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Discussion Starter #1
So while sitting in my garage, having a beer like a totally normal person, I was thinking.

Has anyone actually spent the time and effort to drop in a G1 HCH setup into a G1 Insight?

It seems like it would be a great middle-ground between a K swap for that elusive extreme fun bag approach, but yet, still retain some manner of civility and practicality.

We all know the HCH G1 is a very similar system outside of the extra cylinder.
We all know the HCH trans is a 95% direct swap, minus a few easily fixable glitches.
We all know a K20/K24 fits like a glove.
We all know no matter what, 100+ hp requires realistic suspension and brake upgrades

Would a HCH G1 setup be a worth while candidate for adding some fun without killing a large portion of Mpg?

I feel like the HCH performance jump would feel very similar to how the Insight feels in stock form going from gas only to full electric assist.

Civic knuckles and struts would still be required, but I feel like a parts car HCH-G1 would still provide a nearly 100% drop in approach, wiring included


This would most likely need investigation on how to approach the battery pack. If the Insight pack is electrically similar or the same, than we dont need to worry about slapping the civic case in its place.


Again, just leaking some thoughts out into the wild.
 

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The basic power electronics is similar..
Nothing that can't be hacked or sorted.

Give it a go.

It has been discussed before IIRC have a dig about.
 

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I considered it myself some years ago when I had a rusty HCH and my Insight both sitting together in my driveway but I never got around to measuring if it would actually fit. It's worth noting the 1.5L Honda Fit L15A engine will not fit in the Insight's bay. The K series only do by a stroke of luck - they're essentially the exact shape of the stock engine, only scaled up. The Civic front end is around an inch and a half wider, the engine is essentially an extra cylinder wider, and it might be even wider than a K series due to the added width of the IMA motor, so there's the very real possibility it won't fit between the Insight frame rails without some trimming.

Then there's weight - chances are good it's heavier than a K series. Which isn't a problem in and of itself.

What I'd be most concerned about is getting the IMA system "happy". There are a lot of supporting electronics which might or might not need to be moved over. The HCH uses (if I recall correctly) digital multiplexing whereas the Insight uses almost entirely analog signals. I could see this as presenting a challenge. One would definitely need the entire wiring package, but it might also be necessary to migrate (or spoof) things like the ABS system.

To top it off, with careful OEM part selection, 60mpg highway is not just possible, but actually realistic with a K20 swap. Custom one-off parts might push that nearer 70 - I can get 60mpg out of my 2.4L TSX motor, and it's probably the least efficient K.

Nonetheless, I still find a hybrid to hybrid swap intriguing, and the HCH may be the easiest. I have reason to believe the Insight axles plug right into the transmission. There are already high voltage cables running to the rear and space for the battery, and the climate control would likely even work as intended with that engine. The golden combination might actually be a lithium + HCH swap - the HCH electric motor is larger and can sustain higher levels of assist for longer, and the VTEC system allows for partial cylinder deactivation, which might be highjacked for a really cool PHEV.
 

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Pioneer the way. It probably fits and in theory you would just need to make an engine side mount being we know the trans bolts up to the stock Insight mounts. Making the ECU happy about pack differences (assuming there are different battery packs between Insight and HCH1) might be interesting, but I'm sure it can be done. Or better yet, you'd do an LTO swap at the same time.

Correction to Ecky's post above.... the L15a engines DO fit in the Insight bay, better than a K series. It's been done. You would have to build a new intake manifold or IIRC from when I wanted to go this route, there's a Golden Eagle manifold that is more regular style and would likely fit.


 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think I am going to start pouring over some wiring resources.

This might be an awesome swap for a G1 CVT.

I recently got a chance to drive a G1 CVT with a halfway decent battery in it, and truth be told, was not impressed (but again, battery pack was tired). This very same car is potentially up for sale in the future with me on the list, being based purely on how the current owner decides he feels about the newest iteration of the Insight cars. I recommended waiting for the current gen to be a few years old and some high mileage examples show themselves.

THAT is sort of the hinge point. Or the fact the CVT I drove has over 400k miles, is on its 2nd CVT, and since lots of life was done on backroads, suspension needs a TOTAL refresh. AKA, in car enthusiast talk, "wide open drawing board".

My blue 01 manual is still eventually going K24, so have no fear, another foolish driver will appear (eventually)
 
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Idea:
G2 HCH engine. The IMA motor in the HCH 2 is rated for more horsepower than the Insight IMA, while the IMA motor in the HCH 1 is the same rating.
I think that will be electronically much more difficult. (No idea on the physical engine fit)

The electronics for the HCH2 hasn't been reverse engineered and is CAN based.

The ECM for the HCH2 will be expecting loads of CAN comms with the IMA and other stuff so you will have to transplant a lot of the car electronics to get any IMA functionality.

The HCH1 IMA Motor uses the same basic motor layout and commutation sensors as the G1 Insight, so can be driven with the Insight electronics with some mods to cobble the HCH1 comms into the G1 system.

We do at least have some understanding of the HCH1 IMA comms.
 

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Worth noting, CVT versions of the Insight have different mounts than manuals. You cannot (easily) put a manual transmission into a CVT car.

As for the HCH transmission bolting up to the Insight mount, while that's true, the transmission will likely need to be moved laterally to fit the much wider engine. I'd put money on the HCH engine not clearing the passenger frame rail with the transmission in its stock location.

All details of course, one can fit any engine in any car with enough determination.

 
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