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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
**6/16/15** Car is for sale. I'm sad that she'll be leaving :(






**4/17/15** Stripped the entire interior in prepping for sound insulation & sunroof (video in post #4 below)

**4/13/15** Purchased some Bosch Icons 26" driver side and 20" passenger. Didn't think they would fit, but they did.

**4/10/15** The gloss black wrap has commenced. World's first two tone Insight? Do I get the title?

**4/6/15** Sound deadened the driver door. Still need to do passenger door and hatch area. I also placed a $400 deposit on the sunroof which is schedule to be installed on the 20th.

**4/3/15** Purchased 26" Bosch Icon driver side wiper blade and 20" passenger blade. They sit rather high. Perhaps I'll try and exchange them for a lower profile blade? They do a GREAT job compared to my stock wipers however. I also installed the driver side floor mat holder part# 08P15-S3Y-100R1 it was rather a pain as the seat hardware was in my way. I ended up using a flat head and a hammer to get the piece in there. Floor mat doesn't move any longer.

**3/30/15** Ordered 08P15-S3Y-100R1 for $9.88 & also removed all the fading black rubber on the lower spats and rear bumper and replacing it with 3m gloss black vinyl. I am also installing gloss black vinyl on the whole roof, side mirrors, window trim, & "V" section of the hood for a more sportier appearance. Total cost w/ install from my vinyl guy is $369.33 Lastly, I installed LED reverse lights. MUCH brighter than stock.
Yesterday, I installed a hillman 1&1/8" metal plug for the rear wiper delete. I sanded it with 60 grit, then came back over it with 180grit, then finally with 0000 steel wool. Hit it with mineral liquid then placed two coats of self etching primer, then two coats of gloss black paint. There are a few specs in the paint but I can live with that since I did it in my garage and not a paint booth. I let it sit over night and this morning I put some silicone glue on the bottom of it and installed her. I'll monitor the next rain storm and see how she holds up.

**3/24/15** Lost all brake function and had to ebrake my way home. Found out I have two busted brake lines. They are getting replaced this week. I also was cleaning out my under floor hatch area prepping for the subwoofer install and noticed about 1/16 of a cup of water down there. I cleaned it all up but need to find where it's coming from before I install the subwoofer and amp.

**3/4/15** Yesterday I had the oil changed out, fumoto valve installed, no filter, tires rotated, wheels balanced with balancers placed on the inside outter lip so as to not interfere with the moons I will be installing later, 32mm spacers installed (the fenders naturally trimmed themselves, ha), & removed the front honda emblem thanks to elbow grease and goo gone

**2/25/15** 5% limo tint all around and 20% on entire window installed along with DR600W

NOW BACK TO WHAT I WROTE WHEN I STARTED THIS THREAD

*I see no build thread or member intro sections here on the forum... So I made this thread in the general section. If it needs to be moved, please advise.


BACK STORY
I admit, that the original thought of owning a hybrid meant that I had succumbed to being an old fart... Officially. This of course was an assumption. A bad one.
I knew, however, that I wanted something unique, less then $7k, and not boring. Furthermore, my current DD was a Hyundai Veloster. And my WW is a 2001 Plymouth Prowler. So, I suppose, it's safe to say unique vehicles is my forte. However, I began to notice more and more Hyundai Velosters on the road. So the time had come to get something "different".
I narrowed my results down to getting either a smart fortwo with the glass roof or a G1. I worried that a G1 wouldn't fit me as I'm 6ft 3. But, after my first test drive, I was hooked. It seemed so fun to drive this light weight vehicle around and no where near as slow as I anticipated. My initial desire was a G1 with two-tone grey/black interior, had to have CVT, & had to have under 60k miles on the odometer. Finding such a low mileage CVT G1 proved to be difficult. My initial finding was a 2002 Silver out in Richardson, TX at a VW dealership. But when I got there the battery was throwing codes, and there was no way to drive back home as the headlights were using to much energy to keep the car on. Furthermore, the gent wanted $3500 plus tttl and I walked away from it after offering $3400 and he denied it. So the search continued for 6 more days...
Then I found her. She was on autotrader and located at a mom and pop dealership in Jacksonville, FL. She is red and had 56k miles on her before I flew down to get her in January 2015. Aside from slight wear on the driver side seat bolster, worn rubber on the accelerator pedal, stagnant odor inside (presumably from sitting from so long), rock chips all over the front, & slightly peeling passenger side rear wheel skirt vinyl... She was a cherry. Clean carfax, two owner, and she spent most of her life in the east side of the USofA. And has a TON of maintenance records. The carfax can be viewed by clicking HERE.

