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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2008 Pontiac GT GT that I was attempting to install my Zapco 16.2 6.5in midbasses into today, and i ran into a snag. The OEM speakers were built into a plastic bracket that extended the speaker out and angled it a bit towards the center of the car like so



I was told that these speakers were 6.5 inch, so thats what I purchased as a replacement, but the Zapco's are thicker in the basket and dont fit through the mounting hole. I had someone also fab up some MDF baffles for the speakers, and I wanted them to match the angle of the OEM pods...which he did beautifully. Problem is...the Zapco speakers are also deeper than the OEM speakers so the magnet hits the window motor when its coming down. My third problem is the mounting hole is partially recessed where the fat part of the OEM bracket is, in the picture its too the left of the speaker.

How could I go about solving these three issues?

1)what kind of tool does everyone use to trim the sheetmetal a bit?
2)Should i skip the angled baffle and go with one that is the same cut all around? if I twisted the baffle so the fat part of it is where the motor is, the magnet clears the window.
3)how do i deal with the recess in the metal so I can get a nice tight seal with the baffle?

sorry this is a long post...but i was a bit dejected when i got to this point in the install. I did get my deamplifier pro in tho that I won in the last contest...its good stuff, easy to use. thanks for the help in advance!
 

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Trimming sheet metal, the best tool would be a pnuematic nibbler. You could use a jig saw if you were careful not to let the blade hit the outer door skin.

Use some bondo hair to build up the back of the baffle to fit flush against the door. Tape off the door really well, rough up the baffle, bolt in in place, and fill the gaps with the bondo hair, be very careful if you are going very thick because it will get hot depending on the amount of hardener you use.

After its set up, pull it off the door and remove the tape.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just looked up the nibbler tool...all the good ones need an air compressor which i do not have :(

The bondo hair is a good idea. ill check that out! if anyone else has suggestions...please fill me in! thanks
 

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I bet if you searched or checked clearances yourself, you would find your answers, but since NO ONE seems to want to search these days:

1. Many tools are used. I know people have used tin snips and a pair of channel locks to cut sections out before. That being said, I would think a dremel or similiar small rotary tool would give the most precise cut without potential for damaging other things.

2. No idea, and I don't think anyone can tell you that unless they have expierence with the same car (did you try searching the build thread logs using your car model as the key word???). It seems from your experiment that a thicker baffle would work, though it might be too close to the door card at that point and the surround will hit. No idea there.

3. Again, lots of options. You can mount the baffle, tape it from the inside and fill it from the outside using silicon or expanding foam. You could build up the area with non-hardening modeling clay. You could get some of the butyl rope from Don at www.sounddeadenershowdown.com.

I have all of these suggestions to offer from reading, searching, and real world experience. Hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ummm I did search. The only posts about the G8 have been from people who installed subwoofers, or had problems with the OEM integration.

I thought about building up the area with clay...but that still leaves more than half the baffle not actually attached to anything except clay...im pretty sure that wouldnt work out too well. The expanding foam idea is a good one too...Ive never used it though. In your experience...is it stable enough once it is cured that you can drill a screw through it for a stable mounting point?
 

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I would mount the baffle first like mentioned above, then fill with expanding foam. I am talking about great stuff type foam from home depot. It probably isn't frim enough to drill down tight and not buckle, but it should be rigid enough to fill gaps and not move if you bolt the baffle down first. It is about $4 a can, just get some, spray it in the open, let it cure, see if it is firm enough for you. There should be a "soft" kind and a "hard" kind. The softer kind I believe is for windows and door so it doesn't buckle anything as it expands, I wouldn't use that.
 

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We could help, i'm sure, but if you could get a series of pics for us to be able to follow along with you in your description, it would help a LOT...

My Subaru is known for having a hell of a time fitting anything decent in without spacers...

I used a flat spacer, designed for the car, and the stock one, which is tapered like your factory ones, placed on top... giving me an extra 1/2" of spacing... I even had to cut out the inner diameter of the factory spacer to take the 6.75" driver...

I then also unbolted the window tracks and placed 2 standard washers between the mounts and the door, for an extra 1/8" of space...lol...

Could you not use the factory spacer with a ring of "cutting board" (~1/2") on top, between the speaker and spacer? or would you hit the door panel?

The white plastic is the aftermarket spacer, the black, the factory...

 

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Also, us knowing exactaly what depth you have from the edge of the factory spacer, to the window or whatever is in the way would help...

And if there was any way of knowing how much distance you have from the factory spacer to the door panel would help a lot too.... You could measure that with a hunk of clay or silly puddy... just stick it to the spacer, sticking out enough to be effective, then put the door card back on and make sure the panel is all the way down on it...

When you take the door card back off, the stuff should be compressed to the thickness...

Very useful info when doing the "spacer dance"
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ahhhh i like that putty idea...these are the little things that make everything so much easier. I have to get the camera some batteries...but ill get some pictures up tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Ok here are the pictures as promised. from start to finish you get a basic look at the door as a whole, how much space i have between the window motor and the sheetmetal, the mounting depth of the Zapco speaker, and the mounting depth from large side to small side on the OEM spacer.

