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Old 03-02-2014, 09:51 PM   #1
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Where's my 6th speaker?

I couldn't be the only one since a majority of floor plans have a galley or cabinet behind the driver's seat. My 95 RB10 has 5 speakers, 2 in front doors, 2 in rear doors, and one on the R side forward barn door. I'd like to add a sixth speaker but I'm curious if anyone knows if SMB just left the wire in place behind the left panel (behind the driver's seat)? I have my cabinet out and will be investigating, but I'm curious what others have found. I wonder why they wouldn't just put that 6th speaker somewhere on the left side of the van to even it out, I mean, if the van came from Ford with 5 speakers it most likely had the 6th.
I did wire up a new radio (thanks SDwindandsea) yesterday and there are 4 +/- leads out of the head unit, meaning there is an amp/junction box or the like somewhere downstream from the head unit separating the rear 2 speaker lines in to 4.

??
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:02 PM   #2
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

Yep, I got five as well. If I were to guess they may have put one in each side barn door. I did have SMB put a woofer in the back but am satisfied with 5. What I'd like to have are some outdoor speakers or at least a jack to plug some speakers into.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:03 PM   #3
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
I couldn't be the only one since a majority of floor plans have a galley or cabinet behind the driver's seat. My 95 RB10 has 5 speakers, 2 in front doors, 2 in rear doors, and one on the R side forward barn door. I'd like to add a sixth speaker but I'm curious if anyone knows if SMB just left the wire in place behind the left panel (behind the driver's seat)? I have my cabinet out and will be investigating, but I'm curious what others have found. I wonder why they wouldn't just put that 6th speaker somewhere on the left side of the van to even it out, I mean, if the van came from Ford with 5 speakers it most likely had the 6th.
I did wire up a new radio (thanks SDwindandsea) yesterday and there are 4 +/- leads out of the head unit, meaning there is an amp/junction box or the like somewhere downstream from the head unit separating the rear 2 speaker lines in to 4.

??
When I went to upgrade my system, what I found was that the stock Ford speaker in the barn door was not hooked up. Probably for the reasons you mention above wrt to the leads out of the HU. For lack of a place (and for fidelity reasons) to install a speaker on the driver's side opposite the barn door, I left it as it was.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:14 PM   #4
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

Mine is hooked up, I have 5 working speakers, but no 6th. I have had two club wagons with 6 speakers and they both had only one left and right rear lead out of the head unit but 2 speakers on each side in the rear, so I know Ford uses some kind of junction box in the rear to separate the two rears in to 4.

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Old 03-03-2014, 01:03 AM   #5
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

Both pairs of rear speakers are paralleled together. The radio harness is in the driver's B-pillar, and that's where the mids and rear split. Also just an FYI - The radio harness has an open connector taped to it (12-pin maybe?). This is for a rear radio control panel. Ford offered it through '96, but the wiring is in all vans AFAIK. Mine has it. Even though it's a rare option in the E-series, most of Ford's (and Nissan) minivans had the rear controls if you interested in pulling one from a salvage donor. The rear control panel even has headphone jacks.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:39 AM   #6
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

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Originally Posted by carringb
Both pairs of rear speakers are paralleled together. The radio harness is in the driver's B-pillar, and that's where the mids and rear split. Also just an FYI - The radio harness has an open connector taped to it (12-pin maybe?). This is for a rear radio control panel. Ford offered it through '96, but the wiring is in all vans AFAIK. Mine has it. Even though it's a rare option in the E-series, most of Ford's (and Nissan) minivans had the rear controls if you interested in pulling one from a salvage donor. The rear control panel even has headphone jacks.
Thanks CarringB. That's what I thought, because my 92 Chateau had that feature. Not really interested in the rear control panel since the kids all have their own devices these days, but I'm definitely hoping to add my 6th speaker from there.

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Old 03-03-2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

Can't help with the wiring, but here's what I did. Upgraded the dash to a 2-din head unit, new front door speakers with tweets in the windshield column, amp behind the dash, new rear door speakers for back end fill, and a powered amp that fits behind the drivers seat.

I then put a new speaker in the barn door and one under the couch and these are hooked up to a small 1-din head unit mounted above the kitchen cabinets. This is hooked up to the house batteries. We use it in camp and in the van for light music use instead of the full on in dash system that sucks a lot of power.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

I do kind of like the side to back speakers being two different channels. For a 50 model and being by myself most of the time I get more of a stereo feeling. I don't really listen to music unless driving or out of the van and how it's set up seems fine, but the front to back stereo sound is nice when watching a DVD and creates a nice surround type sound while sitting at the couch. I'm sure something better could be setup but I just have other irons in the fire. BTW I did add a switch to the subwoofer. Way too much bass watching a video and killing the amp helps conserve battery reserves.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:54 PM   #9
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

As CarringB and others noted, Some Ford vans (including my 98 XLT RV-prep cargo van) came stock wired for six speakers run by the OEM headunit. Two in front on their own channel, and two in the middle wired in parallel with two in the rear doors. I've seen the six-speaker setup on Club Wagons. On my van and most others missing the driver-side, middle speaker, the harness is in the B-pillar.

You can tell if the center and rears are wired in parallel by using the fader on your headnunit. Simply fade all the way to the rear and see if the center speakers are also still playing. If so, they are wired in parallel with the rear.

When I put in an aftermarket Kenwood in my van I ran into the aforementioned impedance issues. Sometimes when I turn the volume up the sound breaks up or distorts. I couldn't figure out what was causing it until I turned off the barn door speaker and all of a sudden everything was fine. Somehow the OEM headunit was set up to handle the impedance issues caused by wiring the rear speakers in parallel, but aftermarket headunits can have problems with the changed impedance.

When I replaced the speakers in my van with aftermarket ones, I added a small rocker switch to turn the barn door speaker on/off easily (see link to thread below). I did this mainly to allow that speaker to be turned off if my son was sitting in the second-row captain's chair and sleeping or whatnot. The side benefit is that it easily allowed me to test and see that the middle speaker was causing the issues with the sound on my headunit. Speaker on + high volume = distortion. Speaker off = no issues.

I still haven't figured out a way to solve this issue, other than 1) not turning the stereo up to much, or 2) turning off the middle speaker. I've asked an EE friend to help me with this, so maybe he'll have some good ideas. I'm thinking maybe adding a resistor or something might help. But what do I know. I was an English major.

By the way, with the new Kenwood headunit and some nice Sony/Infinity/Kenwood speakers installed, the van sounds great! Didn't even need to add an amp or a subwoofer. Moving the speakers out of the rear doors and into the SMB rear cabinets made a huge improvement.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9377

See also this related thread on the Ford truck forum:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/11981 ... grade.html
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:03 PM   #10
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Re: Where's my 6th speaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW
I still haven't figured out a way to solve this issue, other than 1) not turning the stereo up to much, or 2) turning off the middle speaker. I've asked an EE friend to help me with this, so maybe he'll have some good ideas. I'm thinking maybe adding a resistor or something might help. But what do I know. I was an English major.
You probably just need a dedicated amp for the 4 rear speakers. The new head-unit just isn't putting out enough watts. Or you could change to 8-ohm speakers (like most home audio speakers), but I think and amp would give the best overall improvement.
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