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Discussion Starter #1
I am interested in getting a Prius, but I'd like to make a few aftermarket changes and wonder if anyone has any expience. The first is to replace the rear drum brakes with disc brakes. The other is bigger wheels/lifting one. I've owned a Jeep for the past 6 years, and I really like the height/ground clearance. Silly, I know. Also, I was going to install leather seats in one, but does anyone know if you can get power aftermarket leather seats?

Thanks!
Josh
 

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Josh, I would suggest another car. I believe you can order a Prius now with leather otherwise keep in mind that some of the airbags in this car are located in the tear away fabric seats. Also car was designed in a wind tunnel including wheel size. And the rear drums are more than adequate for the car. See previous threads on "brakes"
 

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There was an interesting report the other day on local TV about the differences between a USA sources car and a local (german) car.

The drum breaks in the USA were mentioned. Apparently we have disc breaks in the EU due to higher avarage speeds and the requirment for the breaks to be able to stand the harder ware and tear. The lower speeds (on average) in the USA means that drum breaks are sufficent.

There are other important differences as well. Under car shape tends to be different, again due to the higher speeds, tougher transmissions, stronger axels. All this leads as well to higher costs.
 

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Probably all true but the speed difference disappeared years ago. As soon as folks started finding that the US interstate highway system could sustain "rocket" speeds and pracitcally every one now ignores our national and local speed limits. You will find much higher speeds being used on our highways than those you encounter on the autobahn. There are only so many State Troopers. I'll also wager there is no market for radar detectors in Germany.
 

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zinzindorff9 said:
You will find much higher speeds being used on our highways than those you encounter on the autobahn.
Somehow, I doubt it. The average speed on the autobahn is very high. If you cruise at say 130Kmh, you are going slow. Keeping up with the flow your are looking at 150 - 160Kmh during rush hour. Speeds in excess of 200Kmh are not at all unusual as cruising speeds.

zinzindorff9 said:
I'll also wager there is no market for radar detectors in Germany.
There is but they are very illegal. You can get a very hefty fine, points on your license and the device will be confiscated. (In some parts of Europe your car can be confiscated as well!)
 

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I'm dumbfounded. Last time I was on an autobahn (87, just outside of Frankfort) 85 mph was max I observed. I'll have to again talk with some of our returned military. If the rush hour traffic is as crowded as ours we are talking about "Nascar"
 
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I'll back up Victor on this. I live in Germany, just south of Frankfurt. If you venture into the outside lane of an autobahn, you need to look a long way back in your mirror. Just about any car on the road can do 120mph and most people cruise at around 90mph but some of the Porsche's, BMW's and Merc's often use speeds of 150mph+ They start flashing about 1/2 a mile away and are with you in a few seconds...

The UK Prius has both disc brakes all round and has leather seats as an option... but the steering wheel may be on the wrong side for you :)
 

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Going back to the original Post.

If you are going to make a lot of mods, you may want to consider the Honda Civic Hybrid.
That way you are staying with a Hybrid, and the civics have mods like crazy.

Just a thought.
 

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However I walked immediately away from the civic when I compared internal combustion power plants. Honda a four cylinder , overhead valve engine with eight valves total. Toyota an all aluminum double overhead camshaft engine with sixteen valves. Plus the Prius was designed from the ground up as a hybrid. The Honda took a Civic sedan and put hybrid power plant into it. An accomplishment of course but by this time next year there will be many models, so powered.
 
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Well, I decided I wanted to get a Prius anyway. I think the civic is ugly :) I've seen posts from others about putting 16s on, and I might do so. I'm planning on getting leather seats, and possibly installing a sunroof. I wonder if a dealer can get the European parts. I figure I will investigate more.
 
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Brakes, autobahn and folly

I somehow miss the point of buying a Prius and then wishing to fit disc brakes to drive at neck-breaking autobahn speeds, completely defeating the purpose and statement of this vehicle. You might as well forget about installing a sun roof. The design of the roof all but makes this impossible. Yeah, someone said it: Get another car. The Prius is not for you (yet).
Leather seats options, all round disc brakes? Could you please point me to links providing this info?

I am a recent owner of a Prius in Japan where, I suppose, they have different specs.
Bye,
Jan
 

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josha said:
Also, I was going to install leather seats in one, but does anyone know if you can get power aftermarket leather seats?
I only considered the car colors that came with gray interior as tan shows dirt too easily. I walked up to a green Prius yesterday and was shocked to see leather interior and it looked very nice.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
the dye used to make leather is harmful to the environment. im glad the prius doesnt offer it
 

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Seifflare said:
the dye used to make leather is harmful to the environment. im glad the prius doesnt offer it
So is the plastic in the dash. The coal used to smelt the steel. The paint used on the exterior. The fabric is dyed too, you know. Heavy industry is messy. Picking on one process is a bit disingenous.

Personally I don't have the leather because its expensive and strikes me as unnecessary. I am an environmentalist, and a vegetarian for almost twenty years. I still wear leather shoes because the alternatives are significantly inferior.

If you want the least environmental impact, walk. Barefoot.
 

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jimb said:
Seifflare said:
the dye used to make leather is harmful to the environment. im glad the prius doesnt offer it
Are you for real? :shock:
I'll note the 2004 Toyota Prius Green Report (life cycle assessment)
that is here: http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/k_forum/tenji/pdf/pgr_e.pdf
(you'll need to download the Japanese fonts for your PDF reader in order
to read it, but the entire document is written in English.) Over the
vehicle's lifetime, it's meant to be a low-emission vehicle. In CA (and
states that follow the CA emissions rules, currently MA, ME, NY, and VT)
the 2004 Prius qualifies as a AT-PZEV (alternative technology - partial
zero emission vehicle), which means that it not only meets the SULEV
standard, but also emits zero evaporative emissions, and has a longer
emissions warranty. SULEV is about 90% cleaner emissions than the minimal
LEV sold in CA. http://www.driveclean.ca.gov/en/gv/faq/index.asp#2

In such an environmentally friendly car, why would someone do such a
non-environmentally friendly thing as getting leather seats?

Perfectly good seatcovers are taken off of the Prius, most likely thrown
out, to add the leather.

A larger land mass is needed (and resulting extra pesticides and farm
equipment use) to feed the cow which makes the leather, as opposed to just
using the plant material to make the original seating.

Then there's the runoff and all the nasty chemicals from the leather
tanning industry... And a tanned hide usually doesn't biodegrade as
quickly as a non-tanned hide.

Also, there's the unfortunate death of a cow to make a (uncomfy to me)
leather seat... Sure, a cow produces methane and CO2, but so do
humans...

some resources:
http://www.cowsarecool.com/environment.asp
http://www.peta.org/factsheet/files/Fac ... .asp?ID=58
http://www.tve.org/ho/doc.cfm?aid=899&lang=English
http://www.idausa.org/facts/leatherfacts.html
http://www.wri.org/wr-98-99/impacts.htm
http://www.nobull.net/CattlemenLegal/ne ... estig.html


(Note, Toyota doesn't offer leather seats on the Prius. If you get a Prius with leather seats, it was an aftermarket installation, either at the port of entry, the dealer, or some outside shop you hired... )
 
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Discussion Starter #20
If you wanted leather seats, heated seats, Powered seats, four wheel disc brakes, tachometers. oil pressure guages, coolant temperature guages ect: why in the world would you buy a Prius?
 
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