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Natalya 04-28-2016 11:52 PM

2001 Insight

Update: I sold this car to my co-worker. I might still post in here if I end up helping her add new mods to the car in the future, since I still see the car every day. The picture above is the car at its best, in the fall of 2016. And continuing below is the original beginning of this post...


So this will be the thread for my silver 2001 manual. I bought it in the fall of 2015 at about 209k kilometers. LMPG at purchase read 4.4 l/100km, but for the first few months I struggled to keep it in the 4's. Most tanks were 4.9 or 5 according to the display.

Anyway, since buying I've done the following fuel-economy related mods:
- Civic VX Rims
- Aluminum front underbelly panel
- Coroplast + aluminum rear underbelly panels
- Cardboard radiator block in cold weather
- Car came with window tint (helps reduce need for AC)
- Some LEDs (brakes, reverse, and driving lights)

Planned mods:
- Engine thermometer (WIP)
- Some kind of adjustable grill block
- More LEDs

Completed Maintenance Affecting MPG:
- EGR plate and valve cleaned out
- New indexed spark plugs

Needed Maintenance:
- New sticks for IMA (WIP)

That's my rear underbelly paneling. I'll post more pics here as I do more of the car.

Xist 04-29-2016 12:02 AM

Great start! :) Did it come with the stock Insight wheels?

Ecky 04-29-2016 08:24 AM

I believe VX wheels are slightly lighter than the stock wheels, but less aerodynamic. I have a partly destroyed stock rim laying around that I could weigh.

VX rims would easily be my second choice (after another set of stock wheels) for winter tires.

Your rear pan looks good.

Baltothewolf 04-29-2016 08:31 AM

VX rims are a downgrade as they are 13", so no RE92's. HX rims are about the same weight, and are 14" so they accept the RE92. Just saying.

Ecky 04-29-2016 09:02 AM

No RE92 snow tires. Really depends on what snow tires you can snag for either size. I haven't looked into what's available in a similar size for 13" wheels.

elhigh 04-29-2016 10:20 AM

Red rims on the gray car gives it some pop. That's good, esp. for a winter driver, all-gray cars can disappear in the snow.

Natalya 04-29-2016 11:58 AM

The red paint on the wheels makes the car go faster. Jeez I thought you guys would already know that. ;)

When I bought the car the Insight rims had some garbage chinese tires on them that had no tread left. In anticipation of winter I got some winter tires + steel rims for a shocking $60 CAD (for the whole set) on Kijiji (Canadian Craig's List) with like really good tread. However, they were a bit big (175) and the heavy steel rims really sapped the power from the car, making acceleration and turning feel terrible.

So I figured, "Oh I'll get some VX rims and throw the winter tires on there." The VX rims came with the all-season tires you see above -- I didn't realize that VX's are only 13" and I couldn't put the winter tires on them. :( So that was silly. But I got a deal on the VX rims -- $190 CAD for them, and the all-seasons still had over half their tread. So I've just been driving with those on.

My end game is that eventually the all seasons will be worn out and at that point I'll get RE92's for the Insight rims. I did a CBA -- assuming the RE92's give me 10 extra MPG and gas costs $2.50 USD / Gallon I'd have to drive like 20000 miles or something before I'd have paid them off in fuel savings when I could have just continued using the all-seasons tires I already have.

Also, 13" snow tires for the VX rims later maybe probably. I hear RE92's are crap in the snow.

cowmeat 04-29-2016 01:13 PM


I did a CBA -- assuming the RE92's give me 10 extra MPG and gas costs $2.50 USD / Gallon I'd have to drive like 20000 miles or something before I'd have paid them off in fuel savings when I could have just continued using the all-seasons tires I already have.

You'll never want to mod anything if you do that, lol! ROI will run well past the average life span of your car if you crunch the numbers on a lot of mods (unless you use spare stuff you have laying around like I tend to do). In fact, most cars don't make sense if you crunch the numbers

3-Wheeler 04-29-2016 02:46 PM


Originally Posted by Natalya (Post 512998)
..... I hear RE92's are crap in the snow.

Just my opinion, but I think the bigger issue is the staggered wheel spacing front/rear that affects the car in the winter. I get by just fine with the RE92's in snow.

I put 1" spacers on the rear wheels in the winter and that seems to help, but the back still tracks loosely in deep snow because of the wheel spacing difference.


Natalya 05-04-2016 03:42 PM

Did some stuff today.
- Cleaned EGR Valve
- Replaced a broken ground cable
- Wired thermometer probe to a radiator hose

I also inspected the car for further aero mod potential. The next step will either be the front of the exhaust tunnel in front of the resonator near the second cat, or it will be directly in front of the gas tank. I haven't come up with a plan yet. The problem is I only have a set of ramps and it's hard to get the car high enough to work under the middle of the car.

Another mod I looked at was a grill block, but I'm not sure which area to do first, top or bottom. Does anyone have an upper or lower grill block template? I have a metal called Alpolic (2 thin aluminum sheets sandwiching a layer of black plastic) and it's in a dark silver colour similar to my car so I might use that but it's difficult to cut properly and I don't know how to do a lower block w/o damaging the bumper. I do know a way to do the upper grill w/o damaging anything so maybe I'll do that first.

I've also been doing an IMA stick "reconditioning" project. I had 20 used sticks of indeterminate condition from Hybrid Revolt and I did some cycling of them over the last month. I finally got a pack together and it's in the car now getting a final grid charge before I test it out. I don't think it will be excellent, but it should be better than the original IMA. I'm pretty sure the IMA had the original set of sticks from 15 years ago. We'll see what happens.

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