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Hey everyone, sorry I keep asking so many questions about my 1997 Rav's suspension. I want to lower my car. After a weeks of research, I discovered that there are no adjustable coil overs or coil over sleeves for the Rav4.1. Cutting the factory springs is a big no no. So the only other option is to get lowering springs. These are what I'm thinking of buying:
H&R Sport Spring TOYOTA RAV4

I read up, and some people said not to use these with your existing shocks and struts, and that it is best to replace them when you get the springs installed. If I installed these, would my springs be fine?
https://www.am-autoparts.com/1997/Toyota/Rav4/shocks-and-struts/AM-2091209459/664200.html?rawFit=664200-1997&gclid=COyOoMTakc4CFVRZhgoduS4A2g

Or do they have to be performance shocks and struts? If performance shocks and struts are needed, could someone be so kind as to send a link to them?

The reason why I want to lower my car is to minimize the space between the fender and the wheel. Right now I have a 225/50R/17 wheel setup. In the winter I'll be running a 225/65R/16 wheel setup to avoid salt corrosion on my nice rims. But if I have to I'll get tires thinner than 65, maybe 55. That way there is no scraping.

I did read that the ride won't be as smooth, and potholes and speed bumps will be a problem. But with a 1.5 inch drop, will it be that bad? I mean, I'm not slamming the rav 3 inches or something crazy like that. This is my daily driver, so I won't be offroading , so I'm not worried about that.

Lastly, some people said that springs cause negative camber to the back wheels. Is that going to happen for sure? How to I avoid that? If I take it to a professional to get it installed, would that prevent camber?

Thanks everyone for your help, I'm slowing learning about the mechanics of cars. A year ago, if I told myself that I would be talking about struts and negative camber and suspension, I would think I'm crazy.
 

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Hey everyone, sorry I keep asking so many questions about my 1997 Rav's suspension. I want to lower my car. After a weeks of research, I discovered that there are no adjustable coil overs or coil over sleeves for the Rav4.1. Cutting the factory springs is a big no no. So the only other option is to get lowering springs. These are what I'm thinking of buying:
H&R Sport Spring TOYOTA RAV4

I read up, and some people said not to use these with your existing shocks and struts, and that it is best to replace them when you get the springs installed. If I installed these, would my springs be fine?
https://www.am-autoparts.com/1997/Toyota/Rav4/shocks-and-struts/AM-2091209459/664200.html?rawFit=664200-1997&gclid=COyOoMTakc4CFVRZhgoduS4A2g

Or do they have to be performance shocks and struts? If performance shocks and struts are needed, could someone be so kind as to send a link to them?

The reason why I want to lower my car is to minimize the space between the fender and the wheel. Right now I have a 225/50R/17 wheel setup. In the winter I'll be running a 225/65R/16 wheel setup to avoid salt corrosion on my nice rims. But if I have to I'll get tires thinner than 65, maybe 55. That way there is no scraping.

I did read that the ride won't be as smooth, and potholes and speed bumps will be a problem. But with a 1.5 inch drop, will it be that bad? I mean, I'm not slamming the rav 3 inches or something crazy like that. This is my daily driver, so I won't be offroading , so I'm not worried about that.

Lastly, some people said that springs cause negative camber to the back wheels. Is that going to happen for sure? How to I avoid that? If I take it to a professional to get it installed, would that prevent camber?

Thanks everyone for your help, I'm slowing learning about the mechanics of cars. A year ago, if I told myself that I would be talking about struts and negative camber and suspension, I would think I'm crazy.

I have those same springs on my RAV. My wheels are kinda too big so I'm sure they are contributing to the rough ride that I get now. Was recommended to me to use a 55 series tire to compensate for the rough ride (not sure about this).

I also have OEM struts on as well. The front ones are perfect, however the rear ones may need something aftermarket from Bilstein or Tokico or whoever you choose (I need to do this). The rear will bottom put easy, just a small amount of load in the back, will cause it to bottom out.

The negative camber aspect, I cant truly comment on that yet. I had a camber issue from the start. This is about to get fixed, I can repost if the issue continues.

All said, you will compromise your ride quality. However you gain some handling and your car will have a better appearance.

Hope this helps...
:cheers:
 

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You're getting close to that crazy 3 inch mark if you add the springs.
You have already lowered the Rav4, 1 inch with your new tires.
Do the lowering springs and you will be down 2.5 inches, if you put some 225/50R tires on your 16 inch rims, you would be down 3 inches with the springs.

Tires sizes are fun once you know the math.

Stock Rav4 tire 215/70R16 is 27.850 inches tall.
Your new tires at 225/50R17 is 25.858 inches tall.
The 2 inch smaller wheel looks small in the opening and since half the tire is below the axle, you are down 1 inch already.

The 225 is a hard number for 2 reasons, one it is the width of the tread in millimeters, and 2; I do better with inches.
So a 225 is 8.858 inches wide and the stock 215 is 8.464 inches. The R number is a ratio, multiply the width by .50 or .70 to get the sidewall height.
Then double the sidewall height and add the rim size to get the tire height. So if you got a 215/50R-19 tire it would fill the opening like the stock tire and would not affect the speedometer or odometer like the smaller tires will. Nor should they rub, if the new rims have the same offset as the stock rims.

On the plus side the smaller tires should improve your zero to 60 times, but will lower your top end speed.

I'm running 225/70R-16 on my manual Rav without rubbing, but my speedometer usually reads 2 mph slower than I'm going and I have to add 3% to my mileage readings to calculate my current mpg's and service intervals.

A simple 4-wheel alignment should fix the camber.
 

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The rav needs adjustable arms to correct the rear camber. I made mine with parts of a camry arm.
That is interesting, my repair manual clearly shows a camber adjustment for the rear wheels.
Did you need more than the limited stock adjustment?
Or is this just a difference between your 97 and my 99 model?
 

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The RAV has adjustable camber at front and back. The front has larger holes in the hub allowing the strut to be moved, the rear has eccentric mountings on the inner end of the lower tie rod. The rear may be seized solid, as mine was though, being difficult and costly to fix.

The rear also has adjustable toe.

Oh, the front camber has limited adjustment as std, but you can get alternative bolts that allow more movement.
 
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