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Old 06-12-2009, 11:17 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechEngVT View Post
Why aren't you using a normal core support? I would think you could get one in a junkyard from an insight that had been mounted by a semi. That would solve your concerns about radiator rigidity and provide for a hood latch.
Well, I really wanted to fabricate for the sake of improving my fabrication skill, but I guess I will actually have to buy the original front bulkhead from Honda here. Salvage frontal crash parts for the Insight are all but unobtainable. Though there are Insights with 300kmi out there, they don't seem ready to retire to the junkyard yet. Most of the ones in the junkyard were involved in low-speed frontal collisions.

Another reason to fabricate: The factory radiator is off center, which means my grille opening will be off center as well. I guess that doesn't affect the aerodynamics too much, but it's gonna look mighty odd when I'm done.

Hmm, I didn't know radiators are vibration sensitive. What, do the fins come unsoldered? Yeah, I was going to use the two rubber feet that came with the radaitor.

Btw, the entire cooling system capacity is one gallon - 8 lbs. The radiator fan motor probably weighs as much as the radiator + coolant. I'm continually impressed by this car.

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Old 06-12-2009, 11:41 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm kind of late to the party here but, I wana watch.
There is an Insight that parks next to me at work sometimes. I just have to drool over it.

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Old 07-04-2009, 10:51 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Ah, I got a free bump. I may as well give an update: Things are coming along.

I ordered that front bulkhead from Honda, and it more or less bolted right up. Sweet; progress has resumed on the car. I've got the cooling system installed and burped, and what a cooling system it is! The thermostat does not fully open until 100C, 212F, so you really won't be running this system on water alone. I also straightened out the hood latch, and that's in place.

Here's how it looks:


There's about 20L of vacant mechanical space next to the radiator, where the A/C condensor and fan would go. If I need to add mechanical systems (electric vacuum pump, bypass oil filter, 120VAC coolant heater), that's where they'll go.

Earlier, when I tried to charge the main battery, I got a check engine light within a minute, and the IMA system shut down. The code indicated that my $4000 battery was dead. Now that I know more about NiMH chemistry, I was able to get it to charge without a check engine light. The problem was that I allowed the batteries to become fully discharged (which you should not do), then I tried to charge them too quickly. Now that it's charged, I get snappy, IMA-assisted engine starts, and smoother, IMA-assisted idle.

My to-do list:

*superglue headlights' mounting ears back on
*attach headlights
*reattach horn, washer fluid tank
*attach mangled factory bumper cover using zip-ties
*get license plates
*throw out mangled factory bumper cover, fabricate new one from Al bar and sheet.
*sell the Subaru

It's not a big list. There's no good reason for me not to have it roadworthy and inspection-worthy this week. This car has too much potential for me to leave it sitting in the driveway all summer.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:22 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
It's not a big list. There's no good reason for me not to have it roadworthy and inspection-worthy this week. This car has too much potential for me to leave it sitting in the driveway all summer.
Woohoo. Lets see it back on the road! Nice job Robert.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:09 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Looks like it is coming along. I be jealous
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:19 AM   #26 (permalink)
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My Salvage Vehicle Inspection will be October 1st. I'm not sure, but I don't think I get plates until a few weeks later.

I have a little work to finish up before then, then the mods will begin.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:20 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I drove the Insight on the road today!

I took the Insight out for a short shakedown around the neighborhood. Everything works exactly as it should, except for a coolant leak for which I have a part on order. I hope to have some welding done tomorrow, Potenzas installed and a state inspection done on Friday, and maybe I'll do some mods on Saturday before I leave for AMEC F.E. Run IV.

At one point, I turned on the blower motor to de-fog the windshield, and a minute or two later, the coolant temp had dropped from 200 to 150F, and the car went into "not yet warmed up" mode with no auto-stop. Apparently, I won't be able to run the heater while I'm hypermiling around town. :-)

On a 2.1mi cruise, topping out at 35mph, and obeying every stop sign, I got 57.8mpg. This was ignoring the ScanGauge and factory instrumentation, and with no kill switch installed.

This car is something special.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:42 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Awesome. I look forward to seeing pictures of the completed car. Are you, after you rebuild it, going to put lots of mods on it, or is it going to just be a "standard" Insight?
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:46 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Nice! Where in Buffalo are you? I'll tell my fiancee to keep an eye out for your Insight later this fall.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:44 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I ran a few errands in the Insight after I got home from work today. Tires at 50psi provide a very stiff ride in this car. Stopped by RadioShack and got some supplies for mods I need to execute tomorrow. Fuel economy was in the low 50's, and I was unable to engage lean burn, probably due to low intake air temperatures. I can work on that, but maybe not in time for the fuel economy run.

@Funny: Thanks. I'd really like to get 70mpg for a lifetime average, including winter and short trips around town. I'd also like to record a 1000 mile tank (100mpg) without driving at speeds that I consider slow. So yes, I will need to modify it. I intend to improve the already excellent aerodynamics, give the driver more control over the IMA assist/regen, and maybe reduce weight slightly.

@LeCouch: Cheektowaga, near the Town Park. Tell her to look for the tiny Honda with a broken fender, wrinkled hood, and homemade bumper cover.

The car needs a little Bondo and a little paint.

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