Android Head Unit Install on 5th Gen 4Runner

 In 5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Install

Android Head Unit 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:

PROs:

  • Less than $500 with the current promotion
  • 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!

CONs:

  • 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)

PARTS USED:

  • T8 Android 9” head unit: Check Price
  • Car trim removal pieces (included with head unit kit)
  • Harnesses (included with head unit kit)
  • 10 MM Socket
  • Screwdriver

STEP 1: REMOVE THE TRIM PIECES SURROUNDING THE OEM UNIT

Dash Install 4Runner - Step 1

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.

Dash Install 4Runner - Plastic Trim Tool

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.

Bolts in Dash

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.

Remove Entune on 4Runner

Bye bye, Entune!

STEP 3: TRANSFER OVER A/C VENTS AND HAZARD LIGHT SWITCH

Move 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:

  1. Connect the GPS cable to the bottom left of the unit
  2. Connect the WiFi dongle to the top left of the unit
  3. Connect the two ‘Camera’ cables to the first two ports on the unit (one on top of the other)
  4. Connect the ‘CD In L’ and ‘CD In R’ cables (they’re labeled) into the second and third ports of the center row
  5. 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

Connecting the New Dash 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:

  1. Unit has power and turns on.
  2. The radio works and I can listen to local stations.
  3. WiFi works, if available where you’re doing the install.
  4. 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!

FINAL

Android Head Unit on 5th Gen 4Runner

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

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Atul BhandariSteven LorickDr. Jeremy WelchJimHank scott Recent comment authors
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Carlo
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Carlo

This is great! Hopefully we will see soon other companies releasing new models.
I wish there was an option to have black dashboard instead of silver though.

Rob
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Rob

Looks fantastic! Since you can access the Play store, couldn’t you DL the XM app and stream music thru it?

Shwell
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Shwell

Great write up. Been keeping an eye out on feedback for this unit. Very interested.

Kerbs
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Kerbs

Does the head unit have an auxiliary in that that you could hard wire an external XM receiver? Thanks

David Callaway
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David Callaway

Has anyone did any serious research/digging into firmware/software? Secure? No surprises? Just don’t use billing info or logins?

Wes
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Wes

So I freaking love this headunit. It’s the best looking one I’ve seen ever for 4runners.

The only negative is the RAM, 2GB is, in my opinion, not enough to run the apps on here. 4GB is standard today, but my guess that this unit is older and therefore the processor is older as well too.

I would really really love a review of this unit on YouTube. That would be another deciding factor for me.

ChrisB
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ChrisB

This is great and I can’t wait for your post install review! My questions (yes, some are as obvious as they seem). 1. This will integrate and use the backup cam by simply plugging in? 2. This eliminates the CD player? (No, I don’t use it just being sure I understand.) 3. Does the ODBC tool add on require a monthly service to then use? I’ve seen that most appear to need some sort of service to have any value. 4. I see where you said the inputs list was given, but between the car-play adapter and the truck’s current… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Where did you end up mounting the external mic if you used it? I ordered my unit this week, and I’m debating on where to put it. I like a clean install that looks OEM. I imagine the cable length is the determining factor in where it can go. Install looks good!

Grant
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Grant

I know this says 5th gen – but i have a 2010 limited with the JBL audio. However, it looks slightly different than the 2014+. Do you know if this will also work for the 10-13 folks?

Scott
Guest
Scott

Atul – Thank you very much for posting this information and I have a few questions! 1.) How is the sound quality compared to the stock Entune system? 2.) I have an Android phone and wanted to know if this will work wirelessly without connecting to my phone with a hard-wired adapter? And, if I decide to use Android Auto for whatever reason? Basically, do I need a hard-wired adapter as I am trying to stay away from having to plug in and unplug my phone every time I get in an out of the vehicle? I do know the… Read more »

Marc
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Marc

Will this headunit work with an amp and after market speakers? I’ve read that people have been saying the sound quality is worse than the oem unit

David Callaway
Guest
David Callaway

I’m installing right now and though can’t give you a definitive answer (like “yeah I installed it and it works”) it does have Right channel, Left channel, and sub outs plus “Amp Ctrl” and “Amp Det” splice ins.

chuff
Guest
chuff

Is there an easy way to accommodate a second (front facing) camera with this unit?

Mike
Guest
Mike

Yes a second camera can be added in the composite Yellow RCA plug separate from the back up camera.

Chris Young
Guest
Chris Young

So, any suggestions on mating this thing to an OEM 2010 p-1850 radio. Only one of the T8 Harness plugs match the toyota harness. Is there another harness for the T8?; or where can I get a wiring diagram for the OEM radio so I can start splicing?

beame2
Guest
beame2

Man I can’t believe it everything is working so far even the aux!

beame2
Guest
beame2

any know what those two unused connections are for on the new units harness?

Nander
Guest
Nander

My screen is upside down and I can’t put it as it should be please help

Hank scott
Guest
Hank scott

Support sucks!

Jim
Guest
Jim

Got mine in today. The radio harness has 7 big white connectors that must be plugged in to the 4Runner harness. My 4Runner has 5 big white connectors. There are no connectors on my 4Runner to plug the extra 2 radio harness connectors to the 4Runner harness. None of the 4Runner connectors will fit the extra two radio connectors. One of the extra connectors has several wires including the RCA reverse camera on it. The other extra connector is marked “4Runner” on a label with a bunch of Chinese characters. Have any insight on this? What am I missing?

Atul Bhandari
Guest
Atul Bhandari

I believe there are 2 connections from the factory unit that will not be plugged into the T8 – one is for the factory GPS and the other is for XM radio.

Dr. Jeremy Welch
Guest
Dr. Jeremy Welch

Does anyone have insight to hooking up the front facing camera with this unit. I ordered the option since it was so inexpensive. I was going to tackle the install this weekend but have not seen anyone discussing it.

Steven Lorick
Guest
Steven Lorick

Wait, so is there a way to take the old gps system and replace it into the new one. The new gps system provided with the t8 head unit is extremely slow and the old 4runner headunit gps was not bad at all. Everytime i try loading an offline gps in the system, it either freezes or is extremely slow.

Atul Bhandari
Guest
Atul Bhandari

I don’t think you can swap the factory GPS into the new unit. What app are you using for GPS with the T8 – Waze, Google Maps? Are you trying to run multiple apps at the same time when using GPS? I would be sure you don’t have automatic app updates turned on with the T8 or it can try to update apps when you don’t want it to and bog down the unit. I don’t recall where that setting was, maybe within the Google Play store, but it’s definitely worth checking to confirm its turned off.

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