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Discussion Starter #1
I think RAV4 V6 is almost perfect. But, I'm always looking for ways to improve it. I recently went through an exercise in weight reduction with my RAV4. I shed a lot of weight and the reduction made significant changes in the handling characteristics and acceleration of my RAV4. I'm very pleased with the results and want to share my experience. Basically, I took out all my junk, extra stuff, and a few parts of the RAV that I didn't need.

Removing the clutter, junk and a few car parts:
Junk Removed (lbs.): 97.5
Car Parts Removed: 127.5
TOTAL WEIGHT SAVINGS: 225 lbs
(details for all the measurements are available at the end)

That’s a lot more junk and personal items than I thought I had in there. Its surprising what adds up over time! I had a vacuum cleaner, several changes of cloths, and pillows in there! WTF?!

I also removed a few parts to save weight. They include the cross bars on the roof rack, the rear spare tire, the rear floor, the rear seat headrests, and a few other things.

There were other car parts I could have removed, for example the back seat (about 90 lbs.) and mudflats (1.5 lbs for all 4), but removing them wasn’t practical to everyday life or the weight savings wasn't enough to justify their removal.

So, when I finished hours later, I took it for a spin. Got on the road and holy cow! It was a demon! The RAV was lighter, had a stiffer suspension in the back, it was more nimble and MUCH quicker! I think the brakes stopped quicker too. I was very happy with the results. It felt like a 10-20 hp boost. I suggest everyone clean out their RAV4 if they have the time.

So, if you take my base model RAV4 V6 from the factory, leave it empty and then remove the parts I removed, this will be my true net decrease in weight:

Stock Parts Removed (lbs.): 128.5

Then I added several items (this is my current setup):
Weight Added to Stock Vehicle: 28

That brings me to my TOTAL WEIGHT SAVINGS OVER STOCK: 100.5 lbs.

Not bad, not as much as I wanted but I'm happy with the results. Now, if "I" could just lose 100 lbs (not happening, I love donuts and pie too much!). Here are the detailed measurements:

1. Removed Personal Items (in pounds):
1. Tool bag w/ tools: 13.5
2. Fire extinguisher: 2.5
3. Jumper cables: 6.5
4. Small vacuum: 1
5. Water bottles and cooler: 27
6. Organizational bag w/ junk: 4.5
7. Center console bits: 2
8. Driver’s door bits: 1
9. Other junk #1 (manuals, tire repair kit, binoculars, bungees, pillows, extra sunglasses wipes, ice scraper): 6
10. Car seat for baby: 15.5
11. Floor mats (all): 4
12. Bundle of extra cloths #1: 2.5
13. Bundle of extra cloths #2: 7
14. Other miscellaneous junk: 4.5
15. TOTAL Junk Weight: 97.5 lbs.
2. Removed Parts of RAV4 (within reason):
1. Tire and jack tools: 2.5
2. Jack: 5.5
3. Cargo area cover near the back seat: 5
4. Cargo area floor: 10.5
5. Two plastic snap-in pieces on the right left side of the cargo area: 1
6. Cargo area net: 3
7. Cargo area mat: 4.5
8. Spare tire: 225/65R17 tire w/ stock 17x7 steel wheel: 49.5
9. Rear head rests: 2.5
10. Air box and intake tube 6.5
11. Decorative black engine cover 3
12. Old muffler 22.5 (yep)
13. Third Catalytic converter 4.5
14. Roof crossbars: 12.5
15. TOTAL Weight of Car Parts Removed: 138 lbs.
3. Weight added to the vehicle (some items were returned):
1. Miscellaneous junk #3: 4.5
2. SRI (estimated): 3
3. Dynomax Straight through muffler: 16
4. Turbo-type muffler that replaced the catalytic converter: 5
5. Fake tire (replaces the spare tire): 4
6. TOTAL Weight Added: 28 lbs.

If you have questions about the "fake tire", please let me know. I will write-up the Fake Tire project if someone is interested. Some hyper-milers or speed freaks (like me) that want to maintain the stock look with the tire on the back hatch, but also want the weight savings of a SAP hatch, may be interested in saving 50 lbs with my Fake Tire project.

I hope this helps someone out there. I had the hardest time finding any quantifiable information about weight reduction in our RAV4, so I just did it myself. Its really hard to squeeze anything out of these efficient little V6s and I4s, so weight reduction is a good flipside solution. Just don't do like this guy on YouTube! Yuck!

A pic of my Fake Tire:

162563
 

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I think RAV4 V6 is almost perfect. But, I'm always looking for ways to improve it. I recently went through an exercise in weight reduction with my RAV4. I shed a lot of weight and the reduction made significant changes in the handling characteristics and acceleration of my RAV4. I'm very pleased with the results and want to share my experience. Basically, I took out all my junk, extra stuff, and a few parts of the RAV that I didn't need.

Removing the clutter, junk and a few car parts:
Junk Removed (lbs.): 97.5
Car Parts Removed: 127.5
TOTAL WEIGHT SAVINGS: 225 lbs
(details for all the measurements are available at the end)

That’s a lot more junk and personal items than I thought I had in there. Its surprising what adds up over time! I had a vacuum cleaner, several changes of cloths, and pillows in there! WTF?!

