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1996 Rav4 AWD A/T 3S-FE 5 Door
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so my 1996 Rav4 has had no tach and an inaccurate speedo (about 20mph under actual) since before I got it (its been in the family for a long time), in addition to the faulty gauges my trip meter is extremely uncooperative, it will not reset below 90 miles (if it even resets at all) and takes multiple pumps to reset. I currently use the car's OBD-II port with my phone and a BT adapter. (which does show my revs and actual speed and revs so I know my ECU can see these values properly). I was wondering If it is possible or If anyone has done a 1998 cluster retrofit into a 96 rav4. I have been looking into the 98 and 96's diagrams for the cluster respectively and don't see a reason why (since my Rav has fewer indicators) I cant just route the wires accordingly and leave unused bulbs or indicators open. I find the digital ODO and trip meter very appealing and I have found the listings for the 98 clusters to be cheaper than most of the 96 clusters. Any help/ or alternatives would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Short answer:
It sounds like you are ready to do lots of de-pinning. If so, then so far, I think this is worth a try. You will need both the 1998-2000 cluster and at least its connectors A, C and maybe D. Make sure the 1998-2000 cluster comes from a Rav4 with the same transmission as your 1996 Rav4's (auto tranny). Where I am the salvage yard would sell me the cluster and then charge a few dollars for each connector ("pigtail").

Long answer:
-- In my quick check, I focused especially on the differences in the wiring between the 1996-1997's analog odometer and the 1998-2000's digital odometer. This led me to focus on the vehicle speed sensors from 1996-2000 (mounted on the top of the tranny). The speed sensors appear to differ only with regard to automatic to manual transmissions. I would research this a bit further to confirm.

-- For the 1996 Rav4, PDF page 186 of the attached 1996 Rav4 manual section lists all the connections. For the 1998-2000 Rav4, PDF page 36 of the attached 1998 Rav4 service manual section does the same. I would make a spreadsheet of each connector's wires; what they connect to at each end; the wire colors; and re-location notes for each wire. (It sounds like you have these service manual sections already. But for the archives, I am attaching them again.)

-- The physical dimensions of the two clusters look exactly the same but I have not confirmed this.

On the back of the 1996-1997 cluster and the back of the 1998-2000 cluster:

-- Connector A is different.

-- Connector B might be exactly the same.

-- Connector C is different.

-- The 1996-1997 does not have Connector D.

-- I do not see any other threads that talk about possibly de-pinning so as to fit a 1998-00 cluster into a 1996 Rav4. A few threads point out that this is not "plug and play."

Photos for the archives:







(The photo above shows connector B having no connections. This is because this cluster serves a manual transmission Rav4.)

Connector identification for the 1998 Rav4 (1996 is similar):

(Photo above is of a 1998 cluster from a 1998 Rav4 with an automatic transmission.)

I look forward to any update you care to share. I bet it helps others.
 

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1996 Rav4 AWD A/T 3S-FE 5 Door
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First off I just wanna thank you for such an in-depth post! I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when posting here but was pleasantly surprised when I saw your post!
Since I posted last night I went to work on creating a conversion spreadsheet to map out the existing connections to the new ones. (Link below)
The only concern I have between the two now is the tach signal. the 98 cluster gets its signal from the ECU while the 96 takes it from the igniter, I don't think this would cause an issue but I'm not certain. IF that truly is a non-issue my next challenge is sourcing a cluster with the pigtails. (There really aren't any good auto yards here so online sources will probably be my best option)
As for the physical concerns, I am almost positive they are the same size. I had the opportunity to look at one of these at work, just eyeballing it they seem the same. Plus it just doesn't make sense production-cost-wise for Toyota to change dimensions for the same body type.
 

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The only concern I have between the two now is the tach signal. the 98 cluster gets its signal from the ECU while the 96 takes it from the igniter, I don't think this would cause an issue but I'm not certain.
Good catch. For all Rav4.1s, to me the signs are strong that the IGF signal and signal to the Tach are one in the same. Furthermore, the required IGF signal waveforms (that the diagnostics manuals for both the Rav4.1.1 and Rav4.1.2 provide) appear to be the same. Reference: 1996 Rav4 Diagnostic manual pdf page 100 (DI-100) and 102 (DI-102) and 1999 Camry Diagnostic manual pdf pages 166 and 351. (The 1999 Camry uses the exact same coil packs as the 1998-2000 Rav4. Coil packs contain both an igniter circuit and an ignition coil.)

The 1996 igniter is of course quite different in appearance from the coil pack for the 1998-2000 Rav4. I do not know exactly what the electronics circuits themselves contain for each. Hopefully though the tach signal from the circuits is the same. Toyota computers surely use similar circuitry and physical electronic components. I would kind of expect the same IGF signal, going to the computer, for all Rav4.1s. The P1300 code ("Igniter Circuit Malfunction") diagnosis appears to be essentially the same for all Rav4.1s.

I raised the question about physical sizing because I tried swapping instrument cluster lenses (the clear plastic cover on the cluster) once and had a problem. I think it was due to the odometer reset button being not quite in the same position for the Rav4.1.1 and Rav4.1.2. But this small difference should not have a bearing on your proposed swap and re-wiring.

Regarding pigtails: It occurs to me now that what you need is not so much the pigtail but just the right size instrument cluster connectors. One can google on {Toyota Connectors} and lots of online stores that sell Toyota connectors come up.

The OEM connectors typically have a part number stamped on them, and this can help a lot, of course. From a 2000 Rav4, automatic transmission in the salvage yard:

Connector A = inbd-most connector = part number 90980-11115 (brown in color? 13 pins)

Connector B = part number 90980-11114 (blue in color? also 13 pins).

Connector C = otbd-most connector = part number 90980-11113 (white in color, 16 pins).

Connector D = connector fastening to the "relay integration" mounted on the back of the cluster) = un-readable part number. From a Toyota connectors manual, my best guess is the connector is either 90980-11628 or 90980-11502 (white in color, 22 pins).

Putting these part numbers into any online Toyota parts store turns up prices under $8 (not counting shipping) per connector.

What you want to do might be more trouble than it is worth. Googling on {repair tachometer speedometer} turns up a number of shops that might be able to advise you on repairing what you have. My understanding is that one ships the instrument cluster to the shop, and the shop fixes it and ships it back.
 
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