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Showcase cover image for ¡Ay, Caramba! RAV4.1, 1999, 6 Cylinder 3MZ-FE Engine, 4x4 5 Speed E250F Transaxle, ST205 Torsen Differential

General Information

- ¡Ay, Caramba!
- 1999
- Toyota
- RAV4, 3MZ-FE 6 Cylinder Swap Underway, SXA11L-AWMGKA
- Mossy Oak Obsession Vinyl Wrap (under the wrap, she's blue)
- 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, E250F 4x4 5 speed manual transmission, Torsen differential, left hand drive, 5 door, upgraded... well nearly everything!
- Comments and questions are welcome.

Jul 2020 I started a swap to the 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine. ¡Ay, Caramba!'s old 3S-FE needed head gaskets and other work, I decided that I didn't want to keep putting money into the old anemic leaker. See 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder NA Swap into a 99 RAV4.1

I finally located a Toyota Celica GT-FOUR ST205 Rear Torsen Limited Slip Differential that I've been looking for at a reasonable price for years. July 2020.

Purchased ¡Ay, Caramba! on 20 Mar 2013 for my youngest daughter for $4300.00 with 125,553 miles, but she wanted money instead of the RAV4 so I decided to keep it largely because the manual RAV4s can be towed wheels down (see AX001-00 / "Dinghy" Towing Guide / 03-17-00 at To tell you the truth, I really didn't like the look of her stock, she just looked too much like a granny mobile; that is one big reason I changed her appearance so much. ¡Ay, Caramba! is really coming along, she looks good and runs good, I'm very pleased with my upgrades, and she gets a lot of compliments.

As you look at all the maintenance I have performed it was largely because she is over 20 years old and needed most of the repairs. Some repairs were made as preventive maintenance while I was already working on other nearby systems or while the engine and transaxle were out of the vehicle. In my job I have to be able to run with very little notice from one end of the country to the other so I have to keep my vehicles in top working order. Another reason is that I really hate sitting on the side of the road waiting on a tow to a shop that will charge me ten times what it would have cost me if I had just taken care of it in the first place.

One of my first modifications was installation of the Old Man Emu (OME) Lift Kit, new struts, and oversized all-terrain tires so she had the ground clearance needed to run old military jeep trails. This was a great upgrade as it solved a lot of handling problems, particularly roll. The only problem is that 235/75-16 tires are just too big even with the lift and spacers so I had to modify the back of the front wheel wells by removing the "bump" and judicious use of an implement of destruction (large hammer) to accommodate them. Just try to keep your tires down to 29.5" (749.3mm) or less and it should be fine (with a lift) without resorting to the use of implements of destruction to modify your wheel wells.

She was a New Jersey car and corrosion had destroyed the fuel and rear brake lines anyplace they went through a retainer. The body and "frame" were in great shape no serious corrosion problems anywhere else. Well, except when I dropped my engine to swap the tranny I found that the lower third of the radiator had the aluminum heat sink fins totally corroded away, maybe that was why she was running a little on the warm side.

Replaced E250F 4x4 with a used low mileage 5 speed manual transmission and transfer case due to a line break to the transmission cooler that destroyed my old one. And so it wouldn't happen again, I made my own stainless steel braided -AN6 Teflon high pressure hoses to replace those old hoses. While the engine and transmission were out I did a lot of maintenance and upgrades. I did corrosion control on the engine, transmission, engine bay, crossmember, and control arms. Rebuilt the control arms, all new mounts, rebuilt the entire coolant system, full tune up, new front and rear seals, clutch, throwout bearing, pressure plate, flywheel, oil pump, and the list goes on. Purged and replaced all the fluids.

I replaced the airbox and added a snorkel. I went with a snorkel because I use my vehicle at work as a mobile office bouncing down overgrown military jeep trails and blazing my own path across overgrown fields, the low stock air intake was just sucking up too much debris and often I would have to stop and clean the air intake and filter after just a day or two of off roading, not anymore I'm happy to say. It also provides good clean cold air to my engine. The air filtering is taken care of with a 4" conical filter inside a polished aluminum air box that also looks great in the engine bay. This also gives the engine a good sound.

