Prius mods 5 – a few bits and pieces


The latest round of mods comes from the Prius Club of Queensland from where you can buy some of those spiffy accessories you’ve only seen on the PriusChat Shop.  Parcel arrived on Saturday (well, this is Canberra) so I was able to get started in the afternoon.

Cam you spot all four mods?
Can you spot all four mods?

Front weather shields – ClimAir Profi

It’s been so hot the past few weeks that I’ve left a gap in the front windows whenever I parked the car.  However, this can allow rain (what rain?) and dust to get in.  The ClimAir Profi weather shields are very slender and are made in Germany where, as Vince reminds us, they always make good stuff.  On days when it’s not too hot or there’s a nice breeze, opening the windows a crack can be more pleasant than A/C.

Fitting was straightforward and without clips.  The weather shield bends just enough to allow fitting without fixtures.  Getting the rubber on the right side of the shield is a bit tricky.  Don’t be tempted to remove the clear sticker at the bottom; it protects the lower window rubber from direct contact.

The instructions advise closing the window 5 times to seat them.  John advised me to manually lift the windows until they are fully raised (the AUTO function will bounce back) and leave them for a few days.  Perhaps because of the hot weather, after just one day the AUTO function was mostly working without resistance.

Since I am aiming for an aerodynamic package, why would I fit something to spoil the clean lines.  There are conditions where an open window is more efficient than using A/C, as long as the HV battery remains cool.  (Yes, A/C in a Prius is for more than just personal comfort.)  Any concern I had disappeared when I noticed that the AeroPrius YuraStyle NEO sports similar weather shields front and rear.  Good enough for him to do 1000 miles with, good enough for me.

Thin weather shield on the front window
Thin weather shield on the front window

Rear bumper protector

My bumper is already scratched.  Getting a protector is as much to hide the scratches as to protect from more.  But there is something to be said about the way that the black sets off nicely with the black window and spoiler and the red.  (Should I get smoked tail-light lens covers to complete the look?)

Alignment is easy since the centre ridge aligns to the door strike.  There’s also a tiny mark that seems to be a moulding point for the bumper.

The mistake I made at first was to place it hard against the panel under the tailgate.  Some persuasion later (that stuff is sticky!) I was able to reposition the protector back 10mm so that the curve in the protector matched the curve in the bumper.

Spider web on fuel tank cap

Prius joke.  Some might say it looks funnier on a Landcruiser.  You be the judge.

After washing the area with standard car shampoo, I prepared the surface with Repco Wax and Grease Remover, or “panel wipe” as television’s Edd China would say.  This really cleans the surface and gets rid of anything that might affect the adhesion.  Forget glass cleaner, this stuff gets it clean.

Pulling the decal off its backing was fun, as the thin sticker stretched and stuck to itself; a bit like the real thing.  After I’d placed it on car I had to lift some ends to remove kinks (boy it stretches!).  I used a sharp blade to cut the web and wrapped those bits into the gap.  Zoom in on the photo above for detail.

Shark-fin antenna

Shark fin is a literally tasteless ingredient of expensive soup in Asia.  You can get the same texture from gelatin or vermicelli at a fraction of the cost.

By contrast, a shark fin antenna is so cool.  Again I washed and then cleaned with panel wipe to get a good surface.  Fitting is a bit of a chore; it is easy to get it all out of whack.  I used a long rule across the back to check the alignment against the tailgate window gap.  The rear window washer jet was a reference point for the centre.  Once the antenna is positioned, use masking tape at the front edge and then the sides; when the antenna is stuck down within these guides it should be in perfect alignment.

Attaching the cable to the antenna socket required a washer (not provided) to give a tight connection.

Sticking the antenna while checking the alignment was a little fiddly, but worth it; it is much smaller than the standard whip.  There is some debate over whether the original antenna is within the surface layer of air and therefore changing to a flatter antenna has no effect.  It sure looks cooler and reception is fine.

The only problem is that the new 3R3 Wildfire Red Mica paint on the antenna is much more vibrant than the rest of the paint.  That will buff out.

Thanks to John from the Prius Club of Queensland for the goods and good advice.

