See attached photo. Ever thought you would see this sight on your SC430 factory car radio?
When I retired I wanted to get a retractable hardtop convertible. I wanted a car with high reliability. The Lexus SC430 has been in the top 10 list ever since it was made. I bought a low mileage used 2005 SC430 because it was the last year having the higher 300 hp engine and having dark green paint.
The radio mechanic at my Lexus dealer told me I would lose my Navigation/Bluetooth Steering Wheel Control function if I had a car stereo shop change my radio. He recommended instead the non-invasive USB adapters by Vais Technology ($364) or Grom Audio ($124). I talked to tech support of each company who told me their device would work in my car. I went with Grom Audio because it was smaller, no reports of having to unplug it to reset it, and the price was lower. The device will interface an iPod or iPhone but it is much simpler to just use the USB input with a flashdrive. My memory stick is a:
Transcend JetFlash 600 - 32 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive TS32GJF600.
Many thanks to those on this forum who explained how to remove the car stereo. I had no problem installing the adapter myself. All the Lexus wiring harness connectors are very easy to open. Each has a single locking tab. You use a medium flat blade screwdriver to push down the tab to unlock then rotate to remove the connector.
I placed the Grom Adapter in the center console below the front cup holder. I removed the core of the 12 v. power outlet in the center console bottom storage bin and ran the USB cable from the adapter through the round outlet sleeve into the storage bin. The Grom adapter has no history of locking up but if access is needed, it is very easy to reach it. I have a Mark Levinson sound system.
After installing, hitting the CD button on the car stereo switches between the internal 6 disk CD player and the external Grom 99 CD player on the memory stick. There is no difference in sound level or quality switching between devices. As my attached photo shows, the car displays “CD1” when on the Grom. Each Grom CD has 999 tracks but my Lexus display only shows the last two digits of the track (track 387 displays as 87). All the steering wheel controls and car stereo functions work, including random tracks on the Grom.
The folders on my memory stick are my music playlists or audio book or radio show name. Each folder name begins with a number for the CD it is. For example:
20-kLeaguesUnderSea (Audiobook, 47 tracks)
21-HaveGunWillTravel (Podcast Radio Drama, 99 tracks)
22-TheHobbit (Audiobook Dramatized, 1 track)
In the past I used to buy cassettes of Talking Books to listen in the car on long road trips. Now I use iTunes to download audiobooks and vintage radio shows for the car stereo. Many are free. A regular Audiobook is a single MPEG4 file. You have to convert it to MPEG3. This also saves memory. “The Hobbit” MPEG4 was 726 Mb. and MPEG 3 was only 128 Mb. I use the software “TunePat” for the conversion. When you power off the radio it will remember where you are on a long track, but it you change CDs while playing, you have to start at the beginning of the story and fast forward to where you were.
A Podcast download works better than an AudioBook because the Podcast book chapters or radio episodes are separate files. For example: CD 20 on my USB flash drive memory stick is the book “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea”. Track 1 is Chapter 1. Track 2 is Chapter 2, etc. CD 21 is the Western radio show “Have Gun Will Travel”. Track 1 is Episode 1, Track 2 is Episode 2, etc. CD 22 is a single long mp3 track of the audiobook “The Hobbit”.
The following Grom Toyota cable is required for these Lexus SC430 years:
2001-2005 cable TOY1
2006-2009 cable TOY
I am very pleased with this device and highly recommend it as it works well and is easy to install yourself. Here are links for the Lexus SC430 radio removal:
1) Open armrest (upper and lower).
2) Pop seat heater control module out, unplug, and set aside.
3) Open the stereo door.
4) Put the car in N or lower.
5) Lift the wood center console panel up and back.
Don't pull too hard, the wire for the stereo-door button is short.
6) Unplug the stereo-door button and set panel to the side.
7) Remove the two big 10 mm lower screws holding the radio in.
8) Remove the climate control module.
(You can grab it with both hands and carefully pull it loose).
9) Remove the two big 10 mm upper screws holding the radio in.
10) CAREFULLY remove the stereo.