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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've got a 2002 Insight with CVT transmission that I'd like to convert to manual. The reason for this is I want exchange the internal combustion enging with an electric motor to make it a pure EV, and the CVT won't work without the internal combustion enging installed (it needs manifold pressure etc as input signals)

Now, do I need a specific insight manual gearbox or is it also possible to use a gearbox of an other Honda (like a Civic)? Because Insight transmissions are not as widely available as Civic ones.

Hope someone can help me out with this.

Regards,
Rob
 

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A solution that allot of EV convertors use... is to have a set gear reduction of the electric motor and forget about shifting or having gears.... as electric motors can have allot of torque a zero rpms unlike a ICE .... and electric motors often can take high rpms... this would simplify things a bit for you...

it is my limited undersanding that any electric conversion will require an adaptor plate to connect the electric motor to the cars drive system... which means at most you would need another adaptor plate for the transmition to fit... you should have the room once you yank the ICE....

Another option... would be to figure out what signals the CVT needs / wants.... this way you can just send it the signal for whatever gear you want it to be in..... but this is probably the hardest choice to do...

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just out of personal curiosity from a person who plans to someday also do the electric conversion.... what kind of system are you getting?....parts and such wise? .... are you getting from an EV conversion company the few that there are ?.... or are you putting the whole thing together yourself?? :?: :?: :?:
 

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Gearbox

If you need a gearbox or not depends on the power of the motor you are using, or if it is a AC or DC conversion. The AC induction motors have a wider range of operating speeds then the DC motors do. Also, the AC motor is more tolerant of high currents at low speed or stall. If using a AC drive, I would go with a fixed reduction gear and motor unit (replacing the transaxle completely). Go to http://www.metricmind.com to look at some of the AC drive stuff you can buy. If using DC, I would make an adapter plate and leave a manual transmission and clutch in place, find a gear that works best for your driving style and needs and then just leave it in that gear. This also eliminates the reversing contactors that are required to reverse the motor in a DC drive. As for installing a manual in a CVT car, it might be better to sell the car and replace it with a manual equipped car. If you are doing a DC drive, beyond the transaxle, you would need to also install the clutch control system and shifter. If considering a AC drive, the CVT might be a better starting point as you don't need the clutch pedal and the CVT shifter could be used to provide reverse signals to the inverter. Good luck on your pending project!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok. let me give some more info. I'm doing this conversion in some kind of project, and we have very limited time (6 weeks or so). We're in the process of selecting motor, batteries, etc

The reason we've got a CVT Insight is that it was one of the few Insights available in this region (Boston, MA). I've had a look at the technical manuals of the CVT at a local dealership, and controlling the CVT is really difficult. Operation depends on a lot of figures, and if you don't control it correctly it is likely that it will have a very poor efficiency.

Now the easiest and safest way of getting the motor to the wheels is using an existing geartrain + diff. By using a manual transmission, we've got the possibility to select the gear ratio which suits best, and we can change it if that's nescessary. I know we won't have to use all five gears, but with the ability to change gears we can improve our acceleration.

So, what I'm actually looking for is a drivetrain which fits to the driveshaft of the Insight. Then, we'll make an adaptor plate to fit the motor to it. So if anyone knows a transaxle which will fit in the Insight, that'd really speed up our work.
 

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Six weeks! Not to sound funny, but I hope you have a large group of people on this project. Sounds like you must be going with a brush style DC drive or you really wouldn't be worried about a gearbox. I don't know much about your project or what kind of budget you have, however any transaxle would do providing it can handle the torque of your drive motor. Custom half-shafts can be made to mate the Insight half-shaft to whatever transaxle you select. If you are in a hurry, select a transaxle that has been used in conversions in the past and it should be easy to find adapters pre-made for installing your motor.` The VW transaxle is used in many conversions but unlike the manual Insight, uses a cable clutch---then there is the shift linkage to consider. Your best bet would be to find a wrecked Insight manual (any year) and get the transaxle, clutch pedals and master cylinder, brake pedal, shifter and linkage and console. From a machining standpoint, and mounting standpoint, this would be the easiest way to go. You can decide if you want to use a clutch or just a drive coupling into the transmission input shaft. I would use a flywheel and clutch so I could change transmission ranges on the move. After you mount the motor, you still have a ton of work to do to provide gauges, motor and battery controls, 12 volt DC power, interfacing the power brake and steering systems and providing enviornmental (HVAC) systems. One of the most difficult things that you need to do is to beef up the rear body structure and suspension to withstand the weight of the battery pack. Where and how to attach the battery tray for a pack that would (I assume) weighs between 700 to over 1000 pounds--depending on battery chemistry---is something that needs to be carefully thought out. Not to rain on your parade but having done some of this stuff before, I think your timetable might be an impossible target. Best of luck----
 

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If you get this to come together... take some pictures as you go... and post them on line and give us a link somewhere on this site...

It will be interesting to see what you did and how you did it....
 

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I really hate to bring up an old thread but could someone point me to the thread about converting a cvt to a manual? Thank you in advance!
 

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I really hate to bring up an old thread but could someone point me to the thread about converting a cvt to a manual? Thank you in advance!
Why in the world would you want to attempt that? It would be very difficult to do. You would need a substantial amount of parts from the MT, including the front wiring harness. On top of that, your chances of getting a good smooth shifting MT for the swap are pretty low.

Why not just sell the CVT and buy a good MT. You might lose a bit of money on the deals, but think of the time and effort saved.
 

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You will change wiring harnesses, ECU, then you will have to use two keys or change all of the lock cylinders. Add fuel lines and instrument clusters to the mix. The big one is that the motor mounts are different and you will have to replace the brackets on the frame. Lots of cutting and welding.

AFIK it's never been done.

Sam
 

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A solution that allot of EV convertors use... is to have a set gear reduction of the electric motor and forget about shifting or having gears.... as electric motors can have allot of torque a zero rpms unlike a ICE .... and electric motors often can take high rpms... this would simplify things a bit for you...
They can take higher RPMs, but wouldn't they be more efficient at lower RPM?
 

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It is not worth doing. The ECU and wiring is different.

Scott
 

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Is it really that hard to do? I have an entire manual G1 parts car in my yard I was planning on swapping into my cvt if mine ever died. Why would you need a new ecu and wiring harness? Isn't there only like 2 wires going to the manual for the reverse lights? I guess probably a neutral safety switch wire too.
 

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Why would you need a new ecu and wiring harness? Isn't there only like 2 wires going to the manual for the reverse lights? I guess probably a neutral safety switch wire too.
Cuz they aren't the same. There are probably 50 (?) wires going into the ECU.

Sam
 

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The CVT has 5 plugs on the engine harness that go to the transmission.

The CVT has a “TCM” Traction Control Module, that some of the harness plugs into.

The wiring to the cluster is different, the cluster it’s self is different.

You would have to add the pedals, and hydraulics for the clutch.

Too much work, better to just get an off the shelf MT.

Scott
 

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Don't forget that the "car" side of the driver's side motor mount is different, so you will have to fabricate a new one. It won't bolt up.

Sam
 

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Don't forget that the "car" side of the driver's side motor mount is different, so you will have to fabricate a new one. It won't bolt up.

Sam

Why would you even be messing with the drivers side motor mount? I thought only the rear transmission mount is different
 

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Cuz the driver's side motor mount is actually bolted to the transmission. I'm pretty sure the car side of the rear mount is the same.

Sam
 
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