5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Install

Android Head Unit Install on 5th Gen 4Runner

Updated 11/27/19 / Read Time: 5 mins

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
  • 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!

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 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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Kurt Couvion
Kurt Couvion
June 11, 2020 7:40 pm

Would this unit fit a 2012 with the standard audio in dash? I do not have a multimedia head unit.

mike
mike
April 22, 2020 7:04 pm

same procedure/fit for the 2019 SR5 (not premium)?

Ted
Ted
March 6, 2020 3:05 pm

Do you get full functionality from the steering wheel controls? Also, are there plans for a version of this head unit with a CD player? Also, what is the name (or web link) for the company that makes these?

DAVID NAPIER
DAVID NAPIER
January 27, 2020 1:11 pm

Will the T9 work and fit in mine, I have a 2010 4R SR5 basic stereo with back up cam in rear view mirror?

Denis
Denis
October 20, 2019 4:59 pm

Where can this be purchased from?

Chris
Chris
October 20, 2019 5:22 pm
Reply to  Denis

Directly from CarTrim.

Ben Smith
Ben Smith
October 6, 2019 6:36 am

Is there any chance this would fit in the 2010-2013 models? I know it says 2014+ but it seems like it’s the same size piece.

Chris
Chris
October 8, 2019 12:22 pm
Reply to  Ben Smith

I have a 2010, it fits perfectly, BUT, much of the connectors don’t fit, you get the radio, no amplifier, no rear speakers, and no steering wheel controls

Ben
Ben
October 8, 2019 1:00 pm
Reply to  Chris

Hmm… any luck finding different connectors or options to hook it all up? Seems like it’s probably just a wiring issue. I doubt the functionality is any different from one year to the next.

Clyde
Clyde
September 29, 2019 12:29 pm

My unit came with a cracked screen, well packaged from China also. That begs the question: IF the glass can’t survive the shipment, how does it survive offroading or children in the long run? I was very disappointed that I initiated a return and having to go back to the stock Entune system 🙁

Steven Lorick
Steven Lorick
July 5, 2019 3:14 pm

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
Atul Bhandari
July 15, 2019 7:03 am
Reply to  Steven Lorick

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.

Dr. Jeremy Welch
Dr. Jeremy Welch
June 25, 2019 5:00 pm

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.

Jim
Jim
June 19, 2019 5:30 pm

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
Atul Bhandari
July 15, 2019 7:04 am
Reply to  Jim

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.

Hank scott
Hank scott
June 7, 2019 5:01 pm

Support sucks!

Nander
Nander
June 7, 2019 4:52 pm

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

beame2
beame2
April 27, 2019 4:01 pm

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

beame2
beame2
April 27, 2019 3:49 pm

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

Chris Young
Chris Young
April 17, 2019 4:21 pm

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?

chuff
chuff
March 27, 2019 1:13 pm

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

Mike
Mike
March 30, 2019 1:06 pm
Reply to  chuff

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

Marc
Marc
March 24, 2019 6:15 pm

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
David Callaway
March 25, 2019 7:28 pm
Reply to  Marc

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.

Scott
Scott
March 22, 2019 9:55 am

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 »

Scott
Scott
March 27, 2019 5:13 pm
Reply to  Atul Bhandari

Thank you very much for you honest feedback and will certainly reach out to OEM Audio Plus regarding integration with their setup!!

Grant
Grant
March 22, 2019 12:44 am

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?

Mohammad
Mohammad
November 27, 2019 1:33 pm
Reply to  Grant

I just installed it on my 2010 4Runner Limited(CDM) by myself. It has JBL audio. Right off the bat, everything works except OEM rear camera, steering wheel functions, aux port. Bluetooth works(poor quality IMO), radio works, this unit has better sound drivers than OEM so it sounds better but has too much background white noise for my taste. Im gonna take it to a professional to make everything work. For me, the main most important things were, bluetooth, google maps and radio and backup camera 3/4 already work. So its worth it for me. P.S. I’d recommend cutting the middlemen… Read more »

Brenan - @Trail4R
Admin
Famed Member
Brenan - @Trail4R
November 27, 2019 7:17 pm
Reply to  Mohammad

Good to know. How was the support from aliexpress? Did you reach out to anyone over there? How was the sellers’ communication?

