Motor Trend Has Made the Coolest RAV4 Ever!

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How much does it actually take to turn a soft-roader into a capable rock crawler? A lot.

It may seem like a daft idea to buy a 2 wheel drive RAV4 with the intentions of rock crawling, but some way, some how, that goal is very much possible. It does take a lot of work however.

First and foremost, remove any thought about keeping the RAV4 a street car. The way these guys decided to turn front drive into 4WD is to take the engine out of the front, and quite literally put it where the front passenger seat used to be.

Rav4Making it work might be complicated, but the theory is simple. If you take the output shafts from the front wheel drive engine and use them to direct power front to rear instead of side to side, you can have a rudimentary four-wheel drive system.

Work started with stripping everything out of the car and cutting various parts out of the floor to make room for the engine’s new location. Because the unibody would lose some structural strength, a boxed steel reinforcement frame was fabricated.

Given that this is very much not a bolt-on procedure, everything has to be custom-made, sometimes twice. While mocking up some junkyard axles, they found their original placement for the engine had to be adjusted by a few inches.

If you like the adventure of completing a build, then we wont spoil the rest of the episode for you, because it’s well worth a watch!

Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites for Internet Brands, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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