Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All:

___If you haven’t seen this modification/install (most probably have), the Donnelly Electrochromic Mirror with Thermometer & Compass is a very nice addition to ones Insight. You can read/see about Rick Reece’s Insight install here. Since the Insight lacks an outside air temp probe that can display to the FCD, this appears to be a great addition. I simply cannot live without it now that I have them in our other two vehicles … Does anyone know where and how the outside temp probe is mounted as well as the power and sensing cabling run back to the mirror?

___Secondly, since the harness is probably powered from the overhead interior lighting and run to the mirror, can a PS2 cable be run from underneath and behind the radio, behind the glove box, up and behind the A-Pillar, and across and underneath the headliner so I could mount Sirf IIe/LP chipset based mouse GPS receiver behind/alongside the newly installed mirror? You can see my own install as well as discussion near the bottom of this thread entitled PocketPC GPS. I definitely want to install the same into the Insight … I checked on a Panavise cell phone mount as I have one in the MDX and the Corolla but did not find one for an Insight :( Does anyone know where to find a nice cell phone mount solution that I can hang a Sena - single pin leather case w/ the iPAQ onto off hand?

___Thanks in advance and Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3ssmh2n0][email protected][/email:3ssmh2n0]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I ran the power and temp sensor cable down the A-pillar. I removed the drivers side front wheel and plastic inner wheel well shield. Then I ran the temp sensor cable inside the wheel well and tie-wrapped it to the existing cable that runs there. I mounted the sensor inside the lower front bumper. This will make more sense once you remove the wheel and inner liner.

The other thing I noticed with the Donnelly mirror is that, because it is slightly larger than the stock Insight mirror, I am now able to see out the upper and lower back windows at the same time.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Gary,

Did you have to remove and then replace the "button" on the windshield with a standard one? Or is there a version of the Donnelly mirror that works with the "button" on our windshields already?

Thanks,
MF
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hi Grebe:

___So the mirror power was run to the battery or other power lead in the engine bay or did you run in to any hot 12V lead with the key on? An interior light possibly? It sounds like the sensing wire and probe were run to the front bumper just inside the inner wheel well shield per your description. I have read that most external temp sensors are in the front bumpers to shield them from false radiant heat from hot pavement as well as protect them from the elements but I wasn’t sure? Where did you route the cabling through the firewall? Sorry for all the questions but Rick’s install was pretty vague and the Donnelly page adds nothing to the actual install. Do the instructions help or are they generic? Lastly and following along with Mike F’s comments, did you have to install a GM button or did you somehow work it with the current button of the Insight?

___How does yours work anyway? Do you have to drive in a few circles to initially setup the compass or similar? How about the accuracy of the temp probe itself? Is it real close to actual outside ambient? I have measured the 03 Corolla’s and 03 MDX’s in near freezing and summer time temps while both vehicles were motionless in the driveway using a fluke based Digital temp meter. Both vehicles were within 0 to 2 degrees of actual as seen on the Fluke which was darn close if I do say so myself!

___Good Luck and thanks again.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2ybq3rde][email protected][/email:2ybq3rde]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Not sure if this would help any. It's the installation instructions for the auto dimming rearview mirror for the Honda Passport. I'm pretty sure at least some of the electric bits will be similar to the Insight.

http://www.handa-accessories.com/pilot/Mirror.pdf

I've been thinking about possibly installing this rearview in my Insight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
In regards to the temp probe I put the wire through the passenger side passthrough opening in the firewall. Put the probe somewhere where it gets air but not artifical heat such as next to the radiator. I think you will learn to like the anti-glare aspect as much or more than the temp and compass. In regards to GPS I use a streetpilot III and just put it on the dash (Hopefully the next Insight will have a built in system. Have fun, Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
The temp probe is mounted inside the front bumper to protect it. I connected the power for the mirror to the switched 12 volt terminal on the inside fuse panel.

