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vskid3 10-20-2013 09:09 PM

vskid3's 2005 Prius
 
Bought a 2005 Prius with 85k miles on it a few months ago, decided I should make a thread about it now that I've started doing mods to it. Almost immediately after getting it home, I pumped all the tires (Goodyear Viva Authority) to the sidewall max of 51PSI. I decided to drive it as-is for a bit to get a baseline of what the car is capable of (or maybe I was lazy and figured 60MPG was good enough:D).

We sold our Escape about a month ago. I took the headunit from it and installed it and a subwoofer I had into the Prius. Difference was night and day. This is one non-ecomod I highly recommend for any Prius.

Now that its getting cooler here, I have renewed motivation to do mods in order to maintain my 60MPG average. I started off with a grille block as I already had all the materials. I got the plastic from the back panel of a broken pink 32" LCD I found in a dumpster. After a week of my coworkers asking why I had pink on the front of my car, I painted it today. I haven't really noticed any gains in MPGs or warm up time, but it at least shouldn't hurt anything.
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j2...d80bda7818.jpg
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j2...014_161236.jpg
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j2...020_110614.jpg

Planned/potential mods include a block heater, coolant temperature spoofer, smooth wheel covers, and rear wheel skirts.

MetroMPG 10-21-2013 02:08 PM

Subscribed.

I still say that the Toyota hybrids are among the most entertaining ICE cars to drive (if you're an efficiency nerd). I say that even with their "automatic" transmissions -- I'm a manual shift die-hard.

vskid3 11-03-2013 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 396342)
I still say that the Toyota hybrids are among the most entertaining ICE cars to drive (if you're an efficiency nerd). I say that even with their "automatic" transmissions -- I'm a manual shift die-hard.

I agree. My previous cars had to be manual, but the eCVTs of the Escape and Prius are engaging enough to keep me interested.

Grille block seems to be helping. I'm getting about the same mileage despite it being 45-55F in the morning. I'm going to be adding this cheap coolant temperature spoofer within the next couple of weeks. Same concept as the one Daox has on his Prius, but this one has to be manually adjusted.

Daox 11-04-2013 11:02 AM

I've really been liking my spoofer. I do a lot of shorter trips (most are less than 10 mile jaunts) and I do think it has improved my mileage. I also run a full grill block and a block heater to help negate the cold start penalty.

vskid3 12-14-2014 11:51 AM

I forgot I even made this thread...
No updates in the mods department besides taking the grill block off during the summer and putting it back on a few months ago. Replaced the extremely weather cracked tires a couple days ago with Bridgestone Ecopia EP422's. Pumped the fronts to the 44PSI sidewall max and the rears to 42PSI. They seem to be quieter than the old tires and grip is much improved. Traction control liked to kick in when I had to punch it from a stop, that's a thing of the past with the new tires. Too early to tell how my mileage will be with them, but it should be about the same.

vskid3 07-05-2015 05:17 PM

Another update, but not quite as long of a gap as before.

Over 10k miles on the Ecopias. Still running the same pressures, 44/42PSI. Looking at my Fuelly log, it looks like they've cost me a couple MPGs. Hard to say for sure, driving has been different (probably worse for MPGs) since just after getting them.

Ran the full bottom grill block til a couple weeks ago. It was fine on flat highway, but temps would get pretty toasty on hills (coolant) and stop and go (intake). I removed the left half of the block and it seems to be doing much better even on 100F+ days.

MetroMPG 07-06-2015 12:56 PM

I'm still hunting for one (Prius). No prospects in the last 3 weeks though. Summer drought!

vskid3 08-23-2015 11:40 AM

Glad you finally found one, Metro. They're neat cars.

