Hello all RAV4.1 enthusiasts.
We've finally finished our project of few years and wanted to share it with you all.
Autosuunnistus (loosely translates to auto orienteering) is a form motorsport ran in Nordic countries, started in1950's. It's a crossbreed of normal orienteering and rally/regularity and has a strong emphasis on precise navigation. Speeds aren't particularly high, but the routes are quite demanding and competition is tough. The races are ran on forest roads, quarries, sawmills, industiral parks, motorsport parks and so on. The cars used are usually bit older, compact 4wd passenger cars, such as RAV4s, Audi quattros, Suzukis etc.
We've ran a VW Golf Syncro before, but the '86 model was becoming quite unreliable. We also were driving against many RAV4's and had seen the advantages of it, so the choice was easy.
On next weeks Nordic championships, there are 14 similar RAV4s in total.
RAV4.1's are in high demand here in Finland, mostly because of its reliability, compact form and good reputation among hunters and other forest goers. A good condition car usually has a asking price of +4000€ ($4400).
We picked up the car after it had been crashed on a deer related accident and slid on its side for around 100 meters. A roll cage isn't required on the rules, but we decided to cage it as the A-pillar had some damage.
Here's a quick listing of the modifications:
- Full custom rollcage by a local rally workshop
- FIA bucket seats
- 4-point harness with a retractors for the driver, 6-point FIA harness for the co-pilot.
- Navigation computers and trip-meters
- Koni shock
- 5dr diesel RAV4.2 springs on front, Mitsubishi Space Star springs on rear
- Composite skidplate
- HID low beams from a Sisu truck
- Auxiliary lighting, front and rear (not all on the pictures)
- Full vinyl wrap
- Tons of smaller quality-of-life mods, such as intercom, map lights, documentation holders etc.
How does it run?
The car feels great on the competition. There's just enough ground clearance, so I don't have worry about most of the obstacles, especially with the skid plate. Coming from a Syncro Golf, such a simple thing as power steering feels great.
The engine is totally stock. All tough I wouldn't mind a few more horses, it's still enough to battle anyone on the field. Its fast and nimble around the trees and I've gotten stuck only once (1m ditch full of snow sideways) and can easily the undesignated routes if necessary. Even with almost 400 000km (250 000 miles )on the clock there hasn't been any reliability issues, which is really important on a 6 hour race with no service. Currently I would have hard time trying to figure out a car better suitable for the sport.
Feel free to ask about anything related on the project and I'll try elaborate as good as I can!
The sad starting point: