Modellista 20mm lowering springs soon to be installed

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by talonts, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. talonts

    talonts VFAQman

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    Woohoo!

    My Modellista 20mm lowering springs are headed to UPS!

    As soon as I get them, I'll install them with a ton of pics (as soon as I find the time, that is), and get the install VFAQ up on my Prius site.

    I ordered the 15" springs from SigmaAuto , before you ask ;-)


    UPDATE: I finally found the time to install them (on my 06 instead of my 04) and build the VFAQ, it is here
     
  2. NuShrike

    NuShrike Active Member

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    So what will these springs do for the Prius besides lower it more than it already is?
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Wow, Great site Tom. Never seen so much cool Prius moding stuff in one spot.
     
  4. mikepaul

    mikepaul Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(talonts\";p=\"102103)</div>
    I already bottom-out on more than a few driveways if I don't go slowly, so there'd have to be performance improvements galore before I'd follow you on this...
     
  5. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(efusco\";p=\"102160)</div>
    Sigma is run by a PriusChat sponsor - Areometer.

    http://www.priuschat.com/forums/portal.php?page=5

    Lots of cool Prius stuff on his site.

    Keep us updated on the springs, Tom!
     
  6. cairo94507

    cairo94507 Active Member

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    That is cool - stuff for our cars is always cool.

    But....the prices seem a little inflated. Before someone launches intot hte whole supply/demand, what the market will handle type argument, I know. Still, $33 for a $10 hazard reflector.....
     
  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(cairo94507\";p=\"102443)</div>
    While I agree on that point, most of the product seem to be relatively fairly priced. Note also that many of the products (haven't checked if the reflector is one of them) are JDM and had to be imported for sale here...thus additional costs incured.

    Of note, the EV button is $49--reasonable.
    Now, I love the various rims available, but just can't fathom $2400 for a set of 4. Sigma's offering product that are either otherwise impossible to get in the US or only available through a complicated maze of importing from Japan yourself. The various popular add ons such as body side mouldings, wind defectors, mud flaps, bumper protectors, etc are all pretty reasonably competatively priced.
     
  8. PriusMax

    PriusMax New Member

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    Was going to start a new thread but though I would get this one going again. Talont or any other posters who have installed these or other springs, how are the springs and also if you could post pics if possible. Waitig patiently to see your replies and also the replies of the TRD suspension kit.
     
  9. talonts

    talonts VFAQman

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(PriusMax @ May 15 2006, 01:14 PM) [snapback]255788[/snapback]</div>
    I never installed them on my 04, as I planned on getting an 06 soon afterwards.

    I DO plan on trying to install them on my 06 within the next 2 weeks before I head off on vacation, but time might be tight.

    If I find the time to install them, I'll VFAQ it, it will have all the pics you need on an install.
     
  10. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    From the Saratoga Tour del Sol, there were lots of pictures from their coned-off maneuvering course. Would it be possible to test the Prius before and after lowering springs through such a course? Same question for the BT stiff plate. Same question for different tires, and different inflation pressures. I understand that not all yet agree that the best inflation pressures for tire wear are also the best for traction.

    Just don't ask me to set up the cones, because I have no idea about spacings.
     
  11. talonts

    talonts VFAQman

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tochatihu @ May 16 2006, 06:20 PM) [snapback]256544[/snapback]</div>
    Sure it would be possible...for someone else ;-)

    I just simply don't have enough time in my days to do something like that. Finding the time to just install the damned things, almost a year after buying them, is going to be hard enough.

    Vacations, and hurricane prep, take precedence over tests.
     
  12. Begreen

    Begreen Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mikepaul @ Jun 28 2005, 06:26 AM) [snapback]102287[/snapback]</div>
    Yep. I scrape the curb regularly when I park if the bumper goes over it. We just clear the crown on our driveway. If the car is loaded down, it scrapes there too. I can't see how I'd want it to be any lower.
     
  13. talonts

    talonts VFAQman

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    I just finished installing the front springs. Half the time was used up just getting to the point of being able to access the top nuts on the struts. Though it may be possible to do it without removing the cowl plate, wipers, etc, it sure wouldn't be fun.

    The car has lowered maybe 1/4". But having lowered quite a few cars in the past, I expected that. I plan to drive it 20-50 miles to let the springs seat and settle, then will measure again, then get an alignment (it does no good to get an alignment before they settle).

    Heading out to work on the back, which involves removing just about everything you see when you open the hatch ;-)

    I'll be writing up a VFAQ on this for my site, but am heading out on sevaral road trips over the next 2 weeks, so it might be a while before I can get to it. The VFAQ will include links to the Repair Manual pdfs used, and I'll make sure to post them so they are available if you don't have them.

    BTW, the "standard" method of swapping the springs once you have the struts out of the car involves using a strut spring compressor to compress the spring until there is some slack, unbolting the top of the strut, removing all the top parts, then swapping the springs. I will note in the VFAQ that you should use the strut spring compressors for the front springs to compress the new spring if you are working alone, but if you have some decent strength, the compressors are not needed on the new springs, as they are short enough that you just have to get all the top parts back on, push down hard, then have someone start the top nut. I definitely recommend having a 2nd person to start that nut, but I did it alone. It takes some work, but is possible, and it saves a little time (unless you have air tools to compress the spring, then it really won't save any time). The rear springs can definitely be done without compressing the new springs, as the top hat on the strut is much easier to grip to push down to start the nut.

