an Amp, Component Speakers and a Subwoofer
Application: 98 4Runner V6 4x4
4 Channel Amp (mine is an old Crossfire CFA-404)
Q-Logic Kick Panel Component Speaker Enclosures
CDT Audio CL-51 Component Speakers
RE Audio 10" Subwoofer
Sealed subwoofer box
8 AWG power (Red) wire
8 AWG ground wire
Philips head screwdriver
Soldering Iron and Rosin-core solder
Heat Shrink tubing
Matches or lighter
Alligator clips (2)
I am providing this write up for illustrative purposes only.
Perform at your own risk. Any mods (including this one) you perform on your
vehicle is your responsibility. Commercial use of this write up will result
in legal action as well as the undying scorn from members of the online
Toyota 4Runner community. You've been warned.
This writeup is an extension of my head
unit writeup. I decided that I wanted to upgrade my sound system since
I started driving longer distances for my business as well as for vacation
trips. Putting the knowledge together was not easy, especially if you
have no idea how to do it, the terminology, etc. Special
thanks goes to Cebby, DavidA, Bumpin' Yota, and last but not least, NizAsnMonk
(thanks for the hookup!).
This writeup is being written several months after I installed this system,
so alot of this is from memory. If there are any glaring omissions or
inaccuracies, please email me.
However, next to politics and religion, nothing stirs up more passion
(and fights) than car audio. Personally, I don't give a donkey's ass if
your stereo can kill mine, or that I should've bought this and that because
"its the best." I am not interested in hearing about it. But
again, if there is something that is incorrect, that is the feedback that
I'd like to hear.
1: Planning Your System Layout
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- Where do you want to put your amp?
- Where do you want to put the crossovers?
- Where do you want to mount the subwoofer?
Those questions will help you lay out your system better, what equipment
you will want to buy, and what length cables, RCAs, and speaker wires
you will need to buy. Here is how I laid out my system:
My system layout was based on the premise to never compromise my rear
cargo space. That meant the amplifier and the component speaker's crossovers
had to be out of the way. I use my cargo space ALOT, so installing a large
amp on the back of the seats (like many people do) was out of the question.
That meant that I had to buy an amp that could fit neatly under the driver's
seat. Also, I wanted the amp to be easily removed and not too big. Therefore,
I purchased a box and a 10" subwoofer---a good compromise between
size and sound.
From this point, take a tape measurer and begin to measure the distances
from each component. Pad your figure a little just in case. Now I am going
to explain everything from component to component.
Step 2: Clearing the Workspace
As always when doing electrical work, remove the negative battery cable
first from your battery.
We'll begin by removing the front driver's seat. For the front seat, slide
the seats forward and remove the end caps. Gentle pulling in a circular
motion will most likely reveal which way to remove it. If you're not sure,
you're going to have to poke your nose real close and look, but for the
most part, they're easy to remove. After removing the rear end caps, slide
the seats backwards and remove the fronts using the same methodology above.
After removing the end caps, place them in the seatback pockets. Take
a 14mm socket and remove each of the 4 bolts. You may need to use a breaker
bar. After removing the bolts, place them in the seatback pockets. Remove
both front seats.
step panels on the front and rear passenger side by unscrewing the 4 and
3 philips head screws, respectively. Remove the step panel by pulling
upwards. You can then pull off the kickpanel. And here's a great tip that
you should do throughout this mod: use masking tape to tape the various
screws and/or fasteners to the panels you remove. It's a great way of
making sure you don't lose the fasteners. After removing the step panels,
pull of the kick panel.
Repeat on the other side. Remove the front step panel and then the kick
panel. There's no need to remove the passenger front seat nor the rear
the four endcaps (C). Unbolt the seats w/ a 14mm socket. Unscrew philips
head screws (S), tape to the panel itself. Then pull out kickpanel
me, you'll thank me for this tip when you start re-assembling everything!
the bottom trim panel underneath the steering column. There are four 10mm
bolts you need to remove. Once removed, unscrew the four Philips-head
screws that hold the hood and gas tank hatch to the lower panel. Move
the panel out of the way. Since you will be running your 8AWG power wire
either through the existing firewall boot or drilling a new one (that's
what I did), remove the A/C duct underneath the steering column. It is
held together by a single Philips-head screw. After removing the screw,
jiggle it out of the way.
