Prius Mods part 3.4 – DEFA SafeStart finally installed!

I have finally installed the DEFA SafeStart permanently.  We left the story at Prius Mods part 3.3 – DEFA SafeStart WarmUp cable installation with the cable attached to the coolant overflow bottle with a cable tie.  To warm the engine I had to open the bonnet (hood) to fit and remove the power cable.  Not ideal.

I just finished fitting a lower grill block (See Prius Mods part 4 – later) when I decided to fit the cable once and for all.  I was going to have to find a way to route the cable from the upper grill (necessitated by blocking the lower grill) to the EBH.

Note: The official DEFA fitting instructions for the Prius put the socket in the lower grill, but don’t indicate how to route the cable.  My  method doesn’t leave much slack in the cable, but it isn’t stretched.

DEFA Connector Cable with fasteners. Note that “A” will be on the outside, there’s no O-ring and fastener “F” will be fitted backwards.

Step 1: I had to remove cable from EBH.  Fortunately, I could reach over the engine and down to the back of the block to remove the cable.  YAMV (Your Arm-age May Vary)

Tools: Pliers, Kincrome panel levers, Supatool 10mm socket with ratchet handle and ratchet wheel, pearl catch
Pop panel pins to remove cover. There’s 9 more pop pins and two bolts hiding under here.

Step 2: Remove the 3 pop pins and the front cover.  Underneath you’ll find 9 similar pop pins and two 10mm bolts holding the top of the bumper in place.  When finished, you should be able to separate the front panel far enough forward to slide your arm between the radiator and the grill.  If not, get a small urchin to help you.

Some things unclip to make replacing a headlamp bulb easier/possible. For this job, remove the lot.

Step 3: Make space.  Remove this lot and you’ll have adequate.

  1. Unclip the hose from the coolant overflow bottle (not shown)
  2. Remove the 2 x 10 mm bolts from behind the airbox
  3. Remove the 10mm bolt holding the airbox and clip
  4. Unclip the hose from its bracket
  5. Remove the airbox by twisting slightly and pulling to the left to separate it from the air-cleaner housing.

Step 4: The socket will not fit through the grill, so you’ll have to feed it in from the outside.  Fit part “A” (three pins facing out) to the cable.  Slide the cable into the grille; it will bulge a little.  Feed part “F” backwards, so that the thread will register, and tighten.

Step 5: Finding the gap around the radiator is not easy.  You think you’ve found it and then you’re blocked by a plastic bracket in front of the radiator.  Hint: Lift the inverter coolant (?) hose and feed the pearl catch or similar tool through the gap.

Looking from the rear – The gap between the radiator and body is just big enough for two

Step 6: Attach the cable to the pearl catch and gently pull the cable through the gap.  I used some 13mm pipe insulation to protect the cable.  A bit of fettling and it’s in place.

Cable run, protected by 13mm pipe insulation passes over an A/C line and the engine mount.  Earth lead is temporarily taped to the negative charging terminal

Step 7: Run the cable down the right-hand-side of the engine. (“Right” as seen from the rear of the car.)  I used another length of pipe insulation to “attach” the cable to the engine mount.  Note: Check as you go that you aren’t twisting or stretching the cable.

Step 8: Attach the cable to the EBH.  I could do this by reaching over the engine from above.  Hint: The earth cable is at the bottom of the plug and should line up to the bottom of the socket on the EBH.  Of course, you can always see better from under the car.

Step 9: Put everything back where you found it.  Note: I use the 10mm bolt that attaches the airbox to the engine mount to attach the earth lead.

DEFA SafeStart socket mounted in the upper grill – Prius NVW30

Neat.