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Replace S70 Speakers — How To

I posted earlier asking about recommended speaker sizes to replace the blown speakers in my daughter’s S70 and the response was pretty much crickets. I had to make a couple of trips to the local Pick & Pull for some other parts so I tried to pull the speakers from a donor S70 while I was there but they were rotted as well. The foam on the edges of the cones had basically turned to dust on all of them in the lot. I pulled a speaker for each door and a rear deck speaker anyway, I think the Pick & Pull just gave them to me or charged very little for them since they were bad anyway and I was buying a bunch of other stuff. I figured having them would let me experiment on fitting other speakers into the frames.

I posted earlier asking about recommended speaker sizes to replace the blown speakers in my daughter’s S70 and the response was pretty much crickets. I had to make a couple of trips to the local Pick & Pull for some other parts so I tried to pull the speakers from a donor S70 while I was there but they were rotted as well. The foam on the edges of the cones had basically turned to dust on all of them in the lot. I pulled a speaker for each door and a rear deck speaker anyway, I think the Pick & Pull just gave them to me or charged very little for them since they were bad anyway and I was buying a bunch of other stuff. I figured having them would let me experiment on fitting other speakers into the frames.

S70 speakers

S70 speakers demystified.

Ozark Lee »

The rear deck speakers are 8 inch and have a proprietary mounting frame. The timing was just right and we had a fellow MVS member that had a set of 8 inch Blaupunkt speakers for sale in the classified section. His price was fair and I bought them from him.

Rear Deck Speakers.

To access the rear deck speakers you need to remove the cover from the rear deck. It is held in place with two plastic door panel retainer clips in the front and there are some tabs molded into the rear of the panel that mate up with slots cut into the rear deck. To remove the panel I first folded the rear seats down. From there I removed the rear seat side bolsters. The bolsters just snap into place with a single mounting loop and pulling them outward about ¼ of the way down from the top will release them. So as to not stress them, I also removed the trim rings for the seat belts.

Removing the panel is fairly straight forward, just lift it upward to release the panel pins. The two pins are located just in front of the rear speakers. Once the pins release the panel can be further lifted and slightly bowed upward in the center to clear the trim around the rear window. Once the window trim is cleared just pull forward and the panel will be free. Without removing the seat belts the panel won’t come entirely free from the car but you can move it sufficiently to get easy access to the speakers.

Once the panel is off the speakers are exposed and you can remove them. The speakers are held in place with two hex head screws on the front edge of the speakers. They have an 8 mm head and I just used a 1/4” drive ratchet and a deep well socket to remove them.

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Note the wire colors on the connector before you remove the connector and the position (front or back) of those wires. This will be important to get the phasing correct on the replacement speakers.

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Once the speaker is out of the car you can begin the process of removing the old speaker and install in the new one into the old Volvo factory frame. The speaker is held into the frame with four torx head screws. Use a T-20 torx bit to remove the screws.


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I like to keep the factory connectors when I can and this can be done on the rear deck speakers with relative ease. I used a Dremel tool and a cutoff wheel to cut the bar to the tweeter which also has the factory connector molded into it.

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The speaker is still held to the frame with an adhesive. Unlike most Volvo adhesives, this stuff actually sticks and you will need to pry the speaker away from the frame with a screwdriver. Keep in mind that you are trying to save the frame, not the speaker, as you do this. Once you get one part to release the rest of the adhesive releases with relative ease. To complete the removal cut the wires from the connector to the voice coil on the speaker.

The speakers that I bought fit the frames with no modifications. They are Blaupunkt Gtx 803sc.

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As of this writing the speakers are listed as no longer available at Crutchfield but there were a few on Amazon and eBay. The universe of full range 8 inch speakers is pretty small. Cruchfield has a marine speaker and Walmart offers a Boss Audio “Phantom Skull” speaker, complete with eyes that light up in the presence of audio, but there isn’t much more. Subwoofers might be an option but that isn’t really what I was after.

In order to get the new speaker wires to the new speakers I drilled a small hole in the factory frame next to the connector.

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From here it is simply a matter of screwing in the replacement speaker and soldering on the speaker wires. Use the factory mounting screws to secure the new speaker to the frame. The screw that holds the connector won’t draw down flush with the top of the speaker so just get it snug.

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On the rear deck speakers the positive terminal was the front terminal. I used a red sharpie to differentiate it as I took the old speaker out. The wire colors and phasing polarities on a S70 are as follows.

Dash Left
Red/White +
Yellow/White –

Dash Right
Yellow/Green
Green –

Left Front Door
Green/White +
Green/Brown –

Right Front Door
Red/Black +
Red/White –

Left Rear Door
Brown/White +
Brown/Black –

Left Rear Deck
Brown/White +
Brown/Black –

Right Rear Door
Yellow/Black +
Yellow/Green –

Right Rear Deck
Pink/Black +
Pink/White –

The speakers will work if they are wired without regard to phasing but it results in a “blurry” sound stage image and diminished bass response. It basically confuses your brain.

