e39 - 6.5" in kick panels, anybody? [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: e39 - 6.5" in kick panels, anybody?

01-24-2004, 08:14 PM
anybody made/seen any custom kick panels for an e39? i have an MBQuarts 3way 6.5 set i would hate to have to sell for a 2way w5.25's.


01-27-2004, 11:44 AM
update - i was thinking of mounting them under the dash, firing down.

-drivers side: just to the right of the peadals
-passenger side: i think the right back corner

should be easy to make up some replacment panels out of mdf or fiber glass.

thoughts? think there is room enough? :dunno:

03-14-2010, 08:19 PM
after 5 years, confirmation that replacement door panels are cheap on ebay, and finally a partial saturday free, i jumped in feet first to make some pods to host my old-skool 3-way component MB Quarts w/6" woofers.

step by step pixhttp://lh6.ggpht.com/_8MbRvS4rHtY/S52mcBFo0lI/AAAAAAAAAfA/ATTAXIBVF9o/s640/CIMG4211.JPGhttp://lh3.ggpht.com/_8MbRvS4rHtY/S52mcsWLDFI/AAAAAAAAAfE/wPecnrHjsGE/s640/CIMG4221.JPGhttp://lh6.ggpht.com/_8MbRvS4rHtY/S52mdHFsNSI/AAAAAAAAAfI/37w7ur-vacY/s640/CIMG4223.JPG

wish me luck that the resin didn't seep through the tape

04-03-2010, 05:23 PM
Cant wait to see the rest of the pics... there is a post out there with some insane speaker "pod" similar to what you are doing with two or three speakers in that triangle. Also a post with an MDF spacer for a 6.5" speaker that works under the stock size grill...

04-16-2010, 09:59 AM







only regret? should have done them both at the same time. sound is much better now with the real MBs on the passive x-over. i moved the tweeter to the door in the place of the OEM mid.

04-16-2010, 04:59 PM
Nice install... looks pretty close in color too, I bet the sound kicks it over stock...

04-17-2010, 08:49 AM
Very nice, any other mods?

04-17-2010, 09:03 AM
thanks folks. yeah - i have "bimerbox"s in the trunk with JL 10w6v2s pushed by PPI Art Series oldskool amps. after i do the drivers side door, i am thinking about modifying the rear armrest. I want to put ports through it and open up the ski passthrough. the ports could double as drink holders.


04-17-2010, 02:54 PM
Never seen those before, did you make the rear boxes or can you buy them? Looks like the least intrusive trunk bass system I've seen to date. Have you considered, pulling out your 5.5" stock rear deck speakers and cutting holes through to the trunk, they might act like the ports you were talking about?

04-18-2010, 09:12 AM
i actually made them - MDF boxes with fiberglass trim. i actually used to sell a version of the right-side boxes with ABS plastic trim instead of fiberglass. i had pretty much stopped making them but recently got a few requests.

about the ports - i actually have a set of 2 way MBQ's for the rear. tweeters are in place but had plans of making some pods to host the 6"ers in the deck. butt....there are port's in the deck already for the M5 bass option (OEM). just a hunch that i would get even more boom if i opened up the passthrough. not that it doesn't already hit pretty hard.

04-18-2010, 01:48 PM
i actually made them - MDF boxes with fiberglass trim. i actually used to sell a version of the right-side boxes with ABS plastic trim instead of fiberglass. i had pretty much stopped making them but recently got a few requests.

about the ports - i actually have a set of 2 way MBQ's for the rear. tweeters are in place but had plans of making some pods to host the 6"ers in the deck. butt....there are port's in the deck already for the M5 bass option (OEM). just a hunch that i would get even more boom if i opened up the passthrough. not that it doesn't already hit pretty hard.

You hit on a good question I have yet to hear the answer to. What is the BMW M5 bass setup? Is it worthwhile to consider that if you just want a little more base, not competition level bass?

