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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to deal with a guy who is advertising/selling his 1994 5-speed front wheel drive RAV4 online. Unfortunately he is located several hours from me, I have not seen it in person yet, and I'm not about to drive all that distance only to learn that the seller (1) is feeding me a line of crap, or (2) doesn't even know what he is selling.

So here's the situation:

I have never heard of a RAV4 that has a push-button locking FRONT differential -- yet he insists that his is a front wheel drive model (not a 4wd) and it also has a push-button locking differential. If this is true it means his push-button must be controlling the locking of the front differential, correct?

Is this guy feeding me a line of BS? Or were there actually 5-speed standard transmission RAV4 models produced with front wheel drive in 1994 that came with a push-button locking differential?
 

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Where are you located? The RAV4 wasn't introduced in the U.S. and Canada until the 1996 model year.
 

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Where are you located? The RAV4 wasn't introduced in the U.S. and Canada until the 1996 model year.
I read this online myself just a little while ago. I'm in the USA and so is the seller. He ran more than one ad for this car. His first ad claimed it was a 1996, but when it hadn't sold in 10 days he ran a new ad claiming it's a 1994 -- and dropped his $5000 asking price by $1000 in the new ad.

Also his ads sound more like sales pitches than basic facts, and this makes me distrust him even more. Both of his ads conveniently fail to post the miles on the vehicle. Instead they boast about this being the "sought after 5 speed manual trans model" and "dual panoramic removable hard top sunroof" and "desirable two-door" and other such fluff.

When I asked him for the VIN so I could do my own research into this specific vehicle he ignored me. He also ignored my question about price negotiability, and at his new asking price of $4000 it still seems overpriced for such an old RAV4 with nearly 200k miles on it, especially when it may be a model that was never sold in the USA to begin with.

I have already found newer models (automatics) with 4 doors and fewer miles for asking prices as much as $2k less. I prefer the looks of this 2-door model but it's not worth an extra $1-2k, that's for sure.

I prefer sellers who answer all my questions clearly and transparently, but I'm not getting that feeling with this guy so far ... :(

I'm just wondering if I'll be able to tell where this vehicle was first sold from the VIN (assuming he sends it to me) and what equipment it came with originally.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I posted a reply earlier but I got a message saying it wouldn't appear until approved by a moderator. My post is still in the system, correct? If not, I'll write a new reply.
 

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Not sure why my last post (#3) was automatically approved while the post I submitted before that one was delayed for moderator approval, but maybe that other post is gone forever, so I will try to post something similar again here:

I'm in Biloxi MS and the seller (on craigslist) claims his 2-door RAV4 is a 1994 model with FWD and push-button locking differential:

When did Toyota produce a 2-door FWD RAV4 with push-button locking differential, and if they actually did this what VINs apply to this unusual model?
 

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I have never heard of it. I know a lot of us would be all over this thing if it existed.
The button is only applicable to 4WD manual transmission models. (He could have easily inserted a switch from a 4WD Rav in one of the dash cutouts for "cosmetic" reasons, or to deceive potential buyers).

More food for thought:
During the same era, only 80 and 70-series Landcruisers had optional lockable front (and rear) diffs. Because they employed solid axles, it was easier for Toyota to fit lockers to them. Mind you, these were much more expensive vehicles than the Rav4.
Independent front suspension (IFS) models are much harder to fit lockers to, so, Toyota hasn't offered lockable front diffs since on any of their models (except of course the 70-series which still has solid axles).
The Rav4, FJ Cruiser, Tacoma, 4Runner, Hilux, Land cruiser J100, J120, J150 and J200, all are IFS and none of them has factory front lockers.
There are however aftermarket offerings but sadly NOT for the Rav.

