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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Once again you guys have come through with some sound advice on the issue of turbo charge, but after i thought about the pros and cons maybe i should just rebuild.

So my next question is...rebuilding the 97 3S-FE engine, what can can i do to improve performance, More horse power etc.??

10,394 Posts

Go to Toyota seccion. You will find almost everything you need for the 3SFE engine.

Balance Shafts
Exhaust Systems
Long Blocks
Short Blocks
Fasteners/Dress Up
Main Studs
Blow Off Valves
Cam Gears
Freeze Plugs
Stroker Kits
Fuel Injectors Nitrous
Timing Belts
Catalytic Converters
Fuel Management
TOGA Oil Pumps
Timing Kits
Clutch Parts
Connecting Rods
Piston/Rod Combos
Turbo Accessories
Rod/Piston Combo
Head Bolts
Piston Kits
Turbo Exhaust Manifolds
Head Porting
Piston Rings
Turbo Kits
Custom Parts
Head Studs
Cylinder Sleeves
Heat Protection
Valve Locks
Cylinder Heads
Ignition Wires
Rear End Parts
Valve Seals
Ignition Systems
Valve Springs
Rear Spoilers
Valve Train
Engine Kits
Rod Bolts
Water Pumps
Exhaust Gaskets
Intercooler Piping Kit
Rod Bushings

Aha, need anything else? :wink:

10,394 Posts
OK, I know that is a little overwhelming. To tell you the truth, it IS overwhelming for everyone who has a RAV4. If it isn't, then you have the wrong ride. You need a BMW, Maserati, or Ferrari.

Installing performance parts on your everyday car isn't very cost efficient. Using your ride everyday and trying to get extra performance from it is a very costly and trick business. More so if you are married, if you know what I mean.

[Yes, dear, I'm just giving some advice. No the Credit card is intact for this month, I think?]

I guess you get the general idea.

Make a plan.

First question;
1. What do I want? Performance, Good looks, Racing [Kidong style]. Good sound for the home boys? Or just a everyday street transportation with a punch.

After you have made you decision, go by stages.

1. Suspension
2. Music
3. Performance Parts
4. Outer parts [flares, spoilers etc]
5. Engine durability :? This one is the most important
6. Tires and wheels

How I did it?

Well the first years money was tight. So I concentrated in comfort. Inner seat covers, Stereo, Speakers, AMP, But when the opportunity was right I bought parts and I stores them in my garage. Example, I bought a Zoom Clutch P/P and Bearing. It is still in the garage waiting for the moment.

Then came the Suspension. Do the research here to buy what you need and what you want. Check and double check. Springs, you can't get nothing better then H&R. Good price and they will lower your ride 1.25 front, 1.50 rear. Shocks, Bilstein, Koni, KYB are the choice in this category. Top end are the first two, the KYB are cool and inexpensive. Remember, you get what you paid for. Check and

Brakes, here go premium always, your life depend on them. disc brakes, go Use premium pads also. I say again, don't go cheap on brake parts. Stainless steel Brake lines, go to .

sway Bars, . They have the front and the rear. The installation kit is free, always.

Polyurethane Bushings, .
They will stiffen your ride a little but when you are in a hurry, you'll love them, trust me on that one.

Spacers, H&R are the best but they are expensive. I think Derek has them. But they are the best.

Tires, look no more then for best advice and availability. I have the Yokohama tires 235/60/16

Awesome tire.

Engine [At last]

Durability of the engine is the name of the game. Toyota engines are known for that, so here you have to HELP your engine. You don't know how much time you are going to take to install that Turbo kit. In the mean time you are using your RAV4 ever form and way.

Electrical system, change the battery terminals for a set of gold battery terminals for 12.00. 8)

TRD Radiator cap and TRD thermostat. They will help the engine work cooler and conserve it.

Also, Engine oil cooler. It is a must have believe me.

Does my RAV4 have all of that? YES. Lets take a break so you can analyze everything and start planning.

10,394 Posts
How to make my RAV4 fly.

The best moves to help conserve your engine are to install the TRD thermostat and the TRD radiator cap. This will open the thermostat at about 160 degrees. Anything above 210+, is wiring it down.

An oil cooler is a must. You get two things. More oil for your engine [since it has a larger oil cooler and longer hoses, you need to pure 5 quarts of oil] you will have viscosity rich oil at all times. I change my oil ever 3,000 miles [religiously] but that is me.

Intake filters, look no more then K&N. I've used them all. K&N is the best by far.

When I notice that the battery was going south. I was wondering why, until I checked the battery terminals. They are ridiculously unapropeit for the job, on any vehicle. Change them. And keep the battery firmly in its position.

MSD, yep, good spark and a good gas makes power, any time. Pricey yes. But the MSD 6A, which is cheaper then the MSD Sport Compact will work on your 4 cylinder. It's just that MSD doesn't want you to know that. :)

Header, use the Celica 86-89 Pacesetter header. It fits like a glove. If you are doing the exhaust. 2.25 will work fine with the 2.0 engine. If you are going turbo, do the 2.50 pipes. While you're at it, do the Free-Flow catalytic converter, and Muffler, TRD, Magnaflow and Borla are the way to go.

Pistons, Camshafts, Rods. Go to and droll all you want.

273 Posts
The real gain in power comes from increasing the compression ratio. You can move up to 11 to 1 if you can find the pistons or have them made, but you'll need the ECU reprogrammed or add on an aftermarket system for EFI like TEC3r or better yet Motec even though megasquirt would do just fine. Everything else is just 1 or 2% gains or even fractions of that. The biggest thing you'll be limited by is camshaft. You'll need something more agressive.

The best bang for the buck is to lighten a car, but are you willing to not have carpet or pasenger seats. Get rid of the A/C. That would probably save 50+ pounds right there.
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