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Thread: Would this be a waste of time or not?

  1. #1

    Default Would this be a waste of time or not?

    The base CD radio in my 08 MGM LS sounds OK but inspection (and listening tests) of rear 6x9 speakers suggests they are anemic at best. If I gain access to them which I am told requires removal of back seat to get at the parcel shelf and replace with better ones, does the onboard power amp in the radio have the guts to fully exploit that? Or would this be a waste of time that will find me revisiting the whole project with a downstream power booster amp? There is an unused empty hole in the center of metal deck where parcel shelf foam is visible from underneath but it does not seem big enough to hold any kind of subwoofer that of course would have its own amp. Just wondering what people have done that does not ruin the original setup.
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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Get yourself some 6x9's from a Continental with the JBL option or JBL's from a box Townie. Best shit you can get short of spending big money.
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The hole in the middle is where the factory sub would go. Its got a molded plastic box that goes with it, and an amp. I don't know if these are just plug and play but it might be worth a junkyard shopping trip to compare what you have vs the better stereo system. If it simply plugs in, add the sub and it will be a whole lot better. Not going to shake the earth but the factory premium system actually does sound pretty good.

    I'm not real familiar with the later cars, but the old ones went in from underneath. The stuff in the 90s I believe may have bee top mount, but you could lift the speaker grille out and get to the screws.

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    To burst your bubble even more... the rear speakers are actually 5x7, 6x9s require at least new mounting holes.

    The stock radio’s amp is wimpy. My suggestion short of an amp would be a decent aftermarket headunit (may as well go double din) and new speakers all around.

    I had some Rockford Fosgates that were like $75 /pair from eBay that weren’t too bad. I did have them hooked up to an amp but with a good head unit they would be fine.

  5. #5
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Here's the JBL woofer assembly that would typically use the otherwise unused hole on the parcel shelf.


    It's essentially it's own contained unit. I don't know if the Whales ever were offered a JBL or Alpine system in the later years that utilized the subwoofer slot beyond Town Car. Since the rear parcel shelf likely didn't change in design since the 90s, it would explain why even the later cars have them.


    FWIW, a nice set of Rockford Fosgates will do you well, whether paired to the OE or aftermarket headunit.

    @DerekTheGreat: Are the Box JBL speakers the two speaker setup like the Aeros with a mid and high or they just a conventional speaker? I know those Aero ones really need the full JBL system to work well, since the subwoofer takes care of all the lows.

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    The box JBL speakers are good ‘ol 6x9s with a pretty hefty magnet. They put out better bass than many aftermarket units.

    If the OP is looking for OE stuff the best thing to do would be to look for 03/04 Marauder stuff or early Aeros with JBL.

    The Marauder head while cosmetically looks the same as the other units is actually more powerful

  7. #7

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    Wow thank you for that clear image of JBL in the ruby red car trunk. Couple questions come to mind; would all cars have a harness with the power DC to run the amp? And do the signals now going to the ridiculous speakers already here get intercepted within the trunk under the deck? In other words, would I unplug the wires coming from up front and plug them onto some place on the subwoofer? And then does the subwoofer send the upper frequencies back to the anemic ovals?
    Also, I am confused about box aero and whale? What are the delineating years for these sub groups? I am not inclined to replace all the speakers. The front ones seem to have good tweeters right in my face which is a good thing. The clarity of the factory head unit is good; it is just the bottom couple of octaves that I need. But yes will dig around on ebay and junk yards. I just don't want to buy something that will not interface to my car.
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodachrome Wolf View Post

    @DerekTheGreat: Are the Box JBL speakers the two speaker setup like the Aeros with a mid and high or they just a conventional speaker? I know those Aero ones really need the full JBL system to work well, since the subwoofer takes care of all the lows.

    proper 3-way coaxial. 6x9 cone for the lows, with a "pod" in the middle that has the mid and tweeter in it. The Aero 3-ways are 3 weenie little drivers in a package that totals out to about 6x9. The amplifiers on the later ones cut the bass to the speakers anyway, so even if you put something massive in there it won't do much. The early JBL stuff had no sub so the 6x9 had to handle all of it and it managed pretty well honestly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    And to add further to what the inspector said, Ford-JBL 6x9's came in a couple variations depending on the model. The good ole box Townie versions which are what gadget mentioned, Mark VII's had similar units only the coaxial portion wasn't angled like they are on Townies. The foam surrounds on the midrange in those 6x9's are disintegrated by now. Foam sucks for that reason, but if you remove the screws and unplug the midrange you'd never notice.

    Roundy Continentals have the same 6x9's in them (JBL option only) but they're one way, and Ford literature classifies them as subwoofers. So they've only got the low range woofer but that's not a bad thing depending on what you're trying to do.
    Roundy Continentals also got pretty good 5x7 speakers to handle the mids & highs. Foam surrounds though, so there maybe up to 10 years left on them depending which year you pilfer. Running them and 6.5(?) front door speakers in Ashley's F150 and she's happy with the sound. Although I'd say Mark VII JBL front speakers are superior there, warmer & more relaxed sound which is what I'm after. Like gadget mentioned though, they may not respond great to low bass as those systems were designed for an external amp & sub. Although depending on how early the Continental, you might end up with better 5x7's. I haven't looked into those too much. Speaking of that, it's been brought to my attention that Explorers could be optioned with JBL too. Not sure what those got but I'm keeping my eyes peeled, no luck yet.

