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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, IC. I need some help which I’m sure many of you would consider a moderate bit of work, but to me seems extensive; and while I’m sure expensive, I’m willing to put the work in and save up some money for it. There’ll be a tl;dr near the bottom (control F the phrase “tl;dr” to hop to that part).

My 1G is my first car ever, and so I’ll try and outline what I’m experiencing, but I have no context for comparison to another car and, as we know, the Insight is a weird little thing already. That is also to say that more than baby steps, I could use a bit of taking things at an infant wriggles pace … >///>

I believe I am the third owner: I got it from an acquaintance from college; and he got it from a family friend. He put himself through school flipping cars and when I went to his place to have him look at it after it was in my ownership, he had a totally disassembled Datsun on a lift in his garage—all to say, I trust his assessment. Which is in turn to say, that he advised me that the sway bar bushings and engine mounts oughta be replaced within a year (that was late September 2017). He got it from his family friend with supposedly a brand new hybrid batter; I say supposedly because I swear I remember seeing the invoice for it, but I was never able to find the paper afterwards. I bought it with dog hair stuck to the carpeting, a tear on the driver seat leather, a glued shut sunroof, and some chipped paint on one of the A pillars; it’s since sustained some damage to the front/hood, passenger mirror, underbody panels, and radiator mount which I have to completely own up to.

That was all in Washington State. Without having done anything to it, I packed up my stuff and embarked on a journey back home, to sunnily grimy Los Angeles. I had experienced some minor herky-jerky, which I couldn’t determine was from the car or from me being a scrub (I also LEARNED stick on this car). I took it around the WA peninsula on 101 and didn’t have any problems aside from the car maybe being overloaded and idling and revving higher that unloaded; the jerky did recur when I reached the southern border. Interestingly, at the time at least, it would happen predominantly around 30 MPH; not sure if that’s of any significance, just wanna put it down here.

Sparing you all the personal details, I made it back home driving down 1. (As an aside, I don’t know if I should be surprised or disappointed that no one got me on the “Spotted Insight” thread).

For a while I was trying to save up some money so I could start tackling some of the issues. I would drive the car to and from work, no problem; jerky symptoms would even disappear and not recur from a while, which made be like “oh yeah my shifting must’ve sucked and now I’m better at it”. Until June 2018 when the IMA light came on when I was in the one lane on the freakin’ highway! Well, I thought I didn’t want to worsen any issues, so I let the car sit on the street.

Because of LA’s exemplary commitment to really tackling the issues that matter in the world today, she was towed away in September 2018 for violating a 72 hour limit parking ordinance. Got the car out, so it was fine at the time. I think in early February of this year I went to check her out and she needed a jump, which I did. Started, drove around the block and gave the pack some charge.

Well, to bring things up to the present day, I let this totally paralyze me, and I let my baby sit on the street for what has become too, too long. It was absolutely anxiety fueled neglect on my part.

A couple weeks ago I ordered one of those portable jumpstart packs to see if that would get her moving again. No dice. What I experienced, according to my jumpstarter was the 12V being totally dead. There’s a “boost” feature that one can try which … worked, insofar as my finicky alarm greeted me and the headlights and dashboard would light up. Tried starting the car, and she would, and then die essentially immediately. Tried that a couple times and then I had to leave for work.
One thing I tried that was interesting was I tried giving the car revs in neutral and she stayed on for about a couple seconds longer than not trying to rev; still died after that. I did see the charging bars come up on the dash though. Does this indicate any hope that I could still charge the battery pack as the design normally intends (i.e. no gridcharging, modding, or new battery purchasing)?

My car was chalked (related to the 72 hour parking thing; just means I need to move her) a couple nights ago, so I called a friend of mine to help me push her to a new location. I’ll be on my way home by the time this is posted and I’m sure I’ll find a ticket for the blasted street sweeper as there were no other spots I could find.
This time, from the previous experience I tried starting the car in 1st gear and seeing what would happen—aside from rocketing into the car ahead of me. Well, I managed to move the car and get her around the corner, where she again died. I guess a question I would have here is: is there some footwork on the clutch or throttle that I should’ve or needed to do to pull my car outta the hybrid underworld?

tl;dr begins here.
I digress—here’s the bottom line.
Right now, I just need to be able to get the car running under one of its own powers (petroleum) so I can keep dodging the Mighty Morphing Parking Police.