Replaced the carrier (differential) after a pinion bearing failure. Unfortunately I couldn't get my hands on a Torsen differential, two different companies sent what was supposed to be Torsens but neither were, the last company returned my money and said to keep the differential they sent because it costs too much to return so it has that one in it now. By the way you will hear that if there is a raised number 2 on the carrier that it indicates it is a Torsen, wrong!!! My original carrier had a raised 1 and it was a standard differential inside, two different differentials sent to me by different salvage yards had a raised 2, yet when I opened them up they were not Torsens, they were also standard differentials. Conclusion, the only way to tell for certain if it is a Torsen is to remove the back cover and look inside.

My clear coat was shot on the hood and roof so I needed to get her looking good again and I wanted a distinctive look without a hefty price tag so I decided to go with a camouflage vinyl wrap. I sanded off the remainder of the clear coat on the roof and hood. I washed her down completely with Dawn dish soap, wiped her down thoroughly with tar and wax remover, and followed with a wipe down of denatured alcohol. I used the denatured alcohol with a lint free cloth just before installing each panel of vinyl. I wrapped all but the vinyl cladding and bumper covers with Mossy Oak Obsession vinyl wrap using a heat gun on it where I needed to stretch it around corners and such. It is not something you can do fast, it will try your patience. It looks great I just wish the pattern didn't repeat quite so often. I prepped as stated above and painted all the exterior plastic satin black with a trim paint, looks great, and it's holding up quite well.

LED lessons learned:
- Get non-polarized CANBUS LEDs whenever possible, they are less likely to have problems and you don't have to worry about which way you install them which, is a real time saver with dash lights. I know the RAV4.1s aren't CANBUS but for whatever reason the low fuel and air bag warning lights stayed dimly lit until I installed CANBUS LEDs.
- Brighter is not always better, LEDs in the dash can be too bright, particularly for the turn signals and the bright headlight indicator.
- For the flashers try to get LEDs that won't hyperflash so that you won't need load resistors.
- For the front flashers take a look at White/Yellow Switchback LEDs, they are white anytime the running/headlights are on and go to yellow when flashers are used. I wired mine as daylight running lights, essentially they are on anytime the engine is running.

A few recommendations for anyone, get some basic hand tools, a good Bluetooth OBDII scanner with Mode 6 Fault Code (Mode 6 Fault Code preferred) along with an app called Torque, a good autoranging multimeter, a fox & hound (for tracking electrical problems), a set of torque wrenches, and do most of the work yourself. You'll be surprised at how good it feels to do your own maintenance and not have to pay out the big bucks for work on your car. The alternative is sending a 20 year old car to the mechanic every time she hiccups and being sent to the poor house. Some preventive maintenance recommendations:
- Replace all the "soft" rubber hoses/lines, don't wait for that dreaded engine light and/or sitting on the side of the road waiting on a tow.
-- Radiator hoses
-- Heater hoses
-- The hidden coolant hoses under the lower exhaust manifold heat shield
-- The coolant hoses going to/from the Idle Air Controller Valve
-- Vacuum Lines
-- Fuel lines, fuel vent lines, and the fuel tank filler hose
-- Brake lines
-- Transmission cooler lines
- Inspect and replace as necessary the hard brake and fuel lines
- Mounts
-- Engine
-- Transmission
-- If 4x4 both carrier (differential) mounts and the drive shaft center mount
- Suspension
-- Control arms new bushings, mounts, and ball joints. Corrosion control, prime and paint.
-- Struts with associated hardware
-- Shocks
- Complete tuneup
-- Timing belt/ water pump kit
-- Iridium spark plugs
-- New ignition wires
- All fluids
-- Coolant
-- Brake
-- Transmission
-- If 4x4, the differential
-- Power steering
-- The all important blinker fluid
- Clean and upgrade the engine/transmission grounds
- Corrosion control
-- Get under her and inspect for corrosion, remove covers, side molding, etc
-- Use a wire brush, sandpaper, and lots of elbow grease to remove rust and corrosion
-- Use a rust stabilizer to keep it from coming right back
-- Prime and paint/undercoat

YouTube is your friend, weed out the trash and find some good mechanical advise on there that can help you troubleshoot most problems and make most repairs. I highly recommend Scotty Kilmer and Schrodingers Box.

