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Unread 03-26-2014, 03:35 PM   #1
rigtec
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Default "Party mode" reconfig (non JBL)

G'day gents/gals,

Thought I might have some fun sharing one of my recent audio system projects w/ you. And even if you're not using a HUGH subwoofer system like I am, it's still one of the best free audio mods I've ever done! Over the last couple years, I've heard more than a few people say something to the this effect... "My 4runner's stereo system sounds way better with the 'party mode' button on, but I wish that the backdoor passenger area speakers could be left on when I'm using it". Now, I had been feeling the very same way when listening to music in the truck for quite some time, so I decided to look into Toyota's audio system design to better understand exactly what this system does, and how it works. There's one other thing I think I should mention. If you're using an "independent" subwoofer system in your truck, then I know you may be experiencing some of these very same issues e.g., Trouble balancing the rear channel w/ the front speakers because the rear channel just isn't loud enough. Or, problems integrating the low-mids and upper-bass freq with the subs. If those are some of the issues that your stock 4Runner stereo system suffers from and you really don't want to replace the o.e.m system, then here's a way you can take more control of it.

Before I get started I'd just like to say that when I began making these changes to my vehical, I never had any intentions to..."write it up" as such; really just hoping to get it over with. For this reason I didn't take any photos during the early stages of this task; for that I offer my most sincere apologies. First, I looked at how the party mode circuit actually works. The function of this circuit is two fold. It's first appointment is for the party mode "switch" to control two rear channel "speaker selection" relays, located on the passenger side behind the glovebox. These two relays manipulate the left and right, rear audio channel's speaker wiring in such a way, that when party mode is NOT activated, all four left and right side 4ohm speakers are operating together in a series wiring configuration [pos]---O--O---[neg] totaling 8ohms.

When the pm circuit is activated, the switch completes a ground (gnd) circuit to the speaker relay coils. When these relay coils are provided a ground circuit, the speakers' series wiring is reconfigured to disconnect the two backdoor speakers all together, and then employs the (4ohm) rear tailgate speakers instead. By employing only the 4ohm tailgate speakers (as opposed to the 8ohm series wiring when party mode off), the amplifiers will now be capable of generating their full rated output into the left & right channel's 4ohm speakers. So now the acoustic output from the system will be increased by a factor of ^X2 (double). The party mode circuit's second appointment is for the pm switch to control an "EQ filter circuit", which is built-in to the head unit.

When this EQ filter circuit is OFF, the stereo system can sound 'bland', with muted highs and mids that lack definition. Also, a "far away" sounding, low/mid frequency reverberation is introduced as a result of "off-axis", poor tailgate speaker positioning/distance; w/regard to the driver seat location. When the EQ filter circuit is ON, however, the audio system takes on a whole different character. The 'mids' become much more articulate, and the highs are brilliantly striking, w/presence and very high resolution. This is the only reason that I ever used party mode. But I decided to change things around so I could benefit from the high quality audio sound w/o losing the two backdoor passenger area speakers.

The way that I've configured my 4Runner's rear channel speakers (front speakers are unchanged) is, I've disabled the two relays that the party mode button controls by not allowing them a ground source which is provided by the pm switch. Note: *These relays are energized (HOT) by the 7.5A fused acc (accessory) circuit when the key/start button is initiated. **this work is completely reversible. PS: The 'Mitchell' wiring diagrams that I'm using here are the "printable version" however, they cannot be shared (transferred electronically), which is why I chose to photograph them.


The diagram above shows a 5'th gen 4Runner radio circuit w/built-in amplifier and navigation; JBL is not included here. To keep it simple, the party mode switch is shown in the upper left hand corner, and the head unit is just below it. The pink traces represent the ground circuit wires that run in between the components. The full radio wiring diagram below is not very large so you can "click/tap" the thumbnail attachment below for reference instead.


