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Old 01-27-2013, 09:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ultra mileage vehicle!

Hello Forum!

It's been a while! I have bought another 2000 M/T Insight for modifying without limitations to achieve 200+ mpg at 55mph. What would you do to the first generation to make this happen? Serious engine mods, shaving weight and where? Body work? Deletion of equipment?

The car is strictly an R&D vehicle. I'm an individual and will be for non profit. I'd love to hear from you, and or try donated parts. The car is running, but needs a front bumper and left trim at the windshield.

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My dream is to keep the gas engine basically the same, but have more electric power. Or go 100% electric. Rather do a conversion in my MR2 than my Insight though, just for the cool factor (and FWD sucks!)
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My thoughts are to relocate radiator to rear so front is completely sealed and aerodynamically refined. Engine removed, custom pistons to raise compression ratio, longest connecting rods, thermally ceramic coat combustion chamber, piston, valves and ports, insulate engine, extreme hot air mod, hot fuel mod, teflon coat piston skirts and tranny gears, remove A/C completely, remove entire IMA system.

Lean the weight by removing carpet, etc. install lighter seats, replace side/rear and hatch latch with Lexan, install deflector over wipers, install front wheel spats, modify rear spats, under body smooth panels, smaller 12 volt battery.

Thin aero tires and wheels, mirror removal, etc.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd say tear out everything in the interior that's not critical to the function of the car, but you might not wish to do that.

Add a turbocharger, make some door handle inserts, add water vapor injection system, remove the passenger seat, tear out all the interior (door sidings, carpet, etc, anything that doesn't hinder crash safety), no radio, speakers, A/C, power windows, or power steering, etc, etc... at least, that's what I'd do.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Remove EPS system. Remove rear wiper. Remove antenna and cable.

Why do you want to move the rad to the rear? I think the extra piping and coolant will add considerable weight.

Maybe add electric waterpump.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't see how you'll get there without continuous electric assist. To that end, a very high capacity battery pack (40Ah) should do it.
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Bad battery
Lots of engine malfunction codes
wet seatbelts, crappy stereo, lots of rattles
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:03 AM   #7 (permalink)

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I'm not going to say it's impossible because you can do pretty much anything with enough money. To truly reach your goals is going to take some very significant modification.

Getting rid of the giant gaping hole in the front of the car would be a huge step forward. Weight savings are not realistically going to help much, the car is already very light. Key would be reducing aero drag. The weight reductions and reduction in 12V system draw and all the other little things combined might net you another 5-10mpg if you were really lucky. This might put you at 120mpg under ideal conditions at 55mph. Maybe. Speed kills - MPG in this case.

Engine mods are unlikely to result in any significant increases; most engine mods would tend to lower fuel economy. Because of the integration with the IMA system, a re-tune isn't easy. Lean-burn further complicates matters, and modifying the lean burn window would likely take extensive research.

Ok, I'll say it - I don't think 200mpg @ 55mph steady state will be possible. The car can already only get ~120mpg under ideal, low speed conditions. But here's to trying! Good luck!
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Last edited by Eli; 01-28-2013 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It is possible, but the end result would not be so glamorous as it will resemble the cars (vehicles) specially made for extreme MPG.

And since it will be a conversion the MPG will not be so extreme , and the vehicle will look weird.

One easy way is to remove the roof and the pillars, gut the interior and remove passenger seat, create a cock pit like in a jet fighter plane , (just for the driver ) and close the huge gap with a fiberglass or carbon fiber sheet. Make that cockpit roof(cover)out of plexiglass and on hinges so you can enter from there, remove the doors and seal with carbon fiber sheets the openings. Make a carbon fiber hood and replace the present one. Inflate the tires to 70 psi, clean the engine , get a brand new ima battery , remove the under body paneling and put carbon fiber sheets instead. Make a carbon fiber aero tail.

Loose weight if you have accumulated some over the years like me , the driver being 130 lb versus 230 helps too.

It will look like an ugly home made flying saucer at the end, but will be much closer to 200 mpg than a regular insight .

P.s: check if you will be allowed to drive the end result as it may be not street legal...
2000 mt silver, 329k presently , 55.0 lt mpg (reset at 201k) mima #127 . was 51.7 lt mpg

Last edited by Jivko57; 01-28-2013 at 07:38 AM. Reason: added a p.s.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Eli View Post
I'm not going to say it's impossible because you can do pretty much anything with enough money.
I don't know about that. Mercedes has been throwing money at their 1 Liter for years and they're not there yet.

The Insight is a 3 Liter car that can be coaxed into a 2 L with intense effort (and not at 55).

Jumping up to 200 mpg (US) would require one or more of the following nonsensical mods:

Chop 1,000 lbs off the weight (where you'd get it, I have no idea, but helium baloons would not work because of drag)

Find an Escher route where you are always traveling downhill.

Fit a huge battery pack and figure out some way to trailer about 3,000 square feet of solar panels - without adding weight.

Go with a smaller panel and limit yourself to 20 miles per day with 12 hours of charging.

Add a gasification system ("Mr Fusion") and use waste biomass to fuel the system. Instructions

Better to shoot for 150 mpg.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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One of the largest drag penalties are the openings for radiators. The General Motors EV1 had a Co of Drag at 0.19, compared the 0.25 on our G1.

I'd love to remove the electric steering and replace it with a similar Civic rack and pinion.
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