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2021 SR5 audio install/build thread for the average person

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by IWontMissMyCar, Apr 23, 2022.

  1. Apr 23, 2022 at 6:25 PM
    #1
    IWontMissMyCar

    IWontMissMyCar [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2021
    Member:
    #21395
    Messages:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mitch
    Vehicle:
    2021 4Runner SR5
    Good evening 4Runner family. Like many have come to realize, the factory Entune, non-JBL stereo is lackluster. I did a lot of research ahead of time and when I ordered my 2021 I knew I would eventually upgrade stuff so I avoided the extra expense of the JBL and have finally begun the journey of audio upgrades. This will be the first part of a series that I will keep updating as I progress.

    While I absolutely love a high fidelity audio system, I reserve that type of high dollar stuff for my home. My 4Runner is first and foremost an off-road vehicle. It's gonna get abused, wet, and lets face it, a vehicle of any type is in no way a sound stage. So what you won't see here is a $10k audio system with a couple hundred pounds MLV, etc. Like many of us, I don't have the means or will to dump thousands in a lump sum build I may end up unhappy with, so I gave myself a set of must haves and roadmap of updates that will give me opportunity to change plans if something doesn't work out.

    Goal 1 - Increase audio quality (shouldn't be too hard, LOL)
    Goal 2 - Increase volume/maintain quality at volume. I want all my windows rolled down on a road trip and not struggling to hear the music.
    Goal 3 - Reduce road noise and insulate. I'm not looking for luxury, but compared to my wife's Silverado this thing is loud. I can hear people talking from 20ft away with the windows up. It's also remarkable how fast the temperature drops in the winter without the heat running and I plan on sleeping in here occasionally.

    Phase 1 - Front door and dash speakers. Sound deaden front doors.
    Phase 2 - Add Line level converter and 4 channel amp to power front doors.
    Phase 3 - Rear door and hatch speakers tied to amp. Sound deaden rear doors and hatch.
    Phase 4 - Subwoofer and amp
    Phase 5 - Sound deaden and insulate the rest of vehicle.
    Phase 6 - Evaluate and adjust as needed

    Next post will be on phase 1.
     
    MTB Chris and dougfresh like this.
  2. Apr 23, 2022 at 6:55 PM
    #2
    IWontMissMyCar

    IWontMissMyCar [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2021
    Member:
    #21395
    Messages:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mitch
    Vehicle:
    2021 4Runner SR5
    So on to phase 1 - front door and dash speakers with front door sound deadening.

    Parts acquired at this time:
    Second Skin Pro Pack - 18 sheets 12x20 ~$215 on Amazon
    Siless Liner - 157mil aluminum finish ~$50 on Amazon
    Rexka Door clips - ~$10 on Amazon
    Lumiteco Roller - ~$10 on Amazon
    Red Wolf B09DTY8PMD Speak harness (for later on) ~$15.00 on Amazon
    NVX XBAF69 Speaker baffles ~22.00 on Amazon

    Kicker 48KSS269 - 6x9 and 2.75 component speakers $242.00 on crutchfield
    Metra 72-8110 - Adapter for dash speakers Free from crutchfield
    Metra 72-8104 - Adapter for door speakers Free from crutchfield
    Metra 82-8146 - Speaker mounts Free from crutchfield (didn't need them)
    Metra 82-4201 - Tweeter Mounting Brackets Free from crutchfield (didn't need them)

    I took a stab at the kicker setup as they were listed on Crutchfield as not fitting. Their reasoning was something to do with the height measurement but I figured if nothing else I would make my own shorter adapter. I didn't need to. The included brackets that came with the component set, both in the dash and door, fit perfectly.

    I went kicker for a number of reasons.
    1. History. I have run kicker before and been happy. I have two sets of 6.75" kickers in our boat and they sound great. I also ran kicker subs in my Jimmy when I had it, as well as my Fiero I had before that.
    2. Price/performance/value. This is one where I am happy I chose what I did. It was a nice 80 degree day today after a few days of rain. I ran through the car wash before starting the install. The factory speakers came out dripping wet. (This is a less than one year old truck with 10k miles) A lot of high end speakers run paper cones because of the better acoustics, they're also a lot more fragile.
    3. Performance on factory head unit without an amp but ability to add amp later. These speakers are rated for 15-100 RMS.
     
