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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    *edit* Updated

    After 134,000 miles I decided it was a good time to replace my stock struts. They were not leaking yet but I could feel the car starting to bounce a bit over bumps and freeway stability was getting worse. Since I was going to have to take the springs off as well I figured I'd install a set of lowering springs at the same time. The factory springs were starting to sag and I kinda liked the look. :)

    I decided to go with Eibach because I've had them on nearly all of my cars over the last 2 decades and they have always given me the look and performance I wanted.

    Car: 2005 Prius
    Springs: Eibach Pro-Kit
    Cost: $209 at TireRack.com
    Struts: KYB G2
    Cost: Rear $73/ea | Front $54/ea

    We've seen plenty of install pics so I'll just give a summary of my experience.

    Comfort:
    The ride is a bit more bouncy and definitely stiffer than with my high mileage factory springs and struts but not unpleasant. I'm sure the 17" tires at 51psi make it a bit more bouncy than it would be with lower tire pressure. At this time I would not recommend this kit for someone who wants a cushy old Cadillac type of ride but with the OEM 15" wheels and Yokohama dB Super E-Spec tires (185/65/15) the ride is less bumpy and overall much smoother even at 44/42psi. Drop the pressure a bit and the ride will get a bit more cushy for those folks who like that sort of thing. The handling is a bit compromised by the narrow width of the tire and the larger more flexible sidewall but the body roll is still very much reduced and I think I may just stick with the 15" wheels due to the MPG savings and the smooth ride.

    Handling:
    The car feels like dare I say a sports car? The handling difference is night and day. I can sling the car through fast corners with ease. The new Michelin MXM4 tires grip like crazy. I've pushed the car pretty hard and I would say it easily corners better than my 2000 Trans Am did with the same springs but wider tires. Body roll is basically gone and the car feels much more stable on the freeway. I guess I would summarize the driving experience as flat. There is no more excessive brake dive or front end lift upon acceleration. Body sway is gone completely. I know it will sound inaccurate but it sort of reminds me of how my Corvette handled during normal everyday driving. It's the perfect upgrade for someone who wants the Prius to feel a bit umm less Priusy. ;)

    Appearance:
    Eibach claims an average lowering of the car t 1.4" Front and 1.0" Rear. I measured the car before and after lowering but I did not drive it enough to get the springs to settle so my measurements could change. If they do I will edit the thread for accuracy. I started off with a front measurement of 25.75" Front (ground to wheel well top) and just under 25.75" in the rear. After lowering the front is at 24.8" approx. and the rear is at 24.75". I think the rear is lower because it had time to settle, especially while the front was jacked up. The car looks great lowered and was well worth the money even if there were no handling benefits!

    Front Before
    [IMG]

    Front After
    [IMG]

    Rear Before
    [IMG]

    Rear After
    [IMG]

    Whole car before lowering lowering
    [IMG]

    Whole car after lowering
    [IMG]
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    PhazonPhobe His name is Sora

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    Wow. Very nice.

    Not sure if I'd go for the whole "bouncy and stiffer" thing. Part of the reason I got the Prius was for the ride. If I want to drive a sports car, I will. That's what my TT Z is for.

    But overall, very nice.
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    CruZindon New Member

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    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Came out awesome. Couple notes;
    -Your last picture isn't level (which makes the front look higher)
    - If you lower your tire pressures your car will look even lower :)
    - I'm interested to see if your front continues to settle.
    - Your car looks so "right" now. The before picture is humorous to look at.

    As for Cruz's question I'm not sure why everyone is obsessed with mileage loss with 17s. The data is useless without knowing the rim weight and tire weight/type.
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    direstraits71 Member

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    I don't think there is any error code from the TPS for higher than the set pressure point, only a dash light when the pressure is about 20 to 25% lower than that set point. I run my tires at 39/41 and have the set point high enough that I get a low pressure light around 36-37psi. I think I set the TPS around 50 psi to get this. So I get a very early warning about low pressure. I've had no problems with this setup except if the temperature is extra cold I sometimes see the light until the tires warm up slightly.