So, here’s what I’m thinking in the immediate:
IMA battery bypass will get the car running on just gas—correct?
I saw a YouTube video where the guy just flips the red switch, which leaves you with a car that runs on gas with a 12V that dies in 20 to 40 minutes.
So, disconnect the BCM wires too—correct? Close everything up and you have a car that runs on gas and you can’t rev too high. Fine.
Some questions before I fry myself. To disconnect the 12V… I’m supposed to pull a black wire, the negative cable. Do I just do that with my bare hands; no tool or gear or anything? Do I do anything to the positive cable?
I’ve read about working with electronics, in particular anything with a capacitor, to use insulated gear and/or tools because they might carry a residual charge of their own. For ALL of this work, from the 12V to the 144V in the back and covering it back up, will I or will I not need any such thing or take any sort of precaution towards that?
When I read threads on the forum (at least the 1G forum), I see people mention removing or finagling a Junction Board, but from what I can gather that is related to the project of removing/reinstalling the/a new battery pack—am I correct in thinking I’ll not need to concern myself with that?
I think I’ve also seen it mentioned somewhere something about cutting the BCM wires… I intend to see if I can salvage the battery pack somehow, and my intuition says cutting oughta be a no-no and unplugging things oughta do it—correct?
prolongima.com/insight/removal/bypass.html Hybrid Automotive - Honda Insight (2000-2006) Battery Bypass Instructions
I’m looking at this guide(can't post the link yet), which I found somewhere here on IC, and it looks simple enough so it’s the one I’m gonna use. If anyone can advise for or against, or point out any missing details, that’d be appreciated. Looks like all I need is a trip to the hardware store for the Torx bit (or key) and pliers. I see a voltmeter mentioned but no instruction for its use… Sorry if I appear to be a sloth about it, the most complicated electronics I’ve ever dealt with was old PlayStation consoles and double As wired to those little hobby motors, and I completely screwed my soldering project in school >_>

Looking to the very near future, I’d like if someone could give me some mentorship and help me diagnose where my car is at with the work it needs—in particular as it relates to electronics—which I do have some ideas about already (crank/driveshaft, engine mounts, sway bar bushings, maybe shocks, maybe but hopefully not EGR valve and gearbox…). I’d like to develop a plan in stages, and just generally be pointed in the right direction.
I’m strapped for time and space, as I don’t have my own driveway, but if I can get the car moving I can take her to my cousin’s in South LA and use his backyard and tools; all I’ve got is a small Craftsman ratchet set, though I am of course willing to invest in my baby. This is why I’d like some help finding my direction: in order that I might use my time and that of other’s willing to help me efficiently. I’m only moderately wary of that because he wanted to be a butthead about torquing the spark plugs when I changed them out.

After that, I’d like to have someone help me look at the transmission. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a jackass. I understand taking apart a transmission can be a pita-bread-and-hummus-with-a-side-of-carrots and I’d be willing to do it myself but as I understand from the service manual the IMA is wired to it (somewhere in the clutch assembly, is it?) and the electronics aspect of it has me take a step back from that. Transmission because I’ve read that the jerky symptoms can be resolved by changing the clutch out, which as is strictly related to the clutch I feel I could do over weekend following IC resources and that EcoModder thread about reviving the “beater”. But the rest of the tranny has me concerned because, aside from the shift lever sticking more and more my cousin pointed out an increasingly louder clicking noise as one goes up the gears last time I was at his place. Engine air filter, fuel cleaning mixtures, and new OEM spark plugs have displayed only bandaid resolutions to jerky symptoms.

Sorry for the verbosity. I just wanna give out as much context as I have; because I don’t have much. Once this is posted I’ll be on my way home and sleeping but I’ll check back in late afternoon/early evening PST time. Thank you so much for any input.
 

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Welcome. While verbose, it has plenty of good info there.
Sounds like you've done a ton of research which is great.


I'm going to give a quick reply about one small ascpect of your questions just to get you started.

You have it correct, to run on gas alone, easiest is to go in back (with the car turned off) and disconnect the BCM connectors.
10mm socket, socket wrench, phillips screwdriver, regular screwdriver, #30 torx

That's a good, easy starting point for your adventure.
 

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What part of LA are you in?
I suggest you contact Dr. Scott at Jue Motors in Covina. 909-6053810 ( M-S)8-5
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have done quite a bit of research, I've lurked on the site and got obsessed with this car as soon as I saw it listed in the area I initially bought it—and I feel it's perfect for a bachelor :D
It just all remains theoretical to me until I get in there.

Willie, I'm East of downtown, literally right over the river, cradled by the 5, 710, and 10—if that means anything to you. Covina's an hour/half hour depending on traffic. In regards to getting in touch with Scott at Jue, I noticed people here freely give out his number. Initial plan before I let everything go to shift was to get the car moving and take it over there. Guess I felt too reserved about going for that option so immediately. I didn't wanna feel useless, but I'll get over myself.

