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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there folks! I've been a long time lurker of the Rav4world forum (not sure why I never actually joined, haha). I'm the owner of a 1997 Rav4 in ocean mist metallic, 5 speed manual, AWD, almost fully loaded (all power options, sunroof, etc.) with 197k miles. I purchased the car a couple years ago from a family friend who had owned it since 2002, and took pretty good care of it (and even kept all the maintenance records for the car).

Just this weekend I finally got around to installing the timing belt/waterpump, as well as fixing a MASSIVE oil leak. It was really bad, to the point where I had basically stopped driving the car (it got to the point where it was losing 1qt. about every 60mi). In the end, my service consisted of: Timing belt, waterpump, thermostat, oil pump shaft seal & o-ring, camshaft seal, front main seal, valve cover gasket, and new spark plugs.

Took me a sold 15+ straight hours of working on the car, with lots of beat up knuckles and tight squeezes... While it certainly wasn't fun, I'm glad that I finally got it all fixed up and I can start driving it again!

It's kind of an extra car now, and I have considered just selling it, but I'm kind of attached and torn on getting rid of it... So I've also been thinking about just holding on to it and maybe doing some mods & minor "off-roading" with it.

On a slightly unrelated note, I also do a LOT of work on the not so well known Tesla powered 2012-2014 Rav4 EVs at the shop where I work.

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Welcome! What a beauty. Any tips or wisdom you can pass on to someone who is about to do all of the above-mentioned engine service in only one weekend? Oh, in addition to a new radiator and transaxle pan :D.
 

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Welcome! What a beauty. Any tips or wisdom you can pass on to someone who is about to do all of the above-mentioned engine service in only one weekend? Oh, in addition to a new radiator and transaxle pan :D.
Thanks! It looks a bit better in pictures than in person, but overall it’s in pretty good shape for its age.
I found this video on YouTube of a RAV4 timing belt job that was VERY helpful:
The pinned comment on there has time stamps for each step, which makes it real easy to find useful tips.
It’s a very tight job, and I was lucky enough to have a lift to do it on at work, but it didn’t require any specialized tools (except maybe the crank pulley puller).
I also suggest having multiple sizes/shapes of your wrenches & sockets (almost all the bolts & nuts are 12 or 14mm).
I did my camshaft seal a bit differently than in the video. I took the valve cover off (had to anyways in my case as one of my spark plug tubes was leaking at the base), and then the end bearing cap and lightly tapped the old seal off, then slipped the new one on and reinstalled the bearing cap and valve cover.
 
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