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Discussion Starter #1
I apologize in advance as I'm sure this information is already on here. But I have been unable to locate it.

I am in the process of bringing my old Rav4 back from the dead.
It was my work beater for years and then sat neglected in the driveway for nearly two years.

Anyway on to my question,
I would like to install a remote start and need to remove the drivers side lower dash panel.
Can someone tell me if I need to remove the instrument bezel?
Or do just the two screws at the bottom of the lower dash panel need removed to get it out.

I took those screws out and tried lightly pulling the panel but it didn't give and I didn't want to force and break it.

I had the instrument bezel off years ago and would like to avoid doing it again if possible.

Thank you
 

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To be sure, if you are talking about a first generation Rav4 (2000 and earlier), then no, you do not need to remove the instrument panel. Just remove those two screws you mentioned, then pull up a bit and it will "hinge" out from the top. There are some clips that hold the panel in place at the top, but they will pop out. The only feature to watch is the little boss shown in the picture below. Once you have that panel off, you might decide to disconnect the hood cable latch, which will give you more room to work because then you can remove the panel completely. To do this, just remove the two screws on the underside of the latch, then on the inside part, just slide the white plastic latch housing off the panel.

For 2000 and older (4.1):




However, if you are talking about the second generation (2001 - 2005), then YES, there is a hidden screw! On the 4.2's, you have to first remove the little panel to the left of the steering wheel which has the dimmer switch and coin-holder on it. That panel pops out, through its a little tricky prying it (use a plastic tool). Then, with that removed, you'll see the hidden, third screw. For the 4.2, remove that top screw and the two bottom screws, then pop the panel out. If I remember correctly (I just installed keyless on a 4.2 last week), the hood latch on the 4.2 just slides in place and doesn't have any screws to remove.

For 2001 - 2005 (4.2):






In both models, once that plastic panel is out you'll see a metal shield. You can remove that by simply removing some 10-mm bolts. You'll then have much more room to work, and to tap into 12v constants.

Good luck!
 

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Once you have that panel off, you might decide to disconnect the hood cable latch, which will give you more room to work because then you can remove the panel completely. To do this, just remove the two screws on the underside of the latch, then on the inside part, just slide the white plastic latch housing off the panel.
I can't thank you enough for this. I've recently done some modifications to that area and the fact that the panel was connected to the bonnet release cable had me cursing the whole time. I can't believe I never checked the inside of the latch for screws!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank You

Thank you very much for the help.
And sorry, It's a 1997 RAV4.
Got my starter installed, and it's working great.
Now maybe the doors will thaw out this winter and I can actually open them.
 

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I can't thank you enough for this. I've recently done some modifications to that area and the fact that the panel was connected to the bonnet release cable had me cursing the whole time. I can't believe I never checked the inside of the latch for screws!
Mick, I'm glad I could help! They aren't easy to see down there, so no worries about missing them!
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Thank you very much for the help.
And sorry, It's a 1997 RAV4.
Got my starter installed, and it's working great.
Now maybe the doors will thaw out this winter and I can actually open them.
Spray WD-40 silicone or similar product on the seals and it should stop sticking. If it's the door locks, squirt the same stuff in there. I also periodically with the windows rolled to within an inch of being up, put the straw on the nozzle and spray all over inside the door to lubricate the window tracks/mechanism and the door locks. I do this when traveling in those northern states in winter.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I've tried it before with mixed results.
And nothing works when the temps drop to single digits.
Maybe a combo of the WD and letting it run with the heater on now that I don't have to get in it to start it.

Thanks
 
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