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      03-16-2013, 11:52 AM   #1
120d_estoril
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F20/F21 audio upgrade...my build thread with pics...

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Hello,
I thought Iíd make a bit of a diary of my audio upgrade as there seems to be limited information on the f20/21 at the moment in regards to this.

Iím afraid itís not going to be a fast flowing build with new pictures and progress every 24 hours but Iíll do my best to keep the progress moving.

I do really wish Iíd gone for the Harmon Kardon upgrade. I was umming and arrghing about it after placing the order for the car then whilst the wife and I were on holiday we decided that weíd definitely want to HK so I rang the salesman to be told the order was locked down and we couldnít amend the car. Iím pretty sure once finished the little system Iím putting together should sound better than the HK system however itíll cost quite a bit more and wonít add anything to the value of the car come re-sale as itís not a BMW option. But as we plan on keeping the car for the next 3 Ė 4 years it should give us some enjoyment along the way and hopefully go in to the new car if we stick with BMW!

First of all the tools Iíve bought to help make things a little bit easierÖ
Draper Torx kit Ė already used to remove the seat, and un-do the grill and housing!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Also a plastic trim remove to safely remove trim panels without hopefully causing any damage.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So thatís £32 in tools so far.
Iíve also ordered some new midrange and tweeters. Iíve always had a soft spot for DLS. Itís such a nice smooth sound very easy to listen to however still retaining details.
These are the speakers Iíve gone for Ö

http://dls.se/en/car/prod.html?produkt=en_923

And they Ďshouldí be a direct fit behind the tweeter housing and to the door!

These cost me £320 from Matrix Audio.

I also managed to get a good price on a DLS amplifier so got thisÖ

http://dls.se/en/car/prod.html?produkt=en_890

I paid £200 for this brand new so a nice little saving. I plan on using channels 1 & 2 to power the mids and tweeters and channels 3 and 4 to power the under seat mids.

Iíve also ordered some new tweeter housings from Cotswolds BMW.

These cost £70 however I didnít realise at the time that they came with HK tweeters fitted so I have sold them on as Iíll be using the DLS ones.

So total price for these £35.

Today I decided to remove the under seat subwoofer from the passenger side. Iíve done this as there wasnít a 100% answer with the F20/21 if an 8Ē sub would fit in the 6.5Ē sub enclosure and what depth the enclosure was.

Iím happy to clarify that the enclosure is the same as cars fitted with 8Ē under seat subs and you have approx. 3Ē to play with depth wise. To keep things straight forward Iím going to go with some earthquake SWS8 4 ohm under seat subs which Ďshouldí fit straight in to the standard enclosure. Iíve not purchased these yet as I wanted to be 100% sure theyíd fit in my enclosure.
Iíve added a couple of pictures of this if anyoneís interested although as I said at the start itís nothing too exciting unfortunately.
Sub removedÖ

An idea of the depthÖ

Cover removed showing speakerÖ

20 minutes with a heat gun and my plastic removal toolsÖ

And the speaker itself, pretty small!


Hopefully this week the speakers will arrive. I will then have a go at removing the door cards. I wonít be doing the full install myself as Iíll be fitting an audison bit ten D and donít fancy wiring it in myself so Iím going to do a few basics and will get the tweeters in and mounted and leave the rest to the experts.

Total outlay so far £587 (£7 over the HK upgrade )
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      03-16-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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      03-17-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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+1. I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses.
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      03-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
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Likewise.
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      03-18-2013, 01:50 AM   #5
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Had a hard time trying to get the sub out of its housing, gave up in the end. How did you manage? Did it require a lot of heat before the glue gave way?
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      03-18-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seb033 View Post
Had a hard time trying to get the sub out of its housing, gave up in the end. How did you manage? Did it require a lot of heat before the glue gave way?
Hi mate,

It doesn't require a lot of heat really but you ideally need a heat gun to do the job. I just started in the corner and managed to get a prying tool underneath. I then just heated around 2" sections at a time and worked the tool round to lift the glue. It is quite well secured but a 20 - 30 second blast of 'low' heat will be plenty to loosen the glue.
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      03-18-2013, 07:44 AM   #7
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Just a small update...

Amplifier arrived this morning



Apologies for the poor photo snapped it on my phone quickly whilst having a look at it.

Hopefully the speakers will turn up in the next day or two and then I can look at removal of the door panels.

