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AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/1/22 12:35 p.m.

Most of my life I've had no interest in Toyota Prii (or Priusses). It wasn't until I read John Welsh's many posts that I became curious, but still had no good excuse to buy one. Then gas prices surged and a family member needed a more economical car than a F150 Lariat for a 1 hour daily commute. Of course with gas prices skyrocketing and economical used cars costing 50% more than they did a couple years ago, the used Prius market is getting spendy. I'm cheap and I like tinkering with broken things. Rather than spend $4,000 to $8,000 I started looking at Salvage cars on Copart.

First there was a 2005 with over 250k miles and no obvious damage other than wear. I thought I might get it for a bid of $1,000 or less. I was suspicious about the car because the seller was listed as a car buying service rather than an insurance company. That implies that they bought it to resell, then found that it was unsellable and are dumping it. On John's recommendation, I went to Toyota's web page and entered the VIN so that I could see the service history. (Some discussion half way down this page in a Prius thread.) Glad I did because it showed some very recent potentially bad stuff:

Given that, I decided to pass on that car unless I could get it for near scrap value. I didn't bid on that car, but watched the auction. Bidding reached $900 with an undisclosed reserve. The $900 was not accepted by the seller and the car is now still on Copart showing a $2,200 Buy it Now price.

What I did buy. With all of the red flags that came up on that car I looked through the auction listing for anything else in that day's auction that might work as an economical commuter car. There was another '05 Prius that I hadn't noticed a few days earlier when I was scanning the inventory. This one has under 175k miles and looks good other than some (potentially serious) damage to the driver's side door and fender area.

I planned to bid up to $1,000 on it and pass if it went higher. It did. I had it at $1,000, then there was a $1,050 and a $1,100 bid. I watched the clock run out. I didn't bid. I instantly felt 'non-buyer's remorse'. ...Then the clock reset for "Overtime". I had about 5 seconds to make a bid. Time stood still. In the last second I clicked on $1,150. Sold, Winner, Me, Yay.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/1/22 1:08 p.m.

Let's not count or talk about how many project cars I currently have. It's more than enough to keep me busy for a year and I do not have time to rebuild this car. The good news is that I don't have to do all the work. I'm buying the car for my daughter and 'pretty much son-in-law' to use and he happens to be a collision repair guy for a major dealership. I get to play around with it and figure out what makes Prii tick (or how to keep them from making ticking sounds) and he can do the 'heavy lifting' of making it right again. I don't really need or have space for another car, so although I plan to initially register it, they will possess it most of the time as their car.

It was just delivered today. I paid for delivery. I often pick up Copart cars from the local lots when I get them, but I'm working way too much lately. The $180 delivery fee is easier than trying to take time to get it or arrange for someone to pick it up. Mrs AAZCD just received it and gave me the play by play in texts as it was unloaded. "Nice tow truck." "It has no power, so we can't start it." "Battery died cuz the door is open." "Rolled well off truck ... straight roll no wobbly." "Good looking inside ...smells good too." "Door won't close." 

Tonight I'm off work at 7 pm and it will be dark by 8 pm. I plan to park it in the driveway and get a cover on it. Hopefully I can drive it there, but can pull it or trailer it if it doesn't start and drive easily. Sunday I'm off work and will haul away one of my (let's not count) parts cars to make things fit better. Monday and Tuesday I'm off work and hope to do an initial assessment of what I've bought. John Welsh found a good parts car at a yard in Tulsa that's the same color and has what I expect we will need. My 'pretty much son-in-law" can grab the parts next week on his lunch break. I'm excited. ...and stuck at work for seven more hours.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/1/22 1:21 p.m.

I think my prius purchase was one of the best i jave made in a long time. 

I think, once its its sorted, itll be a fantastic piece of equipment for your family  

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
4/1/22 1:21 p.m.

Can you flat tow a Prius with a tow bar ,  a short distance ?  
or could it be flat towed behind a motor home long distances , 

Again just wondering ......

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/1/22 1:47 p.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

I would think no flat tow.

A Prius quirk. You have to have 12v battery power to move the car to neutral. If you turn off the car (push button power button) while in drive or in neutral the car will engage PARK.