I know some people are purist and only want to use official Toyota parts, but it really doesn't make any difference on most things. But, if you want nothing but Toyota parts be prepared to drain the wallet; for example, the radiator I purchased was about $100.00 US from, $220.00 US from local parts stores, and a whopping $540.00 US from Toyota. I don't think most people are driving 20 year old cars because they have too much money. Aisin Seiki Co. and Nippon Denso Co. are principal suppliers for Toyota and many Toyota parts are available under their brand names. If you buy those same parts from Toyota they are likely to be marked up 200%, 300%, or more. Hey I don't begrudge anybody making a profit, but 540%, well that's just larceny. I purchase most of my parts through on-line suppliers like,, and of course I also use my local parts stores. When purchasing parts it is always a good idea to look them up first on Toyota's site and get their part numbers so that you can cross reference them to the part you are buying, particularly when buying on-line.

In my list of mods below I tried to list the parts as the supplier calls them and who my supplier was. I don't provide links because they tend to go dead quickly.

Many people have asked why do all this for a vehicle over 20 years old that I most likely could never recover the money spent on her, well I have these reasons.
- You will never recover most of the money spent on almost any automobile (classics and collectibles excepted) particularly a new one.
- That new car smell wears out long before the payments do.
- I can use the money I would I have used on payments to make repairs and upgrades at a far less cost than a new vehicle.
- It is my distinctive automobile not a mass production one anymore.
- I can tinker and do stuff with her that I would never do to a new car, imagine cutting a hole in the fender to install a snorkel or drilling holes in the roof to install luggage rack rails, yikes!

So in closing, read through this and check out my threads for more details if you like what I've done or want some ideas and if you like what you see hit the like button. Please always feel free to ask questions.
- 1999 Toyota RAV4, SXA11L-AWMGKA (Mossy Oak Obsession)


: Many, many repairs and upgrades

- 6 cylinder engine swap started Jul 2020 I started a swap to the 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine.

- Procurred a Toyota Celica GT-FOUR ST205 Rear Torsen Limited Slip Differential which will really be nice with my current build. July 2020

- Oil change, routine maintenance, completed Dec 2019

- Aftermarket alternator FAILED!!, link: replaced Mar 2019

- Tune up and oil change, completed Dec 2018

- Time for a fix on the oil filter adapter, Dec 2018 originally completed Jan 2017.

- Added an oil catch can, installed Sep 2018.

- 4x4 Vacuum Actuator vacuum line replacement, completed Sep 2018.

- Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor Failure, completed Aug 2018

- Fuel cap replacement due to it not holding a good seal anymore, Aug 2018
-- Fuel Cap - Motorad MGC-825T Tethered Fuel Cap (

- Speedometer recalibration device, installed Jul 2018

- Replaced EGR VSV because of the dreaded P0401 code, problem resolved, Mar 2018
-- 1 ea - Dorman 911-604 Toyota Vacuum Switching Valve (

- Oil Change, Jan 2018

- Replaced battery, installed Apr 2017

- Undercarriage and engine compartment corrosion control and sound deadening, Feb 2017
-- Wire brushed, sanded, stripped rust, performed corrosion control, primed and applied the following
-- 6 cn - 3M Sound Deadening Undercoat (autozone), performed corrosion control, primed and undercoated entire undercarriage
-- 1 ea - Dynamat 11905 Hoodliner 32" x 54" x 3/4" Thick Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener[/url] (
-- 1 ea - Thermo-Guard Flame Retardant, 48" X 72" Two Sided Thermo-Tec 14125 ( - This is on the firewall on the engine compartment side for heat and noise control in the cabin

