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Discussion Starter #1
1) I have stuff on my roof rack. It’s noisy.

2) I have one of those carpet dash mats (aka dash toupee) for reflection control from my almost-white dashboard. This covers my dash tweeters.

3) I’m getting hard of hearing

4) I’m bored.

That’s all the reason I need to start a project involving replacing the front speakers in my 2017 Bolt Premier with Bose.

Got a set of Kenwood Excelon KFC-XP184C components.

Starting with the tweeters first:


Note that the stock Bose tweeters are 20W / 4 Ohm.


Snip, snip on the Kenwood bracket.




Drilling to secure the tweeter to the stock mount. Two screws each.


Cloth tape all over the x-over and extra wire.


Cutting up some connectors from the parts bin to mate up with the stock connector.


Connected to stock connector, zip tie and tape it up. Also used a healthy dose of cloth tape to help prevent rattles (not pictured).


Connector for the drivers side. For some reason, I was unable to make it look like the passenger side connector. Almost 1am here in this pic.

Buttoned up everything, fired it up and sound came out of them. Good enough... need to wake up at 5am for work.

Next will be the door speakers.

Then maybe the rear if this upgrade makes an improvement to the Bose sound.


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I like the way you made the connectors. Much cleaner than the PosiTaps I used. How did you find the sound?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I had bought a bunch of 4-pin male/female JST Connectors just for these types of projects, specifically when I added OEM auto headlights in my 2015 Leaf S. When trimmed down the female connector fit the light sensor perfectly.

Sounds crisper but the treble was turned up from my previous settings. That’s a good thing because the old setup was muffled by that dash toupee.

The main drivers are mismatched with the tweeters right now, so there’s a hole in the sound stage. I need some time to finish up the install before I decide how I like it and whether or not to replace the rear speakers.

I’m even toying with the idea to replace the subwoofer driver with a better 1 ohm 6.5” speaker. Maybe adding a small amp next to the Bose amp to drive it.


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Discussion Starter #4
So the woofers went tonight. I used the included Chevy brackets and GM speaker wire harness adapters. I zip tied the excess wiring.

The only thing mildly unintuitive is the reinstallation of the front door panels. Gotta remove the rubber trim butting up against the windows first: Remove the 5 metal clips from each panel and directly install them on the metal protrusions at the door then lay the rubber strip on that.

After that just install the speakers and place the panel back on whole making sure everything is aligned.

The speakers sound great. It’s very crisp and clean. Waiting for my drive to work tomorrow.

Pics:







Other than part numbers, there is no wattage info on the stock speakers:



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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I had the volume cranked up during my freeway commute.

So far, I've listened to songs like:

Everybody wants to rule the world - Tears for Fears
Take a chance on me - ABBA
The Distance - Cake
Istanbul - They Might be Giants
Domino Dancing - Pet Shop Boys
Holiday - Madonna
One Love - Bob Marley
At this Moment - Billy Vera and the Beaters

They're just ripped MP3 files from CDs. Most were ripped at a low bit rate.

My initial impressions of the Kenwood Xcelon KFC-XP184C component speakers is that I had to ask myself why didn't I do this sooner? I can turn up the volume and it doesn't distort. Almost none of the music I've listened to this morning had any bass except for Bob Marley. When it did hit, the bass hit hard right from the beginning.

OK, so I've ordered the 2-way version of these for the rear doors.

I think I'll leave the Bose sub alone after that. With all 4 woofers upgraded to 7", I don't think I'll need any more bass, especially from a 6.5" sub driver. That'd be asking too much from any 6.5" speaker. I might consider a custom enclosure with a shallow mount 10" or 12" driver since the Bolt's Bose sub (as I understand it) is connected directly to the amp, which is mounted right next to the sub box.

Anyway, I'd thought I share this as I didn't find any info about upgrading the Bose speakers. I found plenty for the non-Bose, but it seems like everyone is happy with the Bose except me.
 

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Same sentiments here, though I did come from a non-Bose setup so the results were probably more appreciable for me - why didn’t I do it sooner? I did the doors first before the tweeters, glad they’re all matched now. By the way, when I did the doors I didn’t yank out the entire panel, just propped the lower half out enough to access the speakers. I was too worried I’d break one of the upper retainer clips.

