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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone!

My name's Rob, I'm mechanical engineering student in Boston, MA. After looking for a couple of months on Craigslist, I just bought my first car, a 2000 Rav4 4DR 2WD Manual this weekend. It's a southern car so no very little rust, almost new tires, everything works, and it had 135k at the time of purchase. I got it for $1700.

After driving it around VT for a while and then back to Boston, I've dubbed him Spot. On a humid day, he smells a little like wet dog, and the clear coat has a few spots, so I thought the name was appropriate.

There are a few issues with the car but nothing unfixable- Here's a list:
5th gear pops out
Burns a little oil (1/2 a liter for ~3.5k)
O2 sensor is tack welded on due to a sheared bolt

I'm going to try to keep track of the work I do on the car here- I did a ton of research on this site previously to committing to buy, and found a ton of useful information. I hope I can give a little back (and maybe update some expired image shack photos) as I work through everything.

I don't see the burning oil to be an issue at all, especially with Toyota's stated 1L per 1.2k miles, and the O2 sensor doesn't cause any engine lights, so I'm not going to worry about them for now. The first 2 things I'm going (after cleaning everything out and refreshing fluids) to do are a stereo upgrade, and the 5th gear fix. I'll post the details of each project as I go.

Looking forward to a ton of miles and just as many adventures in the future :smile

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
First thing first, stereo upgrade. I bought a cassette to aux cord adapter fro $4 from the discount bin at Walmart so I'm good to go for now, but I'm not a huge fan of the audio quality. I started looking into receivers, and found a decent one on Amazon. Reviews said that it was plenty loud and good quality, so I was pretty set. I'm not a fan of the color or the aesthetic, and I don't think it would go well with the mechanical look of the 2000's dash, but functionally it looked good. However, I was listening to my home stereo, and started thinking about how loud it got, despite being only 200W. From there I looked on the Amazon page and found that the aforementioned receiver is only 4x 50W!

I took a step back, and decided to approach this from a different angle. After some research and deliberation, my current plan is to use 2 Pyle 300W Amps ($12 on Amazon), one of them powering four 6.5in speakers and one of them to power two 12" subwoofers. Finally, I'm going to make a custom preamp to fit into the slot on the dash.

One of the great things of going to college is that I have basically unlimited access to all of our tools, which means that enclosure creation is a breeze, and I can usually do everything with scrap material so it's free too. All included, I should end up spending about the same amount of money on this system as I would have on the receiver and speakers I found on Amazon initially, and I'll end up with a "600W" system with 2 subwoofers. best of all, I can make it match the dash :smile

For the 5th gear fix, I'm talking with freshman about buying his set of parts. I can mill my own tools for the install, and I'm trying to find fairly inexpensive gear oil to use.
 

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Make sure you also do a timing belt change.
thanks,
rav4 1
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll add that on my list of things to do. I looked over it yesterday and the belt looks fairly new, but I'll be sure to check the date manufactured to see if it is actually new.
 

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Here's a couple of websites you can use to get to know your 'new' RAV a little better. Use your VIN and dig in:

This official Toyota website has any work done by Toyota dealers in the Service History, and you can also add your own DIY services there:
https://www.toyota.com/owners/

Part numbers and a lot of info for your specific model:
ToyoDIY.com

Welcome to the forum. While my 09 red RAV has been great, I keep thinking I should go backwards in my next RAV purchase to the gen 4.1. That seems a great score for $1700.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll definitely replace the water pump too. Looking at the Rock Auto site, there are a ton of options and I'm not completely sure which one I need. Will the CONTITECH PP199LK1 work, or should I buy a kit with the waterpump housing?

I've got parts on the way for the stereo upgrade and the 5th gear fix, in the meantime I designed the enclosure and wrote the code for the microcontroller based pre-amp. I've attached a mock up of the enclosure, more on all of that when parts arrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got the water pump and timing belt kit this past Friday, and installed over the weekend. Installation went well with the exception of the Crankshaft pulley bolt removal- I ended up doing the started bump to get the damn bolt off. I took a ton of pictures, I'll do a write up later tonight.

Before doing the replacement, I could hear a grinding sound coming from what I though was the timing belt cover at around 2000 rpm when I hit the gas; I figured that it was the water pump going bad. Unfortunately the replacement didn't solve the sound. If anything it's gotten slightly worse, but I didn't replace the timing belt cover gasket this time around so I think it's just a lack of sound dampening. Now I think the problem might be the the oil pump? Is there any way to check this before I spend the $80 and another 2 days replacing it?

In other news all audio components are here and I just finished the 1 DIN box and electronic bits. I've attached a picture, it looks kickass. I'm hoping to install everything in Spot later this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got the timing belt/wp replacement kit and installed over the weekend. Installation went smooth and I didn't encounter any real issues other than the crankshaft pulley, which I ended up working through with the starter bump method. I took a ton of pictures so I'll put together a guide later in the week.

Unfortunately there's a grinding sound coming from the timing belt cover area that I though would be alleviated with a new water pump or idler bearings, but it's still there after I put everything back together and started the car. I put a post together about it in the Faults and Fixes section- check it out here, I would really appreciate the help.

All of the audio components showed up, and I finished the electronics and box for the pre-amp! I've attached a picture, I think it looks pretty good. I'm hoping to install everything tonight if it stops raining, otherwise tomorrow.


Edit:
I found that my heat shield above the exhaust manifold had a rusted out mounting point, but unfortunately that wasn't the cause of the grinding. Instead of buying the $80 piece of formed aluminum I'm going to fabricate one out of sheet metal at some point, I'll post again when I do.
 

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