How to Replace Door Speakers in a Toyota Tacoma?


The Toyota Tacoma is a Japanese pickup truck similar to American brands like GMC, Ford, and Chevy.

You would then think installing and replacing speakers in all cars are the same, but how should you replace the speakers in Tacoma? Let’s find out.

Generally, you have to remove the covers and screws found on the bottom panel and behind the door handle. Once removed, use a plastic pry tool to remove the door panel to access the speaker. Next, remove the speaker bracket and disconnect the speaker from the speaker wire. Proceed to replace the speaker and repeat the same on the other side.

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Tip: Choosing replacement of the factory speakers for your Tacoma can be overwhelming, and to save your time, below I listed my best picks which I have been using for a long time and can recommend to anyone.

The top ones and my favorite are the Focal 165 AS Access component system with their incredible detailed highs. The best part is that you do not need the amplifier for them, but an additional bass boost from the subwoofer would be recommended.

More budget-friendly are JBL GTO629, which are slightly more dynamic than the FOCAL and need an amplifier because JBL GTO speakers play at lower impedance, and to work at their best, they cannot be powered by the head unit. 

If you are searching for the 6×9 speakers, there are not many better ones than JBL GTO939 from the same JBL Stadium Serie. 

In this article, I will detail how to replace the door speakers of a Toyota Tacoma, going over the method with a step-by-step tutorial for the first and second-generation Tacoma models.

Toyota Tacoma Overview

This pickup truck is manufactured in the USA and Mexico by Toyota, a Japanese automobile manufacturer. The Tacoma is currently in its third generation, which has been in production since 2015. The first generation was produced between 1995 through 2004, while the second generation of the pickup truck was between 2005 through 2015.

What Size Are Speakers in a Toyota Tacoma?

The Tacoma has been in production for over a quarter of a century, and over this time, Toyota changed their speaker sizes several times. 

It is essential to take note that for the most part, it will not matter which Tacoma model you have because, luckily, nowadays, you can find replacement speakers for your model with relative ease.

In fact, you can even place different size speakers in your Tacoma because of the possibility of installing the speakers on the adaptor rings.

This means you can fit 6.75, 6.5, or 5.25-inch speakers in your Tacoma, even if the original size is different.

If you are looking to replace your speakers with the correct size that your pickup comes with, then all you need to do is reference the listings below and find a suitable speaker replacement that suits your needs.

1995 – 2000 Toyota Tacoma Speaker Size

  • The front door speakers are 6.5 inches.

2001 – 2004 Toyota Tacoma Speaker Size

  • The front door speakers are 6×8 speakers as well as the 2004 model has 5×7 speakers in the rear.

2005 Toyota Tacoma Speaker Size

  • The front and rear door speakers are 6.5 inches.

2006 Toyota Tacoma Speaker Size

  • The front speakers are 6×9, while the rear speakers are 6.5 inches.

2007 Toyota Tacoma Speaker Size

  • The front speakers are 6×9, while the rear speakers are 6.75 inches.

2008 Toyota Tacoma Speaker Size

  • The front speakers are 6×9, while the rear speakers are vehicle-specific.

2009 – 2014 Toyota Tacoma Speaker Size

  • The front speakers that fit all these models are 6×9. As you can also see, even previous models down to 2005 are equipped with 6×9 speakers. 2014 is the last year of Tacoma’s second generation.

2015 – Current Toyota Tacoma Speaker Size

  • The speaker setup for the third generation of Toyota Tacomas from 2015 to its current version in 2022 has 6×9 front speakers and 6.5-inch rear door speakers.

What Brand of Factory Speakers Does a Toyota Tacoma Use?

Toyota and JBL are partners since 1996, supplying many models with premium JBL audio equipment, and this is still the case for the recent production.

In 2021 there are three versions of the Tacoma:

  • Tacoma SR
  • Tacoma TRD Off-Road
  • Tacoma Limited

The Tacoma Limited and TRD Pro variants are shipped with JBL premium audio sound, including six JBL speakers featuring a subwoofer and an 8-channel 440 Watt DSP amplifier.

In addition to the JBL audio system, the Tacoma audio experience’s multimedia side includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

How Do You Know if Your Tacoma Has JBL Audio?

You may be wondering if your Tacoma has JBL Audio, especially if you purchased a second-hand model.

Likely there are a few details that will help you determine whether or not your Tacoma has built-in JBL Audio.

