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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad has a 1997 rav4 2wd auto trans, he told me if I fixed it I could have it as my own. As it sits it has roughly 123,xxx miles on it. I went out to start it (it’s been parked since it started showing issues) and usually it starts up fine. The battery dies as of late which wasn’t an issue before… previously when it was driven it would seem to “miss” gears. Like rev out to almost redline then catch a gear. It was diagnosed as an issue with the torque converter. I wanted to ask the community if they had some insight into other possible issues before I go ahead with the costly repairs. It would be crazy to me considering how bulletproof these cars are all around. If you need more explanation please ask. I want to get this road worthy again! With such low miles I feel something would have to go seriously wrong. (All fluids are a perfect level and smell/look right)
 

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1998 4dr - Manual AWD
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232 Posts
Read the codes, a lot of the time it can help you narrow it down and see if it is just a solenoid or something. If you can't, go to an auto parts store and they will for free

Also post a video of it doing it, someone will definitely be able to tell what it's doing then.

I just "fixed" a Honda Civic with a slipping trans. by adding lucas transmission fix. It has been a week and so far it fixed the hard shifting and slipping!
To clarify, it is not a permanent fix, but it is a good product that helps, hopefully for a few thousand miles
 

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'99 RAV4.1, '06 Yamaha Rhino 660 UTV, '96 Newmar Mountain Aire 40' Diesel Pusher Class A Motor Home
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2,250 Posts
If you determine it needs transmission work, I suggest checking out purchasing a used transmission. I just did a quick search and found them in the $450 and up range. I successfully installed a used manual 4x4 transaxle in my 99 RAV4 at a huge cost savings over having it rebuilt.
 

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1998, 4dr, FWD, Automatic
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18 Posts
I would start by checking the issue with the battery and alternator. And make sure all the connectors, including grounds, are clean and secured. Good luck!

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Read the codes, a lot of the time it can help you narrow it down and see if it is just a solenoid or something. If you can't, go to an auto parts store and they will for free

Also post a video of it doing it, someone will definitely be able to tell what it's doing then.

I just "fixed" a Honda Civic with a slipping trans. by adding lucas transmission fix. It has been a week and so far it fixed the hard shifting and slipping!
To clarify, it is not a permanent fix, but it is a good product that helps, hopefully for a few thousand miles
I love all of Lucas products. I might give it a shot. I ruled out the possibility of a power issue as far as battery and alternator. It idles perfectly at 1k when in park. It’s when you try to put it into gear when it stutters and gets kinda wonky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you determine it needs transmission work, I suggest checking out purchasing a used transmission. I just did a quick search and found them in the $450 and up range. I successfully installed a used manual 4x4 transaxle in my 99 RAV4 at a huge cost savings over having it rebuilt.
I believe this may be the Avenue I take. Any recommendations on where to find one ? I see a few on eBay motors… it’s tough to spend 500$ on something that could have a million miles on it. Not sure if you had some other source for parts like this ? You guys are awesome, I can’t thank everybody enough 🤟🏼
 

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Premium Member
'99 RAV4.1, '06 Yamaha Rhino 660 UTV, '96 Newmar Mountain Aire 40' Diesel Pusher Class A Motor Home
Joined
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2,250 Posts
I believe this may be the Avenue I take. Any recommendations on where to find one ? I see a few on eBay motors… it’s tough to spend 500$ on something that could have a million miles on it. Not sure if you had some other source for parts like this ? You guys are awesome, I can’t thank everybody enough 🤟🏼
Do you mean the engine stutters or the transmission? He's right about checking the battery you cannot do any kind of trouble shooting with a battery or charging system that isn't up to speed. Also, vacuum leaks will make it impossible to troublesoot the system. If the vacuum lines are hard, cracked, or missing they must be replaced, see: Vacuum Line replacement with high temp silicone lines

Also, pull the electrical connections to the transmission, clean them with an aerosol plastic friendly electrical contact cleaner and apply dialectric grease to the terminals before reconnecting.
 

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Premium Member
'99 RAV4.1, '06 Yamaha Rhino 660 UTV, '96 Newmar Mountain Aire 40' Diesel Pusher Class A Motor Home
Joined
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2,250 Posts
I believe this may be the Avenue I take. Any recommendations on where to find one ? I see a few on eBay motors… it’s tough to spend 500$ on something that could have a million miles on it. Not sure if you had some other source for parts like this ? You guys are awesome, I can’t thank everybody enough 🤟🏼
I've bought engines and transmissions off of eBay before without problems. You can try your local salvage yards, that's where I would start. Often the sellers (local or on-line) will have the VIN number and you can do a VIN search to see what the last reported mileage was. Make sure it comes with the torque converter.

While you have it out replace the rear engine seal. If you pull the engine with the transmission to do the swap (not as difficult as you would think) you should go ahead and do a timing belt, water pump, oil pump seal, camshaft seal, and camshaft cover gasket with sparkplug seals. Also, move the EGR VSV on the back of the engine to the firewall.
 

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Premium Member
'99 RAV4.1, '06 Yamaha Rhino 660 UTV, '96 Newmar Mountain Aire 40' Diesel Pusher Class A Motor Home
Joined
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2,250 Posts
I believe this may be the Avenue I take. Any recommendations on where to find one ? I see a few on eBay motors… it’s tough to spend 500$ on something that could have a million miles on it. Not sure if you had some other source for parts like this ? You guys are awesome, I can’t thank everybody enough 🤟🏼
By the way it's coureous to hit the like button when people help you.
 
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