This mod covers speaker upgrades for the front door speakers in an '03 Impreza TS Wagon. It did not have the "upgraded" speaker package, and therefore we're starting from the lowest common denominator. I have not installed tweeters, as the speakers I chose have quite nice ones which pivot to point up towards your ears instead of at your shoes.

I believe this install would be the same in the WRX and RS, but I'm not sure. If anyone knows, please contact me. Email outback_97@hotmail.com.

Parts needed:

* 2 new speakers, almost anything would be better than the stock ones. Mounting depth is the big concern, try to keep it under about 2.75". The speakers described here are only about 2.125" deep.
* Standard screwdriver
* Small "spatula" or other thin plastic tool to pry trim apart.
* Electrical tape
* Phillips screwdriver
*Some female and male spade connectors
* Some short (3 inch) lengths of wire

- Download the .pdf instructions from subaruparts.com or 1stsubaruparts.com for the speaker upgrade. They're quite good, and may be helpful during this process. Basically they describe the process and have some simple line drawings that describe the first part of this mod. Unfortunately, they don't address the real issue with aftermarket speakers, and that is getting them to fit in the door. They are geared only towards using the Subaru upgraded speaker package. I felt that aftermarket speakers give you more for your money than the Subaru package.

- Wrap the tip of your standard screwdriver in electrical tape, two layers should do it. This will help prevent you from marring the plastic parts you will be prying on.

1) Put the front windows down.
2) Remove the triangular trim piece (sail panel) by where the side mirror attaches.

3) Open the little plastic screw cover where you grab the door, then remove the screw.

4) Pull the door handle assembly up at the back (A), then out to the rear (B) of the door.

5) Unplug the wiring harness for the door controls, and remove the gold screw shown.

6) Remove the bezel trim around the door latch handle.

7) Pull the door panel towards you, starting by prying on the bottom. You're pulling out several plastic connectors, which can be hard to pop out but once you get the first one they get much easier.


Here's where all the connectors are located:

8) You should be able to lift the interior door panel out and up. Remove it and set it aside carefully.

9) Now you're ready to remove the old speaker. Take out the three screws and keep them for later use. Unplug the old speaker, maybe use it for a paperweight.

1) Now that we have the speaker hole exposed, we'll put in some better speakers. The place where I bought mine said 5.25" was the OEM size for the front and rear doors. Not quite true, and since you'll have to make a spacer anyway, you might as well put in a 6.5" speaker. I got Infinity 6.5's, which are shallower than many aftermarket speakers but still sound very good in my opinion. I didn't have or want to make a really thick spacer so these worked fine for me. The OEM speaker and the replacement are shown here.

These photos show you the space you're working with. Not a lot of room for the new speakers. The hole is about 5.25" diameter, and the depth is only about 1.75" to the glass. To the gold screw in the window the depth is more like 1.5". The radius of the mounting holes is about 3.375". Linear distance between holes is about 6".

2) You'll need a spacer, to keep the back of the speaker (magnet) from getting in the way of the window glass when you lower the window. Some people have made them from HDPE or plastic cutting boards or MDF. I used a ring from a gallon paint can. It's plastic and used on cans in shipment to keep them from opening. Just the right size for my speakers.

It's up to you as to what you want to use to protect the back of the speaker from water. In the stock setup, there is no water barrier, so you may want to create one. On the other hand, most aftermarket speakers will be inherently more water resistant than the paper ones in the car originally.

3) Attach the speaker to the spacer. Be sure to put some type of gasket material between the speaker and spacer and the spacer and metal door to prevent rattles. Also, note the wires used to connect the speaker to the white connector shown in the second photo.

On the plug shown, the "-" is the horizontal and the "+" is the vertical. Be sure to hook your speakers up with the correct polarity. If anyone knows of a source for the counterpart to this plug (shown in second photo below), please let me know.

4) Attach the wires and screw the spacer and speaker to the door.

5) Reversing the instructions above, reassemble your door, and enjoy your upgraded speakers!