Best Budget Toyota 86 Audio Upgrade

The Toyota 86 is a modern affordable sports car for the car enthusiast of today, the car sits very low to the ground, excellent handling and sounds great. To bad the factory stereo system does not sound too great. The factory head unit in the base model is straight out of 2005 without navigation, album view, and rear camera support (Latter 86 models). The GTS model is fitted with a Toyota touch screen unit which allows for modern interaction but lacks Apple Carplay & Android Auto.

Since most of Toyota’s budget for the 86 went to important sports car features such as a rear wheel layout, the passenger comfort is severely underdeveloped from the factory. The car lacks decent sound deadening, allowing most of the road noise into the cabin and is especially noticeable if you live in an area with uneven/poor road surfaces.

In our build, we will be disconnecting the rear speakers as they won’t offer any significant difference to the audio enjoyment in such a small cabin. Two mid-frequency speakers and tweeters located on top of the dashboard will be replaced, two woofers located on each door will be replaced and a subwoofer will be added to the trunk of the car for the bass response. The 8 channel amp will be configured to one channel per speaker with the subwoofer running in a bridged mode. Bridge mode is when the amp is configured to combine the output of two channels into a signal bigger channel to drive large speakers.

Hardware – Parts List

  1. Joying 7″ double din Headunit
  2. Audison AP F8.9 bit – DSP & Amplifier
  3. Focal Speakers Kit – Dashboard
  4. Audison AP 6.5 – Doors
  5. Audison APBX G7 Subwoofer with Enclosure
  6. Stinger RoadKill Sound Dampening Material
  7. Stinger RoadKill Fast Rings Foam
  8. Speaker & Power Cable
  9. Toyota Wiring Harness 20Pin & 6Pin

First, install the sound deadening material under the carpet especially under the front footrest areas, rear wheel arches and trunk floor to reduced most of the road noise. Install the material on the doors as well, the plastic covers have to be removed first to gain access to the metal shell. When working with the Roadkill sound deadening material, be careful with the sharp edges after cutting with scissors as it can seriously cut into your hands.

Installing the speakers into the car requires the plastic door panels and dashboard speaker grills to be removed. Remove the speakers on the dashboard and replace with the focal speakers. Make sure to wire an additional two 2 channel twisted wires for the tweeter to the location of the new amplifier. Install the Roadkill fast rings before the door speakers are installed to increase the system frequency response. Install new twisted speaker output wire from the amplifier location to the head unit wiring harness location and install a positive wire from the amp location to the head unit area.

Remove the existing head unit and store away if you decide to sell the car or change your mind. Proceed to wire, solder and crimp the speaker wires from the amp to the correct harness. Do not forget to install a power cable from a positive power source and Toslink cable to the amplifier. Install the harness to the new Joying head unit and attach the system to the dashboard, be sure to connect the steering wheel controls if you have a newer model 86.

Install the Audison DSP/AMP under the passenger seat connecting the power, source Toslink and speaker output. Route the subwoofer harness from the amplifier to the rear of the car to the trunk of the car. The DSP needs to be configured with a laptop computer running Windows before the system will operate properly. The DSP needs to be set to run from a Toslink fiber source, output to six speakers and bridge two channels for the subwoofer. A device with a microphone and test tones will be needed to configure the speakers and a tape measure to set the time delay.

Tuning Microphone and Real-Time Analyser (RTA) used in the video below.
AudioControl SA-4100i

I hope this build has been an inspiration on new and interesting audio components which may have been overlooked. We have chosen a low-cost head unit with Optical Fiber instead of the traditional RCA to transmit a lossless audio signal to the DSP and Amplifier. The Audioson amp and DSP is the most expensive component in the build but is worth the cost due to being made in Italy and its roll in producing the audio output for the speakers. The rear speakers have been left disconnected as they are not worth the cost as the car is mainly used as a two seater so the extra channels have been dedicated to the tweeters.

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