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Technic DIY Files: Center speaker OEM mount installation/replacement
Published by Technic
01-17-2011
Technic DIY Files: Center speaker OEM mount installation/replacement

All E9x 3-Series have a center speaker mount on the top of the dash for a center speaker.

In 3-Series with the optional Individual Audio, Logic7 or Harman Kardon systems a center speaker, wiring and a grill trim will be installed from factory. In 3-Series with the standard HiFi or Stereo systems there will be no center speaker, wiring or grill trim installed.

This DIY will show the parts needed to either add or replace your OEM center speaker with an aftermarket coaxial and the labor process.

1. Remove center dash vent:



Using a trim tool, carefully pry the vent trim from the side opposite the windshield.

2. Remove speaker mount:





There will be 4 Torx T-20 screws holding the speaker mount to the dash. Remove speaker (3 Phillips screws) after removing the mount, it is easier.

Shown in photos: OEM coaxial center speaker in the Individual Audio system and OEM connector harness.

You either will have an OEM speaker and the connecting harness there or not depending on your OEM sound system (see above). But you will have the OEM mount trim regardless if there is an OEM speaker there or not.

3. Replacing the OEM center speaker with aftermarket:





In this photo (left to right) there are the front door OEM mid, the OEM center coaxial and a Vibe Slick 4 aftermarket coaxial for comparison. The Slick 4 was chosen for it audio specs, fitment in the OEM screw holes, quality of its build and materials and for its less than 50mm mounting depth.





This is the Slick 4 installed in the OEM mount; there are three OEM mounting screws in this trim. The Slick 4 built in basket has 4 detachable screw mounting tabs, one at each corner. Two tabs are cut and the Slick 4 is just pushed into the mount, secured by two OEM screws and one screw with a wide washer in the third OEM screw hole so that side of the Slick 4 is secured.

Nothing else is required to mount this particular speaker.

4. Install of new coaxial center speaker:







Using the included connectors of the Slick 4 and the OEM connector that matches the existing OEM socket in the dash, the Slick 4 is connected to the OEM center harness without cutting, tapping or splicing any OEM wires. Test the speaker response after plugging it into the OEM harness but before reinstalling the whole assembly.

The whole assembly then is installed in reverse order from the removal process.

This center speaker install/replacement is particularly effective when a DSP processor (MS-8, bit one.1, 3SIXTY.2) is installed so there will be an extra "ambience" in the frontstage.

Parts used:

- aftermarket coaxial
- OEM center speaker grill:



P/N 51 45 7 123 750 for iDrive dash (double scoop, bottom grill in photo)
P/N 51 45 7 123 749 for non-iDrive dash (single scoop, top grill in photo)

- OEM mounting bracket (if needed, there should be already installed in your dash) P/N 51 45 7 123 751
- OEM speaker connector housing P/N: 61 13 8 373 583
- OEM speaker housing pins: P/N 61 13 0 005 198

Contact your local dealer for prices.
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  #1  
By dc5_champ88 on 01-18-2011, 11:40 AM
how does it sound?
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  #2  
By syl2us on 01-18-2011, 02:19 PM
did you replace all speakers or just that one?
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  #3  
By Technic on 01-18-2011, 06:21 PM
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I did not replace my OEM Individual Audio center speaker with this Slick 4. This DIY is to show how to install a center speaker in the existing OEM mount.

By the way, that Slick 4 sounds pretty good as a center speaker and could be a great replacement as a rear deck speaker.
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  #4  
By Autopsy on 01-18-2011, 06:27 PM
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Looking at the speaker grill on my car, it's solid in the middle section instead of the speaker screen in your pictures. I wonder if it means I don't have the center speaker. Would there be wires then? Without the wires, I think I'll give it up. :sigh

My car is 2011 335i made in late Sept last year with standard audio.
Last edited by Autopsy; 01-18-2011 at 07:04 PM.
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  #5  
By Technic on 01-18-2011, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autopsy View Post
Looking at the speaker grill on my car, it's solid in the middle section instead of the speaker screen in your pictures. I wonder if it means I don't have the center speaker. Would there be wires then? Without the wires, I think I'll give it up. :sigh

My car is 2011 335i made in late Sept last year with standard audio.
There's no center speaker/wiring installed in your car as your system is not Harman Kardon, as stated in the DIY.

What is installed in your car is the standard center speaker mount.
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  #6  
By Autopsy on 01-18-2011, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
There's no center speaker/wiring installed in your car as your system is not Harman Kardon, as stated in the DIY.

What is installed in your car is the standard center speaker mount.
Thanks. Kind of disappointing.

