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IMA Battery Replacement: What are the best options right now?

22478 Views 31 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Recovering_Gasaholic
Hello, my cousin just passed down his 2006 Insight with CVT and a dead IMA battery to me here in Rhode Island.

I've changed the fluids and have to replace the windshield, but apart from the defunct IMA system and non-functioning A/C, it seems like a good little car. I'd like to drive it for a year to work out all the bugs, then perhaps one of my daughters will have a need for it and I can pass it on to them. It drives OK without the IMA, but I can certainly tell where an extra 30 ft/lbs of torque would help the driving experience, and if I'm to pass inspection, I'll have to have all the trouble-codes gone. I know there is the IMA bypass that would eliminate the codes, but I'd like to consider actually returning the car to its full performance.

I've been reading the forums and people's pages, and looked at the websites to identify the best options; the Cardone and Dorman remanufactured packs are cost-prohibitive, and I'd like to install a pack with NEW cells, rather than reconditioned cells, or reconditioning the existing cells. My cousin did that with the existing battery pack, which fixed the problem for a few weeks, but then other cells started going bad. At 13 years old, there's a good chance of another cell giving up the ghost, which wouldn't work well for my daughters who would be driving the car in a few years. I'm also not looking for using extra-performance battery packs; original-performance would be fine for my needs.

So, here are the options I've found; I just want to know if there are any other options I'm overlooking, especially ones up here in the Northeast?

Rebuilt packs with NEW cells: (sorry; forum won't let me post links for a first post)


Bumblebee Batteries: 1 yr warranty
  • $1595+ $195 shipping
Green Tec Auto:
  • $1695 including shipping
  • This seems to be the better option, for both price and warranty
All other options seem to want to charge the above prices for rebuilt packs with reconditioned cells.

Are there any reputable rebuilders using new cells that I am missing, especially here in the Northeast?

Any caveats about the above suppliers?

Rebuilding the pack myself using NEW cells:

I cannot seem to find a straightforward supplier of new cells that I could use to rebuild the pack myself. I'm a skilled home mechanic, having rebuilt engines, transmissions and wiring-harnesses, so the task of rebuilding a pack does not dissuade me, but the price of twenty new cells that I could find on E-Bay comes close to or exceeds the cost of the above rebuilt packs with new cells.

Is there any reputable place that sells the new properly-balanced individual cells for less than $50/cell? Any more than that, and it would be worth the money to just buy one of the above packs.

Anyway, I thought I would ask what the latest is, as many of the threads I've seen are years old, and perhaps out of date.

And here's the little guy this all concerns:

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If you are near to Georgia, I have a pack that was in use and kept charge for a couple weeks of driving with assist. I removed it to install LTO. The pack was fully discharged prior to putting in storage. Let me know if interested and close enough to pick up, cannot ship.
How much do you want for the pack? Did you replace it because it was failing or acting up?
 

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How much do you want for the pack?
Make reasonable offer

Did you replace it because it was failing or acting up?
I replaced it because I purchased 3 greentech LTO Fit packs. My car does not need the OEM pack now. It was working reasonably well before LTO conversion. Note that any pack you buy used is 20+ years old, it's not a new pack but was usable. I drove two weeks using assist without charging, and it maintained itself. No promises or guarantees. It's an old pack.
 

· Linsight Designer
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I have thought about the Arduino option but I would rather hold off on that until emissions are no longer an issue.
FYI: The Arduino bypass will keep the CEL light off forever.
FYI: I'm about to release LiBCM, which completely replaces the OEM NiMH hybrid battery with a modern, lithium version. It won't be released prior to your upcoming inspection, but if you can limp by with the Arduino bypass, then LiBCM could bring wonderful new life to your IMA system. Note that LiBCM requires the unmodified OEM IMA wire harness, whereas the Arduino bypass cuts it into pieces... you can do the Arduino bypass without hacking the IMA harness to pieces... just de-pin the required connections.
 

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The car looks to be in good condition. If the mileage is below 200K, it is likely to provide years of relatively trouble free service. It is probably worth investing in the 5 year warranty Bumblebee. As other have said, warranty is everything with the NiMH packs. Unless you want to get into Lithium conversions, that seems to me to be the best option. As klr3cyl says, keep the receipt because a good battery adds value to these cars:)
 

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FYI: The Arduino bypass will keep the CEL light off forever.
FYI: I'm about to release LiBCM, which completely replaces the OEM NiMH hybrid battery with a modern, lithium version. It won't be released prior to your upcoming inspection, but if you can limp by with the Arduino bypass, then LiBCM could bring wonderful new life to your IMA system. Note that LiBCM requires the unmodified OEM IMA wire harness, whereas the Arduino bypass cuts it into pieces... you can do the Arduino bypass without hacking the IMA harness to pieces... just de-pin the required connections.
If I could get access to the stupid plugs I would make the harnesses myself for a small cost to help people not chop up the harnesses, but alas, I cannot.
 

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If you are near to Georgia, I have a pack that was in use and kept charge for a couple weeks of driving with assist. I removed it to install LTO. The pack was fully discharged prior to putting in storage. Let me know if interested and close enough to pick up, cannot ship.
Do you still have the battery pack, i am interested.
 

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If you want a battery that will last, buy the longest warranty you can find. Period. It's the only thing that matters, all of the other stuff is just marketing. All of the builders get their batteries from the same place in China, it's everything else that sets us apart.

If you want quality new cells, you are going to have to pay for them. :( They are very expensive to import with the trade war on-going.

Note the nomenclature difference; the only Insight pack Greentec sells with new cells is the "8Ah" for $1795.

If you really want to DIY, we still offer DIY kits of the same matched and balanced sticks that we use to assemble our completed batteries - but it costs me(and everyone else) more than $50/stick just to get them into the United States.
 

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Hey there, I'm upgrading to lithium and I have an extra new unused 8ah IMA battery that I will sell for a discount. Send me a message if you're interested.
 
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