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Discussion Starter #1
I had posted late last fall in another thread I started about the issues I was having between the transmission synchro's and the battery pack. I had gotten the exhaust leak fixed and it has been fine. The car only has ~117,600 miles on it as I was mostly local driving and a telecommuter. I am able to work around the transmission for the most part by double-clutching but it will pop out on deceleration so it is more work to drive. But the holidays, work and just the general lack of enthusiasm right now kept me occupied elsewhere.

The other issue is the battery pack. Back in November 2015, I got a rebuilt pack from HybridRevolt.com and I opted for 9 Ah cells instead of the traditional 6.3(?) Ah cells. I installed a grid charger a year or so later to keep it topped. A year ago it threw the IMA light without the Check Engine. A top off charge and the light stayed out for a few months. It came back during the summer. It became harder and harder to keep it off and the DTC was 77. In late November, I decided to try going with some deep discharge/charge cycles to see if that would improve things. It did appear to make something of a difference and the pack will settle down to around 172 V after being off the charger a few hours. But the IMA light now comes on almost immediately as well as the Check Engine light. The DTC code at last check was now 78. At this point I am thinking at least one cell is completely out of whack.

When my Honda supplied pack died five years ago, I did not have a charger or any real knowledge other than to replace it. During the few weeks it took to get the replacement pack, it deteriorated so much that it tripped the 12 V system into cutting out leaving me to run on 12 V battery. I solved that problem by switching the pack off and running entirely without IMA. That is my biggest fear right now that I could be driving and have the 12 V warning light come on. I will keep topping off the pack to hopefully keep that from happening. I carry a small 10mm socket wrench in case I am forced to pull over and turn the pack off but that fear is with me constantly.

I have been looking for a 2017-2018 Prius c and I may have found one at a local dealer. That will certainly relieve the stress of on me at this point from driving the hobbled Insight but I am wondering what exactly could be wrong with the pack. Any further deep discharges seem pointless. Plus having opted for 9 Ah cells appears to make stick replacement problematic. I am guessing that there are only a few cells that are really ill.
 

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Whats the warranty on the 144v battery?

Ask yourself what takes precedence at this point in time of your life : if telecommuting and short commutes are going to be a long term thing for you, maybe it’s time to let go of the G1 and get the Prius. The G1 is an uncompromising tool for maximum MPG, or a mechanical wonder, but that’s really it. Because it’s a niche car, expect niche problems and the costs associated with ownership. You have to really love and respect the car for what it is, and if that love and motivation isn’t there anymore, maybe giving it to a loving home is more appropriate.

It’s my only car now, and of all things going on in my life, it’s the one thing that never failed me, and always gives its best when at times I don’t reciprocate it. 500k miles later and just by addressing what it needs when I can get to it has been a blessing for me, as it’s by far the longest living car I’ve owned so far. I accept It for what it is and do what I can, even when it can get frustrating at times. But i will ride it until I’m dead or it’s dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Whats the warranty on the 144v battery?

Ask yourself what takes precedence at this point in time of your life : if telecommuting and short commutes are going to be a long term thing for you, maybe it’s time to let go of the G1 and get the Prius. The G1 is an uncompromising tool for maximum MPG, or a mechanical wonder, but that’s really it. Because it’s a niche car, expect niche problems and the costs associated with ownership. You have to really love and respect the car for what it is, and if that love and motivation isn’t there anymore, maybe giving it to a loving home is more appropriate.
I had a two year warranty on it so there is no option there other than to either attack it myself or replace it with a rebuilt.

I love the car but I agree that at this point in my life, turn 59 in June, do I have the time and patience to do not only the battery pack but the transmission as well. I will have had the car 20 years on April 28, 2021. It has served me well. I was lucky to be able to do a lot of remote work so I was not doing the 48 mile round trip daily.

