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33 Engineering
5¼" Speaker Adapter Plates for TJ

By Mike "TXJEEPER" Cohn

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33 Engineering adapter and Infinity Kappa speakerOne thing's for sure. Once you start building up your Jeep Wrangler (TJ), it will get louder. Even if you don't build it up but use it for trails, the squeaks and pop will increase, making it more and more difficult to hear your stock stereo. Not only that, but if you leave your top down a lot and leave the doors out, the sun, rain and dust will find its way into your stock, paper-coned speakers and they will deteriorate over time. You will eventually want to upgrade your speakers.

Our Project TJ is over six years old and our speakers were tired - really tired. Not only that, but when we built our new roll cage we removed the sound bar. So what was left were two old speakers in the dash that had seen better days. It was time for a change.

There are plenty of aftermarket stereo options out there to choose from but we wanted to do a simple swap. We didn't want to put in a competition stereo or anything like that. We just wanted some new speakers. The stock TJ speakers are 4" x 6" which do not have as many options for replacement as, say a 5 1/4" speaker. Also, many people believe that a circular speaker sounds better than an oval-shaped one. The problem is, you cannot mount a 5 1/4" speaker in a TJ dash - at least without doing some work.

The guys at the Offroad Toy Store have already figured all this out, though, and have made a bracket kit that installs easily and will allow you to mount most 5 1/4" speakers. Now under the name 33 Engineering, the brackets are simple in design and run a mere $25.99, which to us was seems well worth the money compared to engineering a bracket ourselves.

Kappa Specifications
Retail Price: $169.95 pair
Power - RMS: 55 Watts
Power - Peak: 165 Watts
Frequency Response (±3dB):
      55Hz – 21kHz
Sensitivity: 90dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
In addition to the brackets, we also ordered a set of Infinity Kappa 52.3i speakers. The Kappas sell for about $130 at offroadtoystore.com and are capable of handling 55 Watts. They are a multi-element design, featuring a separate tweeter and a computer-optimized, voice-matched, passive, external crossover. Because of the tweeters, high-end (treble) extends all the way up to 21kHz - well above what most of us can hear.

Another really neat feature of the Kappas is the UniPivot™ design of the tweeter. UniPivot allows the tilted tweeter to rotate 350 degrees. This allows you to better aim the tweeter at your listening position, which is particularly helpful when mounting down low in your dash.

Installation of the speakers and brackets is fairly simple and the only things you will only need a few tools and items to do it. We do recommend picking up some foam or speaker baffles from your local car audio store to put behind the Kappas. We did not do this during the initial installation, however, putting a baffle behind the speakers will help them to project more sound out of the front and give a better tone and more volume. Without a baffle, much of the sound will go into the dash itself and not allow you to get the most out of your new speakers.

If you're looking to upgrade the sound in your TJ, one of the first places to look should be at your in-dash speakers. For around twenty five bucks, you can get well-machined brackets to adapt just about any 5 1/4" speaker on the market from Offroad Toy Store. Add another $130 and you can get a set of these nifty Infinity Kappas and you're good to go. Then you can have a look at upgrading those soundbar speakers - but that's another story.

Installation
Installation is a snap and should only take about an hour or so. Follow along as we walk you through it.

Things You'll Need
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- wire cutters
- electrical butt connectors
- electrical tape
- 4 wire ties
- 8 self-tapping screws
- some sort of metal saw or cutting wheel.

Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Remove the 2 screws holding the speaker cover on
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Take out the 4 screws holding the speaker in
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Once screws are out, you can pull the speaker out. Then unplug the wire harness from the speaker.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Cut the plastic connector off of the wire harness. You won't need it anymore.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
We wired up the leads from the crossover for a quick test. They are marked "woofer" and "tweeter" for you. Be sure to keep your (+) and (-) right to keep your speakers in-phase with each other.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Here's the fun part. Use a saw, cutting wheel or Roto Zip and cut where we show you in the photo above. Be careful that flying sparks don't cause a fire. We put something behind the metal as a shield.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
You can use a small cutting wheel like a Dremel Tool or similar, however, we ended up bringing out the big dog Roto Zip. The metal is actually a lot tougher than it looks.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Here you can see our first cut. You can take your time and smooth out the metal if you like. We didn't bother since it will all be covered up anyway.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Top and bottom both cut. At this point, couple the input wires to the crossover with the leads from your stereo. We crimped on butt connectors but you could also twist them and tape them together.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Bundle your speaker wires and crossover together and wire tie them onto the inside frame of the dash. You're now ready to mount your speakers to the Offroad Toy Store/33 Engineering Adapters.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
The speakers mount easily to the adapters using four self-tapping screws. The holes are pre-drilled, but you'll need to supply the self-tappers.
Off Road Toy Store/33 Engineering Speaker Adapters
Connect your speakers the same way you did during your wiring test. Hold the speaker in place and put your original four screws back in. Then replace the cover. Aim your tweeter and do the other side.

 

RESOURCE

Offroad Toy Store
www.offroadtoystore.com
Phone: (303) 799-4183
Email: Sales@OffroadToyStore.com