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Discussion Starter #1
This week I am planning to replace all motor mounts on my 2002 Rav4 4 cyl. 208K and FWD. My wife has been driving this car for while now with symptoms of a worn motor mounts. I was able to inspect two of them and the rubber part has cracks and rips in them. Car shakes at initial engine cranking. When coming to a stop you can hear a clunk under the car like something got loose and hitting the front of the car. Car's engine also is moving front and back excessively while shifting from drive to reverse with a loud clunk when shifting from reverse to drive only. Now I already got a set of 4 new aftermarket motor mounts and will be attempting to replace them this week. The 3 mounts look like are pretty easy to install except the passenger right one. It looks like this one will require removal of the ABS unit? Did anyone ever attempted to do this on 02 Rav4 yet? Can it be done without removal of the ABS unit? Also, can I just replace the other 3 mounts and leave this one untouched? Also, any tips on what to look out for when doing this DIY? Can the new mounts be torqued to the proper specs right away or do they need to settle down before they can be torqued? I would appreciate any help before Thursday. Thanks very much..


 

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Those small cracks are nothing to worry about yet. You are looking for fore/aft movement, so concentrate on the mounts that are under the vehicle near the radiator (common mount to go bad) and the one by the firewall if there is one. There will be one on the transmission, which rarely goes bad because there isn't much movement at that end of the driveline. The next mount that goes bad is the one by the timing cover.

I tighten the bolts holding the mount to the bracket/body/frame then tighten the through bolt.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Those small cracks are nothing to worry about yet.
To me they actually look more like tears, with 208K on the original mounts replacing them would be probably the way to go?
You are looking for fore/aft movement, so concentrate on the mounts that are under the vehicle near the radiator (common mount to go bad) and the one by the firewall if there is one.
Thanks man. Yes, the front and the rear mounts will be first to change as it look like they are the easiest to change.
There will be one on the transmission, which rarely goes bad because there isn't much movement at that end of the driveline.
I would still like to change this one as I am doing this project anyway and already got the new mounts. To change the trans mount would I have to reposition my lift from the bottom of the engine oil pan to the tranny or can I leave the lift supporting the engine while changing the tranny mount?
The next mount that goes bad is the one by the timing cover.
This is the one I am having trouble figure out how to change. There is the power steering and the ABS unit on top of it and I am not sure if I can remove this mount without removing the other two first?

I tighten the bolts holding the mount to the bracket/body/frame then tighten the through bolt.
I read somewhere that sometimes aftermarket mounts can cause rougher start and engine shaking as the new mounts need to settle down in the car. So the recommendation was to not tighten the mount bolts (the through bolt) yet, start the engine, let it idle for a while and than re-tighten the bolts of the mounts. Does this make sense? Is this true?
Thanks much my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, since not many were interested in motor mount replacement DIY I will share my own experience. I finally decide to tackle this project on my own and now I am ready to help someone else who may be looking for the DIY info on line. I have to tell you guys that not much info regarding 02 Rav4 online especially on the subject of motor mounts. Anyway, I got the Haynes Manual and decided to do this myself.
First, I ordered the set of 4 mounts on Ebay from a seller called 'power_autoparts'. They had a set of 4 mounts for $111 (Lifetime Warranty) - $20 Ebay coupon I got this for $91. According to the listing brand was 'Motorking' but 2 out of the 4 mounts were made by 'Eagle Motor Mounts". Since my wife drives this car daily, I had only one day to do this.

Initial symptoms of bad motor mounts;
Car shakes at initial engine cranking. When coming to a stop you can hear a clunk under the car like something got loose and hitting the front of the car. Car's engine also is moving front and back excessively while shifting from drive to reverse and with a loud clunk when shifting from reverse to drive only.


At first the 3 mounts, front, rear and the drivers side ones looked like they were pretty easy to replace. The passenger/right side was the mount that according to my Haynes manual needed to have the ABS Unit removed for the mount to be removed out of the car. I wasn't sure what and how to do this as I couldn't find any information online and youtube on replacing any mounts on any year Rav4. I also wasn't sure if the new mounts have to be torqued to the proper specs right away or do they need to settle down before they can be torqued to prevent any shaking due to a new aftermarket mounts. That was was the info I got online regarding other cars and aftermarket motor mounts ?

