Opinions on new radio in FJ60 dash vs console

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Jan 9, 2009
Im doing some work for a customer who wants a new radio/stereo and a new Tuffy like console. I am trying to decide whether to take the dash off and modify it to mount the new radio in there and just mount a Tuffy for storage and security. Or leave the factory radio where it is for aesthetics and mount a new radio in a stereo console. I guess I would then need to wire a power, ground and something to the fuse box for the key so the radio doesn't get power all the time, correct? I see that Cool Cruisers is now making their own lockable stereo console specifically for a 60, which is nice,, although I would prefer gray for the 60s gray interior. Which way are most 60 owners going here? Just looking for opinions.
I have a Kenwood KDC-352u installed in the factory location. Mounting it was not difficult. Definitely do not have to the remove the dashboard. Pretty sure I am using the factory brackets just screwed into the aftermarket head unit.

I have thoughts of getting a console some day, but would really debate on whether or not I would want the stereo inside there. Making adjustments or anything with the stereo would take your eyes off the road if it is mounted in the center console. I do like the added security though. Lockable and no more removing the faceplate to throw it out of sight.
I'd say put it in the tuffy and use the space for switches/gauges/CB/etc
CD's don't play well when the player is mounted vertically. Fortunately, most people use iPod's now so that isn't much of a factor anymore. For years I had my radio mounted on the console where the cup holders had been. It worked well but, as Klinetime mentioned, it can be a distraction while driving. Eventually I became so familiar with the buttons that I didn't have to look down. Most new players aren't as tactile friendly and require more visual feedback.

A dash install does invite theft. It would suck to have a thief hack up a $500 dash pad to steal a $100 radio. Unlike on the 62's, the factory 60 brackets are too narrow and have to be modified. It's not difficult, just time consuming. Making a new bezel is a little bit of a challenge because of how thin the top and bottom edges are. You would need to bring up a constant +12V wire for a new radio's memory functions. The factor AM/FM is switched with the key. Possibly a larger switched +12V wire if you're using the new unit's internal amp and are pulling more current than the factory 18 ga can handle. Also, because of the 60's switched ground, the illumination will not dim correctly. There are threads on this problem with no solution. This can be distracting at night.

Overall, I think the choice should be driven from the customer's preferences. Mounting in a Tuffy is probably a bit easier but not enough so as to discourage a dash mount.
The customer just purchased the 60 from me and wants several things done to it before I deliver it to him. Im just looking for opinions on this subject so I can better advise him.
I would use as other already commented the factory location for gauges / switches and the tuffy console for the new head unit ..
Just my $.02 on the matter.
Mount it out of the way, without a trace. Use blue tooth or other remote programmer to handle the channel/volume chores, etc., and call it a day.
I too like the idea of using the original dash location for switches, or maybe a hideaway pop-up screen if there is such a thing?
I did the factory radio for looks and stereo in a smittybilt console. I like the stock look over a period correct Alpine cassette player ...just slightly more
I personally think mounting the stereo in the stock location is superior. The ergonomics and safety of using it there is way better than any out-of-site location. And I find using a phone / ipod is just dangerous for the driver. You take your eyes off the road to mess with the thing. Might as well be texting. I put in units that can take USB drives and/or SD cards. Lots of music, controls where they should be, cheap, etc. If theft is a concern, get one with a removable faceplate. JMHO.
I put mine in the tuffy and a cubby where the stock radio used to be.... blue tooth work great up to 15' away from the truck.. but I never use that feature.. I use Pandora or music from my phone or iPod and have volume control at my finger tips. After a few days I memorized the controls that I use the most.... besides I just let the music play and enjoy the drive... at night it is nice not having the glare of the stock radio on the side Windows
I'm putting the stereo in original stock location.
I like to keep mine in the stock location for convenience and safety of operation. Remove the glove box door and liner and you will have good access to the mounting area. I use the cheap (around $100) bluetooth units and no one around here really bothers to steal them any more.

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