When I drove her back home she averaged around 57mpg and is holding steady there. I noticed the windows go up slow and she has a off kilter driver side headlight. I made a video and a thread about it HERE.
Lastly, here is my last finished Custom Build:Custom Lexus
And here is my current Custom Build: Hi-Boy Prowler
Enough about the back story, let's get on with the main event.

THE BUILD
End goal = 60Lmpg CVT
Sea Green = Installed on Car/Completed
Dark Orange = Ordered​
Exterior:
-(aero)Removal of rear glass wiper & motor
-Removal of all badging / branding
-32mm rear spacers
-Powdercoated gloss black rear wiper plug
-(aero)Removal of radio antenna & rear squirter
-(aero)Removal of side mirros
-5% limo tint all around except windshield
-20% tint on entire windshield
-Sunroof
-Rear camera
-50w T15 LED reverse lights
-Black moons (wheel covers) for better MPG

Gloss black vinyl:
-roof edge to edge including "channel on left & right (not on upper door)
-window bezel trim that is currently black
-bottom of rear bumper that is currently dull black
-"V" on the hood and beginning of "V" on upper bumper
-small section of wheel skirts leading to under passenger door area that is currently dull black

Interior:
-Hack shift knob lockout so I don't have to press the button to engage the shift stalk out of park
-Lloyd Northridge all weather floor mats
-Aftermarket shift knob black with red stitching

Stereo:
-Polk slim 5&1/4" in front doors
-10.3" single din soundstream HU
-Sound deadening & dampening material throughout cabin

Maintenance:
-Charge & discharge battery fully (takes 5 days I heard)
-Bosch Icon's 26" driver and 20" passenger
-Fumoto valve
-0w20 synthetic engine oil
-Clean/Lube window tracks w/ silicone
-New cabin air filter
-Redesigned Dzus fasteners
 

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Sounds interesting especially the gloss white pearl. Please post pics of the build as you go along.
I like the sunroof idea, but how would you go about doing it? You do know the body is aluminum and the roof will probably be harder to work with than steel-bodied cars?

Also, why "Modify gauges so I can turn them completely off at night" ?
 

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Let me give you some personal advice, in no particular order.

Exterior:
KLR3CYL makes the best aluminum belly panels. I help him make these and the amount of care and detail he puts into each panel is absolutely insane. I can't believe he sells them for as cheap as he does.

Convenience:
Cruise control will hurt MPG.

Interior:
Get S2K seats, way more comfortable.

Stereo:
Stock speakers sound best to me -shrugs-
Sound deadening material will harm MPG. Moreso than you might think.
Install rear speakers (MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE).

Engine/IMA batt:
Hot air intake mod is easy. There is an extra hose that runs down into the left side fender, you can take that off and put it on the other side of the intake and point it into the intake manifold, I often get intake temps on long trips of ~125F. (I'll take pics later).
Regen switch is the way to go. It's easy to make (use the search function to learn how).


Maintenance plans:
It depends on how many times you charge/discharge. A charge cylce can take anywhere from 24-30 hours, and discharge 5-8 hours. I recommend a charge, then discharge, then charge, then discharge then charge.
These cars vibrate no matter what from a fully stopped start. Experience (or looking at the mounts) is the best way to know if they are bad.
Clean your EGR plate as well.
Make sure you have proper, OEM spark plugs that match the head stamps and that they are torqued to 17ft/lbs.
Valve adjustment (probably not needed as you are only at 60k miles).
Make sure you have proper RE92 tires at ~50PSI. MetroMPG over on Ecomodder did a rolldown test a while back and learned 50PSI is the sweet spot. More doesn't help that much more and gives a harsher ride, while less raises resistance but increases ride smoothness.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Sounds interesting especially the gloss white pearl. Please post pics of the build as you go along.
I like the sunroof idea, but how would you go about doing it? You do know the body is aluminum and the roof will probably be harder to work with than steel-bodied cars?

Also, why "Modify gauges so I can turn them completely off at night" ?
My glass installer has worked with ALUM roofs before. And this isn't the first Insight with an ALUM roof.

The gauges I'd like to be completely off so I can see out the car better at night and have no distractions.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The two tone gloss black wrap begins. 4/10/14




lloyd northridge mats came in

Headunit test:


Stripped the car prepping for Sound deadener / dampener


Prepping for sunroof install

32mm spacers + moons FIT!
(still need to paint wheels & moons gloss black)

Shift knob & rear cam hacked
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Let me give you some personal advice, in no particular order.

Exterior:
KLR3CYL makes the best aluminum belly panels. I help him make these and the amount of care and detail he puts into each panel is absolutely insane. I can't believe he sells them for as cheap as he does.

Convenience:
Cruise control will hurt MPG.

Interior:
Get S2K seats, way more comfortable.

Stereo:
Stock speakers sound best to me -shrugs-
Sound deadening material will harm MPG. Moreso than you might think.
Install rear speakers (MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE).

