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Linsight Designer
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The engine had oil in it, and it looked basically brand new. I still replaced it, though. The engine cranks fine by hand, and the IMA system was able to spin the engine without issue (spark plug coils disconnected to prevent ICE from running itself). Unfortunately the radiator drain plug is missing, so I'm not able to refill the cooling system, and therefore I've yet to run the engine on gas.

An enterprising rodent cached a bunch of seeds in the air filter:


The ground straps visually looked ok, and electrically handled 50 amps with less than 500 mV across straps (good):


Peering through the valves... no rust and seems like everything is still lubricated. There's a balled up piece of tape that needs to be removed, so I'll remove the valve cover and inspect for (and remove) any other debris:


No other updates for now... haven't touched the car in two days.
 

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Cars & Coffee sounds fun... I'm avoiding mass gatherings for the time being, though, so I'll pass for now. Also when I do bring Sawbite to Nashville it will be during the week, since govt only operates Monday through Friday.
 

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I find myself working on Sawbite again, sooner than I had inspected. Today I took the engine apart as much as I'm going to and then started rebuilding it all together:

The stated goal is to clean all the accumulated debris off the engine, so that it sparkles and shines.

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I also ended up cleaning out a bunch of oddities that had found their way into the valve bay. I'm fairly certain a wad of masking tape fell into the valves while the oil cap was removed... which then dissolved into a goopy mess (having spent 20 years in an oil bath). That was fun to clean out of the valve bay's nooks and crannies. The valve bay is in immaculate condition:



I also cut the welds and removed the hexagonal bumper piece, and then replaced it with an uncut part that Ati Kovi sent me last month. This took entirely too long, as there were six different welded joints on each part (twelve total joints were cut):

At this point all required body modifications are complete (to pass TN's roadworthiness recertification).

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I left the R&D wire splices on the throttle position sensor. FYI: These splices are connected to ground and sensor output (i.e. throttle position via a potentiometer):

I have no idea who added them, but I like to think either Honda or the Canadian government used Sawbite to gather real-world data. This theory made a lot more sense when we thought this was actual MY2000 G1#1.
 

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Can’t wait to hear it run for the first time! You’re on the final stretch... Good job!
 

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I sent the salvage Kentucky title in with the required paperwork to get Sawbite road legal. Fingers crossed everything goes well. I ordered a few parts from Honda, including the missing radiator drain plug. Once those get here we'll bubble out the radiator fluid and then we should be ready to go for a drive. Standby for video.
 

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(y)
 

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I don't know if you got the answer about the AC relay, but I'm sure the compressor is like every one I've ever seen and has a pressure switch built into it that prevents the clutch from being energized if there is no pressure. So I think you can safely leave the relay in place. The clutch will not engage and that would look better than having it bypassed with a shorter belt.
 

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@kennysmith
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, the G1 HVAC has a high/low pressure switch... I just don't want it to ever even think it can click on. The relay is just turned upside down (contacts pointing towards the sky).

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The missing radiator drain plug (and other parts) came in today! I got the radiator all filled, poured a gallon of gas in the (empty) fuel tank, and was all ready to bleed out the air in the cooling system... but the car won't start. The IMA continuously attempts to start the motor, but the engine never takes over. I didn't have a multimeter, a 5/8" socket puller, starting fluid, etc, so I threw in the towel for the night. I did verify that there's fuel at the fuel rail, but beyond that the issue remains to be explored. Here's an anticlimactic video:

More updates tomorrow. Feel free to bet on what the issue is (i.e. any advice/recommendations appreciated).
 

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Probably not this simple... but possibly it’s key chip related? This only comes to mind because I had to replace the Immobilizer antenna.
 

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It's ALIVE!!!

Back story: I spent the afternoon troubleshooting why the car wouldn't run. It would 'run' with a constant feed of starting fluid, so I knew it was a problem with the fuel delivery. The fuel pump was correctly pressurizing the line to 40 psi with the regulator's vacuum hose disconnected, so that lead me to believe that the fuel injectors weren't working. I kept troubleshooting other things, as I didn't think it was possible that all three fuel injectors were broken. First I verified the ECM was correctly driving the fuel injector solenoids with an oscilloscope. Then I verified the signals were making it to the fuel injectors correctly.

After a bunch of head scratching, I swapped known-good injectors from another car and Sawbite fired right up (see video above). So yes, the ultimate root cause was that ALL THREE fuel injectors were stuck closed.

I figured that since the fuel injectors were basically solenoids, if I powered them long enough and at a high enough voltage, then they would open (or burn out trying). To test this theory, I connected each injector to a programmable power supply (Lambda Gen) and cranked the voltage up to about 16 volts. None of the injectors initially did anything, but after many tries I was able to overcome the gunked up fuel and get all three to open. Here's a (terribly framed) video showing this process:

Next up, I convinced myself that the engine cooling system wasn't working properly. While there ultimately wasn't any problem with anything related to cooling the engine, I troubleshot that entire system for quite a while. At one point I thought the cutaway conversion crew might have removed the impeller from the water pump, as the block was super hot (to the touch) and the radiator was room temperature. In addition, the cooling fan never once came on, even after idling for several minutes. Steam appeared to be coming from the radiator, too (I now attribute this to spilled radiator fluid).

I was worried that I was going to warp the block, so I turned the car off, went home and grabbed the thermal camera, and then slowly convinced myself that everything was ok.

It turns out a G1 Honda Insight idling in an air conditioned garage will never get warm enough to open the thermostat. With the thermal camera's live feed convincing me that the block wasn't about to explode, I cautiously held the throttle open for over a minute, slowly watching the temperature increase. Eventually the thermostat opened and suddenly a bunch of air burped out of the tube+funnel.

Success!

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I'm waiting on paperwork from TN's Anti-Theft Department, which will then let me register Sawbite as a Rebuilt Vehicle. Once that occurs, I'll get in touch with the Lane Motor Museum. For tax purposes, I won't be officially donating the car until 2021, but if they'll take it before then, I'll bring it up to Nashville as soon as they can receive it.
 

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Congrats getting it running. Nice job troubleshooting the injectors and even nicer with the trick you used to free them.
 

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Glad you figured out the problem. Interesting how cool the engine runs at idle.... I’m sure you’ll be glad to get the Sawbite project wrapped up!! Thanks for reviving this important piece of G1 history!!
 

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Got everything all buttoned up and took Sawbite for a spin today:
(As always, I won't win any awards for cinematography, but at least this time I cut out all the boring parts... leaving for Austin in 7 hours, so it's a rough cut).

The drive went well. It's certainly loud, even at 30 mph. Pretty weird watching the road go by through the door; makes it easy to parallel park.

I've got warning lights for:
ABS: haven't looked into why... don't care for now; the brakes work.
Power Steering: DTC 16, 22, 46. 22 & 46 went away after driving... 16 might be a wiring issue.
P0300, P0301, P0302: Misfiring (due to sticky fuel injectors). They did not come back after clearing.

I'm off to Austin for the next couple weeks, so don't expect any updates for a bit. Next update will be when I get paperwork back from TN.
 

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Cool!! Safe travels to Austin!!
 

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Outstanding!

I can just hear some kid... “Daddy, what happened to that car?”

“Oh, daughter, that’s a Honda Insight. Those people are crazy!”
 
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“Those people are crazy!”
Haha. Somewhat true!!!!! 😳
 
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