It pains me to write this but up for sale is my beloved ’96 Toyota RAV4. This is no ordinary RAV4, its rare, unique and more of an enthusiast car then your typical grocery getter. It’s been modified to receive a ST215 Toyota Caldina 3SGTE engine and its E150F transmission. It’s AWD, has dual sunroofs, power accessaries, working AC as well as some more goodies!!

Check my eBay auction at:



If you’re interested contact me at scubastevoviii@aol.com. 


Boost Behavior

Awhile back, I saw a group buy for Omori Boost Gauges…I got so excited, I impulsively bought one, without having any force induction on my car. It’s very popular seller amongst the MR2 and WRX community. I’ve always been a fan of its compact size and style. I’ve been planning to add a boost controller, to squeeze out a few more ponies from my CT15B…hold on, hold on, hold on!!! Let me take a step back for a sec.

Why add the boost gauge?  Well, as you “turn up” the boost on the boost controller, the engine begins to produce power in excess of the stock capabilities. This makes it essential to monitor the manifold air and boost pressure via boost gauge to ensure things are in order. Thus a boost gauge goes hand-and-hand with a boost controller.

Fast forward, I now actually have a turbocharged engine and an opportunity to install it.


Let me tell you a little bit about the Omori 45mm Electronic Boost Gauge:                               – 45mm gauge with a red needle/black face and white backlight.                                           – Kit includes y-splitter, air hose, filter, sending unit and mounting bracket.                            – Needle performs a 270 degree calibration sweep at start-up.

I had a hard time finding a mounting pod for a 45mm gauge. So, I opted to making my own out some left overs I had laying around. There’s nothing like a DIY project…so much fun. Anyhow here’s my finished product:


Intermittent Wiper Stalk Swap

While on a vacation in a rental car, it was rain and I thought to myself…it makes me sad I’ve never owned a car with an intermittent wiper feature. This may not be a big deal for some but for me, it’s just annoying to constantly switch the wiper from intermittent, to low and then back. Becuase the Rav4.1 never came with one from the factory, I was left to figure it out on my own.

I’ve been on a hot streak with part compatibilty sourcing, so I had hunch that this was a easy fix. Determined, I started searching for Toyota models with a intermittent wiper stalk and rear wiper function as well. I came up with:

Toyota Part: 84652‑26530 SWITCH ASSY, WINDSHIELD WIPER
TOYOTA CELICA (1996 – 1999)
TOYOTA SIENNA (1998 – 1999)
LEXUS RX300 (1999 – 2002)

Here’s what what it looks like:

IMG_9242Searched around the interweb and came with one for $12 bucks shipped.

It easy to install, it bolts right in. Simply remove 4 screws on your steering column cover, unplug the harness, remove the 2 screws holding in the wiper stalk, then remove it. Next install the new stalk in and reverse the order…DONE! No wiring needed.


Here’s a quick comparison…the top is the original wiper stalk and the bottom is the new intermittent wiper stalk.


Here is the final product…


Center Console Hinge Fix

It’s often heartbreaking as a car ages things begin to fall apart. Eventually many parts are no longer manufactured and discontinued from the dealer & aftermarket suppliers. When this happens, we’re all left feeling hopeless…my next project was no different…just like I felt with the 98+ cup holders.

Now I needed to figure out what I was going to do with my center console storage box. The lid simply doesn’t close properly any more…just take a look, the hinge is nearly half way broken…

Being the shape chap that I am…I  remembered my parents old 1994 AE102 Corolla had a center console box that looked very similar to the Rav4’s. I figured if they looked the same and the lid was the same then the hinge might be the same too. So I went go and took some measurements of the Rav4’s lid…its roughly 12 inches long and 4 3/4 inches wide. I started looking on ebay and I messaged a few sellers to confirm the Corolla’s lid measurements. Sure enough they were the same size….so I bought one for like $12 bucks!

Here is the 99-00 Rav4’s lid (gray) & the 93-97 Corolla’s lid (brown):

As you can see they’re nearly identical. Notice though, my Rav4 lid is so worn…the latch to open it is kinda chewed up and crooked.

Here you can see I overlaid the Rav4 hinge to show that the holes are the same size and position as well as both hinges sharing identical angles and shape. The one difference on the Corolla hinge is, it’s not spring loaded. But I like this because it makes for a more durable hinge setup.


