Adding padding to front door armrest and center console

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by TxGasSipr20, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. TxGasSipr20

    TxGasSipr20 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2020
    10
    11
    0
    Location:
    TX
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    Limited
    Hello All,

    I have had my 2020 Prius Limited for about 4 months and I am loving it so far except for the lack luster padding in the front door arm rests and center console. I know that this is come up before and I tried doing some detailed searches on this forum for solutions, but I have not been successful so far. I have reached out to local auto upholstery shop and will be scheduling an appointment for them to take a look at it and see what can be done, but I was also curious as to whether there were any DIY solutions as well. I tried looking up any guides on taking apart the arm rests and center console, but have not had much luck so far. I would not mind trying my hand at fixing myself, but don't have much info on what tools would be necessary and where one would source the foam. Other than that I love the car, hopefully the brilliant minds in this forum can provide a little direction.

    Thanks!
     
    ice9, PriusOffroad and GadgetVirtuoso like this.
  2. PriusOffroad

    PriusOffroad Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2019
    100
    118
    0
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Definitely curious to see what you find out. Im sure a professional upholstery shop could add foam but at what cost is the question. Been wanting to do this since the day i drove my gen 3 home. My gen 4 hasn't seen enough miles to want it yet but im sure it will be the same.
     
  3. ice9

    ice9 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2019
    581
    334
    1
    Location:
    norfolk va
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    This is what I use for a window armrest. You can get Armsaver on ebay for anywhere between $20.00 - $30.00 (I bought mine last year when it was going for about $35.00, so they have gone down in price somewhat).

    As some of you are probably aware, the vinyl door trim panels used in the gen 4 Prius can be easily damaged. Constant pressure - such as when you rest your arm on the window sill - will cause the material to dimple over time. This armrest fixes that problem.

    You will need to modify the Armsaver by cuting off approximately 3/4th of an inch from the armrest window well tab (about half of the tab) to make it fit in the Prius window well. The tab is the bare 1/16" plastic section (I believe it's 1/16" ABS), shown in the 2nd photo, below, which inserts into the window well.

    I have test fitted the modified Armsaver on gen 2, 3 and 4 vehicles. It is simple but well designed, and it is easy to install (once modified), and easy to adjust and/or remove when necessary. There have been some reports of it rubbing against the window in some vehicles but this doesn't seem to apply to the Prius. I have window tinting and the Armsaver does not rub against or leave any marks on the tint film.

    I have yet to find a satisfactory armrest for the center console, so I purchased some two way stretchable vinyl and intend to fabricate my own cover. However, I need to learn how to do upholstery first.

    (I apologies for the dirty windows... ...the pollen here in the tidewater area is really bad this year)

    20200415_181722.jpg 20200415_182215.jpg
     
    #3 ice9, Apr 15, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  4. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    8,795
    10,730
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    I really like that armrest, @ice9. The trimming you had to do -- I don't think I quite get it. What are we seeing in that second picture?

    The door handle arm rest is several inches too low for me, so I made this.
    IMG_1658.jpg

    Not sure about the center console, but it shouldn't be hard. The door arm rest pad just pops off. Plastic pry levers help a lot with popping off panels and stuff in cars. There is one long keeper tab on the arm rest that will come right out of its slot if you move the tab all the way toward the door end of the slot. It's the long one in the picture below that looks like a broken arrow head.
    IMG_1655.jpg
     
    ice9 likes this.
  5. ice9

    ice9 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2019
    581
    334
    1
    Location:
    norfolk va
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I guess it depends on preference... ...You're either a "left arm out the window" kind of driver ("right arm out the window" in the UK) or you're not.

    The center console ISN'T hard, in concept. I just don't know how to do upholstery. Heck. I don't even know how to use a sewing machine!

    I'm a retired engineer.
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    8,795
    10,730
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    I'm a variety kinda guy. I think I'll either make or buy one like yours to compliment what I have now. I used to be able to run a sewing machine, but for what I made, I did it by hand. My wife, who can make anything up to a wedding dress showed me how to do a whip stitch. Came out pretty cool if you don't look too closely. I don't feel to badly about the sewing disparity. She can't tig weld. LOL!
     
    ice9 likes this.
  7. TxGasSipr20

    TxGasSipr20 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2020
    10
    11
    0
    Location:
    TX
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    Limited
    Cool Cool Cool! Thanks for all of the replies so far certainly giving me ideas on how to fix this situation - keep the ideas flowing if you have any more!
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  8. TxGasSipr20

    TxGasSipr20 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2020
    10
    11
    0
    Location:
    TX
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    Limited
    Where did you get that foam cushioning and strap set up? Did you buy it off of Amazon?
     
  9. ice9

    ice9 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2019
    581
    334
    1
    Location:
    norfolk va
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Sorry Jerry. I missed your first question.

    If you look at the first photo, the interface where the armrest pile fabric grazes the base of the window is where the window-well tab is. You can't see it in the top photo because it is inserted in the window-well between the window and window seal. The tab is what holds the armrest in place. In the second photo, I stood the Armsaver on end so you can see the modified window-well tab. If you zoom in on it, you will see the word "PATENTED" stenciled in white lettering. The pink lighting is from a grow lamp that I was too lazy to turn off (I haven't moved my indoor plants outside yet). Unfortunately the camera overreacts and underexposes the subject with this type of lighting, making it difficult to make out details. The Tab is about 1 1/2" wide, as delivered. In the second photo, I have already cut it down to 3/4" so that it will fit in the window well.
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  10. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    8,795
    10,730
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    krmcg likes this.
  11. TxGasSipr20

    TxGasSipr20 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2020
    10
    11
    0
    Location:
    TX
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    Limited
    Quick update on this - was able to track down a reputable upholstery business in my area and for $200.00 they upgraded all my armrest and center console and holy moly my car is 500000% more comfortable!
     

    Attached Files:

    ice9, AzusaPrius, Trons and 2 others like this.
  12. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    8,795
    10,730
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    Looks great, but mine needed about three more inches on the driver's door arm rest.
     
  13. Trons

    Trons New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    14
    5
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I tried the armsaver in my 2017 Prius, however I thought it was a bit high, and not comfortable on longer rides. I am interested in a cover and/or more padding on the middle armrest, and am interested in what others may find.
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...