Prius footrest

On road trips in the (new, 2015) blue Prius, my left foot is frequently unhappy.  It would like a comfy  place to rest – the way IT wants to sit.  While there is a nice left foot rest, it’s not what my foot wants.  I’ve finally hacked in at least a first pass at what my foot has wanted for a long time.

footwell4358The existing foot rest assumes the drivers left foot wants to rest pointing straight forward.  Mine doesn’t – it wants to point to the left by maybe 30 degrees.  And the foot rest assumes the bottom of the foot wants to be flat (though toes raised).  Mine doesn’t – it rolls outward (is that supination?).  Making a new rest with angular correction in 2 dimensions was “interesting”.

I considered a sock full of quick set concrete, smushed into place then with its top shaped by resting my foot on it.  That might have worked.

A physical prototype/strawman usually helps me visualize what I have to make. I put a thin flat piece of wood maybe 3″x6″ on the foot rest and rotated it CCW about how my foot wanted.  OK – I’ll need to trim the bottom at an angle to meet the floor nicely.  Good start.  Now for the wedginess.

makingwedges4367I tried to block it up on the right side ’til it felt good, but couldn’t find a trivial way to do it.  So I rocked my foot back and forth (flat-supinated) to get a very seat of the pants idea what angle it wanted.  I guessed about 20 degrees, and sliced a slightly narrowed piece of 2×4 at that angle on the table saw.  While I was right there I hacked freehand the angle on the bottom, and plopped it on the rest to see how if felt.

thewedge4375Oops – that 20 degrees was too much.  Back to the saw.  After turning the wood lots of ways and scratching my head some, I used the nice blade angle scale to slice 7 degrees off, for about 13 degrees of wedge.  Felt good!  Let’s attach it – at least as version 0.1.

I was going to drill it and put a couple of self tapping screws thru whatever the original footrest was made of, but got spooked at the thought of wires (or brake lines or worse) being routed right behind it.  Very unlikely, but inposition4383high stakes.  Bummer.  Let’s just go with Liquid Nails.  It’ll be a mess if I ever have to take it off, but c’mon – it’s on the floor.

The tube of Liquid Nails has been sitting in the caulk gun for a liquidnailstipsealer4391couple of years now (though to my surprise, I hadn’t put a date on it).  I keep a 1/4-20 bolt “screwed” into the tip to try to keep it from drying out.  Pulled the bolt, squirted some out and sure enough – it was still good!

A lead block on a piece of wood to gluedup4388hold it down and some scrap to keep the bottom of the new footrest up so the floor mats will still slide out, and it’s done for now.

clamped4390It’s cold out – low in the 30s tonight, highs only in the 40s.  Recommended application temp range is 40-100, so it’s a little out of spec.  The good news is that the wood and carpet are both porous, so that should help.  (Well, except for the rubber tread on the original.)  I left the car door open (and clamped the light switch “off”) hoping it won’t smell too bad tomorrow.  We’ll see.

Foot is very anxious to try it out.

Update 1/8/17:

fail4417Well, fail.  Probably due to not letting the glue set up long enough, the wedge fell off the next morning.  Bummer.  And a mess.

itsfoam4418Second try:  I peeled the carpet back to see what I had to work with underneath.  Wow – a big block of nice closed cell foam!  Guess the worrying about puncturing brake lines was unnecessary.  (Well, no.  It was appropriately erring on the side of caution.  Just turned out to be wrong.  No regrets.)  I should be able to hack that foam into submission.

reshaping4422It was a challenge to hold the odd-shaped piece of foam to work on, and a sort of seat of the pants guess for the angle, but I chopped a big piece off.  I removed the most in the mainchunkremoved4427lower left corner to accommodate my heel.  But the upper right needed to be raised a bit more.

gluingonshim4438I cut a shim out of the cut off piece, and glued it on.  There are NO parallel sides or right angles on this sucker.  But I got it stuck on, probably with Gorilla Glue.

foaminplace4482It went back in pretty easily.  You can see some of the glue outline of the upper right shim.  The carpet went back on fine, and I got all the clips and other bits in.  The carpet didn’t seem fazed by upper right shim, but I had to wedge a block of something in below the side molding to hold it down into the heel depression.

cleanedupwell4483Now I had to face the dumb Liquid Nails.  It had had several days to cure by now.  But with a little scraping, it came off very well – even from the carpet.  Yay!  (Hmm – did the glue in the sealed, but aged tube lose some of its sticking power?)

done4494The final result is hard to tell from stock.  You can see the bit of dark stuff I wedged in to push the carpet into the heel hole.

I’ve been driving with it for a month now.  It’s definitely better than it used to be, but not perfect.  I think I was too conservative when I cut out the heel hole.  And in order to gain the maximum outward roll comfort, my heel needs to be way over to the deepest place on the left.  Unfortunately, that compromises the toe’s desire to point out to the left.  I’m not likely to go back and do it again, but my foot appreciates the improvement, tradeoffs and all.

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