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Volvo needs a new tweeter glue supplier

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1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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Ozark Lee
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Volvo needs a new tweeter glue supplier

Post by Ozark Lee » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:20 pm

The stereo has sounded like crud since I got the car so I have been, pair by pair, replacing the speakers as I can win them on eBay. I also have the scratchy volume control problem that everyone else seems to have.

During the process of replacing the glove box latch I found I had a speaker magnet setting neatly on the top of the glove box. The only place that could come from is the right hand side tweeter. I popped it out and, sure enough it had fallen off. I popped off the drivers side and its magnet was gone as well. I don't know where it went but during the odometer repair I couldn't find it behind the dashboard.
DSC01942.JPG (216.78 KiB) Viewed 2998 times
Factory dashboard tweeters with no magnets. They don't make any sound!

I've always liked the smooth sound of Infinity speakers so I have elected to replace them all with the Infinity Reference Series.

No aftermarket speaker will identically fit into an 850 sedan. For the dash I installed the Infinity 3012cf 3 1/2" coaxial speakers. So as to secure them to the dash I used a 1/4-20 nut and bolt that was about 1/2" long and picked up the point where the factory "push pin" mount went through the dash to secure one tab on the speaker. It doesn't rattle so I'm calling it good to go. If it starts to rattle I can add a screw though the dash pad on the opposite end of the speaker to better secure it. The factory speaker grills cover the entire speaker so it looks factory installed. I unsoldered the factory connector from the old/bad speakers and re-soldered the leads to the new speakers.

For the front door speakers I chose the Infinity 5012i coaxials and found that their mounting flanges don't exactly match up either. Two of the four flanges on the Infinity speaker did mate up so I secured the with two screws and then added the other two back so as to catch the edge of the mounting flanges.

The eBay speaker guide said that 6"x9" speakers were appropriate for the rear deck so I purchased a pair. 6x9's do not fit without aftermarket grills and extensive sawing to change the mounting hole. My son's friend inherited a pair of 6x9 Infinity triaxial speakers for his 80's vintage Toronada.

The rear deck speakers for an 850 sedan are unique in the speaker world and their tweeter magnet glue isn't any better than the front tweeters. I had no sound whatsoever coming from the rear deck speakers and once I popped them apart I found out why.
DSC01935.JPG (217.75 KiB) Viewed 2998 times
Even the main cone won't move when the tweeter magnet falls off and sucks itself into the woofer cone.

Both of my rear deck speakers had the tweeter magnet that had fallen off.

After buying the wrong (6x9) speakers the first time I measured the Volvo factory speakers and they are sorta 5 ish by 8 ish. Standard 5x7 speakers will fit in the hole but no aftermarket speaker that I can find will screw into the plastic base plate on the factory mount. I purchased a set of Infinity 6812i's. Since my factory speakers were trash I figured I would use their factory metalwork to fabricate some mounts.

To remove the seakers there are four aircraft nuts directly below the deck mounted speaker "cabinet". Remove the nuts and lift the "cabinet" out of the hole. The magnet will fight you a little bit. The next obstacle is to remove the grill which has four of the funky modified Volvo Phillips screws that are flat on the bottom. Once the grill is removed you can remove the old speaker itself by removing the four (what else) T-25 Torx screws.

In order to save the mounts I took an angle grinder and sawed through the webbing at the back of the woofer cone until all of the webs were severed. (If you don't have an angle grinder you can use the hack saw blade that is left over from fixing your glovebox.) Unfortunately I can't take a picture and angle grind at the same time but sparks fly and metal cuts. On my speakers the tweeter was suspended over the woofer on a metal bracket. It only takes a pair of pliers to straighten the tabs and remove the tweeter bracket. After cutting through the metal webbing I took a utility knife and cut the foam from the outer edge of the old speaker. I now had the old speaker top plates without the bad speakers. I dressed them up a little bit with the angle grinder to get rid of the rough edges.
DSC01941.JPG (209.88 KiB) Viewed 2998 times
The old Volvo speaker top plate with the original speaker sawed off.

The next step I took was to center the 5x7 speaker in the old hole on the factory top plate and secure it. I'm lazy so I went to Lowes and picked up a pack of self drilling screws. I placed the speaker - more or less centered - on the old factory plate and secured it on all four corners.
DSC01937.JPG (219.62 KiB) Viewed 2998 times
The new speaker from the bottom side.
DSC01938.JPG (216.24 KiB) Viewed 2998 times
The new speaker from the top side.

