Best ways to increase either horsepower and/or mileage? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 05:19 AM
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Best ways to increase either horsepower and/or mileage?

Hello everyone! I currently own a 2003 Black RAV4 w/ the "Sports" Package, and I was wondering what are the best ways to increase either horsepower and/or mileage? -- In terms of cost and effectiveness (cheap vs. performance gains). I currently and have been using a K&N Air Filter for the past few months, and have been using premium (higher octane) fuel. However, I still feel the need for more power, but also mileage, if possible. I wanted to know what is, perhaps, the next step second up from a K&N Air Filter? I don't know much about modifying cars or improving them to make it faster .... maybe an exhaust pipe or muffler change or better tires (I dunno), perhaps? I just want to know what are least expensive & most effective ways to improve horsepower. Thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 07:46 AM
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You have a couple of choices.

1.Reduce weight in your engine. (ie pulleys,flywheel)
$300-500

2.Buy tires with better traction
$400-Tires+ Maybe shipping

3.Buy a turbo kit from a previous model(because the 4.2 doesnt have a turbo kit yet), and also you have to build a custom exhuast manifold.
$3000

These are just estimates.

The cheapest and most effective thing you can do is... remove all uneccessary things that are weighing your car down.
 
#3 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 12:05 PM
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Well firstly, using premium in an engine tuned for 87 will only hurt your gas mileage, not help it. You end up with more unburnt gas using premium which gets things dirtier faster too.

The filter swap likely isn't doing much. Cold Air Intakes are usually the most cost effective way to increase performance and mileage. But I must say I've never heard of anyone doing that with a RAV, yet, or if they make one.

Edit:
In this post, it seems like a few people have had luck modifying CAIs designed for Celicas.
http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=39


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#4 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 08:02 PM
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Assuming you have the fully loaded sport I'd say take off those darn sst roofracks and side steps that are weighing you down. But if you're like me and you can't cause that's part of the charm of the sporty version, I'd say weight reduction as suggested before is your best bet. You could take out your two rear seats if you don't use them often. Replace the hood with a carbon fiber hood. I seem to remember someone making a carbon fiber hood with hoodscoop for the Rav back in the old R4W messageboards. Replace your rims with lighter forged racing rims to again reduce weight. Make sure your air filter is clean. Take off the spare if you want to.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 09:58 PM
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Oh... I never had the sidestep. I think the sidestep wasn't part of the Sports package but rather an addon...
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 10:11 PM
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Easiest way? Nitrous....

However that will destroy your engine after a while, and it gets expensive because you will have to keep refilling the bottles.

The two best ways are a turbo or a full engine swap. The rest of the mods most of us do are little things that cost a lof of money but only increase power a little bit, like exhaust or intake mods.

Skip the premium gas, it's a waste of money. The Rav's engine doesn't have a high enough compression ratio for the gas to make a difference.

K&N filters don't really do much, because I just switched back to a stock paper filter and didn't notice much of a difference.

Just don't be one of those fools that buys the electric superchargers off eBay. If you were to buy one of those you would have to get the muffler bearings and blinker fluid to go with it.

By the way tires have no effect on power and very little effect on gas mileage.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 05:39 AM
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Would it not be possible to have the Engine management remapped? It is quite a common exercise over here, and a decent tuning company can add some usefull power ...Just a thought
 
#8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 03:21 AM
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Hmm.. that's what I'm looking for... small mods. Nitrous is way out of my line. Although expensive and best way to increase power, but I want to start from the basics..

You mentioned intake and exhaust mods....how should I approach this?
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 08:21 AM
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Here are weight savings that work for my needs.

I do it for performance but there is also fuel econimy as well. I also don’t need the parts removed so what is good for me may not be good for others

Carbon hood would deduct some good weight but you will effect your FI crush zone.

Some SSR Comps rims can save you over 30 lb's but cost you a few grand.


---------------------------------

2 rear seats 100 lb

Rear cargo
cvr. & tools 15 lb

Spare tire 50 lb As long as you travel short distances.

Q fuel level 50 lb For me 3,000 so don't worry about fuel stops

Extra Junk
in Car 25 lb

Owning
a Rav 4 PRICELESS
----------------------------------

So Total runs just about 230 lb.
This could be like adding close to 10 hp
If you weigh less this also contributes. 200 lb person Vs. 135

Don't forget Isaac Newton. (the acceleration a of a mass m by an unbalanced force F is directly proportional to the force and inversely proportional to the mass, or a = F / m)
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 03:37 PM
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some good suggestions there.

It used to be the case that id fill the car up with fuel at the start of the week before a working week begins. These days i tend to fill up a third of a tank if i know my travel will be very local. every bit of weight reduction helps i guess. The suggestion about replacing the alloy wheels/rims intrigues me - roll on payday!
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