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2nd Gen Lexus IS Aftermarket Radio

Old 08-12-17, 11:05 PM
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julythe6ix
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Default 2nd Gen Lexus IS Aftermarket Radio

Hi guys,

I've looked around the forum for tips on how to install an aftermarket radio in my 2007 Lexus Is250. They all seem to have ugly and outdated looking installation kits like the FlyAudio one. I'm looking at the single din Pioneer AVH-X7800BT with the flip out screen. Has anyone successfully installed anything like this and without any problems with fitment and gaps?
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Old 08-13-17, 01:19 AM
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nope never did a flipout screen install, are you looking for a 100% plug and play?
this headunit looks good except for the airbag light hiccup it has:
​​​​​​https://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-2nd-gen-2006-2013/852235-car-da-10-4-tesla-style-head-unit-for-lexus-is.html
looks way way better than the scosche dash kit out there...
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Old 08-13-17, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 808newbie View Post
nope never did a flipout screen install, are you looking for a 100% plug and play?
this headunit looks good except for the airbag light hiccup it has:
​​​​​​https://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-2nd-gen-2006-2013/852235-car-da-10-4-tesla-style-head-unit-for-lexus-is.html
looks way way better than the scosche dash kit out there...
I've seen that but I want mine to look OEM.
Good news though, last night I found this on eBay...
It was $70 CAD so I'm going to try it out once I get the new radio. Will post pictures of the final results.
Attached Thumbnails 2nd Gen Lexus IS Aftermarket Radio-img_0896.jpg-1.jpeg  

Last edited by julythe6ix; 08-13-17 at 11:41 AM. Reason: adding info
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Old 08-18-17, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by julythe6ix View Post
I've seen that but I want mine to look OEM.
Good news though, last night I found this on eBay...
It was $70 CAD so I'm going to try it out once I get the new radio. Will post pictures of the final results.
Hi, it is fairly simple to just swap a new headunit however the problem is that all your AC controls and rearview camera are wired into stock headunit. So you replace it and must rewire your backup cam which isnt difficult with certain aftermarket units, but your AC controls will not function.
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Old 08-21-17, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by YoungReezy View Post
Hi, it is fairly simple to just swap a new headunit however the problem is that all your AC controls and rearview camera are wired into stock headunit. So you replace it and must rewire your backup cam which isnt difficult with certain aftermarket units, but your AC controls will not function.
Hi, uh yea I'm about to do the same thing to my 07 IS250, and didn't realize that swapping the unit out kills my AC controls. Mine doesn't have a backup cam, so I'll be installing one for the stereo. Also do I need a special adapter to wire the head unit to the car? I don't have navigation either.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aftermarket-...53.m1438.l2649

Also what about steering wheel controls?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASWC-Retains...53.m1438.l2649
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Old 08-21-17, 10:07 PM
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There's really not a lot of information on how to install a custom stereo. From what I understand is that to retain AC controls you need to remove a circuit board from the old stereo that keeps the AC controls. Sounds easy enough. But what do I need to hook up audio? Will the TYTO-01 adapter work? This is what I use in my 04 ES330. Wiring up steering wheel controls would be nice but it's not something I concern myself with.
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Old 08-24-17, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Dukenukemx View Post
There's really not a lot of information on how to install a custom stereo. From what I understand is that to retain AC controls you need to remove a circuit board from the old stereo that keeps the AC controls. Sounds easy enough. But what do I need to hook up audio? Will the TYTO-01 adapter work? This is what I use in my 04 ES330. Wiring up steering wheel controls would be nice but it's not something I concern myself with.
i stopped looking into installing a complete aftermarket radio when i found out about the AC controls. I did read about the relocating the circuit board thing you mentioned, however it seems beyond my skill level. I am choosing to use a specific aftermarket unit that retains the ac controls. I have not decided which one yet as they are all quite expensive, but when the time comes that is the route i am going. Good luck
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Old 08-24-17, 09:46 PM
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The beat sonic kits have the wiring harness to keep the climate controls working. Granted that's what you are paying for in their $300+ price point.
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Old 08-25-17, 10:37 PM
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I don't like the beat sonic kit, as it doesn't eliminate the old stereo entirely. I like the idea of an aftermarket radio that replaces a portion of the dash but I'm having a hard time finding one in stock, and yea a little expensive.

I'm looking to do something like this, but retain AC controls of course. I have some experience with custom radio installs. I'm just wanna know what I'm getting myself into before finding out my AC doesn't work or that that I get a seat belt light.
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Old 08-26-17, 06:26 AM
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That's an interesting looking dash mod. Who makes it? And what about it means you lose the AC?
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Old 08-26-17, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Arrta View Post
That's an interesting looking dash mod. Who makes it? And what about it means you lose the AC?
Something I found randomly with Google. Lots of people had their stereo systems custom done by a shop, and that one I remember did retain the AC controls, but nobody really explains how. Of all the digging I've found one person that said to remove the circuit board from the very bottom stereo. But there's this upper portion of the dash that also has the radio, and that's a huge waste of real estate. But of course nobody knows if I can just remove it and still retain AC and not get a airbag light cause that's also another issue I've read people have.

