Installing full size spare in 2015 4-Touring

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by texasdiver, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. texasdiver

    texasdiver Member

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    Like a bunch of you I have been frustrated with the lack of a spare tire in my 2015 4-Touring. I occasionally do long drives out into eastern Oregon and eastern Washington and the lack of a spare has annoyed me. I was going to buy one of the mini-spares. I think the Corolla one will also fit the Prius (never checked) but you can find them on ebay and at wrecking yards so no need to pay a fortune for one new from Toyota. But ended up just buying a full size spare from Discount Tire with on a generic universal rim because that was easier than hunting down the right mini spare. For 2 years I drove around with the spare and a crate of tools and accessories loose in the back until finally I decided to do a better install.

    I tore out all the factory foam in the cargo area. There are several clips you need to detach and it all comes out. I discovered that there was a well for a spare already in the bottom of the cargo area with a size M8 threaded hole for securing the spare. I picked up a 3" threaded rod and an M8 wingnut and found a piece of metal mending plate at the hardware store to use as a bracket to secure the spare which I cut down and enlarged one of the holes so it could work.

    The other thing I did was pick up a sheet of 2" foam from Lowes. After measuring I determined that the tire raised the height of the cargo area 6" so I ripped some 6" strips of the blue foam and cut them into shorter lengths to provide support for the cargo area floor. I glued the strips together using liquid nails construction adhesive and fit them in. Right now the foam blocks are just sitting loose in the cargo area. I thought about gluing them in place with construction adhesive. In the spaces around the foam I have stashed several tool duffel bags from Harbor freight that contain the jack, tools, safety equipment like triangles and flares, jumper cables, and everything else. A 15" tool duffel is perfect for holding the jack and tire changing tools.

    I'm very happy with the result. Raising the cargo floor in this fashion brought it up to exactly the same level as the seats when folded down so now I have one level cargo space. I thought about using a saber saw to cut a piece of 3/8" birch plywood in the shape of the cargo area floor to provide a stiffer floor and then doing a better job of custom cutting all the foam underneath. But I don't think I will bother. I don't carry heavy cargo back there and the tire, foam, and tools provides a flat enough surface to support the OEM cargo floor.

    Excuse the dirty interior. I have a yellow lab who gets hair everywhere. But you can see what I've done. I'll probably do some more thinking about who to better fit tools and accessories in this space. Looks like room for winter tire chains and a few other safety items. The more I fill it out the more stable the floor will be and the sound proofing is what I figure.

    I'll check into this thread from time to time to see if there are comments or questions.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #1 texasdiver, Nov 14, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    well done! great write up and pics, thank you!(y)
     
  3. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Like it - I had thoughts of doing something like that when I was going to drive around Australia. Which probably won't happen till my next car now. I wasn't surprised that a Full Size did fit - seeing they are supplied in some countries - Middle East I think.

    What size tyre is it - (and rim for that matter).
     
  4. texasdiver

    texasdiver Member

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    Tire size? The full size spare is a 195-65-R15 which is the same diameter as the OEM 215-45-R17 that comes on the Four Touring. But if you are building up a full size spare it is a lot cheaper to go with the smaller rim sizes. Might not want to drive hundreds and hundreds of miles on it, but it works fine as a spare.

    What actually happened is that I had one of the OEM tires damaged on the sidewall by some construction debris when I was driving to my daughter's soccer practice. I discerned it wasn't going to be repairable by the silly patch kit. So my wife picked me up in her car and we drove over to my local discount tire shop and bought the cheapest rim and tire combination that they had in stock that would fit on the Prius. I knew that my local Costco had a $150 off coupon on Michelins but they were closed so I bought the full size spare just to get the car home until I could drive it over to Costco and have new tires put on. The OEMs were about 3/4 worn out at that point so I just put on 4 new tires instead of just one new one that wasn't going to match since the OEM Yokohamas were going to be a special order anyway and I frankly didn't like them much. Discount Tire didn't have any decent 215-45-R17 tires in stock so I had to make do with an alternative until I could get new tires installed by Costco.

    The full size spare has been sitting in my garage for 2 years and I had been throwing it in the back only for out of town trips until finally getting annoyed enough to rip out all the cargo area foam and do this permanent install.

    The whole experience is an object lesson in why you want to carry a spare. Had this happened in some small town I'd have been screwed as the 215-45-R17 is not a super common tire size and the chance that some random Goodyear or Firestone tire shop in small town rural America is going to have an acceptable replacement without doing a special order is higher than you'd want. Other than going out and buying a full size spare to get the car out of the school parking lot, my only other alternative would have been (1) having the car towed to a tire shop, or (2) pulling off the wheel and leaving it sitting in the school parking lot on 3 wheels while I had a new tire installed on the rim.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    No spare? No sale.
     
  6. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Thanks - that's the same size as my PRIUS tyres. Gives me an idea of how it would work if I were to get a 5th one as a spare.
     
  7. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Very nice! Thanks for sharing!

    For the hold down might just try one of the OE hold downs, if you think it would fit/reach?

    moto g(7) power ?
     
  8. texasdiver

    texasdiver Member

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    I suppose. But rather than try to track one down on ebay or Amazon I found it easier to go to my nearby Ace Hardware and just get something that worked.
     
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