Let’s just start by saying, introducing – Brutus! We were fortunate enough to have received him as a gift for free from great car friends of mine!
Shout out to Travis and Melody!!! Thank you so much! We are loving him to pieces!!! While we ARE restoring the “Wicked One” aka the 1966 Chevy C-10 fleetside truck you always see at the top of our blog, you know we work on all kinds of vehicles. Now we are also adding our (new to us) Suburban to our worklists.
Today we’re replacing his original factory speakers. The reason why is when we received the beast (the Burb) it only had one speaker working. Not to bad for a 3/4-ton truck with 220,400 miles on its original engine!!! When I started this project I first examined the driver door panel to see how everything came off. Then I knew what tools I needed, which were: Door panel removal tools, 1/4″ drive ratchet with metric sockets. Then I needed the window crank handle clip removal tool. I take my 1/4″ drive ratchet to remove the 2 bolts at the bottom of the door which is 7mm.
Once all the trim accessories are pulled you can gently lift straight up on the door panel and it should come off with ease. I then was able to get to the first speaker.
( A little background on the speakers. We found a deal for 4 of them for $40. They are Kenwood 6 1/2 inch, 2-way speakers with a capacity of 300 watts each and that is a hell of a deal! So, anywho, the salesman tried to tell us we needed speaker mounting brackets and plug and play speaker connections and some other thing they told us we were going to need. If we had bought all the things they said we needed, we would have been out the door about $100!!! Far from the deal, we started with. I had already accessed the truck and did my research and there was no need for ANY of the extra stuff!)
I get the first speaker out and I mark where I want the holes for the new speakers on the steel of the door. I mark them with a scratch-all. Once they are marked right where I want them, I pull out my cordless drill with the proper size drill bit to fit the screws that came with the speakers. Once I had that done, I crimp on some new connections on my existing speaker wires. Then I tested with the stereo on ( I used the one old speaker that still worked) for which one was my positive or negative wire. (You can also do this with your new speaker if you don’t have an old one that works.)
When plugging in my new speaker in my passenger door I found my light green was the positive and the dark green was my negative.
Once that is connected, I can install my speaker with the screws that were supplied with the new speakers. (And guess what?! The brackets they tried to get me to buy, were already part of the truck!)
Now I am moving to the back doors of this Burb next. I start to remove the same trim pieces from the door panel, same as I did the 2 front doors (except the power door lock switch) Once those pieces are off, remove the 2 bolts at the bottom of the door handle and gently lift the door panel straight up.
Once off, I see the speakers are MUCH smaller than the front door speakers. These ones are only measuring 4″x 6″ so I get the joy of pulling our my tin snips and cutting away some metal to make my new speakers fit. But first I get a piece of cardboard and I make myself a template. At this point, I love making templates because I get to do some more freehand drawing, and I get to play with a razor blade!
Once the hole is cut out in my cardboard I test fit it for the right diameter of the new speaker and I want a tight fit because these are flush-mount speakers. Once they are in the door, I want them to look professionally installed. Now I take my template put it up to my door panel and make a test fit on the door where the speaker is to be mounted. This will be the best way of mounting the speaker as close to the stock location as I would like to have it and I have also cut the cardboard to fit into the contours of the door also because it is sunk in just a bit.
Once again I still had to mark holes with a scratch-all to mount the new speakers. Then I go on to crimping on new connections for my speakers and the positive and negative connections are color-coded in this combination: the yellow was positive and brown was negative. Once the wires are connected I can finally mount this new speaker. Now I like a good secure mount so I mounted some flat head washers with the supplied screws from these speakers.
Once I’m done with the right rear panel door I start on the left. Now on this left door, as we mentioned, he has a lot of miles on him and one day about 2 weeks ago the door stopped opening from the outside and the inside and it was my job to find out why. So lucky me, I got to find out how to take the door panel off while the door was still closed. I removed the door lock, the trim piece around the door handle and the window crank, then the 2 bolts holding the panel in place at the bottom of the door, I grabbed the door handle and gently lifted up on the door panel.
Now once the door panel is off the dirty dusty inside is exposed. I can find out why this thing is locked, and why it stopped opening. With me taking the door lock off of the door, I was able to work it manually and I pulled the plastic off the door and accessed the door mechanism and I got the door opened! YAY!!!
I’ve also taken a picture of the door handle from inside the door to find out why it stopped opening. I found the problem and looks like I have to replace the door handle. Thank goodness my buddy had bought extra handles for this truck for the time that they owned it. All I had to do is grab one of the extra ones and put it on. DONE.
Now onto replacing the speaker in this door. As I said in the right rear door I removed this speaker with 4 little screws and nuts, typical factory installation. I remove the clip for the power supply connection going to the speaker by using a flat tip screwdriver to depress it. Once the speaker is out of the way, I can put my template in place, use my scratch all to mark where my new speaker should be. Pull out my tin snips and cut away the metal needed to install my new speaker. Then I get my speaker wires for the new crimp on connections. Then I plug in my speaker, I mark my holes for the new screws, I mount my speaker and I get to do an audio test to see how they sound before I put my door panel back on.
And they sound BEAUTIFUL!!! It’s a shame I have to cover the speakers with the door panels because these are such good looking speakers! On the second hand, I don’t want them to get damaged if they were seen!.