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Old 08-22-2018, 12:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm not certain that a CEL breaks lean burn in the HCH1. It certainly doesn't in the G1 Insight.

When the battery goes, you're looking at ~$1000 for a rebuilt one which would probably be good for a minimum of 4-5 years, or if it turns out the CEL doesn't break lean burn, you can just remove it entirely and save the weight. HCH1 is a fantastic car, whose only real weakness was the HV battery.

In fact, you could remove the entire hybrid system and do something similar to what I did in my car, which is to just hook the 3 phase wires from the HV motor to a rectifier and drop the 70-300v DC produced down to 14v. Costs about $120 in parts (just 2 parts, in fact) and you'll have what is effectively a far more efficient alternator.

Even without lean burn, an HCH1 will probably beat an HX in economy. HCH1s with dead batteries are common and cheap as dirt.


Last edited by Ecky; 08-22-2018 at 12:36 PM..
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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@Xist, the HCH2 is the one with serious battery issues. The HCH1's wasn't bad, they're all just old enough now that battery failure is common due to age. Early Priuses often need batteries by this point too.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
... is that every so often it's another $2K to replace the battery, and bypassing it prevents lean burn so mpg won't be any better than my current setup.

What about buying a 7th gen sedan manual for about a thousand and having a cx tranny & kill switch installed?
A 7th gen sedan swapped with a CX transmission and a kill switch is also a reasonable idea. But a swap into the 7th Generation would be slightly more complex than one between 5th and 6th generation cars because of the electronics that were added to the 7th gen. There are guys have done it. And if you follow the link to my manual transmission specs thread in my signature below I believe I have a link in there under the 7th gen specs that will lead you to someone who attempted it.

But imagine a little bit more how you might drive the hybrid. It has final drive gearing in between where a VX transmission and a Sixth Gen HX. So even if you disable the Hybrid battery you'll have a car with really tall gearing even if not quite as tall as a 5th gen VX or CX. However, with the hybrid and the bypassed battery you have an engine that is much smaller than a standard 7th gen engine and it's even significantly smaller than the 5th gen 1.5 liter engines. That means that doing pulse and glide with your very tall Transmission and your very small engine, you should be able to get some really remarkable numbers with the kill switch installed.

Just an alternate suggestion.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Any reason why an Insight might not work for you? My insurance is really cheap...

EDIT: Yesterday I drove around 15 miles on the highway, and ~8 miles through town. To get this kind of economy in an Insight, I just set cruise control to 50 and watch the gauge slowly creep up toward 100mpg, no pulse and glide or drafting.


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Old 08-22-2018, 01:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So, the Honda Insight was the prototype "L" series engine, which replaced the D-series in Honda's lineup. The Insight's engine is called an "ECA1", but it's really a 3 cylinder L engine, and is most similar to the engine in the HCH1 (L13) and Fit (L15). The most recent L15B engine is in the turbo Civic and delivers 200HP while capable of 60+ mpg in the hands of a capable driver - ask Balto about his time with one. The "L" engines have some major advantages over the D series. Read about it here:

The Truly Amazing Honda Fit/Jazz

Some highlights:

-10% weight over D series
Smaller dimensions
Smaller angle combustion chamber -> better combustion
Camshafts have roller bearings where the rocker arms contact -> lower friction
Molydebnum coated piston skirts -> lower friction
Crankshaft offset -> more torque, lower friction, longer engine life (this is huge!)
Time chain never needs replacement, lower friction
Plastic/resin intake, reduces weight
Higher compression ratio -> more efficient
Some L-series have dual spark plugs

