Prius v work day: Speed lock override, mud flaps, new horns, SS fender washers, etc. (lots of pics)

Discussion in 'Prius v Accessories and Modifications' started by anewhouse, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. anewhouse

    anewhouse Active Member

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    Since it was a beautiful day today, and I have received all the various parts that I've ordered, I decided to make it my "Prius v Work Day". Got a lot done, and had a lot of fun!
    Started with the Navigation Speed Lock Override - this will be described in detail in a separate post soon. Fellow v-owner Chazz (PriusChat name Chazz8) came over to "talk Prius" and work on this install with me - we had a lot of fun!
    [​IMG]

    Here's my poor little v, after less than 2 weeks of ownership, with her dash gutted...
    [​IMG]

    Fortunately, all these pieces went back in, the speed lock override installation was successful. Look for a post in "Audio & Elec" soon with a lot more pictures and details.

    After we finished up that "serious" mod, I moved to several more minor additions.
    First, mud flaps. Fronts were fairly easy - I just cranked the steering wheel to make some room, and holes in the flaps line up with existing fasteners in the wheel well.
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    There is one screw underneath (facing the ground) and one facing forwards - these are easy; just remove, add mud flap, and replace the screw. The top-most fastener was trickier, though - it comes from the factory as a snap-fit fastener (AKA pin drive anchor, push clip, etc.), which is not long enough to reach through both the mud flap and the existing hole. The longer plastic anchor-like fasteners that come with the flaps wouldn't fit through the holes on the car body, and I didn't want to drill out the metal body piece if I didn't have to. So I reached around to put a speed nut behind the hole in the body piece (several of these nuts were included with the flaps).
    [​IMG]

    The three resulting screws held these flaps on very securely.
    The rear flaps were a little trickier - first, it requires removal of the rear wheels (or at least this makes it MUCH easier).
    [​IMG]

    Second, it requires drilling - but fortunately, the drilling is all through plastic body pieces, so there's no increased chance of rust! :)
    First two holes are already marked for you with little divots:
    [​IMG]

    Next is underneath - this comes as a push clip fastener, but I replaced it with a screw + speed nut. Access is easy on both sides of the hole, so adding the speed nut is no problem.
    [​IMG]

    The final attachment point is probably not required, but I wanted these things as secure as possible, so I went with it. There's already a hole in the mud flaps here, so I drilled through the plastic behind it...
    [​IMG]

    ...and added one of the plastic anchors that came with the flaps.
    [​IMG]

    And now I have mud flaps!
    While I was working on that, and since I had the rear wheels off, I checked the fasteners that attach the plastic wheel well-liners to the body of the car (rear only). I remember reading here that someone found all these fasteners loose - sure enough, mine were all loose as well! These are basically rectangular plastic nuts that attach to bolts welded onto the body. I went through and hand-tightened all of them (11 on each side, some are easier to reach when the car is jacked up, because they're hidden by the wheel).
    [​IMG]

    One more thing while the car was jacked up and the wheels were off - check the fit of my snow tires. I found a good deal on lightly-used, pre-mounted snows that had been on a Mazda6. Same bolt pattern, same offset, slightly larger hub diameter (fixed w/ 67mm-64mm hubcentric ring). Fits fine. Rims are ugly, but I'll figure out how to deal with that in the fall.
    [​IMG]

    Next on the agenda was stainless steel fender washers, as described by Rude person's. Ordered mine here; $6 for 25 washers plus $1 shipping. These are to hold on the dumb plastic covers/cladding/splash panels under the front end. See his thread for more detail, but basically, these washers should keep the plastic panels from coming loose. I've wrestled with these things on previous cars, and they're a pain. If this mod keeps them from splitting or coming loose, it's worth the few bucks and few minutes. This pic shows 5 of the washers installed; there are probably 12-14 in all.
    [​IMG]

    Finally, replacing the horn. I've seen several recommendations for a PIAA horn set, which I'm sure is nice, but was a little expensive for my preference. Instead, I ordered a Fiamm "El Grande" horn at about a third the price. Good reviews on Amazon, so I went with it.
    [​IMG]

    First, I removed the red and chrome covers on the new horns. Looks a little less tacky.
    [​IMG]