Last edited by 120d_estoril; 03-18-2013 at 07:50 AM.
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      03-26-2013, 10:21 AM   #8
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Unfortunately things are moving slower than I'd like at the moment

I ordered the speakers on the 7th from the UK DLS distibutor and there still not in the UK yet from Sweden, however saying that I'm not sure I'd of done a great deal in the snow anyway

I've had confirmation that they are in transit to the distributor so hopefully by the end of the week or start of next week they'll be here and I can get started on taken the door cards off and fitting the speakers.

I've also ordered a set of SWS8 under seat subs. I've ordered them from America as even with shipping they've worked out just over £100 cheaper than the UK supplier

I like doing things properly and so decided that'll I'll braid all the cables and heatshrink them. I haven't done much yet as I need to run the cables through the rubber channels in the door before splicing them etc.

I've also got some silent coat extra sound dampening mats, some a foam gasket for the speakers. I've found someone to custom make some steel 3/4mm spacers for the subs to sit on as I've tried contacting the guy off here and had no response to PM or e-mail and I'll rather have steel spacers over plastic ones

Couple of pics just for the build diary really although again nothing exciting until the speakers rock up.

Braid...



One sides worth of cables (1 large for the mid/1 large for sub and small for tweeter)



Silent coat dampener...



More braiding...



Various sized heatshrink...



Foam gasket



Hopefully next update will be more exciting and beneficial to the members wanting to remove the door card
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      03-26-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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Amazing work.
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      03-27-2013, 04:26 AM   #10
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Nice! Can't wait to see your finished setup
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      04-08-2013, 03:45 PM   #11
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Hello.

Unfortunately I still haven't received the speakers. I was promised them Saturday and again today but still no sign but I'm promised them tomorrow although not holding my breath.

Anyway in preparation I've started running the cables along the car for when the speakers do arrive. I went for Vanne Dam Blue cable and used the 5mm stuff for the tweeters and 7mm stuff for the mids and another run of 7mm for the subs.

Took me five hours just to do the passenger side today. Had to remove a bit of trim inside the car and then drill through the block in the door to feed the cables through. It was a bit nerve wracking drilling through the block and remove the trim on a new car but everythings gone back as it should and I'm really pleased its done although I've still got the other side to do yet!!

Hopefully if the speakers turn up tomorrow I can get the door panel off and get the speakers fitted and wired up!

Only a few pics unfortunately but I promise to do a better write up for the speaker install. All cables have been braided and tied wrapped at 8" intervals.





All done!


Cables in the boot although will be hidden eventually.


Thanks for looking.
Mark
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      04-11-2013, 11:57 AM   #12
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Well my speakers have finally arrived but can you guess what the problem is....



Supposedly designed for new BMW's including the F20 model although its quite clear its not a direct swap as DLS claim!!

Anyway on to the door removal....

I had undo the two torx bolts on the lower part of the door card, you should be able to feel these if you run your hand around.

I then had to use a trim removal tool and insert it in the small hole at the bottom of the trim. With a bit of force it pops out...



Your then left with...



Another two torx bolts are in there which need removing.

You then need to take the trim off around the door lever and you'll find another torx bolt...



After that its simply a case of popping the fasteners off the door car using a bit of force and the door should work itself free. It does require a bit of encouragement to get it off and its certainly not for the faint hearted! Once off you need to unclip the door lever, and window switch and it should come fully free.

Your then left with something a little like this...



2 things to note that I didn't know....

Theres not pre-wiring for the tweeter if you only have a midrange fitted.

The actually speaker is bolted to the door itself and not to the door card like in the E 1 series.

You simply unclip the plug to the speaker and remove the three torx screws and the speaker pulls out. There is quite a big gap between the speaker and the rear of the door however the window drops very close to the back of the speaker hence to shallow mount speakers required.





New mirror housings and tweeters fitted. Fortunately these were a direct fit so pretty straight forward to install. I shall be running the speakers active in the doors.

I had to spend a good couple of hours yesterday constructing a mount out of MDF so I could use the existing holes in the door and secure the speaker to something. I have screwed and siliconed the speaker to the mount and hoping to fit it this evening should the weather stay dry.

I also fitted some silent coat sound deadening and some 35mm sound coat sound absorber to the door to make it a little more 'dead' and stop and back wave reflections.

I haven't put the door back on yet but will update later or tomorrow once its on if I don't run in to anymore problems!!

