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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This should be a simple enough fix, but I'm a novice, and I want to get a firm grasp of what I'm doing before I take my dash apart.

I have an Alpine w505 H/U in a '08 Tundra.
-no aftermarket amp
-factory JBL speakers and a small, poor excuse for a sub in the back

My problem is alternator whine. Increases with the RPM's of the truck, occurs when I play radio, CD, DVD, or ipod. I need to go check, because I'm not sure, if the whine is there when they ignition is not on, but the stereo is on.

The installer ran the power directly into the factory harness, and told me that it must be a bad head unit (nothing is his fault...) because the factory OEM harness goes to a dedicated factory ground that MUST be good/stable/clean.

So, after reading on here for hours, I assume that I need to run the power directly from the battery to the head unit.

1. Do you think I'm right?
2. Is there any chance that the installer may be right, and it is truly just a bad head unit?
3. What other methods would you recommend?

Your help is appreciated. I'm out a bunch of money, and I can't afford to take this to another install shop if I can possible fix it myself.
 

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I would try a new ground, ground it temp to something metal in the dash and see if that helps.

However if you have the JBL system in there you have an amp. Most likely right below the factory cd player or behind the glove box.

Unless he bypassed it which might be the solution to your problem.
 

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Do you have a Digital Multi Meter? A diode test helped me rule out the pico fuse or any other problems that "could have been" with my Pioneer 880...

Turn the DMM dial to the triangle looking thingy with a line in front of it...
With your HU out and completely disconected and on a work table or something, put one pin on the RCA out and one on the chasis for ground... The DMM should go to triple 0. (000)
Do this for all your RCA outs on the HU... You get triple 0 on ALL of them, then that clears your HU from something major inside...

I just whent through this... It turned out to be 1 RCA cable from the Preouts to the Amp...
My symptoms were: only 1 channel had noise (Alt whine). It happened to be the left tweeter RCA cable.
 

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My vote is to find a new grounding point...that would be the first thing i try.
Yeah, that's what I was doing when I found my problem... Head unit has to come out for a reground project -may as well test it with the DMM when it does...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ziggy,
Is this as simple as locating the harness, unplugging the two power cords, connecting MORE cordage to those two (i assume they're short right now, and won't make it to the battery) and then running that to the positive terminal on the battery, and a ground location on the chassis?

Will that be OK for the unit, in terms of having no switch or anything between the battery and the H/U?
 

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Disconnect the negative battery terminal before proceeding, as any piece of equipment still alive when you remove the ground could SEEK ground through, say...an RCA connection. This doesn't bode well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks 4thmeal. I probably wouldn't have thought of that.

Can you (or anyone else) explain why the OEM harness wouldn't have a proper ground? And how the HELL could a professional installer not know that you're not supposed to use factory power and ground when wiring a head unit?
 

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thanks 4thmeal. I probably wouldn't have thought of that.

Can you (or anyone else) explain why the OEM harness wouldn't have a proper ground? And how the HELL could a professional installer not know that you're not supposed to use factory power and ground when wiring a head unit?

I would be willing to say that 99% of all installs that I have worked on that have had a "professionally installed" after market HU have used the factory wiring harness..If you go into any BB or circuit city they have rows of factory wiring harnesses on the wall...To my knowledge its all they use..To be honest I cant think of a time when I have pulled a deck out to find someone actually ran wires from the battery to the deck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I dont know why you would run wires from the battery to the deck everytime, complete waste of time.
Well, after googling this problem for hours....literally...I came across like 10 different magazine publications that stated you should never use the factory power and ground.

Never use the factory power and ground when wiring up a headunit, and do not twist wires to make a connection : either crimp, solder, or do both. ...the power draw with todays most recent headunit is up to five times that of a factory headunit, with the fancy screens and multiple functions. Combine this with the fact the factory wiring is very very thin, often has multiple fuses in it, and could have been damaged at some point.
 

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Ziggy,
Is this as simple as locating the harness, unplugging the two power cords, connecting MORE cordage to those two (i assume they're short right now, and won't make it to the battery) and then running that to the positive terminal on the battery, and a ground location on the chassis?

Will that be OK for the unit, in terms of having no switch or anything between the battery and the H/U?
I pulled my deck out like 3 or 4 times when chasing down this noise... I have a different settup, since I'm running a 5 channel amp (so I have RCA's from the HU to the amp, then speaker wires running from the amp to the speakers).
You probably have speakers running off the HU, and or some kind of OEM amp like "Fierce" said...

I disconnected my battery... Then carefully pulled the HU (I removed my dash cover for more room -easy to do on my truck)... I unhooked the HU completely -carefully noting where everything goes, while looking for any suspicious wires or grounding in the harness... Then I checked the HU out (on a work bench inside my house) with a digital multi meter diode test as I mentioned above -this would have told me if I had the blown pico fuse (something problomatic with my HU -not so much yours).

