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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I have a 97 Rav4 and a kid in a carseat!
I woud like to know if anyone out there has installed a tether anchor in their Rav4 of any year.
The "top tether" is a strap that goes from the top of the carseat to a solid anchor on the car behind the carseat. The anchor will be either on the floor of the vehicle, or on the ceiling in a car like the Rav4.
If you have installed this anchor you probably know what I'm talking about.
Usually there are instructions in your owners manual. The 97 manual makes no mention of it. Maybe someone with a later year, or from a different country has a manual that gives some sort of instruction. I'm pretty sure that Canada, Australia, and some european countries had more strict policies regarding the availability of tether anchors back in 97. The instructions will either tell you where to drill a hole and install the anchor with a nut and bolt, or it will tell you where to look for a nut already welded to the body somewhere so that the anchor can be installed with just a bolt.
I am very hopefull that someone out there can help me.

Thanks
 

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Don't know if this will help but maybe it will. First, pull the strap on the rear seat to fold it down all the way (you may need to remove the headrest).

Next, on the side of the seat by the door, is a little lever, pull that forward, and the whole seat will pivot from the rear up to the front. Under the seat is the mounting bolts for the seat itself. Maybe you can use one of those for your anchor.

I've never had any experience with a carseat anchor, so I'm not sure if this will be of any use. Hope it helps.
 
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Hi.

I have a '98 and it has a threaded nut in the cargo floor. My local toyota dealer sells the "tether bolt for about $20 canadian"
I beleive you just screw it in.

marf.
 
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Was anyone able to find information on the Tether question for the 97 Rav4? We just purchased one on 9/6/06 and I just came across this forum. We have a 10 1/2 month old baby girl and we just purchased a convertible car seat for her tp go into the RAV4. In my research (after the fact), i discovered that Automakers were not required to install the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) for cars produced prior to 9/2002. Some makers were ahead of the rest and had them installed in some vehicles prior to that date. (The 2000 Avalons and 2001 Pathfinder definately had them). In addition, some makes can be retrofitted to use this system. However, if your car does not have them (such as my '97 4.1) then the regular seat belt will do just fine as long as it is installed properly. (Unless someone can shed more knowledge on the subject.) :wink:

I suggest that you 1) research the installation guide that came with the car seat. They typically have directions on how to install the carseat in cars with or w/o the LATCH system. Secondly, set up an appt with your local fire or emergency dept. They will assist you with properly installing the carseat regardless of the type/age of your vehicle. (At least the are helpful here in NC) You will be amazed to find out that all of that hard work and sweat that you put in to install the car seat on you own was all WRONG! Note: Appts may not be necessary in your neck of the woods but being courteous never hurts. :lol:

Gateaggie
 

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ok, here in Australia, all vehicles for quite some time have had to have anchor points for child restraints....

In the RAV4, in the cargo area, there should (Was on our 1998) be a piece of the carpeting that lifts (About the size of your thumb), under this is the anchor point for the anchor BOLT... Simply screw the bolt down and connect up your restraint.. There are 2, one on each side in case you need to fit another seat as well......

Good luck

PS: If you cant find it or would like a pic to help, PM me...

Keep on RAVing.....
 
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AussieRAVer, I'd like to see pictures of this, I'm trying to do the same thing. Also, how does the child seat attach to the seat itself? On most cars, there are D rings that the child seat clips to, and I don't see any in the RAV.

I ordered the kit from the owner's manual (x2, one for each side), and all it was is a couple of spacers, a bolt, and an adjuster for the strap. I took it back, it certainly wasn't worth $56 when I can buy the bolts at the hardware store for $2. I'm also not sure how the LATCH system could attach to the bolt.

Thanks,

Michael
 

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As you can see in these images this is how the Australian child seats fit in..... the first pic is the rear cargo area location , 2nd pic is the same bolt / nut under the car, 3rd & 4th are pics of the SEAT BELT that passes through the rear of the child seat and clips into the buckle... The restraint strap is really only there to stop the top of the child seat from moving forward in an accident.....
 
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We have two RAV4s (1998 and 2000). According to our Owner's Manuals both cars can be retrofitted to have the tether anchors installed. I bought the necessary parts and went to the dealership to have the anchors installed in the 1998. I was told that even though it appeared in the manual, the car cannot be retrofitted. The tech said that the sheet metal used for the floor of the trunk was too flimsy and in the event of an accident the anchor bolt would rip through the metal. I called the main Toyota customer service number and I was told that only the Canadian versions of the car have the ability to be retrofitted for anchor bolts. The reason it was in the Owner's Manual is because although different versions of the car were made for the two different countries, they only made one Owner's Manual.
 

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Canadian version is exactly as in Aussie's photos, not that it helps if the floor mounts aren't there in the US RAVs......

There's not a lot of strain on these anchors, as said earlier, they only keep the seat from pitching forward.
For those in the states, that ready would like to have them, why not see a "good" muffler shop or trailer hitch dealer and have the floor drilled in the locations in Aussie's photos and sandwich the floor with 2 steel plates of 4" to 6" diameter when installing the bolts.....I'm pretty sure this would prevent tear out......it's not like they take the full weight of the child like seatbelt anchors do......

