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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edit: Sold.

- History: Originally we bought a 2007 RAV4 new - Base, V6, AWD - from local dealer - 10/2006. Was wife's car, and we used it for road trips and I towed a few Subaru projects home on which to work. In 2018 it developed the 'startup death rattle / clatter'. I tried a few of the elixirs that worked for others, but it would always come back. I didn't want it to fail on my wife so we traded it off (normally would sell it myself, but didn't cotton to the idea of selling to another w/the known issue) for a 2018 CR-V (which I found out afterwards was prone to the oil dilution issue!).

After moving on from Subarus I found myself a clean, one-owner '03 Highlander Limited, V6, AWD, to drive for the last 3 years. Other than wheel bearings, VC leaks, and a recent coolant leak (appears to be the water outlet pipe / by-pass hose) after 200K, it's been a good rig. And didn't suffer the RECALLS befalling the 2006-12 (Gen 4.3) RAV4.
But after 3 years and approaching 240K miles on the HL, I decided to replace it.

I spent too much time shopping around and looking at other options, including German models, such as the X3 and Q5 (my 'dream' is either an SQ5 or GLC43 SUV), and changing modes and considered a sedan/coupe for more fun driving dynamics, including the G37X, IS350 AWD, or even an older 330XI. But I kept coming back to the RAV4 V6 AWD due to the versatility and power. I've built some quick turbocharged Subarus, so enjoy their boost.

As long as a Buyer is aware of the RAV4's pitfalls, recalls(!), and quirks, it's still an OK option. It doesn't have the 4Runner's off-road skills but w/a few helpful modifications (mods) it's capable of traversing the Forest Service roads my wife and I like to explore on our way to hiking in the woods. 90% of the time, these roads can be driven on by most compact sedans, but there are a few where 'high-clearance + 4WD/AWD' is a requirement.

Initially, I wanted an '10,'11, '12 Limited model as they supposedly had most of the bugs worked out, especially regarding the Dual VVT-i head issues. But they are holding their value and more than I wanted to pay. The '09 had the the upgraded front-end look and had the ability to turn off the TRAC/VSC with the push of a button vs. the key 'dance' required on the '07.

Tangent: Always bewildered me why Toyota had the 4-cylinder with a 4-speed Automatic that only got 1MPG better overall than the V6 with 5-speed Auto. (See CReports for proof.) Guessing it's based on the public's belief that a 4 must be much more fuel-efficient! 29MPG on the highway for the V6 is decent for a late 2000-era vehicle.

New (to me) Ride:
I ended up with a one-owner, 2009 RAV4, AWD, V6, base trim that I intend to upgrade/update w/my own personal preferences and see if it keeps me off Craigslist for awhile.

I'll lift it a bit with tires and suspension, add an updated car stereo for Carplay and backup cam (not installed on my base model), and look into tuning options on the V6.

This same engine is used in many other models, including the Lotus Evora models, albeit tweaked to the max, including a blower/supercharger. Although I'm not interested in high-RPM HP, Torque is King w/the 5-speed Automatic and usually there are a few 'lb-ft' waiting to be released on most stock vehicles, and I have no issue running Premium.

List of Maintenance, Updates, Upgrades and Wish List:

  • Brake pads: DONE- Adv. Auto 4-20-20
  • Air filter: Done - Adv. Auto 4-20-20 (there was dead mouse in there.)
  • Front and Rear Diff gear oil - Valvoline 75w-90 Synth. Done- 6-20-20
  • Oil & filter change: 5-10-20
  • Cabin filter: Vac'd, sprayed w/water, and let air dry. 5-2-20
  • HU / Stereo: Done - Sony XAV-AX1000. Carplay, BT, etc. - Crutchfield - Done - 5-9-20
    • (I don't want a navigation unit as they're out of date/obsolete so quickly)
  • Backup cam: Amazon - Done- 5-16-20
  • USB power ports for Dashcam, etc. - Pend.
    • Power ports/USB for heated seats, extra charging ports - Pend.
  • Rear cargo mat: DONE - Installed the '07.
  • Tow hitch and harness - hitch: Ebay - Like new $86 shipped! Harness: Amazon- Done 5-1-20.
  • Mud flaps - DONE. Factory installed!
  • Detail: DONE -4/22/20
  • Camry / Hella horns: Amazon: HELLA 012010901 Black 12V BX Trumpet Horn Kit - Done - 6-20-20.

