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05-11-2011, 02:15 AM #1
Installing Exile Tower Speakers with No Visible Speaker Wires
Seems like there are more and more people going with Exile tower speakers (and for good reason!) so I thought it would be helpful to explain how to do the install so that there are no visible speaker wires (other than around the tower pivot point on the port side). For those that don't know, the speaker wires on the Exile speaker pods come up thru the bottom clamp so you can route them inside the tower for a totally wire-free look.
For this write up, we are assuming that you are installing 4 Exile tower speakers on the rear tower tube and you will power them with a 2 channel amp (such as the Exile 1K Harpoon) which means you will run two pairs of 12 gauge speaker wires and wire two speakers in parallel to each channel. So you will run the speaker wire from the left channel to the port side speaker #1, then run a jumper wire from the port side speaker #1 to the port side speaker #2. Do the same for the right channel to starboard speakers 1 & 2.
So first you'll want to determine your speaker mounting locations and mark with masking tape the location of the speaker clamps. Now drill a 3/8" hole at the bottom of the tube along the centerline of the clamps. Note that you don't want to drill them directly under the tube but a little towards the stern of the boat so that the tower speakers will be aimed slightly upwards when the boat is level. This will ensure that the speakers are about parallel to the water when the boat is underway and in a slightly nose up position.
We need to route the speaker wires from the front round tube to the rear round tube thru the center oval cross tube. This oval tube is closed off on both ends so we will need to drill holes in the inner round tube into the oval tube. So first drill a ½” hole in the front round tube horizontally directly in front of the center oval tube. Now push your drill bit thru until you make contact with the back of the front tube. Drill a second hole making sure you are perfectly horizontal so that you drill into the inside of the oval tube.
Do the exact same thing from the back round tube, just under the tower tow pylon.
When done, you would have drilled four holes all in a straight line and you can look from the front or the back hole and can see all the way thru the first two holes, thru the oval tube, and thru the two holes on the other end. Make sense?
The inside hole in the front tube (the one that leads into the oval crosstube) now needs to be enlarged because you will be trying to pull two pairs of speaker wire thru them at a 90 degree angle and I found this impossible to do thru the 1/2" inner hole. I was using pretty thick wire with a real tacky outside surface so I am sure that was part of the problem. If you are using smaller wire (thinner insulation) with a slippery outside coating, you may not need to do this. So what I did was to take a ¼” diameter round file, stuck it in thru the front hole and using an in an out motion, enlarged the inner hole to about a 1” wide rectangle (with rounded corners). Using a new file, this does not take too long as it cuts thru the aluminum fairly easily. Took me about 10 minutes to enlarge the hole. Be careful to only enlarge the inner hole, NOT the outer hole. You will eventually plug the outer hole with a shiny round metal plug so it’s important that the outer hole remain round.
Now pull two pairs of weedeater wire of different colors (one for each pair of wires) from the hole at the pivot point to the ½” hole in the front tube. I use metal fish tape which works great. Just tape the weedeater wire to it and push it thru.
Last edited by kaneboats; 05-12-2011 at 10:59 AM.Al
2006 Mobius LSV
05-11-2011, 02:24 AM #2
Leave a loop of each wire sticking out of the front hole and using something long and thin (I used the shaft of a very long paddle drill bit), fish the weedeater wire thru the oval tube and out the rear hole.
Leave a loop of wire sticking out of the rear hole and fish one wire to the first port speaker hole, and the other wire to the first starboard speaker hole. Note that the blue wire ends at the first starboard speaker hole and the green wire ends at the first port speaker hole. This is the goal - to pull the speaker wires out these holes from the amp.
Now take a separate piece of weedeater wire and fish it from the port side speaker 1 hole to the port side speaker 2 hole. You will need this to pull the jumper speaker wire. Do the same for the starboard side. Your tower should now look like the pics below.
This is for the jumper wire from one speaker to another. Tie a knot so they don't accidentally pull out.
