Speaker Installation
Well, that didn't take long. After a month, I needed better sound. For 8 years I'd been spoiled by the Blazer sound project, so I
upgraded to a pair of Infinity 680.9CS component speakers. I had never installed component speakers, but I decided to go
with a separate woofer and tweeter because that's what the stock system used. Not sure I'd do it again, mostly because of
what I had to do get this particular set of tweeters mounted. I'd seen some pictures on
f150forum.com of guys stuffing the
680.9 tweeters into the stock tweeter location on the A-pillar, but I didn't like all the grinding I was going to have to do in order
to get the tweeter to fit flush against the hole opening. Then there was the challenge of finding a way to secure an aftermarket
tweeter to a location it wasn't designed for. I experimented a bit, then threw out the idea of using the stock tweeter location.
I decided to install the Infinity tweeters in the door panels instead. Once I made this decision, I faced the daunting task of
cutting out holes in my brand new door panels. The f150forum.com website gave me some great ideas, thanks in part to its
135,000+ members. If you want to see what others are doing to their F-150's, that's about the best resource on the Internet.
The triangular-shaped area of the door panel seemed like the best placement, in terms of angle and direction. I tend to be a
symmetrical kind of guy, so I cut out a cardboard template for the hole I'd need to cut out and centered it roughly in the
triangle section.
According to my measurements, I was
going to need to shave off about half the
thickness of the A-pillar trim around the
tweeter hole, in order to fit the Infinity
tweeter in there.
The A-pillar trim piece does come out fairly
easily. There are two clips holding it to the
frame. The plastic fits like a puzzle into the
trim pieces around the dash and window.
This clip didn't like being pulled out. The clip
remained in the metal part of the A-pillar
and took a chunk of plastic with it. I was
able to snap it back on ok, though.
Here is the stock tweeter. It is rather small.
It was made specifically to mount in the
A-pillar trim piece. Not sure how I would
have secured the Infinity tweeter in there.
The stock tweeter can be easily
disconnected. The wiring harness is
accessible by removing a plastic panel just
inside the door on the side of the dash.
Had I tried to stuff the Infinity tweeter in the
A-pillar trim hole, this is what is would have
looked like. I wasn't real excited about the
look.
The Infinity woofers only presented one small challenge, due to the size of the magnets. They have to be spaced out about
1/4" from the door, or else the window will hit the magnets when rolled down. I can thank f150forum.com for alerting me to
this. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have put everything back together and not been able to roll down the windows all the way. I
used a combination of washers and bolts to get the right amount of spacing.

Final Verdict
The Infinity 680.9CS speakers do sound pretty good. I'm not sure the woofers are a huge improvement, but the tweeters
make a huge difference. Some of this may be because the swivel mounts make them better aligned with my ears. But they
certainly sound better regardless. Had the tweeters been easier to install, this upgrade would have been a no-brainer. Cutting
holes in brand new door panels was a little stressful. Overall, though, I'm satisfied with the results.
Here's the cardboard template mounted.
Infinity was kind enough to provide their
own template.
This is the tweeter housing.
Once I marked the location, off came the door panel. The panels are surprisingly easy to remove, in comparison to my
Sonoma and Blazer. The panels are secured by 4 bolts, two of which are visible and the other two are hidden behind plastic
pieces. I also had to pop out the electric window and door lock controls, but that was pretty easy, too.
Door panel bolt #1
Door panel bolt #2
Door panel bolt #3 (in grab handle)
Door panel bolt #4. I had to pry off a piece
of plastic to access this bolt.
Electric controls in the door have to be
pried up and snapped out of their clips.
I'm using a bicycle tire changing tool here.
It's made out of plastic, which helps prevent
scratching.
Here's the door panel removed.
Here's what is behind the door panel.
Now it's time to get out the Dremel tool.
My first "Uh-oh" moment came after I cut out the driver's side hole. The defrost duct for the driver's side window was in the
way of the tweeter mount. I didn't really have any options at that point, other than to keep on cutting with the Dremel tool. So I
cut out part of the duct and patched the hole with duct tape (of course). It's a pretty redneck solution to a dumb oversight, but
nobody but me and the rest of the Internet will ever know. I still like this location the best.
Oops...didn't check my clearances before
cutting the hole.
The duct tape solution (of course). The
photo at right shows an example of how
others chose to install the tweeter. It gets
pretty close to the edge of the door panel,
but I am guessing that this guy didn't have
to cut a huge notch out of his defrost duct.
The tweeter housing sits a couple inches
inside the mounting hole, so there was no
other way to do this after I'd already cut out
the hole.

At left: I still like it better centered. It was a
little more work to carve out the defroster
duct, but I think it looks better. Since I
bought the truck in the spring, I'll never
know if I gave up any defroster
performance by altering the air flow.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
I like the swivel mount on the tweeters.
Lots of people mount tweeters in this
location, flush with the door panel, and they
do look good. Mine project outward more
than I'd like, but for functionally, this is
about as good as it gets.
Here's the rear view with wires attached.
For speaker wire inputs, Infinity used the
smallest set screws I have ever seen. The
Allen wrench they provided is the smallest
I've ever seen. You could sneeze on it and
probably never see it again.
Passenger side view. Looks a little odd
with two tweeters so close. But both the
new tweets ended up looking pretty nice.
Despite my lack of professional
workmanship on the inside, I think the final
product ended up as good as I'd hoped.
The next step was hooking up the crossovers. I was a little disappointed to see how large these things are. Some of the guys
who went all-out with sound systems mounted them behind the rear seats; others stuck them under the dash. Once again, I
went with functionality and ease of installation over looks. What I like about the lower door panel storage area is that the
speaker wires can stay in the door. All I had to do was drill 3 holes through the door panel, none of which are very visible
even if the crossover isn't there.
The professional installers would gasp with
horror. Yes, I mounted the crossovers in
plain sight
.
I used a cardboard template to drill the
mounting holes from the inside of the door
panel.
It was a little tricky, pushing those bolts
through the crossover and the door panel.
For the woofers, I cut off the stock wiring harness and made my own connections. Because of the way the crossovers work, I
had to run the stock woofer wires out of the door and to the input for the crossover. Then I ran another set of wires back to
the Infinity woofer inputs. So along with the tweeter wires, I had two sets of wires running from the crossovers, through the
door panel, and inside the door itself. Fortunately, Ford left many holes in the door and it was relatively easy to reroute the
wires.
Stock woofer removed...China's finest.
Probably could be had for about $10 in the
aftermarket.
More head-shaking from the pro's...yes,
those are the connectors I used.
Here's the stock woofer prior to removal.
This actually puts out a reasonable amount
of bass.