  • Tacoma has the JBL system if you see JBL on your doors speaker grills.
  • Tacoma has the JBL system if you see the JBL sign in the center bottom of your radio.
  • Tacoma has the JBL system if you have a factory subwoofer installed behind the passenger rear seat.

Should I Upgrade Speakers in Tacoma?

If you have either the Tacoma Limited or the TRD Pro, then there would be no need to upgrade your car’s audio system (in terms of speaker replacement) because JBL is synonymous with high-quality audio and has been for decades.

Moreover, the Tacoma head unit is high-end; thus, you will not need to look for a new stereo to replace it.

However, if you have an older Tacoma or it does not have the JBL premium audio system, you may want to replace the speakers, install an aftermarket amplifier, and put in a subwoofer to get some great sound.

How to Replace Door Speakers in a Toyota Tacoma?

Replacing the speakers in Toyota Tacoma is straightforward. Still, it can be time-consuming, especially if you want to have everything done tip-top to the highest level as I do.

What Tools Do I Need to Replace Door Speakers in Tacoma?

These are basic screwdrivers and wrenches which you probably have in your garage, and if not, I added below Amazon links for the tools that I use:

Step-By-Step Tutorial for Replacing Door Speakers in a Toyota Tacoma First Generation 1996 – 2004

The main thing you will need to note when replacing the speakers for the first generation of Tacoma pickups is whether the windows are manual or electric.

Otherwise, the process is the same, and both the electrical and manual versions are easy to work with.

  • First, you need to gain access to the screws that fasten the door panel to the frame. Use a hook pick to remove the outer coverings of the screws located by the door handle and panels towards the bottom of the door. Also, remove the additional panel placed by the side view mirrors. The panel is usually held by one screw.
  • Next, use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws from the door panel. The panel is fastened to the door frame via clips, so use the plastic prying tool and chivvy it between the panel and the door frame.
  • Work your way around the entire door frame with a lifting motion and pop the clips out of place. Ensure that the panel does not fall because you need to remove the crank with a shop rag for manually operated windows or disconnect the power options switch panel for the electric windows.
  • Once you have safely removed the door panel, you have access to the door speaker.
  • The door speaker is held in the door by four bolts. Use the socket wrench to remove the bolts.
  • The last thing before you remove the speaker is to disconnect its wire. The original speaker wires are clipped into the speaker, and when replacing the speakers with aftermarket, you have to add an extension wire to connect it with the original installation.

Once you have removed the speaker, you are free to replace it with whatever variant you have. However, if you use speakers of a different than the original size, you need to mount them on the adaptor ring.

Step-By-Step Tutorial for Replacing Door Speakers in a Toyota Tacoma Second Generation 2004 – 2015

Replacing the front door speakers on the second generation Tacoma pickup trucks is identical to that of the first generation.

The only difference is in the actual location of the screws holding an interior door panel to the metal door frame. The screws are located behind the door handle and at the bottom front side of the door panel.

If you prefer a visual aid, the detailed replacement process you can see in the video below:

Depending on the speakers’ size you want to install, you will need the adaptor rings to match with the original factory mounting screws locations a follow:

With these adaptors, you can install any speakers you like, and you do not have to worry about their depth because Toyota Tacoma has room for speakers with a depth of up to 3.2″.

How to Connect Speakers With a Stereo in Toyota Tacoma?

Before wiring your speakers to the stereo unit, the first factor you will need to consider is whether your Tacoma has an installed amplifier.

If it does, you need to connect the speakers to your amplifier, not to the radio, and if your Tacoma does not have an amplifier, you have to connect the speakers directly to the radio.

When adding the aftermarket speakers to your Tacoma, you have to use speaker wire adaptors because aftermarket speakers have standard connections different from factory-installed speakers.

Do I Need an Amplifier in a Toyota Tacoma?

If you want to have dynamic music and get the most out of your speakers, I recommend installing an amplifier, but not all speakers need the amplifier.

Also, remember that you must select an amplifier to match your speakers and not the other way round.

If your Tacoma is already factory equipped with the JBL system, you already have an amplifier installed, but if not, there are many amps available to choose from.

