HU Replacement - 2010 Limited w/JBL (no Navi) - With Customizations & lots of details - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Cool HU Replacement - 2010 Limited w/JBL (no Navi) - With Customizations & lots of details

(PART 1 - Was too long for a single post)

Kenwood DDX9903S Head Unit install with Maestro interface; Apple CarPlay (and – untested – Android Auto). Customizations: added USBs outlets, HDMI outlet, head unit display integration with existing OEM backup cam and with added ‘backseat cam’, OEM microphone replacement; OBD2 connection; new satellite/Sirius/XM radio tuner and OEM antenna tie-in; relocated power outlets (12V & 120V).

I was helped TREMENDOUSLY by the contributors to this forum, so below is my (admittedly lengthy) effort to give back. Divided into sections so others can read/ignore based on specific interest
This is a long post and VERY detailed… which may be overkill for some, but may help others. If it is too long for you, no worries… just don’t read it ☺.

Re: Background and Motivations…
Just bought a new 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E with the full OEM audio and nav suite, including Apple CarPlay... and I love it! Since I get to be primary driver for that vehicle, thought it was time to put a little 'audio love' back into our RAV4 which will now be my wife's primary vehicle. It has been MANY years since I tore apart a dash or installed an aftermarket audio system. However, the local shop labor cost plus extra profit margin on each piece of hardware, along with vague references to “we’ll just drill a hole in the back of the glove box for the USB connection” and “we just stick the microphone to the steering column”, etc., induced me to attempt it myself.

Primary Lessons Learned: I’m a long time techy guy and use to doing various low/line voltage wiring, but this turned out to be a substantial undertaking for me. In the end I got what I wanted exactly how I wanted it done with customizations the local shop would not have done or would not have done with the fit and finish I wanted or would have charged more than I could afford. BUT, my vehicle was down for most of a week and at various points I felt pretty overwhelmed…
Overwhelmed.jpg

So unless you are as picky about details as I am, consider strongly hiring the pros. Also, the ‘few extra dollars for misc.’ I thought I might need as the install progressed kept adding up – so have some buffer in your budget. Also, the ‘universal’ interface kits (at least mine), even the ones that are theoretically ‘specific’ to your make/model/equipment, come with LOTS of extra connectors, wires, and harnesses that you may not use… and scant instructions to make that and other important points clear.

Re: Goals, Vendors, and Equipment/Parts Used…
Specifics I was after in a new Head Unit: OEM look to the whole thing; modern touchscreen controls; Apple CarPlay; Sirius/XM Radio; Retained use of OEM JBL Amp; Retained use of ALL OEM steering wheel controls; Retained use of OEM backup camera with image displayed on new head unit (continued image display in rearview mirror OK, but not critical); CD player (for old school options :-); Retained use of OEM AUX IN port; Attractive fit/finish for at least two new dash/console mounted USB ports for Apple CarPlay connection and charging (no OEM USBs in my 2010); Retained use of OEM combination FM/XM antenna (both to avoid running additional antenna cable through the cabin as well as avoid an additional antenna stuck on outside of car); Retain OEM microphone (and avoid having the look of a ‘stick-on’ aftermarket microphone).
And I had a few other ideas I wanted to see if I could do…

Most of what I wanted looked to be out of the box functionality per the Kenwood HU specs or provided by the interface devices used for the install. The customization mostly came with trying to make things look good and work the way I wanted once installed in the car.

Vendors: Used Amazon for a number of bits and pieces, but Crutchfield’s sales support, technical support, and 60 day return policy won me over for the more integrated and high-end items. Basically I let Crutchfield sales support tell me EXACTLY what parts to order that would work together for my make/model/equipment. They were right… mostly.

Equipment/Parts Used:
(Crutchfield sourced items) Kenwood DDX9903S; iDataLink Maestro RR universal interface kit combined with iDataLink HRN-RR-TO1 Installation harnesses; American International Mounting (dash) Kit TOYK994.
(Amazon, etc.) SXV300 SiriusXM tuner; Metra AX-USB-35EXT 3.5mm iPod to USB Extension Cable - 27-Inch – Black (combo 3.5mm AUX in and USB port (pop-in housing that fit the panel switch blank in front center console); 3ft Car Dash Flush Mount USB 2.0 HDMI Male to Female AUX A/V Cable Install Kit (pop-in housing that fit the 12V outlet opening in center console under armrest); AUKEY 4.8A Dual Port USB Car Charger for Apple and Android Devices – Black (low profile plug adapter for front center console 12V outlet); Shark Fin Antenna Adapter: SFA12F female connection (just an adapter cable to connect SXV300 tuner to OEM XM antenna); MicroBypass Parking Brake Override Bypass for Kenwood; Esky EC170-11 View Backup Camera (used as an ADDITIONAL ‘keep an eye on grandkids in backseat’ camera); OBD2 16Pin OBD2 Splitter Extension Cable Male to Dual Female Y Cable (used to allow full-time connection of my new head unit’s OBD2 connection without blocking the OBD2 port used by service technicians). I also purchased a small set of plastic panel removal tools.

