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-   -   Cheap Mod: DIY AUX Input in a 2005-2008 Factory Head Unit (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/audio-video/161339-cheap-mod-diy-aux-input-2005-2008-factory-head-unit.html)

fbconvert 06-09-2011 03:50 PM

Cheap Mod: DIY AUX Input in a 2005-2008 Factory Head Unit
***Edit: If pictures from this first post are not loading just hit refresh they should download on the second try.***

***UPDATE: An alternative to this mod has been posted by TW member pscrev20.
Before committing to this mod I recommend reading his post as well.


I wish I could take credit for coming up with this mod, but my source of inspiration came from TW Member wljohns (his thread).
Here is the basic outline of this post.

o What is this mod and why do I want to do it
o How this mod works and its basic functions
o What are the limitations of this mod
Materials & Tools
o Input jack
o Solder iron and solder
o Wire
o Other handy tools
o Removing the head unit
o Disassembling the head unit
o Wiring the inputs
o Re-installing
o Final thoughts


So what is this mod and how can it benefit your undoutable, overzealous, love affair with your truck? Well back in my younger days of aught five (2005), MP3 players and other musical devices were very popular, and their popularity was growing exponentially to the point that no one between the age of 3 and 65 didnít have at least two in their immediate
possession at all times (Pardon my slight exaggeration). However, Toyota and all their wisdom would not foresee the benefit of an aux input for another four years. This meant that everyone with a second generation Tacoma from years 2005 to 2008 would have to resort to some aftermarket adapter or worse, an FM transmitter. Well this Modification is intended to save you from the ultimate demise of an FM transmitter, or at the very least keep you from spending $50-Plus on an aftermarket adapter.

In a nutshell the mod works like this: it taps into the left and right channel of the CD player output and overrides it. This means that you have to select the CD player as the source of the audio. As long as you do not plug in any device into your new aux input jack the CD player will play as normal. Once you plug in your audio device it immediately overrides the CD player audio (disabling it) and switches to whatever is coming into the aux input. As I tested it the sound quality is equal to any aux input I have ever used. Even though your head unit will display will look like it is playing the CD, there is no faint overlap of sound coming from the CD, only the Aux input, and it is crystal clear (exited yet?).

Here are the basics:


  • Modification Cost: $4.00 (depending on what tools & supplies you already have)

  • Adds a universal mini 3.5 (headphone Jack) AUX input that will work with any audio device designed to be used with headphones.


  • The unit I did this mod on is a 6 disc JBL model out of a 2005 double cab TRD sport. From wljohns post, which I referenced earlier, it appears he did his mod on a single disc non-jbl unit. Between the pictures from wljohnsís post and this post you should be able to figure out how to apply this mod to your specific unit but of course all of this is at your own risk.

  • Like I mentioned above this mod taps into the CD player. This means you must select the disc source as the input. Not sure about other units, but the only way I can activate the disc source is if I actually have a disc in my receiver. Maybe someone smarter than I can figure a way to enable selection of the disc source without a disc actually in there, but for now I will just except this.

Materials and tools

Input Jack

You will need an input jack much like I have pictured below. It cost me just less than $4 after tax at my local radio shack (And they come in pairs so you can slit the cost with your other Tacoma buddies if you are really cheap).

Solder iron and solder
I already had this stuff but I am sure you can pick it up pretty cheap. I am just assuming this so maybe I am wrong, but if you have made it this far in my post I am willing to wager that you already have these tools at your disposal as well. If you donít then I might suggest reading up a little on how to solder and what all goes with it. Donít let me scare you away from this mod, there is nothing complicated about soldering. I am just giving this word of caution for those out there who donít have a clue. The CD electric board is delicate, if you are not careful you could potentially short out the board or overheat it, thus making useless even as a boat anchor (it might work as a door stop or paper wait).


Donít ask me what gauge I used because I donít know. I just had some extra wiring lying around that was approximately the same size as that of a typical pair of headphones. If you go to large it will be hard to solder it to the CD electric board. The length you need will depend on where you wish to mount your Aux input.

Other handy tools

A pair of wire cutters, a drill, flat head screw driver, small and large Philipís head screw driver, a 10 mm socket and wrench. This is going to sound a little wired butÖ a picture of Sylvester Stalloneís character ďRockyĒ, a bag of Cheetos, and two (2) Dragon warriors might also come in handy (you never know).


