Sport Struts with Base/Limited Springs? - Neck/Back Pain Help Please - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 01:18 AM
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Sport Struts with Base/Limited Springs? - Neck/Back Pain Help Please

Hi, I want to put softer springs up front on my Rav4 sport and was wondering if anyone can tell me if the base/limited V6 front springs are compatible with the mounts for the struts on the V6 sport version? Also, does anyone know of any cushy aftermarket springs? I canít seem to find an answer to this. I guess the rear springs are the same across the trim levels from what I have read here, hence I'm only planning on changing the front springs. The struts donít have much to do with how jolting the ride is, so I just want to replace the springs on my Rav4 sport with the base/limited springs (no 3rd row version). I see that I can get a pair of base/limited springs for around $130 new.

Just a note on why I want to do this - I do a ton of driving for work on rough northeast roads and Iíve been having severe neck/back pain from long trips in my Rav4 sport thatís now sticking with me and getting worse between the moron designed stiff seats with no lumbar, an unusable head rest, and the stiff suspension. I wanted the sport for the tighter suspension/better handling, the sunroof, and the wheels, plus I got a great deal on a used one. Before the Rav4 I had a Ford Probe GT with an unbelievable stiff suspension. I was literally pooping blood after riding in that thing for any period of time, not to mention my windshield cracked after hitting a pothole once, but it never gave me neck or back pain. Part of the problem with the Rav4 seems to be excessive vibration and jolts from bumps in the road transferred to the passengers. I just got a set of 4 new snow tires with large sidewalls and put them on a set of 17Ē rims I had for the Probe, but that doesnít seem to have made that much of a difference on the Rav4. I donít want to screw around with lowering the tire pressure and screw up my tread life and fuel economy for the minimal difference lower pressure makes. Iím half debating getting rid of the Rav4 altogether.

Iím also trying to figure out what to do with the seats. I canít believe the idiots at Toyota that designed such horrendous seats that are pretty much anti-ergonomic in every aspect and engineered to torture you just for not having the limited version. I wish there were some good aftermarket seats with lumbar. Iíve ordered a neck pillow, and if I donít get rid of it first, Iíll probably end up ripping apart the seat to try and correct the dumb design as others have done here.
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 02:22 AM
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Do you have a sport with the 18 and rft ( run flat tires).... If so that might be your problem...run flats are exstremlly hard tires
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 08:32 AM
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Any auto upholstery shop worth their salt would be able to re-make the seat to your liking. I doubt changing the front springs would help that much and you would be at risk of screwing up the entire front end geometry. In short I think you're better off with a vehicle better designed to deal with the roads you must endure. We have a Base & a Limited; I find the seats in both comfortable even with a couple of goofed up discs in my back. Maybe a chiropractor is in order?

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2008 Base V-6 front wheel drive
2008 Limited V-6 front wheel drive
Both with Tow Prep Package
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 09:13 AM
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Seats are highly personal like shoes I guess. I have back problems too (lumbar area) but thank God no neck problems. I got the Sport model too because of the feature set and I don't like the Base interior colors (light grey or beige) and don't want leather in the Limited our only choice in Canada . I would have preferred the 17" wheels and tires and the regular suspension setup, power heated seats too but I can't have everything and I had to settle for the best compromise!

I run Blizzak WS70 on 17" steelies for the winter and they are softer and quieter than my 18" Toyo A20's! In the spring I'll be looking seriously for smoother tires most likely Yokohama Avid Ascend 225/60/18 or OEM size 235/55/18. It's hard to tell if the blue Tokico shocks are too stiff or if it's the springs or the antisway bars or all 3 but the Sport rides like a truck...It handles well but I would prefer a smoother ride.

Can someone please confirm that the antiswaybars are different? If so, that would be an easy DIY fix as I find the vehicle makes me bounce around when hitting a bump or a dip on one side only . I don't think I would go about changing springs and shocks at this point.

2012 Sport V6 Classic Silver no option
1999 Lexus RX300 Pearl White base gone
1972 Corolla 1200 Yellow 4 speed manual long gone
Others too many to mention!
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 09:40 AM
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I also have lumbar issues with the seat in my sport so I just bought a lumbar support pillow thing from my dealer, I used it on my 700 mile trip to NC and back and I had zero lumbar pain using the pillow. Funny thing is now after using it I have no more pain?