Re: Preparation…
Ordered all my major equipment/parts, and ordered additional items as the install progressed and new things came up. Read EVERYTHING I could find on this forum about HU replacements, wiring diagrams, backup camera installs, panel removals, and forum members experiences, tips, and tricks /tricks related to interior work on 4.3 RAV4’s, with special attention to threads on HU replacements for 2010 RAVs and those with OEM JBL.

Re: OEM Head Unit and Panel Removal…
Using my panel tools and following instructions from various forum threads (example: https://www.rav4world.com/forums/98-4...tml#post839077) I began pulling panels starting with the trim on the sides of the OEM HU (‘Instrument Cluster Finish Panel Center’) and moving on as I gained confidence that I would probably not break anything. Just having a couple of good panel tools made a world of difference, even in just making me feel like I could remove them without damage. With trim panels removed, gained access to the 4 bolts holding in the OEM head unit and removed those. Unlatched the various electrical connectors including the two antenna connections (FM and XM). Popped out the vents above the HU (‘Instrument Panel Register Assembly Center’) – easy, and provides more light and access to the wiring areas. Same with the climate controls panel below the HU, and I disconnected the wiring connectors but left the SmartKey switch connected and let the panel dangle from the SmarkKey button wires. Pulled the passenger side under dash panel and decided to remove the lower glove box as well (paying attention to the stop cylinder attachment points on the right – for later reconnection before taking it loose) for more working room and since I expected to run a few wires behind that area. Removed the passenger front door scuff plate and kick panel trim to allow access to the OEM video cable.
HuRemoval1.jpgHuRemoval2.jpgHuRemoval3.jpg

Re: Backup Camera Video Connection…
I had read various threads about accessing the video feed from the OEM backup camera. A number of options were discussed, but connector locations and connector pin outs – specifically for my year model and equipment (JBL but no navigation) – were a little unclear, so I planned to follow the instructions that seemed the most detailed and clear which was splicing into the video line in the wire bundle under the front passenger door scuff plate: https://www.rav4world.com/forums/98-4...tml#post909251
The instructions in the referenced thread indicate that the video line is the thickest black line in the wire bundle, but my wiring had two thicker black wires both with the same diameter, so I wasn’t sure which might be the video line. I used a razor knife to gently slice (very) tiny parts of the wiring sheath off each of the two wires. On the first wire I tired, once I cut through the sheath and the foil shielding I could see (barely) that at least one of the wires inside was NOT red, white, black, or bare metal. Since those were the colors I was instructed to look for, I patched/taped that wire back up, moved a couple inches down the bundle, and did the same to the other larger black wire, where I found the wire colors I expected. Unlike the pictures in the referenced thread where it appears the wires were cut for the splice, I chose to use the razor knife and just remove about ¾” of sheathing from each of the two target wires (white and red) without cutting them. I stripped each so the stripped area for one was about an inch down the wire from the stripped area for the other. I then followed the referenced post directions: used a video connection wire I had laying around (after making sure it was long enough to route to the new HU), cut the RCA connector off one end of the new video cable, then spliced the two wire ends into the OEM wires and soldered both connections (per the instructions: OEM white wire to center wire of my new video cable; OEM red wire to outer shield of my new video cable). By staggering the two stripped/soldered areas down the wire it kept them from coming in contact with each other, although I also taped and wrapped each splice, and then taped the whole spliced area on the cable. I ran my new video cable along the scuff plate wire bundle, up behind the kick plate, and across above the glove box area to the new HU, securing with zip ties along the way. Since I spliced the wires, the OEM backup camera image still displays on my rearview mirror (which I mostly ignore now), as well as in the new, larger HU display.
RearCamVideoSplice.jpg

