Jump to content
sgtberbatov

Toyota RAV4 GX "Jack" - No More Greatest Sh*ts Radio!

Recommended Posts

So for those not in the know, I was the lucky guy to end up buying @KruJoe's father's 1995 Toyota RAV4. The thread for the sale is here:

The story behind me buying it is one full of outrageous marital arguments, sweet heart deals with friends, and being molested by a sheep.

So as we know the advert goes up, and I'm second in line behind @gadgetgricey. But gadget couldn't get an agreeable insurance quote (more on that later), so the baton passed on to me. There's a joke by a comedian Tommy Tiernan about his friend Brendan Moffat and the London marathon. I won't ruin it for you all, but he's very much the type of guy with absolutely no idea of his own limitations. Jumps before he's had a thought as to what he's falling in to kinda guy. That's also me. I saw the RAV4, I wanted the RAV4, worry about running it, insuring it and getting their later. I suffer badly from FOMO, and I still regret not getting @wuvvum's CX. That was the wife's fault, and I thought the hell am I letting her spoil my fun a second time. Arguments ensued, which led to Paddy the Corolla going on sale briefly on the forum. When I realised, actually, I could just as easily get rid of the Rover 25 on the driveway. It's only a parts car for the Lada anyway, so I'll break it up, scrap it and then the Corolla can come home. But I need a 4x4 to shift the parts of the Rover to a lock up. So if anything it strengthened the case of buying this RAV4. Much to the wife's disappointment. More on that one later too. 

I'm blessed to have 3 friends that I can really trust. And out of them, I'm blessed to have one friend who's furloughed by Land Rover with no hobbies. Remember kids, it's not about quantity, it's about quality! So I asked him for a lift to Yorkshire, he said yes but had his misgivings. A bottle of Rhubarb gin, petrol, and dinner on the way back sweetened that deal. Organised for Saturday morning as he wouldn't be available the weekend after and I think if he had a week to think about driving 3 hours to get a car that costs less per month than what he pays for his Fiesta, he'd have pulled out. Set off from Birmingham at 8:15am, and it was weird enough anyway given the COVID situation, we realised we hadn't seen each other in the flesh since Christmas. So it was a great run up to Yorkshire.

IMG_20200725_083428.thumb.jpg.ced1172107643c6f2d4eea05b717856f.jpg

We get there, and I've never been in the UK where a tarmac road suddenly gives way to dirt/stone tracks. We missed Joe's house. Whipped straight back around, wondering whether we were in the right place but we were. Joe's dad "put t'kettle on for t'brew", and my mate was regaled with stories that Joe should really relay on to the forum. This went on while Joe and myself walked up to the spares RAV4 for the rear boot lock. Due to a naughty slate falling back and smashing the rear window of the RAV4 I was buying, the spares door was put on it instead, leaving the other door on the spares. So I was walking up to the spares RAV4 and there's a fence surrounding it, with a load of sheep in there. No bother, I start to hop over the fence and this sheep comes up to me. And I stop, trying to work out what my old man told me about sheep (both parents grew up on farms in Ireland). I can't remember if I'm likely to get nutted in the bollocks because i'm invading their land. All this while I'm pushing the fence down, and my hand is feeling funny. I've an odd nerve issue in my arm so sometime's it goes funny, so I didn't think anything of it. Turns out, as Joe hurridly runs up to meet me, the fence is electric.

So Joe and myself hop over the now non-electric fence and set about pulling the lock out. I'm zipping the bolts off the lock, and a few sheep come up to inspect the work. I'd like to think the licking of my bare legs was an approval of the handiwork. Although the socket fell down in to the door, meaning we had to take the door off to retrieve it. So again sorry Joe for that!

My friend and I are now having a brew with Joe's Dad, my mate properly enthralled with the stories he had. They're lucky enough to live in a place of stunning beauty, so even though we were on a deadline I don't think any of us really minded given the area. Although to Joe's dad reckons it gets boring after a while, and doesn't like the fact he can see a hill in Lancashire in the winter.

Anyway, keys exchanged, money swapped, engine started and seat thrown back. The RAV4 is mine! And off I drive with Joe filming it, as this thing has got a wicked set of 3 spoke wheels. Proper 90's car this is!

