Speakers -- Vanagon


Norm Berman

My 84 Wolfburg Edition Westy has front speakers in the doors that need to be replaced. They are mounted in a screw in plastic mount, and it doesn't look like the speaker can be removed from the mount.
Is there a place to get a replacement speaker? It looks like it would be hard to get a standard speaker into the spot without it bumping into to dash.
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New member
I just replaced those speakers in my '84 with Blaupunkt 4 1/4. They will fit but I had to replace the brown OEM speaker housing, and put a few spacers in the window crank handle. They stand out maybe 1/3 of an inch, don't hit the dash but do cause problems with the crank handle. Any new speakers will have a mounting plate and cover. Try to find something with the least amount of profile for cranking the handle.

Capt. Mike

OE speakers in Westies were Blaupunkts and replacements (probably supersessions) should still be available; I also suspect the flush speakers of later models are interchangeable with the older models. They have no protrusion.

The speakers are mounted to the door panel; once the panel is removed, the speakers can be removed.

Capt. Mike

Transferred from other posts to consolidate same subject into one thread.

Removing/Installing Speakers

schurrda Junior Member # 17 posted 05-30-2000 10:39 AM

I've just managed to string wires to the rear speakers of my 86 Westy and discovered they sound pretty terrible. I'd like to remove them and install newer/better ones. They're located in those 3 1/2 inch holes in the upper airconditioner/storage area. And - they are held in place by a plastic housing with four tabs. I can't seem to solve removing this plastic housing (with the speakers inside) without breaking the plastic. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

chuck Junior Member # 55 posted 05-30-2000 05:05 PM

I just finished replacing all speakers. I installed 6 1/2 in the rear and it took a bit of engineering as you can imagine. I got some red oak, routed/sanded/stained and placed it over the original spaces because it overlaps the air conditioner vent. The largest problem is the cutting of that vent. With a mototool grinder I flattened the face where I fit the oak on the outside. I then had to cut into the plastic vent where the smaller circular vents were. When I had enough room to install the speakers, I insulated and sealed the ac vent housing with normal duct work foil tape. Of course this procedure forever altered the speaker housing, but everything works well and it looks very nice. As far as the plastic o-ring things. Take the screws in the ac vent out and remove the vent, then you should be able to hold the rings and speakers on the inside, while twisting them. Basically the speakers unscrew and the rings will pop out. This is only a theory, new speakers will have their own rings so I broke mine. Hope this helps.

Speaker fit & assembly

frito Junior Member posted 09-11-2000 12:16 PM

I am sure this topic has been covered before but I cannot seem to access the archives?
I am going to replace the speakers in my 85 westy but I would like to reuse the grills for fit and I prefer to keep things stock (looking not sounding). In my 85 the grills are threaded in the rear and a collar mounts the whole assembly to the door/rear storage panel. The hitch is, the speaker is glued to the grill. It does not look like this glue has deteriorated much in 15 years and thus will not easily yield to my efforts. Has anyone had success removing the speaker from the grill? IF all else fails, has anyone found an exact fit replacement? I am aware of the window crank/ dash problems and would prefer not to deal with this. Furthermore, I do not want to disfigure the door panels or sheet metal to change the speakers.

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New member
This is a reply to my own message. I am a little lonely I guess. I was able to remove the original speakers from the grills without to much difficulty after my original post. The speakers are glued in so you won't be able to salvage them if you want to reuse the grills. I took a large flat head screwdriver and inserted it into the basket of the speaker (The speaker basket has several slots around its circumference). I twisted the screwdriver breaking the basket at each point. By the time you do all of them the (including the ones under the terminals) speaker falls out. The first one took 10 minutes until I realized it was not coming out without proper persuasion. The other three about a minute each.

Replacements: very limited as you know. I looked a several 4 inch speakers (Boston acoustics, eclipse, ...) all too big in diameter. There may be one that fits but it did not seem worth the search time. Instead I chose a 3 1/2 inch Boston acoustics. This is really only marginally smaller than the original. I bent the two tabs one the speaker down and dropped them into the grills. I used flexible, outdoor adhesive caulk around the edges to secure the speaker and to ensure that the speaker is sealed. The caulk dries up flexible so that they should be easy to remove incase ones blows etc.... Furhtermore, They held in very secure. These speakers are much better than the originals. I listen to books on tape and these speakers a much crisper than the muddy sounding originals. I will likely enhance the bass next year.

As far as radios and depth. I was a little concerned about the shallow depth of the westy radio spot. Crutchfield shows two that fit and a call to them revealed that another would fit (most expensive Kenwood MP3 player). So they were no help. I emailed Blaupunkt. No reply. I said screw it and bought a very nice Kenwood cassette player. It has everything including a weather tuner (paid extra). Anyway it fit tight but no problem. I am sure most of Kenwood decks will fit since this was one of the longer ones. I bet many other brands/models will also fit.

I word about replacing rear speakers in my 85 westy. My model westy used a common ground for the rear speakers. This will not work with newer high power radios. I ran new speaker wires to the back. This was not all that much fun since the the wires go through the piller between the windshield and passenger door. You must pull the wires through.

