Android Head Unit Install on 5th Gen 4Runner
HOW TO INSTALL THE T8 ANDROID HEAD UNIT INTO A SR5P – 5TH GEN 4RUNNER
This is a step-by-step process to install the new T8 Android head unit into a 2018 SR5 Premium. The head unit boasts a beautiful 9” display and was developed by CarTrimHome, the Chinese manufacturer who also introduced the TRD Pro Replica grills to the 4R community.
When I came across the unit, I knew I had to have it.
I, like many others, have had constant issues with the OEM Entune system, from constant freezing or delays to outright crashing multiple times a week.
Here is what I’ve found Since Owning:
- Less than $500 with the current promotion
- T8 Head Unit: Check Price
- Upgraded T9 Head Unit: Check Price
- 100% plug-and-play solution
- Apple CarPlay compatible
- No need to cut or trim any part of the dash
- 2 year warranty
- No more Entune!
- 2 GB of RAM (4 would have been ideal)
- Apple CarPlay is not wireless (requires the dongle, also sold by the manufacturer)
- Not a well-known company (like Kenwood, Alpine, etc.)
- No XM capabilities
- Screen glare (can purchase a generic 9” anti-glare film from Amazon)
- T8 Head Unit: Check Price
- Car trim removal pieces (included with head unit kit)
- Harnesses (included with head unit kit)
- 10 MM Socket
STEP 1: REMOVE THE TRIM PIECES SURROUNDING THE OEM UNIT
Removing the trim pieces is straight forward. The majority of the center console removal is a series of clips that must be unsnapped. We’ll start with the left and right trim pieces towards the bottom of the console.
Each side is held in by 5 clips. Grip the trim piece along the top and bottom with your hands and pull straight towards you to remove.
Next, insert your plastic trim removal tool below the lower lip of the A/C control unit then use a twist motion to unhook the bottom clips holding it in. Pull the unit towards you and upwards to release the top clips located on each side.
Once the clips are removed, unhook the single connection (green circle below) using the ‘pinch-and-pull’ method.
Using your 10 MM socket, remove the 4 bolts. After this step, you should be able to gently pull the OEM unit towards you.
DO NOT PULL IT OUT FORCEFULLY – there are a number of connections on the back.
STEP 2: UNHOOK CONNECTIONS FROM THE BACK OF THE OEM UNIT
Remove all connections from the back of the OEM unit using the ‘pinch-and-pull’ method. You don’t need to worry about what goes where since the new Android unit is plug-and-play and no two connections are the same size.
Bye bye, Entune!
STEP 3: TRANSFER OVER A/C VENTS AND HAZARD LIGHT SWITCH
We’ll need to move over the two A/C vents and the hazard light switch from the OEM unit to the new Android unit. The A/C vents are held in by 4 clips – one on each side. I found it easiest to insert a small flathead screwdriver behind each clip, working my way in a clockwise pattern until each clip was unhooked, and then pulling the vent straight up. Repeat the same process on the other side. The vents will snap right into the new unit and lock into place.
To remove the hazard light switch, you’ll need to remove the screw located on the OEM bracket. Then, wiggle the switch out through the front of the OEM unit and into the Android unit.
STEP 4: PLUG IN CONNECTIONS TO THE BACK OF THE ANDROID UNIT
Believe it or not, the hardest part is done. Using the visual diagram on the top of the new Android unit for reference, we’ll plug in a few connections:
- Connect the GPS cable to the bottom left of the unit
- Connect the WiFi dongle to the top left of the unit
- Connect the two ‘Camera’ cables to the first two ports on the unit (one on top of the other)
- Connect the ‘CD In L’ and ‘CD In R’ cables (they’re labeled) into the second and third ports of the center row
- Plug in the other two connections in the middle and bottom right of the unit
Your connections should look similar to mine unless you have a subwoofer – you’ll have something plugged into one of the other ports according to the diagram on top of the back of the unit.
As you can see from the pictures, I didn’t have anything plugged into the 3rd / last row of the unit.
You’ll know you are done with all the connections when nothing from the new unit remains to be connected.
STEP 5: CONNECT OEM CABLES TO THE BACK OF THE NEW UNIT
We’re ready to connect the OEM cables to the new unit. As I mentioned previously, the good news is no two connections are the same size, so it really is just a matter of connecting two similar pieces until you hear them snap. You should not have to use any force during this step.
I was worried because I had two OEM connections that didn’t have a home. One was for the factory GPS, the insulated cable that runs down from the top of the center console. The other was for XM radio, which the new unit does not support.
STEP 6: VALIDATE YOUR CONNECTIONS THEN TUCK WIRES BACK AND REASSEMBLE THE CENTER CONSOLE
Once everything is plugged in, gently tuck all the wiring back into the dashboard, but do not snap the new unit into place yet. I recommend turning on the 4R and ensuring everything powers up as it should. I validated the following:
- Unit has power and turns on.
- The radio works and I can listen to local stations.
- WiFi works, if available where you’re doing the install.
- The backup camera works when I shift into R.
Once everything looked good, I turned the 4R off then snapped the Android unit into its new home.
Reinstall the appropriate trim pieces starting with the A/C control unit – don’t forget to connect power to the back of the unit.
Once it snaps into place, install the left and right trim pieces.
That’s all she wrote!
Now, you can access the Google Play store and download all the apps your heart desires.
Please remember that although this unit allows for a lot more flexibility than Entune, that you should still exercise caution when driving.
Just because you can watch YouTube or other videos doesn’t mean you should. #endPSA