Engine/IMA batt:
Hot air intake mod is easy. There is an extra hose that runs down into the left side fender, you can take that off and put it on the other side of the intake and point it into the intake manifold, I often get intake temps on long trips of ~125F. (I'll take pics later).
Regen switch is the way to go. It's easy to make (use the search function to learn how).


Maintenance plans:
It depends on how many times you charge/discharge. A charge cylce can take anywhere from 24-30 hours, and discharge 5-8 hours. I recommend a charge, then discharge, then charge, then discharge then charge.
These cars vibrate no matter what from a fully stopped start. Experience (or looking at the mounts) is the best way to know if they are bad.
Clean your EGR plate as well.
Make sure you have proper, OEM spark plugs that match the head stamps and that they are torqued to 17ft/lbs.
Valve adjustment (probably not needed as you are only at 60k miles).
Make sure you have proper RE92 tires at ~50PSI. MetroMPG over on Ecomodder did a rolldown test a while back and learned 50PSI is the sweet spot. More doesn't help that much more and gives a harsher ride, while less raises resistance but increases ride smoothness.
Thank you for this. I knew ahead of time that the weight from the sound dampner material will decrease fuel mileage along with the cruise. But for those trips over 200 miles, I will want to cruise :/
 

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Thank you for this. I knew ahead of time that the weight from the sound dampner material will decrease fuel mileage along with the cruise. But for those trips over 200 miles, I will want to cruise :/
Yep, I feel you. I'll be getting cruise myself eventually.
 

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Sub better than sound deadening

My advice:

1. Skip the sound deadening material. I did the math on this several years back. For a "normal" vehicle adding sound deadening can lower the noise floor and increase the effective volume of the stereo system. But in an Insight the hit to the power/weight ratio is too high. You're better off putting the money you would have spent into more amp/speakers which has the same effect but without the hit to overall weight.

2. Skip the rear speakers. They are used to draw the soundstage back (which isn't necessary in an Insight) or for backseat passengers (which we don't have to worry about).

Questions:

1. How far have you made it in your side mirror modifications? I have been working on this for a while. I had the side mirror mount 3D scanned and used the point cloud to generate CAD data. My next step is to work out the specifics of the electronics so I could integrate the camera into the side mount and have a prototype made.

2. Why do you have your windshield so dark?!?! Can I see a picture of that tint job?
 

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My advice:

1. Skip the sound deadening material. I did the math on this several years back. For a "normal" vehicle adding sound deadening can lower the noise floor and increase the effective volume of the stereo system. But in an Insight the hit to the power/weight ratio is too high. You're better off putting the money you would have spent into more amp/speakers which has the same effect but without the hit to overall weight.

2. Skip the rear speakers. They are used to draw the soundstage back (which isn't necessary in an Insight) or for backseat passengers (which we don't have to worry about).

Questions:

1. How far have you made it in your side mirror modifications? I have been working on this for a while. I had the side mirror mount 3D scanned and used the point cloud to generate CAD data. My next step is to work out the specifics of the electronics so I could integrate the camera into the side mount and have a prototype made.

2. Why do you have your windshield so dark?!?! Can I see a picture of that tint job?
I have to disagree with you about the speakers, they add so much more to the listening experience, I can't believe people say they aren't worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My advice:

1. Skip the sound deadening material. I did the math on this several years back. For a "normal" vehicle adding sound deadening can lower the noise floor and increase the effective volume of the stereo system. But in an Insight the hit to the power/weight ratio is too high. You're better off putting the money you would have spent into more amp/speakers which has the same effect but without the hit to overall weight.

2. Skip the rear speakers. They are used to draw the soundstage back (which isn't necessary in an Insight) or for backseat passengers (which we don't have to worry about).

Questions:

1. How far have you made it in your side mirror modifications? I have been working on this for a while. I had the side mirror mount 3D scanned and used the point cloud to generate CAD data. My next step is to work out the specifics of the electronics so I could integrate the camera into the side mount and have a prototype made.

2. Why do you have your windshield so dark?!?! Can I see a picture of that tint job?
I hear ya on the sound deadening subject.
I will not add rear speakers. I prefer my front stage in all my vehicles to be superb and not be hindered by the rear speakers.

Answers to:
1) Not far. But I will NOT mount my cameras on the sides of the vehicle. They will be installed on the upper most part of the body panel residing above and behind the rear wheel. The cameras I've opted for are a fish eye type and give a 170degree field of view. *note, I don't have to see FAR with my side mirrors (in this case cameras) I just need to not have a blind spot.
Many people don't know how to PROPERLY adjust their side mirrors for zero blindspot but here is a great diagram to aid those not in the know: http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17p3dv6yjezzxjpg/original.jpg

Fig 1 and 4 are the correct way in the above link.

