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Old 11-23-2012, 11:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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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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Old 11-24-2012, 08:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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looks good. I would try to find some paint to match the car for that grill block. black looks ok but blending it in would make it look like it came that way.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It would be nice to have the lower grill block match. The car is basically red with black trim, and the existing lower grill was black, but yes, a red grill block would be good.

I wonder if I could get contact paper or something similar in a color that was close.

I still haven't tested whether or not spray paint melts coroplast or not!
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Your Prius seems to be Salsa Red Pearl, colour code 3Q3. When it was time to paint my grille blocks, I went to my local carquest store and had them mix a spray can of paint of the colour code I wanted.

Don't know about painting over coroplast. The paint might crack and flake over time on that type of surface.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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get kylorn plastic paint. I had a grill bock with (black) paint and it was fine after 1 year of use (and washing to remove bugs). if they do not have the right color get their plastic primer then use the "right" one. I have done both with good results.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
It would be nice to have the lower grill block match. The car is basically red with black trim, and the existing lower grill was black, but yes, a red grill block would be good.

I wonder if I could get contact paper or something similar in a color that was close.

I still haven't tested whether or not spray paint melts coroplast or not!
I sprayed my white coroplast black. With krylon fusion also.
Stayed that way for 4 years. Still have that piece just not the truck it was made for.

So do you have to hold the stalk back the entire time to remain in ev. Or is it like click on and off
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taco View Post
So do you have to hold the stalk back the entire time to remain in ev. Or is it like click on and off
You pull and hold it for two seconds, then it clicks into EV mode and you can let go.

It's just a way to re-use and repurpose an existing switch or button, instead of drilling another hole in the dash. Keeps everything very clean looking. I like that it's "secret" too.

OK, you guys are mean, egging me on into painting that lower grill block. I ended going to both the hardware store and auto parts store. I got a can of dark red Krylon plastic spray paint. It was pretty close to the car color, but NOT metallic. At the hardware store, I also got stainless steel screws and washers for a rust-proof way to attach the grill block.

At the auto-parts store, I bought a can of metallic dark-red car spray paint. They didn't have all the Toyota factory colors there. I got a GM Dark Metallic Red that was pretty close.

I did a test of both paints on some scrap political sign material while painting the fasteners. The coroplast didn't melt or have any other negative reaction to either paint.

I pulled the grill block and gave it a couple coats of the metallic red.

Here's a photo of the new grill block removed to paint it.



You can see the wood blocking used as a mounting point for the plastic.

Once the red paint on the coroplast was dry enough, I re-mounted it to the car.





Oddly, the paint job looked much better to the naked eye. Once I looked at the photo, I noticed the paint drip and unevenness, but it actually looked pretty good just staring right at the car itself!

I may end up pulling it back off and adding another coat of paint.

The other thing I was wondering about was the gray pipe insulation in the upper grill block. Could I paint that foam as well? I don't know, so let's try it!

I pulled out some more foam, split it the long way and sprayed some of each of the two paints on it. Again, no melting or other negative reaction, so I sprayed the whole piece of foam red.

Once the two pieces are dry, I should be able to fold them in half and stuff them in the upper grill and have a CUSTOM PAINTED-TO-MATCH foam upper grill block!



Also, I am covered in red paint. When I walked back into the house, I immediately told my wife, "Don't worry, I'm NOT bleeding. It's just paint." as I was holding my hand in the air with red liquid dripping down it..."

PPS: Here's a photo I put together from an image before and after I painted it.

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Last edited by bennelson; 11-24-2012 at 05:50 PM.. Reason: added before and after photo
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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looks much better now
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree. It looks pretty good.

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