  • .
  • Tires - DONE- Ebay Simple Tire - Nokian Rotiiva AT 235/70R17 (I don't care (much) about wheels/rims and 'looks' - just function.)
    • These tires are close to the front spring perches. Likely that tire chains won't fit...they'd go on the back tires.
    • Updated spare to match - Ebay - Bought a used 235/70R17. Done - 6/4/20.
  • Intermediate Shaft - Lube helped but still felt 'loose'. Replaced with 1A Auto part. Seems better - 6/1/20.
  • Suspension
    • - KYB struts and bellows - RockAuto. Done- 5/23/20
    • TeamA spacer kit - ebay Done- 5/23/20 - Installed fronts only rears didn't fit - see below
    • Northwoods Performance Rear Spring Lift. Done- 6/2/20
  • Skid plate / protection for vulnerable undercarriage emissions, etc. hardware- Pend.
  • Steering wheel cover - Ebay- DiY cover 4/24/2 (stock poly / plastic shows wear)- Pend.
  • ECU/ECM tune: Bought used computer off Ebait - 5-1-20- RESYNCED and testing.
  • RECALLS: Rear seat bracket, Rear control / suspension arms 'No. 1', Driver's side power windows switch. Didn't do the 'Stop Start' update. Done - 5/29/20
    • The original owner lived a few hours from the nearest dealer and wasn't too concerned about the outstanding recalls. I'll make an appointment to get those addressed - BUT - I don't want the 'stop start' computer update performed as it'll remove the ability to use the Cruise/speed control switch to brake while driving. I used it a lot on the '07 but after another recall was done in '14 it went away. My guess is that update 'flashed' it away.
WishList:
  • Power Driver's (and Pass.!) seats - I don't think there was a power passenger seat but will look to swap in Highlander or RX 3xx options.
    • Tested my '03 HL and no go...none of the holes aligned.
    • RAV4 driver's seat measurements for feet: Left and Right from front to back Center of bolt holes 17.5"; Overall 19". Front-left to right (centers): 17"; Rear: 16.5"
    • PENDING...I have 2007 limited power seat installed but the airbag light is on...troubleshooting. Edit: Resistor 2Ohm trim did NOT work. Arg. 6-20-20
  • Turbo/supercharger
  • Upgraded springs for front and back. Northwoods Performance sells some. Rears Done! see above/below.
  • Rear fold-up/out bed shelf for car camping.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here's what I'm doing this weekend:
Installing the Tema4x4 40mm Strut Spacers. I've read and been told the rears will likely fail ".... lip on one of them failed and the spacer broke into pieces, half inside the coil spring... ", so I have already ordered some body spacers, like ARF (member here) installed. They'll be custom made by 4Crawler.

And I'll be very similar to this, which has the 245/65R17 KO's. I've got slight taller/narrower 235/70R17 (1.5" taller than stock).

One caveat is that on the front, the tires are so close to the strut's spring perch I won't be able to install chains, so they'd have to go on the rear tires. I do have 5mm wheel spacers that I had on my Highlander. I could use those to gain a bit of clearance and may widen the stance for a bit more stability. With the lift my roll-over susceptibility increases.


Edit: Installed front strut spacers, not the rears.
Front:
  • I replaced the front struts w/KYBs I bought from RockA. Spring compressors are so much easier with an air ratchet. :)
  • Installed the Tema4x4 spacers and longer strut bolts - note they are the same thread as stock but they don't secure in the top hats / strut mounts well. But once installed they can't go far.
Side-note: Strut mount bolt 'extensions' are available that may preclude the need to replace the bolts if only installing the spacers. Avoiding the hassle of removing the strut mounts would save an hour on install. Edit: I have yet to find anything compatible with these strut mount bolts.
  • Created some slack for the ABS wire on the strut by loosening the clamps and rubber boots to ensure it doesn't get stretch>broken when/if tire is fully articulated. I removed the ABS sensor from the hub/spindle during install of the struts - to keep it out of the way.
  • No issues getting strut back in. I was concerned I may not have enough drop in the hub to get the strut to fit w/the spacer. The CV axle did pop out on one side. I had to move the hub back in line and then was able to push it back in.
- The sway bar does hit on the passenger side when at full-tilt / drop - see pics. I'll get creative and build some brackets like the other NW and RL kits use.

