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Old 04-14-2012, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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gen 7 2012 Camry - full stereo install - lessons learned and tips

Thanks to luna2 and ajenright for all the feedback in my first post. I wanted to come back with an update now that the install is done and share some info. I am really happy with how it turned out but it was an adventure getting there. I have some pics and wiring diagrams attached as well as some install experience to share.

Amp wiring:

There is an oversized grommet in the firewall on the passenger side with plenty of room for more wires, IF you feel like cutting it up a bit. I didnít want to drill into a car with this many wires so I decided to perform a bit of surgery on the grommet instead. Not exactly kosher I know but I didnít feel like making the walk of shame back to the dealer after drilling through a bunch of electronics. Peering through the existing hole I could see daylight on the other side so I taped my power cable to a metal rod and pushed it through. 17í of wire just barely got me to the rear deck.

I found a nice ground in the rear strut tower mounting bolts after grinding the paint off the body with a dremel, and it made for a very short ground wire.

I have auto sensing amps so I didnít run a remote wire but if I had, the easiest way would have been to grab the cigarette lighter power I think.

Speaker wiring:

I went with new components in the front. There is only about 2.5" behind the door before you hit window but, there is another 1.5" of space between the door and the door panel. I was able to mount a pair of Polk MM 6501's, which are almost 3" deep, to a bracket made of 3/4" MDF with plenty of room. I angled the tweeter a bit and put it at the bottom front where it could penetrate the door panel grill and the imaging is great.



The thing is, with an amp, I am running my own wires. And with components, I am running 2 sets behind the crossover, and with a door being a somewhat hostile environment (water etc) I didnít want the crossover in there so that meant getting two pairs of new wire into the doors. Getting wire into the passenger door through the insanely long grommet wasnít too bad, some stiff wire and silicone spray will do the trick, then tape your wire to the end and pull through. But in my case, some overzealous assembly line dude took it upon himself to tape up the driver side grommet tube so tight I couldnít get a strand of dental floss through there. Pissed off and not ready to compromise at this point after having the other side done already, I took the door off. Note: taking a door off is easy, 5 bolts, three harnesses. Putting a door back on is HARD, without a buddy and a hydraulic jack. Follow best practices for disconnecting airbag systems (yellow harnesses)

The 6x9s in back were much easier. I just used the existing speakers as a guide and made some more adapters out of MDF for a pair of Polk DB69s:



I needed to route speaker level inputs to my amp. I found the easiest way to tap into the front channels was at the dash speaker - the grille front pops right out. Solder or buy a harness to tap in, it is a straight shot down to the floor trim panels. Just make sure you grab the leads that go to the deck Ė there are 4 wires in the harness but 2 go to the door speakers which are run in parallel. Just get some test leads and plug a speaker in to find the hot wires.

Watch out for the front kick panels, the plastic anchors are angled for some godforsaken reason. Take out the front nut and twist the top of the panel forward and the bottom toward the rear of the car Ė do not pull straight up.

For the airbag seat rests on the sides of the rear seats, undo the two bolts and the bottom and lift up. You donít need to disconnect them.

The backseat comes out by pulling straight up to disconnect the clips underneath like every most every other backseat. On the rear deck, push the brake light assembly to the driver side and it will pop out.

Amp mounting:

The biggest problem I had was trying to find a suitable spot to mount a pair of amps even though they were rather small. The trunk is huge but if you look closely there are practically no flat surfaces large enough to mount an amp. If your amp is less than ~ 10" x 8" x 2" e.g. the JL HD or XD series all-in-ones, you can squeeze it in under the rear deck above the trunk torsion bars.

For half the price of one of those I scored a pair of Alpines on Amazon, an MRX-F30 and an MRX-M50, but I had a space issue as a result. I decided to make a shelf that would sit under the trunk torsion bars and mount the amps to it. Here is the backside:



And here it is with the amps mounted. I didnít have to drill any holes, just used 3Ē bolts into existing unused holes in the rear deck. If you use nuts, be sure to put some adhesive around them so you can take the shelf out without pulling the rear deck apart. That chunk missing is so it fits around the middle seat belt assembly.



Here is the whole works installed. The only downside is it blocks the trunk light but the alpines have bright blue power LEDs that give the whole trunk a nice blue glow, hurray for unintended awesomeness.



I wasnít a fan of the stock Display Audio with Nav at first, with its low-res resistive touchscreen and cheesy EQ, but it is actually a quality unit, made by Pioneer. It puts out flat signal and doesnít seem to clip, though I have yet to test this. I put a $20 dollar 32GB flash disk in the USB port with my entire collection and it scanned all the ID3 tags in seconds, and I was on my merry way. There is zero noise, and the SQ is amazing. It was a fun project.

