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196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #61 · (Edited)
I might've missed it, but where did you get your input for the sub or is that just something the amp sorts out with the signals it's already getting?
You are correct. The amp does provide separate inputs for a sub, although they are not used in my setup. You can see the unused RCAs beside the front and rear channel inputs in this photo:

Electronics Technology Electronic device Audio equipment Electronic component

The JL Audio amp provides a 2, 4 or 6 channel input mode selector switch (see photo below). 2 or 4 front/rear channels and the extra 2 for a sub input signal. Since the RS doesn't provide a sub channel from the head unit you simply select the 4 channel option and the amp sums the 4 front and rear inputs to provide the sub feed. This method also means that front/rear fading of the 4 channels won't affect the sub volume. The sub gain, crossover freq, slopes etc are all still independantly set on the output side of course.

Electronics Audio equipment Technology Electronic device Audio receiver

211 Posts
Hi again. I'm glad you mentioned the tweeter size, I've modified the post above as it was misleading. When I said 28mm I was referring to the voice coil only (a techie comparison due to my background); the diaphragm is actually 35mm and the overall diameter of the Hertz tweeter is 53.4mm without any mount/housing (see photo)!

Most companies quote diaphragm size for comparison to other products, so the factory ones are 25mm, Morel 28mm and these Hertz are 35mm. The large overall diameter is due to the frame structure and rear load chamber being cnc machined from a solid aluminium block, to keep it mechanically inert and reduce resonance.

The factory tweeter has a 25mm diaphragm and is still in the factory housing in the photo, it's 36mm overall without that. That size difference explains why I had to cut most of the clips away. I was careful to retain the top and bottom clips that actually hold the cover in place though, so it all looks completely standard and clips into the car just as it always has. I'm glad I took the gamble re fitting though, these are the best tweeters I've heard in a car.

View attachment 67434
wow, that's a huge tweeter!

280 Posts
Thanks to wombatp3 for inspiring me to upgrade the audio on my Aus 2017 RS. I plan this in a few steps:
1 Front speakers - woofers
2 Front speakers - tweeters
3 Amplifier for the front speakers
4 Subwoofer connected to the amp.

I'm sharing some detailed info here on how to remove the door panels and replacing the speakers (step 1). That's where I was most concerned about damaging the car. Thankfully only some tiny tiny marks on the plastic ensued.

I’m a cheap-arse, so I’ll be re-using components ripped out of my previous car, and they are not high end. But the info I’m sharing here in pictures and words doesn’t vary much with the components you choose to use. So I’m not using Focal or Hertz or Infinity speakers, rather Response Kevlar coaxial 6.5 inch units with the tweeter removed. I have some old Motorola tweeters that sound so good money can’t buy them - but that’s for step 2.

Product Auto part

The improvement in sound is easily enough to warrant the few hours (maybe 8 if you are slow and steady like me) it will take you. The OEM speakers are 2 ohm, so the 4 ohm speakers resulted in a change of balance front to rear which is easily changed with the audio system sound controls. One slight concern: the central tweeter (in the central meter binnacle) is now slightly more noticeable. That may be an issue for you. Step 3 of my plan will fix that concern by increasing the gain to the door speakers.

First, apart from wombatp3’s great posts, some other info I found useful viewing:

How to Ford Focus Front Door Speaker speakers Removal 2012 - 2015 replace

Replacing stock speakers in a Ford Focus ST 2016

How To: 2012+ Ford Focus Front Door panel removal(SE,ST,Titanium)

Focus RS remove front door panels

Thanks to the creators of those videos.