    Early Continentals with the 3.8 and boxish styling have good 5x7's in them. I should have nabbed a set when I came across them but noooo, Ashley accused me of hoarding things I didn't need so they were left behind. Never again lol.
    Last edited by DerekTheGreat; 03-22-2019 at 08:02 AM.
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I've had more problems with the paper in the mid turning to dust than the surround, but either way it fails and isn't readily fixable. One of these days I'll put forth the effort to find a suitable replacement to rebuild them but in the meantime I usually just unhook the rattly part.

    Exploders I believe had a small sub box in the back, don't know what else.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
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    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  11. #11

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    I got inside my trunk and took these pictures. According to data on speaker number, it is 5.5 x 8" for whatever that is worth. There are some metal flat hooks that might hold the JBL woofer assembly in place but I don't seem to have any wiring to power the thing. Where is the closest place to get some 12V I wonder? I asked crutchfield and they wrote back saying they have no device to bolt into this car. There is a Rockville under seat box with amp n woofer; has anybody tried on of these with success? It is about $90.
    Also, what is the box in far upper corner? One on each side with no markings that I can see but maybe electric connections?
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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    That box should be the seatbelt retractor.

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised that Ford stopped putting the insulator cups around the base of the speakers. My original premium sound ones had them in my ‘97, but they didn’t fit well with the JBL units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I've had more problems with the paper in the mid turning to dust than the surround, but either way it fails and isn't readily fixable. One of these days I'll put forth the effort to find a suitable replacement to rebuild them but in the meantime I usually just unhook the rattly part.

    Exploders I believe had a small sub box in the back, don't know what else.
    Expeditions as well. Theirs is a 8 inch sub in a bit bigger box though. The only box that will fit that hole he's got though will be the panther subs. Looks like they kept the same mounts for the later whales as the aeros. Looks the same as my 93. Looks like the stock bracket would work on his as well instead of the redneck riggin I had to do.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Get yourself some 6x9's from a Continental with the JBL option or JBL's from a box Townie. Best shit you can get short of spending big money.
    They won't fit... Those things are stupid tall and are attached in a completely different way.

    Find yourself the optional subwoofer and install that.
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    I've also seen people use mid 2000 explorer/escape subs with the matching amp with good results. Assuming the plug is still present in the bottom left area of the trunk against back seat, and your cd player is capable of running a sub amp. You'll be able to tell by putting the radio in self test mode.

    To do this, turn the radio on FM. Press and hold preset buttons 3 and 6 simultaneously. It will enter self test automatically after a few seconds. It will do speaker test. If it is capable of controlling a sub, after the 4 speakers it will say something along the lines of SUB 1/SUB2. If it goes right to saying No CDDJ, it is incapable of running a sub.
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  16. #16

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    Wow that was eye opening. After it ran all four speakers it began "self test" on all the stations in my area scanning them super fast. Each of the six presets produced a variety of indications including date of manufacture and other codes I did not know meaning of. At no time did I see anything about a sub1 or sub2. It did say "self test fail" after a while but I could not determine why or what failed. I will see if anyone has you-tube-d about this. Right now I am leaning toward putting in better 6x8 on rear deck with a booster amp back there to intercept the spkr signal in the trunk and then send it to better speakers I will buy and install. Before I do though I might pull radio and see if the specific color wires to feed a sub are on that other plug. If so, I will tap in to them and put headphones on to see what if anything is there. Thank you.
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  17. #17

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    Updating (but not talking to myself or replying to myself) here: I bought a Rockville 8" self contained woofer and amp and screwed it to upright panel of rear seat (in trunk area) and removed a square foot of soundproofing foam and rubber so it fires into passenger compartment with less stuff in the way. I tapped in to rear spkr wires from inside trunk after putting coax new kenwoods in there. The sound is way improved but I want tweeters up front. Should I put them in the "sail" panel at front lower corner of window frame or on the A pillar trip panel or ?? And what kind? There are lots of $50-70 pairs from the usual brands; what are better than others in anyone's experience? Thank you.
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    Marauders all had Alpine called "audiophile" head with a sub. Optional 6 disk trunk changer. Many have upgraded to later ford 6 disk head units from other cars & Suv's
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    Do marauders have tweeters in the front doors or A pillars? Maybe someone could put up image of one so I can see how best to add some. Thank you.
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  20. #20
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    I don't remember looking at the door speakers to note if the are bi or tri axial. There are no dash mounted tweeters, sad to say.
    "X" car 89 Colony Park LS Mods>Engine delete, SS duals magnaflow hflow cats, 2010 Must GT mufflers, auto air shocks, Posi, Tran cooler, big front brakes, 03+ rear disks, Large 3g alt, Tripminder, GS grill, 86 seats, 16" HPP wheels, winter boots=96 Cartier wheels, 215-65/16 Goodyear ULTRA GW3 snows, pi rear sway, alum driveshaft.
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