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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to make a journal of the repairs, mods and miscellaneous for my 2011 RAV4 Limited V6 4WD.
The car was bought used, on February 2020, with 70,300 miles. Clean car, no rust, serviced and driven locally. The dash was showing 24 MPG average. Given that now, after 800 miles, with my driving style I am barely at 22 MPG, I assume it was driven by a granny :)



 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
First thing that I did was to replace the engine and transmission oils (fluids).
In engine I have used Mobil1 Full Synthetic High Mileage 5w30 with Toyota filter cartridge.
Transmission I have drained and refilled with Valvoline MaxLife (full synthetic, LV fluid, compatible with Toyota WS). I didn't go back with WS because, at 70k miles it was black from oxidation. Reading online that's "normal" for WS fluid but... that's not OK in my view.
Every drain and refill took a whole gallon of fluid. Considering that there are 9 Qt in the transmission and radiator... I did three of them, driving a week in between.

This was the color of the original fluid:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A week later, I was cleaning the interior with the radio on (SiriusXM just activated it for 90 day trial) and the next day... it was dead. The battery had 6V left in it.
I drove to Sam's Club with the dead battery and picked up an Energizer, 3 yr full warranty.
I have installed in my RAV4 but I wanna say, in my whole experience of car owner, I never saw a more convoluted system of securing the battery! I had to remove the radiator top cover/shield to get to one of the bolts that holds the battery bracket. Bracket that was bolted in two places, across the battery... Gosh, ready for offroading I guess?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
like the pickup on this cute-SUV, feels very "sporty", just how I like my cars. The 3.5L V6 has 269HP and, for a car that weights 4720 lbs, it means that the ratio weight/HP = 17.54 lbs/HP. Not too bad for street car.
Today, since it was nice outside I have played again with my Wravvy. I have replaced the PCV valve and added an oil separator after it. I didn't have a nice flexible hose, but a thick walled one for oil pressure, but for now it should be OK.
Note that I have tried to use the pink Teflon tape for sealing, but the thread were too tight, so I eventually remove the tape. The PCV valve was "made in Japan".







And the separator:
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
And because I said I like to drive it spirited, I have spent $100 for a strut tower brace.
Why? I won't even go there... ?

The bar is held on those two strut brackets, on each side, only by an Allen-head bolt and a 14mm nut. Easy to remove for access.








 

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Welcome to the club. You should look into upgrading the rear sway bar with a beefier aftermarket brand. The rear will be more noticeable than the front around corners. I was able to swapped the rear with one made by Ultra Racing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think that but using a beefier rear sway bar increases oversteer. I am not sure if that's what I want... for now it feels pretty balanced. And I am not sure how changing that would play with traction control.
Maybe I'll revisit this after driving more with the front brace.
 

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Sonic67, I am not sure you are aware you have a hidden factory stut tower. On my V6 there is one that wraps all around behind the fiber material. It is not obvious because it is concealed so well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I saw something weird there, connecting the tower to the firewall. I thought that all of them have that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Today I have to show the first results of PCV oil separator from one day commute.
The start wasn't that great, in the post #4 picture you can see that I thought that there is no need to add a collar on the hose to hold it in place. While I was driving I got "Check Engine Light", plus "Stability Control" and "4WD" yellow lights. Of course, the hose slipped off the connector and the CEL codes were for "lean mixture". That deactivates 4WD and Stability Control...
I have stopped to Advance Auto and got a screw type collar - you can see it in the pic.. No more issues, oil started to accumulate! Yeey!
PS: The actual position is with the glass pointing downwards, I just twisted it like that so I can take a better pic. Note that there is also an arrow on the cap (blurry) that indicates the required air flow direction.

 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I forgot to post another mod that I did. I have replaced the low beam and the fog light bulbs with LED's.
Those are 9006 for the low beam, and H11 for the fog lights. The high beam, that is used for DRL too, is still using the standard 9005 halogen bulb.

The 9006 that I choose has a very small LED area, very close to the size and location of the actual filament, to match the original light pattern:
150585


My results are in the below pics. I have turn on the lights at night on my residential area, and walked in front of my car from different angles, like an incoming car would be, and I didn't see glare. The wall pic shows a little fuzziness above cut-off, but that is due the fact that the lens itself has developed the well-known micro cracks in the interior of the lens plastic. Polishing those is impossible, so the next step would be probably new headlights.


 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
New chapter: Audio mod.

My Limited has the factory JBL audio system. That means a dedicated amp that fires audio to six speakers and sends also a line voltage to the subwoofer in the rear door.
That JBL amp has integral cross-over filters for the front door speakers, that I kinda of... hate how it sounds. I like pop, soft-rock, and classic rock music and the whole car sounded like was meant for a bass head (house, hip-hop). Even if the head-end radio has separate adjustments for bass, mid and treble, I still can't make it sound decent (for my ear).

