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Stealth install an aftermarket stereo in Prius

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Audio and Electronics' started by F8L, Oct 16, 2007.

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  1. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    *EDIT* Please see page 5 of this thread for an alternative wiring option AND how to mount the stereo to the factory stereo bracket assembly! I've also added the Metra stereo installation pdf as an attachment for those interested in the resistor modification in case you don't want to use an additional wiring harness like I did. Or watch the videos below...

    I thought some might like to see the pics of my latest mod.

    The install is a breeze and uses the factory ISO mounting hardware. This makes for a solid mounting base and makes it near impossible to steal!

    The only aftermarket pieces required are a standard Toyota BHA-1761 wire harness and a single 68 ohm resistor. The alternative, and preferred method, is to use the BHA-1761 (OEM to Aftermarket) harness and the BHO-1761 harness (OEM to OEM). You MUST use one of the two methods in order to eliminate the dreaded orange triangle or MFD errors regarding the AC system.

    In my original install I used the first method and while everything worked fine, I was not happy with the install so I switched to the second method and it is the one I recommend. There was no cutting, bending or and amount of "custom" work done during this install if you don't count the resistor.

    With the cover open.
    [​IMG]



    Cover closed (this is how bright it looks at night) It is MUCH dimmer than if I drove with the cover open.
    [​IMG]



    cover closed (I included this pic because I forgot to take a pic with the stereo off so you could see how well it is hidden) One could easily add some window tint to the inside of the cover to make it even darker and thus more stealthy.
    [​IMG]

    This "How To" slideshow created by Jeffvk clearly demonstrates how to connect the 3 wiring harness together properly. His project was the result of a "magic penny" being fed to his OEM stereo. :)

    2004-2009 Prius Stereo Install "How To" - YouTube

    See photo attachments below to see what the wiring harnesses should look like when making connections:


    Install videos. These videos take you through the whole process of taking the dash apart and installing the stereo. The wiring shots are not very clear so please refer to the Magic Penny video above.






    Attached Files:

  2. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

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    Very slick install. Good stuff, man.
  3. hycamguy07

    hycamguy07 New Member

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    Thats one slick instal.... :)

    How ever if Mr. Bad Guy wants it he will tear out the dash to get it.. Ive seen were the Bad Guys tear out complete dash boards in minutes to remove speakers and radios.. :(

    What was wrong with the stock radio? Dont they make a kit to remove the old unit so you can instal a different model?
  4. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hycamguy07 @ Oct 16 2007, 08:36 AM) [snapback]526366[/snapback]</div>

    The chances of them breaking into a Prius in the first place is slim, especially if there is no visible signs of an aftermarket stereo. I realise that someone may have heard my stereo playing and recognized my car so they know I have something worth stealing but that is what insurance is for. I'm not going to limit my convenience because of a "what if". :) I've done high end car stereo for 10yrs now so I have to agree with you, they will get it if they really want it.

    The reasons for a new unit are as follows:
    • The stock stereo only played standard CDs (not MP3s).
    • It had no provisions for USB (flashdrives to store thousdands of songs/books on cd or iPods).
    • Had no frequency filtering which I required to make my system sound cleaner.
    • The factory unit also had a habit of not accepting my cds at times and it would take 4 or so tries to get it to read a cd without kicking it back out of the unit.
    • No factory bluetooth options (the possible 2008 law change regarding cells phone makes this important)
    Metra does make an install kit that requires the removal of the factory stereo but then you have a VERY visible aftermarket radio installed in the dash that is mounted on an ugly (opinion) plastic kit that does not match the rest of the dashboard scheme. The install kit is an added expense ($20-$30) The unit is also MUCH easier to remove via theft AND you are definately required to do the 68 ohm resistor mod. So while the factory stereo removal is an option, the advantages of the hidden install fit my needs/wants better.

    Thanks for the responses you two. :)
  5. Rest

    Rest Active Member

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    But that is the spot where my Scangauge2 is!
  6. priusFTW

    priusFTW Gen III JBL non Nav

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    I didn't see the brand of unit that was installed... or did i miss it?
  7. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(priusFTW @ Oct 19 2007, 05:52 AM) [snapback]527701[/snapback]</div>

    One pic is named "Kenwood in Prius2.JPG" (and it looks like a Kenwood).
  8. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(priusFTW @ Oct 19 2007, 05:52 AM) [snapback]527701[/snapback]</div>

    Sorry I forgot to mention the brand. :) Any big named aftermarket deck will install the same though. The only potential problem would be with motorized faceplates. Sometime the face plate kicks down enough that clearance may be an issue. My faceplate is manually rotated so clearance is not an issue.


    The unit is a Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X591. Retails for $239 but most stores sell it for $199.99
    [​IMG]
  9. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

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    Since it's a stealth install, do you even bother to flip the flaceplate around when you park the car?
  10. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Presto @ Oct 19 2007, 05:52 PM) [snapback]527990[/snapback]</div>

    The new Kenwood units no longer consist of a flip around faceplate. The use security code feature and detachable faceplate. :)
  11. freedog

    freedog Prius Newbie

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    Wow, F8L, awesome install!