  3. Apr 23, 2022 at 7:21 PM
    #3
    IWontMissMyCar

    IWontMissMyCar [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2021
    Member:
    #21395
    Messages:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mitch
    Vehicle:
    2021 4Runner SR5
    The overall install went quite well other than a sunburn. Everything in the kicker package went in perfect. The second skin damplifier pro is awesome and very easy to work with. I went about 90% coverage on the outer door skins, but a bit lighter than I wanted to on the inner door skins. After seeing how much water was in there I wanted to keep the factory vapor barrier in place for now. I hit a few areas under it and all around the speaker hole as well as some flatter areas. I was not super impressed with the siless liner so I only did the exterior skin of the passenger door and will check on it in a few weeks to make a decision. I did not detail the door panel removal or the sound deadening as there are a lot of those installs around already, and my phone (as well as me) was overheating from sitting in the sun. But on to the good stuff:

    DSC_2787.jpg
    This is the metra 72-8110 harness. I read that the factory tweeters are wired backwards but it appears that the factory bass blocker is just on the negative for whatever reason. I can confirm that this harness connects the black wire to the radio negative and white to radio positive.

    DSC_2789.jpg
    This is the mid/tweeter crossover included with the component set. There are 4 crossovers in this set. The ones labeled with 27XC are for the dash speakers.

    DSC_2798.jpg
    This is the finished assembly. I cut the excess wire off the Metra harness, as well as the tinned portion wire off the crossover and used the kicker supplied crimp connectors as well as heat shrink tubing. Do this for both the dash speaker harness and crossovers.

    DSC_2799.jpg
    Here is the dash speaker removed with its mounting bracket, next to the kicker 2.75. The lack of any real magnets on the factory speakers was amazing. 2 - 10mm bolts remove the assembly from the dash. The 2 bolts holding the factory speaker to the mount were ridiculously tight. I tried to lock it in a vice and bent it. The easiest solution was a 12mm wrench on the square weld nut and a 10mm wrench on the bolt and squeeze them together to break it free. You will be reusing this bracket. The kickers come with three brackets for the 2.75, one is listed as Asian Imports. This is the bracket set you want, you will not need the others.

    DSC_2801.jpg
    DSC_2802.jpg
    The dash brackets are two pieces. The one with the bent tabs goes under the speaker and the one without sandwiches the flange of the speaker.

    DSC_2803.jpg
    Bolt this assembly back into the factory bracket using the factory bolts. Use the 12mm and 10mm wrench and squeeze again.
    I don't have pics but at this point I wrapped the crossover and additional wire in a loop of the siless foam and reinstalled in the dashboard, tucking the harness towards the cabin of the vehicle rather than towards the windshield. I also put a small square of siless liner on the vent duct under the speaker. Then pop the grill back in, not modification required.

    I did this alone yesterday and the sound improvement was instant. These 2.75 speakers are available alone for $59.00. Just search for Kicker KS2.75.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2022 at 7:57 PM
    #4
    IWontMissMyCar

    IWontMissMyCar [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2021
    Member:
    #21395
    Messages:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mitch
    Vehicle:
    2021 4Runner SR5
    Front door speaker time. I watched a few youtube videos first on how to remove the door panel. I then read the comments and can confirm that when the time comes to pull the top of the door panel off, DO NOT lift up, pull out. It went back together really easy. Luckily I ordered some clips as noted in the above post. I did break one on the passenger side. Again, I did not get pics of the sound deadening process, after I evaluate the siless liner I will document the process I used when I do the rear doors and hatch.

    DSC_2805.jpg
    These are the Metra harnesses for the door speakers as well as the remaining two crossovers for the 6x9 speakers. I did the same process as for the dash speakers. Black negative and white positive. I highly recommend heat shrinking these as they will be more prone to moisture than the dash speakers.

    DSC_2807.jpg
    6x9 harness assembled.