First I started with the front engine mount as it looked like it would be the easiest to replace.
First thing I did was to remove the splash guards from the front of the car and from behind the wheels for an easier access to the front mount. The rest was just unbolting the Through Bolt, loosening the two bolts holding the mount to the cross member from underneath, jacking up the Transmission pan slightly with the jack and piece of wood just so the tranny could rest on the jack while I take out the mount.



The front and the rear mounts are attached to the transmission and not the engine so I decided to support the tranny instead. Putting the new mount was the reversal of the removal. At the end I've torque it to 41 Foot Ibs and that was it.
The rear mount was a different story. First, the mount had two studs that go through the cross member from top to bottom and are held by two nuts from underneath. There was also a third bolt that would screw into the bottom of the mount from the bottom of the crossmember.





The Through Bolt is attached to the bracket that is attached to the side of the transmission.



The rear mount is located between cross member and the rack and pinion. On my 02 Rav4 with 208K miles these bolts were so rusty that I couldn't get anything unbolted for an hour or so.



Finally I decided to try harder using cheater bar thinking that If I break any bolts it will be Ok as the new mount comes with its own bolts/studs. And that is what I did. I broke all three bolts, unfortunately then I couldn't get the through bolt to turn so I decided to unbolt the whole bracket with the mount.
This bracket was a pain in the butt as well. One of the bolts, the lower right is located in such a tight spot that the only thing I could get in there was my small wretchet. And the only turn I could make is maybe 0.5 inch turn at a time. This took me maybe 40 minutes just to get this stupid bracket off.



With the mount off, now I needed to somehow unbolt the through bolt from the bracket. Unfortunately I couldn't do it. I just didn't have any way to hold the mount in one place while I try to turn the bolt counter clockwise. This is when torch would be very helpful. Since I don't have one, I decided to see guys at my local muffler shop. And yes, for $30 they took the through bolt out of the mount/bracket for me.

Back at home, I came to realization that now the new mount will not fit as it has these two studs that need to get through the cross member. Not enough clearance in there. To install the rear mount you have to drop down the cross member and unbolt the Rack and Pinion. I wish the Haynes Manual would said so. all they said is that the installation of the new mount is the reversal of the removal, stupid. Again, I couldn't get these big Rack and Pinion bolts to turn being under the car I just didn't have enough clearance to get enough leverage even using the cheater bar. Again, this time Casey Automotive helped me, and for $60 they installed the new mount for me.






Next was the passenger side mount. My biggest concern was the necessity of removal of the ABS unit and then bleeding the brake system. I had no clue how to do this so I reached out to someone I trust, the YouTube mechanic Scotty Kilmer on his blog. He recommended to just unbolt the ABS unit and gently move it to the side just to get enough clearance to the one mount bracket bolt that is located directly under the ABS unit. He said that its steel brake lines are very durable and slight movement wouldn't hurt anything. I followed his advice and got this mount off the car in about 1.5 working slowly, trying to think before making the next move. Here are the steps I did in removing and installing the new mount:

1. I needed to unbolt the ABS unit bracket so I could move it to the side. The bracket was held by 3 bolts, one on the bottom of the ABS and two other ones on the side mounted to the wheel bay.






Then Slowly move the ABS unit to the side towards the headlights. You don't have to hang it on anything as the bottom bracket will supports its weight no problem.
2. Now you will have an access to the mount's back bolt that was located under the ABS unit. I use 14 mm socket I think? to get it out. First i sprayed some Blaster on it just to help to break them out. I did not take any of the bolts out just loosen them out a little making sure there will be no trouble in the end. I was so sick of breaking the rusty bolts off with the previous mounts that this time I decided to be more patient.






3. Next to be removed were the two front bolts and one bottom one for the motor mount. The one front bolt closer to the front of the car was the easiest bolt to remove. The other one is located on opposite side of the mount but in very tight spot. I needed a 12 inch socket extension along with a flexible socket attachment to get this bolt out. Now, to remove the bottom bolt you have to remove the driver's side wheel and the splash guard to get access to that bolt from underneath. Once you take all this out the rest was very straight forward.