Rear:
  • Removed the nut for the swaybar and the bolt where the lower 'suspension' arm meets wheel hub (not to be confused with the lower control arm that has been recalled 3X's!). Made it very easy to just push down on the suspension arm and remove the spring. There are two rubber pads on either end. The bottom one stays on the arm w/the spring removed.
  • I was forewarned by 'arf' not to install these as his fell apart shortly after install, but I had to see it for myself. After installing I noted the top part of the spacer that fits inside the spring was 'squished' in on itself and the base had slipped inside - didn't stay on top of the spring like the stock pad.
  • I removed it, put it back to stock.
  • I have ordered some 4Crawler.com spacers to set up the rear like the RL lift kit, and like what ARF installed on his.
  • EDIT: I made the decision to install the NW Performance REAR Lift Springs and wait on the spacers. They should provide the lift to balance out the rear, a bit more load-carrying support and improve the ride (?).
Here are measurements of the Tema4x4 spacers for the RAV4.

Here are measurements of the stock RAV4 springs.

Measurements for spacers to match the front, per ARF:
4x spacers, 1'' tall/long by M14 (.55") hole/ ID by approx. 1.5'' wide/OD
4x grade 8 bolts, M14 x approx 4.25'' long. Fine thread
4x M14 washers, grade 8
4x bigger washers for behind the M14 washers (too smal

Here's with just the front spacers installed. Back is still stock. It's almost like a leveling kit for the front. 4Runners and Tundras are known to benefit from the leveling kits, too:
152786

and lifted with the rear NWP springs:
153099



Gained about 1.75" from the lift and .75" with the tires, so about 2.5" overall. I still have the body spacers and could spring (ha!) for the front NWP lift springs to maybe see another 1". But I will see how this setup does this summer.

Ground clearance: 10.5" - The lowest spot I measured is that cover for the emissions equipment under the driver's seat area.


Tire info:
- With the upgraded 235/70R17 tires I installed, the space on the Front strut's spring perch got very tight.These are a 30" tall tire. See pics. I've read that 30.5" will fit....maybe.

154183
154185


Common tire sizes to consider:

Stock RAV4:215/70R16 = 27.9"; 225/65R17= 28.5"; (Sport) 235/55R18 = 28.2"
235/70R16= 29"
225/75R16= 29.3"
235/75R16= 29.9"

235/65R17= 29"
245/65R17= 29.5"
235/70R17= 30"

235/60R18= 29.1"
235/65R18= 30"


Tangents:
  • If I were to leave it with no lift on the rear, I'd need to re-aim the headlights as they'd be too high now. Once I get the rear lifted, it still might need adjusted.
  • I also installed a hitch to tow a small trailer/haul our bicycles....which screws up my rear departure angle. Not that I'll be doing much to test it (wheelin'), but I may need to have it shortened to tuck up underneath better.
  • Teama spacers.png RL spacers.png ARF spacers.png RAV4 Front lifted only 5-25-20.jpg
 

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You can find some Android head units here . I got mine last year Android 8.0. 2g ram and 32g rom . you can get map updates cheap on eBay. You don't need updates that often if your area doesn't change. Mine came with a back up camera.

Pretty much plug and play except running the wires for the back up camera.

aliexpress. heres just one random one


 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Swapping in a Power Seat

Intro:
In the 2007 RAV4 we had previously, I never thought the stock manual seats in the Base trim were bad even after multiple long road trips, including a couple 500+ mile days (although my wife never felt comfortable in the passenger seat). I'm not sure what changed, but the same seat in my '09 doesn't feel as comfy. Maybe I'm spoiled w/the power seat in my '03 Highlander?

So What Fits??!!
I expected the 2006-2012 seats to be interchangeable - bolt-in at least. But from my previous investigation, there is a specific 2009- early 2010 seat, vs 2006-2008 and late 2010-2012 seats. Plus the Power (electric), Leather and Heated options for the 3 trim levels. I 'think' the Base and Sport are the same as I've not seen power seats in the Sport trim. If there are leather or heated seats in a Base or Sport, I'd guess it's a dealer-installed or aftermarket option. Looking at Car-part.com and calling a local wrecking / salvage / used parts yard they refer to specific years, although some on Car-part.com do include all years.

