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Hi! Just registered on the forum, and thought I should post something after doing a lot of reading. Not so much for asking for help as for self therapeutic reasons.

I'm currently residing in Malawi and after spending too much on taxis, last week I finally got a second hand Rav4, 2 door, manual '94 model that had gone 202K km. Had a mechanic take a look at it before I bought it and he said as long as I changed all shock absorbers it would be a very good car. Now I'm not much of a mechanic, but I figured I would at least need to get a new timing belt, and probably a couple of other smaller things. Car felt alright to drive except for feeling every bump, so I cashed out for it.

Managed to change the timing belt, fan belt and all shock absorbers without too much fuss, just a lot of swearing and a little help. Also changed the oil filter, air filter and power steering fluid after recommendation from the guy in the auto parts shop. Something was still amiss though. Some weird noise started to come every time I pushed the clutch pedal after the second day of driving, and the day after it started jumping a lot when going into first gear. I'm guessing something has to be done to the gear box, which is kind of out of my self teaching range.

Got a new mechanic to take it for a spin yesterday and he tells me I need to change the rear bushes and the cv-joints, as well as taking out the transmission to change a release bearing and something else that escapes me atm. From searching these forums I found out that the CV-joints at least should be doable without involving a mechanic, so that's my next DIY-project. Next I have to do something about the lights, as the sun goes down at 6pm every day here. Bought new halogen bulbs but on full they are more like bad normal lights. Crossing my fingers that I can find some solution to this without getting brand new lamps, as parts are quite costly.

Well, back to searching the forum again I guess. It seems like a great resource, and for a guy like myself with ten thumbs and no mechanical experience it really gave me some hope. Thanks!
 

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For the headlights, I put in some of these HID units:
Amazon.com: 55W Slim Apex 9006 / HB4 Xenon Hid Conversion Kit ( 5k 5000k Oem White Color ) " All Bulb Sizes and Colors " with Premium 55 Watt Digital Ballasts Hids kits: Automotive

Plugged right in, very easy. The light output is very good. I don't know if they ship to Africa, but if you can source something locally like this, it would fix your light problem. Also, make sure the headlight lens is clear. If it is cloudy, you can polish it with a plastic polish or Flitz, then spray some clear spray paint on them to keep them that way.

For the rear (differential) bushings, you can source some castable urethane, take the rear mounts and the motor mounts out, seal up one side with plastic food wrap and tape, lay them in a bucket of sand and pour the urethane into the mounts. It will cost you between U$35 and $70 for the urethane, depending on how much you need, and is a lot cheaper than buying all new mounts. Be sure to do the motor mounts too, as it is all part of the problem. I assume you have a 4WD vehicle.

It does sound like a throw out bearing. Hard to say without driving it. If they are in there for the throw out bearing, make sure they replace the bearing in the end of the crank shaft at the same time, as that can contribute to the problem. Here we call it a Pilot Bearing. In the UK it is referred to as a Spigot Bearing. The part itself is inexpensive, but getting to it is the hard part, and if you have the transmission out, that is 98% of the job.
 
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