- Fuel system project, Feb 2017
-- Removed fuel tank, cleaned, performed corrosion control on covers, primed and painted
-- Removed covers, purged and cleaned inside fuel tank, it was already pretty clean
-- Replaced all "soft" lines
-- Repaired damaged wiring
-- 1 ea - Spectra Premium FNH013 Fuel Tank Filler Neck Hose
-- 1 st - FL1203 Rav4 Fuel Line 11/1995-08/2000 FL1203 Set ( Jun 2016 - this is all the hard fuel lines under the car

- Differential project, completed Feb 2017

- Changed gear oil in E250F transaxle, completed Jan 2017

- Oil Filter Relocation Project, completed Jan 2017

- Power and ground upgrades, completed Jan 2017

- Replaced battery, Dec 2016
-- Optima Batteries 8025-160 25 RedTop Starting Battery (, replaced under warranty. These batteries are terrible, I thought Optima batteries were supposed to be good, I won't buy another Optima battery. I tested my charging system and tested for parasitic voltage draws but no problems found.

- Transmission cooling hose project - completed Dec 2016

- Transmission project, worked Sep to Nov 2016

- Air intake project, completed Nov 2016

- Engine coolant system complete rebuild, completed Nov 2016

- Oil change, Nov 2016

- EGR VSV moved to firewall while engine was out, Oct 2016

- Silicon Vacuum Line Project, completed Sep 2016

- Engine bay project, completed Oct 2016

- Timing Belt and Oil system project, Nov 2015
-- 1 ea - Gates TCKWP199BH Timing Belt Component Kit with Water Pump (
-- 1 ea - Engine Oil Pump AISIN OPT-075 fits 96-00 Toyota RAV4 2.0L-L4 (
-- K&N HP-1003 Performance Wrench-Off Oil Filter (
-- Mobil 1 5W-30 Wt (autozone)

- Replaced battery, Nov 2015
-- Optima Batteries 8025-160 25 RedTop Starting Battery (, replaced under warranty, Optima batteries aren't reliable

- Air intake upgrade, completed Oct 2015

- Oil change, Sep 2014

- Replaced battery, Feb 2014
-- Optima Batteries 8025-160 25 RedTop Starting Battery (

- Tune up and oil change, Sep 2013
: Many upgrades here as well, very happy with the overhead console I added

- Upgraded USB Chargers replacing the old style charger and gauge I added to my dash earlier because the old ones could not charge my phone properly, Nov 2018
-- QC 3.0 USB Charger Car Power Socket Outlet LED Switch Waterproof Marine Dual Quick Charge 3.0 USB Cigarette Lighter Socket Adapter 36W Fast Charge 12V/24V Boat Motorcycle SUV Bus Truck
-- CHGeek QC3.0 USB Charger Socket, 18W 12V/24V Quick Charge 3.0 Car Power Outlet with LED Voltage and Current Display IP66 Waterproof Car Charger Adapter for Car, Boats, Marine, Motorcycle, Truck etc

- Dog booster/safety seat, completed Sep 2018 -
I found a great seat for my Cairn Terrier, Brickle and she loves it because holds her up high enough to see out and it holds her in place. I really like it for the same reasons plus it has a safety lead that clips to her harness so she won't go flying around if something happens. She isn't wearing her harness in the photos because she was just trying it out.
-- 1 ea - Cozy Boost Dog Booster Seat with Clip On Leash + Plush Blanket + Collapsible Dish for Small and Medium Dogs, Puppies, and Pets (

