REVIEW: Hybrid Effects Wheel Skirts

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by TheForce, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    Introducing the new 4 door Toyota Insight Honda Prius.

    AKA Priusight
    Thanks Xcel for the name

    :D

    [​IMG]



    Just could not wait to reveal it at Hybridfest. :D

    So anyway I quickly bought a set of wheel skirts from Hybrid Effects and got them installed. It took about 4-5 hours for the installation and if I were to rate the ease of installation on a scale of 1-10, 1 being that a baby could install it and 10 being you need a pro to do the install I would give it 6. It really was not that hard once I figured everything out. Its just that first time you kind of have to just figure everything out.

    The skirts I receive were professionally built fiberglass wheel skirts that when installed correctly will fit very snug and will flow well with the curves of the Prius. The paint matched my Barcelona red perfectly as far as I can tell. There are a few paint blemishes on the right skirt but they are kind of hard to see unless you are looking for them. This was to be expected since I requested these skirts on such a short notice. My score 9 out of 10.

    The way these skirts attach is very simple. A bolt is screwed almost dead center in the top of the wheel well as a guide for the skirts to slip on. Then there are two screws at the bottom that hold the skirt in place. These two screws can be removed by a thin ratchet. This is really the only major flaw at the moment. With the wheels attached I found it kind of difficult to attach and remove the skirts. I'm sure this can be fixed with a few hardware design changes. Once a few people get these skirts I'm sure someone will find the right hardware to make these thing easier to remove and attach. Just remember that the Prius was not designed for skirts. The Insight was so if you want a skirt easy to remove like the Insight you may have to make your own fasteners or just get an Insight. I have to give this area a 6 out of 10.

    I had a little trouble with the right skirt since I started it first. I did not get it up close to the car so there is a little gap around the edge and the skirt is a little loose. Its really not big deal and I think I can fix this but it will have to wait until after Hybridfest.

    Even though I gave the attach and removal process a low score I will still give the skirts a 9 out of 10 because they just look GREAT on the car and if it takes me a few minutes to remove or attach them so what. They are still worth it to me.

    I will try my best to describe the install process above each picture.

    You will have to remove the black screw holding the bumper to the car. Its located a few inches from the bumper seam. Hybrid Effects supplies a flatter screw to go it its place.

    Here is the top view of the skirt.
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    Back view of the skirt.
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    Side view of the skirt. As you can see it must flair out a little to make room for the tire. The little flair you see in the Hybrid Effect pictures is there but its so small the picture on Hybrid Effects just makes it look bigger than it actually is.
    [​IMG]


    Here you can see the bolt that goes at the top. You can also see white areas around the bolt. Toyota puts some kid of bead around the out side of the wheel well. This bead needs to be removed in order for the skirt to fit nicely. I did not remove all of the stuff around the edge of right well because I thought I did not need to remove it all. I later realized that you really need to remove it all in order to get a nice tight fit. I will correct this later. The left side has all of it removed. To remove it all you need is a razor blade and a steady hand. I also used some touch up paint to paint the bolt and the white areas so you wont see them through the little space between the skirt and the quarter panel.
    [​IMG]


    Here is the rear hole drilled for the skirt. If you have mud guards the hole is about in the same place as the one the hold the mud guards on. And yes you must remove your mud guards. You wont need them because the skirt is taking the place of the mud guards. :D
    [​IMG]


    Here is the front hole. Its drilled through the metal quarter panel.
    [​IMG]


    Here you can see where I took off part of that bead around the outside.
    [​IMG]


    Here you can see how far up I cut it off. You really need to cut it all off.
    [​IMG]


    Here you can see a temporary attachment so I could mark the locations of the holes that needed drilled.
    [​IMG]


    Another view.
    [​IMG]


    Here you can see the little flair out to make room for the tire.
    [​IMG]


    Skirt attached.
    [​IMG]


    Another view.
    [​IMG]


    Clarence for the tire. Front.
    [​IMG]


    Clarence for the tire. Rear.
    [​IMG]


    Side shot.
    [​IMG]


    Another side shot.
    [​IMG]


    And the final side shot.
    [​IMG]

    [edit] Added more pictures with hubcaps added.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Just a note. My current aerodynamic hubcaps will not fit under the skirts. :mad: I will have to fabricate a set out of sheet aluminum. Unfortunately I don't have time to make them before Hybridfest. So theirs not going to be any panties under the skirts but I will have the hubcaps on the front wheels. :D

    I will try to get some performance data later. Maybe after Hybridfest.

    Now we just need to get front wheel skirts. :D
     
  2. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Awesome write up! Thank you for the details. :)

    I looks great!!! I'd love to see some areodynamic testing on these things.
     
  3. bestmapman

    bestmapman 2010 Prius

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    Very nice.

    Jay, do you want me to bring my Barcelona red Grill block for the Hybridfest demo?
     
  4. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    After looking at pictures of the grille block I don't think it will fit with my chin spoiler and also my front mounted camera is mounted under the grille. So a hole would have to be cut out for the camera. Thanks but I don't think it will work. See you in a few days.
     
  5. Areometer

    Areometer Silver Business Sponsor

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    Hi Jay,

    Looks great. Thanks for this post. It will look even better if you lower your ride. :)

    Have fun at Hybridfest.

