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Old 11-22-2018, 05:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2006 Honda Insight MT Build Thread

It's official! After months of searching I finally scored an Insight.

It's a 2006 manual transmission (with AC), red, with 254K miles on it. Car has been regularly maintained and runs well. In short, here is the good, the bad, and the planned ecomods:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE GOOD:
  • Newer Bridgestone Potenza RE92s w/ only 7K miles on them
  • The following were replaced 10K miles ago:
    • Exhaust
    • Drive belts
    • Stabilizer bar links
    • Engine mounts
  • Transmission has NO grinding when upshifting or downshifting through any gear.
  • Engine leaks NO oil
  • No wet seatbelt issue
  • No IMA light. IMA battery is not perfect but worked well. Working the battery hard over our 10 minute test drive depleted the battery down to 1/3 level in 6 minutes, and then it maintained that through forced regenning.
  • Regular maintenance has been performed through the whole life of the car
  • Comes with a cheap-ish looking grid charger. Haven't tested it yet to see if it works.
  • Came with the original window sticker. Interesting to note, back in 2006 the car was first sold from the car dealership that my dad now works at.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE BAD:
  • One wheel bearing needs replacing
  • Engine valves possibly need adjusting
  • EGR valve is suspected to be a little dirty (shouldn't be that hard to clean)
  • Engine bay aero panel(s) are missing
  • Paint is scuffed pretty bad
  • Fender skirts are...bolted onto the car
  • Left rear fender skirt is slightly bent due to minor accident 5 years ago.
  • Front bumper is covered in chips.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BUT, I was able to get the car for only $1500 (he was originally asking $2300). The car was well maintained mechanically and was a one-owner car until the person we bought the car from bought it. He only owned it for a week before selling it because they didn't like the car. So I bought it! On the drive home 54.7 MPG was obtained travelling mostly highway at 70 MPH, with only 32 PSI in the tires, no hypermiling, and forced regen the whole way.

During today's test drive we worked the battery hard over a period of 10 minutes, and depleted the battery down to 1/4 level in 6 minutes. By the time we returned to the seller's house, it had returned to 40% from forced regen. When we restarted the car to drive it home, the battery showed almost full, and then depleted down again upon accelerating on the highway, and then regenned to about 50% by the time we got home. Thoughts on this regarding battery health?

Planning on replacing the wheel bearing and getting the engine valves adjusted. Then I'll clean the EGR plate when I have time and either construct a coroplast engine belly pan or order the one off of IC....would coroplast sufficiently handle the heat of the engine? Will also be working with my dad to buff the car and touch up the scuffs in the paint. I'll probably remove the wheel skirts and see if I can't attach them using the regular clips instead of having them bolted on. I'll also probably scour a local junkyard to see if they have a red Insight I can score the front bumper cover off of.

Will also be getting winter tires mounted to the HX rims currently on my Civic for the Insight. Already have the Insight's RE92s inflated to 60 PSI. Planning the following ecomods during winter break from college (or as many of them as I can do in the 4 week timeframe):
  • Scott's belly pan
  • Daox's shift knob
  • Regen switch
  • FAS switch (using Natalya's setup)
  • IMA disable/enable switch
  • Full lower grille lbock
  • Foam upper grille block (for winter)
  • Warm air intake
  • Rear wiper & motor delete, & hole plug
  • Lean burn light indicator
  • LED lighting
  • Disconnect front parking lights wire
  • Block heater
  • Full belly pan
  • Temperature spoof to get FAS at any temperature (Thoughts on this??)
  • Cruise control (for longer trips)

And of course, a couple pictures:


Also got to have one next to the Civic it'll be replacing:


You'll notice that the foam grille block has been removed from the Civic. My mom is currently driving it since our van was totaled from a deer collision, and she is still looking for a Prius. We removed the grille block to avoid any chance of overheating due to inefficient driving. Tire pressure was also reduced on the Civic from 68 PSI to 35 PSI. Despite not too efficient driving style she has still been averaging about 39 MPG.

So excited to become an Insight owner! This is going to be a fun journey. I look forward to working on the car in my spare time when home from college. Not to mention the significantly reduced fuel costs even when compared to ol' Silver Aero.

