Anyone interested in a CUSTOM oil change door under spray panel "hinge kit?"

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Mike500, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    Thanks to Den49 and other innovative PriusChat members;

    After a year of thought and having this issue on my mind and studying all of variations of yours and others on PriusChat.com, I have decided on a final design and assembled a kit to install the hinge that you tested and suggested.

    A coup of months, ago, I ran over a plastic bucket at night on the roadway. It surprised me how fragile this panel really is. The large grey rivet is gone. The panel was hanging partially done. That bucket made large and deep striations in the panel.

    It's time to add the hinge before the panel tears off.

    on and off, here. I have only been under the car for a couple of hours to mark and make the hinge. Fortunately, over the years, I have accumulated a large selection of machine and aircraft tools, including rivet punches. So, like you, I'm using an aluminum piano hinge and aluminum rivets. However, to prevent tearing of the plastic panel, I will used special "neoprene" 1/2 inch OD backup washers on the ends of the rivets.


    I have uploaded a photo of the kit, and might offer it to those PriusChat users at a very reasonable price, if they are interested.

    The really nice thing about this kit is that it will allow it to be installed on the NEW version without cutting the hinge, and it will replaced the broken "self-hinge" on the older versions.

    I will post photos of the kit's installation, when the weather clears enough for me to install it.

    Rude person's
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    thanks mike, i need to take a look under there and see what's going on!:eek:
     
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  3. Joe-G

    Joe-G Member

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    I got my car used and it was MIA when I did my first oil change.

    I was still able to get 59 mpg when I tried and 52 lifetime mpg so I don't think it's hurting mileage any being gone.

    But if you want to keep it is seems a reinforcement may be a good idea indeed.
     
  4. Sushi_1001

    Sushi_1001 Junior Member

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    Please put me on the list, I'm very interested in the kit.
     
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  5. ursle

    ursle Gas miser

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    I'll take one
     
  6. wotcher

    wotcher Member

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    i'll buy almost anything your mind comes up with. (y)
     
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  7. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    It's installed. I did it in 1.5 hours in a light rain half the time. Everything fit perfectly. The panel was removed in 10 minutes. Drilling the panel and riveting the hinge on took the most time. The panel was reinstalled in 20 minutes.

    I've uploaded "step by step" photos.

    Rude person's
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    I tried to contact you. Your PRIVACY SETTINGS do not allow me to Start a conversation with you.
     
  9. ucsmfu

    ucsmfu Senior Member

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    i'm interested as well, except, my cover is already gone, loll
     
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  10. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    Since that door is nearly flat, you can make a substitute out of aluminum sheet, if that helps.
     
  11. a1rjumpman23

    a1rjumpman23 Junior Member

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    Ill take one as well
     
  12. KJF

    KJF Member

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    Are you selling these kits? How much? Shipping?
     
  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Nicely done, and a good idea
    Can the rivets be installed without that fancy tool in your photo ?
     
    #13 SageBrush, Sep 13, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  14. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Nice job, Mike. I see you didn't even have to cut the existing plastic hinge.
    One question - How does the insulation attach/re-attach? Clips?
     
  15. Den49

    Den49 Member

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    This topic has been inactive for some time, but since it has come up again I thought I would comment on Rude person's's commercialization of my original design in my thread (See posts #1 and #30) at:

    Oil Change Door - Permanent Solution | Page 2 | PriusChat

    It is not clear whether Rude person's's hinge has an aluminum or stainless steel pin. The hinge I used from Northeast Hinge is very high quality aluminum with a stainless steel pin. It will not rust, tarnish, corrode, peel or bind, and never needs lubrication. A stainless steel pin is much better than the typical aluminum pin since it will better withstand wear and abuse. I had the misfortune to run over a large piece of truck tire tread on the interstate at about 70 mph. The tire tread made a direct hit on the hinge and oil change door. The oil change door and hinge came through it with only a black mark and a slight deflection in the hinge which I straightened easily by hand. An aluminum pin would have suffered more damage and not straightened out completely, resulted in a binding hinge.

    Fabricating the hinge is actually easier than installing it so the concept of selling a prefabricated hinge and rivets is interesting because if you have the tools and skill to install the hinge, you should also have the capability to fabricate the hinge yourself. However, if you want the convenience of getting a precut hinge with rivets, I think Rude person's's hinge is a nice package, depending on the price he is asking and the quality of the hinge.
     
    #15 Den49, Sep 13, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  16. Den49

    Den49 Member

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    You do need to cut the plastic hinge groove in the oil change door if it is still intact to allow the new aluminum hinge to operate freely.
     
  17. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Looks intact in Step 7...
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    It's a satisfying mod, overcomes a shortcoming in Toyota's design: the plastic spec'd is too darn brittle. What I do, and this keeps it stock, is just take the entire panel off. It also allows a better view of the cv boots, etc.
     
  19. Den49

    Den49 Member

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    Just to clarify, after the aluminum hinge is installed, the original plastic hinge crease hinders the operation of the aluminum hinge. If you don't cut the plastic hinge crease after you install the aluminum hinge, the door will not operate freely and may not open completely, as illustrated in steps 8, 9 and 10 of Rude person's's post #7 above.

    You want the door to fold back completely up against the undercover when open, as illustrated in the bottom picture in post #30 below:

    Oil Change Door - Permanent Solution | Page 2 | PriusChat
     
    #19 Den49, Sep 15, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
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