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I've been wanting to convert my car for a long time but I've also been on the fence on if I'm keeping it or not. Going from no IMA would I get my money back if I converted my car and later sold it?
 

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I've yet to see a Lithium converted Insight for sale yet, which should tell you two things. One, people interested in doing this conversion are very invested in their cars. Two, people that have done this conversion are very satisfied with their cars. I paid $1000 for my citrus, and I've put between 4-5k into it with the conversion, citrus seat covers, wheels/rims/car audio/etc. I wouldn't be tempted to sell it for profit.
 

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+1 on that Atheos. That being the case, I'd say that a good perforning Lithium conversion should about double the value of most cars, with the extreem mileage beaters and the collectibles left out. Particularly if the conversion is tidy and buttoned up in back. It would take a special customer, but I think they will be there from the interest I'm seeing.
 

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I doubt you would get the money back. I see two factors at play here. The person buying it is putting trust in the system and would need to know how everything was configured and could be picky about the details of how it was done. If the person would like it done differently, they would likely do it themselves. The second factor is you almost never get improved values out of a commodity. If you improve a car, the buyer will almost never pay the amount that it cost you to do the work, even if you completely exclude the labor component of the cost. I see this all the time with airplanes, people spend $20k on avionics upgrades with recent equipment and they are lucky to get half of that back and people are basically buying the planes looking for the ones that have this better equipment too. It's a thing where if you want the equipment and you are paying for it, you are almost always looking to keep and never sell it or you lose out.

IMHO, if you are going to convert the car to lithium, you should really want to keep the car for a very long time because there is no shortage of effort of your part to do the work and you will be the person who knows exactly how to fix it if something goes wrong. Ideally, if you do the work, have a plan for the batteries after you eventually decide to part with the car, hopefully parting with the car would be due to a collision or mechanical issue such as a run-out engine. ..but in that case, you'd be best off pulling the components and putting them into a different Insight.

These cars seem to run for a long time, my daily driver has been through over 100k miles that I've put on it and it's been the most trouble free car I've ever owned. The only trouble I've had has been with the IMA battery, the trip button, a second headlight switch(covered under the recall even though it was replaced by the previous owner), a seized idler pulley, a 12v battery, and a front wheel bearing. I have gone the route of sticking with the OEM battery and currently in the final stage of rebuilding my pack and the other repairs I mentioned have been less than $500. Apart from gas and tires, I think I've spent less than a grand total in 100k miles on both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. I have yet to be stranded, got lucky with the idler pulley, it snapped the belt when I was literally a block from my house and I more or less shut down the engine coasted the rest of the way to my house. If something catastrophic happened to mine, I'd just find another one. Oddly enough, I'd likely find a good deal on one that has a Bumblebee battery or similar replacement when I shop for another, but if I don't find one, I'd pull my rebuilt battery and use that one in the next car if it's still in good shape. I currently have 80 sticks to work with and I've found 20 sticks that I finished testing that are all 5.5+ Ah and look great and uniform under a brief 80 amp load, currently giving them time to check for self-discharge before fitting them with PTC strips and loading them into a pack.
 

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You will likely not make your money back.

People are going to look at the car for what it is.
Mileage, condition, transmission performance, tread on wheels, etc.

Having a lithium battery, while cool, is a challenge to sell since basically you are buying someone else's one-off project car.

As a seller you'd really need to document it well. Not only the system specs, but performance as well. Hard to trust someone elses word that battery has been well cared for.

I can see a quality system costing $3,000, $4,000 or more just in parts of done to a high standard.

Can you add that amount on top of your car's value. Not necessarily.

This happens even for guys that build 400hp engine-swapped Insights. They build a great system, bit take a loss when selling.
 

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Pretty much nothing you do to an Insight is worth it from a "resale value" perspective.
 

