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2001 Insight 5-spd
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

I'm looking to purchase my 1st gen Honda insight! I live in Spokane WA, but I'm willing to travel pretty far to get one.

Budget:

$3,000 if it needs a new battery
$4,000 if it has a good battery

1) Must be a 5-speed
2) If I have to spend money to travel far I might have to pay a bit less than the budget
3) The budget is for a car in pretty good condition. I don't care too much for cosmetic stuff, but if I have to fix anything major I'll have to deduct the cost of replacement parts from budget.

Look forward to hearing back from you guys. Please email me at [email protected] or call/text me at (509) 850-0794‬

Thanks,

-Dave
 

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2001 Insight 5-spd
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi Everyone,

Just got back from Reno, NV with a 2001 Honda Insight from Auto Bike Sales. Dead IMA battery, and had to do an IMA bypass before I drove back, but totally worth it!

Planning to drive to Bumblebee Batteries in Portland and have them put in a reconditioned IMA battery soon!

-Dave
 

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Congratulations and welcome to a pretty unique car club :)

You already got a head start if you know how to do a bypass.
 

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693 Posts
Hi Everyone,

Just got back from Reno, NV with a 2001 Honda Insight from Auto Bike Sales. Dead IMA battery, and had to do an IMA bypass before I drove back, but totally worth it!

Planning to drive to Bumblebee Batteries in Portland and have them put in a reconditioned IMA battery soon!

-Dave
Congrats! Did you hit your price goals, how does it look/run, and what's the mileage?
 

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2001 Insight 5-spd
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks!

The good:

The price was extremely good at $2,250. Dealer bought it at auction for $1,200.

The car only had 1 owner. Has a totally clean record, and was used as a trade-in.

Car has barely over 160,000 miles.

Transmission shifts well on upshift / downshift into all gears. (No evidence of synchro damage)

Engine seems to run good (If a little noisy)

Has current oil-change sticker indicating previous owner used full-synthetic 0w-20

Vehicle gets 51 mpg average, and got 46mpg on the drive to Spokane with me lead-footing it with no IMA

Suspension and handling is really good

No evidence of rust.

No evidence of body damage / collision.


The bad:

IMA battery has overheating cell(s), and isn't in good enough shape to run dc-dc converter.

Vehicle is blue and has severe sun damage. Clear-coat completely gone over most metal surfaces. Paint completely gone on some plastic surfaces. Steering wheel pretty badly degraded.

Dashboard has 2 pretty big LCD "Blobs", but can still see everything except part of IMA charge indicator.

1 Internal Speaker does not work

Passenger side automatic door lock does not work

Passenger side door handle (interior) broken in half

Bad 12V battery (Barely started engine once I disabled IMA system) (Replaced before drive home)

Manual Transmission has a slight rattle when input shaft is engaged.


Probably good, but possibly bad:

Shiny new (looks like a Bosch) upstream O2 sensor.


My Plan:

Replace LCD panel-part of instrument cluster. Make sure I keep the part that holds my mileage.

Do a valve lash adjustment. Also replace the cam-cover gasket since it's leaking a tiny bit

Replace vehicle fluids: Brake, Clutch (if you can), Transmission, Coolant, oil. (Recommendations?)

Go to Portland and have Bumblebee Batteries replace the IMA batt. Will probably do a bee-line, but maybe you guys can convince me to do bee-max

Replace the spark plugs. (Need to order from Honda, match the letter stamped on the engine, and use a torque wrench, right?)

Replace the 2 bad front tires.

Do something about the blind-spot on left side (fisheye mirror?)

I don't have a garage, so maybe get a car-cover.

It gets cold here, so get 4 extra rims (possibly OE?) and put snow tires on them. (Eventually)

Get it repainted (Eventually)


My first impressions:


Car is very nimble and has good handing. Has really good braking/stopping ability.

Without IMA acceleration is still pretty peppy at low speeds, but dogs hard above about 45MPH and up hills. (Was too uncomfortable running RPM's over 4,000 because it disabled the DC-DC converter for about 30 secs a few times)

Has huge blind spot on left side, haven't figured out how to reliably "see" a car in spot without moving head around.

Vehicle gets exceptional gas milage if I drive it hard, and milage that's almost beyond belief if I baby it.


The verdict:

Overall the price is right, the engine and transmission seem solid and the miles are low. I don't drive a whole lot, so I'm sure this car is going to last me for at least the next 10 years.

Feedback Request:

Anything I should look about for? Any suggestions I haven't thought about?

Thanks!
 

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That is awesome, happy for you. I've bought both the cheaper ($1090 on sale, 6.1Ah) and more expensive ($2095 on sale, 8.0Ah) Bumblebee batteries. They perform very similarly, if you had a cream puff you might justify the 8.0 but since your paint is bad and you have other issues I suggest the 6.1 will be fine. I negotiated a 3 year warranty with mine and the folks at BB were very good to work with. If you want to save money/time have it shipped and install yourself, it's very easy if you're on a budget, I've done 3 in the last few months, I can do them now in about 90 minutes start to finish and I'm just your average joe.

Good luck!
 

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2001 Insight 5-spd
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I called Bumblebee last week and they said the R&D department is designing a lithium battery for the Insight. My plan is to get the bee-line and hope a lithium pack does come out by the time I need another replacement.

Also, Bumblebee recommended using a grid-charger to re-balance the cells at least every 6 months. So I plan to do that.

The Bumblebee ppl will install it for free, and Portland isn't far away. Also I don't have to pay the shipping fee if I drive to Portland. My Wife loves fish. So we plan to go to The Wet Spot while in Portland. Maybe bring home a wild Betta.
 

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Congratulations, it looks like you are saving a decent example of an increasing rare car.

You can use this list:


to go through the car and focus on what needs to be fixed. I have a Citrus at about the same mileage, well maintained, and it is a solid and reliabe car. They last a long time so it is barely broken in;)
 

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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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836 Posts
On the lasting a long time point, I just turned mine over 303k miles on a recent highway trip. Purchased with 295 K miles.
 

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Pretty nice car. Something to work with.

On the paint, I've often wondered if respraying the clear coat would improve the cosmetics. I did a bit of clear coat respraying on B pillar garnishes. It did considerably improve appearance. Just as a suggestion, you could sand off the rest of the clear coat on the hood and respray. Use a two part aerosol can from a paint supplier. The two part cans do work well.:)

I wonder if those seat covers are over nice condition seats?
 

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2003 Honda Insight CVT, 2001 Honda Insight MT, 2000 Honda Insight MT
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114 Posts
Sorry to jump in the post (you mentioned this in your post), but you sparked a question where is the vehicles mileage held in the Instrument cluster or the ECM? I realize the odometer is displayed in the instrument cluster, but curious as to where the mileage is stored. Thanks.
 

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2001 Insight 5-spd
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just completed Valve lash adjustment. The exhaust was .008" and the intake was .007". Lossened to .009" and .008". Also replaced valve cover gasket. Hopefully the oil leak is gone now!
 

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2001 Insight 5-spd
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just replaced spark plugs! Spark plugs installed were all "A" type. My head is stamped with all "B"'s. Also 2 of the spark-plugs were backing out and had lots of soot past the threads. I torqued the new "B" plugs down to 204 in/lbs. But then over-torqued them by about 1/8 of a turn since I really don't want them backing out again. Car seems to run much smoother now.

Also had 2 cracks in windshield filled.
 
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