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Speaker Upgrade

new 5/15/03


This past weekend, I upgraded the speakers in the SHO and added a 4-channel amp. I had been considering this mod for some time and fell into a deal for the speakers and amp. I got some good advice from David Ware, Larry Eck, and Juan Dillon – big shout out to you guys for the help. I replaced all speakers – doors, pillar, and rear with Infinity Reference series.

A-Pillar Tweeters: Infinity REF 1001t

Front Door: Infinity REF 5752CF

Rear Deck: Infinity REF 5752CF

4-Channel Amp: Alpine MRP-F200

Prior to installing the 5752CF speakers and amp, I put in the newer Infinity 6802CF speakers (5752 replacements). However, the frequency range on the 6802’s has been widened and they don’t sound good at all with the OEM amp. Infinity gave extra response down low (bass) and the OEM amp can’t keep up with any decent volume setting. I installed the entire set-up above and used the OEM amp for a few days – all in all, not bad. Better than OEM and the smaller frequency range on the 5752’s is better suited for a 1:1 speaker replacement on the SHO. But the kicker came when I wired up the AMP – much cleaner and louder. I was actually surprised by the bass coming from the 5x7 speakers. Still needs more though… but that’s another project when I get the $.

I took pics during the entire install and can help if someone needs additional info. I’m an Electrical Engineer, but this is a mod anyone can do if they prepare, have the right documents (factory wiring and pin assignments), and take their time.

I still have a little tweaking to do with the amp and some cable dressing (loom needed in the trunk). I may also angle the A-pillar tweeters – they come with a swivel mount that allows more direction to the front. Like others, I have the opposite door speaker tweeter angled towards the opposing seat (listener). But it’s essentially done. And it rocks!

Note: the Infinity speaker holes don’t line up with all 4 factory openings. Two fit and the others need help. See attached collage (Tweeter, door, rear deck, amp).


SHO Speaker - 01.jpg (76769 bytes)

I'm assuming that they don't fit because the OEM speakers are 6x8, not 5x7... Did you try the 6802s with the amp you used, or just with the factory setup? I'd rather use a direct size replacement myself, when I upgrade, so I'm curious on how bad they really sounded.

Apparently, for bass, you need to install either an 8" free-air sub or the "Nakamichi 6x9 sub" in the opening in the rear deck where the '96 JBL system had its sub. Some cutting needs to be done, and others have done it, but I have not.

Glad to hear it's working, though! Keep us apprised of the status. Are you going to be building a web page with the pics you took, or just supplying on a per-request basis?

-John Breen

Actually, the Infinity Box reads “Fits 5 x 7 and 6 x 8 locations.” While shopping around, I only saw Pioneer and another vendor that says “made to fit Ford and Mazda vehicles.”

I ran the 6802’s with only the OEM setup. Not good at all – the stock amp can’t handle the volume and lower frequencies of them. The 5752’s are: 54 – 20k Hz. The 6802 are: 49 – 21k Hz. The 5 Hz difference at the bottom is noticeable with the factory setup. But I bet they sound great with the right power (new amp). I just couldn’t pass up the deal on the 5752’s – all 4 for the price of 2 6802’s. And since I plan to add a separately powered sub, I don’t think in the long run I’ll miss the lower freqs of the 6802’s.

I was considering a how-to document with pics. Don’t have a website and the ones I took are too big for the list (500+ KB each). Until then per requested would be the easiest way to go.

For some reason my email program doesn’t like the format of a couple of messages I get and jacks the replies up something fierce.

John Breen wrote: “Apparently, for bass, you need to install either an 8" free-air sub or the "Nakamichi 6x9 sub" in the opening in the rear deck where the '96 JBL system had its sub. Some cutting needs to be done, and others have done it, but I have not.”

This is only true if you want a ‘plug and play’ type application. Subwoofers work differently in that they don’t need to be firing directly into the cab to be effective. In some instances greater SPL is accomplished by firing them at the rear of the trunk instead of directly into the cab. You could place your enclosure in the trunk area on the floor or against the seat backs if you are willing to sacrifice the room. Another thought is to suspend the enclosure from the sheet metal of the package shelf. Take a look at the Element enclosures. Sweet design and execution, and paintable to color match. I haven’t checked the dimensions to see if you could get a 10” in the stock location, but if you wanted to get creative with fiberglass you could probably fashion an enclosure for the stock location too.



