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Week-end Off-Road Warrior

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I'm frequently going off road with my 2001 RAV4. It's lifted 40mm, has a ST205 torsen in the rear diff... and the tires are BF all terrain K02 (LT225/75/16). My friends, who are ''true 4x4'' guys, are often surprised how my trucklet is capable of. The main difference with their vehicule, is the lack of low range on the RAV4. Even if I take my time, I'm going everywhere so rapidly compared to them... always waiting for them! But in long and very inclined hills, the power to the wheels is insufficient and the engine wants to die. I sometimes have to ''clutch-kick'' if I want to avoid the engine to stall in first gear going up-hill. I know that the RAV4.1 has a better transmission ratio with the E250F (4.93 compared to my 4.56). It would suit better for my application. Another advantage to me is the transfer-case that has a true lock compared to the viscous central diff in the second generation. I already get stuck in the mud with only the front wheels spinning... so I sometimes cross fingers hoping this to not happen again!


So here is my question: does someone here did that tranny/t-case swap in a second generation RAV4? Does the first generation bigger t-case clear 1AZ/2AZ block?


Thanks guys!

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Discussion Starter · #341 ·
Ok thanks! Will my tyres rub if I use OME springs combined with 30 or even 40mm spacers?
No; your tires won't rub.... even with the stock suspension.
 

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Alright thanks!
I was also asking myself if fitting a snorkel actually makes sense (for water crossings). I can see that this wasn't done by anyone on this topic. Does anybody know what the wading depth of the rav4.2 is? Is there anything we can do to increase it (appart from fitting a snorkel)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #343 ·
The RAV4.2 (1AZ/2AZ) air intake is behind the left front headlight, and the airbox and filter are over the engine valve cover (exactly like V6 4.0L 4Runner and Tacoma). I've been a couple of times in water crossing with about 30'' deep... with big waves going over the hood, and never had any problem. The only indesirable thing that happens when doing this; is that the inside windshield becomes instantly full of fog haha! I know some poeple fitted a Land-Cruiser snorkel onto their RAV4.1... but I can't tell which year and model.
 

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Hey @Commando, I've had a new idea that could allow getting a front LSD and keeping the lock/unlock 4wd.

It's common for celica gt-fours to get this differential, which locks the center to permanent 4wd, but gives the front an LSD.

of course we want to be able to lock and unlock the 4wd.

the 3rd and 4th gen rav4s have a rear differential that actually has a clutch on it. depowered, it will be free spinning, and powered it applies the clutch.
Wood Automotive tire Auto part Gas Machine


that LSD that Agile sells should be able to be installed into a e250f, or hell even an E352F. that would actually negate the need for the mixing and matching of transmission parts, and eliminate the need for the solenoid shifter, just wire your switch to the rear drive unit. It already has the correct gear ratio for the application, and I wouldn't be surprised if that 4 bolt pattern on the front would already be correct. at that point we would just need to figure out what axles are usable, potentially the stock ones as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #345 ·
The front LSD they sell is not compatible with other E series transmissions, because the splined shaft on it is different.

When the center diff is cancelled, even with the set-up you are talking about would only allow to choose between 2WD (FWD LSD) or 4X4. Unless you have an electronic device that could send a duty cycle signal to the rear diff to mimic an AWD with center diff... and switch this signal to constant 12V to make it 4X4 (center diff lock).

If you look on Agile Performance's website; you will see that they already offer the option to use the RAV4 2006+ rear diff, but installed in the middle of the driveshaft to avoid drivetrain binding when the center diff is cancelled. They call it a driveshaft disconnector:

 
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Discussion Starter · #347 · (Edited)
To fit that front LSD into our RAV4 transmissions, we would need to use a GT4 transfer case. This LSD won't mate with any RAV4 t-case.

Personally; I would never trade my rear diff for one off a 2006+... it would be a downgrade. Our rear diff is much stronger, and has the Torsen option.

For me the front LSD is interseting, but is the last one to upgrade if we have to choose between the 3 differentials to get more off-road capabilities.

1- The center diff locker is the more important. It allows to get constant power in any situation to both front and rear differentials (like a real 4X4). But on-road it's a no go: it creates too much drivetrain bindind... it breaks the rear u-joint... or worst the locker mechanism.

2- An LSD or even an e-locker in the rear diff is what comes next. When going up-hill, all the weight goes to the back. So we need most of the traction in the back to go forward. When we go down-hill, the weight transfers to the front.... but we very rarely need more traction to go down-hill: we usually apply the brake pedal to keep the vehicle moving slower.

3- Yes a front LSD would make our RAV4 a beast with even more traction... but at which cost? I can tell that without a LO range, our RAV4 lacks the engine power output multiplication. The more traction I get; the more my RAV4 suffers low engine power to stay moving... it wants to stall/die. To keep it alive; I must sometimes do multiple clutch-kicks with the gas pedal to the floor to keep the engine's RPM in the higher revs.