    I sure wish the system would display real tire pressure instead of just a single fail light. I don't think its available via Scanguage either.
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    HI MPG Active Member

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    Your Prius is looking really good F8L! Dare I say it looks even better with the drop... Haha.
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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I wouldn't call it a very bouncy ride but it is more sensitive to bumps in the road. I only notice this at low speeds. At higher speeds the car feels more controlled when hitting bumps. Like I said earlier, this could be due to my rock hard tires too. I bet my 15s would feel cushy

    direstraits summed up the tire sensor question. My 2005 doesn't have the sensors so I don't have to deal with them. :)

    I lose about 6mpg with my 17s but I attribute most of that loss to my poor choice in tire. I bought them back in 2006. There were virtually no LRR tires available back then so I bought a performance tire. Thankfully my wheels are very light (1 lb more than stock 15s) so when I purchase new tires I should gains most of my mpg back.

    Thanks bru! I'll get more pics later. The car looks a little funky in the shop but outside it looked great. Just a bad camera angle. After my drive home the front looked lower but since I added a heavy load in the rear (after the pics were taken) the rear was mashed so the front still seemed higher.

    Thanks! I'm kinda old school with my mods in that I like stuff clean and minimal. I don't like attaching a bunch of junk to the car. We've all seen cars that look like a parts catalog was thrown at them. lol

    TheFront wheels well gap is now less than 2 finger width wide. It's definitely low. :)
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    CruZindon New Member

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    To all, Thanks for the information!
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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    No problem. That's what this forum is for. To help everyone make their Prius experience the best it can be. :) Now hurry up and finish your mods and post pics. :)
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    flareak Fleet Captain

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    Nice install. I'm personally waiting for my struts to give out before buying the new ones. For our 2005s the rears are probably the same, but your new fronts should be sportier than the old ones.

    Do you remember how much the whole install cost? I think I paid around 350$ for install and 181$ for the springs
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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I knew my struts were getting long in tooth. Most are by 50,000. So it was a good time to replace everything. :)

    I paid $182 for the springs with the shop dealer discount. I basically paid nothing for the install. I've been friends with these guys since I was 16 yrs old (i'm 36 now) and I worked at the shop for 10yrs so they just helped me out and did it for free. I did get a quote from a quality local shop fot between $190 and $270 depending on if it took 2 or 3 hours. The average shop rate here is approx. $90/hr.
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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Do you feel your sway bar upgrade was worth the money? I don't know that I need it but if it's cheap enough it may just end up on my car at some point. :)
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    flareak Fleet Captain

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    Nice. I'm 20 miles shy of 70k so one day I'll get rid of the struts. Best next upgrade to feel sporty would be the C-one chassis stiffeners imo (not a simple plate but actual stuff) and then some seats that hug you around :) Wanna try these for me since I'm a poor student with no money? :)
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    flareak Fleet Captain

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    For the sway bar you won't see as much difference as the springs but.. It's relatively inexpensive and is simple to install. I just used the existing bolts and swapped it out (although I don't think I reused the bushing)

    If anything, it just looks really freaking cool because it's TRD red and you can see it if you're behind me in another car. I can post pictures tomorrow
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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    The car handles well now but a little better handling wouldn't be bad. The bar is simple to install which is why i've been eyeing them for awhile. If you can post a pic i'd appreciate it. :)

    As for the C one brace, I already havre the BT brace and while not a student i'm still broke. : p
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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Here are a few more pictures taken after the suspension has had time to settle. Sorry it's not clean. It rained pretty hard today and if you look close enough you may even see remains of beef jerky I spit out the window after I realized it was moldy. What a morning! Ugg

    Attached Files:

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    flareak Fleet Captain

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    Hey F8L, got some pics of the sway bar and also overall my car because i'm vain. but i guess it shows off eibach springs too.

    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    [IMG]

    It's a little cloudy today so it's doesn't show up well underneath the car. But if a car has headlights on and shines on the bar it really pops :)
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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Thanks, flareak! Your car is so clean and that scenery is so lush. I'm a sucker for botany. :)

    I 'll get that TRD bar eventually. I updated my first post with my impression after my 100+ mile commute.
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    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    :eek:


    I am wondering whether you compared the compression resistance of the old struts/shocks (via manual compression of the parts) with the new KYB.
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    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I did but not with a tools to measure resistance like I should have. Even a bathroom scale would have worked. The compression resistance was very low on the stock struts. I couldn't easily compress it by hand alone but placed on the ground and using my arms to compress the shaft was enough. The new struts required using my weight to compress. Rebound was not much different between the new and old.

    For the number of miles and my aggressive cornering I have to say the stock units held up well. None were leaking either. I just noticed the car would compress a bit to much when entering or exiting a driveway.

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