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Discussion Starter #1
Considering how much effort Honda put into weight reduction, I was amazed when I found that there is a purely decorative part on the Insight the weights about 1.5 lbs. Its the engine cover and it's mounting bracket.

It's pretty easy to remove. You'll need to replace (or reuse) the bolts on back because they hold a wiring harness bracket. The cover bracket requires an allen wrench with a bit of torque to remove. I'll been running without mine now for several months and no problems.

The 3 bumps in the cover make the engine appear much larger than it actually is. Do the marketing boys at Honda think people won't buy the car with a small engine.

To be fair, looking at the cover mounting bracket, you can tell it was not designed by the same guys that designed the engine or body.

Side story: I put my cover in a garbage bag and put it in a box in my garage. A few months earlier, out of the same box, I pulled an ashtray/cigarette lighter and a cargo cover to put on my CRX before I sold it. I put those things in the box not long after I bought the CRX new in 85. How many years do you think the Insight engine cover will spend in that box?
 

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I wish I was as dedicated as Flunkysama, then I might actually get round to losing a stone or two!!! :)

On the engine covers point, Aaron is not far off, manufacturers have been known to put on lockable engine covers with unusual keys to ensure that only authorised dealers can get access to service their engines. Certainly a restrictive practice. :x However this tends to be a pointless exercise as independant mechanics then copy the keys to get round the problem.
 

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the real isssue

The real issue here is by saving that 1.5 lb any improvements in mpg? or speed? If not then removing it is pointless!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: the real isssue

meow77 said:
The real issue here is by saving that 1.5 lb any improvements in mpg? or speed? If not then removing it is pointless!
You know how you can reduce the insight's weight by a hundred pounds? You do it 1 pound at a time.

Actually, my real reason for remove the engine cover it that it offends me. In a car where engineers spent man-years shaving off each gram, here is something that some marketing department had put on for no reason other than "it looks better" or "let's make the engine look bigger because people won't buy a car with such an itty-bitty motor."

I imagine that weight saved by using a plastic intake manifold over a more common cast AL is less than that used by the engine cover and bracket.

I find the bracket is especially offensive. Made of heavy cheap rust-prone steel. It's about 3 times thicker than it needs to be. It looks so incongruous bolted to the AL head.
 

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clarification

What cover are you talking about? If it is the one that is on top of the engine, mine is plastic. Can't find any allen bolts on my engine anywhere. Sure you have an Insight? :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: clarification

Willie Williford said:
What cover are you talking about? If it is the one that is on top of the engine, mine is plastic. Can't find any allen bolts on my engine anywhere. Sure you have an Insight? :wink:
The lower left corner of the plastic engine cover is mounted to a bracket that serves no purpose other than supporting the engine cover. The right side of the bracket is fastened to the head with a 5mm (I think) allen bolt. It's very well hidden. At least it was on my 2000.
 

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Re: the real isssue

flunkysama said:
You know how you can reduce the insight's weight by a hundred pounds? You do it 1 pound at a time.
Well put: that's the exact same philosophy used by the folks who build aircraft at home in their shops. In this case, I'd say you've scored a bullseye by removing something purely decorative and saving 1.5 lbs.

Now: any more thoughts in this direction? I've read some talk about lighter wheels. Seems like maybe Bridgestone could shave a few ounces off each tire. What about an even-more-lightweight 12v battery replacement? Does the K&N aftermarket air filter save any weight? Anyone have their brake shoes drilled? What about a disc brake conversion on the rear?

There's one guy who replaced his rearview mirrors with cameras and placed a small LCD display inside. He gets good results from the retrofit, no more headlight glare at nights, and he also lessened drag somewhat.

And yes, the comment about losing weight YOURSELF is well put, too. I think I could lighten my insight by at least 60lbs that way. :oops:

The Insight is an awesomely well engineered product, but keep thinking, keep thinking. Honda had to make some marketing and mass production compromises that we don't have to make, so there might be something else in there we can tweak.

Gosh, I wish we could ask this question of the Honda engineers. I'd sure like to hear from some of the design engineers who, no doubt, spent some time debating this point.

