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DIY Alarm/Starter Install (99 RAV4 4Dr) Correct INFO 5Speed

55198 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Blitzerr91
If a mod wants to sticky this I think this could help others with installs in the future.
[Moderator Comment: Consider it done!]

So there doesn't seem to be any complete solid info on the wiring and installation of an alarm starter into the 98-99 RAV4's. There is most of it, but with all the sources I found online including searching rav4world forums they all had errors. After successfully installing my compustar 2way alarm/starter into my RAV4 I figured I'd share the info for any future DIY's. Installing an alarm starter into a vehicle as old as these generation RAV4's is really quite simple, no immobilizer bypass is needed so it just takes time and basic wiring knowledge and a good wiring guide. There is no reason to pay out the a** to get someone else to install one for you if youre on the fence.

The most correct, updated info I found was from the website

with their guide I was able to piece together the install and correct the few errors to make my version of the wiring guide for a 5speed with some additional details to get the remote starter to work:

1999 Toyota Rav4 Alarm, Remote Starter, Keyless Entry Wiring Information

Constant 12V+
Inner Fuse Panel (Dual thick white wires on a single grey plug)

Red (Automatic) or Black/Gray Dots (small wire)
Ignition Switch Harness (this is where things don't work for the remote starter installs on the 98-99 RAV4's. Not sure if this is the same with the 96-97 but I assume it likely is. Normally the ignition switch starter wire is a thick gauge wire that goes directly to the starter from the ignition switch assembly. Remote starters for manual vehicles bypass the need to depress the clutch to start by energizing the starter directly through the remote start unit, hence why the starter wires coming off the compustar brain are so thick; necessary to provide the current the starter needs. However with the 1999 RAV4 the starter circuit involves a solenoid later on down the line, so the small gauge wire all the online sources refer to directly off the ignition assembly, is only a signal that when paired with the clutch pedal control the high current circuit needed to engage the starter. So there are two ways to get around this. I took the quick and dirty way because when I installed the alarm starter it was -20C out and the little electric heater in my buddy's garage just wasn't cutting it. I'll likely rewire it the correct way later on down the road with warmer temps. So to get around the clutch problem I simply unplugged the lower clutch switch and jumped the two pints with a bent paperclip,the upper clutch switch is left untouched. This allows you to wire into the ignition starter signal wire and everything will work as desired. To wire it properly you need to extend the starter wire coming off the compustar brain and extend it to the thicker gauge wire that is connected directly to the starter, bypassing the starter solenoid circuitry. This clutch bypass switch has no ill affecton cruise control or any other vehicle functionality other than eliminating the need to depress the clutch to start the vehicle. And anyone who drives stick already knows to check the gear is in neutral and depress the clutch to start by habit so no biggie.

Black/White (I didnt hook up to the ignition from the compustar to this one. To do it properly you need to use the 2nd ignition connection. again it was freezing i just wanted it working)
Ignition Switch Harness (Small Wire)

Ignition 2
Black/Yellow (I hooked up the compustar igntion to this one. This actually allows the vehicle to start but the blower motor doesnt energize until the key is in. I actually like this as it gives the vehicle time to generate heat so when I get in its blowing hot air, vs blowing and dissipating the engine heat during warm up)
Ignition Switch Harness (Small Wire)

Ignition Switch Harness (Small Wire)

White Connector plugged into ignition Coil Driver's Side of Engine (coilpacks only used for 98-99) spark plug wires are plugged into the coil packs if you dont know what to look for

Brake Switch
4 Wire plug located above the brake pedal assembly. White plug plugged into blue housing in my case.

Trunk Pin
Red/White (-) (didnt use in my setup will confirm later)
Orange Connector above Fuses in the Inner fuse panel

Parking Lights
Green (+)
Upper most Gray Connector on the left side of the inner fuse panel

Head Lamp
Red/White (-) (didnt use in my setup)
Steering Column

Door Trigger
Red/Yellow (-)F
Red/White (-)R (supposedly also catches trunk trigger pin)
Lowest Gray connector beneath relays beside yellow connector located behind kickpanel.

