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-   -   **2005+ Tacoma Double Cab Complete Audio Install Tutorial** (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/audio-video/16252-2005-tacoma-double-cab-complete-audio-install-tutorial.html)

Mr Marv 10-11-2008 01:11 PM

**2005+ Tacoma Double Cab Complete Audio Install Tutorial**
OK guys I'm getting ready to start on this install and I will be documenting it as I go along. :) I think there are already threads showing headunit installation as well as door panel removal etc so I will focus mainly on routing wires, proper speaker installation including baffles/adapters and deadening, sub enclosure/amp rack installation etc. The system will consist of all JL components including a 13TW5 subwoofer :D and a Kenwood Excelon DNX8120 with backup camera. :) If there's anything specific you guys would like to see me document let me know so I can get pictures (I'll start posting pictures later this evening). :)

Silver_Jim 10-11-2008 01:51 PM

Hey Marv

Will you be documenting the install on an access or double cab?



rick 10-11-2008 03:25 PM

the title reads double cab

Mr Marv 10-11-2008 03:46 PM

Slight change in plans as we are upgrading to the HYBRID AUDIO TECHNOLOGIES SPEAKERS! :D

Silver_Jim 10-11-2008 03:47 PM


Originally Posted by rick (Post 202503)
the title reads double cab

duh! :o

Mr Marv 10-11-2008 08:36 PM

Sorry guys but I didn't get it finished tonight and I'm a bit tired so pictures will be up tomorrow! :)

lsocoee 10-11-2008 08:47 PM

perfect timing. Looking forward to it Mr Marv.

Ken Dawg 10-12-2008 09:07 PM


Mr Marv 10-13-2008 02:17 PM


Originally Posted by Ken Dawg (Post 203598)

You're funny! :) Well after working until 2:30 AM this morning I got back up at 8am to put the finishing touches on and give it some tuning. It took a LOT longer than anticipated however I also did more on this one than the last one. Here's a couple of shots of the finished product and after I take a nap today :o I'll get started on the tutorial. :)



Casey05Taco 10-13-2008 02:19 PM

looks awesome dude. is the a 13.5"?

SocalMan22 10-13-2008 02:50 PM

Damn thats a sweet setup Marv always good work and awesome custom boxes!

Ken Dawg 10-13-2008 03:35 PM

a home theater on wheels!!!!

craigFLA 10-13-2008 05:33 PM

Thats pretty wild Marv, coring the holes to allow access the child restraint hooks. :thumbsup:

Mr Marv 10-15-2008 11:40 PM

OK guys I finally found time to organize the pictures but it's late now so I'll get it started tomorrow. :)

Chickenmunga 10-16-2008 10:18 AM

Bwarg I was going to ask about cable lengths. Since I'm doing nearly the same (probably following along with some of the stuff too :) ), I'll try to add anything that I discovered I wanted to know or trip ups.

Also I think there was a guy around asking how much deading material (sq. ft) you'd need, divided into floor, door, walls, etc.

Mr Marv 10-16-2008 12:21 PM

2nd Gen DC Compete Audio Install
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find time to do this all in one shot so I'll do it in stages as quickly as I can and I'll start with the gear used;

Headunit chosen was Kenwood Excelon DNX8120 and a Boyo rear view camera:


The front and rear doors received HYBRID AUDIO TECHNOLOGIES CLARUS SERIES speakers.


The sub is a JL AUDIO 13TW5 THIN-LINE 13.5"




For amps we used a JL AUDIO 300/4v2 (75x4) for the door speakers and a JL AUDIO 500/1v2 (500x1) for the sub.


Wiring was all Rockford Fosgate with Stinger battery terminals, circuit breaker and distribution blocks. For this type of install you will need about 18 feet of power wire, 5 feet of ground, 12 ft RCA's (we used 16's because they were out of 12's) and 80-100 gt of 16awg speaker wire.



For deadening we used products from RAAMAUDIO and more details about that will come later.