    I bought strut spring compressors from Harbor Freight on sale for $9. Not the best quality, but more than enough to do the job. Note that some autoparts stores have tool loan-out programs, where you can put a deposit down and borrow the tool for a day.

    Pics are here - the VFAQ may be a while before it is done.
     
  14. talonts

    talonts VFAQman

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    UPDATE: I found the time to build the VFAQ, it is here
     
  15. BT Tech

    BT Tech New Member

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    EXCELLENT information Talonts!! Very well documented and great instructions!! Please let us know what improvements this mod made and any negatives as well.






    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(talonts @ May 24 2006, 06:14 PM) [snapback]260562[/snapback]</div>
     
  16. slortz

    slortz New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(talonts @ May 24 2006, 05:14 PM) [snapback]260562[/snapback]</div>
    Exceptional write-up, talonts!
    I've been considering getting either the Modellista or Blitz springs.
    This seems like quite a bit of work. Do you know about how much a person would expect to pay to have an auto shop do it?
    If it's more than $150 then I'd probably sweat it out myself using your instructions. :)
     
  17. talonts

    talonts VFAQman

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(BT Tech @ May 24 2006, 05:25 PM) [snapback]260565[/snapback]</div>
    I've only got 30 miles on it so far, so not much to report, except I have scraped the front lower spoiler (the black one, big deal) on my 06 in one spot, but that was a badly built street entrance to a main road, I seem to remember scraping there before when trying to squirt out into traffic 90 deg to the main road. At a slight angle, it wouldn't be an issue.

    As for benefits, I definitely expect better cornering, and I'm HOPING for better mpg on the interstates, as less air will get pushed under the car (I would hope, as I have removed about 1/2 sq ft of frontal area under the nose).

    A big benefit is that the car doesn't look so damned tall anymore. It's amazing what just an inch will do...

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(slortz @ May 24 2006, 05:42 PM) [snapback]260571[/snapback]</div>
    If the shop has air tools, and fairly charges exact time, figure a good 3 hours of shop time. But most will likely charge more. If you want a shop to do the actual strut work, you should be able to remove all the cowl items (tying the relay box up to the cowl to keep it off the engine) and remove all the rear interior, and get it down to an hour tops if they have air tools and know what they're doing.

    But considering the only special tools that are needed are strut spring compressors and the 6mm Allen socket (Sears, about $5, about $10-15 in a set of about 8 of various sizes - I already had those from the BT plate install), I'd highly recommend saving the money and doing it yourself.

    If you think you'll stress over the time, do it over a weekend - spend Saturday removing all the cowl parts and rear interior, Sun morning to do the springs, then Sun afternoon to put it all back together.

    I did the whole job in about 4 hours, but that included working through the Repair Manual's weird names for things, and stopping constantly to take pics. Now that I've done it, I could probably do another one in 1 hour with a helper to copy my removal/install moves on the other side of the car or my air tools.

    I could have done it faster, but my garage is a TOTAL mess, I had no idea where my air tools were, so did it all with a 3/8" ratchet and various sockets/extensions, a few open-end wrenches, and a needlenose pliers. Air tools probably would have hacked close to an hour off my time (maybe I should have spent 15min finding them before I started?) even with stopping for pics and checking email, etc.
     
  18. slortz

    slortz New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response.
    Now I want to feed off of your knowledge and experience a bit more. Are there key things to look for in the different types of aftermarket springs? Just based on the SigmaAuto picture, it looks like the Blitz springs are more of a variable rate type than the Modellista, does that make a big difference in your opinion?
    How is your ride so far? Much stiffer?
    Thanks again!
     
  19. talonts

    talonts VFAQman

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(slortz @ May 24 2006, 06:17 PM) [snapback]260587[/snapback]</div>
    It doesn't feel any stiffer, and I took it over a RR crossing I have to cross each week when heading to the recycling center.

    Variable rate are usually better IF they are designed right. It's difficult to get a spring that transitions from low load to high load at the right point for everyone.

    IF there had been variable rates available when I bought them almost a year ago, I might have considered them, but at the time there were only Modellista and RSR, and the RSR were way, WAY too expensive. I don't like spending over $100/corner for springs, so the Modellistas were it.

    I was really only going for a lower look, and a hope for slight mpg increase at cruise. I'll find out if the mpg increase is there over the next couple of months, I have some roadtrips planned. The trip to Orlando should be a decent check of mpg, as I set my cruise at 73 (70mph zone) and the last 2 times pulled down 43.0mpg.
     
  20. slortz

    slortz New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(talonts @ May 24 2006, 06:31 PM) [snapback]260595[/snapback]</div>
    What's your opinion or experience if any on the Blitz springs?
    http://www.sigmaauto.com/jdm/prius/prius0405.php
    Thanks to your good information, I am really starting to feel like biting the bullet and doing this. :)
     
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