My inverter coolant pump died a couple weeks ago. Lit up all the bad lights in the car, but I was able to make it ~8 miles to home. Finally got the new one in the mail and swapped it yesterday. Fairly easy to do. Most people drain the inverter coolant to do the change, I just clamped off the lines and only lost maybe 1/4 cup of coolant. Here's a link to my PriusChat thread if anyone wants to read more about diagnosing the problem.

http://i.imgur.com/JtIcmVZ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/JAF3tQ8.jpg

MetroMPG 08-23-2015 11:43 AM

Thanks for posting the fix/link. Glad it wasn't too onerous.

vskid3 10-20-2016 03:17 PM

After running half a lower grill block for the summer, the zip ties started breaking so I removed it completely a couple months ago. Before putting the whole thing back on for the winter, I did a little refurbishing to the grill block. Here's the result:
http://i.imgur.com/YUk9WCo.jpg?1

Swapped the Ecopias for some Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 snow tires yesterday. This will be the first real winter for the car now that I'm back in Utah. I also have a block heater and a heated seats kit in the mail to keep the engine and hopefully the wife happier in the cold. Still considering the coolant temp spoofer, but I'm going to wait and see how the block heater performs. I'll get some pipe insulation for the upper grill the next time I'm at Lowe's or Home Depot.

Daox 10-20-2016 05:09 PM

I really like the spoofer mainly just so you can use more heat. You can keep it warm enough without it, but in the cold of winter you will be... colder than you could be without it. For my wife who seems to be eternally cold, it is worth its weight in gold. :D

I bet 3rd gens don't have near the heat issues in winter with that fancy exhaust heat exchanger.

vskid3 10-23-2016 03:42 AM

Hm, sounds like a spoofer is in the Prius' future.

I was kind of set on buying a Volt after Cowmeat posted about his (preheating would be very nice), but now's not the time financially. I've decided to keep the Prius till it dies, so it's getting a few hundred dollars worth of lovin'. I even got it some new spark plugs. We'll see if they end up getting installed before it hits 130k miles (still running fine on what I believe to be the originals). By the time it dies, used Gen2 Volts and Bolts should be pretty affordable.

Also considering mounting a space heater in the cabin for preheating. I guess we'll see how cold it gets this winter and how well the block and seat heaters work.

vskid3 10-27-2016 12:09 PM

My brother and I installed the new spark plugs and the block heater. Plugs looked pretty good for having 128k miles on them. I don't think I'll be replacing them again, regardless of how long the car lasts.

The block heater was kind of an adventure. I put it in from the top since I was already removing the wiper assembly to do the plugs. While my brother was feeling around for the hole that I told him was about the size of his finger, he got his finger stuck in it. :rolleyes: He got it out after a couple minutes of panic. Getting the heater down to the hole requires some tricky maneuvering. I think I would recommend those with shorter arms install from the top, while longer and bigger arms would probably have an easier time from below. I have the cord sticking out of the upper grill for now. It took the coolant temp from ~50F to ~95F in about an hour. Can't wait to see how it handles some real cold.

vskid3 11-18-2016 01:40 PM

Got pipe insulation a couple weeks ago and blocked the upper grill. Not sure if it helps warm up much at 50-60F, but it seems to keep the warm up time similar to those temps even when it's 30 out. I think I'll need to do something about the gaping hole under the engine bay if I want to get any further temperature increases. I just need to get ramps or visit my parents again.
http://i.imgur.com/7aGwktW.jpg

Discovered a bad thing about having the block heater plug come out the upper grill, it got completely covered in our first snow yesterday. Shouldn't be a shock hazard (I unplug the extension cord from the wall before leaving, so there's no power when I plug the heater in), but having it freeze together would not be fun.

vskid3 04-15-2017 09:05 PM

Some more updates on the Prius:

Replaced the 12v battery with a yellow top Optima at the end of November. Kind of a tight squeeze, the Optima is a bit taller and the plastic handle keeps the floor/cover piece from sitting completely flat. Car wouldn't start with the headlights on (started after I turned them off), checked the battery and the resting voltage was low.

Complete grill block works great around town and highway trips below 25-30F. Above 30-35F on the highway, I have to remove half of top slit's foam (so 1/4th of the upper block). I think it's at about 50F that the rest of the top slit has the be open for highway speeds. I'll probably remove the rest of the upper block in another month or two for the summer.