To be continued…

Back Door Sunroof Bracket

Now that I can cruise with the sunroofs up & rear window’s popped…I’ve been dying to drive around my with the sunroofs off the Rav4. Sadly when I bought my Rav, I was left without the proper space to store it. I was missing the lower back door bracket that holds the rear sunroof securely in place. I tried searching junkyards with no luck :(. So I went ahead and ordered the bracket with the 2 knobs from Toyota.

Back Door Bracket p/n 67264-42010

2 x Removable Roof Knobs p/n 63287-42001-B1

Rear Driver Side Window Correct

My second pet-peeve was the driver side rear window…WHY DOESN’T IT POP OPENING? WHY? Just another USDM safety thing. Anyhow I decided I wanted to correct to this and hunch that all I needed was another lock latch like the passenger side’s. So I went ahead and ordered one…OEM p/n 62920-42010-B1

Here is a side by side comparison of the non-functioning window lock (left) and the functional one (right):

This was pretty straight forward, all you have to do is remove a few screws and pop the rear driver side interior panel and unbolt the upper part of the rear driver side seatbelt.

Then unscrewed the 3 screws holding the non-functioning window lock. Be careful not to drop and lose bushing and screw retained. Also caution not to allow the window to swing open as you could damage and break it while unmounted.

Now just align the new functioning latch lock and screw it in. This is what the final product opened and closed should look like.


Rear Sunroof Pop-Up Correct

After I bought my Rav4, I was excited to have a dual sunroof model. But later I was annoyed that the rear sunroof didn’t pop-up, it only popped-out for removal (only on 2dr US models). I thought to myself this is BS and after a closer inspection I realized that my MR2’s sunroof latch was nearly identical.

Then I read somewhere on Rav4World.com that the Rav4 rear sunroof base’s “slot hinge arms” protrude out further then the front’s sunroof’s base. And lastly that you can use the front sunroof parts for the rear. So continued on with my investigation and decided to unbolted my MR2 sunroof base to compare them. YUP, they were identical except for two specific area…

  1. Where the latch base holds the sunroof in the up position
  2. The latch slots on the hinge arms.

Here is the comparison of the Rav4’s (gray) and MR2’s (blue) latch:

NOTE: The slots on the hinge arms are positioned in reverse or backards on the Rav4 latch vs the MR2 latch. This is part what makes the sunroof pop and stay up.

You can pop the snap rings out on the hinge spring area and then flip the entire hinge setup around and reassemble…this would correct 1/2 of the problem.

Finally here is the comparison of the Rav4’s (red) and MR2’s (blue) latch base:

Ok now you could potentially go ahead and grind down that piece and flip the hinge assembly to get the sunroof to pop-up…OR you can just go & purchase the OEM latch base and latch:

BASE p/n # 63250-16020 from a 96-00 Rav4…$75.32 at Lithia Toyota

LATCH p/n # 63260-42020-B0 Gray from a 96-00 Rav4…$117.35 at Lithia Toyota

DO NOT get p/n # 63260-42040-B0

OR go with option # 3…which is what I did, search for an MR2 sunroof latch base. I went to ebay and bought an MR2 sunroof latch w/ base for $11 bucks. Just make sure you get the both parts. Here is a list of models with the same sunroof setup:

  • 85-95 MR2
  • 91-95 Paseo
  • 95-03 Tacoma
  • 89-95 4Runner/Pickup)

For reference:


Subject: 3.2.10) Why won’t my dual sunroof RAV4 2DR rear sunroof stay open?

Toyota apparently felt that having the rear sunroof open was a
potential safety problem. However, dual sunroofs are available
in europe and elsewhere with the rear sunroof that can be popped

You can modify your RAV4 by doing the following:
– Obtain a replacement sunroof latch from Toyota
(P/N 63250-16020)
– Replace the rear latch. This is very easy, just remove 2 trim
screws and 2 bolts that attach the existing latch, and reverse the
procedure with the new part.
– Remove the rear sunroof, and remove the latch mechanism from
the roof with 2 screws. You will need to disassemble the latch
and reassemble the locking arms in reverse so that the sunroof
will lock in place.
– The arms are held in place with snap rings that can be pried
off with a small screwdriver. Be careful! The snap rings will
fly across the room unless you cover them when you remove them.
– Remove the latch arms and replace them in reverse, i.e., the
left arm on the right, and vice versa.
– After reassembling the latch arms, reattach the mechanism
to the sunroof, and reinstall the roof.
– You can examine the front sunroof latch system to see how
it is supposed to look if you run into any difficulty.

Here is my finished “Sunroof Pop-Up Correct” project…

PS…while working on this I noticed my rear sunroof catch assembly was broken…luckily I had a spare MR2 one that was identical and worked perfectly.