Can GenII convert to plug-in?

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by Jackie V, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. Jackie V

    Jackie V Junior Member

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    Can GenII convert to plug-in?
     
  2. CrazyLee

    CrazyLee Member

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    The answer is Yes.
    And it isn't cheap either.
    Search for it on PC and you will find some info.
    I have thought about it and figured out rather quickly that I would have to drive to the moon and back for it to pay off for itself.
    The moon is 1/4 million miles away, one way!

    I Just LOVE the 50mpg that nobody else gets in their standard ICE car. :)
     
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  3. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    It's probably cheaper to buy a PIP than modify a similar age standard Prius. People have converted their cars before PIPs and they were about $5,000+ to convert and apparently not that reliable.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no. merry Christmas.
     
  5. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    We had a Gen 2 that we converted.
    The PiP would be much less expensive and be more reliably.
    Depending upon your goals, there are other options already on the market that are also more reliable if the PiP doesn't meet your goals.
     
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  6. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    The short answer: Yes, it's been done many times.

    Having done the conversion (twice) and speaking from experience:
    1. Is it economically justifiable? No
    2. Is it ecologically justifiable? Depends...possibly, especially if the goal is to reduce petroleum imports/consumption.
    3. Would I recommend it? No.
    4. If you're gonna do it anyway, don't get less than a 10 Kwh system

    If you want an electric car, for goodness sake, go buy a REAL electric car. I recommend a used LEAF if you want all-electric, but the Volt and other manufactured PHEVs are justifiable too. USED vehicles are the way to go, especially if $$$ is a consideration.

    I've owned a (used) LEAF since the end of February 2014. I bought it because the PIS PHEV kit started throwing fatal codes in my '04 conversion. At the time I wasn't sure if the car was a loss, or could be recovered. At any rate, the stealership wanted >$4500 to repair it and I couldn't justify putting that into a 2004 Prius. I found a used 2011 LEAF for under $17k and grabbed it. My wife and I had looked at a used Volt, but the interior was so much smaller than the Prius we couldn't live with it.

    I'm in SE Michigan (not terribly far from you) and if you remember last February/March, you know the temperatures were brutal. They went below zero F for close to two weeks, and below -10F several times in that period. The leaf (which is parked outside, not in the garage) came through with flying colors. I have an 18 mile one-way commute and can charge at work. The range gets pretty low in cold weather, especially if you use the heater, but I have NEVER run out of battery. (There was one time though where I had to stop and charge for 1/2 hour to give me enough pad to get home).

    p.s. After removing the PIS kit, the 2004 has yet to give me any further trouble...but, I don't drive it a whole lot either.
     
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  7. Jackie V

    Jackie V Junior Member

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    Thanks MJFrog, ..Another question, what does it cost you to run the plug-in a month @ 36 miles a dayish ?
     
  8. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    It depends a little bit on what state you live in...in particular CO has fantastic incentive for converting to PHEV. Hence the Boulder Hybrid Conversion shop is able to make a living doing these conversions.
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    around $1.00 - $1.50, depending on your kWh cost.
     
  10. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    Truthfully, I don't really have much of a clue. The home L2 charger I installed is NOT on a separate meter, so it just gets mixed into the rest of the household usage. When I charge at work, I used to be able to get a reading on how much charge I put into it, but I now have access to a different charger in the basement parking and it doesn't give me stats. Based on the readings I got before I switched at work, a 36 mile round-trip charge used between 8.5 and 9.0 kwhs of electricity. Since my average cost per kwh at home is $.15/kwh, then a swag at daily cost of my commute is between $1.25 and $1.35. I charge for free at work, so I'm paying less than that for my commute. So 21 days per month of just commute would cost somewhere near $26.25 - $28.35 (if I paid for all of it).

    Please note that cold weather means more electric use, so winter driving costs more. Comparing to the Prius (which was getting 50-55 mpg without the PIS kit) the cost for the same commute (at $2.00/gal) would be about $1.31. But remember that last summer gas was $3.75/gal. or more and at that price the cost would be $2.45 per day, or about $51.45 for the monthly commute.

    Unfortunately, the above numbers really don't reflect my real monthly cost. They are just a swag at my cost of commuting and do not include weekend and after-work errands, etc...that goes for the Prius numbers too.

    Which brackets my swag pretty well.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    all good points above, and the type of driving you do can have a large effect on efficiency and thusly cents per mile.
     
  12. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Jackie,
    It can be done, but it depends on what you want to get out of it.
    As Mjfrog pointed out, it isn't economically justifiable.
    It's more like a hobby. And you know how hobbies can become money pits.

    What has you thinking about converting?

    Feel free to call any time if you want to talk through the idea. I can talk you through what's available today and costs.
     
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  13. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    Hi mj frog,

    I I have had a pis kit fitted by myself for about 18 months till now been trouble free.

    I will say it's only the pcb's wiring harnesses and contractors of the kit, the battery and connecting cables are my own. The kit has been very reliable until this week, when the gen2 2004 prius started throwing a P3009 code read from a techstream dongle.
    P3009 - high voltage power short circuit
    The code is intermittent, I only do short journeys and sometimes it doesn't throw, other times it throws within a few minutes of the journey, the code only throws when the kit is in the on position, whether in ice kill or blended.

