Honda Insight Forum banner

21 - 38 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Hurrah for wrecking yards! Picked up a complete battery for $27.99. This should hold me over until I find recycled LiFePo cells.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2006 Honda Insight MT
Joined
·
618 Posts
$27.99??? Does it work at all?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
If I'm lucky it might work! Worst case scenario it's a complete core. The insight it came out of was wrecked, so I do have high hopes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
Hurrah for wrecking yards! Picked up a complete battery for $27.99. This should hold me over until I find recycled LiFePo cells.
Wow, that's a complete steal. I didn't know they sold Insight packs in that form - with all the aluminum, and it looks like you got the MDM side too??

In any event, personally I wouldn't dig-in to this pack right away, thinking mixing and matching sticks from this one and your other one would solve problems, make things easier, etc. I think you'd be better off trying the basic stuff on the other pack first and see if it comes-to, before taking anything apart, identifying weak sticks, etc. That's all very time consuming, difficult to do right, and typically doesn't lead to higher chances of success. Basically, unless you identify a real dud stick - like with corrosion or cells at zero volts - I think your chances of ending up with a good, working pack are better if you stick with sticks from the same pack.

edit: Oh yeah, I forgot that you have a Dorman pack. As far as I know you're not able to mix and match OEM sticks with aftermarket sticks anyway. I think I'd scrap the Dorman and work with the OEM junkyard pack.

Take some voltage readings and report back if you have the time - back probe the 'voltage taps' at BCM connector C, for instance. That will give you the voltage for each pair of sticks as they're managed in the car... I'd guess that pack probably sat for a while and you'd see - or hope to see - all self discharged stick pairs, probably with voltages around 7.800V (the more even values the better)... Here's a link to a graphic that shows how to check tap voltages: https://www.insightcentral.net/foru...-insight-nimh-voltage-thread.html#post1006193 If the sticks are all self-discharged, you should be able to do a nice, long grid charge on the pack and end up with something that works...

If they aren't all self-discharged, personally, I'd do a tap-level ultra-deep discharge - here's a link that describes that process, same thread as above: https://www.insightcentral.net/foru...nsight-nimh-voltage-thread-2.html#post1421333

Here's a recent thread that provides quite a bit of background for grid charging, discharging, and this tap-level ultra-deep discharge: https://www.insightcentral.net/foru...on/122943-grid-charging-deep-discharging.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Eq1 - Most of the other packs were broken down, I probably just got lucky that someone didn't think to disassemble it further. The employee at the yard said that they sell packs fairly often at these prices, as nobody wants the old NiMH ones, just the newer Lithium packs.

I wont be disassembling either pack unless both are not salvageable. I'm much more familiar with LiPo batteries than NiMH and I dont want to dig too far into it or spend weeks testing individual cells if I dont have to.

Is there a specific reason you know of that sticks cant be mixed? With Lithium packs if the iR and capacity are matched it doesn't matter if you're using two different brands, or their charge/discharge ratings are different as long as you charge/discharge at the lower rating.

Thanks for all the reference info! I'll post voltages before I do anything with the junkyard pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
Is there a specific reason you know of that [aftermarket and OEM] sticks cant be mixed? With Lithium packs if the iR and capacity are matched it doesn't matter if you're using two different brands, or their charge/discharge ratings are different as long as you charge/discharge at the lower rating.
Well sure, if you match them along those dimensions and control the usage you could mix them, but we don't really have that control-ability in the car, and we don't want to measure all those things... Specific reason - not really. Eli at Bumblebee Batteries used to say you couldn't mix them. In general, the voltage profile/behavior is supposed to be slightly different than OEM, the amp-hour capacity is probably a little different, possibly a lot different if they now make bona fide 8000mAh cells. The power handling capability is different... All these things add up to a mismatch that will eventually cause balance-related trouble codes, I think... There's probably a lithium vs. NiMH difference, in terms of mixing, in part due to the lithium cells being easier to determine state of charge, having a linear charge/discharge curve vs. the nearly flat NiMH curve...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
Can you post a video of lets say climing a hill with full assist with the bumblebee battery? I have never had a good battery or driven a car with a good battery. I would like to compare it to mine. Start with the battery fully charged.

Sorry wrong string please delete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
Had a chance to play with the car a bit more today and the snow was melted enough to go on a test drive. At this point the car had been unplugged from the grid charger for about 4 days.

The battery SOC seemed to be bouncing all over the place, discharging slowly with no bars of assist being indicated, and charging slowly as well. On using assist, I noticed the SOC dropped from nearly full to nearly empty in ~45-50 seconds.

16 miles into the test drive, I got the IMA and CEL light again. Shorted the pins and it's code 78 - Battery module deterioration.

