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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All. Like a few of you, I desire more acceleration from my insight. Some ppl's solutions have been to turbo or swap their 3cyl for much larger 4 cyl engines- k20, k24, h22... Has anyone thought to swap an L15A or other L15 variant into their insights?

For example, the american fit has a 1.5L L15A Vtec-E engine. The fit and insight have a very similar front track width. I believe (trying to recollect) the insight and fit engine share the same bore and stroke. Taking out the IMA motor of the insight and visualizing in an extra cylinder, the engines would be almost an identical size (if not identical).

There are many other benefits to swapping to an L15 vs a much larger engine, but it seems to be it would be a fairly straight forward swap if one could acquire a non- DBW L15... say, like an L15 i-DSI or older 1.5 vtec from japan (w/ecu, harness, mounts, etc).

Has anyone attempted this, or thought about the possibilities?
 

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Somewhere in here (search on "fit", maybe) there is some discussion of this. I had predicted that the Insight and other small Honda drivetrains would have some interchangeablility, like motor mounts and some external dimensions, but somebody else measured and said no...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Dougie. I have been searching for info about this for a long time (9 months or so). After two days of reading on and off I have come across a couple mentions of fit to insight swaps since the last time I had been reading the forums here- which was a while ago.

Willie owns a fit and an insight and was able to provide some measurements.

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"Thanks for the challenge.........
...................................5S.............................Auto
................................Insight..........................Fit "S"
Engine Bay Width.......34 1/8".........................33 1/4"
(Frame rail to rail)
Engine/Trans L...........30"...............................32 1/2"
Engine W...................16"...............................16"
Engine H....................23"...............................25 1/8"

Track.........................56.5"............................57.3"

It looks like a "possible".
Note:There is a lot of room for a turbo behind the Fit engine.

Willie"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some things that would support the theory of of a direct swap:

If the transmissions had the same bolt pattern.

If the bolt pattern on the engine side of the Fit is the same as the engine side of the insight.

Half shaft length.

Control arm dimensions.

If anyone can find these measurements from the honda Fit, it would encourage me to take the $X,000 leap of faith to try this swap. Then we would know for sure what needs to be done ^_^

Thanks in advance to any contributors.

-Eric
 

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The Fit engine is not a very economical or powerful one for a 1.5 liter, so I think this engine would be a very poor choice for an engine swap, if you're looking to ditch the IMA system to do all this complicated work. I'd go with the Honda D15B-3 stage VTEC engine that was sold in the Japanese Domestic Market Civic hatchback, back in the late 90's model. That engine was rated at 130 PS/128 hp, but had fuel economy rating numbers in the upper 40's. The lighter, more aerodynamic Insight could reasonably attain 50 mpg. With a lb./hp ratio of ~ 14, the Insight would be very quick. I've heard that some US companies that import Japanese Market engines do have access to this one. These importers typically bring in very low mileage engines, since the Japanese don't typically keep their cars a very long time like we do here in the U.S. As with any other engine swap you might dream up, you'll need custom-made mounts, axles, ECU wiring, and many other less complicated mods. It's a BIG job. I have a Honda B16A-powered '84 CRX 1.3 that was converted 10 years ago, so I know what kind of headaches can arise when you try to stuff an engine into an engine bay when it barely fits. Thus I'd stay away from swapping any DOHC K-series engine into the Insight. Besides, the SOHC engines are likely lighter and likely provide more ground clearance to the oil pan.
 

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I took some pretty in-depth measurements of the Insight engine bay and a honda b-series I had sitting around.

At first, I thought it was a definate no-go due to the bulge on the end of the b-series tranny being about 3" wider than the psudo-frame rail of the insight. However, due to the sharp arch up that it takes, at a point when the axels are aligned with the hub centers (from looking down only), it completely clears!

Custom axles would be required, which is quite cheap and simple to source. Also, the upper block mount on the driver side would need to be a solid plate type to keep space minimized, and AC/PS (foolish for this appliction anyways) belt mounting locations are blocked, yet alternator would tuck nicely into the raised frame rail hump area.

The engine would only be able to install from the bottom, which is fine. Steering linkages and manifold clearence looks like it would be fine, perhaps needing a half width radiator depending on the header design.


However, I must agree with Mitch, a 3stage d15b would be a much better suited engine, and far easier to fit. Combined with the removal of the silly hybrid associated parts the car would be lighter with over double the power. The D15b has excellent BSFC, I don't believe economy would be effected much, or possibily improved.

Kudos Mitch on getting a B16 to replace your EW series in your CRX. I've done the same swap for myself years ago, and I think it took at least 2-3 full weekends to finish! In a different 85 CRX, I replaced the nasty EW4 civic Si head with a d16a6 cylinder head on the EW4 block, which required making a custom cam belt tension system, 2 custom head studs with dog-legs in them, and milling a few extra passages here and there as needed. Amazingly, the stock block handles ~10psi of boost in a daily driven application, with the only failure being 1 loss of head gasket flamering seal from being run out of coolant due to a cracked water line. The better flowing head swap made a world of difference in performance on that little EW4. As far as I know, it's still being daily driven to the guy I sold that car to years ago.

Putting a B or D series honda engine into an Insight would be an easier project than sticking a full S2000 drivetrain into a 1969 Datsun 510 :D (my current fair weather car of choice). :D :D :D :D
Anyone who wants to stop by is welcome to feel what 250+bhp in a car the weight of an Insight feels like. :D

http://www.ejlin.com/albums/album16/xDSCF1495.sized.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My Vision:

I have been thinking about Mitch's suggestion for a long time trying to find the words to describe logically/reasonably why I want to use an L series engine for the transplant vs any other viable candidate. Well, I'm still at a loss for words, so I'm gonna just start spewing reasons out there in no particular random order.