EDIT: Maybe he has a 4WD model and doesn't know it? If he has posted the VIN in the ad, you can enter it in the following link (omit the blank spaces) and obtain useful information:
http://www. t o y o d i y .com/parts/q.html
Among other results, the frame number will be revealed:
SXA10 is a 4WD 3d-door model
SXA11 is a 4WD 5d-door model
SXA15 is a FWD 3d-door model
SXA16 is a FWD 5d-door model

EDIT2: The '94 Rav4 models were exclusively 4WD (and not available in North America as Junebug already mentioned). Front wheel drive models were not introduced globally until 1996.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have never heard of it. I know a lot of us would be all over this thing if it existed.
Thanks for the reply, Mick . Here's the seller's claim in one of his online ads:

this is the one that has the push button locking differential and can get through anything a four wheeler can but with ac lol!
To me this sounds like a BS sales pitch. That's one reason why I don't trust the guy. Another reason is that he claims it is a 1994 model but JuneBug claims that RAV4's weren't even introduced in the USA until model year 1996. So how could this seller have a 1994 unless it was imported from some other country?

This seller is also delaying and making excuses for not sending me the VIN. I asked for it early yesterday, and by evening he still hadn't sent it, so I followed up by asking if he got my earlier request -- to which he immediately replied "No prob just haven't got to it". After seeing this excuse my wife said she thinks he doesn't even own it or have it in his possession, instead he may just be a middleman -- marking it up so he can make a profit by helping to sell it for someone else -- which would explain why he cannot answer most of my questions promptly when I ask.

More food for thought: During the same era, only 80 and 70-series Landcruisers had optional lockable front (and rear) diffs. Because they employed solid axles, it was easier for Toyota to fit them. Mind you, these were much more expensive vehicles than the Rav4. Independent front suspension (IFS) models are much harder to fit lockers to, so, Toyota hasn't offer lockable front diffs since on any of their models (except of course the 70-series which still has solid axles). The Rav4, FJ Cruiser, Tacoma, 4Runner, Hilux, Land cruiser J100, J120, J150 and J200, all are IFS and none of them has factory front lockers. There are however aftermarket offerings but sadly NOT for the Rav.
Well, if a locking front diff was never available on a RAV4, even as an aftermarket add-on, I'm apparently dealing with a scammer.

Life's too short to deal with this kind of BS so I'm terminating my communication with the guy. Thanks for the useful and helpful information! :)
 

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What's the deal with this forum anyways? This is the SECOND TIME in two days that I've gotten a message stating that my post won't be visible until a moderator approves it!

What's going on here? Is the forum software malfunctioning? Or are moderators simply ignoring these posts?

When I spend a substantial amount of time putting together a thoughtful post, the last thing I need is to find that my efforts have been wasted, either because (1) no moderator will promptly approve my post, or (2) the forum software "loses" it.

:(

Honestly, I have more important things to do than to rewrite yet another post every time the forum software decides not to post it immediately.

Thanks for the info Mick, my conclusion is that the seller is a scammer so I'm terminating my communication with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Maybe he has a 4WD model and doesn't know it?
I already thought about asking him to go behind the vehicle and take a picture of the underside -- so I could see for myself if there's a rear and/or center diff. But he doesn't even seem to be able to send me the VIN. Besides, if this guy doesn't even know what he owns, how can I trust anything else he tells me?

If he has posted the VIN in the ad, you can post it in the following link (omit the blank spaces) and obtain useful information.
I will do this if he every bothers to send me the VIN -- which I seriously doubt given his poor responsiveness to my inquiries so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The '94 Rav4 models were exclusively 4WD (and not available in North America as Junebug already mentioned). Front wheel drive models were not introduced globally until 1996.
The guy just texted me to tell me it's actually a 1996, not a 1994 as he advertised. It drives me crazy to deal with people who don't even know what they are trying to sell ... :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It took three requests, but he surprised me by finally sending the VIN after I texted him again a little while ago. Here's the info from that website you suggested earlier. Is there something here that might indicate whether or not this is a 2wd or 4wd vehicle?

 

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Besides, if this guy doesn't even know what he owns, how can I trust anything else he tells me?
You can't! Drop this seller.
If he and the car are actually real he's probably just a car flipper who's just in it for a few bucks and actually knows absolutely nothing about the cars he sells.
I've bought cars for many of my friends and seen many such flippers pushing total junk. IMO you're wasting your time and just getting frustrated. Even knowing better I've done the same thing before and that's how it always ends up. Look elsewhere.
 

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What's the deal with this forum anyways? This is the SECOND TIME in two days that I've gotten a message stating that my post won't be visible until a moderator approves it!

What's going on here? Is the forum software malfunctioning? Or are moderators simply ignoring these posts?

