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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got my RAV4 XLE FWD back in September of 2013 at Tustin Toyota in Orange County, CA. Since then, I've looked to RAV4 World for tips, tricks, and advice. As of now, I think I've reached a point where I would consider myself "done" with everything I wanted to do to my vehicle, so I'll share some pictures for those who may want to consider doing the same to their 4.4's.

A quick and dirty list:

* 20% front window tints
* 5% windshield front strip tint
* Body side molding
* Mud guards
* WeatherTech side window deflectors
* OEM cross bars
* Thule bike carriers
* 5000K 35W HIDs on both low and high beams
* LED lights for map, vanity, dome, cargo, license plate, and reverse lights
* Kahtec blinking center mounted brake light
* Husky Liners for passenger and cargo compartments
* Gentex Auto-dimming, HomeLink, hidden compass mirror

All in, I'm getting approx. 25 mpg with everything on with mixed city/highway driving in metro Orange County.

First, a picture from within the first few weeks of ownership:



One of the first things I did was to pick up HID headlights and LED bulbs.

Low-/high-beams: DDM Tuning (Huntington Beach, CA store) note: both low and high beams are bulb type 9005, and I disabled DRLs in the head unit -- 5000K 35W
Dome light LEDs: Amazon: LEMONBEST COB LED 4-pack
Map light/vanity mirror/rear license plate LEDs: Amazon: Cutequeen T10/194 LED 10-pack

I have added a couple more pictures about how I mounted/placed the ballasts for each of the bulbs in this post in the thread here.

Moving onto current day:




From the front, some things that were added include a tinted windshield strip to the AS1 line, OEM cross bars, and two bike carriers from Thule. Wipers are from Rain-X and have been holding up well; the windshield itself has been treated with Rain-X as well. The "dash cam" is a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition (more on that below).

Tint: Johnson Window Films Renegade 5% installed by Auto Tint Specialist in Huntington Beach, CA
Cross Bars: Amazon: Genuine Toyota OEM Cross Bars
Bike Carriers: Thule.com: Thule Sidearm 594XT
Wipers: Amazon: Rain-X Latitude Water Repellency 24 and 17 Inches



From the back, everything looks stock, but the license plate and reverse lights have been changed to LED, and the center mounted brake light has a Kahtec blinking module on it. Here is a video I shot demonstrating it:

https://youtu.be/9yQcYuWi_dQ

Rear license plate LEDs: Amazon: Cutequeen T10/194 LED 10-pack
Reverse LEDs: Amazon: EZ Motoring 68-SMD Reverse Lights
Blinking brake light module: Kahtec.com: Products note: I have the standard version
I have added an installation guide at this post in this thread. Let me know if you have any questions with installation.






Moving to the side, there are a couple of things. Of note, the front two windows were tinted to 20% using the same type as the front windshield strip. It is a little darker than the factory privacy glass in the rear, but it is not very noticeable. Additionally, the side window deflectors are the dark style from WeatherTech.

Body side moldings: (search eBay, I got mine which were pre-painted in 1G3 magnetic gray metallic)
Mud guards: Amazon: Genuine Mud Guards
Front window tints: Johnson Window Films Renegade 20% installed by Auto Tint Specialist in Huntington Beach, CA
Side window deflectors: WeatherTech.com: Side window deflectors note: dark tint








Going on inside, I've lined all of the seats and cargo area with Husky Liners. I figured that one can look at nice, pristine, stock images any day, so here are a few showing them being put to good use after a good couple of days of rainstorms in Southern California. I went with these simply because they are cheaper than WeatherTech and provide more coverage than OEM. Additionally, you can see the LED used for the cargo area, which is very bright. They are the same as the one I am using for the dome light. The yellow strap beneath the seat in the third picture is an Anker portable jump starter.

Front and rear seat liners: Amazon: Husky Liners 98971
Cargo area liner: Amazon: Husky Liners 28971
Cargo area LED: Amazon: LEMONBEST COB LED 4-pack
Jump starter: Amazon: Anker Portable Jump Starter





Heading on up, the inside of the cabin is nice and dark during the day, and very cozy at night thanks to the tint. The deflectors provide ventilation even in wet weather. One can sort of see the LEDs in action, but they're only somewhat noticeable in broad daylight. On the windshield, again, is the 5% tint strip, joined with a Gentex 453 auto-dimming mirror, which also provides HomeLink garage door opening and a compass (connected to the moonroof wiring harness). I am currently using a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition as my dash camera mounted with a Fat Gecko suction cup mount and hope to upgrade that to a dedicated unit in the near future.

Mirror: Gentex 453 off a 2012 Hyundai Elantra, but you can use any with the appropriate feature set for you. Just make sure it uses a wedge mount to ensure compatibility. Check eBay.