    Edward
     
  6. Jack66

    Jack66 Kinda Jovial Member

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    Looks great, Jay! Now you'll have to update your avatar's picture.

    Your pictures did a great job showing the few details I wanted to know about. :)
     
  7. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    They look fabulous. I want some.

    BTW why bother with the hubcaps on the back? I'd just put them on the front.

    I'm thinking if I do this....I'll just get two hubcaps for the front and paint them black.

    Where did you get them and how much did they cost?
     
  8. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    I "Photo Shopped" the skirt in my avatar since all I had to do was move a few pixels around. Aparently the new forum software has a smaller limit on the file size and I cant upload the new avatar. :mad: The forum requires 19.5k or less and mine is 31.9. I cant get any smaller than that unless I turn it into a gif and maybe 256 color or something. :mad:

    I want to make it look uniform all around even through the skirts block off %80 of the wheel.

    I got them from Hub Cap Mike and they have gotten expensive since I got them. Currently $38 a pop. :eek:

    Thanks. I considered lowering the car but all the places I go I almost bottom out the car as is. I have actually bottomed out the front end a few times around here.
     
  9. abra

    abra Member

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    looks good...

    $350.00 :eek: hope it gains mpg. update us on that.

    btw what type of mpg gain was the caps?
     
  10. Hybrid Effects

    Hybrid Effects Junior Member

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    Thanks for the quick review Jay. We can modify a grille block to fit like we discussed, when you are around this area. I am glad to see that the installation was not very hard.

    I would really like to make it to Hybrid-Fest, but I have spent to much money on gas this year. I hope that you all have fun at the show.

    Franklin
     
  11. Ichiro

    Ichiro Member

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    Nice work...

    one downside is that it's going to be a PITA to check your rear tire pressures now :)
     
  12. Qlara

    Qlara New Member

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    Interesting look with the skirt, but what happen if you have a rear flat tire when the skirt is not that easy to remove? That may become PITA.....
     
  13. allargon

    allargon Member

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    You turned your Prius into a four door Insight? (j/k)

    Please continue to let us know how it works out for you.
     
  14. Hybrid Effects

    Hybrid Effects Junior Member

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    Checking tire pressure is not a problem, all you do is roll the car until the valve stem is near the ground. If you have flat aero hub caps like the ones I sell there is an access plug on the hub caps.

    If you have a flat you will need to jack the car up anyways and that makes it even easier to remove the skirts. I personally can remove the wheel skirts in one minute. There is only two bolts and if you have a ratchet wrench it is not all that hard.

    The cost of the wheel skirts is very fair and after looking at what it cost to make and ship the skirts I think the price might just be a little to fair. It takes a half a gallon of high quality resin alone to make a pair of skirts and that's not counting the fiberglass material, gel-coat, acetone, wax, gloves, brushes, rollers and labor etc. Plus these are made in the U.S.A.

    Franklin
     
  15. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    Actually I was interested in where you got the wheel skirts and how much they cost.
     
  16. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    theforce

    do you have a bigger rear hatch spoiler like the touring? you don't have the bigger touring tires?
    do you think there is enough room for the 195 touting tire's?

    where did you get the front spoiler i like it

    also thx for the great pictures etc.
     
  17. Hybrid Effects

    Hybrid Effects Junior Member

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  18. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    I'll update as soon as I get some time and get this E10 crap out of my tank. Thats the only thing bad about coming to Hybridfest. E10 is everywhere. :mad:

    I never really did any official tests with the caps. I from what I experienced I guessed about a 2mpg gain with a 2mpg margin of error.

    When the E10 is out of my tank I can do some highway test and see if I get better or worse compared to my previous highway experience. If I have time I would like to do a highway run without the skirts and caps for the control, then with the skirts, then with the skirts and caps and then finally without the skirts and caps again to verify the control.

    Yes that would be a PITA. The skirts can be removed it just took me a few minutes to do it. I think what I really need is a smaller ratchet. The one I have now is a little big and makes it really awkward to reach up in there. I'm going to try to find another way to attach these things after I get back from Hybridfest.

    With no caps under the skirts all I have to do is roll the car a little bit until the air stem comes in view. When I make my aluminum caps for the rear I will cut a hole in it to get to the air stem.

    Yes I have the touring spoiler. I got the spoiler before they even announced the touring would be available in the USA.

    I'll have to see if a touring Prius is here at Hybridfest and take a look but I think the skirts should fit just fine.

    The front spoiler I got from Sigma Automotive – Toyota Hybrid Prius 2004 - 2009 OEM & JDM auto accessories .
     
  19. problemchild

    problemchild New Member

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    That front license plate is creating a lot of drag. Seems like you should remove that. I would remove the mirrors too. Crawl under the car and look at all the drag there. It needs a smooth pan all the way under the car to create better coefficient. They also make a special was for jets that reduces drag.
     
  20. Hybrid Effects

    Hybrid Effects Junior Member

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    Jay get in touch with me when you are ready to explore more options for attaching the wheel skirts. I have a really good idea but it will require two small screws on the outside bottom edge of the skirt.

    I know that a lot of people will say that the price of the wheel skirts are high but I can not dictate the cost of supplies and shipping and so forth but I can control how much research and development that I put into each product. One reason I was able to offer the wheel skirts at the price they are now is that I used the easiest form of attachment.

    Franklin