Car Trim Home T10 V3 Knobless 12.5″ Touch Screen Head Unit For The 5th Gen 4Runner

Car Trim Home T10 V3 Knobless Head Unit

The T10 v3 by Car Trim Home: A Massive 12.5″ Touchscreen & Modern Head Unit Upgrade – Installation, Review & Comparison To The Dasaita Vivid11

It’s really hard to put together a snappy intro paragraph when the opening image is of a massive screen replacing what otherwise is a very, very dated-looking Toyota infotainment system. I mean, look at it, It’s huge!

I’ve swapped out my fair share of head units in the 5th Gen 4Runner over the years. At this point, I could probably disassemble and reassemble the dash with my eyes closed. Each time, I was in pursuit of a larger screen with more features than the OEM head unit.

2010 - 2013 4Runner Trail Radio

In fact, my 2010 Trail Edition came with the most basic of head units known to man. I mean, it’s honestly a relic at this point. And for those of you who don’t know what CDs are, they were these flat, donut-shaped plastic discs that allowed you to listen to music. The ’10-’13 model 4Runner radio (pictured above) had a single-color orange screen, one of those CD player things, and a variety of physical buttons.

14+ 4Runner Head Unit

Then came along the 14+ (v2) upgrades that included a redesigned infotainment system. From 2014 through present models, the infotainment system has seen a number of changes, and more recent models included the Apple CarPlay update. However, the screen size still pales in comparison to what you’ll find in newer cars and it still contains a number of buttons and knobs that keep the radio in the 20th century.

More and more, we see automotive manufacturers focusing on the in-car experience with modern conveniences and dashboards resembling large tablets seen in Teslas. For all of its glory, the Toyota 4Runner has continued to lack in this area. With what we see in the redesigned Tundra and Sequoia, Toyota will no doubt makes changes to the highly anticipated 6th Gen 4Runner’s infotainment system.

For now, the answer is simple, wait for the 6th Gen to deliver a better infotainment experience, or upgrade your current head unit at a fraction of the price! While you have many options to choose from, the recent release of the Car Trim Home T10 v3 might be your best option.

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Installation

Rear Computer of T10 v3 Head Unit

From start to finish, you can expect installation to take 1-2 hours to get the head unit installed and powered up. When it comes to customizing the interface, that can take hours, if not, weeks! Since the head unit is built on the Android platform, you can download a plethora of apps outside of Apple CarPlay to make the experience that much better.

Tools Needed:

  • Plastic pry tool (included)
  • 10mm socket and wrench (w/ socket extension)
  • 8mm socket and wrench (w/ socket extension)
  • Standard size Phillips head screwdriver
  • Smaller size Phillips head screwdriver (something like you’d use to repair glasses)
  • Smaller size flathead screwdriver
  • Towel or blanket to lay both head units on

Step 1. Disassemble OEM Dash Elements

Removing 5th Gen 4Runner Plastic Dash Surround

If you’ve never removed parts from your interior or dash before, you’ll be surprised by how much plastic can be removed just by giving it a good tug.

Start by removing the plastic surrounds around the climate control knobs, pulling them from the inside out. An optional step here is to remove the center console plastic surround. However, I always found this to be an unnecessary step.

Slowly pull the climate control knob surrounds from the inside out. Keep your hand on the bottom to avoid scratching any pieces during this step. Set both pieces aside.

Removing 4Runner Climate Controls

Next, remove the climate control knobs by similarly giving the unit a good tug. I held down both of the outer knobs and pressed down. You’ll hear and feel the module unclip itself.

As you pull out the climate control module, unplug the harness from the rear and depress the clip holding the wiring into place. Set this piece aside so that it won’t be in the way of your installation.

Removing 10mm 4Runner Radio Bolts

Using your 10mm socket and wrench, remove the four mounting bolts holding the head unit in place. None of these bolts will be reused when replacing the head unit.

Step 2. Remove Factory Head Unit

Removing Factory 4Runner Radio

With the plastic dash elements and mounting bolts removed, it’s time to remove the factory head unit.

As described above, give the head unit a gentle tug from the underside while having one hand on the top. It should free itself from the plastic clips now keeping it in place.

How To Replace 5th Gen 4Runner Radio Head Unit For Car Stereo

Gently lay the head unit down on one hand and begin unplugging all wiring harnesses connected to the back of it.

4Runner Head Unit Removed

With the wire harnesses unplugged, you can bring the head unit inside to start preparing the T10 v3 head unit.

Step 3. Remove Factory Head Unit Elements

T10v3 and OEM Head Unit Comparison

Before installing your new Car Trim Home T10 v3 head unit back into the 4Runner, you’ll need to swap out some parts from the factory one. Start by removing the passenger-side steel bracket from the head unit.

Using your 8mm socket and wrench, remove the four (4) bracket bolts

Note: One is hidden behind the hazard light bracket.

