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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone taken an Insight and removed and replaced the Hybrid drivetrain? If so, what kind of configurations are running around out there?

The reason I ask is my IMA battery is dead and at $4000 to $5000 to replace, I'm thinking about a change. This really got my mind racing. Maybe a Civic Si engine. Remove the 1.0 liter and battery and then you would have an ultra light weight street car. It would still get great gas mileage and would have great performance. But what about suspension, tires, steering all of that other stuff.

Plus how would the CA DMV ever know that the car didn't have the Hybrid system in place. I mean here in California we don't have to perform a smog check on our cars, so in theory you could get away with keeping the HOV stickers. Not that I would ever do that.
 

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Interesting... a few random thoughts here...

Motor mounts would have to be custom-made... but you're right, drop in a little Honda four-banger in there and you'd probably have a cool little scooter. :D

I have to wonder what problems you'd face if you kept the original instrumentation... you might consider keeping the donor car binnacles and making it work in the Insight dash... yuck, that might be a mess... :?

Suspension, tires and steering... hmmmmm... you'd have to upgrade suspension for the added weight and weight distribution, and of course, your tire choice wouldn't matter as much as with a stocker Insight, as LRR tires wouldn't have to be part of the equation... :?

Having dealt with government entities over the years, and knowing how clueless they can get, it wouldn't surprise me if you're able to buy an Insight sticker and slap it on an H3 and get away with it. :badgrin: But seriously... doesn't your CA DMV require disclosure of substantial vehicle alterations? If not... would you report your drivetrain change to your insurance company? If you don't, and you're in an accident, they are perfectly within their rights to refuse the claim since somewhere in your policy, it says something to the effect that your vehicle should be, for the most part, unaltered (somewhat, within reason) from OEM. A drivetrain change would change the vehicle description to the insurer, and having a potentially-costly accident claim denied is a chance I wouldn't ever want to take... :oops:

And last but not least... do you really want to sacrifice a stock Insight? I mean, it will make the value of mine rise the fewer there are out there, but really... would you? Could you? :roll:

Wow, you're in Temecula.... loooove my Callaway wines... good luck and happy motoring, I'm curious as to the responses you'll get, if anyone's done this and what hurdles were overcome... ;)
 

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I've seen photos of Insights with Honda K20 engine and drivetrain from wrecked RSX type S cars and the front suspension from an RSX as well.
But this will cost much more then $4000 ;)
 

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How many miles is on it. IMA warranty is for 10 years/150,000 miles.
 

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Is it really dead or just out of balance.

Is it really dead? Or just thinks it's dead? Code?

Check Mike's MIMA site and here for lots of discussion on re-balancing old packs and possible replacements of weak subpacks with known good ones. IMA packs are available from salvage yards I notice from about $250-$1000 in US.

Probably worth testing and re-balancing your pack with a Triton 2 type charger, or a whole pack 250ma 175v psu, see if it fails again in short time, if it does then buy an old IMA pack and mix and match subpacks to get the best cells in your pack. Not rocket science, but time consuming, quite fiddly and def dangerous if you are not careful :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will answer some questions for everyone.

My 2000 Insight has 176,XXX miles on it. I've owned it for three years now. I Bought it with 75,XXX miles from a guy in Texas.

I'm currently working with Honda America to see if they will do some sort of "Good Will" extension to the IMA warranty. Keeping my fingers crossed. I have been speaking to CALHAC (subsidery of Honda America that deals with battery issues amoung other things) and they seem to think that Honda America may take care of this for free or least with a substantial discount.

I've been quoted any where from $4,200 to $6,500 for the replacement which would include the two control modules. Which doesn't make sense because my BCM was replaced at the product update about a year ago. I'm sure the dealer is just following what the recommended repair is for the codes that appear.

I don't know if the battery is really dead. All I know is that I've got the P1447 and P1449 codes. The codes have appeared 3 times now. Starting at 136,XXX, this was before the warranty extension from Honda. Next time at 167,XXX, this was after the warranty extension. And now 176,XXX. The codes were reset at 176,XXX and with 25 miles the codes appeared again.

I'm not real sure I want to break into the battery pack. I could probably do the work, but if I can get new parts from Honda for free, or deeply discounted I would rather go that route first.

