Replacement center dash panel for my Gen 1 2003 Prius.

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Bruce Berquist, Jun 15, 2022.

  1. Bruce Berquist

    Bruce Berquist Junior Member

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    Okay, I have read the available posts on this subject, but I am looking for current info, and a current understanding of my personal situation.

    I have been trying to find a replacement center dash panel for my Gen 1 2003 Prius.

    I had to remove mine to replace some dash lights that were no longer working, and the plastic has become so brittle with age that it cracks or breaks, seemingly at my intention just to touch part of it.

    BTW, I am experienced at removing dash and body panels, and I have not applied "amateurish" stress to any of it. It's just old and brittle.


    Does anybody know of anyone or anywhere that I can get a replacement panel from?



    So far, the only places that I have found are over 1000 miles from me (I'm in NH) that do not offer shipping and require that I come to their place to pull the part myself.

    *I need somebody who is either with-in 100 miles from me, or ships.

    *I also need someone who is not out to "gouge" a "premium" price for a piece of plastic that is probably as old as mine and developing the same process of becoming brittle as I have now.

    *I am also disabled and retired on a very VERY tight income and budget.
    I am not looking for charity, but honestly can't afford much more.
    Just be very reasonable (to each other).

    And I am not particular about color or cosmetics. It just needs to be in one piece.
    (actually, I can adapt for missing clips or tabs. I just need the surface of the panel to be in one piece, unbroken and uncracked.)

    *Finally, I need somebody who will either include shipping, or charge only the actual cost that the shipping company quotes.


    I will be more than very grateful if there is anyone who can assist me with this.


    I absolutely love my Gen 1!
    I talk about it, live it, advocate and promote Prius everywhere I go.

    At 240,000 miles, this particular car is a "Lifetime" car for me, and I try to care for it and treat it accordingly.

    And this particular Prius always does an outstanding job of being an example of what I talk it to be.

    Once again, I will be more than very grateful if there is anyone who can assist me with this.
     
  2. Nine44

    Nine44 New Member

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    This is also available through a local Toyota dealership for about $200. Benefit being the plastic is new and will not likely crack up like the old ones do.
     
  3. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Will that be the case it'll be new it'll be new all stock that's been sitting on a shelf for how many years I don't still think they bang out these parts for a 2001 Prius I could be wrong but I seriously doubt they're injection molding plastic parts for this car still not like dash parts and that would be very reasonable no question about it I was going to say the place on that place that Mendel posts all the time . They seem to have almost every part for a lot of these cars I'm not sure about gen one but gen 2 looks like it
     
  4. AlexY

    AlexY Member

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    prius dash.jpg Anything you find will be same brittle even if it is in one piece, even don't look hard at it. I did the same to replace broken illumination lamps and it just shattered in bits. I ended up with welding it and reinforcing cracks with pieces of wire, can't say it is as new but at least it is in one piece.
     
  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    car-part.com lets you search the inventory of many auto recyclers. It is possible that one of them has the part and prices & policies to suit. Good luck!
     
  6. Jakob

    Jakob Junior Member

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    AlexY, that looks pretty good for having shattered into pieces! Can you provide any more info about how you welded the piece? I haven't welded plastic before but I have some big cracks in my panel it would be nice to fix sometime.
     
  7. AlexY

    AlexY Member

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    As always google and youtube is your friend. I used method similar to
    (actual welding from time 3:50) except I didn't use any zip ties, just the material from the panel itself, weld it on not visible side of course. I don't have any photos of reinforcing with wire for this but same method I use at work to fix some industrial cases where spare parts are not available, without reinforcement thy fell apart almost instantly. Below some photo of the process, here it is additionally covered with resin glue. Wire, best if it is steel core (check with the magnet) but not really mandatory, need to be shaped in the way it will not get through the plastic and will grab both parts, place them every 2 - 3 cm (or every inch) + extra one at the ends of the crack. Smaller bits can be secured with some fast bonding glue (super glue) before welding, but be careful with fumes during welding, do it outside or with good ventilation.
    plastic welding reinforcement.png
     
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  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    But it won't have been baked and UV-irradiated for all those years, like one installed in a car would.

    I've got all sorts of plastic items inside my house that are decades old and just fine, having not been subjected to the same environment conditions as a dash panel.
     
  9. novasmithjohn

    novasmithjohn Junior Member

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    I got one from my local toy dealer for a little over 200.00 he told me that there were only 7 in the states and there were 2 on back order. I got it in 1 day
    You can get a new center dash for a little more than 200.00 for your dealer or surche new center dash for 2003 pruis
     
  10. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Just a heads-up. I recently purchased the above-mentioned panel for my '03 Prius and in ordering, the local dealer commented that there are only half a dozen or so of these panels left in the entire US Toyota system.

    The Gen 1 Prius family is now 20+ years old and it seems Toyota is allowing its inventory of spares for this family to become exhausted. I would expect that more uniques for this model will soon become 'unavailable' from Toyota.

    If anyone has insight into the Toyota spares situation for this generation of Prii, I'd appreciate your comments.

    Maybe this deserves its own 'sticky' along with "Who should and should not own a Gen 1 Prius".
     
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  11. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Follow-up: I just finished replacing the center console panel on my '03 Prius (sun-baked and cracked), and I understand why this bit costs $200. It is a VERY complex and precision moulded part, with lots of finnicky bits and places for optical elements (to shunt around the light from the panel bulbs) and buttons. I'd guess the production yield on this moulded part is not particularly high... and there's really no room for error. I'm surprised Toyota made the decision to go with such a design.

    <edit> The additional reason for the job was that all the bulbs behind the climate control knobs had expired, and so I had to replace them all... which meant replacing the panel facia, as well. So after I replaced the bulbs (an evening job, so I could check my work at night before I did the panel) I saw that my Outside Temperature reading had changed from Fahrenheit to Celsius. After I redid the panel, it flipped back to Fahrenheit.

    Does anyone know how to make the temperature go to Celsius on a permanent basis?
     
    #12 dabard051, Jul 9, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Now that's interesting there. Did reattaching the panel involve reattaching any ribbon cables you had unhooked? If so, they may have the display looking at whether some pair of pins might be shorted or not, and in the US panel wiring there might be a short built in for Fahrenheit. Or there's a secret contact that gets pressed when you attach the US panel, but that seems too elaborate to be very likely.

    I wish you had discovered that while I still had my Gen 1. I'd go out and play with it.
     
  13. novasmithjohn

    novasmithjohn Junior Member

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    There should be a way to change the temp reading on the information center screen
     
  14. Jakob

    Jakob Junior Member

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    I poked around on the MFD on my Prius and checked the owner's manual a few weeks ago and there sure doesn't seem to me to be any way for the end user to change the temperature unit.
     
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