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!!
After several years of driving on the stock 16 inch wheels as my winter setup, it was time for something new. And since I had a tire fail from a flat on my summer setup, it was time to retreat to a single all-season combo.
I always loved the look of the third generation Rav4, particularly the Sport model and its rims. So I searched the interwebs and found a set in good condition.
I got a sweet deal on a set of Falken Ziex ZE612-Plus and selected 245/45ZR18’s.
After using my upgraded brake setup for over 2 years now, I’ve begu to research again and source farther potential upgrades. As I mentioned previously, this particular setup increased pedal travel and I had recommended using a larger brake master cylinder. This is of course if you don’t like how the brakes feel. I’d like to state its not necessary as the stock master cylinder has been tested to work for more then 2 years…especially if you’re working with a tight budget, which most of us are.If have to ask yourself, that type of pedal feel do you want and how do you want the brakes to response. Now with that said here’s what I’ve gathered so far.
I always like to begin with a reference diagram of the original parts (brake master cylinder circled in red):
The stock Rav4 brake master cylinder has a inner bore of 7/8″ inches. NOTE – I circled the front brake line outlet as this became a vital sourcing a direct bolt on upgrade.
There are two master cylinder upgraded there are direct bolts on’s…
The ST204 1994-1999 Toyota Celica with a bore size of 15/16″ inches.
OEM Part Number # 47201-2B090
The MCU10 1999-2000 Lexus RX300 with a bore size of 1″ inch.
OEM Part # 47201-48030
A little general advice about selecting bore size in your master cylinder may be helpful… Decreasing MC bore size will decrease your pedal effort and increase your pedal travel. Conversely, a larger bore in your car’s master cylinder will, all other components being consistent, increase your pedal effort and decrease your pedal travel. As with some other brake parts purchases, this comes down to your preference for how the brakes “feel” under foot when you are driving.
To complete this master cylinder swap, you’ll simply have to use the Rav4 brake fluid reservoir with new seals, bolt it all up, pour some fresh fluid and bleed the brakes.
In an ideal world I would have purchased Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires and Work Emotion CR‘s with a low offset and deep concave face. While I’ve always LOVED the look of Work Emotion CR’s…I never loved the price.
As I live in NYC, one of the most unfriendliest places for wheels…I wanted something that was affordable, looked good and would hold up to the daily abuse. Shortly after I begun my search for a new set of shoes, I decided I definitely wanted a set of gray wheels with sticky, ultra high performance summer tires and a lower offset to improve the static stability factor.
I soon discovered there were some replica look-a-like versions of the Work Emotion CR’s. The manufacture was Drag…the models were DR-31. Next, I went to Discount Tire Direct to get a good deal on a set of Gunmetal Gray 18×9 with a +15 offset. Now it was time to find some super sticky tires. I then came across a sweet deal at TireRack for some 255/40/R18 Dunlop Sport Maxx GT.
Here is cool video from Motor Trend’s Jessi Lang as she heads to Indiana to experience firsthand the impact tires have on a vehicle’s performance.