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How to change 318ti rear speakers (write-up with pictures!)
How to change 318ti rear speakers (write-up with pictures!)
Published by e30fiend
Default How to change 318ti rear speakers (write-up with pictures!)

How to change the rear speakers in a 318ti

By Eric Miller

As you probably know, the rear speakers in a BMW 318ti are not a standard size. The only aftermarket speakers that fit without modification are MB Quartz (size 4T), there may be others so don't quote me on that. This article describes my efforts (with pictures) to mount Eclipse 4" speakers in to the stock rear speaker mount.

First remove the side bolster from the back seat and carpet and trim from around the speaker, disconnect the wires for the tweeter mounted in the grill piece, then remove the speaker mount (4 screws) from the grill piece. This should be fairly self explanatory if you look.

De-solder the wires attached to the speaker poles, we will solder these to our new speakers. You can see that the speaker is held in place by 4 tabs around the edge that have locked in place under a tab, and secured with glue. Using a thin flathead screwdriver, carefully inch the blade around the edge of the speaker to unseat the glue (pic below).

You pretty much have no chance of rotating the speaker to get the tabs out of the way, so I just busted them off. You could still use the old rear speaker if you use glue, I suppose. Pry the speaker out of the mount.

A standard 4" speaker will not fit into the original mount location because of the mounting holes sticking out in the 4 corners. What I did is bend these corners back so the mounting hole is then perpendicular to the face of the speaker. Be careful not to bend the metal where the cone attaches.

(since the board limits the number of images per post, the write-up continues in the next post below.)
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By e30fiend on 02-20-2005, 05:20 AM

Now slide/wedge the speaker into the mount, facing up. Unfortunately I could not mount the speaker in the exact same place as the original speaker, rather it faces up directly underneath the grill.

At this point you're probably wondering "How does the speaker stay firmly in the mount?", here is how. The speaker inside the mount has 4 tabs with holes that are facing the walls of the mount. Carefully drill small holes in the side of the plastic mount in the same position as two of the speaker tabs. Simply take a small bolt and push it through the outside of the plastic, through the mounting hole on the speaker.

Then position the nut on the inside to receive the bolt and screw it tight. Use washers if you choose, or lok-tite, to prevent rattling; I used washers.

Last, solder the wires from the clip to the new speaker. In my case it was not obvious which poles on the old speakers corresponded with the new speakers, so I made sure to just wire up both speakers the same way (ie stripe - small pole, no stripe - large pole).

Installation is reverse of removal!
Last edited by e30fiend; 10-08-2012 at 11:21 PM..
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By gadgetphreak on 02-20-2005, 07:09 PM

Cool write-up, was this for Swits' car?

How do they sound over stock? What else have you changed of the stock system?

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By swits on 02-20-2005, 10:42 PM

Originally Posted by gadgetphreak
Cool write-up, was this for Swits' car?

How do they sound over stock? What else have you changed of the stock system?

Yup! We did this on my car. So far we've replaced the 2 kickpanel speakers with 5.25" Infinity 2 ways and the rear speakers with 4'' Eclipses. I also have a 10" Rockford Fosgate Punch sub and 600 watt amp. It sounds really awesome! (my car is finally louder than Eric's!) I was really suprised at what a huge difference each of the upgrades made, and the best part is that it all looks stock, except the sub of course. We'll have to get together sometime so you can check it out!
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By gadgetphreak on 02-21-2005, 12:03 AM

Wow, congrats... I would love to hear how it sounds. I am in the process of planning out what changes to make, the only thing I am a bit concerned about is vibrations... E36's are notorious for vibrations with aftermarket systems. How is yours doing with those mods?

The only thing I have besides the stock system is a 6disk mp3/cd changer and a Kenwood 300watt amp and 8" Bazooka tube. Which is filtered to just lay in the really deep lows. It helps quite a bit, but the whole system could use a boost.

The key thing for me is being able to wire in my iPod, I am going with this Alpine 9855 for the head unit.

Now I just need to figure out how to lay out my speakers now... Your set up sounds really close to what I had in mind.

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By swits on 02-21-2005, 12:41 AM

Originally Posted by gadgetphreak
the only thing I am a bit concerned about is vibrations... E36's are notorious for vibrations with aftermarket systems. How is yours doing with those mods?
I listen to electronic music and even on tracks with really hard bass, I haven't noticed any vibrations or rattling at all. I've read that some other ti owners have complained about rattling, but it's never happened to me before.

I really like that Alpine head unit! The last thing I want to get for my set up is an mp3 player. Let me know how that one works out for you!
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By 97Hellrot318ti on 03-28-2005, 11:52 PM

Originally Posted by gadgetphreak

I am going with this Alpine 9855 for the head unit.

Hey, no fair... that one's cooler than mine... looks pretty much the same except for the upgraded display. Good choice in getting an Alpine!
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By barney_gomez on 05-29-2005, 06:05 PM

I just wanna thank u coz i did use ur guide yesterday and i got my speakers changed... i really like them now, its is just greatt..
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By jflip2002 on 05-29-2005, 07:41 PM

Just a note on the iPod wiring to your aftermarket deck. The reviews are horrible. Its noted that only 8 characters display on the deck. I bought a new Pioneer Deck that plays MP3, WAV, and AAC (Itunes downloads). It works very well, and as you'd know, holds about 150 songs. Id recommend that over the ipod wiring. And besides I havent seen an ipod wiring configuration yet that didnt expose the wires.

As for rattling. Mine doesnt rattle, and I have 2 1000 watt Audiobahn subs in my trunk. The ones Xzibit has in his hummer. It sounds just fine.
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By John L Rice on 07-10-2005, 09:09 PM

Hey Eric,

Thanks much for the write up. I have some MB Quarts that have been sitting around impatiently waiting to be installed and your write up will help I'm sure!

If I caught the reference right you and SWITS a couple? If so, a very fine looking couple indeed, congrats! Hey SWITS, do you have an older sister . . . much MUCH older?? ?

I live in Tacoma and work in downtown Seattle and occasionally get over to the east side, if you two, or any one else on the list for that matter, see me feel free to honk, wave, flip me off etc!
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By JPerfect on 10-09-2005, 01:16 AM

That's a great writeup, that's exactly what I did to install my rear speakers a year ago. I put in 3.25" speakers as well, and had to bend the corners. I also bought an Alpine head unit recently.

Then I blew the rear speakers...
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By xturtle on 03-27-2006, 11:24 AM

alpine 6X9 and Pioneer TS-WX900A in rear
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By G.T. on 09-04-2006, 11:15 PM

Finally got around to replacing my rear speakers and the write-up was definitely very helpful. Thanks a bunch, e30fiend!
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By b.u.ti-ful on 09-25-2006, 04:08 AM
Default Thanks for the excellent post!

Eric, you rock!

After typing BMW speaker part numbers into google to no avail, I read your speaker post and I'm heading to the local audio store tomorrow to get some 4" speakers to fit into the mounts. Thanks a lot!
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By marcopolio on 03-22-2007, 01:15 PM

Wow, I really wish you had written this like eight months ago. I replaced my speakers last summer and it was a huge pain in the ass. I couldn't find anything on the internet about it. I went with polk 5 1/4 component speakers all around and some how go the back ones to fit. Damn German engineering.
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