I did not disconnect the battery, which the workshop manual would probably advise. This means that some DTCs are set due to disconnecting the door panels, but they are all temporary so I expect they will disappear after a few start cycles. No DTC lamp illuminates, so you'll only know this if your are OCD enough to check with a scan tool. They are:

===BdyCM DTC B1287:15-28===
Code: B1287 - Central Lock Switch Illumination

===PDM DTC U2010:15-28===
Code: U2010 - Switch illumination

===DDM DTC U2013:87-28===
Code: U2013 - Switch Pack

===ACM DTC B1A01:15-28===
Code: B1A01 - Speaker 1 Circuit

First we have to get the door panel off. Here are the tools I used:
  • Handle square drive with a 7mm hex bit or a Torx 20 bit.
  • 'Spudger' aka non-marring nylon black stick tool (from a computer maintenance kit sold by iFixit)
  • Interior trim tools (Jaycar sell these)

Cutting tool Metalworking hand tool Tool Burin

These photos and descriptions are for the RHS (drivers) side, so flip any left/right descriptions for the LHS door. Also a reminder this is an Australian version of the RS which is 'right hand drive' (we drive on the left) and has a 9 speaker 'Sony' system, so no sub-woofer or FENG box or Amp in the boot.

To start, remove the tweeter and its sub-panel. Sorry no photos, this is covered in the videos. I used fingers to release the front cover (Sony branded) and then used the plastic tool to prise out the two white clips that hold the tweeter sub-panel to the door frame. Disconnect the electrical connector and set aside.

Prise off the cover behind the door handle. This is different from the round cover on the ST. There is no space to insert a pry tool (thanks Ford). I found if I applied some finger pressure on the right hand side of the cover I could just get a small spudger in as shown. Another tool my window tinter used is a small craft knife blade. Its important that the cover come out straight (not angled too much) as the tangs are easily broken.

Vehicle door Car Vehicle Personal luxury car Mid-size car

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Vehicle door Family car

Then the reflector, which slides sideways. Its clip is just above the tool in the photo -- its tight and needed a firm twist, which worked on the lower corner as shown. It then flew off... Caution - I marked the plastic slightly doing this. Perhaps should have used the larger tool.

Automotive lighting Vehicle Automotive tail & brake light Car Bumper

Vehicle door Door handle Automotive exterior Vehicle Car

Panel on the outer edge top of the door. Easy one - clip is on the top and tongue on the bottom.

Vehicle door Finger Hand Door handle Technology

Vehicle Car Vehicle door

Door handle cover has a series of clips left to right and tongue on the right, so start from the left as shown. Slide the tool along left to right and pull straight out, then hinge at the RH end and remove.

Vehicle door Automotive exterior Car Auto part Bumper

Door switch panel has clips on the right and a tongue on the left, so pull up from the right and hinge out the LHS/top. Remove the single connector under the switch panel.

Vehicle door Automotive exterior Personal luxury car Vehicle Car

The next steps are covered well in the videos above. Remove all the Torx screws (4 zinc, one black). Then starting on the right get your fingers behind the grey door panel and release the clips, working across the lower edge of the panel right to left. This required some force. Then angle the panel away from the door and wiggle/lift off. Unclip the door handle cable from the back of the handle (see the videos). Disconnect the two (drivers) or one (passenger) electrical connectors. And set the door panel aside somewhere safe.

Bag Auto part Messenger bag

Here's the inside of the door.

Vehicle door Auto part Vehicle Engine Car

I was surprised that the OEM speaker was a plastic cone - was expecting paper. Here's the speakers side by side (OEM on the right). I tested the speaker for polarity (because there are two black wires and no marking on the speaker - thanks Ford) and found that the RHS pins on the connector as you look at it from the front are the positive side (cone moves forward).

Audio equipment Car subwoofer Loudspeaker Auto part Subwoofer

I bought some off-the-shelf 6.5" speaker spacers for this job but they are not the right shape to clear the door panel when fitted. I decided to use the OEM mounting bracket. This meant destroying the OEM speakers. So I had a cup of tea and thought about it...

