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Guide: Subaru Tweeter Upgrade For 2nd Gen Tacos, NO SPLICING, CUTTING, OR SOLDERING REQUIRED

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Black__cat, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Aug 6, 2019 at 8:53 AM
    #1
    Black__cat

    Black__cat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So we've all heard about the plug-and-play tweeter swap for the 3rd gen Tacos using the Subaru tweeters, and I've seen a few people attempt to get them to work with 2nd gen Tacos to no avail.

    Well, I'm here to show you it can be done very easily without splicing, soldering, cutting, or any extra hardware what so ever. Read on:




    First off, get the tools you'll need ready before you start.

    You'll need:
    1) A mid-sized pair of needle-nose pliers.
    2) A pair of clamping pliers.
    3) A #2 phillips head screwdriver.
    4) A small flathead screwdriver.
    5) A 10mm socket.
    6) Confidence.
    7) Common sense.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Once you have all your tools together, you can start pulling the interior door panels off.
    You do this by removing 2 screws in the door which are located below these beauty covers:
    (Use your flathead or other small flat tool to pry the covers open to get to the screws.)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]





    Once you remove those screws, you have a small plastic insert holding part of the panel to the door, located at the front of the door closest to the hinge, shown below. To remove that button, just press the center pin in using the phillips-head screwdriver, then hook your fingernails under the edges and carefully pull. It should come out with no effort at all if you're doing it right.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]




    Once you have that squared away, you have to remove the top corner panel that's located above the door panel, immediately in front of the window, which is right behind your side-view mirror, you can do this just by gently pulling at the corner closest to the door-hinges:

    [​IMG]



    Once that's removed, you'll have 3 plastic tabs left in the door that help secure the corner-panel. Using just your finger-nails, very carefully remove these from the door and place them onto the back of the panel over the tabs. Be careful not to push these back into the door or you'll have a very bad time trying to fish them back out:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]




    With that removed, you can go on to remove the window and lock control panel from the door's arm-rest. It's easy enough to pull off with just your fingers/fingernails, but if you need to you can use the flat-head screw driver to carefully pry it off. When pulling it off start at the front of the panel and not the back. The front is where the tab holding it in is, the back (closest to the door handle) has a lip that catches under a tab and will break off if you try to pry it off first. Once you remove the panel, you'll have to remove wiring harnesses from the bottom of the panel. On the driver's-side it's one big plug, on the passenger's its two. They're not at all difficult to remove with or without tools. Just be careful and don't yank it by the wires themselves:

    [​IMG]



    Once all that's out of the way, you can pry the door-panel off the door. You do this by grabbing hold of the side of the panel with your fingers and firmly pulling until the tabs pop loose, go around the door panel, starting at the hinge and working your way down and back around the bottom and up the other side. Don't be alarmed if you hear loud popping sounds, nothing is breaking:

    [​IMG]



    With the door panel removed you'll be able to access the tweeter, kickers, and all the wiring pretty easily. Locate the tweeter at the top part of the door and break loose the two 10mm bolts holding it in place. If you look closely at the tweeter in the picture, you'll see a small metal tab sticking out from the bottom. The wiring harness for the stock tweeter is attached to this with a plastic latch. Use your flat-head to carefully pry this loose as well. Once that's removed you can unplug the stock tweeter from the wiring harness and set it aside:

    (This image shows the new tweeter already installed, your crappy stock tweeters look like they're made of paper.)
    [​IMG]



    This is what the stock-assembled wiring harness looks like for the tweeter, the driver's-side uses pink and purple color-coding, the passenger side uses blue and green:

    Note: You'll have to cut the electrical tape that's holding the wire bundle together so you can get enough slack to reach the new tweeter plug. Use zip-ties to secure it all back together once you're done.

    [​IMG]


    With the stock tweeter set aside, you can get to work on the wiring. Now, the reason a lot of you guys have run into issues with it "not being plug-and-play" for 2nd gen Tacomas has to do with 2 things. One, the plug for the tweeter at first glance appears to not fit in the Subaru tweeter, and two, even if you did manage to get it to plug in, it wouldn't produce any sound. This is where this mod starts to become fun.

    In the above image, you notice that the bottom plug (which is coming from the head-unit) has a plastic clip on top of it, preventing the plug from fitting into the new tweeter. Using a knife or another small cutting tool, very carefully cut that clip off entirely. Don't worry, even if you decide you don't like the new tweeters and want to swap back to the old ones after all this is done, the plug will still stay secure in the old tweeter, even without the clip.

