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Discussion Starter #1
does anyone have any idea what it would take to make a 5 speed insight compatible with the CLean Fuel regulations? i.e. to have it run on another source of fuel other than gas?

what is required? how much would it cost? how reliable would it be? that kind of stuff
 

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Who's regulations?

Where?

Link please!

A 5 spd Insight meets federal emission standards for LEV (Low Emission Vehicle)

A CVT meets a slightly stricter standard of ULEV (Ultra ...)

A 5 spd using low sulphur fuel (reportedly Amoco premium) can also achieve ULEV.

AFAIK the "other" "_"_"EV (you fill in the blanks, there are a couple) "ratings" have to do with how long the vehicle must meet the standard. Not an "improved" rating as in lower emission values.


ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) means a 100% electric vehicle. The only off-the-shelf options use heavy lead acid batteries and your range will be in the 50-60 mile neighborhood. Probably do-able for the $10,000 (conversion only, you supply the car) price range. AFAIK there are no off-the-shelf NiMH or "better" hi-tech battery options. Expect to pay really BIG $ for any of these batteries alone.

CNG, LNG ( Compressed or liquefied Natural Gas) or Propane are much "cleaner" fuels but conversion is expensive and would be a custom job on an Insight. With all the "problems, limitations, and expenses that go along with it.
 

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I thought the 5 speed was ULEV and the cvt was SULEV. Anyway, it'd probably be a pain to get the Insight to run on anything else. A few people have hinted at converting it into a full electric once the ICE dies but running it on any other fuel is probably not possible on the current engine.
 

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You are right kapps. Got my U's, V's & S's mixed up in another thread too!

EPA rates the Insight as LEV.

CARB (California Air Resources Board) rates it as ULEV , which may only be a CA and cooperating states rating.

Since my Insight is only a 5spd my window sticker doesn't say what a CVT is rated, but SULEV sounds right for a CARB cooperating state.

Thanks for the correction! :)
 

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What about alcohol fuel? I don't know if that would be feasable at all. I know that older cars (muscle cars) can be converted to burn alcohol without many changes (fuel pump, regulator, carb, intake, and some seals) but I can't say if it would be straightforward or even feasable on an engine like the Insight's.
 

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In theory it could be done to switch an Insight to run a different fuel, but the problem is it would require a reverse engineering of the engine control computer and probably different injectors. There are places that specialize in conversions of this nature, but no one has really done anything with the Insight ecu. Not to meniton that you would void any warranty you have on related components. Also there's the downside that you would have higher fuel consumption with any other fuel as most of the alternatives (E85, Propane, CNG) all have fewer energy units per volume unit.

Now if I remember right someone has posted here before about letting a little natural gas in to the air intake to the point where it used very little gasoline.

If you did want a true alternative fuel car your probably better off getting a factory Civic GX, which would be under warranty and everything (if you bought new or slightly used). They have plans to sell the Civic GX soon combined with an at home refueling station which you hook up to your natural gas line and plug it in, it will fill your tank overnight.
 

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Rick said:
They have plans to sell the Civic GX soon combined with an at home refueling station which you hook up to your natural gas line and plug it in, it will fill your tank overnight.
Wouldn't that be cool! As long as you never have to take the car on trips beyond a round-trip range of your home, you could in theory buy the GX and never go to a gas station for the whole time you own the vehicle!
 

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I have a Civic GX - nice car, but the home refueler will cost $3500 - and the cost of the gas + electricity to run the pump doesn't really save any money over the fast fill pumps.
 

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Seth Dallob said:
I have a Civic GX - nice car, but the home refueler will cost $3500 - and the cost of the gas + electricity to run the pump doesn't really save any money over the fast fill pumps.
I could be wrong, but I think they've teamed up with a home refueling station maker to offer the car and compressor kit for only $1,000 more. I know it probably doesn't work out in the long run, but I think to some it's well worth the cost to never have to go to a gas station again.

And then granted the CNG infrastructure isn't there you do still have the option of the commercial 5 minute fast fill as well.
 

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I have been running CNG vehicles for the past 7 years at work with no problems. we use the Fuel Maker unti which is the same unit to be offered i nthe package deal it is a reliable unit but does have toi be serviced every 1600 running hours IE: compressor replaced at a cost of about $350.00. so it would be a break even proposition in the long run and the fuel consumption is a significant difference. Main advantage in california is the clean fuel tax break you recieve and the refund of road taxes for the clean fuel. Plus the lower cost of the CNG. But it is a very clean burning fuel.
 
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