Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 20 of 104 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For anyone coming to this thread more than a few weeks after it's initial post PLEASE read through at least the first 5 pages, and for people already having read this post might want to read it again, lots of edits have been made to the OP.

Good evening everyone! I have returned from the land of the lost! Alright a little overdramatic, but I'm back from my hiatus of Insight ownership. I had been thinking of getting an insight for a few months, when my cousin (who always leads to bad financial decisions when it comes to cars), found me this 2002(01?) Red CVT with only 91,970 miles on it! I wasn't 100% dedicated to getting one, but this one sold me. I contacted the seller, and drove down to L.A the next day. The IMA battery seemed 'ok', if not lacking, but then again I haven't owned an insight for over 2 years, so I don't really recall what they are supposed to feel like.





Onto the juicy bits... I drove the car for the next month or so, and it was a little painful for me to drive. I love the insight driving experience, and had forgotten how much I loved it... But the inability to get up to the speed of traffic without burning a ton of IMA battery and revving the pants off the car caused a close call or two. I am used to driving a slightly modified Volvo S60R north of 300AWHP, so going to 1/6th the power was not cutting it, so I decided to turbo it! I had most of the stuff to do it due to plans a couple years ago which never came to fruition, so why not?

First off, I wanted to do a top mount intercooler, this was something myself and Kyl3Cyl had discussed some many years ago, so the battery had to go. I relocated it to the rear, and ran 4AWG wire to the front. It's not perfect, namely it being a non-sealed, lead acid inside the cabin, the grounding location is wrong, and I have absolutely no fuse on it between the front/rear of the car, but it's not a permanent solution. I'm not currently driving the car (more on that in a minute), but it does work in it's current config, so before it's 100% ready to daily, I'll be switching to a sealed lead acid, or get a tube vented battery and run it outside the cabin.



Next we move onto the interior. A proper, well known AFR gauge and a boost gauge is a must! I have some experience with turbo/supercharged cars, and I know lean AFR's = blown engine! I know of a different insight owner that blew their engine due to running lean under boost.

Wiring... So much wiring...


And the gauges are in!


Next was actually installing the turbo. This was not easy, as there is little (but enough) room for a turbo between the engine and the steering rack. The firewall isn't even a problem, I could fit a 80mm turbo in there if the steering rack wasn't as far up as it is, and it swings outwards when you turn, which we didn't realize at first, but I digress. Through proper spacing, my helpful younger brother, who is much more proficient with fabrication that I am, and some test fits, we got it installed. I then ran oil lines, which are easy, drilled the oil pan with a step bit, cleaned it out(I cannot stress how important it is NOT to get magnesium in your internals) and used the oil pressure sensor for oil feed with the help of a T fitting.



Then came the intercooler setup/catch can setup. Once again, this was pretty easy because of space. There is a looooot of room above the transmission when the stock airbox is removed. It was just a matter of getting fitment right and a little brainpower and everything fit nicely.





And that's... Well it. At least for the installation. Now comes the more difficult part. Tuning, and this is where my issue lies. At first, I tried a 4th injector, but this did NOT work. I honestly cannot find out why, and being the only Turbo CVT (to my knowledge) I had no basis of comparison. I think this has something to do with the return-less fuel system, but again I don't have a unit of comparison, it works for Willy's turbo insight, not for mine, oh well. All I know is boost = 16-20AFR and instant knocking, regardless of boost level. That's a hard no from me. I had an old AEM FI/C-6 w/boomslang harness laying around for my old insight that was a M/T, along with Toyota 245cc injectors, so I confirmed via a wiring diagram the pinout was the same and slapped those in. Much better.... However, I cannot seem to control the O2 sensor low enough, the lowest I can get it to go under boost is 12.5:1, and it's stable there all the way to 4k/rpm where open loop kicks in, where it drops to 10:1 (needs tuning in this range, haven't gotten there yet). So right now I'm just keeping it ~5psi, which 12.5 should be good enough for. Wastegate is set to 7, and is non adjustable, yet.

