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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon RAVers,
I need some help determining the issues my poor car is facing. First off, my rear tires are worn quite badly on the inside. To the pint when going from asphalt to gravel, the inner tread is black as can be and the rest gray. When parked it appears the camber is excessive. Particularly the right/passenger side. My main concern before spending the money on an alignment and tires is the suspension components. How often do the lateral arms ball joints and rubber bushings wear out? How about the swing arm bushings? Maybe the rubber isolators at the top of the spring have worn through? I've jacked it up and wiggled the wheels at the 6 and 12 plus 3 and 9 positions to no avail. Even used a pry bar against the ground. I'm not getting movement. The ball joint boots are definitely worn, but not leaking. I can't see the bushings to tell if there is any wear. The rig has over 250k miles on the clock. I'm finding lots of original Toyota pieces, so I assume most things are original. I haven't found any posts related to the rear arms bushings/joints wearing out. Any diagnostic assistance would be great.
97 4dr 4x4 5spd
 

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Very similar problem phen01. Noticed increasing rear end noise from my 2009 RAV4 (250K). Thought it was either tires or a bearing. Dealer had a look and replaced the PR bearing and informed me that the rear tires were 'cupping' on the inside. I hadn't noticed any ware in the spring when I changed from winter tires to summer but it is definitely there now. I had the tires flipped so that the cupping was on the outside. Noise dropped off a great deal but what is the cause? I wouldn't want to replace the tires until this wear issue is resolved. I see on another post that this is not uncommon and that there may even be some sort of recall. My next step will be to contact the dealer.
 

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Further on my rear tire wear problem; Called Toyota today. They don't have much to say rather than they would have to look at it of course. It may require rear replacement parts. There are no adjustments for chamber or toe on my 2009 RAV4 rear. No work around parts were mentioned. The rear 'campaign' was done on the rear parts some time ago. I see that there is a jobber part out there that allows some adjustment of the Chamber, mostly. I guess it could be worn parts allowing the wear but it looks to me more like a car sag issue. There is 250K on the car. Maybe its just tired. Any comments??
 

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Also, after talking to the Moog Tech center, There are Moog parts available to adjust the rear toe and chamber on a 4W 2009 RAV. You can get a upper adjustable arms, Driver RK100356 and a Passenger RK100357 as well as a lower ball joint RK100170 (also shown as RK621848 on the Moog site, some duplication there). My components seem tight as do Phen01s. I guess a wheel alignment is in order with these parts as a possible option. I don't have much confidence that new Toyota parts with no adjustment is the solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Parkland, this issue is pertaining to first generation ravs. This suspension is widely adjustable in both the swing arms parallel to frame and the lower lateral links.
Dr.Hess, I'm not sure if they're sagged. I don't have anything to compare them to.
Slim, I'm sure everything will need to be realigned, but my main concern is the need for replacement parts before paying for an alignment.
How often do rear suspension bushings wear out? How often do rear ball joints wear out? I can't seem to find the info I need.
 

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If the vehicle sits low in the back when you look at it from the side with it on level ground, I would suspect sagging springs. This can be compensated for with an alignment.

As for how often those parts fail, it doesn't really matter, does it? It is a question of "did those parts fail on your RAV4" not one of when do other people's fail. Jack the back end up so the wheel is off the ground. Start pulling and pushing on the wheel and see if there is any play. See where the play is. That's the part that went bad and needs to be replaced before an alignment. Or just bring it to an alignment shop and let them deal with it.
 

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I've lowered mine and it's running some negative camber particularly on the rear. The link rods are not adjustable. I've checked rear wheel alignment and it's ok. Not a massive issue on standard tyres but just fitted 265's. I'm looking at making up adjustable links using parts from the adjustable ones on a mr2 with some Toyota track rod ends. have you checked the camber? could be the springs have dropped a tab over the years and it's running "squat". I've also bought some cam bolts for the front and I'm going to play with some settings.

Just occurred to me, is there cam bolt type adjustment at the rears as standard?
 

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if you're having any rear suspension issues especially with wheel alignment what you're going to have to do is check your wheel bearings first since they tend to go the most. The next thing you're going to do is check your lower control arm linkages and all your ball joints on your rear suspension arm. Check them like you check a front ball joint stick a rod in there and pry and see if there's any play. Also check your Springs thoroughly, they are known to crack from time to time. if you have a cracked spring it's going to cause you a lot of problems. If the rear shocks have never been replaced replace them they're probably completely flat. Your rear adjustments are cams I'll attached some photos here and they come stock on all RAV4s. Your lower control arm will be your camber adjustment this one you'll probably have to replace since the cam will be seized to tje bushing and you'll probably have to go to Toyota and get a new cam from them. or if you can find one at the wreckers thats not seized. I had to cut my lower ctrl arms out. Your toe adjustment is at the front of the knuckle... again probably seized if you don't get alignments on the regular... i gotta get back to work, i wish i could be more detailed. Again all the rear suspension is adjustable on the ravs (stock)
 

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