Ease of transplant:
The insight and the honda fit/jazz were conceived the same year. The engine mounts on the engine side of the fit looked similar to the engine side of the insight (from the couple short glimpses I was able to get). The engines are nearly the same dimension and I believe the swap has the possibility to be a direct one. The difference could be made up by combining the two types of engine mounts.

What I want to do with my insight:
I choose the L series because I want my insight to be a well balanced mild race car. Not a drag car, but a car with improved transient handling and response. This car will be driven on the street, not the track. It must maintain it's function as a car with minimal comfort ie air conditioning. The L series is lighter and smaller than the D series. I also believe the engine is capable of being as much of a solid performer as the d series. I have a 92 civic si hatchback with a d16z6 with 241k miles. A car I have driven to the red line from every stop light and intersection for the last 8 years. Weighing more and being larger, the fit can match my civic's acceleration with an engine with less horsepower and more torque. This same engine does not weigh much more than the stock insight engine. Handling in the front of the car will be preserved. Once the IMA is taken out, a ballast of audio equipment will be added to the rear along with a battery conversion and any other items I can move to a low place in the car just in front of the rear wheels. The B series is right out for weight. It's too heavy. I am not sure why, but I would prefer an engine with coil packs vs a distributor system (just a gut feeling). Handling is very important to me. Right now, I run 175/60/r13 kumho ecsta v700s on honda civic vx rims. The car feels like a jet at any speed under 100mph. The phrase "on it's toes" completely fits the handling aspects of the car- extremely responsive and agile. It's stable and takes corners at speeds I did not think were even possible. Simply amazing. Next step is to make power to pull out of a corner.

Scalability:
The L series is new to the market in america and already has a good amount of parts and support for it. I/H/E- already have many companies to choose from... even LSD and boosting kits. If I find I want more power- the opportunities are there in spades. What I'd really like is Luke's cam expertise into my L15A swap instead of my stock insight engine. I'm not sure the cam specs would be the same between the two engines because of the slightly different bore and stroke, but I bet you'd find that honda used too much lift duration in the L15 engine much in the same way they did with the insight to reduce pumping losses and give the engine a smaller apparent displacement. I'd also like to know if they used carbonized rods and forged pistons like they did in the insight. ~fleeting thoughts~

All this is irrelevant until I know how much work it would be to put the L15A into my little insight. I would like pictures of the fit engine/engine bay or ideally someone from MI with a fit I could go spend half a day looking at. Then I will know what parts I might need and how much work it will be. It is also a requirement of my wife that I test drive a fit to see if the L15A engine is satisfactory for my application. Never know, it could be as jerky as my insight.

I appreciate your advice. Perhaps you folks are more right than I am, but I wanted to voice where I am coming from. Thanks.

P.S.- a little info about my red racer: afro engineered short ram intake, switch to enable/disable assist mounted on shifter, a very small stereo mostly audio control components, michelin x-ice winter tires on stock rims- kumho ecsta v700s on 13" civic vx rims, larger 12v battery, after market cruise control, spare tire and other non essential items removed from vehicle. All fluids and maintenance have been checked changed and adjusted by me except brake fluid and brake pads/shoes- pads maybe in the next few days.
 

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Whew, 7 year old zombie thread rises from the ashes.
 
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I've ran 8.90s in my eg hatch. I bought an Insight for fuel economy. Lol. Yeah right! It had the best base for 1/2 mile race and drag racing.
Any details? I always loved the B series motor.
 

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New to forum and Insight, old school to Honda swaps. I was looking at a Kswap pretty hard but really only want a quick car, not a blinding fast one. I just purchased 2008 Honda Fit Sport complete swap. I have gone past the point of no return and will be doing this swap.... I've searched high and low and didn't see of anyone that has done this swap (which is a good reason to do it).
 

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Nice!

One thing I haven't seen on any K-swaps, or B-swaps, or more this L-swap, is why not make the stock battery box into a big sub box?

Just line the box with mdf and drill the deck aluminum into a grill, or court it out and replace with some kind of grill material.
Heck, you could mount an amp in there direct to the aluminum as a heatsink.

Then just lay the carpet right over top. Looks totally stock.
 

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One of the things I noticed about the stock Insight was the wasted space in the rear, this is amplified when you remove the IMA package. I figured I could build a 5 cu ft with spare and keep the stock interior but loose the rear carg box. Not sure I want THAT much weight though.
 

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Bongo, cool build thread over there. I kind of skimmed it, but was too lazy to pinpoint what problems you ran into with this swap. Would you be willing to consider summarizing a bit here? What are the main problems swapping the Fit engine into the Insight? I kind of like the idea, plus I recently bought a first gen Fit, though I'd probably never try to do a swap whether it worked or not...
 

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The biggest issue is the intake manifold is way too high. The motor itself fits like a glove, trans mount actually lined right up and main pully bolt lined up to the service hole. When I started I planned on it being very stock like but now it’s turbocharged and the intake manifold runners are very short. You could solve this issue a few ways but it’s either custom intake manifold or a huge bulge in your hood. My final project is wiring and while not impossible it’s definitely harder than a K20 swap, K20 also fits under hood better and in the end is slightly cheaper, given all the gearing options I would argue you can get the same mpg with a k20 vs Fit motor. I really wanted to go automatic and found the right donor. With the new generation L series out part of me feels like I jumped the gun but what I DO like about the Fit is you can get engines and trans all day long for peanuts.
 
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