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Big Ideas for my Gen2

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by SPdidusdirty, Sep 1, 2022.

  1. SPdidusdirty

    SPdidusdirty New Member

    Sep 1, 2022
    Madison WI
    2008 Prius
    Hey all!
    I just bought a 2008 Prius Touring with around 96k miles and a spotless title. I have so many ideas for improvements and was wondering if anyone had ideas.

    1. I want to get new wheels because mine are rusty and missing hubcaps.

    2. I want some kind of lift because I'm used to SUVs and always crunching the bumper parking or backing out of a driveway.

    2.a. I have seen recommendations for using Matrix or Vibe rear springs with Prius shocks and was wanting to explore that a little more.

    2.b. I also saw a lot about using Corolla sway bars and want to know why that would help with my drive. ​

    3. I want to protect my cat, especially if I do anything to lift the car.

    3.a. I would like to engrave my VIN into it.

    3.b. I would like to spray paint it orange.

    3.c. I would like to install a shield but don't want to spend too much money on one.
    4. I want to fix rust.

    4.a. There is rust on the side skirts that is really bad and visually unappealing. I would like to find a way to fix that. It seems like there are some options for slide on covers or I can weld (I am not the best welder).
    5. I want to get a front camera.

    5.a. I am the worst parker I know. My previous car was a 2020 Nissan Rogue that had a feature where you could press a button to temporarily access a front view camera. I would like something like that in my car.

    5.b. I also want a dash cam in case of any issues.
    6. I want more parking assistance.

    6.a. Refer to 5.a. I would like sensors at the front and rear that alert me if I am too close to hitting anything.

    6.b. I would like an upgraded rear view camera that has dynamic lines. This can be achieved with a double din stereo replacement, I am aware.
    7. I want Android Auto for better Bluetooth connections and Maps.

    7.a. I could install a double din stereo in the radio compartment.

    7.a.i. I would like to have these features: SWC, ability to update to Android 13, built in Bluetooth 5.2 or higher chip, USB charging (USB C preferred), and physical knobs for volume.

    7.a.ii. Preferred but not necessary features include: Wireless Android Auto, CD player, radio, SiriusXM tuner, built in 4/5G WiFi.

    7.a.iii. If I spend enough through BestBuy they will install it for free, and I am thinking of that as I am the type of person who is good at installing things in theory but not so much in practice (new mechanical engineer, don't hold me to it though).
    7.b. I could use the VLine 2 system to hack into my existing MFD and turn it into an Android Auto compliant display, but it's $650. It being a plug and play is pretty cool though.
    8. I want to convert to a PHEV.

    8.a. No warranties for me anymore. I'm thinking of converting to a PHEV using that Finnish kit (if they ever get back to me). I am not the best at electrical engineering myself, but there are plenty of smart people around me who can help out with any questions. There's also free charging with my school's parking permit. This would have a huge environmental and economic impact (as long as I go under 60 mph which I will except when I rarely drive 250 miles home and back - so far one of those trips used half a tank).

    8.b. I have heard that the added weight may require different rear shock/struts, so I'd like to kill two birds with one stone and get a suspension that is stronger and will give me some lift.
    9. Probably the most outlandish mod desire: I want to have adaptive cruise control and lane centering assist that could one day be improved to more autonomous driving.

    9.a. I know, I know this seems impossible. I have cruise control, but it's not adaptive. I have so many ideas for this and one main idea is to ultimately connect whatever I build to the Comma 3 AI system.

    9.b. I've done some research and it appears that control of the steering wheel is possible if one were to hack into the CanBUS properly and potentially add some ICUs.

    9.c. As for adaptive cruise, I'd want to have a program that is able to tap into the hypothetical dash cam and front parking sensors as well as a LIDAR sensor ripped from a newer car to adjust cruise speed. It's not impossible to do, and I suspect that a Comma AI could help improve it as long as I have the hardware. The coding seems really simple to me, but I can't predict how it might handle things like truck shadows from the other lane and whatnot.
    So everyone, tell me how crazy I am. These are all just some ideas and I could probably use this car for two-three years without utilizing them and just buy/lease a fancy newer car. BUT, I have the hubris of a newly graduated mechanical engineer and want to turn this guy (his name is Carl) into my personal project.

    Hope this wasn't too rambly! Also my username is South Park did us Dirty or SPdidusdirty.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    May 11, 2005
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Plug-in Base
    congrats and welcome, all the best! :p

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2016
    Columbia, SC
    2007 Prius
    Welcome to the world of Gen 2 prii.

    Unfortunately, based on your list of wants, what you really need is a different car.
  4. JohnnyPR

    JohnnyPR Junior Member

    Feb 4, 2021
    Hinesville, GA
    2010 Prius
    Those are good ideas! Welcome and enjoy
  5. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

    Jun 6, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    2012 Prius v wagon
    The car won't run that fast in ev even if you have a giant battery.

    If I were you I would take the mechanical engineering degree and buy a Rav4 Prime (42 miles ev) if a Toyota plugin is desired or a Volvo plug in hybrid (32 miles ev). Obviously for more ev range you eliminate the dead weight of an engine and replace it with battery. Tesla leads the pack for value and range.

    Any of these options gives you the rest of your wish list. Plus you won't wake up one morning with a missing cat that insurance wants to pay you $750 all in. A friend just experienced that parked in front of her son's police car with both of them in the house. Her insurance is $1,000 deductible. So she will end up with an aftermarket cat that throws codes, all at her expense.