- Total Interior Remake, completed Jun 2018 -
-- Sound deadening project, very successful
--- 100 ft - Car insulation (, installed above headliner, under carpet, inside the doors, over the inside of the door panels
--- 5 ea - Black 24 in. x 36 in. Anti-Fatigue Vinyl Foam Commercial Mat (home depot), installed under carpet and rear fenders (not under the driver pedals)
--- 6 cn - 3M Sound Deadening Undercoat (autozone), performed corrosion control, primed and undercoated entire undercarriage
--- 1 ea - Dynamat 11905 Hoodliner 32" x 54" x 3/4" Thick Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener ( for under the hood
--- 1 ea - Thermo-Guard Flame Retardant, 48" X 72" Two Sided Thermo-Tec 14125 - This is on the firewall on the engine compartment side for heat and noise control in the cabin
-- Reupholster Seats
--- 1 st - Gray leather seat upholstery for all four seats (Toyota) - from a RAV4World member
--- Added memory gel padding to the lower front seat cushions, this really made these seats a lot more comfortable (
--- I got creative and repaired the broken hinge mount on the center console arm rest
-- Headliner Project
--- 4 yds - Suede Quilted Auto Headliner Charcoal Headboard Fabric with 3/8" Foam Backing Upholstery 58" Wide (
--- 3 cans - 3M Headliner & Fabric Adhesive, 38808, 18.1 oz (Advanced Auto)
--- Recovered the rear side panel arm rests with the same material
--- Recovered the cloth on all 4 door panels with the same headliner material
-- Overhead console project
--- 1 ea - Overhead console with courtesy light, front and rear map lights, and storage compartments from 2000 GMC Jimmy (salvage). This replaced the stock front dome light. It also has a small screen with outside temp, etc but it only works with certain GM vehicles
--- 4 ea - LED map lights - JDM ASTAR 10pcs Super Bright 194 168 175 2825 T10 PX Chipsets LED Bulbs,Xenon White
--- 1 ea - Overhead console dome light - SiriusLED Extremely Bright 400 Lumens 3020 Chipset Canbus Error Free LED Bulbs for Interior Car Lights License Plate Dome Trunk Courtesy 1.72” 41MM 42MM Festoon 211-2 569 578 6000K Xenon White
--- 1 yd - Replaced the material on the overhead console with the same padded material as the headliner
-- Grab Handles
--- Replaced old grab handles with Opar Windshield Pillar Roll Bar Seat Grab Handle for 2007-2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited 4-Door (Red,Pack of 4)(
-- Sunvisor Project
--- Reupholstered the sun visors with matching grey leather of the seats. I also modified the visors to accommodate a larger rearview mirror
-- Rearview Mirror Project
--- 1 ea - CIPA 36500 Wedge Base Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror with Compass, Temperature and Map Light
--- 2 ea - LED replacement bulbs - SiriusLED Extremely Bright 3030 Chipset LED Bulbs for Car Interior Dome Map Door Courtesy License Plate Lights Compact Wedge T10 168 194 2825 Xenon White Pack of 10
-- Gauges, moved from single din stereo location to the pillar pods, originally installed in May 2016
--- 1 ea - GlowShift Universal Triple Gauge A Pillar Pod (
--- 1 ea - GlowShift Tinted 7 Color Transmission Oil Temperature Gauge (
--- 1 ea - GlowShift Tinted 7 Color Oil Temperature Gauge (
--- 1 ea - GlowShift Tinted 7 Color Oil Pressure Gauge (

- Job Box for the cargo area of 5 door RAV4, completed Jun 2018 -
-- 1 ea - Husky 37 in. Mobile Job Box Utility Cart Black (Home Depot), this box fits like it was made for it.

- Power points with gauge, completed May 2016 -
-- 1 ea - Astra Depot Triple Function Dual USB Charger + Voltmeter + 12V Outlet Socket Panel Jack Marine For Digital Devices Mobile Phone Tablet (
: I did a lot of changes to my RAV4 to make her a one of a kind.