Re: iDataLink/Maestro Interface connections…
The iDataLink/Maestro interface documentation is somewhat vague (hence I guess the recommendation of being for professionals who know what they are doing) and there are no SPECIFIC instructions – just drawings. But hey, it works for IKEA ☺. I guess the issue is the product is designed to work with many makes/models/years and the drawings of connectors and such are generic… they don’t necessarily match YOUR connectors exactly – only somewhat. The iDatalink T01 (theoretically the Toyota 2010 RAV4 w/JBL specific wiring kit) and Maestro combinations specified by Crutchfield for me required a pretty good bit of (the expertise and experience of a professional stereo installer, or) guesswork. In the end I just plugged every connector that matched between the Maestro control interface box, the T01 wiring harnesses, and the OEM harnesses (which was a weird approach, to me). That left several OEM connectors and several T01 connectors with no place to go; several 'extra' harnesses that came with the T01; and a BUNCH of yet to be connected wires from both the T01 harnesses and my new HU (although all came tagged, both on the T01 harness and the Kenwood connector). So consider that situation as ‘normal’ if that is where you find yourself with similar equipment. Most confusing for me is that it turned out I had the downloaded the wrong iDatalink/Maestro wiring diagram. Be warned… the WRONG diagram showed the CORRECT make, model, year AND trim level. But there were 2 versions of the diagram, and some major differences in wiring for hook up to head units that (a) accept direct data connection to the Maestro (like my Kenwood) and (b) those that do not (which was the instructions from which I was first working). Crutchfield tech support helped unravel the mystery. They also verified that one of my OEM connector would be left unconnected - by design; and the T01 wiring package (theoretically SPECIFIC to my 2010 RAV4 Limited w/JBL, actually included a BUNCH of connectors, extra wiring harnesses and misc. wiring adapters that were NOT used for my specific install.
Maestro.jpgTO1.jpg

As I said in another post, if you have only talked/chatted with Crutchfield’s sales people (that is who you get via online chat), try instead calling their tech support line... for me they were pretty helpful. And remember you do have 60 days to return to Crutchfield, so they have a vested interest in helping you make it work.

I’ve converted to all Apple gear at home. The Maestro interface box REQUIRES a Windows computer (and Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and Internet connection) to flash the firmware on the box. The instructions are clear enough for that and after borrowing a Windows laptop (AND being granted Administrative Rights on the laptop!) I had no problem setting up the Maestro as required.

The steering wheel controls appear to be handled via connections from the Maestro box to the OEM connectors and just a couple of 'data' wires/connectors direct from the Maestro interface box to my new HU - one of which was a standard 3.5mm audio-looking connector - and one which was a tiny maybe 4-5 pin connector, again direct from the Maestro box to the HU. I just plugged in what seemed to fit based vaguely on the diagrams.

As far as RCAs on the interface kit, MY kit had total of 5. Two of them (L+/L- and R+/R-) per Maestro instructions connected to "low level outputs" of my HU... (and translated for me per Crutchfield, "Connect them to L & R FRONT outputs on the HU, and the retained JBL amp…” - from what I've heard, mounted behind the right rear quarter panels somewhere – “…will handle distributing that signal to all the speakers").
There was 1 (yellow) RCA (bundled along with 4-5 wires) labeled for the 'Backup Camera' - which the Maestro instructions (and Crutchfield) said was up to me to figure out how/where to connect. Luckily, in the end I used the RCA but not the additional wires and presumably any needed signals (reverse, etc.) came through the OEM and Maestro connectors/wires to the HU (I say ‘presumably’, because it just worked).
That left 2 RCAs, which turned out to be the Maestro's way to retain my OEM AUX IN option. See below re: AUX IN for details.

Re: AUX IN…
The Maestro interface unit was touted as ‘retaining the OEM AUX IN’ capability. The Maestro interface however has two RCA jacks tagged as AUX IN… whereas my new HU instead of AUX IN RCA jack(s) has an AV IN 3.5mm jack (since it can also accept VIDEO signal in addition to the standard AUX IN audio signal). So to keep the OEM AUX IN capability, I bought a Radio Shack adapter to convert from the two Maestro RCAs down to the 3.5mm connector the HU had. That keeps the OEM audio signal part (handled apparently via the OEM connectors to the Maestro) and ignores the video signal part of the AV IN my HU was asking for. That kept the OEM AUX IN jack working for audio (and since my new HU has other options for inbound video, I thought that was good enough – others may feel differently). In fact, because I had added an EXTRA 3.5mm dash AUX IN jack (came as part of the USB dash-mount plug I installed – see ‘Re: USB Ports’, below for details), I also plugged in an additional Radio Shack splitter to this AUX IN tangle behind the dash so that the additional AUX IN jack I added would also be functional.
AuxSplitter.jpg

