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post #1 of 8 Old 11-11-2014, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking about a new/used RAV4, for next performance build

Hi guys, I've spent a bunch of time over on the Camry forum, teasing a little more fun, and quite a bit more performance out of that flatform, but I'm getting the signs its time to move on to something a lot newer, and a little different. I'm wondering if the RAV4 might be a fun vehicle own, and maybe mod a bit. Most notably, I'd like to pull my Phantom Supercharger off of the Camry and put it on worthy version of the RAV4. I'd like my next vehicle to be less than 10 years old, so the first generation of Rav4's are out of contention. If anybody knows what years of the RAV4, were accessible to re-flashing of the ecu, for tuning purposes, this would be nice to know. Any tips in fact on which models are the best to look out for, have issues, etc., would be welcome!
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-13-2014, 02:50 PM
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Depends on what your ultimate power goals are and if you want to start N/A then work up to something a little more "beefier" than what the Phantom will give you.

The 3rd gen - 2006-2009, seemed to be one of the more popular ones. The V6 equipped ones are the preferred models, the I4 on the earlier ones (2.4L 2AZ-FE, are like their counter parts in the Camrys and Scions - known heavy oil consumers). In 2009, they switched out to the 2.5L 2AR-FE - more power, Dual VVT-i, novel two runner intake design and better gas mileage ontop.

The V6 on the Rav4 has shown pretty decent results to standard bolt-on mods (I/H/E). The I4, less so. Either one will take on the Phantom E-Charger, no problem - as for flashability, like other Toyota models, they really don't have that sort of adjustability for user tuning. You'll have to go with a piggyback or standalone to squeeze as much juice out of these powertrains. There are guys on the Rav4World forums with lightly modded Rav4 that are putting down low 14s and high 13s 1/4 mile passes consistently. Lots of torque + AWD makes it a sleeper on the drag strip. Relatively lightweight and fast steering makes it feel much more nimble than its CUV shape leads you to believe.

Issues, the older V6 (pre-2008) have the same VVTi oil hose setup as the V6 in the Avalons, which is part metal and part rubber - that rubber portion has completely split for some owners, dumping oil all over the place. They also have finicky drive lines (5-speed auto), but they have been addressed with some PCM remapping at the dealerships. Recall on the rear suspension arms (bolt backs out). Recall on window switches (catches fire if you use a flammable solvent - go figure). Some gear whine - usually taken care of with some fluid changes. Other than that - pretty solid. My 2009 Rav4 Limited runs as smoothly as my 1996 Camry on the road, but has twice the ground clearance so heavy snow/mud - Rav4 just trucks right through it.

2002 Toyota Corolla S
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2009 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD
2016 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-13-2014, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fishexpo101 View Post
Depends on what your ultimate power goals are and if you want to start N/A then work up to something a little more "beefier" than what the Phantom will give you.

The 3rd gen - 2006-2009, seemed to be one of the more popular ones. The V6 equipped ones are the preferred models, the I4 on the earlier ones (2.4L 2AZ-FE, are like their counter parts in the Camrys and Scions - known heavy oil consumers). In 2009, they switched out to the 2.5L 2AR-FE - more power, Dual VVT-i, novel two runner intake design and better gas mileage ontop.

The V6 on the Rav4 has shown pretty decent results to standard bolt-on mods (I/H/E). The I4, less so. Either one will take on the Phantom E-Charger, no problem - as for flashability, like other Toyota models, they really don't have that sort of adjustability for user tuning. You'll have to go with a piggyback or standalone to squeeze as much juice out of these powertrains. There are guys on the Rav4World forums with lightly modded Rav4 that are putting down low 14s and high 13s 1/4 mile passes consistently. Lots of torque + AWD makes it a sleeper on the drag strip. Relatively lightweight and fast steering makes it feel much more nimble than its CUV shape leads you to believe.

Issues, the older V6 (pre-2008) have the same VVTi oil hose setup as the V6 in the Avalons, which is part metal and part rubber - that rubber portion has completely split for some owners, dumping oil all over the place. They also have finicky drive lines (5-speed auto), but they have been addressed with some PCM remapping at the dealerships. Recall on the rear suspension arms (bolt backs out). Recall on window switches (catches fire if you use a flammable solvent - go figure). Some gear whine - usually taken care of with some fluid changes. Other than that - pretty solid. My 2009 Rav4 Limited runs as smoothly as my 1996 Camry on the road, but has twice the ground clearance so heavy snow/mud - Rav4 just trucks right through it.
I have to go back and get intimate with engines and transmissions. I don't need the vehicle to have the full hot-rod capability of the 3.5L, V-6. I see those things can go like crazy anyway. I would love to get a 150-160hp I-4, boost it to 190hp, and 200lb/ft of usable torque. for spirated driving. Take dividends the rest of the time in fuel economomy, with non boosted operation.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-14-2014, 12:02 PM
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go for an 04 or 05.....they have the 2.4 with about 160hp and 5 speed manuals......the only thing that would make my v6 sport nicer would be a 6 speed manual.....with the 3.5 it is downright scary sometimes how it just takes off....
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-16-2014, 09:38 AM
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Silent Runner welcome to the RAV4 forum. I too had a Camry before (V6). The RAV4 is a totally different vehicle than the Camry. The RAV4 ride is much stiffer than the floating suspension of the Camry. Also get use to the very short wheel base, shorter nose, and higher ground clearance. You would be interested in this handy need for speed calculator to find your dream machine.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-17-2014, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dl175 View Post
Silent Runner welcome to the RAV4 forum. I too had a Camry before (V6). The RAV4 is a totally different vehicle than the Camry. The RAV4 ride is much stiffer than the floating suspension of the Camry. Also get use to the very short wheel base, shorter nose, and higher ground clearance. You would be interested in this handy need for speed calculator to find your dream machine.
Hey, a super big thank-you for this calculator! My latest instrumented testing shows that I was able to shave 3 seconds off of my stock 0-60mph times on the Camry. My interest would be in better fuel economy, so sadly I have to let the big bad V-6 go. Amusingly, the 0-60 times for a 4cyl RAV4, with the 2.4L, are already quicker than time period tests of all of the V-6, 4spd auto, Camry's! I'm not shure what that would mean, for adding my Phantom Supercharger to a 2.4L I4 automatic (or a 5spd if I could find it!), but it does mybe suggest that a little spirited driving potential could be found in this flatform.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-19-2014, 08:43 PM
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The 2.4l engine is a known oil burner. A rebuild will likely be necessary prior to any serious pressure boost. With the Phantom that likely won't be an issue but if you ever go turbo or belt driven sipercharger you'll need stronger internals. .

Two '08 V-6 with tow prep
One Base, One Limited
Both Front wheel drive

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-20-2014, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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I've been doing a little reading on the 2.4L I4, and it's oil burning tendancies.... It's absolutely bizzare and stupid that Toyota let this carry on for so long. I've been looking over a 2011 RAV4's engine bay. It's stock aircleaner/throttle body set-up, is almost perfect for the Phantom Supercharger's, centrifugal blower lay-out, and there is lots of room for the additional dump batteries. Based off of other similar applications, this 2.4L, would push very close to 200hp, and gain the advantage of another 60ft/lbs of torque, at as low as 2500rpm.
The only question would be in tuning, and whether this system might just make the engine blow bye tons of extra oil?

More reading, more research....
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