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-----2012 V6 Sport, Tow Prep, & 4x4-----
HU: Kenwood DNN991HD & back-up cam,
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 09:54 AM
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Thanks veliksam it's good to know; is it a Toyota labeled accessory? I have Obus Forme and other lumbar cushions everywhere in the house! I should have said I have back problems but not in my RAV as I find I have enough lumbar support but that was not the case in many of my former vehicles, mostly American cars of a few decades ago. Perhaps when I will make a long trip I will need additional lumbar support but so far up to an hour or so no problem, just a rough ride because our roads are not well made and not well maintained around here so it only compounds the problem with a Sport model. The different governments are blaming the weather...Funny as as as soon as one crosses the border to the US or Ontario, the roads are as smooth as a pool table.

2012 Sport V6 Classic Silver no option
1999 Lexus RX300 Pearl White base gone
1972 Corolla 1200 Yellow 4 speed manual long gone
Others too many to mention!
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 10:01 AM
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No, it was just some generic "made in China" lumbar thing and it has an elastic band that goes around the seat. It's probably just a cheap junk thing since it was only like $12 but it worked for me. I now keep it in the cargo area ready in case my back starts acting up again.

Sent from my HTC ONE X

-----2012 V6 Sport, Tow Prep, & 4x4-----
HU: Kenwood DNN991HD & back-up cam,
JDM HID Projector Headlights w/Toshiba D4S Bulbs, JDM Vanguard Tail Lights
Front DRL's, LED Bumper Park/Brake lights,
Laser Interceptor Quad & Passport 9500ix
Red "SPORT" Theme
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 10:22 AM
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Can someone please confirm that the antiswaybars are different? If so, that would be an easy DIY fix as I find the vehicle makes me bounce around when hitting a bump or a dip on one side only . I don't think I would go about changing springs and shocks at this point.
The bars are for reducing body roll in corners, ride is unaffected. I have a considerably thicker aftermarket sway bar on mine. There is no ride or stiffness difference at all. When you blast into a heavy corner the body remains flat.

Old Bird......sometimes wise
2008 Base V-6 front wheel drive
2008 Limited V-6 front wheel drive
Both with Tow Prep Package
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I’m just going to go ahead and order the springs today. They’re cheap and easy enough to install with some patience and spring compressors that I already have. The only thing is now I see that from the web sites I'm trying to order from, they're showing the same part for the springs for the base/limited and the sport, which seems to be incorrect. Does anyone know if there's a spring height difference at all between any of the base and limited versions as well? I'm going to call my local Toyota dealershipt too. I’ll post back and let everyone know what I find out and if and how the springs work out.

Veliksam – is there any name or anything identifying the pillow you have or could you post a pic if you have a second? It sounds like what I’m looking for. I’ve seen a lot of lumbar pillows online, but very few have straps to hold them to the seat which I fail to understand! A lot of them seem to be way to thick, or shaped wrong too. Right now I’m using a one of those foam cervical neck collars behind my back when I drive.

Freedom55 – I think I’m actually going to get a another set of 16” or 17” rims for the summer and stash the stock 18’s (didn’t get the run flats since I wanted the spare) in the basement (with just 27k miles) for a smoother ride. Even though I like the way the 18’s look, I value my health more! What size Blizzaks did you get? I just got 225/65 17 General Tire Altimax Arctic snow tires all the way around. I will be driving on them today a bit more to see how they feel. I had them for my last car and they were amazing in the snow and ice. I also liked a set of Winterforce tires I had, but they got progressively louder. I had Blizzak’s before those, and despite the cool sounding name, that same car with the Altimax Arctics and the Winterforce snow tires faired much better in the snow than the Blizzaks. I’m thinking now I should have gotten 16” snow tires and even larger sidewalls since I already have a spare set of 16” rims, just that the rims are ugly.

BTW Rock Auto has Dorman TPMS sensors for the Rav4’s for ~$32 each with replacement valve stems available for cheap for when you swap tires. I’m still waiting for my programming software to come from China to program them in.
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 06:29 PM
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I have 225/65/17 Blizzak. You can use 215/70/16 like on Base 4 cyl models or 225/70/16 which is closer in diameter. The Altimax and Winterforce with their more aggressive tread and provision for studding are true snow tires while the Blizzak is a studless ice tire a little less eficient in snow but very quiet almost like a Michelin Xice. There was a time I wanted very aggressive winter tires to go anywhere but now that I'm retired and don't travel much, I want a quiet ride!

2012 Sport V6 Classic Silver no option
1999 Lexus RX300 Pearl White base gone
1972 Corolla 1200 Yellow 4 speed manual long gone
Others too many to mention!
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