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Hey folks. Just popping in. Toyota nooblet here checking in from Central Oregon - USA. Looking at picking up a Rav 4.1 around tax time, and trying to find a 'list' of things to look for. I want the 2door model as it will be a bit more fun, but entertaining the utilitarian value of the full size.

Can someone lead me to a 'what to look for on a pre-owned 4.1'??? I haven't been able to track one down. Also note, particularly interested in manual trans and 4wd.

:thumbs_up:
 

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I didn't know they still made manuals for the Rav4?
He's looking for a 4.1, which were made from 1995-2000 with both automatic and manual transmissions. The last year for the manual was 2005.
 

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Not sure about other 4.1s but on my Rav but I have not had any problems with anything.. I mean.. it's a Toyota haha. Just make sure to check service intervals as a regularly serviced/maintained vehicle can last a very very very long time. My Rav is pushing 170k with nothing replaced other than the standard maintenance (fluids, filters, timing belt, tires, spark plugs, etc.)
 

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Not sure about other 4.1s but on my Rav but I have not had any problems with anything.. I mean.. it's a Toyota haha. Just make sure to check service intervals as a regularly serviced/maintained vehicle can last a very very very long time. My Rav is pushing 170k with nothing replaced other than the standard maintenance (fluids, filters, timing belt, tires, spark plugs, etc.)
This really seems to be what I'm feeling. I don't know much on the 3S-FE, but like you said.. Toyota.. I spoke with an older fella the other day while walking out of the grocery store. He was just getting out of his 4.1 2-door. He said he's had it for 15 years, pushing 220k and never had to do anything but change plugs and regular maintenance... Now sure, it totally depends on how you drive the car.. But if there isn't anything that I should be on the lookout for (faulty bits here and there), well than SWEET!


and Yeah, Hammerhead... 4.1s are a regular occurrence on CL here in Central Oregon. Even with manual trans! :) Now, it's just having the cash and the right one available. I'm budgeting no more than $3k on initial purchase. They (2 & 4-door) seem to be going for $2,300 - $2,700 other than the people who think their 2-door is gold (asking $5k). This one in particular is appealing at the moment.
Toyota rav4

I have a rally background, and really the only mods I plan to do will be some underbody protection, a tough bumper up front and a few other aesthetic bits... I understand the motor isn't anything to get excited about.. And I don't really care. The vehicle will be able to perform how I want, by my research.

It would be cool later on down the road to do a 3S-GTE swap. (currently rebuilding a ford escort rally car, so no engine swaps right now). That would be AWESOME if it were a 2-door model. I fancy Rally Raid style rigs ;) But really want something 'overlander' style that is affordable/reliable. Tacos are well out of my budget.

What kind of accumulative mileage are we seeing on original motors??
 

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That rav4.1 looks to be in a pristine condition! I can also tell that it's the L model. The higher trim. Sunroof, leather trim.

It really depends on what you're looking for. Stock 4.1s have a mild understeer and heavy body roll. This is totally irrelevant if you plan on taking it off-road though. The magic number for these engines are around 250,000 miles. After that, you'll start to see some problems. Of course, this is all dependant on maintenance (oil changes, filter, etc.)

Just thought of a "problem" for Toyota's in general. Oxygen sensors seem to have a short life. Nothing more than $100 and an hour max of your time though.

My motor has just reached 170k. Family owned. Just inherited it from my parents 2 years ago. Regular oil changes, some neglected maintenance (brake fluid, rear windshield wipers..just stupid things) Just switched to full synthetic oil just to try and it seems to run too cool. My temperature gauge would fall during red light stops. Probably also from the full coolant system flush I did a couple months back.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Good luck on your search!

P.S. I'm really digging your ford escort rally car project. Need pictures!!
 

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I want the 2door model as it will be a bit more fun, but entertaining the utilitarian value of the full size. Also note, particularly interested in manual trans and 4wd.
Rally driver having fun in a two-door RAV4?? Cute but fun NOT. That's a recipe for a disappointing disaster, IMO. Go for the slow, plodding utility of a four-door.
That '96 looks fantastic, especially for the mileage. No signs of ANY rust in the pictures - of course underneath is what counts. The condition of the seats speaks of a lot of long trips, maybe a long commute - easy on the engine & clutch. Then use the high mileage as a bargaining chip.
I always ask what offers the seller has had on the car and never make an offer, saying instead, "I'd be willing to pay X dollars cash."
 
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We're submitting tax docs now, and expecting a nice refund. Odds are I'll go a 4 door for practicality.

Im looking around and having no success; can someone share a link to a source for trim levels and opions on the usdm 4.1 models?

Dr. Dyno, believe me when I say, any car can be a rally car, and fun to boot. Fab up some suspension bits to start with and we're good to go. Have you youtubed the rallyraid 4.1 2-doors? Fun inside, but so much fun is hearing/seeing spectators talk about your unique car ;)

Coming across several models without the roof rails on CL... now I will want them for sure. Are the non equipped models easily adaptable to factory rails that get pulled from the yard (ie. Pull exterior gutter trim and voila, there's your mounting, along with working around the headliner) or is the roof skin fickle and not accepting of such awesomeness?

Thanks so far all. Its nice to see another board thats cool.
 

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Oh, and since you asked, here one of the last pics of the Escort prior to going under the knife. Im getting tired of not being able to drive it, so slowly losing motivation on the build



Followed by my last awesome rallycar... er.. rallyTRUCK
 

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Here is a link that turned up after a quick search:

2000 Toyota RAV4 - Trim Information - CarGurus

In addition, the L trim offers leather seats, sunroof, tinted rear windows, and aluminum wheels.

As for your roof rails.. There is a key that you'll need to insert into the keyhole on the side of the roof rail and that will unlock and unhinge the rack from the roof. It's ok if the car you buy doesn't come with this key; you can buy it on ebay for like $25. Same for the reverse procedure, if you want roof rails, you'll need to locate a set of rails and the key to lock them in place.
 

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^^
Thanks for that

While it doesn't show anything for the '96 &'97 models like power options as standard, just options.. it also doesn't show 'L' trim on those years, but starts on '98.. Is this 'luxury' trim available on earlier years too, and just not noted here?

Good to note on the key though.
 

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Ya know... KBB showed in my search, but I figured it was just a generic listing. Didn't take it serious..

:wall:shrug:
 

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Here is a specimen I dig. I ask that some of you take a sec to look this over and let me know your feelings. I feel like it's 'good'. But I don't know any better at the moment.

Low(er) miles, power options, sunroof, has nerf bars and stuff already, NO LEATHER, manual (i'm not a fan of leather interior, at all...)

Actually, aesthetically, it's don't for my taste.

https://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/cto/5351775895.html
 

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This specimen looks to be in great condition actually. No visible dents on the body. Cloth seats looks to be in good shape. The aftermarket kenwood head unit looks a little weird in my opinion. The driver side rear side marker looks to be worn out and needs to be replaced, and so does both of the rear tail lamp housings. They look a little foggy. Rear spare tire cover is missing (just means that the spare wheel will be rusty). Power steering fluid looks a little low, but that's no big problem unless there's a leak in the system.

Also, if you don't already.. Head over to Amazon and buy a little OBD2 reader. They should cost under $20. Look for any codes that might be present and make sure all of the systems to be in the 'ready' position. If they aren't in the 'ready' position, that means the owner just cleared all, if any, codes that are present in the ECU.

Looks to be a good deal for $3500, which is about average for a Rav4.1 in good condition. Better deal if you can negotiate to $3,000 :)

Good luck!
 
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