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My Rav4 Camping/Joke Build

1347 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  RevyRav
Hello Everyone


This is my Rav4 that I’ve retrofitted for camping, originally mum’s car that ended up being passed among other family members before I’ve purchased her, She is a 06 Rav4 Base model “CV” 2.4L 2AZ-FE oil burner. 4 Speed Automatic. (Petrol, diesel wasn't available in OZ was in NZ)

"Full Service history" (did skip a service for a whole year once according to the documentation)

No name for the Rav other than Rav4 or Rav, She has been fitted with a lift kit, bigger tires and a dual battery to date (Oct 2022). Taken me 3 years for the whole refit. (Bits at a time and started with no mechanical experience)

Originally started as a bit of a joke of taking the rav4 camping in places you'd see more capable vehicles, but after a few K’s ($) in parts and a lot of alcohol as payment to myself for the labour I present the almost finish rav4 (Just waiting on AER for the rear differential locker) while not as impressive as say … in terms of pulling the motor and reinforcing the frame I present my joke car. (though that I'm not sure if I'm still joking)

In the 15 years of living in QLD I’ve only seen 3 lifted Rav4 (3rd gen) including my own.


One on the highway at Oxley towards Wacol
Another one spring lifted at Redlands Hospital (King springs?, yellow springs)

Inspired from other from this forum for their rav4 builds.
brentkwhitley
dannjolly
TEKSMRT
Rdog422
Daniel3214

Summary list of additions in no particular order. (Added after I purchased her)
  • OEM Nudge bar (Apparently its an Australia only thing?) (Made in Australia Too)
  • Dual battery (110AMP AGM + CTEK D250SE Plus an extra relay to jump start myself (Saved my ass a few times) (Under the boot floor)
  • Spot lights
  • Roof Rack (OEM from the wreckers) (Perfect colour match)
  • UHF (GME, with light duty springs and antenna) (Heavy duty Stubby spring was just too heavy for the bonnet mount)
  • Skid Plate (Northwoods)
  • Lift kit (Northwoods)
  • Rear Spring Spacer (35MM To level the Northwoods kit) (Ebay special, Polyurethane from Russia)
  • 245/65/17R Falken Wildpeak AT3 Tires
  • Full Suspension bushing replacement (Did this over multiples times, [never again, do it once if you value your time]) (Mostly Polyurethane such as Superpro, Nolathane and Siberia Bushings)
  • Aux Transmission Cooler. (And thermostat @ a later date. Inline [Oil Cooler] after the radiator)
  • Sandgrabba??? Floor mats (I know not really a mod but fuck me, it saves so much time cleaning mud and sand)
  • “Engine Guard” Temp monitor, (Dual Sensor Engine and trans) (Paranoid of killing my motor by focusing on the road and not the gauges)
  • Strut Bar (No particular reason other than I like the look)
  • Bilstein Rear shocks
  • Custom front & rear sway bars (Mako/Signature Sway bars) Front 27mm, Rear 24mm)




Story time, oldest addition to newest.
But before that the "Completed Rav" to date (Oct 2022)

Car Wheel Land vehicle Tire Vehicle

Car Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle Automotive tail & brake light


Sorry for potato pics, I don't normally create a new threads on forums just normally reply to others so I didn't intent for the pics to be made public. But others inspired me so at least I can inspire others. Maybe???


Timeline of event


August 2018
Officially My Car
Changed her Trans fluid first time after this. 180KM after 12 Years (Topped and filled at 1 week intervals for 3 weeks)


June 2019
Aftermarket Auxiliary Transmission Cooler (Davies Craig 677) Installed in preparation on my first “off roading trip” to Bribie Island with the boys. Runs inline after the cooler from the Radiator. (As far as I can tell, OZ Rav4s don’t have the hockey puck fluid exchanger) Didn't have a bash plate on this trip, so I didn't air down to preserve my clearance as i was worried id hit a hidden rock and damage my oil or transmission pan. (Got bogged a lot as a result. lesson learnt)

Automotive parking light Car Vehicle Hood Automotive lighting

Pic of the installed Auxiliary cooler. No thermostat was installed at this time.
Fluid flows in this order: Transmission - Radiator - Aux Cooler - Transmission

July 2019

OEM Nudge bar installed

Chose the Toyota OEM over a aftermarket due to the additional bracket that is installed from the crash bar to the nudge that is near the top (requires the whole bumper to be removed to be properly installed, verses the aftermarket which is installed/secured at the bottom only. Bonus for the OEM is the additional plate at the bottom [the part with all the oval holes])


Toyota Part: (2AZ-FE) I believe the v6 has a different mount bracket and a different part number.
PZQ29-42080

Installed only because I like the look of the nudge, I'm fully aware it does more damage in a crash, wanted the option to add accessories to it.