Removing Hazard Switch Harness from Factory Radio

For the fourth bolt, you may need to move around the hazard light wiring. Using a socket extension or just a long sleeve helps.

Removing Hazard Switch Harness from Factory Radio

As you remove the passenger side bracket, you’ll want to disconnect the hazard light harness from the back of the head unit and off of the mounting bracket entirely.

Slide your smaller flathead screwdriver beneath the clip and it should pop off. Pinch the plastic clip holding the wiring into place and the wiring harness should free itself from the bracket. This will not be reused on the new head unit.

4Runner Head Unit Install

Now, remove the four yellowish clips on the back of the factory head unit and transfer them to the new one.

So as not to break the clip, I found it best to get one side started with my plastic pry tool, hold my finger underneath and move the other side. They should pop right out (and maybe fly across the room).

Dasaita Vivid11 Head Unit Install Guide

Next, remove the top flat plastic plate from the factory head unit using your Philips head screwdriver. Again, this will be reused but set it aside for the time being.

Removing Hazard Switch From Factory 4Runner Radio

Now, pop out the hazard light from the back of the head unit towards the front. Set this aside as it will be reused.

Removing Vents From OEM 4Runner Radio

Now it’s time to remove the factory AC/heating vents. This can be tricky at first, but not impossible. First, use your smaller Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws holding the vent open/close frame in place.

Next, remove the vents. Essentially, there are four clips on each side of each vent. Be patient and do not pull too hard. Using your smaller flat head screwdriver, simultaneously loosen and gently pull each corner of the vent. As you repeat this process on each side, the vent will eventually become loose.

On the upper side, you’ll notice a bigger retaining clip that also needs to be pressed open. I found the plastic pry tool to work best here. Remove both vents and put them aside.

Step 4. Swap Factory Pieces To the T10 Unit

5th Gen 4Runner Head Unit Installation Guide

Now that you’ve stripped down all the essential elements on your factory head unit, it’s time to start putting the remaining components back onto the T10 v3.

T10 v3 4Runner Hazard Button Install

Snap in the factory hazard button from the front side of the head unit. It should just click into place.

T10 v3 vent cover

Place the appropriate vent open/close frame back on the front and screw the plate in.

T10 4Runner air vent bracket install

These tiny screws can be a pain to keep on your smaller Philips head screwdriver. I used the tiniest amount of grease on the end to keep the screw on the driver after the screw fell off ten or so times!

If you have a magnetic screwdriver, you should be good to go.

Reinstalling AC/Heat Vents on T10 v3

Snap the appropriate AC/heating vent into place. You’ll know immediately if you’re putting the wrong vent into the wrong spot, so don’t force it!

T10 v3 4Runner head unit shelf install

Lastly, reinstall the matte black shelf that sits on top of the head unit reusing the two (2) screws removed from the OEM radio.

T10 v3 components swapped from OEM radio

That’s it; everything is swapped and you’re ready to get this wired up and installed!

Step 5. Wire It Up

T10 v3 head unit harnesses

As I mentioned above, everything is plug-and-play. To say you need to “wire up your head unit” should more appropriately be phrased as “plug everything in”.

I won’t go into painstaking detail here explaining which needs to go where because each harness is unique and only has one location. Just don’t go shoving things in with any force because you can easily bend or break the pins. If it doesn’t fit easily, it’s in the wrong spot.

T10 v3 harnesses plugged in

I know, it looks like a bit of a rat’s nest. That’s okay because nobody will see this once everything is tucked behind the dash and plugged into the appropriate spots.

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that in order to retain your factory backup camera, you’ll need to properly connect the red, yellow, and white AV cables. All of them are labeled and it’s fairly straightforward. I only call that out because it was something I forgot to do in my haste to check out the new head unit! Make these connections before you bring the rat’s nest of wires out to the 4Runner.

Additionally, the Car Trim Home T10 v3 head unit includes a harness that can be used to connect any additional sound system upgrades you may have made to your 4Runner, like a subwoofer or even a DVD player.

Step 6. Connect Harnesses & Mount Head Unit

T10 v3 Installed in 4Runner

Last but not least, it’s now time to mount your new T10 head unit. Having a second set of hands to hold the head unit while you make all the connections will make things much easier.

Make all of your connections by again matching port-for-port. There are two smaller factory plugs/harnesses that aren’t used if you’re going with the standard setup. If you’ve decided to wire in a front-facing camera, you can do so and the T10 v3 includes the necessary plugs/harnesses for that.

Gently sit the head unit in place (or have that second set of hands hold it in place) and turn on the car. You should have power to the unit immediately. I cycled through the radio to ensure I was getting audio, then turned off the car to complete the installation.

Mount the head unit in its final resting spot and bolt in the four mounting bracket bolts using your 10mm socket wrench. The holes may not be completely aligned to the bracket holes, but the steel has some flex to it and everything should mount up just fine.

Connect your climate control module back into the dash making the necessary connections.

