A stock DeLorean features two 3.5" Craig speakers mounted below the dashboard next to the A-pillars. While adequate, they can be fairly easily updated with new, modern speakers for improved sound.
Choosing New Speakers Edit
Any 3.5" speaker will fit in the existing recessed speaker cavity under the dashboard. A 4" speaker can also be squeezed in, but not as easily as a 3.5" one. New speakers can be found for $30 to $60 USD from many auto sound system vendors, both locally and online. Any modern speaker will provide improved sound reproduction compared to the original Craig speakers.
The original speakers fit flush against the dash. Many newer speakers have tweeters that extend above the main speaker cone, making a flush install impossible. Finding a speaker with a very short or flush tweeter will allow for a stock installation, or you can extend the studs to provide more space for speakers with raised tweeters.
This section specifically deals with replacing the front speakers with Eclipse SE-8235 3.5" speakers. These speakers are also used in the "new build" DeLoreans from DeLorean Motor Company. These instructions should also be valid for most other 3.5" speaker replacements.
The front speakers are accessible from underneath the dashboard, and are fairly simple to remove.
- Push the seats all the way back to make it easier to get under the dash.
- Remove the kneepads on passenger side of the car and to the left of the steering wheel. While not required, this significantly improves access to the speakers. There are four nuts on the driver's kneepad and six on the passenger one, all of which can be removed with a either a 10mm socket wrench, or a 10mm box-end wrench. The latter is necessary for the three nuts between the glovebox and the passenger kneepad, where a socket wrench won't fit. Removing the door vent ducting will will also make installation easier.
- This may be easier if you lay on your back under the dash.
- Disconnect the two wires leading to each speaker
- Remove the two M4 x 1.00 nuts that hold the speakers in place using a 7mm socket wrench or a socket driver. The speaker should drop right out.
Installing Flush-Mount Speakers Edit
If your replacement speakers do not have a protruding tweeter and can be mounted flush, all you have to do is simply screw the new speakers onto the studs, hook up the wires and you're done. The recessed studs can make it difficult to get the nuts on. A nut starter can make it much easier to get the nuts onto the studs, after which you can use a socket or nut driver to tighten them.
Installing Speakers with Protruding Tweeters Edit
If your new speakers have a protruding speaker, you won't be able to directly mount them without crushing the tweeter against the dash. There are a few options available.
Screwing into the Fiberglass Edit
Some owners shift the speaker slightly and mount them directly into the fiberglass with self-tapping screws. Then you just need to reconnect the speaker wires and you're done.
Extending the Studs with Couplers Edit
If you can find some, you can use M4 x 1.00 couplers to make the studs longer. A coupler is just a deep nut. One end is screwed onto the existing stud, and a new M4 x 1.00 bolt is screwed into the other end to hold the speaker in place. Once the speaker wires are connected, the installation is complete. An appropriately sized coupler can be difficult to locate, however.
Building Custom Brackets Edit
Another solution is to build some custom brackets to extend the studs. The idea is that you screw these C-shaped brackets onto the existing studs, and then screw the speakers onto the brackets. These can be constructed from sheet metal or thin aluminum stock. They are quite easy to build.
You will need a total of four brackets, two for each speaker. You will also need an additional four M4 x 1.00 bolts and eight washers and nuts to connect the speaker to the bracket. These, along with the sheet metal, can be obtained from your local hardware store.
- Cut a thin strip of metal using sheet metal shears or scissors. 0.025" thick sheet metal works well, but you can use thicker metal if you want. The strip should be wider than an M4 nut. The length of the strip is determined by how high the tweeter extends beyond the end of the speaker's mounting holes.
- Using a file, remove any sharp edges and corners or burs from the edge of the strip.
- Clap the metal to a piece of scrap wood and drill a 1/8" diameter hole at each end of the strip.
- Using two pair of pliers, bend the ends of the strip into a C shape, such that the one hole is on the top of the C and one hole is on the bottom.
- Use a file to shave off any burs from the holes.
- Screw a new M4 nut, bolt and washer onto one end of the bracket. This will be the new stud that holds the speaker.
You may find it easier to swap the drilling and bending steps, and drill the holes by slipping a piece of wood between the C shape.
Once you've built the brackets, you can mount the empty end to the stud using the original washers and nuts. Since the sheet metal is thin and space is limited, you may find it easier to partially straighten it with your fingers until it is secured to the stud. You can then bend it back into a C shape. To install the speaker, slide it onto the exposed bolt and secure it with a new nut. A nut starter may make it easier to get the nut onto the stud.
Once connected, you simply need to re-attach the speaker wires and you're done. The only down side to this approach is that thin sheet metal can cause the speakers to bounce around. It will hold just fine, however.
Alternate Instructions Edit
There are a number of web sites detailing how to replace the front speakers.
- John Spangler documented his own front speaker replacement, complete with numerous pictures showing before and after installations and the steps themselves to install his new 3.5" Boston speakers. He made use of a mirror to avoid crawling under the driver's side dash, and glued the washers in place to avoid dropping them.
- WyldKard posted DeLorean: Front-speaker replacement on his blog, where he discusses replacing his front speakers through the use of custom brackets. He documented his solution, which was used as the basis of the bracket construction section above.