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Discussion Starter #1
I have a rather qualified mechanic (Billy) with over 30+ years of experience telling me it would not be hard adding an alternator (plus a new belt) to our cars. He's been working over at my house and recently added electric power steering to my 34 Chev 6BT 12 valve twin turbo cummins rat rod:

No he didn't build this but he's helping me make some changes. He feels it wouldn't be hard to add an alternator and belt and forget the IMA. Sure there will be a big mpg decrease. I've done a search on alternators and came up blank. So for all the guys that have bad IMA's, what is the reason an alternator can't be added with another belt and have the alternator supply juice to the 12 volt battery? Billy is also wondering if our engine was used in any other automotive model? He's asking questions I can't answer but I told him it's not as easy as it appears.
Thanks,
Gerald
 

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There's a simple mod that allows the lma system to provide vehicle power. User Mudder has a post on youtube showing cutting a single wire is all there is to it.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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The ECA1 was only used in the Honda insight sadly. I wish they had put it in other cars, we might have had different gearbox choices had they done so.
 

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Underneath view (plus turbo of course):



Belt and three idlers (arrowed):



Top view:



Oh, and I forgot. Experience shows the alternator needs a cooling duct (the silver convoluted tube):

 

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There's a simple mod that allows the lma system to provide vehicle power. User Mudder has a post on youtube showing cutting a single wire is all there is to it.
I think you might be confusing different mods with different purposes. One doesn't need to cut any wires "to get the Ima system to provide vehicle power" (I take it that means to get the DC-DC to power the 12V system with the IMA bypassed/pack removed, etc). The wire cut mod you're probably thinking of is to prevent the DC-DC from going into low power mode or disabling all together. There's also another IMA bypassed/12V system mod that Mudder has demonstrated, that involves intercepting a signal or two with an Arduino, which makes the IMA bypass more palatable - by getting rid of the CEL and IMA warning light, enabling lean burn, I think, and maybe it does a couple other things in the process...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess I missed that thread involving the alternator setup by Julian Edgar.
3 idlers, a "cooling duct", adding the alternator in direct line with all the other belt driven gizmos....all done by the guy that wrote the book on Insights. Ok, I'm gonna pass. Appreciate the info.
Thanks
Gerald
 

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There was another thread on here where the guy removed the AC built a bracket and put the alternator in place of the ac
 

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Mudder's arduino mod & bypassing the starter cut relay is the way to go. I'm driving my CVT this way right now. (Protip: use Sport mode in town and you'll hardly notice the IMA is missing)
 

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I guess I missed that thread involving the alternator setup by Julian Edgar.
3 idlers, a "cooling duct", adding the alternator in direct line with all the other belt driven gizmos....all done by the guy that wrote the book on Insights. Ok, I'm gonna pass. Appreciate the info.
Thanks
Gerald
I found it pretty challenging. Had to build the alternator bracket twice to get it right. But copying what I did would make the job a lot easier. Mine was made doubly hard by the presence of the turbo.
 

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Mudder's arduino mod & bypassing the starter cut relay is the way to go. I'm driving my CVT this way right now. (Protip: use Sport mode in town and you'll hardly notice the IMA is missing)
Agreed: except for the mileage hit, the CVT I test drove after the IMA was removed seemed identical to OEM performance... however, I've only driven in CVTs a couple times.
 

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Summary and my solution..

Lets summarise..

1) Remove all IMA stuff inc battery/modules/mdm/dc converter and just leave IMA motor in situ unconnected. Add alternator to engine etc..

Quite hard to do. (Alternator install part)
Needs the Mudder/Peter ECM fooling mod to prevent ECM generated CEL/codes if you are retaining standard Insight ECM..
Some drag from inactive IMA motor and alternator belt etc will reduce efficiency.

2) Remove IMA battery, MCM and BCM, but retain IMA motor/mdm/dc-dc converter etc to act as generator. Basically remove battery/switch board/bcm/mcm and connect MDM output wires to DC-DC input wires.

Not so hard.. Needs the mudder/Peter ECM fooling mod to prevent CEL codes.
Wildy varying motor voltage can give issues with dc-dc converter cut off at low/high rpms.

3) Keep IMA battery mcm/bcm etc in situ but unplug BCM/battery turned off etc. (As above)
Needs MCM DC-DC enable pin mod to prevent MCM turning off dc-dc due to high/low voltages.
Helps reduce red ignition light on 12v battery not charging episodes.
Needs the Mudder/Peter ECM fooler to keep ECM happy.

4) Remove everything. Get a big 12v battery or Li equivalent and just charge it at home. Don't bother with any onboard power/charging. Needs the mudder/Peter ECM fooling mod to prevent CEL codes. Easy but limited range/ danger of running out of 12v juice.
Poor lights due to loaded 12v system.. etc etc..

5) My Option Remove everything. Add a 3phase to single phase rectifier to the IMA motor output leads,
bolt it to a nice piece of aluminium behind seats somewhere. Luckily we have a lot of that ;)

3 Phase Diode Bridge Rectifier 35A 1000V SQL35A E4S8 | eBay

Feed this into one of these Meanwell power supplies...

HRP-600-12 - 645W 12V 53A Enclosed Switching Power Supply with PFC Function

Adjust the output to 13.8v and have nice bright lights and upto 53A of power for your 12V DC side. Fine for 95% of eventualities.. They operate on 120-370v DC input.. :) Cost about $150... Use the 15v version if you want brighter lights but a bit less current.
You could even mod the psu and remove the input rectifier diodes for a small increase in efficiency and operating voltage range as you already have them in the 3 phase rectifier pack.

