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Discussion Starter #1
What do you RAVers recommend for a good quality radio/sound system for the 1st generation RAV4? I've got a '96 and would like to put one in that puts out good, sharp and clear sound. Are there any out there with GPS navigation features that fit this year? What about Apple Carplay, that sort of thing? I'm on a budget and don't want to give up an arm and a leg, but do want something that syncs with my iPhone and has a CD/DVD player. TIA! :smile
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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I put a PIONEER AVH-X5800BHS 7" DVD Receiver and Sirius/XM SXV300v1 (amazon.com). The receiver is double din and I mounted it in the lower double din space (where the CD player and cigarette lighter was installed). I didn't buy the nav option because I like my Navdy heads-up display system. I also replaced my speakers with 2 sets of Rockford Fosgate P1675 6.75" 240W 3 Way Car Coaxial Audio Speakers (amazon.com).

I moved the gauges in the photo to a column mount and install a CB where the radio originally was installed.

See http://www.rav4world.com/forums/84-4-1-accessories/227009-install-double-din-radio-gauges-12v-power-point-usb-power-point.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I put a PIONEER AVH-X5800BHS 7" DVD Receiver and Sirius/XM SXV300v1 (amazon.com). The receiver is double din and I mounted it in the lower double din space (where the CD player and cigarette lighter was installed). I didn't buy the nav option because I like my Navdy heads-up display system. I also replaced my speakers with 2 sets of Rockford Fosgate P1675 6.75" 240W 3 Way Car Coaxial Audio Speakers (amazon.com).

I moved the gauges in the photo to a column mount and install a CB where the radio originally was installed.

See http://www.rav4world.com/forums/84-4-1-accessories/227009-install-double-din-radio-gauges-12v-power-point-usb-power-point.html
Eodgator, that is a very IMPRESSIVE stereo mod you did in your RAV4. I, however, don't think I want to go to that much trouble where my own RAV4 is concerned, and just get a high-rated stereo system that fits into the space where the current stereo system is (a Kenwood) that's iPhone-compatible, etc. When it comes to the older vehicles, I'm a purist (thinking future collector car here) and like to keep it stock, unless the previous owner modded it already. I'm looking at stereo systems on Crutchfield.com's site and they have quite a selection there, compared to Best Buy (meh). I'll probably end up buying through Crutchfield and having someone install it for me, unless I can figure out how to do it myself.

By the way, this is the very same RAV4 I started a thread about last month, in which I detailed my trials and tribulations with a Toyota "stealership" that tried to rip me off to the tune of $4k after I had it towed there for a state inspection and to fix a power steering leak. If you remember, they said it was so badly rusted underneath that doing any repairs would just lead to more down the road, the engine and tranny both were seriously leaking, blah, blah, balh--all pure BS. I had it taken to my friend's shop for a second opinion and boy, am I GLAD I listened to my friends on Facebook! In actuality, the floor pans and frame rails are in beautiful condition and the engine/tranny hardly leak. The only major issue(s) that was in agreement were the brakes and those now have been fixed--and it's passed the state inspection. I just got it registered and tagged two days ago. Total cost of repairs: less than $1,000. It drives like a dream--a definite keeper! :smile
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Kool, I understand your wanting to keep it as original as practical but I like to modify and change things up. I don't have any payments so I'm making it the way I like it. I have pretty much rebuilt everything but the engine and tranny.
That was good that you figured out that the stealership was attempting to rip you off and that you resolved your issues.
I recently posted several youtube videos for troubleshooting and repairing common problem areas on the RAV4.1 so check them out. On of the people posting the youtube videos, MAtt doesn't believe in the typical shop and shade tree mechanic method of shotgun replacing parts until you happen to luck into the right part or you give up in frustration.
Sounds like you're getting a good plan to upgrade your stereo, don't forget, those old OE speakers are also in need of replacement.
 

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@brav: I looking to do the same to my 97, 2 door Rav. Looked at Crutchfield but was overwhelmed by the many choices and comments concerning Bluetooth issues. If you do select one, and it works well, can you post on here. Like you, I'll probably have a pro install it for me even though the instructions on the Crutchfield site look easy.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Save the installation fee and use that money to get a better receiver; stereo replacement is easy, you just need to get the appropriate adapter connectors and there's very little splicing needed anymore. Just take the covers off the dash, pull the radio, a few bolts, and put the harness adapter in place, test it, bolt it back together and you are complete.

If you replace the speakers, the wires are soldered on, or at least mine were. But then I replaced all those cheap speaker wires with some good quality all copper 12 gauge wires. Don't waste your money on the hyped up premium brand wires like Monster, they are no better than most any other quality wire. Just do a little research.