Lastly, we're running with Michelin Defender XT's on all four corners. They are to OEM spec with the exception of the speed rating (T vs. H from the OE tires: Continental Cross Contact LX's).

That is all!

Without the help of the forums, a lot of the decisions that went into making these purchases would have been a lot more difficult. I hope I've been able to help anyone who's been on the fence about doing a certain mod.

Please let me know what you think, and if you have any questions!
 

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Wow, you've done a lot. What were your thought on dealing with Tustin Toyota? I'm looking to buy now. Based on previous service issues I hate Toyota of Orange.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow, you've done a lot. What were your thought on dealing with Tustin Toyota? I'm looking to buy now. Based on previous service issues I hate Toyota of Orange.
I have nothing but great things to say about them; they gave me the best price over the phone and were true to their word when I came in. Let me PM you a sales guys' info.

I personally hate Miller Toyota of Anaheim (typical dealership where its just "let me talk to my manager") and actually chose to bring my RAV4 to Tustin Toyota for ToyotaCare, even though Miller is closer to my home (North OC).
 

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I like what you've done! I have a 2016 and am in bay area traffic on a regular basis...very interested in the blinking third light. Does the module fit inside the third brake area? How easy was the install?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Installation was very easy; took me maybe 5 minutes, if that. The module will come with the three splice connectors you need as well as documentation.



The module definitely fits in the area, it's 1 inch by 2 inches by 0.5 inches in size, so it's a very small box. I used double sided tape (not included) to tape it to the inside of the spoiler. It's held up in Southern California heat for the last five months, and I was unable to (safely) rip it off for photographic purposes; that picture was the best I was able to get.

To install, remove the middle trim piece (assuming it's the same in the 2016's) and locate the wire going to the third brake light. There will be two wires to it, positive and negative (ground). In my 2013, purple was positive and black was ground.



What you'll want to do is cut the positive wire into two -- I did it about 5 inches from the end of the harness, in case I need to remove the module and revert to stock (in which case just strip the ends and solder it back together). I did this on the connector going from the light to the rest of the roof harness, since if things go wrong, I'd rather just replace a brake light than an entire roof harness.

You'll then splice into the positive end (coming from the connector) with the red wire from the module. This will take the input from the car when the brake pedal is depressed.

Next, splice into the other positive wire (going to the light) with the blue wire from the module. This will take the blinking signal and send it the rest of the way to the light.

Lastly, splice the ground from the module into the ground found on the harness.



The installation footprint is pretty minimal, and like I said earlier, is relatively easy to revert to stock.

I like what you've done! I have a 2016 and am in bay area traffic on a regular basis...very interested in the blinking third light. Does the module fit inside the third brake area? How easy was the install?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Which brand of HID'S did you use? And how did you do the wiring considering the dust cover for the low beam? And where did you mount the ballast?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I used bulbs/ballasts from DDM Tuning, based out of Southern California. The link to their site and locations is in the OP.



For the low beams, I just stuck the entire assembly (ballasts and all wiring) into the housing and closed it up. The dust cover has a short extension to go to the original bulb -- I just connected the business end of the assembly to that as if I was connecting to the original bulb.

The ballast is slim enough that everything fits. I was originally concerned about heat dissipation, but it's a 35 watt ballast, so it wasn't as hot as it potentially could have been. I've been running them like this for the last two years -- approximately 26,000 miles with probably half of them being nighttime -- and there have been no issues whatsoever.





For the high beams, I used zip ties to mount them to various parts of the frame, which have been holding up quite well too. On the driver side, it's attached to a vertical post in front of the battery.



On the passenger side, I have it mounted behind the wiper fluid fill up port.

Which brand of HID'S did you use? And how did you do the wiring considering the dust cover for the low beam? And where did you mount the ballast?
 

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I am looking at doing the same thing for the homelink option.
Wondering why you said use the power moon roof power. The mirror that is there has auto dimming on it already so wouldnt the power already be there to tie into? or is it not enough amps to use the new home link mirror.
I am looking on GENTEX 453 mirror without compass. dont need that option with the nav unit.
Can I ask where you got the info to use the power moon roof wiring. Like a link or something on which wires to use for new mirror.
Thank you for any help you can give me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My 2013 XLE did not come with an auto-dimming mirror from the factory. It was a standard mirror without any electrical connections, so I needed to get it from somewhere (hence the moonroof power). If you already have a Gentex mirror, it should be easy to swap between without needing to redo wiring.

I am looking at doing the same thing for the homelink option.
Wondering why you said use the power moon roof power. The mirror that is there has auto dimming on it already so wouldnt the power already be there to tie into? or is it not enough amps to use the new home link mirror.
I am looking on GENTEX 453 mirror without compass. dont need that option with the nav unit.
Can I ask where you got the info to use the power moon roof wiring. Like a link or something on which wires to use for new mirror.
Thank you for any help you can give me.
 
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