That's all I have time for right now but I'll try to get back this evening with the next stage and if there are any questions on what I have posted so far let me know. :)

Let me start by saying that to me a "great sounding" mobile audio system is:
  • one that you can "bob your head" to while tooling down the highway amidst a bunch of knuckle headed drivers that would normally annoy you yet you don't even notice them anymore! :)
  • one that you can drive hours and hours listening to without having the desire to turn it down because your ears get fatigued
  • one that doesn't leave you saying "I spent my hard earned dough just to listen to this". :(
  • one that causes you to miss your exit because you were so into the music :)
  • one that makes you skip your exit on purpose since you were so into the music! :D

That being said, everybody has different objectives and desires as well as different budgets so there is no "one size fits all" nor is there the "best" for everyone. In any case my personal feeling is that since speakers are what actually make the sound I always make them my first priority in any system I design or build. Next and just as or maybe more important than your speaker choice is PROPER installation of said speakers since a "good" speaker installed properly will sound better than a "great" speaker not installed properly.

Some of the things that make for "proper" speaker installation are:
  • the proper baffle/adapter/mounting ring to mount the speaker solidly as well as seal the back wave from the front wave
  • sound deadening to prevent panel resonance from degrading the sound
  • higher frequency noise barriers such as Ensolite foam to reduce road/wind noise
  • sufficient power within the thermal/mechanical limits of the speaker to play at the level desired without audible distortion
  • proper levels between drivers
  • proper crossover point/slope for the specific application
  • proper acoustic polarity/phase between drivers
  • speaker location/aiming as well as utilizing/taming reflections (this is usually first however in this case I will focus on stock locations as the vast majority I come in contact with do not wish to modify speaker locations)

Well that's all I have time for right now unfortunately and next up will be pictures and descriptions of proper speaker installation. :)

Sorry for the delay again guys but it has been unbelievably busy around here lately! :eek:

We'll start here with a basic on removing the door panels, kick panels, sill plates and other trim. The nice thing is most of these pieces can be removed with no tools. BTW, I was unable to get pictures of every procedure but hopefully you will be able to understand from the descriptions.

Remove the pin at the top front corner by pushing the center in first and lifting the flange with your fingernail.


Remove the sail panel by just carefully prying it off with your fingers.


Pop open these 2 tabs with a small screwdriver and remove the screws behind them noting that there are 2 different sizes so you can put them back in the correct places.


To remove the window/lock switch panel just pry up at the front and slide it forward

Remove the wiring harness by pushing in the small ribbed tab, slide the collar it is attached to outward and then remove the plug

To remove the door panel just pull it towards you starting at the bottom front until all of the mounting pins have popped loose and then slide it upwards and out.

Unfortunately I was unable to get pictures of the sill plate and trim removal however it is fairly easy. First remove all of the sill plates and foot rest by just prying up on them with your fingers. Next the kick panels will pop off after removing the plastic thumb screw up towards the firewall. To remove the center pillar lower trim you will first need to remove the seat belt at the bottom (pop the plastic cover off and use a 14mm socket), then peel up the rubber door seal as there are a couple of tabs under it and pry the trim off with your fingers.

If this is not clear please feel free to ask questions and if anybody has pictures of the areas I was unable to show please send them to me so I can edit them into the thread.

I'm going to proof read the next stage again and will post it as soon as I get done answering all the emails from the weekend (anybody who has emailed/PM'ed and not heard back for me will shortly). :)

As I mentioned previously proper installation of your new speakers is the key to getting the most from them. Start with the proper set of baffles/adapters made for your specific speakers. If the speaker cutout hole is too big and there are gaps the back wave can cause destructive interference with the front wave which will be detrimental to the sound (speakers emit sound from both sides of the cone). If you try to force the speaker into a hole that is too small you can bend the frame causing internal misalignment which will be detrimental to the sound as well as cause a shortening of life for the speaker.
I use a high grade of MDF and seal it with Rustoleum textured exterior paint since it drys quickly however any paint/sealer will work fine (seal them before starting to be sure they are dry by the time you are ready to install them)


After you get done laughing at the stock speakers, :D disconnect and remove them along with the plastic vapor barrier if you plan to deaden the entire door. On the front speakers only the screw inserts have a flange that stands "proud" of the door metal causing a gap when the new baffles are installed. You could use a thicker gasket to fill the gap however I prefer to remove the inserts and use bolts/washers with nylon insert self locking nuts to make sure the baffle is attached solidly. If you don't want to do this you will need M6x30mm bolts for a 3/4" baffle and a bit longer for a 1" baffle (on the rear doors the inserts are recessed so they are on the same plane as the speaker opening)


