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S401 Cabin Filter and Speaker Replacement

The S401 will be put into service as a Taxi for the next couple of days when family is up visiting, so I thought I should give it a quick spruce up.

For the most part I have completed the main mechanical stuff, so it was time to move inside and fix a couple of things there.

The first one was to replace the cabin/pollen filter. These are a filter in the blower system to keep pollen and dirt from being blown in your face when you turn the fan up. I now try make a habit of changing these when I get a new car (starting with the Honda, Skyline and Swift), because they are cheap, and usually they haven’t been done in a while. If they are old, they can also introduce unpleasant smells, so it’s best to just do them.

I found there aren’t a lot of guides on how to change these on RHD 3rd generation Legacys, so working with what I had, and just winging it for the rest of it, I managed to change it OK. It’s not hard, but there’s a couple of wee things to note.

First step was to open the glove box and pull it right down. This can either be done by levering the little clips out from each side, or just squeezing the sides in and pulling down.

Pulling this down gives access to half a dozen or so screws, which are down both sides and along the top. There are also two gold-colored bolts in the back that need removing.

One little “gotcha” is that there is a hidden screw on the right that needs to be removed. It’s behind the trim that runs along the side of the centre console. This trim is just clipped in and can be pulled free by hand. Do note there is a push-pin clip up under the glove box, but I didn’t remove that and still had enough room to get the screw in and out.

With those out, there’s also an electrical connector to disconnect, for the glove box light. The plastic around here is bloody sharp though, tore my hands to shreds.

Remove the glove box and it all gets easier.

The plastic panel with the grid lines on it is the cover that needs to be removed. Theres two clips on the bottom that need GENTLE pressure to pop them free, and then the panel slides down and out. The filter is in behind that. Pull it out, and marvel at how gross it is compared to a new one.

Eww. There was also some scum in the bottom of the housing that I vacuumed out.

Put the new filter in, the same way the old one came out (airflow from left to right), pop the panel back on and reassemble the glovebox. Done. Easy. Enjoy the clean air.

Since I was already down there on that side of the car, I decided to investigate the speaker that sounds like crap. Put anything more than a whisper through it and the damn thing just crackled and distorted.

Getting the door card off was easy. Pop off the square clip on the arm rest, and the little cover in the door handle. The window switch also needs to be pried free and disconnected, it’s just clipped in. There is also a round clip at the front of the door card that needs to be removed. The triangular tweeter cover will need to come off too. It just pulls free. Behind the square cover, window switch and the cover in door handle are three screws. remove these and remember that the gold screw is in the door handle, as its different.

With those out, starting at a bottom corner, get your hands in there and gently pull the door card free of the clips. To completely remove the door card it needs to be lifted up and out so the seal against the window comes out (as the top of the door card folds over the top edge of the door, against the window).

Make sure to disconnect the light at the bottom of the door card (no clip, just pulls free), and pull the window switch wiring through the door card. I also found it was easier to remove the tweeter from the door and leave it hanging, this also just pulls free, no screws.

It was obvious straight away what was wrong with the speaker. The cone had come completely away from the foam.

I had picked up a replacement standard speaker earlier in the week. Sadly this was also showing some signs of failure, with a couple of little cracks in the foam. The rest of the foam seemed OK, and it was still attached to the cone. I used some silicone sealant to gently patch the cracks.

I know it wont last forever, but it’ll last long enough to work out what the next step is. I know you can re-foam speakers, so that might be an option to look into. The McIntosh system actually sounds decent when it’s working properly.

Removing the old speaker and installing the replacement was as easy as disconnecting a plug, and removing three screws.

It sounds great now, nice and clear with some solid bass. Much improved.

Refitting the door card was easy, just a reverse of pulling it off. Whilst it was off though, I decided to upgrade the door light to an LED.

And I found the bracket that holds the handle on the door card to the door itself, was missing a screw. Sadly it had stripped the hole, so the only option was to move to a bigger screw and make a new thread.

Of course nothing is easy, a bigger screw didn’t fit through the hole in the bracket.

Nothing a sharp drill bit and a cordless drill can’t fix!

Popped that back on the door card, and all was well in the world again. Its a bit tight with the window switch, but it still works. Wouldnt want a bigger screw head though.

Since I did one door with LEDs, I had to do the other…. and then that “forced” me to also do the map lights and room light.

I changed the boot to LED too, but no photo of that one. It’s just a T10 bulb.

So that was a great improvement, and its means the car will be that little bit nicer to play taxi in. I still have to actually clean the interior, but that will have to be another day. It’s not so bad really, well, on the passenger side anyway.

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