Goal #1 at the moment is getting a replacement vehicle which I hope to be a Prius c as it is a nice small car too. Then the Insight will be in the garage without plates and I can decide the next step.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The other issue is the battery pack. Back in November 2015, I got a rebuilt pack from HybridRevolt.com and I opted for 9 Ah cells instead of the traditional 6.3(?) Ah cells. I installed a grid charger a year or so later to keep it topped. A year ago it threw the IMA light without the Check Engine. A top off charge and the light stayed out for a few months. It came back during the summer. It became harder and harder to keep it off and the DTC was 77. In late November, I decided to try going with some deep discharge/charge cycles to see if that would improve things. It did appear to make something of a difference and the pack will settle down to around 172 V after being off the charger a few hours. But the IMA light now comes on almost immediately as well as the Check Engine light. The DTC code at last check was now 78. At this point I am thinking at least one cell is completely out of whack.
At the office, I was able to move my car to my preferred parking spot where I can plug in. IMA and Check Engine light are on and I hooked up the grid charger. Voltage reading was 172 V. Really has me puzzled as to what the IMA diagnostics are finding fault with. I keep pulling the IMA fuse to reset the system and have it recalibrate. It only takes a few minutes for it to throw the light. I will not be able to get my home made ODBII jumper plug until Thursday in order to recheck the DTC's.
 

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Are your DTC 77 and 78 the 'flash' codes, for IMA light? If so, I read those as being 1447 and 1449. Have never really been too sure about 1447, but in general they're roughly equivalent. The P1449-78 means that, after the pack has been found to be 'empty' - which means simply at least one cell truly empty, 'neg recal', BATT gauge plummeting to bottom - it can't be charged at least about 10% of total capacity without reaching 'full' - which means something like at least one cell reaching full, or at least a stick-pair reaching full. It's severe charge imbalance...

I think most severe charge imbalance is due to at least one cell having faster self discharge than others. It just becomes impossible to keep the one or more cells charged to the level of the others - and they end up being near empty all the time...

This code, I think, tends to hang around - I know I've had a hard time getting it to clear. So once you get it, once the BCM sees the problematic sequence of events (empty cell, voltage for a tap tanking, it tries to charge but then can't charge at least 10% without reaching full first, you get the IMA light and P1449-78 code) - once it goes through this sequence I don't think the full sequence needs to happen again for the code to hang around... Not sure how that works. I just don't think you can always 'just' clear the code by say pulling a fuse or 12V neg cable and get more or less normal behavior...

A couple other thoughts:

-A 2015 Revolt pack probably is among those that had problematic cells. Early-ish aftermarket packs don't handle deep discharging well, and they don't handle grid charging very well, mainly prolonged grid charging of the 'balancing' type, where you try to overcharge most cells in order to get low cells caught up...

-oh yeah: Have you considered just bypassing the pack/IMA? - turn the switch OFF, pull the connectors that go to the BCM. You should be able to drive fine, without 12V charging worries, if you do this. The car's not that bad with the pack bypassed, totally drive-able... There's variations on this theme, such as removing the pack entirely and installing a bypass pigtail, to reduce weight; an Arduino mod that alleviates some of the warbles; installing an alternative 12V power supply so you can then get rid of ALL the stuff in the back, etc etc...
 

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No matter what happens with the G1, I suspect you will like the C. I drove one for a couple of years and found it to be a wonderfully fun little car. Well built and a joy to drive. I’ve thought about returning to one, in fact. A nice, upright driving posture, easy in and out. like the TARDIS, bigger inside than out.

One thing, though, if you have to choose between speeding up or slowing down to get out of trouble always go with slowing down!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are your DTC 77 and 78 the 'flash' codes, for IMA light? If so, I read those as being 1447 and 1449. Have never really been too sure about 1447, but in general they're roughly equivalent. The P1449-78 means that, after the pack has been found to be 'empty' - which means simply at least one cell truly empty, 'neg recal', BATT gauge plummeting to bottom - it can't be charged at least about 10% of total capacity without reaching 'full' - which means something like at least one cell reaching full, or at least a stick-pair reaching full. It's severe charge imbalance...

