Amateur Radio Install In Toyota Rav4

This is the stash pocket that is in the console center stack. The FT7100 remote head bracket fits snug.
Rav4 dash pocket

A bead of silicone RTV on the top and bottom of the bracket will keep it stuck enough to use the controls and be easy to peel off when I hand the RAV4 over to the offspring in a year.
Attaching radio bracket to dash pocket

A small hole in the rear top of the pocket for the data cable.
Hole in dash pocket for data cable

Pass the data cable through the hole. It's an RJ11 plug, same size as a land line plug.
Passing the Data cable

Data line into control head. Microphone cable is on the side - it's an RJ45 plug, same as computer Ethernet plugs.
Back of control head

The gaping maw of dead space that Toyota gives us.
Toyota Rav4 center dash opening

Four screws attach the pocket back to the panel, then this plastic cover snaps back on. The lighter socket has connectors to disconnect it from the wiring harness.
Toytoa Rav4 Dash reassembled

Hate this picture, the dashboard looks crooked, but that's the way it's built
Toyota Rav4 center stack

Here is the data line coming from the dash and the power leads that exit through the firewall and go straight to the battery.
Radio wiring to battery & radio

Power & data cables in the rocker panel passage, along with the rear window washer hose.
Radio wiring in rocker panel

Power & data cables making a turn right after passing the seat attachment.
Radio wiring leaving rocker panel

Power & data cables passing through the hole for the jack stowage. I personally stowed the jack in with the tire tools. Makes more sense to me.
Radio wiring poking out of carpet

After test fitting the radio & bracket, I chose this location. Important thing is to choose a spot where one would not drill through the floor into anything important.
Test fit radio bracket on floor

I eyeballed it, then would tap on the floorpan with a tool while holding my hand against the carpeted floor (yes I have long arms. Others may need to just get out the measuring tape and check).
Under car picture - where not to drill

Drill pilot holes, then attached bracket with hex head sheet metal screws. Drilling through the carpet and padding makes a little wad of thread bunch up right at the hole. I cleared the way for the screws by poking a phillips screwdriver in the hole and wiggling it.
Radio bracket screwed down

See - the two screws totally missed the sensitive bits by miles. (fact is, I drilled the back hole first knowing that there was plenty of room, then double checked the front one.
Under car picture showng screws poking out

All the sheetmetal screws holding the rear quarter trim give enough room to wiggle an arm in there. To take the panel out completely would require unbolting the seatbelt. Cool to know when it's time to replace the rear speakers.
Removing rear trim for antenna wiring

Pull out the grommet, pass the coax connector through and stuff it in the hole. It went in a channel down about a foot then there was a hole to fish it out of. That took some time.
Door jam grommet

After coming out the door jam, the coax takes the water works route - following that washer hose back along the rocker panel.
Coax routing to antennal

To mount the antenna (remember, it's a temporary job) I'm using the spare tire mount. I've seen this kind of thing commercially for Jeeps.

Remove spare tire. Exposing areas where the sun never shines . . .
Spare tire mount loosened

My antenna bracket is some kind of construction framing that I found at Home Depot. An "L" shaped piece of galvanized metal, with nail holes down the long end, and a three-quarter inch hole in the short end. Perfect for an antennal mount.
Home Depot bracket

This dirty place is the outside, between the plastic trim and rear door.
Between panels on door

The coax slipped right in from the hinge area, and the panel only required a teensy bit of carving for the coax to exit behind the spare tire.
Routing coax on door

Connected to the NMO to SO239, and wrapped in self fusing tape.
Coax to antenna connection

Back in the cabin. The coax pops out of a hole for a tie-down loop. Some cable ties to dress it up. Mounting location puts the radio's serial port at an easy to get to place. (it's right above the power leads).
Coax routing to radio

Put the seat back. All hidden.
Radio completely hidden

For powering the radio, the power leads go to the battery. To get the wires out I used the air conditioner weep hole trough the firewall. Another icky picture. Battery goo. There are fuses on both leads in the engine compartment, and another fuse on the 12V+ at the radio.
Rav4 battery terminals

Smoke test. Power on, the radio remembered all of it's memories from when it was in the pickup truck about 3 months ago.
Radio with power

View from the back.
Antenna rear view

View from the side.
Antenna side view