    81OMR2oxTqL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
    These are the NVX baffles. Fully unfolded they came uncomfortably close to hitting the window when rolled down. I cut the back 1", along the seam, off. I then cut a 2" wide section out of what will be the bottom so it doesn't hold water if it finds its way in there. I also cut a small slot at the top where the baffle meets the slot in the kicker mount to run the wires through. I also tossed the egg crate foam. It does not remotely feel or look like closed cell foam and will likely soak up water.

    20220423_151212.jpg
    Installed the kicker bracket using the OEM bolts. The slots are a little narrow but they will thread in and then right into the plastic nuts in the door. With the wires fed into the slot I cut into the NVX baffle, I put the speaker into the baffle and plugged the crossovers into the speaker. Then put the baffle/speaker into the kicker mount and use the supplied screws to attach it. The screws seem excessively long but they do not bottom out on the door.

    20220423_151223.jpg
    The kicker brackets have a lot of mounting options and some need to be removed. There are 3 lines molded into the backside of the bracket meant to be cut lines. They need to come off the end that has a lip for mounting in a different vehicle. A pair of channel locks and they snapped right off with a little twist.

    20220423_173522.jpg
    Finally, I used some Siless liner and wrapped the crossover and factory harness with the other wiring so they're not flopping around in the door panel.

    20220423_173516.jpg
    That's all there is to it. I reinstalled the door panels and away I went.

    First impressions:
    The vocals are way clearer. The dash speakers really bring out the audio. They do sound a little bright, I had to tone down the factory eq on the treble band for some of the music I listen to. If the center of the eq graph is 0, I bounce between -1 and +1 depending on the music. I tend to listen to damn near anything. I don't have a music genre, just good music. Rock, Country, Hip Hop (not modern crap, 80s-early 00s. The best part has been that I can kick up the bass on the eq and it just delivers more and more. I am still limited by the factory bass roll off at higher levels as no speaker is going to fix that, but these speakers definitely have a lot more bump at the moderate listening volumes. As far as volume, the dash speakers deliver clear vocals and mids on my highway drive at 70mph with the front windows and rear window down. No loss of volume as some have run into with higher wattage speakers with no amp. Running spotify through my phone on bluetooth I found around volume level 50 to be good for rocking out vs sometimes needing to crank to 60 to overcome the wind noise. More to come in the future.
     
    MTB Chris likes this.
  5. Apr 23, 2022 at 8:22 PM
    #5
    IWontMissMyCar

    IWontMissMyCar [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2021
    Member:
    #21395
    Messages:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mitch
    Vehicle:
    2021 4Runner SR5
    Beginning the planning for phase 2. As for a line level converter, I'm between the Audiocontrol LC7i and LCQ-1. For 4-channel amps I'm looking at the kicker Key amps as well as a kenwood they have at Best Buy right now, on sale for $149.99. Its the KAC-314. It's rated 50x4 at 4ohm and 75x4 at 2 ohm, 600 max. For $149 I may bite as if I don't like it for my use I can use it in my wife's Silverado since now that I'm upgrading my stereo I'm catching hell for her's. (She has been asking me for a while since when I had my Camaro the factory system blew away her truck) The kenwood has line level inputs so I could immediately put it in place without the need for Audiocontrol units I'm looking at until I add a sub. The kickers Key does as well but at MSRP they cost a lot more.
     
    NEguy likes this.
  6. May 19, 2022 at 9:16 AM
    #6
    Cardork

    Cardork New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2021
    Member:
    #22578
    Messages:
    169
    Redwood Curtain
    Vehicle:
    2021 Venture
    Just yesterday I added a shallow mount Focal subwoofer being driven by a a Gladen amplifier and while DSP is going to have to happen, the results of doing pretty much exactly what you described is utterly stunning.

    Started off with Morel Tempo Ultras 6x9 component set up front with 6.5 Tempo Ultra coaxials in the rear being driven by a Morel 4 channel amplifier with Dynamat in the doors.

    While I really need to lock in the levels a bit, all in all it changes everything. Truly, the OEM sound quality for a damn near $50k truck is appalling.
     

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