but seemed like a good idea at the time.
  • Use the supplied weather stipping and affix it to the back of the new woofer frame before mounting. This will insure an air-tight seal. Be sure to route the wiring for the woofer down in the bottom of the sound-box. The new woofer magnet is deep and the driver will not seat correctly if the wiring is behind the magnet.
  • Use the short screws for remounting the woofer in the sound-box. The holes will not line up, but that's ok. Be sure not to over tighten the mounting screws (if you have the 335is speakers) because you will crack the surround. It's a tight fit, so be sure the connectors do not get disconnected while you're wrestling with it.
  • Reattach the foam ring to the new woofer.

New a/d/s/ Front Woofer in Sound Box

Tweeter Replacement

  • Remove the retaining bolt from the tweeter assembly.
  • Pull the plastic moulding out and remove the tweeter. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE GRILL.

    Factory Tweeter - Removed

View of Front Tweeter Location - Tweeter Removed

  • Cut the wires from the factory tweeter. Leave enough wire on the old tweeter in case you want to reinstall it at a later date.
  • Splice the new tweeter's connections to the remaining piece with the connector on it. I don't remember which lead is positive, so test this with your DVM.
  • Remove the foam from inside the tweeter cavity.
  • Cut two small slits in this foam and fit the new tweeter inside the hole.
  • Replace the foam/tweeter assembly and put the moulding back in place. You will not be able to bolt the new tweeter in. It's sufficient to just let the foam hold it there.

New a/d/s/ Tweeter in Foam Surround - Front View

New a/d/s/ Tweeter in Foam Surround - Rear View

Reassembling The Door
Some things you'll need to know first.

  • Get someone to help you do this. It's much easier if one person holds the panel while the other feeds the wiring and aligns the clips for reinstallation.
  • Visit your local BMW dealer and buy some extra clips. I broke a few of mine during removal. They're pricey little buggers, but you'll probably need a few. They're the yellow ones.
  • There is a plastic clip that fits into the metal channel behind the arm rest. That clip must be in place as you remount the door - it slides over that metal prong on the door. Be careful that clip does not drop out.
  • Double check that the cable from the door handle is fully within it's plastic slot. If it slips out when you are pulling the unit back through the door you will find there is some slack in the handle - once you have it all back together - then you have to pull it off again.
  • Jim recommends putting some silicone lubricant on all the contact points, including around the outside of the door panel - keeps away the creaks and squeaks. He also used some silicone caulking to seal up any gaps in that plastic noise/weather panel.

Close-up of Door Latch Cable Assembly


  1. Thread wires back into location for window switch, midrange speaker and lamp before you push the door panel on
  2. Push lock button down and fit door panel over button
  3. Push top panel back into clips at window - just thump them to lock into position.
  4. Make sure you pull the wire for the window switch all the way out of the handle - otherwise it might get caught across the front of the woofer.
  5. Now press the lower part of the door into position - onto that metal pin behind the arm rest.
  6. Checking that each clip is over it's corresponding hole just push each clip into place around the door edge. You'll hear a definite snap sound when they're in place.
  7. Check your door handle to make sure it operates properly.
  8. Put the screws, switch and light back into place and that's it.

Rear Speakers

Rear Speaker Installation

If you thought the front door speaker installation was fun, wait until you get into this! Basically you're going to remove the entire rear deck and rear seat. My car has the split-fold rear seats and no rear sunshade, so keep this in mind.

Rear Deck Removal

NOTE: Be sure your hands are clean when removing the C-Pillar trim panels.

1. Remove lower rear seat by pulling up hard at the base of the seat in front of the two outside seating positions. Cover the brackets on the floor that protrude up into the lower seat (to prevent them marking the seat backs when they are folded down (which you do next)
2. Remove the seat back side bolsters (get fingers behind them at the top and pull out ) This is a hard pull and the bolsters are still attached with a bolt at the bottom, but they will swing out far enough so that you do not have to take out that other bolt.
3. Disconnect the seat belts that come down from package shelf using a 17mm socket.
4. Remove the holding pin fasteners from the plastic panel above the entrance to the trunk and remove this panel (the pins pull out of the center of each fastener using a pliar.)
5. Remove the lamp units in each C pillar panel by pulling from the top of the lamp assembly. Disconnect the wiring and remove completely.
6. Remove each c pillar panel (the grey/tan panels) by pulling out above the light hole and pull forward. You will notice small plastic tabs along the upper edge that have to go back into the slots on the window frame when you reinstall.
7. Remove the head restraints by pulling straight up. You may need to pull the chrome posts out separately.
8. Remove the rear vent louvers by pulling up on the inside front corner using a small screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch the plastic. Pull them out toward the front (note the tabs on the back are what fit into the brackets on the body and that is what holds down the rear of the package shelf.
9. Lift the front of the package shelf and start to slide if forward. You have to lift it and pull at the same time to allow it to clear some of the interior items.
10. Pull the seat belts back through the openings in the shelf and then the shelf can be removed. You should now see the speakers in their soundboxes.

Speaker Installation
1. Carefully pull the foam surround away from the speaker.
2. Using a small allen wrench, remove the (4) retaining screws - one at each corner.
3. Remove the driver and disconnect the 2 wires.
4. Replace with the new speaker.

Rear Woofer Box - Out of Deck

I ran new wiring for these speakers directly from the crossovers, bypassing the factory wiring harness.

Rear Deck Installation
Basically do the removal steps in reverse order. The only tip I can give is to be very sure the vent louver clips are in the slots in the body and are a tight fit. If you plan on installing your amp(s) under the deck in the trunk, you will want to run all of your wiring and mount the amp before putting the rear deck back together. This will allow you to fish wires easily and test to make sure the mounting screws do not poke through the deck cover.


They are crap... I am replacing all mines with RSB215's by MB Quarts

This way it will at least improve the speakers, and if I need a better improvement I can add an amplifier and patch into the existing wiring harness, allowing me not to have to remove the door panels again.