An OEM Enhancement for your 2014 Toyota Tacoma 4 Door TRD Off-Road
The factory radio that was in this model was Toyota’s Panasonic Model 86140-04130 (face plate ID # 57090). This model did not have a GPS and that alone was enough for me to waste little time upgrading it. I decided to go with the Kenwood eXcelon DNX893S and had it installed at a local installation shop. I nearly drove the man crazy as I continued to call and drop by his shop with requests to make changes to the original installation quote; it took several return trips but he finally got it finished. After about a year I contacted the same installer to see if he was available or interested in adding some additional enhancements; he didn’t show any obvious interest. I meet with several other installers collecting new ideas for enhancements at every stop until I finally decided to take on this task myself.
Now I wanted a Power Hub with a controller that could support dual but different style batteries; and then there was the idea to create a tailgate Audio/Video system. I would need extra power; that’s more battery and audio power. My research revealed that in almost all cases it was heavily suggested that the batteries needed to be the same age and identical in order to provide optimum service and life span. I wanted a system that could give me more battery options; one that would support power for a winch and/or sustanted power for an audio/video system. A single system that would provide dads with power for a winch, is cable of providing the kids with power for their videos and games, fans want live view of their favorite sports events and the family wants movies on the big screen no matter where the tailgate event is happening.
My ideas and the passion I developed alone the way has enabled me to develop a multiple capable system; go with starter battery for extra power for a winch or 3rd wheel or opt to go with a deep cycle battery with sustanned power for tailgating. One product is in the process of being registered and prepped for manufacturing (more on this later). Phase I consisted of adding a second battery and a switch to manage both. Phase II added an amplifer. Phase III is still in development and will be added to this presentation later.
THE POWER HUB
Power Hub Control Switch Assembly
This is the heart of the control system. The middle switch can be used to control which of the batteries is being utilized as the primary. It isolates and combines battery banks. Got a winch and need extra power then switch to 1+2 and increase its power. Note; this switch comes with a feature called AFD (Alternator Field Disconnect). It's designed to protect the alternator by breaking the high voltage current on the field line if the battery select switch is turned off with the engine running. The alternator in this model Tacoma has an integrated voltage regulator and there is no field line to connect to the AFD therefore; DO NOT HAVE THE ENGINE RUNNING AND SWITCH THE BATTERY SELECTOR TO OFF. The unit on the left is the Automatic charging relay. It automatically combines batteries during charging and isolates batteries when discharging. This switch eliminates the need to have like batteries as it will automatically sense the battery that needs a charge. In fact if your primary focus is for increasing power to your winch then go with another starter battery with a high CCA. If you main focus is to power your tailgate system then go with a deep cycle battery to extend tailgate run time. The connector on the right is part of a quick connect system. On this model Tacoma the panel behind the rear driver's side seat can be preconfigured for plug and play connection to the wires that's routed to the positive under the hood battery post and the truck power accessory.
This switch assembly is mounted on the rear passenger panel that's behind the driver's side rear seat.
I chose to mount the 2nd battery on the wheel well directly behind the Power Hub. If the 2nd battery is mounted in this area it will only take 2 feet of red positive cable to connect to position 2 of the battery selector. I grounded the battery with 6 feet of 4 gauge ground cable to the rear seat bracket mounting screw. The BakFlip MX4 cover and the H6 battery group size allow for a tight fit and I secured it with a battery strap.
Now let's talk Amplifier. I decided to go with the Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Prime 600 Watt 5-Channel Amplifier. It's a 5-channel amplifier designed to run an entire vehicles audio system! The R600X5 produces up to 75 Watts into each of its four channels with a dedicated subwoofer channel capable of producing 300 Watts into 2-Ohms.
In my research of placement for an add-on amplifier most installation placed it below the driver's seat. Once again I decided to go a slightly different route for its placement.
I decided to continue to build on the Power Hub concept and added the amplifier to the Power Hub panel. For me the wiring was easier and it allowed me to integrate the amplifier in the same panel where the battery switch assembly is located. This placement also allows me to pre-assemble a complete pluggable module that a buyer can take to his professional installer to complete the wiring to the amplifier. Here is where the pluggable module comes into play. The battery switch assembly comes with two 15 feet of pre-crimped 2 or 4 gauge welding grade red cables that will extend to the positive battery post and vehicle control unit that's normally connected to the positive battery post.
What's connected to the amplifier?
This 2014 model Tacoma is equipped with front coaxial speakers and separate tweeters. I was pleased with the front speaker when they were connected to the original Toyota radio and for now I decided to leave them connected to the Kenwood for this phase of the project. I replaced the rear speakers with a set of Memphis 2 way model 15-MCX6 speakers and boy do they deliver a punch. The unused front channel speaker RCA inputs are still available since the front OEM coaxial speakers are connected via the wired head unit plug module. More on the use of this in Phase III that will cover the tailgate integration.
I went with the Panasonic 8" enclosure for the woofer.
I went with the 8" size Panasonic woofer because it fits in the crossway behind the center console and delivers all the stump I need to get the sensation that I'm filling the music. It's wired for plug/play and removal when I have a 3rd passenger in the rear seat area. Plug and play allows me to move the enclusure to bed section when the Tailgate System is completed in Phase III of this project.
The Kenwood Head Unit is in Control
Pricing is based on the configuration selected:
Complete unit with Rockford Fosgate amplifier, Memphis 6.5" speakers for the rear, the Panasonic 8" woofer system and battery switch mounted on a new panel $1100.
Some modification required.
Deduct $125 if you remove and ship you panel to mount the system on.
- Cable assembled Battery Switch, Automatic charger, connector and pre crimped set of 15' cables $385.
Email for a request to have the Battery Switch assembly pre-configured for your model pickup. We will quote you a price based on the model and options you want.