branshew

Subwoofer Replacement Diy

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I apologize in advance for the lack of detailed pictures in this write-up, I was working solo and my camera battery died about ½ way through so some shots are missing. This should at least provide a decent start to those of you who need to repair or replace a subwoofer.

Although photos show a Gen IV ES, this process is identical in generation 2 cars ('92-'96) except for the LATCH bar. (I should know – I did it for my ’95 too). You also don’t have to remove the seatbelt anchors/bolts in Gen II as you can slide the shoulder belts around the sides of the back seat before removing it. Gen III ('97-'01) cars should be similar to Gen II.

WARNING: This procedure as I will describe it involves working on the SAFETY BELT and LATCH restraint systems on your car. Perform this procedure at your own risk knowing that you will be responsible for the results. If you do not feel comfortable performing this on your own, please have a trained professional to do it for you.

Now with that out of the way here goes:

TOOLS:

10mm, 12mm, & 14mm sockets, socket extender and/or flex head socket wrench, screw driver, needle nose pliers.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Move both front seats and tilt the seatbacks as far forward as you can to allow you as much room as possible in the back to work.

2) The rear bench is attached using a “tab in slot” type of mechanism. There is a looped metal wire that locks the bench into the tab as shown in the picture below. To remove the bench, place both hands under the bench approx 4” on either side of the center of the driver’s side rear seat (not the center of the rear seat itself, but the center of the driver’s side seat depression). Lift using moderate pressure until you feel/hear the pop of the tab coming loose. Move to the other side and do the same. With both tabs released, you should be able to slightly lift and pull the bench towards the front of the car. When the back comes loose, remove it from the car.

rearseat2.jpg

3) Next comes the back cushion. This part is more of a PITA. At the bottom of the rear seatback are 4 wire loops that look like upside down “U”s, one on each end and two in the center on either side of the armrest. These are bolted to the frame on the ends and to the LATCH anchor bars in the center. Remove these 4 bolts (12mm I think).

rearseat3.jpg

4) Slightly lift the seatback forward and remove the nuts that hold the passenger side LATCH anchor bar to the frame (12mm). You do not need to remove the driver's side LATCH anchor bar.

5) Now remove the bolts that secure all 3 rear seatbelt strap anchors (the brass ones in the picture) to the frame (14mm). The center one will also have a buckle as part of it. You do not need to remove the other buckles. Now you’re ready to take out the seatback.

6) Now the fun part: On the back of the seat are 3 rounded metal loop/hooks similar to the ones that hold the bottom cushion in place. The shape is similar to an inverted "L" and they are inserted downward into tabs that lock it into place. These need to be lifted out of the tabs (approx 3”) before the seatback will come out. Here’s how to do it - With 2 hands cupped underneath, pull the seatback bottom towards the front of the car slightly (so the bottom is 2-5” out) and lift up and push at an angle following the angle of the seatback like you are trying to lift it into the top of the rear window. Once you lift the tabs clear, pull the top towards you and it should detach.

This is the most difficult part and a lot of things can give you resistance. Watch out as the 2 side lower retaining clips/tabs on the bottom of the seatback (the ones you removed the bolts from initially) will tend to get caught on the plastic trim preventing you from pulling the seat forward before lifting. After that minor challenge, the tension on the seatbelts will want to hold it down and keep you from lifting. This part would be much easier with 2 people on this step. Once off, position it flat (where the bottom cushion would normally be) so you can work on top of it.

7) The rear deck lid is made up of a flimsy particle board covered with foam and upholstery. For those of you with the rear sunshade like me, removing the rear deck will not affect the sunshade as the sunshade is not attached to the deck. The deck has the rigidity of cardboard & will flex. There are plastic friction clips in it that secure it to the rear metal frame deck.

rearseat5.jpg

Lift slightly in the center of the deck and work your flat hand under the deck near the subwoofer cover. Keeping the hand flat against the deck, slowly work your way towards the right until you feel the first clip (about 4”-5” off the front and 5”-6” to the right of the sub. Give slight upward pressure on the clip by slowly cyrling your hand into a fist and the clip will detach. Keep going until you find the other clips. Do the same for the other side. Remove rear deck and position accordingly keeping in mind the seatbelts are feeding through it. I didn't fully remove the deck, I just lifted the first retaining tabs on either side and worked under it while keeping it supported on each side with 2 pieces of scrap wood. This gave me enough room to work without having to remove the deck.