    I just became a Prius owner yesterday; Im very excited about it. The first order of business is to upgrade the standard stereo that came with it. I called a chain (Sound Advice) and they told me that most hybrids do not have an electrical system that can support a high-power amp. Is that true? Does your Kenwood pump out lots of volume? (or do you have a seperate amp that does?)

    Phil
  12. oldensign

    oldensign Junior Member

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    Supplemented, Usurped, or Replaced?

    Did you replace the factory radio entirely or supplement it? Did you run all new wiring or use the exiting Prius cables?

    (See my rant about cassette tape player in '06 Prius elsewhere. I have LOTS of car radios with cassette decks.)
  13. ScubaX

    ScubaX Member

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    You may want to get some better advice than Sound Advice:D. I have a Kicker 350w 4 channel and Kenwood powered sub that work fine. They are connected to that little battery, which is connected to a huge hybrid battery which is charged by a electric motor that is way better at that then a non-hybrids alternator. I use the stock stereo because I'm not interested in losing the steering or touch screen controls.
  14. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Thank's Phil.

    The addition of the Kenwood stereo has indeed made the stock speakers play louder. I have much more power with the Kenwood deck AND the deck has built in high-pass crossovers so I can cut out the low bass frequencies before they reach my stock speakers. This cleans the sound up quite a bit, reduces speaker stress, and allows the stock speakers to play louder before they distort. I also wanted the new stereo because I was tired of playing single cds. The Kenwood allows me to hook up my 4GB flashdrive and play music or audio books off it. I have a very expensive midrange amplifier (Diamond Audio D9 100.4) I can choose to install along with new mids/highs up front but I am so far reluctant to do so. Maybe lazy is a better word for it. :p

    I am currently running a VERY large amplifier for my subwoofers. It is a Diamond Audio D6 1500.1 (the link is to the newer 1200w version). The amplifier is rated at 1500watts RMS and has 4 40amp fuses built in so this is not a cheap "max power" rating. I'm running two D910s and they sound great. They only problem I can foresee is the lack of playtime on the system when the car is off due to the very small aux battery in our cars. Other than that I have not had any issues. Even the headlights do not dim when then volume is maxed playing music heavy is bass. Most cars cannot boast that. ;)
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I essentially replaced the factory radio. I used a standard Toyota wiring harness (Best Kits) to connect the Kenwood to the factory harness. There is one catch in that you must plug the climate control harness back into the factory radio or else you will have issues with the MFD. If you remove the factory radio completely then you will have to put a 66ohm resistor inline on the climate control harness yet even this is quite easy. Metra has plenty of information on how to do this or I can email the procedure.
  16. freedog

    freedog Prius Newbie

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    Thanks for the responses, ScubaX and FL8!

    Im very glad to hear that I can pimp out the audio on my new Prius!

    FL8, Ive read that even though hearing damage happens to the high frequency range of our hearing, it is caused by excessively loud sounds in the bass range. I dont know if thats true, but with that 1500 watt sub woofer system, you might want to research it to protect your hearing.

    Your academic goal is very cool! I enjoy reading evolutionary biology and even evolutionary psychology. I've looked into that same major, but so far, my laziness is keeping me from going back to school, so I remain in a software development career.

    I'm loving my new Prius. My only issue is that the accelerator / brake pedals are "wierd" and uncomfortable for me. I dont know if the mechanical set-up of the pedals is defective, or what exactly the problem is, but just the weight of my foot presses down the accelertor, which makes driving uncomfortable, and the brake pedal seems significantly closer to me than the accelerator. Maybe if the pedals could be adjusted to a lower "default" position it would help. Or if the seat would go back farther. Im only 5'11" so being too tall / having the seat too far forward shouldnt be the issue since I have the seat all the way back.
    I will have to find the right area to post a question about this..

    Thanks again,
    Phil
  17. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    on the mfd how do you select from the base tuner, base cd player
    , and the new stereo? im assuming the new car stereo shows up
    as "CD2" ? or "AUX" ?
  18. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    The MFD doesn't show anything about the new stereo. The only way for that to work would be to have some way for the new deck to "speak" to the MFD but there are no provisions for such on the new deck.

    I only use the mode selection on the MFD to switch to the aftermarket DVD player.

    The Kenwood deck has a large remote control so it's quite easy to adjust things. If I cared enough to do so I could install a device to reconnect my factory steering wheel controls but I don't really need them. :)
  19. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    that's where DH put the ipod adapter. pretty convenient little spot for it too!

    i haven't had an aftermarket head unit in years... but it was in clear view and when we moved here it caused a few broken windows even with the faceplate off and nothing left out on the seats or floors.
  20. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Girl, we gotta get you out of da hood. :(
    1 person likes this.
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