Car Audio Innovations Porsche Speaker Upgrade Installation Instructions for 997 & 987
Removing the door panels from a Porsche 911 or Boxster of the 997-987 generation is a simple task if you know how it's done.
A few things to know before you start.
911 door panels are nearly identical to Boxster and Cayman door panels with the exception of the door grab handles. The door handles on a 911 are vertical; whereas the handles on a boxster, or Cayman, are horizontal. You will need a soft pry tool (bone tool) to safely remove several of the parts from the doors without damaging them. These tools are available for purchase at our store (Soft Pry Tool Page). The pry tools are included with many of our installation kits.
The doors do have airbags built into them, but you will not have to disconnect, or remove them during your speaker installation; unless you are running new wire into the door. If you do run new wire into the doors; you will be disconnecting the doors main wire harness connector that is located inside the car, in the kick panel area. Before you disconnect the door harness, simply disconnect the vehicles battery, and do not reconnect the battery until the door harness has been reassembled. During the installation of a new audio system there are times that you will want to avoid turning the ignition on while various components in the vehicle are unplugged. A good example of this would be any airbag or items that contain airbags (seats, doors, etc.). Doing so will trigger an airbag warning light. This will require a trip to your local Porsche dealership to have turned off. Most non-airbag related trouble codes in a Porsche can be cleared simply by driving the car for a short distance (around the parking lot). The vehicles onboard computer will calibrate itself, and clear most any code that is non-airbag related; so long as all items are plugged back in, and are in functioning order.
Place all door parts in ziplock bags to prevent them from becoming lost or mixed up with other parts. Porsche is very consistent with fasteners. Most are the same size and length. Pay close attention to where each fastener comes from. Snap pictures with your phone as you go, to help you remember.
Remove the sail panel. This is the small triangular panel at the top front of the door panel. The bottom of the panel simply snaps outward. The top of the panel is hooked into place (do not pull outward). once the bottom of the panel is out; push the entire panel upward to release the top of the panel from the door. The drivers side sail panel houses the power mirror switch. Unplug and remove.Remove the Torx bolt from behind the sail panel area.
Remove the the round plastic bolt cover from behind the door latch. The trick to removing this cover is to push firmly at the bottom of the cover with your thumb. The top will then pop out. Do not use a tool to pry this cover out. Cosmetic damage will result.
Remove the Torx bolt from under the round cover.
Use a soft pry tool to remove the plastic end cap from the top/rear of the door panel. Remove the Torx bolt.
On 911 models open the door pocket lid and use a soft tool to pry up the panel the resides between the grab handle and the pocket lid. You do not need to completely remove this panel. Just lift it enough to gain access to the single Torx bolt behind it. The panel can be removed but it is tricky to deal with.
Now all thats holding the door panel in place are a series plastic clips that run the perimeter of the lower portion of the door. Simply pry the lower rear corner away from the door. The plastic clips will pop off of the door and remain on the panel.Once the bottom of the panel is free; lift the entire panel upward to release the panel from the window sill.A second person comes in handy to hold the door panel, while you release the two wire harnesses and the door lever cable. I do this without a second person; by placing the plastic clips back into position along the bottom of the door. That will hold the panel in place; with the top of the panel pulled outward, and resting against my knee, while I work from the top.
Once the door panel is off of the car you will notice that the midrange speaker is attached to the panel and the mid woofer is attached to the door itself. The woofer is bolted to the door. The midrange has an odd shaped mounting surface. We sell a speaker ring kit that allows a standard 3" Focal or Hertz midrange to bolt right in place. We also sell an adapter that allows a Focal or Hertz 6.5" to bolt directly to the door.
Factory speaker wiring
From the factory there are three speakers in the front of the car (tweeter in the dash, midrange in the door, and mid woofer in the door) that make up a three way speaker set that is powered by two channels on the factory amplifier. The tweeter in the dash and the midrange (smaller speaker in the door) are both powered by a single amplifier channel; while the larger mid woofer has it's own dedicated channel. Since the tweeter in the dash, and the midrange in the door are both powered by the same channel on the amplifier; they both receive the same signal. The tweeter however has a built in capacitor that eliminates low and midrange frequencies. In an aftermarket three way speaker system we use external crossovers to route frequencies to the correct speaker. In this arrangement the tweeter and the midrange speakers need to each have their own discrete speaker wire routed to the external crossover. They are not wired in parallel like the factory setup. To accomplish this simply route a dedicated speaker wire from the crossover directly to the tweeter. Use the factory speaker wires for the midrange and the mid woofer. Leave the factory tweeter speaker wire unplugged and unused. Note that the speaker terminals on the new speakers are labeled positive and negative. It is critical that the correct polarity is maintained during installation.