- Motorhome RAV4 wheels down (dinghy or TOAD) tow project. Yes she can be towed wheels down as long as it's a manual transmission, see TSB Number: AX001-00 Bulletin Title: TOYOTA "DINGHY" TOWING GUIDE Release Date: March 17, 2000 Applicable Year(s): 1996-2000
-- Roadmaster 8700 Invisibrake Hidden Power Braking System, ( A supplemental and breakaway braking system for towed vehicles and trailers are required by most states and it just makes good sense.
-- XL Baseplate Bracket by Roadmaster for Toyota RAV4 1999 ( - allows the tow bar to connect to the RAV4, working, requires the brush guard mounts to be modified and welded to the baseplate brackets if I want to keep the brush guard which I definitely do.
-- Hopkins 47185 Multi-Tow Adapter, 7 way, (, Mar 2018. I installed this on my brush guard so I could easily plug the pigtail between my RV and ¡Ay, Caramba!
-- Roadmaster 154 Universal Wiring Kit, (, Mar 2018 - with this kit the RAV4 signal and parking lamps are used by the motorhome
-- Pig tail (power cord) between motorhome and Ay Caramba, Mar 2018
--- MICTUNING Heavy Duty 7 Way Plug Inline Trailer Cord with Double Prongs Connector, 8 Feet, Weatherproof ( This cord only has one connector because it is intended to be hardwired to a trailer but I want it to be removable so I added the following connector.
--- Reese Towpower 74127 Plastic 7-Way Flat Blade Trailer End Connector (

- Annoying broken fuel door spring repair, completed Dec 2018 -
-- The only mod was to grind some of the metal down above the hinge so that the spring could be installed.
-- Dorman 47208, Lexus/Toyota Fuel Door Spring (

- Roof rack project, completed Mar 2018 -
-- 1 st - Roof rails and cross bars from a 2003 Chevy Blazer (local salvage)

- XM Sharkfin Style Radio Antenna, project completed Mar 2018 -
-- 1 ea - ACDelco 25775201 GM Original Equipment XM Digital Radio Antenna

- Solar Panel Project, Mar 2018 -
-- 1 ea - HQST 50W Solar Panel 12V 50 Watts (4.17 Amps) Lightweight for Yacht Boat RV Battery Marine (
-- 1 ea - HQST 10Amp PWM Smart Charge Controller LCD Display Solar Panel Battery Regulator (
-- 1 ea - Mighty Max 12V 500 watt pure sine wave inverter for solar application (

- Rear spoiler, project completed Mar 2018 -
-- 1 ea - IkonMotorsports 94-00 RAV4 OE Factory Style Roof Spoiler ABS & LED Light Matte Black ABS ( - It didn't quite follow the contour of my rear door but I used a sander to reshape it and mounted it with stainless steel screws through the door

- Mossy Oak Obsession wrap, completed Apr 2017 -

-- I wanted a distinctive look and didn't want to spend a fortune so decided to go with a vinyl wrap and decided on this one. Be warned it will try your patience but it's worth it.
-- 1 kt - Mossy Oak Obsession warp for compact truck/SUV (
-- Pulled all the door handles, badges, side cladding, and bumper covers
-- Painted the cladding and covers with trim paint
-- Added ******* Edition badging to the sides and rear (
-- Added an Explosive Ordnance Disposal, EOD Badge to the rear

- Bicycle rack, Feb 2017
-- 1 ea - Surco BT300 Spare Tire Rack ( a three position, spare tire mount, locking rack. It's great way to securely haul my bikes around.

- Fog Light Project, May 2016
-- 1 pr - Auxbeam 3 Inch LED Light Bar 20w Philips LED Pods Fog Lights Square Cube Lights Spot Beam Driving Light for Offroad Truck 4WD SUV ATV UTV Waterproof (4D Projector Hyperspot) (
-- 1 pr - Absolute USA 2 In-line ATC Fuse Holder, 2 Relay RLS125 12 VCD Automotive Relay SPDT 30/40A and 2 SRS105 12 VDC 5-Pin Relay Socket (
-- 1 pr - AUXMART Tube Clamps Mounting Brackets for LED light bar Work Lights Fog Lights Off Road Lights Fit 1" Bull Bar (1 Pair), May 2017 (
-- 1 pr - Auxbeam Led Light Pods Cover Amber ONLY Philip 3 inch Lights ASIN: B00XVBEA9M and B01FHP2E8S, Oct 2018 (

