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:

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  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 Active 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 Active 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.


    iPhone ?
     
  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
     
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  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
     
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  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 Senior Member

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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
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  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...
     
  13. R-P

    R-P Active Member

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    I am starting to scrape over few specific speedbumps when the whole family is in the car...

    I pride myself in being quite affluent in English, but technical terms give me a headache sometimes...

    What's the perch? Is that where the coilspring ends, that rusty thing that the spring sits on? The diameter seems larger on the right one, but it seems like it is fixed (welded) on the strut? Or should I try to get my hands on one, examine it and everything becomes clear then?


    So the spring fits the strut without modification, right? And then it's a straight swap?

    I'll try to do some more research, but the Matrix is a FWD (Korean) Hyundai here, so I doubt it is the same car :D


    [​IMG]
     
  14. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    See pics of the two perches. I hope that helps.

    PS In your posting, it should be "fluent" rather than "affluent." If you are affluent then you are very wealthy$$$$!!!! spring_perch_gen2.JPG
     
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  15. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    Not so much a technical term as slang.

    Perch noun
    1. a thing on which a bird alights or roosts, typically a branch or a horizontal rod or bar in a birdcage.
    So yes it is the rusty bit the spring rests on. The perch is press fit on the strut. There are bumps on the strut the perch rests on. The Matrix spring and strut are a slightly larger diameter than the Prius. The Matrix spring does not fit well on the Prius perch. Slipping the Matrix perch over the Prius perch gives the Matrix spring good support.

    For the front this is correct. The only modification of the rear strut was the addition of the Matrix perch.

    The Hyundai is a different car. The Toyota Matrix was sold only in the US and Canada.

    Toyota Matrix - Wikipedia

    Toyota MC platform - Wikipedia
     
    #15 strawbrad, Jan 31, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
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  16. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Those strut bumps must be fairly robust to suspend the perch/spring.
    Sure wish I could see myself locating or visiting a junkyard to find a set of matrix perches / springs. It would be great if one could just purchase replacement perches individually, though it doesn't seem very likely.

    Of course I'm still enjoying where this, and other PC threads like it are taking us. It would be helpful to collectively crowd source addition clearance / lifting options and add to our growing Prius knowledge base, be it gen2, gen3 or otherwise.

    Though not exactly Prius related (only for the Previa platform), I found the link below to be quite thorough in regards to current available knowledge. It may act as a starting resource for the various lifting options that currently exist in the wild, there are all kinds of links (many broken). Some of what interested me was the DIY coilovers, the DIY HDPE spacers, the various alignment bits and pieces, and the crossover/reference of available off the shelf parts and dimensions that could potentially be usable for that platform. Hoping we can also find similar options for our own vehicles.

    Here is the link : Zen Adventure Previa Suspension Page
     
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  17. R-P

    R-P Active Member

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    I hang my head in shame... If there was ever a horrible place to make an error like this, then it must be in this sentence.

    If I were affluent, I probably wouldn't be reading threads on scavenging junkyard Matrices for lifting a Gen2 Prius :ROFLMAO:

    OK, knowing about the bumps, I can see how it works. But you leave the Prius perch in place, correct? I find that hard to tell from the pic so just to reiterate (this is in no way a criticism on your photographing skills, I am very happy with them and they are very useful. My DIY pics from during a car repair are almost always lacking when I review them lateron and I never take apart my newly repaired car/wipermotor/electronics-module/etc to take better pics...).
     
    #17 R-P, Feb 2, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
  18. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    I have not done the conversion (namely, Vibe AWD rear springs on rear of Gen2 Prius) yet. However, my understanding based on a different thread here on PC is as follows: i.) remove Vibe spring perch with brute force (likely a hammer) from strut body; and ii.) install Vibe perch onto Prius strut body while keeping the original Prius perch in place.

    When you are done, you should have the Vibe AWD rear perch sitting on top of the stock Prius perch attached to the Prius Gen2 rear strut.
     
  19. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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  20. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    These tiny bits of metal support the whole car. Kinda seems impossible. Those are stock Prius rear struts. The small bend in the perch was straightened out to allow the Matrix perch to lye flat on top.



    strutbump.jpg

    Yes, the Prius perch stays in place. Here is a better picture. The AWD Matrix perch is just a little bigger than the Prius perch.
    perch.jpg

    RockAuto.com has economy grade Matrix struts for $8.78 each. You could harvest the perch and toss the strut. Another option is to buy a complete AWD Matrix strut and spring assembly and a bare Prius strut. Then take the Matrix assembly apart and rebuild it on the Prius strut.
     
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