    Once you cut that tab off, using a dremel set to low speed, or a metal file, carefully sand down the remaining plastic from the tab until the plug fits into the slot. It'll take some effort to get in, but it will fit a little effort. Again, don't worry if you feel like you need to force it a little to get it in (Lol).



    Once you have the plug sanded down so it'll fit, you might have tried to get it to produce sound before, which leads us back to the second problem I mentioned. The stock wiring arrangement has the wires arranged purple-pink, purple-pink, or on the passenger's side; Blue-green, blue-green. All you have to do to get this to work is to arrange the wires so that all the pink wires are on one side, while the purple is on the other, and blue/green respective to the passenger-side. You can do this by removing the small white tab shown in the image below.

    Carefully pry the tab off so as not to break it in the process (you'll need it later). Once you have that done, use the flat-head or a knife point to gently lift the little plastic tabs on the top of the plug that hold each wire in place:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Once those tabs are lifted up, use your clamping-pliers to get a firm grab on the plug itself, and use the needle-nose pliers to gently tug the wires out of the plug itself. You won't break the wire if you're careful when you do this, but you may break the little plastic-tabs we lifted up in the previous step. Don't worry if you do break them, they won't break completely off, and even if they do, the plastic tab we removed earlier is enough to secure the wires in the plug.

    With the wires removed, you'll need to rearrange them in the plug. With the top of the plug facing you, the new arrangement should be (From top to bottom) pink-pink, purple purple (or green-green, blue-blue for the passenger's side). It does not matter which color-matching wire is in which order so long as the two colors are paired together correctly. Meaning the two pink wires can be in either top two slots, and the two purple wires can be in either bottom two slots. (Same for the passenger side green on top, blue on bottom)

    Use the images below as reference.

    Stock driver's-side arrangement with two wires removed.
    [​IMG]

    Stock passenger's-side arrangement with two wires removed.
    [​IMG]

    New arrangement required to get the new tweeter to function:
    [​IMG]

    With the wires pushed back into their slots in the plug, put the white plastic piece back into the slot using pliers, or your bare hands. Just insert the clip and squeeze until it snaps back into place. Give each wire a little tug to make sure they don't fall out. If for some reason they do, you can use hot-glue to secure them in place.



    As you install each new tweeter, it's best to use the sound-mixing menu in your head-unit to adjust the sound to come all the way to the front left/front right of the vehicle to test each tweeter to ensure they work before you reassemble everything.



    With the plug finally re-assembled, run the wires up through the tweeter mounting bracket so they come around the side of the tweeter towards the top. It's easier to run the wires through first, THEN plug it into the tweeter, and THEN secure the tweeter back to the bracket with the stock bolts.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Once all that is done, just do everything in reverse to re-assemble your door panel. Make sure when you put the door-panel back on you start by hooking the top of the panel over the metal frame before you start popping the tabs back into place. Just go around the outside of the door and gently smack the door panel with your palm until you hear a snap.

    The corner panel by the window goes back in just as easily if you have the white plastic tabs placed on the back of the panel. Don't forget to put your button-tab back in. Re-insert your screws and tighten them and you're done!



    If anyone here follows this guide and runs into any issues, feel free to DM me here or find me on the Tacoma-World discord server, I'd be happy to help!
     
    Crazydave, Jawlik, Micbt25 and 16 others like this.
  2. Aug 6, 2019 at 9:41 AM
    #2
    Hardscrabble

    Hardscrabble Well-Known Member

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    Nice, detailed write-up. Excellent pictures. Well done. :thumbsup:
     
    Black__cat [OP] and steveo27 like this.
  3. Aug 6, 2019 at 10:41 AM
    #3
    steveo27

    steveo27 Ask me about my weiner

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    The same shit everyone else has.
    Great DIY
     
    Black__cat [OP] likes this.
  4. Aug 6, 2019 at 10:46 AM
    #4
    nd4spdbh

    nd4spdbh Well-Known Member

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    its going to matter what the wires are as there is likely a positive and negative to the tweeter..... just saying.
     
    Larzzzz likes this.
  5. Aug 6, 2019 at 10:49 AM
    #5
    Black__cat

    Black__cat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I thought it would too, but when I had the wires pulled out of the harness and tested them by plugging them directly into the new tweeter it didn't matter which wires went where as long as two colors were paired on the top and bottom respectively.

    Speaking of which, I of course encourage everyone following this guide to do little tests along the way.
     