- Front grill mods, completed May 2016 -
-- 1 ea - CCG 6"x36" Perforated Hex Grill Mesh Sheet - Gloss Black (
-- 1 ea - Premium 3D Metal Decal / Sticker - Punisher Skull for Car, Truck and Motorcycle 3" X 2.2" (Gunmetal) (
-- 1 cn - Rust Oleum trim paint, black
-- 1 ea - Tube Black RTV silicon seal
-- 8 ea - UV resistant zip ties, 6 inches

- Brush Guard, completed Oct 2013 -
-- I needed a brush guard that would protect the grill and headlamps from damage and this looked like a great choice. The upper mounting location is all wrong it bolts to the thin metal bit that the horns are mounted to so I drilled through the "frame" just behind the bumper and mounted it there.
-- 1 ea - 1996-2000 Toyota RAV4 Black Grille Bumper Guards Brush Bull Push Crash Bar (

- Installed an OME lift kit and new front struts, completed Oct 2013 -
-- 1 st - Front strut spacers 30mm for Toyota Rav4 Avensis Caldina Carina Corona Lift Kit ( - Installed April 2017 to replace the Daystar spacers
-- 1 ea - Old man Emu Lift Kit (doesn't include front struts)(Toyota Rav4 lift kits, suspension, fender flares, part & accessories at the lowest prices)
-- 1 st - Daystar KT09105BK Comfort Ride 1" Front Strut Spacer Kit (note not for RAV4 but it works with a little effort) ( I later replaced these with the appropriate spacers.
-- 2 ea - Monroe 903995 Strut-Mate Strut Mounting Kit ( You should add these to any strut replacement.
-- 1 ea - Gabriel G56631 Ultra Gas Strut (
-- 1 ea - Gabriel G56632 Ultra Gas Strut (

- Installed a Class III Receiver, completed Aug 2013 -
-- 1 ea - Curt Manufacturing 13524 Class III Receiver (
-- 1 ea - Curt Manufacturing 57676 7 Way Round To 4 Way Flat With Integrated Test Lamps (
: Complete change out of the audio system

- Rear Speaker Project, installed Jun 2018 -
-- 1 pr - 6 1/2" Marine CNT Speaker Universal Pod Mount Custom Pods Car Enclosure 6.5" ( mounted to the headliner (reinforced with sheet aluminum) as far back as I could get the speakers. These allowed me to place the speakers where they would face forward and not be blocked by my work equipment box that I usually keep in the back (
-- 1 pr - Speakers for the pods, Rockford Fosgate P1675 6.75" 240W 3 Way Car Coaxial Audio Speakers (
-- Covered the pods with the same padded material as the headliner

- CB Project, installed Jun 2018 - Installed where the stock single din radio normally sits. -
-- 1 ea - Uniden 980 SSB BEARCAT CB Radio (
-- 1 ea - Uniden BMKG0689001 6 pin, noise cancelling microphone (
-- 1 ea - Firestik II FS5-B, 5 Foot Black Tunable Tip CB Antenna (
-- 1 ea - Firestik SS-3H Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Spring for CB Antenna Mount (
-- 1 ea - Firestik M-2 CB Radio Antenna Molded Side Mount with Lug Connections (
-- 1 ea - Firestik K-8A 18 Ft. Fire-Flex Single CB Radio Antenna Coaxial Cable (
-- 1 ea - Firestik AR-10 CB Radio Coax Cable Lightning Arrestor For Base Antenna (

- NAVDY Heads Up Display (HUD) GPS, completed Nov 2016-
-- The company is now defunct and disabled or allowed to become disabled the GPS units. A group of software writers have fixed the code and are now even putting out free updates and it is working again.
-- 1 ea - NAVDY HUD GPS (navdy)

