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Ars has a nice review of the current gen Insight...


The story starts with a throwback and a link to Ars’ first-ever car review, 20 years ago, of the first generation Insight. Fascinating read.

What surprised me was the modding, right out of the gate, of that car. It sported CCD side view cameras instead of mirrors, and a wind generator for overnight battery charging. Was modding a big part of the Insight scene right from the start?

- Park
 

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Regarding mods, it kind of bums me out that in 20 years, nobody has delivered on producing a drop in lithium ion solution for these cars. Imagine dropping in smoething with more capacity and doing the mod to give the IMA more voltage; would literally be able to make an Insight SI
 

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Absolutely. This would bring the G1 closer to perfection. Let's hope some motivated EE takes on this challenge.
 

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Regarding mods, it kind of bums me out that in 20 years, nobody has delivered on producing a drop in lithium ion solution for these cars. Imagine dropping in smoething with more capacity and doing the mod to give the IMA more voltage....
Absolutely. This would bring the G1 closer to perfection. Let's hope some motivated EE takes on this challenge.
I just have to shake my head at these comments. You guys need to look around IC more often, read some threads. Lamenting the absence of a drop-in lithium solution for the Insight, in the year 2020, shows a complete lack of situational awareness.
 

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Regarding mods, it kind of bums me out that in 20 years, nobody has delivered on producing a drop in lithium ion solution for these cars. Imagine dropping in smoething with more capacity and doing the mod to give the IMA more voltage; would literally be able to make an Insight SI
You've got some forum catching up to do. Quite a few LTO etc IMA battery systems have been made (some even by non EEs).

Here is the link to the original article:

Great article, well written and technically educational.
It is a good article but the writer's description of the VTEC system is completely wrong for a G1 Honda Insight. The secondary intake valve is either completely shut or mechanically linked to the always operating other intake valve using one intake cam lobe per cylinder.

Also, even though Honda (as far as I know) never made a fuss about it, my 1988 CRX also typically ran at a 16.5 (lean burn) AFR. I was getting 51 mpg commuting back and forth to work in rush hour traffic with the engine idling at stop lights.
 

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I have seen some of the conversion from NiMH to LTO. No thanks. I am looking for a clean, drop-in, turn-key deal. When one of those shows up I will run out and have it put in or put it in myself. I have no interest in soldering anything. I've smelt enough rosin in my life. So until it is a DX job it is only an interesting exercise for techy types.
 

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^exactly. People can hack it together and do all sorts of nerdy things to make it work. I just want to write a check and install some parts. That isn't available.
 

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That's.... like... a whole new car. For most hondas, there are engine swap kids, suspensions, all sorts of aftermarket kits. We have SO MUCH KNOWLEDGE on this forum. So many people have converted their cars. But nobody has made a drop in solution. Seems like an opportunity, but I don't have the EE skills to pull it off. I know for a fact if I ever spring for a BB battery, someoen will start selling a Lithium solution the very next day and I'll be irate.
 

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It's likely risky to sell something like that. For one, it's likely federally illegal as it's tampering with "emissions related" components. Two, if it shorts or catches fire, the seller would need to have zero liability. A single case could ruin things.
 

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That's.... like... a whole new car. For most hondas, there are engine swap kids, suspensions, all sorts of aftermarket kits. We have SO MUCH KNOWLEDGE on this forum....
OK, I guess you genuinely don't quite grasp the situation. It's a lot like Ecky says. A handful of people around here have been trying, are trying, etc., it's a lot more difficult a problem than you'd think. And the aftermarket market size is too small to make it profitable, so X company won't do it for the money... The Fit LTO solutions coming out are pretty close to drop-in. We're not going to get much better than that. The most that could happen is that someone will snap up the Fit packs, collect the pieces that go into the modding, package and sell...

People like me, who've been around here for a long time and keep up, and actually try to help as much as possible with the battery situation, get a little peeved when we hear these things - about not having a drop-in solution. Because it's like people don't realize how difficult it is and they seem to expect things to just drop in their laps - just fork over some cash and voila. It's not like that. Capitalism/the market don't provide a butt-load of stuff that people want and need. Drop-in lithium is a case in point...

Etc etc.
 

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OK, I guess you genuinely don't quite grasp the situation. It's a lot like Ecky says. A handful of people around here have been trying, are trying, etc., it's a lot more difficult a problem than you'd think. And the aftermarket market size is too small to make it profitable, so X company won't do it for the money... The Fit LTO solutions coming out are pretty close to drop-in. We're not going to get much better than that. The most that could happen is that someone will snap up the Fit packs, collect the pieces that go into the modding, package and sell...
[snip]
Well put eq1.

I was thinking more along the lines of a quote (on the web) I found a long time ago,

"Go not where the path leads
Go instead, where there is no path
And leave a trail."

That's what people have done and are still doing on this website.
 

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I never thought the solution would be easy. All I said was when a drop-in appears I will buy it. And as I said in my original post, I'm done smelling smoking rosin. Yes the market is small. But when the bug has been shot for the Insight it has also been shot for the Prius and any other car with a NiMH battery. Tesla can do it so the technology exists. And for the record there was no market for electric cars when Musk showed up.
 

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For the right price I could make anyone a one-off drop in solution. It would be based off of, and use components from.work done by many here at IC.

Basically I'd acquire parts and build a system using your money at my shop in Wisconsin.

How we get the system from my shop to your car is up to you. (Send car here, fly me there, send you all the components, etc)

It won't be cheap. Let's initially ballpark it at $5,000-$10,000.

If this is in your price range, call me and let's talk. 608-729-4082
 

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Conversions really only make economic sense to replace unreliable or disappearing technolgies in older cars. Since those older hybrids have very little market value remaining, their owners are economically uninterested in spending much money. Therefore there is no market incentive behind the idea, and no adequate commercial market need.

Builders do it out of love for the car, and love for the project, and those aren't marketable. If you want it, build it yourself;)
 

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For the right price I could make anyone a one-off drop in solution. It would be based off of, and use components from.work done by many here at IC.

Basically I'd acquire parts and build a system using your money at my shop in Wisconsin.

How we get the system from my shop to your car is up to you. (Send car here, fly me there, send you all the components, etc)

It won't be cheap. Let's initially ballpark it at $5,000-$10,000.

If this is in your price range, call me and let's talk. 608-729-4082
Would doing a bunch of these retrofits bring the price down? And just what LiIon batteries would you be using? And is this truly a turn-key deal, like you put it in and the G1 is still a happy camper?
 

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If one customer was doing a few cars, perhaps we could work something out.

Much of the project has fixed costs
  • frabrication
  • battery management
  • charging
  • software
  • wiring
  • after the sale support
Not sure what cost would really be reduced by doing a bunch.

Truly turn key.
Put it in and car is happy.

I see I have participated in taking this thread way off track. Sorry about that. If Mods want to split this I'm ok with that. Or put it on Steve's other thread about drop in LTO that's fine too.

Otherwise folks can feel free to contact me off list to discuss more.
 

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it's likely federally illegal as it's tampering with "emissions related"
FYI: There's actually a carve-out that makes hybrid tinkering entirely legal. If you just read 42USC7522 it basically says "it is illegal for any person to render inoperative any emissions component in a motor vehicle." But then buried in the fine print is subsection (C), which essentially states "No action with respect to any device or element of design shall be treated as prohibited if the action is for the purpose of a conversion of a motor vehicle for use of a clean alternative fuel." So basically it's legal to convert insight to Lithium. See CFR vol76#68 (2011APR08).
 
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