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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This upgrade is not easier than the Subaru factory replacements nor is it cheaper. I however like the fit and finish MUCH better for the 2020 Outback (not that you really see them, but still.) I am extremely happy with the outcome. For the record, this upgrade was done on a 2020 Onyx, therefore it may or may not work on other trim levels, so it is up the owners of those trims to investigate their options first.

The objective:
Take out the factory tweeters, destroy them, and mold them in to masterful works of art.

OK. OK. So yea, that statement was a bit over the top. Basically, we’re gonna remove the factory tweeters, remove the tweeter from the mounting plate, and use said mounting plate to install our tweeters. I will be breaking this up into multiple posts so if anyone has any comments or questions on a specific step, they can easily quote that step.

The “masterful work of art” on the left, factory tweeter on the right.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Parts and tools:
  • 1 set of replacement tweeters – in this case the parts that are included that we need are the tweeters, flush rings, short nuts, crossover, and the tweeter tool.
  • Plastic pry tool to remove speaker dash grills (plastic knife in image)
  • Low profile Philips screwdriver (really low profile)
  • Random small bladed flat screwdriver or other fairly fine tipped tool for prying. (not pictured)
  • Drill
  • Philips screwdriver bit
  • Hole saw – SEE SPECIAL NOTE ON TWEETER DETAIL POST BELOW
  • Scrap piece of wood
  • Two mounting screws (I used the two from the dash that hold the tweeter in place.)
  • Optional – wire harness to plug into factory dash connectors
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tweeters:

I used Kicker KS 1” 4 ohm Tweeters – Kicker Model Number 46KST2504

I won’t get into the why of my speaker selection, but suffice it to say, I got lucky. These use a twist lock mechanism to mount. Basically, the speaker is threaded and screws into the included mounting nuts. This works perfectly for this project.

Special Note – Hole Saw Sizing:
The specific model I selected actually states in the instructions that the hole diameter is 1-11/16” for the KST25. I did not have that size, so instead I opted for a 1-3/4” hole saw, and this worked perfectly (see detail images in later post.) Keep in mind, if you pick a different tweeter, you will need to adjust your selection of hole saw accordingly.
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Optional Wire Harness – I am guessing that these might be of special interest to the group. I found the ones I used on Amazon but they were not exactly cheap. There are other sellers on that mega auction site too. You can source the connectors for under $4 each from somewhere on the web. I somehow failed to bookmark the page, but delivery was going to take about a month. I am thinking it was Sonic Electronics or something, but I can’t find them now. I wasn’t willing to wait, so I ponied up for the Amazon ones. The Red Wolf’s (Amazon) are “modified” compared to the <$4 ones by having the red and black wires bonded. You don’t need all four connectors, so you could just as easily remove the two wires you don’t need from the cheaper set if you’re willing to wait. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RMZ4CR6/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_rFQWEbGX5WX08
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
On to the work…

Step One - Remove Tweeters from Dash:

Tools needed – plastic pry tool, low profile Philips screwdriver

There are more than enough photos here on the forum of removing the tweeters from the dash so I’ll just recap. First, use a plastic pry tool to get under the front lip of the dash grill and gently pry up. They pop right out. Next, using your extremely low-profile Philips screwdriver, remove the factory tweeter and unplug the wire harness.

(SIDE NOTE: I’m not too sure you can’t use a full-size screwdriver to remove the screw at the back (technically the front but…) and remove the entire tweeter assembly. I tried this, but I believe another tool is needed to release the snaps that hold that assembly in. I have no proof of that any of that is true, but maybe someone else can elaborate.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
As you can see on the mount plate (left part) there are three “clamps”, for lack of a better term, that lock the factory tweeter in place. Pry those back (don’t worry about breaking them, they are not going to last long.) Then gently pry up on the tweeter at those same locations, as well as the area where the wires for the tweeters are. The tweeter is glued down as well as having the clamps. The goal is to simply remove the tweeter, but keep the center “cross hairs” intact for later in the process. When I dismantled the first tweeter, the cone tore off the tweeter base. The second one (pictured) popped apart cleanly.

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Step Three – Mount and Drill:

Tools needed – scrap wood, two screws, Philips screwdriver bit, hole saw, drill

Being careful to not damage the two alignment posts (or whatever you want to call them) screw down your tweeterless mount to your scrap wood using the two screws, Philips bit and drill. My scrap board just happened to have two cutouts that worked well for me, but you can flip the whole thing over and drill that way too. Using the center hole as your guide, switch out the screwdriver bit for you hole saw and remove the center.

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Step Four – Assemble Tweeter and Mount

Parts needed - tweeters, flush rings, short nuts, crossover, the tweeter tool, and if you bought them, the aftermarket wire harnesses.

From left to right, crossover, flush ring, short nut, tweeter tool, and tweeter.
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
You can obviously do this in the order you prefer, but in a nutshell, mount the tweeter according to the instructions that came with your tweeters. Attach the crossover to the speakers on one end and the harness on the other. Hint: the crossover has spade connectors for the end that attaches to the tweeter. The crossovers come with a great deal of extra cable for this installation. I ended up cutting off a bunch of wire and soldered everything back together to shorten the mess up until I ended up with this:

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Great write up and detail. You willing to sell a setup?
Thank you for the compliment. The short answer to your question however is no.

The long answer:
Let us pretend that the buyer mails their factory tweeters and the new tweeters to me. I am guessing that for the cost of the shipping both directions plus a bit for labor, a person could buy a drill and hole saw set to do it themselves. You can get (well could if COVID-19 weren’t a thing) a cordless 18v drill ($20) and the cheap hole saw set ($10) from Harbor Freight for less than $40 including shipping and/or tax, and that’s without coupons. With coupons you could get them even cheaper. Not to mention the fact that for the investment you also have the tools for other projects. If you already have a drill, you can order a decent hole saw set from Amazon shipped (with Amazon Prime) for $20+/-.

If I bought all the components and got reimbursed for them, it’s expensive. The factory tweeters, not counting any shipping, are $60-$70 per set. The Kickers retail for $120+/- per set. So again, if you toss in some labor, you’re looking at least $200 for a set. That's $40 more than the previous option and you don't have any extra tools to show for it.

Granted, those examples are not talking about soldering the wires like I did either, which you don't have to do. If you want the wires shortened and don't have the tools to do the soldering, or the experience, I get where someone may want to buy a set assembled. That would add, at least for me, a substantial amount of labor, and is not a task that I am setup for or feel comfortable doing for other people. It is also not something I would want to do on a regular basis. My eyes and fingers were bleeding when I got done with mine (figuratively.) Haha
 

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I may swap out and add a dsp to my wife’s system if she gives the ok. If not she will be rocking oem until it dies lol.
 
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