Wood Gas Home appliance Glass Metal
Automotive parking light Car Tire Vehicle Vehicle registration plate

Pic of the rav was at a later date. Featuring the Geolandars tires installed as mentioned below

March 2020
Got All Terrain Tires, encouraged from a friend who its more outdoorsy than myself. Yokohama 225/65R17 (Stock Size) Geolandar AT G015 Passenger Tires

August 2019

Northwood Bash installed 6MM Aluminium (only option at the time)
Modified to fit the nudge bar. Best part is it happens to slide on top of the nudge.

Wood Automotive exterior Gas Rectangle Tints and shades

Gas Automotive exterior Composite material Bumper Auto part

The pick of the cut is a few years (2022) later so you can ignore the rusty washer.

Took the RAV to Fraser island shorty after (With mates) Made the whole experience pretty confidence inspiring not having to worry about the oil pans. Nice smooth layer of sand behind the rav due to the lack of clearance in some areas, pretty funny to watch the rav plough a small mount of sand into a flat path.

Saved my vehicle once when we took a unnecessary path and hit a rock. Mate in front hit the same rock and dented his radiator (didn't realise it at the time and fortunately it didn't leak. he removed his bash prior and forgot to remount it)

Only got bogged 3 times in 7 days. Not even in the usual spots such as inskip. Didn't attempt ngkala rocks in this configuration.

January 2021
Dual Battery Retrofit
Installed this as those portable battery packs to power a camping fridge wasn't cutting it. Especially when camping in an area with no sun for those portable solar panels for long periods.
Installed in the empty space under the boot floor.

Ran a line from the front battery to the back via the passenger firewall (right hand drive) and through the footwell trims. Connects to a CTEK D250SE battery charger and then the battery. Picked the ctek for the option of solar panel inputs and its ability to back charge the primary battery when the secondary is done (Also cheaper than a redarc alternative)
Installed an additional button near the driver and a starter relay (200A) to manually link the batteries together and bypass the ctek.

Composite material Hat Building Metal Concrete

A gutted cargo area
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Fender Vehicle

Blue ground cable was moved to the right as illustrated below. Ended up connecting to a bolt holding the wheel jack carrier. Routed the positive red cable under a crossmember, Reinforced the cable with tesa tape in areas I assumed would rub. Smaller red cable is to connect the relay in the rear to a button in the front.
Automotive lighting Bumper Automotive exterior Electrical wiring Gas

Almost finished setup featuring backup fire extinguisher in a hard to access place. Yes those are house circuit breakers (clipsal) used as a master switch before normal blade fuses didn't want to spend the extra $ for those waterproof 4x4 models and these are rated for 24v DC according to the spec sheet. Also a good practice is to add a fuse near each battery.

Used a 110ah agm battery, might switch to lithium in the near future for the weight savings. 600kg carrying capacity (Including driver/passengers) before gross mass


Breaking the log into smaller posts as I'll hit the 10 attachment limit.
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2az-fe, ACA33R, CV, U140f, 2006
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
August 2021

Northwood Lift kit (Just the springs/spacer and control arm links) [Strut/shocks boots bought separately] Decided to build the assembly myself.

Work done in my garage.

Created a new assembly using new parts, (Struts, stopper, boots,) Kept the strut mount after a clean and re-grease,

Mishimoto Transmission Thermostat was added around this time. As the rav4 would refuse to switch to fourth gear unless it ran a bit. Still does from but has improved it a lot.
Lift kit install

Before
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive side marker light


After
Tire Car Wheel Vehicle Land vehicle


Parts

Wood Flooring Publication Hardwood Packaging and labeling

Wood Personal protective equipment Plastic Hardwood Electric blue

Font Wood Art Electric blue Metal

Front spring comparison 15years @ 226877KM vs Northwood New
Shelving Wood Gas Cylinder Machine

For the spring compressors I bought the most expensive I could afford, I’ve watched too many YouTube videos on spring compressors and the dangers involved. But using this I was never scared, it never creaked under tension. Item in question for those interested.

