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2006 RX400h Mark Levinson "blown" speaker repair

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I repaired the speakers in my RX.  It was quite easy and made a huge difference so I thought I'd describe it here.

I have the 2006 with Mark Levinson and Navigation.  When we bought the car a year ago (used with 90k miles) the stereo sounded great except that the 6x9's in the front doors made a buzzing noise with bass sounds.  I assumed the speakers were blown and put new speakers on my list of things to do...  When I looked into it further I learned that this is a common failure of most toyota/lexus vehicles of this era, but the speakers are not blown.  The foam surround on the speakers simply degrades and falls apart.  With the speaker cone no longer attached to the speaker frame, they produce horrible bass and a buzzing sound.

I bought a repair kit from Simply Speakers.  It includes a pair of foam surrounds, glue, and a brush (which I did not use).

I watched all the videos I could find about replacing the speaker foam and removing the door panels to access the speakers.  I am happy to report that on the RX400h this job is very easy and is easier that it looks on many of the videos.

This video shows how to remove the door panels: 

BUT! you don't have to remove them.  Just follow the video to the point that you have pulled the door panel loose from the door but it is still connected at the top.  You also don't have to remove or disconnect the power switches.  Just remove the two "hidden" screws shown in the video.  The door panel will swing away from the door and create plenty of room to access and remove the speaker.  You will have to lie down on your back under the door rather than sitting in front of the speaker, but to me that is well worth not having to completely remove the door panel.

The speaker electrical connection is simply unplugged and then the 4 screws/bolts are removed to take the speaker out of the door.  Although you can use a phillips head screwdriver, it is much easier to use a 10mm socket and ratchet.

Once the speaker is out of the door, the process is pretty simple.  First, you have to remove four phillips head screws from the "chassis" that sandwiches the speaker frame inside it.  These screws are hidden under the foam "gasket" that seals the speaker to the door panel.  Once those screws are out, the plastic and foam gasket lifts off of the speaker frame.  Then it is a simple matter of using a razor knife to scrape off all of the old foam and adhesive.  The Simply Speakers repair videos show using alcohol or lacquer thinner, but i did not need to - the old stuff easily scraped off.  Once all of the old stuff is scraped off, I put a bead of the supplied glue on the edge of the speaker cone.  On this design of speaker, you can put the glue on both the cone and the frame at the same time and then place the speaker foam onto the adhesive and make sure it is attached all the way around.  The plastic/foam gasket is then put back on and the four screws are put back in.  You're done.  Just wait about an hour for the glue to set.

Putting the speakers back into the door was just a reverse of removal.  Really easy.

The stereo sounds great!  No buzzing and the bass response is noticeably better.  I'm going to do the back doors next.  Even though they do not buzz, I'm sure the foam is degraded and the repair is so easy that I'll fix them to see if they sound better.

So, if you think your speakers are blown, they might not be.  If you want better sound and think you need new speakers, you might not.  These repair kits are about $30 per pair of speakers and, of course, no rewiring needed.

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Thanks for the tip and instructions.

I replaced the woofer in each of my floor standing Boston Acoustics speakers, about 10 years ago. The was very easy and fast. Later I saw videos about repairing, rather than replacing the entire woofer. I'm not sure if a true audiophile would repair the foam surround but in a vehicle that is not often perfectly silent, a repair such as this should be just fine.


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  • 4 months later...

OK, Lexus owners might be too purist to use this cheap and dirty trick.  Replacing the foam is technically time consuming and requires you to remove the speaker from the car.  Instead, take the cover off, apply a bead of silicone caulk where the speaker has separated from the speaker frame.  Let it dry and replace the cover after it has fully cured.  The silicone prevents the speaker cone from vibrating against the speaker frame and it is flexible enough to allow the speaker to function normally.  Instead of eating up a whole day meticulously removing the speaker and replacing the speaker foam, this fix took thirty minutes from start to finish and it sounds fine.


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