8) There are 4 bolts that attach the sub. Remove them (10mm). On the passenger side of the subwoofer, there is a plug-in connection to power the sub. Unplug the body side of the harness from the sub.

rearseat7.jpg

In the trunk shot above (view from inside the trunk looking up at the rear deck), you can see the plastic clip that holds the sub side harness wire against the deck. Use needlenose and pinch the spring tabs inward as you push it upward from the trunk side into the cabin side to release it (You need to do it this way to avoid damage to the wires by pulling on them to remove it from the top). Now the sub is ready to be removed. It will probably seem stuck to the deck. Slide a flat head screwdriver under and turn slowly on edge to pry it up. You can also remove the support ring.

9) Repair speaker or replace with an aftermarket (you’re on your own here). My foam was torn around the outer edge where it attaches to the frame. I re-glued mine with a flexible contact cement. Time will tell how long the repair will last. I may end up re-foaming it down the line.

10) TEST! This is a point to check your work. If you make a repair or replacement, I would suggest testing it before you put everything back together. Also check the rear sunshade operation after getting the deck back on, but before putting the seat back together. Trust me - you don't want to have to take it apart again. Don't want to find that the repair is not working or the sunshade is catching once you've got the seats back in.

11) Put everything together in reverse order.

12) Check and re-check the seat belt anchors and LATCH anchor bar connections.

It took me about 30 minutes to get the rear seatback off and another 15 +/- to get the sub out from there working solo. It probably took me 30 minutes total to get everything back into place once I repaired the speaker. Take your time and be careful. Good luck and I'll try to answer any questions.

- Brandon

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This is awesome! Thanks a lot. Gives me the courage to perform this DIY on my car.

No problem. Mechanically, it's pretty basic and once you get everythig apart its easy to put it back together.

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Dude,

this is awesome. I rolled up my sleeves and started doing it. It took me more than 3 hours just to reach to woofer. I didn't had proper tools and I was just being careful. This is my first DIY and I think I picked up a long and a tough one. But I swear. The rattling noise of sub woofer was driving me nuts. I could have done anything to get that problem solved.

Any way I have been following step by step and I think you didn't miss a single point till now. Congratulations on a wonderful DIY. i have never seen a detailed DIY like this.

To the point. I have removed four bolts on sub and removed the ring around it. Also loosen the cable from trunk. The only thing remaining is to PRY the sub.

Looks like it is quite firmly stuck in there. Am I missing something? As you can see, I am trying to be extra careful not to break anything. Let me know if it is just pressure.

Another thing I would like to add to folks who don't want to get a new SUB rightn now and just want to get rid off rattling. I just Removed the sub cable and boy my ML sounds wonderful without even having a SUB. I know you won't get a bass that you used to get from SUB, but it is not bad either. There is plenty of bass from ML speakers and If I cannot repair My sub, i would leave it disconnected as rattling can drive me nuts.

Let me know what to do. My awesome lexus is a big mess right now and I blame you for that :P . J/K

Thanks

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if i were to replace the sub with a new one would you recommend using the factory amp or the amp off my head unit (Peak Power Output - 60 watts x 4 channels RMS, Power Output - 17 watts x 4 channels). right now i have the harness that uses the stock amp with the pre amps with the head unit. the sub doesnt sound very good so im looking into something like this:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_136ZR800CW/JL...-CW.html?tp=111

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Dude,

this is awesome. I rolled up my sleeves and started doing it. It took me more than 3 hours just to reach to woofer. I didn't had proper tools and I was just being careful. This is my first DIY and I think I picked up a long and a tough one. But I swear. The rattling noise of sub woofer was driving me nuts. I could have done anything to get that problem solved.

Any way I have been following step by step and I think you didn't miss a single point till now. Congratulations on a wonderful DIY. i have never seen a detailed DIY like this.

To the point. I have removed four bolts on sub and removed the ring around it. Also loosen the cable from trunk. The only thing remaining is to PRY the sub.

Looks like it is quite firmly stuck in there. Am I missing something? As you can see, I am trying to be extra careful not to break anything. Let me know if it is just pressure.

Another thing I would like to add to folks who don't want to get a new SUB rightn now and just want to get rid off rattling. I just Removed the sub cable and boy my ML sounds wonderful without even having a SUB. I know you won't get a bass that you used to get from SUB, but it is not bad either. There is plenty of bass from ML speakers and If I cannot repair My sub, i would leave it disconnected as rattling can drive me nuts.

Let me know what to do. My awesome lexus is a big mess right now and I blame you for that :P . J/K

Thanks

Try using a flathead screwdriver to slide betwen the frame of the sub and the rear deck. Twist it slightly to provide some lift and it should come up.

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That works. It's awesome. I used my hobby kit Glue gun around the cone where it was torn and booom booom PoW!!! New as it could be. Putting it back is piece of cake and took 15 mins.

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Can I clip the wires on a 2003 ES300 subwoofer and not affect the sound. Replacement is not an option right now.

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just unplug the plugin part there, no need to clip wires

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