I finally installed an EV mode button after running the wire last year. Drilled a hole in the blank spot next to the cluster dimmer and glued in a long button tact switch I salvaged from something long ago. I highly recommend adding an EV mode button in the Gen2 Prius. Using it at the wrong times can hurt your mileage, but it's super handy to be able to move around the driveway without the ICE kicking on or to do manual P&G if it isn't warm enough to go into full hybrid mode.
http://i.imgur.com/E1vjbtch.jpg

vskid3 05-07-2018 01:18 AM

4 Attachment(s)
After nearly 5 years of ownership, I finally added smooth wheel covers to my Prius. I didn't want to make any permanent modifications and I wanted them to either have access to the valve stem and lug nuts or be easy to remove. I settled on easy to remove, using velcro wire ties to attach them to the wheel trim rings that came with the car.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1525666540

Daox 05-07-2018 12:21 PM

Looks nice!

vskid3 06-20-2018 11:49 PM

I finally did a write up about rebuilding my HV battery at the beginning of this year. http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post572558

vskid3 07-10-2019 03:46 PM

Guess what's back! HV battery issues!

:(

I've had all the idiot lights come on a couple times in the last few months, but both times my Ultragauge didn't see any codes (or even that the CEL was on) so I just cleared the codes and went on my way. It happened again the other day while my wife was driving. This time I was able to check the codes with my bluetooth scanner, and it looks like there's a module or two that needs some loving.

S Keith 07-10-2019 10:22 PM

I have had OBDII readers that were left plugged in continuously occasionally trip all the idiot lights except for master warning and CEL.

EDIT: in terms of module "loving," if you're getting P30XX indicating weak blocks, they don't need love. They need to be replaced.

vskid3 07-12-2019 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by S Keith (Post 601789)
EDIT: in terms of module "loving," if you're getting P30XX indicating weak blocks, they don't need love. They need to be replaced.

Shhhh, they don't need to know that. ;) I think the code was P3020. It's due for emissions testing this month, I just need it to pass that. I've been driving it gently to keep it from using much battery and getting it ready to pass the test.

Really not sure what to do about the battery. Part of me wants to just replace the car with something else, but that would likely end up costing more than most battery replacement options. The rebuild/refresh I did last year cost me $120 for 3 replacement modules and would take me 8-12 hours to do again (will have to wait to see how many actually need replaced). There's a few guys on the local classifieds that'll replace your battery with one they refurbished for $500-1000. I'll have to see if any of them will discuss their methods; if they have a pool of modules that they match together, that's better than what I can do. I wish I could find a low mileage Gen3 battery and swap the modules over, but it seems like everyone just sells them by the module.

S Keith 07-12-2019 01:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vskid3 (Post 601872)
Shhhh, they don't need to know that. ;) I think the code was P3020. It's due for emissions testing this month, I just need it to pass that. I've been driving it gently to keep it from using much battery and getting it ready to pass the test.

Really not sure what to do about the battery. Part of me wants to just replace the car with something else, but that would likely end up costing more than most battery replacement options. The rebuild/refresh I did last year cost me $120 for 3 replacement modules and would take me 8-12 hours to do again (will have to wait to see how many actually need replaced). There's a few guys on the local classifieds that'll replace your battery with one they refurbished for $500-1000. I'll have to see if any of them will discuss their methods; if they have a pool of modules that they match together, that's better than what I can do. I wish I could find a low mileage Gen3 battery and swap the modules over, but it seems like everyone just sells them by the module.

If you have an active P3020, it's going to be tough to pass emissions. No matter how much you baby it, it's going to stress that block. Stay away from Gen3 modules unless they're very low mileage. The Gen3 murder their batteries. They use them more aggressively, and they have cooling problems. I've seen a couple dozen, and they've been 100% consistent with less than 5 good modules. I'll take a 2004 with 200K before I'll touch a Gen3 with 100K.

Highly unlikely you need to go back through the pack like that again. Let it sit for 48 hours and replace any modules that are outside of a .05V total range from highest to lowest EXCEPT the end modules. End modules may be up to .10V below the max.

Buy replacement modules from Hybrid Automotive. They are professionally reconditioned and are very reliable with a 1 year warranty.