I pulled out my manual 2009 'Base' seats to compare to my 2003 Highlander's 'Limited' electric/power/non-heated cloth seat and they have the same connectors for seat belts and air bag. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) they are not even close to fitting as the base feet don't line up at all.

I saw a post on here that the Matrix seats may swap, but haven't come across anything else online that states for sure if any other Toyota models are compatible. Usually, the same vehicle 'body' is used between different models and the seats and other interior/exterior pieces will interchange. The RX and Highlander is an example, but I'm not sure with what the RAV4 shares its platform. Camry? Not an SUV, so likely not a good option.

The Project
I am swapping in a 2007 RAV4 Limited Electric / Power Leather Driver's seat into my 2009 Base model with manual cloth seats (the passenger is not power so not bothering) - I hope. I bought it from a local wrecking yard. It has an aftermarket seat heater installed, with a button on the seat vs. on the center console like stock, which I hooked up, too.

Power seat has position adjustment (fore/aft), seatback angle adjustment, cushion (front) angle adjustment, vertical height adjustment and lumbar support adjustment.

Notes: I pulled up the carpet under the seat - cut it a few inches to access and to see better - and there are no unused connectors for power or heat....dang it. There are two UNused plugs behind the center console where the 12V power outlet and TRAC button are located. My guess is one of those is for the seat heater switch and/or the wiper de-icer switch.

Fitment: The seat bolts up the same - as expected - but the rear plastic trim pieces from the '09 don't fit so the actual seat frame rails / tracks (?) are different.

Electrics - Air Bag: The plug that combines the seat belt buckle and seat position sensor that plugs into the body -side harness - under the seat - is different but the connector at the seat position air bag sensor IS the same so I just moved the whole harness over. I had to reuse my 2009 seat belt buckle anyway - the used seat I bought didn't include it. The Seat Side Airbag plug connector is the same. Since the belt buckle and harness were MIA on the '07 seat I don't know what should have been, but online info shows two separate plug connectors vs. my '09s combined plug.

Edit: When I plugged in the seat's air bag connector and turned on the RAV, the air bag light is ON....because I'd left the combo plug connector UNplugged for the clock/passenger side Airbag Indicator.

Edit: Using this youtube I found out how to pull the air bag codes. Used this RAV4 chart to see that there were 4 codes. 35, 37, 43, 55. The one that was my BIG give-away was the 43 Passenger Side AirBag ON/OFF Indicator Circuit Malfunction code. I didn't notice initially but my CLOCK was not on, and the harness connector for the clock and Passenger Side AirBag ON/OFF Indicator are shared. I'd unplugged that when I was messing with the center console to run wires for the power, ground and extra USB jacks I wired in. Pulled the console back open, plugged in that connector and the light was no more. But I wasted a few days trouble-shooting a non-issue. :-(

More info that I found while looking for a fix - before I realized I'd left that connector unplugged:
I've also read that I may just need to move the seat air bag from my 2009 to the 2007. Apparently it's not that tough but I've never done it.

And I just checked part numbers and there are at least 3 different part numbers for the Seat Position Air Bag Sensor, depends on Year and Trim. As noted the power seat's rails are different so maybe the sensor must match, too??? I'll go check out the Taco and 4Runner forums as those peeps are more swap-happy than RAV4 DIYers. >>>I believe the sensors are the same, it's just the cover for the sensor is different, depending on the type of seat, necessitating a different part number.

Electrics - Power + Switch: There are multiple wires on the seat's power wiring harness connector that plugs into the body-side power seat harness. The harness comes out of the seat's 'junction box' where all the seat motor and switches are combined - see pics. I haven't found a diagram that explains the wiring from the connector.

- What I did - so far: I soldered the two larger green wires together for the 12V Power, and the 3 white/black stripe together for the Ground. I put the ground to a ring terminal on an unused threaded bolt hole under the AT console cover. And ran the Power direct to a ring terminal at the battery with a 30A inline fuse (the fuse panel and owner's manual shows a 30A fuse is what the factory uses). The seat has 12V all the time so the seat can be moved without putting in the key. I'd like to use the stock location in the fuse panel, so this is temporary.>>>but may just leave it as I don't want to mess up the fuse panel.