Why do they go over the trouble of installing the mount at all.

Just to tease me?

Have been looking for some easy and quick upgrades. Thought could have done this one.
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  #7  
By Technic on 01-18-2011, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autopsy View Post
Thanks. Kind of disappointing.

Why do they go over the trouble of installing the mount at all.

Just to tease me?

Have been looking for some easy and quick upgrades. Thought could have done this one.
The mount also serves as the vents bracket.

To have a center channel also means that you would need a processor that can provide the correct center channel information and a dedicated amplifier channel for it. So you would need more than just a center speaker, grill and the wires... easy, quick or cheap it won't be.

You could replace your OEM amp with a MS-8 processor and then you could install a center speaker there.
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  #8  
By wagonmeister on 01-19-2011, 04:12 PM
This is great info. I had been looking for a cheaper option for the center, but i was not sure what i could make to fit the three hole configuration. I have not been able to find this slick 4 in stock online however, i see a slick 40-v2, but it does not have the removeable screw tabs. Does the slick really sound good versus the IA speaker?
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  #9  
By wagonmeister on 01-19-2011, 04:13 PM
also, does either the slick or IA speaker run well off the ms-8 18 watts?
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  #10  
By Technic on 01-19-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmeister View Post
This is great info. I had been looking for a cheaper option for the center, but i was not sure what i could make to fit the three hole configuration. I have not been able to find this slick 4 in stock online however, i see a slick 40-v2, but it does not have the removeable screw tabs. Does the slick really sound good versus the IA speaker?
It sounds pretty good actually, although slightly lower in volume than the OEM. The Individual Audio speakers are very sensitive and matched to the OEM amp, so this was expected. However, they should sound great with an aftermarket amp/system by adjusting its level separately, something that I cannot do obviously with the OEM amp.
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  #11  
By Technic on 01-19-2011, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmeister View Post
also, does either the slick or IA speaker run well off the ms-8 18 watts?
I have not tested that combo yet.
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  #12  
By koreez88 on 01-19-2011, 08:21 PM
I have 2011 sound system with harman kardon sound. Could you please test it out for us and crank the bass up with the volume, see if it would rattle the dash at all?
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  #13  
By Technic on 01-20-2011, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koreez88 View Post
I have 2011 sound system with harman kardon sound. Could you please test it out for us and crank the bass up with the volume, see if it would rattle the dash at all?
I don't have the Harman Kardon system, and a center speaker should not play any meaningful bass (<80Hz in the best case) anyways.
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  #14  
By wagonmeister on 01-20-2011, 01:06 PM
One last question. Is the 50mm mounting depth mentioned on the slick 4 really a requirement for the center channel? I did not think mounting depth was a limit here.
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  #15  
By wagonmeister on 01-20-2011, 05:05 PM
Ok, one more question. I haved been scared away from some coaxials because of the protruding tweeter. It looks like in the pictures above that both of these speakers have tweeters that extend past the cone. Is this kinda tight once you put the cover on? or is there lots of room for a tweeter that sticks out a ways?
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  #16  
By Technic on 01-20-2011, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmeister View Post
One last question. Is the 50mm mounting depth mentioned on the slick 4 really a requirement for the center channel? I did not think mounting depth was a limit here.
In the case of my iDrive I can see that there is a piece of plastic (probably part of the ducts) close to the OEM center speaker magnet when installed if I remove the screen to see. So to avoid any possible issues a 50mm limit is conservative.
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  #17  
By Technic on 01-20-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmeister View Post
Ok, one more question. I haved been scared away from some coaxials because of the protruding tweeter. It looks like in the pictures above that both of these speakers have tweeters that extend past the cone. Is this kinda tight once you put the cover on? or is there lots of room for a tweeter that sticks out a ways?
No, the cover have plenty of space between the tweeter and the grill.
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  #18  
By wagonmeister on 01-26-2011, 07:15 PM
i just thought of this, do i need to go get oem scews for my center channel? I see you have a different screw here for the vibe. Thanks for the answers.
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  #19  
By Technic on 01-26-2011, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmeister View Post
i just thought of this, do i need to go get oem scews for my center channel? I see you have a different screw here for the vibe. Thanks for the answers.
Either OEM or Home Depo-equivalent...
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  #20  
By wagonmeister on 01-26-2011, 09:47 PM
do you happen to know what kind it is? I am guessing i would need to take the oem to home depot to find the equivalent, but i don't have one.
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  #21  
By Technic on 01-27-2011, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmeister View Post
do you happen to know what kind it is? I am guessing i would need to take the oem to home depot to find the equivalent, but i don't have one.
P/N 07149172104 at your dealer.
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