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On my first test drive of a 4.3 Rav4, the vehicle had Sirius installed and working through the standard head-unit. This was a US V6 Sport, so we can assume it was one of the 6-disk units. I can't remember whether it was the JBL unit or not.

I remember this clearly because the unit was tuned to BBC World and, being British, this caught my attention. The station name was displayed on the head unit's LCD.

Ever since I purchased my vehicle, I've been trying to work out how they did this. The dealers I've spoken to - including the one where I test drove that car - all say it can't be done, but I - for obvious reasons - don't believe them.

I now have a theory. I believe both 6-disk head-units are esentially the same with the only difference being the JBL unit is connected to an amp and additonal speakers. The fact that they are visually identical would support this.

I also believe the head unit will not have been manufactured by JBL. JBL, to the best of my knowledge, do not make head units. I believe their input would be confined to the amp and speakers. My theory is that the head unit is manufactured by Pioneer and that a Pioneer Sirrius reciever will work with the unit.

To test this, I might try getting the Sirius receiver off E-Bay and just try it. I figure the worst that can happen is that I end up putting the unit back up for sale and - at most - lose a couple of dollars.

Anyone think I'm being stupid?
 
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it's definitely worth a shot. i bought mine from Longo in El Monte and it came w/ 9mos. free sirius satellite radio. the antenna is attached on the inside right next to the rearview mirror. and since the receiver is a part of the stock system, i would assume it's the case for all other models as well (with the same system). i have the 6CD changer w/o subwoofer, by the way.

but a problem i have is that the text won't show up when i'm listening to satellite radio! so i have no idea what i'm listening to... :?
 
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I got mine from El Monte, too. It's the JBL with the Sirius add-on.

On my JBL, I can press the text button while in Sat mode to alternate between the channel name, the band, and the title of the song. Unfortunately, the display doesn't scroll, so I only see the first 10 or so characters. If the non-JBL receiver has a text button, you might want to give it a try. They also set it up so that the Folders control moves through different genres of music/talk radio. It's impressive how much they've integrated it into a radio that likely wasn't supposed to support it in the first place.

OP: I would be interested in hearing the results of your test. The El Monte Sirius setup is better than no satellite at all, but it doesn't have all the bells and whistles you get from other Sirius units.
 
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hmm, already tried pressing the text button. does nothing. i guess i'll have to take it back in... i just hope it's a quick fix.
 
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Baron G said:
I also believe the head unit will not have been manufactured by JBL. JBL, to the best of my knowledge, do not make head units. I believe their input would be confined to the amp and speakers.
Somewhere in the manual, I remember seeing the JBL upgrade being referred to as a "speaker upgrade", so I would think you're right about that.
 
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What Sirius add-on?

Apian, I've been searching and can't find any Sirius add-on specific to the new RAV.

Do you happen to know the brand and model? It sounds like a great set-up...especially since local dealers' eyes glaze over when you mention satellite radio.

Thanks!
 
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As the original poster mentioned, the device is located to the right of the rear-view mirror, attached inside the windshield with what looks like double-sided tape. It seems to be what Sirius is calling SIGMA (SIRIUS Interior Glass Mounted Antenna ). They mention it a bit here:

http://www.sirius.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Sirius/CachedPage&c=PresReleAsset&cid=1101254447546

It looks similar to this:

http://www.courtesyparts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=CP&Product_Code=999U9-SGMA1

As to install, parts required, configuration, etc., I don't know. Maybe somebody at Sirius can point you in the right direction.

Reception is okay but not as good or as fast as my other Sirius receiver in my old car. It's definitely what you'd call a bolt-on extra but until good dash units are available for the RAV, it will be just fine for me.

Apian
 
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I'm going to take the stereo out tomorrow. Someone else mentioned elsewhere that there's an unused port on the back of the stereo. If my theory about it being a Pioneer unit, it will most likely be an IP-Bus port, which would be needed to add the Pioneer Sirius receiver.

I'll take pics.
 
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OK - just taken the stereo out for a look round the back - check out the pictures in my gallery.

Firstly, getting the stereo out was actually pretty easy. Start by removing the two bits of silver trim either side of the head-unit. These are held in place by three clips. I used a fairly wide flat headed screwdriver wrapped in electrical tape and started at the bottom - squeezing the screwdriver under the trim and gently twisting until the clips released. Once the trim releases, you just need to unclip the cable to the hazard and 4wd/diff lock buttons. The head unit is held in place by 4 10mm bolts and 4 clips. Remove the bolts first - be careful with the lower bolts on each side as these are recessed a bit into the dash and it would be easy to drop the bolt down there and never see it again. :shock: I also found the steering wheel got in the way a bit, but that was because my socket set was just the wrong size. Once the bolts are off, gently pull the head-unit out until the clips release.

There were 3 connectors and the antenna cable in the back of my unit. Looking at the Toyota wiring diagram, I think one was for the front speakers and power, the second was for the rear speakers and the third for the aux port and speed sensor. There was a fourth - unused - socket on the back of the head unit.

Unfortunatly this was not the Pioneer IP Bus socket I'd hoped it would. In fact, the unit is manufactured by Fujitsu-Ten and not Pioneer. I'm guessing the spare socket is for steering wheel controls.

If you are interested, the Toyota part number for the unit is 86120-42170 and the Fujitsu-Ten part number is 122000-7680A101.

So I guess its back to the drawing board. Options look like being:
  • A - wait for dash-kits to become available and just replace the whole thing
  • B - buy an external Sat-Radio unit and wire it in.
I should probably go with B. If I start thinking about replacing the head unit, its all going to get very expensive very quickly.
 
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