Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 91 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I just installed the new 1.5 inch lift from Northwoods Performance on my 2018 Rav. Although I haven't had it long I would like to share my experiences with you and post updates in the future to let you know how it's performing.

I've been looking at kits since I purchased my Rav. Someone on this forum mentioned Northwoods Performance. I like this kit because it's more then just a lift. It's a performance upgrade over the OEM springs. I also like that it's not just strut and subframe spacers. After a lot of thought, I decided I didn't like the idea of putting spacers between the rear subframe and body. This is because your only lifting the body of the vehicle on the rear and the clearance between the differential and ground stay the same.



Before I installed the kit I decided to take some measurements to see how it would effect the suspension. I took height measurements from the front and rear bumper trim as well as checked the wheel alignment.





The install was pretty straight forward. The kit has easy to follow instructions with color photos. The instructions say it takes 2-3 hours to install the front and 3-4 hours to install the rear. But if your experienced and have the right tools, you can install the whole kit in 3-4 hours.
The rear is lifted by a slightly taller and higher load rated spring. The hardest part of installing the rear was getting the control arm lined up to install the bolt. Using a small pry bar and a large center punch you can get the holes aligned enough to gently tap the bolt in place. I also reinstalled the end link bushing and nut to help keep the arm in place after lifting it with a jack stand.



The front is lifted by a strut spacer and higher load rated spring. Using a wall mounted spring compressor the new springs went on easy. I installed the strut spacers and mounted the assemblies in the vehicle. I had minor issue with the supplied nuts for mounting the strut to the vehicle. The thread pitch was wrong and didn't screw onto the studs. It wasn't a big deal though, I just used the OEM nuts. I reported this to the company and they are working to resolve the matter for future customers.
Installing the sway bar endlinks back on the struts is a bit tricky. With the struts now sitting lower in the vehicle the endlinks were just a little higher then the mounting point. You must have both endlinks disconnected, and I had to temporarily loosen the nuts on the sway bar side to get extra wiggle room so they fit. I noticed the sway bar contacts the lower control arms when the suspension is unloaded. With the vehicle on the ground they raise up off the control arms. This shouldn't be an issue, but I contacted the company to suggest making a bracket to mount the endlink a little higher on the strut. I know there are some other lifts on the market that include a link bracket to prevent this.
Something I did that the instructions don't mention, is putting a little lock tight on the nuts that hold the spacer to the strut. I also torqued the rear lower control arm with the vehicle on the ground. Doing this will prevent premature failure of the control arm bushing.

After the install I rechecked the height measurements and alignment. 1.5" higher in the front and 1.25" higher in the rear. The alignment did need a toe adjustment. Camber is still within specs. Caster was a hair out of spec on the left front, but that usually happens with most lift kits.





So far its been a good kit. The Rav still feels stable on the road and the vehicle tracks straight. I look forward to seeing what else they bring to the market. On their site it looks like they have a skid plate and exhaust pipe in the works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
One week update:

I haven't been able to hit the trails yet, we just got 1 1/2 feet of snow in the valley a few days ago so the trails are covered in really deep snow. No problems with the lift so far. My wife did mention that the steel wheels look dorky with the lift. I'm not gonna complain though. That just gives me a good reason to spend some tax money on a set of new wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've been talking with the president of the company. He read my review, and listened to my suggestion on the sway bar link bracket. He told me they fabricated a bracket and are in the process of testing it on their vehicle. When they feel it is ready they are going to send me a prototype for testing as well. Stay tuned!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Looks good!



Glad there are more options for lifting our cars now. You need some bigger tires and you'll be set!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You need some bigger tires and you'll be set!
It's on the to-do list, I'm just having a hard time deciding what wheel I want. I found a nice 17X8 +38 offset KMC wheel that I like. And shouldn't have any problems using a 245/65R17 tire. But then I also found a 16X8 Method wheel that caught my attention. I would need a 245/70R16 tire, but it has a zero offset and I'm thinking I might run into rubbing issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Wheel choice is a big deal. I'm on my 2nd set now, they are arriving this week. I went with 17x8 with +35 offset, they should compliment my 245/65/17s nicely. I may remove my 1" spacers depending on how they fit as I think they might stick out too much.