6 speaker with Nav wiring diagram
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_7...FFqZW5VZmVkUEk

10 speaker with JBL wiring diagram
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_7...Ed1aW5vV1VqY0k

Slightly outdated Crutchfield MasterSheet (Gen6 2007-2011)
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_7...nZwRmxVTmZtbkk

Enjoy
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good looking install. I really like the "shelf". I have built plenty of amp racks in my install days, but never any that mounted to the rear deck like that. Looks good and definitely something I will keep in mind for those times when I want it to have a custom kick to it but without taking up the entire trunk and getting into fiberglass and stuff. Clean quality install it appears

I highly recommend saving up some $$ and investing in Dynamat (or whatever other sound deadening material you prefer. It makes a HUGE difference you wouldnt believe. And im not just talking about stopping trunk rattle, but you can also use it to make your front doors into an "enclosure" for your front speakers. It increases response and makes that sound even more full and clear. Here is my front and rear doors of my tacoma so you see what I mean:

FRONT





REAR



By sealing the ENTIRE door, it creates a minature enclosure for your door speakers. This applies back pressure on your speakers and increases mid and low range response, and of course eliminates rattle as well. Its costly, but it will blow your mind if you do it right. Think of what your sub wound sound like if you just held it up without a box... you will hardly hear it, but when you give it back pressure from a box, thats where the bass comes from. Although subs can blow if not in a box (unless the are free floating subs like marine woofers) and speakers are designed to work without a box, the physics behind air pressure, harmonics, sound waves, SPL, and all that stuff doesnt change. Just an idea you may wanna save up for. Im sure it sounds great already, it looks like a good setup, im just throwing out ideas to make it "that much better" lol

Oh and btw, there is nothing wrong with cutting your factory grommet and putting your power wire through there. You dont have to drill a new hole and add a new grommet. It safer to do it your way, and its how I do it on every vehicle I work on, unless i cant get to the factory grommet and i have to make my own, then thats another story. Just make sure its sealed well, you would be surprised how much heat, engine noise, and even fumes will make it through that small cut in the grommet. If the hole it too big, throw some clear silicon II on it to seal it up. But im sure its fine how it is.

Great Job!
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks ajenright, I decided on that unconventional rear deck mount as there really wasn't a good place to mount an amp anyplace else without going custom fiberglass or losing the spare, and Murphy's Law tells us ditching the spare increases your chances of getting a flat by 10,000%

I didn't want to ignore damping but also wanted to go budget (hence the DIY build) so I did use about 40 sq.ft. of Peel n' Seal, the poor man's Dynamat, in the front doors (inside and out), rear deck and trunk, and it really has helped tremendously with both road noise, driver response and overall damping. The stuff is about $15 for a 12.5 sq ft roll, and has a similar composition to Dynamat. If you can handle a few days of having your ride smell like Andy Dufrain and his Shawshank buddies just tar sealed the inside of your car, it's a good value.

I was really surprised at how much midbass those 6.5" drivers put out. They really hold their own on the low end and sound great doing it. I am sure you're running and amp to those sealed up 6x9s and I bet they just POUND. I am actually thinking of taking the door panels back off and trying some of that spray on deadener as the panels are vibrating on top of the doors at some frequencies. Either that or may be I could get some egg crate foam in there to keep constant pressure and some insulation between the panels and the metal of the doorframe. Without any damping, they would be rattling like crazy I am sure.

Thanks for the ideas! I might go the rest of the way on sealing the doors, as I didn't seal any of the access panels and I'm curious how it would sound now with more back pressure on the drivers. I would have taken more pictures but after some initial setbacks it just started all flying together.

Also I really like that crossover mounting location you picked, I didn't think of putting it next to the bracket like that, and I guess if I were doing it again I could consider NOT running wire into the doors and hijack the stock wire instead, its probably 18 GA but for only a couple feet it wouldn't be the end of the world. But its also nice knowing I can go back to stock by just literally popping off the panels and plugging everything back in.

Last edited by pablotweek; 04-17-2012 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That looks awesome!! I have a question for you. I also want to replace speakers and add a amp to my 2012 camry xle with NO JBL or Nav. I was going to use components in the front, but was going to put the tweeters up on the dash where those little 3 inch speakers are at. Any thoughts would be great. Thanks
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Check your post in the other thread, I didn't use the dash speaker mount locations. You are right, the dash and door are wired in parallel so there are actually 4 wires in the dash speaker harness - when you plug it in, you complete a parallel circuit down to the door speakers.

I was originally planning to try another set of speakers in the dash, but after listening to the components, and hearing how balanced they were, I decided not to bother - I have plenty of highs with just the one set and the staging is wonderful.