Got home and checked the tap voltages of my original pack, and the wrecking yard pack that has been sitting for an unknown amount of time. Here are the results:

Original - AB:16.94 CD:16.94 EF:16.84 GH:16.89 IJ:16.79 KL:16.75 MN:16.70 OP:16.86 QR:16.47 ST:16.82

Wrecking yard pack: AB:15.11 CD:13.69 EF:15.00 GH:15.16 IJ:15.01 KL:15.01 MN:15.02 OP:14.81 QR:14.92 ST:14.98

Thoughts on these numbers? Should the CD voltage on the wrecking yard pack concern me? Seeing these numbers and the code 78 on my original pack would it be more worthwhile to swap in the other pack, or do a few charge/discharge cycles on my original before giving up on it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
If you have the charge/discharge gear run the whole seriesof charge and discharge cycles (3). Then test it. If the battery pack is reclaimable this should give you an honest indication.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
At this point the car had been unplugged from the grid charger for about 4 days.... checked tap voltages of my original pack, and the wrecking yard pack that has been sitting for an unknown amount of time. Here are the results:

Original - AB:16.94 CD:16.94 EF:16.84 GH:16.89 IJ:16.79 KL:16.75 MN:16.70 OP:16.86 QR:16.47 ST:16.82

Wrecking yard pack: AB:15.11 CD:13.69 EF:15.00 GH:15.16 IJ:15.01 KL:15.01 MN:15.02 OP:14.81 QR:14.92 ST:14.98

Thoughts on these numbers? Should the CD voltage on the wrecking yard pack concern me? Seeing these numbers and the code 78 on my original pack would it be more worthwhile to swap in the other pack, or do a few charge/discharge cycles on my original before giving up on it?
Sounds like you're saying the Dorman pack, the one in the car, was grid charged and sat for 4 days, and then you drove it, had some weird dash gauge stuff, got a P1449-78, etc. That right?

The tap voltages do look more unbalanced that I would expect from a newer pack, like 16.70V vs. the high 16.94V, a 0.24V difference. For comparison, I probably have a 0.1V spread, most of it in just a couple cells. But then, that lowest tap, at 16.47V, well, it's definitely an outlier. Not sure but it probably has a cell with some problem or another...

On your wrecking yard pack, the sticks aren't as self discharged as I would have thought, so they probably haven't been sitting all that long. CD and OP probably have some faster self-discharge cells. I would just do the tap-level ultra deep discharge thing and then charge it...

I would bag the Dorman pack, maybe work with it later and sell it. I just don't have a lot of confidence in the aftermarket packs, particularly the Dorman...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Yes that's correct on the Dorman pack. Grid charge, discharge to 105, grid charge again, sat for 4 days, then drove it and got the error.

Alright, that's what I'll do then! I have no idea if the wrecking yard pack is original or is another aftermarket replacement. It probably doesn't mean much but both have A01 computers. I'll have time to swap packs this evening and I'll update with how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
I have no idea if the wrecking yard pack is original or is another aftermarket replacement.
hmm, since you have the pack out it's not terribly difficult to open it up part way, pull a stick out and get the serial number - on a white sticker. You'd have to pull the electronics board off, disconnect stick PTC tabs, remove orange end boards from both sides of the pack, pull one of the sticks without a thermistor attached... I don't know, it is kind of cumbersome if you haven't done it before. Otherwise, you can pull the fan shroud off and look into the pack and see what color shrink wrap there is, or maybe you can do that from the end opposite the fan...

Orange is usually older OEM, yellow is OEM, not sure from what years. I don't think any of the aftermarket packs use these colors. I think aftermarket are usually dark green (Dorman), pale green (really old Betterbattery and maybe some others), white (old Bumblebee) or black (newer Bumblebee), blue - cheap stuff, like Yabo or King Kong... Something like this, it's not cut and dried, but typically about like this...

You can also do the tap ultra deep discharge with the pack out of the car, as it is now. You do 5 taps at a time and each set of 5 can take quite a while, like maybe a week... So you're looking at a couple weeks, still, without having a pack... I think that's what I'd do - just bring it into the house or garage, set up the taps and let it go. If your car is a daily driver you can just bypass the pack that's in it - turn the pack switch off and disconnect the connectors on the 'computer on the left'...

Really, there's lots of options. You can pull the Dorman out of the car, bypass the IMA, and putz around with some of those sticks with your hobby charger gear, just for fun, if you have the spare time in the intervening weeks, while you're discharging the other. I might do that, pull that low voltage stick and see what it does 'on the bench'. Sounds like you might have that kind of hobby charger/capacity since you mention knowing about lipos or whatever... Take a look at the cell voltages, for instance, by using a pin and voltmeter, just pierce the shrink wrap. Personally I'd set up the stick monitoring pairs of cells during a charge and discharge, for example...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
You sure have excellent timing. Just pulled it out and the wrecking yard pack has black cells and a Bumblebee battery warranty sticker. Discharged the original pack so things dont get further out of balance and I'm pulling it now to put the Bumblebee pack in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
It's starting to feel like I'm playing whack-a-mole with the problems on this car! Changed the oil, spark plugs (Old ones were cheapo ones I measured at 1.6mm gap!!), front brakes, installed an inverter in the back, and installed rear speakers and a nicer stereo. I'm considering making a modified center piece to mount a double DIN stereo and possibly the OBDIIC&C and a CB radio... The stock cupholders are almost completely useless.