Aaron...you asked about mounting the MDF baffle to the OEM spacer...thats a no go, the Zapco speaker basket wont fit through the hole, and if i modify that part, there will be no where for the MDF to sit flush :(



Showing from the window motor to flat sheetmetal...approx 2 1/4in










Showing the step down in sheet metal, its about 1/4 inch if less


if you guys need anymore pictures lemme know
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
when i put the MDF baffle and the Zapco speaker to the door and press down firmly...im probably only a 1/8 inch away from not hitting. the window actually goes down...it just hits the back of the magnet first. Whats thin enough that i can space it accurately and will give me a nice firm platform to work off of?

I looked for some putty for the space between the oem spacer and the door card...couldnt find any though. any other way i can measure that distance?
 

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When making this stuff, you want to have 1/8" material (ABS or MDF), 1/4", and then 1/2" and 3/4" - all available in handi-panel sizes at Home Depot. The ABS probably isn't but the wood is.

I also drop a couple bucks on a couple different widths and thicknesses of weatherstripping foam tape. Helps take up gaps and space when needed. Not great for spacing between the ring and the sheet metal, though.

This process - making rings and spacers, reworking them, etc. - is valuable. It helps you learn what works and what doesnt, and really does build character...

I recommend that the spacer be the same thickness as OEM, so that the speaker clears the window, AND the front of the spacer can kiss the back of the door card with some weatherstripping tape. Usually involves some material stacking and some routing to flush the speaker into the stack...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When making this stuff, you want to have 1/8" material (ABS or MDF), 1/4", and then 1/2" and 3/4" - all available in handi-panel sizes at Home Depot. The ABS probably isn't but the wood is.
Can you eloborate on this a bit more...im not entirely sure what your telling me to get.

I didnt build the rings, I had someone from the board do it and ship them to me. I dont have the tools to fabricate things like this unfortunately.

After i took these pictures, I went back outside and had my gf hold the speaker and baffle flush to the door and lowered the window until it hit the magnet...I really only need about 2/8 of an inch to clear everything...i think i might just stack a few layers of Deamplifier Pro up around the bottom of the baffle till i get my desired result. from there i will bolt a piece of wood on to the side to cover up the rest of the hole. then clay it, and put some more deamplifier on top.
 

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One of the other posters mentioned butyl rope from Don's sounddeadener dot com web site. You can also find this at most auto parts stores. It is used to install windshields. It works great when mounting an MDF baffle to a surface that is not flat. You can't depend on the butyl rope to hold the baffle without some bolts or screws but when combined with a bolt or screw attachment, it is very effective. The only real down side is that it is messy and hard to clean up if you get it on interior surfaces like door cards and carpets.

I noticed that the MDF rings are just big enough for the Zapco midbass. I usually like to have the MDF baffle larger than the driver so I can screw or bolt it to the door somewhere other than under the speaker flange. Is your MDF ring sized that way because it has to be to fit under the door card? If so, don't try to use butyl rope to fill the gaps and screw the ring down tight. You will run the risk of cracking the MDF. Fill the gaps with as much solid material as possible and just use the butyl rope to fill small gaps and seal the adapter to the door.

Last thought. You did not show picture of your door cards. I am installing 6.5" midbass in a Pathfinder door and the speaker grill/door pocket assembly can be removed from the door card. I am removing mine and making an MDF baffle in the same shape with a plan to wrap it in black vinyl and mate it to the original door pocket. I attached a picture. Is this approach an option for you? You gain freedom to adjust speaker depth if you can separate the door card from the baffle and grill.
 

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I think what VP is talking about is shown in the pic below. I bought different thicknesses of MDF and plywood and experimented with different baffle depths when trying to figure out what would fit under the door card on my Pathfinder. I probably have a $600 investment in tools that include a router, jig saw, drill, and random orbital sander that enable me to make this stuff. I justify it because I also do a lot of home repairs. I eventually abandoned the baffle approach in this picture to build the one I posted above. If you think any of these pieces I made can help you, they are yours for the shipping. The cut out diameter is 146 mm.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Unfortunately the way the door is situated, the speaker grills are not removable. below is a picture of the front of the door card, the back of it is extremely tight, no wiggle room between the speaker grill and the handle of the door and the cirve of the door on the other side.



as for the MDF rings, I sent the fabricator the dimensions of the speakers and that is what he sent back to me...it was my first time having something like that made, so I probably didnt ask for the right thing.

Should I just have them remade and ask the guy to thicken them up a tad and add a side piece? also, the thin part of the baffle has be worried...i feel like it will splinter if i put a mount screw through there.
 

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holy crap you got alot goin on there!

1) Many have mentioned dremel...i concur.
2) thin part of the baffle will not break if you PRE-DRILL the hole! Always pre-drill important holes ;)
3) is there any room between the back of the door-speaker baffle and the speaker? I had the same problem in my impreza and was able to remove material from back of the door grill then extend the mounting baffle using down-home fabrication... i might have pics of the install, i'll look.
4) bondo or putty will probably be your best bet to make your fancy baffle work...
 

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I need 2 more pics, one of the stock speaker baffle and one of the GF with the black fingernails... lol..

You can't open up the factory baffle to take the Zap driver? You might have some gaps to seal, but it seems like the best option with that totally retarded mounting..

AFA the MDF rings, you really don't want MDF in the door, it tends to get wet and swells up over time... Plastic is a better option... But if you don't have the fab tools/skills, it makes for a very daunting task..

I would take a harder look at that stock baffle... The nice thing about plastic, it's easily drilled if holes don't line up... lol...

also, tell me you are planning on adding some sound deadening to those doors...
 
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