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Actually, ya know, this is all in the eyes of the buyer. If you do a good sound job, as eric says, document the specs and performance, present a clean buttoned up appearance, etc. It would have some added value to some buyer, but it would be a special buyer - one who actually studies the conversion threads and knows what has been done. Even that buyer is likely to try to drive a bargain, so the seller probably doesn't recover his full investment, but some of it.

I think conversions have the most value to he who does it himself. If he intends to keep the car long term, faithfully attends to the maintenance, and drives it for years, then I think it will deliver value to himself.

For my conversion, I have a very clean, 140,000 mile, garage kept, undamaged, Citrus with original paint and a like new interior. The car might bring $6000 if the NiMH battery worked - which it didn't. To me the car is a $10,000 car just for the transportation and the enjoyment, but it probably wouldn't fetch that.
 

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Me personally, I'd be less inclined to buy an Insight with a lithium conversion, even all else being equal (including the price). However, this is only because there's currently no "standard" lithium conversion kit/method, which guarantees that the car you buy is going to be a one-off, potentially designed by the seller.

I wouldn't trust Joe Schmoe to sell me an Insight with a lithium kit that they made. Seems dangerous and unreliable. But if they're selling an Insight with the [well-known, many-units-sold, well-documented, reputable-insightcentral-member-designed] lithium conversion kit, then I'd be much, much more likely to buy it. You know that what you're getting is tested, works well, and is reliable.

In the used car market, cars with homemade modifications consistently sell for less than an equivalent unmodified car. You just don't know what you're getting. This is obviously a generalization - maybe you find an enthusiast who wants it and is willing to pay more. But in my opinion, an Insight with a lithium conversion (at this point in time) is worth less to anybody but an enthusiast.
 

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Well, it is a complicated question if we want to keep the cars viable. The battery situation with the Chinese 8.0 AHr sticks is critical it seems. I have seen enough failures that I no longer believe those are viable. Who knows what the real failure statistics are? I have personal knowledge of 3 packs and they all failed at approximately 3 years. One mine, one a rather non mechanic friend, and one a highly motivated lover of the cars who did grid charging. Those are my personal statistics which I assure anyone are absolutely accurate!

For lovers of the car, the hope has to be that something works out. Peter who has marketed the 8.0 packs has become rather disgusted with the Chinese sticks, and thinks the 6.5 Ahr sticks may be more reliable. That could be an answer. For low value cars, running in bypass, perhaps with a transmission change, could be and answer. For those who have the moxy and skill, a conversion to Lithium makes a lot of sense, but it isn't for the technically weak or impatient.

It looks to me like the "beater" end of the market, and it is fairly large, will for the most part run in bypass, donate, or part their cars. For the genuinely well kept and nice example, many folks will keep trying for some sort of solution.

There are lovers of the cars and then there are the beaters.
 

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But if they're selling an Insight with the [well-known, many-units-sold, well-documented, reputable-insightcentral-member-designed] lithium conversion kit, then I'd be much, much more likely to buy it.
Ain't going to happen! Linsight was the great hope of something along those lines and I don't think that is going to happen. mudder is probably concerned about the liability exposure and I certainly would be if I were in his position. After all, why take on that kind of exposure, in the regulated and litigious society we live in, for such a limited market? No disrespect meant and I hope you take none.
 

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Ain't going to happen! Linsight was the great hope of something along those lines and I don't think that is going to happen. mudder is probably concerned about the liability exposure and I certainly would be if I were in his position. After all, why take on that kind of exposure, in the regulated and litigious society we live in, for such a limited market? No disrespect meant and I hope you take none.
No offense taken. But Linsight is currently unfinished because mudder doesn't have the time to work on it right now, not because of liability concerns (from what I understand). Also, I was thinking of Peter's BCM replacer, which could be part of a good lithium conversion kit.
 

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No offense taken. But Linsight is currently unfinished because mudder doesn't have the time to work on it right now, not because of liability concerns (from what I understand).
I believe he mentioned both.

Right now, I'm more interested in having a pegasus :)
 
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