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Old 06-20-2014, 01:48 PM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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ND Miata - '15 Mazda MX-5 Special Package
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2000 Insight - TLC and ecomodding build

I'd like to give thanks to Nod~ for fixing my glossary of mods, and providing links.

Glossary of mod pictures - Post #

Upper grille block - #51, 96
Lower grille block - #160, 247
Belly pan repair and improvements - #88, 96, 219, 383
Rear pan - #245
Rear wiper removal - #409
Antenna base and rear washer delete - #481-482, 402-408
Block heater - #173, 175
Oil pan and transmission pad heaters - #437
Cabin heater - #288
Warm air intake v1 - #225
Warm air intake v2 - #281, 284
Ultra thin motor oil - #388
Brake drag reduction clips - #415, 426
Permanent 12v battery tender - #137, 160

EGR cleaning - #36
Valve lash - #46
Cabin air filter - #101
Transmission fluid change - #103
Power lock repair - #104, 108, 200
Rear engine mount - #113
#133, 204 - Window switch repair (3d-printed)
Dash, trip, and speed type button repair - #308
Ground strap repair - #221
Fixing rust - #232
Rust protection - #289
Catalyst cleanup - #303
Rear and front wheel/drum cleanup - #287-288
Clutch master and slave replacement - #276
Strut housing shield - #315
Crash and recovery - #316-318
Thermostat replacement and coolant system bleed - #487
VTEC solenoid screen - #498

Custom Grid charger - #73, 78-80, 88, 92, 101, 190
Custom Grid Charger v2 - #330-331, 337
Calpod clutch/brake switch - #114, 132, 146
Kill switch - #240
Natalya's Elegant Forced-Autostop (kill switch v2)- #370
Outside air temperature spoof for autostop in winter - #429

Hitch installation - #198, 191, 237-238 - Hitch installation
Cargo trailer/hitch - #139
Winter rims, Civic HX - #361-369, 377-378
Weather stripping road noise reduction - #319
Fumoto oil drain valve - #160, 212
Headlight restoration - #30, 37, 38, 289
HID & projector retrofit - #162, 172, 172, 221, 228, 231, 323
LED bulb replacement - #132, 173, 373
Throttle smoothing filter (removed) - #149, 159
Solar-powered cabin exhaust - #98, 101, 112, 131, 142, 191, 239, 277
Speaker & amp install - #16, 50
Window trim touchup paint - #486


Hi all! Just got a 2000 Insight, and thought I'd share.

I've been out in New Mexico for the past month and a half doing geology, and in the middle of my trip I saw this car appear on (via smartphone app). Home is in Tallahassee FL, and this car was in Charlotte NC. I did a bit of background research, and found that the car has a clean title, was single-owner, 159k miles, 5MT w/A/C, and had dealer maintenance records stretching from purchase in 2000 up until around 6 months ago. Hybrid battery was replaced under warranty in 2012, along with all of the computers. Unlike FL, NC has emissions testing and this car hadn't failed, so I felt fairly confident about it. I contacted the seller, an owner of a small car lot in Charlotte, and asked him for a history.

After some haggling, I ended up writing him a check for $3900 which is what KBB said the car was worth, considering single owner and records. That covered everything except registration in Florida.

The wife and I left Tuesday afternoon with our dog to pick the car up (Toothless averaged 35MPG on the highway doing 70, with the A/C running), and stopped in SC to spend the night at a free campground. We grilled bean burgers and hit the sack early.

My wife wanted to drive Toothless on the way home, so I took our dog with me in the Insight. I made her a bed in the hatch, and she snoozed very comfortably for the ~8 hours it took to get back.

The battery was low when we left the dealer, and after driving for around 30 minutes, it hit ~80%, and then the meter jumped to full. My interpretation is that the battery has about 80% of its factory capacity (?), and I can probably get a bit more of that back with a grid charge. It seems to be good for at least 3-5 minutes of full assist before depleting.

I averaged 60MPG in-town, driving in traffic, without much mind to driving with economy. On the highway, doing 70-75 with the A/C on, I was getting ~50MPG. At the first stop, about an hour in, I checked tire pressure to find all 4 tires (Michelin Energy Savers, not the more efficient stock Bridgestone Potenzas) were at 25PSI. Bringing that up to ~45, hot, allowed me 55-60MPG at 70MPH with the A/C on, ~75MPG (lean burn?) with the A/C off, and at 50-60MPH, 85-95MPG.

For those of you who are not familiar with the first-gen Insights, here are a few specs and interesting facts:

The engine is a 3 cylinder 995cc lean-burn engine with VTEC (2750RPM? cam switch). Redline is 6000, with 67HP/68ft-lbs, with an electrical assist of 13HP/36ft-lbs. The engine is oversquare, and the crankshaft is offset from the pistons to give better leverage. To create a smooth idle, the electric motor buffers the engine. It's pretty gutless below 2500RPM but pulls surprisingly well once in the more aggressive cam profile. 5th gear in my Del Sol is slightly shorter than 3rd gear in the Insight, and highway cruising happens at 2000-2300RPM in 5th.

The engine is started quietly with the IMA motor, but has a backup 12v starter. It has auto-stop at redlights. There is no alternator.

The total weight of the car is ~1850lbs with an empty tank and a full battery. The frame is all aluminum, and is estimated to weigh only ~350lbs, while having something like 40% more rigidity than a comparable Civic/CRX steel frame. I believe a CRX frame weighs around 600lbs, for comparison. The attention to detail with weight-saving is really quite astounding, with such things as aluminum brakes, a carbon fiber dipstick, magnesium alloy oil pan, a plastic fuel tank, light-weight seats, etc.

The Insight shares quite a few parts with the S2000, including the steering wheel and the electric power steering system. It rolled off of the assembly line used for the (also aluminum) NSX.

The rear wheels are closer together than the fronts, allowing the body to taper toward the back.

Now that I have it home, I'm going to start tackling a few of its needs:

1. It appears the previous owner may have kissed a curb with the front bumper. There's no frame damage, but the belly pan in the front is not sitting flush with the underside of the car (hangs a bit low), and the passenger tire air deflector is missing. Additionally, the pan section in the middle of the car, passenger side, is currently held on with zip ties and also hangs a bit low. My guess is that, in its current state, I would probably be better off without the passenger-middle pan until it's fixed.

2. At least one of the ground straps doesn't appear to be in good shape. On a hybrid, I assume these are pretty important.

3. I intend to check the VTEC filter in the head, as well as clean the EGR passages. Supposedly clean passages = smoother running and more time spent in lean-burn.

4. Clean the headlights.

5. Replace the cabin air filter.

6. Install a Fumoto oil drain plug. The magnesium alloy oil pan is supposedly very easy to strip even when only hand-tight, and the service manual calls for a rather silly 36ft-lbs of torque on the bolt.

7. Test 12v battery health.

8. Build a grid charger.

9. Eventually, I'll be replacing the Michelin ES tires with factory RE92's, but not before it's time. Potenzas are supposed to be worth 5-10MPG over Michelins.

10. Install amp, new head unit, replace front speakers, install rear speakers and possibly a very small subwoofer.

11. Misc. body work. There's a small crack in the rear bumper, and a "finger dent" in the driver door I can probably push out. There are also a few spots that could use some touchup paint. Some of the plastic trim isn't sitting perfectly, and I'll need to figure out why.

12. The factory lock-remote seems to work, but the power locks in the car don't. I hear the actuator click, but it doesn't lock the doors.

I will update as I go!

EDIT: Here is a folder containing all of my Insight-related resources:

Last edited by Ecky; 05-13-2017 at 05:12 PM..
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