2017 Toyota RAV 4 installation

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,346
I've mentioned a few times that I've recently done an installation in my new to me 2017 Toyota Rav 4 so I thought it would be time to post.

The first order of business was to install power cables. These are routed from the battery, through the firewall, and under the two passenger trim kick thresholds until they arrive behind the rear seats ahead of the cargo compartment.
01BatteryTerminals copy.jpg


The next order of business was to remove part of the dash to install remote data and audio cables between a blank portion of the dash, under the center console and to the distribution point behind the rear seats and in front of the cargo compartment. As luck would have it there are some flip up panels behind the rear seats and in front of the cargo compartment that reveal a space where I chose to install all of my rear wiring.

Below are photos of the new face plate that now allows removal without pulling any other dash components along with two CAT 6 bulkhead connectors and two 1/8" phone jacks.

BulkheadFace copy.jpg



All of the cabling is directed to the space behind the rear seats under some flip up covers. Note the Power Pole distribution junction. This allows for a quick disconnect of the power and room to add a few addition devices.


04Cable copy.jpg

Next on the to do list was installing antenna mounts. With the roof liner down, I installed two Larsen standard NMO mounts. The rear one will be used for the current radio and the forward one will be available for future use. As I'd never worked on a RAV 4 before, pulling the headliner was the most difficult and time consuming part. Not that it was difficult per se, but I wanted to get an eye on all of the wiring, roof struts and airbags so that I could mount and route properly.

NMORoofLiner.jpg

Below are the finished mounts and antenna. The forward mount is capped and the rear has a Tram 1/4 wave 2M/70cm antenna. I'm not particularly a fan of Tram but since I operate in both ham and GMRS bands, I needed an antenna that was capable of both. SWR across all bands range from 1.1: 1 to 1.7:1. A compromise I know but It'll do until I find a better one. Or worse case, I have to buy a new antenna every year or so.


NMOMounts copy.jpg

The radio mount is of my own making. It is made of aluminum and is cut to fit directly into the lone storage hole in the center console.

RadioMount.jpg

Here is the radio base mounted to a cross member of the rear seat. The radio base is mounted to it's stock mounting bracket that is in turn, mounted to the rear seat cross member. With the seat down and the cover panels up, I can connect the programming cable for codeplug changes.

RadioBase.jpg


Here is the radio. A Connect Systems CS800D dual band part 90 radio.
Below is the speaker sitting between the radio mount and the dash. While it fits nicely there, I'm not sure if that will be its final home.


radiospeaker copy.jpg

With everything installed and car parked, I complete the final step of the installation. I indulge in a bit of the local brewery's wares.

FinalStep copy.jpg
 

Attachments

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
12,524
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
I've mentioned a few times that I've recently done an installation in my new to me 2017 Toyota Rav 4 so I thought it would be time to post.

The first order of business was to install power cables. These are routed from the battery, through the firewall, and under the two passenger trim kick thresholds until they arrive behind the rear seats ahead of the cargo compartment.
I'm sure you've heard us talk about that some vehicles have issues with connecting power at the negative terminal. They have a hall effect sensor on the negative lead to the chassis ground. It'll watch that for current draw. If you connect the radio at the battery the radio is grounded through the antenna, mounting bracket, etc. it can cause some issues. May not be a problem with those cars, but something to keep an eye on.

The install looks good. Doing it right takes a while, but it's worth it. I've found that some basic fabricating skills is necessary when doing many vehicles.

With everything installed and car parked, I complete the final step of the installation. I indulge in a bit of the local brewery's wares.

View attachment 85275

Huh, I was through San Leandro a few weeks ago. I didn't know you were in the bay area.
 

cmdrwill

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
3,593
Location
So Cali
'm sure you've heard us talk about that some vehicles have issues with connecting power at the negative terminal.
Yup NOT a good idea to use the NEG battery terminal. There IS a sensor there in the negative battery cable.

Ground the negative power lead near the radio location.
 

RadioDitch

Temporarily Repatriated Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
2,296
Location
Opocopa, Labrador / Westfield, New Jersey
May not be a problem with those cars, but something to keep an eye on.
It might cause issues on a Toyota. On other vehicles like modern GM's, it's not at all a problem, and actually solves issues when you run the negative lead through the battery current sensor loop. Because of how the alternators on modern GM's are designed to work, not doing it that way could cause the alternate to reduce output while you're drawing more than the charge.
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,346
I'm sure you've heard us talk about that some vehicles have issues with connecting power at the negative terminal. They have a hall effect sensor on the negative lead to the chassis ground. It'll watch that for current draw. If you connect the radio at the battery the radio is grounded through the antenna, mounting bracket, etc. it can cause some issues. May not be a problem with those cars, but something to keep an eye on.