End Result - Was it worth it?
-Seat is definitely more adjustable - EXCEPT - it doesn't go back as far as the manual seat. Overall it has less fore/aft travel. My inseam is 30, 5'10", and with the manual seat adjusted for my liking (mostly upright/straight arms) there were still a few more clicks that the seat could go back. The power seat is all the way back and it's OK for me but may be 'short' for a taller person. Seat is firmer, but since both are used hard to say if my original manual cloth seat wasn't just worn a bit. Still getting used to it, but like the adjustability.
 

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I would recommend investing in a techstream reader (if you have a laptop, especially an older one still running Windows 7). It can see more details in the car systems.
I also had bought a while back a very capable reader, because I also have in my stable Hyundai, Kia... Autel MaxiDiag MD808 Pro. But that's a bit more expensive than the techstream route.

I am with you, the seats in RAV4 are crummy, hard. They make them thinner and stiffer to make more legroom in the rear. Plus they are dimensioned for an average Asian guy, not for a 5'11" tall, 200+ lbs American. I miss the comfort of my Explorer and Taurus seats... especially in drives longer than 1-2 hours.

I have written a similar log for my 2011 Limited V6, my priorities are slightly different - especially no lift. I have experience with the Ford Explorer AWD (still have the truck but is getting old) and friends Jeep 4WD. I didn't like the fact that the lift makes the car even more wobbly in turns - normal since the gravity center goes "up". Also, bigger tires require spacers and those in turn put a bigger torque on the bearings. Asking for troubles IMO.

PS: In care you are interested for ideas, here is my journal: 2011 RAV4 Limited - SoNic67's Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I didn't like the fact that the lift makes the car even more wobbly in turns - normal since the gravity center goes "up". Also, bigger tires require spacers and those in turn put a bigger torque on the bearings. Asking for troubles IMO.
Not to argue the points - too much. :) I find the RAV4 is still less 'top-heavy' than my '03 Highlander with the small lift I installed, and the tires I used are wider and taller, but don't rub anywhere and don't require spacers. If I wanted more off road capability, a RAV4 wouldn't be my 1st choice. Even the current 2020 TRD trim isn't much better than a 'regular' trim level, including the Adventure. See this:

Those older Exploders, er Explorers (I had an '01), can be heavily modified to go just about anywhere - much easier than a RAV4. :)
 

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IMO, if you are looking for serious offroading, you need something else. RAV4 it's just slightly above a Corolla/Camry in regard to ground clearance and angles ;)
LSD is done by braking... not very helpful in all situations.
Not worth IMO, rather get a 4Runner if Toyota's your poison. Body on frame. Although... I personally would not trust a V6 for that.

PS: My 2001 Explorer AWD V8 (not 4WD) could get out with only one rear wheel, but not with only one front wheel. But I had steel shielding over the fuel tank.
 

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I would recommend investing in a techstream reader (if you have a laptop, especially an older one still running Windows 7). It can see more details in the car systems.
I also had bought a while back a very capable reader, because I also have in my stable Hyundai, Kia... Autel MaxiDiag MD808 Pro. But that's a bit more expensive than the techstream route.

I am with you, the seats in RAV4 are crummy, hard. They make them thinner and stiffer to make more legroom in the rear. Plus they are dimensioned for an average Asian guy, not for a 5'11" tall, 200+ lbs American. I miss the comfort of my Explorer and Taurus seats... especially in drives longer than 1-2 hours.

I have written a similar log for my 2011 Limited V6, my priorities are slightly different - especially no lift. I have experience with the Ford Explorer AWD (still have the truck but is getting old) and friends Jeep 4WD. I didn't like the fact that the lift makes the car even more wobbly in turns - normal since the gravity center goes "up". Also, bigger tires require spacers and those in turn put a bigger torque on the bearings. Asking for troubles IMO.

PS: In care you are interested for ideas, here is my journal: 2011 RAV4 Limited - SoNic67's Journal
Bigger tires don’t require spacers, I don’t rub at all and my rim is an inch wider than stock. The wheel bearing replacement on a Rav4 is also fairly easy
 

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Discussion Starter #11
^With wheels (and wider tires) the Offset is an important consideration. I tried some different tires (and wheel) combos on my '03 Highlander and the 10mm offset difference was enough for them to rub on the Highlander's rear strut body - not the spring perch. 35mm on the HL and 45mm on RAV4, MDX and Escape wheels.