Shoutout to Ecky for being such a great help and being very informative with all my questions on my "Dreaming..." thread!

I still need a name for my Insight!! Got any ideas?

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-2006 red Honda Insight MT w/ AC:


Selling my 2004 Civic Sedan EX auto here. (Pending Sale)

-Averaged 46 MPG on personal driving retired automatic '04 Civic EX sedan
-Averaged 38 MPG on pizza delivery driving retired automatic '04 Civic EX sedan
-Averaged 32 MPG driving since totaled '04 Toyota Sienna (90% highway).

Last edited by mpg_numbers_guy; 11-24-2018 at 10:50 PM..
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Aw, HELL YEAH man! Got ya a G1 insight! Now, if I’m not mistaken, didn’t they remove lots of lean burn functionality in the later years?
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
Aw, HELL YEAH man! Got ya a G1 insight! Now, if I’m not mistaken, didn’t they remove lots of lean burn functionality in the later years?
I think I might be the youngest Gen 1 Insight owner out there.

Not sure about your question on the lean burn though. It seems to go into lean burn fine; but it's really finicky and really easy to get out of it. The lowest MPG in 5th gear with and without lean burn seems to correlate with what I've read.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Took the Insight for a 9.1 mile drive today. I'm still learning how to drive manual so I didn't go on many main roads. Most of the roads were just rugged dirt roads with stop signs every half mile to mile. Anyway, I managed to pull 71.9 MPG over that 9.1 mile drive in the Insight! Considering I barely know how to drive the thing, and that it was all dirt roads, that isn't bad. My Civic would maybe have gotten 50 MPG on that drive, maybe. Only mod is 60 PSI in the tires. I do feel the harsher ride though! In my Civic I ran 68 PSI and didn't notice the ride being any harsher than 36 PSI, but 32 PSI to now 60 PSI in the RE92s sure make the ride rougher. I'll take it though for the MPGs.

Still trying to figure out lean burn though. Seems a lot more finicky than I expected. I don't feel anything when it goes into lean burn mode, but I can testify to about 70 MPG @ 35-40 MPH being the lowest fuel economy in lean burn, and about 45 MPG @ 38 MPH being the lowest fuel economy with the gas pedal floored in 5th gear. It's also really easy to go out of lean burn.

Autostop works at speeds under 10 MPH. I thought it was 20 MPH but I guess not.

Really loving this car!!

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-2006 red Honda Insight MT w/ AC:


Selling my 2004 Civic Sedan EX auto here. (Pending Sale)

-Averaged 46 MPG on personal driving retired automatic '04 Civic EX sedan
-Averaged 38 MPG on pizza delivery driving retired automatic '04 Civic EX sedan
-Averaged 32 MPG driving since totaled '04 Toyota Sienna (90% highway).

Last edited by mpg_numbers_guy; 11-23-2018 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 11-23-2018, 04:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dreamsight - '06 Honda Insight MT/AC
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90 day: 65.5 mpg (US)

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Here's what happened with the battery during drives with the Insight:

- Beginning of test drive when looking at the car for the first time: 100% battery
- 10 miles of city driving, little battery use: 1 bar down
- finished test drive since we didn't have a dealer plate at the time so we stuck to back roads
- Returned the next day to test more things and make an offer
- Test drove it again: battery, 100%
- Began driving. Went on more main roads and battery went down a couple bars. Then accelerated onto the highway and battery quickly drained to 60%
- By the time we finished the second test drive the battery was at 30% and had been force regenning for a while. This is partly because my dad drove it and uses clutch+brake to slow down instead of downshifting, and so gets no regen from braking.
- After buying the car dad started it to drive home. I followed in the Civic. He said battery again was full and went down to 60%. Was 40% by the time we got home after force regenning the whole way.
- Later that day I had my first manual driving lesson. He taught me to brake using clutch+brake as he knew. Because of the lesson, the battery went down to 20%.
- Drove it today over my 9.1 mile drive and got it recharged back up to 60% mostly from coasting in gear and downshifting when braking. Then suddenly towards the end of the drive after it had been at 60% for a minute or so it jumped to 100%. Then after using assist to accelerate from a stop, it quickly went back down to 60% and stayed there.