The install looks good. Doing it right takes a while, but it's worth it. I've found that some basic fabricating skills is necessary when doing many vehicles.




Huh, I was through San Leandro a few weeks ago. I didn't know you were in the bay area.

Yes, I'm aware of it possibly being a problem. As I've owned Ford's for the lat 20 years, all with police package options, finding installation information has never been a problem. This new RAV4, not so much. I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo but there are a number of leads coming off of the negative battery post. One quite possibly isolates downstream components from a direct connection to ground while other do not. As I recall, one was actually a bond to ground if memory serves correctly and that is why I didn't consider a direct radio connection a problem. However, a lot of you have far more vehicle installs under your collective belts than I do so I'll take your word for it and move the negative lead. I can't say I've noticed any problems but hey, it's a five minute job and I'd much rather learn from someone else's error than my own.

I agree that taking time to do it right takes time and is worth the effort. Half-hearted jobs tend to cause regrets later on. Lastly yes, I'm a Bay Area native. Born, raised, married, raised kids, all here. I thought you were aware of that. No matter, If you find yourself in the area with time on you hands, feel free to p,m. me.
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,346
It looks like you put a lot of detail in this install. It looks awesome. How long did it take you to do all that?
Naturally, I didn't do everything in one day. I ran the power on one day, the data/audio on another, antennas on yet another, plus fab'ing the metalwork. All told, I might have 12 hours or so in to it, perhaps a bit more.
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,346
It might cause issues on a Toyota. On other vehicles like modern GM's, it's not at all a problem, and actually solves issues when you run the negative lead through the battery current sensor loop. Because of how the alternators on modern GM's are designed to work, not doing it that way could cause the alternate to reduce output while you're drawing more than the charge.
I'm curious, are the problems related only to charging and power management? Also "current sensor loop" ? I assume you mean that figuratively and not through an actual CT?
 

RadioDitch

Temporarily Repatriated Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
2,296
Location
Opocopa, Labrador / Westfield, New Jersey
I'm curious, are the problems related only to charging and power management? Also "current sensor loop" ? I assume you mean that figuratively and not through an actual CT?
The "problem" relates to the GM alternator design for consumer (non-public safety) vehicles. Back in '05 GM instituted Electrical Power Management (EPM) to regulate the alternator though the ECM. Instead of shutting off completely, the voltage output of the alternator will vary between 95% output and 5% output. If the current sensor detects only the main battery negative cable drawing a certain current, it will reduce/increase the output to keep the battery charged to just over 80%, but only calculated on the draw it detects. If the sensor doesn't know you're pulling additional amperage, especially running something like an HF radio pulling 15-20amps, you could potentially draw more from the battery than the alternator is putting in, damaging or killing the battery. So on GM's it's in your best interest to connect to the negative battery terminal, running the cable through the current sensor.

I meant loop as in the physical form factor of the sensor on GM's where the sensor is not attached to the battery terminal, but rather the negative cable(s) are run through the "loop" of the sensor. I was trying to be general for those unfamiliar. See below:
c60002s_5-alt-2_ti.png
 
Last edited:

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
12,524
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Yes, I'm aware of it possibly being a problem. As I've owned Ford's for the lat 20 years, all with police package options, finding installation information has never been a problem. This new RAV4, not so much.
Yeah, I understand. My wife had a Honda when we got married. Took me quite a while to figure out how they did things. Wasn't what I was accustomed to.
Might be just fine if that's they way the wired the rest of the car. I figured you were aware of it.

I agree that taking time to do it right takes time and is worth the effort. Half-hearted jobs tend to cause regrets later on. Lastly yes, I'm a Bay Area native. Born, raised, married, raised kids, all here. I thought you were aware of that. No matter, If you find yourself in the area with time on you hands, feel free to p,m. me.
Thanks. I probably saw it at one point, but forgot. I grew up in San Jose, but moved out of the area in my late 20's. I'm not far away, so I am through there periodically.
 

K7MFC

WRAA720
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
593
Location
Phx, AZ
Looks great, nicely done. Using the correct installer's lube is critical, glad you documented it here ;).
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,346
Radioditch, thanks for the clarification. I understand trying to make your explanation clear to everyone and your explanation makes perfect sense. And, now I know where the hall-effect sensor that mmckenna spoke about is used.
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,346
I'm more of a ale and stout guy, but don't mind a good IPA. Got a few good breweries around me. Hit me up on a PM and maybe we could figure out a trade! :D

Drakes does make a mighty fine Imperial Stout called Drakonic. I did a quick check and it seems that Drake's wares can be found in New Jersey so Connecticut might be liklely.
 

kb2ztx

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Messages
564
Location
South West Virginia
Where did you find the "CAT 6 bulkhead connectors " ?

Been trying to find some decent ones but most are just snap in plastic
 
Top