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Dash tweeter connector mod DIY..Lots of pics

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by avi8or_co, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Feb 20, 2019 at 3:21 PM

    avi8or_co [OP] Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2018
    2019 Cavalry Blue TRD Sport
    So I've been wanting to do a basic audio upgrade for my new 2019 TRD Sport, as the stock, Non JBL is not exactly what I would call premium even though Toyota does. As many have, I picked up the Kicker CS 6x9s and the 6.75s for the doors but I decided to go a different route that many have commonly done with the useless speakers that Toyota decided to bolt into our dash. I also wanted to minimize modifying factory wiring if I could.

    A lot of guys have been doing the Subaru tweeters which drop in and hook up to the stock connector. Those are fine too, but I wanted to use the matching tweeters in the CS series to go along with the door speakers. This also saves a few bucks because the Subaru tweeters are usually about $90 and I paid $34.99 on sale for the Kickers. You can also do this mod similarly if you are planning to do component speakers that match up to the mids in the door as long as they have inline crossovers. I got the Kicker CS door speakers and the CS series tweeters with included inline crossovers and a pair of bracket straps to mount them, all for $154 shipped from Crutchfield. Crutchfield throws in the required speaker brackets and wire harnesses for the doors.

    I'm a pilot by trade and not in any way a professional car audio installer or ever have been but I have done some installs on a few cars I've owned in the past, so no special skills other than knowing how to do some basic soldering and wiring is required to do this.

    I didn't find a DIY or any good info on this subject in the forum (forgive me if this has already been done) so I just went at it, electrical meter in hand checking things as I went, on the first one and I made this DIY to help you all out if you want to go this route yourself.

    Tools required:

    - Soldering iron - Harbor Freight $3.99. https://www.harborfreight.com/30-Watt-Lightweight-Soldering-Iron-69060.html
    I know what you're thinking but I've had one of these for a while and they work completely fine for small electrical project work.

    - Spool of rosen core electrical solder - Harbor Freight $3.50 https://www.harborfreight.com/Lead-Free-Rosin-Core-Solder-69378.html

    - Assorted Heat shrink tubing - Harbor Freight $1.50 https://www.harborfreight.com/9-piece-heat-shrink-wire-wrap-assortment-96024.html

    - The Tacoma take almost anything apart tool (ratchet and a 10mm socket)

    - Heat Gun (or a cigarette lighter or butane torch will work)

    - Panel removal tool - these help but a flat screwdriver works fine, just cover the tip in electrical tape so you don't scratch the dash plastic.

    - Small precision screw driver

    - Wire stripper/cutter

    - Beer

    First you need to remove your factory tweeters from the dash by removing the associated pillar cover with a 10mm socket and popping off the speaker cover with a screw driver or panel removal tool. It can be done without removing the pillar cover but you risk breaking off one of the plastic mounts on the cover (ask how I know :frusty:...add some 5 min epoxy to the tool list). The speaker is in there held by 2 10mm bolts. I'm not going to go into huge detail about this because if you've been researching car audio for your Taco on this forum or looked at Youtube, the information on how to do this everywhere and you have inevitably seen it.


    The speaker is built into the bracket making it difficult to salvage to use as a modified bracket for the new tweeter so I fabricated a bracket from a metal strap that is sold by Crutchfield for the purpose for $1.00. The bottom is lined with Dynamat to minimize any rattles/vibrations.


    On the bottom of the speaker is the connector that plugs into the factory harness, this is what you want.


    Cut the two wires just above where it is soldered to the speaker. Cut closely, you want to preserve as much of that wire as you can.


    Now remove the connector, there are 5 tabs you can bend or break off with a small screw driver that hold it on.


    Now pry off the connector from the speaker with your screwdriver, it comes right off easily and its attached with a butyl-like, rubber glue (the stuff you wish held the headlight lenses on when you wanted to mod them but Toyota figured you'd do that so they made it difficult with permaseal).


    Chuck the rest of that crap speaker because now you have what you need. The connector has a resistor/capacitor attached to it acting as a crossover, thats the black thing. You no longer need this and have to take it off because your new tweeters should have their own crossovers and they will not properly do their job with it there so it needs to come off. It is attached to the connector with a rubber like glue, so you can pry it upward bending the leads. It is easiest to remove it without damaging anything else using you soldering iron so plug it in and heat it up.


    Now heat the solder where the wires from the capacitor attach with your soldering iron and while its liquid the wire to the capacitor should pull right off.


