The Dongar Technologies Dashcam Adapter for 2020+ Toyota 4Runner Models
Traditionally, there were two methods of running power to your dashcam:
- Run a long USB cord down the side of your windshield (not aesthetically pleasing).
- Take apart your headliner and side trim to run a hidden power cord (too labor-intensive for most). You can see an installation overview from Frank on this Grdian Krios dash cam kit – a great install, you just don’t need to do this anymore.
What Dongar Technologies came up with is essentially a plug-and-play wire-spliced adapter that draws power from your powered rear-view mirror. This allows you to run the shortest USB cord possible to your dashcam, keeping everything hidden behind your mirror.
Find It Online:
In the box, you’ll find the adapter, pry tool, zip tie, instructions, and a couple of short USB cords with different options depending on what your dashcam of choice uses.
The Dongar kit includes a micro-USB and mini-USB cable, which should cover the power connection for most cameras. If you choose a camera that uses USB-C, just know that you’ll need to pick one of those up.
I chose to go with the Dongar recommended Garmin Dashcam Mini 2. This is a fairly no-frills option but is also one of the most compact cameras on the market, keeping in theme with trying to have as discrete a dashcam install as possible. Some of the main features of this camera include 1080p resolution, wifi-connectivity, local and optional online footage storage.
Before doing anything, make sure that your vehicle is off.
Step 1. Unclip Rearview Mirror Wire Cover
Take your pry tool and wedge it under the left side of the rearview mirror wire cover. Once inserted, give a slight twist to the pry tool which will depress the cover’s retaining clips. Be careful not to pull down on the cover just yet, as you’ll risk breaking two plastic retaining clips at the top. Repeat these steps on the right side of the cover.
Step 2. Removing the Rearview Mirror Wire Cover
Once both sides are undone, slide the whole cover down, following the surface of the windshield. There will be a slight clicking noise, which is normal. Slide the cover down as much as possible and then pull it off starting from the bottom.
Step 3. Disconnect Mirror Wire Harness
With the wire harness exposed, you’ll want to depress the center clip on the plug to disconnect it.
Step 4. Remove Overhead Control Housing
This step depends on which 4runner trim you have. If you do not have these controls and instead have a sunglass holder, skip to step 6.
For models with the MTS and CRAWL system controls, I found it easiest this module by running a pry tool along the side until it comes out of the headliner. Keep one hand underneath because once the retaining clips disengage, the control module will fall down.
Step 5. Disconnect Wire Harness
With the module out of the headliner, remove the single wire harness by depressing the clip in the center of it.
Step 6. Remove Screws
There will be two Philips head screws holding the rest of the overheard controls housing in place.
Step 7. Pull Down Overhead Unit
Once the two screws are removed, gently start to pull down on the housing by the map lights. You may need to gradually increase your pulling force so that you can disengage two plastic studs that are attached to the roof – these are the only two attachment points.
Step 8. Disconnect Wire Harness
With the control housing off, there will be one main wire harnesses to disconnect, in a similar fashion to the others up to this point.
Step 9. Feed Mirror Wire Harness Through Headliner
You will need to slightly pull the front of the headliner down to squeeze the harness through.
Step 10. Feed Single Plug End of Dongar Harness Through Headliner
You will need to slightly pull the front of the headliner down to squeeze the plug through.
Step 11. Connect Factory Wire Harness
Next, connect the factory harness to the Dongar adapter.
Step 12. Connect Opposite End of Dongar Harness Into the Factory Mirror Plug
You may need to pull some of the wire slack back down from when you fished the Dongar adapter and factory wire harness up through the headliner.
Step 13. Tidy Everything Up
Find a space towards the front of the headliner where you can tuck the Dongar + factory harness to make everything flush again.
Step 14. Place Zip Tie
Fish the supplied zip tie behind the factory mirror wire plate.
Step 15. Replace Rearview Wire Harness Cover
Replace the factory wire harness cover in reverse order of Step 2, keeping the USB plug portion outside of the cover.
Step 16. Zip Tie Dognar Usb Plug to Wire Harness Cover
I chose to connect the USB cable to the adapter first, before zip-tying the USB plug to the side of the wire cover, since it was easier to see the plug.
Step 17. Reattach Overhead Modules
Loosley reattach the overhead control modules and their wire harnesses in reverse order of steps 5 thru 7. I would advise not fully re-attach everything until after testing that your dashcam properly functions.
Step 18. Wrapping Up
Once you’ve tested that your camera is operational, fully reattach everything and position your dashcam as desired.
I’m very pleased with how this setup turned out, super clean and barely noticeable while driving. I was never a fan of the very obvious-looking dashcam setups where everything just sits right in your field of view. While this involved a little more work than the Dongar kits sold for other or older vehicles, it was still way less than the full wire routing option as mentioned at the beginning of this post.
One important note is that functions like parking monitoring where a dashcam will start recording if motion or sound is detected, will not work using this adapter. This is because power is only supplied to the dashcam when your vehicle is either running or the auxiliary mode is on. I actually liked this feature, because it means there isn’t the possibility of something draining my battery while parked for extended periods of time.
What types of dashcam setups do you all have? Do you care about running dashcams at all? Feel free to drop a comment and let me know!
Thanks for reading, and see you all on the next one.