I think most severe charge imbalance is due to at least one cell having faster self discharge than others. It just becomes impossible to keep the one or more cells charged to the level of the others - and they end up being near empty all the time...

This code, I think, tends to hang around - I know I've had a hard time getting it to clear. So once you get it, once the BCM sees the problematic sequence of events (empty cell, voltage for a tap tanking, it tries to charge but then can't charge at least 10% without reaching full first, you get the IMA light and P1449-78 code) - once it goes through this sequence I don't think the full sequence needs to happen again for the code to hang around... Not sure how that works. I just don't think you can always 'just' clear the code by say pulling a fuse or 12V neg cable and get more or less normal behavior...
Judging from the voltage I see after the pack has been sitting a day or two, 172 V, it would appear to be one or two cells are severely flawed. At worst, two sticks if two cells are bad. The discharge/charge cycles seem to have brought the rest of the sticks back to life and it holds power quite well. The last discharge cycle I did took quite some time to perform as the pack really held on pumping out power. Unfortunately, without a spare set of wheels, the time I need to determine the problematic sticks would leave me off the road. It is definitely something I want to examine before making the final determination on the disposition of the car.

A couple other thoughts:

-A 2015 Revolt pack probably is among those that had problematic cells. Early-ish aftermarket packs don't handle deep discharging well, and they don't handle grid charging very well, mainly prolonged grid charging of the 'balancing' type, where you try to overcharge most cells in order to get low cells caught up...
Most likely what has happened in my case. It was around the two year mark that I felt I should get a grid charger as it seemed the pack was starting to produce less power than when I first got it. I had not realized that the cells used in third-party rebuilds had issues compared to Honda supplied batteries. If I knew back in 2015 what I know now, I would have immediately gotten a charger and looked to recharge and rebalance. Might have gotten enough extra time to get me to where I am now though LOL.

-oh yeah: Have you considered just bypassing the pack/IMA? - turn the switch OFF, pull the connectors that go to the BCM. You should be able to drive fine, without 12V charging worries, if you do this. The car's not that bad with the pack bypassed, totally drive-able... There's variations on this theme, such as removing the pack entirely and installing a bypass pigtail, to reduce weight; an Arduino mod that alleviates some of the warbles; installing an alternative 12V power supply so you can then get rid of ALL the stuff in the back, etc etc...
When my previous Honda installed pack failed in 2015, I kept running on it while I arranged to order the replacement pack. About a week or so after the IMA light came on, I was driving and suddenly the 12 V warning came on. Luckily close to home. At that point, I was mentally fried, I took a guess and turned of the main switch. The 12 V warning went out and the car still ran though I had to use the conventional starter to get going. The engine was a bit rougher without the IMA to provide power to dampen the vibrations and acceleration was, of course, not great. But it did run and kept me going to two weeks until I swapped in the replacement pack. That is certainly an option but this time I have ability to keep the pack topped up with the grid charger so it should, in theory, get to the point of pulling down the 12 V system. Funny thing is last night as I parked, I pulled the IMA fuse for a moment. Did nothing further. This morning the system recalibrated a few times but did not produce the IMA light. It is quite variable on when it decides there has been a total battery failure. If topping off keeps me going until I can consummate a deal on a replacement vehicle then I can live with that. I'll continue to double-clutch and charge for an hour just to stay on the road.

The one BIG problem with leaving the pack off or bypassing is I live in New York and have annual inspections. Due to COVID, we were granted extensions and I pushed mine off from June 2020 to last November when things were still good enough with the vehicle. Right now though, if the Check Engine light is on, I cannot pass. I could fudge it I imagine if had to by pumping up the pack and clearing the code just before the check as it would stay off long enough to pass. If this was 2025, then it would not matter because after 25 years, a car no longer needs to pass the emissions check. Just the safety check.

