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Old 10-05-2019, 10:56 AM #1
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My Basic Stereo Build - 2012 Limited

Now that I think I've collected the information I need to complete my project, I've created this thread as a repository for details on the stereo build for my 2012 Limited. The modification subsection may be more fitting for this thread, but it's specific to 5th gen and there is much more traffic here - whenever I search the forum for particular answers to questions, I always start in 5th gen. My biggest wish is that the information posted here will be able to help form members in the future.

Base details:
The non-JBL nav system in my current 4Runner is quite dated and I've become accustomed to CarPlay and other more modern features in our other vehicles. I also wanted a bump in sound quality without going too crazy.

Base requirements for the project I outlined:

- Keep the look relatively stock- In my opinion, sticking a double din unit in place of the stock unit looks a bit off, but I got some ideas from the forum to help compensate. I also specifically picked a headunit that could match stock dash colors. Additionally, there will be no flashy wiring/lighting and all installed components will be hidden with no loss of cargo space. This means no large sub enclosures since, at this point in my life, I've begun to value vehicle functionality over outright audio performance.
- Add modern features - as mentioned above, I really like CarPlay and other features of more modern headunits, so this is a must.
- Keep the cost low - I would've liked to have kept this under $600 but it's just not doable for what I'm looking for. I'm probably at about the $900 mark on this.
- Improve sound quality - given the constraints I've listed above, this obviously won't be a world-class competition system, but I anticipate that I'll be able to improve the sound over the stock system quite a bit. I think the stock system really limits equalization, and this is quite evident by the change in tuning when the "Party Mode" button is selected. Also the stock speakers, while very efficient, aren't very good for SQ. If I feel it's needed, I'll also add a slim powered sub under the passenger seat at a later date.

Components I've already purchased or had on hand:
- Kenwood Excelon DMX-905S (Last years model, but for $350 I think it's a good selection given that it accomplishes everything I want)
- Kenwood Excelon X301-4 - Adding an amp will increase complexity, but I think it will be worth it. This amp is extremely compact and fits completely hidden under the driver's seat. Given the price ($100) and the dyno test/internal inspection on YouTube by Williston Audio of an amp from the same class, I think this will actually be a sweet little budget amp.
- iDataLink Maestro and TO1 harness
- Scosche TA2106B Stereo Installation Kit
- Infinity REF-3022CFX for Dash Speakers
- Infinity REF-9632IX for Front Door Speakers
- Infinity REF-6522IX for Rear Door Speakers (I will leave the hatch speakers stock since they are so far back there)
- Various other cabling, adapters, and install materials (8AWG OFC wire for amp w/ maxi fuse holder, shielded RCAs, adapter for stock USB plug, adapter for stock amplified antenna, speaker adapters, USB cables, etc.)

Stay tuned as the installation progresses and feel free to ask questions! With two young kids and a full time job, it's probably going to be sloooooow.
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Last edited by KP Texan; 10-05-2019 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:09 AM #2
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Looking forward to the rest of the install. Are you planning on adding any extra sound insulation while you have the doors apart?
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:27 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackjoachim View Post
Looking forward to the rest of the install. Are you planning on adding any extra sound insulation while you have the doors apart?
Yeah, now that you mention it, that's probably a good idea. I was trying to keep it simple, but might as well do it since I'll have the doors opened up, right? I've already got a roller and have installed it before. I'm thinking 10sf should do it for all 4 doors. Thanks for pushing me over the edge to do it; low cost for the benefit it will provide!
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:51 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KP Texan View Post
I'm thinking 10sf should do it for all 4 doors.!
Definitely do this. makes a big difference, and gives the door a nice solid feel when you close them. 10sqft should do it.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:01 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KP Texan View Post
Now that I think I've collected the information I need to complete my project, I've created this thread as a repository for details on the stereo build for my 2012 Limited. The modification subsection may be more fitting for this thread, but it's specific to 5th gen and there is much more traffic here - whenever I search the forum for particular answers to questions, I always start in 5th gen. My biggest wish is that the information posted here will be able to help form members in the future.

Base details:
The non-JBL nav system in my current 4Runner is quite dated and I've become accustomed to CarPlay and other more modern features in our other vehicles. I also wanted a bump in sound quality without going too crazy.