By the way, out of curiosity- what are the Bose woofers rated as, power-wise?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
By the way, out of curiosity- what are the Bose woofers rated as, power-wise?
I have no idea about the woofers. No markings. But the tweeters are labeled as 20w / 4-ohm, so I would imagine the woofers would match as they are running off the same output. The wiring for the stock Bose amp has only one set of front left/right outputs even though there are 4 front speakers (not sure if the speakers are wired in series or parallel).

It seems the Bose amp has adequate power for my upgraded speakers. We'll see how heavily that little amp is taxed when I get the rear ones on. The good news is that the amp is right there in the trunk, so if I had to upgrade that, it would be super easy. The trick would be to get make a wiring harness for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Following this, do you have a required parts list?
Front Door Speakers: Kenwood Xcelon KFC-XP184C component speakers (got mine from Crutchfield and came with a set of American International SH3802 Door Speaker Harness for 2014 & up GM)

Rear Door Speakers: Kenwood Excelon KFC-X183C 2-way/coaxial speakers with another set of SH3802 (ordered but not received)

As for the wiring adapter I made for the front tweeters, I used two male 4-wire JST connectors. These usually come with short wires on them and include both male/female connectors.

When I'm done with all the door speakers, they will have 7" woofers. If that's not enough bass, I may opt for a powered 10" or 12" shallow sub box that can take a speaker level input and just replace the Bose sub. I'm not there yet.
 

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Thank you very much for your quick reply. The pictures are a big help. I spent many summers in Calvert County MD. I now live in Virginia's New River Valley but still travel to the family place in Southern MD. Where are you located in MD?
 

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No problem! I’m in Anne Arundel County. One of the reasons that the dash panels were so difficult to work with was the very tight working quarters, especially where they meet the windshield. Definitely worked best for me to work in the order I described. The new tweeters definitely made a huge difference, I honestly thought they wouldn’t add much with 4 sets of two-way speakers already in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
...One of the reasons that the dash panels were so difficult to work with was the very tight working quarters, especially where they meet the windshield...
Also the driver's side was more difficult for me because of the steering wheel. I barely had enough reach when test fitting the homemade harness adapter.
 

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Thank you each for your advice. I ordered speakers from Crutchfield and look forward to enjoying them on a future trip to MD.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just one more piece of info. The picture of me drilling the holes thru the grill is just for illustration only.

First, the actual tweeters were not in the black speaker mounts while I was drilling.

And second, I did not actually perform the drilling like that. For safety, it was taped up with electrical tape then drilled while sitting in a vise cushioned with an old t-shirt.


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Discussion Starter #17
The rear 2-way speakers arrived yesterday. I put them in as soon as I put the kids to bed last night.

Instead of disassembling the whole door panel, I followed the advice of a few members here to removed the 2 screws, pulling on the bottom until it let loose and propping it up for the install.

BTW, the speaker harness adapters we’re running late in the mail, so I stopped by Best Buy for a Metra 72-5600 which is advertised as being for a Ford but fits my Chevy.

Can’t wait for drive to work (in a few minutes) to hear the complete soundstage before my powered sub arrives later this week.


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tk1971 - when you wired up your tweeters, did you include or exclude the little yellow filter that was on the original tweeter? In other words, was the wire from the car connected directly to the speaker or was the yellow filter from the original Bose speaker soldered in line with the new speaker from Crutchfield?

I appreciated your write up and am following your example in installing the same speakers you did. So far, all that is left is to solder in the tweeter wire. I am tempted to also use the factory connector off the original tweeter. Any help you can provide regarding the inclusion or exclusion of the yellow filter would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The filter capacitor is part of the stock tweeter and soldered between the connector and the voice coil wire.

You should be able to just desolder / remove the capacitor and disconnect the connector from the stock tweeter.

Once you desolder everything and remove the capacitor you’ll see what I mean. The top of the tweeter that contains the connector is attached to the rest of the tweeter via 3 clips.




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Discussion Starter #20
Just noticed that there’s glue also holding the top of the tweeter in place. Seems a little soft which means it’s still possible to remove it.

You can also just get some JST connectors and cut them up to fit.



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