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03 Insight MT, 94 BMW E34T, 81 Hilux, 73 Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #21
Regarding the Exedy kit: it's more expensive than the Sachs, which appears to use genuine Honda pressureplate and disk. Foggy information shows the Exedy is made in Japan; can you confirm?
 

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2000 5spd AC silver.
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Ooo I know this one!!! The plugs are laser engraved with the indexed letter to match the head. A,B,C,and D are the possibles, but B seems the most common. Indexing plugs is a race engine trick to guarantee the grounding strap is oriented a specific way when the plug is tight in the head. It's an old trick Honda used to make more efficiency.
 

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The Insight OEM plugs are indexed. There is a flat spot next to the spark plug well that has a letter stamped on it.

More info can be found here.

The last time I looked an Exedy KHC11 kit I remember seeing "Made in Japan" stamped on the components. I also recall seeing a partial Honda stamping on the pressure plate.
 

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03 Insight MT, 94 BMW E34T, 81 Hilux, 73 Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #24
Clutch: why would I use Exedy, if it costs more than Sachs, comes with mystery bearings, and both use genuine disk and plate?

Sparkplugs: cool, I learned something new. I'm generally inclined to use top-quality parts, but these cost how much?! Where do I get these other than the dealer? How long do I have to drive for the gas savings to be more than the ~$60 difference between a set of Denso coppers and the ~$25/ea dealer ones?
 

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I recommended the Exedy because it's a known "Made in Japan" quantity to me.

But, if the Sachs is what you say it is, then by all means go for it. If you get the Sachs kit, my professional curiosity would like to see pictures of components.

The reason why I would go with the proper indexed OE plug is that way you won't ever worry about them possibly causing you a performance problem. The OE plugs last for 100k miles and you only need three of them. So even if they cost a seeming bundle, amortized out, it's not bad.

There are always the discount online Honda parts places. G1Parts, Majestic Honda, ect. An internet search will reveal dozens of them.
 

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Bull Dog's argument for indexed plugs makes a lot of sense. It seems like we're always trying to figure out some nagging performance issue. Nice to rule out one potential item.
 

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03 Insight MT, 94 BMW E34T, 81 Hilux, 73 Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
Thanks to Kenny, I have a replacement engine. High miles but very clean inside. Still concerned about how dinky that cam sprocket pin looks.

Ordered a big round of parts to replace WIT (While [I'm] In There), all genuine:
Sparkplugs "C" 12292-PHM-003 or -A01
Rear main seal 91214-PHM-003. "Nippon" Reinz turned out to be made in China.
Front main seal 91212PWA003
Front main o-ring 91301-PHM-003
Coolant pipe o-rings 91315-PHM-003 and 91316-PHM-003
Valvecover gasket 12341-PHM-000
Oilpan end seals 11252-PHM-000 and 11251-PHM-000
Oilpan double-O-ring 91307-PHM-003
PCV elbow 17139-PK1-000
VTEC filter 15825-P0A-015
Chain tensioner filter 14511-PHM-003
Intake manifold gaskets 17106-PHM-006
Oil filter 15400-RTA-004
Coolant OL999-9011
Gear oil 08798-9031
Rear powertrain mount 50810-S3Y-J01. It costs twice as much as a fluid-filled BMW engine mount, lasts half as long holding a sixth the torque. Not impressed. When I have the old one out, I'm going to browse my bushings pile (mostly BMW suspension) and investigate a drop-in replacement.

Also a National 614176 (box says National, part says NSK and Made in Japan) release bearing, SKF 60022RS (France) pilot bearing, TYC 800045P (Taiwan) cabin filter. Oil will be Amsoil, undecided whether 0W20 or 5W30.

Regarding the clutch: genuine parts aren't too bad, about $105 for a clutch disk, roughly $280-300 for a full kit. I'm replacing bearings, holding off on the rest, inclined to reuse my existing plate, disk, and flywheel since they're worn to each other, depending on how much life they've left.

While waiting for all that to arrive, I'm doing homework on gas-only conversions. This looks interesting:
5) My Option Remove everything. Add a 3phase to single phase rectifier to the IMA motor output leads,
bolt it to a nice piece of aluminium behind seats somewhere. Luckily we have a lot of that ;)
3 Phase Diode Bridge Rectifier 35A 1000V SQL35A E4S8 | eBay
Feed this into one of these Meanwell power supplies...
HRP-600-12 - 645W 12V 53A Enclosed Switching Power Supply with PFC Function
Adjust the output to 13.8v and have nice bright lights and upto 53A of power for your 12V DC side.
Going gas-only is a given. I'm prepared for the rougher idle, decrease of city economy (80% of my driving is highway), and looking forward to less weight, less complexity, and more room. With that in mind, I'm open to suggestions.
 

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03 Insight MT, 94 BMW E34T, 81 Hilux, 73 Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #28
BTW, to be clear, I'm going gas-only because my main battery is kaput, and because my eventual plans include a mechanical diesel. Were it functional, or if I intended to keep the stock engine, I'd certainly keep or replace the battery.

Engine pull took considerably more work than I expected. Can't just pull the engine on these - transmission has to come out too, and that means the axleshafts, which means the front suspension partially disassembled. Anyway, two evenings into it et voila:
86134

I know factory procedure is to drop it out the bottom. I don't have a lift, and had little trouble maneuvering the powertrain out the top. The hood opens quite wide, the rear mount brace needed to be removed (of course the four most inaccessible bolts on the entire unit also had to be the tightest. A meaningful contribution to my swear jar resulted). Reinstalling, I expect the hardest part to be popping the axles back in.