When I spend a substantial amount of time putting together a thoughtful post, the last thing I need is to find that my efforts have been wasted, either because (1) no moderator will promptly approve my post, or (2) the forum software "loses" it.

:(

Honestly, I have more important things to do than to rewrite yet another post every time the forum software decides not to post it immediately.

Thanks for the info Mick, my conclusion is that the seller is a scammer so I'm terminating my communication with him.
Usually the moderator approval is to help with spam posts. It is odd how sometimes it affects new users and sometimes not. (When I joined I never got any thing like that) Overall I think it is helpful to keep things from getting congested but agree sometimes it can be frustrating! Once you get a few more posts it shouldn't be an issue. And completely agree with the Doc! And as you said, you can't trust the seller any more and are dropping him.
 

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Drop this seller! If he and the car are actually real he's probably just a car flipper who's just in it for a few bucks and actually knows absolutely nothing about the cars he sells.
I get the feeling you're correct.

Usually the moderator approval is to help with spam posts. It is odd how sometimes it affects new users and sometimes not. (When I joined I never got any thing like that)
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, eh? :mad:
 

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It is a 4WD (SXA10 platform). But you have already established that from the parts index which contains the 4WD components. (A picture of the running gear in the back will definitely help cement the theory).

Relay the information to him, his car just became more valuable with a simple VIN check :mrgreen:

Is it at least "Sequoia Green metallic" in colour (6N5 code)?
 

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What's the deal with this forum anyways? This is the SECOND TIME in two days that I've gotten a message stating that my post won't be visible until a moderator approves it!

What's going on here? Is the forum software malfunctioning? Or are moderators simply ignoring these posts?

When I spend a substantial amount of time putting together a thoughtful post, the last thing I need is to find that my efforts have been wasted, either because (1) no moderator will promptly approve my post, or (2) the forum software "loses" it. :(

Honestly, I have more important things to do than to rewrite yet another post every time the forum software decides not to post it immediately.
I'm one such moderator and I can assure you we stay on top of approving Moderated posts unless they are obviously spam.
I'm new as a moderator but was under the impression that only a new member's first post was moderated but what I've seen lately was two fairly new members, other than you owkaye, coming up "Moderated" even tho they've previously responded to other threads w/o approval. Don't know why that happened but JuneBug notes it seems to occur only on quite long posts. Why or how long we don't know, but I'd suggest either keeping a copy of your post until it shows up or better yet make it several shorter posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I challenged the seller about his false ad info and his lie about the reason why he is selling it. That's when he admitted that he's a "dealer" (flipper) who bought it for $800 and is trying to make a killing by selling it for a huge profit. He made the excuse that he has 100 cars to sell and it was an "honest mistake" to list it as 2wd and 1994, but that's just an excuse for laziness in my opinion.

So I'm done with him, and I blacklisted his phone number so I won't inadvertently call him again about some other car in the future ... :)

Then I found another RAV4 that fits our needs much better. We don't need an off-road vehicle, instead we just want a little SUV for my wife to run around in. And we never get snow or ice here so we do not need or want 4wd ... and this one is definitely 2wd (less maintenance and repairs over the long haul).

It's also an automatic (easier for the wife to drive) and it has 4 doors (easier to get people and stuff in and out of) and it is 2 years newer than the flipper's car. And although this one has 205k miles the owner kept great service records, so I know when all previous maintenance was done, what it cost him, etc.

Thanks to you all for contributing to this thread, I appreciate it! :)
 

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It is a 4WD (SXA10 platform). But you have already established that from the parts index which contains the 4WD components. (A picture of the running gear in the back will definitely help cement the theory).

Relay the information to him, his car just became more valuable with a simple VIN check :mrgreen:

Is it at least "Sequoia Green metallic" in colour (6N5 code)?
Yes it is dark green ... and the flipper already thanked me for telling him he had a 4wd instead of a 2wd. Pretty ignorant for a guy who bragged that he is a legal licensed "dealer", eh?

But regarding your comment about value, I think value is relative to the buyer's needs and desires ...

I would pay a bit more for a 2wd simply to avoid the added maintenance and expense of a 4wd, at least when a car for my wife is concerned. On the other hand, if I wanted one for offroad I wouldn't go near a 2wd model.
 
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