When a company wants to showcase its newest, top-of-the-line automotive products, sometimes the best route is to install its products in a vehicle and show it off. For a car audio manufacturer, the goal is to engage potential buyers by showing them products in a working environment. This also allows the various dealers that sell the company’s products to view, hear, and feel what they are going to be selling. These demonstration rides are built, tested, and driven to many events before they are retired and replaced with newer demo vehicles.
Alpine’s ’18 “X-Perience” Toyota 4Runner is one of those demo vehicles. It has been outfitted with the brand-new iLX-F309FRN designed specifically for this model, but there are also variations for the Tacoma and the fullsize Tundra. These new Toyota-specific kits feature the Alpine 9-inch HALO9 and everything you need for an easy install, including the harnesses, dash kit, and iDatalink Maestro Module to retain 4Runner features like the vehicle cluster sub-display along with factory steering wheel controls.
| Here is Alpine’s ’18 X-Perience Toyota 4Runner demo vehicle, complete with custom vinyl wrap to draw attention from the outside. But it’s really the audio system on the inside for which Alpine is known.
So, the question is, why do you need a HALO9 and vehicle-specific kit in your truck or SUV? This system from Alpine allows the fitment of a 9-inch display into a vehicle without cutting, moving components around, or losing factory features. The better question is, why wouldn’t you want this in your ride? Take a look at this simple install in the demo 4Runner and then contact a local authorized Alpine dealer to get one for yourself.
| This is what the Toyota started with: a factory head unit with many integrated functions, but nowhere near the screen size and capabilities built into the Halo9.
| The side trim is removed to access the HVAC panel. This piece is held on with clips, so it comes out fairly easily.
| Then the HVAC panel is removed to access the factory radio bolts, and the bolts are loosened using a 10mm socket.
| The full center panel containing the stock radio and vents is pulled out and can be setaside after unplugging the factory radio harnesses and other connections.
| Some parts need to be removed from the factory unit. Starting with the top tray, the two small screws are loosened and set aside for future use. The top tray is also saved and reused.
| The vents are removed by unsnapping them from clips. These are saved and will be fit onto the new unit.
| Moving to the smaller parts, the air vent adjuster cover is removed and the screws and adjuster covers are saved.
| The wiring harness for the clock is removed and put into the growing pile of factory parts that will be replaced with the upgraded Alpine kit.
| For the last step on the old unit, the hazard light switch is unclipped and set aside.
| The steps taken to remove parts from the old unit are now reversed—beginning with the installation of the air vent adjuster covers in the Alpine bezel, along with the top tray and air vents.
| The kit comes with the head unit already attached to the dash piece, so once the factory parts are screwed or snapped into place, the fully assembled Alpine kit is ready for install.
| The system comes with a full plug-and-play wiring harness and all the necessary adapters to work with your factory-installed options.
| To begin the wiring process, the hazard light switch snaps into place on the front of the Alpine bezel.
| On the back of the unit, the clock wiring harness that was set aside earlier can be plugged in, followed by the main Alpine harness.
| In order to use all the available factory options with the new unit, the backup camera adapter is plugged into the harness and the SiriusXM adapter is plugged into its corresponding plug.
| The cable for OBD2 is routed down to the OBD2 connector. This will give the user access to factory gauge readouts and other functions.
| Next, it was time to choose a location for the Bluetooth microphone. The Alpine crew chose to put it just outside the upper cabin controls located on the headliner. Then they ran the cord and tucked it behind the factory panels to route the cable down to the radio cavity.
| The Alpine main harness was then plugged into the 4Runner OEM radio wiring. Each individual harness connection is different, so it’s just a matter of matching them up correctly.
| The USB adapter is then plugged in and will allow access to plug in external devices.
| After running the wire down from the headliner and putting the upper factory control unit back in place, the Bluetooth microphone can be plugged in.
| Then the factory radio antenna adapter and radio antenna amplifier are plugged in.
| To finish off the connection of external options, the GPS antenna adapter is attached to the factory wiring. The other end of the GPS adapter is plugged into the Alpine radio, giving it Navigation and other functions that rely on global positioning technology.
| Alpine’s full iLX-F309FRN setup is connected and ready for installation. The connections are checked one final time to make sure everything is snapped into place correctly.
| The full Alpine radio assembly is lined up and the clips are snapped into the factory holes.
| Using a driver and a 10mm socket, the crew bolts the bottom of the kit to the Toyota dash using two out of the four factory 10mm bolts.
| Then, the HVAC panel is connected with the factory wire that was previously left inside the HVAC cavity on the dashboard. The 4Runner factory HVAC panel snaps into place below the new radio panel.
| The side bezels that were first removed to start this process are now snapped back to their original place, completing the install.
| The ignition is turned on to confirm the radio comes on and make sure the HVAC controls function correctly.
| After the radio initializes, the crew starts to scroll through the customizable gauge and tire pressure screens.
| The 4Runner is turned on and shifted into reverse to check the backup camera functionality.
| The HALO9 has a built-in parametric equalizer, giving each user individual adjustments for sound quality.
| There are also sound curve presets for popular music types if you’re not into messing with adjustments manually. As if the HALO9 isn’t badass on its own, the Alpine crew threw a few more surprises into the 4Runner.
| To complete the demo vehicle, a custom-installed 12-inch X-Series subwoofer resides in the cargo area on the passenger side.
| On the driver side, a custom-installed set of X-Series amplifiers appears to float above the factory side panel, leaving plenty of room for cargo while supplying power to the doors and subwoofer.