Base requirements for the project I outlined:

- Keep the look relatively stock- In my opinion, sticking a double din unit in place of the stock unit looks a bit off, but I got some ideas from the forum to help compensate. I also specifically picked a headunit that could match stock dash colors. Additionally, there will be no flashy wiring/lighting and all installed components will be hidden with no loss of cargo space. This means no large sub enclosures since, at this point in my life, I've begun to value vehicle functionality over outright audio performance.
- Add modern features - as mentioned above, I really like CarPlay and other features of more modern headunits, so this is a must.
- Keep the cost low - I would've liked to have kept this under $600 but it's just not doable for what I'm looking for. I'm probably at about the $900 mark on this.
- Improve sound quality - given the constraints I've listed above, this obviously won't be a world-class competition system, but I anticipate that I'll be able to improve the sound over the stock system quite a bit. I think the stock system really limits equalization, and this is quite evident by the change in tuning when the "Party Mode" button is selected. Also the stock speakers, while very efficient, aren't very good for SQ. If I feel it's needed, I'll also add a slim powered sub under the passenger seat at a later date.

Components I've already purchased or had on hand:
- Kenwood Excelon DMX-905S (Last years model, but for $350 I think it's a good selection given that it accomplishes everything I want)
- Kenwood Excelon X301-4 - Adding an amp will increase complexity, but I think it will be worth it. This amp is extremely compact and fits completely hidden under the driver's seat. Given the price ($100) and the dyno test/internal inspection on YouTube by Williston Audio of an amp from the same class, I think this will actually be a sweet little budget amp.
- iDataLink Maestro and TO1 harness
- Scosche TA2106B Stereo Installation Kit
- Infinity REF-3022CFX for Dash Speakers
- Infinity REF-9632IX for Front Door Speakers
- Infinity REF-6522IX for Rear Door Speakers (I will leave the hatch speakers stock since they are so far back there)
- Various other cabling, adapters, and install materials (8AWG OFC wire for amp w/ maxi fuse holder, shielded RCAs, adapter for stock USB plug, adapter for stock amplified antenna, speaker adapters, USB cables, etc.)

Stay tuned as the installation progresses and feel free to ask questions! With two young kids and a full time job, it's probably going to be sloooooow.
If you have done enough research, you probably would know Toyota screwed up the premium stereo system by using a pair of lowest-end dash speaker and cross-over for the sake of cost reduction, I guess. A decent pair of tweeter and cross-over will make a day and night difference. However, your money, your wallet.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:06 PM #6
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Not a fan of the Kenwood. Swapped for a Pioneer AVIC.

YMMV.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:19 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsun_2k View Post
If you have done enough research, you probably would know Toyota screwed up the premium stereo system by using a pair of lowest-end dash speaker and cross-over for the sake of cost reduction, I guess. A decent pair of tweeter and cross-over will make a day and night difference. However, your money, your wallet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zcruiser View Post
Not a fan of the Kenwood. Swapped for a Pioneer AVIC.

YMMV.
Thanks for the input! Plenty of people seem happy with a good 3.5" swap in the dash, and I'm not a fan of Pioneer since that's what I had for my last headunit.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:21 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsun_2k View Post
If you have done enough research, you probably would know Toyota screwed up the premium stereo system by using a pair of lowest-end dash speaker and cross-over for the sake of cost reduction, I guess. A decent pair of tweeter and cross-over will make a day and night difference. However, your money, your wallet.
Lets be realistic here, there is nothing premium about the non JBL stereo. Replacing the dash speaker make a noticeable improvement in the higher frequencies, but its not going to compare to even a budget setup with new speakers and an external amp. $900 isn't that much compared to many of the thing people buy for their 4Runner, but I'm sure he will enjoy his stereo that he will most likely listen to every day.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:52 PM #9
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Thanks keyser_soze!

I respect everyone's opinion, and you are certainly entitled to it, but don't forget that I also wanted a more modern, capable setup. The system in my 2012 is old, and I'd like an upgrade.