This is a full radio wiring diagram as mentioned above. If you look to the extreme upper right at the other end of the pink traces, you will see the L & R "speaker selection" relays. But for this party mode reconfig, we won't be needing to do anything w/ those relays directly. Everything that needs to be done, can be done right from behind the hu and pm switch. For this mod to be done, you only need to move one wire and by doing that, you will disable the relays and be maintaining the EQ audio filter circuit at the same time, see below:


The easiest way to do this is just to remove the head unit and the party mode button trim panel from the dash. The idea is to allow the party mode button to continue to activate the 'EQ audio filter circuit' (built-in to the head unit) as it always has, but without permitting it to disable the backdoor speakers. There are four wires in the pm button harness connector; 2 for the party mode circuit, and 2 for the instrument panel illumination circuit. They are: white, white w/black stripe, gray, and green. In the diagram above, see the plain white wire (not the one w/black stripe), at the woofer speaker switch (party mode switch), terminal#6 w/pink trace leading to the yellow dotted line. That's the one that turns on party mode. Now follow that yellow (dotted) trace to the other white wire at the hu, terminal #1. This is the EQ audio filter circuit term; this is the only terminal that we want the pm switch to activate. Here (below) is an actual photo of the harness conn on the back of the head unit:

"CONTINUED BELOW!"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Latest cell phone pics 304.jpg (1.15 MB, 105 views)
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Last edited by rigtec; 06-18-2014 at 01:56 PM.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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Default "Party mode" reconfig (non JBL)

"CONTINUED FROM ABOVE"


It's a little difficult to see because of the flash inside of a dark vehical. Now for this part, you'll need an ohm-meter or self-powered test light. With the key/start button in the OFF position, remove this plug to double check this wire (see arrow in photo) for continuity back to the party switch. To do this, place one of your meter probes in the third pin terminal (far row) of this connector where this white wire is terminated. Now place the other meter probe on a good ground; you can use the radio chasis itself for a ground.

Now press the party mode button on and off a few times; your meter should show an "infinite" reading and then a zero (or low numeric reading). Do this a few times to know for certain that your meter is reading correctly. If you're satisfied that you've located the wire that's going directly to the party mode switch, you're gonna need to peel back the mesh conduit and cut the white wire about 2 to 3 inches away from the connector. This insures that if you decide to put things back as they were for any reason, you'll have plenty of wire there to make a splice!

After you cut the white wire at the radio harness connector, you'll need to do the same with the white wire at the party mode switch (term #6). You will need to join just these two white wires: "as illustrated by the yellow dotted line in the diagram above." Note: I won't get into telling you how to make your splices or connections. I feel if you've done jobs like this before, you won't want me telling you how to do it, and if you don't already know how to do auto electrical wiring, you probably should have someone who is qualified helping you with this anyway.

After joining these two white wires with each other, be sure to "cap-off" the un-used portion of the wires as they are still an active circuit! Now, before putting the radio and "start button panel" back into the dash, turn the system on to be certain that the changes made are working correctly. The way you'll know is, with the party mode off, the sound of the audio will be as described before... muted highs and mids that lack definition...etc. Now when you press the pm button, you should hear a much more defined and articulated broadcast w/ a much clearer sound; the difference will be like night and day!

If everything's okay you can button it up. Congratulations! Now you can listen to a High fidelity, 8 speaker stereo system.. You are almost done, there's just one more thing. You'll be glad to know that there are two options regarding your final speaker configuration choice:

(1) The first is to use all four rear speakers: 2 backdoor, 2 tailgate. Configured this way, the rear amplifier channel will see an 8ohm load (two 4ohm speakers in series), and will be capable of only about 50% of it's full rated output so the acoustic volume will suffer to a degree. Note: This is the original factory design scheme w/party mode off; "but now... with the EQ audio filter activated"!

(2) The second option (my choice), utilizes only the two backdoor speakers w/tailgate off. The benefit of this configuration is two fold. This puts the rear channel close to the driver/passenger seats, which helps to blend the sound with that of the front speakers. Another benefit is the higher output. Because the backdoor speakers are only 4ohms, It allows the amplifier to release it's full rated output into the backdoors, giving the system a boost' in acoustic volume.