If you really want to do a recondition, whole-pack grid charge/discharge is extremely effective.

vskid3 07-12-2019 11:10 PM

The last time I got the warning lights (and I assume a battery code) was about a month ago, so crossing my fingers it'll last a few more days. I found the instructions for getting the car ready for the emissions test, hopefully I can get everything good by my inspection appointment Monday morning. Cat, O2, and evap are all incomplete (probably due to the short trips it's been on since clearing the codes). Evap recommends the gas being at 1/2-3/4 tank, of course it's almost full...

vskid3 07-15-2019 02:46 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Like S Keith predicted, the battery wasn't good enough to pass emissions. I got a CEL on my way to work Saturday morning. :mad: But, what do you do when you have two hybrids that use the same battery modules (and both are having battery issues)? You take them both apart and swap all the Camry's good modules into the Prius' battery, of course! Batteries came out Saturday night, swapped the modules, put the Prius back together, went for a drive and got all the emissions tests to pass by 9pm Sunday. Took it in for emissions this morning and it passed.:thumbup:

Now I just have to get everything fixed so I can have 2 working cars again. Turns out one of the modules in the Camry's battery was leaking. The other modules all seem fine. I didn't even check the Prius' modules before swapping them out, so we'll have to see how many of them need replaced.

S Keith 07-16-2019 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vskid3 (Post 602083)
Like S Keith predicted, the battery wasn't good enough to pass emissions. I got a CEL on my way to work Saturday morning. :mad: But, what do you do when you have two hybrids that use the same battery modules (and both are having battery issues)? You take them both apart and swap all the Camry's good modules into the Prius' battery, of course! Batteries came out Saturday night, swapped the modules, put the Prius back together, went for a drive and got all the emissions tests to pass by 9pm Sunday. Took it in for emissions this morning and it passed.:thumbup:

Now I just have to get everything fixed so I can have 2 working cars again. Turns out one of the modules in the Camry's battery was leaking. The other modules all seem fine. I didn't even check the Prius' modules before swapping them out, so we'll have to see how many of them need replaced.

Sorry to hear it... damn... that's a lot of work. At least you're through emissions and can deal with it as you like.

Leaks almost always disable the car with a P0AA6 code that can only be read by higher end code readers.

If the Prius modules were leaking, you would likely be disabled somewhere, though on very rare occasions, folks can get 100s of miles before it trips again.

vskid3 07-16-2019 01:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by S Keith (Post 602118)
If the Prius modules were leaking, you would likely be disabled somewhere, though on very rare occasions, folks can get 100s of miles before it trips again.

Sounds like this may have been a blessing in disguise. The Camry has become our favorite for long distance travel and it would not be fun to find ourselves stuck on the side of the road a couple hundred miles from home. Here's what the bottom of the Camry's battery looks like.
https://ecomodder.com/forum/attachme...1&d=1563295346

Do you have any experience with alternative modules like Bumblebee's BeeMax or these cylindrical modules? I'll probably just replace my bad modules for now, but I wouldn't mind spending more next time if it'll give me many years of worry free service.

S Keith 07-16-2019 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vskid3 (Post 602147)
Sounds like this may have been a blessing in disguise. The Camry has become our favorite for long distance travel and it would not be fun to find ourselves stuck on the side of the road a couple hundred miles from home. Here's what the bottom of the Camry's battery looks like.
https://ecomodder.com/forum/attachme...1&d=1563295346

Do you have any experience with alternative modules like Bumblebee's BeeMax or these cylindrical modules? I'll probably just replace my bad modules for now, but I wouldn't mind spending more next time if it'll give me many years of worry free service.

Did you find the source of the leak? What is atypical in your picture is the LACK of staining immediately around one of the mounting holes in the bottom - the most common place to fail. I would guess that one of your modules failed at a plastic weld or an edge.

One thing about a P0AA6 - most OBDII readers - even the cheapest - can clear that code and allow start. P0AA6 does not shut the car down, but once the coded is sensed and the driver is alerted, the car will not restart after the next power-off. A 12V disconnect for 2 minutes will typically enable restart. I have witnessed drivers do this for up to 6 months in order to avoid the expense of a battery replacement. They stop when the battery deteriorates to the point that a weak block or P0A80 code is thrown.