Finally the good part with lots of pictures! I have to give the basic disclaimer just because I donít want people flaming me later that theirs didnít work. Bottom-line this is my approach, it may not be the path of least resistance (Pun intended even though there are no resistors in this mod) but it worked for me, and I hope you have similar success.

Removing the head Unit

Edit: (recommendation from
bama trd) Make sure all CD's are removed from CD player.

Begin by bopping off the climate controlÖ control nub things.

You now should have access to the bolts that mount your head unit to the dash. Use a 10 mm socket to remove all four of them.

Now gently remove the head unit from the dash while unplugging all of the wiring harnesses.

Disassembling the head unit
Look carefully at the head unit. In general, every screw you see will need to be removed. Keep track of all of them or you will end up like me with some left over when you are all done. I suggest starting with the four screws that attach the CD player to the front face. I will try to remain consistent in my pictures so I will show screw locations with red arrows and tabs locations (or anything requiring a little force) in blue.

Also remove the two top screws, pop the front tabs, and then remove the top plate by carefully lifting from the back.

I do not have a particular order of operations for this next part. Just start removing all the screws until you have removed all of the surrounding walls of the CD player. Donít forget about the ones in the front. Take special note of how everything is put back together because I do not include any reassembly procedures.

Front of CD Player

Bottom of CD Player

Side of CD player

Eventually you will get to the guts of the system. I donít know what all the other units looks like and since this is a JBL head unit, your insides could look very different. Remember wljohns Post, he has pictures of a different unit there. The next step I took was separating the actual CD player from the amp board by gently pulling straight out on the two wire ribbons.


Next I removed the insulation plate attached to the CD player. You will want to remove the other end of the two wire ribbons at this point to expose the screws mounting the insulation plate.

Then gently lift the insulation plate and set it aside. In the next image I will circle the part where you need to solder. Here is my tip for people with other unit models: The left and right channel inputs are near the connector of the wide wire ribbon on the CD player side. They were labeled LCH and RCH respectively. I am assuming that the other units are labeled similarly.


Here is a picture of both my left and right input wires soldered to the points above. Be careful not to overheat the board or short circuit anything. You want a good strong connection or else you will get static when you plug in your input. Notice how I wrapped my wires around a solid point on the CD player to protect the connections. There is zero clearance for wires on the back side of unit (top of picture below) but there is a little room on the right side of the unit (right side of picture below).


At this point you are ready to start assembling everything back together. Donít worry about soldering the input jack yet just leave the blanked off ends hang until you figure out where you want to mount your input. You will also need a ground as well. You have several options for ground but I canít guaranty any of them except the one I used. The funny thing with grounds is I know it can pick up noise that may require a filter. I grounded mine directly to the head unit pictured below using the insulation plate mounting screws on the wire ribbon side and there is no noise what so ever, even when the car is running.


I am in the process of resurrecting a salvaged Tacoma which involved replacing the entire dash. The only dash available at my local salvage yard was out of a 2009 Tacoma so it came with a factory input. I actually tried to wire it in the same as it is wired to the 2009 head unit (only i still have my 2005 head unit) but it did not work which is why I did this mod. These next few pictures is how I mounted my input so it appears stock.





So there you have it. A clean install of an aux input. You could get really creative on how you want to mount your input. There is room on the front face of the head unit or you could tuck it somewhere under the dash, it is up to you. Maybe you would like to rout it to the inside of the center console? So far I am really happy with this mod which is probably why I put so much time into this write up. If you do try to do this yourself, I hope you will post pictures and give some feedback on your success. Feel free to post any comments or questions, I will do my best to respond.

Good luck!


BradleyScottETC 06-09-2011 03:52 PM


pudge151 06-09-2011 03:55 PM

nice write up and some big balls to pull it off!

hogeyphenogey 06-09-2011 04:02 PM

+1 rep... Great write up, as I have very little electrical prowess even I may try this myself. Nice job!

fbconvert 06-09-2011 04:05 PM

Thanks guys. You really should try it for yourself, just take it slow and as long as you are careful with your solder not much can go wrong. I think I might try to post a video of how it works a little later. I figure a lot more people would be willing to try it after they see how well it really works.

