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Explorer Audio upgrade(s)


Unsta

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Cool - does anyone have any details on what the power output is on it or anything? Just curious...

I'm just finishing up a 4 speaker replacement install on my '13 XLT and will post pictures of some of the install as I haven't seen any pictures here of what the stock speakers look like, door panels off, etc...

The stock speakers are a bit odd as they're basically a speaker and a spacer built into one. I ended up cutting them apart and using the housing of the speaker as a spacer.
 

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Unsta

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Rear Speaker


Carving the rear speaker out of the housing


No going back now!


Notched out for screw tabs




Re-used foam as the rear speakers had foam around them.


In the door




I'll post some of the front door next.
 


hmsracing

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XLT 9 speaker premium does use amp. Same location.. passenger side rear quarter panel (basically even w/ the 3rd row seats on the passenger side behind the plastic)
HMmmm. OK then, LOL....
How did I miss that? I pulled the rear passenger panel and did not find an amplifier. There was only one small black box about 4x5, same as I have seen in other pics which is not the amp but In the location where I have seen the amps there is nothing there...
I have some pics I will try to post shortly...
 


hmsracing

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OK...I'm on my nexus 7 and not sure how to add a picture so I hope this link works...
This is the pic I took of behind my panel.....
http://db.tt/P70Fv23Y
 


hmsracing

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Cool - does anyone have any details on what the power output is on it or anything? Just curious...

I'm just finishing up a 4 speaker replacement install on my '13 XLT and will post pictures of some of the install as I haven't seen any pictures here of what the stock speakers look like, door panels off, etc...

The stock speakers are a bit odd as they're basically a speaker and a spacer built into one. I ended up cutting them apart and using the housing of the speaker as a spacer.
I am assuming you have 202A with 9 speaker premium audio? If so have you looked for the amp behind the passenger rear quarter panel? Can you look? Maybe take a pic if or if not you find it?
 


deewan

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OK...I'm on my nexus 7 and not sure how to add a picture so I hope this link works...
This is the pic I took of behind my panel.....
http://db.tt/P70Fv23Y
Is that the passenger or driver side. I am looking on my iPhone but from the angles and window it appears to be drivers side.
 


hmsracing

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That is the passenger side....As you can see, not what I was expecting to find. I wanted to tap into the OEM amp to connect the ms-8...
 


Unsta

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I am assuming you have 202A with 9 speaker premium audio? If so have you looked for the amp behind the passenger rear quarter panel? Can you look? Maybe take a pic if or if not you find it?
No, I haven't torn it apart yet and might not bother. Now that I've got replacement speakers installed the sound is certainly a bit better. I didn't do the tweeters but I don't find the stock ones that bad ( I know the enthusiasts will cringe at that but it's mere presence is certainly better than no tweeter at all...)

I'll post pics of the front door once I copy them over, but overall I think I'm good with this quick improvement in volume when needed and overall clarity improvement.

10 years ago pre-kids I might have been more driven to pump it up a bit more, but for the drives to work in the morning and the occasional road trip with the guys I think this will do for me!
 


Unsta

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Front speaker back:


Front speaker front:


Initial removal:


Top edge removed and inside ground out further to fit speaker:


"New" spacer mounted ready for speaker:


Finished install (from the driver's side one - previous pics were passenger side):


Since there was not enough material to screw into the spacer (as there was with the rear 6.5") I had to use 3" stainless steel metal screws and drill some small pilot holes in the door and then screw through the plastic into the door to hold tight.

The only one you need to be careful with is the rear lower one as the motor for the window is right there and a 3" screw is just a tad too long, I ended up screwing it in, backing it out, cutting 1/2" off it, then popping it back in with no issues.

Hope this helps anyone looking to do the same, or a least provide a picture of what you can expect to deal with when you rip the door panels off!
 


hmsracing

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Nice pics....so I take it a speaker swap isn't an easy thing unless you have an adapter for the new speakers, as from your pics that the OEM speakers and mount are a one piece unit, and that's why you had to cut away the OEM cones to reuse the mounts....hmmmm, good to know as I have component speakers I wanna swap out in front but I don't have adapters....

The tweeters do seem fine to me as well for what they do but I do have new ones so will prob replace them when k get to it.....
I'm not sure if you answered it or not but do you have the 9 speakers 202A (center channel) ?

I am interssted to know if anyone else has looked for an amp in xlt 202A.....
 


Unsta

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Nice pics....so I take it a speaker swap isn't an easy thing unless you have an adapter for the new speakers, as from your pics that the OEM speakers and mount are a one piece unit, and that's why you had to cut away the OEM cones to reuse the mounts....hmmmm, good to know as I have component speakers I wanna swap out in front but I don't have adapters....

The tweeters do seem fine to me as well for what they do but I do have new ones so will prob replace them when k get to it.....
I'm not sure if you answered it or not but do you have the 9 speakers 202A (center channel) ?