Now I'm an odd chap, I have my traditions and superstitions. Car's I buy that involve the gift of an alcoholic beverage tend to be good cars for me, so a bottle of red wine was purchased for Joe's dad. I also play music in the car, and since my first car the first journey is always soundtracked by "Forever Delayed" by the Manic Street Preachers. Their greatest hits album. Now I forgot that when I left the house. Not to worry, it has an aftermarket stereo so there'll be an AUX port. There wasn't. There was no CD player either. It's a MiniDisc player! Never have I ever seen one of these in the flesh! Comes complete with an orange disc. Didn't work though, so I was at the mercy of Absolute Radio on 1215MW for the journey home.

IMG_20200726_124934.thumb.jpg.d47943f207bd7446cf72600b38f51286.jpg

But home we managed to get to, eventually. I had to go to a friends shindig with my mate which we ended up being 2 hours late for. I'm not bothered, neither was he, but for the whole 3 hour journey I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had been a while since I drove a 4x4 vehicle on the motorway, and you can tell that it does need two tyres on the front and actually (if I had the cash) it'd benefit from the same tread pattern/tyre types all round. But it'll do, it's not at all bad. 

IMG_20200725_212112.thumb.jpg.b48ca5bf2b76d6acd7a42c2684fb546e.jpg

Sunday gave way to the cold hard light of day for the wife, seeing this car on the driveway. I set about cleaning it out. It wasn't dirty, just obviously had been used for work. So it needed a quick hoover and a flash dash clean on the plastics. And I have to say, for a 3 door, it's so easy to clean. It's easy to get in the back of and reach all the areas you need to get to. Far, far easier than the Corolla. The wife started taking the piss, saying the boot isn't any bigger than the one in the Peugeot 107. She's sort of right as it does look small, but it's tall and wider. So she can shut up. But, and this is where the bad thing happens, the wife doesn't hate this Toyota. She wants to drive it. In context, she absolutely hates the Corolla and refuses to drive it. Not that I bought it for my website, but I will feel odd putting a "My Wife Hates This Car" sticker on the back of this. I drove it to a pub as we were meeting friends, and she likes it. So she blew her top on Friday for nothing! But she still wants the Corolla gone, so I've got to work on that.

And here we are on Monday morning, time to get it insured properly. I got several quotes running in to £1,000 for 12 months cover. This is on classic car insurance as well! Absolutely mental. So I ring Adrian Flux who I've got the Corolla insured with to see how much they'd take from me. Initially they wanted £280 extra for the 7 months I have left on my policy. I pay monthly because of bad life decisions, so this would bring it up to £90 a month. I'm sat there thinking "Shit, I might not be able to run this", and she asks "Were you considering modifications to it?". Screw it, in for a penny in for a pound, yes I am going to modify it. Tinted windows and an air induction kit. Tint the rear two windows and back window, it'll look smart I think. The cost of a window tint film and air induction kit came in at £35. The numbers were crunched on her computer at the insurance place, they wanted £80 extra for the 7 months. 

£35 of window tint and chinese air filter saved £200 off of the insurance. Meaning I pay £10 a month more for this RAV4 compared to the Corolla. It's absolutely insane!

So the window tint and air filter is on order, along with a timing belt kit. Neither of us are sure when the timing belt was changed, and I like the RAV4 so don't want to play cam belt roulette with it. So I'll change it. There's also black paint that's faded around the door frames which the wife (helpfully) pointed out. A quick spray of Edd China's satin black, with the window tint, it'll look great. 

To recap, initial jobs for the car will be:

  • Gangster glass on the rear
  • Max Power air induction kit
  • Spray paint faded black paint on door
  • Installation of my bluetooth head unit from the Corolla
  • Cam belt change
  • Two front tyres
  • Brake light bulb

It's a weekend job thankfully! But I'm so so so impressed with this RAV4, more than what I thought I would be. And, like all cars I own, I've named it Jack. After Jack Charlton. I can't think of a more apt car. Toyota's run Ireland as far as I'm concerned, Big Jack was an Irish footballing hero. It's green, it's tall, a no-nonsense 4x4. And most importantly it's from Yorkshire. So that's the rational. 

I'm going to take sexy photos of it once I've done the above and I get 10 minutes to myself, with videos etc. 

