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Let the upgrades begin

6603 Views 30 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Trev27
Hello world, well Civinfo anyway...
I thought I’d delve into my first mod on my R since getting her in at the beginning of September. I’ve replaced those lovely speakers that come as standard. It’s an ongoing project as I’ve only done the cheapest bit so far and that is making use of a pair of Pioneer components (TS-E170Ci) I had lazily installed in my previous car. I have installed them in the front and left the rear stock for now with the intention of matching them with a pair Pioneer Co-axial (TS-E1702is) when funds allow – may be a while since I’ve just splashed out 4 Nokian WR-A3s ready for winter :cool:

I thank those that have helped create the guides for removing the door panels and the wiring details as that saved me scratching my head aimlessly pulling at things :rolleyes:

I found taking off the panels nice and easy; a little worrying doing the first side as it was difficult to judge how hard to pull! Nothing broke thankfully! I decided to use a pair of civic adapters that were available from a local(ish) car audio centre that slot into the existing space nicely. They allowed my 2.5” deep speakers to sit comfortably without fouling on the window area.

I did very little work getting the tweeter to fit which was a nice surprise, a little filing then they just popped in with the metal brackets that came with them.

Despite avoiding having to drill into my doors for the speakers (like the astra ring peeps) I went and did it anyway as I decided to hide my crossover on the nice flat section next to the woofer, inside the door... That was scary, the metal was surprisingly easy to go through! nearly hit the outer skin :facepalm: certainly noted for the other side!

I decided to run my own speaker cable from the crossover end to the woofer and tweeter, saving the original tweeter cabling in place tied out of the way. I intend on going for an amped set up eventually so thought I’d nail the cabling straight away.

I’ve yet to install any deadening material, which is definitely needed. The massive increase in magnet size and weight mean that a lot of acoustic energy is lost in the flimsy door compared with the stock system.

All in all I spent around 4 hours installing this lot on Saturday and had rather sore fingers sorting all of the cable (big baby I know!). I recently discovered that the tweeters were far too bright with the stock amp struggling to drive the woofers, so I got into the crossovers and stuck the tweeters on the -3 dB lane much to my relief!

That is all for now! Short and sweet. The speakers are a vast improvement for clarity and staging but bass is still non-existent (to be expected). I hope I've inspired some bravery into self-installing and using something other than Infinity ;) my plans for the near future include deadening the doors (lightly) and rear panels and replacing the speakers in the rear. Following that and deciding whether to toy with the intake/exhaust or not I would like to upgrade the head unit to a Pioneer fancymagubbins double din to drive the speakers nicely. I really like my boot space as I'm frequently ferrying myself and bikes/guitar equipment around so I aim to get amped up further down the line to hopefully avoid a sub...

I've included some obligatory pictures for your pleasure :D

Cheers for viewing!


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Great first mod mate, and the pics will certainly help people follow in your footsteps.

Well done [smilie=superkewl.g:
Useful informative pictures.

Have to say it is nice to see someone else actually using crimp terminals, it seems most people just twist the wire round the screw.

How thick are the speaker rings? I've used the Astra ones up front and needed to trim a bit off the ring on the back of the door panel to make it fit back on again.
Useful informative pictures.

Have to say it is nice to see someone else actually using crimp terminals, it seems most people just twist the wire round the screw.

How thick are the speaker rings? I've used the Astra ones up front and needed to trim a bit off the ring on the back of the door panel to make it fit back on again.
I much prefer using terminals, just gives a nice secure yet flexible connection and isn't that difficult to do. The speaker rings were only a little deeper than the standard speaker housing though I couldn't be sure as I didn't measure them. They definitely fit without any modification to the door card or door for that matter.
Excellent mod pal, was always looking at upgrading the poor speakers on the civic but never got round to it.
I much prefer using terminals, just gives a nice secure yet flexible connection and isn't that difficult to do. The speaker rings were only a little deeper than the standard speaker housing though I couldn't be sure as I didn't measure them. They definitely fit without any modification to the door card or door for that matter.
Completely agree, it's worth getting a reasonable crimper too (Only £10 at CPC), the cheap 99p ones don't work for sh*t.

Looking at your speakers, they seem to have a very small lip on the edge, whereas the Infinity speakers I fitted had a much larger lip, and it didn't quite match up with the panel ring, hence the need for a trim.

Looking good though.

I found the same outcome after the upgrade, the sound is much more defined and crisp, but the low end is still somewhat lacking. I guess it depends what you are used to though. I ended up fitting a sub in the boot, but luckily the boot size is fairly generous.
Excellent photos will be a great help when I get round to installing some new speakers
Very nice mate.. Something so easy has a big effect on the sound quality of the speakers too!