4. Next I had to remove the two bolts from the front bracket that connects the mount to the side of the engine.







Again, I had to use a 12 inch socket extension and I think 14 mm socket. They came out quite easy though. Of course before taking the bolts out I needed to support the engine from the bottom at the oil pan with my hydraulic jack and a piece of wood first. Just a little bit at first. Later on when you'll try to align the new mount you can use the jack to help in the aligning as well. I noticed that by lifting an additional inch or so helped the bolts to align much easier during the new mount install.






5. Next was the removal of the old mount. All I had to do is to slide it sideway towards the front of the car along the serpentine belt.





On the floor I matched the new mount to the old mount just to make sure that everything matched out, like bracket holes ets. The one thing I didn't do was to mark the position of the bracket in relation to the mount's mounting holes. I just simply took the old bracket out and then noticed during installation of the bracket onto the new mount that the bracket can be offset to the left or right or could be installed at center??? I didn't have any reference to refer to so I decided to mounted in the center of the two bracket's mounting holes (this worked so I guess I guessed right).









6. Finally I was ready to install the new mount back in. Installing was actually much easier and faster then removing everything. I already new what to expect and I already felt like a winner as I didnt break any rusty bolts and was able to learn another thing about my car. I love fishing things and over the last year the investment in the simply tools already paid for themselves. This job cost me $180 only because i had to spend $90 on the shop help during the install of the rear mount. If I had a torch or an air gun I probably could save the $90 and get a torch for that. Overall I am very happy with what I did and now I hope I can maybe help someone else out there.

7. Tranny mount (driver's side) is next.
 

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Next was the passenger side mount......

5. Next was the removal of the old mount. All I had to do is to slide it sideway towards the front of the car along the serpentine belt.
Thanks for this writeup - I replaced my GF's non-ABS equipped passenger mount in her '02, but my '05 unfortunately has all the nanny electronics, including ABS.

How were you able to slide the mount forward - didn't you have to raise it up several inches to get it to clear those really long pressed-in studs?

Or was there enough clearance between the ABS actuator and the mount so that it wasn't an issue?

Afraid to do this, since I had to Helicoil one of the GF's bolt holes and still need to repair the one near the top of the fender - the weld nut it bolts to busted off from the top of the inner fender.

Not a lot of room in there, especially with ABS unit and lines, for a drill to Helicoil!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for this writeup - I replaced my GF's non-ABS equipped passenger mount in her '02, but my '05 unfortunately has all the nanny electronics, including ABS.

How were you able to slide the mount forward - didn't you have to raise it up several inches to get it to clear those really long pressed-in studs?

Or was there enough clearance between the ABS actuator and the mount so that it wasn't an issue?

Afraid to do this, since I had to Helicoil one of the GF's bolt holes and still need to repair the one near the top of the fender - the weld nut it bolts to busted off from the top of the inner fender.

Not a lot of room in there, especially with ABS unit and lines, for a drill to Helicoil!
Hey thanks. Actually to remove the right side mount first I sprayed all the mounting bolts on the fender using Liquid Wrench, then I loosened the ABS module little and moved it slightly forward so it gave me more access to the mounting bolts on the fender. After 15 minutes I was able to crank the bolts no problem. The ABS unit can be moved maybe 2-3 inches forward as its steel lines are very sturdy and I wouldn't worry about anything. The mount can be removed sliding it forward next to the serpentine belt. Make sure the serpentine belt was removed otherwise you'll have no room that way. Besides even if you were to break off any of the bolts you can get to them from the bottom of the fender and pull them that way.
 

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Thanks for the quick response!

But - did you have any trouble with the two LONG stud/bolts that are pressed into the steel part of the mount that bolts to the front engine cover? Did you have to remove them, or were you able to lift the mount over them?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the quick response!

But - did you have any trouble with the two LONG stud/bolts that are pressed into the steel part of the mount that bolts to the front engine cover? Did you have to remove them, or were you able to lift the mount over them?
If you are talking about the mount bolts on the side of the engine then Yes, it was very easy to remove these bolts. Basically there is one nut that needs to be removed from below (its shown on one of my pictures the middle pressed in stud with nut from the bottom) and then the two other bolts on both sides of the middle stud. These two bolts I think if I remember correctly are part of the engine block so once both nuts are removed the mount will just come right up. I don't recall any problems.
 

