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Old 05-08-2021, 06:54 PM   #771 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basjoos View Post
Ecky picked up the aerocivic and is headed for Vermont.

No pictures ??

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Old 05-08-2021, 07:30 PM   #772 (permalink)
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Road trip! This is so good.
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:22 PM   #773 (permalink)
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Does anyone know his ETA? Anxious to hear his thoughts about how it drives.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:12 PM   #774 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
90 day: 21.26 mpg (US)

K-sight - '00 Honda K-sight
Team Honda
90 day: 43.14 mpg (US)

Aerocivic - '92 Honda Civic CX
90 day: 64.49 mpg (US)
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Pictures!

Edit: Figures they'd end up upside down.

(MetroMPG edit: rotated the pics!)
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:13 PM   #775 (permalink)
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Which ecomodder has the closest thing to a museum?
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:13 AM   #776 (permalink)
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So what are the plans with the car now ?
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:19 AM   #777 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
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90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
90 day: 21.26 mpg (US)

K-sight - '00 Honda K-sight
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90 day: 43.14 mpg (US)

Aerocivic - '92 Honda Civic CX
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I won't violate basjoos' privacy by sharing any personal details, but I will say it was an incredible pleasure to meet him. The man seems at least as remarkable as the car.

I'm spending the night in Roanoke, and will be leaving early in the morning for Vermont.

As for Aerocivic: One thing that surprises me, every time I drive a different Honda, is how much unique character each different model has, nevermind the additional uniqueness from all of basjoos' modifications. I found myself laughing out loud again and again tonight, driving this car. It's a fantastic driver's car turned into the ultimate hypermiler, and it's a pleasure to eat up the miles with it.

Compared with an Insight (stock or otherwise), Aerocivic is a polar opposite in many ways, and strikingly similar in others.

The 92 Civic chassis feels heavy, solid, and planted, despite being south of 2200lbs. The Insight, by comparison, feels very light and darty. Aerocivic's interior all feels very solid, even after 608,000 miles (plus another maybe 30,000 unrecorded) whereas all of the plastics in an Insight were a light breeze away from rattling the day it rolled out from the factory. The Civic is probably more incidentally light - Honda put what was needed to make a durable and great handling car, and absolutely nothing else, while the Insight was designed from the outset to sacrifice everything in the name of lighteness and economy. I think if anyone has ever ridden a heavy steel bicycle vs an aluminum one, the analogy carries perfectly into these two cars.

Driving up through the foothills, I found myself carrying momentum through the winding roads that caused my eyes and gut to shout "hold on!", but Aerocivic handled them with incredible neutrality. It's almost as if it's so perfectly balanced, there's no sense of balance at all - point the (unassisted) steering, and that's where the car goes, no matter how fast or sharp. It's incredibly confident. The Insight suspension by comparison isn't all that well sorted from the factory. I'm working on that though...

On the flip side, Aerocivic gets pushed all over the road by passing vehicles, whereas my Insight does not. I'm sure part of it is the tail, and part of it might be the (mismatched, 10 year old, winter) tires, but some might also be from a lot of very tired bushings up front. It isn't a fair comparison, but my Insight at 270k miles feels incredibly tight. Aerocivic could benefit from having bushings in the front suspension and steering rack, and possibly even some joints, refreshed or replaced. And, it will get them.

The lean burn VX engine feels very much like a more analog and heavier (more solid) relative of the one in the Insight. The power delivery is familiar, but not the same. Entering and leaving lean burn is familiar, but not the same. The VX drivetrain seems to have more power to weight than an unassisted Insight, and the gear spacing makes more sense to me. Power delivery is almost linear from a light touch of the pedal, to the floor, and from low RPM to high. Each gear is useful, and the spacing is very linear. The Insight by comparison seems to really want to be revved to make any power (without the IMA) and the low gears are widely spaced, giving several relatively tall but close together highway gears. This makes sense though - it was tuned to have a large amount of extra low end torque from the electric motor. With an Insight, I feel you need to be almost intentional about getting into lean burn. Once you understand it, it's easy to switch in and out, but it isn't immediately intuitive. The VX engine by comparison seems to always want to go into lean burn, and only ever really leaves it if you're putting your foot down. I don't think it's something you'd ever need to explain to someone for them to benefit from it.

Interior-wise, the Insight is practically loaded compared with a 92 Civic CX or VX. It has power windows, mirrors, locks, a digital automatic climate control, and all of the instrumentation you need.
In Aerocivic, you have crank windows, and it would have had a single stick-pointed external mirror. No power steering. The A/C (a dealer option I think), amazingly, still blows cold. The seats feel solid - though the driver's seat is kindof starting to disintegrate. The shifter uses solid linkages which feel very satisfying to operate. The Insight's cable operated transmission by comparison feels almost like a toy - but not necessarily in a bad way, and the Insight seats were clearly built to be lightweight.