Battery issues seem to be sorted well enough. With the new pack installed the IMA system is working great and I've driven the car nearly 500 miles. KL and QR are both consistently ~.09-.15v lower than the top taps, but I haven't tried a deep discharge yet.

Soon after fixing all that and pressing it into service as my daily driver, I started getting P0420 errors which I fixed with a spacer on the downstream O2 sensor. A couple days later, it was P1456 so i replaced the gas cap. A few days after that, P1491. Cleaned the EGR passageways and valve.

Finally she threw a P1164 yesterday, which I cleared and then it came back today. So it looks like I'm on the hook for a $200+ wideband o2 sensor, unless it's possible that my spacer on the downstream sensor or a potentially clogged/burnt cat caused the issue? Replacing the cat and o2 sensor is going to hurt!

Drove an hour south to see if the wideband o2 sensor was still on the wrecking yard Insight, and of course someone had already taken it! I'm kicking myself for not grabbing it the first time I was there.

I'm averaging 45-50mpg with all the CEL's. That seems a bit low to me, but with my other daily drivers being sports cars, I haven't yet figured out how to go gentle on the gas pedal...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
Battery issues seem to be sorted well enough. With the new pack installed the IMA system is working great and I've driven the car nearly 500 miles. KL and QR are both consistently ~.09-.15v lower than the top taps, but I haven't tried a deep discharge yet.
I don't think I'd do a deep discharge (more so ultra-deep discharge) on a Bumblebee pack, or any after market pack, at least, not one that tends to work. It's possible that whatever it is about deep discharge that works with OEM cells is a function of the ... chemistry, or maybe construction and design, specific to these Panasonic cells.

I have very little experience working with aftermarket cells. I bought one stick and messed with it, 'tested' it. I did deep discharge all the cells, and two of the cells ended up failing. It's possible they were duds, in some way, from the start, but I don't know for sure... They are now at zero volts - something I've never seen happen to any of my OEM cells... I don't know, it's possible Panasonic uses some element, you know, like cobalt or something, that props-up the bottom end electro-chemistry in some way - some 'secret ingredient' that's not a part of the aftermarket cell materials...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #37
For anyone interested in updates, the Bumblebee pack worked for 2 months. I purchased another Bumblebee 8Ah pack locally from someone who wrecked their Insight down in Olympia. It was "under warranty" so I thought I was safe. Within a few months I was noticing recal on hills, and several months later it had failed. A HUGE thank you to Eli and Bumblebee, I thought I was screwed but I called them and not only was the pack still under warranty, but they replaced it even though I didn't have the original owners contact info.

In the meantime I got into collecting those $27 Insight and HCH packs. I have about 10 of them now, and played with capacity and load testing them while the Bumblebee pack was out. Creating a balanced pack with the right equipment was easier than I expected. I used a iCharger X8 for testing and saved the resulting graphs to a MicroSD card. I tested for capacity at 10A, iR and self discharge, then built a custom load tester to discharge at 50A. Building a good pack took me almost a month but the pack worked great until I swapped it back out for the new Bumblebee pack. The sticks from my original Dorman battery were in green wraps, and actually vented and popped when they were charged!

I've picked up parts off of every local Insight I have seen at the wreckers and have a wonderfully reliable car now, with functional AC and everything. It has taken several road trips to California and Arizona, most recently with some new RE92's and Scot's aluminum pan. 64.5MPG on the most recent trip to AZ.

The 2nd gear crunch that was minor when I got the car is getting worse, so I think the syncro fix is in my future. I picked up a used transmission that is supposedly good off of a guy here in AZ, it might do for a temporary swap while I sort my original transmission.

Lastly, I scored a JDM double DIN trim piece off of the Facebook group, and while it's not a good fit for our LHD cars here in the US, I plan on 3D scanning it and modelling a mirrored copy that should be an exact fit to either be 3D printed or vacuum formed. I'm also considering the idea of adding something below like a pocket or cutout for CB radio and covering the existing cupholder location which in my opinion is useless anyway. I will be replacing my seats with CRZ ones, and adding a center console with cupholders eventually. I tried modeling a replacement center console for cupholders (Files available on the Facebook group) but gave up since both seats need to be moved out ~3/4" for it to reasonably fit a cup.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Steady

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,165 Posts
...Creating a balanced pack with the right equipment was easier than I expected. I used a iCharger X8 for testing and saved the resulting graphs to a MicroSD card. I tested for capacity at 10A, iR and self discharge, then built a custom load tester to discharge at 50A. Building a good pack took me almost a month...
Sounds like you covered your bases. Nicely done... I just briefly checked out that iCharger X8 - it looks really cool, very capable. I think the iCharger stuff tends to be good. A lot of clones out there of their earlier designs...
 
21 - 38 of 38 Posts
Top