Also, to move around the yard, even to push the car, you'll at least need a 12v battery jump. That live 12v is needed to get the car out of Park. 

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/1/22 2:09 p.m.

To supplement JW:

From the manual - https://www.toyota.com/owners/resources/warranty-owners-manuals.prius.2005

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/1/22 2:15 p.m.

Copied from other Prius thread:  

If it is a 12v battery problem.  The problem is exaserberated by the fact that the 12v battery is in the trunk...but...the trunk latch is electric.  So, no juice means you can not get to the battery either, or so it seems.  

Under hood, in the fuse box is a poorly labled jumper point.  It is hidden under the red cover.  

So, positive to the red and negative to the strut bolt (at yellow tool.)  But, that red is so tiny its hard to grab onto with big battery clamps.  My trick...  that is a 10mm nut so put a 10mm socket into the jaws of the jumper cable and then put the 10mm onto th nut.  

I really only hook up the battery up front just long enough to send power enough to go to the rear hatch and open the electric switch..  Now, with the trunk open, I disconnect from the front jumper point and move the cables to the rear.  From the rear, I then jump start the car with the cables really hooked up right to the battery.  

I have driven salvage cars home (with dead batteries) buy just leaving my jumper pack or a spare battery right there in the trunk and clamped on. 

I have bought past salvage cars cheap because they were listed as non-runners but with this knowledge I have gotten them jumped.  I figured whoever deemed the car non-running didn't "make the effort." 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/1/22 2:32 p.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/2/22 12:03 p.m.

Ignorance. I connected a battery as John described. Things powered up. I opened the passenger door and climbed across to the driver's seat. Where does the key go? Okay, there's a rectangular slot below and right of the column. Foot on the brake. Key in. Key does not turn. ...Press "Power" button. Screens light up.

Okay... No noises. Engine is not running. How do I start this thing? I push and hold the power button. Press it three times. Yes, I know it's a Hybrid, but how does it *start*. Neighbors are peering out their windows. Mrs AAZCD is now standing in the yard with our dogs watching. Must. Not. Fail. As a last resort, I move the shift lever (backwards) to 'D' and the car silently starts moving forward. I smile and wave as I drive by. 'No problems here, just testing all the switches and buttons.' I drive in the gate and park in front of the garage. The girl dogs, Anna and Lilo sniff. Boy dogs, Kevin and Skippy pee on the tires. They approve.

Damage. The car took a solid perpendicular hit across the driver's door and front fender. The fender could be repaired, but is not worth the trouble with replacements available. The door shell is trash, but window and interior panel may be salvageable.

... Just got called out to a car wreck. To be continued.

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/2/22 12:33 p.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

Most of my life I've had no interest in Toyota Prii (or Priusses). It wasn't until I read John Welsh's many posts that I became curious

Pri-curious. LOL

You always have some of the most interesting threads to follow. I'll be quiet now and sit back in the audience to watch it unfold.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/2/22 2:34 p.m.

The confirmation that the car is "on" is from the message "Ready" on the screen.  

Being "on" or "ready" doesn't mean the ice engine will be running.  In this generation, the only input you have for weather it is ice or battery is the throttle.  The car makes its own decisions on ice/battery.  Newer generations allowed for some force into battery.  Another trick for forcing the ice engine to run is to trigger the defrost function from the steering wheel.  This is seen as a demand for max capability hvac and fires the compressor.  The compressor electrical demand will then also shortly power the ice engine.  Another option is that from the steering wheel you can down the hvac temp thereby demanding max AC, firing the compressor which will cause the ice to kick on. 

I see in your other picture that the outside temp was 63 degrees so there likely wasn't much demand for AC, therefore, the car just sat there in electric mode, just waiting for you to make some demand like throttle or hvac.  

Similarly, your best mpg days will come from when the weather allows for the least use of hvac.  Not too much heat demand (which is a product of engine coolant.)  Want more heat then it will run the ice engine more to make that heat.  AC is an electric function.  More AC demand means more battery deletion and the way it regenerates the battery id through more ice engine running.  Cold days (heater) seems to have a greater affect on MPG than hot day (AC useage)

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/2/22 2:47 p.m.

