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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone. I have been out of the loop here for quite some time. I hope everyone is well. I am kind of wondering how many crazy people like me are also keeping their 4.1 going.

Well, the old girl is over 258,000 Miles. For the past couple of years I have been working from home. So my Annual miles dropped from about 15,000 Miles per year from commuting, down to about 2,000 Miles a year. Some issues have popped up relatively recently. Not sure if they are because of all of the sitting around being dormant, or age is starting to get the best of her. Lets get rolling...

1) The last dozen or so times I have driven the RAV, I have gotten engine code P1700, which is a Speed Sensor. I don't want to change the sensor, because the transmission has been acting a little funky recently, so I think there is some correlation there. I am thinking a drain and refill of the transmission fluid is in order. With sitting as much as it has been, could the transmission fluid break down? Or possibly moisture in the fluid? Any thoughts there? Hopefully replacing the fluid takes care of the issue, but if anyone has thoughts on other things to watch out for, let me know. As far as the acting funky, it just doesn't always want to change gears smoothly, or sometimes it hesitates.

2) Both Front parking light sockets are completely fried. I guess at some point moisture got inside and caused a short and just corroded everything away. One side the wire broke about 1/8" from the end of the socket, so there is no way to solder on or extend the wire. Does anyone know if I can get the entire socket assembly anywhere with some wire? Or will this be a junkyard find? Any help or info here would be awesome.

3) Battery Issues - Definitely with the sitting dormant the battery is toast. I have been looking at adding a Solar Powered Battery Tender / charger. I would go with a permanent install and run some wiring through the firewall into the cabin. Again, with all the sitting, this is probably my best bet so I don't have to screw with clips, or keeping the hood open or anything. Does anyone have any experience with these? Or is anyone else doing the same with their RAV? Do you think it is worth trying to salvage the battery, or should I just replace it with a new one because the one I have now is probably not worth it?

4) The RAV has a leak around the head gasket, so that is on my To Do to replace. I have a Haynes Manual, but if anyone can throw in some extra tips, that would be cool.

5) A section of my exhaust pipe is split. It is the pipe that connects the 1st CAT to the center pipe. I have replaced it before and I plan on picking up the pipe at some point and swapping it out. Shouldn't be too painful, hopefully. I'm pretty sure last time I used some Stainless steel hardware.

6) Rear Differential mounts I am pretty sure are both toast. Last I remember looking, they weren't cheap replacements. I'll have to go hunting for those again and hope the cost came down, and/or they are still available.

Other Random Question:
At some point in the future, once there is a little one close to arriving, I will have to get another vehicle to replace the RAV. I somehow convinced my wife to let me keep the RAV as my "work truck". Still not sure how I did that, but I'll take it, I have no desire to give up the RAV. I would like to add a hitch and pick up an inexpensive trailer to do some hauling. I am a woodworker, and the back of the RAV can fit a half sheet of plywood with the rear seats removed. I would love to be able to take home a full sheet so I don't have to call someone with a truck to help me. The other thing I would like to do is have it be a little more off-road capable as far as ground clearance. I currently have the RAV set with TRD Lowering springs and I love the tighter suspension so I don't want to give that up for a Lift Kit as I do much more on-road driving than Off-road. But if I ever do something like drive on the beach, then I would want / need more ground clearance. I would like to avoid having to swap my suspension every time I decide I am doing something off-road, because that is just too much planning, so I was thinking of what the possibilities are for an adaptable suspension. Coil-over suspension seems too complicated and I don't think it would have the range that I want. I did come across some Air Bag kits. I didn't do a lot of digging, so it may not even be something I can get for the RAV, but does anyone have any experience with those kinds of kits to get that "instant lift"? Are they worth the investment? Do they work as advertised? How much of a lift range can they give? Can the inflation pump also be used to add air to your tires? My initial thought is Yes, but I have no idea what kind of pressure it puts out. I know some have made their RAV pretty off-road capable. I don't plan on going super crazy, but having a few things might be cool. Feel free to toss in ideas.

I think that covers everything at this point. I want to keep the RAV on the road as long as possible (or forever) without too heavy of an investment. The outside paint looks rough, and the inside is scratched and marred up, but hey, if it's a work truck, it's all about function over form. I haven't finalized plans, but I want to build in some storage boxes in the foot wells of the back seats at some point. Most of all, I want to make sure it is still Reliable and anytime I hop in to go somewhere, I'm not re-installing my battery from off a charger, or I turn the key and just hear "click", or worst of all, I get stranded somewhere.

Thanks everyone.
 

