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2008-2021 Toyota Land Cruiser

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser

In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Land Cruiser's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about:

Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your Toyota.

Overview of the Toyota Land Cruiser

Once upon a time, the Toyota Land Cruiser was a basic, rugged, go-anywhere vehicle that competed for buyers with Jeeps, Broncos, and International Harvester Scouts. It eventually evolved into the vehicle you see here, aka the "J200" Land Cruiser. This one is miles away from basic, but it’ll still go pretty much anywhere and it competes with (checks notes) Jeeps, Broncos, and…well, the last Scout rolled off the line in 1980, so not those anymore. Land Rovers and Mercedes-Benz SUVs, though, definitely.

In other words, this Land Cruiser is everything you could ask for in a modern, top-shelf SUV. There’s all the luxury and tech you’d expect inside, plus all the off-road capability you’d expect underneath. And you’ll probably be able to enjoy all this goodness for a good long time, since Land Cruisers are legendary for racking up miles like passenger jets. Updating the factory stereo gear will make all those miles a little more enjoyable.

Toyota Land Cruiser radio

The Land Cruiser's factory radio is quite nice, which is handy, since there's no dash kit that will allow you to replace it (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory stereo system

The stock radio we looked at was an AM/FM/XM/6-DVD JBL Synthesis system with 14 speakers, navigation, and a rear DVD system with a motorized 8" LCD screen.

We don’t recommend replacing the Land Cruiser’s radio at this time, simply because there’s no dash kit available for an aftermarket radio. You could always fabricate your own kit, but most DIY-ers aren’t going to do that. Unless you're willing to pay a car audio pro to come up with something creative, we'd suggest leaving the stock unit alone and spending your money on a speaker upgrade.

Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions

ResearchNotes image
With step-by-step disassembly instructions and plenty of up-close, detailed photos, our exclusive Crutchfield ResearchNotes™ takes the guesswork out of removing the factory stereo and speakers. It's free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for just $9.99.

Better speakers will give you better sound and adding an amplifier will add even more power and clarity to your music. You’ll really hear these upgrades, too, since Toyota filled this SUV with an impressive amount of sound-deadening material.

An aftermarket sound processor is the next step up. You might need to access the back of the receiver as part of this audio upgrade, and for most models, you'll find step-by-step disassembly info in the vehicle-specific instructions included with your Crutchfield car audio purchase.

We haven't researched the receiver in a 2016-2021 Land Cruiser yet, but we imagine it's pretty much the same story. We'll update this section as soon as we know for sure, but if you already know some things, we'd like to hear from you.

To learn more about our "crowdsourced" vehicle research process, check out this informative article. If that sounds like something you'd want to do, contact us via the email addy in the article.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension

Toyota Land Cruiser speaker removal

Upgrading the speakers is the best way to improve the sound in your Land Cruiser (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory speakers

With the stock stereo pretty much destined to stay where it is, your best bet for better sound will be new aftermarket speakers. For the most part, the work's not all that hard, so if you're a reasonably skilled DIY-er, you should be able to get the job done. With our help and advice, of course....

Toyota Land Cruiser center dash speaker

The center dash speaker is fairly easy to reach and replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the center dash speaker

The center dash speaker is a 4" model that’s pretty easy to get to. Use a panel tool to pry up on the rear edge of the grille and release the retaining clips, then disconnect the harness and remove the grille. Next, remove the two Phillips screws securing the speaker to the dash, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.

Your aftermarket 4" speaker will fit under the factory grille, but you’ll need to cut off two plastic locator tabs on the mounting surface to let the new speaker fit flush in the cavity.

Tools needed: Panel tool, stubby Phillips screwdriver

Toyota Land Cruiser corner dash speakers

The dash corners house a pair of 4" speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the corner dash speakers

In the dash corners, you’ll find two more 4" speakers. Pry off the grille, remove the two Phillips screws securing speaker to the dash, disconnect the harness, remove the speaker, then repeat on the other side.

These speakers and the door woofers are wired together at each tweeter location, so if you remove or replace the tweeters, you'll have to splice the input and output wires together to keep the woofers working.

There are no wiring harnesses for these speakers, so you'll need to cut off the factory connectors and splice, solder, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the speakers to the vehicle's speaker wires.

One ear of each new speaker must be removed in order for it to fit in this location. Some 4" speakers have perforated tabs, so you can bend the tab back and forth to remove the ear. Some don’t, though, and in that case, you’ll need to use tin snips or a rotary tool.

You'll also need to remove the locating tabs from the factory speaker bracket before you mount an aftermarket speaker or bracket. This modification will not affect the bracket's structural integrity, so no worries there.

Tools needed: Panel tool, stubby Phillips screwdriver

Toyota Land Cruiser pillar speakers

The front pillar tweeters are attached directly to the trim panels (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the front pillar tweeters

The front pillar tweeters measure 1.650" in diameter, so you’ll have plenty of 1-1/2" and smaller aftermarket replacements to choose from. These tweeters are attached directly to the pillar panels, so you’ll need to remove those, then remove the tweeters. All those step-by-step details can be found in the Crutchfield ResearchNotes™ included free with your purchase.

Your new tweeters will fit under the factory speaker grilles, but there are no mounting brackets available. You’ll need to use hot glue, silicone, or our universal backstraps to secure the new tweeters on the trim panel.

Tools needed: Small flat blade screwdriver, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension

Toyota Land Cruiser front door speakers

You'll need to remove the door panels to access the front woofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Remove the front door woofers

You’ll find a pair of 6"x9" woofers behind the front door panels. They’re not hard to remove and replace, really, but the door panels will have to be removed. The job’s pretty simple as these things go, but you’ll want to work patiently and stay organized while you do it.

