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Alright, I am starting with a pretty much factory stock 1998 4 door with AWD. I am just graduating college, and can't afford a new car, but the Rav needs a few improvements. 1 item in this list is really expensive, but it would be done if I got a new car, and that is the paint. Pretty much i want my vehicle to be unique to be a rolling advertisement for myself. I am a photographer (visit my site if u wanna see my work), and the rav makes a great vehicle for this line of work. I live in upper lower Michigan, so I have to contend with snow and lots of water, so I am debating a few things.

First, a cold air intake. Will driving through deep snow (it happens more than u think, they don't like to plow my road). I wasn't sure if it would suck up the snow and cause a hydro-lock. Or is that valve that was mentioned earlier in the CAI chain good enough to eliminate that problem? Wasn't there a mod where someone made a ram that got the air from under one of the headlights? Is a sports intake a better idea?

Next is cornering. I would like a bit better cornering, but don't really want to sacrafice my ride height/clearance. It is helpful when I gotta drive in the winter, and when i gotta hit some trails to get to trailheads. So any ideas on a way to improve the cornering a bit? Does anyone make sway bars to help with body roll? Is there a good set of shocks/springs I should get? I guess lowering it about 1 inch wouldn't be too bad either.

I also want a little more aggressive, street tuner look, so I was going to install a body kit (rather, have the body shop do it when they put on the new paint). Are the Bomex kits pretty easy to fit over the plastic on the bottom half of the body? It needs new paints because the campus parking has been harsh on it, my parents ran over a can of latexx paint before they gave it to me (there is a tiny splash of it on the plastic, have yet been able to get it off) and there is a weird dent/crack in the factory paint that is bubbling. Like I said, the vehicle will be a rolling advertisement, so I want it to be unique.

Also, to draw attention, I am wanting to change the engine sound. I know the CAI will do that a bit, so will a new exhaust. Outside of a total engine swap, is there something else I can do to shange the sound to a classic high pitched tuner whine? Is a turbo worth the cost?

The car has 95000 miles on it, and should be runnin strong for much beyond that. So I am planning on having it for another 3 to 4 years, maybe longer, if it looks good it may just keep getting new engines as needed.

Oh, and there is a really loud grinding sound from the braking. the breaks are still in good condition (had a dealer check them, and it only happens in warmer weather (over 60f). Think new pads of ceramic or some kind of noise reducing composite should help? I am doing a brake/rotor change, and a few other things as needed to keep her runnin nice.

Sorry that was so long winded.......maybe next time I should split those up......
 

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A. you can do a hole in the front bumper or splash guard and ducts to the air filter of the short ram,also you can do that (the hole in the bumper and put the duct to the filter(not direct like some CAI)with a CAI like mines



B. install an H&R lowering spring (1.5 inches), sway bar and strutbar rear and front.

C. the bomex kit is great, but the bodykits are made of fiberglass, what it mean? it mean that if you take a hit with the snow or anything, it can crack easely.

D.the 2" piping with header and a flowmaster is a good start, if you have the stock engine without turbo. one of the best engine swap is the 3sgte from mr2 or celica gt-4(arround 240 Hp)

 

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Welcome to the forums SZRimaging! :D Wow, where should I begin to answer most of your ???? :lol:

First off, check out my ride for any ideas and I'll be glad to answer any of your questions:

http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/683136

O.K., Here we go:
For CAIs, you may experience hydro-lock (more like snow-lock in your case) if the air to the intake is restricted. They do sell by-pass valves though; so it shouldn't really be a problem. There are many members here that have found a way to get cooler air into their intake from different places on the front of their RAV. Under the bumper splash shield is just one of those areas, or under the headlamp. :wink:



To improve your cornering without sacrificing your ride height. Consider installing an strut tower bar (CUSCO makes a great one, also it is a factory Toyota part as well). An rear anti-roll bar should be installed as well. Lowering it an inch would also help, and not affect the ride height too much. Getting lower profile tires would help also, but will negatively affect ride quality.



As for body kits, you are on the right track. BOMEX is awesome. My friend Phil has one on his RAV and I can vouch for its WOW factor!!!



