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Old 03-18-2014, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid Let the modding begin

I am the proud owner of a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid (5 speed manual). I got it to replace my Jeep Liberty that self destructed. It has 134k on the clock, but had it's hybrid battery replaced at 80k. I understand that should have a 150k warranty, so I should be good on the battery front for a while. The car runs fine and does not present any codes at all. I am still on the first tank of gas, but I am getting MPG in the 40's right now. First drive home from work was 43.5 MPG according to the onboard trip meter. Much better than the 14-17 MPG I could get with my old Jeep.

As far as modifications I have added my UltraGauge to the car. I want to know if I can use one of the readouts on that to determine if I am in lean burn mode or not. I read that an ultragauge on a generation 1 insight could tell if you were in lean burn if Bank1 O2 Sensor 2 read 0. I only have that O2 sensor showing up on my Ultragauge. Is this the case with a HCH1?

My second modification for economy is the drag reduction clips for the disk brake pads. I have those on order and they should come in today.

I bumped the tires up to 50 PSI. I don't plan to replace them right away since there is plenty of tread left, but when I do I will go with LRR tires.

I am considering buying a grid charger when funds allow, and also the IMAC&C that was mentioned on insight central.

It's use will mostly be a commuter car for me 11 miles slow California freeway/surface streets one way. It will also serve as a tow vehicle behind my RV.

Do you guys have any other suggestions or mods for this car?

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Old 03-18-2014, 02:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Al the Third, year four - '13 Honda Fit Base
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Nice move. I was toying with the idea of an 03, but ended up deciding it wasn't going to be the right move for me. I really wanted it, though.
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Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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Old 03-18-2014, 03:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
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Daox's Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 64.33 mpg (US)

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Congrats on the new car! I've had my eye on one of those for a while. People around here seem to think they're sitting on a gold mine though just because its a Honda its worth a few thousand more.

From all I've read, I'd definitely get a grid charger to keep that battery healthy.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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05 Prius (wife's) - '05 Toyota Prius package 5
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90 day: 44.32 mpg (US)

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Welcome to club hybrid!
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
From all I've read, I'd definitely get a grid charger to keep that battery healthy.
That's what steered me away- a battery pack that's seen too many NH winters, in a car that's commanding a premium based on the mileage it got 11 years ago.
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Originally Posted by sheepdog44 View Post
Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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Old 03-19-2014, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Enduro E-bike - '11 PowerPedals Enduro
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Pics please
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyden View Post
Pics please
Here you go:
These are from the ad the previous owner put up.
It was a "Unique" car:











It turns out that you can take painted on pinstriping off if it does not have a clear coat over it (as in this case) with Easy Off Oven Cleaner. It doesn't seem to harm the clear coat. Here is the car after most of the pinstriping is removed.



So far I have changed the Oil/Filter, Air Cleaner, Cabin Filter, replaced the broken hood prop catch, and pumped the tires up to 50 PSI, and checked the front brake pads and rotors.

This weekend Ill be adding drag reduction clips for the front brakes, putting on a tow hitch, remove the rest of the swirlies, clay the paint, buff it and then wax it.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

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90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

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Congrats & welcome!

Love the custom look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mozul View Post
It's use will mostly be a commuter car for me 11 miles slow California freeway/surface streets one way. It will also serve as a tow vehicle behind my RV.

Do you guys have any other suggestions or mods for this car?
I would strongly suggest a shifter-mounted engine kill switch. The first-gen IMA was very conservative about when it would kill the engine, and in your speed up/slow down commute, it would be an enormous efficiency boost. The Prius was/is far more aggressive in stopping the engine, and it shows in its higher city MPG ratings.

Google "calpod" switch mod for how to do it in the gen. 1 Insight. Not sure if it's directly applicable to the Civic, or if there's a Civic-specific mod out there.

On my Insight, it worked great. Shift to neutral, press the switch until the engine stops. And it left the normal "triggers" in place to instantly/automatically restart the ICE -- any one of: depleting the brake vacuum; pressing the accelerator; shifting into gear.

A kill swich is one of the coolest mods on IMA because of the auto-restart conditions. It would boost your mileage a lot.

There's a lot more you could do than that, but it's where I would start.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If the stripes really bug you, they could be removed without damaging the paint. Oops I see you already did that.

regards
Mech
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Congrats & welcome!
I would strongly suggest a shifter-mounted engine kill switch. The first-gen IMA was very conservative about when it would kill the engine, ...
I looked that up and it seems to simply interrupt the coil fuse with a momentary switch. I can set that up fairly easily. I already did one like that on my Spitfire.

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