Once the compass was operational, I performed the calibration procedure outlined in the mirror instructions. Basically, you just drive in a circle to calibrate it (in an open area, away from buildings and power lines).

I replaced the mirror mounting button on the windshield. Be very careful when removing the original button because it is very easy to crack the windshield.

Gary
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi Grebe:

___Can you give me some more pointers on how you removed that non-std. proprietary button? I pulled the OEM mirror last night (what a SOB it was to get the mirror back up!) and am wondering how you remove the button without breaking the windshield? Can a body shop remove it using a mirror button puller of some kind? I pictured me with a small screw driver and working it under ~ ½ way when the windshield breaks … I am going to go with the Donnelly like Rick’s with a green under the mirror display although I did see a Gentex with the possibility of a red/orange Temp/Comp display in the mirror itself? I don’t really like the green display entirely either since it doesn’t exactly match the game gauge but it sure is better then the Blue only display that is available from the Ebay’ers right now.

___Thanks in advance.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2gk5kyqs][email protected][/email:2gk5kyqs]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
The easiest way to replace the mirror would be to use a mirror that uses the same button but unfortunately Honda has several styles and the one that donnelly has is probably for the Civic. I am sure there is a better way but I used a razor scraping knife and a rubber mallet. (I figured the razer would break before the windshield.) I like the idea about the repair shop as I am sure you could break the glass. Perhaps they have a tool or glue disolving chemical to play it safe. About a year ago I was carrying some large cargo (Two large footlocker containers) and removed the front seat to place one up front. Anyway I hit the mirror when I put the container in the car and it fell off along with a chunk of the glass so that glue holds well. I just put more of the glue on for a glass to glass bond and it has held up well. I also decided not to use my insight like a truck. Have fun, Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I've been wondering about this one, too - I'm very tempted by the Donnelly mirrors, but worried about breaking my windshield. A year or so ago, I was cleaning the inside of my last car's windshield, and wasn't paying attention when I swept my hand with the paper towel in it past the mirror. I bumped the mirror with my forearm, knocking the mirror, the mounting button, and a chunk of windshield onto the floor of my car.

Fortunately, my state is a "free windshield replacement" state, so I got a new windshield for free. I've been very careful using the Windex ever since.

Makes you wonder how many state legislators the auto glass industry donated to in their effort to get that law passed - Massachusetts must buy more new windshields than any other state in the union. Easy when they're free. Of course, we pay for it through our insurance rates.

MF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I would recommend having a glass shop replace the mounting button. It is all too easy to break your windshield.

Gary
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hi All:

___When in doubt, Google it I always say ;)

___I found a post from just a few weeks ago that may just do the trick … Here is the link.
You need to remove the mirror first. The button on the windshield can be removed with remover fluid sold in Autozone etc., or you can use acetone. Put the acetone on a q-tip and drip it on the windshield where the button meets the windshield. It will start to dissolve the adhesive. Be patient it will take a while.
___I was reading a similar button removal post over at Tintdude.com and many of the professional tinters are saying they simply won’t do it for fear of breaking the windshield! Those that have done it are very nonchalant about how they performed the process. One guy used a small blue bottle torch on the outside of the window while he channel locked the button. He mentioned that it takes a slow twist (not a pull) and the button will pop right off. Another tinter forum member just uses a channel lock/vise grip and twists them off without windshield damage (supposedly?). Most however cautioned one another to take it to a glass shop as they will have the tools and whatever super secret formula(s) necessary to remove the button without incident. I will call a few local Auto Glass shops tomorrow as Grebe suggests and see what they have to say.

___Good Luck and Thanks to all of you for the advice to date.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1myhpt0l][email protected][/email:1myhpt0l]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Maybe you'll have better luck with glass shops than I did. I stopped by the one closest to me a few weeks ago, and when I asked them about it, they gave me blank looks, and finally said "well, the windshields come to us with the buttons already on them."

I gave up at that point.