(Rod's notes for 3-way speaker set with 2-way crossover for midrange and tweeer:
I usually just extend the wires that come on the new tweeters, drop those down through the tweeter openings in the dash as I'm putting them into place. Then place the new passive crossover network in the underdash/kick panel area, under each corner of the dash for each side, driver and passenger. Connect tweeter wires there to the crossover's tweeter output. This is also where you grab the wires coming from the factory amp harness, cut them open, the wires that lead back to the factory amp location will be the crossover input, and you can grab the wires that lead to the door midrange there too, and connect them to the "woofer" output of the crossover. (This wiring is the harness that feeds the door harness, can be found behind the carpet on each side))
Speaker wire color chart for 911s 2005 through 2008
Models of this year range with factory amplifiers have the amplifier located up front in the trunk.
Speaker wire color chart for 911s 2009 through 2013
Models of this year range with factory amplifiers have the amplifier located under the front passengers seat.
Testing for speaker polarity
If speaker wire colors are different at the speaker, then they are at the amplifier location, then polarity can be verified by cutting the factory speaker plug away from the car, and leaving an inch or two of wire on the plug. You can then use a 9 volt battery to "pop" the speaker with the factory connector plugged into the speaker. Momentarily touch the two speaker wires to the terminals of the 9 volt battery. The speaker will either bounce outward or inward when the battery is connected to it. If the speaker bounces outward then the positive terminal of the battery is touching the positive wire of the speaker. note that wire color. If the speaker bounces inward then the reverse is true. Typically a brown stripe on the speaker wire denotes negative polarity. There are exceptions to this; so if in doubt, test.
Mounting the speakers
In our speaker kits we supply machined plastic speaker mounting plates. For the 3" midrange use the two large black washers included in the kit to hold the speaker in place as pictured. Notice that the mounting ring has a notch that dictates it's orientation.
The mid woofer also comes with a machined mounting plate. The mounting holes are pre drilled, but note that there is a top and bottom. The hole bolt hole pattern is not symmetrical. Use foam gasketing both between the woofer and the mounting plate as well as between the mounting plate and the door of the car. Not doing so will result in a loss of performance as well as unwanted noises.
Running new speaker wire into the doors (rarely required)
In some cases it is necessary to run a new set of speaker wires into the doors. This is the case with models like some GT3s. These cars ship from the factory with a single 6.5" speaker in each door (no midrange). These vehicles are not wired for three way speakers. The best way to run wire through the factory door grommet is to disconnect the door harness from inside the car and then pull the whole assembly out of the car, into the door interior, and then out of the doors main internal grommet. Once out, the harness is easy to modify, and can then be reinstalled into the car and reconnected. The entire door harness assembly has a total of four grommets attached to a single long wire boot.
- Start by disconnecting the harness connector at the kick panel area inside the car.
- Push the inside kick panel grommet back into the kick panel and pull the boot out of the car from the door jam between the car and the door.
- from inside the door continue pulling the entire harness into the door. You can gain access through the mid woofer hole. Note: you will need to roll the window up. Temporarily plug the door switches in and roll the window up. !CAUTION! Before putting your key in the ignition make sure that all items with airbags are connected to the car first (like the seats).
- Lastly pull the entire harness out of the door through the main internal grommet.
Now you can pull your new speaker wires through the harness boot all in one shot. to do this you will need to thread a long zip tie through the boot and then tape your speaker wire to the zip tie and pull the whole thing through.
- Stagger the wires on the zip tie so that the group of wires gradually increases in size as its pulled into the boot.
- Lubricate the wire and ziptie before threading through. I use car wax, Some guys use Windex, some guys use dry silicone spray. In any case you won't get the wire through if its dry.
- Use a serviceable connector for the midrange driver so that the door panel can be removed in the future without cutting the speaker wire.
Now you can pull the entire assembly back into the car. Spray a little Windex onto the grommets as you reinstall them. It will make installation much easier.
Reassembling the doors
Take a close look at the plastic door panel clips and you will notice that they are collapsable. Before you put the door panel back on, make sure that each clip is in its extended position. Once the panel is put back on the door the clips will collapse, and expand in circumference, locking the panel in place.
Mounting the tweeters.
Remove the tweeter grills from the dash with a soft pry tool. The factory tweeters can be removed by spreading the retaining clips that hold it in place while prying up with a small flat blade screw driver. The replacement tweeter is slightly larger in diameter than the factory unit. A small amount of material needs to be removed from around the tweeter mount. Remove excess material with an angle die grinder or an angle adapter on a Dremel tool. Take care not to mar the surface of the dash (don't slip!).