- DVD Receiver Project, completed May 2016 - Installed in the lower double din area -
-- 1 ea - Pioneer AVH-X5800BHS 7" DVD Receiver (
-- 1 ea - SiriusXM SXV300v1 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit (
-- 1 ea - Pioneer ADTVA133 2 Din Installation Kit (
-- 1 ea - MicroBypass ALL AVH-X Video In Motion Interface for Select Pioneer Receivers (
-- 1 ea - SCOSCHE TA02BCB 1987-Up Toyota Vehicles Power/Speaker Wiring Harness, Pre-terminated with Butt Connectors (
-- 2 pr - Rockford Fosgate P1675 6.75" 240W 3 Way Car Coaxial Audio Speakers (
-- 1 pr - 6 1/2" Marine CNT Speaker Universal Pod Mount Custom Pods Car Enclosure 6.5" (
-- 1 rl - FosPower 12AWG Speaker Wire 12 Gauge 100' Premium Spooled Oxygen-Free Copper OFC Speaker Wire with Clear PVC Jacket & Polarity Stripe (
: Upgraded to LEDs

- Exterior LED project, completed May 2017 -
-- Low beams - HIKARI LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit -HB4(9006),CREE XHP50 9600lm 6K Cool White (
-- High beams - HIKARI LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit -HB3(9005),CREE XHP50 9600lm 6K Cool White (
-- Front turn signal/driving light - LED import USA 3030 SMD White/Yellow 1157 2057 2357 7528 Switchback LED Bulbs For Turn Signal Lights. These require 50W 6ohm Load Resistors (
--- 6 ohm resistor - 4Pcs Aaron 50W 6ohm Load Resistors - Fix LED Bulb Fast Hyper Flash Turn Signal Blink Error Code (
-- Front side marker light - JDM ASTAR 10pcs Super Bright 194 168 175 2825 T10 PX Chipsets LED Bulbs, Xenon White (
-- Rear side marker light - Bogao 1550 lumens Extremely Bright Error Free Canbus 921 912 W16W Chipsets 24 SMD 3030 LED (
-- Third brake light - JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright Canbus Error Free 3014 Chipsets 194 168 2825 W5W T10 LED Bulbs, Brilliant Red (
-- Brake Lights - JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright PX Chipsets 7440 7441 7443 7444 992 LED Bulbs ,Brilliant Red (
-- Backup lights - JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright Max 50W High Power 7440 7441 7443 7444 992 LED Bulbs , Xenon White (
-- Rear turn signal - SUGERYY 2 X 2590 Lumens Extremely Bright Error Free 3030 Chipsets 7507 T20 LED Bulbs Used for Turn Signal Lights, Amber Yellow (

- Interior LED Project, completed May 2016 -
-- 1 pk - SiriusLED Extremely Bright 400 Lumens 3020 Chipset Canbus Error Free LED Bulbs for Interior Car Lights License Plate Dome Trunk Courtesy 1.72” 41MM 42MM Festoon 211-2 569 578 6000K Xenon White used in the overhead console dome light
- Instrument Panel LEDs, see
-- 1 pk - WeiXuan 10PCS Led Car Instrument Board Light T5 Wedge 2 LEDs 5050 SMD Canbus for Auto Dashboard Instrument Panel Red, I installed these everywhere in the but the turn signal and bright indicator
-- 1 pk - YITAMOTOR 20 X COB T5 0.5W Speedometer Dashboard Instrument Panel Blue LED Light Bulbs 74 ( - turn signal and bright indicator. Still too bright so I used a black sharpie and colored the plastic domes.
-- 1 pk - JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright 31-EX Chipsets DE3175 DE3021 DE3022 1.25" LED Bulbs, Xenon White ( - to replace the bulbs in the dash other than the instrument panel
Wheel and Tire
- Air shock project

- Rebuilt the brake system, completed Dec 2015

- Wheel and tire project, completed Oct 2013



28 Posts
Well done! While the theme may not have been my top choice, I find it very coool looking just the same. Most importantly, many of your mechanical upgrades would be ones I would absolutely consider doing as well. Enjoy your cool 1st Gen RAV4!

Premium Member
'99 RAV4.1, '06 Yamaha Rhino 660 UTV, '96 Newmar Mountain Aire 40' Diesel Pusher Class A Motor Home
2,503 Posts
Wow, my little ¡Ay, Caramba! has taken the top viewed RAV4 on the site. She was pretty high before the change to the new format but this is the first time she's number 1. Thanks everyone for the views.