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Old 03-20-2009, 12:07 PM   #31 (permalink)
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For the manual-trans Insights, the Calpod mod is just a switch on the clutch pedal. Nothing anywhere close to the MIMA. It makes IMA think the clutch is pressed in. Honda programmed to not assist or regen when the clutch is in. Unfortunately, this only works on the manual-trans insights, and not even on the manual civic hybrids.

For the average Joe, IMA or Toyota's HSD are a good thing. They improve mileage significantly. For those who really work for the best mileage, we can do better than the "good enough" built-in systems. In those cases they just get in the way.

To put it another way - For efficiency, Honda made the insight with a tiny engine. To satisfy those who would say, "It's too slow!", they added the hybrid system for more oomph. If we don't care about that, then it's just extra stuff slowing us down.

CleanMPG member Right Lane Cruiser is the one with the Calpod-modded insight. Most of what I would say is on that site as well. (disclosure: I am a moderator at CleanMPG. I am not trying to take traffic away from here, just trying to help folks.)

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Old 03-20-2009, 12:17 PM   #32 (permalink)
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The challenge here is, you're going to need a powertrain that's more efficient than the Insight's original. That puts you in VX and XFI territory. You're reaching the limits of what's easy to do.

I like it.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:22 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabio View Post
And you could be right about the relative difficulty of beating the car's original mileage.
You may want to plug the Insight's specs into this tool: Aerodynamic & rolling resistance, power & MPG calculator - EcoModder.com

It'll give you an indication of, for example, the impact of weight on power required at different speeds (you can change variables and re-calculate as much as you like). I think you'll find that you might be overestimating the savings to be gained in highway driving through weight reduction.

Run the numbers of sticking a small diesel (eg. from the 1st gen smart fortwo) into the Insight. That, I think, is your only route to beating the car's "stock" highway fuel economy (and I may be wrong there - I don't know how close Honda gets to diesel efficiency with the lean burn 1 L engine).

EDIT: Of course, then you'll have a 40 hp Insight that takes ~20 seconds to get to 60 mph, flat out. But you're used to driving an XFi, so maybe that doesn't matter! (Not being facetious: 20 seconds to 60 mph is acceptable in my books.)
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:09 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Another possible engine/tranny swap would be to use the 50 hp/74 ft-lbs unit from the diesel version of the Smart fourtwo. That's what's being used in the current version of the Avion, an automotive X-prize contender that's getting well over 100 mpg.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #35 (permalink)
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random engine/mpg figures-HONDA Re.Insight

Fabio,sounds like a juicy project,here's some miscellaneous data :

The original 1984 CRX had frontal area 1.718 meter square,and Cd 0.35,for a drag factor of 0.601 meter square.This car,with the 60 Bhp 1.3-liter engine achieved 52 mpg at a steady 55-mph.When I streamlined mine down to Cd 0.23,that pushed the drag factor ( CdA ) down to 0.395 meter square,and mpg improved to 60.6 mpg at the same 55 mph.On it's best day she got 74.8 mpg at the same speed.

When the Insight came out in 2000,it had Frontal area 1.9 meter square,Cd 0.25,for CdA 0.475 meter square and 27-Bhp engine,and at around 55 mph,could be expected to return 60 mpg,with the M-5 transmission.

Without the electric motor assist,the Insight has as much power as a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle,with it's engine sawed in half.While operating at close to WOT on the highway,the Insight achieves very high BSFC,but without the electric motor to get it up to speed,it would be dangerous to operate on the highway.

The Honda VX powertrain would provide all the power you'd need.Those cars could do mid-fifties mpg stock,so with the better Cd of the Insight she should be able to return mpg in the neighborhood of the original Insight,but only on the open road.In city traffic,without the hybrid drive,she'd be no better than the VX was.Perhaps 40 mpg.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:45 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
The original 1984 CRX... achieved 52 mpg at a steady 55-mph.
Now that's what I call willpower. My CRX only ever saw 55 mph as an instantaneous value on the way up or down. But it'd get 40-45 mpg, even the way I drove it :-)
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:13 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Hey you guys. There has been much speculation that fitting a four banger into my Insight may provide some difficultly. You guys are probably right, and the only way that I will likely be able to come even close to succeeding with such a goal would be if I managed to secure a spot in my university's garage and had the help of a number of motivated engineers...
Getting my university's help is still a goal on hold due to spring break. Instead I've been spending this time by parting out the parts of the car I don't need--so if there is anyone here that would like an '01 IMA w/ 110k miles on it that was once suited to an automatic trans Honda Insight, then please let me know. Also if anyone needs a pair of sideview mirrors--cause you know how I feel about those--let me know as well.

Well my point is I found this image (attached below) of an Insight. It appears the owner managed to get two full liters v-tec in there. I'm sure some others have had some success as well with larger engines. I mean don't you guys remember the famous 9 second Insight.

Plus, guys don't forget that I don't even have the front clip for my Insight, so I may end up making a custom one to begin with. This could give me a little more room to play with.

I just wanted to give you guys some ideas to play with if you were thinking a bigger engine might be the way to go for this project.
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:24 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Brammo Motorsports at one time imported a british V8, with a displacement of only 2.0L. I can imagine with a very gentle tune and some TB work, it could be made to get great fuel economy down low.

And you'd have the advantage of 400hp at the same time.

Also, on the topic of your rant, from Ohio to Maine and back, at 65mph on cruise, my mother's 2000 Cadillac Eldorado got 30mpg as recorded by receipts, with a 4.6L V8. In a nearly 5,000lb car. So I know how you feel about the car companies today.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:10 AM   #39 (permalink)
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His point is not to make the insight as FE as possible.

The people that mentioned he needed to clean up his post and get to the project would understand his project had they carefully read it.

His point is you don't need a hybrid to get good gas mileage. (as is proven by geos, but for the sake of argument geos are old and no one would drive one as representatives claim safety features and creature comforts in new cars make it impossible).

Fabio, your best bet is just to pull the components you don't want(hybrid) and leave everything else mostly stock. Maybe get some taller gears, but other than that its not going to be easier than that or cheaper for that matter.

Dropping in a new engine with diesel also won't prove his point. The insight's engine will be the easiest fit to the bay and there is already a drive train that fits it. Crank out the extra weight from the battery pack(if it only weighs 60 pounds the pack is pretty worthless as far as KWhr) and other hybrid components.

If you're going all out take the body panels off replace with carbon fiber, swap your seats for carbon fiber buckets with minimal padding and if it doesn't support weight on the interior rip it out. Dash, door panels, rear panels whatever has weight can go.

Drive it light and you can probably get better FE.

The other thing you will want to do is mount the radiator along the back of the car with a much larger area. It won't cool as well mounted flush against the back of the car but the increased area will allow for effective cooling. The heat being dumped into your wake slightly relieves the low pressure vacuum dragging behind your car by increasing the temperature so the fluid does not decelerate as much. Also dumping the heat at the very front increases the drag pressure on the nose of the car, all around not a good way of doing it if you can mount a larger radiator in a low pressure area.

Last edited by theunchosen; 04-23-2009 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:29 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunchosen View Post
His point is you don't need a hybrid to get good gas mileage. (as is proven by geos, but for the sake of argument geos are old and no one would drive one as representatives claim safety features and creature comforts in new cars make it impossible).
Also proven by my car, which beats the highway mileage of any production 4-seat hybrid by a good margin and matches or exceeds that of the 2-seat Insight at any speed where it is unable to maintain lean burn. With a lean burn engine installed, my car would likely beat the highway mileage of the 2-seat Insight at most speeds.

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