Re: USB Ports…
My new Kenwood head unit provided two USB ports via a rear connector and proprietary wiring harness with two female USB outlets attached at the end of an approx. 2’ cable. Both USBs provide charging capability. HOWEVER… NOTE: If you are considering this Kenwood model, be aware that ONE of the two USBs is dedicated for Apple CarPlay AND/OR iPod AND/OR Android Auto connection. Only ONE. So if you have an iPhone AND an iPod/iOS/Android device you want to connect via USB, you will have to SWAP out the connections between the two during use – you can not use them simultaneously.
The second USB port on the HU can be used for a USB flash drive (loaded with music, pictures, video, etc.), and I was able to get that to work (artist name, song info, etc. shows on the display). Note however the caveat (see ‘Initially…”, at the bottom of this section).

Being able to use CarPlay on one USB connection but then NOT being able to dedicate the second USB port to an iPod was a big disappointment to me, especially since I ran cables and customized ports in the center console (front and under the armrest) to support this use… then was unable to use it the way I intended (thinking I would leave an iPod loaded up with music in the console box under the armrest, and plugged into a USB I installed there.

I originally was looking for a dual USB (data) outlet that would fit in the one blank switch cover I had in the front center console, to which I planned to connect BOTH of my new HU USB ports. But I was unable to find one (although I hear they ARE out there!). Most of the dual ones provide charging only, or at most 1 charging outlet and one data outlet, so be aware when ordering. I finally settled on the only outlet I could find that would (a) pop into the OEM switch cover hole without modification, and (b) had at least 1 USB (data) port. That one also had a 3.5mm audio jack molded into the switch plate cover, so I decided to use that audio jack in as a secondary (not really needed) AUX IN jack (see ‘Re: AUX IN’, above).
DashControlsMod.jpg

INITIALLY, I connected the SECOND available USB port from the HU proprietary wiring harness to a combo HDMI/USB (data) pop-in outlet which I used to replace the OEM 12V outlet under the console armrest. See ‘Re: HDMI Port’, below for more information, and See ‘Re: Power Outlet (12V and 120V) changes’, below for other details.

I say ‘initially’ above, because after completing my install, it turned out that there was an issue with that second USB connection (see “Cautions Specifically Re: Kenwood DDX9903S’ at the end of this post for more information regarding this USB issue) apparently due to the USB extension cable distance. So as of this point, that under armrest USB outlet is not functional (the HDMI port molded into the cover with it works fine). So for now I’ve run the HU’s proprietary cable for the second USB into the lower glove box (just fed it into the top from behind and left it dangling in the glove box – no holes drilled. When I connect a USB flash drive to it in that location, it works as it should.


(SEE PART 2 for the rest of this post...)

Now... 2010 RAV4 Limited 4WD Silver; 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E 'Forest Mist'
Previously... 2013 Ford F150 (traded in for Ridgeline); 2006 Highlander Hybrid Limited 4WD (T-boned :-(
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Cool

(PART 2... was too long for a single post)

Kenwood DDX9903S Head Unit install with Maestro interface; Apple CarPlay (and – untested – Android Auto). Customizations: added USBs outlets, HDMI outlet, head unit display integration with existing OEM backup cam and with added ‘backseat cam’, OEM microphone replacement; OBD2 connection; new satellite/Sirius/XM radio tuner and OEM antenna tie-in; relocated power outlets (12V & 120V).

