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I've been lurking on this excellent site for over a year but this is actually my first post. I purchased my Rav in November of 07' and have been extremely satisfied with the performance (V6), handling (Sport), and the fit and finish.

However, the one thing that drove me nuts since the first test drive was the stereo (base stock, non-JBL). I looked into upgrading to the factory JBL system but from what I've read on this site it wasn't much of an improvement. That and the fact I had a bunch of old gear from my previous ride (VW Jetta), I decided to replace the stock speakers and add a sub/amp into the cargo floor area.

Below is the work-in-progress from when I first started the install (December 07') until now (March 08'). There are lots of pictures (I actually maxed out my album) but if you have any questions or want a hi-res photo just let me know.


I designed the sub enclosure/amp rack using 3D software. This is where you want to measure twice (more like ten times) and cut once.


Sub/Amp rack built from 3/4" MDF. Slots were routered in amp rack for wire access and cooling. Sub enclosure is ~1 cu ft.


Carpeted. It almost matches the charcoal interior of the Rav but it's a shade lighter.



Sub/amp rack being installed. Sub is a Resonant Engineering SR10 4ohm DVC (wired in parallel for 2ohm load). Amps are old school Rockford Fosgate's:100a2 (bridged mono for sub; 400a4 for the door components. The 100a2 was soon replaced with a 200a1 mono sub due to the first one not being able to run stable into 2 ohms (wiring the sub in series for an 8 ohm load did not sound good either).


Close up of the amps (w/the 200a1 installed). I machined the end caps and bridge out of aluminum and painted them to match the factory look.


Sub/amp installed w/cargo floor cover in place. Now you see it...



...Now you don't. Cover is only used when I need to get groceries or pack up the family for a trip. I ran a separate remote power switch (see below) to disable the sub amp when the cover is in place. I've run the component speaker amp for a 2.5 hour drive and it only gets warm to the touch with the cover on, however I don't usually crank the stereo w/the wife and kids in the car either!


Remote power switch for sub amp, used to turn off sub when cover is in place. I took a dremel to one of the dummy panels and installed a simple switch.


Stay tuned for more...
 

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Power/Ground Wire Install


Mounted fuse block on fire wall using existing 8mm stud.

**PIC MISSING**

4 ga power installed on battery post (notched cover to fit)



Engine bay showing power wire installed along firewall into passenger side rubber boot.

**PIC MISSING**

Power wire coming through rubber boot (inside).



Power wire installed in factory trim- Toyota uses excellent wire clips for this.


Power wire in rear hatch area. I remove the rear trim panel, notched the plastic side panel and installed heavy duty heat shrink to eliminate wear and tear.


Power and ground wires hooked up to distribution blocks. This will be attached to the underside of the sub/amp rack.


Chassis ground point. I used an existing hole in the left rear acess panel to attach the ground for the amps, all paint was sanded from the area. The RCA's will also be fed through this area.

**PIC MISSING**
 

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Very nice, awesome workmanship. You definately took your time and had the patience.

Another person who can use the 3D from AutoCad, or is that solidworks? I use AutoCad 2008 at work all day long. But I only do 2D design. I want to learn 3D but it seems so daunting. Care to point somewhere where i can leanr? I wanna know how to do 3D b/c as an engineer it helps out alot. Also my father in law is buying a CNC mill with a 12 inch based to mill small stuff. I wanna be able to do the design work on the parts in my spare time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks 2008Rav4LTD, yes I use the SolidWorks 3D program at work. It was relatively easy to pick up and I know there are several training seminars for this program in the Toronto area.
 

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Modifing Factory Radio

Removing side trim panels. I picked up a set of trim removal tools from Princess Auto for about $15- this was definitely a worthwhile investment!


Removing radio bolts (x4). Be careful not too lose the bolts behind the dash (I used a magnetic screwdriver).


David Navone LOC's modified w/extensions. These will tie into the factory speaker wires from the deck to feed the amps. (I used the pass-thru RCA connections on the Fosgate amp to feed the sub amp).
**PIC MISSING**

LOC's wired up to the factor wire harness. I used male/female spade connectors so I can put it back to stock when the time comes.



The LOC's were then hooked up to a set of RCA's that ran along side the drivers side trim to the rear hatch area. The side plastic panel was also notched out w/some rubber edging to protect all the cables (ground, speaker, RCA's).
 

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Door Trim & Factory Speaker Removal/Installation

Removing door handle trim to access screws.



Removing door handle screws (x2).



Removing door release trim



Removing door release screw.



Removing window switch cover



Window switch removed, simply unclip from wire harness to completely remove from door.



Door panel removed. I started at the bottom with a large trim-removal tool to pop a couple of clips then I used my hands to work towards each side to remove the rest of the clips.
**PIC MISSING**


Drilling out factory speaker rivets. I used a drill bit that was just slightly larger than the rivet body itself to pop the head off and then used side-cutters to remove the rest of the rivet from inside the door. It took a bit of work but I did this so I can reinstall these speakers back to stock.



Plastic speaker rings. I was able to grab a bunch of scrap 1/2" UHMW plastic from work. This was used this instead of MDF only because it was laying around. The rings were backed w/foam rubber gasket material to seal against the door and secured using the stock speaker mounting holes w/nuts n' bolts.



Front door rubber boot. I used fish tape to pass through new speaker wire from the amp. This was time consuming but not as bad at the rears (see below).



Taking the drill to the rear molex connector! This was definitely the most problematic part of the install. I spent about an hour trying to take the molex connector apart to find a way to feed the speaker wire through the door but decided to chance it and actually drill right between two sets of wires. It was a bit nerve racking but worked out really well in the end. I used a 1/4" drill bit on low gear and drilled until I just saw the end of the bit before it could destroy the other wires or rubber boot on the other side.