Sonic:
Not worth IMO, rather get a 4Runner if Toyota's your poison. Body on frame. Although... I personally would not trust a V6 for that.
I don't understand this comment if a V6 vs. V8 reference? That old 1GR-FE makes as much torque as today's dual VVT-i version, about 280 lb-ft.,and it has a dedicated Low Range transfer case for Off Road. Gets 0-60 in about 8 seconds. Not quick but not far behind most mid-size SUVs. And the reputation for the V6's reliability/durability makes up for any performance shortcomings, IMHO.

Tangent time:
I drove 700 miles back from UT in a 4th Gen '05 (I personally drove about 1/2 of that trip) and it drove well and had plenty of torque cruising at 80mph+ at 6,000 ft elevation. Probably would still want the '05-'09 4.7 V8 if I lived in Colorado's high-country. OR throw a TRD SC on the 4.0 (can those still be had??).

I was plenty impressed w/the 4Runner on our road trip. Probably should've given it a more serious look b4 buying my RAV4. I personally don't care for the looks of the current 4Runner, and throwing a 2" lift/leveling kit on a 4th Gen, w/some taller tires will take you even further afield. Just watch out for body rust issues for both engines, and watch for exhaust manifold cracks and the T-belt is done on the V8.

Interesting tidbit, in the '05 we drove, we had our skis (being in UT in January why wouldn't you??), and had no more room to fit them then I do in my '09 RAV or '03 Highlander. They still had to lay at a slight diagonal to fit back there w/the seats down. And the seats are 'old school' - fold the base up and forward before folding down the backs to get a flat floor. So, although 4Runner is bigger on the outside, inside isn't going to net much more space. 🙃

Here's a great 4Runner reference site: Toyota 4Runner History
 

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One of the main considerations for us getting a Rav4 was the fact that is has tons on interior space for the size, and the rear door has a low step in height for my Great Dane! He can also stand up in the back without feeling smushed.
153756
153757
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
6-20-20 weekend tasks:
  • Rear Diff gear oil. Bought a quart of Valvoline 75w-90 Synthetic from Napa. With the breaker bar, 3/8"-1/2" adapter and 10mm hex socket made easy work of my rust-free upper fill and lower drain plugs. Used a cheap fluid pump that I've had for years. Plastic threaded cap finally broke but MacGyver'd some duct tape and made it work.
  • Front Diff gear oil. My hex socket won't fit in that cramped fill hole - too long and wide with a ratchet or breaker bar - so will need to buy a stubby or an allen wrench?
- Edit: See above that I fixed the Airbag light issue by just reconnecting the clock / Passenger On / Off indicator light plug. But I wasted a few days trying to fix it. One thing that many do when they change seats or remove their steering wheel is a resistor trick. Didn't work for me obviously, since that wasn't my issue But I bought a pack of 2.2 Ohm resistors and tried single, two in parallel and 3 in parallel . Not a Toyota connector, but for reference:
153886

- Installed 'trumpet' horns (left one in pic). Removed that top trim piece that runs the width of the RAV and covers the radiator and that bolt for the battery hold-down (really Toyota??). I was able to get a 12mm ratchet on the bolts to remove and was just able to get the new horns in thru the same spot. Stuck a 1/4" ratchet extension thru one of the grille openings - had to put the socket on INside the grille after putting the extension thru the opening. For the other one I just mounted it on top of the mount. I had to twist the mounting arm/tab a bit so it didn't rub, but made reinstalling the bolt a cinch. These are much louder and add more authority. :)
153885


- Mini-Road trip on 6/21/20: Put 200+ miles on the RAV - out and back on same road. Got ~ 28 MPG averaging about 60 MPH (two lane highway for most of the trip), using the onboard computer. Very satisfied! This is after converting my MPG for the taller tires - (26.6 on computer * 5% tire difference = 27.93). With the stock tires, it's rated at 29 MPG highway. I'll check it when I fill-up later this week against the Tripmeter. Edit: The MPG dropped to 26.25 MPG based on the Trip and the fill-up after 342 total miles. The last 100+ miles were commuting and averaged closer to 70+.....and I'd reset my computer's 'avg. mpg' by disconnecting the battery while doing some other stuff during the last 100+ miles, so it wasn't valid.
 

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Do you think you could post a photo of the spring perch clearance on the front strut with the 235/70s?
 
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