And that's it really, it's an absolute BLAST to drive now. I still have a laundry list of things I want to do, which I'll list below, but in the here and now I can drive around with it and tinker with it more.

List of parts on the car:
-VZ21 Turbocharger GT1241 Turbocharger
-Some Ebay intercooler
-Some rando 7" fan from Amazon (moves a ton of air... Holy cow).
-245cc Toyota injectors. (P/N 23250-03010).
-Ebay catch can. Amazon Evil Energy Catch can.
-Custom 2" exhaust, using stock flange to resonator.
-Custom manifold-to-turbo, used the stock resonator piping which is almost perfect neck-down size to turbine inlet.
-AEM FI/C-6 with Boomslang harness
-Glowshift Boost gauge.
-Glowshift AFR gauge.
-Rando adjustable blow-off valve.
-1.5" Aluminum intake piping, bought a kit from Ebay I cut-to-fit.
-4AN oil feed line.
-1/2 inch return line.
-Random Amazon air filter that fit the intake side of the turbo. K&N RC-1060 Air filter
-More to come as I think of more parts.

List of things to be done still:
-Wire breaker between relocated battery and front of car. Done, 100A breaker installed.
-Install smaller battery/modify box so carpet sits like stock. Done. Used a Miata battery.
-Better ground location(not really sure where...). Done, rivnut directly to chassis.
-Better catch can setup, what I have now is a band-aid, I have a better one to install at some point Done, Swapped to Evil Energy catch can setup.
-Find out o2 sensor issue, read below in notes/rambling if you want to try and help. Done, turbo was too small.
-Different intercooler. Again read notes/rambling below for more info.
-Remove resonator but NOT muffler. Done, resonator removed.
-Get front/rear springs from KYL3CYL.
-Get underbelly panel, and bumper wind deflectors from KYL3CYL.
-Seat swap, man these are uncomfortable compared to my Volvo...
-New tires, fronts are RE92, however extremely worn, rear are not RE92.


Alright onto some notes and rambling, so you don't need to read this if you don't want, but for those of you who wish to help/give input, please chime in.

-First off, lets talk about the o2 sensor fooling. I CANNOT understand this. I have spent weeks scouring the forums, technical manuals and wiring diagrams and it appears the O2 sensor is a Narrowband. However if I follow AEM's instructions on Narrowband fooling, it does not work. A resistor on the signal line just causes a CEL, and I tried everything in 1k increments from a 1k to a 10k resistor, and nothing, always causes CEL, however if I put the wiring back to stock and put it on wideband mode, I can fool it! Kinda... Like I said I can only fool it down to 12.5:1. I know this should be working, I had it physically installed on my old MT insight and it worked fine, I could make the car run 10:1 if I wanted to all day long. So WTF is going on here? My only thought is to do a LB conversion so I will have a 5-wire Wideband to mess with, that I know will work. Is the CVT cars a wideband, or narrowband? I guess that's what the real question is. As far as I know, all 4 wire O2 sensors are narrowband. I'm the first to do a CVT turbo insight(?), so I'm in uncharted waters here. Issue was resolved, the O2 used on the CVT insights do NOT need a resistor. Just splice into the 4th pin (green wire) on the D plug at the ECU.

-Next, lets talk about intercooling. The current intercooler setup isn't working. Even on a 55F day I'm seeing 120F+ intake temps under boost. I was seeing 150+ before I put that big fan on top of it, which was not part of the original design, looks ugly, and the reason why the hood liner is removed. I hate that, I like that liner there. I have a small feeling it's partly because of the intercooler efficiency itself, and partly because this turbo is kind of undersized for this car (VZ21, only meant for 660cc cars) so I'm operating way out of it's efficiency zone. I have purchased a 90's ford talon G-1 DSM intercooler that I'll be front(ish) mounting somewhat soon to see if that does anything. Issue was resolved. The issue was the turbo was too small, thus operating far outside the efficiency zone and acting as a heat pump.

