Heavy Springs And Lift Upgrade

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by strawbrad, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    Finally! A bolt in spring that lifts the Prius and increases the spring rate. Many have searched for this without success. There are lots of aftermarket lowering springs that stiffen the suspension but lifting the car and firming the suspension has been elusive. Back in the plug in kit days there were custom springs available but the price was high.

    I have installed springs from a 4WD Matrix in My Prius. The car also has 195/70/15 Nexen light truck snow tires on stock rims, a Corolla front sway bar, and a shock tower brace. It corners like it is on rails without being an overly harsh ride. I wanted the car to be able to better handle the weight of batteries I'm constantly hauling, a little more ground clearance for winter, and a little higher ride for a tall old guy.

    The strut on the left is an original Prius. On the right is a Prius strut with a spring from a 4WD 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The Vibe is the same as a Matrix. The 2008 and older springs are a little lighter than the newer ones. The Vibe lower spring perch is a little larger than the Prius so the bigger spring did not sit well on the Prius perch. The solution was to slip the Vibe spring perch over the original Prius perch. You can see it in the picture if you look closely. The springs came from a local you pull it junk yard. This made it possible to pull and compare parts from one car to another.

    rearlift.jpg

    For the front I went with new parts. I had gained confidence with the rears and had a good idea what was going to fit. That's a Prius KYB strut and all Prius hardware. The springs are ACDELCO 45H1478 from Rockauto for $39.79 a pair. They are listed to fit 2009 to 2013 Matrix AWD, 2003 to 2010 Vibe AWD, and 2009 to 2010 Corolla. FWD Matrix, FWD Vibe and older Corolla's use the same spring as the Prius.


    frontlift.jpg

    Add 3" for the tape measure and I now have a little over 8" of ground clearance.

    clearancelift.jpg

    The final product.


    bodylift.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Freefall Prius

    Freefall Prius New Member

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    Very cool. Your ride height is good and it looks like you've got it dialed in just right. This whole topic is like a 1000 piece scenic puzzle. You can go nuts trying to find the right info and reading lots of technical stuff, then one day you have a breakthrough and find that piece or two that fits perfect.
    StrawBrad, thanks for sharing this info. Let me get your thoughts on my situation. By the way, there's something fun about a You-pull-it Junk Yard isn't there? Maybe it appeals to the kid in me. But it's like a treasure hunt in a way.

    Anyway, I like to go up into the Blue Ridge Mountains at times and wanted to raise my car about an inch or so. Also, when I bought this Prius about 6 months ago, two things were immediately clear. MPG was fantastic and I couldn't believe how vulnerable the car is when pulling into a business or place with a curb. Most of my cars have been suvs or 4x4's of some sort with good ground clearance.

    So I ordered a 40 mm aluminum lift set from Rising Tuning. I haven't installed that yet bc I am gathering other suspension items to install at the same time. I also ordered heavy-duty rear springs from Valley Spring Works in California to put on the rear. These rear springs were originally designed for people putting in an extra hybrid battery in the trunk to handle the extra weight. But they are also good for beefing up the rear end (light towing, bike racks, heavy loads in the hatch area). Just these springs are supposed to lift the rear end about an inch higher than stock. This company used to do the custom springs for Lucious Hybrid Garage in California that used to do those conversions back in the day.

    Now I have a cache of four 40 mm aluminum blocks, a set of rear heavy-duty springs from Valley Spring Works, and some new OEM rear replacement shocks. Don't want to make this car too high. But want the extra clearance like you have while maintaining a pleasant driving geometry. I'm just reading a lot of threads and trying to compile information on the right way to proceed with my project. Any inputs (from StrawBrad) or other savy Prius owners who enjoy turning a wrench is very much appreciated.
     
  3. Toddwilks

    Toddwilks Member

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    Great news. I would think you wouldn’t need the tema4x4 kit if you did these springs.


    iPhone ?
     
  4. Freefall Prius

    Freefall Prius New Member

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    Todd, I think you may be right. I'm still processing all of it. In the military, we use the term "Helmet Fire." My brain is a little fried tonight. I'll have to revisit this thread tomorrow and re-read it. BTW, my lift is the 40mm aluminum blocks from RisingTuning. The Tema 4x4 is the poly rubber one that others have used. Both block systems basically do the same thing.
     
  5. Toddwilks

    Toddwilks Member

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    Yes. I searched the riser ones on eBay from reading that you got them. This may be a more incognito way to get the lift and support for hauling I’m looking for.


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  6. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    My son's Prius has the Rising Tuning lift kit installed so we can contrast and compare the two. I recommend drilling a recess in the rear spacers to allow room for the mounting bolt serrations. We did that on one side. The other spacer cracked from the bolt fitting too tight.

    I abuse my Prius. Here's some shots of another car with just the rear springs in. The front end felt loose with just the stock Prius stuff. Looks like just another Prius. Those are 185/65/15 tires.

    grey1.jpg

    Here's what was inside the level looking Prius.
    grey2.jpg grey3.jpg grey4.jpg
     
  7. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    Here's a friends car that we put just rear springs in. The springs came from a 2003 Vibe. Those spring are lighter than the 2009 model. Before the heavy springs the fender arches were below the top of tires. My friend travels in his Prius and it's heavily loaded. I regret not getting a good before shot.

    david.jpg
     
  8. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    How is the spring perch removed from the vibe, or does it just slide off the vibe and then back onto the prius rear shock?

    Just to clarify, the new fronts were for a prius (OEM, KYB, etc) with upgraded ACDELCO 45H1478 springs installed?

    Are there any plug and play part numbers beyond the springs? (thinking AWD struts or shocks that would direct fit a gen2 prius)

    Thanks for sharing!
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Don't you just love a tape measure where the case dimension is a round inch. I've got one like that; it's my go to, saves the mental gymnastics when checking inside clearances. (y)

    Meanwhile, there's another thread here, where a guy lowered his AWD 4th gen. The best you can say is nothing.

    Marvelling over your stripped down interior: you need a van, lol. Or not.
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, Nov 25, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  10. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    The perch is press fit onto the strut. They can be taped off with a hammer. The struts also have a dust cap on top that needs to be hammered off. The AWD Matrix struts are a larger diameter than the Prius strut. This allows the Matrix spring perch to slip right over the Prius perch. I also straighten out some of the curves in the Prius perch so the Matrix perch could lye flat. One downside is that the only place to get the Matrix perch is from a Matrix strut.

    Yes, everything except the spring is standard Prius parts. I could have put the Matrix spring in the old strut but it was time for some new parts.

    The Matrix AWD struts will not fit in a Prius. Same goes for Corolla struts. They are similar but not identical.
     
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  11. talonts

    talonts VFAQman

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    What shock tower brace did you use?
     
  12. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    corolla struts don't fit? dang. I was thinking of getting corolla bilstein rear struts, I was afraid they wouldn't fit...
     
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