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I'm sure others will chime in but here are some quick thoughts mostly in reverse order since before putting more minor $$$ into an old car it's wise to assess the overall end cost.

6. The mounts are critical if you're keeping the car. If "toast" means rust it's likely there's other rust underneath that may make the go no-go decision.

5. Exhaust components are what suffer most from lack of being driven. May have a connection with #6 especially if the RAV has been parked over grass instead of on pavement or a tarp.

4. Before replacing the head gasket I'd try some sealer (after bypassing the heater core). I can't recall the name but I use a product from Walmart or an AP store that looks like aluminum particles in a plastic tube. I don't normally go for "cures in a can" but I've used it successfully on several cars.

3. Just buy a new battery. Forget solar chargers, etc. If there are no parasitic drains driving the car even once a month will keep it charged.

2. Junkyard or preferably eBay for used units. Check for other rust in that area too.

1. How can the transmission shift properly if it's getting false info from a defective speed sensor? The code says it's bad so replace it. No, like motor oil, ATF doesn't absorb water or go bad from lack of use.

IMO your potential suspension mods seem to be over-the-top from a cost/benefit perspective. Everything else must be practically mint first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Fred. Thanks for the reply.

To follow your re-ordering:
6) The Mounts being toast meaning the rubber is shot and cracked. Last I was under the vehicle I did not see any rust around where the mounts bolt to the frame, but I can take a deeper look and check it out.

5) The exhaust on the RAV has always been the bane of my existence, lol. I have had issues for years with pieces failing and breaking, even back when the car was seeing 15,000 miles a year or more. It is something I have come to accept as a part that just routinely fails and needs to be replaced. I don't think there is any connection to #6.

4) I assume the head would have to be removed to use the sealer. If I am pulling the head, why not just replace everything the "right way" instead of trying to band-aid just to re-visit the job soon after?

3) The battery may be within the warranty period, so I am going to attempt to get a warranty replacement. I do try and drive it at least once a month, however those drives are usually short drives of only a mile or two so the engine and alternator simply aren't running long enough to re-charge the battery. From some of my reading, a Lead-acid battery can and will lose some charge by sitting without being connected to any parasitic drains. If I am losing even 1% per day, that would be up to 30% in a month. If I only drive a few miles in that month and add back call it 15% (probably generous), next month I am starting at an 85% charged battery. So that over-time will just kill the lead acid. Having a solar charger will help maintain the full charge on the battery so even if I only have a short drive, the battery will already be at or near 100%.

2) I figured a junk yard was going to be my best bet. I'll have to start that hunt and hope I can find something.

1) That does make sense the other way that the sensor could cause the shift issues. I was just looking for the part on RockAuto, but I don't see anything for "Speed Sensor". Do you know what I should be looking for?

The Suspension mod is pipe dream. I did some more digging and full kits which look to be designed for the RAV are in the $2k range. Definitely not something I can justify spending on a 21 year old vehicle. Maybe one day if I ever have more disposable income... :rolleyes:
 

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4) I assume the head would have to be removed to use the sealer. If I am pulling the head, why not just replace everything the "right way" instead of trying to band-aid just to re-visit the job soon after?
Agreed on everything except this one. Here's the product I've used on 4 or 5 cars over the years. https://www.walmart.com/ip/ALUMASEA...93696&wl11=online&wl12=41020587&wl13=&veh=sem
All were starting to show leakage of cylinder pressure into the coolant. At least one was driven another 100,000 miles after the dealer said it needed a head gasket. No disassembly, you pour it into the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Agreed on everything except this one. Here's the product I've used on 4 or 5 cars over the years. https://www.walmart.com/ip/ALUMASEA...93696&wl11=online&wl12=41020587&wl13=&veh=sem
All were starting to show leakage of cylinder pressure into the coolant. At least one was driven another 100,000 miles after the dealer said it needed a head gasket. No disassembly, you pour it into the radiator.
Ahh, I see. Interesting. Unfortunately, I have a very slow oil leak from around the head. I can see the oil staining around the outside of the engine where the head meets the block. I can't imagine a Radiator sealer would help that situation.

Side note - I crawled under the car a little bit ago. Aside from a bunch of surface rust around the bolts for the front side rear diff mount, everything else seems solid. I'll have to check out the repair manual because I have NO idea how everything is connected from a quick head poke. The car was on the ground, so perhaps being lifted up it would be easier to follow. The Rear side diff mount looks perfectly fine without much surface rust by the bolts, so that one may come off easier. I did also notice another split in my exhaust while I was under there, so I guess that is good.... :wall:
 

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Ahh, I see. Interesting. Unfortunately, I have a very slow oil leak from around the head. I can see the oil staining around the outside of the engine where the head meets the block.
Maybe "just" a valve cover gasket if the leak is actually a little higher?
 