-Now, the turbo itself. I'm hoping RainSux reads this and chimes in, but I'm having more and more thoughts this turbo is too small. I don't really see how, it's almost the same size as the turbo's on the Ford Fiesta ecoboost (3cyl turbo engines). Both are rated for 100HP, and I have seen one of those turbos in person, albeit still on the car, so I couldn't measure the compressor/exhaust turbines. I don't know how to read compressor maps, but I'll attach one to this post for those of you who can read those to take a look at. If I was going to do this again, I would definitely use a turbo from one of those cars, they are really easy to get these days. The turbo ended up being too small, swapped out for a GT1241.

-Last is an AFR question. I have read several posts on various forums, and it seems like 12.5:1 is acceptable for a street car under 10lbs of boost? I have timing control, and I'm pulling 0.5 degrees of timing from 1-3psi, then 1 per psi for 4+. I just don't know and don't want to have to swap an engine. I have two spares, but this motor only has 92k on it and I really don't want to kill it. My two spares have ~180k and ~160k.

And that's it! I'm glad to be back, it's been far too long. I just needed a change of pace for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Would you consider doing an air to water intercooler?
If the vz21 is too small then whats the next size up? I know 660kei cars are good up to 150hp with a hitachi HT07 or HT06.

Also what is up with insights Steering racks? Why are they high like that?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
455 Posts
This is awesome, thanks for sharing. Those Volvos are nice. I have a Fiesta ST OEM turbo sitting in my garage, funny you mentioned that. Tiny little turbo for sure. Would love to feel what a turbo'd Insight is like.

Great project!!!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,249 Posts
Have you tried the S mode when you need more power for the on-ramp?

If it was on jack stands when stuff hit the steering linkage, this isn't a problem..When you put the weight of the car back on it the linkage moves out of the way.

I would not run 10 lbs of boost. I like around 6. Whatever you're comfortable with.

CVT O2 is narrowband.

You want a GT-12 (GT-1241) If yours is smaller I'd like it even better. I want low RPM spool up.

Sam
 

·
Registered
2002 Blue 5MT
Joined
·
30 Posts
But the inability to get up to the speed of traffic without burning a ton of IMA battery and revving the pants off the car caused a close call or two
You paid for the entire rev range and the IMA, use it! I have never had a problem getting to 75 by the end of the on-ramp.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Would you consider doing an air to water intercooler?
If the vz21 is too small then whats the next size up? I know 660kei cars are good up to 150hp with a hitachi HT07 or HT06.

Also what is up with insights Steering racks? Why are they high like that?
Just the way the car is set up. I did, and still am thinking about a WAI, problem is I can't find one that's compact enough with a 2" inlet and outlet (air side, not water). Gonna try the 1g dsm one first though.


This is awesome, thanks for sharing. Those Volvos are nice. I have a Fiesta ST OEM turbo sitting in my garage, funny you mentioned that. Tiny little turbo for sure. Would love to feel what a turbo'd Insight is like.

Great project!!!
I'd you are ever in california don't be afraid to ask! I'll happily let anyone interested drive it. Looked into the fiesta ST turbo, I believe it's about the same size as the GT15, which is much too large and takes way too long to spool (ask RainSux). Would you mind measuring the turbine and compressor wheels? Might be interesting to compare.

Have you tried the S mode when you need more power for the on-ramp?

If it was on jack stands when stuff hit the steering linkage, this isn't a problem..When you put the weight of the car back on it the linkage moves out of the way.

I would not run 10 lbs of boost. I like around 6. Whatever you're comfortable with.

CVT O2 is narrowband.

You want a GT-12 (GT-1241) If yours is smaller I'd like it even better. I want low RPM spool up.

Sam
Hey Sam! Good to hear from you. First off, yea I use S-mode... Honestly it being 'slow' was more an excuse to push the project.

Secondly, the test fitting was done with the car on the ground. We wanted to make sure it was going to fit when on the ground and not jacked up due to suspension geometry changing. Exhaust was actually fabricated with the car on ramps, due to the same concern.