I'm guessing the battery has ~60% capacity left. Is this a reasonable conclusion to draw from how I described it's performance?
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-2006 red Honda Insight MT w/ AC:


Selling my 2004 Civic Sedan EX auto here. (Pending Sale)

-Averaged 46 MPG on personal driving retired automatic '04 Civic EX sedan
-Averaged 38 MPG on pizza delivery driving retired automatic '04 Civic EX sedan
-Averaged 32 MPG driving since totaled '04 Toyota Sienna (90% highway).
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Old 11-23-2018, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Decent economy for just starting out! You're actually beating my winter economy numbers already, but these cars are very sensitive to temperature and it's been wicked cold here - down to 6F yesterday. Driving from Vermont to Michigan I was averaging 55mpg at 55mph until I got out of the Adirondacks, at which point it improved to around 60mpg at 70mph, probably mostly due to increased outside air temperature. Right now I don't have my grille 100% blocked or my warm air intake installed (which I very highly recommend) since I expect to pull the engine in less than 2 weeks.

Probably worth mentioning but the IMA/regen switch doesn't work the same way on the (I believe) 05-06 models. I think you still get assist, just no regen, which isn't terribly helpful in my opinion. Might be useful with a falling battery but yours doesn't sound to be that. They do behave differently in other ways too than earlier years but I wouldn't call it better or worse.

Regarding batteries, what you saw was a "positive recalibration". It's probably an oversimplification to say that it has 60% of its original capacity, but that may not be far from the truth. The car was charging the battery until it saw the battery voltage begin to rise rapidly, suggesting it was full, at which point it adjusted it's capacity estimate and recalibrated the gauge. Even new batteries can have this happen.

Is it a front or rear wheel bearing? Rear you can very likely do yourself.
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Decent economy for just starting out! You're actually beating my winter economy numbers already, but these cars are very sensitive to temperature and it's been wicked cold here - down to 6F yesterday. Driving from Vermont to Michigan I was averaging 55mpg at 55mph until I got out of the Adirondacks, at which point it improved to around 60mpg at 70mph, probably mostly due to increased outside air temperature. Right now I don't have my grille 100% blocked or my warm air intake installed (which I very highly recommend) since I expect to pull the engine in less than 2 weeks.
Only getting higher winter economy numbers because I have a hybrid battery probably. Driven the same way you would easily beat me due to your familiarity with the vehicle. I'm just trying to drive it without stalling it right now. And wait, you're in Michigan right now??

Definitely planning on a WAI, but I don't have the time right now. I leave to return to college early tomorrow morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Probably worth mentioning but the IMA/regen switch doesn't work the same way on the (I believe) 05-06 models. I think you still get assist, just no regen, which isn't terribly helpful in my opinion. Might be useful with a falling battery but yours doesn't sound to be that. They do behave differently in other ways too than earlier years but I wouldn't call it better or worse.
Wait really? Gr! Is this something that can be hacked/overridden? I couldn't find a "button" beneath the brake pedal like I think I remember you saying there was on, say, your 2000. Is it just a more complicated wiring thing or what? I seriously want a regen switch to help with charging the battery.

What other differences do the '05 and '06 have compared to the older models?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Regarding batteries, what you saw was a "positive recalibration". It's probably an oversimplification to say that it has 60% of its original capacity, but that may not be far from the truth. The car was charging the battery until it saw the battery voltage begin to rise rapidly, suggesting it was full, at which point it adjusted it's capacity estimate and recalibrated the gauge. Even new batteries can have this happen.
What about the fact that it discharges from full to 60% rapidly upon anything more than light assist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Is it a front or rear wheel bearing? Rear you can very likely do yourself.
I don't remember offhand except that it was on the driver's side. I think it might be the front one though. Planning on fixing it when I return for winter break 2nd week of December.
__________________
-2006 red Honda Insight MT w/ AC:


Selling my 2004 Civic Sedan EX auto here. (Pending Sale)

-Averaged 46 MPG on personal driving retired automatic '04 Civic EX sedan
-Averaged 38 MPG on pizza delivery driving retired automatic '04 Civic EX sedan
-Averaged 32 MPG driving since totaled '04 Toyota Sienna (90% highway).
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Only getting higher winter economy numbers because I have a hybrid battery probably. Driven the same way you would easily beat me due to your familiarity with the vehicle. I'm just trying to drive it without stalling it right now. And wait, you're in Michigan right now??
Yeah, my fuel economy numbers have improved every year, all else equal. In Detroit for the weekend, might see you at an Insight meet someday if you're into that sort of thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Wait really? Gr! Is this something that can be hacked/overridden? I couldn't find a "button" beneath the brake pedal like I think I remember you saying there was on, say, your 2000. Is it just a more complicated wiring thing or what? I seriously want a regen switch to help with charging the battery.

What other differences do the '05 and '06 have compared to the older models?
I should clarify, the regen button still works. It's the clutch switch (also called calpod) which functions differently - depressing the clutch switch only prevents regen and not assist. A MIMA would work around this. There are actually a lot of more advanced IMA mods I never got into.

Off the top of my head:

-No oil/coolant heat exchanger in the 05-06. People have deleted these on earlier models and seen no consequences. Presumably with one you can get warmer oil faster and prevent it from overheating in very spirited driving, but it probably also adds a few pounds of weight.

-Three O2 sensors rather than two in 2001(?). Stricter emissions related. No effect on economy. I think the O2 sensors might have been different in every year of the car too. Careful if they ever need replacement.

-Sightly different computer programming every year for both main ECU and battery computers. Earlier cars had a few recalls for reprogramming to "improve" battery management and increase battery lifespan, but some speculate the had a small negative effect on economy. I know for certain very early cars could use 20-80% of the battery and it was later changes to 40-80% to greatly improve battery lifespan.

Even so, many computers are interchangeable.

-PCV valve is different on my 2000 than my friend's 2005, I expect the newer one is a better design.

-Aforementioned clutch switch behavior changes, unknown reason.

-In 2001 or 2002 they reduced the number of clips holding the exterior A-pillars on, presumably to make windshield replacement easier. It's common for shops to not reattach these trim pieces correctly especially in 2000 model years, and for them to blow off on the highway after a windshield replacement.

-Tan/beige interior rather than grey and black and the seats got sporty-looking holes in the head rests. I like the 00-04 interior colors better but ymmv.

-Rear speakers became standard in 2004(?)

-Different paint options for various years. I know the blue is much darker in later years. Citrus was no longer available. Silver and red might or might not be slightly different shades. I like the later silver better.

-Probably quit coming with a tape deck.

-In the 2000 model year A/C was optional and the CVT did not exist yet.

-OBD2 port moved from passenger footwell to underneath the steering wheel.

I know for certain my 2000 would not go into lean burn with the Arduino IMA bypass, while most others reported their cars did.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
What about the fact that it discharges from full to 60% rapidly upon anything more than light assist?

Hard to say. The battery gauge doesn't reflect what's really going on, nor do the assist and regen gauges. Sometimes you'll really have 1 bar of regen for miles but it won't show up. Full and empty on the battery gauge are generally ~40% and ~80% actual charge in the battery, but halfway down may or may not be 60%. I'd prefer if they were more honest, but presumably Honda had their reasons. Much like how fuel gauges aren't linear?
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's some interesting stuff Ecky!

I just did my middle/last o2 and was so worried it wouldn't work. I saw that Honda had them as a set and feared they were paired somehow. I bought two different ones at two different times but installed at the same time (still NTK, 24429 and 24430) and no problems over almost 500 miles now. Passed OBD2 inspection without issue. I paid $67 total after pricewatching on amazon vs over $300 from an online honda dealer.
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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And welcome to the Insight family! Not very many of us last year guys around.

I read the same things about some of the hacks people doing not working for us which is sad.
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I bought a replacement rear O2 sensor because it was on sale on RockAuto for something like $8, even though my car didn't need it. I tried it out and got a CEL so it clearly wasn't the right one for my car.

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