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I'd pull the valve cover and re-torque the head bolts.
 

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Once you pull the head you run into the ol' where-do-you-stop scenario. Valve stem seals? Valve job? New rings? Hone cylinders? And unless you're disciplined about it it never goes back together.

Kinda what I recently went thru with my Accord after the timing belt broke and valves bent. After removing the heads I made myself leave the valves that passed my gasoline-in-the-ports test alone and only lapped in the 9 new valves. Even tho new ones came with my gasket set I didn't replace the valve stem seals since they were still supple. Did nothing with the pistons or rings since there was no hint of burning oil. Even so I spent many many hours on it in my operating room. And that was at 125,000 miles with plans for keeping it for another hundred thou or so. Yours has 258K and you drive it very little. How new do you want to make it?
 

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If they weren't so pricey I'd consider replacing that RAV with an electric car, such as a Nissan Leaf, especially given the type of driving which is done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Everyone. Thanks for the input. I will snap a photo of the engine block where the oil is staining, hopefully today. Perhaps I am mis-categorizing and calling it the "head" when it is the valve cover only? I have to get better at my engine part identification... :wall:

I would make sure to be disciplined with it because this is my only vehicle, so if I need it at a time when the wife isn't home, then that's all I got. So I would make every effort to be done with the job in a day, or worse case, a weekend.

I'm not looking at rebuild the engine, at least not at this point. I am considering that if I end up with another vehicle and the RAV become tertiary and is fine to be out of commission for a bit of time. The goal at this point is to make sure it stays reliable and stop this oil leak. It's not a severe leak, so higher priorities are the Rear Diff Mounts and the exhaust.

I am searching for a Speed Sensor and I am seeing results ranging in price from $8 to $200. Does anyone have any insight?
$8 Part: http://www.carparts.com/details/Toy...VTgeGCh3f3AGkEAQYASABEgK50PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
$200 Part: Duralast Vehicle/Transmission Speed Sensor SU1528 - Read Reviews on Duralast #SU1528

The EV is out of the question at this point. The plan is for me to get the new, much larger vehicle once there is a kiddo on the way. We already have 2 med-large dogs (~60 lbs each) and once we add a kid and all of their stuff, things would be very snug in my wife's Forester. So her forester would remain her DD / around town vehicle, and the larger vehicle would become the weekend warrior / vacation travel vehicle. Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to go EV. The Tesla Model X is just well out of the budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Everyone. I kind of fell off the earth again.

I started to tackle some of the issues. Here is a quick report.

Exhaust: I crawled under the car and found that the existing exhaust was much worse off than I thought. So I have ripped everything from the 1st CAT on out and started to build everything all over again. In the process of taking off the Front Pipe, one of the studs sheared off. Yippy :wall: There isn't much meet on the bolt for me to get a double set of nuts on it, so my thought is to get one nut on, weld it in place, then hit it with an Impact. I will make sure to spray it down good with some Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster before I get hit it with the impact. Thoughts on my probability of success? Here is the amount of threading visible:


Rear Diff Mount - I ordered a new one but when I first went to tackle it, I couldn't get the damn bolts going from the mount to the differential detached. I have since picked up an air impact wrench, so I will give it a go with that. Hopefully that takes care of it and I can get that swapped.

Here is the oil staining I mentioned around the engine:

Thoughts on what this may be and/or how to fix it?

I discovered that the transmission apparently has a leak (perhaps the cause of the Error code and tranny acting funky?). It's strange because last time I checked the ATF, the level was fine. Over the weekend, there wasn't enough fluid to get the RAV up on ramps. I added a quart of fluid, got it on the ramps, and it was bleeding pretty good right away. Once the exhaust is complete, I will explore where the leak might be coming from. My first step will be making sure all of the bolts around the pan are torqued down properly. I may report back findings.

I picked up a Solar charger and some accessories. I haven't yet installed it, but it is on the To Do list for soon. Again, once the exhaust is complete, that will be tackled. Pulling the battery and putting it back in when I want/need to go somewhere is totally getting old.

I think that covers everything. I am taking the afternoon off on Wednesday to get some work done on the old gal, primarily the exhaust. I welded once a few years ago, but I recently picked up a welder so I spent some of the weekend practicing before the main event. Hopefully I can get everything at least tack welded together on Wednesday. FIngers crossed I can get that end of the stud out with relative ease.
 