Furthermore, I think you're right, I'm gonna be running 7lbs (because that's what the wastegate is set at) but due to me having timing control, I really wanna try 10lbs once I get everything dialed in, just to see how it feels.

Thanks for the info on the O2 sensor. I really don't know what to do in this case then. I guess more brainstorming and testing is required.

And last but not least... The turbo. Yes it's smaller (marginally) than the GT12. Holy smokes man, it spools. I'm talking 7psi boost by 2000rpm, and instant 7lbs from vacuum above 2500rpm. It's amazing. However I'm a little concerned about pushing more than 3lbs at low piston speeds... That much cylinder pressure can lead to bent rods. At least I was warned of it when I boosted my Miata. If I'm wrong,please correct me.

I wish Covid wasn't a thing... I would love to meet up with you, Willie and the rest of the gang again. It's been far too long.

You paid for the entire rev range and the IMA, use it! I have never had a problem getting to 75 by the end of the on-ramp.
Very true! Even with the turbo, most of my take offs and stuff are done in S mode, I mainly use normal mode for cruising on the highway, or after I get up to speed around town.

This is a message to anyone. If you want to drive my insight, please don't hesitate to contact me! I have no problems letting people drive this thing, it's a fun experience and I want to expose as much people as I can to the joy of a boosted insight.

You can also contact me with turbo questions, I would be more than willing to help you find parts, give tips, etc etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,751 Posts
You can run more boost at low RPM, but to do so safely you need to really retard your igniting timing there.

Subscribed. Here's hoping you don't grenade the engine or transmission any time soon. I'm already concerned with stock-powered CVT reliability.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
You can run more boost at low RPM, but to do so safely you need to really retard your igniting timing there.

Subscribed. Here's hoping you don't grenade the engine or transmission any time soon. I'm already concerned with stock-powered CVT reliability.
Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely make those changes next time I tune it.

As for grenading, I'm not too worried about the engine, I know those will handle 12psi without an issue(that one guy that's banned now was running 12). The transmission on the other hand, is what has me curious. I know they last when they are taken care of (my brother's blue has like 250k no issues) but I have no idea what it will do with more power behind it. A trans cooler is def something I'll be doing sooner rather than later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Regarding the trans cooler...
I have a CVT Insight and tow a 500lb teardrop with it. For that type of use, I think a trans cooler is appropriate, but you should consider monitoring temps if not towing, just to see if you need one or not. The CVT runs really cool because there's no torque converter involved. In Georgia, I have to have a grill block in the winter just to try and warm the CVT temp a bit.

An easy way to monitor the temp is to attach a digital thermometer lead to the transmission discharge line out to the cooler. Apply some heatsink compound to the temp sensor and ziptie it to the discharge line as it leaves the tranny.

Regarding the 4th injector...
How were you controlling the 4th injector and could you elaborate a little on your experience when you tried this?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Regarding the trans cooler...
I have a CVT Insight and tow a 500lb teardrop with it. For that type of use, I think a trans cooler is appropriate, but you should consider monitoring temps if not towing, just to see if you need one or not. The CVT runs really cool because there's no torque converter involved. In Georgia, I have to have a grill block in the winter just to try and warm the CVT temp a bit.

An easy way to monitor the temp is to attach a digital thermometer lead to the transmission discharge line out to the cooler. Apply some heatsink compound to the temp sensor and ziptie it to the discharge line as it leaves the tranny.

Regarding the 4th injector...
How were you controlling the 4th injector and could you elaborate a little on your experience when you tried this?
I live in Southern California, where the car rarely sees temps below 30F, and the summer gets to 120+. I also regularly climb a 6% grade to see family, so I'm worried about trans temp. I think I'll get a trans gauge first, and if I notice unacceptable temps, I'll get the cooler.

