Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 3

TRD Prius 030

See also:
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 1 – Wheel and tyre package
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 2 – Front suspension setup
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 4 – TRD accessories
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 5 – Rear spoiler
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 6 – Front and rear bumper spoilers

Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project Flickr album
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD Nürburgring record Flickr album

Compared with the front suspension, switching the rear suspension of our Prius Plug-in for the uprated TRD Sportivo setup was relatively straightforward. This is primarily because the spring and shock absorber are mounted independently of each other.

As the torsion beam needs to drop freely to remove these suspension components, the first job was to disconnect the ABS wire and height sensor for the HID headlights. The lower shock absorber bolts were then loosened but not removed; followed by the removal of the top mount nuts, which were reached through small access panels either side of the boot. A little compression on the springs then allowed the bottom bolts to be removed so the shock absorbers could be pulled free of the car.

TRD Prius 035

At this point the original springs could be taken out by hand, and immediately switched over to the new TRD Sportivo items. Just as it was vital that the ends of the coils were positioned correctly in their rubber seats within the strut at the front end, the same holds true at the back end.

TRD Prius 038

With the original rubber dust sleeve inserted over the top, each new rear shock absorber was bolted back in place using torque settings of 66 lb/ft and 18 lb/ft for the bottom bolt and top nut respectively.

A short drive around the block helped to settle the suspension before the geometry could be checked and to make sure there were no untoward noises coming from underneath the car.

TRD Prius 040

Back in the workshop again, the Prius was driven onto a ramp for an alignment session, whereby a receiver pad is attached to each wheel and the precise geometry is checked to a minute degree by laser reflection. Incredibly, every value was still within Toyota’s famously stringent tolerance levels, so no remedial tweaking of the suspension components was necessary. This speaks volumes for the precise build quality of the Prius and that of the TRD Sportivo parts.

TRD Prius 042

In the fourth chapter next week we will move on to fitting the TRD accessories.


See also:
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 1 – Wheel and tyre package
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 2 – Front suspension setup
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 4 – TRD accessories
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 5 – Rear spoiler
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project: Part 6 – Front and rear bumper spoilers

Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD project Flickr album
Toyota Prius Plug-in TRD Nürburgring record Flickr album

Comments (5)

  1. Oh, and one other question I forgot to ask. I believe the Prius Plug-in is heavier in the rear end than the non-Plug-in models because the lithium-ion battery is weightier than the nickel-metal hydride battery of the non-Plug-ins. We can get TRD lowering springs here in North America, but they are said to be for the non-Plug-in models only because apparently the rear spring rate is too low to properly support the Plug-in’s heavier rear. Are you, then, using rear springs especially designed for the Plug-in? And if so, is it possible to get those rear springs here in North America, or can I buy them when I’m in the UK later this month and have them shipped back to Canada? 🙂

    1. Hi Chris
      Got some part numbers for you. If Canada does not have a TRD distributor then you should be able to order them via the US through
      Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
      19001 S. Western Ave,
      Torrance, CA 90501 USA
      The part numbers are,
      Shock Absorber Set MS260-47003 comprising of front and rear shock absorbers
      Coil Spring Set MS250-47003 front coil springs and rear coil springs however ride height will not change.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Hi David,

        Thanks very much for the info. I would actually like to lower my Plug-in using springs alone or coilovers, but none of the manufacturers of said items seem to have developed anything specifically for the Plug-in. If there weren’t the rear weight issue to contend with, I would already have bought one of the many lowering products available for the standard Prius.

        If, through your (I’m sure many) contacts in the industry, you manage to come across a manufacturer who has developed either lowering springs or coilovers that will suit the Plug-in, I (and I’m sure other Plug-in owners) would be very grateful to hear about them. 🙂

        As I said in my last reply, I’ll be in the UK in mid-July. Where are you located, and might it be possible for me to drop in for a visit?

        Cheers!
        Chris

  2. I’m in Canada and look on enviously at what you’re doing over there. Is there any possibility of getting ahold of all the those TRD and other parts you’re installing here in Canada?

    1. Hi Chris
      Thanks for your post and great to hear you are following the conversion of our Prius Plug-in with TRD Sportivo components. Just to clarify one point, the springs we are fitting are uprated but they are not lowering springs and will not be reducing the height of the car. You are correct that these are available for the normal Prius but not the Plug-in derivative. We will be creating the illusion of the car being lower by using the body kit. The parts we are using are TRD Sportivo parts and we can supply you with the part numbers if this helps? Let us know which parts are of interest. We will also check whether you can order these from Canada and will let you know.
      Hope this helps.

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