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Old 03-18-2017, 01:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2015
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Default Adventures with Bird, my 2005 Insight

I purchased a second Insight in January 2017. It is a 2005 5MT and had approximately 118,500 miles on it when I purchased it. The body is in excellent condition and has few blemishes.

The name comes from the previous owner who told me that he and his wife had named the car, "Bird." A 'shortening' of Hybrid if you will.

Anyhow I have begun making some improvements and modifications to the vehicle. In the spirit of sharing, I am (and will be) documenting these developments in future posts.

Marshall, TX, on my way home back to Idaho.

After braving white-knuckle, near-whiteout snow conditions along I-80 in Wyoming , we finally made it home.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20170119_084035.jpg (163.1 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20170125_142014.jpg (249.5 KB, 79 views)
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Last edited by Bull Dog; 03-18-2017 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First order of business are some new springs. Hit a good bump with the stock springs and there is a good chance you will hit the bump stops.

It sounds harsh and unpleasant from inside the cabin and is bad for handling. I purchased a set of front and rear springs from Scott, KLR3CYL.

I did the rear springs first because they were easy.





Scott also has a video that details how to replace the rear springs on a 2000-2006 Insight
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File Type: jpg P1000616.jpg (98.3 KB, 76 views)
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Replacing the front springs is considerably more involved.

Both strut assemblies needs to be removed from the vehicle.
This means that all the stuff connected to the struts needs to be disconnected first.
  • Tie rod ends (Requires non-destructive tie rod puller)
  • Sway bar link
  • Brake line tie down
  • ABS sensor tie down (I strongly recommend also removing the sensor from the knuckle so you can move it and its wire completely out of the way.
Before unbolting the strut from the knuckle, and then strut tower, I supported the knuckle with rubber tarp straps (think stiffer bungee cords). This was to prevent the knuckle from flopping away from the car and pulling the axle's CV joint apart...a very real danger that can be easily mitigated with some care.

Then, I paid a local mechanic to do the spring swapping for me as messing with springs under tension is out of my comfort zone.

After torqueing everything back down, don't forget to replace the cotter pin in the tie rod ends....like I did before I took this picture.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1000612.jpg (116.3 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg P1000620.jpg (140.8 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg P1000622.jpg (108.4 KB, 75 views)
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Rosta cruise overhaul

Next up is some TLC for the Rosta Cruise Control until that came installed with the car.

This is how it looked on purchase. Unfortunately, there were some problems with the way the cruise control unit had been installed.
  • The mounting location using the stock bracket like this is not ideal. The unit is too close to the 12V battery.
  • Having the unit too close to the battery leads to issues routing the cruise throttle cable. See the next picture and refer to points #1 and #2.
What we are looking at here is a close up of two parts of the Rostra cruise throttle cable.
#1: Significant chunks of the housing have worn away where is was rubbing against the support brace
#2: Vibrations from the engine would induce cable housing to collide with the engine cover. The black plastic and metal stiffening weave has been completely worn through. Only the inner red liner remained to protect the cable inside.

The solution is to replace the damaged cable (Rostra# 250-3607) and then relocate the cruise box using a bracket like the one I made for my 2006 Insight.

And now it looks like this. Much better. Next post details cable routing.
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File Type: jpg InkedUnderhood small_LI.jpg (257.7 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg InkedP1000624 combo_LI.jpg (85.7 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg P1000653.jpg (162.4 KB, 73 views)
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Last edited by Bull Dog; 03-18-2017 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This should prevent any catastrophic rubbing issues.
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File Type: jpg P1000636.jpg (134.1 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg P1000638.jpg (162.2 KB, 71 views)
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Antenna detour

The rubber around the base of the stock antenna was getting pretty crusty, so I replaced it with an antenna from a Honda Fit. Retail from the a dealer is only $6.15 and it can be found for less than $5 from online sources like Majestic Honda or G1 Parts.




The fit is excellent. It looks OEM...which I suppose it is. Unfortunately radio reception seems to be a tiny bit worse. More noticeable on the AM band than FM.
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File Type: jpg P1000630.jpg (112.8 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg P1000633.jpg (73.8 KB, 72 views)
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice work!

Let me know how well the cruise control works, and its behavior in being able to maintain lean burn. I'm pondering installing one on my car. My HCH1 has cruise control, and I use it a lot.

Also if you don't mind posting a photo of how the cruise control buttons are installed/arranged in the cabin.

TIA!
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The cruise control's response rate is adjustable. I have mine set to slow, which keeps my car in lean burn pretty well even with some mild inclines, but the moment there's much elevation change I really have to baby-sit it.

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Old 03-19-2017, 11:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
The cruise control's response rate is adjustable. I have mine set to slow, which keeps my car in lean burn pretty well even with some mild inclines, but the moment there's much elevation change I really have to baby-sit it.
Yes, the Rostra unit has four "Gain" or (Sensitivity to speed changes) modes. Extra Low, Low, Mid and High I have tried all of them and in my personal experience, the best and only mode worth using is the High Gain setting.

At some point I intend to make a lengthy post or a video explaining why I firmly believe this is the case. However, for anyone who has used the cruise control on a Gen1 HCH 5MT, I can explain it like this:

I also own a 5 Speed HCH1 and the cruise control on it works really well, sometimes even better than manual throttle control. Of any gain setting, "High," makes the Rostra cruise behave closest to the excellent HCH1 cruise. On high, the Rostra unit will make small, near immediate, fine grain adjustments, to changes in speed...just like the HCH1 does.
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