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2008 Toyota Rav 4 4WD Base
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! i’m pretty new to the toyota family, with a 2008 Rav4. She’s a base trim 2.4l with 4wd. Looking for advice with upgrades for performance. I live in the mountains and the roads i am on daily are very steep and curvy and I just need more oomph while making the climb. i’m not trying to go crazy but just want to know all of my options. I’ve looked for air intakes like cold and ram but can’t seem to find any aftermarket that will fit so i was hoping you guys would know of where i could buy one. Besides an intake and exhaust I was hoping you guys could point me in any direction to add as much power as possible without an engine swap (that’s going to come later on) or any high cost things like that. I plan to lift it 2 inches then put on some all terrain shoes and make this thing a machine but i need more power behind it! Let me know any and every idea please and thanks!
 

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Hey guys! i’m pretty new to the toyota family, with a 2008 Rav4. She’s a base trim 2.4l with 4wd. Looking for advice with upgrades for performance. I live in the mountains and the roads i am on daily are very steep and curvy and I just need more oomph while making the climb. i’m not trying to go crazy but just want to know all of my options. I’ve looked for air intakes like cold and ram but can’t seem to find any aftermarket that will fit so i was hoping you guys would know of where i could buy one. Besides an intake and exhaust I was hoping you guys could point me in any direction to add as much power as possible without an engine swap (that’s going to come later on) or any high cost things like that. I plan to lift it 2 inches then put on some all terrain shoes and make this thing a machine but i need more power behind it! Let me know any and every idea please and thanks!
I would trade it in for a 3.5. Lift/tires will make it feel like a slug in the hills.

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Hey guys! i’m pretty new to the toyota family, with a 2008 Rav4. She’s a base trim 2.4l with 4wd. Looking for advice with upgrades for performance. I live in the mountains and the roads i am on daily are very steep and curvy and I just need more oomph while making the climb. i’m not trying to go crazy but just want to know all of my options. I’ve looked for air intakes like cold and ram but can’t seem to find any aftermarket that will fit so i was hoping you guys would know of where i could buy one. Besides an intake and exhaust I was hoping you guys could point me in any direction to add as much power as possible without an engine swap (that’s going to come later on) or any high cost things like that. I plan to lift it 2 inches then put on some all terrain shoes and make this thing a machine but i need more power behind it! Let me know any and every idea please and thanks!
Unfortunately I have to agree with mxer125. There isn’t any option other than nitrous (full throttle only) and forced induction which will give any results on either 4-cyl. Had you bought a 2009+, you’d at least have a 14hp boost over your 2.4. Best bet is to look at Scion tC resources as that car shared the engine.

Before ANY power investigation though, have you confirmed that your engine was repaired by the previous owner? The 2.4 is a notorious oil burner, and not all have been fixed under the recall which ended years ago. Monitor your oil levels starting now, and across a period of 1000 miles or km to get an idea of the consumption rate, if any. If it’s using oil, you’ll want to take care of that before sinking money on suspension and tires. The remedy is a rebuild.


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Yep, we've had this same "a little more power" question tens of times over the years. And altho there are intake & exhaust mods that can make minor boosts they are mostly I-spent-$$$-so-it-must-be-faster placebos.

The answer as already mentioned is a V6 in either a 2006-2012 RAV4 (no power complaints with them ...ever!) or another vehicle altogether but that'll take some fundraising. 🥴
 

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2008 Toyota Rav 4 4WD Base
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unfortunately I have to agree with mxer125. There isn’t any option other than nitrous (full throttle only) and forced induction which will give any results on either 4-cyl. Had you bought a 2009+, you’d at least have a 14hp boost over your 2.4. Best bet is to look at Scion tC resources as that car shared the engine.

Before ANY power investigation though, have you confirmed that your engine was repaired by the previous owner? The 2.4 is a notorious oil burner, and not all have been fixed under the recall which ended years ago. Monitor your oil levels starting now, and across a period of 1000 miles or km to get an idea of the consumption rate, if any. If it’s using oil, you’ll want to take care of that before sinking money on suspension and tires. The remedy is a rebuild.


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Yes engine has been checked out, no oil leaks or anything and i change the oil myself and can confirm it drains just about as much as is put in. So your saying aftermarket things for a scion tC would work for my engine? possibly a cold air intake? Like i said, not trying to go crazy, just want to make a few improvements if possible.
 

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Yes engine has been checked out, no oil leaks or anything and i change the oil myself and can confirm it drains just about as much as is put in. So your saying aftermarket things for a scion tC would work for my engine? possibly a cold air intake? Like i said, not trying to go crazy, just want to make a few improvements if possible.
Most of the time, cold air and short ram intakes provide little to no performance boost, just noise.

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The larger tires are significantly heavier.
Approx like this
OEM Tire 30lb
Larger AT tire 50 lb

The big tires will really slog the car.

For lift I recommend no more than 2 inches in the front because it gets all wiggly on acceleration and there's not much of a cure for this posted. Unless of course you are fine with losing road smoothness for ground clearance. Lifting will change it from a big car to a small truck feeling.
 

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Yes engine has been checked out, no oil leaks or anything and i change the oil myself and can confirm it drains just about as much as is put in. So your saying aftermarket things for a scion tC would work for my engine? possibly a cold air intake? Like i said, not trying to go crazy, just want to make a few improvements if possible.
The tC, Camry, RAV, Matrix, and Vibe all shared the 2.4L 2AZ-FE. Later Camry and RAV units got the 2.5L 2AR-FE, and I think the tC carried on with the 2AZ for one or two more model years before changing to the 2AR. I can’t be certain as I haven’t tried this myself but some of the bits are said to be interchangeable among the same engine model. tC had a moderate following, so there are some bits. Like others have said though, CAI and exhaust kits can sure do a number on your wallet but not on the dyno.

Remember you don’t have a lot of torque down low with that engine either, despite the nice low first gear - this means that it will LOSE torque if you increase the tire diameter. I’m torn on this too - taller tires are handy for me on construction sites to give a bit more clearance, but I will lose torque at the wheels which will hurt me when towing my camper. (Yes I know I should got a V6 too, but it’s not in the cards, and this one is paid for!)


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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Okay so looking at everything, i may just use my tax return to possibly get a new engine installed..? Like i said, Stuck with the car and honestly don’t mind it but trading in is not an option so whatever i do has to be done to this gal. About the at tires. My rav has the 17” option as opposed to standard 16”, when i get the at tires i’m downsizing wheels and tires to both 16”. That should help counter the weight increase being im not getting the giant all terrains, just basic ones. Anyway so being a base model, if i took it to a mechanic and had them install a 3.5 what other things do i need to look into changing to accommodate the bigger engine? i know i can’t just drop it in there and go. Intake, exhaust, suspension, etc? What would i be looking at replacing?
 

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Okay so looking at everything, i may just use my tax return to possibly get a new engine installed..? Like i said, Stuck with the car and honestly don’t mind it but trading in is not an option so whatever i do has to be done to this gal. About the at tires. My rav has the 17” option as opposed to standard 16”, when i get the at tires i’m downsizing wheels and tires to both 16”. That should help counter the weight increase being im not getting the giant all terrains, just basic ones. Anyway so being a base model, if i took it to a mechanic and had them install a 3.5 what other things do i need to look into changing to accommodate the bigger engine? i know i can’t just drop it in there and go. Intake, exhaust, suspension, etc? What would i be looking at replacing?
What about going rally style? Off road, but uses normal sized tires. You don't need much power, and don't have to risk overheating the trans from a larger tire size. An engine with transmission swap would cost a significant amount of money.

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