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Should I Upgrade Suspension when going PHEV?

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by pjo180, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. pjo180

    pjo180 Junior Member

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    I am planning to get a Hymotion Plug in Conversion on my '08 Prius soon. Any thoughts on whether or not I should upgrade the suspension? Would upgrading the suspension increase the car's load capacity, compensating for the weight of the new equipment, or just improve handling? Seems like I remember reading that even though the conversion adds about 200 pounds, it is effectively more like adding 300 lbs. Anyone else see, or understand that?
     
  2. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    It will have a significant effect on rear ride height. That's probably what is meant by 200lbs feels more like 300. Several people have had custom springs made. Commercial spring kits are all of the lowering type. I am not aware of any over-the-counter drop in replacement springs that maintain stock ride height in light of increased trunk load, or air adjustable shocks -- but I would be very happy if someone would correct my ignorance!
     
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  3. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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  4. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Manufacturer? Part number? Please??? Note, 2004-2009 is different from 2010+
     
  5. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    These folks have upgraded springs and shocks specifically designed for
    the additional weight of the Hymotion conversion:

    Green Car Clinic

    At $899, the price seems "a little high." :eek:
     
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  6. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    That's with installation, about 3 hours labor, and includes a new pair of KYBs. Pretty fair if you ask me. Perhaps with enough interest they can be persuaded to sell the springs by themselves.
     
  7. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Here is another option. I'm cut/pasting from what I wrote in another forum:

    Here's a video about replacement springs in Prius that has a PHEV


    You can buy the springs through Carolyn at Luscious Garage in California for $300 plus shipping.
    475 9th Street
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    415.875.9030
    Luscious Garage | Hybrid Specialists

    She and her shop are great assets to the hybrid and PHEV community, so if you can buy them through her, it will be money well spent!
     
  8. scottsim

    scottsim New Member

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    I have the bigger springs and the stiffer torsion plate, but have been told that a steering stabilizer will restore my (10Kwh PIS conversion) handling to closer to normal...I guess Luscious could do that as well/

    Scott
     
  9. sub3marathonman

    sub3marathonman Active Member

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    I have the Hymotion kit in my Prius, and I think, at least in my situation, an upgrade is completely unnecessary.

    The Hymotion kit reduces the load capacity of the Prius by 200 lbs. If you measure 200 lbs in the trunk, that dropped the rear bumper by 1 inch. Now, I've taken the spare tire out, which was 25 lbs. And it is now going much farther with less gasoline in the tank. You could only fill it halfway, and reduce the weight in the back by another 40 lbs or so. I would say the difference now is about ½" which is really not noticeable.

    Now, if you're carrying four adults regularly in the car, you might be approaching the weight limit. But I don't think even adding heavy-duty rear springs will increase the weight limit rating.
     
  10. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    The main issue is clearance over speed bumps and driveway entrances. It is definitely a problem with 4 people in the car and PHEV in the trunk. Unfortunately, not all of us are in sub-3 marathon shape!
     
  11. pjo180

    pjo180 Junior Member

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    Thanks for your perspective sub3marathonman. I had not thought much about the weight of a full tank of gas. Anyone know how much a full tank adds in weight? What about realigning the head lights after one of these installations? Did you feel the need to do so?
     
  12. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    If you have HID headlights, they are self-leveling. A full tank of gas weighs about 80 lbs.
     
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  13. lopezjm2001

    lopezjm2001 Senior Member

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    You can now buy the raising springs (500 pounds) for a Prius PHEV conversion on Ebay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Batteries-Toyota-Prius-Rear-Springs-500-Pounds-Extra-Payload-Capacity-/320805070717?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item4ab178e77d

    500 pounds = 226.796185 kilograms

    226 kg is about the weight of a 8KWH Enginer PHEV kit.

    USA deliveries only. US$375 free delivery.

    I was quoted by my local suspension dealer in Australia http://www.wholesalesuspension.com.au/ AU$195 for custom made rear springs for my Prius to raise the rear to same as front. AU$385 fitted.
     
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  14. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    there are also so called rubber coil boosters
    and lots of other names for it
    it are rubber pieces that you put in between the windings of the spring coil
    its cheap and seems to work
    i wil do this anyway

    edit
    a example
     
  15. lopezjm2001

    lopezjm2001 Senior Member

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    Rubber coil boosters are made by the Dodgy brothers. There have been instances where they have been chewed up by the springs. On one occasion they fell out of the springs whilst going over a speed hump. They are cheap and are not made to last.

    Even using spring spacers for the same effect. I have yet to find spring spacers specifically made for a Prius to carry a specified weight.

    Any professional working in the suspension industry would not use them.
     
  16. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    dodgy brothers? can't seem to find that brand
    I keep ending up at GM with every google search
     
  17. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    I tried the rubber spacers for a while, as an emergency stopgap. Now that springs are readily available, there is no question in my mind that I would buy them. If you are putting thousands in for batteries etc, don't cheap out on the suspension.
     
  18. Mr-plugin

    Mr-plugin Member

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    I picked up my springs from Valley Springs In California. Was about $270 shipped.
     
  19. lopezjm2001

    lopezjm2001 Senior Member

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    My suspension supplier www.wholesalesuspension.com.au has quoted me AU$195 for custom made rear coil springs. AU$385 fitted. There is a place in Townsville which manufactures coil springs just for Prius taxis. There are many Prius taxis in Townsville, Queensland Australia. They told me that I just need to specify the extra weight for the springs (225kg) I need and they will make them. They also told me that the wheels need reallignment after the heavier springs have been installed. Will take two weeks to make. I have ordered mine.
     
  20. Braddles.au

    Braddles.au DEFAnitely using an EBH

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    And that's a good thing. "The Dodgy Brothers" was a long-running joke on the Australian comedy shows "Australia, You're Standing in it" and "Fast Forward". The Dodgy Brothers wore ill-fitting suits in vertigo-inducing fabrics while spruiking poor-quality products and services. "Dodgy Brothers" means something of dubious origin or quality.