6.6.7 - XJ40 Speaker Replacement ( John Ping,
July 7, 2002
This article will cover the replacement of door and rear foot well speakers. The audio system used in the XJ40 line is reasonably competent. Its certainly not top-of-the-line by contemporary standards, but it can account for itself quite well when in good operating condition and teamed with a CD Changer in the boot (either a standard Changer or a RF Modulated type). The head unit is generally quite reliable, but the speakers are marginal in their performance.
At some point in time, an owner will choose to replace the OEM speakers in an effort to enhance audio performance or simply because one or more of the original speakers have failed. The actual speaker replacement work is very straightforward and can certainly be accomplished by the average owner. The actual door inner panels are slightly different on base versus Vanden Plas models, but not to a degree causing significant difficulty. This article is written based on a base XJ40 model.
Replacement of Front and Rear Door Speakers
#2 Phillips Screwdriver (magnetic tip is useful)
9 mm Nut Driver
8” or 10” Flat Tip Screwdriver
Small awl or other sharp pointed instrument
Soldering Iron w/solder or 8 to 10 small wire butt splices
8 to 10 small machine screws -- #8 x ¾” or equivalent 8 to 10 small machine screw nuts & flat washers to match
Thread locking compound “Loctite” (optional)
6” wooden dowel of ½” diameter to be used as a drift
Small mallet or hammer
1) Whenever you are attempting to a remove door panel to gain access to the speaker, or any other electrical component, absolutely disconnect the negative battery cable. Battery power is supplied to each door window motor and it’s always prudent to de-energize these circuits before you attempt any panel work.
2) XJ40 door inner panels (front or rear) are comprised of an upper and lower section, which interface to provide complete inner door coverage. Neither panel is difficult to remove nor are any specialized tools required.
3) Remove the Upper Inner Door Panels as follows:
It’s a good idea to store all the removed parts and screws in the adjacent foot well for safekeeping and easy access when you are putting everything back together.
a) Using a small awl (or equivalent), remove the small “square” plastic cover for the inner door lock release mechanism (upper right side when facing inner side of door). It pivots towards the front of the car.
b) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the inner door lock release mechanism plastic / chrome escutcheon. It’s held in place by a single machine screw. Pull out on the door lock release mechanism and the escutcheon is easily removed.
c) Using both hands, pull out on the wood veneer panel at the inner door lock release mechanism to provide clearance and slide the panel towards the front of the car. The panel is secured on the left side by slip-in clips and they release easily.
d) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the two sheet metal screws on the left side. For the front doors only, lift the bottom of the rubber ventilation boot at the front edge of the door and remove the sheet metal screw. Additionally, for the front door only, use the large flat screwdriver as a lever to ease out the single “fir tree” type press-fit connector. Neither of the rear doors contains these two additional fasteners.
e) Using both hands, lift the upper inner door panel until it releases from the metal ridge along the window line. It doesn’t take much effort to remove the upper panel as it slides off vertically. Store it on the seats for safekeeping.
4) Remove the Lower Inner Door Panels as follows:
a) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the sheet metal screw located at the upper edge of the lower panel.
b) Using a ½”small wooden dowel or equivalent drift, place it under the lower edge of the door handle screw access cover. Lightly tap each end of the access cover using the dowel and mallet in an upward direction to release the access cover. These covers can be tight if they have never been removed in the past, but they will release.
c) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the sheet metal screw located in the middle of the door handle.
d) Using a small awl or equivalent, remove the bottom door light lens by releasing it from its locator at the rear and sliding it outwards from the door.
e) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the lower panel securing sheet metal screw located in the middle of the bottom door light assembly. All sheet metal screw fasteners for the lower panel are now removed.
f) Using both hands (and the large flat screwdriver, if needed), carefully pull off the lower inner door panel by release the series of fir-tree type press-fit connectors along the sides and lower perimeter. Once the panel is removed, it can be laid horizontally on the seat as there is sufficient length of wire bundle to allow this movement. It is not necessary to disconnect the wiring harness, but if desired, the connectors can be released so that the panel can be moved to another more worker friendly location.
5) Remove Door Mounted Speaker as follows:
a) Disconnect the speaker positive and negative conductors by releasing the electrical connector.
b) Using the 9mm Nutdriver, remove the speed clip nut from each of the four (4) speaker fastener studs. Press the nutdriver down firmly to engage the speed nut … do NOT cut away any foam material as it is not necessary.
c) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the sheet metal screw immediately to the left (driver side) or right (passenger side) of the speaker as viewed from the back side of the door lower inner panel.
d) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the sheet metal screw immediately above the speaker. It is located just below the upper sheet metal screw securing tab on the lower panel … the screw was previously removed in Step 4a.
e) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the sheet metal screw immediately to the lower right (driver side) or lower left (passenger side) of the speaker as viewed from the back side of the door lower inner panel.
f) Using the #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the sheet metal screw immediately to the lower far right (driver side) or lower far left (passenger side) of the speaker as viewed from the back side of the door lower inner panel.
g) Steps 5c, d, e and f will release the speaker / window lift pushbutton panel from the lower door inner panel. Removal of the sheet metal screws will allow the speaker panel to be pulled away from the lower panel by 3” to 4” to facilitate access for speaker removal.
h) With the speaker / window lift pushbutton panel eased back for working clearance, grasp the speaker with one hand while pressing the four (4) speaker studs downward through the foam supporting material. After the studs are clear from the foam material, the speaker can be removed from the panel.
6) Install New Door Mounted Speaker as follows:
Typically, base XJ40 models use 3.5” door speakers while the VDPs will use 4” door speakers. Though I believe it is possible to mount either type in either model.
a) Using the wiring supplied with the new speakers and insulated solderless butt splices, transfer the old speaker wiring electrical connector to the new speaker. Another alternate method is to simply solder the old speaker wires with connector to the new speaker terminals. This is a superior method for electrical continuity and strength of joint … although it does require some soldering skills.
b) Install the new 3.5” speaker by easing back the speaker panel and sliding in the new speaker. Normally, the 3.5” models will mount with only two fasteners.
c) Using two of the small machine screws with flat washers, place these fasteners through the speaker mounting lugs and press them up through the existing holes in the foam supporting material. Secure the screws with flat washers and matching nuts from the back side of the inner door panel. The use of thread locking compound (Loctite) is a nice touch to prevent loosening due to vibration.
d) Re-install the sheet metal screws removed in Steps 5c, d, e and f. This will re-mount the speaker panel. Don’t forget to re-connect the speaker wire connector at the door panel.
7) Re-installation of the inner door lower and upper panels is literally a reverse of the removal procedure. No hidden tricks.
8) Perform Steps 3 through 6 for the other doors and the job is complete.
9) Remove Rear Footwell Mounted Speaker as follows:
This sequence is good for both 4” and 5.25” footwell mounted woofers.
a) Using a small flat screwdriver as a lever, carefully ease off the grill.
b) Using a #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove the four (4) sheet metal mounting screws.
c) Ease out the old speaker and release the electrical connector for the speaker wires.
d) Transfer the old speaker wires and electrical connector to the new speaker using solderless butt splices or by soldering the old leads to the new speaker terminals.
e) Re-connect the speaker wires to the harness by joining the electrical connector.
f) Mount the new speaker and re-attach the necessary sheet metal screws.
g) Press the speaker grill into place.
h) Repeat Steps 9a though 9g for the other footwell speaker.