Where to put the key...  

I can see the black squares on your door handles.  This means your car has the optional "smart key" proximity key feature.  As long as the watch battery in the fob is good, as long as the fob is in the car, you can start the car.  No need to put the key in the square receptacle in the dash (but if the fob battery is dead then you must insert key into dash.)

So, you drive the car with the key in your pocket.  When you get out of the car and head into the house they save you from having to dig out the key from your pocket.  Just hit the black square on the door handle and all the doors lock.  When you return to the locked car with the key in your pocket, just reach for the handle and the system will sense the key in proximity and unlock the door too.  Key stays in pocket!  

Another benefit...the car will not allow you to lock the car from outside the car if the key remains inside the car.  This saves you from locking your keys inside the car. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
4/2/22 3:19 p.m.

Question about smart key , 

What do they cost to copy ?   Can you make a cheaper dumb key to use as a backup on a smart key car , or is there no way to open the doors , etc with a dumb key ?

Thanks for the info

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/2/22 3:32 p.m.

I have not bought a Prius key. All my cars except one came with just one key. 

Ironically, the one that did come with two keys was a 2008 but a total stripper car which meant no smart key function and no back up camera. 

No smart key just meant that you has to dig the key out of your pocket to hit the lock/unlock button and the key had to always be inserted into the dashboard. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
4/2/22 3:36 p.m.

The reason I asked  is that we had a Maserati that lost the smart key and it was $500 for a smart key and you had to take the car to the dealer to program it !

If you can have a dumb key back up that's great !

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/2/22 3:46 p.m.
John Welsh said:

I have not bought a Prius key. All my cars except one came with just one key. ...

Over the years I have bought about 20 Copart/IAA cars. This is the first one that came with more than one key. It has two smart keys and a plain metal key. I didn't know it until I found this envelope in the glove box:

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/2/22 4:20 p.m.

Before the interruption, I was talking about damage. Looking at the auction listing pictures, I could tell that the left front wheel alignment was off. I figured worst case, the frame would be bent and the car would be driveable, but never quite right (Gambler 500 car).

Last night as I was texting with John Welsh about leaving a battery charger hooked up to the 12V battery overnight I took some pics of the suspension. I'll call it a best case scenario. The front frame and strut tower do not appear to be damaged. It looks like the only damage effecting alignment is a bent strut base and tie rod.

The damage to the frame of the car looks like it's confined to the lower door jam and should be an easy fix on the frame machine for Brent (pretty much son-in-law).

I ordered L and R front struts and innner/outer tie rod last night on Rock Auto for under $100. That's the Munroe struts (without springs) on a warehouse closeout deal. I have a very good spring compressor set and recently got a tie rod tool from Harbor Freight. If I have the special tools, I like to get the use out of them.

The rear hatch would not open even with battery power, so I dug through the manual and then under the spare tire/jack holder to trip the manual release. From there I connected up the charger and it is still charging now. Storms were forecast and came through from midnight to 4 am, so I took the cover off of Mrs AAZCD's Boxster and put it on the Prius for the night to keep rain out.

So far, so good. Mrs AAZCD is even saying that this is good for us to learn, so we can buy one for her later. Cool cars and a good way to set a toe into the pool to test the waters of electric cars. Thanks again to John Welsh for all of his documentation and 24 hour phone support.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/3/22 9:25 p.m.

In reply to tremm :

After reading through John Welsh's guide, doing some browsing on PriusChat.com, and watching some YouTube I figured that the best Value right now is the 2nd gens. This car is not for me, at least not for long. It's intended as a gift that I get to play with for a few weeks before handing it over to family. If Mrs AAZCD decides that she wants one for us, I'll probably buy a newer one or a real beater that I can do radical mods to with no worry or 'ruining' a nice car.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/3/22 9:45 p.m.

Today I hauled the '85 Fiero parts car out to my daughter's house to store for a few weeks and brought back a load of firewood and a sore, 60 year old, 10% VA disabled back. It was a fair trade.

The Prius door was removed and beaten into a slightly better shape. It almost closes now. I found that the door handles aren't working, so no need to close it all the way and get it stuck. After I get the strut replaced, I intend to drive it as-is to get the registration done. I don't want to attempt to reshape the door frame with my primitive tools. Brent can do it right and any work I do before then will just weaken the metal.