As noted above, these speakers and the dash tweeters are wired together at each tweeter location. If you remove or replace the tweeters, you'll have to splice the input and output wires together to keep the woofers working.

In other news, replacing these low-impedance factory speakers with standard 4-ohm aftermarket models will result in lower volume levels. Keep that in mind during your speaker shopping, and if you have questions, give us a call.

You'll need speaker mounting brackets if you order anything other than same-size aftermarket speakers, and we’ll include them with your Crutchfield speaker purchase.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, Torx T-20 driver

Toyota Land Cruiser rear door speakers

The rear doors are home to woofers and tweeters (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the rear door speakers

The Land Cruiser’s rear doors are home to 1.586" tweeters and 6-3/4" woofers. A set of component speakers would let you replace both, or leave the tweeters and install a set of coaxial speakers in the woofer location. You’ll need to remove the door panels to access these speakers, and all the relevant instructions can be found in your Crutchfield ResearchNotes™.

For the tweeters, you’ll need to use hot glue, silicone, or our universal backstraps to secure them to the door trim panel. There are no wiring harness adapters available, so you’ll need to splice, solder, or use some more Posi-Products speaker connectors for these tweeters.

Toyota Land Cruiser rear door tweeters

The rear door tweeter is attached to the inside of the door panel (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The woofers are attached to the doors with three Phillips screws. Once the old ones are out of the way, you have plenty of same-size and smaller replacement options. You’ll need mounting brackets in some cases, and we’ll include them with your speaker purchase.

Tools needed (tweeters): Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver

Tools needed (woofers): Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

Toyota Land Cruiser hatch door speakers

These 4" hatch speakers are a little awkward to work with, but other than that, they're pretty easy to remove and replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the hatch door speakers

The Land Cruiser’s speaker array can also include a pair of 2-ohm 4" speakers in the hatch door, if your Land Cruiser has them, they’re pretty easy to remove and replace.

You’ll start by using your panel tool to pry out the bottom edge of the hatch door trim panel to release fourteen clips. Remove the panel, then remove the two Torx T-20 screws securing each speaker. Disconnect and pry out the harnesses, then remove the speakers.

These are low-impedance speakers, so keep that in mind while you’re shopping for replacements.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T-20 driver

Toyota Land Cruiser subwoofer

Getting to the rear side-panel subwoofer takes a fair amount of time and effort (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the rear side-panel subwoofer

The available 8" rear side-panel subwoofer can be replaced with an aftermarket sub, but it’ll take a minute. It’s not that the job’s all that hard, it’s just that there’s a whole lot of job. To get to the speaker, you’ll need to remove quite a few panels, pieces, and hardware, so it’s going to be a lengthy process.

This is not beyond the capability of the average DIY-er, but we want you to know what you’re getting into. You can do this, but you’ll need to be patient and organized to do it right. Follow the instructions in your Crutchfield ResearchNotes™, keep close track of every part and piece, and don’t rush it. If you do work, work gets done.

Installing most aftermarket subs will involve drilling new holes for the mounting screws. It’s just drilling, really, but it’s also a rather pricey SUV that you own, so work carefully, know what you’re drilling into, and wear eye protection.

Tools needed: Panel tool, #3 Phillips screwdriver, 10mm and 14mm sockets, ratchet and extension, Torx T-20 driver

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information

Shop for speakers that fit your Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser cargo area

There's plenty of room for more subs in the Land Cruiser's cargo area (Crutchfield Research Photo)

More bass in your Land Cruiser

Depending on how you use your Land Cruiser and how much you love big bass, there’s plenty of room for a good-sized subwoofer box in the cargo area. We measured a 50"W x 20"H x 8"/12"D space with the third-row seats in place. If those live in the garage most of the time (covered and in a safe place, we hope), there’s a lot more room to work with.

If you use your Land Cruiser the way Toyota intended (this can include both off-roading and suburban living, of course), you might need all that cargo room for actual cargo. If so, you might want to look into a more compact powered subwoofer.

Learn more about building a bass system in our Car Subwoofer Buying Guide.

weathertech custom floor liners

Protect your Land Cruiser's carpeting with custom-fit WeatherTech FloorLiners (WeatherTech photo)

Other options for your Land Cruiser

Here are some other cool upgrade ideas for your Toyota Land Cruiser.

Floor mats to protect your carpet

If you drive a Land Cruiser, you're eventually going to get involved in some sort of activity that gets you and/or it dirty. When that happens, it's a good idea to have a set of WeatherTech liners on the floors and especially in the cargo area. These incredibly durable mats trap moisture, contain dirt, and keep your factory carpets looking good. To see all the mats that fit your truck, enter your vehicle info.

Add an amp (or two) for better sound

A new 4-channel amplifier will help you get the most out of your new speakers. You'll get cleaner power (and a lot more of it), which will result in much, much better sound. A mono amp can provide the juice you need for your new subwoofer, too. Learn more about adding amps to your system in our Car Amplifier Buying Guide.

Sound damping to block noise

If you don't want wind and road noise getting in the way of your audio enjoyment, A Dynamat Xtreme Door Kit is the perfect way to seal in sound. This heavy-duty insulating material is easy to install, and it really makes a difference. One kit will take care of the front doors in your Land Cruiser.

Security systems to protect your stuff

Installing a security system in your Land Cruiser isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's less complicated than it could be. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car and your new security gear to a professional installer.

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