Re: Power Outlet (12V and 120V) changes…
Since the majority of ‘chargeable’ devices we use in our household these days get their power from USB ports, and since the only front center console USB outlet I installed would typically be connected to an iPhone for CarPlay, I chose to replace (well, plug-up, actually) the OEM 12V outlet in the console at center front with a low profile plug-in dual USB outlet charger. Only change required was cutting off the snap-closed OEM 12V outlet cover since it would not close with the USB adapter plugged in place. This gives us two extra USB charging outlets to easily charge our tablets, etc., from the front seats. If we DO need a standard 12V outlet at some point, we can still pull the plug-in adapter and use it. I left the 12V outlet in the very back of the car unmodified.
For the same reasons as above, I didn’t see much need for the OEM 12V outlet under the center console armrest, so I also removed that outlet and replaced it with a pop-in plug I bought online with a molded-in combination of two outlets – 1 USB and 1 HDMI – that had cables permanently attached. See ‘Re: USB Ports’ and ‘Re: HDMI Port’ for more details. The panel in which the 12V outlet under the armrest is mounted is easy enough to pop out, but actually removing the 12V outlet was a challenge and I ended up damaging it getting it out. Other threads suggest ways of getting it out, but it does not just ‘pop’ out. I had to enlarge the hole it was mounted in to get my new molded USB/HDMI plug installed, anyway.
UnderArmrestPanelMod.jpg

My RAV has the OEM 120 volt outlet installed in the center console rear cover. That makes it accessible best to back seat passengers even though whenever we used it was always by one of the two people in the front seats. So it’s OEM rear-facing location was not ideal. By pulling panels, gear shift knob, and removing the various screws that hold the entire center console in place (including the under armrest box), I was able to raise the center console armrest box enough to see that there was just enough space in the metal mounting frame under the armrest console box (rear of the airbag control box mounted there) to allow the OEM 120 volt jack to be relocated there, facing up. Because it was so close to the OEM location, no changes to the OEM wiring were necessary (which if it had been, probably would have made me forget the whole idea). So with careful measuring I drilled and used a razor knife to cut a new hole in the bottom rear of the armrest console box the same size as the OEM 120 volt outlet switch. With a little trimming the switch snapped into the new location perfectly, facing up from the bottom of the box with the OEM cover over the outlet, and I reconnected the OEM wiring connector. I used the original OEM outlet location to mount a new camera (see ‘Re: New Backseat Cam’, below).
Power120Pic3.jpgPower120Pic5.jpgPower120Pic7.jpg

Re: New ‘Backseat Cam’…
After pulling the entire center console loose, and realizing there was room to move the OEM 120V outlet into the under armrest box to be more convenient to use, I came up with an idea to make use of the OEM 120V outlet hole. This had been percolating in my mind ever since I realized my new Kenwood HU supported TWO camera inputs – backup camera and a separate ‘front camera’. I purchased a small, inexpensive, standard 12V backup camera (but specifically one without gridlines superimposed on the image). I cut a piece of stiff scrap plastic (a divider for a tackle box compartment) I had laying around to the shape of the OEM 120V outlet inset hole, leaving it oversized enough that it would pressure fit and snap into the original outlet hole. I then drilled the appropriate-sized hole in the center of the scrap plastic for the camera lens to pop into from the backside (again, pressure fit). I spray painted the plastic black (from the back side – the piece of plastic I had used was translucent, so the black color showed through). I cut off the OEM connector used for the under armrest 12V outlet I had removed earlier (see ‘Power Outlet (12V and 120V) changes’) and used that as a power supply for the new camera. To keep this ‘backseat camera’ from running all the time, I installed a new switch (lighted when on) into the existing blank switch cover (at least blank in my 2010 Limited) inside the front of the console armrest box, below the original 12V outlet. This allows me to turn the camera on only when desired, and the lighted switch is a reminder when it is on. I then ran the video cable from the new camera under the center console up to the new HU. The angle of the OEM 120V outlet hole made it almost perfect (mounted a bit higher up would have been ideal) to point the camera lens so as to allow view of the back seat passengers when we haul our young grandkids or the dog around. The camera image comes up on the new HU display when you punch the ‘CAM’ button (for ‘Front Camera’ input) on the HU frame.
UnderArmrestPanel2.jpgRearSeatCam1.jpgRearSeatCam2.jpg

Re: HDMI Port…
The DDX9903S features a rear HDMI input port for video, allowing display of the video image on the HU display. Not something for which I would have paid extra, but since it was there… As discussed above, I replaced the OEM 12V outlet under the center console armrest with a pop-in plug I bought online with two ports molded-in – 1 USB and 1 HDMI – with their respective cables permanently attached. I ran the HDMI cable under the center console and up to the HDMI input on the back of the new HU. I have tested it with an Apple HDMI adapter, which allows me to display video from Apple devices to the HU display, and it should work the same with any device that outputs to HDMI via an HDMI cable plugged into this port installed under the armrest. The HU circuitry has a connection for ‘parking brake’ signal that suppresses video display unless the parking brake is on. I chose to just use good judgment instead, and bypassed the ‘parking brake’ signal with a cheap ‘Micro Bypass’ adapter I found online (I hear connecting to ‘ground’ may also work – I didn’t try that). See pictures in section above: 'Re: Power Outlet (12V and 120V) changes', for images of the HDMI/USB port under the armrest.