Force Heavy Duty Coil Spring Compressor – 627280


Automotive tire Wood Coil spring Suspension Gear

A finished front assembly including spacer.

Only issue with the northwood kit was that the front of the rav was more lifted at the front compared to the rear rather than a more levelled look I was after.

September 2021
Next was a pair of Toyota roof rails from the wreckers for $110 AUD, really didn't expected the silver rails to match my silver car was expecting a few shades off.


Edits:
Changed: Front spring comparison 12years @ 226877KM vs Northwood New
To: Front spring comparison 15years @...
 

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2az-fe, ACA33R, CV, U140f, 2006
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
April 2022
Installed custom rear Sway Bar 24mm (Ordered though Mako made by signature sway bars) and Bilstein Rear Shocks (Didn't use the supplied spacer)


Wood Hardwood Plastic wrap Flooring Plastic
Automotive tire Tire Gas Tints and shades Cylinder

New sway bars front and rear plus a replacement adjustable sway bar link (front hardware installed later, I hate cleaning grease) Quite stiff vs the KYB aftermarket shocks installed previously.
Pardon my small hand.

Sway bars was purchased to fix my body roll (I am aware that I loose articulation) Took 14-16weeks (From memory) for delivery.

Replacing the rear sway bar wasn't too bad, was able to negotiate it out after removing 1 wheel, removing sway bar links and sliding it out. Install was the same but in reverse.

June 2022
Rear Spring spacer was installed in an attempt to level the rav4.(Worked)
35mm Spacers. Heineken for scale.
Tire Automotive tire Light Tread Fluid



Front sway bar installed. Big job
(No pics sorry)

Installing the front sway bar requires removing the 2 controls arms. But....
In order to remove the transmission side arm you either have to drop the subframe or remove the trans pan.
I chose to remove the pan, figured she needed a fresh bottle of trans fluid. (Penrite LV)
Took the opportunity to replace both sets of bushing in the arms. Inner and rear control arm bushings from Superpros
(Control Arm Lower-Inner Rear Bush Kit - Double Offset - SPF3867K)(fixed my caster angles)
(Control Arm Lower-Inner Front Bush Kit - SPF3589K)
Replaced the front links with (SuperPro 12mm Adj Sway Bar Link Kit) Got tired of cleaning grease.

NO DATE (Forgot to document this)
Replaced rear camber arm and toe arm.
RAV4 don't have a adjustable rear arm to adjust the camber so this was a necessary addition in order to correct the camber for the lift. Toe arm bushings/ball joint where getting a bit worn couldn't find poly bushings to fit it so I replaced the whole arm with something stronger looking. Painted this black with VHT roll bar & chassis paint.
Hand tool Wood Pliers Electric blue Slip joint pliers


September 2022

Big boy tires time, after many hours of browsing this site and checking out everyone tire combos. I settled on the Falken Wildpeak AT3, 245 65R 17 (Bigger than stock) Nice aggressive looking and not too wide that they stick out of the wheel wells.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Font


Comparison of stock vs new size. Tad taller, Tad wider. Doesn't rub at full turn with the lift kit.
Obviously the rear door carrier doesn't fit the larger diameter tire. Got that removed prior to the tires being fitted.
Got the genuine Toyota wheel lock for the spare. (69059-60220) these come with the Prados and Landcruisers.

VHF radio & Engine guard temp monitor.
Purchased a GME XRS-370C4P XRS as the hand held wasn't cutting it anymore. Wanted to mounted the antenna in the rear next to the spare. Didn't have the time to design and get a fab shop to make me a bracket. As we where originally going to Fraser island again in less than 2 weeks. (Moved to next month) So mounted it to the hood only to realise the heavy duty stubby is far too heavy for my chosen bracket. Ended up purchasing a light duty variant of the 2.1db antenna. Will try for a rear mount in the future.