If I had the time, money and inclination, I might even consider playing around with a Lithium conversion. But first I really want to see how many sticks are really flawed. If my suspicions are correct and the majority of the pack is good now, then replacing the defective sticks might just make sense to keep it going a bit longer. If I am looking at a total overhaul, then I will have to take a pass.
 

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Judging from the voltage I see after the pack has been sitting a day or two, 172 V, it would appear to be one or two cells are severely flawed. At worst, two sticks if two cells are bad...
Yeah, it's pretty much impossible to spot a few cells that are charged much lower than the rest, looking at total voltage. The voltage difference at cell-level between near full charge and near empty can be almost nothing, like at most only about 0.2V. Your typical DMM probably wouldn't even register that. It's even difficult when looking at stick-pair (tap) voltages. If your total pack voltage is that high though, after a full charge and a couple days sitting, it could very well be only a cell or two - if the whole pack were seriously ailing, I don't think you'd see a total voltage that high, particularly after sitting for a couple days...

Unfortunately, without a spare set of wheels, the time I need to determine the problematic sticks would leave me off the road. It is definitely something I want to examine before making the final determination on the disposition of the car....The one BIG problem with leaving the pack off or bypassing is I live in New York and have annual inspections.
You could probably do some tap voltage sleuthing, pack remains installed and can generally be turned ON and OFF at will, as needed.

I think what you'd need to do is get the pack working enough, such as with resets and a bit of grid charge, so that you can drive a little and bring the IMA to its dysfunctional state, preferably close to home. You'd then pull into your driveway or garage and measure tap voltages... Or, in general, you need to just have your pack in its dysfunctional, low state, hook up your discharge load and then measure tap voltages. If a low cell or two are really causing the problem, then you should be able to spot the wayward, low voltage tap. Most taps might measure around 15.72V, while the suspect one should be down around ...maybe 15.51V or lower. You can leave the discharge load on and take some voltage measurements over some time period, maybe half an hour, if you're having a hard time spotting anything wayward from a single measurement event. Eventually, the cell causing the problem has to 'drop' and you'd see that in the tap voltage. If your pack is already on the edge, at or near its dysfunctional state, then this shouldn't take too long.

Here's a link to a description of how to measure tap voltages, if you choose to go this route:
https://www.insightcentral.net/thre...sight-nimh-voltage-thread.89298/#post-1006193
 

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Back in November 2015, I got a rebuilt pack from HybridRevolt.com
5 years is pretty good for an aftermarket pack. Some Honda replacement packs die right after the 3 year warranty. Figure you spent $300 a year and it doesn't feel as bad. If you're doing limited driving, any hybrid even the Prius, is going to have battery issues eventually.
 

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If it were my car, I'd replace the battery again in a 117k mile Insight in a heartbeat, and probably the transmission as well. I even have a core transmission I could let go cheap for you to rebuild at your own pace. It had the downshift grind but no pop-out, suggesting no damage to the actual gears. But, not everyone has the same circumstances.

If you're fine with another manual, I'm a pretty big fan of the Honda Fit. My wife is averaging 44mpg in mixed driving with her 07 Fit. They're fun to drive, have multiple times the interior cargo space, and are also absurdly reliable (not rare to see 300k+ on them), and have no hybrid system to fail. Mechanically simple, well built cars. I understand the automatics don't get nearly the fuel economy the manuals do, FWIW.
 

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If you're fine with another manual, I'm a pretty big fan of the Honda Fit. My wife is averaging 44mpg in mixed driving with her 07 Fit....I understand the automatics don't get nearly the fuel economy the manuals do, FWIW.
44 MPG mixed driving, huh. That's pretty good. We have an 07 Fit in my household - automatic - I think the best I've seen is like 36 MPG hwy. I don't drive/haven't driven it much though, and my housemate only drives it for like a few mile commute and under those circumstances has only averaged maybe 27 MPG...
 
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