Will do the bypass tonight, update most likely by midnight tomorrow. Gonna go on a niiiice drive (hopefully) before I hit the hay.

Thanks again.
 

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It sounds like your 12V is totally dead. If so, the car isn't going to be able to run until you get the IMA bypassed with Eric's directions. BTW, the BCM he is talking about is the small aluminum box that sits on top of the battery, the one of two which sets toward the center of the car.

Before you open the battery compartment, take off the small lid in the middle of the cover - two bolts. Turn off the switch, and give the battery about 15 minutes before you lift off the lid. You can be unfastening bolts in that time.

The BCM plugs which you are going to remove have small finger latches on the bottom which must be depressed before they can be removed. Otherwise you will break the plugs. Sometimes a gentle pry with a thin screwdriver, after the latch is pressed, is needed - BUT no hard prying.

Sounds like the 12V has been setting a while in a discharged state. You may as well buy a new one before you try to make the car run.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alright, here's what I got.

Took me wayyyyyyyyyyyy longer than it should've to get the 12V step done because I couldn't fit a socket onto the negative terminal nut: the round clasp seems like it makes it a weird, if not impossible, fit. After stripping it slightly I sprayed it with some WD40 and the clasp just slipped off. So I got to work on the back end.

Some fasteners from the back were missing, so I guess story that the pack was replaced at one point was replaced checks out. Anyway, I got all the bolts off annnd...

I couldn't get the big lid off. I'm following the pictorial guide at the prolongima url that hybridautomotive and bumblebee link to. Maybe it was an issue of force applied, but it feels like it's sticking somewhere "to the left". There's a black chunk of styrofoam that the aluminum edge of the lid has bit into and I was wondering if I have to get that out but comparing to the images in the guide I'm using it doesn't look like I've missed any bolt or fastener that I need to get out.

I'll try again in the morning. I expect to have enough free time between now and then to watch some videos and look into a replacement 12V. If I'm successful at the bypass and the car doesn't start, I'll uber to a store and see if they've got one.
 

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Don't forget the small 8mm bolt right beside the master on/off switch. Also there is a row of bolts under the carpet at the very front of the lid.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Know what? After telling myself I wasn't gonna forget the bolt next to the switch, I realized when I arrived at work that was the one I forgot. >_>

At any rate. So I've perused the myriad threads discussing 12V replacements in order to prepare for that being next on the flowchart.
The options I've gathered are
(Still can't post links so I'll try and point you at exactly what I'm looking at)

Lawnmower batteries:
EverStart Lawn & Garden Battery, U1P @ WALMART

Odysseys
:
Odyssey PC545 Powersports Battery @ Amazon
and like 15 bucks cheaper Odyssey PC545MJ Powersports Battery @ Amazon

And I saw one mention of a so-called #9 Braille Racing Battery:
Manufacturing Part Number: B129FRP6 "LIGHTWEIGHT RACING BATTERY (STANDARD CASE W/MOUNT) 9 LBS." @ TireRack

So a couple things.
That Braille one appeals most to me currently because ... the terminals are round <_< just like on the one currently in the engine bay. If its pitch about being a tenth to a third lighter than equal power batteries is to be believed then this seems like a nice option for anyone looking for more oomph while shaving a little weight. I don't think I saw anyone follow up with their experience on this though, whereas the lawnmower and Odyssey options seem to have anecdotes in their favor.

The most immediate option in terms of how quickly I can acquire it and drain on wallet is the walmart everstart; with the Odyssey second if I have the option for Prime shipping.
My question regarding these two options are: what do I wanna think about, what else do I need to buy, what actions will I need to perform with the terminals being different shapes? I've seen people talking about adapters?
I think I saw Willie packed some styrofoam around his lawnmower one to comfortably sit in the OEM sized space. What else?

I wanna minimize the work replacing the 12V not out of laziness but for trying to follow the KISS principle, if that makes sense. I was terrified enough taking my ratchet to the negative terminal nut D:

As for the bypass itself, that should be complete by noon PST.
 

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What part of LA are you in?
I suggest you contact Dr. Scott at Jue Motors in Covina. 909-6053810 ( M-S)8-5
This is great advice. He replaced my rear springs and shocks, as well as repairing and adjusting my fender skirts, at a very reasonable price. Plus he inspected pretty much the whole car and gave me pointers. And, he has parts on hand. He's the go-to guy in SoCal.
 
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