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My 2018 Avalon XLE Premium Upgrades

3246 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  lE5QE0
In a previous thread, I promised to do a write-up of changes to my (new to me) 2018 Avalon XLE Premium. Well, I think I'm finished (for now) with doing upgrades.

As some of you may recall, in April of this year my 2013 Avalon XLE Touring was rear-ended and subsequently totaled by my insurance company. This led me to pick up a Blizzard Pearl 2018 Avalon XLE Premium with ~28,000 miles.
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It's basically the same car for the most part. This model year is the last of the Gen 4 and the 2013 was the first year. The biggest difference is in ride quality. The 2018 is noticably smoother due to having 17" rims and a softer suspension. Being a 2018, it came with a few more standard features than the 2013 did. The '18 came with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams and Qi wireless smartphone charging. Gone are the Wide-angle flog lights.

Below, I've listed the modifications that I've made to the car.

Morimoto (35W 5000K) HID conversion. This is an upgrade that I highly recommend. They create a great, focused beam. For those of you espousing LED bulbs,... yes LEDs will fit, but typically they won't focus the beam properly and will blind oncoming drivers. Great for you, really s#%$y for those in front of you. I don't want to be "that guy".
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(I figured some of you might want to see how I mounted the ballasts and relays)

Tail-As-Turn modules with LasFit LED rear turn lamps (I've always felt that the rear turn lamps were weak). The modules make the brake lights and turn lamps both fire when the turn signal is activated. This provides a lot more visibility to those behind me.
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(I put the red ones in for the turn lamps and the white ones in for the reverse lamps. You'll need resistors to prevent a hyper-flash of the turn signal. Make sure to locate the resistors away from anything susceptible to heat... they get toasty.)

Stainless Steel Door Sills with illuminated "Avalon" on front sills (I just think that the black plastic ones that come standard are cheap looking).
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Illuminated cup-holders (really helps at night so that I don't have to search for the hole).
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For this mod, you'll need: Lens-front, Lens-rear & (2) LEDs. I wired them into the lamp for the gear selector.

USB Port fed with a 5 volt power supply left of steering wheel (this is the charging and on/off for my DAP).
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Part Two (limited to 10 photos per post)

Sound System:
For starters, I've installed a lot of sound insulation using the following:
  • CLD (Constrained-layer Damping); Kno Knoise Kolossus. I've installed about 140 sq ft throughout the car.
  • CCF (closed-cell foam); Vibro 6mm. I used about 20 sq ft.
  • Butyl Rope; Second Skin. I used about 10 ft.
  • Tesa tape. I used about a roll.
The whole point of installing these materials is to make an extremely quiet interior with absolutely no rattles. It may seem unnecessary to some of you because the Avalon is a fairly quiet car to begin with but I want a bank vault. For me it is very important. In order to do the installation I removed everything in the interior. This means removing the seats, center console, carpet, package tray, all interior trim, headliner, trunk trim, trunk lid trim and hood insulator. I treated the floor, outer door skins, inner door skins, door cards, package tray, trunk, trunk lid, plastic trim panels, roof and hood. Time involved to do all of this was in excess of 30 hours. I did it in stages over a couple of months and for me it was well worth the time, sweat and money. I did not test before and after db readings but the difference is substantial. Like I said, the Avalon is a quiet car to begin with. My Avalon is now extremely quiet. Adjacent Harley-Davidson motorcycles are barely noticeable and (unless I've got a window open) my tunes don't bother anyone near to me.

The stock sound system is the Entune Premium Audio with Navigation. I chose to keep the head unit, but it is very rarely used. I keep it on the "home" screen with Navigation and Weather showing (if anyone knows how to disable the display, please let me know). 95% or the time I keep the head unit's display off. I use the it pretty-much only for navigation and speaker-phone. When I do use the head unit for sound, it's either for IPod or CD (AM, FM, HD FM and satellite all have really crappy sound quality to my ears so I don't use them). For music my primary source is a FiiO M11 Plus LTD DAP (power and automatic on/off is provided by the aforementioned USB port).
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I have the M11 set to "in-vehicle" mode so it will automatically turn on and resume to what I was last listening to when the car is turned on. Stored on it is about 800GB of music files. Nearly all files are lossless with most being 16bit/44.1kHz. A growing number of 24bit/192kHz files are being added as I acquire more. I also use it to stream MQA audio through Tidal.

The M11 is equal to or above CD quality that feeds a digital coax SPDIF signal to an Audison C20.
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(This converts the SPIDF signal to fiber optic as the primary source.)

The sources (FiiO DAP and Toyota head unit) are fed into an Audison AP F8.9 bit DSP/Amp.
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The DSP/Amp is set up as two channels feeding 85W each into two tweeters (Audison Voce AV 1.1) in the dash, two channels feeding 85W each into two mid-woofers (Audison Voce AV 6.5) in the front doors and four channels (bridged to two channels) feeding 300W each into two sub-woofers (Audison Prima APS 10 S4S) in the spare tire well.
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Source switching as well as volume, sub-woofer level, balance and crossover points are done with a Digital Remote Control (Audison DRC MP). The front seat heater controls have been relocated to inside the center console
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All-in-all I am very pleased with the results. My car is my audio oasis/escape so I feel justified with my outlay of time and $$$$. I plan on keeping this car until it dies. Hopefully it won't meet an early death like my last Avalon.
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Nice work. I wish I had that kind of talent. Enjoy!!!
I would be happy to have just half of his energy. He is one of our best Gen 4 contributor's. Glad you didn't buy the Gen 5 this time. Nice work done there . Many thanks Goes out to IE5 for all he does for Toyota Nation.
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I would be happy to have just half of his energy. He is one of our best Gen 4 contributor's. Glad you didn't buy the Gen 5 this time. Nice work done there . Many thanks Goes out to IE5 for all he does for Toyota Nation.
Aw, shucks.

Thanks though!
I can just hear my wife's reaction if I pulled out the seats and carpet and told her I was insulating it better.. LOL. I would like to insulate the fender well skirts on the ( inside cleaner part side). Do you think some of that insulation would stick and stay. It's a bit noisy around the wheel wells with rain and snow .
@Shortstop2014!!, yes, I know it will. I did it on my 2013 Avalon. The front wheel wells are a little trickier to get to. There's a fastener on the lower corner that is square and the only way to remove it is to cut it. So be prepared to replace it. It's a cheap part to replace, though. Once you have access to the wheel wells, clean them with car wash soap and water. Then wipe it down with alcohol. Now you've got a clean surface that the CLD will adhere to very securely. It made a little difference on my '13. I'll probably do it on this one at a later time.
Thanks for the he follow up. Do you think the 14 ft kit of CLD would be enough for the two front wheel wells?
Yeah, that'd probably be ok.

BTW, that square fastener is 90189-A0002
Thanks. And for the part # too.
Any output shots with your HIDs?
No, I'll try to get some for you over the next few days, though. I don't have a before, but if I get ambitious, I'll throw them back in for a comparison... we'll see (no pun intended).
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