I get asked a lot if I think sound deadening is worth the cost. IMO it is however everybody has a point of "diminishing returns" so you'll have to decide how much it is worth to you. At bare minimum I would suggest getting a "door kit" and deadening around the speaker opening. After applying the mat around the baffle mounting area, cut slits starting from the center and fold it over inside the opening thereby effectively creating 2 layers of deadening. Install the baffle to the door with a gasket made of weatherstripping (some use caulk but that can be pretty messy). You will notice that the factory speaker has a gasket around it that aligns with the opening on the inside of the door panel. If you are going the "simple route" with just the door kits and not removing the vapor barrier/sealing the large holes I would suggest a gasket around the front of the baffle to align with the door panel to block any chance of rear wave interference. BTW, the door kit will cover a bit more of the area than this picture shows (we did the entire door so I just took a picture at the beginning so you could get the idea)


To get the absolute most out of your new speakers I would suggest deadening the inside of the outer door skin as well as the inner metal frame and applying the foam noise barrier over that. There are many types of deadening materials out there however I prefer products from RAAMAUDIO as I believe they are a great value (if you do happen to order from there mention I sent you from here and Rick will give you an even better deal :)). I didn't get many pictures of this procedure however if you check the "How to Install" page HERE you will find more detailed instructions.


As soon as I have a little more time I'll proof read the next stage which will be running the wires and mounting the baffle adapters. :)

First thing you want to do before working on ANYTHING electrical is to remove the negative battery terminal and place it in a spot where it won't accidentally touch the battery post!

In this case we swapped to an Optima battery with dual posts so the factory terminals were moved to the side with adapters and aftermarket terminals were used on top for the system. If you use the factory battery/terminals it is very easy to attach the wire by removing the nut on top of the positive and installing the new wire under that with a ring terminal.
The wire size you use must be able to handle at least the amount of current of everything connected to it and the positive wire MUST be fused within a foot or so of the battery before it passes through ANY metal (the fuse size is determined by the capacity of the wire and you can find more info on wiring/fusing etc on the GENERAL CAR AUDIO FAQ THREAD.) Also, you will note I used a circuit breaker which is what I prefer although a fuse holder with the appropriate fuse is fine. BTW, the picture only shows the positive terminal however we added the negative as well with a 4AWG ground wire to the chassis.


Getting the wire into the cab couldn't be any easier in these trucks. :) In the following picture you can see the large grommet under the brake booster that routes the under hood wires into the cab. All you have to do is carefully cut a tiny slit in the flange to the side and feed the power wire through (BTW, you did disconnect the negative wire from the battery before you started this didn't you?! ;)).


Once the wire is inside the truck again it could not be any easier as all you do is route it behind the kickpanel and down into the channel under the door sill plates.

When upgrading to a higher power system I also recommend upgrading the speaker wire (appropriate gauges can be found at the wire chart link in the FAQ thread above). Here is a little trick I use to fish the wire through the "accordion" boot between the door jamb. Take a long zip tie and feed it through from the outside into the cab (I find this is easier than going from the inside out)


Next tape the wire to the end of the zip tie and pull it trough the door jamb.



Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the next step so I'll have to explain it the best I can and when I can get a picture of the procedure I'll post it.

Pull some extra wire through the door jamb so you have some "play". Scrunch the boot together and stick something like a small wooden dowel or a plastic rod with the ends rounded over into the boot so it sticks out a little at the top/bottom (do NOT use something like a screwdriver or metal object that could poke a hole in the boot or accidentally cut the wires!!). Use a little dishwashing soap, Carnauba wax, candle wax etc on the zip tie to make it easier to slide through (do NOT use WD40 or any other kind of petroleum based lubricant as they will not dry up and will attract dirt) and feed it down along the side of the dowel etc (the dowel will stretch the boot and leave a little gap alongside it).