It's a good thing I was prepared for the worst-case scenario, because that's pretty much the case here. Both inner CV joints sloppy and notchy, AC clutch pulley very sloppy, transmission input shaft also very sloppy radially and a little axially, and furthermore the transmission sounds grindy when turned by hand. Will be researching parts prices to evaluate my transmission options. Meanwhile, any general opinions on the ease of rebuilding one of these boxes, compared to other FWD manuals? I've done a few RWD manuals and generally know my way around, but these are new to me in several parameters.
 

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as a future fyi, it takes about 5 minutes to remove the hood. So much easier to work on/with when you set that aside. (plus, it weighs practically nothing. one man job to remove/reinstall)
 

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03 Insight MT, 94 BMW E34T, 81 Hilux, 73 Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #30
Parts arrived...
86186

...and I got to work resealing the engine. Broke the oilpan - a first for me - trying to remove it, fortunately have a spare. Turns out my 2003 engine has an oil heat exchanger, and the new one doesn't. Should I bother swapping it over, along with the waterpump? I know what it does, not sure what real benefit there'd be on an ECA1.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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I believe it was discontinued because in reality it wasn't needed. I did some tests monitoring the oil temp, and it was barely the same as the water temperature in most cases of driving..
 

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The Insight plugs are indexed. There are three different index positions with three different plugs, each designated by a letter on the tip. There is a corresponding letter on the head near the plug to show which plug letter is required.

The indexed plugs are fairly expensive. There has been a 20 year old controversy about how much difference it really makes and the argument never gets settled;)

You might check the plugs in your current engine to see if they are serviceable and match.
 

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03 Insight MT, 94 BMW E34T, 81 Hilux, 73 Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #33
Installed sparkplugs after checking the gap and putting paint marks on the upper tip to monitor indexing. Verified that when torqued to the correct 23Nm, C plugs (genuine from a Honda dealer) on a C head have their open electrode pointing more or less at the non-VTEC intake valve, although one of my cylinders was off by perhaps 20 degrees. I carefully torqued it further to line it up with the others.

Heard rumors but can't find definitive answers:
1. What's the difference between the early normal-looking PCV valve, and the later three-lobed riveted thing? I've got a valvecover with each, one the 2003's original, the other a 2005? replacement engine.
2. Are the PCV valves on these supposed to be just hollow tubes? My early valve blows through both ways. Did my homework before just buying a new one and it seems that Civic VX and some others did this for some reason.
 

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03 Insight MT, 94 BMW E34T, 81 Hilux, 73 Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #34
It lives!

Coolant was hard to bleed. Halfway through a steaming mess - meanwhile wondering why they couldn't've put the expansion tank up high, perhaps next to the battery where there's lots of room - I figured out this contraption:

Road noise is horrendous on all but glass-smooth pavement. Soundproofing might happen sooner than later.

Reused flywheel and pressure plate, just scuffed up with sandpaper, and a new Exedy clutch. Exedy has the world's most neurotic shipping department - refuses to ship to a non-billing address, and requires a 21+ adult signature for a clutch disk - but it seems like a high-quality item, and direct from them was $67 shipped.

The steering wheel feels like a cheap... adult novelty item. What wheels can I fit, preferably without an airbag?

It's underpowered but usable in most gears. Second, however, is so gutless that I wonder if there's some electronic problem.
 

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Well, you removed a key component of the power unit.(IMA) and then expect it to perform like it is still there? I HATE gas only and would not have Insights if this was as good as it gets. I think it is dangerous (your 2nd gear observation). OTOH, a properly operating Insight is a pleasure to drive. To each his own.....

Sam
 

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When I first bought my 2006 Insight the previous owner had some 195/55 R14 tires up front, and 185/60 R14s in the back. The road noise in the cabin was unbelievably loud. After I put OE Bridgestone Potenza RE92 tires on the car, the change was dramatic.

Road noise was suddenly on par with a normal car.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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Bleeding the coolant system is easy if you follow this video.:
Recheck your system because if it ain't done right by the time the temp. gauge moves from 6 bars it is damn near too late.
 

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03 Insight MT, 94 BMW E34T, 81 Hilux, 73 Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #38
Yup, followed that method, ran it every which way for about 20 minutes until I could get it to run hot enough to kick the fan on, and still no bubbles except traces of fine mist. My photo didn't post before:
86262


Well, you removed a key component of the power unit.(IMA) and then expect it to perform like it is still there? I HATE gas only and would not have Insights if this was as good as it gets. I think it is dangerous (your 2nd gear observation). OTOH, a properly operating Insight is a pleasure to drive. To each his own.....

Sam
I did expect it to be underpowered, but not so strangely geared. Anyway, the "conversion" is involuntary; my battery was dead, and all I did was unplug the BCM so the 12V system could get charged. I wouldn't've disabled a functional IMA, at least not after reading warnings of the various problems.
 

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Right, but you don't seem interested in fixing it, either, which is not involuntary. Have you even tried a grid charge?

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #40
I've not. Come to think of it, I'm taking the PO's word that it's dead, but ought to investigate for myself. Fair point that keeping it disabled would be voluntary, and after seeing the results, I'm reconsidering. I really like this chassis and see its potential, intend to invest in it, for now just need it to be an errands appliance in a very rural area (moving out of Portland for a few months) while working on another project. Once that's done, my inclination at this point is to either restore the hybrid system or swap the powertrain entirely. I don't like electronic engine management, but I have that anyway and in its half-assed state it won't do - so it's got to be either full-assed or no-assed 😄
 
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