Feeding speaker wire through rear door molex connector. I just put a dab of silicon on each side of the hole to seal it up and prevent the wire from rubbing.



Infinity Reference components (old school- again) installed in front doors (rears used only the woofer w/x-over. Crossover was installed using self-tapping screws, tweeter was mounted to a modified "L" bracket attached using factory tweeter bolt and aimed at the windshield.
 

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This is a great install, RPM. I really enjoy seeing people doing nice projects like yours. I'm in the planning stages for my sound system. I still need to wait for Kenwood to release its NAv system and I'll be ready to go.

Pretty soon I'll be posting pics of my project.

keep us posted, please (waiting impatiently with popcorn in hand)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
End Result?

Once everything was installed, wiring checked and rechecked, and all the panels put back together it was time for that tense moment to hook up the neg battery cable and see if you hear/smell anything bad...

The good news is everything worked, and sounded pretty decent too- better than stock for sure.

The bad news is that my original 100a2 amp wasn't pushing the sub nearly enough- even with the gains maxed to clipping. Hence the 200a1 shown in my original pictures. No problem, after a week or so of searching Ebay I found a decent amp for $80- shipped. Once that was installed things started to sound better...well, louder anyway.

I then spent just about every night (once the kids were in bed) for a week tweeking the amps and factory deck trying to maximize the sound quality. Once I did everything I could I packed car with five or six of my fav CD's and listened for another week or two on my way to and from work (about 1/2 hour each way).

In the end I just wasn't happy with the sound. It was still dull sounding with muddy bass. I thought at first that my old gear was just tired out but then I hooked up an old Sony head unit to the amps and it blew me away! I mean this deck is almost 15 years old, and even though it would skip on every single bump it just sounded awsome compared to the factory deck.

Now what do I do? I wanted to keep the factoy look of the dash but it made all my efforts sound like trash.

Stay tuned for the conclusion...
 

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Replacing Stock Head Unit

I was on the fence for a long time on how to improve the sound of my current install without breaking the bank. I looked closely at JL's CleanSweep, RF's 3Sixty, and Alpine's PXE to intergrated the factory stereo but these were pricey and I wasn't completely sold on some of the technology (I'm a firm believer with garbage in = garbage out). So I decided on going aftermarket for the head unit...


Another Evil Bay purchase: Scosche din kit w/pocket and a Alpine 7894. This deck was one of their last units to actually have a amber colour option, although not a perfect match w/the factory orange lights it seems to blend in pretty well. It also has 4V pre-out's which work very well with the Fosgate amps, and you can black-out the blue-lit screen area which looks pretty stealth at night.


I went with the Scosche for a few reasons: it was cheap, it came with both double and single din trim w/a matching pocket, and I liked the fact it keeps everything flush with the dash. The only thing that would make it perfect is the colour, it just a tad lighter than the stock dash but it's not too bad.

The sound is now incredible, I can now adjust for time correction, base/treble focus, and contol sub output all from the deck. Much improved over stock.

I think I'll leave it at that for now. I've spent way too much time on this install but it seems to be sorted out. The Rav was pretty easy to work on, and I even managed not to break anything :wink: In the future I would like to Dynamat the the doors so they don't resonate so much, and I want to complete a "Big 3" wire upgrade in the engine bay (alternator + to battery +; battery neg to chassis ground; engine ground to chassis ground).

Cheers,
r.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tankyuong said:
Won't your amps overheat under there?
Like I mentioned before, I turn off the sub amp when the cover is in place and haven't noticed too much heat off the other amp yet. There's about 1" of space between the top of the amps and bottom of the cover and another 6 or 7" of air space underneath. I guess I could always hook up a couple of fans if things get too warm.
8)
 

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wow. i had no idea how badly the Scosche din kit doesn't match the color of the trim. glad i opted for the toyota japan kit.
 

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RAV4007 said:
wow. i had no idea how badly the Scosche din kit doesn't match the color of the trim. glad i opted for the toyota japan kit.
IMHO the camera flash will tend to exaggerate the difference in colour. I looked into the OEM Japan kit too but didn't like the fact it didn't come with a single din trim piece or a pocket, the head unit doesn't sit flush w/the dash, that and it's a bit expensive considering you still need to buy a pocket or fabricate some sort of trim piece.

I suppose if I went w/a double din head unit/screen I would probably go the OEM route.
 

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RPM said:
that and it's a bit expensive considering you still need to buy a pocket or fabricate some sort of trim piece.
yeah boy, $58 is WAY expensive. :roll:

then i guess suggesting buying the japan kit, and then buying the scosche kit and using the pocket out of it would be totally out of the question.

i just don't see spending the money you did, and doing such a nice install on everything only to have it look like crap because $58 is "too expensive" for one of the main parts that's visible.

camera flash or not, i've seen the scosche kit, and it looks like a spray painted piece of cheap plastic. but it's your car, if you're ok with it, then who cares.
 

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RPM, nice install. I did a similiar install, and also used the Scosche kit. I think the fit is better than most, and if we really wanted to make it "perfect", we could paint it to match. I didn't think the color was that far off to warrant that. Take a look at my album for pics. By the way, I run my amps and subs all day long with the cover closed, no heat problems at all, just great bass.
 

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this should be a sticky..........great pics and use of tool placement..........

[Moderator Comment: Agreed 8) It's been stickied :thumbs_up:
 

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Yes, very nice indeed. Nice setup and great CAD drawing. I did similar install but ain't as clean as yours. Will take few pictures when I've time. Those pictures on how to remove trims would be helpful for all of us in the future. Great job RPM.
 
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