Quote:
Here Honda explained that the design objective of their new 'L-series' gasoline engines is that of achieving complete combustion, i.e. a combustion efficiency of 100%. This 100% efficiency is explained as 'complete burning of the air-fuel mixture without wasting a drop (of fuel) and converting all the energy of the combustion into kinetic energy'. A 100% efficient combustion is of course seldom if ever achieveable in real life. In order to improve combustion efficiency, Honda seeks to optimize the combustion process itself. The ideal combustion process is instanteneous combustion where the efficiency of the conversion of combustion energy to kinetic energy is complete. To approach instantaneous combustion Honda implements a dual approach : a 'remarkably intensive combustion' and 'combustion control adjusted to engine speed (rpm)'. In the L-series, these are delivered by its compact combustion chamber and the new i-DSI system.
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
The HX engine of both generations has maintenance issues or just one generation?
I'm not sure, I just remember reading earlier that engines with lean burn had issues as they aged if not meticulously cared for. Due to the lean burn, not the engine build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
I do not understand the popularity of coupes. Cheaper? Sure. They look better? People have strange opinions regarding appearances. Even when I rarely have passengers, I have always preferred being able to access the back seats via doors.
I wanted a sedan even before discovering that its insurance would be cheaper lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
How long would the cheaper insurance take to pay for the complicated swap?
None really because it would be all covered by the sale of my current car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
I'm not certain that a CEL breaks lean burn in the HCH1. It certainly doesn't in the G1 Insight.
This article talks about it a little bit, and there were a couple others but I can't find them yet - should've bookmarked them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
When the battery goes, you're looking at ~$1000 for a rebuilt one which would probably be good for a minimum of 4-5 years, or if it turns out the CEL doesn't break lean burn, you can just remove it entirely and save the weight. HCH1 is a fantastic car, whose only real weakness was the HV battery.
I'd either get one with an already dead battery, or a cheapo one and then sell the battery. I'd rather deal with a conventional gasoline engine than something that'll require a $1000+ replacement every few years. Just doesn't make sense in terms of ROI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
In fact, you could remove the entire hybrid system and do something similar to what I did in my car, which is to just hook the 3 phase wires from the HV motor to a rectifier and drop the 70-300v DC produced down to 14v. Costs about $120 in parts (just 2 parts, in fact) and you'll have what is effectively a far more efficient alternator.
It can be wired up in such a way that I can delete the alternator without having to use a deep cycle battery or grid charging?

Honestly that would be great; would you mind me paying you a visit next spring to help me wire this out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
HCH1s with dead batteries are common and cheap as dirt.
This is why it's appealing to me more than doing an engine and/or tranny swap in a regular Civic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
...But imagine a little bit more how you might drive the hybrid. It has final drive gearing in between where a VX transmission and a Sixth Gen HX. So even if you disable the Hybrid battery you'll have a car with really tall gearing even if not quite as tall as a 5th gen VX or CX. However, with the hybrid and the bypassed battery you have an engine that is much smaller than a standard 7th gen engine and it's even significantly smaller than the 5th gen 1.5 liter engines. That means that doing pulse and glide with your very tall Transmission and your very small engine, you should be able to get some really remarkable numbers with the kill switch installed.

Just an alternate suggestion.
An alternate suggestion and I like it a lot. Now to find me the best of the available HCH1 cheapos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Any reason why an Insight might not work for you? My insurance is really cheap...

EDIT: Yesterday I drove around 15 miles on the highway, and ~8 miles through town. To get this kind of economy in an Insight, I just set cruise control to 50 and watch the gauge slowly creep up toward 100mpg, no pulse and glide or drafting.
2 passenger, less cargo space, and most important, impossible to find. One with a bypassed battery was ~$3000, decent ones are $4000-$6000, or they're $1000 autotragics with bad transmissions...cvts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
So, the Honda Insight was the prototype "L" series engine, which replaced the D-series in Honda's lineup. The Insight's engine is called an "ECA1", but it's really a 3 cylinder L engine, and is most similar to the engine in the HCH1 (L13) and Fit (L15). The most recent L15B engine is in the turbo Civic and delivers 200HP while capable of 60+ mpg in the hands of a capable driver - ask Balto about his time with one. The "L" engines have some major advantages over the D series. Read about it here:

The Truly Amazing Honda Fit/Jazz

Some highlights:

-10% weight over D series
Smaller dimensions
Smaller angle combustion chamber -> better combustion
Camshafts have roller bearings where the rocker arms contact -> lower friction
Molydebnum coated piston skirts -> lower friction
Crankshaft offset -> more torque, lower friction, longer engine life (this is huge!)
Time chain never needs replacement, lower friction
Plastic/resin intake, reduces weight
Higher compression ratio -> more efficient
Some L-series have dual spark plugs
So it is the HCH1 engine an L-series then, or a D-series?

ALSO, FuelEconomy.gov indicated that there were two manual HCH1s - one with lean burn and one without. How would I tell the difference when inspecting a car?
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I vote civic hybrid. 1.3L with moderately tall gearing should be pretty awesome for mileage. You should be able to find one for $2000 or less, and even if you factor in that $2000 battery, you have spent $4000 on a car, not much really. The battery should last 8-10 years, maybe more if grid charged when it sits for any extended amount of time.

Civic hybrid RPMs:

70 mph: 2488
45 mph: 1599
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
It can be wired up in such a way that I can delete the alternator without having to use a deep cycle battery or grid charging?

Honestly that would be great; would you mind me paying you a visit next spring to help me wire this out?
I'll explain it right now!

Honda hybrids use a 3 phase alternating current (AC) motor in all of their hybrids, which is far more efficient than any alternator. In any IMA vehicle there will be three orange cables which run to the battery box from the engine bay. These carry 70-300v 3 phase alternating current (voltage dependent on engine RPM). Here's a picture of these three orange cables:



Step one is to connect these three orange cables to one of these rectifiers. What this does is convert alternating current to direct current:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Amico-SQL-1...72.m2749.l2649

You'll then have 70-300v DC coming from the rectifier. You need to step this down to 14v. I opted to use this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You take two output wires (carrying DC current) from the rectifier and connect them to the input on the Meanwell power supply. On the other side of the Meanwell you can connect whatever you want and get 12-14v (adjustable). There will be an always-hot cable running from the same battery box to the 12v battery up front - just connect this to the Meanwell, and you're set. Higher efficiency than an alternator, no belt losses, you can adjust the voltage and get as big or as small a power supply as you want. The motor up front can probably support up to ~15,000w. Turn the power supply off and you have virtually zero drag from the HV motor.

Here's what my config looks like:




Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
So it is the HCH1 engine an L-series then, or a D-series?
The 7th gen Civic are all D series, except for the hybrid which is an L series.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
ALSO, FuelEconomy.gov indicated that there were two manual HCH1s - one with lean burn and one without. How would I tell the difference when inspecting a car?
California's version does not have lean burn to my knowledge. I'm unsure how you could tell without looking up the VIN, but there aren't too many California cars in my neck of the woods.

~

As far as Insight vs HCH, a sedan wouldn't work well for me because you can't stick a sheet of plywood or a 12ft 4x4 post in the trunk of a sedan. It's nice to be able to put literally everything I own in the back of my 70+ mpg car. I can move a full size dresser or book case.

Here's a shed I stuffed in my "trunk":




Sixteen tires plus my laundry:




A 3x12ft long piece of foam insulation, with the hatch closed:




Of course, YMMV. Our needs are probably not the same.

Last edited by Ecky; 08-22-2018 at 03:33 PM..
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That's an idea which occurred to me before, simplistically, a sixth gen Civic sedan with HX drivetrain and a set of coilovers to lower it.

Having seen that the lean burn stuff can be a bit finicky, I moved on from the idea, but if a cheap VX or HX trans comes along, or a set of coilovers, I would contemplate that. The D-series is such a torqueless wonder, though, that taller gearing may not really suit the car too well.
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daschicken View Post
I vote civic hybrid. 1.3L with moderately tall gearing should be pretty awesome for mileage. You should be able to find one for $2000 or less, and even if you factor in that $2000 battery, you have spent $4000 on a car, not much really. The battery should last 8-10 years, maybe more if grid charged when it sits for any extended amount of time.

