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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello friends,

Cheapo here with a 2003 honda insight cvt. Lots of questions.
I got a cheap amp and a cheap 8 inch sub in a 5 inch deep box im planning to hide somewheres.
I am looking to run power through the firewall, what's the best way? fuse box nonsense or can I cut open a ribbon through the gromet or just drill through it, I can't seem to find a good place to run a cable at all. If you are awesome you will tell me the perfect spot and show me a picture.

Secondly is a turbo usefull? I found a t3t4 for $399 for the cvt -
Honda Insight T3T4 TurboCharger Turbo Kit : eBay Motors (item 270461010567 end time Mar-23-10 12:08:12 PDT)
Will it improve performance and mpg?
Or should I stick with a hot ram-air

K&N Air filters - are they actually usefull or just sound deep and pretty.

Finding any parts for this car is impossible.
I need to replace the hatchback pistons as they no longer hold up the hatch and I need to replace the hood open latch within the car ... strange things break on this car I guess, I bought it that way. Do I have to go to a dealer for these things?

Also anyone do an insight in pearl white? I am thinking about repainting as mine is all scratched, MAACO will poop pearl paint on it for cheap, might look cool with 35% tint, your thoughts?

Any and all suggestions are welcome to do any cool mods on the car that are also cheap :)

Thank you for your help, and please tell me everything I did wrong or mentioned slightly incorrect and how I posted it in the wrong place and I should search this ugly slow site :)
 

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Thank you for your help, and please tell me everything I did wrong or mentioned slightly incorrect and how I posted it in the wrong place and I should search this ugly slow site :)
Well, for starters, you bought a CVT, which goes against my core beliefs of rowing your own gears and having lean burn.

But since you asked nicely, I'll do a little searching for you and point out some threads you may like:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum...ical-issues/14117-hatchback-lift-support.html

http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/7304-turbocharged-insight.html

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum...discussion/16301-rear-hatch-window-wiper.html

I'm enjoying my rear wiper delete. RainX is a fine replacement for a wiper on that hatch.

A turbo? Well, I would get used to the car as it is before you go adding power. 65HP is plenty for me. The throttle pedal can go all the way to the floor. Sure, that costs fuel economy, but if an occasional WOT is what it takes to keep you in a three-cylinder, so be it.

K&N air filter: I'm opposed.

MAACO: I studied a taxi painted Taxi Yellow/Orange by MAACO. Somehow, the paint job looked ... cheap. Find some of MAACO's work, maybe in their parking lot, and look at it up close. Maybe you like their quality (and their habit of spraying everything that isn't masked), maybe you don't.

Welcome, and I hope you bring some interesting mods to the forum.
 

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Secondly is a turbo usefull? I found a t3t4 for $399 for the cvt - Will it improve performance
Yes


No. It will decrease it.

Or should I stick with a hot ram-air

K&N Air filters - are they actually usefull or just sound deep and pretty.
No. It's only a 1 liter engine. It has no problems getting enough air.

There is almost nothing that you can do to this car that will increase mpg other than aerodynamic improvements (the wiper delete is about the only one), weight reduction (you can drop about a hundred pounds by gutting the car) or reprogramming (MIMA). One thing you can do that's extremely cheap is to properly inflate your tires. I run at 50 PSI and it is good for an extra 5mpg over the stock 38/35psi.

ANYTHING you do to increase performance will significantly reduce mileage.




Finding any parts for this car is impossible.
I need to replace the hatchback pistons as they no longer hold up the hatch and I need to replace the hood open latch within the car ... strange things break on this car I guess, I bought it that way. Do I have to go to a dealer for these things?
Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market is your friend. Find an Insight hatch there and ask them to sell you the lifts. The hood latch will be a little harder as most junked Insights have been in front-end collisions. A front-end collision will set off the airbags which also blow out the windshield and sometimes the passenger window. That means:

2 airbags
2 seatbelts
1 airbag computer
1 airbag clockspring
1 windshield
1 passenger window

or about $3000 plus the damage to the front end.


Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
Also anyone do an insight in pearl white? I am thinking about repainting as mine is all scratched, MAACO will poop pearl paint on it for cheap, might look cool with 35% tint, your thoughts?[/QUOTE]

Maaco paint jobs look cheap. They use cheap paint. For example, I had mine changed from blue to citrus yellow. That was a primer coat, two color coats (GY-22M citrus yellow metallic) a pearl coat and a sealer. Maaco, you'll get one pearl coat and maybe a sealer.

I remember my 85 year old neighbor sanding down his rusty 66 Bel Aire in the 1980 and then carefully painting it by hand with a brush with sky-blue Sears All-Weather Latex. He did a careful job and got out the brush strokes. From 20 feet away it looked great. Up close, you could tell.

That's what you'll get with Maaco.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks and more questions

Thanks RobertSmalls I came across those articles before as well, pretty interesting finds in this site, albeit difficult and slow to find.
Thanks for the opinions and options, I will avoid K&N and most everything I will just learn to be happy with 48.8 - 51MPG I am currently getting.

LOL, I thought I would get railed with my username and assy questions.
The big question still is how do I get through the damned firewall for my amp.

Thanks Hybrid-Battery-Repair for saying 'There is almost nothing that you can do to this car that will increase mpg'. When you put it like that it puts it into perspective.
and 50PSI you crazy bastard! that's way pumped up.

What does everyone Think about swapping out the existing batteries for bigger / better batteries, will it maintain the same battery gague or will you need to install an all new sensor, and will it improve mpgs, allowing it to use more assist, or is it all shinanigans? or a pain in the *** or do I have to go crazy and start plugging it in?
 

