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  #1  
Old 11-12-2006, 08:16 PM
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How to: Upgrade sound system

Ok, so your stock sound system is not good anymore... You'd like to upgrade it to something better... I upgraded mine 2 weeks ago and had to search on a few threads in order to gather all the info I needed to get it done. It is failry easy to get the whole job done, but make sure you have some time ahead! The whole process should take about 2-3 hours!

I thought it might be a good idea to make a thread about upgrading the MINI sound system. So here it goes! Please note that my MINI is a 2003 Cooper S and 2005 & onward can be different, especially for the front door panels & center console downtubes...

Let's start with the headunit:
1- Remove the 4 screws holding the downtubes (2 on each side). Those are Torx screws.
2- You can remove them by pushing the downtube down and pulling them toward the rear of the car. They should come off fairly easily.
3- There are 4 screws holding the headunit. Remove them and the headunit should come off. Pull it and remove the antenna plug and the wiring plug. The wiring plug has a lock system that you need to pull down in order to get it off. It will be obvious once you get the headunit pulled off.

Here is a picture to help you:
Click the image to open in full size.

Here is the MINI headunit wiring diagram... If you want to cut the stock wires and plug them into the aftermarket headunit, you will need it! I did cut the stock wires...
Click the image to open in full size.

Now, for the front speakers:
1- Remove the 3 screws you can see in the door panel.
2- There is a 4th screw hidden behind the door's reflector. Remove the reflector using a flat screwdriver (pull if from the bottom of the reflector, this is the only place the reflector has not tab)
3- Unscrew that bolt behind the reflector.
4- Pull the door panel and make sure that once you reach the top of the panel, you pull gently enough to only clear the door lock. Then, move it upward and you can remove the door panel.
5- Remove the speaker and install you new one. The wire with a brown stripe is the negative!

Here is a picture to assist you:
Click the image to open in full size.


The "involving" rear speakers install:
1- Open the trunk (Doh lol)
2- Fold both rear seats.
3- Unscrewthe bolt between the seats. (see pictures below)
4- Begin by removing the rearseat behind the driver's side. It is very important to begin with this one! To remove it, pull it to a 45degree angle and pull it up from the center. Then pull it to the right and it will come off.
5- Do the same thing for the passenger seat.
6- Remove the bottom part of the rearseat but pulling it from its edge. Them pull it toward the front and it will come off.
7- Remove the center panel of the trunk. It is held by 3 clips. See pictures for location. Use some priers to remove the center part of the clip and then remove the surrounding part.
8- Gently pull that panel upward to remove it. It is held by 4 clips and should come off fairly easy.
9- Unscrew the 4 bolts (2 on each side) of the side panels. (see picture)
10- Pull gently on the side moldings and they will come off. They are held with clips and require a bit of elbow grease!
** remove the trunk's light... **
11- Make sure that every clip are still on the panels. You can remove the remaining clips from the car and install them back on the panel. It is not necessary to unscrew the rear's seatbelts. Just move them out of the way as you are pulling the panels off.
12- You can now access the rear speakers. The brown striped wires are the negative.
** If you are planning on installing a subwoofer and amplifier, this is the time to run the necessary wires!! **
13- Reinstall the panels. The rearseats should be installed backward. Start with the passenger-side seat and then the driver's one... Fold them to a 45 degree angle to get them into the side brackets!
Here is a picture:
Click the image to open in full size.


If you have any questions, feel free to PM me or ask it on this thread!

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  #2  
Old 11-27-2006, 08:10 AM
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great info! any pics of the speaker locations with panels removed? Also, what size for the front speakers? I'm getting a range of info from EAS's 5.25 to Crutchfield's 6.75".
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2007, 01:22 PM
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Speaker sizes...

Rears are 6x9 Fronts are 5.25

I put 6.5 Alpine SPX-177R in all 4 locations. The doors were a bit tricky. I had to remove the factory H/K grills and mount the speaker to the door panel for clearance. This means cutting out a big hole in the door panel. For the tweeters I cut the screen out from the back by removing the small plastic X bars and used the resulting hole to house the bucket for the tweeter allowing me to aim them better.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:43 AM
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ummm your guide is great but i ran into a real problem on my 2004 mini cooper i can't get to the torx screw on the top left the plastic cover under the steering wheel is in the way

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laggy View Post
ummm your guide is great but i ran into a real problem on my 2004 mini cooper i can't get to the torx screw on the top left the plastic cover under the steering wheel is in the way
That little plastic part swings down towards the floor. Hinges are on the side closest to the pedals.