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To get the broken stud out I'd heat the whole ear red hot with a torch (the heat wrench) and unscrew the stud with vise-grips. I doubt you'll get anywhere with a cold approach with any amount of lubricant.

The second picture looks to be some weeping around the valve cover gasket. You might just make sure the bolts on top are tight. Then I'd powerwash it to see where the wetness shows up first.
 

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All of my exhaust system bolts were in bad shape so I took an angle grinder and ground them flat and then knocked them out with a punch. I replaced them all with stainless steel nuts bolts and washers.

I agree with Dr Dyno, the valve cover leak may be nothing, clean the engine well, check the torque on the valve cover bolts and see if it returns.

As far as the tranny leak goes, check those cooling line hoses, I lost my manual transaxle to a blown one last year. I made my own using stainless steel AN hose and fittings, I have a thread for how to make them and it's a lot cheaper and better quality than the OEM hoses. http://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-...-your-own-manual-transaxle-cooling-hoses.html

The other place to check are the CV joint seals and if 4wd check the drive shaft seal.

On these old girls minor oil leaks are common and so is burning a little oil, before trying to do any major head gasket replacement try Lucas Oil 10278 Engine Oil Stop Leak it worked on mine to seal up a couple of pesky minor oil leaks and didn't appear to effect the engine adversely.

The front differential mount can be rebuilt, just replace the two bushings see Febest - Toyota Arm Bushing Differential Mount - OEM: 52380-42070 $13.22 ea. at Amazon.com. The fun part is that you have to drop the fuel tank to get to the front mount, not hard to do just make sure you are nearly empty before removing it. You will need a bushing puller or fabricate one with a bolt and a steel pipe nipple to pull it out. A lot easier if you have an impact wrench. While the fuel tank is down replace those soft fuel lines, filler hose, and do a little corrosion control.

The rear mount isn't too bad I used Febest - Toyota Arm Bushing Rear Differential Mount - Oem: 52380-42082 $32.36.

While you have the differential out the axle seals are an easy task and cheap to replace. No gasket needed but you have to use a sealant for gear oil, as gear oil eats regular permatex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Eodgator - i wish I had read this a week ago, but i finally was able to dig in and look for the tranny leak. One of the hard line cooler hoses is leaking. I had a leak in that vacinity in the past, and i had my mechanic look at it. Apparently, his solution was to coat the hard line in JB Weld. Right now, it looks like the fluid is oozing through the JBWeld. The wife is gone this weekend with her vehicle, so its me and the RAV (and rhe dogs) and I rather not drive anywhere far with such a quick leak. I seachered my local Advance and Auto Zone website, but it doesn't look like they carry the hard lines at all. I even checked RockAuto, and didn't see anything there.

Does anyone have a thought on a quicker, off the shelf solution? I would love to build my own, like eodgator, but unfortunately time is not on my side.

I'll have to do some more digging on the web to see what my options are.

As far as the tranny leak goes, check those cooling line hoses, I lost my manual transaxle to a blown one last year. I made my own using stainless steel AN hose and fittings, I have a thread for how to make them and it's a lot cheaper and better quality than the OEM hoses. http://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-...-your-own-manual-transaxle-cooling-hoses.html
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Are Editing Posts no longer allowed? I couldn't find that option anywhere, so here is a new post...

eodgator - I went through your thread for Making New Manual Transaxle Cooling Hoses. After going through everything for my Automatic, there are certainly differences. I may still be able to apply the logic and replace all of the current hard lines and rubber hoses. The question mark is: Are the threads the same for the manual vs the Auto? If anyone knows the answer to that, it would be greatly appreciated. It also looks like some of the specific items that were mentioned in the post are no longer available, so I have to make some substitutions.

Other question: Would Shorter Hoses be better? Both hoses make a big loop up and back down, but if I did a 90 Degree fitting (https://tinyurl.com/y85yb3ay) I could probably cut the one line from about 20 inches down to about 6, and reduce the other by at least 8 inches. Would there be an adverse effect to doing that?

Thanks for the continued feedback everyone. I have gone ahead and ordered the fittings and hose from Amazon. Unfortunately, the Guaranteed delivery for some items isn't until Wednesday. That really puts me under the gun because next weekend I 100% need the RAV to head to my dad's house, which is an hr and a half away from home.

Eodgator - i wish I had read this a week ago, but i finally was able to dig in and look for the tranny leak. One of the hard line cooler hoses is leaking. I had a leak in that vacinity in the past, and i had my mechanic look at it. Apparently, his solution was to coat the hard line in JB Weld. Right now, it looks like the fluid is oozing through the JBWeld. The wife is gone this weekend with her vehicle, so its me and the RAV (and rhe dogs) and I rather not drive anywhere far with such a quick leak. I seachered my local Advance and Auto Zone website, but it doesn't look like they carry the hard lines at all. I even checked RockAuto, and didn't see anything there.

