Pedal extender blocks (tall drivers can ignore this thread!)

Discussion in 'Prius v Accessories and Modifications' started by Seaside Harry, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Seaside Harry

    Seaside Harry Junior Member

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    One of the first things I did when we bought our ’05 Prius was to fabricate a pair of brake & gas pedal extenders, since otherwise my 4'8" wife would only sit a few inches from the steering wheel. I was hoping we wouldn’t need them for the new Prius v, since this car has some features that were lacking on the ’05, such as the telescoping steering wheel and advanced airbag system. Unfortunately, it seems what she really needs is a “microscoping” steering wheel, since we have it all the way in and she is still too close to the steering wheel (in my opinion) when the seat is adjusted so she can comfortably reach the pedals. In addition, when she has the seat adjusted this way, it is so far forward that she has to slide it back to get in & out of the car.

    So, it was back to the workshop again, but this time I had the benefit of lessons-learned from the previous project. First, we had to visit a few auto parts stores to find a pedal kit that was the right size and didn’t look hideous. Fortunately, we found a nice set for $15. I never liked the little grabby clips that come with these pedal sets, although I used them (with some modifications) on the old Prius. In the new car, they turned out to be completely useless because they’re not long enough for the brake pedal, and can’t be used on the gas pedal because it is a one-piece molded unit and there’s not enough material on the back of the pedal for the clips to grab onto.

    My goal was to fasten the pedal blocks in such a way that they’d be very secure without having to drill any holes in the gas or brake pedal assemblies. This required a couple of trips to our local industrial fasteners supplier for stainless screws, washers, coupling nuts, and nylon-insert lock nuts, plus a few pieces fashioned from furniture corner braces & other parts from my junk drawer.

    Same as last time, the most time-consuming part of the project was shaping the blocks made from 2x4’s to match the compound curves of the new pedal covers. For the old car, I did this on a friend's bench disc sander, but it occurred to me that I could achieve the same result by clamping my belt sander upside-down in my Black & Decker Workmate, which worked beautifully. I also mortised out the back of the brake pedal block so it would lock onto the metal plate with the rubber cover removed. The plastic piece shown below was my template for chiseling the mortise, which also had to be concave to match the factory pedal. The four sheet metal screws clamp it in place at the edges, then the two L-brackets ( > and < ) provide additional bracing. As you can see below, the gas pedal attachment is a bit more convoluted, but it’s rock-solid and if necessary, the whole thing can be removed without leaving any sign it was ever there.

    Prius v Five Showroom.jpeg
    Darling wife in the showroom with her shiny new v

    IMG_3182.jpg
    The individual parts for both pedals

    IMG_3183.jpg
    Fully assembled

    IMG_3184.jpg
    Another view

    We’re both very pleased with how this project came out, but I sure hope our next new car has adjustable pedals so I never have to do this again!

    -Harry
     
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  2. mtl_sienna

    mtl_sienna Junior Member

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    Happy wife, happy life :)
     
  3. RichardY

    RichardY Junior Member

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    Nice job!!!
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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  5. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Nice job. Maybe make a few avail for sale on Prius Chat? I'm sure there are plenty of other short drivers too.

    I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that you want to be as far away as possible from airbags; no closer than 12inches. The article encouraged using pedal extenders to help achieve this distance too.
     
  6. Seaside Harry

    Seaside Harry Junior Member

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    Exactly right--I believe the further a driver can get from the steering wheel hub, the better. On our old 2005 Prius, without the pedal blocks, my wife had to sit so close to the wheel there was barely enough room to fit a closed fist between the shoulder harness & horn button. The blocks increased that to nearly a foot, but it's much better in the new Prius v, where the blocks allow a seating position with a bit over a foot of separation. More would be nice, but then we'd need to fit her with arm extenders!

    Thanks for the compliment on my pedal extender project, but I have no plans to make any more or offer them for sale. The exploded view photo above should be enough guidance for anyone else who wants to make a set of blocks that don't require any drilling or modification of the factory pedals. I'll be happy to offer comments & construction tips on this forum, but I have many more projects in my queue than free time to devote to them, let alone return to this project again.

    -Harry
     
  7. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I suppose this explains why my Dodge Ram has powered pedal-extenders. It borders on a human-rights issue when people of a certain stature can't operate a vehicle properly due to not being able to reach the pedals.
     
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  8. Darrell Kolodka

    Darrell Kolodka New Member

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    And still Toyota has no response or solution for this? Really?
     
  9. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    Commercially manufactured pedal extenders have been widely available for decades from numerous companies. Toyota may, upon application, provide reimbursement for purchase and installation under its Mobility Assistance Program.

    Here is a link to a website for a Canadian company that you can assist you with obtaining pedal extenders: Pedal Extender Information
     
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