Re: Sirius/XM Radio, GPS, and OEM Antenna connections…
My Limited came with the OEM JBL system with integrated XM radio. For identification purposes, mine had ‘(((XM)))’ on the front bottom left above the AM/SAT button. Because that unit has the XM tuner integrated in the HU, if you replace the HU obviously a new SiriusXM tuner is required to have satellite radio. Note that if you buy from Crutchfield and use the Maestro interface they may say you will be able to ‘retain’ your XM Radio. That may be true, but only if your XM tuner was a separate unit (typically installed under the passenger seat).
The Kenwood DDX9903S supports direct (1 cable) connection to a separate Sirius/XM receiver. I purchased the SXV300V1 and found a place about a foot away from my HU behind the front center console (below and to the right of the HU) to mount the small tuner box out of sight.

The receiver comes with a separate XM antenna, but I wanted to avoid running a new cable and/or sticking a new XM antenna box on my roof. My Limited had the OEM XM antenna in place (apparently in the base of the stubby antenna mounted on the rear roof) as used with the original integrated XM in my OEM HU. My research did not definitively confirm that my OEM XM antenna would work (apparently it is an amplified antenna) with the ‘new’ SXV300V1. In addition, the 'Details' for the tuner on the Crutchfield site clearly state: “The SXV300 is NOT compatible with most factory Satellite Radio antennas. You will need to use the included SiriusXM antenna". I took the chance and hoped that between the Maestro interface and HU wiring that the amplification circuit for the OEM antenna would be retained and that I could find an adapter to connect to the OEM antenna… AND it would all work. Following various threads in the forum I tracked down a 'Shark Fin Antenna Adapter for many Toyota and Lexus vehicles: SFA12F (female connection)' on Amazon. Expensive ($50+… just for a cable). Crutchfield was unaware of this product. Despite the ‘Shark Fin’ moniker, the product is just a (6’? 10’?) cable with adapters on each end that allowed me to connect the SXV300V1 to the OEM antenna. All the extra cable I just rolled up and tied off behind the HU. Note that I had to trim a tiny bit on the SFA12F connector that is part of the adapter cable to get it to side easily on to the OEM connector. I can now confirm that it ALL works well, both for XM and for FM signals.
XmAntennaAdapter.jpg

The new head unit came with an additional ‘GPS antenna’ (a bit smaller than a typical magnetic XM antenna box) that plugs into the back of the HU. Apparently it is required (or recommended) to provide your smart phone a better GPS signal when you are using navigation apps in CarPlay or Android Auto. Based on the instructions and reviews of other threads, I chose to stick it (with the supplied double-sided tape) to the top of the (non-metallic) center AC vent ductwork, above and behind the head unit, and just below the surface of the (non-metallic) dash. I just bundled the extra cable for that antenna in the same area, and it seems to work just fine.

Re: Microphone
I read lots of 'Head Unit Replacement' posts. I saw a fair number of "...I had to use the microphone that came with my new head unit..." comments. I was hoping to find a way to splice the wire from my new HU into the wiring for the factory microphone to avoid the less-than-clean look of the aftermarket mic that came with my new HU dangling from the headliner or stuck to the dash somewhere. But I knew next to nothing about the audio or electrical ramifications of such a splice. I inquired on the forums as to if anyone had successfully accomplished a tie-in to the factory mic, but got no responses. I read various RAV4 and other Toyota forums and gathered the factory mic is an amplified mic whereas the typical HU (including my Kenwood) accept connection to passive mics. Saw various posts on options to attempt to disconnect the amplified mic and make it passive, but sounded like mixed results.

