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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!
My name is Matt, and I recently purchased a 2001 blue MT w/AC.

I work as a heavy equipment mechanic taking care of all sorts of military equipment. big trucks, forklifts, even as big as Kalmar 50k and old DV43 988G buff's

Onto the car:

Previous owner already had a grid charger installed, as the battery pack is indeed very very tired. Does okay all day of normal driving, but the first big hill diminishes the pack, and must be driven carefully to bring it back up.

Did several things as repair, maintenance, and temporary replacement in order to bring it closer to my standards.

In the first week of ownership, a lot changed.
-fresh oil change with filter
-New windshield (cracked)
-created new grounding wires underhood
-cleaned K&N filter
-built new battery NEG setup
-ran a large can of seafoam through the gas tank til it was near fumes, refilled with zero eth 91 octane.
-biggest resulting change was seafoam aerosol cleaner through the throttlebody. FOLLOW CAN INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER!
Old set of civic SI rims with 195/55/15 Cooper CS3 tires. Oversized, but work very well until I replace the terrible condition tires on stock Insight rims.

With battery pack floating between "Im useful" to "screw off, Im sleeping" I seem to be averaging around 50mpg, mostly interstate.

Doing the EGR service soon, valve lash is next once I acquire a full gasket kit, might also pop the head off and do valve sealing work, engine feels a bit "off" at low rpm.

12v battery is near dead, I have 2 sets of headway cells (2P4S) to replace it. BMS may be purchased in future if cells decide to fall out of balance.


Suspension is completely and utterly cooked. Previous owner is from Iowa, and roads were not nice. Not his fault at all.

All and all, I think that while the car appears to have had caring owners, it lacked daily and monthly upkeep. Very common when you have a reliable car that doesnt grab your attention every time you look at it!

Planning on using the grid charger to my advantage, and looking into doing a full suspension setup in the future.

If the IMA setup fails to be refreshed to a usable level with the grid charger, I have a full K24 accord setup ready and waiting, if it doesnt go into my civic first. This insight would be a blast to have a stock reliable K24 setup, mixed with a lean burn mode using my spare AEM 60-3060 box.


Feel free to chip in with any "mods" as you see fit. First real mod I want to try is getting the 12v system under control and healthier. In the near future, my 400watt sony head unit (does 40-45rms per channel) will be installed along with the JBL Stage GX602s all around.

Thanks guys and gals

-Matt
 

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Welcome aboard. This is a heloful community of Insight owners and there is a wealth of Insight knowledge that is not in the books. You sound like you do not have think about which way tightens a screw sao maybe we'll be asking you for help. Either way it is good to have you here.
 

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Hi Mat,
I have a blue MT and a silver CVT. Some things I experienced, one, your intake manifold egr plate is probably very filthy, clean it ASAP! Car will run a thousand times smoother and gain you around 10mpgs depending upon how bad it is. There is a YouTube video on that. Be very careful when you do this not to bump the knock sensor or it will break. In fact, people have mentioned reinforcing that with some good glue, there is a thread here about that I believe, air pressure and under belly pans also make a very noticeable difference in mpgs. If you are missing pieces contact Scott for a one piece belly pan. Get the right tires, the talk about vredsteins being very good rollers compared to the now discontinued RE92s are a good start. Everyone here, that I have met, are really helpful, take a good look at your brake lines under, my blue we’re rotted. If they need replacing....if... try to make sure they don’t. I still haven’t put blue on the road a year later, with new not rolled in RE92s and brake lines waiting to go in. I’m going to need to replace the bolts under the evap canister as they are so rusted and of course the rear subframe lca bushings are shot. Waiting till it gets warmer to pull it all off, bead and either paint or powder and replace those bushings with the method mentioned in one of the forums. You can get springs and shocks from Scott as well. There are substitutions for the suspension bushings in front. Will take a little work but you will fall In love with this little rocket pod. Lol welcome.
 

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Hi Mat,
I have a blue MT and a silver CVT. Some things I experienced, one, your intake manifold egr plate is probably very filthy, clean it ASAP! Car will run a thousand times smoother and gain you around 10mpgs depending upon how bad it is. There is a YouTube video on that. Be very careful when you do this not to bump the knock sensor or it will break. In fact, people have mentioned reinforcing that with some good glue, there is a thread here about that I believe, air pressure and under belly pans also make a very noticeable difference in mpgs. If you are missing pieces contact Scott for a one piece belly pan. Get the right tires, the talk about vredsteins being very good rollers compared to the now discontinued RE92s are a good start. Everyone here, that I have met, are really helpful, take a good look at your brake lines under, my blue we’re rotted. If they need replacing....if... try to make sure they don’t. I still haven’t put blue on the road a year later, with new not rolled in RE92s and brake lines waiting to go in. I’m going to need to replace the bolts under the evap canister as they are so rusted and of course the rear subframe lca bushings are shot. Waiting till it gets warmer to pull it all off, bead and either paint or powder and replace those bushings with the method mentioned in one of the forums. You can get springs and shocks from Scott as well. There are substitutions for the suspension bushings in front. Will take a little work but you will fall In love with this little rocket pod. Lol welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I pushed my motors and transmissions back to the rear of my garage, and fit the Insight inside with only a few inches to spare. She has been sitting on the grid charger since around 6-7pm yesterday, and we shall see what results of it. I plan on letting the car sit for an hour or 2 after grid charging though, so I can see it settle.