06tacomaprerunner 06-09-2011 10:31 PM

:eek: nice work!!

fbconvert 06-10-2011 09:49 AM

This kind of defeats the purpose of this write up... but if you like what you see here only you don't trust yourself, I found this website that will add an aux plug for $55+$14 shipping.


TheHansen 06-12-2011 10:38 AM

I was skeptical, but it worked great. :yay: Thank you so much for making this write up. It saved me a lot of money because i only wanted to buy an aftermarket head unit to get the aux input.

now i just need to find where i should mount the jack.

It is not hard at all. It took me a little over an hour (including removing and reinstalling the head unit in the truck).

fbconvert 06-12-2011 08:06 PM

Thats great! I am glad I could help. What kind of head unit do you have? It would be nice to see some pictures of other models to compare their differences.

TheHansen 06-13-2011 06:21 AM

I have a 6 disk non jbl hu. It looked exactly the same as the pictures you took. I didnt take any pictures, i would have had i noticed anything different from yours.

The metal peice that you ran the wires through is the only part of the case that i had to remove to take out the cd player. The screws in that piece and the side plates are all i removed. Once the all the screws are out you have to shift the side plates a little bit to unhook them from that back piece pictured.

The only thing i did different was i grounded it to one of the screws on the case on the outside, because i forgot about the ground until i had it all back together.

poynter 06-13-2011 07:28 AM

This is now on my to-do list. thanks!

Sandman614 06-13-2011 07:53 AM

Definitely on my list. Where are the pictures?

EDIT: Firefox was retarded and didn't load them...

97Blk_one 06-13-2011 08:00 AM

Nice. Thanks for the write up and the pics for sho'.

fbconvert 06-13-2011 08:17 AM

Nice! Make sure to take pictures, especially if you have a different head unit. You can also see that pictures from wljohns post I think he had a single disc non-JBL type.


Where are the pictures?
I apologize, its not just you, sometimes they don't load for me. I just have to hit refresh to make them come up though, (I have always used firefox). I think I need to come up with a different hosting site, the problem is I am very limited by my proxy server at work (photobucket is a no go). I can just use TW but it is limited and kind of clunky IMO.


The only thing i did different was i grounded it to one of the screws on the case on the outside, because i forgot about the ground until i had it all back together.
You could probably also get away with grounding the wire to the frame of the truck but I was just concerned about noise or interference, what you did is totally acceptable (obviously). Also that is cool that the Non-JBL 6 disc is the same.

Sandman614 06-13-2011 08:53 AM


Originally Posted by fbconvert (Post 3302784)
Nice! Make sure to take pictures, especially if you have a different head unit.

I apologize, its not just you, sometimes they don't load for me. I just have to hit refresh to make them come up though, (I have always used firefox). I think I need to come up with a different hosting site, the problem is I am very limited by my proxy server at work (photobucket is a no go). I can just use TW but it is limited and kind of clunky IMO.

Mines a single disc non-JBL Headunit so I will be taking pictures.

I usually use Google Chrome but the Developer version is acting stupid with TW and some other sites. Might try Imageshack.us, not sure if that will work around your proxy or not but it's worth a try.

WhatThePho? 06-13-2011 09:10 AM

Have the mods sticky this

fbconvert 06-13-2011 09:53 AM


Mines a single disc non-JBL Headunit so I will be taking pictures
Good deal! It would also be nice if people posted where and how they mounted their aux input just to share some more clever ideas.

Ultimately, I would like to find a way to be able to select the input without having a CD playing in the background but for now I am very happy with this mod.


Have the mods sticky this
It might fit well in the sticky Audio/Video Tips, Mods & More But I should have the wife proof read it for me if that ends up being the case :o.

fbconvert 06-13-2011 09:55 AM

by the way I tested Imageshack.us and it is blocked as well.

Sandman614 06-16-2011 09:14 PM

Done pictures to come, this mod works great!

Sandman614 06-17-2011 09:40 AM

2006 Single CD Non-JBL Headunit
This is an amazing mod, works perfectly and the sound levels are the same as the cd player itself.






Here are the RCH and LCH points, they are labeled on the "floating" part of the CD drive. I didn't want to solder the wires here so I followed them over the ribbon cable.





More pictures here: http://s249.photobucket.com/albums/g...a/Mod%20Podge/

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