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Old 03-03-2018, 01:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Plug in Prius on a shoestring

I have a 2009 Prius that has a blown head gasket - approx. $2200 to repair.
It still runs fine, but it blows gases from a cylinder into the water jacket and blows the coolant out. It goes about 30 miles before it overheats.
Most of our errands are about 5 miles round trip, but with antifreeze costing 4 times as much as gasoline it is expensive to drive.
I understand one can force a Prius into "out of gas" mode by installing a switch in series with the fuel pump fuse, but that will only get me a mile or so at speeds up to about 50 mph. What if I were to put 16 12 volt lead acid batteries in the back and wired the string in parallel (via a contactor) with the factory battery pack? How big of batteries would I need to get 10 - 15 mile range? Would U1 garden tractor batteries do it? Or am I nutz for even considering doing this?

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Old 03-03-2018, 01:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Pleez don't.

Research Hybrid Synergy Drive. It is the technology Toyota use in the Prius, Highlander and Lexus.

Don't work with lead-acid batteries. They are not fit for purpose. 16x how many pounds?

You could convert to a pure EV, but use compatible OEM parts.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Fix the head gasket. Unless it's got a million miles on it, it's worth fixing. Even if you sell it off after. Or just sell it to someone who will fix it, but you'll take a big hit.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You could try this first :
https://barsleaks.com/product/head-gasket-fix/
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Now I'm not sure what to say. I came back to point to this thread, in this subforum:

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ild-36203.html

But the OP there is jackbauer and he didn't suggest an EV solution.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Lots of complete Prius engines on the internet for less than $1000. How can a gasket be $2200?

Get quotes from other workshops...
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
Lots of complete Prius engines on the internet for less than $1000. How can a gasket be $2200?

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Replacement for sure, especially on that vintage more are going to the scrap yard everyday. Some yards even offer labor to do the work.

http://www.car-part.com/mobile/index.htm

I have had a friend who used the bars leak product and followed the directions exactly, fixed an old Saturn. If it works it would certainly be cheaper than replacement.
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd flush and clean the cooling system before adding a sealant. Check the torque on the head bolts also. If the cheap solution works, great. If not then the cylinder head has to come off and gets milled flat again or replaced. Most of the cost is direct labor. A good repair manual will have the necessary info to do the job.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Engine and transmission for $500.
https://rochester.craigslist.org/pts/6469448357.html
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squatch81 View Post
Or am I nutz for even considering doing this?
I see this is the general consensus.
I do plan on repairing the engine eventually, but I do not have the funds at this time. My brother, who is much better connected than I am, checked around for me and reported the $2200 is the low end of the range for mechanics in the area. Almost all labor, and requires special tools. We even checked for auto mechanics trade schools in the area without success.
What I was going for is a simple stop-gap to save on the short trips. My other vehicle is a 4WD with a V10 and only gets 10mpg. I only used it for hauling and plowing the driveway before and now my fuel bill is through the roof.

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