Al;so, my final parts for the headway 8 cell battery pack should arrive today, so the tired and dogged 12v lead battery in it right now will be stuck on a trickle charger to zap it back to life. add a little distilled water to keep cells full, I bet I can get that 12v battery healthy once again for future use. It is the correct size for my civic, and never hurts to have a spare battery!

I am currently looking on this site for info in regards to boosting the 12v charging voltage. LifePO4 batteries are static 13.2v and want at least 14.8v for a basic charge/trickle, and the most Ive seen out of this car is 14.2, usually settling around 13.7v Perhaps this is an indicator of DC-DC inverter acting up.
 

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Gird charging a toasted battery doesn't do much. You will ikely need to do a deep discharge.
 

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Hi, Matt. Welcome to the gang. I'm from La Crosse, Wisconsin, in case you ever want to compare notes. Finishing up a full 3x grid charge/discharge cycle today, documented elsewhere on InsightCentral...

I've been taking advantage of extended downtime right now to do a multi-cycle charge & deep discharge on my battery using the new grid charger and discharger. I'm live-logging the data to a Google spreadsheet...
Eric Powers (EVPowers.com) in Madison is a great resource.

Enjoy!

- Park
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You have most likely already seen me zipping around then. Was parts hunting all day saturday in between lacrosse and onalaska, working on a coworkers leaf shackle and spring bushing. Very surprising to find no one locally carries something as simple as a leaf spring bushing for a chevy truck. THey use the same darn bushing for decades at this point
 

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You have most likely already seen me zipping around then. Was parts hunting all day saturday in between lacrosse and onalaska, working on a coworkers leaf shackle and spring bushing.
I'll have mine out of the garage Tuesday and back to daily driving. I live by Central HS and work in Onalaska, although I'll probably be doing more work-at-home the next few weeks.

There are a bunch of Insights in La Crosse. I've seen several different ones around town - a Citrus, a red one, a couple of different silver ones (including one two blocks from my house!), and a lightly wrecked silver CVT car the owner wants to sell for parts.

PM for my phone and we can chat. Once the all-clear goes out, would love to visit and look over your car.

- Park
 

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my final parts for the headway 8 cell battery pack should arrive today....I am currently looking on this site for info in regards to boosting the 12v charging voltage. LifePO4 batteries are static 13.2v and want at least 14.8v for a basic charge/trickle, and the most Ive seen out of this car is 14.2, usually settling around 13.7v Perhaps this is an indicator of DC-DC inverter acting up.
Are you sure about that 14.8V figure? I don't have much experience with LiFe, but a chart I have lists 3.6V as the max charge voltage (so 14.4V for a 4 cell battery), 3.3V nominal (13.2V). The DCDC outputs 13.85V most of the time (a little more when engine is cold, maybe around 14.3V, and sometimes drops to 12.2V under certain conditions). I was thinking that 13.85V would actually, probably be pretty good with your LiFe battery. LiFe has a flat charge curve, so 13.85V would probably be high enough above the nominal to keep it charged around 50% or so...

In any event, here's a link to a thread I made about ways to adjust DCDC output voltage, you can have a potential range of 13.85V to 15.13V:

[edit] This looks like a good article discussing lithium iron phosphate cells and batteries, with a lot about charging: How to charge Lithium Iron Phosphate lithium ion battery packs including packs with high current and High Capacity.
It says 3.65V is the peak, but that the cells have good tolerance for over voltage/overcharge (can be charged up to 4.2V without much harm)... Unless you install a balancing board, I'd suggest keeping the max voltage low, like definitely under 14.6V, but most likely under 14.2V...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thank you for the link.
These headway cells are rated 3.2 nominal with a charging max of 3.7 (actually 3.65), but they are also rated for 150 amps of draw. So 14.6 volts should be my max, but I dont like being at the max.

I guess I assumed they would be a bit tougher than the normal batteries offered. I am still pretty green with lithium products even thouigh Ive been messing around the last few years with various types.


Perhaps I will shoot for 14.4 volts and call it a day. If cold is roughly 0.4 volts higher, that will keep the batteries healthy, as this engine doesnt take long to warm up. All the lightening and weight loss honda did, doubles as thermal mass loss, and faster warmup.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'll have mine out of the garage Tuesday and back to daily driving. I live by Central HS and work in Onalaska, although I'll probably be doing more work-at-home the next few weeks.

