Zombie Overlander? 2006 Resurrection in Progress

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Priusjames, May 3, 2021.

  1. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    I thought I'd do a thread on the resurrection/lifting/modifying of my yet-to-be-named camping/overlanding car. I walked by my 2006 Prius in the driveway a couple of months ago and realized it was dead. It has been sitting in the driveway since 2017 when I was too lazy to smog it (there was an error code of some sort at the time) and it's just been non-op and rotting.
    2006_prius_driveway_notes.jpg 2006_prius_driveway2_notes.jpg 2006_prius_driveway3.jpg
    I jumped in with the key and the 12v battery was dead, dead, dead. I had a decision to make: Sell it for parts, or put in a battery and deal with the smog and see if it runs and decide what to do after that. I thought about it for a day or so and went to the store for a battery. JIS battery terminals...ugh, I forgot...and of course, only $200+ batteries have those.

    Car started right up and ran "fine." I took it for a drive to see how it ran and how the hybrid battery was holding up. Jury still out on the hybrid battery...it was a new rebuilt one when the car was parked, and I've only put like 50 miles on the car since I put the battery in.

    Here are some photos of the car the day I bought it, and the day I decided to do something about resurrecting it. Plenty more to come.
     
    #1 Priusjames, May 3, 2021
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
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  2. privilege

    privilege Active Member

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    I would drive it for a few weeks before putting any money into it besides the obviously unsafe tires
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Comes to mind.

     
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  4. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    Good advice, thanks. That was always the plan. I mean, I *know* it'll drive and stop and stuff...but the hybrid battery never got the workout it needed after it was installed and may need rebuilding again...it's a price I'm willing to pay. I guess it could throw a nasty code, but I couldn't squeeze anything out in the short time I drove it around.

    So far, those weeks have been spent waiting for Maaco in Lake Forest to finish painting it. Quoted 5 days, it's been almost 5 weeks so far. It was supposed to be ready again Saturday but I didn't bother to check because it's the 6th time they gave me a date but no car. I'll go over there today. They have never called me even once during this while time...I have to go there to get updates. Weird.

    They've painted it, or parts of it, at least 3 times now and (although they charged me a good premium to "sand it down to the bare metal" due to the existing paint damage on the original quote). Last Wednesday they told me "It's shrinking in places, so we have to paint the whole car again." At this point, I'm starting to worry about the weight of all the paint they're putting on affecting the gas mileage! heh.

    The 'paint 'checking/cracking' was pretty extreme, it needed to be taken down to the bare metal. Maybe that's what they finally did this time. do not know, but here are a couple of photos of paint damage on top rails from a couple of years ago.
    IMG_2120.jpg IMG_2121.jpg
    Meantime, I've been ordering the parts I need and can return them if need be. I am moving full speed ahead until I hit an iceberg, I think.
     
    #4 Priusjames, May 3, 2021
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  5. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    So it looks like I forgot to add the pic from the day I brought the Prius home about 10 years ago...here it is. IMG_008780.JPG
     
    #5 Priusjames, May 3, 2021
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  6. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    Suspension: When I drove it around after replacing the 12v battery I noticed 2 things.

    1) It was super sluggish compared to the Avalanche I've been driving for a few years
    2) The suspension felt/sounded like my 1960 MGA and mom's 1961 VW Beetle did
    3) The Avalanche spoiled me for quiet and comfort.

    I knew I wouldn't be selling it as a parts car at this point, so the small investment would just drive up the price I got (get?) selling it. A least that's what I told myself.

    So something had to be done. I started shopping for shock/strut replacements and stumbled on the TRQ replacement strut assemblies...$314 for all 4 struts and swaybar links delivered. Reviews were mostly good on all the sites and the price was right, so I ordered a set and held my breath.
    prius_struts_boxes.jpeg

    They showed up a couple of days later and I got to work replacing them. Haven't turned a wrench in many years, it was kind of rewarding and destroyed my back for a few days...the price I weigh into everything physical I do these days.
    Prius_struts.jpg prius_strut.jpg prius_struts_mess.jpg

    The plan was to install the struts and then drive it to a local shop to have them adjust/torque everything and do the (always necessary after new struts) alignment. It was a good plan because the springs in these struts were wound up like clock-springs! Twanging and clunking...they were too tight. I probably played a role in that, having tried to adjust them before realizing they came pre-adjusted (I found that info on their install video on the website/youtube, it was not mentioned previously).

    When I picked it up a few days later, it felt/sounded great on the exaggerated circuitous ride home. While it was there I had them flush the brake system and do a detailed inspection that shed some light but mostly confirmed the car is solid and in good shape overall. Other than paint, obviously, and tires. The tires are fine, other than that light sidewall cracking that happens after a couple of years of neglect in 115º Summer heat.
     
  7. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    It was time to decide to sell or keep again. I checked out the street price for '06 Prii and was pleasantly surprised. Caveat: *Nobody* is going to pay more than $2k or so for a car with obscenely horrible paint, and a parts car isn't worth even that...but a nicely painted car w/new suspension/brakes/tires will raise the price more than the cost to do the work.

    The slope started to feel slippery...but I dropped off the car at Maaco after shopping around and being laughed out of most shops. Did I say the paint was horrible? Estimates were higher than a creampuff barn-find with 20K original miles on it would pull in everywhere but Maaco...so they got the car. Still have it, in fact.

    I'm getting ready to go over there this morning to receive the newest "It's not ready yet" diagnosis. Honestly, I'm starting to worry the catalytic converter got stolen there and they are buying time to do a sleazy aftermarket install! I'll have to look for that after I pick it up, heh.

    Seems like a weird thing to wonder about, but there's been a rash of thefts in my area recently...a LOT of them are being taken and the guard/defender plate I bought is still sitting in my garage waiting to be installed when I get the car back.
    my_garage_plate.jpeg
    *Update: I just called Maaco, rather than drive there again, and Patrick said "It's going to get sanded today and probably painted today...I want to make sure it's perfect". Man, I'm getting tired of the waiting game. The guy *really* wants to paint my Avalanche, which truly only needs some clearcoat re-sprayed on the roof but he wants to do a massive 3 stage paint job, so he doesn't want to show me another paint job like the one I wholly rejected on the Prius so many weeks ago.
     
    #7 Priusjames, May 3, 2021
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
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  8. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    Got the car back from the paint shop today...that took forever...ugh. There are parts I bought after I dropped the car off that have long passed the 30 day return window!

    On the plus side, it’s *really* shiny. Downside is there’s overspray inside the door jambs which were very high gloss and now are spattered/matte black in places...ugh...and there are sandpaper marks on the rear quarter glass on the drivers side. They also forgot to sand/clear coat the spoiler and trunk release panel, which were removed and inside the car. Ugh again.

    Also I need to remember to look at the catalytic converter to make sure the holdup wasn’t (thiss is my nightmare scenario in my mind) trying to deal with it being stolen there and them replacing with non-OEM part. That’s been in the back of my mind and I wouldn’t find out for 2 more years (it just passed smog in March).

    93CC5E67-FA22-40B2-9794-40697EC11540.jpeg
     
    #8 Priusjames, May 14, 2021
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
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  9. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    Fog lights: They weren’t doing much, so I took a good look at the grill area and something seemed funky…

    …Maaco taped off the center of each with the worst tape job ever, painted a pretty good part of each one!

    They were pretty pitted and dirty inside too. I’ve ordered these replacements from Amazon, the only ones with glass lenses available quickly. These come with new 51w lamps (can handl up to 55w), but I also ordered a pair of Alla Switchback LED lamps! These are the same 9006 style lamps, but switch from white (6000k) to amber (3000k) with a flick of the high beams or on/off switch. Weird, but sounds cool.


    Will update with removal and replacement pics and video.

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    #9 Priusjames, Sep 3, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
  10. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    #10 Priusjames, Sep 3, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021