Finally, take a piece of weedeater wire, about 2’ long, and loop it around both loops of wire that are sticking out of the front hole and knot the end of the 2’ long piece together (so the two pull wires go thru the 2’ looped piece). You will need this looped piece to help pull the speaker wire 90 degrees into the oval crosstube.Now you are ready to start pulling speaker wire thru the tower. Secure each weedeater wire separately to one pair of speaker wire. I did this by poking a hole thru the insulation between the wires about 2” from the end, fishing the weedeater wire thru it, then tying a knot. I then taped the weedeater wire with electrical tape to the speaker wire. That way, it will not pull off when you start pulling hard on the weedeater wire.
You will need to pull the speaker wires in three segments. First, pull both wires to the first hole (the one at the front of the tower tube) using the loop of wire that you left sticking out of that hole. Once you can see the speaker wire thru the front hole, it’s time to pull it thru the oval cross tube into the rear round tube (again, using the loop of wire you left sticking out of the rear tube hole). During wire pulling, it is critical to have a second set of hands feeding the speaker wire thru the entry hole (the one near the tower pivot). Be patient as it’s not easy pulling speaker wire 90 degrees thru a small hole that you don’t have access to. Use the 2’ looped wire to alternately pull the speaker wire away from the hole into the cross tube to create slack, then pull that slack thru the oval cross tube. It’s hard to describe this step but it’s key to pulling the wire thru the 90 degree bend without it getting chafed up by the hole. Keep doing this until the speaker wire it is all the way thru the oval tube and out the rear access hole. Pull enough thru the rear hole so that it will reach over to the first speaker hole on the port and the starboard side.
Carefully pull the speaker wire until it is all the way thru the oval tube and out the rear access hole. Pull enough thru the rear hole so that it will reach over to the first speaker hole on the port and the starboard side.
Now push the speaker wires back inside the tube and pull each one out to it’s speaker respective hole (the first speaker hole on the port and the starboard side. You want to pull enough speaker wire out the rear access hole before the final pull to the speaker hole because otherwise, you would be trying to pull the cable thru two 90 degree bends which is just about impossible.
Now pull a separate speaker wire from one speaker hole to the other, both on the port and the starboard side. This will be the jumper wire and will be used to connect the port speakers together and the starboard speakers together.
I soldered then heat shrunk each speaker connection. Here is one of the inside speakers. You can see both the speaker wire from the amp and the jumper wire attached to the Exile speaker wire.
This is at one of the outside speakers. This is before the speaker wire was pushed back into the tower and the clamp positioned over the hole.
Last edited by kaneboats; 05-12-2011 at 11:06 AM.Al
2006 Mobius LSV
05-11-2011, 02:27 AM #3
Once done, use one of these metal plugs from home depot to cover the hole. Use a little silicon adhesive to ensure a water tight fit.
Here are pics of the final results – not a wire to be seen.
You can see the installed hole plug in this pic.
2006 Mobius LSV
05-11-2011, 02:28 AM #4
While I was at it, I also routed the wires for the tower light inside the tube. It is coming up thru the base and is virtually invisible. Still need to get a plug to cover the hole where the wires used to come thru.
Sorry for the long winded post but I figure more detail is better than not enough.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
2006 Mobius LSV
05-11-2011, 09:43 AM #5
When I did mine I was temped to re-route the tower light but didn't. Now I wish I had. THANKS A LOT AL!
Seriously though great write-up, this will def help answer some questions for the folks who have never done it!
PWI as usual...
05-11-2011, 09:52 AM #6
Thanks for sharing. Very valuable.
05-11-2011, 10:35 AM #7
Thanks again. This will be very handy, and makes perfect sense!
05-11-2011, 11:45 AM #8
I sent you a couple e-mails to make some edits to this post. Basically, only the front hole to the oval cross tube needs to be enlarged - the back one does not. Also, I added a step that adds a "pulling loop" of weedeater wire at the front hole. This is a key step to be able to pull the wire 90 degrees thru the oval cross tube.
2006 Mobius LSV
05-12-2011, 01:21 PM #9
Thanks for making the changes. Looks good.
2006 Mobius LSV
05-12-2011, 02:16 PM #10
Al, great write up with plenty of detail and good photo's to help.Hey, Its Moomba time
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