Exquisite Goods

After several weekends pulling the X5 apart, ordering stuff, taking it apart even more and order some more wires, the SUV is now back to the original drivable state with a beautifully sounding stereo system!!

First off, new toys! Originally I ordered a set of Focal 165K2P composites that I was planning to put in the front, but I changed my mind and decided to return the 165K2P and order something even better – Morel Supremo tweeter + HCW 6.5 woofer combo and have it driven by a fully active network:

Man those tweeters sure sound good, but they are also very large….and all X5 owners know, our dash might look big and wide, but it doesn’t leave any room for additional speakers at all.

After some analysis, I’ve made up my mind on how to mount the tweeters and do the wiring layout…let’s pull the SUV apart!!

In order to mount the tweeters in the original tweeter location (which is probably the most unobstrutive location in this car for tweeters I can find) I have to make a speaker mounting that “slots” into the cavity. First off let’s make molds of the cavity and the tweeters using composite fillers:

The released molds…held together by crazy glue:

After some work, here is the completed speaker mountings with tweeters mounted on them….I painted them black using gelcoat:

Done! Now glue the mounts into the doors:

With that done, the trickiest part of this project must be running the speaker wires to the doors…..let’s just say it wasn’t easy and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless you have good experience working with X5’s (and have no problem putting new holes into it or dremeling some stuff off):

I used 12 gauge Bi-wires by Knukoncept, which was actually a mistake because not only is it utterly overkill (I am now capable of installing subwoofers up front), the gigantic wires also made the project that much more difficult.

With that done, we can now put the speakers in:

I put some grill clothe on the tweeter for extra protection

I reinforced the woofer baffle with composite fillers just to make sure it’ll hold up to the more powerful woofers.

You can see the RCA cables in the glove box, that’s the pre-wire for Part 3 of this project 😉

Here is the RCA cables sticking out of the factory head unit and glove box, readying for the next upgrade:

With all of that done, it’s just a matter of hiding the wires under the carpet:

and here I got lazy and simply route the wires to the trunk right under the seat…I could’ve done a neater job, but I’m already too tired.

OK! That’s it! Now let’s put everything back together:

Other than the oversized tweeters, you wouldn’t be able to see any sign of the extensive upgrade I did….just the way I like it.

Here’s the amp screwed in

Trunk cover and DIY rubber mat back in place

Some thoughts….total cost of this project is around $5k cdn which is quite a bit over my original budget of $1800, but after I sat in the SUV and listened to the spacious, warm and detailed sound of the Supremo…I think it’s totally worth it! This Christmas I’m going to replace the factory head unit with an aftermarket one and also do something about the subwoofer…stay tuned!

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