Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just a few photos showing what's under the dash, just above the factory head unit. If you want a RAM Mount solution there it's possible. Thought someone else might find it valuable. I couldn't find anyone who did this before. It's a little off the beaten path to drill into the top of the dash. Hope you find it worthwhile to look at.

Image 1 The steel hardware is going through the top of the dash, the center wire going left powers the clock. It's possible to drill through wire, but not if you're actively moving it out of the way when it's close to the bit.
1122114

Image 2 It's an easy job overall. I thought it would be best to have access to the area under the dash, again to avoid damaging wires.
1122115

Image 3 View of the Ram Mount from the top showing #10 Screws. Could not find the screws on the RAM Mount website. I found various stuff...their hardware choices are limited. But my application was custom. They sell a kit for the Jeep but it mounts onto a metal bracket...it's where I got the idea. And it pretty much works. There is no metal or anything rigid in this location, and it has some flex when pressure is applied with the mount and an iPad Pro. But it's stable during normal driving, and moves some on hard bumps and articulation, but only moves some.
1122116


Image 4 Assembled with RAM Mount kits and shown without the iPad. Using it for Gaia Maps on the largest screen available. 12.9 Inch iPad Pro. Tricky to find the best spot. Also using with a DUEL GPS receiver. Total kit with GPS was $235. The plan is to add a front WIFI camera that's will display on the iPad as well to aid in finding the lines on the trail.

There is no end to plans for future upgrades. Just watching the weight after Smittybilt Winch Bar, ARB Rock Rails, Bilstein 5100's front and back set to 2 inch lift, Smittybilt 9500lb winch XR2, New TRD Wheels, Optima Red Top, Rotpax Roof Mount solution with two 3 Gallon Tanks, ARB Recovery Kit — it's been a lot of work in the garage, and not an easy time.

Getting ready for a trip to Moab.

1122117
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
This is great. I have been thinking of a setup like this, or alternatively on the side panel to the right of the radio. In terms of flex, have you considered mounting a (relatively) thin metal plate under the plastic dashboard, instead of washers? A rectangular piece of metal bigger than the Ram mount base would considerably strengthen the area where the base attaches to.

Also, what Ram iPad mount is that? RAM® EZ-Roll'r™ Cradle? I checked but it does not have the ball socket where yours does.

Lastly, have you explored using an iPhone or Android phone as the source of GPS data instead of a dedicated GPS receiver? I am not sure if Gaia can be used this way, but it would be a nicer and cheaper solution than a dedicated receiver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
No plate necessary, as there is not much flex. The short arm of the RAM mount bares the weight of the iPad on its knuckle as seen in the photo. I've observed this on rough offloading. No flex under max forces.

RAM-HOL-AP21U EZ-Roll'r Cradle for the Apple iPad Pro 12.9" (1st and 2nd Gen)

The ball socket is a separate piece. RAM Double Ball Adapter.

Also got the RAM Universal Double Ball Mount with Two Round Plates.

Also got the RAM Double Socket Arm.

Also got the RAM MOUNTS (RAP-B-375U Screw On Base for Flat Panels

You have to supply your own hardware because there's no kit with screws...they are #10 in the photo.

It was not an easy job. It took a lot of searching and a full evening of dropping washers deep into the sub dash area.

Lastly you cannot use the iPhone as a GPS for the iPad. I checked thoroughly. Perhaps if you jailbreak the devices, someone has figured that out, maybe. However, I'm certain that the closed system on iOS is inflexible in this and many other respects. The price you pay for security is a loss in liberties.

Hope you found this helpful. Good luck in your quest!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
This is great. I have been thinking of a setup like this, or alternatively on the side panel to the right of the radio. In terms of flex, have you considered mounting a (relatively) thin metal plate under the plastic dashboard, instead of washers? A rectangular piece of metal bigger than the Ram mount base would considerably strengthen the area where the base attaches to.

Also, what Ram iPad mount is that? RAM® EZ-Roll'r™ Cradle? I checked but it does not have the ball socket where yours does.

Lastly, have you explored using an iPhone or Android phone as the source of GPS data instead of a dedicated GPS receiver? I am not sure if Gaia can be used this way, but it would be a nicer and cheaper solution than a dedicated receiver.
Comments below, just wanted the system to alert you. Hope it helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Thank you for the clarifications. I am surprised that a heavy iPad/mounting hardware hanging at the end of a lever does not produce enough flex on the top of the dashboard. Perhaps after a million up/down oscillations when off-roading it will weaken that plastic. In any case, glad to know the washers are enough.

Regarding the RAM mount, I now noticed that it was an optical illusion! If you look at your last photo it appears as if the socket was on the thin end of the mounting plate. Looking closely you can see the arm going behind it to one of the three mounting spots, though... Are you happy with that mount? I read many folks complained it's really difficult to insert the iPad there as it's so tight...