In fact, I previously owned a 2018 4Runner TRD ORP, and the vehicle I just traded in was a 2018 F-150 w/3.5 Ecoboost (which had all sorts of modern features). This may sound crazy to many people, and sort of is, but bottom line the wife needed a new vehicle, so I made the decision to keep her 2012 4Runner Limited and traded my truck in so she could have her new car. I could've kept the truck, but I'm honestly more attached to the 4Runner and know it will last longer. The 2012 is still a damn fine vehicle which I love, and at 85K miles she's just getting broken in. This new stereo is my way of revamping it in a way and making it feel newer to me.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:27 PM #10
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OK, my first post about progress on this project is about the USB port. I've decided to leave my stock port in the glove compartment, and have bought a Metra adapter to use that as my secondary USB connection which will be connected to the headunit.

For my primary connection, I've decided to make it behind the door which sits below the HVAC controls. A 3.5mm aux input sits there now from the factory, so I'll to get rid of that and put a USB port there. From prior experience, Apple Car Play is quite picky about USB connections so that's another reason why I opted to not just relocate the stock connector from the glove compartment to there.

I selected this cable from Amazon, and I'm pretty happy with quality of construction: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I was originally going to carve out a rectangular hole in a standard type of switch blank from my 4Runner, but I noticed that style of blank has almost a rounded face, which wouldn't be best for this application. Driving my Dad's 2009 Tundra the other day, I noticed the blanks in the dash were of similar size but had a perfectly flat face. I pulled one from his truck and it's a perfect fit for the 4Runner! $4.50 later, I had one of those blanks from the dealer and I started working on it (p/n 55539-06090 in case your wondering).

A couple photos (first one is after removing bulk of material with a drill bit, but before finishing with utility knife/files):



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Old 10-05-2019, 09:57 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KP Texan View Post
I've already got a roller and have installed it before. I'm thinking 10sf should do it for all 4 doors.
The coverage of 10 sq ft will depend on what you do to each door. If you do full coverage on the outside skin/panel as well as the inside framing you'll need more than 10 sq ft total. That said, sound dampening doesn't really need to be full coverage, despite what many YouTube videos show. You mentioned you've done it before and likely well aware of this. Adding the comment for other users that may look at this thread and think that 10 sq ft gets full coverage of all surfaces in all doors.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:09 AM #12
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Originally Posted by DreamsOfDirt View Post
The coverage of 10 sq ft will depend on what you do to each door. If you do full coverage on the outside skin/panel as well as the inside framing you'll need more than 10 sq ft total. That said, sound dampening doesn't really need to be full coverage, despite what many YouTube videos show. You mentioned you've done it before and likely well aware of this. Adding the comment for other users that may look at this thread and think that 10 sq ft gets full coverage of all surfaces in all doors.
Agreed. My main goal is to stop the majority of panel resonance, which shouldn’t require full coverage. That being said, it would be really nice to also add some mass loaded vinyl and closed cell foam, but I have neither the time nor the budget.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:42 PM #13
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Thanks keyser_soze!

I respect everyone's opinion, and you are certainly entitled to it, but don't forget that I also wanted a more modern, capable setup. The system in my 2012 is old, and I'd like an upgrade.
I was agreeing with you. The person I quoted was implying that all you need to do is upgrade the dash speakers instead of a whole system.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:36 PM #14
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Originally Posted by keyser_soze View Post
I was agreeing with you. The person I quoted was implying that all you need to do is upgrade the dash speakers instead of a whole system.
Sorry, I should’ve phrased that better to say “they are entitled”. I knew you were agreeing with me!
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:49 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser_soze View Post
Lets be realistic here, there is nothing premium about the non JBL stereo. Replacing the dash speaker make a noticeable improvement in the higher frequencies, but its not going to compare to even a budget setup with new speakers and an external amp. $900 isn't that much compared to many of the thing people buy for their 4Runner, but I'm sure he will enjoy his stereo that he will most likely listen to every day.
Not quite true, the cross-over attached to the dash speakers probably is the worst part. The cutoff freq. is totally meshed up with the poor dash speakers. The head unit and the speakers on the sides and back are pretty decent IMO. OTOH, if he wants new stuff such as carplay to work, then it is a different story.
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