If someone choose to stay with a RAV4 to do off-road and is in need of more traction; I really suggest to put money in good tires and a winch. This would be a much less expensive solution and better investment money-wise! :p
 
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2- An LSD or even an e-locker in the rear diff is what comes next. When going up-hill, all the weight goes to the back. So we need most of the traction in the back to go forward. When we go down-hill, the weight transfers to the front.... but we very rarely need more traction to go down-hill: we usually apply the brake pedal to keep the vehicle moving slower.


Would you still go for a rear diff e-locker before modifying the center diff? Will it make any difference on sand/mud?
 

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Discussion Starter · #350 · (Edited)
Would you still go for a rear diff e-locker before modifying the center diff? Will it make any difference on sand/mud?
The rear LSD (or e-locker) is an appreciable upgrade, and is easy to install. It is very effective when all 4 wheels have equal grip. But when you exeed the maximum efficiency of the center diff LSD; the rear LSD/locker becomes of no utility. A good exemple is if your RAV4 has an airborne front wheel: all the power will go to this wheel until you find a way to stop it spinning free... or use momentum while passing this obstacle. Another exemple is if you climb a steep hill in soft sand. Most of the weight will be on the back, and you will have so much grip at the rear wheels that the front wheels will become easier to spin with their loss of traction... then the center diff wiil be exeeded... then more power will be sent to the front wheels because they have less traction. This is where the center diff locker bright; because it cancels the center diff. You now have the assurance that both front and rear diffs always receive the same amount of power!

If you take a look at RAV4Explore's build; he installed an e-locker in the rear diff. At the pages 2 and 3, him and 05RAV describes exactly what I just explained here.

Rav4explore Build

Now that the rear differential is locked, I tried flexing the suspension up in the air and lifted the front passenger and rear driver tires. It seems the viscous coupling is probably worn as the rear tires are not receiving as much power as I had hoped. Definitely seems to be a worn out center differential.

I am now considering the path that you went with the E250F transmission so that I can manually lock the center differential.
I'm curious about this too, my singular test drive with the LSD was up a sandy hill. My base test with the open differential had near equal spin from front to back. With the LSD it was mostly front. Now one would expect the open transaxle to spin more, but, it was spinning MUCH more leaving me to wonder why that power wasn't being sent to the rear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #351 ·
 

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If you look at 4:00, then you see that the e-locker (with the original center LSD) would make a difference right?
And also, I don't understand at 00:16 why the rear wheels are spinning faster than both front, I don't get it because the LSD should primarly give power to the front and IF these spin, the transfer power to the rear isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #353 · (Edited)
Yes at 4:00, an e-locker would defenitely have made a difference.

At 00:16; a center diff lock would avoid this. So what we see is absolutely normal for a RAV4.2. The center diff never sends power to the front first. It sends power to the diff (front or rear) that has the less grip. Happily, the viscous center diff was able to transfer some power to the front. (In the specific case, a manual RAV4.1 without the c-diff lock activated would not be moving at all because it has an open center diff.) In that 4 minute case, a LSD or e-locker would not change anything at the result with the RAV4.2.

In that video; the RAV4 has VSC. One thing I don't know exactly; is how the VSC (vehicle stability control) in a RAV4.2 works, because I don't have it on mine. But I think a member here did many tests and he did not see any traction difference with or without VSC. I think olders Toyota's equipped with VSC does not reduce engine output, or neither brake any wheel to gain traction on other ones like modern systems. If it's the exact same system as my wife's 2008 Sienna; it only apply brake pressure on specific wheels to keep the vehicle headed where the front wheels are pointed.... and avoid drift and ''fishtail''.

Take a look at my last post on this thread. You should understand better how our awd system works.

 
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The rear LSD (or e-locker) is an appreciable upgrade, and is easy to install. It is very effective when all 4 wheels have equal grip. But when you exeed the maximum efficiency of the center diff LSD; the rear LSD/locker becomes of no utility. A good exemple is if your RAV4 has an airborne front wheel: all the power will go to this wheel until you find a way to stop it spinning free... or use momentum while passing this obstacle....

If you take a look at RAV4Explore's build; he installed an e-locker in the rear diff. At the pages 2 and 3, him and 05RAV describes exactly what I just explained here.

Rav4explore Build
I always wonder if jabbing the brake pedal when the front wheel is airborne and the only one spinning, it will activate ABS, and sent power to the rears for a few seconds at the very least, enough to pull you out of this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #356 ·
I would need some rollers like this to show how my upgrades works haha! :p
 

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I would need some rollers like this to show how my upgrades works haha! :p
You are an amazing source of information, i have an ACA30 that has the 1AZ-FE engine, with a E325F transmsion i think, i was looking to first, known more about that transmision and ratios, and if an LSD diff can be installed on the rear, also, there is a company that made locking diff for XA30+ models... it cost like 1kusd...
 

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Discussion Starter · #358 ·
This is the e-locker you're talking about. There is a member here that have one on his RAV4.2.

 

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This is the e-locker you're talking about. There is a member here that have one on his RAV4.2.

Yes that's the locker I'm talking about, I'm at the shop installing the h&R Springs and will ask then about it
 

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Is AER* a good brand such as OME?
I am considering buying this lift kit from the same chinese company:


Do you think it is worth it or should I go for something else?
 
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