It was kind of like the scene in Spinal Tap in which Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) is showing off his guitars and amps, and says "This one goes to eleven."

MF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Holy necropost, Batman!

Well, it took me a few years to get around to it, but I finally replaced my factory mirror with the Donnelly compass/temperature mirror. More challenging than I expected, and I needed to ask for help from Rick Reece and the local Radio Shack, but by this evening, all was installed and working fine.

At this point, we may be past the wave of people trying mods and add-ons like this. But just in case, here are some lessons-learned. Those of you who are familiar with auto electronics and wiring won't learn anything from this; those of you like me who get in over your heads but keep trying anyway might find a tidit or two.

1. Replacing the windshield button. My windshield had a huge crack in it before I started this project, and it had to be replaced in its entirety. When the auto glass guy showed up in his van, with a new windshield complete with standard Insight button, I asked him how I would replace it with the more common one which would allow me to install the aftermarket mirror. He said "I can take it off for you." He warmed the button with a blow torch for a few seconds, and then used his vice grips to twist it off. I bought a replacement at the auto parts store for a few bucks, with glue to attach it; also bought a cheap ($15?) plain mirror that fit the new button, because I didn't have the Donnelly one yet.

2. Got the Donnelly mirror via ebay for $149 including shipping. It was "new, never installed" but looked like an open box. Came with all parts, though. Only blue LED ones are available on ebay these days. Green seems to be all gone.

3. Put the temperature sensor just in front of the radiator on the driver's side. Ran the wire into the driver's side front wheel well (removed the wheel and plastic liner, as another post recommended). But got stuck trying to get it through the rubber gasket into the car. I asked Rick Reece for help; he let me know that you can squeeze these wires into the port in the rubber gasket used by the existing wiring - it stretches. Not easy to do though - very hard to work and apply leverage/force appropriately in the narrow space between the outer body panel and the tub. I tried sending a wire coathanger piece through from the inside to the outside; I then taped the wires to the wire using duct tape and tried to pull them back to the inside. Bad idea -- the gasket opening was too tight and squeezed the tape/wires off the end of the hanger wire. And now the wires were covered in stickiness from the duct tape, which made them MUCH harder to get through the gasket. I had to clean them off with "goo gone" and then just pushed them through. Sounds easier than it was. Maybe I was doing something wrong.

4. No problem getting the wire from the mirror itself tucked up under the headliner and down the driver's side A-pillar so that all wires come together near the fuse box. Now I had to attach the grounding wire, which comes with a little O-fitting to slip over a screw. I popped out the little cubby to the left of the steering wheel where I keep quarters for parking meters, and saw a screw I could use. Worked fine.

5. Then had to attach the live wire to a switched 12V wire. I didn't even have a meter in my tool box to find a switched 12V wire. This led to my trip to Radio Shack, where a nice young man who looked about 15 was kind enough not to snicker at yet another middle-aged guy coming in for help in the middle of a project. He sold me a cheap multi-meter, and then helped me brainstorm how to find a live wire when they are all insulated. We settled on using a needle to poke into the insulation; one lead to ground, the other to the needle and see if I have 12 volts. Sure enough, that approach worked.

6. Finally, the wire tap that came with the mirror (to connect the mirror's live wire to a switched 12V wire) was impossible to figure out. The Radio Shack guy couldn't understand how that one was supposed to work either. He sold me a 12-pack of simple wire taps (only needed one but they don't sell them individually).

And that was the last step. Amazingly, it worked the first time I turned the key after connecting the wire tap and reconnecting the car's 12V battery.

So... I realize I may be the last person to try this on an Insight, but if there is someone as inexperienced as me who tries it, I've at least published where I got stuck and how I got through it. Thanks again to Rick and everyone else for inspiration and guidance.

Yours,
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
you're not the last.

I'm considering just sticking a second button on beside or above/below the first, and not risk breaking the windshield just for symmetry.

Besides the FastLane toll transponder already ruins the whole symmetrical bit anyways.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top