Civic hybrid RPMs:

70 mph: 2488
45 mph: 1599
Problem is, I don't want a hybrid. Car will be sitting too much during the winter while I'm at college, and the battery will go bad fast.

Those RPMs look sweet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
I'll explain it right now!
Whaat, so you're saying I can't visit you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Honda hybrids use a 3 phase alternating current (AC) motor in all of their hybrids, which is far more efficient than any alternator. In any IMA vehicle there will be three orange cables which run to the battery box from the engine bay. These carry 70-300v 3 phase alternating current (voltage dependent on engine RPM). Here's a picture of these three orange cables:

...

Step one is to connect these three orange cables to one of these rectifiers. What this does is convert alternating current to direct current:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Amico-SQL-1...72.m2749.l2649

You'll then have 70-300v DC coming from the rectifier. You need to step this down to 14v. I opted to use this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You take two output wires (carrying DC current) from the rectifier and connect them to the input on the Meanwell power supply. On the other side of the Meanwell you can connect whatever you want and get 12-14v (adjustable). There will be an always-hot cable running from the same battery box to the 12v battery up front - just connect this to the Meanwell, and you're set. Higher efficiency than an alternator, no belt losses, you can adjust the voltage and get as big or as small a power supply as you want. The motor up front can probably support up to ~15,000w. Turn the power supply off and you have virtually zero drag from the HV motor.

Here's what my config looks like:
Ok so the three orange wires hook up to the rectifier, then the rectifier hooks up to the power supply and its set at 14 volts?

Slightly confused here - the orange wires are sending the 300 volts directly from the engine, right? If so, how does the electricity get transferred from the power supply to the actual battery? What needs to be hooked up there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
As far as Insight vs HCH, a sedan wouldn't work well for me because you can't stick a sheet of plywood or a 12ft 4x4 post in the trunk of a sedan. It's nice to be able to put literally everything I own in the back of my 70+ mpg car. I can move a full size dresser or book case.

...

Of course, YMMV. Our needs are probably not the same.
Tbh right now an Insight would be perfect for me, but I don't know about down the road, and once I do something like this, it's going to be something I plan on driving for years to come.

Neither option can have a battery though - I either buy one with a bad battery or I sell the battery. I'd rather buy one with a bad battery just in case I can't sell the battery or the battery turns out to be weak (and yet the selling price didn't reflect it). This is because the car will be sitting for too long while in college, which is bad for hybrid batteries.

HCH1 hybrids with bad batteries are a dime a dozen, so to speak. Insights are either autotragic or have "good" batteries and are $2500-$6000. I can't find any manual Insights with bad batteries. I'm torn. I know as of know this spring I'll be doing the manual HCH1 w/ battery bypass but I really want an Insight..

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcp123 View Post
That's an idea which occurred to me before, simplistically, a sixth gen Civic sedan with HX drivetrain and a set of coilovers to lower it.

Having seen that the lean burn stuff can be a bit finicky, I moved on from the idea, but if a cheap VX or HX trans comes along, or a set of coilovers, I would contemplate that. The D-series is such a torqueless wonder, though, that taller gearing may not really suit the car too well.
It's got more mid-range torque than a Toyota Sienna! My dad drove me down to college in our family minivan with a luggage carrier on top - about a 4 MPG penalty. Trying to go 75 MPH with that it constantly downshifted to 3rd gear @ 4500 RPMs because it didn't have the torque - while my Civic has never downshifted on any hill below 75 MPH. It did once on a steep hill going 78 (not me driving, I promise!!!). Van got around 22.5 until he got so mad he slowed down to 60-65 lol and finished off at 23.6. Speed really does kill!

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Retired vehicles lifetime MPG:
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