four 10mm bolts (4) and four philips-head screws (S)
the single philips-head screw
and pull out the A/C duct
the radio panel fascia is pretty simple and just requires the removal
of a few knobs, dials, screws, etc. Begin by removing the knobs off your
shifter and pulling off the shift boot cover. Next, remove the A/C knobs
and dials. Put your fingers in the dial holes and pull out slightly. The
A/C on/off switch should come out slightly. Pull it out. Finish by gently
removing the A/C panel. It will snap out with a slight bit of pulling
knobs (K), lift up (L). Optional: removing side screws (S) will make
this job easier
two knobs (K), two dials (D) and single AC switch (A). Remove AC face
three pesky philips head screws that securely fasten the radio panel fascia
to your 4Runner. Remove those screws. Now you are ready to lift out the
radio panel fascia itself. Begin by grabbing it from the bottom and pulling
upwards and outwards. The radio panel fascia is clipped at the top. Once
lifted out of place, remove the three harnesses located on the upper driver's
side (hazard, clock and rear defroster). Continue by unfastening the bottom
ashtray light (twist and pull out) and the cigarette lighter harness (unplug).
Finish by moving this big hunk of plastic out of the way.
screws (S). One is on the left and not shown in this picture
the three harnesses (H)
3: Wiring Your Amplifier
Refer to the layout in Step 1. What I am about
to describe is the red line (power) running from the battery to the amp
as well as the single black line (ground) running from the amp to the
My amplifier RMS is rated at 50 x 4. A stereo
system running this load must use 8AWG wiring. Therefore, I hooked up a ring connector to one end
of my red 8AWG cable and attached it to the positive battery post. Next,
I mounted a 30amp AGU fuse holder on top of my fuse panel box with self-tapping
screws. Cut your power cable to the proper length, strip about 1/2 to
3/4" of covering off, and screw it into the fuse holder. Remember,
keep this length of power cable running from the positive battery terminal
to the fuse holder under 12" in length. This part here is very crucial
to your vehicle's safety. Should there be a short, the only wire that
will burn and/or catch fire is this little cable. Here's a picture of
the inline fuse and the 8awg cable running to and from it:
Now you'll need to run the rest of the power wire from the fuse holder
to the amp itself. However, it is much easier to run the rest of the cable
from the interior into the engine bay. Most people run it through
the existing firewall, but I drilled a new hole in the firewall. Place
an appropriate metal cutting drill bit on your drill and drill your hole.
Run the power cable through the hole. Make sure there is enough to run
to the amp as well as the fuse holder. Give it a good foot or two just
After running the cable to the fuse holder, strip the protective covering
off and then attach it to the fuse holder. At the other end, run your
rubber grommet and slide it along the length of the cable until you can
insert it into your new firewall hole. Run the power wire along the left
side of your vehicle, down the door trim panel area, and then to the retangular
metal "hump". Cut a small X-shaped hole and then run the power
wire through it. Crimp on a ring connector to the end of that wire and
then connect it to the 12V + connection on your amp.
cable with grommet
is a shot of a rubber grommet test fitted for my 8awg power cable
you will need to ground the amp. As with any ground that you do, make
sure you take off some paint. I grounded mine near the seat. Crimp on
a ring connector to the 8AWG black ground wire and attached it to the
amp's ground connection point. Next, run that wire to your grounding point,
scrape some paint off (a dremel sanding drum works best) and then crimp
a ring connector onto it. Finish by using a self-tapping metal screw to
securely ground your amp.
4: Hooking Up the RCA Cable and Remote Lead Wire
The RCA cable, represented in the diagram by 4 plug magenta lines,
allows the audio signals from your headunit to travel to your the amplifier.
Each pair of plugs corresponds to each of the four channels: the left
and right front and rear speakers. Of note, I have been told that you
should not skimp on RCA cables, but there is no need to really buy high
end stuff either. Thus, I bought middle of the road RCA cables.
On the RCA
cable plugs, you should see that each set of plugs has two different colors.
The other set of plugs have the identical colors. It really does not matter
which color you use for the left and right channels---just be consistent.
So for mine, i used the white end plugs for left speakers and the black
ones for right speakers.
need to remove your head unit from the stereo chassis mounts. Use a philips
head screw driver and remove the 4 bolts holding it onto the stereo chassis
mounts. Set those bolts aside and then pull the head unit out.
Remove bolts (B)
Begin by plugging in the RCA plugs into the back of your head unit. Run
the RCAs out the back and to the amp by running it under the center console.