I installed a sub so I dont feel as if I need to change the speakers YET, however it is something I'm looking into at the minute.
Nice work mate, and great pics too :D
Further updates

Hello again, as mentioned in my first post this upgrade was an on going project. Now I have committed to applying some well needed damping material.

I ended up spreading the work over 2 days as my first was rained off towards the end of the completing 1 door. I used a single pack of Silent Coat (8 sheet door pack) to act as sound proofing and deadening. I've used it in a previous build and found that the most efficient method was to tap at the panels whilst pressing lightly against the areas where you're about to apply the stuff to check its effectiveness. This method also means anyone can have a decent crack at it without knowledge of vibration mechanics and also allows minimal usage to save at least some weight in the process :rolleyes:.

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It is often mentioned that the area behind the speaker is the key place to apply the deadening material. Whilst there is a lot of truth to it, don't go wasting an entire pack there, use additional products there instead (shown soon). Besides, sound waves travel quite widely from mid-bass so think about other panels.

I ensured to cover most of the panelling around the rear of the speaker then applied a 2nd and 3rd layer roughly equal in size to the speaker aperture.

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Just a cheeky look in at my tools used... trusty Stanley knife and an old computer desk drawer.

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I've read into quite a few installs on good ol' civinfo and have seen many people complain about the apparent stickiness of the goo Honda use to attach the weather guard on the inner door skin therefore I decided to leave it alone (after lifting a bit and confirming others annoyance). Instead I took a brave decision to cut into said weather protector to get at some of the larger regions back there.

I was quite surprised at how little space there was to get at the outer skin. The holes aren't very large and the door braces are quite sizeable preventing my reach into the centre of the door.

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To finish off day 1 (around an hour of hurried work keeping an eye on the clouds) I taped up the weather seal and applied some left overs of sheet 4/8 around the inner region where the speaker mounts are.
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Day 2

As day 1 was rained off I decided that I would go further than I had done in previous builds and bought a pair of Skinz Wave Diffuser pads. These are designed to remove wave reflections from behind the speakers preventing major peaks and troughs in the frequency range.

Day 2 began with application of the diffuser pad in the door I had completed then do everything again on the right side! [smilie=upyeah.gif]

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The diffuser pads were pretty much foam egg crates that were made to be water repellent and hence not smell/rot/destroy the car in weeks to come. As the doors do not give much manoeuvring room I had to cut them into two halves to push them through and apply them on top of the silent coat, directly behind the speakers.

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I attempted to picture the silent coat looking down from the top of the window opening... not all too clear, never mind. What you can see though is that I actually applied some deadening to the impact braces as I noticed that there was a lot of resonance in them. They pretty much got the leftovers applied so not a lot changed, but at least it stopped them humming away after tapping.

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Well, that's it so far. I must admit I am impressed with the difference it all has made. I have done the deadening approach before feeling a bit 'meh' about the result so I was expecting the same here. But I think the wave diffuser pads have gone beyond what I expected. The lows these speakers can produce is without a doubt very surprising! The detail in the bass has improved drastically and the dip in bass that was present before has been eliminated almost entirely. Now I will be honest and mention that when on the move all is lost as the head unit just can't keep up when the volume is pushed, but for now I am very happy. The car also sounds more solid when driving around potholed Sheffield.

I have filmed a bit of in car music with my phone (surprising decent mic - obviously quiet though) to give a bit of a demonstration that I shall link to (youtube) soon. So if you have a pair of headphones or decent speakers on your pc feel free to take a listen.

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Some footage of the upgrades in action:

(Understandably, it sounds to different in reality as it is recorded on my phone. The upper mids seem to be missing making for a hollow sound in the recording. Also, for some reason the recordings have come out very quiet so get your speakers/headphones turned up!)


How much would you charge to do my upgrades?? :)

How much would you charge to do my upgrades?? :)
Hehe, if I had the space to accommodate another car whilst doing it, a few beers would do it! ;) Unfortunately I don't.

In all honesty though, it really isn't a difficult job, just give yourself plenty of time. It's a little daunting at first but once you've had a crack at one door you soon realise that you can get the other side done much quicker and with a bit of confidence.

Good evening all,

I have started another step in my venture to increase the quality of the audio in the car.

I've always wanted to have a go at sealing the car doors, and by sealing I mean isolating the inside volume of the cabin from the inside of the door and hence outside. I didn't want to seal the door from the outside since it leaves the question of where will the water go! Besides, isolating the front of the speaker from the rear is the key objective to drive pressure waves more effectively. Without further ado, here is what I've done:

I decided that I wanted to remove the flappy plastic weather sheet and apply a stiffer material such as aluminium sheet over the resulting holes. So I did just that.