I'm going to let it rest now for a few days until parts arrive. I want to get back to work on the Fiero engine swap and a few Boxster things ...and motorcycles and the Gambler 500 CRV and ...and.

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/6/22 1:15 p.m.

The same color car at the salvage yard in Tulsa had already been stripped. We were going to go ahead and buy parts in the wrong color for $460 and paint them. Before we closed the deal, Brent found another in Missouri in the correct color that is being parted and has arranged to pick up both doors for $180. A long drive, but he is heading near there anyway on Friday. The fender is still going to need work or replacement, but does not effect the driveability of the car at all - purely cosmetic.

The suspension parts from Rock Auto should arrive any time. I plan to fix the damaged strut and tie rod today if I have time. I work night shift 7 - 7 tonight, so I'm not going to push myself too hard. I already did a scrap yard trip today to drop off two Audi engines (2.0 T and 2.8 V6) misc Porsche scrap, and an automatic transmission from an '06 A4 Quattro that I (casually) tried to sell for a few years, but it has just sat taking up space. I just lost over 1,000 lbs and it feels good.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/6/22 1:55 p.m.

Sucks that the local parts are gone.  I did just go over to car-part and sure enough, they are no longer listed there.  The difference a week makes.   Over $300 in saving to travel for the parts.  The hours it takes to drive is likely still less than the hours it takes to prep/paint/finish the wrong color doors to the right color.  

Hold out for a proper color fender too.  Keep watching CL/FB for a private party parting out one your color.  

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/13/22 5:23 p.m.

I thought I updated this last week. The suspension parts came in on Thursday and I put it all together on Friday. I wish that I had bought the complete strut, not for the ease of installing it so much as having the whole thing be fresh. The boot and bump stop from the old strut were serviceable, but showing age and should have been replaced.

I fought to get the tie rod separated, but with the bend, the nut was jammed badly. I finally cut the tie rod off and the rest was easy. Alignment is just 'good to my eye' for now and after the frame work is done, I'll do a good alignment with my Longacre toe plates and magnetic angle thingie.

Brent came home with two beautiful doors on Friday night and he trailered the car to Tulsa today to work on the frame machine this evening after he is 'off the clock'.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/13/22 8:06 p.m.

I'm glad the doors turned out to be nice doors!  That should help speed up the repair.  You mention frame work.  That sounds difficult but having a "pro" with access to pro tools sound great.  

Struts:  I live in rust country. Struts usually fail here due to rust.  At that same time, that often means springs and especially top hats are worn too.  Sliding in the whole, loaded unit, tends to be easier than compressing on new everything.  Sure, you can get more quality parts shopping individually but sometimes, quick wins the day.  

 

 

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/14/22 1:42 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Cars that have been around here most of their existence rarely have rust issues. Most of them get some hail dents though. The only rust I found on this car was light surface rust where some paint had been chipped on a corner, probably by a stray grocery cart.

Brent sent me a few pics of progress last night. I probably won't see the car until Saturday evening.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/14/22 3:52 p.m.

Looks good.  I now see you have window visors for just one side of the car.  Ha.  

I bought a used, correct color rear side door for a Prius and had a local guy put the door on.  It wasn't until all was done that I realized the "new" door has window tint.  The tint was very good though so I couldn't see bothering to remove it.  I now have a Prius with one tinted window.  

 

I took a check of car-part again for a fender for ya.  $80 in AR  I'm not sure how far that it from you.  The listing on car-part is a little confusing.  They clearly state it is from a 2005 and that it is green.  But then they list a color code which is silver (1C0).  My guess is they just added the wrong code.  It's a silvery-green.  I guess I could see the mistake. There was only one green for 2005 and it's your green.  If not too far, might be worth a call. 

The listing has damage code of 5P 1.5 or Parking lot ding requiring 1.5 hr of repair.  I would call the shop and ask them to text you over pictures of the fender.  If it's just a ding, but the color is already correct, I'd just leave the ding.   

Speaking of pro resources, maybe the JY will deliver to the body shop, cheaply. 

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