Now back to the original intent of this thread. I was just thinking out loud if anyone has done anything to change the drivetrain of an Insight. So far some of the suggestions are very interesting.

Thanks to everyone for the input thus far. I knew I could count on my Insight Central knowledge base to get some good feed back. Keep it up and Happy Holidays.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
boogetyboogety said:
Wow, you're in Temecula.... loooove my Callaway wines... good luck and happy motoring, I'm curious as to the responses you'll get, if anyone's done this and what hurdles were overcome... ;)
I live about 1/2 mile from Callaway winery. They have good wine, but there are better wines from Temecula. Let me know if you need any.
 

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Just making sure...

You do know that some people have driven an insight with no 144V battery at all in the car.... I haven't done it yet myself... but might try it just for the heck of it next spring / summer.

A few things and the DC-DC will keep the 12V charged up.... you will just not ever get the assist or regen without the 144V battery pack is all.... oh and if you ever get the ICE RPMs above 4,000 the DC-DC kicks off until you come back under 4,000 RPMs.... but 4,000 RPMs is a bit high... I almost never take my insight up that far.

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As for the drive train ... a few people have converted Insights to PURE EVs...

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But no other engine will be a drop in for the Insight....

Any alternate ICE will require custom parts, custom work , and will be more work and money than replacing the Battery from a junked Insight .... and if you want to pay someone else the hours it will take to do a ICE swap out... I would think you will spend more than buying a brand new 144V Insight battery.... Labor is expensive.

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Considering the number of awards and all the advanced technology in the Insight's 1.0L .... I doubt any other ICE would be able to come close to the performance....

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But best of luck.... I as with any modification to the Insight I will be happy to read all about it, when your done / as your doing it.
 

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It probably won't be long before someone here has figured out a way to use surpluce Prius modules for the Insight.

I can understand someone taking an Insight with a completely trashed powertrain and changing the engine, but we're talking a flakey battery here. Unless you have a machine shop or deep pockets, I'd go with a discounted pack, a rebuilt pack, or a salvaged pack.
 

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"I don't know if the battery is really dead. All I know is that I've got the P1447 and P1449 codes. The codes have appeared 3 times now."

If Honda doesn't come through with a new battery, cheer up. These codes are not anything like fatal, battery completely dead problems. I've been getting them for over a year, whenever I use too much assist for too long - used to be 2-3 times each trip over the Sierra, but since I did the pack rebalance the frequency has dropped to maybe once per trip. Just pull out the fuse, wait 10 seconds, and put it back in. You'll see a recal, but indicated battery level should come right back up. I've even made a little handle on the fuse with some epoxy, to make it easy to pull.

But if you, or anyone else, does locate a used pack, I'm in the market for 4 or 5 subpacks, to try replacing the weakest ones in mine.
 

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Let's say the Fit engine/transmission will bolt right up with little or no changes to the motor mounts, fuel, exhaust,cooling, throttle cable, etc.etc. (I don't think it will). That's only half the battle, because next you'll need to install the Fit ECM and modify or replace the wiring harness. And then don't forget about the gauges.
IMHO, If you want more HP from an IMA-less Insight, look at a turbocharger rather than a different engine. It'll be much easy to do and will get better MPG.
 

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Possible FREE very easy fix for your battery

We have two 2000 Insights, one red and one gray, Honda replaced the big batteries in each while they still had less than 150,000mi.
Also had a free ECM replacement on the grey one in August at 190,000mi.; so we're pretty happy with Honda service.

Then 6 weeks ago the IMA light came on in the Graysight. Dealer took it for a couple days and said only a new $3500 battery would fix it. (Honda of Pasadena, CA, same dealer that did the free factory battery replacements and ECMs)
We took her home with the old "bad" battery and continued to drive her. About a week later the check engine light also came on and auto stop stopped working. (other symptom was weird mileage readings and erratic boost and regen)
Then the Honda postcard came saying come in for your ECM upgrade, main symptom, check engine light comes on and stays lit. (postcard also mentions a possible refund of catalytic converter expense) Back to the dealer for a couple more days, verdict, we already had the latest ECM from August and $3500 for a new battery. Check engine light and IMA light still on.
We took her home and I gave thought to all the possible engine swaps, servicing the batteries with a model airplane charger, etc., probably sell her cheap and move on....
And then some good soul posted the very easy proceedure for a manual recal on the Yahoo Insight forum:

Here is the procedure:

Turn the ignition OFF and remove the number #18 BACKUP (7.5A) fuse from under the dash fuse relay box for 10 seconds or more. Then replace the fuse.
Now open the hood and find the fuse box and remove the number #15 (40A) fuse. The label should say power steering. DO NOT REPLACE THE FUSE.