I also removed a few parts to save weight. They include the cross bars on the roof rack, the rear spare tire, the rear floor, the rear seat headrests, and a few other things.

There were other car parts I could have removed, for example the back seat (about 90 lbs.) and mudflats (1.5 lbs for all 4), but removing them wasn’t practical to everyday life or the weight savings wasn't enough to justify their removal.

So, when I finished hours later, I took it for a spin. Got on the road and holy cow! It was a demon! The RAV was lighter, had a stiffer suspension in the back, it was more nimble and MUCH quicker! I think the brakes stopped quicker too. I was very happy with the results. It felt like a 10-20 hp boost. I suggest everyone clean out their RAV4 if they have the time.

So, if you take my base model RAV4 V6 from the factory, leave it empty and then remove the parts I removed, this will be my true net decrease in weight:

Stock Parts Removed (lbs.): 128.5

Then I added several items (this is my current setup):
Weight Added to Stock Vehicle: 28

That brings me to my TOTAL WEIGHT SAVINGS OVER STOCK: 100.5 lbs.

Not bad, not as much as I wanted but I'm happy with the results. Now, if "I" could just lose 100 lbs (not happening, I love donuts and pie too much!). Here are the detailed measurements:

1. Removed Personal Items (in pounds):
1. Tool bag w/ tools: 13.5
2. Fire extinguisher: 2.5
3. Jumper cables: 6.5
4. Small vacuum: 1
5. Water bottles and cooler: 27
6. Organizational bag w/ junk: 4.5
7. Center console bits: 2
8. Driver’s door bits: 1
9. Other junk #1 (manuals, tire repair kit, binoculars, bungees, pillows, extra sunglasses wipes, ice scraper): 6
10. Car seat for baby: 15.5
11. Floor mats (all): 4
12. Bundle of extra cloths #1: 2.5
13. Bundle of extra cloths #2: 7
14. Other miscellaneous junk: 4.5
15. TOTAL Junk Weight: 97.5 lbs.
2. Removed Parts of RAV4 (within reason):
1. Tire and jack tools: 2.5
2. Jack: 5.5
3. Cargo area cover near the back seat: 5
4. Cargo area floor: 10.5
5. Two plastic snap-in pieces on the right left side of the cargo area: 1
6. Cargo area net: 3
7. Cargo area mat: 4.5
8. Spare tire: 225/65R17 tire w/ stock 17x7 steel wheel: 49.5
9. Rear head rests: 2.5
10. Air box and intake tube 6.5
11. Decorative black engine cover 3
12. Old muffler 22.5 (yep)
13. Third Catalytic converter 4.5
14. Roof crossbars: 12.5
15. TOTAL Weight of Car Parts Removed: 138 lbs.
3. Weight added to the vehicle (some items were returned):
1. Miscellaneous junk #3: 4.5
2. SRI (estimated): 3
3. Dynomax Straight through muffler: 16
4. Turbo-type muffler that replaced the catalytic converter: 5
5. Fake tire (replaces the spare tire): 4
6. TOTAL Weight Added: 28 lbs.

If you have questions about the "fake tire", please let me know. I will write-up the Fake Tire project if someone is interested. Some hyper-milers or speed freaks (like me) that want to maintain the stock look with the tire on the back hatch, but also want the weight savings of a SAP hatch, may be interested in saving 50 lbs with my Fake Tire project.

I hope this helps someone out there. I had the hardest time finding any quantifiable information about weight reduction in our RAV4, so I just did it myself. Its really hard to squeeze anything out of these efficient little V6s and I4s, so weight reduction is a good flipside solution. Just don't do like this guy on YouTube! Yuck!

A pic of my Fake Tire:

View attachment 162563
Thought about removing the under the hood lining? It seems to be there mostly for noise suppression.
 

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We carry a lot of steel in ours. I have 2 hitches, a 30 lb crescent wrench, straps, jumper cables, spare tire, some tools, and other odds and ends. I am sure I could easily remove several hundred pounds from our rav, but then I would not have what I needed When I needed it.

Tires seem to make a bigger difference than stuff in the vehicle. We noticed a big difference when we installed new tires. They are much heavier than the originals, but they are a lot better than the thin-walled tires that were on there.

Manufacturers use very light tires and high transmission temps to inflate mpg numbers. We got new tires and new transmission fluid/cooler at the same time. The mileage dropped from 27 mpg to 22 mpg. Now in the winter with sub zero temps idling just to keep the car warm, and long warmups, the mileage is at 17 mpg. (It never gets to operating temp when it is this cold so it burns more fuel trying to warm up) This is our first aluminum engine, and it has a very hard time retaining heat in winter. It is 100-140* colder in winter than it is in the summer, so the heat gets sucked right out. The engine is light enough for me to pick it up, but at what cost? Manufacturers claim xyz efficiency numbers, but only in lab conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow. Double check to make sure the transmission cooler they installed DOES NOT bypass the cooler inside the radiator. It should exit trans to radiator to new cooler and then return to trans. The cooler inside the radiator also aids in warming up the transmission during the winter months. If they did a trans to cooler and returned to trans then your transmission won’t warm up. You might already know this.


2010 RAV4 V6
 
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