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Old 07-01-2015, 01:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Stretch-Insight as Travel-Van Alternative

So I'm forever trying to think of how to travel without spending a ton of money on fuel. Van's are great for travel, but none of them seem to get batter than ~28mpg.

I imagine that an insight stretched via sheet-metal skinned tube-frame could maintain all the aero of the original car and only add a few hundred pounds to the vehicle weight, while preserving all of the factory developed crash hardware and it's enormous economy.



I really like bolt-in mods, and imagine that a "kit" could be designed that would require just specific cuts to the car chassis and drilling holes for mounting bolts. Each end would bolt onto a frame in the middle, body panels would fasten on, and electrical would be re-connected to the battery, etc, via an extension harness.

Is this a horrible idea? Has anyone seen other projects like this to reference?

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Old 07-01-2015, 02:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is an easy way to travel by automobile that gets you great gas mileage.
It is called a tent. Or if you are not into camping, they have things call 'motels'.

Or you could spend years and 10's of thousands of dollars, so you won't spend $2,000 on motels.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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and here I just wanted to make mine into a 4 passenger.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wouldn't take the risk of ruining the Insight's frame. Anyway, isn't it made out of aluminium? So, you'd also have to overcome galvanic corrosion if you'd use a steel tube structure for that stretch...
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dave Cloud to the rescue.


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Old 07-01-2015, 03:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
There is an easy way to travel by automobile that gets you great gas mileage.
It is called a tent. Or if you are not into camping, they have things call 'motels'.

Or you could spend years and 10's of thousands of dollars, so you won't spend $2,000 on motels.
I don't think so.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
I wouldn't take the risk of ruining the Insight's frame. Anyway, isn't it made out of aluminium? So, you'd also have to overcome galvanic corrosion if you'd use a steel tube structure for that stretch...
This from the same guy that doesn't blink when recommending people swap engines and design and fabricate their own engine management systems?

Galvanic corrosion- as if nothing is made from dissimilar metals. Put a layer of paint between 'em and they're good. Look at any older snowmobile chassis with it's steel bulkhead riveted to an aluminum tunnel.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I didn't realize they were made of aluminum. That does present some additional challenge. Insulators at junctions and bonding rather than welding... maybe...

I could see using polyurethane bushings where the steel frame mounts to the reinforced points on the insight unibody. Then skinning it with aluminum sheeting that could be riveted to the insight panels. Composite/poly brackets could be bonded/riveted to the aluminum paneling to attach it to the steel frame and allow it to be stressed for rigidity.

I agree about not wanting to mess up the frame... It'd be a shame to do this to anything but a beater, at least to start with.

@rmay, do you already have a first gen insight?
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Awesome photos, Frank. I really like the red metro... !
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am not sure that a stretched Insight would maintain its aerodynamics. Don't you have increased skin friction on flat surfaces?

What about an aerodynamic trailer?

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