    The code never throws if the kit is in the off position, so it's something to do with the install.

    I haven't had time yet to have a look at the install, but I,m assuming I have a bad connection somewhere on the wiring hv harness either on the battery bank or cables to the contactors or the connection at the prius hv battery compartment. Not sure if a faulty pis kit contactor would cause this issue, what do you think.

    What fatal codes was your prius throwing before you removed the kit from the car?
    Any ideas that I haven't covered or do you think I'm on the right track with my analysis

    Many thanks, anthony.
     
  14. lopezjm2001

    lopezjm2001 Senior Member

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    Hi Anthony,

    You can organize to build a BMS2 which does the SOC spoofing and use it instead of the PIS kit. The BMS2 is a better option. It modifies each CANbus SoC message as opposed to the PIS kit which floods the canbus with additional high SoC messages. The PCB drawings are available for free from this thread as Norm has given up on selling them.
    Hybrid Interface 2013 | Page 2 | PriusChat
    I have not read of anybody getting your DTC using a BMS+ or BMS2.
    It is possible you could be losing insulation resistance on the PIS pcb's between the HV and the 12v. It is also possible that you may have a point of low insulation resistance on your PHEV battery pack to ground/chassi which is 12V negative or low insulation resistance between the PHEV contactor 12V coil and HV contactor switching parts.
    As an electrician I would use a multimeter 0n high ohms range to track down the point of low insulation resistance. Or a megger(insulation resistance meter) but you need to be careful as it uses 500Vdc which could damage the Prius electronics.
     
    #14 lopezjm2001, Dec 28, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  15. 3prongpaul

    3prongpaul Hybrid Shop Owner, worked on 100's of Prius's

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    If you unhook the charger from the equation and have the system on does the car still code? a leaky charger (very minor ground fault) can cause the car to code.
     
  16. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the words of advice.
    I do have a spare front pcb so I changed that first, code came back on.

    I have been in touch with robb who has been very helpful fair play, who advised in order
    1, unplug the Charger at the mains power and the dc connectors and run the car with the kit On, code came back on
    2, with a full phev battery charge unhook the ac relay ( mounted on the component rail in front of the dc fuse) run the car with the kit on, code came back on
    3, run the car with the kit on but with the comms cable from the front pcb to the rear pcb disconnected, code NOT on, so definitely not the front pcb or the comms cable
    4, change the small black relay on the rear pcb, it's a soldered in part, done this, code still comes on

    In most if not all cases the code comes on when the kit is on and the car is up to speed with foot off the throttle and cruising with no power then the code comes on, I haven't noticed the code come on when accelerating.

    I did wonder if I had some electrical noise causing interference due to a wearing component on the rear pcb.

    I have got tinnitus damage in both ears so Icannot hear hi pitched electrical squeeling so I had my son sit in the car with the ignition on and phev kit on but engine off, and he said to me when the phev contactors close he can hear a high pitch electricsl noise, and when the contactors open the noise goes.

    This is where I am at at the minute, I am thinking that it is electrical interference.

    Would it make any difference if I was to locate the rear pcb and seal it in an anti static pcb bag and try to seal it as best I can connected up?

    Or am I looking to replace the rear pcb?
    the car never throws a code with the kit off so its defo a kit issue. I am still using the kit, when the alarm comes on I just press the ice kill switch and the alarm resets and I continue with my journey.
    Most of my miles are ice kill at the moment anyway so it's not really causing me a major headache, but I would like to sort it out.

    I May too consider th build of the hybrid interface module if it's not too expensive project, I have the necessary skills to assemble one, it's all about the cost.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

    Anthony.
     
  17. lopezjm2001

    lopezjm2001 Senior Member

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    Replacing the rear PCB would be my guess. Have you inspected the rear PCB with a magnifying glass, it can have visible damage if it shorting.
     
  18. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    I haven't had the rear pcb under a magnifier, it's a good shout, I'll do that Wednesday when I gat more time.

    I'll also re check all the cables for tightness on the pack and through the dc fuse and contactors, along with the contactor 12v coil connections.

    Is there a way I can shield the rear pcb from interference?

    Not being an electricsl engineer ( mechanical bias I am) wondering if shielding is a possibility?

    Thanks
     
  19. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Anthony just a thought as over the last week or so we have had frosty weather in the UK. Your problem could be caused by condensation particularly if the pcb concerned is in the rear of the car with no heat. Worth checking as this could give an intermittent ground fault.

    John (Britprius)
     
  20. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    Yes good ideas John,

    i had been getting water in the boot too, now solved that particular problem,
    Removed the roof plastic trims and by the hatch on both sides there is a fold of steel from the roof to the side quarter panels, there were small cracks under both seam folds, covered with clear silicon, now no more leaking.

    there has been condensation in the car si that could be an issue, I'll put a hair dryer over it to warm it and hopefully remove any unwanted moisture.

    thanks for that John.

    Anthony.
     
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