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Lift kit or suggestion for a 2001 Chevrolet prizm

Hello All,
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with lifting a 2001 Prizm. I am not looking to lift it into the heavens, just a cople of inches so I can tow a small trailer or put four big brothers of mine in the car without the thing sagging down low. Also, living in Oregon, I would like to go on some forest roads that the standard prizm height does not like. once again, not looking to mud rock crawl, just extend the vehicle’s recreational and hauling usefulness.

Anywebsites or forums or advice are welcome. I already googled this and I have not come up with much. You all are my next option:)

This is not a good idea, and it would be unsafe, as it would compromise (ruin) the handling of the car.

If you want or need more ground clearance, trade your Prizm for a more suitable vehicle.

You won’t find much here either, sorry. The Prizm is an econo car(rebadged Corolla) and no one sells kits to do cars like they do trucks.
If you like the Prizm enough to want to keep it, keep it and buy/rent a truck or SUV for those times you want one. This will be your cheapest, and pretty much only option, save for mcp’s suggestion of trading the Prizm in for something else.

I concur with the above. You could try new springs and struts, if the old ones are worn, then new ones will keep it from sagging so much, but it won’t raise it up.

Raising the body does not always increase ground clearance though. The beam that goes between the rear wheels will stay at the same height no mater how high you raise the body, and that is often the low point in the vehicle anyway.

The only way to raise this beam is to use larger diameter tires. If you have weak springs, this probably will not be an option for you, but with good springs and struts, you could maybe fit tires that are an inch taller, that would give you an additional 1/2 inch of clearance. I would avoid going wider if you do go taller.

You want to tow with a Geo (I mean Chevy) Prizm? Wow. That’s a really bad idea, and so is installing a lift kit. If you want more recreational and hauling usefulness, you need to trade this car in for one that is made to haul and tow the things you have in mind.

I suggest you DO NOT lift your prism. Buy a JEEP :slight_smile:

This was a joke post right??

No he serious

Nope, completely serious. I have seen much smaller cars than the prizm being used to tow things and haul tons of people around in countries where people aren’t araid of their shadows sueing them. I have found the advice on the car talk threads tends to be pretty conservative–no heart, you know? A car is a machine and machine can be modified to fit the use of the person. Like I said, no mud crawling, just more clearance for back roads. I did find a corolla racing group that lifts and beefs up the suspension on these, a-la the old subaru legacies. I’ll post some pics when I get it done. Happy summer all!

I admit I’ve seen people in other countries tow large loads with small cars too, but they usually back-up traffic, and travel on roads with no minimum speed limit, and they do so in countries where guns are illegal.

No heart? How about experienced, been there and done lots of stupid stuff when we were younger, and having learned form the experience.

You know, this video was shot in one of the countries you are thinking of emulating.

This is not being conservative, or being rude. The answer is really in your owners manual.

How much is the rated towing capacity of your vehicle?

What is the total GVW minus the net weight of the vehicle? This should be on the sticker on the side of the door panel. How much does the total weight of your clan come up to?

I am not arguing that that it is impossible to do what you want, just that the prizm is NOT that big a vehicle to start with, and you may (most definitely) be asking it to do too much.

On another thought, you may actually be able to do this just fine. BUT, this type of capacity AND off road use is NEVER what was intended by the manufacturer, not what the car was designed to do, and certainly NOT what the unibody, frameless construction will put up with for long. I guess you are trying to ‘kill’ your car, huh?

The Prizm is NOT a sports car. These vehicles (all of them) are designed with specific parameters (Height, width, weight, tire size etc etc) and the suspensions are pretty much maxed out at the factory. I think you may be confused about what is accomplished by raising (or lowering) suspension, and how it affects underclearance, and capacity.

Never argue with someone that has their mind made up.

clmadison, I suggest that you replace the suspension with OEM parts if you have not done that yet. This should at least allow you to haul your brothers around. You may try towing in that configuration to see how it works. Make sure you mount the tow bar to something that can handle the load. If you can find it.

“mount the tow bar to something that can handle the load”

Like a pickup truck? :stuck_out_tongue:

“Like a pickup truck?”

Who needs a trailer when you have a pick-up?

depending on what you’re hauling, yeah

Very good reply, cappy208. To answer your question, killing the car is actually one of the goals. Doing obscene and weird things to little cars is a past time in the boonies where I grew up. I got this bug planted in me from the likes of people who call themselves Whitey, wish everyone had a gun, and are afraid of people in other countries (the country in that video sounded like somewhere in the UK, where I am guessing they do have minimum speed limits, even though citizens can’t own firearms). I’d say the willingness to push a crap old car to its breaking point, for fun, is one of the few good things folks like Whitey taught me.

These people seem to think you can make a corolla into a sports car:

So, I gather from here that people think it is not impossible, but also not advisable. Hear it, got it. Now, is there anyone watching all of this, a little bemused, who knows of a crazy friend who likes to frankenstein cars. That friend who doesn’t care at all what a manufacturer’s intended use of a vehicle was. That’s the someone I’d like to talk to. The boonie friends I have who do this stuff still think Japan should pay more for Pearl Harbor and buying anything other than american is call for being drawn and quartered.

@clmadison, this is not the discussion group to “think outside the box”.
In fact, if you even approach the edges you’ll invite a chorus of warnings from some of the regulars.

@circuitsmith So where is a good forum for this kind of thing? I am new to the internet world of yakking about modifiying your car. Thus far I’ve only done that in garages but I’m moving to a new place and figured the internet would be a good starting place.

I have crazy friends who like frankenstein cars. Some of them modify their cars for fun, but not with the intention of of killing them. To satisfy their inner destructive tendencies, they modify their trucks for mud boggin’, and I sometimes go with them on weekends with my ATV.

I feel a need to say, though, that no modifications you can do on a Chevy Prizm will increase its cargo capacity or its towing capacity safely, and the thought of loading it up with gear to make it break down deliberately, only to have to find a way to get the gear out of the woods, sounds like the opposite of fun to me.

If your goal is to take on a “devil may care” project like this, and eventually destroy the car, why seek advice? You should be able to do that all on your own without any guidance. In fact, guidance might delay your goal of destroying the car, so if that’s your idea of fun, you shouldn’t need any help. You have the freedom to do all kinds of death-defying parts fabrication, pull parts off pick-up trucks and install them on your Prizm with duct tape, and drive a perfectly good car into the ground. Why on earth would you need anyone’s help to accomplish that goal? Good advice would only delay the gratification you seek, by making it harder to destroy the car.