Nobody has shown doing this, and nobody has explained if the Axxess TYTO-01 is what I need to get basic sound working. So what I decided to do is get this very nice 10.2 inch Android stereo that will replace that section of the dash. It's $450, but I'm looking to spend serious money anyway to do what this does. The adapter for sound is $50 at least, and to retain controls on the steering wheel is another $50, plus to get the plastic adapter which I was going to cut then plastic weld and paint was $30. The stereo I want to put in is $150, so that's $300 for something I'm not certain that'll work. Or at least something that'll work but no AC controls.

I've noticed that newer cars make it difficult to put aftermarket stereo's in their cars but this does seem purposely done to avoid that. My IS250 doesn't have the Navigation in it, but you can look at one and see that makes it far more easier to put in a 2din aftermarket stereo cause you have the space. You don't even need to mess with the lower portion of the stereo which removes the AC functionality. Also, why put necessary AC circuits in the stereo? Just seems so intentional.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...2bd13975p0uFKM

Last edited by Dukenukemx; 08-26-17 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 08-27-17, 12:29 AM
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OK, so to retain AC control beat sonic includes a custom wiring harness thing, but you are stuck keeping the "top" radio as you said. This harness is really what you are paying for because their mounting stuff is just 2 replacement dash moldings that allow you to install a 2 DIN or 1 DIN with tray.
Then there is the Scosche ls2151b for us non nav owners. It replaces the entire center console and somehow also keeps the AC controls. This one you have to be careful about. In 2009 Lexus refreshed the center console and this resized the vents. Using this kit on a newer IS leaves a gap between the vents and the console top.
Both of these units include a wiring harness that is supposed to keep your steering wheel controls. They also do not cause the dreaded airbag light issue.

The unit you linked off alibaba is one of the ones that does cause the airbag light issue. Some people have claimed this can be fixed with a resistor being added, but as of yet no one has posted a diagram on how to do this. If we were to get one I would be all over the 10 inch replacement consoles.
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Old 08-27-17, 08:43 AM
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What stereo unit will work for the Lexus IS250 that doesn't cause an airbag light? Also I'm going to try and contact the seller to see if that does cause the airbag light.
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Old 08-27-17, 08:56 AM
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There are no all in one stereo units for the IS that will not have the airbag issue. All of them have been designed for overseas cars which have a completely different airbag light, which is the cause of the issue.
Your only choices to not have the airbag issue are these:
  1. OEM (sucks I know)
  2. Aftermarket with Beat Sonic or Scosche kits. (Also makes AC work. Scosche kit needs additional harness for steering control, while Beat Sonic does not.)
  3. Aftermarket without the above kits. (I have seen just replacement brackets moldings to replace the factory radio on ebay, but with these the AC won't work. (Additional wiring harness needed for steering controls.)
The thing I don't like about the radios on Alibaba, other than the airbag issue, are that none of them are HD Radio capable.

Edit: Looking at the Alibaba radio you selected again, I don't see anything for the airbag at all. I do see the passenger seat belt one, but not the airbag one, and thats probably the whole problem. It is the common issue as this one also has no airbag light, nor does this one.

Last edited by Arrta; 08-27-17 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 08-27-17, 08:19 PM
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For me things like HD radio and CD's are a thing of the past. My other cars I have Android stereos in them and I mainly use YouTube for just about everything.

So let me get this straight, the airbag light comes on the dash cause there's no airbag light where the stereo is? Am I right to say this? From what I can see there are two lights, one that says Air Bag On, and one that says Air Bag Off. Kinda hard to see. The reason for this is because in Japan they don't have these lights so the Chinese omitted them from the design. So I'm thinking that like most crap on modern cars, the Lexus is looking for a load from the light and isn't finding it and thus causing the air bag light to come on. But if that's the case then I would need 2 resistors to remove the air bag light.

Kinda hard to tell from the photo of this hazard switch clock thing that has those lights in it. Looking at other IS forums I think the resistor to use is a 1 Megohm resistor, because they removed the seats for aftermarket ones. So I'm thinking that's the same amount of ohms needed to turn off the light. But I could be wrong and you need something equivalent to that of a tiny light bulb. One way to find out is the take apart the hazard switch section and see where the wires go to. If it's just a light then we need to wire a light bulb or a resistor and we're done. Could even drill a hole somewhere and stick the lights there and with a sharpie write Air Bag On and Air Bag Off. Ugly, but still funny. If there's more than just a bulb then maybe the 1 Megohm thing might work.

I'm extremely lazy but maybe tomorrow I'll find the time to take it apart and see what's going on.

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