Snap all the plastic interior panels into place and that’s it – your new Car Trim Home T10 v3 head unit installation is now complete!

Initial Impressions

OEM, T10v3 and Dasaita Head Units

So, how does it compare to the Dasaita Vivid11 I just installed a few weeks back? Well, that depends on a few factors. Let’s take a look at some key differences below.

Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

T10 v3 Head Unit 5th Gen 4Runner

Dasaita uses the ZLink app and the T10 v3 uses the TLink app to wirelessly connect to Apple CarPlay. I’ve found the TLink app to work better and with fewer hiccups. Since both radios are built on the Android OS, I’m sure you can download TLink and potentially have an easier connection process.

Back-Up Camera

As I had mentioned with the Dasaita Vivid11, you’re stretching an image to reflect on a wider screen. The camera itself isn’t bad; it just wasn’t designed to be stretched this wide. So, you’ll lose some clarity due to the distortion.

For whatever reason, the T10 v3 (using the same OEM back-up camera as the Dasaita radio) produced a higher quality output. I can’t put my finger on that one, but it just did.

Screen Size

Obviously, both aftermarket radios offer a larger screen size than the OEM radio, but the T10 v3 is bigger. The Dasaita head unit comes in at 10.25″ and the T10 v3 comes in at 12.3″. However, what makes the T10 v3 size more noteworthy is that the screen dimensions aren’t encumbered by touchscreen side buttons or any radio dials/knobs.

Color Match

Paint Quality MGM T10 v3

The T10 v3 is finished with the same exact magnetic gray metallic (MGM) flake as the current dash surround pieces. The color match is indistinguishable. The downside of the Dasaita head unit is that it only comes in matte black (and silver). The T10 v3 also comes in the silver finish that some models still sport and works for both the 2010 – 2022 models (2023 pending at the time this post was published).

Radio Dash Surround

T10 v3 Installed in 4Runner

The wild part about the T10 v3 is that the manufacturer thought outside the box and broke boundaries, literally. It seems like every aftermarket manufacturer tried to increase the screen size while still staying within the confines of the OEM dash surround. The T10 v3 pays respect to the OEM look but stretched each lower corner to create a perfect rectangular shape along the bottom. No knobs. No side touch screen buttons… just a screen for days.

The best part is that the radio surround overlays the climate control “columns” ever so slightly, it doesn’t effect adjusting the knobs, and it just looks like it was always supposed to be that way. Major kudos here.

Final Thoughts

CTH T10 v3 CarPlay Screen

The bottom line is that this head unit is no joke and the features are endless. I’ve been able to stream YouTube TV, HBO Max, and NFL Red Zone directly on this radio. Safe? No. Wild? Yes.

If you’re in the market for a new radio or as Brenan puts it, you want to “actually feel like you’re in the 21st century when you’re in your 4Runner“, you need to seriously consider the new T10 v3.

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Jeff
Jeff
12 days ago

You mention reinstalling the 4 10mm bolts. Is this correct? It looks like the T10v3 doesn’t use the brackets like Dasaita does, only the yellow clips. That’s one reason I’ve avoided ordering so far. I’m not sure it would be secure to hold my dash mount/phones with only the clips (at least not safely).

Ryan Gibbons
Ryan Gibbons
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

I’ll have to update this post but for the T10v3, you don’t reinstall the bolts. I can assure you it’s very secure with just the yellow retaining clips. It’s super thin and has almost no weight to it.

Brandon
Brandon
16 days ago

Does it retain the steering wheel controls?

Where’s the best place to buy this?

Ryan Gibbons
Ryan Gibbons
11 days ago
Reply to  Brandon

It comes with Maestro built in so you retain all the steering wheel controls.

Nathan
Nathan
18 days ago

Does this headunit still have the Toyota maintenance app? Or something similar to track oil change/tire rotation by mileage?

Admin
Scout
17 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

You can install just about any app you can think of. Just go the Google Play store and search the app you want. Here is the Toyota app.

Jay Helms
Jay Helms
22 days ago

If for some reason, you accidentally delete the T-Link app for apple carplay from the head unit, here is a link to download the T-Link app for the CarTrimHome T10 V3 Knobless. You will need to download it straight to the head unit. I emailed the link to myself and then accessed my email through WIFI on the head unit. Once you have downloaded the link to the head unit, it will automatically download the T-Link app. Now just restart the head unit and you have reinstalled the T-Link app. Here is the link: https://cartrimhome.cn/our_dw/TLINK_dw_1.8.9.apk

Last edited 17 days ago by Brenan Greene
Maxim
Maxim
22 days ago

Is there USB port for music?

Ryan Gibbons
Ryan Gibbons
21 days ago
Reply to  Maxim

The OEM usb input connects to this radio, so yessir.

Jorge
Jorge
23 days ago

Thanks for posting this, it came in handy when making my decision and installing my new T10 V3, it’s awesome!

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