Tools Needed or Recommended
- Drill with assorted drill bits
- Philips screwdriver
- Sound deadening and/or foam gasket tape ***Required for 2015+ WRX/STi***
- Mounting screws that came with the speakers (to attach the speakers to the spacers)
- You will need longer screws than the stock ones. While not perfect, pan head #10s are a very close match for the nylon inserts that come in the car doors. For most Subaru vehicles, you need (6) #10 x 1.25” or 1.5” pan head sheet metal screws (to attach the spacers to the doors), per door. 2014+ Foresters, 2015+ Legacy/Outback models, and all Ascents, need (8) for the front doors and (6) for the rear doors. All dash brackets can be attached with the stock screws. For the Nissan R32 doors, you need (8) #10 x 1.0 or 1.25″ pan head sheet metal screws. Nissan has discontinued the OEM screws and the longer screws with the same pitch so the pan head #10s are the best match, as they are a very close match for the nylon inserts.
- Wiring harness (optional)
- Alcohol wipes or other cleaning solution
NOTE: In researching spacers in these cars, I found reports by a very small number of 02-07 Impreza owners that indicated that there is a potential for some interference between the back of the door panel and the speaker and/or surround due to the speaker moving forward by 3/4” in the door cavity. I have not encountered this problem in my installations, but if you are fearful of this, you have 2 options:
- Purchase 1-2 packages of extended door pins. These can be bought at your local NAPA store for $5-6 for a pack of 8 pins. The part number is 665-2010
- The other option is to trim any protrusions on the inside/back of the door panel using a file, Dremel, or utility knife.
You will need to test-fit two things before mounting the speakers and spacers/adapters into the car.
First, drop the speaker into the spacer. Make sure that the speaker basket clears the inner circle of the spacer and that you have enough of a mounting flange to screw the speaker securely to the spacer without interfering with the 3 screw holes to attach the spacer to the car. If there is interference, contact me immediately.
The second thing to check is the mounting of the spacer to the car itself. Don’t put the screw in one hole and tighten it all of the way. Put in one screw and partially tighten, then start the other two. Sometimes, they end up at a slight angle. This is normal. Why? Because Subaru moved the mounting holes ever so slightly from one model and model year to another. I don’t know why they did this, but they did…mysterious.
My spacers are designed based on having dozens of stock speakers and comparing the mounting holes and drilling for as many of them as possible, but there are a few specific years/models where the holes are off by a millimeter in one direction or another. If this happens, the fix is simple. First, mark on the spacer the direction where the hole needs to be elongated. To accomplish the actual enlarging process, you have 2 options:
- Use a small round file and enlarge/elongate the hole slightly, removing material a little bit at a time. It takes a minute or so by going this route.
- Use a ¼” drill bit and wiggle it in the existing hole in the direction that it needs to be enlarged. I have found that simply turning on the drill and angling the drill bit in the right direction will often accomplish what I need in about 5 seconds of work.
Once you have confirmed that the speaker will fit in/on the spacer and that you can match the spacer up to the door mounting holes, move on to the next phase.
I strongly recommend that you pre-drill the 4 holes for the screws to attach the speaker to the spacer. You don’t HAVE to predrill, but I recommend it. You are only screwing (or predrilling) into plastic, though, so it isn’t difficult like it would be to go into metal.
Place your speaker (or speaker gasket) in the preferred orientation (really only matters for coaxials) and mark the 4 mounting holes where you will screw the speaker into the spacer.
Using the screw as a guide, select a drill bit that matches the shank size of the screw. Remember: the SHANK of the screw- not the threads. Remove the gasket and predrill the spacer. Try not to go all of the way through the spacer, but don’t worry if you do.
I recommend using SOMETHING to form a seal between the spacer and the door skin. I use deadener, foam gasket tape (usually 1/4” or 3/8” by 1/2”) or adhesive-backed closed cell foam to seal the gaps between the spacer and the sheet metal. It is helpful to wipe down the metal surface with alcohol or a cleaning agent to promote adhesion.
I recommend attaching the spacer to the door with a drill and then using a hand screwdriver to attach the speaker to the spacer. With the holes predrilled, this is much easier. I usually screw in the spacer first, then pass the wiring through the hole in the door/spacer, connect the wiring to the speaker, and then screw the speaker into the spacer. I ALWAYS recommend testing the speakers before putting the door panels back on the car.
That pretty much covers how to install the spacers, but if you have questions about your specific install, don’t hesitate to contact me or to consult the guides that I have written on the various forums. If you find any errors or have suggestions, please let me know so that I can update the online guides.
If you take any photographs of the install process or the finished product, please let me know, as I would like to have them for my gallery.
Email is my best form of contact: patrickhenry at gmail dot com or use the Contact Page