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8 thoughts on “Prius mods 5 – a few bits and pieces

  1. Pretty cool mods! I have the weather shield as well (bought directly from Toyota though). They cover all four windows and are held by 3M double sided automotive tape and two small clips. really helps minimise A/C use. Since installing those, I never really used AC. I only turn them on when my passengers are uncomfortable already. I didn’t even use it on that 42 degC friday last week where I did 160km. It was a nerve-wracking experiment to see if the car will survive that kind of heat. well, it did.. : ) never did hear the battery fan turn on and fuel consumption was normal. it would have been good to have a HV batt temp gauge in the SGII though.

    Good job on the antenna as well. been wanting to that for the longest time when i learned that there’s a chrysler equivalent that will fit perfectly. i’ll probably do that when my roof-wrap is faded already. Nice touch on the spider web! didn’t really get the joke till you mentioned it. lol!

  2. For some reason I never considered OEM weather shields. I notice that they attach to the outside of the windows frame, whereas the ClimAir fit just inside the frame. No tools, adhesives or screws. I’ve shaded the rear windows and tailgate for now until it’s cold again.

    Which apps have a HV Battery temperature gauge? There’s a Yurastyle HV Battery duct to force air from the rear window into the vent on the Gen III, but he doesn’t seem to have them for sale. http://autoc-one.jp/toyota/prius/special-882051/photo/0003.html I’m puzzled that in some photos the rear window is mostly open but there’s a shot from outside with the window closed! The accompanying story doesn’t explain.

    The antenna is very flat. But I haven’t tried the radio yet. There should be a step to test the radio before sticking the antenna to the roof! And as for the colour difference, I’ll just have to buff the roof!

  3. I think the android Torque app can show the HV battery temps even the voltage per battery bank. That Yurastyle HV battery duct sure looks cool (pun intended).

    1. I’ll look into the Torque app. However, I’m just about to re-post something I wrote on PC Fred’d House of pancakes about the hidden dangers of gadgets on your dashboard.
      The HV Battery duct is cooool, but I’m confused. Some images show the window almost fully open, which would affect aerodynamics and would bring some air to the duct anyway. But one photo from outside shows him offering up the duct with the window fully closed. Is he Criss Angel or something?
      I’ll contact him and try to get an answer. If it is available at a reasonable price and I had the Torque app, it would be worth experimenting. Jen from NilCO2 thought it might do more harm than good unless the air was cold. And would you need to provide a bigger exhaust vent?
      If only we had all the time and money our hobby demands…

  4. Hi Bradley, i was wondering if you got your Prius V weather shields from the http://priusclubqld.org/accessories as when I enquired, they told me that they only supply for the Prius and not the Prius V. I can’t seem to get a supplier for these shields. Toyota say they don’t have shields for the V either. Have you any suggestions?
    Cheers, Tai

    1. Hi Tai
      Yes, they were from Prius Club Qld.

      The tiny range of accessories available from Toyota Australia is surprising. I have a Japanese Prius Alpha brochure from 2011 that includes 7 options for navigation and another 30 pages of accessories from Toyota. You can even get body kits dealer-fitted over there.

      Juiced Hybrid have a cheap set. They appear to fit within the window channel like mine. If the windows have been left open for a while the shields can trigger the anti-pinch function, but that’s not common. http://www.juicedhybrid.com/Prius-V-Window-Deflectors-s/2146.htm

      I found a KENSTYLE version at twice the price on Rakuten Japan. Search for “Prius ZVW40” or “Prius Alpha”. You have to be a bit creative with search terms (“Side visor” not, “weather shield” or “wind deflector”) but you can often find parts that will definitely suit RHD, like suspension parts unlike trying to buy from USA. Or buy a fancy Prius α badge.
      http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/tempest-power/item/10253462/

      1. Thank you for your help Brad, those links are really useful. Can I please check what generation Prius you have? Is it a normal Prius, or Prius V? I assume it is the current generation?

        Thanks,

        Tai

      2. Current generation Prius ZVW30. It was one of the first built in May 2009, but the Americans call it the “2010” model. There was a facelift in 2012.
        The numbering goes like this: NHW10 – original Series 1 Japan-only since 1997; NHW11 – Series 1 first exported 2001; NHW20 – Series 2 from 2004 to 2009; ZVW30 Series 3 2009 – present ; ZVW35 Plug-in Prius 2011 – present; ZVW40 Prius α / V 7-seater, ZVW45 Prius α / V 5-seater; NHP10 Prius Aqua / C.

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