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Old 03-31-2011, 09:17 PM   #1
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Default Help me modify my daily for more comfort (toyota echo)

Let me give you the background before you start laughing your *** off

I've got mu student loans on the fast track for payoff next year. I had planned on buying a Hyundai Equus. All of my cars are paid for, and they are nothing to write home about. I am having trouble stomaching a larger car payment, and a house remodel is starting to look more appealing than a fancy car.

I want you to give me ideas for modifying the comfort of my 2001 toyota Echo

It handles like a bag of ***, and it's loud. It sits very tall, and feels like it wants to tip over during cornering. The goal is not a race car. I want it to be much more quiet, comfortable, and not feel like it's going to tip over in corners. I want to make this car last a while longer, but not feel like life **** on me because I'm driving it. I also want to keep the price relatively low because it's an echo.

1) I plan to have the front end overhauled to tighten it up
2) new shocks (I have no idea what kind) and possibly springs
3) sound deaden the interior
4) new stereo
5) leather seats from some donor vehicle (older acura maybe)
6) new stickier rubber
7) upsize the 14" wheels

I can't really find any literature on modifying echos because, let's face it, who modifies an echo?

Any ideas on comfy donor leather seats that could be had for a good price?

Let the games, and laughter begin. PIMP my echo

Last edited by miatauser884; 03-31-2011 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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new shocks - good
sound deadening - good, use dynamat, pretty good **** IMO
get some honduh 15x7 or 16x7's with 205/50/15-16 should be a good compromise and that size is easy/cheap to find
stereo isn't hard to find either. pioneer/kenwood/whatever else will get the jerb done
seats - go to junk yard and pick ones that feel the comfiest lol

the car looks like a ravaged anus, probably one of the elite few that is uglier than a prius, but its a daily so who cares
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:09 PM   #3
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I've always wanted to put a sofa up front... Maybe not a sofa, but an armchair.

Something like this:


Seriously. Do it and you're my hero.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:12 PM   #4
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It's pure ***, but paid for ***. I guess another option would be to get an older acura TL. At least with the echo I know what maintenance has been performed.

I could probably sell the echo for 2.5k to 3k, and it wouldn't take me long to save another 3k to buy a decent TL.

What do you think about that option?
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:14 PM   #5
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I wouldn't do it.
WTF for?

You have a car that is paid for and maintained well. It gets good gas mileage. Why get an older car for more money in who knows what condition just to drive daily?

If you have ***** you won't give a **** about how you look anyways. (assuming you're married like me lulz)
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:16 PM   #6
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KYB GR2 struts are decent oem replacements IMO and cheap. If you want comfy stick to no bigger than a 15" wheel.

If you're doing the work yourself the remodel can be quite inexpensive, my man cave was gutted then new drywall, built in surround sound, carpet, paint, trim, lighting and electrical + incidentals for under $300. I'd imagine pricing on reno stuff is cheaper in the US. I'm on track for redoing 2000sqft for under $4000 including 2 full bathrooms and the kitchen.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inferno94 View Post
KYB GR2 struts are decent oem replacements IMO and cheap. If you want comfy stick to no bigger than a 15" wheel.

If you're doing the work yourself the remodel can be quite inexpensive, my man cave was gutted then new drywall, built in surround sound, carpet, paint, trim, lighting and electrical + incidentals for under $300. I'd imagine pricing on reno stuff is cheaper in the US. I'm on track for redoing 2000sqft for under $4000 including 2 full bathrooms and the kitchen.
its nowhere near that cheap around here if you're tastefully remodelling and using decent quality paint/countertops/tile/etc.....I'd say a decent remodel is 10-20k for a 2000sqft house unless you use cheap **** and do every single bit of it yourself and strive for "mediocre".


but we're getting off topic
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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I can't have a "man cave" my ***** are in a jar, that's why I have no problem driving an echo. I have no dignity.

Quotes on remodel are 80k-100k, so I expect 120k. It basically takes my 1970's house and makes it exactly what we want. Larger kitchen, mother-in-law suite on opposite end of house, new kitchen that leeds to a covered outdoor living area (you know, fireplace, big tv, outdoor kitchen. Master bath that is like going to a spa. The problem in my area is that in order to get the high end stuff, you have to buy a 6000 sq ft house. We looked at moving, and it's just too much space.

