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Old 08-22-2018, 08:04 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
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?
The hybrid box (behind the rear seats) has another wire that runs up to the 12v battery, because it's normally what's charging the 12v battery. You just hook this line to the power supply instead, and can toss 150+lbs of battery and electronics.


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Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
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..
Makes a lot of sense. One thing that really sold the Insight for me is that it's aluminum, and thus practically impervious to road salt...

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Old 08-22-2018, 08:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
The hybrid box (behind the rear seats) has another wire that runs up to the 12v battery, because it's normally what's charging the 12v battery. You just hook this line to the power supply instead, and can toss 150+lbs of battery and electronics.
Do you have a picture of this part of the setup?

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Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Makes a lot of sense. One thing that really sold the Insight for me is that it's aluminum, and thus practically impervious to road salt...
Yes that's another thing that makes me want an Insight...if only the Gen 1 insight came as a 4 door without too much of an MPG hit. And no I'm not talking about the terrible Gen 2 lol. How much better MPG could I get with a bypassed Insight stock engine than a bypassed Civic Hybrid stock engine?
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:02 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Do you have a picture of this part of the setup?
Not for an HCH, but it's essentially the same as the Insight. I marked each step in the wiring a different color. Green is motor to rectifier, blue is rectifier to PSU, red is PSU to the front of the car to the 12v battery.

There's basically just a long 8 gauge wire from the 12v battery to the back of the car already, makes this all very easy.





Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Yes that's another thing that makes me want an Insight...if only the Gen 1 insight came as a 4 door without too much of an MPG hit. And no I'm not talking about the terrible Gen 2 lol. How much better MPG could I get with a bypassed Insight stock engine than a bypassed Civic Hybrid stock engine?
Probably around 33%. I'd say 70mpg is a realistic but non-trivial goal in an HCH1, while 90mpg is a realistic but non-trivial goal in an Insight (for a full tank). You can reach either with a completely stock car and consistently careful driving.

Of course, points in the HCH1's favor are that MPG is not a very good metric. 70mpg is 3.3L/100km, while 90mpg is 2.6L/100km. In an absolute sense, it's the same amount of fuel saved as going from 25mpg (9.4L/100km) to 27mpg (8.7L/100km), because both cars already use so little.
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:12 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Not for an HCH, but it's essentially the same as the Insight. I marked each step in the wiring a different color. Green is motor to rectifier, blue is rectifier to PSU, red is PSU to the front of the car to the 12v battery.

There's basically just a long 8 gauge wire from the 12v battery to the back of the car already, makes this all very easy.
Is it really just that simple?

Does the HCH/Insight have an alternator that needs to be disconnected/deleted? This then solves the issue of needing to be between 1500 & 3800 RPMs for charging the battery?

I say "simple" although I've never really done any wiring stuff on cars before; however I enjoy learning new stuff and a few youtube tutorials should get me going along with your diagram once I get an HCH...or an Insight...I'm still debating...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Probably around 33%. I'd say 70mpg is a realistic but non-trivial goal in an HCH1, while 90mpg is a realistic but non-trivial goal in an Insight (for a full tank). You can reach either with a completely stock car and consistently careful driving.

Of course, points in the HCH1's favor are that MPG is not a very good metric. 70mpg is 3.3L/100km, while 90mpg is 2.6L/100km. In an absolute sense, it's the same amount of fuel saved as going from 25mpg (9.4L/100km) to 27mpg (8.7L/100km), because both cars already use so little.
Wowsers. I'd say 50-55 MPG would be a "realistic but non-trivial" goal for my car, although by extreme hypermiling I can get 60-70. That'd be a 33% in and of itself over my current car with the HCH and 75% better with the Insight. Would that be with/without battery and ecomods?

Me want...but what about impracticality!

If I can find a good Insight next spring and I don't see a super tempting HCH...I just might go with the Insight.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
These fantasy swaps are a fun game. The swap you are thinking of is interesting. But it might be more hassle and cost than you might really want. I like the HCH1 option. A 2003-2005 Civic Hybrid manual. If you sunk a fraction of the money you might spend on the seventh gen HX/LX conversion, you could have a fully refurbished traction battery and gearing taller than any HX had (6th or 7th gen). It is a sedan too.

