Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to break the ice and say hello to you all.

I don't have a RAV4 yet but I am in the market. I'd rather have a 1st gen if I can and maybe a 2nd if I strike out looking for the earlier car. There's a 98 here in Albuquerque NM with a 5-speed (preferred for me) for $2,000 but also has 200K miles on it. It's at a lot and its not at a private seller so that makes me extra cautious when it come to regular maintenance. If it was garage kept and the owner had a binder of receipts, I'd surely consider it - but Lord only knows what it may need I this point. I checked Craigslist in Phoenix and they have several interesting ads out.

But, I am in no hurry, so I'll be patient and watch the market and wait for a while, with crossed fingers.

George
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
Welcome! There are FWD and AWD versions of these "RAV 4.1s" -- don't believe the ads. Look underneath the rear of each; if there's a rear differential housing in the center of the metal loop, it should be AWD. But FWD gets better mileage and has better acceleration, so choose wisely. Also check for heavy rust of the front control arms and front "frame".

The main original complaints on these 4.1s were 1) they are underpowered and don't get as good an MPG as expected (older 3SFE engine was adapted to them; no passing-power on the highway), 2) the original valve stem seals in the engine were bad so need to be replaced, and 3) the stock speakers really suck. Plenty of threads here on addressing those, as well as on basic maintenance such as replacing the timing belt and water pump. With that many miles expect to do a lot of heavy work initially, but then to have a very reliable, quirky-looking grocery-getter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Welcome!
A lot of good looking RAV4 4.1s are in the junkyard simply because the owner didn't want to rebuild the engine.
You can get one and build one from there yourself. :D:D

Anyway, hope you find one soon. They are getting less and less on the road. West coast may have more than the East cost. California is the Mecca of old Japanese cars here in North America.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,133 Posts
But, I am in no hurry, so I'll be patient and watch the market and wait for a while, with crossed fingers.

George
Waiting is the key. Look at several cars if you can. That way you'll know when you find THE RAV4 for you.
My FIL had a '98 for years - now owned by a good friend who absolutely loves it. He also liked the fact that he had a complete history on it. Sold it to him for $2,500 a couple of years ago with 150K. I'd changed the front A-arms and he recently had the timing belt & seals done by a mechanic friend who does super work for a great price.

One tip on a manual transmission - you don't want to be replacing the clutch right away so you might want to try my clutch life test. Drive at 60-70 mph in high gear. Give it full throttle. Tap and release the clutch to make it slip purposely. A good clutch will re-grab immediately. If it continues slipping until you back off the throttle it's either nearing the end of its life or in need of adjustment.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top