In terms of cabin noise, Aerocivic probably is not at its best, but it's still relatively quiet for a car that has literally zero sound dampening. There's a bit of wind noise coming from the driver mirror area, where there's probably an air leak. The vacuum gauge rattles a bit. It's currently missing the underbody paneling, so there's some wind noise there. The boat tail (which is a big open cargo area behind the rear seats) seems to amplify or resonate tire noise a bit. And, it's on winter tires. Even with all of that, it's feels kindof earily like you're going much slower than you are. At 50mph, it has a similar noise characteristic to similar era and type cars going more like 30mph.

And of course, there's the coasting. Damn but this car coasts. My Insight actually maintains speed when EOC down shallow grades very well (nearly as well) but it doesn't carry that momentum like Aerocivic does. Part of this might be because Aerocivic has heavy steel wheels with heavy tires, but ultimately it's also a lower drag car with at least 200lbs on even my K swapped Insight, maybe 450-500lbs on an IMA-less Insight, and it just wants to keep rolling forever. I'd say the amount of momentum this car carries will probably make it a bit tricky to maximize economy in city driving.

I've already started compiling a list of deferred maintenance items and a wish list of mods. I think my order will likely be to first freshen up the car, with new axles (they're actually kindof sketchy right now), bushings, tie rods and ball joints. Maybe I'll do a distributor cap, wires and plugs for good measure - though the engine runs incredibly well. PCV valve, maybe freshen up the fluids - I didn't ask before I left when they were changed. Oh, and buff the lexan clear again - rear visibility isn't very good right now, especially when the sun is behind the car.

Some of the aero mods need minor repair, but overall they're mostly doing their job.

After that, I'd like to get some brand new tires on it, likely on either a set of Insight or HX alloy wheels (we'll see what I have spare), to shave some weight off of each corner. I'll likely swap the steel drums for Insight aluminum ones. I'd like to upgrade 100% of the lighting to LED, and replace the battery with a lithium + capacitors. I might do a DX or VX cluster too, with the tach built in, and maybe swap out the SuperMID for an MPGuino. Eventually I'd like cameras.

My wife and I may even, one day, sit down with some rubber mallets and a few cans of Bondo and give it a makeover. It'll definitely keep the same paint scheme though.


Last edited by Ecky; 05-09-2021 at 12:38 AM..
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:27 AM   #778 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
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90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
90 day: 21.26 mpg (US)

K-sight - '00 Honda K-sight
Team Honda
90 day: 43.14 mpg (US)

Aerocivic - '92 Honda Civic CX
90 day: 64.49 mpg (US)
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I almost forgot: I'm at around half a tank on the gauge, and I'm at 320 miles. I've been traveling around 65mph, and (though the SuperMID is a bit hard to read) if the instrumentation and fuel gauge are correct, I'm probably looking at 62-65mpg. A very well sorted Insight with a working IMA, high tire pressure and some lesser aeromods gets very little better than that - maybe 68 @ 68. One really needs to slow down to 50 to get 90-100mpg in an Insight. And that's an aluminum, no-holds barred, 2 seater 3 cylinder with half or less cargo space.

It seems that driving slower in Aerocivic doesn't offer the same returns as it does in many other cars. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But, it's also worth noting, the car has the wrong tires and they're only around 38psi right now. And no underbody paneling. And, I'm doing virtually no EOC, despite there being a perfectly good kill switch about 3 inches from my left hand. And, every time I go down a hill, I end up greatly exceeding my target speed.
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Old 05-09-2021, 03:28 AM   #779 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post

Compared with an Insight (stock or otherwise), Aerocivic is a polar opposite in many ways, and strikingly similar in others.

The 92 Civic chassis feels heavy, solid, and planted, despite being south of 2200lbs. The Insight, by comparison, feels very light and darty.
I know it's not the point of the post (or thread), but my modified Gen 1 Insight is one of the most 'planted' cars at high speed I've ever driven. (And, as a new car road tester, I drove a lot of cars.)

I remain astonished at what downforce does to this aspect of car stability.

(As an example, my Insight makes my wife's W212 Mercedes feel like a bicycle in a strong, gusting crosswind.)
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:03 AM   #780 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
90 day: 21.26 mpg (US)

K-sight - '00 Honda K-sight
Team Honda
90 day: 43.14 mpg (US)

Aerocivic - '92 Honda Civic CX
90 day: 64.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,202
Thanked 1,960 Times in 1,236 Posts
Thanks Julian!

~

One thing I forgot to write about also, was that I have never had more attention in my life. I'd say it's nearly one car in four whose occupant(s) visibly lose their mind at the sight of it. Common behaviors include:
-At a stop, people getting out of their car and approaching, wanting to talk about it. E.g. "Why'd you do that to that car, man?"
-Drivers visibly enunciating "what in the ****?"
-Drivers mouths hanging open
-Drivers breaking into a huge grin and waving their hands at me
-Children plastering their faces against windows
-Cars getting behind me for ~45 seconds, then getting beside me and very slowly passing
-Cars passing, then braking, then passing again
-Truckers pulling their horns
-Most commonly of all, people pointing cellphones. In 6 hours yesterday I might have made on social media posts of over 1000 Facebook or Instagram or whatever else the kids are using these days.

Just to name a few. It's like I'm permanently on parade.

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