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So I’ve read a lot of post on what people have really recommended for power increasing for the RAV4. I’m wondering when modding what should I do to the flat 2.0 for the 1gen. Also if that’s not an option would using the Tacoma 2.1 or 2.7 or 3.4 motors be a better bet
 

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So I’ve read a lot of post on what people have really recommended for power increasing for the RAV4. I’m wondering when modding what should I do to the flat 2.0 for the 1gen. Also if that’s not an option would using the Tacoma 2.1 or 2.7 or 3.4 motors be a better bet
If you read through the forums and read about the 3S-FE engine there isn't a whole lot that you can do to safely squeeze out more HP. The most common engine swaps in the USA for performance are the following:
3S-GE Redtop BEAMS engine. It has to be a Redtop the other BEAMS engines aren't for transverse mounting.
3S-GTE A turbo charged engine
1MZ-FE
There should be no reason the 3MZ-FE engine wouldn't fit.
If you have a 4WD RAV4 make sure you get a 4WD/AWD engine to bolt it up to. The 2WD engine blocks don't have the mounting points for the 4wd transaxle.
You will need the a complete engine with most everything attached
You will require a new exhaust system
The 6 cylinder engines will require a modified exhaust manifold/header to fit on the side facing the firewall for clearance.
You will need the wire harness and you will have to merge the new engine's harness to the 3S-FE harness.
You will need the ECM
If you are in California or some of the other states that perform emissions testing you will not be able to use JDM (engines imported from Japan for the mod market) engines. The JDM engines don't use OBD2.
If 4WD, the increased HP and torque of these engines will be rough on the stock carrier (differential internal parts) so take that into consideration as well unless you are lucky enough to have a Torsen differential.
Some engine mods will require 2 gas lines which will require a mod to the fuel system. At the very least you will have to upgrade the gas pump to handle the increased fuel demand.
The transaxle will also be pushed hard if you have a lead foot.
Stock brakes weren't designed for performance, you would need to look at upgrading the brakes, this should be done before the engine swap. You will find how to do the rear disc brake conversion if you search the threads.
For all of these you will need a modified engine mount. Note: There is only one engine mount on a RAV4.1, the other three are transmission mounts.
This is a very short list, to do any engine swap it will require a lot of modifications that I haven't listed here, I'm just giving you some of the major mods and considerations. I'm not trying to discourage you from doing a swap, just do your research and know what you're getting into.

You will need deep pockets, real deep pockets for any of these mods. If you don't have the tools and skills to do most of it yourself you will need to own a bank.
Keep us posted on what you decide.
 

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That's been my conclusion too - an engine swap is your best bet if you want to make more than a little more power. I'm still just making those turbo noises with my mouth as I drive, so I can't speak from experience, but I can wet your appetite with this little turbo monster:
I think I watch this video too often... :)

Honestly though, I think a stock Rav can still be pretty fun if you can find enough smooth dirt to push it safely. Mine's FWD and I'm not sure if it will drift on gravel, but the tail will certainly loosen up! Still looking for a bigger gravel patch to really see what it'll do. I wouldn't drop too much cash on mods till you have a chance to 'give it the beans.' Just be safe and be aware that you do have a high center of gravity.
 
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