To make a choice easier, I highlighted below a few points worth considering:

  • If you want to connect the amplifier with only speakers, you need either 2- channel amp for two doors Tacoma or 4-channel amp if you have a four-door with speakers.
  • Make sure the amplifier’s impedance matches the speakers. Otherwise, you will not achieve the optimal performance and may risk amplifier damage.
  • When looking at the power, choose the amp that is slightly stronger than speakers and always compare the same RMS wattage, not the peak. For example, if you have 100W RMS speakers, take the amplifier with 120W RMS per channel. This way, you will always send them enough power for optimal performance.    

The best amplifiers I recommend are from Audio Control and depending on the model, you can have it equipped with the DSP control unit, for example, the D-4.800.

Audio Control amplifiers are the highest quality products you can find. They are more expensive than the closest competition, but when looking at their functionality and built-in features, they are well worth the price.

AudioControl D-4.800 4/3/2 Channel High Power Amplifier W/DSP & Matrixing

If you are looking for a budget amp, you will not be disappointed with the BOSS D3004, which can work with 2 ohm and 4-ohm speakers.

This small BOSS is good for up to 120W RMS 4 ohm speakers or up to 200W 2 ohm speakers, which means it will work with most speakers available on the market.

How to Install a Subwoofer in a Toyota Tacoma?

Before installing a subwoofer, you have to decide where to place it and run wiring accordingly.

Running speaker wire requires time and effort because you need to remove most of the side panels from your pickup and carefully place wires, especially through tight spots inside the cabin.

Detailed instruction about installing a subwoofer in Toyota Tacoma you can see in the video below:

If your Tacoma does not have a subwoofer, it is best to purchase the correct box (bass bin) that will fit behind the rear wall enclosure of your Tacoma.

Where to Place a Subwoofer in Toyota Tacoma?

To install the subwoofer once you have it placed in the bin is easy enough. First, you need to take the rear seats down, exposing the rear wall enclosure, or if you install yours under the seat, you have to lift it first.

Depending on the model of your Tacoma and type of the subwoofer you want to install, there are several pre-made enclosures with a single or two subwoofers:

JL Audio SB-T-TACDC12

My favorite single woofer enclosure 2012 – 2015 Tacoma Double Cab from the factory prepared for the 2-ohm mono amplifier.

It is easy to install in a storage pocket behind the passenger side rear seat, and it has a front side formed for the installation of a small amplifier.

It has installed one shallow mounted 10TW3-D4 woofer with 400W RMS that is enough for additional bass tones, and it does not require a powerful amplifier.

JL Audio SB-T-TACDC12/10TW3 Stealthbox for 2012-2015 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab (SKU 94557)

This is a complete enclosure if you want just a plug-and-play solution, but for me, better would be to purchase an enclosure that you can customize by adding specific subwoofers.

For example, a good option is the empty dual enclosure:

In either case, you have an option to choose the 12″ subwoofers that you can connect directly to the pre-installed wire terminals. 

Both enclosures are designed to be placed behind the rear seat. The only disadvantage is the necessity to install shallow mounted subwoofers with a maximum depth of 4″, which are not many on the market.

If you would prefer ready made complete enclosures that fit your Tacoma on a Plug and play basis, below I listed several options for either a center console and behind the back seats:

All enclosures below are made by JL Audio and do not require any special adaptions to the cabin interior:

SB-T-TACEXT – 1996-2004 Toyota Tacoma Xtracab with Gray interior

SB-T-TACDC – 2005-2011 Tacoma Double Cab

SB-T-TACACCAB – 2005-2015 Tacoma Access Cab / Double Cab with front bucket seats and factory center console and Taupe interior

SB-T-TACDC12 – 2012-2015 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab

SB-T-TACACG3 – 2016-Up Toyota Tacoma Access Cab

SB-T-TACDCG3 – 2016-Up Toyota Tacoma Double Cab

Conclusion

The Toyota Tacoma has been in production for over a quarter of a century. In many aspects, it rivals that of a Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150, and a GMC Sierra and is the Japanese answer to those American variants.

These pickups are very similar in style and design, so replacing the front door speakers for all these pickup trucks is almost identical.

The one difference that separates the Toyota Tacoma from some of its American cousins is that some models ship with a subwoofer. 

Furthermore, it almost feels like a part of the Tacoma was carved out precisely to house a subwoofer and amplifier. Hence you should consider installing a subwoofer and amplifier if your Tacoma does not have one installed already.

Martin

Welcome to ImproveCarAudio! I am Martin, and I love to write about everything related to car sound systems. I strive to provide the most accurate and helpful information about car audio through extensive research, as well as my experience with car audio installations.

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