Package Deck Removal
The stock speakers on the 04 Max just don't cut it for me, so I decided to take apart the rear deck and swap them out with a pair of 6X9s I had sitting around. I'm planning something with more punch in the future, but I figured I might as well learn how to remove the little thumpers now, and it wouldn't hurt to put something better than paper cones while I save.
I'm sorry for the lack of pictures but it's not nearly as hard as you would imagine. I took some for those that may want reference shots before they start ripping up trim.
Start by removing the side trim pieces. These are very simple, just insert something that won't scratch behind them and lift out. There are only two integrated clips and one white body clip holding it in place. Slide it out of the way and toss it someplace soft. It may take a bit of coercing to get it to slide out safely, since there are two large plastic supports that get in the way, but it can take it. Just go slowly.
After both side trim pieces are removed, start prying the whole deck up by inserting a tool between the deck and the back of the seats. If you wish to remove the seats before doing this I can only imagine that it would make the task much easier, but I didn't bother.
Push the tool as far back as you can, popping up all the clips that hold it down. DO NOT go ripping it up, as the brake light is connected to it through a ridiculously short connection feeding into the trunk. Slide the deck up and over the seats, following the path of the seatbelts. Be careful to watch your hands around the child seat latches and the seat release button.
In this shot you can see the white plastic clips that hold the deck down to the metal below, as well as the large white clip that connects the rear brake light assembly. There are five bulbs that could potentially burn out, so I'll have fun replacing those in the future if they do wind up going out. The white brake assembly clip is of the exact same sort that are used in the stock speakers. Place a tool directly in the center of the plug and push VERY FIRMLY in, then simultaneously pull the whole thing apart. With a bit of DIY skill, it should be perfectly fine. I spent about a half hour trying to figure this out due to the angle and I wound up breaking it... Luckily there are two more to practice on under the speakers!
After you have the light assembly safely unplugged, feed it up through the deck (which it is wrapped around the plastic for reasons unknown. It doesn't move at all by itself if you leave it loose) so it can safely slide away from the rear of the car to the seats, where you can set it down and access the speakers.
The speakers use 8mm sockets and are bolted down with four little screws. They're also sealed with a thin strip of material so you'll have to insert a tool between the metal deck surface and the speaker, prying directly up. Be careful when you remove the speakers, as the magnet is strong and the rear window is very close. Cover the speaker with your hand to avoid hitting the glass. I know this may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised what happens in my garage...
I just cut the speakers at the base of the plug and soldered on some new terminals. If you do plan on replacing the stock speakers with new ones make sure that you have enough space to tighten them down. The ones that I had were apparently intended to be used with a screwdriver and not a socket, as there was insufficient space to fit the socket around the head of the screw. Few minutes of cutting and filing fixed that.
Installation is the reverse of removal, just take extra special care to line everything back up. Key phrase here is to just take your time. Slide the deck all the way back and push down firmly to pop the clips back in. Feed the side trim panels in around the brackets, pushing down first to ensure a snug fit. Snap them back into place and you're all set to go!
Lastly, here's a shot of the poor little dude in all his paper glory: