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Old 11-23-2012, 11:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
EV test pilot
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
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Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
90 day: 78.16 mpg (US)
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Kristin's Hymotion Prius

Hey Folks,

We've had this car the better part of a year now, but I don't think I've bothered to start an official thread on it yet!

This spring, we bought a 2004 Toyota Prius, with 48,000 miles on it, and a Hymotion brand plug-in kit already installed! It also came with a ScanGuage, lowered sports springs, and a set of snow tires.

This was to replace my wife's (Kristin's) old Pontiac Sunfire to be her car and "the family car" as we have a little girl now, and neither my pickup truck or Electro-Metro are well designed for 3 people (and a child seat!)

Other than the Hymotion kit (which is pretty darn cool!) I haven't really messed with the Prius yet. I did get a block heater installed when we had the oil changed, but that's it.

Today, we did some actual eco-modding. Daox (Tim) came over and we worked on both his car and Kristin's.

On the Hymotion Prius, we put in an EV switch. I got one that came with the car, but never had been installed. It's really a little circuit board that you hack into the wire-harness. Once done, pulling and holding the cruise control stick activates "EV ONLY" mode.

It wasn't too hard to install. Mostly, it was removing the glove box and several pieces of trim around it, and pulling out a wire harness plug. Two wires get crimped-on, and a third is added directly into the plug. That third wire was a bit tricky, as the directions weren't super-clear as to the orientation, and I ended up breaking off the pin inside the plug. It took some work to pull back out, crimp a new pin, and put it all back together.

After testing the EV switch, it was just a matter of putting back the trim and glove box.

The EV switch didn't do anything at first. Apparently, it was cold enough out that the battery temperature prevents the car from going into EV mode. We did a test drive to warm the pack (the car had been sitting in the cold overnight before that) and then it went right into EV mode after that.

Seems like the EV mode has limited use, but later, when I had to just move the car so that Tim could pull his into the garage, I was able to do it without turning the engine on, something I couldn't do before, even WITH the Hymotion pack.

Tim and I also worked on a lower grill block, made from wood blocking and black coroplast. It completely covers the lower grill. We also used zip-ties on the far ends to pin down the corners, as that part stuck out beyond where the wood attachment points were.

I had a fair amount of various diameters of foam pipe insulation. After a few minutes of trying a few different things, we found that slicing it in half the long way, then FOLDING it in half, it would tuck in to the upper grill with a nice look, and would stay securely without zip ties or other fasteners.

It looked fine on the red car, but really blended in nicely with the gray car.

Tomorrow, I'll get some black paint and make those fender washers match the coroplast.

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