Following the phasing guide, I soldered the new speaker wires onto the factory terminals and re-mounted the speakers. From there just plug them in and re-install the rear deck cover. The only tricky part is getting the panel clips lined up with the holes before re-seating the panel. Re-install the seat belt trim and the seat side bolsters. The bolsters just snap back in with a firm push.

Rear Door Speakers.

Crutchfield’s size guide calls for 5 ¼” speakers for the front and rear doors. The actual proper size is 6 ½’” in both cases. For the doors I didn’t get real carried away since this was more of a maintenance replacement rather than a full blown system upgrade. Blown speakers with dragging voice coils sound really bad so anything that isn’t blown is a substantial improvement. For the doors I selected an economy Kenwood model that was on sale at Best Buy. The front door speakers are depth limited to about 2 ¼” from the base of the frame to the back of the magnet and I just got matching speakers that met that specification for both the front and the rear doors.

In order to access the rear speakers it is necessary to remove the door panel. There are several threads on panel removal and Robert (rspi) posted a video. Rather than re-plow old ground I will just link to the process:

https://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums … 2&p=277964

There are additional threads on the subject in the repair database.

As Robert noted, the door panel mounting clips, even when using a proper panel removal tool, are guaranteed to break in one form or another. Volvo’s “green” initiative has resulted in adhesives that don’t stick and plastics that disintegrate. I guess they feel good about themselves but it really sucks when you try to remove the panel. There is a very good chance that some of the panel clips themselves will break and it is a good idea to pick up some replacements from a dealer before you even start. The part number is 9182897 and they retail for $2.15 each but you can get them a bit cheaper through the websites. I have tried to find some more generic panel clips at the local auto parts stores but I have not found any that fit correctly. If I am working on the doors I pick up at least a dozen which will usually be enough to replace the clips that clips that break on four doors.

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The plastic mounts for the clips are an even bigger problem but they are actually fairly easy to fix. A hot glue gun will re-attach the mounts quickly and they seem to hold up well enough to get the panel back on and it will stay on at least until you try to remove it again. The outline of where the mounting clips were attached to the panel have residual, green colored (how quaint), adhesive on the panel itself and you just need to line the clip back up to that outline when you glue it back on.

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As you can see in the pictures above, the environmentally friendly foam will have disintegrated and it will just rattle in the new speakers if you leave it there. The foam gets gooey if you press it so it is best removed with a shop vac to just suck it out of the back of the speaker grill.

To remove the speaker from the door remove the two T-25 torx screws and then pop the lower clips free. Be sure to note the wire colors for phasing purposes. I again used the red sharpie to note the positive lead.

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The rear door speakers come out of their mounting frames much the same way as the rear deck speakers. They are held in with four torx screws and adhesive. Just remove the screws and pry the old speaker out.

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The way the connectors are configured on the mount it makes it very easy to solder the new speaker wires in and keep the factory connector intact. The tabs on the inside of the frame are an ideal place to solder on the new wires.

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In my case the mounting tabs on the replacement speakers lines up perfectly with the factory holes so completing the installation was simply a matter of screwing the speaker back into the frame. Installation of the new speaker to the door is the reverse of removal and it is simply a matter of installing the two mounting screws, plugging the connector back in, and re-installing the panel.

Front Door Speakers.

After removing the panel from the front door which is done with, more or less, the same methods used on the rear panel you can remove the speaker from the door. In order to remove the front door panel you will also need to remove the cover trim plate for the wires to the mirror. Those mounts are very fragile and extra caution needs to be used when removing the cover plate. The speaker is removed by twisting the red locking pins 90 degrees and then using a pair of piers to remove the entire pin. The bottom of the speaker frame is secured with a single T-25 torx head screw.

Volvo departed from the glue and screws method of securing the speaker to the frames on the front speakers and wen with a twist tab and adhesive design. To remove the speaker from the frame just break the twist tabs off with a pair of pliers and then pry the speaker out of the frame.

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The connectors on the front speakers are part of the old speaker itself and it can’t be reused like they were on the rear speakers.

The tab mounting method also leaves no factory holes to mount the new speakers with. I used some short self drilling screws to secure the new speakers to the frame.

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For wiring I matched the wire colors for phasing and used solder and heat shrink to splice the new speaker wires with the factory wires. Other options are crimp style butt splices or tap style insulation displacement splices.

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From here it is a matter of re-installing the speaker frame with the new speaker and door panel. The front door panels usually require more repair than the rear panels since the panel wants to split away from the trash / junk bins and it takes more glue. Make double sure that you have all of the connectors, including the trunk / fuel door switch and the mirror switches, plugged back in before snapping the panel back in place. The speaker itself is secured to the door by pressing the red push pins back into the holes and installing the Torx screw.

Crank up the tunes and enjoy, the louder the radio is the less you hear the other rattles and squeaks.

2 Comments

Hello depending on how astute you are at making speaker repairs you could always try ebay for new foam speaker rings. They would be a cheap fix with minimal work of gluing the new rings in place aslong as the cones and coils are still good and have not been over extended.
Hope this helps you.

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