Chevette front speaker
As you can tell from the previous page, the holes in the dashboard are crying out for front speakers. There certainly is no other "perfect" place to put them, unless you don't mind front speakers hanging just anywhere. Unfortunately, if you have air conditioning, this method won't work, although, I would consider disabling the outboard vents. I doubt that it would make much difference, except for not being able to clear the side glass perhaps.
I purchased a set of Infinity 3½ co-axial speakers, and a bass blocker device to block out lower frequencies to the small speakers that might cause distortion. Simply solders or wires in line. I like solder. Also, prior to installation, I cut out some foam the size of the speaker diameter to act as a cushion. This should, and did, prevent unwanted vibrations of the metal dashboard, and surrounding material.
Once you have your dashboard tore up to this level, you're committed, or should be.
The Infinity speakers, although very small, have a huge magnet and wiring block on them, and require just a bit of touch up to the 'ol dashboard hole for them to fit. You can actually "wind" them in without grinding, but I wanted a lot of clearance for the wiring. Nothing like a big 'ol Makita die grinder for metal destruction. ( With good taste of course. )
The picture on the right shows the route of the left speaker wiring. Easy to accomplish after you remove most of the dashboard, including cluster assembly. The was actually done to facilitate installation of the the defroster wiring harness, but I wanted to get multiple jobs done at the same time. The very small wire that is hard to see is the speaker wire. The large blue harness is an eight wire harness that I added for later future projects, so I wouldn't have to tear the dash out again.
After the holes are suitably widened, the speakers fit very comfortably in their new surroundings. Note that there was some very slight modification to the plastic lower dash also to facilitate a flat fit against the metal dash. This is undetectable after the upper dash pad is installed. Makita die-grinders don't care what they are grinding on.
After installation, and putting the car back together, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stock A/C grilles did not detract from the sound reproduction abilities of the mighty little Infinity speakers at all ! I originally test fitted the dash pad in place before bolting everything back together. The dash air grilles BEHIND THE DASH will have to be modified slightly to clear the speakers. A small portion of plastic will have to be cut off of the plastic insert so you don't smash it into the speaker. The Mighty Makita took care of that also. I was prepared to remove the A/C grilles, and enlarge the dash pad to install regular speaker grilles, but this proved to be totally unnecessary. The sound came through the A/C grilles totally unimpeded, even when they were shut !
Yeah, I just had to throw in a picture of a Diesel dashboard, complete with "factory" A/C grilles, ( Diesels never had A/C from the factory ) and Infinity speakers behind the grille. You did find the speaker, right ? It turns out the the insert that normally reads "Chevrolet" is the same size as the "Diesel" insert. It's a simple matter of popping in the Diesel emblem for the maximum cool effect.
The finished project ! Totally stock looking !
A final note. I was using Jensen 6X9 co-axial speakers in carpeted enclosures for the rear. Not because I like them, but because I got them cheap on sale. I picked up a set of Aiwa bookshelf speakers cheap ( $10 ) because I always wanted to try a set of them in a car. I have been told that they wouldn't work, but I always wondered. I think the Aiwa bookshelf systems sound extremely good for home use. Anyway, the Aiwa's blow the Jensens away for sound quality, so I left them in the car. I have some Bose 141 speakers on my home theater system. They are very small, and replaced a set of Buick sized monsters, and sound as good if not better. Maybe a set of those in the future....
Oh, the sound quality ? Better than I expected. The Aiwa speakers in the rear really push out the bass ( which I frankly don't understand. There are only little 5" speakers in there ! ), and the Infinity's in the front are killer little speakers which are fabulous sound reproduction devices. The "post" digital AM/FM cassette radio is a Sound Stream TCA 20. A very balanced system, and with this addition, the Diesel engine is no longer the "station of choice" to listen to. :-)
I have since installed Aiwa 4 way bookshelf speakers in the rear. These
have seperate woofer, midrange, tweeters, and of course a
cross-over in them. Much improved sound quality, and easily removeable if
necessary. No cutting into the plastic in the rear to install
speakers that would never compete with these, although there is the
drawback of having box speakers in the rear intruding on space.
Here is how Chevette Forum member Phill did the back of his Chevette !