If you want to add an amp and subs then it is a little more planning, a little more work, and a bit more wiring.

Once finished you have learned something about what is in your dash and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself.

This is a great PDF for a DIY install an aftermarket radio - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0...mYzTmljMXFXRFk
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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A good place for reviews and for that matter stereos is amazon.com by the way.
 

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Save the installation fee and use that money to get a better receiver; stereo replacement is easy, you just need to get the appropriate adapter connectors and there's very little splicing needed anymore. Just take the covers off the dash, pull the radio, a few bolts, and put the harness adapter in place, test it, bolt it back together and you are complete.

If you replace the speakers, the wires are soldered on, or at least mine were. But then I replaced all those cheap speaker wires with some good quality all copper 12 gauge wires. Don't waste your money on the hyped up premium brand wires like Monster, they are no better than most any other quality wire. Just do a little research.

If you want to add an amp and subs then it is a little more planning, a little more work, and a bit more wiring.

Once finished you have learned something about what is in your dash and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself.

This is a great PDF for a DIY install an aftermarket radio - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0...mYzTmljMXFXRFk
Thanks...but not really that good with that sort of stuff. Prefer to have a Pro do it for me.
 

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Another member had previously had the same reservations about his ability to replace the head unit on his own. Believe me, it's the easiest and at the same time the most rewarding modification for your car.

Wanting to replace my factory head unit was the reason why I discovered this forum back in 2010 and became a member.
This is the first modification I did and, like you, was also apprehensive regarding the installation process.
As far as I am concerned, NOBODY, no matter how qualified or professional they may be, will take care of the whole process (and your car) as good as yourself. So, if you can find the time, I would urge you to go for it.

A guide I made at that time may be helpful: TinyUpload.com - best file hosting solution, with no limits, totaly free

Bear in mind that some of the links may be outdated so feel free to ask for more assistance.
P.S.: A patch loom, or Toyota-to-ISO wiring harness is the quickest and "cleanest" way to connect your new stereo (presumably having ISO connectors in the back) to the connectors you will unplug from the factory stereo.
The only tools you need are your fingers, a Phillips head screwdriver and a 10mm wrench/socket. The latter tools can be borrowed or even bought for next-to-nothing. The Toyota-to-ISO adapter harness shouldn't cost more than 5-7 dollars.
Since you don't have to solder, crimp, splice or drill through anything, there really isn't any way to harm your car (added bonus: everything is reversible this way).
Take your time, be it 30 minutes or 5 hours, nobody will judge you. Have a friend or family member around for a second opinion/suggestions. Trust me, if you are able to plug/unplug an electrical appliance to a wall socket, you are more than qualified to undertake this job.
 

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Premium Member
1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
Joined
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2,044 Posts
Save the installation fee and use that money to get a better receiver; stereo replacement is easy, you just need to get the appropriate adapter connectors and there's very little splicing needed anymore. Just take the covers off the dash, pull the radio, a few bolts, and put the harness adapter in place, test it, bolt it back together and you are complete.

If you replace the speakers, the wires are soldered on, or at least mine were. But then I replaced all those cheap speaker wires with some good quality all copper 12 gauge wires. Don't waste your money on the hyped up premium brand wires like Monster, they are no better than most any other quality wire. Just do a little research.

If you want to add an amp and subs then it is a little more planning, a little more work, and a bit more wiring.

Once finished you have learned something about what is in your dash and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself.

This is a great PDF for a DIY install an aftermarket radio - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0...mYzTmljMXFXRFk
My link above somehow is dead now so here is the updated link for the DIY install for an aftermarket radio - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0N4qdhM8CoaRmYzTmljMXFXRFk

The only thing I would never do to my speakers is to pop them with a battery, the wires are color coded so use the color coding. A soldering iron is not needed anywhere during this install.

Again, this is a real easy thing to do and as it was previously pointed out, no one will take better care of your car or wallet than you.
 

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What do you RAVers recommend for a good quality radio/sound system for the 1st generation RAV4? I've got a '96 and would like to put one in that puts out good, sharp and clear sound. Are there any out there with GPS navigation features that fit this year? What about Apple Carplay, that sort of thing? I'm on a budget and don't want to give up an arm and a leg, but do want something that syncs with my iPhone and has a CD/DVD player. TIA! :smile
I guess it depends on what you want in a car stereo, but my 2000 rav4 has the factory AM/FM/CD and it's great. I would put it in any car that needed a radio, but for most Toyotas it's a bolt in, and because it isn't made by a big name company they are inexpensive.
 
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