    CharlieVictor likes this.
  6. Aug 6, 2019 at 11:02 AM
    #6
    nd4spdbh

    nd4spdbh Well-Known Member

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    A tweeter (or any speaker) will work with positive and negative flipped... it will just phase the speaker the wrong way. The stock wiring actually sets up the stock tweeter in this manor. The positive on the harness side that goes to the positive of the main woofer actually goes to the negative on the tweeter side. This is to "create a larger sound space" I tried it both ways with my pioneer tweeters i put in my truck, and positive to possitive sounds better imo.

    That stated, you want both doors to be in the same phase with eachother otherwise your essentially canceling out the tweeter notes.
     
  7. Aug 6, 2019 at 11:53 AM
    #7
    Naveronski

    Naveronski Well-Known Member

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    Why are you here if you don't drive a Tacoma?
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    How do I check this when I do the mod?
     
  8. Aug 6, 2019 at 11:57 AM
    #8
    Black__cat

    Black__cat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    When you remove the wires from the plug, you can place each wire into the new tweeter's slot individually to test them. They work in pairs, so you'll have to play with the pink/purple green/blue combos until you get sound. One set of wires passes the current to the kicker, the other set provides power to the tweeter.

    Basically you want to determine which set does which and make sure both the driver's-side and passenger's-side wires are arranged in the same slots. So if the blue wire that passes current to the kicker is in the bottom-most slot, you'd want the purple wire on the driver's side to be in the same slot, and so on up the line.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2019 at 12:44 PM
    #9
    ace96

    ace96 Well-Known Member

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    Black__cat [OP] likes this.
  10. Aug 8, 2019 at 6:21 AM
    #10
    mikalcarbine

    mikalcarbine Well-Known Member

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    Are these that much of an upgrade from the jbl speakers?
     
  11. Aug 8, 2019 at 7:34 AM
    #11
    Black__cat

    Black__cat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it, this mod won't work as described in this thread with premium jbl sound tacos. That said, it would probably be comparable in quality if you were to swap jbl tweeters with these suby tweeters.

    These *are* significantly better than stock tweeters though. The sound is a lot more rich, and it gets rid of that tinny noise the stocks have at midrange frequencies.
     
  12. Aug 8, 2019 at 11:44 AM
    #12
    TXTaco211

    TXTaco211 Well-Known Member

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    OP you are a life saver :bowdown: I was working on figuring this out when I had some time this weekend as I have posted in the 3rd gen forum and got no response. I had already originally cut off the tab on mine but didn't have a whole lot of time to spend messing with it. I already replaced all other speakers in the truck with Kicker 6x9 3 ways up front and 6 and 3/4 2 ways in the back and man what a difference already. Now I can hopefully finish this up tonight when I get home. :cheers:
     
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  13. Aug 8, 2019 at 12:08 PM
    #13
    Black__cat

    Black__cat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Happy to help bro! I'm glad someone found this useful. I poked around with a paperclip until I figured out what leads need to go where for it to work, then just started yanking the crimped wires. Make sure you use two sets of pliers as instructed, or you're gonna get your thumbs and fingers cut to bits by the bunny ears that stick up on the metal crimping of the wire leads when you pull them out.
     
    TXTaco211 likes this.
  14. Aug 8, 2019 at 1:44 PM
    #14
    TXTaco211

    TXTaco211 Well-Known Member

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    So to further clarify on the connector for the Tweeter the wires are labeled 1-4. You need to pull wires 2, 3, and 4 out place wire that was in slot 4 to slot 3 the wire that was in slot 2 to slot 4 and the wire that was in slot 3 into slot 2 works like a champ.:headbang:
     
    ace96 and Black__cat [OP] like this.
  15. Aug 16, 2019 at 4:16 PM
    #15
    brac2015

    brac2015 Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting set to do this and was wondering about cross overs for the tweeters?
    Did any one use them and where in the line would they be best placed?
    Cheers
     
  16. Aug 16, 2019 at 5:38 PM
    #16
    natataka

    natataka Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the writeup OP. im off to Amazon!
     
  17. Aug 16, 2019 at 6:52 PM
    #17
    keisersoze

    keisersoze Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up, just upgraded my HU last week, this will be my next mod.
     
  18. Aug 17, 2019 at 6:35 AM
    #18
    Lord Helmet

    Lord Helmet Prepare To Attack

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    Good post :thumbsup:
     
  19. Aug 17, 2019 at 10:18 AM
    #19
    REDdawn6

    REDdawn6 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC , You can not use these one the JBL System.
     
  20. Aug 19, 2019 at 6:50 AM
    #20
    TXTaco211

    TXTaco211 Well-Known Member

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    No Cross over was needed. Once you move the wiring as the OP has stated its just plug and play. And I believe from everything that I have read through the millions of post on this change on the 3rd gen forum is the cross over is already accounted for in the speaker.
     

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