Audio system upgrade on a 1995 Saab 900 SE convertible. The goal of this project was to improve the sound in the car. I kept the factory head unit because it has a reasonable sound quality, integrates with the SID and has a nice stock look. The remaining components were, however, replaced completely - new speakers, new wiring and a more powerful four-channel amplifier.

The job was done as a part of the car rebuild, so the interior is shown partially stripped. For dash removal and other interior disassembly issues refer to other documents.

15.07.2006
Front speakers

Infinity Reference 6010cs component speakers. The tweeters will go up on the dash, and the woofers are a perfect match for the factory 6½" mounting locations in the doors.
15.07.2006
Rear speakers

Infinity Reference 9613i three-way speakers. These 9x6" speakers were purchased to hatchback specifications, but I'm hoping to fit them instead of the 5¼" factory speakers in the rear.
15.07.2006
Amplifier

Infinity Reference 7541a four-channel amplifier. This should have the power to produce a sufficient volume at highway speeds with the roof down, and has just the right size to fit into the ski pass-through.
15.07.2006
Wiring kit

An amplifier wiring kit from eBay. It contains shielded interconnects, 12 gauge OFC speaker wire, 4 gauge power lines, fuses, connectors, wire ties and everything else you will need to rewire your stereo.
06.08.2006
Interconnects

The head unit has a proper pre-amp output. A DIN-8 jack might be hard to locate, but I was fortunate to find a female connector that plugs right into the factory amplifier cable. Solder it to the interconnect cable, you will need the four channels and the "amp turn-on" signal. Most interconnects will already come with an integrated turn-on wire.
06.08.2006
Stock amp

If you have an SE model, it will come with an external 40 Watt amplifier. It has three harnesses connected to it: a DIN-8 cable from the head unit, door speaker wires and power. Keep the wiring and remove the amp. They are in demand since these SE audio kits (amplifier and door speakers) cost good money at the dealer. Consider selling it to a fellow Saab owner.
06.08.2006
Connected

Plug the interconnects into the DIN-8 jack and route the cable to your preferred amplifier location.
06.08.2006
Door harness

The doors have a fancy weather-proof harness for all electrical wiring, so there's no way to feed a new speaker cable through. The only option is to use factory wiring.
06.08.2006
Speaker wire

It looks like a good idea to keep the original connectors. If they don't fit your speakers, splice into the wires or use a short extention cable.
06.08.2006
Door speaker

The 6½" speakers fit perfectly into the factory mounting brackets. There's more than enough room inside the door, so don't worry about your speakers being too deep.
06.08.2006
Adapters

Small tweeters obviously won't mount that easily into the 3½" speaker socket up on the dash. I cut a pair of plastic adapters using an old speaker as a template. Some manufacturers offer similar plates with their speaker mounting kits.
06.08.2006
Tweeter

Tweeter on the dash. The Infinity kit came with a clever mount that allowed to rotate the speakers and tilt them forward for better sound stage positioning.
06.08.2006
Crossover

There's just enough rooms to fit the crossovers under the tweeters so you won't have to extend short tweeter wires.
06.08.2006
Crossover

Connect all the speaker wires and secure the crossovers so they don't rattle. I found it convenient to zip-tie them to the air vents.
06.08.2006
Harness

Feed the woofer leads from the crossovers and plug them into the old door speaker harness that used to be connected to the factory amplifier.
08.08.2006
New vs old

The rear speakers presented a challenge, since my replacements were almost twice as big as the originals.
08.08.2006
Template

A paper template attached to the side panel shows that the magnets won't fit into the old hole, and some of the metal has to be trimmed.
08.08.2006
Hole cut

A couple of minutes with heavy duty Dremel cut-off wheels gets the job done. Prime and paint the cut to prevent the rust from spreading.
08.08.2006
Supports

Due to the way the speaker should be tilted, all the support brackets should have a different length. I used some basic Home Depot parts and cut them to size.
08.08.2006
Rear speaker

The rear speaker is mounted securely. It was a tight fit with the panel cover, but it did fit with no struggle. I just had to trim some foam inside the panel cover.
08.08.2006
Positive cable

The power for the amplifier has to come directly from the battery. Route the cable to the battery and install a fuse matching the current specified for your amplifier.
08.08.2006
Firewall

The rubber grommet by the driver side strut tower looks like a perfect spot to pass the cable through the firewall. This picture shows how to remove the fuse box that hides the grommet.
08.08.2006
Cable routing

Route the cable down to the floor and further back along the door sill.
08.08.2006
Cables

There's a grounding point on the driver side rear panel - a great location to hook up the negative cable for the amplifier.
08.08.2006
Amplifier

Mount the amplifier (mine was a perfect size for the ski pass-through) and connect all the wires.
08.08.2006
Connected

Bolt the positive cable to the battery and turn the system on. Enjoy your music!

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