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How in the world did you loosen the bolt underneath the actuator? I finally got the actuator bracket loose, but I can't move the actuator enough to get a socket on the bolt that threads into the fender. I can get a box end on the bolt from beneath the actuator, but I don't have enough leverage that way to break the bolt loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just saw your pics for the first time. Your actuator looks completely different - and smaller than mine.
I didn't have any problems with mine. Were you finally able to get the mount out or not yet? Maybe a flexible head wrench would do the job? My actuator move couple of inches to the side so I was able to get to the mount bolts from the top. I home you succeed.
 

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No, not yet. Pretty certain that I need to remove the bolt on the fender by using a box end or crow foot from beneath the actuator, just need more leverage. I might even have it ground off inside the wheel well!

The one furthest back on the frame rail is going to be challenging with all those solid steel brake lines in the way!

Thanks.
 

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Did you ever get the driver side upper transmission mount? Looks like one of the bolts securing the fuse box has to be accessed from inside the fuse box, which would require eviscerate Nguyen the fuse box! Good lord. Why didn't they attach the fuse box to the body?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No, not yet. Pretty certain that I need to remove the bolt on the fender by using a box end or crow foot from beneath the actuator, just need more leverage. I might even have it ground off inside the wheel well!

The one furthest back on the frame rail is going to be challenging with all those solid steel brake lines in the way!

Thanks.
Best would be if you could post few picture of these bolts location. All I did was follow the Haynes repair manual on how to remove this passenger mount. I would suggest maybe getting one for your model or post pictures here and someone may be able to help?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Did you ever get the driver side upper transmission mount? Looks like one of the bolts securing the fuse box has to be accessed from inside the fuse box, which would require eviscerate Nguyen the fuse box! Good lord. Why didn't they attach the fuse box to the body?
Well I didn't. It seemed like too much work especially when this tranny mount rarely goes bad from my readings I did. I bought the mount already so maybe this spring I attempt to do this although from your experience with it now I am not sure if its worth it? Thanks for your feedback.
 

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The mounts bolt locations are the same as yours; the difference is in the size of the actuators.

Yours is a 2002, ABS only. Mine is a 2005, with VSC and EBD, which evidently required a larger, more complex actuator.

I think you can see the difference in the pics here. Not easy to take pics of the bolts with all the stuff obscuring them from view.
 

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I bought the two upper mounts, thinking they bear the most weight and would be the easiest to replace! On my 2002 RSX, without all the nanny electronics, they were much simpler than the ones on my 2005 RAV4.

I may just hacksaw off the extension on the upper transmission mount that the fuse box bolts to. Unless there is a way to move the fuse/relay board aside to remove the bolt at the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The mounts bolt locations are the same as yours; the difference is in the size of the actuators.

Yours is a 2002, ABS only. Mine is a 2005, with VSC and EBD, which evidently required a larger, more complex actuator.

I think you can see the difference in the pics here. Not easy to take pics of the bolts with all the stuff obscuring them from view.
The manual shows very vague procedure as the same for 02-05. From your pictures things look pretty much the same to me. The manual calls for removal of the ABS unit but I was able to just unbolt it and move it to the side to get to the mount bolts. That is the one reason I did it myself as the shop quoted me several hundred to replace these months due to the labor costs.
 

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I bought the two upper mounts, thinking they bear the most weight and would be the easiest to replace! On my 2002 RSX, without all the nanny electronics, they were much simpler than the ones on my 2005 RAV4.

I may just hacksaw off the extension on the upper transmission mount that the fuse box bolts to. Unless there is a way to move the fuse/relay board aside to remove the bolt at the bottom.
The Haynes manual procedure on replacing these mounts is the same for 02-05 Rav4 and actually even earlier models. All it says is to unbolt the air filter and then get to the mount bolts. Not sure If I wanna attempt to do this on my RAv4 knowing your experience. Maybe in the next month or when it gets little warmer in Chicago.
 

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Yep. I saw your pic where you were able to reach the bolt on the fender with a straight shot using socket wrench + extensions. There's no way I can move my actuator enough to do that on my car. I can see clear differences between your actuator and mine, I believe size is one such difference.

Yes, I see why people just get new cars theses days - too difficult and expensive to perform even simple maintenance like motor mount replacement.
 
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