Some guys like to run the RCA's down the center along the console however I prefer to route them under the dash and into the channel along with the other wires since there is plenty of room (before anybody says anything :D I will mention it is a "myth" that you should not run all of the wires together and more info can be found on FAQ thread I linked above :)). When routing under the dash be sure to keep clear of moving parts like the brake pedal etc and use plenty of zip ties to keep them in place.



There are several ways to route the RCA's at the back and which route will work best for you depends on where the connections are made on the amp. In this case we removed the rear storage bin and ran them into the cavity underneath and out under the lip (you may need to file a little notch depending on how thick your wires are). Also note that there are sharp edges so be sure to protect the wire with wire loom etc as seen in the second picture.



It's about bedtime now so I'll try to come back tomorrow with the next stage which will be installing the baffle/adapters. :)

BTW, I didn't quite get everything packed up yet so anybody that hasn't received their shipping invoice or tracking info yet will receive it soon. :)

OK guys I'm going to see if I can finish this up today!

Remove the so called factory tweeter (it's more like a "mini-midrange") from the bracket with a 10mm wrench/socket. To remove the connector from the bracket just push in the little tab with a small screwdriver and slide it off.


Some aftermarket tweeters have larger/thicker flanges or have a grill that sticks out pretty far. If you just mount the adapter on the outside of the bracket the assembly will protrude too far and not allow the door panel to go back on properly. You will notice I make a notch in the adapter that will allow you to mount it on the back side of the original bracket using the original bolts. This will give you plenty of clearance for just about any aftermarket tweeter. Assemble the new tweeter to the adapter with the included hardware, re-install the bracket (be sure not to over tighten the bolts since the plastic inserts strip easily) and connect the wires. Also, be sure to zip tie the original wire connectors out of the way to keep them from rattling inside the door panel.




For the front mid baffle you will remember that earlier I mentioned I preferred to remove the plastic inserts and install the baffles with bolts along with washers and nylon insert self locking nuts. If you choose to go this route all you have to do is snip the plastic from the inside and carefully pop the insert out being sure not to bend the metal.



Before mounting the baffles drill appropriate sized pilot holes for the speaker and attach the appropriate terminals to the wire if needed for your specific speakers . Also, be sure to route the new wires inside the door so they don't interfere with the window rolling up/down (I zip tie them to the original wires inside the door).

As mention I recommend deadening the entire door to get the most from your new speakers and then apply a noise barrier such as Ensolite foam over the top. I use this as the gasket for the baffle however if you do not use it I prefer to use self adhesive foam weatherstripping (some use caulk but I find it can be a bit messy). Once you mount the baffle install the speaker with the gasket provided or make one from Ensolite or foam weatherstripping (some use caulk here as well but this is one place I surely would not use it as the squeeze out on the inside may get inside the speaker and in any case it's just plain messy).



I didn't get pictures of the rear however the procedure is the same. BTW, I wait to re-install the door panels until after everything else has been wired up and the system has been played for a while.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I missed something! Sub enclosure/amp rack installation and wiring coming up soon! :)

Believe it or not I found the rest of this on my computer so I can finally finish it up! :o

Although the design of my enclosures allows you to install them without removing the rear seats I find that the enclosure/amp rack installation as well as wiring is easier with them removed. The bottom cushions only require removing bolts from the hinges and the for the seat backs you just need to remove a few bolts for the brackets on the floor (sorry I didn't ge pictures of those).

Depending on the enclosure/amp rack design there are brackets as well as child seat tethers that may need to be removed.

The tethers are pretty easy.. just drill holes through where the spot welds are and they will pop off (make sure not to push the drill too hard!). To remove the brackets I use a Dremel tool or angle grinder with a cutoff wheel and in a pinch you could get the little hacksaw blade with a handle from the auto parts store for a couple of bucks. In any case do NOT try to pry them off with Vise Grips etc or you will end up with a hole in the back of your truck! :eek:

:EDIT After initially starting this tutorial writeup I came up with this idea of making recesses that will allow the enclosure to fit over the brackets (depends on the actual sub and enclosure design chosen)
Another trick I sometimes use for the small brackets is to cut one leg and flatten the bracket down into the concave area which would allow them to be bent back somewhat in shape if you ever needed to re install the plastic.