    And it should look like this


    Now, the dash speakers are wired parallel with the door speakers, that is they share the same signal and power coming from the receiver's onboard amp. This is why the door speakers don't work without the tweeters being there, you sever the electron chain by removing them. To accomplish this there are 4 pins inside the connector, two pins are wired to one speaker wire and two are wired to the other, however, by removing the capacitor you severed the link on the right wire. Not to worry, your new tweeter's crossover will take over, you just need to fix the severed link.

    Grab your spool of solder and you need to connect the three points of existing solder together. I doesn't have to be pretty (mine wasn't) you just need to make sure they are connected to each other.


    Thats it, now you have made your own wire harness for an aftermarket tweeter:bananadance:

    This is how I wired mine up: use the wires coming out of your new connector to hook up to your inline crossover, the one on the left (has the white heat shrink tubing) connects to what would be the black wire in the dash (they are I think pink or purple in the dash but the left is what would be the black). Then connect the new tweeter to the other side of the crossover. You can solder and heat shrink if you want like I did but you could also use a crimp-on butt connectors if you want too. Should look something like this


    One additional step I did for some peace of mind. Since you are going to connect this to the factory plug in dash, the modified connector is going to freely hang under the new tweeter unless you secure it somehow, that is, its not attached to a speaker anymore like it was on the stock speaker. As extra insurance for the exposed solder touching something metal in the dash a blowing a fuse or frying the radio amp, I sealed the soldered areas on the modified connector....:rolleyes: ...with Plastidip. You can buy Liquid Tape (made by Performix, same guys who make Plastidip), which is basically Plastidip in a bottle with a little brush attached to the cap too but I had some laying around in a spray can that I dipped my emblems with. Just spray it in an old spray paint lid or similar and brush it on with a little paintbrush to cover the exposed solder connections you made. Laugh, but Plastidip, being liquid rubber, is an excellent electrical insulator that I've used many times on things impossible to electrical tape. (...when its dry, its flammable when still wet :eek:....:bananadead:) Should look something like this.


    And thats it, just go back to the truck and plug in your new tweeters like they belong in there.

    I'm sure this can be done by cutting off the connector in the dash and wiring in there but it's a hell of a lot easier to do the work on your bench and simply plug in, rather than crammed in between your dash and the windshield while permanently modifying your truck.

    You can do this to wire up just about any tweeter with an inline crossover to use with your existing wiring in the dash. Looks something like this with the custom bracket made out of the metal strap.


    Word of note, if you do this first...YOU WILL...want to also replace the door speakers too. I did the tweeters first, even though I had bought and had the door speakers and the tweeters together in hand, and then went for a drive listening to AC/DC. Sounded like Bryan Johnson and Angus Young were standing on my dash..:headbang::rockband:. The door speakers were completely drowned out by the new tweeters, the highs were clear and they were much louder by far. MAJOR improvement over those joke paper speakers that Toyota puts in the dash. Enjoy all...Hope it helps some guys out.
  2. Feb 20, 2019 at 3:27 PM

    Panchovilla6192002 Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    2019 Cavalry Blue TRD SPORT 4X4 DCSB MT 2003 Red ExtraCab MT 5 lug
  3. Feb 20, 2019 at 6:42 PM

    Losi-5iveT Active Member

    Feb 20, 2019
    First Name:
    2016 taco double cab 2wd
    None yet, just bought it
    I noticed my driver dayd speaker sounded like crap today when I was jamming Slayer. Time for new speakers all around.
  4. Feb 22, 2019 at 3:51 AM
    House Forsaken

    House Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2016
    First Name:
    2015 Tacoma TRD Off Road (Traded) 2017 TRD Off-Road (Traded) 2018 TRD Off-Road
    That's awesome!!! Thanks for sharing!
  5. Feb 22, 2019 at 4:25 AM

    TacoRef10 Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2019
    First Name:
    2017 Inferno TRD Offroad
    Great stuff man, good job!
  6. Jul 22, 2019 at 1:42 AM

    Alnmike Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2018
    '21 4R
    Nice walk through. Wish I would have seen it before ordering https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07RMZ4CR6?ref=ppx_pt2_mob_b_prod_image

    Now I just need to figure out which is positive/negative and do some soldering.

    For my question, how did you mount your tweeter to the metal? I planned on using some spare acrylic (going to make the fuse box mount mod by the battery and will have scrap), but that metal strip looks easier to make lol. I was just going to use epoxy, does your screw in with the rubber between? I've got some extra noico from my doors for this if I go metal.

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