A tale of two Gladiators to get one 80th Anniversary model

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  • #16
I got some time today to do the cutouts for the new speakers in the sound bar. It is a bit involved and time consuming, but not terribly difficult with the right tools.


Polk 6 1/2" 2 way vs. stock 4" and upgraded Alpine 3 1/2" speakers. Quite a difference!

polk vs. stock.jpg



Here is the cutout almost finished. I used a dremel tool to make the cut. Definitely make sure you measure twice and cut once. Also make sure you like your new speakers as there is no going back to stock after this cut.

beginning of speaker cutout.jpg



Here is what the sound bar looks like after the full rough cut. Make sure you cover up/direct the tiny flying bits of plastic into one area. I had no idea they would spread all over the inside like they did. I was even picking bits up off of the dash and the windshield!

full soundbar cut out.jpg



Here is the full section that is removed out of the sound bar to make room for a 6 1/2" speaker. Now repeat on the other side.

removed speaker bar section.jpg





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OP
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So I got the SSV Works speaker adapters and Polk speakers installed in the sound bar, but the speakers sound awful. Very underpowered, even with the "upgraded" Alpine amp. I think the issue is that each speaker location has the power split between 2 more speakers so really only 1/2 of the power is getting sent to these new Polk speakers. I left a message for Travis at Crutchfield who was very helpful in picking out the speakers. Initially, I worried about this exact problem and Travis just told me that the speakers would "sound great because they are very efficient." Nope!


Here is the steel backing plate of the SSV Works speaker adapters installed. Fairly simple to do with a drill. This should provide good support for the woofer.

steel plate installed.jpg



The SSV Works plastic speaker surround is styled just like the sound bar so it looks like it came from the factory.

plastic speaker mount.jpg



Here is the Polk 2-way speaker installed. Unfortunately it is grossly underpowered since only 1/2 of the allotted power to this location wires up to the woofer. I really do not want to install an amp and re-wire the entire truck. Especially since it will also require wiring in an adapter to hopefully not lose functions on the head unit. I'll wait to see what type of solution Travis has at Crutchfield.

Polk installed.jpg
 
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I still have yet to hear anything from Travis at Crutchfield so I called and talked to Tech. Support and they recommended some Rockford Fosgate 6 1/2" component speakers that run on lower power and do not have crossovers so the tweeters can be wired up directly to the factory wiring with an adapter.

It looks like Rockford Fosgate and Kicker are the only companies who make speakers that are compatible with the factory wiring if you want to upgrade to a larger woofer and have a speaker grille. (The Kickers do not have much protection) I hope these sound better than the Polk speakers.

Rockford.jpeg
 
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The new Rockford speakers are here, but they forgot to send the wiring adapters for the tweeters. Doh!

RF box.jpg
 
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I got the wire adapters yesterday, but they have the same ends as the tweeters. I called Crutchfield tech support who said I could pick up connector adaptors at any hardware or stereo store.

After a morning wasted going to many stores being told I was crazy that nothing like that existed I called Crutchfield tech support back who told me this time that in fact, nothing like that existed and I would need to splice the wires. Why in the world would you even bother sending me wiring adapters if I was going to have to splice the wires anyway?!? So it looks as if a bit of wiring is on my to do list for today.

wire adapters.jpg
 
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I got all the (simple) wiring done today and cut holes in the speaker mount kits for the Rockford Fosgate tweeters. Unfortunately, the speaker grille holes to not line up with the mount kit. Crutchfield is going to send out a set of 6 3/4" grilles that should line up.

speaker mounts.jpg
 
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  • #22
I got the 6 3/4" speaker grilles and the holes do line up with the mounting kit. However, they are too thick creating a large gap between the speakers and the grilles so the speakers rattle around.

Man, I just cannot get a break with these damn speakers. I called Crutchfield again and they are sending the 6 3/4" speakers that should be back in stock Mon. to ship.

speaker grilles.jpg
 
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  • #23
My 6 3/4" speakers got bumped another week for availability so I decided to upgrade the factory headlights to Putco LED's.


There is a lot of stuff to squeeze into the tiny headlight housing so take your time and wear some thin gloves because you will invariably scrape up your hands.

LED vs. stock.jpg



These bulbs (driver's side) are significantly brighter and whiter than the stock bulbs. I thought about the factory LED package, but did not want to give up the Jeep design. The factory LED's do not seem any brighter, but they sure cost a lot more.

LED headlight.jpg



This is the Jeep face I was talking about in the headlights. If you look really close at the LED bulb behind it, you will want to make sure you have this orientation with the bulb laying flat instead of up and down or you will get some strange lighting out on the road.

Jeep face.jpg



Here you can see the LED on the driver's side lights up the road quite a bit better than stock. A worthwhile mod in my opinion.

LED's.jpg


Putco LED box.jpg
 
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  • #24
Holy backorder Batman! I have no fewer than 5 parts on backorder right now for the Jeep. This of course, includes my speakers that got delayed another week, again...
 
OP
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  • #25
While I continued to wait for the 6 3/4" Rockford component speakers to arrive I called up Crutchfield tech support for some other ideas. They thought these 4" 2 way speakers would be a good upgrade for the dash.

Unfortunately, they do not provide as much bass as the factory speakers and provide way too many highs with the "midrange" 3 1/2" speakers still on top of the dash. So these will go back to Crutchfield and I will continue to wait for the right speakers to arrive.

Rockford 2 way speakers.jpg
 

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