I hope this helps someone


New member
I just up-graded the sound system in my 87 Westfalia using info from this list and found out a few things that might be of interest. As others have pointed out the head unit space is fairly shallow and according to Crutchfield very few units will fit. However, there is a piece of steel that can be bent out of the way in front of the air box and this gives almost another inch. Plus the plastic is flexible so in practice there is much more space and many units will fit. Regarding front door speakers. There is alot of room here and you can easily fit 5 1/4 inch speakers whithout cutting any steel, watch out for depth (measure it) but many speakers will fit here. The only problem is the window winder. Select speakers with thin grills (half inch or so e.g. pionere) and use the window winder spacers described on this list. 4 inch speakers are about the largest that will fit in the rear cupboard. For base response I have in the past used twin 6x9's installed under the rear seat which works quite well. But I have just finished installing an 8 inch sub woofer built into a custom box that sits inside the rear seat storage area pointing down and to the front. Sound comes out through a square grill that I cut into the front of the seat near the floor. This has the advantage that no-one can see that there is a sub (and therefore an amp) as it looks like a heating vent. The amp is placed under the drivers seat, which I accessed by cutting the sheet metal in the front (the area just under the lever that unlocks the captains chair). It's a bit of work to fit but results in a space saving and theft proof instalation conveniently near the aux battery. The sub does take up over half the seat storage space (the cd changer is there also and the seat has a lock on it to disuade theft) but the sound is excellent.


I may belie my own ignorance, but nowhere have I seen how to remove the oem door speakers, not here, not in Bentley. Do I have to remove the door panels or are the speakers tension fit in the panels? I'm sure I can figure it our, but I don;t want to take the panels off if I don't have to.

Any quick Ideas?



As I suspected, I figured it out quite easily. The stock speaker retaining baskets all unscrew like a jar lid from the back. ( the speakers in the a/c cabinet are easily removed by breaking the retaining tabs if you are not going to reuse them.) The door speakers are accsessed by removing the window crank and prying up the panel. You don't have to remove the panel completely.

I installed a set of infinity 4" speakers in all locations. The door speakers are bolted through the door panel with flat head machine bolts (the speaker flanges on the back of the panel) I then cut the rim off the stock infinity grill and screwed it on flat over the speaker with two small tec screws. It looks very good, and the door closes against the dash fine, and the window crank works fine. The left rear (infinity) grill won't fit against the a/c cover and the curtain/vent box. You either have to modify the stock vw grill, or cut down the infinity grill to fit.

The set up is not a rolling boom box, but it is much better than the stock speakers.


Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

Member Posted July 27, 2004 08:08 AM

I have a 1983 Westfalia with blown original factory speakers. I would like to keep the integrity of the vehicle by installing new 3 inch speakers behind the original speaker covers. My question is "how did you remove the original VW factory speakers from the speaker covers? Mt attempt was unsuccessful, it appears that it is either tightly glued or even a solid one-piece unit. Is there a better alternative? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

RCB Super Member Posted July 27, 2004 02:45 PM

Greetings, I have a 1982 Westy and replaced the old junky blown speakers with Boston Accoustic speakers, both front door and rear upper storage cabinets as well. Those old ones just screw on or screw off. One thing that I found to my liking is that the newer speakers could be installed in the same holes and no altering was needed. Not many audio companys make a small speaker but after auditioning the few companys that do make them I settled on the Bostons,and Im real happy with them. I also found that even though the speakers are small they give off a surprising ammount of bass ( I listen mostly to Jazz and like the lower end of the music spectrum... the bass ) Also of interest is that once you do install the newer speakers, have an additional ground wire installed. The older speakers on a Vanagon did share a common ground wire for the rears and had a tendency to flutter a bit more than I liked. Since the upper cabinet in the rear of the Westy is allmost like a speaker cabinet in itself,you will obtain a nice bassy like sound throughout the entire interior. A newer Kenwood reciever with 45 watts ( plenty for me ) powers the Boston Accoustic speakers and makes for a comfortable, harmonically balanced sound.
Best 2U and happy trails................RCB

wiskeyjack Junior Member Posted August 01, 2004 05:05 PM


I have a 1987 Westfalia, and would like to replace the rear speakers. What is the easiest way to replace them without damaging the rear compartment? I would only like to replace the speakers, and maintain the integrity of the rear compartment and speaker grills. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

RCB Super Member Posted August 01, 2004 06:36 PM

Greetings Wiskeyjack, I dont think that its a big deal to remove an existing speaker and replace it with a newer one. Exactly what is it that you would like to know?? Can you be a bit more specific as to what you want to do?? I think that speaker replacement is rather straight foward unless someone has butchered a prior attempt................RCB

icarus Super Member Posted August 02, 2004 07:33 AM

The stock rear speakers are a two piece unit that screws together like a large bottle top, with the back clamping against the cabinet to the front. Does this make sense? In other words the front acts as a flange, and the rear "basket" clamps the flange down. If you don't care to save the old ones, you can reach in the rear shelf, or a/c cabinet (they do differ according to a/c installation)and unscrew the rear part of the speaker. If you can't turn the rear portion, you can break the tabs with a screwdriver. Once you get one out, you can see how they come apart. See posts about after market speakers. Both front and rear have significant size issues.


