AVIC-F90BT in the 4Runner

February 1, 2009 – 3:56 pm

We’re planning to take the 4Runner on a road trip this month (NY <> FL) so I decided it was time to do something about navigation and better iPod/MP3 integration.

I decided to go with the Pioneer AVIC-F90BT because it had all the features I wanted at a reasonable price.

AVIC-F90BT 4Runner
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Almost Done

October 30, 2008 – 10:28 pm

Haven’t had time to update the blog, but getting the car running on Saturday was the boost I needed to knuckle down and get it back on the road. After working all day Sunday it rolled out of the garage under its own steam at 7pm, a couple of minor tweaks and I headed off to the weekly local Subaru meetup!

I was starting to freak out a little when I stopped at some traffic lights and there was smoke coming out of the hood scoop, but as far as I can tell it’s just the heat wrap from the downpipe bedding in. Other than that the trip went smoothly and the car was running well.

Since then I’ve been taking care of the loose ends that remain, still have plenty to do but it’s getting there.

First up was the new battery, I ordered a Deka/BigCrank ETX30L a while ago but was waiting for the proper terminals for it, which arrived this week. It’s a sealed AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery that should give me plenty of grunt for starting the car in the New York winters, but weighs only 21lbs. It’s held down with a modified SPT battery bracket and custom stainless steel tie-down hooks.

Engine Bay 1 Engine Bay 2

It seems the WRX body integrated unit couldn’t handle the load of the added door lights in the Legacy, so I swapped it out for a spare and removed them temporarily until the LED replacements I ordered arrive. Hopefully they won’t draw as much current as the incandescent bulbs and the body integrated unit will be able to drive them without problems.

Another project completed this week was the wiring for my fog/driving lights. I modified the fog light circuit so that the stock fog light switch turns on the fog lights when the parking lights or low beams are on, and when I switch to high beam it automatically switches over to the driving lights.

Once that was out of the way I was able to get the fender liners installed, so now I don’t have to worry about being caught out in the rain. I also swapped out a blown bulb in the cruise control switch and changed the boost gauge backlighting to match the rest of the gauges.

Finally I started work on a duct to seal the hood to the intercooler, as I figure I have to make the most of what little hood scoop the Legacy has. I made it out of 1 1/4″ x 7/16″ self-adhesive foam, and it seems to be working out pretty well. The only problem is that on the passenger side the intercooler doesn’t extend as far as the hood scoop does, so it’s tough to get a decent seal there.

I still haven’t had a chance to wire in the LC-1, but I took a look tonight and have pretty much planned out how it’s going to be set up. I even managed to find a couple of unused lugs for the all-important ground points.

Unfortunately the weather has been terrible so I didn’t get to take it out of the garage again until today. Luckily we had a break today and I took the opportunity to take some photos!

Exterior 1 Exterior 2 Interior

It Runs

October 25, 2008 – 11:19 pm

Today was a momentous occasion in any swap, I started the car for the first time!

We had a couple of minor hiccups with reversed fuel supply and return lines, but once those were corrected it fired right up.  Thanks to Ted for manning the camera and helping out today.

She’s still not much to look at, but the interior should be going back in tomorrow and with a little luck I’ll take it out for the first test-drive.



October 21, 2008 – 9:41 pm

After tracing out all the wires in the HVAC harness I think I’ve figured out the source of the problems I’ve been having.  Somehow I managed to switch around 2 wires (one blue, one blue/black) on the control panel, and the smoke I saw was a resistor giving up the ghost, not the fan switch at all.

I fixed the wires and replaced one fuse which had blown, but I’m going to need at least a new A/C control panel (I could probably replace the resistor, but it got hot enough to discolor part of the board so I’m just going to find another one) and possibly a new mode actuator before everything will be functional again.

I also managed to get the rear defog wired up, I set it up to bypass the WRX body integrated unit and use the original Legacy on/off switch.  It is still connected to the ECU though, so I can use it for logging.

In other news I managed to get the sway bars and brakes fitted, decided to use stock WRX calipers and rotors (thanks Dave!) for the winter and take my time rebuilding the wilwoods properly.

The downpipe gave me a little trouble, as one of the turbo studs refused to cooperate and stripped out the nut.  Luckily the thread in the turbo weren’t damaged so everything went together smoothly with a replacement stud from Subaru.

I filled the engine oil (Royal Purple 5w30) and transmission (Subaru Extra-S).  Still have to fill the rear diff, power steering fluid and coolant.  I’ll probably wait until the interior is a bit more together to tackle bleeding the clutch and brakes, or at least until I can get the driver’s seat bolted in.

Smoke Testing

October 7, 2008 – 10:01 pm

Last night was a momentous occasion, I hooked up a battery and started testing out the electrics!

The good news is that I have working lights, mirrors, windows, wipers, keyless, alarm, horn, radiator fans, instrument cluster, ecu & obd2.  I was able to successfully read the ROM from the ecu, which is the first step towards getting the car tuned for the various engine upgrades.

The bad news is that there was a small amount of smoke.  The blower fan switch started smoking when I turned it up to 4 (the highest setting) so I need to trace that out and see what the problem is.  Other than that the other known issues are the interior door lock switches (driver’s side is reversed and passenger side doesn’t work) and the interior light dimmer switch is also reversed.  I also still have to figure out what happened to the rear defrost wiring and verify some other HVAC wiring, as well as test the audio and a couple of other systems.

Otherwise, I’ve been finishing up a few things in the engine bay, and installing a turbo heat blanket and heat wrap on the downpipe.  I’m not happy with the straps I got from JEGS for securing the wrap to the downpipe, so I’m waiting for some different ones to arrive before I get that sealed and the downpipe installed.


Cluster powered up Engine bay progress Turbo heat blanket Downpipe heat wrap

The End of the Tunnel

September 26, 2008 – 7:07 am

Things have been progressing slowly over the past couple of months for various reasons, but it is starting to feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now, a good feeling!

Dad helped knock a few projects off the list while my family was visiting from Australia, making brackets for the interior fusebox, LC-1 controller and power steering fluid reservior and helping to get other parts test-fitted.

The wideband bung is in the downpipe, and most of the engine bay is finished off.  I flipped both of the firewall grommets so that the wires exit upwards away from the downpipe which helped tidy up that area immensely and also integrated the LC-1 wiring into the main harness for a cleaner look.

The front wiring harness is loomed up and in place under the radiator, along with the ABS and cruise harnesses which are routed through the passenger side fender.

With a little trimming for clearance the HVAC components and dash beam are now installed, and last night I wrapped up the wiring for the combination switch (turn signals, headlights, wipers, etc).  I still need to wire the cruise control main switch, rear defog switch, mirror controls, sunroof & finish up the audio wiring.

I’m excited to see the interior starting to come together, hopefully it won’t be long before I have the dash installed and am ready to test everything and start it up!

Mechanically, I picked up a set of Wilwood calipers and DBA rotors and I’m working on rebuilding and refinishing the calipers before they can be installed.  Everything else except the exhaust & sway bars is installed.