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Cruise control retro-fit


Thought I'd share my experience of installing a Cruise Control on a RAV with you lot, in case someone finds it useful or entertaining.

Disclaimer : I am not an automotive engineer. Everything you read below is an account of my personal experiences and should not be treated as “a recipe” to do anything. If you are not entirely sure that you are safe in whatever you’re doing, you should simply not do it. No responsibility is given or implied for any of your own actions or any damage that may result from them.

That out of the way :) ... I was doing some reading on the forum and on the net and I came to the conclusion that Cruise Control on a RAV4 is all done in software; And, more importantly, allready built-in! [Well, in my one anyway (‘07 XTR D4D 2.2)]. What was missing was a little control stalk that is mounted on the steering wheel. Someone then gave me a pointer to an auction on a well-known auction site where I found the very device for a princely sum of about 25 pounds. It was shipped from Thailand and arrived about a week later.

Following is the procedure I used:

First, I disconnected the battery [i thought that this is very important!]

In order to get to the areas I needed to get to, I needed to lift the driver’s airbag (it is a part of the steering wheel cover assembly (horn)). Airbags should always be treated with respect. My thinking was that if there is no power to trigger them they should be reasonably safe.

Lift Airbag assembly out of the way

I undid the two Torx screws at the underside of the steering wheel using a ratchet and and an extension bar. (There are only two holes on the cowling, they are hard to miss). I then carefully lifted the airbag. I chose not to disconnect the airbag (to avoid upsetting anything) but “secured” it on top of the cowling with a couple of rubber bands.

before.jpg

Note: The connectior that is circled in red is the one that CC stalk connects to

Cut a hole for the CC-stalk

I got a rough idea of the hole that I needed to make from another forum user’s photo of a factory fitted Cruise Control (thanks DavRav). I marked it with a felt-tip and got to work with a scalpel (I could have used a “box-cutter” / “Stanley” knife too). I used a small file and a tiny blowtorch to tidy up the edges.

hole_cut.jpg

Install control stalk

I slid the stalk through the hole I made and fastened it to the frame with a couple of screws.

installing.jpg

I then connected the stalk to [the only connector that would fit] on the steering wheel.

installed.jpg

Re-install airbag assembly

I finally [very carefully] put things back where they were in the first place and re-did the two retaining torx-screws.

Re-connect battery

I found that step quite useful... as I was planning to start the car n'that... :)

Test

I [carefully] tested on a deserted stretch of road.

Push the button - "CRUISE" dashboard light came on in it's green splendour :) All cruise control functions worked fine....

Job's a good'un!

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Just back after road testing mine, on a 2007 XT4 2.2 D4-D, worked a treat.

Thanks, was really missing cruise control.

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