A client with a 2015 Toyota contacted Kingpin Car & Marine Audio about doing several different 4Runner upgrades to his vehicle. We scheduled a consultation appointment so he could bring the truck to our facility and have an uninterrupted meeting with us. Our team listened closely as he explained his goals for the upgrades, and then we spent significant time on going over the vehicle. We made suggestions during the meeting and ask a lot of questions. When the meeting was over, we took all of the information we had gathered and worked up a proposal for the client. He liked what we offered him, so we set an installation appointment.
Toyota 4Runner Upgrades Start With An Audison AP8.9Bit Amplifier/Processor
The first stage of the upgrades revolved around the factory stereo system. The client liked the factory touchscreen radio in the dash, and wanted to keep the two pairs of speakers in the rear of the vehicle. It was for this reason that we chose to make an Audison AP8.9Bit amplifier the heart of the upgrade.
We chose this amplifier for several reasons. First, it comes integrated with a Bit processor, which gives us incredible tuning flexibility in the vehicle. It allows us to de-equalize the musical signal coming out of the factory Toyota radio. This is important, since the Toyota engineers add an equalization curve to the music in an attempt to make their cheap speakers sound better. If you leave that equalization in the music when you upgrade to good speakers, it negatively colors the sound.
The second thing the Bit processor gives us is incredible control over every speaker in the vehicle. We can adjust every speaker individually for time delay, crossover points, output levels and a nine-band parametric equalizer. In the hands of a well-trained technician, the sound quality improvement is nothing short of amazing.
We configured the AP8.9Bit amplifier to power a set of Audison APK165 6.5” separates in the front of the vehicle. We made custom composite mounts to properly secure them in the factory Toyota speaker locations. The same amplifier also powers the factory speakers in the rear doors and the rear cargo area, for a total of eight channels.
Exile Amplifier Powers Hertz Subwoofers In Custom Enclosure
We used a second amplifier, an Exile XM24, to power the subwoofers in the vehicle, sending over 2,400 watts of clean power to the three Hertz Mille ML2000.3 8” subwoofers. The task for the team at Kingpin was to give the client great output while keeping as much cargo space as possible. It was for that reason that we made a custom enclosure to hold the three subwoofers on the passenger side of the vehicle. As you can see from the pictures, the client lost almost none of his usable cargo space, yet got an enclosure that integrated beautifully with the interior. We used a custom, pressed metal grille to protect the subwoofers from damage, and finished off the enclosure equally beautifully.
On the driver’s side of the cargo area, we made a mirror image of the subwoofer enclosure and inserted a custom-made metal rack to securely mount the two amplifiers. As with the subwoofer enclosure, we made a custom pressed grille to protect the amplifiers from damage. For a finishing touch, we added blue LED lighting to the enclosure to highlight the equipment inside it.
Expert Tuning From The Professionals At Kingpin
Once all of the equipment was installed, the master technicians at Kingpin Car & Marine Audio spent significant time on tuning the system. Many shops will set up an initial tune and give the vehicle back to the client, for an audio upgrade that does sound better than the factory system. Unfortunately, what the client does not know is that another 50% improvement in sound quality might have been available in the hands of a great tuner. We feel that our clients should get all the performance they paid for, so we will never shortchange the tuning process.
One listen to this vehicle after it was completely tuned made it all worthwhile. The sound now is evenly presented across the dash of the vehicle, and all the instruments and vocalists come shining through in extreme detail. Every last nuance in the music is there for the listener to enjoy, and it makes you want to spend hours just listening to your favorite music.
Safari Rack And Lighting Upgrades
Once the audio system was finished, we turned our attention to the other upgrades. We installed a roof-mounted Safari rack so the client could take lots of cargo on his off-road adventures. We mounted a 42” LED light to the front of the rack using custom metal brackets that we engineered in-house.
We installed a replacement Rigid grille that is designed to hold a 20” LED light bar. When combine both of the added LED lights are combined, the client will have no problem seeing at night, since he can light up a whole field with a flip of a switch.
Lockable Compartment Keeps Valuables Safe
The last request of the client was a secure, lockable storage compartment to hold his valuables. We installed a very secure hidden storage compartment that fits inside the factory 4 Runner center console and, as you can see from the pictures, it looked like Toyota offered it as a factory-installed option.
When the client came to pick up his vehicle, he was thrilled with the finished product. He marveled at the factory-looking fit and finish, and was in love with the sound quality. Now he could listen to his favorite music at concert levels while experiencing studio-quality sound. As we showed him the roof rack, lighting and locking console, he just kept nodding in approval. And that made our day.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you own a vehicle and have never been happy with its sound quality, we invite you to contact us at Kingpin Car & Marine Audio here in Portland. All of our consultations are done by scheduled appointment, so you can contact us HERE about getting together with us, or call the store at your convenience. Our team takes a whole-vehicle approach to upgrades, so whether you are looking for additional lighting, a lockable storage console or a great-sounding car stereo system, we are ready and waiting to help you achieve your goals. Let us show you why Mobile Electronics magazine consistently names us one of the Top Retailers in the Nation.