How to protect Prius front from rock and bug strikes?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Robert Holt, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Seems like the frame might interfere with the lowbeam headlights? Have you tested the headlights at night?

    SCH-I535
     
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  2. B. Roberts

    B. Roberts Hypah Milah! Ayuh.

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    I see a driving light/fog light set at the top of those frame posts! :)
     
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  3. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Good idea, Mike!
    If I mount a camera on top of each post, we would have a 3-D view of what the Prius sees when rolling down the road! Kind of a bush version of a bug-eyed Sprite.

    Agree! Especially if we drive a "figure 8" type of loop in Alaska and Canada where the return route is Anchorage to Tok on the Glenn Highway, Tok to Dawson (Yukon ) on the Taylor Highway, Dawson to Carmacks on the Klondike Highway, Carmacks to Watson Lake on the Campbell Highway, and then Watson Lake to roughly Kamloops, (British Columbia) on the Cassiar Highway. That return route includes hundreds of miles of gravel road plus logging trucks, etc., so rock strikes could be a real problem.
    Spider-Man also reports heavy bug strikes in Anchorage area , but the Clear Bra or masking tape methods of protection would probably be better for that although I THINK the mesh will catch a lot of them, especially if I go with 1/4 inch mesh rather than the 1/2 mesh I have now. But I really have to test the effect on mpg and make sure the assembly does not interfere with lights and signals as another poster mentioned.
     
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  4. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    Those are not bug's they are small planes! :whistle:
     
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  5. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    I would just spray the hell out of the whole car with that 3M clear spray. Also install some mud/stone flaps to catch the rocks that your tires are gonna kick up. Hundreds of miles of a rock fest dirt road otherwise will eat that paint down the sides of the car :-( Might also be a good idea to bring a full size spare tire and a board to support the jack in case you get a tire cut on sumthin and are sitting on a soft muddy dirt road that your jack will love to sink in rather than lift the car :-(

    You sure have an adventure ahead of you :)

    Mike

    Mobile on my SGH-i717
     
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  6. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Hope to leave July 1, but take our time and really see the country, talk with the people, and try to understand the culture and conditions of Alaska, which in my mind is the last frontier area in USA. We hope to hit a sweet spot of non freezing temps, low bugs, and low rain in the mid-July to mid-August period.

    As to choice of vehicle, I have a 4-wheel drive, tow-package Tundra and had a travel trailer and that was the initial plan. But that combo got 11mpg, and I could not morally justify those co2 emissions when the Prius Super RV can do the same drive at 50-60 mpg and roughly 1/5 the co2 emissions. So bottom line is I am taking Prius because of my religion even tho I would much rather have a V-8, 4-wheel drive, 9-inches of ground clearance , and the ability to leap tall curbs with a single bound!

    Good news is that all the equipment for the Prius Super RV, whilst bulky, does not weigh that much and I do not think I am any lower than when carrying 2 adults in the back seat. That said, it IS low and I foresee possible undercarriage strikes on the frost-heaved and potholed gravel roads. Has anyone replaced the plastic panels underneath with aluminum or stainless steel?

    Your idea of adding a smaller mesh might work, or I could start with a 1/4 inch mesh as the base.
    Thanks!
     
  7. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    That brings up a thought. Make a skid plate to protect the fuel tank as a forum member a long while back had road debris take out where a fuel line goes into the tank or something like that. Put the car on a lift and you will figure it out right away. Aluminum sheet should make some nice plates. Lightweight :)

    Mike

    Mobile on my SGH-i717
     
  8. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Good idea about the mud flaps!
    I'm off to purchase the Priuschat versions now.
    Bought full sized rim as you and other posters suggested (used 2012 Prius rim for $100) and will get new tire mounted after Thanksgiving .
    Bring board for jacking in mud, check!
    Intend to test all equipment camping this winter in Florida.
    Thanks for the good wishes and will post as this unfolds (unravels?).
     
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  9. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Where you camping this winter? We drive down to the Lake Mary area every winter for a couple weeks for the HamCation hamfest.

    Mike

    Mobile on my SGH-i717
     
  10. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    Here's what I plan to do in the next 2 months...the total kit is about $350, but if you consider a stray pebble hits your condenser coil, you're looking at a $2000 repair:
    Grillcraft.JPG
     
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  11. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    I purchased evestrough mesh. It's aluminum expanded mesh. Cut it to size and used black zip ties to fasten it to the back of the grills. It's hard to get in there to work, so I used some stiff wire to direct the mesh into position and installed the zip ties from the front. Looks good (the mesh hides behind the grills), and is inexpensive. It also stops most bugs of size.

    For the trip you might want to check out a "cold front". It's padded vinyl intended to protect the vehicle in winter in the north. Rocks wouldn't be a problem with one of these on. They have openable flaps that cover the grills, which you would leave open for the summer trip. There are places that make custom ones. I've seen them cover the entire hood and front fenders! Also called a "car bra".
     
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  12. B. Roberts

    B. Roberts Hypah Milah! Ayuh.

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    Definitely going to be a great trip... one that I wanted to make back when I lived in Montana. Had to move before the kids were old enough to go on a trip like that, so it hasn't happened yet. It's gonna be some haul from the east coast, but well worth it.

    Have some friends who are on their way down from Fairbanks, driving their kid's Tundra and towing a trailer with their belongings to Vermont. It's been a real adventure so far, especially with the snow and "cool" air they've encountered.

    Totally understand your reason for taking the Prius on this trip. We use our Prius for all long distance travel. Hope you decide to recount your trip stories and pictures with us here in Prius Chat.

    By the way, the Grill Craft Mesh inserts that phoenixgreg posted above is a great idea for this kind of trip.
     
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  13. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    Reminds me of an old Mad Magazine Star Trek story. "Raise the screens Scotty!", that's exactly what it looked like. :)
     
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  14. Steve terry

    Steve terry Member

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    This gives me a good idea. Around here I drive on the highway and have to watch out for deer and coyotes. I hit 2 at one tine last month. They deflected off the edge of car. Now if I could build a train cattle guard and hook it to the tow hooks. :)
     
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  15. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    We were thinking Oscar Scherer State Park which is south of Tampa. Had a pow-wow last time we were there but that was coincidence. We have found many of the Florida state parks to be nice and ten to kind of rotate through them. Will look up Lake Mary as that does not ring a bell.

    Now you're talking! And putting a wood boiler with steam generator in the trunk would allow a battery charge using renewal energy! A small, discrete smoke stack at the rear would complement the cow catcher in front. Back to the future!

    Off to google the Grill Kraft Mesh kit! (Sure looks better than my jerry-rig although it does not protect as much of the surface.
    Maybe that plus a Clear Bra.... Or masking tape.... Or foam pads.... To protect the rest of it.
    Will definitely post pics as the adventure unfolds!
     
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  16. B. Roberts

    B. Roberts Hypah Milah! Ayuh.

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    Looking forward to seeing those pictures!
     
  17. Steve terry

    Steve terry Member

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  18. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    http://www.carid.com/2010-toyota-prius-grill/grillcraft-mx-grille-354483.html
     
  19. Gaëtan Lafrance

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  20. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Good job! Had not thought of that method, but I had not thought of painter's tape, either.
     
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