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. 


Front Brake Theory Pt. 2.5 – Stage 1 Brake Upgrade

I’d like to revisit my posts on brakes, as some questions have surfaced and I’d like to help answer them. For some people out there, my brake setup is not ideal because it requires some grinding for fitment and wheels spacers to use 16inch wheels…so, how does one still upgrade without having to do all that?

Well, good news is you still can upgrade from your stock setup still use your stock 16inch wheels. I haven’t had the funds or time to experiment with this and I can’t make an promises but I have a pretty good feeling this new setup will work.

Here is the Stage 1 Brake Upgrade:

Brake Caliper with Bracket – Celica ST (95-99)

Part Numbers:

RH 47721-20370 or 47721-20371

LH 47722-20080 or 47722-20081


Rotors – Lexus RX300 (99-03)

Part Number: 43512-48011 or 43512-48060



Pads – Celica ST (95-99)

Part Number: 04465-20140 or 04465-33021


I can’t confirm any modifications will be needed but if it does, it will be less then my Stage 2 Brake Upgrade. This setup will feel and work just fine with the stock brake master cylinder.

Front Brake Theory Part 2 – Stage 2 Brake Upgrade

Welcome to part 2 of my Front Brake Theory! I left off with alot of material from my first post…some of you have messaged me about a follow-up. I have to apologize for a late response. Since, I have selected my setup and have been testing it for over 4 months.

DISCLAIMER/WARNING: This is simply a guide, written to be and is intended as informational tips. This is not a 100% accurate or guaranteed foolproof guide. Work on your own vehicle at your own risk. If after reading through these tips, you do not feel comfortable doing the work yourself, please seek the help of a professional mechanic. I cannot be held accountable for your safety or vehicle. I do not take any responsibility for any damage to personal property or injury to yourself.

Here is the Stage 2 Brake Upgrade:

I’ve selected: Brake Bracket – Celica GT (95-99)

Part Numbers:

RH 47721-20420

LH 47722-20120

 96celicafrontbrakebracket3a 96celicafrontbrakebracket396celicafrontbrakebracket1

Rotors – Lexus LS430 (01 – 06)

Part Number: 43512-50220

Ls430rotorCalipers – Toyota Avalon (95-97)

Part Number:

RH 47730-07020

LH 47750-07020

avalon96frontcaliper avaloncalipers

Pads – Toyota MR2 Turbo (92-95)

Part Number: 04465-17060

Here are some reference shots: Rotor Comparison…Lexus LS430 (01 – 06) on the left and the Rav4 (96-00) on the right. IMG_8925 Test Fitting…the Celica GT (95-99) Brake Bracket. The dust shield was bent slightly to accommodate the larger 315mm diameter rotor. IMG_8924 More Test Fitting…the Celica GT (95-99) Brake Pads (these were too thick to seat properly into the brake pads clips). IMG_8928 Here is the caliper mounted and the complete what I’ll call “prototype” version of this setup.



There are few spots on the Celica Brake Bracket that need to be grinded to support the (1)thicker rotor, (2)the larger diameter as well as (3)the offset of the rotor. The newer setup will not work with the stock 16 inch wheels unless you use a wheel spacer (25mm thick)…I’m using the H&R one on my stock 16 inch wheels and it barely fits. Its probably better to use the Celica GT caliper over the Avalon calipers because the master cylinder will work much better with the single piston setup. I need to install a larger one with my setup, which means more $$ …which is what I was trying to avoid.

Driving Impressions

It’s a tight fit that will create a front brake bias (with the twin piston calipers) but works with no brake fade unlike that stock setup. Since I did not change/upgrade the master cylinder, the pedal travel has increased…while its good for pedal modulation, its in need of a larger bored cylinder due to the larger hydraulic volume in each caliper. Brake fade resistance has definitely improved. I plan on upgrading the rear brakes, changing the master cylinder and adding some stainless steel brake lines. Good luck, drive safely, and have fun!

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…