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Swap to a 13 AH Hawker

9294 Views 30 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Willie Williford
Well, I got borred today and decided to drop in the little 13 AH Hawker battery I bought off of eBay. As a preface there has been some discussion to this issue in the past on Honda-Hybrids as to how this little AGM battery would probably fare better under the Insight's constand float charge on the 12 volt battery. My Insight is about a year and a half old according to carfax, but the first entry was at 800 miles so I'm going to assume it was a demo car for a while so my best guess is it's about 2 years old from the date of production. Anyways, nothing was wrong with my origonal Furukawa battery, I just had the hawker there and decided what the heck. So I went off to batteries plus to see if they had the automotive terminal adaptors. Sure enough they did, $10 which isn't bad considering the only ones I could find online would have been like $20 after shipping. Here is the Furukawa next to the Hawker:

As you can see the Hawker is a lot smaller than the origonal so I made some spacers out of a large sheet of 1/2" MDF I had left over from making my speaker box. Each one is 6 3/4" X 4 3/4". The top one had to be sanded down some as it is just slightly less than 3 inches shorter.

Here it is in the car hooked up. The posts are technically in the wrong place for the Insight, but the little battery is so short that turning it around presents no problem, the battery cables reach with no problem. Note the cool copper terminals. Also, I was initially concerned about the battery wanting to slide, but there is more than enough pressure from the factory hold down to hold it in place very well.

Now I can't wait to see the ever more increased "thats the battery" remark. I think it's more fitting for this car to have a higher tech 12 volt battery. The first thing I did to was to pull the IMA fuse and make sure the car would crank over on the starter motor. Sure enough it did without hesitation. Total cost of this project was about $35, $25 for the battery off ebay and $10 for the terminals. I did not modify a thing on the car to do this project either which is always a plus.
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Fire safety

That's a nice install, but are you sure that you want to put wooden parts that close to your exhaust? :shock:

Good point. Made it through the day alright I guess. MDF was not my first choice. I was looking for a rigit type matrix plastic foam material but was unable to find such a thing. I know it exists, I've seen it before I suppose I just don't know what it's called. Anyone out there know what I'm talking about and if so what it's called? That would probalby be a better long term solution.

I dunno, it'd probably be ok, after all there is a plastic tray that sits underneath the battery anyways, I'd expect this to melt before there was any danger of the wood burning. Anyways, I'm open to alternatives if anyone has any ideas.
The wood would be more dependably fire resistant than many plastics. You might consider drilling them some to reduce weight, and maybe gluing them to reduce shifting under vibration.
Ahh drilling, good idea. I had also planned on glueing them together, but time became a restraint the other day. So far though they have held in place quite well. Maybe I should probably spray paint them too to make moisture less of a problem. Although it wasn't a primary concern I did get some weight reduction by doing this. Perhaps I will weight the furukawa today and see just how much I saved.
Alright guys. I weighed the Furukuawa today, about 15.5 pounds. Hawkers web site says 10.8 for the genesis. Probably a neglegible amount, but still something for those of you who are always looking to shed a few pounds here or there on your car.
Hi Rick:

___I wanted to bump your thread not only because you hinted about the Hawker in another thread but for some other great reasons as well. Not only is it neat that you added this high tech battery to your Insight but it may also help possibly cure the dreaded Insight - Recal disease. See below. Thanks for posting this information as it could be very important in the not to distant future.

___A post by Art Isbell from Sept. of this year in the Yahoo Honda-Hybrid forum might help alleviate the recal problem for those that may be afflicted with a simple yet very inexpensive 12V battery replacement … Here is his own write-up both before and after installing the Hawker Genesis G13EP with previous discussion from David Orman as posted here:
On Monday, September 8, 2003, at 10:19 AM, David Orman wrote:

> As of today, no recalibrations since the replacement of the 12v
> battery with the civic model.

I have to add some further evidence that a "weak" 12 v. battery may, indeed, be related to recalibrations, as difficult as this is for me to understand.

When I took my Insight to a local Honda dealer to verify the
recalibration problem I've been having, the dealer was unable to
observe a recalibration. After picking up my car, I drove to the long
upgrade that I was once able to ascend in 4th gear at 45-50 MPH without
a recalibration. For several months, a recalibration has been
occurring on this upgrade reliably at 50 - 60% SOC; this time was no
different :-( I wish the Honda mechanic had driven this road which is
actually quicker to get to than the road he chose, but...