I am interssted to know if anyone else has looked for an amp in xlt 202A.....
Oh sorry... Yes I do have the 9-speaker 202A - but I don't plan on ripping the rear quarter panel apart to check for an amp.

If I do have it apart for any reason though I'll have a look.

I should have taken a picture of the tweeter mount when I had it out to look at it, it's pretty custom so there'd be some messing with the door panel to get something in there, but I wouldn't say it'd be much more difficult than anything else I've done - definitely not just a "pull the door panel off and swap speakers" job though.

I've looked online at Metra, Scosche, etc... And I don't see anyone listing 6x9 spacers to fit the factory mount points and get the depth you need to meet the grill and clear the window in the back, so I would guess most people are doing what I did, or fabricating something themselves out of MDF.

Can anyone else share their experience and/or pictures of what they did for speaker swaps in the 11-13 Explorers?
 


hmsracing

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Unstable, lol, yea, I sure didn't want you pulling your panel for no reason..... I had only wanted you to share your findings if you did..

I was under the assumption that there was an amp back there as the Sony system has as I remember other members stating so...but I don't believe they had a 2013 xlt with 202A, they either had earlier models and I think Limited models....

If anyone else out there has 2013 xlt 202A 9 speaker premium and if they have pulled the rear passenger panel please let us know if you have an amp or not.....

As for the speakers, looks like you did a great job replacing them utilizing the OEM speakers...obviously unless someone makes a adapter for the ex we are all gonna have to do the same......
Thanks for the pics and updates...can't wait to see others as well...
 


hmsracing

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Lol....auto correction.....I tried typing Unsta and it wrote unstable ...sorry
 


Unsta

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FWIW I originally had bought 6X8" speakers (which are really 5X7") as that's what Ford traditionally had in a lot of vehicles and some info I found said they were 6x8 in the front. They would have actually fit inside the top frame of the OEM speaker after cutting it out and would have screwed into the top lip just like the 6.5" rear did... But since I was going for better sound I didn't want to drop from 6x9 to 5x7, but if someone is looking for a bit easier install (no drilling and less dremel work) then the 5x7 might be something to consider as well.

I was really surprised to see no pictures like this at all on here (that I could find) of any 2011+ showing what you can expect to bump into.
 


hmsracing

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Me either...this is the only forum I had found of people even modifying the new explorer. I absolutely love this new platform. I have had many vehicles from many manufacturers and when we were in the market for another vehicle we tested A LOT of cars and suv and we kept coming back to this ex.....
Since we have had it I have wanted to add a processor and subwoofer as I have done on all our vehicles but have been a tad intimidated by MFT......
I had figured someone had done all this already since it had been out a few years but it has been hard to find many who have or that have shared there findings....
 


machine4321

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So the important part....how does it sound?

And is the bass better then factory?
I ask because factory speakers tened to have more and thicker bass then aftermarkets do at lower power levels, On account of the lighter usually paper cones.
 


Unsta

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Overall I don't think there's necessarily more bass, but it's certainly cleaner overall and a lot less muddy in the midrange.

All of that is subjective of course, and I'm sure a dedicated amp with a proper crossover network would be better, but this is certainly an improvement over the provided paper woofers. I made sure to pick speakers with a relatively high sensitivity as well to ensure there wasn't a large volume drop (92dB for these ones)
 


Unsta

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Oh, and in case anyone is interested you'll need a 10mm socket to remove the main door panel bolts, and a 7mm one for 2 smaller screws at the bottom and to remove the actual speakers themselves.

The sail trim and the panels covering the bolts were nice and easy to remove, and the door panel itself was about what I expected, almost always end up leaving behind or slightly breaking one of those stupid white door pins. I'd suggest grabbing a couple of spares from the dealer before you start in case you break any too bad during the process.
 


deewan

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Limited edition with sony system

There has been a lot of talk about different trim version when it comes to stereos lately, so I wanted to make sure I preface this by saying this deals with the Limited, Sony, MFT stereo. It make also effect other versions, but I have NO way of knowing.

It appears the Sony system sends a high level signal from the head unit to the factory amp and then employs a digital volume control. Which means tapping into the signal BEFORE the amp may not be possible without a lot of other work. What now appears to be the best method would be to add an amp after the factory amp. You have a few options:

1) Use the high level outputs from the factory amp and feed a high level input on an aftermarket amp.

2) use a processor to change the high level outputs from the factory amp and change them into a low level signal for the low level inputs on an aftermarket amp.

3) use the factor amp and upgrade the speakers only.

As for me, this has opened and closed a few options for me. Still not 100% sure what I am going to do, but I am narrowing down the speaker brands I am considering. JBL is at the top of the list. I like their sound the best, very smooth and not as "harsh" or "EQ dynamic" as Kicker or other brands. But as I have said before, I want wanting an home audio type sound, which is not everyones cup of tea.
 

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The Cheat

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Run a cleansweep after the factory amp, done.
 


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