I downloaded an app "Audio Tester" that can output a frequency sweep from the phone - input that into the AUX port and see what's up.
What's up is that the sub is over driven. And the front door crossover happens around 550Hz. There is a huge "gap", with lower output between 600Hz and about 3-5kHz. Then it's a huge "hump" at around 9kHz (that some people might confuse with high frequency) and then the response drops down again. Never saw something like that. I tested it with the door open, too, to eliminate any car resonances.
Lover freq, below around 550Hz (slow slope, don't imagine a sharp cut-off) goes to the 6-1/2" lower speaker and the freq higher that that go to the upper "speaker". That is actually not a speaker, but an 1" tweeter!!! In no universe that can go below 2kHz. So that explains a lot of what I was hearing.

I research a lot and I settled for the JBL GTO 329 3.5" speaker, $45 for pair on Amazon. Why? Because they are low impedance (nominal 3 ohm, same with the OE speakers), two way (85Hz-21kHz), and they're just a smidge bigger than the door's round cutout.
Also they have a very useful "cylinder" raised lip that will help with setting them flush against the door panel. Weird is that the model shown on their side doesn't show that cylindrical "horn", but Amazon link has the correct pictures.

Of course that means that I should fabricate a new "support" for them. Well my hardware store has this rolled flat mattal band, with holes, used to support plumbing piping and HVAC ducts... awesome to make brackets (double it up to give more stiffness). The speakers needed some wires (audio cable AWG #16, same hardware store), some small bolts and nuts (1/4"), some female audio terminal disconnects (gold plated, 7/64" Autocraft 84547 and .187" Dorman 84546), my crimping tool, solder iron, thermo-shink tubbing, a video from youtube that shows where the screws are in the door (2 long ones in the handle that I use to pull the door shut and one short that holds the manual release lever on the door face).

After some struggling and manipulating those brackets to get to the right point, followed by fitting the door panel over to see if it aligned with the hole, I managed to get them aligned and thigh against the door panel when installed.
They are not perfectly concentric, but because the speakers are slightly larger, that's not an issue. I actually arranged them so there is the sound is more directed towards the passengers, not towards the dash.
I didn't install the series capacitors that came with them because the output is already filtered.

Audio quality feels much, much better and the frequency test sweep is definitely more linear. Sadly I tried to save the old sweeps within the app, but it didn't work. I knew I should had used screen-shoots...

I would add a note: There is no point to "upgrade" the lower mounted speakers (the 6-1/2" ones). Those are perfect for the limited audio range that is sent to them, basically they are used only as woofers.

See the JBL system diagrams below.


jbl.PNG jbl_2.PNG jbl_3.PNG jbl_4.PNG jbl_5.PNG
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
In order to fully enjoy the higher audio quality, I needed a way to send my FLAC files to the AUX port. Since my S20 doesn't have a jack, Bluetooth to the rescue. I tried a cheap Bluetooth receiver, but I wasn't really happy with the quality, plus every time I started the car I had to press the button on it to re-connect. So looking around, I decided to splurge a little bit.
Enter the FiiO BTR3K: https://www.fiio.com/btr3k

It has multiple audio codecs, including the high quality LDAC (only for Android users, Apple remains stuck at ancient Bluetooth AAC), and finally the "car mode" - the DAC is turning on when I start the car and by doing so it pairs automatically.
What's creepy with this BT 5.0 is that if I start to play a song in the house over a BT device in there (headphones), it will automatically resume playing over the car BT.
I have previously added a high-quality in-line audio ground separation transformer because the cheap BT device was transmitting noises from the power supply. Even if this DAC seems not to have that problem for now I still keep that inline. This is ground loop separator: Amazon.com: Noise Filter Ground Loop Isolator Eliminate Car Electrical Noise with permalloy core Transformers 3.5mm Audio Cable Black: Electronics

Below: the FiiO box, "hidden" setting for LDAC in Android 10 (default is AptX), the auto car mode, streaming a FLAC at 96kHz, 32 bit (extracted from one of my DVD-A discs). The location is inside the middle arm rest console, with a wire going outside to the AUX jack. Maybe I will drill a hole, for an interior connection, later.
This sounds now truly amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Today I tried to find the air intake on my Gen 3 RAV4. To my unpleasant surprise, Toyota decided to have it INSIDE the hot engine bay (by the fuse block, behind the driver side headlight), see the pic below.

air intake.jpg

My wife's Kia Soul has a funneled duct right above the front grill, at high speed it creates a pressure (forced induction) in the filter air box. And it's cold air, from outside (colder than engine bay).
My Mercury Sable sucks air from outside trough a hole above the driver side wheel. Again, colder than engine bay air.

PS: Cold air is denser.
 

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Nice work and mods. Your RAV must have gained half a ton: The 3.5L V6 has 269HP and, for a car that weights 4720 lbs.
Maybe 3720 but not 4720.
 
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No. GVWR is the weight of your car with a full load of passengers and cargo. That would be the maximum weight your car could legally be.
My 2010 V6 is 3700 lbs at the curb, give or take.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well... I was comparing full loaded cars then 😀
The curb weight is not listed anywhere. Plus, IMO, you need to add at least a driver and tank of gas...
 
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