E150F Transmission Swap

When planning my AR4 project I knew my stock E250F transmission was going to have to be replaced. The 3rd gear synchro was baddly worn on the downshift side (worked perfectly on upshift though, bizarre). Anyhow as I search for 3sgte’s I was debating whether to acquire a transmission with the new motor. I then began compiling gear ratio data and comparing it to what I wanted out of this project. I’ll spare the details unless you guys are interested.

Ok, once I got through the data, I decided my choose was going to be either a E154F from a ST205 Celica GT4 or an E150F from a ST215 Caldina. I decided to get a Gen4 3sgte with a E150F from a Caldina GTT. After picking up an ST215 motor with E150F transmission, I unknowingly came across a few issues:

1. It does not have a Center Differential Lock

Now depending on your stand point, this could be a good thing or bad. The bad is, well if your stuck in a tough situation, say a heavy snow storm, you don’t have the option to lock the center diff to guarantee a 50/50 front/rear power split. The good, less weight…and from a motorsports perspective, you really don’t want 100% lock at any given time from center diff….you want 40/60 or 50/50 but never lock the front/rear together as that will cause major understeer from what I understand. So, in the end I’m ok with this.

*PLEASE Watch this video for a better understanding of the Alltrac system:

2. It does not have a Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS, SXA10 RAV4 OEM # 83181-12050)

With no VSS, I’m not able to determine the speed of the car. The Caldina is more modern, in the sense that it uses wheel speed sensors to tell you how fast it is going.

3. It does not have a Differential Speedo Gear Ring (OEM # 33481-20130)

Without the gear ring, I’m unable to use a VSS and again I’m unable to determine the speed of the car.

To solve #’s 2 & 3, well let’s just say, sometimes things get complicated. You have to be wondering why…well to keep this short, the E150F has different gear ratios then the stock E250F. I needed to match the Differential Speedo Gear Ring to the appropriate VSS gear to get an accurate speedometer reading. I ordered a new Differential Speedo Gear Ring shown above and decided to reuse my original stock Rav4 VSS. This combo was going to work best with my new wheel diameter setup and E150F transmission gear ratios.

But here was the tricky and time consuming part…I had to completely dismantle the transmission to install the Differential Speedo Gear Ring. So, I ultimately do not recommended using a E150F from a Caldina ST215.

Here is the stock Rav4.1 VSS & VSS Driven Gear:

4. The inner axle shaft (side that connects to the transmission) is different from the SXA10 Rav4’s.

Now, what is the inner axle issues:

– The RAV4’s inner CV spline has a 23 or 24 teeth (can’t remember) and has a short length spline.

– The Caldina inner CV splines has 25 teeth and requires a longer length spline.

It’s been stated by Bongbong10 that an ACA21 or Rav4.2 axle would work. Now I needed to figure out which Rav4.2 driverside axle would work; AWD or FWD, Manual or Automatic, ABS or Non-ABS??? I ended with a Cardone Remanufactured AWD, Manual, Non-ABS Driver Side Rav4.2 Axle.

With it’s longer inner spline and proper # of teeth, this axle fits the E150F transmission perfectly. But we’re not done, the outer part of the shaft is a bit fatter or thicker causing the inner shaft to rubber and not fit in properly. It will need to be machined down or grinded down to fit.  OR another option to get it to fit, which is what I did at the expense of a shortened wheel bearing life span, is to remove the wheel bearing dust deflector and seal.

I’ll here more pics when my swap is complete, to be continued…

PLEASE NOTE: Both outer CV splines (the ones that connect to the hubs) have same # of teeth and length as the stock Rav4. Thus there is no modification needed. Also the stock Rav4.1 passenger side axle fits the E150F, no problem.

The Infamous Clunk

The first day I drove my Rav4, I immediately noticed the clunk or thud noise in drive-train. The noise came from the rear…turns out this is what was actually going on:

I took a look and saw my rear mount of my rear differential was filled with some type of hard urethane. I knew there had to be another mount and I knew there had to be a center driveshaft mount as well. Confused I decided to start researching info on it…turns out this is a fairly common problem.

Here are the 2 rear diff mounts at hand:

My next step was to correct the problem properly. Initial findings suggest filling the rear mount of the diff with a polyurethane caulk. Well, mine was already caulked with some, so just doing that alone with only partial fix the problem or make it worse. If you fill or replace the rear mount, the front mount of the rear diff will simply become the new weak point. The bottom line here is, you need to replace or fill both.

A fellow Rav4 enthusiast known as cb1000rider on Rav4World.com has done alot of research and replied to many us with this issue. He’s gone above and beyond to make his own more affordable aftermarket Differential Mount Replacements for Rav4.1.

I went ahead and ordered both mounts last year.

I then decided to take it extra step further and urethane fill the mounts with a what’s been recommended across the internet, 3M Windo-Weld. I started by using masking tape first, to keep things neat and then I used my standard caulk gun to make it all happen. I let these dry for a over 2 weeks before I installed them.

Filling the mounts was my way to insure that they were as stiff as possible. 3M Windo-Weld is rated as Shore 60A, stiff enough to be better then stock but not too stiff where it would become too uncomfortable while driving. Lastly another reason for doing this was to prepare from my Caldina Gen4 3SGTE swap, more power, more engine & drivetrain movement.

Also note I opted to fill my front and rear motor mounts at the same time.

*IMPORTANT NOTE* I’d also like to point out that I installed the rear diff mounts first…there was a noticeable difference but there was still a hint of clunk. As I had suspected, if your engine mounts are worn out, changing just the rear diff mounts will not be enough. You’ll have to get new engine mounts too. I’ve confirmed this when I installed the new filled engine mounts a few weeks after and the noise was completely gone. So please, DO NOT under estimate the need for new engine mounts. All of these parts, engine and entire drive-train are connected, if one moves, it translates to more movement at another location. Cheers!