Alright, back on topic

I'm thinking 15" wheels, if GR2 shocks are good, but cheap. What's the best for reasonable price? I found some 03 leather Acura TL seats for about $200. People seem to rave about the comfort of these seats.

I just need to measure width, I will have the stock brackets welded to the whatever seats I get.

I really thinking that smoothing out the ride, increasing butt comfort, and quieting down the car will make it fairly pleasant. I can probably have the back seat recovered to match.

Good stuff, keep the ideas rolling. I'm actually getting excited about this. I think car projects are an addiction. It seems like I have to have one.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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I dont know how anyone ever finds leather seats comfortable tbh.
When its hot you get swamp-*** and a wet back, and when its cold your ********* in a jar are crawling into your body for some warmth.

cloth FTW
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:05 PM   #10
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^what 18psi said. Leather / vinyl seats get really hot during the summer. The seats in the 2nd gen (97') Dakota I use to have where the best I've ever had. They had good lumbar support and bolstering, and you could probably get them relatively cheap used.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:18 PM   #11
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U want comfy don't go from 14" to 15" wheels. Besides 14" tires are cheaper.

Rear swaybar upgrade.

KYB GR-2 as suggested, or KYB "Gas-A-Just".

If the shock shaft bushings are rubber, buy FCM MCU shaft bushings. They reduce tire rumble transmission into the cabin.

Make sure the seats are soft under-*** - these improve the perceived ride quality.

MsMaster Dyanamat-alike ("Mastic Mat") + shiny bubble wrap under the carpeting and maybe QuietCar in the wheel wells, underneath.

BUY QUIET COMFY TIRES.

Junkyard underhood liner.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
sound deadening - good, use dynamat, pretty good **** IMO
There's this economical solution if dynamat is too $$$ for your taste:

http://www.amazon.com/Rattle-Trap-Fa...ata/B003TUNRGM
I did a early Impreza with it; reduced 70% of pre-existing road noise.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:38 PM   #13
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Edead is cheaper than dynamat and Ive had good luck with it. Also underbody coating and fender well coating can help with noise control.

Im not a big KYB fan. If bilstein makes a fitment Id strongly reccomend them. Reasonablly priced and Ive always liked the ride quality on everything from trucks to cars.

Id strongly reccomend michelin tires. I hae never had a tire ride better than a michelin. Really gonna depend on the size you decide to go with though.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:45 PM   #14
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GR2s are around $50 ea on rock auto.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:48 PM   #15
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I've used GR2s as well, anything's better than a worn shock.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:01 AM   #16
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A year ago I drove a new 4-door Yaris rental car in Canada for work for a week.

I was very impressed. Nice quick steering, good comfort, good seating position, good tranny, peppy handling. I liked the suspension tuning, and I took some short twisties to work everyday.

I wouldn't mind having one as a city car or a runabout. If there were one with say a 2.0L motor swap, I'd be all over it.

Can the new shocks fit the older car? (prob not)
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:10 AM   #17
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I'll just agree with others, keep the 14" wheels. Keep in mind that wider and heavier wheels will decrease your gas mileage. What is it now anyways? Steelies or Alloys? Lets get some pictures, show us the depressing platform we're starting with.

I've said it once, I'll say it again: Saab 9000 leather seats are the most comfortable seats ever made. Period. I say "leather seats" although I've never seen anything but leather. If you can find some, and get them to fit, do it.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:35 AM   #18
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Ok, 14" wheels stay. They are steelies with hub caps.

GR2 shocks (since I will be buying a lot of front end parts from there anyway).

Quote:
Saab 9000 leather seats are the most comfortable seats ever made. Period
That's what I am looking for. Hopefully they have gray available. What years???

Quote:
MsMaster Dyanamat-alike ("Mastic Mat") + shiny bubble wrap under the carpeting and maybe QuietCar in the wheel wells, underneath.

BUY QUIET COMFY TIRES.

Junkyard underhood liner.
This or this http://www.amazon.com/Rattle-Trap-Fa...ata/B003TUNRGM





I didn't have any pictures of mine, but this is it.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:24 PM   #19
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I'm using Peel and Seal and Reflectix for my sound/heat issues on the V8:

http://www.lightweightmiata.com/v8/dynamat/

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Old 04-01-2011, 09:47 PM   #20
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The suspension of the Echo is similar enough to the first generation xB that all the parts fit, and there is a ton of options there.
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