The speaker and integrated bracket is held to the door with 3 7mm hex head screws. A 4-way electrical connector has two black wires which are the signal 'in' to the woofer, and two coloured wires that go up to the tweeter. This is different from the ST wiring diagrams I've seen. The tweeter has a small cross-over on its back. There is no signal to the tweeter if the woofer is unplugged (I tested this). So a crossover could be mounted on the woofer, except that the 4-way connector connects the incoming to outgoing signal internally i.e there are only two wires on the back of the connector. Oh well.

Anyway, to proceed on the irreversible use of the OEM speaker to make a bracket for the new speaker. I carefully removed the foam rubber from the front of the speaker (I re-used this).

The next steps destroy the OEM speaker - you aren't going back from here.

Turning the speaker over, I used a keyhole style hacksaw to cut the support ribs close to the edge. I also desoldered the wires on the 4-way (really 2-way) connector to the speaker.

Audio equipment Subwoofer Loudspeaker Product Technology

Then used a craft knife to cut the rubber surround, again near the edge.

Tire Automotive tire Wheel Auto part Automotive wheel system

The OEM bracket has a raised edge that didn't allow the new speaker to 'drop in' to the bracket, so I had to remove the edge with some careful use of a hacksaw (this may not apply to your speakers). Then after additional cutting, filing and drilling, and some choice words, the resulting bracket was ready for the new speaker with 4 self tapping screws.

Auto part

And the speaker fitted up to the bracket.

Subwoofer Car subwoofer Loudspeaker Audio equipment Sound box

And soldered to the connector. (I don't like crimp connectors in this application).

Car subwoofer Audio equipment Loudspeaker Product Subwoofer

And installed in the door.

Auto part Vehicle Audio equipment Subwoofer Car

Tested the operation at this point - all ok.

Replacing the door panel is a reversal of the steps above. First check all the white clips are on the panel. There are also 2 large pins to locate the panel to the door.

Reconnect the electrics and latch cable, then sit the top edge of the panel on the door and wiggle it against the inside of the window runner. I then used the screw holes in the door handle to check alignment. When you are very sure the panel is aligned to the door, press around around the edge of the panel so that the clips click home (actually, I used the side of my fist to thump the panel onto the door). Reconnect and replace the tweeter - check the two white clips are lined up with the door and press the tweeter panel home.

Done for now. I have no schedule for Step 2 onward...

Premium Member
5,629 Posts
Plastic cone speakers?
No wonder it sounds like rubbish.
Thnx for the info @Alpha Dog

280 Posts
Stage 2 - Tweeter replacement

Thanks to wombatp3 again for inspiration. This weekend I upgraded the tweeters in the front of my RS. Wombatp3 covered this earlier but I can provide a few more details. I used some old favourite Motorola tweeters.

Removing the tweeters is a two step process: unclip the Sony branded cover from the window side as shown. There's no need to fully remove the cover ... just loosened it. (Apologies for the sun glare in these photos).

Vehicle door Technology Electronic device Finger Gadget

Use a pry tool to remove the tweeter sub-panel. There are two fairly tight white clips. In this pic I have fully removed the tweeter cover so you can see the OEM tweeter.

Audio equipment Electronics Technology Auto part Electronic device

This is tweeter sub-panel from the right hand side showing the two clips. Note also the two holes in the flange on the main door panel... there are two guide pins on the tweeter sub-panel to align it when fitting.


The tweeter (left hand side shown here) is clipped into the panel and easily popped out by levering open 2 of the three arms that hold it in. Note the cross-over components attached to the back of the tweeter. The connector releases with a squeeze as usual. The polarity of the connection to the tweeter is: Green is positive for LHS and Violet is positive for the RHS.

Electronics Technology Electronic device Electronic component

As wombatp3 found, its necessary to cut off the clips and some arms that hold the OEM tweeter to get the new tweeter to fit. I used small side cutters and a craft knife to do this. I did not need to enlarge the opening. Here is the bracket (LHS) following the required molestation.

Personal protective equipment Automotive exterior Bumper Auto part

I used a few drops of super glue on the remnants of the clips to hold the tweeter in. The type of super glue I used can stand a few shocks and high temps.