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There is almost nothing that you can do to this car that will increase mpg other than aerodynamic improvements (the wiper delete is about the only one), weight reduction (you can drop about a hundred pounds by gutting the car) or reprogramming (MIMA). One thing you can do that's extremely cheap is to properly inflate your tires. I run at 50 PSI and it is good for an extra 5mpg over the stock 38/35psi.
You forgot a hot air mod and/or rad block to help with winter warm ups. If you live in a cold climate, you can put in a radiator block and leave climate control set to 60 during engine warm up. Two free, simple, and effective ways to improve winter MPG. Maybe you are looking for more superfluous mods though.

Battery modifications are time-consuming, complicated, expensive, and dangerous (to the un-careful modder). That said, many folks here have had great success adding a second battery and/or equipping a grid-charger to top them off over night.

Also, CVT's aren't THAT bad. At least it is a nice smooth ride. FWIW, adjusting your driving style and putting a little more air in the tires (at least 44psi), will net you an easy 55-60mpg average.
 

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Don't forget about replacing the passenger side mirror with a camera (I did that this weekend, and I'm starting to get used to it), and adding a whale tail.

I've got my tires at 50PSI, and I'm loving it.
 

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Yeah, removing side mirrors seems like a lofty task. Too expensive to be worth it for me. A smaller mirror would be nice though. Motorcycle size perhaps.

Maybe I am missing something, but wouldn't a whale tail just provide a lot of extra drag and down force? Or are you talking about a teardrop extension to reduce the cd?
 

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The big question still is how do I get through the damned firewall for my amp.
Check the thread about installing a cruise control on an Insight. This part of the instructions might satisfy your needs:

"start by removing the grommet on the heater control cable and running the two four wire connectors that you’ve removed from the wiring harness through this hole from the inside of the car to the engine bay. This is a very frustrating process. Take your time."
 

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and 50PSI you crazy bastard! that's way pumped up.

What does everyone Think about swapping out the existing batteries for bigger / better batteries, will it maintain the same battery gague or will you need to install an all new sensor, and will it improve mpgs, allowing it to use more assist, or is it all shinanigans? or a pain in the *** or do I have to go crazy and start plugging it in?
50 lbs is just starting. Read the tire pressure thread. I drove 1500 miles with 60 in them.

Swapping out the batteries: It has not yet been successfully done by anyone. There are some booster packs out there to refill the hybrid battery from a supplementary battery, but they won't save you enough mpg to ever get your investment back - not in several lifetimes.

The one improvement that WILL definitely work, is a MIMA. It will give you manual control over the electric motor. This will allow you to improve your gas mileage by regulating when assist and regen happen, and how much. Alternately, you can improve your performance at the expense of mpg by dumping 100amps of assist in whenever you want to accelerate. You can chirp the tires if you want.

But forget about altering the battery. If it can be done at all, it won't be cheap.
 

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i routed the power cable for my sub through the A/C drain pipe hole in the passenger foot area. Hole is already there and the rubber pipe can be pushed slightly to let the wire squeeze through next to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all

Hello all,

Thanks for the suggestions and links!

A/C drain pipe hole huh, ok I will look for it and give it a try thanks.

I will fill the tires up to 50PSI and see what happens, will it handle differently?

Also are there softer shocks for the car? mine are leaking I thought hrm why not give them aftermarket softer ones.

Will a hot air mod only help in cold conditions? it won't help it achieve hp while keeping mpg on the fwy? I am in so-cal and currently experiencing a summery winter.

MIMA seems like a micro managing type a pain in the ***, unless I can set it to hey use full assist whenever taking off and leave me alone mode.

Thanks all.
 

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I will fill the tires up to 50PSI and see what happens, will it handle differently?
Yes, the ride will be harder. I think it corners better, but that's a subjective thing.


MIMA seems like a micro managing type a pain in the ***, unless I can set it to hey use full assist whenever taking off and leave me alone mode.
Yes. That's the 2nd button: "PIMA" (Programmable IMA)
 

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I regularly run 55 psi and am thinking of going to 60psi The ride does not suffer enough to make my wife bitch and I cant tell the difference. The traction may be better on cornering and the wet pavement performance may be better as well.
 

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LOL sweet "ride does not suffer enough to make my wife bitch" haha, that's enough to convince me.

How much is a MIMA like a grand? how much does it help a CVT?
 

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That T3/T4 turbo is too big for our small engine, it would take forever to spool up. I would looking for something a little smaller, GT 15/18R might be a better choice. I feel a small performance gain on the freeway with the K&N air filter, I bought mine so that I don't have to keep replacing it.
 

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the wet pavement performance may be better as well.
dont you mean, wet pavement performance will be worse ? I have always noticed that when the tires are at 50+, they are much easier to skid etc.. on the wet road.

or maybe you're talking about actual performance, in which case I have also noticed the car accelerates easier regardless of wet or dry roads. But in wet, I suppose the lower contact patch of the tires helps them move through the standing water easier.
 

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There is less chance of hydroplaning with the tires "tight" because they dont cup and trap water under the center. Instead it is moved out from under the tire.

I have less "skid" with "tight" tires because all the tread is on the ground from side to side and doesnt roll off the ground when you are cornering.

I have not yet had a case where the "anti lock" came on when driving on wet pavement. The only time I had it was driving on dry leaves on concrete!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i routed the power cable for my sub through the A/C drain pipe hole in the passenger foot area. Hole is already there and the rubber pipe can be pushed slightly to let the wire squeeze through next to it.
Me can't find it.
is it a big thick cable? I only found one that looks like an electric wire on the passenger side, is it behind the carpet? high or low, behind the glove box?
 

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its coming from under the glove box, (draining from the a/c evaportaor/blower area).. Its just a rubber hose. If you look in the engine bay, it should be near the bottom of the firewall (pasenger side)
 
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