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Old 06-23-2012, 01:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default De-hybrid an Insight?

Has anyone ever removed all the hybrid electronics/battery and converted the car to gas only? I would think that a small turbocharger would improve the small engine's performance to the point that the electric motor wouldn't be necessary. You would also drop quite a bit of weight removing all that gear.

My concerns:
1) Keeping things like ABS, A/C and Power steering working
2) Using the output of the electric motor to charge a 12V battery (would need to design a circuit for this) Probably would need a bigger 12V battery.
3) Motor control (megasquirt?)
4) loss of lean-burn (could megasquirt do lean-burn?)

This is just a thought that's been kicking around my head after all this "battery drama" that's been happening lately.

What do you think?

Best regards,
Mike M.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Driving around without the battery would work; more than a few have "fixed" their Insight to run with a problem battery, and it can still charge the 12v. Likewise turbocharging. It has been done (willie?). I doubt it would be worth the trouble of removing the other hybrid parts and adding an alternator. Even if it wasn't very difficult, Honda did a great job of weight savings and it wouldn't be much lighter. In fact, you might find the car heavier after subtracting the battery but adding turbo plumbing.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There have been many who have removed the current motor and IMA system and put something different under the hood and even begind the seat.

Mid Engine Insight:

TDI powered Insight:

Oaktec UK racing: Rally History

I've seen a few others on Youtube, they are out there.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemo View Post
I would think that a small turbocharger would improve the small engine's performance to the point that the electric motor wouldn't be necessary.
The IMA motor adds much-needed torque at low engine speeds whereas a turbo adds torque at mid and high engine speeds where the Insight engine is sufficiently peppy for most situations. So your turbocharged Insight engine would still be a serious slug pulling away from a stop, especially on an incline with the A/C on. Apparently the combination of the IMA motor and a turbocharger makes the Insight a different car to drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemo View Post
This is just a thought that's been kicking around my head after all this "battery drama" that's been happening lately.
The battery drama appears to be over.

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Originally Posted by mikemo View Post
What do you think?
I haven't read that anyone has solved the trouble light/DTC problem that occurs when the IMA system has been removed. Those in states that require no DTCs in order to pass annual inspections couldn't do without the IMA system.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemo View Post
Has anyone ever removed all the hybrid electronics/battery and converted the car to gas only? I would think that a small turbocharger would improve the small engine's performance to the point that the electric motor wouldn't be necessary. You would also drop quite a bit of weight removing all that gear.
With the addition of an alternator and the turbo related plumbing, you're probably saving less weight than you think because the IMA components are very light to begin with. Still at a weight positive because you're probably only adding 45 LBs of turbo stuff. However without IMA you are losing idle stop and you'll need a heavier flywheel.

Quote:
1) Keeping things like ABS, A/C and Power steering working
All these rely on the stock ECU so you'd want to install the Megasquirt as a parallel installation.

Quote:
2) Using the output of the electric motor to charge a 12V battery (would need to design a circuit for this) Probably would need a bigger 12V battery.
Use an alternator. Without the hybrid "stuff", the IMA motor is useless. It's a 3 phase AC motor. While it naturally generates, being a PM motor, you would need to build a rectifier circuit much like is in a typical alternator. Then voltage output becomes a problem because it's proportional to speed and as high as something like 170VAC so you would need a large DC/DC converter.

Quote:
3) Motor control (megasquirt?)
4) loss of lean-burn (could megasquirt do lean-burn?)
MS3X could do it, actually. There is fine enough injector PW control as well as ignition control, and starting with MS3X, injection is fully sequential with phasing control. The EGR could be operated through the IAC stepper driver (a code change would be necessary) and there are plenty of outputs to run the cam, etc.

Quote:
This is just a thought that's been kicking around my head after all this "battery drama" that's been happening lately.
There is battery drama?

Quote:
What do you think?
Seems like a lot of work for really no gains. Honda could have taken this approach as well if not for one major issue: emissions. The Insight couldn't be as clean as it is under boost and fuel consumption would be higher than with the IMA assisting the engine.

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Originally Posted by aisbell View Post
The IMA motor adds much-needed torque at low engine speeds whereas a turbo adds torque at mid and high engine speeds where the Insight engine is sufficiently peppy for most situations.
A turbocharger can be sized for whatever powerband the user prefers. In fact most OEM turbos these days are pathetically small, sized to provide a large low end and midrange boost while tapering off efficiency in the high end.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Or you could just leave the junction board in there and take out the battery.

Done.

The IMA motor all in weighs about the same as an alternator, the DC-DC is already in place... I'm not sure what all this other discussion is about? Doing unneccesary work?

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Old 06-25-2012, 03:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. There are several things I hadn't considered, like the complexity of a high current dc-dc converter, and really needing a bigger flywheel, along with losing the balancing pulses that the IMA provide to smooth out the motor.

I was initially thinking about what it would take to replace the motor and trans with a small and efficient Honda motor, which brings with it a completely different set of problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Cake View Post
There is battery drama?
I was referring to the people who paid thousands of dollars for a new battery that never arrived. I understand that there are additional options now, which makes me very happy in the event that I need to replace my IMA pack. It's three years old now and still going strong (knock on wood).

I noticed that LHT has a turbo for the Insight listed on their web site. Price was really high though, but it looks like they do nice work.
2000 Honda Insight Turbo

Thanks again for everyone's "insight"

Mike M.
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