Just slip your hand through the gap under the wheel if give it a little pounce. It'll pop right down.
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:26 PM
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:40 PM
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I was planning on doing a lot with my car stereo, but I have the navigation system in mine - which I think excludes me from messing too much with the head unit. Anyone know how many watts the stock head unit in a 2006 Mini puts out? I think I'm going to need to find some very efficient speakers to replace the stock ones.

Tony
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2007, 10:01 PM
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Stats

Head unit (made by Alpine, if what I've read is true) puts out 15W per channel, though it's commonly thought that that number is generous. Stock speakers (non-H/K) are fairly efficient; both are around 91dB, IIRC (paper cones and foam surrounds, though). They run at 5 ohms, though 4-ohm speakers work fine with the stock system partially because the stock speaker wiring is pretty stout and will handle fairly high speaker current.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2007, 07:37 AM
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HU's in the US models are made by Alpine (Boost version). However, the version in the GP is made by Siemens VDO.

If you have NAV, chaning the HU will cause you to loose your voice. Mikey at www.newministuff.com has a solution, but it is not the best and only plays out of the right side speaker.

If you have HK, upgrading the radio can still be done, but you will need the HK Enabler that Mikey sells. Speaker swaps with HK are a little harder as they are 2 Ohm speakers....
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2007, 02:08 PM
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The one thing you should not do is have the Dealer install a Digital Power Sound Module. Mine shorts out after every heavy rain. It screams static even when turned off (Radio and Amp.). Back at "A" (not the dealer who installed it) dealer as I write this.
Comming up on six weeks in the shop in the last year.
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2007, 06:13 PM
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Update having my Digital Power Sound Modul uninstalled. The problem seems to be that I want a refund ($2200). I am ready to go to the lien holder and my States Attorney General for help getting the Car declared a Lemon.
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:58 AM
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Hey guys, I've got a subwoofer and amp sitting idle that I've offered to install in my friend's 05 R50. The stereo is whatever comes stock.
Is there a subwoofer out on the back of the stereo?

also, what's the best method for the rest of the wiring necessary for the sub/amp?

Any help is appreciated.

Cheers
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandmanxx View Post
Hey guys, I've got a subwoofer and amp sitting idle that I've offered to install in my friend's 05 R50. The stereo is whatever comes stock.
Is there a subwoofer out on the back of the stereo?

also, what's the best method for the rest of the wiring necessary for the sub/amp?

Any help is appreciated.

Cheers
Nope. No sub-out in the back, you'll have to snag it at line level.

The R50 is a little trickier then the R53 since the battery is under the bonnet instead of conveniently located in the back.

I believe you'll have to put a little hole in the firewall between the engine bay and the interior and snake the power line through that. I hooked the switching power up to the acc./lighter plug in the boot. Grounding can happen in multiple places, just look for the brown wires.

As far as amp location goes, I have mine sitting on my sub box in the boot. Others have put it under the passenger seat.

Another consideration is to find out if your friend has the H/K system or not. If he/she does then be sure to snag the line level post-H/K amp and not from any of the lines between the HU and the h/k amp.
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:56 AM
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completed with great success! I found a hi to low out converter so that I could use the low RCA ins on the amp. check any car toys or car audio shop for one.

as for going through the firewall, I found a grommet with a large bundle of wires a bit above the steering column, which came through on the engine side just behind the battery. I poked an additional small hole in the grommet (no way to sneak the wire past in the existing hole).

ran all the wires down the sideboards and over the tray for the back seats. did the remote lead (to turn the amp on and off) into the cigarette lighter in the boot.

very nice... ya'll have a very well-built automobile!
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2007, 07:41 AM
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Has anyone taken out the back seat altogether and built a platform? I want to remove the rear seat, build a deck or platform, install an amp and speaker enclosure but leav the back alone so I can get to the battery and have some storage. Planning on replacing the head unit also...start out fresh.
Thanks
Jim
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redmini04 View Post
Has anyone taken out the back seat altogether and built a platform? I want to remove the rear seat, build a deck or platform, install an amp and speaker enclosure but leav the back alone so I can get to the battery and have some storage. Planning on replacing the head unit also...start out fresh.
Thanks
Jim
Search "rear seat delete".

