Howto: Pioneer Emotion speakers in a W203 Coupe


New Member
Sep 17, 2010
2003 C180 Komp Coupe
Hello! This is my first hopefully helpful post here rather than a request for help. I'll probably mess it up somehow :rolleyes:

You can skip a large chunk of time by buying the right adapter plates, but I couldn't find any and had to get "close enough" ones.

So: W203 Coupe, Dec 2003 model.

General stuff you'll need which you might have lying around
Torx T30, T25, T20
Tough plastic shim
Philips head screwdriver
Sticky-back foam strips
Speaker cable and spade connectors
Glue gun
Fat nosed pliers
Needle nosed pliers

Parts I ordered just for this
Component speakers + frequency box: PIONEER TSE170CI, £89.99
Adapter plate: CT25MC09, £5.99
Adapter plate: CT25MC05, £8.99
Coaxial speakers (tweeter in middle of cone): PIO-TSE1302I, £53.99

Righto. Let's start by getting the parts all ready.

Adapter Plate Modifications Because You Ordered The Wrong Ones / Correct Ones Are Impossible To Find

Component woofer + adapter

  • Nibble the outer mounts of the speaker off. There are stress lines to help you do this. You're converting a 17cm speaker to a 16.5cm speaker.
  • Line the pegs up with the holes, screw them in gently. When I did mine, most of the pegs broke, but not to the point of them being entirely useless thankfully.
  • The foam stuff that comes with it goes on the front shroud. Whack it on there.
  • May as well put the spade connectors on now with about 20cm of wire.

Component tweeter

  • This is a ridiculous fit and I wouldn't recommend you try it.
  • That said, here's how to do it.
  • Take the existing speaker triangles out of the door. Near the mirror. They kind of tug out, but I've found doing the back bottom strip first helps.
  • Take the speaker out of there. The wire is easy to damage, so if you want to be able to go back on this, be careful.
  • Go inside somewhere warm.
  • The circle of plastic the speaker clips in to needs to come out. Make a series of cuts down it, then use fat-nosed pliers to rip it out with a twisting motion. It doesn't have to be perfectly flat. Be sure not to twist towards the grill, only away. It comes out fairly easily. Do this in a nibbling motion, trying to take too much out at once could damage the grille.
  • The tweeters came with little boxes they can optionally sit in. Grab the front of that and nibble off half the height of the outside ring with your fat nosed pliers.
  • You should have 2-4 long, curved bits of plastic now.
  • Look at which side you're working with and attach three of the curves to the front of the tweeter using hot glue. The one side you want to leave is the side which needs to sit lower than would otherwise be allowed.
  • This is a vague description as you absolutely need to check you are lined up properly before proceeding.
  • Hot glue the bits in place and pray.

Rear speaker (well, rear of the front door)

  • Sigh, the adapter for this doesn't fit at all. You'll note the speaker is 13cm, the adapter claims to be 13cm, but the pegs are 12cm apart.
  • Grab your fat nosed pliers and take all the pegs out.
  • You'll now be able to drop the speaker in to the adapter properly, and you'll notice it lines up -perfectly- flush to the plate. Good work, solider!
  • Mark with a paint pen / similar where the speaker mounts are. You'll be drilling holes here.
  • Take the speakers out, and where marked, use a 4mm drill bit to make holes. This plastic is damned fragile so take your time.
  • You got lots of bags of screws with your pioneer kit. One of them has little metal clips in, U shaped. There are matching screws in that bag. Look at the U shape clip - one hole is smaller. The screw will gain grip on that. Cut that side out around the hole, leaving a bit of room on each side.
  • They look like this:
  • Put the screw through the front of the adapter plate, and put the screw-holding plate behind the speaker mount. Screw it tight. Bonza!
  • When all 4 screws are in, apply the foam to the outside like you did with the woofer.

Putting it all in


Door card

This is documented online but it's a bit different for Coupe. There's no grab handle dismantling to do. Read both versions, it can't hurt! This is the most nerve-wracking bit.

  • Whip out the SRS Airbag badge and remove the torx screw.
  • Look at the end of the door by the latch for a T20 trim retaining panel, take that out.
  • There's a big hole just underneath the grab handle with another Torx T30 in it. Take that out.
  • The rest is clips - shove your tough plastic shim in and twist it firmly to release the clips. Go all the way around.
  • Being careful of the central locking pin (rises/falls when you lock up), lift the door panel up and backwards to release it.
  • There are two cables - one for the door handle and one for the electric window switches. Both come out.
  • I only bothered removing the electric wire as the other can be unhooked enough to let the door card rest next to the door.
  • Offically, you should disconnect the battery for 20 minutes before doing this due to the airbag. However, I couldn't be bothered dealing with the bizarre problems that disconnecting the battery causes this car. Your choice.

Front component woofer

Only one alignment works and only two of the holes will line up. Do it up tightly and don't worry about the third. Use sticky pads to hold it in place if you're worried, but it really does hold well.

Rear speaker

Fits perfectly. There's some kind of bucket thing behind the old speaker, you'll want to flip that out and leave it, it's too shallow for the new speaker. :thumb:

Passive crossover matrix

Get your sticky back strips and whack them on the back of the matrix.

If there are wires in the way, follow them down the door and remove two of their positioning clips. Tape them back in place lower down.

Cut a hole in your door card foam next to the central locking control box and stick it in. That's very ambiguous wording so here's a picture of it completed:

Click here for that in ABSOLUTELY HUGE O-VISION!

Wiring it all up

Wire up the matrix as common sense dictates. You will want to wire up the tweeter now but not fit it back yet as the door card will get in the way. I duck taped it to the top of the door to stop it getting in the way.

The old tweeter wire can be terminated and insulated then stuck to the door as discarded.

According to the haynes manual, the wiring to the tweeter and the woofer before are actually from the same place, no frequency splitting done, which is why we're putting the frequency crossover in.

On mine, the levels were AOK and I didn't use the -3db tweeter pin.

Snip the old wires to the rear woofer and solder it in place, electrical tape around the connection, done.

Whack the door panel back on, clip the tweeter mount back in, and you're done! Hooray!

Sorry there weren't any more photos. I didn't think this would be so much work / need a guide, but as it was quite an effort, I hope someone else finds this useful.

Now it's complete, the system sounds amazing paired with a subwoofer I have in the boot and a Pioneer head unit I have in the dash!

Feel free to ask questions, some of this was rushed.
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