0 offset may be a bit much for this vehicle, which KMC wheel are you considering?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Driving Update:
I was able to get off the pavement this weekend and try out the lift on some rougher dirt roads. It did really well and the springs really help absorb the roughness. The extra clearance also helped in the dips and holes in the road.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Looks great. Do you notice any difference when coming to a hard stop? I feel like they could affect nose dive when braking. Better, worse, same?
I haven't really noticed, or tried braking hard to see. It does feel firm in turns and has little body roll. So I would say nose drive is likely decreased as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I have the Readylift kit and noticed a potential issue with it today. I loaded 4 bags of quick Crete into my RAV4. And the squat in the rear was terrible. I looked like one of those trucks who only install the front lift kit. Because the Readylift levels the vehicle and the rear suspension isn’t any stiffer the vehicle doesn’t handle loads so well. The quick Crete only weighs 200 pounds, but I plan on driving with a big cooler (80 pounds) and my Great Dane (165 pounds) along with other gear.... I may pick up a set of north woods rear springs myself. It would be interesting to see if you could combine the lifts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
I have the Readylift kit and noticed a potential issue with it today. I loaded 4 bags of quick Crete into my RAV4. And the squat in the rear was terrible. I looked like one of those trucks who only install the front lift kit. Because the Readylift levels the vehicle and the rear suspension isn’t any stiffer the vehicle doesn’t handle loads so well. The quick Crete only weighs 200 pounds, but I plan on driving with a big cooler (80 pounds) and my Great Dane (165 pounds) along with other gear.... I may pick up a set of north woods rear springs myself. It would be interesting to see if you could combine the lifts.

I think combining the lifts would be a bad idea.



I have subframe spacers (homemade) in the rear like readylift and I would be very interested in some stiffer springs for carrying loads, but I think adding height with a spring combined with the subframe spacers might be dangerous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
I have the Readylift kit and noticed a potential issue with it today. I loaded 4 bags of quick Crete into my RAV4. And the squat in the rear was terrible. I looked like one of those trucks who only install the front lift kit. Because the Readylift levels the vehicle and the rear suspension isn’t any stiffer the vehicle doesn’t handle loads so well. The quick Crete only weighs 200 pounds, but I plan on driving with a big cooler (80 pounds) and my Great Dane (165 pounds) along with other gear.... I may pick up a set of north woods rear springs myself. It would be interesting to see if you could combine the lifts.

I think combining the lifts would be a bad idea.



I have subframe spacers (homemade) in the rear like readylift and I would be very interested in some stiffer springs for carrying loads, but I think adding height with a spring combined with the subframe spacers might be dangerous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Meh... I don’t think there are any issues, other than increased center of gravity. I put in some firestone coil rite air bags and I have pumped them to 20 psi before to increase ride height. They raise the rear another inch or so, the problem is that they leak and the air pressure can change drastically here in Alabama. In the morning when it’s 38 degrees it’s like they are empty, but by the afternoon when it’s 90 that are too stiff like riding on blocks. Springs do not have this problem, and now that someone has told me “not” to do it......... I’m definitely gonna do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
They carry a stiffer spring that is the original height. You can buy just the rear set as well as a front set. I think this would work well with the Ready Lift or LP kit for anyone that wants a more firm suspension. Only $129

https://northwoodsperformance.com/product/performance-spring-kit-rear/
Do you know how this spring compares to the beefier spring in the Adventure? I can put 400lbs in the rear with very little to no sag with the air bags at zero. With air bags at 20 psi, there is no sag at all. My air bags had a very small leak when first installed. That was fixed. Even though the springs are beefier, the max weight capacity is the same throughout the RAV4 lineup at 900lbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
If there was a review on the HD non lift springs that would be cool. I wonder if they are really that much stiffer than the OEM ones.
 
1 - 20 of 91 Posts
Top