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How To Rewire 1999 Ls400 For New Aftermarket Radio


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I have a 1999 ls400 with Nachamachi radio and want to put in a new pioneer double dinn radio and am concerned about wiring. Is there a harness available. Can I keep the amp and subwoofer. Any suggestions on how to go about this rewire


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There is no aftermarket interface harness available for a conversion from 98-00 LS400 Nakamichi to an aftermarket radio - of that I am certain.

Last fall I had a Kenwood DDX470 double-DIN headunit installed at Best Buy. The installer did not cut or splice a single wire but instead used specialty connectors between the Kenwood and the OEM connectors. The Nakamichi amp was used and the subwoofer and all the Nakamichi speakers work great. If I wanted to, I could reinstall the Nakamichi head unit in less than 10 minutes.

The only "problem" with the install is that the night-time dim of the Kenwood's display is tied to the headlights and not to the instrument cluster display. It doesn't matter that much but as you know the instrument cluster's dim mode is separate from the headlights.

The installer found that polarity of the speaker connections matter - be sure to connect positive to positive and negative to negative.

I'll attach the same 98-00 Nakamichi diagram that I supplied to the Best Buy installer.

1998-2000 LS400 Nakamichi audio system diagram.pdf

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Thank you for your reply. I am installing a Pioneer AVHX5600BHS head unit in my lexus. Your input is much appreciated and gives me confidence to do this. It seems they can just splice the wires using diagram and leave the connector in place. Would it be helpful to contact Pioneer to see if they had any experience adapting with my car? I'm glad we don't have to bypass the amp and are able to use the sub. I have another question. Do you think it possible when installing the new radio to put it on top of the a/c heater unit instead of underneath as it is now. Probably you can't but would be nicer to have radio higher for safety reasons when looking at it for nav, rear camera, etc. Just wondered if you could somehow put frame in upside down? Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks again

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Putting the HVAC control below an aftermarket head unit has been done but from the photos it did not appear to fit very well. The person who did it had to piece in some wood to cover the gaps and the HVAC controller stuck out more than it should have. The center stack is narrower at the bottom than at the top and the HVAC controller is too wide to fit low down without using force to spread the center stack frame.

That's the reason I bought a Kenwood DDX470 without navigation - it would have been too low in the center stack to be useful and the Garmin I already have is easier to use and has lifetime map updates. My Kenwood has handsfree phone capability but the Garmin's voice control handsfree works better and syncs the phonebook from my phone. I haven't been able to get the Kenwood to sync my phone's contact list. I'm able to pair my phone with the Kenwood for A2DP audio streaming and with the Garmin for phone handsfree at the same time.

Here is my setup.


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Your setup looks good. The trim fits very well. Where did you buy the trim around the new phone. Can you give me the brand? Was it metra? I will keep it on the bottom as you have. Thanks for the info.

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I assume you are asking about the trim around the Kenwood double-DIN. Yes, it is from Metra. The installer showed me the cheapest place to buy it on Amazon.com - around $15 if I remember correctly ... it took maybe four days to get it with standard shipping. It fits perfectly but it is lightweight plastic. The color doesn't match exactly but that is not very noticable. The HVAC controller and OEM radio headunits in the 98-00 LS400 have a slightly metallic finish and even the expensive metal Beat-Sonic kits don't match.

If I was worried about theft, I would buy the $100+ Beat-Sonic install kit and bolt the Kenwood and HVAC controller in with 10mm "Allen" hex-key bolts just to p1ss off a thief. As it is now, it would be very easy for a thief to rip the Kenwood and HVAC assembly right out of the center stack without unbolting anything.

If you really were asking about the "trim around the new phone", it is a Samsung brand charging cradle for my Samsung Galaxy GS3 phone. The charging cradle was purchased from an AT&T store for only $17.50 and comes with a windshield mount. I detached the charging cradle from its windshield mount and bolted it to the Kuda leather phone console I bought maybe 10 years ago. The Kuda in "ivory" is an almost perfect match to the car's upholstery.

The Garmin and phone charging cradle are wired into the car's accessory circuit so they turn on and off with the ignition key.

If you have an Android phone, check out the free iBolt Dock 'n Drive application on Google Play. It is incredibly useful and starts automatically when I insert my phone into the charging cradle. Dock 'n Drive can also be started using an NFC tag if your phone has that capability - I do that in our Prius which has a phone holder instead of a charging cradle. I taped a programmed NFC tag to the Prius dashboard and pass my phone over it to start Dock 'n Drive.

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