You can run it along the left side of the console and then run the RCAs
down towards the amp. What I did was to cut another X hole where the RCAs
connected to minimize the length of exposed RCAs for a cleaner look.
One key tip here: always keep your power cable and your RCAs physically
separate from each other. This will negate any possible interference that
the RCAs may absorb from the power cable. That is why I ran the power
cable on the left side door panels while I ran the RCAs through the center:
the RCAs hooked up to the amp
the RCAs down the center
turn on wire (shown as a green wire) turns the amplifier on and off, which
allows both devices to work together. It's virtually instantaneous. For
this wire, I used a green, 18 gauge wire.
From the headunit end, find the stereo wire harness. Look for the remote
turn on wire and strip away some covering. Do the same to your green wire.
Slip a small piece of heat shrink tubing onto one wire and then solder
both wires together. Finish by heat shrinking the connected wires with
a heat gun. Run that wire along the RCA wire's path and to your amp. Run
it to the appropriate X hole and then crimp on a ring connector. Attach
it to your amp's remote turn on lead terminal.
you've completed hooking up the power, ground and remote turn on wire.
Now we'll hook up the speakers wires from the amp to the crossovers.
Step 5: Component Speakers and Wiring Overview
One of the best things you can do for your sound system is to
purchase component speakers. Component speakers are matched mid-range
and tweeters with crossovers which allow for better sound output because
of the ability to cleanly separate the highs from the mids. Your stock
4runner speakers and tweeters are lousy and channel all the mids and highs
from your single stock speaker. More importantly, the "imaging"
is not well-balanced with the stock speakers because of their location
in the doors and in the window sail panels.
One recommendation I kept reading over and over is to purchase matched
component speakers mounted in a kick panel enclosure. Fortunately for
me, a few Yotatech members had already done this and were impressed. I
also got a great deal on a used pair of Q-logic kick panel enclosures
from a member as well as some CDT CL-61 components speakers with cross
overs. Finally, I got a nice deal on a 10" RE Audio subwoofer and
sealed box enclosure from member NizAsnMonk. PM him up for great deals
on car audio!
come with a set of mids, tweeters and crossovers
component speaker enclosures
As you read
above, I decided to run a set of components up front and then a single
subwoofer in the rear. That means that for the front component speakers,
1 channel will be taken by each side. So 2 out of 4 channels will be taken.
The last 2 channels will be "bridged" into one channel for the
subwoofer. Here is a good diagram of how the speaker cables are connected
to their respective amp terminals:
One other thing: Many car audio enthusiasts say that in a vehicle like
a 4Runner, it is best to unplug the rear speakers because of its negative
effect on imaging. I'm not going to go into detail trying to explain it
(because I can't, really), but I did follow the advice and unplugged the
rear speakers. Its very easy: from the bottom of the panels, insert your
fingers or a large screw driver until you can unfasten the door panel.
Undo about 2 or 3 more. Then you can bend it back slightly and unhitch
the speaker harness. It's right there. You can't miss it. Repeat for the
Step 6: Hooking Up the Crossovers
In the master diagram above, refer to the blue wires from the
amp to CO1 and CO2. As you see in picture above in Step 5, we are going
to run two speaker cables *per channel* (speaker) to each of the crossovers.
Here's a good picture to illustrate the connection points on the amp:
As you can see, there is a positive and a negative connection for each
channel. The speaker wire colors are neutral. Just pick a color for negative
and positive and stick with it (I picked blue for positive). Begin by
stripping off the protective covering and crimping on ring connectors.
Start with the left channel and unscrew the philips head screws until
they are off. Fasten the speaker wires onto the connection points and
screw down the screws. Do the same for the right channel as well. On the
left channel wires, I wrapped the wires with black electrical tape to
signify that it is the left channel. Do the same at the other end of the
Next, you will need to find a location for your crossovers. I tried mounting
them inside the door panel as most people seem to do, but I did not like
that location. I took some advice from NizAsnMonk and put them under my
passenger seat. It is a very good spot for it, since they are so small
anyways. I put some grip tape on the back of the cross overs, so they
wouldn't slide around too. This works very well too.
Begin by cutting a small X shaped slit by the center hump. Cut a similar
hole on the other side of the front passenger seat. For that hole, i cut
it near the center of the seat area. Run the speaker wires under and over
the center hump and to the front passenger hole. Strip the speaker wires,
crimp on ring connectors and then fasten them to the appropriate positive
and negative connections. Its a good idea to mark the left crossover with
a piece of electrical tape, so you know which side is left and right.
from rear passenger seat: hole (A) is used to feed the speaker wires
to the crossovers. Hole (L) is the speaker wires running to the front
speakers. Hole (R) is the hole used for the right speakers
are ready to connect the speakers.
