Thread: HCH1 Ecomodding
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Vermont
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

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HCH1 Ecomodding

Hey all! You might have seen my other thread regarding my Insight. It looks like it'll be a little time before I get it back on the road, and we needed a vehicle for getting to and from work, so I picked up a fairly clean (for a northern car) 2004 HCH1. We were going to need a second vehicle soon anyway, and I thought it unwise to have two vehicles without backseats, despite how tempting it would be to get a second G1 Insight.

The first time I took it down our dirt (or rather, mud) road it quit sparkling in the sun. It has clearly been well maintained, but 12 years of salt has left its marks. There's a fair amount of surface rust on engine components, and the catalyst head shield is practically crumbling. The rear quarter panels are just starting to show signs of rust damage, but everything seems mechanically sound, the hybrid battery is healthy, and it has low (124k) miles.

On the way home I averaged around 40mpg on the highway (65mph), and ~50mpg on the 50mph 25-mile stretch to my house in ~10f/-10c weather through slush and snow. 50mpg in a vehicle this size was already pleasing to me, but after arriving home I found that the tires were seriously low on air - the fronts were both at 22, one rear was at 30, and the other, at 10psi. After bringing them up to 44 where they should be:

Close to 60mpg at 50mph, with nothing but air in the tires! And, around 50mpg at 65mph, with the outside air temperature hovering around 0f.

I put my first mod on today, as it seems to struggle to maintain temperature when I have the heat running and it's significantly below freezing:

When I have some time, I'd like to get some side skirts for the rear wheels, and a proper belly pan installed. I'd also like to treat some of the rust spots, get a grid charging harness built for the hybrid battery.

I'm excited to see where it'll be once things warm up and I get a proper set of LRR all-season tires on it.

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