I chose to use the mic that came with my HU. To make it look OEM, I installed it behind the grill opening in the overhead console where the factory mic was located. I popped the clips and removed the overhead console (with the ‘dome’ lights) and released the wiring connector; released the factory mic from the console using a small screwdriver on the side. The factory mic is connected to a small circuit board - likely the amplifying circuit. I disconnected the mic connector and left the short wiring taped in the factory location. I modified the ‘stick on’ plastic clip for the aftermarket mic that came with my HU and attached it in the overhead console with double backed tape, and in the space made by removing the factory mic, pointing out toward the grill opening. I routed the thin mic wire through the headliner to the windshield and slipped the 1/8" mic HU connector out from under the headliner at the windshield edge; pushed the mic wire up in the headliner along the edge of the headliner/windshield over to the passenger 'A' pillar… under the top edge of the 'A' pillar plastic trim (without having to remove the pillar trim)... and into the gap between the door weather stripping and the 'A' pillar trim. Tucked the wire down the weather stripping edge to the dash trim where it was a little tight getting the 'L' shaped 1/8" mic jack around that corner, but got it thru and into the space under the dash behind the glove box and from there over to the new HU. After installed and tested, the mic pickup quality in the overhead location works fine for all voice uses (bluetooth phone calls as well as all Apple CarPlay calls/voice commands) and others report they hear me just fine on the phone. And hidden behind the OEM mic grill it looks just the way I wanted it.
I posted an earlier thread regarding the microphone, and due to limitations on images here, see that thread for pictures. Here is the link:
https://www.rav4world.com/forums/98-4...ml#post2186146

Re: OBD2 Connection/Features:
The Maestro interface box has an OBD2 (OBDII) connector and cable which is intended to be run across under the dash to plug into the OEM OBD2 diagnostic connector under the driver’s side dash near the hood release. I didn’t expect this connector when I purchased the Maestro, but I rigged it up loosely to see for what it was used. The Kenwood DDX9903S apparently supports these optional features via the Maestro interface (some HUs may not) and the HU provides a way to get to a screen that displays various real-time digital gage readings (tach, various temperature reading, etc.) via the OBD2 connection. I will probably not use these much, so I have not yet done exhaustive testing, but they do work. One thing the OBD2 connection does provide that I had no idea was an option and that I really like is a digital read out of TPMS (tire pressure) reading for all 5 tires! That I will definitely use, and especially because that particular readout can be set up as one of the background splash screens on the HU… so I can set it to display at each start up (without navigating through a bunch of menus to see it).
I ended up buying an ‘OBD2 splitter’ online and tucking it up under the dash above the OEM connector so that I could connect the OBD2 connector from the Maestro interface, while still leaving the OEM connector open/unobstructed to allow factory diagnostics connection as needed.
OBD2.jpg

Re: Dash Kit
The American International Mounting (dash) Kit TOYK994 that Crutchfield specified for me was pretty unimpressive, but hey, it is a piece of plastic – what should I expect. If I was doing it over, I would probably try to find an OEM part from Toyota for a double DIN head unit or look into a dash kit by Scosche which sounds like may be made better. Most of my thoughts and comments match what others have said about their dash kits from various manufactures: “doesn't quite match the factory trim in terms of texture, but it's close enough”; “Where my original trim had pressure tabs that snap into place, securing the trim to the car, this kit has metal clips”, snapped onto plastic tabs; “instructions are lacking, but with some diligence they're not impossible to figure out”; “I would not trust this kit to stay together through multiple removals”. Several contributors talked about getting their dash kit (sounds like from Crutchfield) as a freebee along with purchase of a new HU. I didn’t know to ask, and had to pay for mine… but given the quality, ‘free’ would not an inappropriate price.
I ended up not using the plastic (and really flimsy) HU mounting brackets that came with (and ‘snapped onto’) the dash kit, and instead reused the OEM metal brackets originally attached to my OEM HU (using one less screw on each, and not using the slide-on metal ‘tunnel’ bracket that came with my Kenwood). The OEM brackets felt MUCH more secure. That meant in the end that my HU is quite secure although my dash kit is really only held on by the two metal clips at the top, but it seems secure enough and fits without any gaps or rattling. It looks OK and matches the OEM look well enough.

See ‘Cautions Specifically Re: Kenwood DDX9903S’, below for one outstanding dash kit issue.