The next step I took was to solder the factory wiring harness to the new speaker. As unintuitive as it was, every wiring diagram I found showed the black wire as the positive wire. Since the wire with the red collar was negative on the front door speakers I guess it makes sense?.

From this point installation is the reverse of disassembly. Plug in the speaker to the wiring harness, secure the four aircraft nuts, and crank the tunes.

Tomorrow I tackle the rear suspension rattle.

'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

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Post by DVolvoguy777 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:36 am

You are right about the glue on these Volvo speakers. It sux. I have seen a couple of threads on Volvospeed and Swedespeed about this issue. They have just used better glue on the magnet and they worked just fine.

This write up on the fix that you did was great. Thanks for the heads up when it comes time for me to change out my speakers.
I am a current Volvo 850T5 owner. Have had '67 144ES, 71 142E, 76 245DL, 80 242GT, 81 245DL. Still wish that I had the 142E. :(

I scored an '06 Harley Dyna Superglide for Fathers day.

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Post by matthew1 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:47 am

DVolvoguy777 wrote:This write up on the fix that you did was great. Thanks for the heads up when it comes time for me to change out my speakers.
agreed! great write up. this is now in the Volvo Repair Database.
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Post by Volgrrr » Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:22 am

Hi Ozark Lee,

When putting my glovebox back together (remember I'm the 'lever down' instead of 'lever out' guy) I accidently dislodged the passenger side air vent.

To get better access to the air vent I removed the dashboard speaker grille, pulled out the speaker and - low and behold - there was the speaker magnet stuck to the top of a relay on such an angle it had actually split the speaker diaphram.


I don't think the eBay is an option (in Australia you could easily wait for ten years for Volvo speakers to be listed - and I'll probably be dead and gone by then) so I might have to do something like you've done.

Thanks for the excellent report. I'm sure it will be a great help if I decide to go down this path.
There are only two types of car owners - those who own Volvos and those who wish they did.

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Post by Ozark Lee » Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:41 pm

I replaced the dash speakers with a pair of Infinity 3012CF speakers. They are 3 1/2" coaxials but I think just about any 3 1/2" aftermarket speakers will work since the mounting tabs in the aftermarket world tend to be more or less standard.

I unsoldered the factory wiring harness from the old speakers, noting the polarity, and then soldered the harness wires onto the new speakers.

I looked at modifying the factory Volvo mounting plate to accept the new speakers but it looked to it would be a real pain. In my case I just took a single 1/4" bolt that was about, I think, about 1/2" long and secured one tab of the replacement speaker into the hole where the original Volvo "pushpin" plastic holder went through. In my case I didn't have any rattles, either with audio or when hitting bumps in the road, so I called it good enough.

I had to take the picture through the window so it isn't real great but this is how I mounted them.
Hope it helps,

'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

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me too

Post by Tornado Bait » Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:26 pm

Nice post Ozark Lee. I am in the middle of multiple repairs on our 1994 850T and discovered the slame AWOL speaker magnets you mentioned. The rear deck speakers stopped working some time ago and I'm certain they've sufferd the same fate. I'm going to use this info to upgrade/repair our system.

At the moment I've got the entire dash pad off after repairing the odometer and replacing the instrument bulbs. I've noticed a lot of noise and movement of our dash so I decided to investigate. ALL 4 mounts at the firewall have complete broken away!!! :(
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Post by Al_L » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:29 pm

just want say, Thank you, Lee. It was great help!!!

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Post by waynej » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:01 pm

I just purchased a 93 854 with a dash that had been destroyed by airbag deployment. When removing dash noticed both magnets were gone.While in wrecking yard to purchase new dash noticed most tweeters there had no magnets. I used Gorilla glue after scraping off old glue. Sounds great now.
You must use a very small amount of glue and keep it away from the coil groove in the center.

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Post by sixdown » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:03 pm

Well, this fix doesn't work with my '98 S70...I went and bought the exact same speakers Lee got, but they don't fit into the holes, at all. The tweeter magnets/bases are just too large for the hole.

How can I even get the front-door speaker covers off without cracking them?

What can be done? And why is this in the S70/V70 repair database?
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Post by MadeInJapan » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:12 pm

Good question....I recall fixing my 850's speakers like this and have always assumed that the S70 was the same, but they're apparently not. I'll look into seeing if I can take this out of the S70 section. I know it's also in the 850 section- they're cross-referenced for now.
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