107k miles, Replacing Struts and Increasing Clearance

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by aelkman, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    Front suspension is getting weaker (as expected) for such mileage, definitely drive her harder than the average Joe.

    So it’s time to swap out the struts and add some new coils in. This is my first time doing such a job, looking for suggestions on aftermarket strut/coil replacements for my use-case.

    Use-case is being able to handle offroad conditions better. Outdoor enthusiast/climber and need to navigate potholed dirt roads with ease. So definitely NOT looking to lower, if anything want to raise 1.5-2”. Any strut/coil combos that could achieve this or need to add coil spacers?

    May also swap out tires, was thinking of going for 195/70r15 to add about 0.5” clearance. Anyone can verify these are safe on Gen 2 (no wheel knocking)?
     
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  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Welcome to Priuschat!!

    There is at least one other thread that talks about this, the search feature might help find it.

    I think someone said they were able to raise the car up some and didn't take much if any of a hit on the MPG.

    Would be curious to see what you come up with, and please post any successful mods for others to work with.

    I have a BT Tech engine skid plate I've been meaning to install or sell.
     
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  3. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    You should be fine with that tire.

    Here is a tool that will help, it tells you were and what clearance(s) to measure before plugging in different sized tires. (the clearances below are just default values, you will need to measure and specify for any accuracy)

    Rim & Tire Size Calculator. Custom Offsets - Wheel-Size.com

    Let us know what you end up with. Can't wait for the photos or build thread, something like :

    The "Send Nudes" Prius | PriusChat aka @Prius Gang
     
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  4. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    Thanks for the tool, this is super rad! :D Looks like I could even go for 205/70R15 which has more options for tires...
    I'll keep you posted on what I pick.

    In the meantime, I added some coil spring boosters with zipties, an impermanent but good temporary solution. Depending on continued performance will determine how soon I need to get real replacements. Already noticed some extra clearance, steering is tighter and going over speedbumps easily, even driving aggressively. Haven't taken offroad yet, will wait for new tires.


    IMG_1875.JPG IMG_1876.JPG IMG_1877.JPG IMG_1878.JPG
     
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  5. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    Strongly leaning toward the Yokohama Geolander A/T 205/70R15 which looks like an absolute beast.
    Seems like a good compromise for on-road as well as off-road performance. Want to maintain some semblance of Prius level MPGs :ROFLMAO:

    upload_2018-8-1_1-45-58.png
     
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  6. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    Got the tires installed today. They fit (barely) and driving over speedbumps hard is bumping the wheel well, driving over them normally is fine. This is temporary until I get the struts/shocks & new coils with lift kit. Want to get slightly stiffer coil than OEM, idea is to offset the extra pitch and roll from raising the car so much higher. Another added benefit of stiffer coils is less bottoming out, and better handling on bumps. Leaning toward 30mm spacers for the coils to get the extra lift, but there is also a 40mm kit as well. They are PU spacers so seem legit... considering doing the job myself but also might just have the local shop do it. Finally I want to get the TRD sway bars installed to help mitigate roll even more and hopefully clean up the turns, since the handling has gone quite a bit off due to the lift from these tires (and I expect it to get worse with the spacers).

    Overall very fun to drive right now, can't wait til I can take her on dirt roads after getting the spacers installed!
    IMG_1896.JPG IMG_1894.JPG
     
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  7. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    Those tires do look good. get a corolla/matrix rear bar from the junk yard. cheap and makes a big difference. super easy install too.
     
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  8. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    I’ll look and see what I can find. TRD bar from matrix is even better upgrade than that no?

    Also; any suggestions on better-than-OEM suspension upgrades? Been looking around on google and nothing is standing out to me...
     
  9. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    Update: Deciding to go with a custom coil spring job. The guys over at Custom Spring Solutions have quoted me a more than fair price for a 2" lifted spring at 25% stiffer than OEM, which should do the job I am looking for. This also eliminates the need for any (possibly janky) lift kits.

    Once I've finalized my order with them, will be ordering the KYB excel-G OEM replacement strut/shocks and have a shop attach coils to shocks (don't feel like dying yet). Also get fresh mounting kits since why not? Plan on doing the suspension replacement myself. Will post pics of course along the way :LOL:.
     
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  10. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    Anyone know if these are legit OEM trd?
     
  11. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    Nvm ordered the right one from a diff site.
     
  12. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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  13. aelkman

    aelkman New Member

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    Tanabe Front Strut Tower Bar:

    IMG_2313.JPG
     
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  14. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    looks like you making some headway. front bars a little harder to install, but definitely should be next mod.
     
  15. Robert in Sahuarita

    Robert in Sahuarita New Member

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    Sorry im late to the party but keep in mind with stiffer springs, the available travel is still limited by the lengthof the strut. You may not realize the full benefit of the springs because the strut will "top out". With strut spacers, you will retain the same ride but the all the travel will be lowered by the length of the kit. You would be lowering the point at which the strut "bottoms out " as well. This may keep your slightly larger tires from rubbing or at least help.
    I think the rear spacer might not do this. I think that spacer goes right to the spring, where the front spacer lowers the strut mount.
     
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  16. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    But with strut spacers wheels are allowed to droop down more than with stock suspension. This will increase wear especially for inner CV-joints. And changing the ride height will increase the wear on the CV-joints anyway.
     
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  17. Robert in Sahuarita

    Robert in Sahuarita New Member

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    Very true. Cvds will see increased wear. The bottom of your car will see LESS wear!
    Its not as simple as just popping in the spacers really.
    Its really a compromise. You will loose some of the prius' good qualities, but will strengthen some of its weakness.Even if i lived at the end of a 9 mile long dirt road, id still drive a prius. I think strut spacers would help it and my sanity last longer. It would be my pick over stiffer or taller springs. I went through a lot of the same issues with my suzuki sidekicks that also use struts in the front.
    Bummer about the OP. Glad he's ok.
     
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