The base specification BMW E60/E61 5 Series stereo does not come with tweeters as standard in the front. The base specification comes with a single mid-range speaker in each door, which doesn’t sound brilliant, no matter how much you adjust the treble and bass settings on the stereo. However, the door has a grill and aperture for tweeters and there is a connector on the mid-range speaker in the doors for the tweeter to allow you to upgrade.
This is a DIY install of tweeters on a 2006 BMW E60/E61 5 Series so the approach will be almost identical for all BMW E60/E61 5 Series variants.
You can buy the actual BMW tweeters to install with the correct connector, but these cost around £60 for a pair even on eBay 2nd hand. They cost approximately £100 more from BMW new. So I decided to buy some reasonable quality tweeters which were Vibe BlackAir 25mm tweeters for about £25. The reality is any 25mm tweeters are likely to fit.
The speaker in the door has a bespoke BMW connector for the tweeter rather than a standard one. So you cant just use a spade connector like most speakers. Luckily BMW sells the connectors individually, which consists of the connector and 2x flying leads. The high-level BMW part number for the kit is 61136925634. This is all you need to ask for and is sufficient for 1x side, so you need to ask for Qty 2x. You cannot order these online, you will have to phone your local BMW branch and collect them. The high-level part number 61136925634 consists of the following 3x items:
- Negative Black Flying leads (part number 61130005197);
- Positive Red Flying Lead (part number 61130006663);
- Covering cap (part number 61138352588).
The connector kit (part number 61136925634) cost £3.85 each, so the total cost for all parts for both sides was £7.70 from BMW in 2015.
Making the Leads
I then simply soldered the BMW connectors onto the Vibe BlackAir tweeter flying leads and used some shrink wrap to cover the join.
Preparing the Car
OK so now the tweeters are prepared it was time for the install on the car. Below is a photo of the inner door of the car.
There are 2 screws to undo, the first is next to the top hinge which is a cross head screw.
The second is hidden behind the plastic AirBag logo. Just prise the plastic logo out gently with a flat screwdriver to reveal the Torx screw.
Once both of these screws are removed then it is a case of gently prising the door card away from the door. I used a metal ruler but a wallpaper scraper or similar would also work. Just be careful not to scratch the paint. I found that pulling towards you works best.
This bit almost feel like you are about to break the door, but hold your nerve. You should hear a series of popping sounds as you work around the door, which is releasing the white bullet type connectors. Once you have a few released you can then get your hands in and gently pull instead of using the ruler.
Once complete the whole door card should ease away from the door. You have to lift it up the whole door card to disengage the top part and to lift over the door lock indicator at the top. Lay the door card gently on the ground. You may need to rest it on a stool or unplug some of the connectors to avoid strain on the connectors.
The tweeter surround is held in place by the weather seal around the door. So gently ease this back and the plastic surround should come away from the door to reveal the aperture for the tweeter behind.
If you are using the OEM BMW tweeters then they simply click in place. However, if like me you are using a generic tweeter you can use some duck tape just to hold the tweeter in place. Once in place on the door, the foam surround and plastic grill hold the tweeter quite firmly anyway. Then re-fix the tweeter surround back in place with the door weather seal. Then run the tweeter cable along the existing cable run as detailed below, using a bit of electrical tape or cable ties to hold it in place.
The tweeter connector should then simply click into the spare socket on the back on the midrange speaker as shown below.
Then simply reverse the removal procedure of the door card. Start with hooking the door over the door lock indicator and fixing the top of the door. Then work your way around the door card clicking into place the white bullets. Make sure that none of the white bullets falls out. You might have to thump the door card quite hard to make them click correctly.
Now turn on your stereo and enjoy the improved sound! You will have to play around with the treble controls to get the right balance.