Next step is to install the deadener. There are lot's of materials on the market however I prefer products from www.raamaudio.com as I believe they are a great value. This shows the back entire wall done however in some applications where I need every little bit of space available I will only apply mat in the concave areas.

Over that I apply the Ensolite which is a closed cell foam that blocks out higher frequency noises.

When it comes to wiring the sub I prefer to drill a hole and use zip ties along with hot glue or silicone to seal it. Once you find the best place for the wire drill a hole just big enough for it to fit through. Run the wire through the hole from the inside and attach a zip tie while making sure you have enough wire to reach the amp.

Put a little hot glue or silicone around the hole on the inside and pull the wire through from the outside until the zip tie is tight against the inside (you can add a little more hot glue/sealer over the zip tie).

Attach another zip tie as closely as you can on the outside and you will have a solid vibration proof connection.

Almost forgot, before adding the Ensolite I run the wires for the passenger side through the channel on the back wall (be sure to protect the wires with loom since there are sharp edges that can slice the jacket and possibly cause a short)
Next I assemble the enclosure/amp rack, mount the amps/sub and install the entire unit. Unfortunately I did not get pictures however I use a couple of metal straps screwed in the channel behind the enclosure/amp rack with the other end screwed to the metal brace to secure everything (I'll be doing another install in one of these trucks soon so I'll try to remember pictures of this). Once you get everything installed it's time to route your wires neatly (using zip ties/cable clamps along the way), cut them to length, terminate them if required, and connect them. For this design I routed the power/speaker wires up to the back wall and cut a notch in the bottom corner of the plastic side trim so I could run them underneath to the amps. You can see in earlier pictures how I routed the RCA's and how you run yours depends on the enclosure/amp rack design you are using as well as where the connections are on the amps. In any case make sure they are routed so as to not be pinched by anything and also connected securely with no strands sticking out the sides at the connections. BTW, in case I didn't already mention it I find it's easier to label the speaker wires/RCA's when running them but sometimes I forget so I use a continuity tester to make sure they get connected correctly.

Nearly done..

If you want to have a nice finished look you can cut out the center portion of the rear bins leaving just the outer shell, carpet the pieces to match and re install to have it look as shown below (I didn't get pictures of this truck so the following is from another one I did)

After checking and re-checking to make sure all wires are connected properly (especially the power wires) you can install the fuse at the battery and reconnect the ground wire (you did disconnect it before starting didn't you? ;)) After starting it up use the fader/balance controls to verify all speakers are connected to the correct channels (if this isn't right no tuning in the world will fix it!) and do a preliminary setting of the crossovers (I usually start at 80z high/low pass). Before proceeding to tuning I like to just let the system play for a while to loosen up the new speakers.

After a little break in time it should already sound pretty good :) as long as you used "good" speakers and did the all important installation properly! ;). The next step will be adjusting the gains, setting the level between speakers, setting the correct acoustic phase/polarity for your specific situation etc. :)

atsaubrey 10-16-2008 02:27 PM

How does the 13.5 sound? compared to say 2-10" IDQ's?

craigFLA 10-16-2008 03:57 PM

hey Marv,

Just want to say thanks, as we appreciate you taking the time start (and keep updating) this thread.

Many of us are either planning or making final preparations for our own installs, and I have no doubt the information you provide will help everyone.

Look forward to seeing more when you have the time.

Mr Marv 10-17-2008 10:19 AM


Originally Posted by atsaubrey (Post 208499)
How does the 13.5 sound? compared to say 2-10" IDQ's?

Haven't compared them side by side so I can't say!


Originally Posted by craigFLA (Post 208568)
hey Marv,

Just want to say thanks, as we appreciate you taking the time start (and keep updating) this thread.

Many of us are either planning or making final preparations for our own installs, and I have no doubt the information you provide will help everyone.

Look forward to seeing more when you have the time.

You're welcome! :)

Mr Marv 10-20-2008 11:30 AM


Originally Posted by USMCBulldog (Post 212088)
Great post!

Thanks and hope it helps! :)

BTW, I forgot to mention that for those waiting on their enclosures I am getting them packed for shipping as quick as I can but of course I ran out of tape and don't have the right size boxes :eek: so I may not get them all weighed until later today!

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