As for getting a unique look to your RAV as an rolling advertisement without having to pay big $$$$ for a new paint job; have you considered full body vinyl graphics? There are companies out there that can lay out some really nice vinyl graphics including pictures and such. But if you want unique, then nothing beats a RAV painted in a color that nobody else has. :D

The engine sound will definitely change with the addition of a CAI. You will not get a high pitched whine like that of a supercharger. The CAI will sound more like a loud sucking noise, kind of like a giant trying to suck air through a giant straw! :lol: Definitely a new tuned exhaust system will give you the sounds you want. My HKS sport exhaust is a pleasant loud, not the annoying ones you hear on other generic exhaust systems.



The brake grinding sound may be an indication of damaged rotors. I've noticed that the factory rotors and pads are not the best set-up and have had problems with it since I got my RAV. For safety sake, get it looked at. I changed mines out to BREMBO cross-drilled/ventilated rotors and HAWK pads; and have had no problems thus far.



Hope I answered some of your questions, :lol: probably one of the longer posts I've made in awhile here. :D
 
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Alrighty, thanks guys. I want the color of the car to match my design for my website/letterhead/etc. I know, a little ambitous, but yeah. That, and I can't stand the look of the plastic cladding. I love the car, and its nice that it is rust proof down there, but it just looks bad. Anyone compared the Bomex kits to the VISracing kits?

Derek, thanks for letting me your inspiration for the long post :wink: Where did you get all the carbon fiber engine parts?

As far as rotors are concerned, whats better, slotted or cross drilled? I figure slotted because the structural integrity is maintained (or so quotes my brother, but do I trust him, I mean he does drive a Durango.....)

Where do you get the eyelids from? I am yet to find them anywhere online.

You both have awesome rides....I hope to join your ranks soon....
 

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Hey Zach, just checked out your photography website; you are an awesome photographer! Maybe in the future, you can give us some tips on how to take awesome car pictures. I found it very difficult to take mine and Phil's RAVs pictures; didn't know what angles and all to take the shots at. :cry:

Anyways, to answer your questions. The carbon fiber parts were custom made. The CAI is actually an aftermarket CF intake from a later model Acura Integra. The strut bar is custom made by myself.

As for the rotors, your brother is probably correct. Slotted will not have the tendency to crack as do the drilled. I just like how they look, and will drive them until I see stress cracks; then just change them out again. :?

As for the eyelids; as far as I know, there are no aftermarket eyelids for our RAV4. At least not available in the U.S.. The one on Phil's ride is custom made from those plastic headlamp shields. He just got a pair that is made for our RAVs and cut them to fit, then painted them to match his RAV.

p.s. Being such an awesome photographer, when will we be seeing picts. of your ride? :D
 
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^^derek, are those wheel spacers on your hub? if so how far do they push your wheels out? where did u get them and how's the ride?
 

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dj, yes; those are 30mm H&R wheel spacers. Very high quality and made out of lightweight aluminum. The fronts are hubcentric, the rears (also 30mm) are a generic brand that are not hubcentric. I must stress to you all that the fronts NEED to be hubcentric, or you will get severe vibration problems at 60-65+ MPH. I've learned from experience on this one, so trust me. :D

The spacers are 30mm wide, so that's about an inch and a quarter that it pushed the wheels out. A very noticeable difference.



I got the H&Rs locally at a performance shop. They had to special order them. The generic ones were bought from eBay.

The ride is the same. The handling is much better in corners due to the wider stance. The turning radius has gotten worse, however. :?
 

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Derek said:
dj, yes; those are 30mm H&R wheel spacers. Very high quality and made out of lightweight aluminum. The fronts are hubcentric, the rears (also 30mm) are a generic brand that are not hubcentric. I must stress to you all that the fronts NEED to be hubcentric, or you will get severe vibration problems at 60-65+ MPH. I've learned from experience on this one, so trust me. :D

The spacers are 30mm wide, so that's about an inch and a quarter that it pushed the wheels out. A very noticeable difference.



I got the H&Rs locally at a performance shop. They had to special order them. The generic ones were bought from eBay.

The ride is the same. The handling is much better in corners due to the wider stance. The turning radius has gotten worse, however. :?
Should I go with spacers or wider wheels?

I'm thinking of going either 17" or 18" rims, and maybe increasing the diameter of the whole wheel by an inch. Do you think that's a good idea?
 
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Discussion Starter #9
looks nice,
i'm gonna have to check my local parts stores
 
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