Also... be careful about older engine into newer body swaps. Some states won't let them onto the roads (Cali, for one example) because of smog regs.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. That's the only thing keeping me from selling the Prius and getting an Insight I or 86 (I vacillate day to day), or dropping a manual-transmission powertrain into the Prius shell (2014+ Corolla Eco 2ZR with 6-speed should drop right in). That might happen someday.

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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.
Yes, but will it blend?
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:24 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Is it really just that simple?

Does the HCH/Insight have an alternator that needs to be disconnected/deleted? This then solves the issue of needing to be between 1500 & 3800 RPMs for charging the battery?
Really that simple. Neither car has alternator or power steering pump. The only belt accessory is air conditioning.

In the case of 12v charging, you're replacing a very-good-for-a-15 year-old design with a better, new design with wider input voltage tolerances. It will keep the 12v system charged and happy as well or better than an alternator with higher efficiency.

Power steering is also electric on both cars, and both very efficient and reliable. Owners have seen zero improvement in economy from disabling this system. However, while the Insight's EPS is light and playful, I found the HCH1's to be quite heavy. Higher tire pressure would probably help, but if there's one gripe I have with the HCH1, it's the weight of the steering. It's honestly a great car overall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
I say "simple" although I've never really done any wiring stuff on cars before; however I enjoy learning new stuff and a few youtube tutorials should get me going along with your diagram once I get an HCH...or an Insight...I'm still debating...

Wowsers. I'd say 50-55 MPG would be a "realistic but non-trivial" goal for my car, although by extreme hypermiling I can get 60-70. That'd be a 33% in and of itself over my current car with the HCH and 75% better with the Insight. Would that be with/without battery and ecomods?

Me want...but what about impracticality!

If I can find a good Insight next spring and I don't see a super tempting HCH...I just might go with the Insight.
I can't speak for the HCH, I've only ever driven one with a good battery, but 50-60mpg was laughably easy with zero modification. I have no idea if it will keep lean burn without the hybrid system, but I'm inclined to think it will.

Some other items worth mentioning:

The Insight has a ready-made solution for turning off the CEL with the hybrid system removed, which costs less than $15 to assemble. This could probably be done for the HCH as well, but there isn't the same community support so you'd be mostly on your own in figuring it out - if that's important to you at all.

Also, the G1 Insight has a flaw in the transmission which causes most of them to develop a gear grind when downshifting into 2nd from a higher gear. This developed in mine around 200,000 miles. A shifting technique called double clutching lets you shift into this gear anyway without grinding and isn't hard to learn, but again, worth noting. It's possible to permanently fix this (for free) by opening up the transmission. There are good how-to guides both on here and on InsightCentral, but I don't have easy access to drop my transmission so I just double clutch around it. Aside from that and the batteries, both cars are silly reliable. One member on IC has something like 400,000 miles on his Insight engine... with a turbocharger.

Last edited by Ecky; 08-22-2018 at 10:38 PM..
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:30 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vman455 View Post
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. That's the only thing keeping me from selling the Prius and getting an Insight I or 86 (I vacillate day to day), or dropping a manual-transmission powertrain into the Prius shell (2014+ Corolla Eco 2ZR with 6-speed should drop right in). That might happen someday.
Why not both?

My Insight will soon be receiving a 200+ hp engine from an Acura TSX. Hoping to keep 60+ mpg, with a <4 second 0-60.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:09 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Really that simple. Neither car has alternator or power steering pump. The only belt accessory is air conditioning.

In the case of 12v charging, you're replacing a very-good-for-a-15 year-old design with a better, new design with wider input voltage tolerances. It will keep the 12v system charged and happy as well or better than an alternator with higher efficiency.

Power steering is also electric on both cars, and both very efficient and reliable. Owners have seen zero improvement in economy from disabling this system. However, while the Insight's EPS is light and playful, I found the HCH1's to be quite heavy. Higher tire pressure would probably help, but if there's one gripe I have with the HCH1, it's the weight of the steering. It's honestly a great car overall.
Electrical noob question...why set the PSU to 14 volts when the battery is designed to run at 12 volts?

Steering feel really doesn't mean that much to me...as long as I can still take turns at 20 MPH like I can in my current Civic (yah know, conserving momentum and not downshifting below 3rd gear )

I'd probably remove AC on the "new" car anyway. There's an '03 manual with 180K miles a good battery for sale for $1500 bc the AC compressor is seized, but if I remove it, it wouldn't matter anyway. I could probably sell the battery for $500 if it's any good. And heck, I've driven with the AC disconnected (but not removed) and no AC blower fan for the past month or so now and been fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
I can't speak for the HCH, I've only ever driven one with a good battery, but 50-60mpg was laughably easy with zero modification. I have no idea if it will keep lean burn without the hybrid system, but I'm inclined to think it will.