Engine guard, mostly for peace of mind, 16 year old car being used for a purpose I'm sure the original engineers wouldn't be too happy with. Reinforced by another poster who's niece killed her V6 Rav4.
Measures the Engine and Trans.
Bolted to the engine near the oil pressure sensor and on top of the transmission (2 spare holes on top, M6 bolts if you want to try 12mm deep.)
Gadget Cable Electrical wiring Wire Adapter

Engine guard after adding some quick connectors and tesa harness tape. Like being able to disconnect things easily if I need to troubleshoot. Wired to an auxiliary fuse box under the head unit. Gets power from the ciggie socket so its only on when needed.

Car Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design Mode of transport

Interior featuring engine guard and radio, being a base model rav4 I had plenty of dummy switches to use.
Going to add another radio magnetic mount to the driver side.


Fin for now.
 

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Dude, omg dude, this is one of the best XA30 i have ever seen, a full australian made rav4, amazing, this is the style i wan't to follow for mine... just couple of quick questions, how it ride now with the 245's? mine is a 2.0 152cv with the 5-speed manual, i'm worried about going to 245's and loosing to much, did you find any downside?... i have a 1.75 h&r lift kit with shock extenders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dude, omg dude, this is one of the best XA30 i have ever seen, a full australian made rav4, amazing, this is the style i wan't to follow for mine... just couple of quick questions, how it ride now with the 245's? mine is a 2.0 152cv with the 5-speed manual, i'm worried about going to 245's and loosing to much, did you find any downside?... i have a 1.75 h&r lift kit with shock extenders.
I believe the best xa30 build belongs to dannjolly for his build. (which I see you've commented in) In regards to how it rides honestly a bit rough on the road with no cargo. Haven't had a chance to go off-road yet in this configuration. (Delayed trip to Fraser) due to the bigger tires there's a slight to moderate reduction in power in terms of going from stationary to moving and a bit longer to stop. But I reckon a heavier foot would fit this issue. (I've accepted she's now a slow moving girl, when I started this retrofit)

Remember everything has a cost (not just your wallet)

Hope I answered your question and a tad bit more.
 

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I believe the best xa30 build belongs to dannjolly for his build. (which I see you've commented in) In regards to how it rides honestly a bit rough on the road with no cargo. Haven't had a chance to go off-road yet in this configuration. (Delayed trip to Fraser) slight to moderate reduction in power in terms of going from stationary to moving and a bit longer to stop. But I reckon a heavier foot would fit this issue. (I've accepted she's now a slow moving girl, when I started this retrofit)

Remember everything has a cost (not just your wallet)

Hope I answered your question and a tad bit more.
Check the charcoal filter on the airbox lid... remove it... enjoy your new "v6" hahahaha...

Yes that is one of the best build I have seen on the rav4 forum, guy thought on everything...even sub frame drop
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well Lads
Sorry but I got busy, Slight update. Took the Rav4 to Fraser back in Nov 2022.
She did well, only did the run from inskip to Waddy point solo (running late to catch my group), drove as far as Ngkala Rocks (didnt attempt to cross it) did some smaller inland tracks.
Didn't get bogged once that required recovery (touch wood), did get stopped once as i had to stop for an incoming vehicle along indian head crossing as i had pedestrians walking on my side and rav4 didn't want to go forward after stopping so a quick reverse back half a meter and away she went. (Probably helps that the gross weight of the rav4 is still lighter than the tare weight of some 4WDs)

I did have the towing eyelets on, didn't have to use them this year. Had to use them last time (2020 no lift just bash plates, got bogged 3 times back then but not at the usual notorious spots)
Tire Wheel Car Water Sky

Photo courtesy of my mate, Blurred myself. Waddy point beach

Don't have too many photos, trip got cut short due to a big storm that was coming through, so it was a 3 night trip instead of a 7 night trip.
Ran 20psi the whole trip, Rav4 did fine in soft sand. Unfortunately with only 4 gears she does slow down a fair bit when on the really soft stuff, used 2 second gear for most of it. 1st for the steep sandy tracks.

Got lots of funny looks on fraser. We went during the period between school holidays so it wasn't too busy. Vehicles during this period were all proper 4wd, lots of 79 series.

Only other thing to note was the ramp/trail leading into champagne pools, its quite eroded just before the mat leading uphill, leading to a big drop and then a rise. Rav4 struggled with it, ended up building a ramp with sand and knockoff maxi-tracks.