Add the Mudder/Peter ECM fooler to keep ECM happy.

If I was removing all the IMA except the motor, (Note I always prefer a working IMA) and wanted to run without adding an alternator. This would be by preferred solution. Saves a massive amount of weight and has charging at good efficiency without adding extra losses or wasting the IMA motor output.. Pretty simple install as well.

A very neat install is probably possible behind seats. Giving you your space back as per Julian's setup.
Certainly a very practical solution especially for CVT cars which are more flexible when operating without the extra IMA oomph.

Edit
In fact I've just ordered the parts to give my option a try on my manual project car.. I like to put my money where my mouth is...
If I blow it up you gain by my experience.. If it works then bingo...
 

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[snip]

5) My Option Remove everything. Add a 3phase to single phase rectifier to the IMA motor output leads,
bolt it to a nice piece of aluminium behind seats somewhere. Luckily we have a lot of that ;)

3 Phase Diode Bridge Rectifier 35A 1000V SQL35A E4S8 | eBay

Feed this into one of these Meanwell power supplies...

HRP-600-12 - 645W 12V 53A Enclosed Switching Power Supply with PFC Function

Adjust the output to 13.8v and have nice bright lights and upto 53A of power for your 12V DC side. Fine for 95% of eventualities.. They operate on 120-370v DC input.. :) Cost about $150... Use the 15v version if you want brighter lights but a bit less current.
You could even mod the psu and remove the input rectifier diodes for a small increase in efficiency and operating voltage range as you already have them in the 3 phase rectifier pack.

Add the Mudder/Peter ECM fooler to keep ECM happy.

If I was removing all the IMA except the motor, (Note I always prefer a working IMA) and wanted to run without adding an alternator. This would be by preferred solution. Saves a massive amount of weight and has charging at good efficiency without adding extra losses or wasting the IMA motor output.. Pretty simple install as well.

A very neat install is probably possible behind seats. Giving you your space back as per Julian's setup.
Certainly a very practical solution especially for CVT cars which are more flexible when operating without the extra IMA oomph.

Edit
In fact I've just ordered the parts to give my option a try on my manual project car.. I like to put my money where my mouth is...
If I blow it up you gain by my experience.. If it works then bingo...
Get your DC current clamp and measure the DC current being used in the car ie output of DC : DC converter when running normal loads like cabin fan, headlights, brake lights, engine. I was astonished. You will have to be very careful with electrical loads / 12V battery size if you can provide only 53A. (I was initially going to fit an alternator of about this output until I did my measuring.)
 

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Agreed: except for the mileage hit, the CVT I test drove after the IMA was removed seemed identical to OEM performance... however, I've only driven in CVTs a couple times.
It's far more bearable than a bypassed manual. This is definitely do-able until the Linsight comes into production :)
 

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ie output of DC : DC converter when running normal loads like cabin fan, headlights, brake lights, engine. I was astonished. You will have to be very careful with electrical loads / 12V battery size if you can provide only 53A.
Based on the electronic load detector values reported by the OBDIIC&C, I was thinking that 53 amps might be a little on the low side as well. I don't think I've ever seen over 50 amps, while normally, with typical accessories like climate control, ignition, and headlights it's around 20-30 amps. But with AC ON and the radiator fan kicking ON and OFF, the load can get pretty high... With a 53 amp limit, I'd be worried about running headlights, ignition, climate control, AC and radiator fan at the same time. Other than that it'd likely be adequate...
 

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From my book:

I placed the current clamp around the correct lead and started the car.

Immediately there was 16 amps current draw!

Turning on the lights brought the total to 29 amps, then turning up the cabin fan to ‘full’ brought the total to 35 amps.

The air conditioner (that automatically turns on the condensor fan) brought the total to 53 amps; the high beam headlights (including one of the two driving lights that was working) to 61 amps; and the windscreen wipers to 64 amps.

And that was without operating the electric power steering, having the brake lights on, or the radiator fan running!


It's doable with 53A, I would think, but only barely. This is the other reason I run a 12V battery that is double the original size.
 

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I'm super interested in Peter's option 5 idea. I don't entirely get how it works, but it sounds like it probably wouldn't be too difficult to do and would open the back end up like in Julian's setup.

I'll keep milking my IMA battery out for a while though, but I suspect I have only about a year left, give or take, before it starts getting annoyingly bad.

Edit: After some quick reading I think I get the concept of this a lot better. I didn't understand what a bridge rectifier was.
 

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I did do some current checking years ago.. And I think it will be fine for 95% of the time.

The other 5% for those in the depths of winter/summer with everything on,
then yes the 12v battery will have to help out for short periods.

The 12v battery should be in much better shape than most insight batteries if you set the output to 13.8V though.
As it will be much nearer 100% soc than they normally are.

I'll remeasure once it is installed and post some videos..

Higher power output supplies are available..

http://eu.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Mean-Well/RSP-1000-12/?qs=k1OHqHwubKcFOpOGVY1IVA==
This one is 60A at 13.5v max.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I'm also very interested in option 5 above. But someones got to dumb this down, waaayy down, for us mortal folks. Is it possible for someone to have a working model for Insightfest? If not I can bring the parts so we can maybe talk about all that electronic business above and make this possible for us simpletons.:?
Thanks
Gerald
 
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