In regards to the point of using an iPhone as a GPS device, this is not an iOS limitation. There's no need to jailbreak the phone or anything like that. There's an app called GPS2IP that "broadcasts" the phone's GPS coordinates over an IP network. If you connect the iPad to the iPhone (used as a Hotspot) then you can get the GPS coordinates on the iPad. The limitation is Gaia. They need to listen to a port in the network for those coordinates. Other navigation apps do this already. I (and others) have requested Gaia does this, instead of requiring the use of an additional expensive GPS receiver when we all have GPS receivers already in our phones. See this if you are curious.
 

·
Registered
07 FJ
Joined
·
10 Posts
Thank you for the clarifications. I am surprised that a heavy iPad/mounting hardware hanging at the end of a lever does not produce enough flex on the top of the dashboard. Perhaps after a million up/down oscillations when off-roading it will weaken that plastic. In any case, glad to know the washers are enough.

Regarding the RAM mount, I now noticed that it was an optical illusion! If you look at your last photo it appears as if the socket was on the thin end of the mounting plate. Looking closely you can see the arm going behind it to one of the three mounting spots, though... Are you happy with that mount? I read many folks complained it's really difficult to insert the iPad there as it's so tight...

In regards to the point of using an iPhone as a GPS device, this is not an iOS limitation. There's no need to jailbreak the phone or anything like that. There's an app called GPS2IP that "broadcasts" the phone's GPS coordinates over an IP network. If you connect the iPad to the iPhone (used as a Hotspot) then you can get the GPS coordinates on the iPad. The limitation is Gaia. They need to listen to a port in the network for those coordinates. Other navigation apps do this already. I (and others) have requested Gaia does this, instead of requiring the use of an additional expensive GPS receiver when we all have GPS receivers already in our phones. See this if you are curious.
I'm on the same boat as you as I'm also surprised there is no flex, but then again I'm not sure how thick the dash is anyway. I'm glad it works out.

I have the same style iPad mount in my FJ, but I purchased the seat bracket mount (see below) (my wallet still hurts of that purchase)

1125981


But to get back to the point, the iPad holder is somewhat tight, but I like that because I didn't want it rattling or falling out at all. I may have noticed some markings on my iPad against the tongue of the mount pulling it in and out so much, but I dont care much if my iPad get damaged because it was a cheap buy. Overall I'm very happy with it.

Lastly, I would say if you only have a wifi iPad then just use your phone for navigation. If you're going the lengths of broadcasting your GPS to another device then you're wasting battery life on your phone for something that would probably be more efficient if you just used your phone in the first place. I would only use an iPad if it has standalong GPS capabilities (cellular + wifi models). I certainly prefer my iPad over my phone because the screen is so much bigger and it's a dedicated piece of equipment to navigation even when cell service is limited. The GPS hardware in the iPads and iPhones are also quite good. It tracks much better than my Pixel 4 and I think my iPad is 4 years old from current generation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Well, and there's anther thing to consider if you have a WiFi-only iPad (i.e. no GPS). If your plan is to use the iPad for navigation you will also need a dedicated GPS receiver, because GaiaGPS does not grab GPS coordinates from your tethered iPhone. So, to use your iPad you will need a GPS receiver, plus of course all the mounts. That is about $200 right there. Given that, perhaps it makes more sense to go for a large screen Android tablet/stereo that replaces your in-dash factory stereo. It costs more, but you have everything you need, you don't have anything hanging, no need to drill anything, and no need for yet another device. The drawbacks are a more expensive setup, and you have to deal with Android (although you could run CarPlay on it, but that has limitations).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I have a DUEL GPS receiver ($99) which I also attach to a solar unit, and place it on the dash...it may or may not be the best solution, but it works well with GAIYA, and I switch between the iPhone and the iPad depending on the need. I use the iPad basically as a large head unit. Bluetooth to the Amplifier, retaining the steering wheel to control volume and use various Music players with music downloaded to the iPad. I use an External camera mounted to the Winch Bar/Bumper to find lines and give me a view downward for when the FJ is pointed at the sky...(self spotting, almost as good as the real thing, and way better than nothing when you don't have a spotter), GAIYA maps can be used by either the iPhone OR the iPad, depending on need, emphasis, et cetera), and various other uses including looking up services, listening to emergency channels, connecting to the FJ's computer for codes...clearing those annoying emails from the bank when I have a signal. And looking at pictures of boobies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
All valid uses of the iPad, Mike. If I had a GPS receiver I would use mine this way. But my point was that if you had to buy the receiver plus all the mounts you are at ~$200. If you can replace the factory stereo with a giant Android in dash tablet with built in GPS for ~$350 you can do everything you listed, without having a device floating in the air as you are bumping off road.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top