300TE speaker upgrade – Part 2 – fronts

In a previous article I had been undertaking a 300TE speaker upgrade.   I started with the rears which were very simple.    Next was the fronts.   As I outlined in the first part, the W124 uses an odd size and mounting system for the front speakers.   They are 12cm and use these clips on the side rather than the normal mounting ears.   I guess this system was used in a few European cars of the era, as there are still a couple of manufacturers who offer speakers like these.

300TE speaker upgrade

I went with the Crunch DSX120, in a kit for the S124 that included adaptors for the Becker plugs.    The picture above shows the underside of the speaker and the mounting clips.    For some reason the speaker connections are hiding under the magnet and I had to bend them back to put the supplied adaptors on.     The supplied adaptors were pretty poor quality.   The positive terminal fit ok, but the negative terminal was too large and needed adjustment with pliers to make them work.

However, to mount the new speakers, first had to remove the old.   The grilles are easy to remove once you know how.   The thin strip to the side of the grille just clips into place.   It can be removed with a trim removal tool or even a flathead screwdriver.   Once removed, there are two screws that hold down the inside of the grille, with the outside held down by two plastic tabs and the A pillar trim.

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Once I had the trim off, I was confronted with some small speakers that had been poorly mounted in the holes.   At least they had not cut the hole any larger.    No wonder they rattled and sounded terrible.

300TE speaker upgradeThe previous installer had soldered them to the Becker wires, which seemed a lot of work when fitting the wrong sized speakers.    As nothing was cut, it was a simple matter of just clipping the new speakers into the factory speaker holes.   They fit perfectly.

300TE speaker upgradeI tested the speakers before I refitted the grilles.  They sounded a lot better.  No more rattling and buzzing from the passengers side.   The extra size also added more depth.

Once tested, I put the grilles back on and my 300TE speaker upgrade was complete.   I am pretty happy with how it sounds with the original Becker.  Unlike in the 560SEC I am not running a modern amplifier.   Given the size of the rear speakers, I don’t think its necessary.   This has been a quick and simple upgrade that sounds a lot better.   And now with the factory grilles installed, it is invisible.

Doing the front speaker upgrade was also the impetus for me to refurbish my instrument cluster, as I could push it out from the speaker hole.

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