.: Kenwood DNX9960 Installation
I have not attempted to replace the instruction manuals from each of the products required for this installation. What I have done is try to clarify a few points that troubled me when I was researching and completing this project. I am confident that with this added information anyone with the desire can complete this installation with the results of a professional installation.
The first step to the Kenwood DNX9960 Installation is wiring up the head unit. My installation included a bypass for the head unit’s brake sensor safety feature and the PAC-SWIJACK to integrate my Tacoma’s steering wheel controls. I produced the following wiring diagram: Click here for a print friendly PDF version. I have provided a diagram of each product with its wiring scheme. Two the right is a chart for making the connections. Just match of the wires and your good to go.
This accessory is a must in order to eliminate the need to cut the wiring for the stock stereo. It makes the wiring much easier. One important note is that the wiring color scheme does not match that of the corresponding plugs in the dash. Don’t be concerned. It does not match in color but it does work. That’s what counts. Wire everything up at a workbench and then you can just plug it in once you are ready to put the head unit in the dash.
I absolutely recommend using the brake sensor safety feature bypass I installed. Without it, many useful features of the head unit are disabled unless the vehicle’s emergency brake is set. A few disabled features, that I found very annoying, are that when the emergency brake is not set:
- Text entry is disabled on all screens
- Phone number entry is disabled
- Phonebook use is disabled.
- Video viewing is disabled.
The bypass I installed changes the configuration so that after the head unit turns on, a relay is activated and the head unit receives the message that the emergency brake is set. Because the bypass uses the DNX9960’s power control wire, which is meant to activate an optional amplifier, the bypass is deactivated when the head unit is in stand-by. Keep this in mind if you have the bypass installed and the above features are suddenly unavailable.
This adaptor is also a must when installing the DNX9960 in any vehicle with audio controls on the steering wheel. How annoying would it be to have buttons on your steering wheel that don’t do anything? The use of a 560 ohm resister in the wiring was the only surprising part of the installation. I used a pair of crimp seal butt connectors for this. The PAC website has vehicle specific installation instructions available. Click here to access PAC Instructions for the Toyota Tacoma.
In order to remove the stock head unit, insert a thin plastic wedge into the space between the air-conditioning controls and the bottom of the dash. I used a tool that came with my Dent King Dent Repair Kit for this. Press down to pop the air-conditioning control panel off. Remove the wiring plugs from the back of this panel and put it aside. The removal of this panel reveals 4 bolts that secure the head unit. Remove these bolts. Use a magnet to clear the bolts from the dash. It is easy to lose these bolts in the dash. Once these bolts are removed the stock head unit is still secured by five pins. Grasp the head unit from behind and pull out firmly to pop it off its pins. Remove all wiring plugs from the back and also set the head unit aside.
The DNX9960 comes with a microphone attachment for use with its integrated Parrot Bluetooth and voice controls. This is a great feature, as it allows positioning of the microphone close to the driver and away from other sources of noise in the vehicle. This microphone features noise cancelling technology. The result is extremely clear voice reception with very little background noise. I installed the microphone at the top of the side curtain or A-Pillar between the windshield and the driver’s side window. To do this I had to remove this panel. This was easily done by popping the caps off both sides of the handle on the panel with a small screw-driver and turning out the handle screws. Pull on the handle and the whole A-Pillar comes off. Route the wire along the top of the panel to keep it clear of the airbag.
The antenna for the DNX9906’s GPS needs to be installed with as little obstruction from the sky, and as horizontally, as possible. I installed it on the dash close to the bottom of the windshield. This location works out well. The antenna is hidden by the curve of the dash. I took advantage of having the A-Pillar removed to route the wire for this configuration. The antenna did not come with any means of attaching it. I used black hot-glue from my Dent King Dent Repair Kit to stick the antenna to the dash.
The DNX9960 also comes with a remote switch for activating voice control. I deeply wish the DNX9960 was programmed to allow activation of voice control utilizing the steering wheel remote, but, alas, it is not. In order to get the switch provided as close to the steering wheel as possible, I installed it on the dash just behind the windshield wiper control. The switch came with two-sided tape attached; but, this was not sufficient to secure it. I used black hot-glue to stick the switch the button to the dash.
Remove the factory brackets from the stock head unit and bolt them onto the DNX9960 using screws included with the DNX9960. Cut plastic dash adaptor included with DNX9960 along guide lines and use double-sided tape included with DNX9960 to attach it to the head unit. I also used a ¼” strip of foam weather strip on the outside edge of the dash adaptor to eliminate a rattle between the dash kit and the head unit. Prepare a medium-sized padded envelope to contain excess wires, the bypass, and steering wheel remote adaptor when they are in the dash. This can be tucked into the dash on the side by the steering wheel. The padded envelope will eliminate rattling of these accessories behind the dash. When you move from wiring on the bench to finishing up in the Tacoma, place an open box top-down over the gear shift on the consul to provide a work surface.
I dropped all of these into the glove box. With the parrot Bluetooth, I am able to make calls and listen to music off my iPhone without ever taking it out of my pocket. I use the phone with the stereo this way most of the time. If the phone needs to charge or I want to watch videos from my iPhone, I plug it in, out of the way, in the glove box. With the USB adaptor, I can listen to all of my music and view album art without needing my iPhone. These other cables are also best kept out of the way in the glove box.
There are a few different dash kits on the market. None of them are perfect. Scosche makes a kit that has good reviews. It has the accent groves on its top edge, but lacks the cross-hatched texture of the original dash. Metra also makes a kit. It lacks the accent groves on its top edge, but has the cross-hatched texture of the original dash. I choose the Metra kit. It worked alright with a little tweaking. There are five plastic tabs that must be clipped onto the dash kit in order to make it snap in place. The clock/hazard lights switch panel must be removed from the stock stereo and attached to the kit. I used black hot-glue to glue the double-din face plate in place. This was a must, in order to eliminate a rattle between the face plate and the dash kit. The four bolts used to secure the factory brackets to the dash are not self centering. This allows enough play to adjust the DNX9960 so that is lines up just right vertically and horizontally with the dash kit. This took some repetition to get it just right.