Does anyone have a thought on a quicker, off the shelf solution? I would love to build my own, like eodgator, but unfortunately time is not on my side.

I'll have to do some more digging on the web to see what my options are.
 
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Here is a link concerning a 99 RAV4.1 automatic with the transmission cooler issue. http://www.rav4world.com/forums/85-4-1-faults-fixes/132698-transmission-oil-cooler-fitting.html

In one of the posts it said that the fittings were 14mm x 1.5 which is the same as the manual transmissions except for the 16mm x 1.5 on the hard line that goes from the cooler into the engine compartment where the hose attaches that goes to the tranny.

As far as the length of hose, as long is it doesn't bind or chaffe anywhere it should be fine.
 

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Also, that fitting isn't for teflon hoses so either get another fitting or don't use teflon hose. If you use a regular AN fitting with teflon I can assure you it WILL blow off. I couldn't understand why my hoses wouldn't hold up to a pressure test until I found out that little tidbit of information. Use a larger diameter hose as a chaffe pad anywhere where rubbing could be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
eodgator - I did get hose that was CPE, so shouldn't be an issue. The two hoses that I am looking at replacing are just the two from the Transmission to the radiator.

I found this morning that there was a pin-hole in one of the hard lines just a little above where the rubber hose was. I was able to slide the rubber hose Up further on the hard line, past the pin-hole, so the leak has now been stopped. I still have all of the parts on order, and I plan on making the replacement, but now I may push back the work and not rush to get it done this week. Either way, I will do my best to take a bunch of photos to document everything so I can create the AT Counterpart to your write-up.

Had the RAV running today, and everything went well. The rebuilt exhaust sounds good. I do have a rattle somewhere, so it is tapping on something. I will investigate and correct that this week, hopefully. There is also no longer the definitive CLUNK into gear from the rear differential, so that replacement rear mount is doing the job. I have a trickle charging solar panel wired up now. It has only been on a couple of days with the pre-charged battery. I will be monitoring this and hopefully the solar panel keeps the battery topped off so I can get in and go whenever I have to and not re-install the battery from a changer in my garage.

Final question: Today while out and about, I got the same P1700 - Output Shaft Speed Sensor error code that I had received recently. I poked around in my Haynes manual, and I do not see anything that references the Output Shaft speed sensor anywhere. So I went looking for parts. RockAuto has nothing that I could fine. The google turned up a couple of Amazon results with wildly different costs. Can anyone provide info on A) Which sensor I need, and B) Where is the sensor located? Photo attached of the two Speed Sensors that Amazon says is a direct fit for the 96 RAV4. Looking deeper at the photos for each part, the More expensive Sensor looks to be a 2-Pin connector, and the Less expensive sensor is a 3-Pin.

Thanks again everyone.
 

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With the speed sensors you need to look it up on a Toyota parts site, i did and I believe you need a Toyota Part No.: 83181-12020 SENSOR, SPEEDOMETER, there is one on eBay for $10.99 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vehicle-Sp...ash=item3d11f904b7:g:-d4AAOSwPAxaFp~H&vxp=mtr

To make sure it is the right part you need to look it up by VIN number at https://www.toyotapartsdeal.com/ or any other Toyota parts site you may also need the identifier that looks similar to the following SXA11L-AWMGKA (this is for my RAV4) it should be on an identa-plate on the driver's side door jam.

It would help a lot if you would put this information in your signature block so when you ask for assistance we don't have to run to your profile page.

P1700 - Possible causes Faulty Output Shaft Speed (OSS) Sensor Output Shaft Speed (OSS) Sensor harness is open or shorted Output Shaft Speed (OSS) Sensor circuit poor electrical connection

From looking at other people's problems in this area it is about 50/50 that it is a wiring issue vs sensor issue. You will need to try to test it and the wiring harness to see how it is performing.
 

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I am searching for a Speed Sensor and I am seeing results ranging in price from $8 to $200. Does anyone have any insight?
$8 Part: http://www.carparts.com/details/Toy...VTgeGCh3f3AGkEAQYASABEgK50PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
$200 Part: Duralast Vehicle/Transmission Speed Sensor SU1528 - Read Reviews on Duralast #SU1528
The cheap 3-wire speed sensor is used by all first generation Rav4s, for the speedometer and cruise control.
Two of the expensive 2-wire speed sensors are used by the electronic controlled transmission to see the speeds of the front and rear axles.
 
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