I'll try and get more photos next trip.
And try to post here while the memory is still fresh.
 

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Great thread!

What Northwood spacer/lift size did you go with? Mine is more level but at low speeds/no load it pushes slightly more on slick conditions. Debating how I feel about it, it’s a small trade off for more clearance and better good road handling. Looks like increasing the rear would mean a lot more parts based on your trailing & cam arm replacement. Price on those? Shouldn’t be hard to do.

Funny, you got the rear shocks I couldn’t.

Bushings are tough huh? I’ve considered this but the ones that look poor at all are just the rear links and they’re “easy”.

Start up sound and bearings for 4WD mag things are on my list, as well as B12 to loosen rings on next oil change. Lucas additive and Amsoil burns less but still a little annoying. I’ll see what the Toyota dealer says they should do, that I’ll probably do myself 😎
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What Northwood spacer/lift size did you go with?
I went with the 1.5" lift kit from northwoods attached them to KYB Excel-G Strut - 339032 & 339031 (standard OEM replacements)


Looks like increasing the rear would mean a lot more parts based on your trailing & cam arm replacement. Price on those? Shouldn’t be hard to do.
The toe i could of lived without, but they looked thicker and the bushings on my original factory were starting to show its age. Parts # and Price (AUS $)
Hard Race Rear Toe Kit - Hardened Rubber (RAV4 05-12) 8592 $224.00
Hard Race Rear Camber Kit - Pillow Ball (RAV4 06-11) Q0046 $393.00

The main issue with the Hard Race Rear Camber Kit is the near impossibility to actually adjust them, there is no room for any spanner to fit around the rav4's rear suspension. It takes me 3 different tools to tighten it. 2 (1 skinny adjustable and 1 traditional spanner to tighten the larger nut) & another different sized spanner for the smaller nut.


There is also this style of rear adjustable camber, which looks a lot easier to adjust, but from my visual inspection (of a photo) it doesn't seem as strong/heavy duty.



Bushings are tough huh?
It can but I made the mistake of doing each pair every now and then rather doing it in 1 complete go.
I've got the 3 big bushings on the rear differential and the 4 small for the trailing arms (2 on each arm) left to do. But future me problem.

If your attempting any suspension work/bushing.
Recommend 1 bottle jack & 1 trolley jack, impact gun and sockets, be prepared to waste a weekend or 2 on it if you're not too familiar with wrenching on your own car.
17mm & 19mm sockets/spanners are your friend for the rav4's suspension be prepared to need 2, 17mm spanners for the top shock mounts.

After everything so far
Its rough/ tad bouncy towards the back when the rav4 is empty. But she rides quite nice with rear cargo (like camping gear, fridge etc). I just pretend she has leaf springs.


Start up sound and bearings for 4WD mag things are on my list, as well as B12 to loosen rings on next oil change.
I'm actually quite interested to try the B12 Piston soak since it appears we can get this stuff here in OZ. But I'm strangely kind of fond of my Rav4's drinking problem, since it an excuse to check under the hood/Go shopping for motor oil on specials.
 

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Oh I know all about the double 17mm wrench business… I think using a shock extender for this location is a decent idea purely so one never need do it again.

Nathan said the B8 rears are very stiff. You may want to try B6’s next time. In fact me trying to be anal and getting the B8’s but failing and leading to B6’s is probably a blessing for the rears.

I’m starting to think in the front the next gen springs should shoot for more than 10% squish, just a bit more would still provide most of what one wants. A stiffer sway bar would be probably a bit better than the 10% if trying to improve on road if one couldn’t deal with the idea of a little more squish. Essentially you want to load the front a hair more on turning at lower speeds than the lift kit does (this far being my observation). You may have corrected that with the rear spacer but also your KYB will allow you to load a bit faster than Bilsteins, so somewhat ironic aside from stance. It seems the more aggressive you drive on the Bilsteins the better they work with the springs.

You may have heard this before. American style stiff shocks, soft springs - Euro style stiff springs soft shocks. Your fronts are more inline with euro, but the rear is not. The standard kit B8/6 setup is a sport tune IMO if it’s with lift. I like that but debating how to improve winter capabilities with the change on corners. Like you, I have VERY little interest to go back into suspension when not necessary.

I still need an alignment but I’m sure it isn’t bad.
 
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