How to: - Change Speakers; Most Models; Lots of Pics | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: Change Speakers; Most Models; Lots of Pics


Moderator Emeritus
September 11, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Toronto, Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XL(imited)
Hey everyone,

This is a 97 Explorer with the premium sound system.

This guide applies to all 1991-2001 Ford Explorers. It also does apply to every other Explorer, including Sport Tracs, but may be slightly different. Specifically, panel removal.

You will need:

Panel Remover
Socket set (6mm in my case)
Speaker harness or Butt Connectors and a wire cutter/crimper
A little time! :)

Alright, first, get the door panel off.
Second Gen. Explorer has 2 screws right above the handle, and then the panel is held in with clips all around.
Once it is off, you will see this:


My old speaker was held on by three 6mm screws. Unscrew them and the speaker will come out.

Unclip the harness on the back which looks like this:

Now you have 2 choices. Either use a wiring harness to just plug into the original harness and to the new speakers, OR, cut the old harness off and splice the new speaker wires on. I decided to cut the old one off, since I don't plan on putting the original speakers back in there.


Hook up the wires to the back of your new speaker and screw it back on with the original screws. The screws that came with my new speakers were way to short.


Do a test that they work!
Put your door panel back on, and enjoy your new sound!

Note: Disconnecting the battery is not necessary when swapping speakers as long as the ignition is off and radio is off. There is no power going to the speakers unless the radio is on.

- Dom

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What size speakers are your aftermarket ones.. I have a 2006 ford explorer limited. Those are the exact same ones that I have in the explorer and would like to change them. Thanks in advance

Ford speakers are almost always 6x8's. 5x7's usually fit as well.

Don't forget to check the speaker polarity (positive to positive, negative to negative) before putting the door panel back on. If the speaker cone pulls in when the bass hits the polarity is backwards. If the speakers pushes out you got it right. If you get the adapters, (such as the ones from Crutchfield) you wont have an issue.

Can I put 6x9's in the location of the 6x8's

Not without some cutting and drilling.
6.5" are easier to fit.