I think this is my first "detailed" post here, but been visiting this forum for some time and looking up all useful kinds of info. The job usually keeps me eye balls deep in work and new family has eaten up a lot of my bachelor forum time days of old.
Anyways, it was the first time in maybe 2 years I had a whole weekend almost to myself for some small DIY projects. Besides installing new ghost ring sights on my lever action and a trigger job & new 4.5# connector in my G19, I finally got around to putting some finishing touches inside my 2010 FJ Cruiser cabin.
Besides the easy task of installing a floor mounted RAM cradle for my iPad 2, I wanted to have better access to my iPhone. Avoiding obstruction of any air bags in a modern vehicle left me little real estate to work with. After staring at the FJ Cruiser dash in the previous weeks, I identified some locations, and then ordered which RAM mounts I wanted to use.
• 2 x RAM 1" rubber ball mounts with 1/4-20 female threaded end.
• 2 x RAM medium universal cell phone cradle.
• 2 zip ties.
• 2 x stainless steel 1/4-20 x 0.75" bolts.
• 2 x stainless steel "fender" washers, 7/16" ID x 7/8" OD.
• 2 x stainless steel washers, 7/16" ID x 1/2" OD.
• 2 x stainless steel 1/4" lock washers.
• Red Loctite.
Additional parts if you want to clean finish your cords:
• 1 x rubber grommet with an approximate 1/4" panel hole diameter.
• 2 x OEM apple iPhone synch/power cords.
• Black silicone, or any glue that works with plastic and rubber.
• Power drill.
• 1/4" drill bit.
• 1/16" drill bit.
Additional tools if you want to clean finish your cords:
• Dremel with cylindrical carbide cutter or rotary cutter bit.
• Razor blade.
• Round or half round fine file and sand paper as desired. *Not needed, but cleans up shaping of dash if desired.
1) Starting here, I learned how to remove my dash.
2) I laid everything out on my work space, removed the switch and indicator light covers, and unclipped the switch and light units from the backside of the dash and without unplugging them, moved them out of the way.
3) I used my digital mic to measure my marking points for my first 1/16" pilot drill. You can eyeball it too, just "measure twice, cut once", as they say.
4) Having drilled your pilot with the 1/16" bit from the back, then finish off with the 1/4" from the front so you don't crack or chip the presentation side.
5) Line up your hardware: 1/4-20x 0.75" bolt > lock washer > 1/2" washer > insert thru dash from the backside > a drop of red Loctite on bolt threads > place 7/8" washer on dash face over bolt > then thread on your 1" RAM rubber ball mounts. Tighten, but don't over tighten as to crack plastic dash. The red Loctite will help keep everything in place when it's dry.
If you want to have a clean finish for your wires behind your dash proceed onto this part:
6) Locate the natural gap on each edge/lip of the plastic dash (about in the middle) to use your Dremel or file to shape an approximately 0.21" half round-half moon cut out. From the backside of the plastic dash (black), use your Dremel or file to thin out the face by the 0.21" cut out so it will be about same dim as the grommet pilot hole groove.
7) Cut rubber grommet in half in to 2 halves of a pie. Not in the middle like a bagel. Test fit grommet into your cut outs. Because the cut out is 0.21" the 0.25" grommet will curl just slightly. This will help seat it when reinstalling the dash next to the side trim pieces. If it all fits, put a small dab of glue or black silicone in the pilot hole groove (this is the groove on the outside of the grommet used to set it into "pilot holes" drilled into material) of the grommets and set inside the cut outs.
8) In the lower bottom left of the plastic dash, shape a half moon cut out about 1/2" in diameter, this will be the exit or out for your usb end of the apple cables. Finish or smooth with sand paper if you wish.
And to finish:
9) You can pre-fix your apple cables with 1 or 2 zip ties to any wiring behind the dash as you wish. After snapping switch and light units back into dash and their covers bring dash unit back to your cabin and carefully mount from the bottom first so you can route your apple cables thru the grommets and exit cut outs. Be careful to not pop out the rubber grommets. The glue or silicone will dry and will eventually keep the grommets in place.
10) Re-assemble dash and dash trim and voilá, you're now ready to mount your cradles.
*Final pics added to next post in this thread.
I choose the RAM medium universal cradle so I could use my iPhone with after market cases. Or if carrying other passengers, they could mount their non-apple smart phones (but they can use the cords for power though). The arms were the RAM plastic versions instead of their regular alloy versions, to save on weight to avoid any un-necessary stress on the plastic dash and reduce the mass when encountering bumpy vibrations on the road or trail.
I am happy with the set up. I did end up using a longer arm on the driver's side of the dash to my hands would have more clearance for the steering wheel and controls. My wife and I both have our own iPhone cradles and power. I have an extra 3 gang plug on the passenger side foot well with Belkin usb adaptors to power up various electronics.
My floor mount for my iPad 2 works well, but does shake a fair amount when off road and best to use when stopped. For US based travel, I'm running Motion X Drive app for on road, and TopoMaps app and google earth for trails. Used in conjunction with a Bad Elf satellite antenna, the iPad makes great use of its big color screen, apps, and will be a nice navigation device for most of our travels.