I was actually looking at the underside of the package shelf while in the trunk. Had a similar thought – but not confident I could pull it off. But worth considering again. Also, considering an enclosed sub that sits on the trunk floor as the easiest solution.

More to think about.


After seeing your work on your other projects I’m confident you could pull it off if you wanted to. If I can be of service please ask.


Used to be National Sales Manager at ASM/Ground Zero. They manufacture subwoofers for home and mobile audio. You’d know their home audio as the Carver Sunfire (long story short). In addition to their own Ground Zero line they do or did manufacture for Phoenix Gold and Lanzar, among others. I haven’t used them in a while, but I can probably still wrangle some of my connections in car audio if there is some need I can fill. Some of my distributors carried some pretty good product, and if the right people are still in place it could be beneficial. 


I have been looking around to replace my speakers and possibly add a sub on the rear deck but the few places I have talked to they won't touch my 98 with the Mach system in it. I can tell they have never worked on one before judging by the 1000 yard stare they give me when I say "yea it's a 98 Taurus SHO" and all I hear is babble from them like "we don't have anything here that would replace those"..."we don't know how it is hooked up"...blah blah blah. I even printed out the stuff from the v8sho website explaining the system to them. I am in southern NH and if anyone has had any work done on there radio/speaker system please let me know...I went to Best Buy, Circuit City and I talked to a guy at Tweeter in Manchester and no one can seem to help me. My rear deck speakers are popping and my passenger front one's are not working at all and my lower drivers door is vibrating like crazy when it is down low with any bass on it.

If any one has some for sale please let me know and maybe we can work something out. Or what I would rather have happen is to find a good installer around here and have them do the job...and by when I say here I mean the New England area. I will take a drive if the guy/girl is any good. 

I asked a similar question before and got some good answers of what kind of stuff to get...well I went in search of that and found some nice stuff but no one to install it so I did not buy it.

Thanks for any help

Scott Weldon

If you don't mind a trip to Concord, you can try Audio of New England, right on South Main St.

Steve '97 TR

Go to Crutchfield.com - Home Theater and Audio/Video / Car Stereo 

On the left hand side you will see What Fits My Car and enter all the info. They will give instructions and installation kits. Ever thought of doing it yourself. 

Danny NYC. 

www.partsexpress.com is a great place for car and home speakers. 

Paul Nimz

Another good online resource for audio equipment is http://www.mmxpress Check with John, the owner, directly if you can. I used to work in car/home audio, and got a taste of the online businesses. His seemed to be the most reputable.

If you are a DIY type in the audio world you may find some interest in http://www.madisound.com


I am headed out to Best Buy this week to have some upgrades done to the sound system in my 98 SHO. The rear deck is popping and not to clear and the passenger door speaker is completely out. Do the SHO radio's already have an amp in them? Any suggestions for full replacement of the speakers---brands, sizes, sounds... I am going to keep the radio for now with the CD player in the trunk. Any extra's that anyone has that sound great would be appreciated...The louder and clearer the better.


Scott Weldon

As far as I know, they're all 6x8's. The stock MACH speakers, while decent, list at like $15-20, so there's a pretty good reason they have a 2 year lifespan for anyone that listens to music at decent volumes. 

At Best Buy, look for the speakers that say "made for Ford/Mazda/someone else" on them. You have 4 or 5 choices at BB, I think. 2 different 3-ways, 2 different 2-ways, and I think a 4-way. The 3-ways are reasonably priced and a good compromise. From what I know, you can't really "stuff" anything else into the doors, so don't try. 

Also, some people cut out the opening in the middle of the rear deck where the 96's had a 6x9, and add a 6x9 Nakamichi sub, or like Kirk did, an 8" sub. Once you make the sub do all the bass work, and turn the bass down on the headunit, you get much better response from the rest of the speakers. 

In either case, you can't replace the radio very easily. You can put in a separate system that's run from somewhere else in the car, but the head (the "football") has to stay, since it houses the EATC (Electronic Automatic Temp. Control). The football is only a control pad (and a tape deck). The "brains" of the radio are in the trunk somewhere, including the amp. In my opinion, the Mach is a pretty damn good system from the factory, it just needs more robust speakers. 

Hope this helps! 

John Breen III

I just replaced the two front door speakers in my 97. I used Infinity speakers and I am real pleased. By the way, I used 5 x 7 speakers. There is a good article on the v8sho website.

Mike Bouchillon

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