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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I see theres a lot of info about transmission issues with the 3rd gen rav4s.

I haven't see a lot of info about the 1st gen...

My issue is this. 1997 Rav4, 4WD, 5 speed manual

FACTS:

When decelerating, between 37 and 45 mph I hear a loud hum, whine, whirr whatever you want to call it.

If i blip the throttle, or press the throttle, or accelerate through these speeds, the noise goes away.

Doesn't matter what gear it is in, if it is between those speeds it will whine.

If I coast down through these speeds with the clutch pressed it, the whine is still there, just quieter. Certainly louder engaged in gear though. I noticed I can hear the noise very faintly at 20 mph too, but 40 is by far the loudest


I first noticed it yesterday after climbing a large hill up a mountain, and heard it on my way back down. By this point, the fluid was well and truly warm. I just drove my car, cold, and the noise is still there. So hot or cold, its apparent.



I've read multiple fixes, from wheel bearings, to trans fluid flush (not just drain and fill) to a whole new trans....

What can it be? Why is it that I cannot find any info for 4.1 rav4 but tons for 4.3

I bought the car and it had a tiny leak at the trans fill plug. I topped off the gear oil, took maybe 1/2 quart, and sealed the plug back up no leak now. Ideas?
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Make sure your drive shaft and cv axles are clean, an out of balance condition in either one can create some noise or vibration.

Make sure your cv axle boots are in good condition and not torn or leaking.

Change the fluid in your transaxle, make sure you drain both sides.

Change the fluid in your differential.

It could be wheel bearings as well. You could try repacking the wheel bearings.

A warped brake rotor.

Tires that are worn or having low pressure can make a noise at certain speeds....

Can you tell roughly where it's coming from?

Really guessing without hearing the noise. But, I would lean toward the differential.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tires are brand new. Aligned, balanced, the works.

Axles and boots are clean as well as a clean driveshaft

I believe the sound is coming from the right side of the car but it's hard to tell from the drivers seat. It seems to be front rather than read, but honestly it's hard to tell. I'll have to have someone ride with me and have their opinion

Haven't changed any trans or diff fluids at all. I figure if I drain the trans/front diff I might as well just have a shop flush it, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Make sure your drive shaft and cv axles are clean, an out of balance condition in either one can create some noise or vibration.

Make sure your cv axle boots are in good condition and not torn or leaking.

Change the fluid in your transaxle, make sure you drain both sides.

Change the fluid in your differential.

It could be wheel bearings as well. You could try repacking the wheel bearings.

A warped brake rotor.

Tires that are worn or having low pressure can make a noise at certain speeds....

Can you tell roughly where it's coming from?

Really guessing without hearing the noise. But, I would lean toward the differential.

Put the front end up in the air. The right front seems to have a warped rotor. It will spin but then stop in one spot.... if this is the case, new rotor or face this one?
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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I don't know what you would flush a manual tranny with, you don't want to run anything to thin the mix or damage could result. First open the fill plug (if you get the drains out but cannot get the fill plug out you have a real problem) then the two drains. Replace the drain plugs and refill to specs, easy day.

The differential is the same pull the fill plug then the drain (just one).

If you are concerned about a flush and really wanted to you could drive it for a few hundred or thousand miles and change it again. This would be a very effective flush.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Did the noise start with the new tires? Some tires, particularly aggressive tires with aggressive threads can have a fair bit of road noise.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Put the front end up in the air. The right front seems to have a warped rotor. It will spin but then stop in one spot.... if this is the case, new rotor or face this one?
Yes, that it a good test, spin it a couple of times mark where it stops, drag can come from the tranny as well. Listen for the friction noise.
I usually just replace rotors, the aftermarket ones are about the same price as a machine shop would charge. Make sure you torque them down properly, most tire shops just slam them on with a pneumatic impact wrench and grossly over tighten them, this can cause rotors to warp. I always set mine with a torque wrench after buying tires. Ask the mechanics and observe them, many will torque the lug nuts properly if asked.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Let's see. The rotor seems to have just a tiny bit of warpage to it. That's diagnosed by spinning the wheel on the car. Slight drag, I mean very slight and only in one spot.

I got new tires when I bought the car because the old ones were shot. They weren't worn even (hopefully didn't destroy the diffs) but I wanted new ones anyway. They do have a more aggressive tread, but this noise is most certainly not tire to road noise. It's very apparent in 35-45 mph but only when decelerating.

I checked the drive shaft to rear diff connection, no up and down play there so that I believe would rule out the pinion bearing preload.

If I were to re index the rotor one or two lug turns, that should in theory change the speed I hear my noise at? Before I got dumping money into new rotors and pads and not fix this noise, I would love to have a better idea
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Sometimes you can rent a electric stethoscope at a parts place and you can tape the pickup into place (many are also magnetic) just make sure the cord isn't going to get wrapped up in anything, drag, or get snagged.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Let's see. The rotor seems to have just a tiny bit of warpage to it. That's diagnosed by spinning the wheel on the car. Slight drag, I mean very slight and only in one spot.

I got new tires when I bought the car because the old ones were shot. They weren't worn even (hopefully didn't destroy the diffs) but I wanted new ones anyway. They do have a more aggressive tread, but this noise is most certainly not tire to road noise. It's very apparent in 35-45 mph but only when decelerating.

I checked the drive shaft to rear diff connection, no up and down play there so that I believe would rule out the pinion bearing preload.

If I were to re index the rotor one or two lug turns, that should in theory change the speed I hear my noise at? Before I got dumping money into new rotors and pads and not fix this noise, I would love to have a better idea
If that is inconclusive, you could also swap the rotors to opposite sides as well, that should change the noise or at least the location.
 
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