Mohammad
Mohammad
November 27, 2019 9:13 pm

Aliexpress overall is meh, but products are cheap and worth taking the risk for. Just make sure to purchase with only with Credit cards in case they try to pull a scam or a bs on you so you just contact your bank and get reimbursement.

I didn’t have any need to reach out to anyone over at AE since product I received worked as expected. (I knew what wasn’t gonna work before I made the purchase).

The head unit arrived in 20 days to Canada, Montréal.

Brenan - @Trail4R
Admin
Famed Member
Brenan - @Trail4R
November 27, 2019 9:53 pm
Reply to  Mohammad

Got it, I would suggest PayPal over CC with AliExpress and really any company overseas. PayPal is quick to give you your money back. Usually faster than a bank/CC IMO.

Jerret
Jerret
December 7, 2019 11:45 am
Reply to  Mohammad

Any luck on figuring out how to get these other functions working? I have a 2011 and would like to do this upgrade as well.

Chris
Chris
March 21, 2019 7:28 am

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!

ChrisB
ChrisB
March 21, 2019 6:31 am

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 B
Chris B
March 23, 2019 6:45 am
Reply to  Atul Bhandari

Thanks Atul. I would most likely blue tooth it myself, but if CarPlay requires a connection, I want to be sure that three are no new/additional cables hanging somewhere. Will keep an eye out for your review.

Wes
Wes
March 19, 2019 4:32 pm

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.

David Callaway
David Callaway
March 19, 2019 3:49 pm

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

David Callaway
David Callaway
March 25, 2019 7:36 pm
Reply to  Atul

Did you swap the brackets from the side of the factory HU before install for OEM mounting or just snap it in as is after connections? I’m installing on a 2019 TRD Off Road and seeing only small differences (Had to swap over the vent control labels via 2 #00 phillips; looks like my vent clips were a little different but still fit fine; hazard switch is a little sticky since fit isn’t very tight but seems operable and given how little I use them not a concern. I may be pausing my install for a bit though to see… Read more »

David Callaway
David Callaway
March 25, 2019 8:53 pm
Reply to  David Callaway

nvm re: brackets….they don’t fit

David Callaway
David Callaway
March 26, 2019 8:33 am
Reply to  Atul Bhandari

Yeah, I figured out the OEM GPS just sits on a little tray behind the clock under the dash. I just used a flat head to lift off the clips and a hook pic to pull it out and swap the antennas. I did also have to move a couple other little bits like the Open/Close vent indicators next to the vent wheels and the tray on the top with a few #00 phillips….now I just need to figure out why my backup camera isn’t working. I got pictures of the GPS tray if you want. This head unit is… Read more »

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
April 1, 2019 1:21 pm
Reply to  David Callaway

Could you send the pictures of the GPS antenna swap? Will probably do the same on mine…

David Callaway
David Callaway
April 1, 2019 8:35 pm
Reply to  Peter Shaw

So not sure how to add pics…maybe Brennan or Atul can pull these and put somewhere better…and I’m not just giving access to my whole drive. Try this: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1cTY0fcK6WO_UKkbR_vu–INhUQGt4epX?usp=sharing

Brenan - @Trail4R
Admin
Famed Member
Brenan - @Trail4R
April 1, 2019 10:19 pm
Reply to  David Callaway

We are in the process of adding a media upload within comments. Should have it done this week or next.

Peter
Peter
April 2, 2019 7:01 am
Reply to  David Callaway

Thanks, David! Looks rather straightforward. Let us know if the 3m tape holds up after the summer…

Kerbs
Kerbs
March 19, 2019 12:26 pm

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

Shwell
Shwell
March 19, 2019 12:26 pm

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

Rob
Rob
March 19, 2019 9:08 am

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

Carlo
Carlo
March 19, 2019 6:17 am

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.

Carlo
Carlo
March 19, 2019 6:27 am
Reply to  atul

You are right! I missed that, thanks.
Also, in the options I see a ‘driving recorder’. Do you know what it is for?
And did you try to use CarPlay as well?
Thanks

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