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1997 RAV4 FWD AT
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Discussion Starter #1
I am working on a 97 RAV4 which has a P0500 code and intermittent speedometer. I have a speed sensor to replace in an attempt to clear the code but I am having a problem locating the sensor. The part I have is 83181-12060. I thought I had located the sensor but when I attempted to remove it I realized it was not the same sensor. What I removed had a 3 wire connector. I removed a 12mm bolt near the connector and attempted to remove it before realizing I had the wrong device.
When I pulled it out there were wires going down into the transmission (some fluid came out when I pulled up on it). I pushed the device back into the transmission and reinstalled the 12mm bolt. I now am wondering if I have it reinstalled correctly or have I caused myself another issue.
This is a picture - it is near the park neutral switch.
Anyone know what this is (the device with the connector) and how it installs into the transmission?
Also still trying to find the location of the speed sensor.
149752
 

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For the mystery part that has three wires:
I think this may be simply a holder for the wires going from the transmission solenoids (in the bottom of the transmission casing) to the Rav4 computer (located under the radio). I do not think you have to do anything special when re-assembling it.

In the first attachment, see page AX-17 near the top for a drawing.

In the second attachment, look at the connector circled in green and labeled "E 1." E 1 is said to be the "electronically controlled transmission solenoid" (a somewhat misleading name?).

In the third attachment, look at what is circled in green. Three wires are shown for a 2wd Rav4.
 

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For the speed sensor, open the attachments and do a keyword search for "vehicle speed sensor." Some drawings will come up showing the location on certain 1996-2000 Rav4 transmissions. I think your tranny is an A241E? The latter is supposedly similar to the A540H.

The drawings in the attachments may or may not show your Rav4's speed sensor's location. The three wires that connect to the vehicle speed sensor have the following colors:
-- Light blue with black stripe
-- Red with yellow stripe
-- Red with light blue stripe
 

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1997 RAV4 FWD AT
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for all the information. It is an A241E.
I think I have finally located the speed sensor on pictures of a transmission someone is selling on ebay. It is on the firewall side of the transmission near where it bolts to the engine. Hopefully I will be able to get it replaced this weekend and see if it clears the code I am getting. Next I will be replacing the timing belt, water pump, etc. This is a 97 with 94K miles that I bought for my grandson as his first car. Just trying to get it road ready for him.
What is the source of your PDFs?
THANKS YOU!
 

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1997 RAV4 FWD AT
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Discussion Starter #6
I got the speed sensor changed last night. Still get the CEL and no speedo intermittently. Today I hooked up my scanner and cleared the CEL. Found that the problem comes and goes and I think I am also loosing the clock and other instruments when the problem occurs. I keep seeing references to improving the grounding but the links to the PDFs are dead.
Is this just beefing up the grounding from the + side of the battery to the engine block and firewall?
 

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My manual Rav4 only has 1 VSS, but the automatics seem to have 3. The VSS used for the speedometer has 3-wires, a VSS used for the automatic transmission has 2-wires.
And the grounding system goes from the negative(-) side of the battery, not the + side.

I hope you like the Rav4, as much as I have liked mine.
 

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1997 RAV4 FWD AT
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Discussion Starter #9
I went down the "grounding re-cable" rabbithole - of course the problem persisted. I actually was able to pick up an instrument cluster at a junk yard yesterday and that seems to have resolved the issue so far, I need to drive for a couple more days before I am assured it is fixed. I never found the other speed sensors but the 3pin sensor with the nylon gear on the transmission is the one that drives the speedometer. (This was a pain installing also because it was a couple of thousands over sized.) My understanding is that the instrument cluster receives the signal from this sensor and cleans up the 4 pulse per revolution signal before sending to the ECM and uses the signal to drive the speedometer. So at this point I have to decide where to worry about installing an odometer that indicates 200K+ miles on a vehicle that only has 94K, The repair shops I found are wanting around $200 to rebuild it which is more than I want to spend at this point. I am leery of tearing into the cluster to try to fix this by moving parts between the two clusters.
I still have quite a few other things to get done on it before handing over to my grandson.
I am a 3rd gen 4runner fan (have a 2001) - I hope this version of the RAV4 is as good.
 
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