Always used/use the tethers for my g-sons, and in the 2nd gen the tethers go to a metal loop on the lower back of the rear seats......well, they do in my '05......can't speak for all years.....
 

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It seems that the photos have been lost in this thread. I'm trying to visualize how the tether anchors might be retrofitted to a U.S. model 2000 4-door that doesn't have the nuts installed. Could someone with 4.1 and tether anchors post a picture of them? A view from inside of where the anchor sits in relation to the carpet flaps would help. A view from underneath of the nut and backing plate would be even better.

Thanks!
 

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Unfortunately those pictures are not recoverable. I had a similar enquiry recently and got some helpful info and pics from Caconym here: Caconym's 3dr '98 project thread. "Escape...
The photo of the cargo area of his 2-door Australian-spec Rav4 depicts the location of the bolts and the flaps cut on the carpet to conceal them (the left one more visible than the right one here):


You can use the tether's part number (58317-42010, "Retainer, rear seat, no.2") to do more research. The next picture shows the differences of the tethering bolt locations between the 2-door and the 4-door models:
(seat tether locations.PNG)

You could peel off the carpet and use the schematics above to "guesstimate" the location of the bolt holes. I definitely want to know if these are present on Ravs which were not required by regional laws to be equipped with seat restraint tethers, so, please post back with your findings.

EDIT: I did more research and came across these two videos from AussieRAVer. Sadly, I also found out that he passed away about a year and a half ago.....

The first video reveals the carpet flap locations on a 4-door Rav4 (under his left hand at 04:07 to 04:52):
The second one depicts the mounting holes with the carpet removed and possibly the tether itself on the left side of the car, although it is "washed out" by sunlight (watch the first 60 seconds of the video):
Unfortunately, US Ravs do not seem to have threaded holes at those spots:

(Sound dampening the interior)
 

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Thanks ****. This is very helpful. My floor is similar to the blue one above. There are no holes or other indication of where the nut would be installed. I'd like to try to install my anchors in the normal location, even though I will need to drill a hole and find a suitable nut and backing plate.

I've seen mention that pre-1999 models in the U.S. do have the nuts installed. I may try to find an early model and crawl under it to see what is there.

Mike
 

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Here's what I have come up with so far. The tether anchor part number is 73709-12010. My carpet is scored for flaps in the right spots for anchors. I freed the flap (tucked under in these photos) and drilled a hole 5 inches from the rear carpet trim, which is the anchor location shown in the owners manual. The backing plate is 3/16 x 1 1/4 steel stock 3 1/2 inches long. This is the largest plate that can lay flat in the channel of the floor. And the thickest that the anchor bolt is long enough to pass through.

These are the parts and the hole ready to assemble.

158246



Anchor installed.

158247


Backing plate underneath.

158248
 

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If I understood correctly, your carpet was already scored at the "correct" places?
Also, the location you drilled through was just one layer of sheet metal? Tapping threads, or using a rivnut is out of the question for my plans then...

Using the part number you provided for the latch, I found out more info on the matter. Firstly, there was (maybe still is ?) a campaign between SafetyBeltSafe and Toyota, which allowed for dealer installed tethers on older cars for a negligible fee: Toyota Tether Program
Also, I suspect that the cylindrical lower part of the tether is a spacer that is supposed to be recessed in a bigger hole in a "two-layer" sheet metal application. For instance check the pictures in this thread: Rear Seat Tether Anchor
I am just speculating here, but I don't think that spacer is needed in your application.
(edit: the owner's manual calls for a 10mm spacer)

EDIT: For reference, here are the owner's manual pages describing the installation process (note that contrary to what these pages show, evidently there are no pre-drilled holes or pre-installed bolts on Ravs sold outside Australia and Canada):

(tether anchors.PNG)

EDIT2: Here is a video (courtesy of Caconym) showing the OEM welded fasteners on the underside of his 2-door Rav4: Caconym's 3dr '98 project thread. "Escape...

EDIT3: Here is a relevant TSB I snatched from www.ih8mud.com ("N/A" stated for the Rav4, but useful info nonetheless):
 

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Yes, the carpet was scored in places that match the locations shown in my owners manual. The manual was apparently written to be used in markets where the nuts are already installed.

The sheet metal at the anchor locations is just the same as the rest of the floor. It's fairly thin. I wanted a larger backing plate than the 1 1/4 inch round washer that is largest that would have fit in the channel. I used the rectangular piece of steel to get as much strength and surface area as possible. For the final installation I used RTV silicone between the backing plate and the underside of the floor. This will keep water out, and also effectively glues the plate solidly to the floor.

The sheet metal of the floor is far to thin to tap. I didn't tap the backing plate because I planned to use a nut and didn't want the backing plate to get thread-locked and not tighten down fully. The hole in the floor and plate are 5/16 inch.

I considered leaving out the steel spacer under the anchor loop. This would probably work if you want to keep the profile low. But the spacer works with the plastic washer in the anchor loop to let the loop turn even when the bolt is tightened all the way. I the end I decided to use the whole assembly as it comes (except for a red cardboard washer that keeps it together in shipping).
 
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