LED Flasher Mod
The first step in upgrading the blinkers to LED is to modify an electronic blinker relay so it does NOT sense a burned-out bulb. Electronic flashers have the ability to flash at the same rate regardless of load, but now most of them come with a "burn out safety" feature. This feature blinks the remaining bulbs faster if one is burned out - the fast blink is intended to warn you of a failed bulb. The problem is that LEDs draw such low current that the blinker thinks there is a failed bulb, and "warns" you constantly with a fast flash. It appears that the factory Rav4EV flasher unit is electronic (and is an ISO unit as compared to a JSO), but I decided to buy an aftermarket replacement to fool with instead. The Tridon EP35 (thanks to Michael Schwabe for finding it) is a direct replacement as far as size and configuration go... but has the burn out safety feature, of course. By defeating pin 7 of the IC, the feature is disabled - but the unit still doesn't work in the Rav for some reason!
A word of warning here - the factory flasher relay is a booger to remove! One of the connecting clips will try to bend out of position when you remove it - plus there are two plastic "claw" clips holding it in place. It takes three hands and a bit of patience to get it out without breaking anything.
Phase two has begun. A new electronic flasher unit has been discovered (thanks to Steve Hawkins) at Telstar-Electronics. Expensive yes - but made in the USA, and has some nice features (sound control, flash rate control, no load required). After five other units have failed to work, this is the first one that was discovered to actually function in the Rav.
Below are three shots of the modified Tridon unit. I desoldered the IC chip and soldered a socket it its place so I could defeat the one pin without having to cut it. And if something doesn't work as planned, I can be back to "stock" in no time. The one pin sticking out with a bit of red on it is the pin in question. The metal hoop right next to that pin is the sense resistor that triggers the fail mode. Simply removing it doesn't help! Been there, done that.
Here is the Tridon unit next to the factory Toyota unit.
And the location of the flasher unit behind the driver-side
kick panel (it is a nest in here since all the wires for cruise control, keyless
entry, auxiliary power, etc all come through here!)