04-18-2010, 07:40 PM
i have seen pix of it before - i think it's actually two very low-end 10's mounded under the rear deck in a free-air setup. not sure of the power source - whether its still the sub channels of the DSP amp.

never heard it but i would assume it's better than the DSP sub box. no way it's as good as deuel JL :-)

06-26-2011, 03:01 PM

What is the mounting depth you have there with your box you made? I know there is some more room that you could squeeze out if you pulled the rings out more towards the knee more. I am thinking about some JL 6W3v3's in the doors. They are a 4.25 mounting depth, but know that is going to be tight depending on how far I want it to come out towards the knee. Let me know how you think that would work out.

06-26-2011, 06:04 PM

Here's the custom door builds that I thought up and developed for the E39 community ! :)


More information about them here;


For the E39 M5, the M Audio do have 2 subwoofers around 8 inch in their cone surface area sizing I believe (might be 10 though!) and mounted in a free-air type arrangement under the rear parcel shelf. A nice 'arrangement' and sounds good for oem level equipment. However, for those of us who like much higher quality sound quality, it doesn't suffice. After market free-air subwoofers powered by a much higher quality amplifier will sound much better, its not always necessary that they have to shake the street. When well setup the SQ increase doesn't have to mean sound leakage so you're heard down the street. Powered by a nominal RMS rated after market amplifier is the way I'd think would be a great upgrade for those looking for a subtle and discreet upgrade path in a sedan/saloon.

Another option is also sometimes used in oem E39's and that's the DSP setup subwoofer box/enclosure. The 'subs' are two dual voice coil items and aren't really all that at allin terms of great sub bass output. BSW i think did a under parcel shelf upgrade kit, not sure if that's still around. It's on my longer term plans to make something similar though!

The two subs in the trunk / boot either side is a good idea too, however, alot of the bass energy will be doing nothing but swirling around in the trunk/boot cavity and will just rattle the bootlid and number plate, with some musical bass coming through the ski hatch if there's one in the car and its opened! A better way to transfer ALL the bass into the cabin is to use an enclosure which means the subs fire directly through the ski hatch ..


This particular E39 is a super clean low mile example and owned since it was about a year old in 2003 and the owner wanted a totally oem look in the cabin, but went to town on the install. The floorpan, door skins and roof are all sound deadened and in the trunk, the boot/trunklid etc are also all sound deadened. That all bumps the cost of install , however, by just using a well fitting enclosure which fires the subwoofers like shown, costs can be kept low and the increase in musical and punchy bass will be much better than just 'muddy' vibrational bass when sub drivers are used in other locations within the trunk/boot.

chbimmer - the 6W3V3's are quite a large mounting depth driver, and need an enclosure to work properly, in the doors, you'd need to do a much heavier duty door builds project to house those correctly. By using other drivers you can get a lower end response but not have to have that 'rumbly' type sub bass. I used the Earthquake SWS6.5's above as you can see, they're about 2 inches in depth, add a lower end response to augment the DLS drivers (2 way kit) you can also see.

Cheers, Dennis!

06-26-2011, 06:36 PM
Thanks Dennis,

I have actually seen your build on either this site or others, cant remember which. I am looking to put some 6w3's in there because I heard some the other day in a small sealed box. They were very tight and responsive with around 130 watts RMS each, but they are a little pricey at 130ish each. I want to use both pockets below on the lower part of the door to fiberglass in as part of the enclosure for the subs if I do it. I am looking for a tight sub type bass out of these speakers so that I dont have to use subs in the rear as well. I am looking for more of an integrated sound in the front, subs included. I am not looking for "boomy" bass, but you know that the "boom" has alot to do with the build and airspace of the box. This is just a concept that I am thinking about and am open to suggestions. I don't have any equipment just yet, but I am exploring my options. The Earthquake SWS6.5's look pretty nice actually, I have also been looking at the kicker 6 1/2 as well, but have seen some mixed reviews. Tell me a little more about these earthquake drivers.

Do you remember the mounting depth from the actual door to the front of the panel?


06-27-2011, 02:17 AM

Chbimmer - most likely on bimmerforums which has more of a DIY and modifying range of members compared to here!

I'm using a 8W3-V3 for the sub bass in my Touring, which looks like this;


And for what I want in a subwoofer it's a great driver. I can very stealthily mount it and it comes with a very strong grille, and the sound it produces is excellent ! the 6W3's i'd have thought would offer a similar level of performance for such a small driver, perhaps not as low response extending but much much better than the oem offering!