There's one other thing that this configuration offers me. Because I'm using a very high output subwoofer system that's independent of the factory system, I realized that I was wasting as much as 50% of the total factory system power, and 100% of the rear speaker channel; w/ the backdoor speakers originally shutdown and the tailgate speaker's sound being "phase cancelled", by the much superior 'four ten' sub. So doing this reconfiguration has allowed me to make much more efficient use of the factory equipment.

To select option (1), you need do nothing, "you're done!" To select option (2), which I think is the better of the two, you'll need to "add-a-jumper" across the left and right tailgate speakers. W/O the jumpers, the rear channel amplifiers are driving two 4ohm speakers (back dr & tailgate) in a "chain configuration", which totals 8ohms; so the amps will not be able to develop their 'full rated output'. But, w/ jumpers across the L & R tailgate speakers, you're removing them from the circuit, so the amp will only see a 4ohm load, enabling it to release it's full rated output. Here's a picture of mine below:


The good thing is, you can do this by removing the courtesy lamps in the tailgate. Once the lamp is removed, just pull the plug off of the speaker terminal plate, add the jumper to the plug and push the lamp back in it's bay... that's it! And to me... it sounds sooo much better with the backdoor speakers on; you couldn't hear the tailgate speakers from the driver seat anyway. Well, to those of you who will do the "party mode reconfig" I hope you enjoy your results, and it's benefits!

rigtec, cheers
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Last edited by rigtec; 06-18-2014 at 02:28 PM.
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Unread 04-15-2014, 06:31 PM   #3
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Fantastic post!! I'll be adding this to my 'to do' list for my 4runner
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Unread 04-15-2014, 06:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by nevetsvsx View Post
Fantastic post!! I'll be adding this to my 'to do' list for my 4runner
So glad to hear that nevetsvsx! Can you share just a little bit about why you've decided to explore these options? I'd be very interested to understand your experiences w/ the stock audio system and the changes that you feel are necessary for it's improvement. Thanks again for your post!

rigtec, cheers
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Unread 04-15-2014, 07:56 PM   #5
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For me it sounds like the mid range is nearly non existent in my 4Runner (2013 TE), so hearing that there is a way to recover that without completely replacing the head unit is definitely something I am interested in.
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Unread 04-15-2014, 08:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nevetsvsx View Post
For me it sounds like the mid range is nearly non existent in my 4Runner (2013 TE), so hearing that there is a way to recover that without completely replacing the head unit is definitely something I am interested in.
Yes, you're correct!

With party mode OFF, the mids show absolutely "zero" definition, which is the reason (I think) that so many people have R&R their factory hu. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of very high quality heads out there that'll run circles around the (non-JBL) stock toyota piece, but some really don't want or need to buy a new "$500 plus" head for a brand new truck; they just want the sound to be... adequate (self included).
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Last edited by rigtec; 04-15-2014 at 11:11 PM.
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Unread 07-29-2016, 12:12 PM   #7
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Will this work on a non jbl 2014 entune and how hard is it and will it improve the sound

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Unread 07-29-2016, 12:18 PM   #8
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Will this work on a non jbl 2014 entune and how hard is it
I upgraded the front and rear speaker to RF 6x9s and Nakamichi 6.5s but still missing something

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Unread 07-29-2016, 03:44 PM   #9
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I upgraded the front and rear speaker to RF 6x9s and Nakamichi 6.5s but still missing something
Have you replaced the dash speakers yet? They're a 3.5 inch speaker, I used JL Audio C2-350x and they make a nice difference.
I've done a whole lot else to my sound system, but those speakers fit in quite nicely as a stock replacement
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Unread 08-12-2016, 06:50 PM   #10
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I upgraded the front and rear speaker to RF 6x9s and Nakamichi 6.5s but still missing something
Hi Bxmarauder,

Sorry for the confusion (my badd) I meant for you to hit me up over on the T4R.org 'Party mode' thread (I have it on both forums) Please click on this link below and describe the situation that you're trying to work out; I'll be mor than happy to work with you!
http://www.toyota-4runner.org/5th-ge...k-non-jbl.html

'Best to you'!
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