Once that was clear... I hooked the HU back up with the wires pulled out and set it up on top of my dash (bat still disconnected)... I made a quick ground wire and temp. secured it to some bare metal of the truck's body in the DIN cavity (there's usually a support post hanging down back there). Making sure my wires were clear on everything, I hooked the Bat back up, started the truck, powered up the HU... Having the Alt Noise still present, I took the end of the temp ground wire and touched it to my HU chassis in places to get a good ground. In your case, we are hoping this will resolve your issue... If it does, then you will need to secure it properly to the deck chassis (screw, solder, tape:p, -whatever)

I dont know why you would run wires from the battery to the deck everytime, complete waste of time.
Like said here, some factory OEM harnesses have a better ground than others... It would be redundant or somewhat unessessary to do this EVERYTIME... You still don't know if that's your problem... Mine was not the ground... it was an RCA cable...

I hope this helps... It is a process of elimination... You should be capable of finding out something with these steps...
Having a dedicated ground to the HU chassis won't hurt anything, and "could be better" -but not necessarry everytime on every vehicle.
 

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But going to the battery is still i feel unnecessary. I have been an installer for years and have never had to do that to solve a noise problem.

New power wire can be ran from the ignition, and there is tons of places you can ground in a dash that would most likely solve your problem.

However i do not feel like this may be your problem.

You said you have the factory JBL system, you have factory amp running the system. Your problem lies in how he integrated it.
You can either bypass or integrate, I always bypass because its soooo easy, you loose the factory sub, but honestly who cares.

The correct way to integrate is with Metra harness number TYTO-01, it uses low level inputs.
If the installer did not use this and just the regular toyota harness or didnt adjust the correct one that could be the source of your noise.

It could still be a grounding issue, however this could be it as well.
 

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I'm glad you chimed in there with that JBL factory thing, Fierce.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
First off, much respect to all you guys for taking the time to post your advice. It really helps people a lot.

I found a dude who lives nearby who does this stuff out of his garage, and he fixed this problem for me today. He just put in a ground loop isolator, and it worked like a charm. I dropped my truck off with him, and after an hour or so, he sent me a text saying, "no offense, but this is a total hack job from front to back. Looks like they just turned a couple kids loose with a roll of electrical tape." So he ended up re-wiring just about everything, and corrected a lot of the problems that were caused by the shotty install work. By the way, they did use the TYTO-01 harness that you mentioned, Fierce.

It all sounds perfect now. Bass is deeper and richer, highs are smoother, no pops, no whine.

He charged me $40.
The "professional" car audio shop that claimed to have done all the local sports stars' rides charged me $325 and all their work had to be re-done.

You win this time, Mr. Sneaky car audio shop owner. Next time, I'm calling my buddy who has some tools in his garage.
 

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First off, much respect to all you guys for taking the time to post your advice. It really helps people a lot.

I found a dude who lives nearby who does this stuff out of his garage, and he fixed this problem for me today. He just put in a ground loop isolator, and it worked like a charm. I dropped my truck off with him, and after an hour or so, he sent me a text saying, "no offense, but this is a total hack job from front to back. Looks like they just turned a couple kids loose with a roll of electrical tape." So he ended up re-wiring just about everything, and corrected a lot of the problems that were caused by the shotty install work. By the way, they did use the TYTO-01 harness that you mentioned, Fierce.

It all sounds perfect now. Bass is deeper and richer, highs are smoother, no pops, no whine.

He charged me $40.
The "professional" car audio shop that claimed to have done all the local sports stars' rides charged me $325 and all their work had to be re-done.

You win this time, Mr. Sneaky car audio shop owner. Next time, I'm calling my buddy who has some tools in his garage.

This is what usually happens to, shops overcharge period.

I had to do the same thing except i did a ground Loop, I ran all ground/and memory wire straight to to the back with amp's and it fixed his problem, The funny part is that i also charged 40Bux.

One other thing i hate is when they charge more than 50 bux for a headunit install. it's easy IMHO, if they think they can get over on you they will.
 

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He charged me $40.
The "professional" car audio shop that claimed to have done all the local sports stars' rides charged me $325 and all their work had to be re-done.

You win this time, Mr. Sneaky car audio shop owner. Next time, I'm calling my buddy who has some tools in his garage.
I am not going to justify the shop charging you $325 or make excuses for it looking like a five year old wired it. And, there are plenty of guys working out of their garages that do amazing work! But, the one big difference between my shop and the guy in his garage is my insurance. That being said, regardless of what I charged to install a stereo, I would never let it leave sounding like crap!
 

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I am not going to justify the shop charging you $325 or make excuses for it looking like a five year old wired it. And, there are plenty of guys working out of their garages that do amazing work! But, the one big difference between my shop and the guy in his garage is my insurance. That being said, regardless of what I charged to install a stereo, I would never let it leave sounding like crap!

I would tell you though that the custom shop I used to manage normally charged $300 labor on the W505P1 (nav) along with around $135 for the parts on that install (around $435.00 on carry in installation). Additionally, If you are having to use a ground loop isolator your installer has simply put a band-aid on the problem. If all you had installed was a W505 Nav to a factory JBL system using the correct Tyto-01 harness there should not be any noise needing a ground loop isolator. I have worked on dozens of these trucks when I managed a custom shop in AZ and we NEVER had to use an isolator. A ground loop isolator is a bandage for a bigger problem. More than likely you have either a bad harness OR an internal problem with your Alpine. If you would like the Alpine dealer tech number for followup let me know ( I still have it).
-Jimbo
 

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I concur. A ground loop isolator should not be necessary with the proper grounding scheme (at least not in a car).
 
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