I have no experience with the BeeMax cells.

vskid3 07-16-2019 03:32 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I'm pretty sure module 13 of the Camry battery is the one that leaked. I used my RC charger to measure the IR of all the Camry's modules and they were all ~30ohm except for 13 at 55ohm. 13 is on the right of the picture, 12 is on the left.
https://ecomodder.com/forum/attachme...1&d=1563301108

This is the mounting hole for 13. It looks like someone bent it back into place, maybe when it was refurbished while the dealer had it before we bought it. The battery had definitely been worked on recently; some of the trunk panels weren't replaced correctly and the hardware like the bus bars didn't have much corrosion. None of the modules were numbered or marked like I've seen in most pics and videos, I wonder if they just cleaned the connections and maybe did some charge/discharges instead of replacing any modules. We've put close to 3k miles on it since buying it in March and it currently has 205k miles.
https://ecomodder.com/forum/attachme...1&d=1563301108

S Keith 07-16-2019 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vskid3 (Post 602162)
I'm pretty sure module 13 of the Camry battery is the one that leaked. I used my RC charger to measure the IR of all the Camry's modules and they were all ~30ohm except for 13 at 55ohm. 13 is on the right of the picture, 12 is on the left.
https://ecomodder.com/forum/attachme...1&d=1563301108

This is the mounting hole for 13. It looks like someone bent it back into place, maybe when it was refurbished while the dealer had it before we bought it. The battery had definitely been worked on recently; some of the trunk panels weren't replaced correctly and the hardware like the bus bars didn't have much corrosion. None of the modules were numbered or marked like I've seen in most pics and videos, I wonder if they just cleaned the connections and maybe did some charge/discharges instead of replacing any modules. We've put close to 3k miles on it since buying it in March and it currently has 205k miles.
https://ecomodder.com/forum/attachme...1&d=1563301108

I've only seen leaks like that one time on shipped modules where the "wedge" piece that helps align modules vertically in that area is damaged when modules are shipped in a "loose" state (not clamped) with all modules in contact with one another as if they were in a pack - allows the two wedges to work against each other until one breaks.

Original batteries almost always have identical first four and last digits (5 digits total). If the first four digits and/or the last digit is different, it's likely an altered pack. Given the age at acquisition, I'd be kinda surprised if it was an original. The first four digits are manufacture date DDMY (M is 1-9, X, Y, Z; Y is alpha with F=2004, e.g., 04Xg = 10/4/2005). The last digit is a batch code. You may see some date variation by up to 3 months (RARE), but you will never see a batch code variation on an original pack.

You didn't get a P0AA6 because there was never a path from the HV battery to chassis ground. Had the electrolyte leaked and contacted the case in such a way as it maintained conductivity back to the source of the leak, you would have received a code. Looks like it just leaked and dripped never maintaining a path between ground and the HV battery. You would eventually receive a P30XX (weak block) code due to the high IR. At the number you measured (mentally adjusted for the incorrect charger value), I'm a little surprised you didn't get one yet.

vskid3 07-23-2019 04:18 PM

Looks like the Camry modules I have in the Prius are pretty well balanced, but their capacity is crap. I did the battery test in Hybrid Assistant and went from 52.5% SOC to 42.0% in just over a minute and a half while running the AC at a moderate level. The app extrapolated this to meaning the pack has 1.96Ah of capacity.

I checked the date codes on the 6 Camry modules that aren't in the Prius. 5 of them are from August 2006 (so possibly original), one of them is from August 2010. And what do you know, it's our leaker, lucky 13. :/

Now I'm wondering if it's even worth it to replace the terrible modules with how tired the rest of them seem to be. I feel like I might be better off trying my luck with a refurb and hoping the modules are healthier, or crossing my fingers on the aftermarket new cylindrical cells.

S Keith 07-24-2019 12:01 AM

Hard to say. The weakest block dictates the total pack capacity, so you're just getting results from the weakest block.


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