    Removing the stock horns was pretty easy: start by removing the black plastic piece that stretches across the very front of the engine compartment (three push clip fasteners and it's out). The factory horns are mounted on little strips of metal (10mm nut), which are in turn mounted to brackets behind the grill (12mm bolt). Only electrical attachment is a single spade clip in a little plastic harness; slid that off the factory horns and they were loose.
    The replacement horns are arranged perpendicular to the factory horns - i.e. if I attached them to the same brackets, the horn would be facing DOWN. So I put a 90* bend in the little metal mounting strips, and presto - the new horns faced forward. The factory electrical clip slid right on to the spade connection on the new horn, no fuss.
    [​IMG]

    The new horns are visible through the grill, but only if you're looking for them. I wouldn't call it obtrusive. If you're concerned about this, a shot of matte black spray paint on each one would make them just as invisible as the factory horns.
    [​IMG]

    And that was my day! Fun, productive, educational. Thanks again to Chazz for joining me!
    Hope some of this info will be helpful to other viewers.
    Andy
     
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  2. da-baron

    da-baron New Member

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    Re: Prius v work day: Speed lock override, mud flaps, new horns, SS fender washers, etc. (lots of pi

    cool stuff, that dash work looks daunting.

    the Nav override will be added to our car soon - my wife was ticked that we had to stop so she could set the destination while i drove.
     
  3. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    Re: Prius v work day: Speed lock override, mud flaps, new horns, SS fender washers, etc. (lots of pi

    Nice picture, Andy!

    I, too, installed the mudguards, like you did.

    I also tightened the fender well clips.


    I did a complete rustproofing job on my "v" and sprayed all of those fasteners with Rusfre "clear. A couple of weeks, later, I did a full undercoating job on top of the rustproofing.

    I've rustproofed my cars for the last 45 years. It takes days, not just a few hours like the professional rustproofers would like to have you believe, to really di it right.

    Actually the "hubcentric rings" would not be necessary, if the bolt patterns of the Mazda wheels are the same. The "tapered" seat lug nuts are used to center the wheel with the studs, not the centers in the case of the Prius "v" alloy wheel with the "flat" surface nuts and washers.

    I've NEVER got any penetration on any of my cars. Most cars I've owned were traded in from 10-15 years. They were basically "mechanically" worn out.
     
  4. Abel K

    Abel K New Member

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    Thank you so much, Andy, for posting the picture on the horn modification. I'll give it a shot on Wednesday - your picture and the modification description sure made me feel a lot better!

    Abel
     
  5. sumdood

    sumdood New Member

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    Just so anyone who comes across this, as I did, knows, you DO NOT have to take the rear wheels off.

    I repeat, you DO NOT HAVE TO REMOVE YOUR WHEELS!

    You can make the holes in the plastic three ways without using a drill:

    1. Heat up the end of a handheld screwdriver, preferably one of the right-angle ones, or a stubby one (or any piece of metal that you can heat and still hold onto). I used a regular "campfire/grill" lighter to heat the tip of a small screwdriver. Then simply line it up where you want your holes and let the heat do the work while the screwdriver goes through the plastic like butter.

    2. Find a drill bit with a hex end, such as a step-bit, to fit into a drill chuck and prevent spinning. Take a 1/4" socket and driver and place the drill bit in the end. Make sure the driver is set to ratchet the correct way for drilling; you now have a right-angle "drill" that is low-profile enough to get in-between your tire and wheel well.

    3. Find a soldering iron or wood-burning tool and either buy a "bent" tip, or make one by bending a straight tip with pliers. Then you simply melt through the plastic to make your hole.


    I did a combination of methods 1 and 2, starting the hole with the hot screwdriver and then finishing and cleaning it up with a step bit. If you find that you still can't fit your bit or heating tool in the space between the tire, you can start the hole at an angle from the wheel-side, then lay down and look under the back-side of the wheel well, in-between the wheel and your rear bumper (see quoted picture above). You will be able to see the hole you started, and you can easily get a standard drill bit (or whatever previously mentioned method you choose) in the open space and drill it out from the back.
     
  6. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    How are the horns holding up? They should have been mounted with the horns pointing down to prevent water from getting into the innards. Any problems yet?
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Good ideas regarding "welding" holes and so on. But not taking the wheels off, ok maybe it's doable, but taking the wheels off is dead easy, makes the wheel well a lot more accessible.

    For removing mud flaps, say for cleaning the accumulated junk*, yeah, skip the wheel removal. I took an appropriate screw driver bit, a stubby, and wrapped it with about 1/2" of hockey tape, for just that purpose.

    * With our Prius, which came sans mud flaps, I opted to leave it as-is. Over the years I've always had flaps, and the yearly chore of cleaning out the crud. Don't miss them.
     
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