IMG_20200726_100227.thumb.jpg.be216c0d524e67b5271bc7351d82f43c.jpg

IMG_20200726_103636.thumb.jpg.87b49f714d11aa4ab0e5aa6b02f42405.jpg

IMG_20200726_103646.thumb.jpg.c0391366552d1808bf37c0b0b45026a4.jpg

IMG_20200726_103705.thumb.jpg.58103d3ef34e8806694e8cc66c024128.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Impressive tip that, put some modifications down and it goes from an old runaround you don't care about to a PROPER CLASSIC and now you can have cheaper insurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, loserone said:

Impressive tip that, put some modifications down and it goes from an old runaround you don't care about to a PROPER CLASSIC and now you can have cheaper insurance.

Twice I've done that. The Corolla is down as having modifications in so far as it has alloy wheels. And the insurance was cheaper than it would've been otherwise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, sgtberbatov said:

Twice I've done that. The Corolla is down as having modifications in so far as it has alloy wheels. And the insurance was cheaper than it would've been otherwise. 

Yeah. I got a quote for the Tourer 20 quid cheaper than the Fenlander through FJ, and the only difference was I told them I had put bigger wheels on it. 

Mind you, it always helps having a friend with a locked yard where you park the car every* night. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So pleased you got this, and gutted at the same time.

Bought a Disco via Joe years ago, and is a top bloke.

Good tip re the the Insurance, aware adding the wife reduces cost, but never heard about window tinting reducing the amount.

How was the journey as even though I was not getting the car, was actually heading up that way on Saturday morning, and back lunchtime as well.
Luckily seemed to miss the traffic both ways. Really bad heading south when I was heading north, and vice versa for the return trip.
Hope you did not get stuck in any of it.

Do you have a spare CD player for it, as might be able to donate one to the cause if you are not in a rush, as all my car stuff is in boxes for the house move that has been on hold for 8 months...

Cheers

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, gadgetgricey said:

So pleased you got this, and gutted at the same time.

Bought a Disco via Joe years ago, and is a top bloke.

Good tip re the the Insurance, aware adding the wife reduces cost, but never heard about window tinting reducing the amount.

How was the journey as even though I was not getting the car, was actually heading up that way on Saturday morning, and back lunchtime as well.
Luckily seemed to miss the traffic both ways. Really bad heading south when I was heading north, and vice versa for the return trip.
Hope you did not get stuck in any of it.

Do you have a spare CD player for it, as might be able to donate one to the cause if you are not in a rush, as all my car stuff is in boxes for the house move that has been on hold for 8 months...

Cheers

Dave

I didn't test it without the wife, as she's on it as an insurance. Years ago I played rugby and broke three fingers, and drove myself 20 miles to hospital. I lived in Brum and played in Coventry, so drove to Solihull hospital. Called my sister to come and get me and she drove the car back, then later found out her policy didn't cover her driving other cars. So ever since I've reasoned the wife can rescue me in such an event, whether she likes it or not. 

The journey up there was fine, hardly any traffic to be honest. It's only on the way back things got a bit hairy. Met no traffic on the way to Joe's on the single track roads, but as we left about 1pm we met the tourists so that was good fun. On the way back the motorway was full of gobshites who weren't there in the morning. Too early for them!

I've not got any CD players, the one in my Corolla is a DAB unit with bluetooth as people (well, the wife) tend to call me when driving. It's good for me though as podcasts and spotify are on my phone so I don't miss the CD's. Thanks for the offer though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First official job on Jack, well two jobs, was the chip in the windscreen and the busted lightbulb. 

The DIY windscreen kit is a bit naff. But then again, I can't actually remember what it looked like before. Followed the destructions to the tee, and it doesn't fill me with confidence. I think Halfrauds do it for £30, but then again I think they'd only be using the same DIY kit so might save the pennies up and see if Gavin at Autoglass will do it (or equivalent).

The light bulb, oh my GOD the brake  light bulb! Such an easy job to sort out, three screws and the cluster is out. Only car I've known to be that easy to do is my Peugeot 107. 

The window tint came today, so I'm going to attack that this afternoon, try my hand at that this evening. Either that or actually swap over the door lock because I've been caught out by not having the proper key with me twice already!

Also found two 5 1/4" and two 4" speakers I bought for my Corolla in the garage, so I think they'll be going on shortly too.

The only problem I'm having with this car though is that it's too damn good, better than what I thought it would be. And better than my Corolla. So the Corolla may end up moving on regardless of me breaking the Rover. 