But I will be filling in the holes left by my side mirror at the body shop then painting that area gloss black to match the window tint.

2) It is dark like that for security reasons. I am a Spanish guy (but look like a white guy) and I work in a bad part of town in the #1 city for crime in america (Little Rock, AR) I am the minority in the area of town my job is located in, thus, the locals do not take to kindly to us "crackas" in their neck of the woods. For more details see Crime in America 2015: Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities Under 200,000 | Law Street (TM) I'll get you a picture in the next hour.
 

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I was going to go with sound-deadening material, sub, and amp for my car as well but it bumped the audio upgrade to $2,000 which was too much to spend. With all this negativity about sound-deadening for our cars, I think I will delete the idea and just upgrade the radio and front speakers and leave it at that. That'll keep the cost down near $1,000 which is more friendly.
I look forward to seeing your pics.
 

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I recommend a high powered 4 channel amp. Bridge the two rear channels to the sub. I run an 8" woofer from JL audio in a very simple wooden box and it's more than enough bass for the Insight. And I really like bass. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I was going to go with sound-deadening material, sub, and amp for my car as well but it bumped the audio upgrade to $2,000 which was too much to spend. With all this negativity about sound-deadening for our cars, I think I will delete the idea and just upgrade the radio and front speakers and leave it at that. That'll keep the cost down near $1,000 which is more friendly.
I look forward to seeing your pics.
I still plan on dampening my interior Despite the 4mpg hit I'll probably see :/
I recommend a high powered 4 channel amp. Bridge the two rear channels to the sub. I run an 8" woofer from JL audio in a very simple wooden box and it's more than enough bass for the Insight. And I really like bass. :)
Thank you for the input.
i think this insight is going to be epic.... i can't wait to see the progress
Thanks Sokdo, it will for sure be unique :)

This past weekend I took off the front emblem without scratching the paint. I will later, today, take a heat gun and some goo gone to the remaining gunk/glue. (see attached)
 

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Please leave some identifiers...

For the firefighters in the event you are ever in an accident, so that they can safely disengage the battery, etc.
 

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-(aero)Aluminum underbelly *need to find who makes the best kit*
You might want to consider coroplast for everything behind the engine compartment. When I added my prototype (admittedly noobish) full belly pan I used coroplast for everything except the area under the cat, and found that it not only added a little aero benefit, but it actually deadened the road noise considerably while adding almost no weight. Not sure you'd get the same benefit with aluminum. I think the hollow black plastic oem panels at the rear must amplify road noise, because covering them seemed to really cut down on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
For the firefighters in the event you are ever in an accident, so that they can safely disengage the battery, etc.
I never thought of that.
Unfortunately for them, I have no badge or branding anywhere around the car.
You might want to consider coroplast for everything behind the engine compartment. When I added my prototype (admittedly noobish) full belly pan I used coroplast for everything except the area under the cat, and found that it not only added a little aero benefit, but it actually deadened the road noise considerably while adding almost no weight. Not sure you'd get the same benefit with aluminum. I think the hollow black plastic oem panels at the rear must amplify road noise, because covering them seemed to really cut down on it.
Not a bad idea.
 

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My wife had a job at LR AFB and had an apmnt in North Little Rock (way too close to the dodgy end of town) for a while, so I used to make that 5-hour drive from OKC once in a while to hang out with the Mrs. on weekends. We already miss Whole Hog bbq but the coal-rolling knuckle-dragging Razorback fans... not so much :D

As for rear speakers:

Friends don't let friends install rear-fill speakers

...that is unless you tune them for lower frequencies vs your fronts. If your front speakers play from 80Hz and up and you tune the rears for 80Hz and below then ok. Midrange and high frequencies aimed at the back of your seat aren't going to behave nicely. What you end up with are sounds that you hear directly and from several reflections, so some of those frequencies will get attenuated while others will get amplified. The more this happens, the less it sounds as the artist intended.... but not everyone is into that, so rock on with whatever peels your banana.


As for deadening materials:

You don't need to apply double layers of 100% coverage. Cut your adhesive deadener into 3" wide strips and apply strategically until you eliminate resonances. If you tap lightly on the outside of your door with a finger and it rings like a tin can, it could benefit from some deadening. Untreated, your doors and spare tire well are basically kettle drums and road noise is the drummer.

As you add material your car will gain weight and lose efficiency accordingly. If you take it easy and are strategic about it, it can be very effective with very little weight gain/negligible mpg penalty. Where it will take a bigger hit is when you add closed-cell foam and mass-loaded vinyl, but your doors will be much quieter if you render those treatments. I use Luxury Liner Pro from Second Skin in the doors. It's not cheap nor light weight but it's very effective.
 
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