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So I wanted to put together a fun Rav4. I am very familiar with the 3SGTE engine, and the power to weight ratio would be perfect for this little "4x4". So here is what I am starting with, a 1996 AWD Manual I picked up cheap with a blown motor.




Here is the power plant, Celica ST205 GT4 swap.



I will be using the Celica transmission, and Rav4 rear differential for now. I will be using the A2W intercooler and mount a heat exchanger behind the bumper. I will share my mods as it's going along. More to come!
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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From the scorched hood, the 3SFE not only blew but caught fire too?

Good luck with the project. Put a Hemi(R) in it instead??? :)
Those aren't scorch marks. That's typical Toyota quality paint! Actually, a lot of '90's cars look like that. It's like the clear coat oxidizes over time.
 

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Yeah, some clear coat issues.

BTDT on the swap. Mine took like 10 months. I thought about going with the 3rd gen to get the A2W charge cooler, but decided to go 4th gen for the supposedly smoother power and better management. Do you have the ST205 ECU or are you going stand alone? I have some wiring notes I will clean up and eventually post in my thread. There is a PDF out there of the complete BGB for a 96 RAV4. You will need that, or the real paper version. I have the real paper version for my 2000. There's more documentation floating around for the 3rd gen than the 4th gen, so that should make it a little easier.
 

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Off to a good start! :) Subscribed!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Replaced the front struts and strut tops with KYB, rear shocks with KYB "Gas-a-just". Had some clearance issues with the new wheels and tires, so Added 30mm lift kit. Replaced front brakes with Stop Tech rotors and pads, new rear drums and pads as well.






 

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Wheels are 17x8 +30 TE37 Reps, with BFGoodrich K02 225/65-17. I put TRD logo stickers on the center caps.

 

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Yeah, some clear coat issues.

BTDT on the swap. Mine took like 10 months. I thought about going with the 3rd gen to get the A2W charge cooler, but decided to go 4th gen for the supposedly smoother power and better management. Do you have the ST205 ECU or are you going stand alone? I have some wiring notes I will clean up and eventually post in my thread. There is a PDF out there of the complete BGB for a 96 RAV4. You will need that, or the real paper version. I have the real paper version for my 2000. There's more documentation floating around for the 3rd gen than the 4th gen, so that should make it a little easier.
I am using the ST205 ECU at the moment, but I have an Apexi PowerFC to use later. The engine is actually installed and wired up already. I am still working out a few odds and ends with the heat exchanger for the charge cooler, as well as the exhaust and aircon. So far I am pretty happy with how it is coming together.
 

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Notes on installing the engine... I used the Rav4 front, rear, and driverside mounts and brackets for the transmission. I used the Rav4 passenger side engine mount and bracket. I used the Rav4 shift linkage. I used the St205 power steering pump, had to trim one hose down to fit. I swapped the brackets over on the ECU, so the new ECU fits right into the old location. I installed new front axles. I had to change the driverside axle seal on the transmission from the ST205 to the Rav4 seal in order for it not to leak. I eliminated the factory transmission cooler with a factory loop from an MR2 transmission. I am mounting the A2W heat exchanger in the old transmission cooler location. I replaced the factory cat with a 3" no brand downpipe/cat. I replaced the factory radiator fans, with two 12" slim fans. Re-used all of the Rav4 coolant hoses. Replaced the ST205 coolant temp sender with the Rav4 sender (so the gauge functions correctly). I used the Rav4 throttle cable, I was able to pinch it into the factory ST205 cable bracket. If I think of any other notes, I will add them here.
 

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Thank you... I see that there are two different shock travel lengths for the Rav4 struts. I imagine the shorter travel is what works with 4 door awd on 215/70 r16 The internet has created a bit of confusion on this note... Apologies to ask this on your thread
 

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I have Konis on mine. There are two part numbers for the front, and according to Koni's tech support, one part number is for 96-99 and the other is 2000 to the end of the 2nd gen, I think, even though a 2000 is still a 1st gen.
 

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Just curious, how much more difficult do you think this would have been in a 4.2? I've always wondered, because there are shops that will make harnesses to match any Toyota engine to any Toyota vehicle (within reason). If it's pretty "plug-n-play", how difficult is the actual install and custom fab work? I'm also curious what was the most difficult part of this swap for you.


Do you think a 4.1/4/2 auto-transmission would work with this engine?
 

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Virtually any engine will fit in virtually any car, if you try hard enough. Some people try REALLY hard and have made some "interesting" vehicles. Now, in the case of a 2nd gen RAV4, it's not so much the engine, it's the transmission. See, the motor mounts are really "the motor mount" and "the three transmission mounts." The transmission mounts are what holds it all together. So, what transmission does your car have? The "easy" button would be if that same transmission was available in a Caldina, in which case, yeah, it would pretty much bolt in, just buy the Caldina motor and auto trans. If not, then you either have to make the 3SGTE work with your transmission, perhaps with a factory bell housing if the S motor ever came with your transmission, or an adapter plate.
 

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Any progress updates?

This is the swap I always wanted in the RAV4, just couldn't find someone willing and able to install it. =(

What kind of issues did you have with the wheels?
Possibly the low offset with taller tire combo?

My summer wheels are 17x8 with a 38 offset, and tires are 225/60/17 and no clearance issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just curious, how much more difficult do you think this would have been in a 4.2? I've always wondered, because there are shops that will make harnesses to match any Toyota engine to any Toyota vehicle (within reason). If it's pretty "plug-n-play", how difficult is the actual install and custom fab work? I'm also curious what was the most difficult part of this swap for you.


Do you think a 4.1/4/2 auto-transmission would work with this engine?
As far as I understand, the Z series engines do not have the same bell housing configuration as the S series engines, so I am not sure how the transmission looks. Judging from the photos I can find online, the bolt pattern for the 4.2 transmission mounts is no where near the same as the bolt pattern used on S and E series transmissions. So, I would say, custom fabricated mounts would be needed. So this could be quite a project on a 4.2.

This swap is pretty plug and play on a 4.1 from a mechanical standpoint. The engine harness gave me the most trouble. I didn't do the exhaust work myself, I am not a skilled welder. The exhaust, if 3" has very little room, so whoever fabricates it, has to be a professional. I do not like the way my muffler ended up, I am in the process of making time to have that changed. I will post some photos when I have it done. The wiring harness is a pain in the butt if you make it legitimate. I do not recommend anyone try to make one unless you are very good at that sort of thing. Wiregap.com is the "go to" for any custom toyota wiring harnesses. The charge air cooler heat exchanger is really the only other custom thing to do. Some folks may consider doing a front mount air to air intercooler, or a top mount intercooler with a scoop. Me personally, I think the water to air intercooler is best for under 400hp in this vehicle, just for the ease of use and performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Any progress updates?

This is the swap I always wanted in the RAV4, just couldn't find someone willing and able to install it. =(

What kind of issues did you have with the wheels?
Possibly the low offset with taller tire combo?

My summer wheels are 17x8 with a 38 offset, and tires are 225/60/17 and no clearance issues.
I had slight rubbing, until I put on the lift kit, then there was no rubbing. However, I ended up adding 15mm spacers to bring the tires out flush with the edge of the flares, and it will slightly rub the plastic in the front inside when I go full lock. I am going to trim the plastic away where it rubs, or let the tires do the work for me.
 
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