Step 7: Connecting the Front Component Speakers
You'll be mounting your component speaker's main mid-range speakers and
the tweeters onto the Q-Logic kick panels. Measure the outer diameter
of your speakers and then cut the appropriate sized hole on the kick panels.
Repeat for the other side. After doing a test fit, remove the speakers.
A little optional step: After reading a few reviews, many people said
that reinforcing the back of these kick panels with fiberglass was a good
idea to stiffen them. Also, many people stuffed the back with polyfill.
I did both, but again, these are optional steps. When dried and satisfied,
screw down the mid range speakers.
yellowish color is the fiberglass
fuzzy stuff is polyfill
left components, take some speaker cable, crimp on two ring connectors
and connect them to the crossovers. Cut a small x-shaped hole near the
crossovers. Feed the speaker cable through, run it up the center console
area, make a left turn across the clutch, brake and gas pedal area, and
then back towards the left component speakers. Finish by crimping on blade
connectors for the mid-range speakers and soldering the tweeter wires
together. Run the speaker cables from both the midrange and tweeters to
the left crossover.
For the right components, it's a much shorter trip. Crimp on ring connectors
and connect them to the crossovers. Cut a small hole right by the rectangular
hump near the front passenger seat. Run the speaker cable from the components
towards the step panel and then run the length of that speaker wire to
the right components. Finish by crimping on blade connectors for the mid-range
speakers and soldering the tweeter wires together.
are looking at a view from the front passenger seat. As you can see,
I ran the speaker cables under the seat, along the door step panels
and then to the component speakers
the speaker cable running towards the right component speakers
fitting both Q-logic kick panels into the old kick panel location by simply
pushing them in. There are no "snaps", so just firmly push them
in. Here is what it should look like:
Step 8: Connecting the Subwoofer
This is an easy one which does not require hooking up speaker cable to
the crossovers. Crimp on ring connectors again and screw these down to
the *outermost* positive and negative connection points. This will "bridge"
the two remaining channels into one. Run this wire under the carpet away
from the power cable, towards the step panel, and then along the length
of the rear passenger step panel. Cut an exit hole for this subwoofer
speaker wire and then run it towards the rear cargo hatch. I ran enough
to the back so I could place the subwoofer anywhere in the rear. Strip
the speaker wire ends, twist the wires tightly, and then run some solder
through these speaker wires to make a good connection. Connect them to
the positive and negative connection points on the subwoofer.
amp connections done! (G) is the ground, (R) is the remote wire, (P)
is the power wire, (L) is the left channel speakers, (R) is the right
channel speakers, and finally, (S) is the subwoofer speaker wires.
the subwoofer. The 10" sub is a manageable size: for comparison's
sake, I fit my 32" spare back here with no problem.
by now, you're just itching to test it. Reconnect the negative battery
cable and give it a go. If it works, you're golden. Test out the left
and right channels independently of each other. Test out the subwoofer
and make sure it is pushing some bass. If you are happy, reattach all
panels, seats, step panels, as well as the head unit and center radio
fascia. Here's a shot of my completely connected amp without the seats
as well as a shot of the exposed amp controls with maglite. I can't exile
my trusty Maglite, now can we?
my first install, I'm very happy with the fit and clean install
you can see, the Maglite can still fit and the amp controls are still
one more picture of the install from the driver's side passenger seat:
a little room to spare, the rear Husky liners butt up against the
amp, but mercifully, they do not need to be cut.
Step 9: Additional, Optional Tips
I recommend securing the subwoofer with a ratcheting strap. Use
the end points that are anchored into the floorboard.
Also, if you have Husky Liners, you will need to make some creative cuts.
Carefully eyeball the cut locations and make your first cut. Use a pair
of medical scissors to make a nice, flush cut around the Q-logic speaker
enclosures. Please note that the cut locations of the right speakers are
completely different than the left. See the pictures below that illustrate
my "cut first, measure twice" mentality :)
flush cuts on the driver's side Husky's
not-so-flush cuts on the passenger side Husky's
or feedback? Email me and I'll try to get back to you. If this article
helped you save time, money or just made things more convenient for
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