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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello 4.1 crew. I have been a here and there lurker reading this and that about our great little cars. I have read in the past that too much lift will cause cv drive issues on the front end (hyperextension.) I also read somewhere that aftermarket cvs dont extend as well as oem yota drives. I recently undertook a much larger job than anticipated (front drive/lateral engine cars are not my forte) and installed a set of 40mm spacers on top of my struts. While apart I replaced the original oil filled valve bodies with nitrogen strut inserts (I have rebuildable struts.) My issue is that the cv on the driver side likes to pull out of the transmission and leave me stranded and gushing transmission fluid (5spd). I am getting some pretty good clunking and clicking going on when I hit even small bumps. I didn't think that 40mm was too much lift. Perhaps the gas struts also gave it a boost in height pushing it past the safe threshold of lift? Does the brand of cv matter? How much lift is too much? I didn't measure the before and after height difference. Is there anything else I ought to look for?

Parts replaced pertaining the suspension;
Kyb excel-g nitro gas inserts
Tema4x4 40mm poly strut mount spacers
New Ball joints (can't remember what brand, and not likely to affect the cv)
Poly control arm bushings (not likely a factor, but worth noting.)
Driver side (long shaft) apwi brand
Pass side (short) cardone brand
Different cvs per availability and price.

Also replaced was the rack and pinion, the tie rods are secured properly to the knuckle and inner rods are tight as well.

Car is a 97 4dr 5spd awd.

I will be removing the spacers and test drive to see what happens, but would appreciate feedback from others who have lifted their 4.1 or from folks who have links to legitimate info on the subject. I want to keep the lift, but I may end up 'taking some off the top' of the spacers to bring it down to a good level. Ill update later on after I get my trial and error sorted to a solution.

This is not the only work I did on the car, but I do not believe that anything else would pertaining to the issues I'm facing. Ask though, if you think anything else may be a contributing factor.

Thanks for any help in advance.

6 Posts
Hey Phen

Yes the CV brand does matter, I've experienced this with a new CV shaft that fell out while driving down the HWY here in Brisbane AUS. I didn't have a lift on my Rav but it's definitely worth sourcing a quality CV shaft as often the manufacturing measurements on the cheaper parts are a bit skew-whiff.

Check out these lift posts:

Suspension Lift Alternatives to OME for my 98?

RAV4.1 SWB Lift - Advice Needed!
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