There are a bunch of Insights in La Crosse. I've seen several different ones around town - a Citrus, a red one, a couple of different silver ones (including one two blocks from my house!), and a lightly wrecked silver CVT car the owner wants to sell for parts.

PM for my phone and we can chat. Once the all-clear goes out, would love to visit and look over your car.

- Park
One of the silver ones is Mike, an older german gentleman who runs the Neighborhood Wrench, on the northside. Talked to him a few times during my time as a Fedex delivery driver. If you ever get a BMW or Mercedes, he is the chap to talk to.
 

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engine feels a bit "off" at low rpm.
That's normal as far as I know. Possibly the most frustrating thing about these cars. I climb steep hills in 2nd gear at 3500 RPM, while losing speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Mine with an IMA light on (no battery activity) was able to climb a steep hill from turning onto it. I shifted into 2nd gear after running 1st to redline, and was able to slowly but surely make my way to around 5k rpms in 2nd.

Perhaps some intank cleaner is needed for you. I tend to buy those large versions of the seafoam cans, and dump the WHOLE can inside a full tank. Then proceed to run the tank down near fumes. Every car Ive done this to has seen a great reaction.

At least here in Wisconsin, Kwiktrip 87 gas is 10-15% ethanol, and generally full of debris and water. It is not unheard of to clog a fuel filter after running cleaner through a wisconsin car lol, after all the buildup of years of crappy gas deposits have decided to finally wash around.
 

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These headway cells are rated 3.2 nominal with a charging max of 3.7 (actually 3.65), but they are also rated for 150 amps of draw. So 14.6 volts should be my max, but I dont like being at the max. I guess I assumed they would be a bit tougher than the normal batteries offered....
I'm sure they are "tougher" than most cells, but the current rating doesn't have anything to do with the max voltage.

Perhaps I will shoot for 14.4 volts and call it a day. If cold is roughly 0.4 volts higher, that will keep the batteries healthy, as this engine doesnt take long to warm up.
The main concern in terms of what's good for the cells/battery is that, without a BMS, you need a decent sized buffer at the top and bottom - to keep a single cell from overcharging (or over discharging). Voltage starts to shoot up fast when approaching full, so it'd be easy to end up with one cell at say 95% and another at 100% and have the voltage of the 100% cell go way beyond the max. I'd set the DCDC output voltage to allow at least a 10% buffer at the top: since 14.4V is the normal full voltage, a 10% buffer would require a voltage lower than 14.4...

If you do the mod I describe at the other link there will be only one set voltage, no difference for cold - and that's generally what you'd want. You don't want to overcharge these cells, there's no benefit, only potential harm. Personally, I think I'd try the stock system as-is before I did the mod. Install the battery, use it for a couple weeks, then remove it and discharge to see how much capacity the stock system is keeping it charged to. The way the DCDC works vis-a-vis one's particular driving habits, it's not all cut and dried... Alternatively, charge the battery on the bench with the typical CC-CV routine, to some of the upper voltages, such as 13.85, 14.1, and 14.4 and that should approximate the max charge capacity you'll see in the car...

If you want to talk more about this stuff, copy and paste this post into that thread I linked to. Probably better not to have this one digress into a battery-fest. There's quite a few things to consider when installing an alternative chemistry battery into the Insight...
 

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Mine with an IMA light on (no battery activity) was able to climb a steep hill from turning onto it. I shifted into 2nd gear after running 1st to redline, and was able to slowly but surely make my way to around 5k rpms in 2nd.
Yeah, I can do that too if I redline in 1st.
 

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Subscribed! I have both a conventional Insight and a K24 swap in my driveway, and love them both.

Probably goes without saying but have you checked your spark plugs? These cars are supposed to have special indexed plugs, matching the stamps on the block next to the plug holes.

If your IMA battery goes you have other options than a K24. There's a Mean Well power supply that can replace the stock DC-DC and fit in one of the spare wheel wells, effectively doubling the depth of the cargo area in the back, and an Arduino mod which will shut off any CEL related to missing or malfunctioning IMA components. It's not a lot of fun to drive without assist but still quite economical.

Getting the stock rims back on with some lightweight tires helps a ton with drivability in these cars.

If you decide to go with the K swap, I highly recommend taller gearing. There's a 4.0 FD in a Euro Accord and some aftermarket options for 3.65 and 3.4. With a 3.4, the 6th from a 2012 Si (tallest available), and taller tires, I'm still turning around 20% load on the highway with my K24.

EDIT: If you find you really love the car, get some new bushings for the rear axle and replace the control arms, it'll do wonders for how it tracks.
 
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