Door Lock
Blue/White (-)
Driver's Kick Blue Connector Negative Trigger( i used this one) or at Lock Module behind Glove Compartment (unconfirmed)

Door Unlock
Blue/Yellow (-)
Driver's Kick Blue Connector Negative Trigger( i used this one) or at Lock Module behind Glove Compartment (unconfirmed)

To remove the kickpanel, use a flat head to pry up the lower plastic door sill held in by clips, then you can unbolt the one nut and the kickpanel can be pulled off from its clips as well.

Also to disable my factory toyota alarm I made sure it was disarmed and unplugged the connector closest to the firewall/engine. I tested the factory remotes to confirm the system was disabled.

I think that's it. I may revise or update if I realize I forgot anything. Any questions are welcome I'll do my best to advise. May add pictures later if I get around to it. Cheers guys!

And great forums btw, I have only had my RAV for about a month. Picked it up for a winter vehicle and its awesome! Now with the remote start and winter tires it's a winter ready machine!
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any chance you could post pics please, i was told it was not possible to remote start a 5-speed car? or is it just a bad idea? i want to do keyless on mine and maybe remote start
for sure. I'll try to get pics up asap, probably not for a least a week or two unfortunately as I'm a bit overloaded with work til the end of Nov. It definitely is possible to remote start on a 5-speed, both my Rav4 and civic have compustar 2way remote starter alarm combo's installed as do many of my other friends with manual vehicles.

the 'myth' is there is no failsafe to ensure the last person to park the vehicle didnt leave it in gear and then you remote start it. Not sure about other remote starters out there maybe they do have this loophole but in the case of the compustar you actually have to have the ebrake up and the vehicle continues to run in 'reservation mode' (prepping for remote start) after you've taken the keys out of the ignition until you leave the vehicle and close the door, at which point it shuts the vehicle off and locks the doors. So you could never have it in gear and take your foot off the clutch to leave the vehicle while priming it for reservation mode. So with the compustar reservation mode there is no way you could accomplish setting it for remote start in gear. If a parking situation requires me to park in gear that just means it wont go into reservation mode when i take the keys out because my foot will be on the clutch and the brake. If the brake is touched it comes out of reservation mode, and I just can't remote start.

As long as youre purchasing a properly suited system and not 'ghetto-rigging' a system designed for an automatic it is perfectly safe.

and if you're worried about your ebrake holding capability on your vehicle....maybe you should be taking better care of your vehicle and properly maintaining it. The ebrake should easily be able to hold yor vehicle on a steep incline.

is there any particular photos you want posted? I can try and get some general ones to locate plugs and wires and draw arrows to them with photoshop, but let me know if there is anything specifically you're looking for clarification with.
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wow thanks man, those pics would be really helpful since I in general have the exact same car as yourself and it would be extremely easy to follow this tutorial, thanks again hoping to see those pics
ecuadorche said:
wow thanks man, those pics would be really helpful since I in general have the exact same car as yourself and it would be extremely easy to follow this tutorial, thanks again hoping to see those pics
sorry for the delay. work is calming down a bit so weather permitting I'll try and take some snaps soon here
This is a great thread that I'm sure will help many 4.1 owners. I've recently done an install on my wife's 4.3 and was thinking of posting the wiring in the 4.3 section as well. where the OP got their wiring info from is a really great site for any mobile electronics questions. Well done v2kai. :)
havent forgotten about posting, I'm about a month late but just haven't had a chance with my personal and work life as of late will get pics up as soon as possible! hopefully they'll still be of use to people.... better late than never!
Thanks this saved me so much time. I now have Keyless entry
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Hope this helps people wondering about stuff... The 12volt seems to know what they are talking about. I haven't yet dug into the remote starter but I am confused where they get the red wire from for the starter? looks like the black/white energizes the start motor... anyone?


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Wish pictures were posted, I'm currently installing an ez-starter e-75 remote starter and my issue is when I try to remote start it, all the gauges come on but the starter never comes on. I've done the clutch paperclip trick but still nothing. Not sure if the black/ grey dots wire is correct or the wiring on these sites is incorrect
Then again I'm not the greatest at wiring haha
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