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Inocense, I just finished installing Polk db651 in all four doors, a Blaupunkt 470 amp and a JVC KD-AHD79 head unit. I can tell you from experience that the install was a PITA. I am familiar with working on cars, changed the front suspension on my Porsche 944 turbo, but nothing of that sort holds a candle to what you are about to take on.
Removing the door panels is easy - literally takes 15 minutes to remove all 4 panels but that's where the fun stops and the nightmare begins.
1. You have to drill out rivets to remove factory speakers. Use a drill bit that is bigger than the shaft of the rivet. [Thank you, Carbon.]
2. If you're running your own speaker wire through the rear doors, you will have to drill through the factory molex connectors. These are made from some kind of super alien bullet proof plastic and it takes a while to drill through these. There is no other way that I know of passing wires through to the doors. Each door connector took me an hour to drill through.
3. You will probably get Scosche SAT-6 speaker adapters with your speakers from Crutchfield. Don't be stupid like me and DO NOT use these ... make your own adapters or pay someone to cut custom ones for you. If you did not choose the custom-bracket option, please read on ...
You need to use long, thin sheet metal screws to mount SAT-6 adapters to your RAV4's doors. Sounds easy but lining these up is a PITA and you have to break off one ear from the adapters. Once you've done this, you will be happy but only for a short while. Your RAV4 will soon wipe the smile off your face when you go to mount your speakers on the adapters you just installed. What now, you ask? The speaker holes will not line up to those on the adapters. So option 1: drill holes in the SAT-6 adapters and mount your speakers. If you are stupid like me, you will not choose this option and do what I did. Read on ...
Take the factory adapters that came with your speakers and mount them on top of the SAT-6 adapters with some 1/4 sheet metal screws and then mount your speakers (db651) on top of these.
Once you've done this, you will be happy for another short while ... until you try to install the front door trim panels. The factory speaker grills will not clear the db651 tweeters. Easy enough, you'll say "just go ahead and remove the factory speaker grill". Well .. the silver trim ring on the grill is attached to the door panel with 4 plastic rivets. Drill these out and you will notice that the grill and the door panel are a single piece! You can use a jig saw or a drill and plastic cutter to remove the factory grill from the front door panels. Do not remove the factory grill from the rear doors as those clear the db651 (I did ... to make it worse for myself and to make all 4 doors look the same). It will take you about 30 minutes to remove the grill from each front door.
Once you've done all this, you can re-install the door panels and check out your new sound system. Do yourself a favor and check everything before you close the doors back up.
So the lessons that I've learned are:
1. Do not use db651 speakers ... they sound GREAT but are a PAIN to install.
2. If you do use db651 speakers, get a custom bracket made. There is a trade off here though - if you mount the speakers too deep in the door you run the risk of getting them wet. db651 are marine rated but I did not take the chance. My "solution" of mounting factory db651 adapters on top of SAT-6 ones is alright because it keeps the speaker coil covered ... just like the factory RAV4 speakers are covered with a palstic ring. The thing with this is that you get to cut the factory grills out and buy 8" grills to replace those.. there is a "Turn your RAV4 into a Concert Hall in 4 weekends" thread on here, where I borrowed the speaker grill idea from.
Also, it's worth it to insulate the door panels ... and do not forget to disconnect the factory tweeters.
But in the end your efforts will pay off as your new audio system will sound miles better than the factory crap that Toyota put in.
I wonder why Toyota made it so difficult to replace the factory speakers. Is it that they wanted to keep the factory JBL option as the only viable upgrade? Anyone care to speculate?
Last edited by ibtisamjawad; 12-13-2012 at 07:27 PM.