Click the image to open in full size.
(sorry. i had to. it hasn't been out in a while)

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com...ar+seat+delete

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com...ar+seat+delete

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com...ar+seat+delete
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:35 AM
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Hey does this work if I have the H/K system? I was told that I cant just replace speakers and that I need to change all of the wiring and everything...is this true?
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for the great write-up. Does anyone have any specific info regarding
the install for a single 10" sub in the trunk? I have the sub and amp, now I just
need to know how/where/which wires to connect the sub amp to

THX!
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bav_m_pwr View Post
Thanks for the great write-up. Does anyone have any specific info regarding
the install for a single 10" sub in the trunk? I have the sub and amp, now I just
need to know how/where/which wires to connect the sub amp to

THX!
10" no.

12" Yes. (close enough, right?)

http://www.geekshocker.com/Claire/audio/ampInstall.php

.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:08 AM
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Alright, so my upgraded sound system is going to happen this month. I was kind of disappointed with the lack of pictures with the pieces I am going to be removing off of the car so I am going to photo document the process to the point of being a little ridiculous and I'll post any pictures I think will be more helpful. NOT that this thread isn't helpful. By all means if I didn't have this thread I would be doing this in the dark, but I think more pictures are in order.

By the way, I am going to be replacing the front and rear speakers (but not the tweeters) and adding a 6.5" bazooka powered sub. I'm also replacing the head unit and installing the auto up circuit that I bought from Ian. Does anyone have any last minute advice that might save me any time or money?

I'm ordering my speakers from crutchfield (already have the head unit and sub from my old car). I'm also ordering a wiring harness and an adapter for the new head unit. From what I measured and read about aftermarket head units don't quite fill in all the gaps. Again, I'll take many pictures and post any that I think are relevant. Thanks for all the information.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:11 PM
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Good Luck Reflections '83. Wish I had some advice for you. I am glad that I can reuse my 6x9 speakers in the MINI (just got the MINI and gutted the old car) so I can't wait to get my system going.
Be sure to post back and let us know how it sounds.

Hithisismat, I was told the same thing you were told. I'm still trying to find out for sure though, I was told, it's a digital system, you would need to replace everything including wiring, and bla bla bla.
I haven't decided yet if that means it's going to be a pain in the *** or a fun project for a saturday yet, but I'll let you know when I know.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:31 PM
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Well, I did install the sound system however I was pretty strapped for time on the day of the install and took about zero pictures. I feel like an *** from what I posted before but what are you going to do. I must say the 6x9's in the rear were by far the easiest to replace. I didn't do them exactly as was posted in here though. Crutchfield suggested pulling just the seat bottom out, and removing only the front portion of the side panels and holding them out of the way while changing out the speakers. I found this method to be very simple.

My main problems with the intstall was the remote turn on wiring for the sub and head unit which had to be wired to a stock wire behind the original factory wiring harness. The fuse box was what I used in my Mazda for that stuff but that did not seem to work well with my MINI.

Overall I'd have to say the system sounds pretty good. I can't turn it up bone jarringly loud without some distortion but I can get it loud enough to make the rearview mirror blur from vibration and get looks from people who didn't think they were going to listen to any metal that day.

If anyone is thinking about installing just speakers though I would say it is definitely worth your time, the stock ones are so bad it makes you wonder why they even put them in there.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:09 PM
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But the Stock Speakers Are PREMIUM! $550 upgrade! How can they bad bad?? jking LOL
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Old 05-21-2008, 04:53 PM
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Is the stock HK wiring / pin-outs the same as the diagram provided by the OP? If so, which pins would provide a "mute" function?

I have a car kit cradle that I want to install. It has a function available that can mute the radio when receiving a phone call, but needs a connection on the HU that will mute the radio.

Thanks

Al
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:32 AM
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great thread for my upcoming disposable income!

any pics of installed Pioneer's? I curious about the look of the adapter ring.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:32 AM
 
 
 
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