Took some photos of it yesterday so I'll upload them later this week, when I get round to developing the roll of film I used for it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well bought, we had one in the same fetching shade of green for a few years...  My wife (it was hers really), absolutely loved it, they are much better to drive than they should be!  I splashed out on a full set of geolander tyres for it, which absolutely transformed the drive, and made it unstoppable in the snow.  My wife will not go back to a 2wd car now (she drives the Outback these days), and it was the Rav that converted her.  Hassle-free, go anywhere...  what more could you ask for!  Rust got the better of ours, rear wings (these wee jeeps are so short that basically the whole body is within 30cm of a seat belt anchorage!), and then the fuel tank pipe work/top of tank started to crumble.  Discovered that while dropping the tank to change the handbrake cable(!), bodged it up for another year, but the writing was on the wall...  Anyway, that's my tuppence worth, check underneath regularly and enjoy!  Well jell!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Noel Tidybeard said:

so the long and short of this is the wife likes her new car! lol

She's said she sees herself driving it, and because she knows I put her on the insurance I'm not sure how I can stop her. This has definitely not worked out as planned!

14 hours ago, TrabbieRonnie said:

Well bought, we had one in the same fetching shade of green for a few years...  My wife (it was hers really), absolutely loved it, they are much better to drive than they should be!  I splashed out on a full set of geolander tyres for it, which absolutely transformed the drive, and made it unstoppable in the snow.  My wife will not go back to a 2wd car now (she drives the Outback these days), and it was the Rav that converted her.  Hassle-free, go anywhere...  what more could you ask for!  Rust got the better of ours, rear wings (these wee jeeps are so short that basically the whole body is within 30cm of a seat belt anchorage!), and then the fuel tank pipe work/top of tank started to crumble.  Discovered that while dropping the tank to change the handbrake cable(!), bodged it up for another year, but the writing was on the wall...  Anyway, that's my tuppence worth, check underneath regularly and enjoy!  Well jell!  

I got to say yesterday when I drove to my mom's, it reminded me of the CR-V and Subaru Legacy I had (both 4x4's) and how much better they drove than the 2WD I ususally drive. And the great thing is the height of the vehicle so I can check underneath a lot easier than the other cars! There is some rust but nothing major, I may sort it out before the winter.

The chinese air filter has turned up, so this weekend will be lots of fun making this suitable for the insurance. Still insane that mods brought the price down!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha, I like that you've now got to modify it so as to not void your insurance now! 

Does look smart, I wouldn't want to drive one regularly over long distances but I bet its a perfect thing for pottering around the local lanes in and in town! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, beko1987 said:

Ha, I like that you've now got to modify it so as to not void your insurance now! 

Does look smart, I wouldn't want to drive one regularly over long distances but I bet its a perfect thing for pottering around the local lanes in and in town! 

The best thing was the lady on the phone encouraging me to do it! 

The first drive was that 3 hour trip back from Joe's to mine, mostly on the motorway. I've got enough padding on my arse to make it comfortable. I think with 4x4's matching treads matter, which this one doesn't have. I think if it had the same tyres all round it'd ride better.

But I'm used to long distance driving on my Corolla, and the seats are similar. So I'm biased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I threw the window tint on the car yesterday. The rear two windows look OK.

IMG_20200730_173502.thumb.jpg.e8175a313c7d48bdca64b67e45dab5c8.jpg

The rear looked OK, until I went to it this morning.

IMG_20200731_081316.thumb.jpg.d76c8bac79366de429aa45127509f24a.jpg

But sod it. Two windows tinted satisfies the insurance. I'll take it to a proper place later to get the rear done properly.

Anyway, I had time yesterday and my DAB head unit. So I set about changing that over, and I'm presented with this:

IMG_20200730_194038.thumb.jpg.73c1f4ddda908225e4f333627bdd7a21.jpg

Now, being what you would call a "millennial" (other bullshit terms are available), I've never been presented with this. I buy the ISO harness and jobs done in a few minutes. 

How do I even begin to splice my head unit to this? Can anyone give me a hand?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't beat a good tape joint...  💩

Was the radio you took out working, on all speakers? If so, that makes the job of deciphering the butchery a bit easier.

Shame the MD isn't working, as in many ways it's a superior format to CD.

Can't see very well from the pics what the joins are, but the basic colour sets on that Sony(?) plug are, green pair rear left, white pair front right, grey pair front right, purple pair rear right, black ground, red permanent positive, yellow ignition/switched positive.

