Almost 500 Lbs Lighter and 25 more Horsepower than a JDM Celica GTfour!
The Rav4 GT-T Swap includes the ST215 Caldina 3S-GTE Gen4 engine, and its factory mated E150F manual full time AWD 5 speed transmission, as well as TOYOTA's golden pumpkin, the Caldina GT-T's OEM Torsen LSD (Limited Slip Differential) internal components installed into the gen 1 Rav4's rear differential housing, unlocking all the magnificent drive features the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) Caldina GT-T had, in a lighter, more capable chassis.
After more than tripling the power output with the Caldina GT-T's Engine, gearbox and rear differential swapped in, the Torque, Power and Traction combinations available through each of the five gears exceeds expectations on pavement, gravel, and with studded winter tires, drives like its on rails in ice, and on snow.
The power distribution of a Caldina GTT gearbox (model E150F) is 70% to the rear wheels, and 30% to the front.
In the case of the original gearbox Toyota put in the first gen Rav4, being the manual E250F, 60% of the engine power is sent to the front, and only 40% to the rear.
The difference is what allows the 2700Lb Rav4 to rotate in place, All wheels spinning, while bouncing off the rev limiter on dry pavement, on gravel, and even in heavy snow.
Using the same Gen4 Caldina GT-T engine mated to the JDM Celica GT four's more robust gearbox model E154F with its dual cone syncho's and coveted rear LSD Internals (identical Torsen LSD System as Caldina GT-T), we unlock faster shifting, superior acceleration, and more aggressive torque and power output with this combination of powerplant and driveline.
As opposed to the Caldina's E150F gearbox, which is more close in design to the Celica ST185's gearbox, (same E150F model number, completely different transmission) except the newer Caldina 5spd manual built for 97-02, features no VSS (vehicle speed sensor), because the Caldina GT-T get's its speed reference signal from the ABS System.
The JDM Celica GT four (1994-1999)'s E154F AWD 5 speed gearbox is the best choice for a Gen1 Toyota Rav4 3S-GTE swap, simply because all systems will function normally.
With experience, I've learned in my own swap (the Rav4 GT-T, using the Caldina E150F gearbox) I've had to sacrifice the ABS functionality, and use one of its wheel speed sensors, in combination with a brilliantly designed Dakota Digital SGI-5E speedometer signal interface, in order to have my OEM gauge working.
All JDM 3S-GTE engine swaps however, do require the use of a Dakota Digital tachometer signal interface SGI-8E, as the reference signal from JDM ECU's and engines require it to function on our USDM instrument panels.
The 1997-2002 (ST215) Caldina GT-T is a Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) Sport Wagon, commonly mistaken at first glance for a Subaru. With an engine more closely resembling Mitsubishi's 4G-63 than a Boxer, the Toyota/YAMAHA TRD 3S-GTE inline 4Cyl is more reliable than either engine.
Its 16V DOHC head is designed by YAMAHA/TRD, its factory turbo is almost twice the size of any Subaru OEM Turbo, and the 3S-GTE block was winning rallies in Africa before the 2JZ-GTE was ever designed.
the Gen4's 3SGTE Max 9,000RPM ~260BHP in stock configuration is force to be reckoned with, and unbeknownst to most, is in fact the Older, but smaller Brother of the 2JZ-GTE, as they share almost identical specifications, save for of course, compound Turbo's and two extra cylinders.
The legendary 3S-GTE engines designed by YAMAHA feature the optimal 86mm x 86mm square bore and stroke and factory integrated turbo design is what decides the reliability and aggressiveness of the GTE series engines, the amount of cylinders, and Turbos, is its only variable in performance out of the box.
Those who know about the Supra GT500's 3S-GTE Engine, can instantly recognize how many similarities it shares with this AWD sleeper's powerplant. Toyota hid a Racing and Rally inspired engine in these unassuming wagons, and we as Canadians, free to legally import and drive them don't take these facts for granted!
The Caldina GT-T is essentially a more modern, but wagon version of the ST205 Celica GTfour, the engine improvements include a coil on plug ignition, instead of the dizzy Gen3's rotor design, a side feed intake manifold, which not only prevents issues of uneven distribution of air, causing leaning conditions, but its cooler, the intake placed and ducted away from the rising heat of the head, and more adequately forced by induction into the intake runners during boost.
the Caldina's engine also received .5+ in compression at 9:0 as opposed to the Celica's 8.5 as well as a lighter and arguably less efficient ATA (air to air) intercooler design.
In normal operating conditions, meaning without adding boost to this car, the ONLY known flaw in design was in 1997, the integrated exhaust manifold/turbo had only 7 bolts on its flange to the head, causing leaking and warping at the corner. Toyota fixed this error in 1997, by adding a flange to the 8th hole, eliminating the problem, returning the Caldina GT-T to one of the most reliable, and powerful vehicles in its class. It seems like a "Little Camry Wagon on Steroids" with the heart of a Celica GT four
The 3S-GTE Engine responds incredibly well to modifications, the first of which should always be an upgraded exhaust. 2.5" is the minimum with 3" being optimal when boosting above factory limits.