Thanks
Mark
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      04-11-2013, 03:39 PM   #13
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Great work 120d_estoril. Did you make it up as you went along or did you have insider knowledge how to remove the door card?

Either way glad to hear no broken clips or more importantly trim pieces.

Will your MDF adapter push the door card out?

Looking forward to seeing the install.
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      04-11-2013, 06:40 PM   #14
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Thanks for these updates mate... keeping an eye on this thread as I'm also planning on doing an aftermarket install.
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      04-12-2013, 12:10 AM   #15
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Unfortunately I had no knowledge on how to remove the door card apart from watching a YouTube clip on how to remove an e87 door card.

It does take quite a bit of force to undo the clips and I must say I was a little dubious at one stage. Only thing I did which was needed was to remove the window switch. This can stay fitted to the door and its a simple case of unplugging the cable once the door card is unclipped.

I didn't finish until late last night but glad to report I got the door card back on with no issues. The window goes down fine and no bulging of the door card as the MDF was actually 2mm thinner than the 14mm plastic oem mount.

You can't tell anything has been done now the door cards refitted apart from the harmon kardon housing for the tweeter although this is a factory option and the look I wanted to achieve. I hooked up my hi fi amp to quickly try the speakers last night before putting the door panel on and already even without the undeseat mid bass fitted it sounds much nicer and a lot clearer than what I had before.

It should sound even better with both sides done and the bass drivers fitted as these are set to play to 200hz via the cross over. Apologies for lack of photos I was against the time/light last night and wanted to get the door put back together.

Thanks again
Mark
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      04-15-2013, 03:05 PM   #16
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Just another small update...managed to fit the cross overs today in the boot.



The wood is straight although I had to shave a little off the back to fit the contour of the boot so from the picture it doesn't look straight. I may paint it black or cover it up eventually but it shouldn't be seen - which is the idea.

Cover back on.

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      04-16-2013, 05:22 AM   #17
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Hey 120_estoril,

I've been reading with interest on the work you're doing in upgrading your speakers and have to say how impressive this is to watch and really do appreciate the updates you're providing. Is there much risk of excessive heat build-up with the gear in the back section of the car?
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      04-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #18
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Thanks buddy :-)

I don't think the cross overs produce any heat as they basically take the signal and just send the correct frequencies to the respective driver.

In the past I've known people wrap the crossovers in foam and mount them in the door however I didn't really fancy having them rattling around in the door so put them in the boot as it should be easier/better in every way apart from requiring 2 runs of cable as opposed to one from the crossover to amp.

The actual part of the boot I've used to mount the crossovers is where the factory amp would be placed if I had upgraded the system at the time of ordering. I'm pretty sure even if Class D the amp would produce a slight amount of heat and certainly more than a cross over.

I will be mounting the amp on the rear of the seat I think. Don't really want to but its quite a big amp so not going to have much choice. It should be the only visible piece of kit that doesn't like OEM.

Thanks again
Mark
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      04-16-2013, 10:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 120d_estoril View Post
The actual part of the boot I've used to mount the crossovers is where the factory amp would be placed if I had upgraded the system at the time of ordering. I'm pretty sure even if Class D the amp would produce a slight amount of heat and certainly more than a cross over.

The H/K amp is mounted in the side of the boot behind the warning triangle/first aid kit cover. It looks like from your pics you mounted the cross overs on the of the floor boot? (could be the angle). That's where my combox is.

Maybe worth seeing if you can mount it there? Although the H/K amp is pretty small, not sure how it compares to yours size wise.

Also worth noting is there are quite a few holes in the boot lining under the sides of the parcel shelf where the H/K system has its speakers, might be worth doing the same thing with your lining if you're planning on putting speakers there.

Last edited by diesel20; 04-16-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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      04-16-2013, 11:45 AM   #20
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Thanks Diesel, I thought thats where the amp was mounted but you're right its a combox.

The amp is quite big although if I cam fit it out of sight I'll be over the moon.

Full of man flu at the moment so no progress now for a few days. :-(
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      04-17-2013, 03:50 AM   #21
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Thanks 120_estoril, wasn't sure if they did or not. So much effort but looks like it will be well worth it. Enjoy it mate.

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      04-19-2013, 12:37 PM   #22
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New underseat mid bass drivers are here although I need to get a spacer made up for them to fit....

A quick picture to show the size difference!

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