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My weather sheet was looking wounded from my previous chop, but that doesn't matter any more.

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I purchased some aluminium sheet from eBay for around £12. Just one sheet of 1000 x 500 x 0.5 is what foresaw to be adequate...

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I got to work removing the weather shield and got to play with that wonderful black goo that Honda like to use. Thankfully I have plenty of nitrile gloves to prevent it sticking to me. I also found that using a plastic mixing spoon (from the kitchen :p ) to scrape some of it off was ok.

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I used some cardboard to attempt to profile the holes I was about to cover as a template for cutting the aluminium. At only 0.5 mm thick a pair of hardy scissors or tin snips worked a treat cutting through it. I had the wiring and handle/lock cabling to consider so decided to leave a strip gap where necessary; to be covered by damping material to finish the seal. After a tiresome attempt at directly screwing in a self-tapping screw I also decided that I would make some pilot holes with the drill to save time and effort. I found that I didn't need to go crazy with these since the damping material would act as both gluing and sealing around the edges.

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The second hole with the window motor was a little more challenging since said motor isn't flush with the inner panel, it comes inwards so the aluminium sheet didn't quite sit flush all round. But not to worry as plenty of silent coat covered that up.

I only just remembered to unscrew the inside door mount screws prior to applying damping material... These were useful for maintaining the sheet without further self-tapping screws though.

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I started this door after tea on Tuesday, so around 6. This meant that I did not have much daylight left so I left it as is, around 8. A bit more damping material could be used, covering smaller holes around the door and on the aluminium sheet, but that can wait until I crack on with the other door - giving myself a bit longer too.

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An issue I did run into at the end was misalignment of the inside door handle. I need to push the mount onto the damping material a bit more to offer up the screw hole to the door card, but a couple of days without it wont harm me :rolleyes:

Verdict on the sound so far: Definite improvement! I suppose it helps that I've only done one side for a comparison's sake as I can play with the balance on the head unit to check. The sealed side has a noticeable increase in mid-bass and bass output, to the point that I've had to decrease my head unit down to +3 from +5 to level off the sound. There is still a crappy head unit driving the speakers but I'm getting better sound each time I play so I must be doing something right! :worms:

Thanks for reading! I'll post an update when I've completed both sides.
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Update! Part 2

Just a nod to say that I got the other door done, all in daylight this time. As always the second door was much quicker as knew exactly what I wanted to do and I wasn't soiling myself at the prospect of doing it wrong ;)

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Again, quick shot of the mutilated weather seal from my previous tinkering.

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I was much more selective with my sound deadening placement this time around. Working my way around each aluminium sheet, sealing up the edges then playing some music to deduce where else it was needed.

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I ran into the same issue with the handle mount. The scratches show where I've tried dragging it into position with the door card back on. I can't figure out how they've both dropped back. On this door I even layered up sound deadening sheet to space it out but this didn't affect it much. If I can be bothered at a later date I may have a closer look at any possible cavities I've filled that the door card used to occupy.

The difference this had made to the audio quality in the car is outstanding. The bass is really crisp, to the point that I am further delayed purchasing a new headunit! Obviously I'm still missing out on connectivity options but the increase in sound quality is arguably a bigger bang per buck so to speak.

All in all, this update has cost me in the region of £40. All in so far, including the speakers that I already owned: ~£150. I'm extremely happy with the results and I think it has me set up nicely for the time I get a new headunit :D

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I've decided to bite the bullet and complete my install with a shiny double din unit. I've only placed an order on the fascia kit from Hondabitz as I'm still trying to decide which unit to go for! I'm torn between two Pioneer units: AVH-X8500BT or the AVIC-F940BT, both of which I can get for a similar price (sat nav is used). What opinions do you guys have?

Edit: I put a cheeky offer in for the F940BT on ebay and it was accepted, so I'm getting a sat nav unit anyway. It should be a little easier explaining the cost to the other half at least ;)

Toys have arrived and I've got the rest of the week off... I wonder if I'll still end up trying tonight ;-)

Sent from my Xperia Z
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Dead easy to installed mate and will make a mahoosive difference when fitted, have you bought a rear camera to fit at the same time, wouldn't be without mine now

Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk 2
I haven't, but it may become a thing later down the line. Just offering it up to the fascia to set the correct offset. I think I will wait for more daylight hours before having a crack at it

Sent from my Xperia Z
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