Some other items worth mentioning:

The Insight has a ready-made solution for turning off the CEL with the hybrid system removed, which costs less than $15 to assemble. This could probably be done for the HCH as well, but there isn't the same community support so you'd be mostly on your own in figuring it out - if that's important to you at all.

Also, the G1 Insight has a flaw in the transmission which causes most of them to develop a gear grind when downshifting into 2nd from a higher gear. This developed in mine around 200,000 miles. A shifting technique called double clutching lets you shift into this gear anyway without grinding and isn't hard to learn, but again, worth noting. It's possible to permanently fix this (for free) by opening up the transmission. There are good how-to guides both on here and on InsightCentral, but I don't have easy access to drop my transmission so I just double clutch around it. Aside from that and the batteries, both cars are silly reliable. One member on IC has something like 400,000 miles on his Insight engine... with a turbocharger.
That sounds delightful. I hope I can keep decent MPGs without a battery.

Where can I find info on that CEL-fix system? Do you use it in your Insight? I'm inclined to think this is how you keep lean burn without a battery since I keep reading that lean burn won't engage if you have a CEL.

Double clutching - is that shifting into neutral and then shifting into your lower gear instead of doing it as one fluid motion? Pardon my current ignorance about manual transmissions..

If you EOC to stops this shouldn't be an issue though right?
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:26 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I get lean burn without a battery, and this is normal for an Insight. If you leave a failed battery in, it can cause lean burn to shut off (depending on the code), but flipping the switch on the IMA system or unplugging it entirely leaves lean burn intact. There isn't a lot of reason to shut off the CEL other than for passing state inspection.

Mudder over at IC posted a video on how to set it up. Basically you cut some connectors from the IMA wire harness, then connect them to an arduino. Flash the code Mudder wrote, plug it in, and you're good to go. Mudder's code disables lean burn on a small number of Insights (maybe those with older ECUs?), but I found a workaround and can have my cake and eat it too.

How to Completely Remove Your IMA Battery - Insight Central: Honda Insight Forum

As for double clutching, yes, you let the clutch out in neutral, then press it again before putting it into gear. There's one more step - when it's in neutral, you give it some gas to roughly match revs. Basically if the engine will be at 2000rpm in the new gear, rev the engine to 2000rpm in neutral before pressing clutch and dropping it into gear.

The reason this works is that the synchros in the Insight have a design flaw. They normally match internal transmission speed to engine speed when you drop it into gear. They malfunction, so the speeds don't match and the gears grind instead of coming together smoothly. If you roughly match revs when dropping from 3rd to 2nd (just blip throttle in neutral) it goes into gear smoothly because you're doing the work the synchros would otherwise be doing. And, it's only the down-synchro in 2nd (and sometimes 1st), not the up synchros or any of the higher gears.

EOC to a stop can be an issue *sometimes* with this problem. If you shut off your engine while rolling to a stop, but the light turns green and you're still moving a few mph, you can't blip the throttle to match revs and it'll grind when you try to put it in gear because the engine will be turning slower (0rpm) than the gear (more than 0rpm, since the car is still moving). My workaround is to drop it into 3rd and bump start the engine, tap the throttle, then drop it into 2nd (or 1st). If I come fully to a stop I just use my starter.

For what it's worth, I'll be fixing this flaw permanently in my transmission and selling it when I take it out of my car. One could in theory buy a fixed transmission, swap it for theirs, then fix theirs and sell it. Many Insights have had this issue fixed already too, and some don't develop it, but it's common.

EDIT: I sometimes see decent looking Insights going up for sale on IC, on Facebook groups, or on Craigslist. I'm sure something will come by if that's the route you take. I would not feel bad at all about an HCH though, they're quite solid.

Last edited by Ecky; 08-23-2018 at 08:33 AM..
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:39 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Here's a 65k mile 2000 Insight (best year IMO) for sale for $2200:

https://newyork.craigslist.org/brx/c...669258639.html

Ad doesn't specify but the battery is probably good. It would likely have ~150k miles of operation before the transmission needed any fix. You might also have another 6+ years out of the battery, or could sell it for $6-800.

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