So the 'rumbly' sub bass is produced by this JL driver and usually in sedans/saloons, the subwoofer is put in the back of the car in the trunk/boot, with 2 or 3 way components in the front of the cat and perhaps some rear fill at the rear. The reason I went with the EarthQuake subs at the front is to provide just a little bit extra in terms of lower frequency response where those excellent little 5.25 inch DLS cant reproduce. I didn't want the 'rumbly' type sub bass that the JL's can produce and in conjunction withe door builds themselves, keeps everything simple in terms of mounting too. Any greater level of engineering and sound reproduction than the above, and I'd have to have made different enclosures i.e sealed type and that'd meant much more design work and probably not being able to have them produced the same way as these i.e one off's each time and would've been more expensive. There is the route where you cut the face of the door card only, and keep the front pocket. Fibreglass all of that and sound deaden it, and that then becomes a small enclosure for a sub. For the JL's it then means to 'build out' the face of the door builds to have enough clearance behind it to fit in the 'enclosure'

Behind the door pocket there's perhaps two inches available, as you have to allow for the window mechanism to slide the window fully down, but I'm not 'exact' on that figure as my development meant I'd be using slim subs only so didn't need to worry about it.

As I say, the result is i've effectively created a 3way setup at the front, however by using a subwoofer I get just a little extra extension of response and output than compared to using a 'woofer' that comes with a 2 or 3 way kit. I'm aiming at the budget to mid level in terms of money spent by users who perhaps aren't so much into Car Audio and this sound level upgrade I think is great for those types of BMW owners. Sure, put this setup in front of a experienced sound off judge and more higher end specialists, they may not rate it too highly, but I'm not aiming at that level at all. So really, you could indeed use the Kicker 6's or the Earthquakes - I haven't seen any other slim line 6.5 in subs from any manufacturers.

Cheers, Dennis!

06-27-2011, 07:53 AM
Thanks again for the reply. I am going for a full range for the front on this project, and would like to utilize the door space that is there. I have had some ideas about subs in the rear (or a single 10 or 8 in the rear) but would like to be able to have that nice crisp sound in the front, but have low end as well. I know it can be achieved, but at what cost is what I am trying to find out. I like the range on the new e90's since they have small subs upfront. I would like to have that same full sound throughout the cabin of my car as these newer factory cars. I would like mine to be crossed over a little differently and I have debated doing a mid and a sub in the door since there is a good bit of room. I don't want to cross mid and sub bass air space though and that is another problem I am looking at. I would like to have a "better" sound quality than the factory cars, that is why I am trying to find out as much as I can about some of these speakers. I wish I could walk into a store an hear them on display.

06-27-2011, 08:58 AM

Although my earthquakes and the DLS share the same airspace behind the door build, as per above, I'm not looking for high end, professional or audiophile quality. When I listened to the setup I have, to me and to a few other's who heard it (currently everything in my car is offline as I change amplifiers) it was an excellent and significant step up in sound quality and performance from stock without costing the usual audiophile amounts of money to do so. I'm not looking for the last word or level in point source and imaging or soundstage etc and as my Touring is 'open' at the back, I can turn the gain down for the earthquake subs so there's a smoother balance of bass in the cabin. With the enclosure I've shown above for the sedan/saloons, you can acheive that as well. However, get the bass quality right with the subs in the trunk/boot enclosure, you dont really 'need' subs in the front. To help with that, choose good high quality 2 ways for the front which have good performance in their capable bass frequency response - it's part of the reason I went for these DLS R5A's back in 2000!

Cheers, Dennis!

06-27-2011, 09:04 AM
That is exactly (the type answer) what I am looking for. I do have a budget, but am looking for the best bang for my buck. The way I look at it is, I can try to do the 6.5 subs in the door and get the sound I want, if I don't get it, I can always slap a sub in the trunk for what I am looking to do.

Now, if the 6w3 route is too much, I think the earthquakes might be a nice solution.

Thanks again Dennis.