Start your engine, your IMA battery level indicator will now show the state of charge is 0 or no bars will be light. Next hold the RPMs with NO LOAD ( in neutral) ( in park for CVT ) at 3,500 until the IMA battery level indicator is full or 1 bar from the top. Should take only a few minutes.

Next after IMA level indicator is full, turn the car OFF and reinstall the fuse number #15 (40A) back into the space it came from.

Now go drive your car easy for a few miles and see if this fixes your problem.


It was so easy I couldn't believe it would work. Sort of like hop up and down on one foot while saying "Insight" three times.

Right away the display was back to normal, auto stop was back, miles indicates fine again, car has never run better!
OK, I figured give it a couple of miles and the fault would trigger again, OK maybe wait a couple of weeks... well its been a month, the IMA and check engine lights are still off, the car still runs great. Dealer did not get my $3500.

Maybe your battery really is failing or just maybe the car's computer could use a reboot? Please give this a try and post whether it worked for you or not.

-John
 

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How to reboot the SOC has been posted here at ICN a long time ago.
I use an easier method in my opinion. I carry a "short" 10mm wrench in the coin drawer to disconnect the negative (Black) battery cable for app. 10 sec. with the ignition switch in the OFF position. After reconnecting the cable, and starting the engine, the IMA will start the engine and there is no need to rev. the engine.
Let it idle for app. 3-5 minutes and the SOC will read full. During that time, the idle will be about 1.5K and you can hear the various loads created by the "REBOOT". (At least it's entertaining).
This also turns off the IMA light.

Willie ;)
 

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Doesn't disconnecting the battery cable also muck up your clock & stereo settings? Does on mine, plus the ScanGauge settings.

As I mentioned, there's an easier way still. As above, turn off the ignition, remove the #18 fuse (4th fuse/5th slot - the first slot should be empty in the bottom row), wait 10 seconds, and put it back in. Then drive as normal. The charge indicator will have zero bars lit. You should see it slowly charge several bars, then do a reverse recal, where it jumps quickly to full.

If you're fairly flexible and have nimble fingers, you don't even have to get out of the car.
 

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Fit drivetrain really has my eye as a possible replacement if mine ever bites it. L15 + transmission should be super cheap.


I'd imagine it should be 50+ mpg capable in an Insight chassis.
 

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Cant trust those dealers.
I have had several people call me with similar stories, and the #18 fuse pull has at least temporarily got the car back to normal operation in each case. I have put a switch in series with the fuse so I can reset the IMA on the fly. I needed to do the reset frequently when I was developing the boost system controls.
I spoke with my cousin Mary who has a green 2000 Insight. She had brought the car into the dealer for the common EGR valve hesitation issue, and they told her that her engine needed replacement. She said fine, and pulled out the extended warranty that she had purchased with the car, and after several minutes discussion in the back room, they said that after reviewing the data, it really did not need an engine replacement, and they were sorry.
Needless to say She got out of there and has not returned.
 

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What I do is put the car in neutral, and coast with the ignition off. Same as a key off FAS.
I flip the switch that is in series with the fuse off then back on, then power up the car.
Takes 10 seconds.
If the SOC is over 3/4, the SOC reset will not happen, and the SOC will resume where it left off. Of course my IMA code was caused by the boost system injecting a charge right after the IMA drops back into no assist or regen. There is a 5 second period right after that happens where the boost needs to be off or a code is set.
Under different IMA code conditions the SOC recal will happen when you reboot.
 

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Since the latest ECM was installed I don't think the SOC ever reads above 50%. (pretty much stays at 50%) Mike are you still running the car's original computer?

-John
 
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