JKB
 

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Re: the real isssue

jameskb said:
What about an even-more-lightweight 12v battery replacement?
Ok, smack me hard: I just finished reading the discussion about the Genesis and Hawker battery replacements. :oops: A nice weight reduction just in the battery!

JKB
 

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Since the 12V battery only runs the starter in emergencies, it seems logical that a small 4.5AH AGM could be used in it's place. These are tiny, and according to my scale, a 7.2AH version weighs 5LB.

Seriously though, is shaving 20 LBs off the car going to be such a big improvement? I mean, there's a limit to everything. If you keep only 1 gallon of gas in the tank, it's a lot lighter then full. Why not take off your shoes? Pull the entire interior out of the car? Lose the airbags? Lexan windows, cut holes in the body, etc. Without any extreme measures, I would think that shaving 100LBs off the car is going to be VERY difficult...While we're on the subject, make your seats out of wicker or eliminate them altogether. No one needs a radio and speakers. Replace the steering wheel with handlebars. A/C is for wusses (however, this I believe and wish my car didn't have it since I have never even turned it on). Spare tire is just dead weight, as is all the related equipment....
 

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Aaron Cake said:
Seriously though, is shaving 20 LBs off the car going to be such a big improvement?
Shaving 20 lbs off the waistline would be much better.
 

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I fill my Insight with clear plastic helium filled balloons. That way I can still see and it gives me extra lift without the drag I had when I first attached them to the door handles.

You can pack about 78 jumbo ballons, if you put them in all the nooks and crannies as well.

This works with any car, by the way.
 
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Hi Figgy:

___Why in the hell are we fumbling with all of this warm-air mod(s), high pressure tires, high BTU/gallon fuel, driving with load, and maintaining momentum stuff … We could just fill a large gas bag in the hatch with Hydrogen and we would all get 150 mpg :D

___What is an enormous explosion between friends for the sake of fuel economy ;)

___Good Luck

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

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meow77 wrote:
“I'd love to know the mgg/ lb ratio... if saivng the 1.5 lb made any difference at all.”

I doubt there is a straight mpg/lb ratio as once mass is up to speed it takes no extra energy to keep it there (it is that friction thing you are fighting then). Extra weight effects acceleration the most. You are right, I am sure that 1.5lbs makes no difference in fuel consumption that we can measure. However, 1.5lbs over say 100,000mi, times a lot of people do make a difference. How did that expression go: ”Think globally, act locally”? Since most of us are not willing to put in the time/energy/money to drill out/replace parts it is nice to learn an easy/free mod to help lighten up. I think many folks would find it easier to do this than personally loosing 1.5lbs.

I suspect that this modification may be something we should wait until we are off of warranty to do?
 

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You could argue that planning a trip or two better, or not taking one at all by combining trips is an easier way to save the same energy as removing the 1.5 lbs.

If you drive 10,000 miles per year with an extra 1.5 lbs all year, how many miles of driving normally is that in comparison?

Hmmm... Maybe you would find that by not doing one 10 mile errand per quarter, you save the same fuel as taking out the 1.5 lbs all year. I don't know the hard answer.

Maybe we should all just bike everywhere.
 

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Figgy wrote:
“You could argue that planning a trip or two better, or not taking one at all by combining trips is an easier way to save the same energy as removing the 1.5 lbs.”

Yes, you are right! Economies of scale should always be considered. It is always a tradeoff and individual choices will always be personal. Insight drivers are a perfect example of this; we think little of making sacrifices for our cars that others would consider intolerable. However, the trips/weight choice, like so many others is not a mutually exclusive one. Even after you decrease your amount of driving you can still make the driving you choose to do more efficient.
 

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Clearly one should do both. I did not mean to imply in any way that one shouldn't work to reduce weight wherever possible.

Driving around more and with more stuff is bad in the same way that driving around with less stuff is good (read a smaller battery here).

Not driving at all is even better, but then where's the fun to have an Insight if you aren't driving it!!!
 

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Things to loose-

-The rear muffler is not needed. About 10lbs saved.
-rear wiper motor. a few pounds
-intake resonator-- less than 1lb but its not needed at all
-small battery holder could be swiss chessed. less than 1lb
 
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