Now, after that it can get a bit guessworky. Blue might be aerial, orange might be lights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SteersWithThrottle said:

Can't beat a good tape joint...  💩

Was the radio you took out working, on all speakers? If so, that makes the job of deciphering the butchery a bit easier.

Shame the MD isn't working, as in many ways it's a superior format to CD.

Can't see very well from the pics what the joins are, but the basic colour sets on that Sony(?) plug are, green pair rear left, white pair front right, grey pair front right, purple pair rear right, black ground, red permanent positive, yellow ignition/switched positive.

Now, after that it can get a bit guessworky. Blue might be aerial, orange might be lights.

 

12 minutes ago, busmansholiday said:

I'd go with the above, blue and orange are generally the ones you don't always need.

The speakers behind my head don't seem to work. But I don't know if it was the balance on the head unit set to turn them off. But I played with it and can't seem to find a fader. So I'm assuming the rear speakers aren't wired up.

I'm thinking that I might be as well to hack up the wiring harness I have for my Corolla instead of attacking the harness for the head unit. As it still has the separate block not wired up, and with a document I found earlier the pin out it gives references rear speakers on that unused block. So that's what makes me think the rears aren't wired up. I'll look at it Sunday.

The head unit in the photo is - amazingly - Panasonic. Who I didn't know did anything with MiniDiscs, I always thought it was just Sony and Sharp that made players. 

As for the window tint, the rear two windows seem to have taken well and look good. The rear window though just fell off, which isn't good. So I might see about getting the rear done by a professional, as I quite like the shade of tint I bought on it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I take back what I said. Just checked the rear windows and they haven't stuck either. Literally the glass to the window rubber is what's holding them there.

You get what you pay for with £10 window film from eBay. I'll get it done properly next month. For now the windows will stay closed and Mr.Insurance will be happy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a chance to identify the colour of the rear speaker wires by opening up the rear speaker housings/locations. The wiring is likely to be existing, even if the speakers weren't fitted in the factory, and the wiring will stay the same colour to the head. At least, I've never seen it change outside of hack jobs...

Do you have any type of test gear, a multimeter for instance? Cheap ones are less than a tenner and invaluable for tracing wiring safely. You can use 12v test lamps, but if you put 12v on something to try and trace it, if there's something connected that doesn't like it, you've just added another problem.

A cheap DMM won't put enough current or voltage on something to damage it.

If you're reasonably confident on the speaker wire, you can do a quick and dirty test with a AA cell, if the speaker is connected. Just hold one wire on the negative, and brush the other over the positive, and if it's good you'll hear a faint crackling on the speaker. DON'T use the car battery for this test...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, SteersWithThrottle said:

Can't beat a good tape joint...  💩

.

Was watching a Youchoob video on fitting a remote starter the other day. The “pro” installer showed how to splice the Can Hi wires into the data bus by stripping a bit of insulation from the loom on the back of the OBD2 port, wrapping the wires onto the bared cable and then taping it up... No solder or anything. 

I bought a harness with an OBD2 piggyback instead. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so this moved on a bit over the weekend, and I apologise for not coming here to check all of this information first!

So I remembered I had the ISO adapter in the Corolla, like I sad, and thought why not splice and cut this to shreds instead of the harness for the stereo. So that's what I did last night, and got it all wired up. I found a document on pin outs, like what you sent @Rod/b so thank you for that. The colours on the adapter harness more or less matched up to what was cut up in there and the document. I also noticed a plug that wasn't connected up, but had four wires cut off it. So I plugged that in, soldered the wires together for the rest, meaning now you can plug 'n' play whatever head unit in to the car going forward. I take that as a win.

But... the rear speakers still aren't coming in to life. 

I don't have the photos on me at the moment, but as I was peeling these things off I noticed that there was a spade connector spliced in to the rear wires. Genuinely felt that in a past life that this may have had a beefier sound set up, like a boom box or something, so they either disabled the rear speakers completely or just removed them (then didn't bother putting them back when they moved the car on). But I know the rear speaker wires are going straight in to the dashboard and wrapped in factory tape, so it wouldn't be cut off further back than that. So I think now it's a case of the speakers being disconnected most likely. 

Thing is I have "better" Pioneer speakers which I was going to use on the Corolla, and then the Lada, but actually they're probably better on the RAV4 so the rear trim will be coming off regardless to fit the speakers. But I'm happier now that I don't have to listen to f**king Greatest Hits Radio whenever I'm driving now. Hateful station.

Oh and the head unit was Panasonic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...