You could use components and put the tweeter up there if you want, but I find highs up on the windshield a bit harsh depending on the tweeter (consider a silk dome if you want to do this). Putting the mid and tweeter close to each other keeps them in phase since they are the same distance from your ear. I really can't tell that they are down so low - since we only have two ears, the sound still comes from in front of you. We can only identify a sound source on one plane, not in 3d space. Any clues your ears give you about source height is based only on the character of the sound and your brain taking the environment into account (echoes etc). You can certainly try both locations if you are on the fence. Let us know how it goes!
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Guys
Seeing that a few of you have upgraded the factory speakers, and ran them off an amp I' wondering if there was a issue with the sound coming through the speakers when you are on the phone ect. My plan is to replace speakers using components in the front with the tweeters on the dash where those 3 inch speakers are. I r also on the noticed there seems to br like a center channel speaker also on the dash in the middle. Will that still work, and is that where the sound comes from when using the phone and things. Hope I'm making sense.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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gen 7

Quote:
Originally Posted by pablotweek View Post
Check your post in the other thread, I didn't use the dash speaker mount locations. You are right, the dash and door are wired in parallel so there are actually 4 wires in the dash speaker harness - when you plug it in, you complete a parallel circuit down to the door speakers.

I was originally planning to try another set of speakers in the dash, but after listening to the components, and hearing how balanced they were, I decided not to bother - I have plenty of highs with just the one set and the staging is wonderful.

You could use components and put the tweeter up there if you want, but I find highs up on the windshield a bit harsh depending on the tweeter (consider a silk dome if you want to do this). Putting the mid and tweeter close to each other keeps them in phase since they are the same distance from your ear. I really can't tell that they are down so low - since we only have two ears, the sound still comes from in front of you. We can only identify a sound source on one plane, not in 3d space. Any clues your ears give you about source height is based only on the character of the sound and your brain taking the environment into account (echoes etc). You can certainly try both locations if you are on the fence. Let us know how it goes!
Thank you pablo for a such a detailed post. I have a question. Where did you get the signal for the sub? I have the 2012 camry se with entune and will be upgrading the sound very soon. Is it necessary to use the JL Audio Cleansweep?
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice work! One little suggestion is spraying the speaker adapters in the front doors with a sealer. I don't know much about the weather where you're located, but the mdf soaks up water like a sponge, I hate to see your nice work get ruined after 6 months.
I haven't tried it yet but I think rust-oleum has a spray coating thats rubberized, I think they bought the recipe from that guy on the infommercial who has a boat with a screen door for a bottom, who sprays the stuff on it and then goes sailing...
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I’m doing some research and before I get started, I need some help from the experts. Where do you tap onto the radio harness? Meaning for your front & rear, L&R speakers inputs? If I’m adding an amp to my system do I run the wire from the door to the back and back aging? I don’t want to replace my None Nav Touch screen. Hope you guys can help
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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gen 7 diy install

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Originally Posted by gamekiller12 View Post
Iím doing some research and before I get started, I need some help from the experts. Where do you tap onto the radio harness? Meaning for your front & rear, L&R speakers inputs? If Iím adding an amp to my system do I run the wire from the door to the back and back aging? I donít want to replace my None Nav Touch screen. Hope you guys can help
I changed all the speakers and added 1 6 channel amp, 1 4 channel amp, a 10 channel crossovers and a capacitor. I haven't added a subwoofer box as yet, because i'm thinking of getting a custom box made. The only drawback at this point is that the head unit does not have a dedicated subwoofer output and as such, a y splitter will have to be utilised, which means if the basss is adjusted on the head unit, said bass will filter into the mids.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I installed my mono amp and sound really good. After I get the mid/hi done I will get a mono amp with a bass knob control to have the flexibility. Also looking into the Alpine PHE-H660.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you Pablotweek for the write up. I installed my system last week with an alpine 4 channel with JL audio C2 6.5" & my alpine mono amp with a jl w7 H/O box
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onequan View Post
Thank you pablo for a such a detailed post. I have a question. Where did you get the signal for the sub? I have the 2012 camry se with entune and will be upgrading the sound very soon. Is it necessary to use the JL Audio Cleansweep?
All 4 speaker outputs from the amp are full range and there are no preamp outs on the unit so your only option is to get an amp with speaker level inputs (the stock power is low enough to be in range to some "line level" inputs).

Therefore I just ran the speaker inputs to the alpine M50 and used the crossover in the amp.

The deck does not attenuate any ranges at high volumes (at least not appreciably) so IMO cleansweep isn't necessary.

Last edited by pablotweek; 09-06-2012 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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would a 6x9 fit for front speakers? depth wise i mean
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gamekiller12 View Post
Thank you Pablotweek for the write up. I installed my system last week with an alpine 4 channel with JL audio C2 6.5" & my alpine mono amp with a jl w7 H/O box
sweet dude, how does it sound? I had to put a few tiny squares of weatherstripping under the driver door control panely thing to stop it from rattling.
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