Zephyr Junior Member Posted January 21, 2006 01:39 PM

Let me see if I get this. Bear with me, I'm a Westy newbie and I don't want to hurt anything. I've got an '87 with A/C, so access from the rear is very difficult. Is the stock speaker designed so I can unscrew the grill from the front and the speaker will pull out into the interior of the bus?


Tim Hannink

New member
The stock speaker is glued into the front part of the housing. If you push in on the grill gently around the circumference you can break the bond of the glue and the speaker will come out. Take it slowly and make sure the speaker housing is warm to avoid cracking it.

A 3-1/2" inch speaker is the proper size. They usually have mounting ears that you can bend over. Use a good glue on the face of the mounting ring then place it in the housing and clamp. I replaced all four of mine 4-years ago with Infinity Reference series speakers and they still sound great. I also added a 10" subwoofer and amp to fill out the bottom of the sound.

Good luck,


New member
Hey all, i have a 1991 VW Vanagon GL (not a westy but has a very nice unfoldable double bed!) and im looking to replace the speakers. I believe htey are blaupunkt, but ive had a hard time finding some speakers. What would be some recommendations. Should i just replace speakers based on size etc...? how can i find out the exact speaker Volkswagen used in the 1991 Vanagon? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, -Tim.

Capt. Mike

Yes, the OE speakers were Blaupunkt and not all that great. They had trouble handling the Bass and volume of even the factory radio/cassette. Especially at the volumes a noisy Westy often requires. Unless needing to stay OE for originality reasons, I'd go with a good replacement based on size and ability to fit without any permanent modifications to the (very expensive) door panels. Cruthfield Electronics has good experience with replacement sound systems and may offer some good advice. However, do remember speakers consume amplifier power so stay matched to your radio. The way stereo watt generation works, the larger the speaker, the more the radio attempts to put out to feed it. This can cause amplifier overload, damaging the radio.


Look into the infinity 4" speakers I speak about above. Also you will find that the speaker wire is very undersized for any modern head unit. After doing new speakers and a new head unit the distortion was very bad until I replace the wires. (see the post elsewhere)



New member
1984 Vanagon Westfalia

As every Westy owner knows, your options for the front speakers are very limited. Based on some advice from this site, I installed a set of Boston Acoustic S35 3-1/2 speakers into the original front speaker grills. I removed the door panels, removed the speaker units. Using advice from above, I pried out the old speakers with a large screwdriver. Then I bent back the screw tabs on the new speakers, slid them into the original grills and pushed them in as far as they will go. The S35 are two-way speakers and they have a piece of plastic protecting the tweater. So I just pushed plastic until it met plastic. Then I used the "other" handyman's secret weapon and glued the new ones in with DAP adhesive caulk from behind. They aren't going anywhere. They stick out the back of the original grills 13/16ths of an inch, but they do install and fit into the original plastic door seal. The speakers handle 30 watts RMS, the most of any of the 3-1/2 speakers I found.


New member
Thank you great advise for the speaker installation. I too want to keep the integrity of the speakers and will get the BA S35. But how do you get into the speakers in the back of the AC housing. I have an 85 westy. If this was covered before. I dont want to have to take out the whole air conditioning unit but would like to remove the speakers..The front ones seem much eaiser to come out then the back ones.


New member
The rears are more trouble -- especially if the speakers have not been rewired. (Read other posts -- the stock wiring on many Westies was with a common ground; no good.) The AC vent (the part the air comes out of) is easily removable on my 1984. The screws are covered with plastic heads. Use a small blade screwdriver or dull knife to remove them to expose the regular Philips screw heads. You may be able to reach in to unscrew the backs of speaker holders. (As mentioned before, they're like jar lids.) If you have to remove the AC cabinet, it's not as bad as you may think. There are six bolts. Two brown carriage bolts in from the front (nuts accessed through the AC vent), two large Philips screws from the back and two bolts that come in from the upright clothes cabinet. The toughtest part is removing the AC drainage tray and the drainage tubes, so if you can drop the cabinet just a bit to get a little more leverage, that may be all you need.


New member
I just finished installing a pair of Boston Acoustics SX60's to go along with the spanky new Alpine CDA-9856. I'm pretty stoked that I can actually hear music on the freeway...

6" speakers will just barely fit in the doors at the stock location. Oddly, these speakers don't come with any grille covering. That actually is a good thing for a Westy-- you can mount them to the rear of the door panel and there are no handcrank clearance issues. I am looking for a source for some flush-mount grilles but if I can't find any it's no big deal.

This speaker has separate tweeters. I drilled a couple of 1-1/2" holes in the dash and plopped them right in, easy as pie.


New member
Has anyone tried the kenwood 4" speakers kfc-1062S from crutchfield they sell for $49.95 a pair and are a 3 way speaker.Crutchfield says they will fit in the door...