Cautions Specifically Re: Kenwood DDX9903S…
Take a look at the online reviews for this HU. There are some unhappy folks out there, and there ARE some real issues with this unit – some maybe common with other head units (user interface, etc.) – some not. Also note my ‘Outstanding Issue’, listed below. I have not experienced ANY sound/audio quality issues, mentioned by some early reviewers. My unit DOES have the ‘clock won’t keep correct time’ and ‘compass always says you are going North’ issues. As of this date no firmware updates have been made available from Kenwood (about which all reviewers are unhappy!). I have not tried ANY Android Auto features, so I can not speak to those. CarPlay, video, etc. all work fine for me.
My biggest disappointment with this unit: the DDX9903S has two backside USB outlets (as described previously – see ‘Re: USB Ports’), accessible via a proprietary cable approximately 2’ long. One of the USB outlets can be used for CarPlay, iPhone, iPod, or Android Auto – and ONLY that one USB can be used for that. The other USB can be used to plug in a USB flash drive with music, movies, etc. HOWEVER, note that my personal experience indicates that the second USB CANNOT be extended from the 2’ length of the supplied proprietary USB harness that plugs into the rear of the HU. I tried using several (quality) extension cables with a range of USB flash drives, but every one of them produced a USB read error message on my head unit. The error message will continue to display on the HU until you disconnect whatever you have connected to the USB port – so no ability to use that USB port (when using an extension cable) at all, even just to charge something, due to the constant error message. As I described earlier, I have for now accepted I cannot ‘extend’ that USB port, and when not extended, flash drives plugged in DO work as they should.

Outstanding Dash Kit Issue: There IS one dash kit issue I have yet to resolve – at least for my Kenwood DDX9903S (and possibly for most current Kenwood HUs with CD/DVD players): There is a thin rectangle trim piece that goes tight around the face of the HU, theoretically snapping into place at the end of the install. One of these trim pieces comes with the dash kit – and it fits in the Double DIN dash kit opening just fine. But when you try to insert/eject a CD/DVD, the motorized front of the HU tries to kick out to open up, and it WILL NOT open with the kit’s trim in place. It will either bind (and possibly damage the HU motor) or disengage the trim and push it out of the kit. This is due to the angle at which the motorized HU face levers out away from the HU. So that is probably why Kenwood provides their OWN trim piece to use (with a chamfered edge). Unfortunately, the Kenwood trim piece is too large to snap into the American International dash kit (huh? I thought ‘double DIN’ was a standard size?). As of this moment, I have no trim piece inserted (so I have a 1/4”-3/8” gap around the HU display screen) and I am going to work with Crutchfield on a solution (replacement dash kit?).
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File Type: jpg UnderArmrestPanel.jpg (113.6 KB, 135 views)

Now... 2010 RAV4 Limited 4WD Silver; 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E 'Forest Mist'
Previously... 2013 Ford F150 (traded in for Ridgeline); 2006 Highlander Hybrid Limited 4WD (T-boned :-(

Last edited by PhatDaddy; 09-02-2016 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Added a link... and fixed a couple of typos...
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 10:21 PM
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Outstanding install PhatDaddy! Your documenting everything like you did will be very helpful. Lots of good info here about wire routing and custom modding to suit ones needs.


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2008 Rav4 V6 Ltd.
Mods- ongoing and in progress!
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Great achievement! Also thank you so much for the sharing. I just bought a Pioneer head unit. Your experience will greatly help me on the installation.
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One more question: How did you mount your rear camera? Thanks.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank3618 View Post
One more question: How did you mount your rear camera? Thanks.


He used the factory camera. One of the steps shows him tapping into the factory video wires.
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank3618 View Post
One more question: How did you mount your rear camera? Thanks.
As Snappy already clarified, my rear backup camera was original equipment, so already mounted in the license plate frame, and I just spliced into the video signal line for that camera and routed that to the new HU (in addition to the original signal that still displays in the rear view mirror). I also mounted a NEW camera inside the car on the back cover of the rear center console, in the original location for my factory 120V outlet. My HU had an video input for a 'front facing camera', which I used for that. The angle on the lens on the console cover was a little low. It works OK for viewing our dog in the backseat and probably would be OK for kids in the back seat (especially center seat), but we tried it this weekend with a grandchild in a front-facing carseat (on the passenger side) and at that angle the carseat blocked almost everything but her face.

Now... 2010 RAV4 Limited 4WD Silver; 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E 'Forest Mist'
Previously... 2013 Ford F150 (traded in for Ridgeline); 2006 Highlander Hybrid Limited 4WD (T-boned :-(
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Thanks a lot, PhatDaddy.
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Thank you for pointing that.
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Dear PhatDaddy,

You have no idea how helpful your description and photos were for my double DIN, backup camera, and USB installation. You saved me days of work and frustration. You made a daunting task bearable and even fun!

Thanks!!!
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