Audio equipment

I found the OEM connector takes a standard circuit board mount connector which has a 0.1" spacing. So I fashioned a "plug" using a 3 pin section and heat shrink. This connects to the 2nd order filter (aka cross-over) that this tweeter works with. The woofer/mid gets by with no cross-over (same as OEM).

Wire Technology Electronic device Electrical connector Circuit component

I attached the filter to the back of the tweeter as per the OEM design using 3M VHB double sided tape (amazing stuff). The position of the filter is critical to allow it to fit into the door cavity. I also spent some time auditioning the combination and added a damping resistor to bring the tweeter down about 3dB. One trap: the Sony branded cover muffles the tweeter more than I expected, so if you do this tuning make sure to do it with the cover in place. I didn't and had to pull it apart and change the resistor value.

Technology Electronic device

All back together.

Vehicle door Vehicle Automotive exterior Car Auto part

I've used inexpensive and second hand components, but even then the sound is vastly superior to the original components. The door structure is fairly good so the speakers work well and there's not too much rattle or vibration (I'm not listening at high volumes). So using higher end components such as used by wombatp3 would be worthwhile. However, I know even these speakers sound much better with a higher power amp driving them... so to stage 3.

3 Posts
Morning all, I'm a newbie to this forum and in the planning stages of a system install in our 2017 ST Focus, This thread by far I have gained the most info out so thanks for removing most of the guess work.

I did have one question, I was just looking at the wiring for the Remote cable (Wiring a Rockford DSR1 DSP unit and my two kicker amps piggyback off the DSP). I'm just after a suggestions of another fuse to tap into. I am assuming that if I was to tap into the sunroof, heated seats fuse etc, the DSP unit and therefore subs would kick in only when the ignition is on or engine running. I would like the system to operate even when the car is switched off but only when you turn the stereo on... Am I asking too much LOL. Any thoughts feel free to let me know.



7 Posts
The centre pin of an RCA is + and the outer is -.
View attachment 63354
You can just cut off the wires to any RCA, or buy bare RCAs from Jaycar, and solder new connections but it's much easier to buy something like these:

You can get them at JB Hifi.
Hi great thread.. I also have a question regarding the RCA. Are you suggesting your taking the high level from the loom and soldering RCA ends to it, then running to the low level input on the AMP? It reads like this, but i didn't think you could do that? Am I right or wrong?

Ben 2017 focus RS LE

280 Posts
Thread revival! :)

I'm considering installing an integrated amp/sub unit. A friend tapped into the rear speaker wires to drive their amp for the sub. However I'm worried that the rear speakers don't get the full bass frequencies? I can easily see why Ford might have applied some filtering to the smaller rear speakers. Can anyone confirm that the rear speakers get the full frequency range? Thanks.

21 Posts
Hi great thread.. I also have a question regarding the RCA. Are you suggesting your taking the high level from the loom and soldering RCA ends to it, then running to the low level input on the AMP? It reads like this, but i didn't think you could do that? Am I right or wrong?

Ben 2017 focus RS LE
The specification of the HD900/5 states "Speaker- and preamp-level inputs (speaker-level input requires an optional adapter)" I dont know what the adapter is.

With Forscan I think there is a way to make the Sync3 unit output preamp level to its speaker output.

10 Posts
I've found this regarding enabling preamp mode in ForScan; however, it's for US vehicles only :( I had a look at that module on my Australian spec model and our modules only have one entry to play with, which looks very different to that tutorial. :(

Has anyone figured this out for Aus spec units?


7 Posts
I did however disable FENG through ForScan. I'm installing an aftermarket stereo system soon and wanted the cleanest music signal to feed the DSP and amps. You'll find the option in the ACM module (not as built). See photo attached. :)
View attachment 357304
Thanks for posting the picture mate, I forgot to do this when I documented how I did the FENG disable with FORSCAN so I've pinched it and added it to this post I made. Hope you don't mind!

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