As for the 4th injector, I was pulling fuel straight from the rail feed line. I was then routing it into a 1000cc injector (nearly 10x the original injector size) just before the TB. It was then controlled by a controller that took injector #1 pulse and fired the injector 3x per signal when it saw boost. I could control pulse duration with said controller. I had success with this when I turbod an old MT insight some years ago. I have no idea why it wasn't working this time. I verified the fuel was flowing and the injector was working and re-wired it probably a dozen times. The AEM FIC-6 is much better anyway. Especially because it has timing control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Sure sounds like the FIC-6 is the way to go, especially if it offers timing control. I wish you much success and thanks for pioneering the CVT turbo. I've been tempted to mildly turbo mine as well. If you decide to switch to a GT1241 at some point, I have a new one in the box that I'm not going to use. I was able to find an RHB32 and have decided to use it instead. But, I think the one you're using will prove to be fine. As Rainsux says... bringing boost in early is desirable.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
Joined
·
11,205 Posts
There were two other CVT turboed Insights built, IIRR. One in Texas and one in N Ca. I think they both were ICN members. I believe ones sign in name was "Figgy" or something like that. Both had minor problems. They haven't been around in many years. Keep up the good work. Drive TURBO WISE and enjoy the ride.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
There were two other CVT turboed Insights built, IIRR. One in Texas and one in N Ca. I think they both were ICN members. I believe ones sign in name was "Figgy" or something like that. Both had minor problems. They haven't been around in many years. Keep up the good work. Drive TURBO WISE and enjoy the ride.
Thanks Willie! Did a little tuning tonight, went 'ok'. I'm getting some mysterious knocking at the 4000-4400 range I can't seem to solve. I'm running 10.5:1 afr there, and pulling some timing. No idea what's up. Entire rest of the rev range is fine.

Sure sounds like the FIC-6 is the way to go, especially if it offers timing control. I wish you much success and thanks for pioneering the CVT turbo. I've been tempted to mildly turbo mine as well. If you decide to switch to a GT1241 at some point, I have a new one in the box that I'm not going to use. I was able to find an RHB32 and have decided to use it instead. But, I think the one you're using will prove to be fine. As Rainsux says... bringing boost in early is desirable.
It definitely is. On a M/T this would be a lot easier, as you would have a lot more control over the AFR's than I do. How much do you want for that GT12? I might consider swapping turbos just to see what the difference is in response and drivability.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
Joined
·
11,205 Posts
It sounds like you may have low octane fuel in the tank. You are way way too rich, probably flooding the engine,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,751 Posts
It sounds like you may have low octane fuel in the tank. You are way way too rich, probably flooding the engine,
I'm by no means all that well educated on forced induction, but I was under the impression for low boost applications, 11.8-12.5 AFR was typical. 10.5:1 does seem pretty rich to me.

Balto, safe to assume you're running high octane fuel?

As a test, you can perhaps buy some octane booster and see if adding it to the tank makes the knock go away. That could eliminate whether it's an octane (or timing) related knock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
GT12 turbo - I looked on eBay and GT12s are going for around $240. I'd offer it to you at $215, shipping included.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
It sounds like you may have low octane fuel in the tank. You are way way too rich, probably flooding the engine,
Fresh 91 from Shell (fuel light was on just before tuning, topped it off). I didn't really consider being too rich, however I guess I could see it with such a high compression engine. I'll try tweaking it more today. It was getting sorta late last night, and I didn't wanna send a rod to the atmosphere so I called it quits lol.


I'm by no means all that well educated on forced induction, but I was under the impression for low boost applications, 11.8-12.5 AFR was typical. 10.5:1 does seem pretty rich to me.

Balto, safe to assume you're running high octane fuel?

As a test, you can perhaps buy some octane booster and see if adding it to the tank makes the knock go away. That could eliminate whether it's an octane (or timing) related knock.
Read above. I didn't really consider it until Willie said something, but our engines have really high compression. Not to mention the CVT engine is 0.3 higher compression that the manuals, at 10.8 vs 10.5. I'm gonna try less fuel, which seems counter-intuitive, but it makes sense now that I think of it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
GT12 turbo - I looked on eBay and GT12s are going for around $240. I'd offer it to you at $215, shipping included.
I'll have to think about it, my Volvo is like a needy girl, always wanting more money :^).
 
1 - 20 of 104 Posts
Top