So after reading about a 12 v. battery replacement "fixing" a
recalibration problem, I decided to replace my OEM battery with a
Hawker Genesis G13EP that I have had sitting around for a few months
waiting for my OEM battery's capacity to fade away completely. This
battery has about half the capacity of the OEM battery but can deliver
a large burst of current when necessary (e.g., should the starter motor
be needed). It weighs less than 11 pounds which is perfect for the
lightweight Insight. It is a sealed absorbent glass mat battery, so it
should never need maintenance and there is no acidic liquid electrolyte
to spill or leak out. Its design life is 10 years at 25 C, 15 years at
20 C. But under-hood temperatures are considerably warmer, so I don't
expect it to last that long. Another possibly life-shortening problem
is the DC-DC converter output voltage which is rated at 14.3 v.; Hawker
recommends 13.5-13.8 v. for a float charge. However, with my car
idling, the voltage across the battery terminals is 13.95, so that's
not as high as I expected.

The Hawker battery does not have automotive terminals, so I hacksawed
the terminals off my OEM battery after drilling them so I could attach
them to the Hawker battery using stainless steel bolts. Because it's
about 3" shorter than the OEM battery, I placed about 3" of rigid and
compressible foam under the battery so the battery clamp would hold it
in place. The Hawker terminals are reversed relative to the OEM
battery, so I relocated the ground strap to an existing bolt in the
battery box frame so it would reach; the positive cable reached with no
modifications. I placed a photo, "InsightGenesis.jpg", in the "Files"
section for those who'd like to see the installation. I'll remove this
photo after a week or so to free up space.

After installing the Hawker battery, I drove up the "recalibration
upgrade". I made it to the top of the upgrade with no recalibration
and 50% SOC remaining! I descended the other side, turned around, and
climbed back up pushing assist as hard as I could while avoiding the
downshift light and remaining near the speed limit. Still no
recalibration, but I ran out of hill before dropping below 50% SOC. I
descended the other side purposely avoiding regen as much as possible
so that I could force the SOC below 50% on my next run up the hill. I
was able to use assist down to 6 bars (30%) before running out of hill!
I can't recall whether I've ever been able to draw down the IMA
battery that far without a recalibration. There are a couple of hills
that are long enough to completely discharge the IMA battery, but these
hills aren't very close. The next time I'm out that way, I'll drain
the IMA battery as far as I can to see what happens.

I'm cautiously optimistic that my recalibration problem has been
solved by replacing my 12 v. battery (!), but it's a bit too early to
claim victory yet. Maybe one of these days, I'll understand how this
might have solved this problem.

Art Isbell
2000 Insight A/C #559
___The Hawker battery install might be one of those items that may be as important at preventing a future problem as changing your oil!

___Did you give any thought as to the Odyssey PC680MJ AGM with the steel case? I know it weighs ~ 15 #’s but that steel case seems to be used in most car applications? Unfortunately, it’s a lot more expensive then those from :(

___As quoted by one of the Ebay sellers called Odyssey World:
PC680MJ vs. PC680

What's the difference? The specs are the same but the PC680MJ has a protective metal jacket that helps protect the battery under adverse and hot conditions. Odyssey batteries are flat plate design that are assembled under very high pressure. Heat can cause the plastic casing to heat and soften which could allow the outer plates to expand and compromise the integrity of the battery.
___In any case, if there was a Group Buy from the Insighter’s started, the Hawker Genesis G13EP may become even cheaper then the $30.00 (battery) + ~ $10.00? (shipping) + $12.00 (car battery terminals) that I am seeing over at SurplusEV today?

___Finally, did you ever come up with a tidy way to lift that battery from the floor of the tray rather then using the stacked wood plates?

___Thanks again as usual and Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:pgv0nuww][email protected][/email:pgv0nuww]
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The decision was driven by one factor. The $70 genesis batteries were on ebay for about $25 shipped. There is a different guy selling them on there now for about the same price. One thing to factor in, technically the Hawker has the wrong post position for use in the Insight, but the 13 ah one is slim enough to turn around and get the cables on the posts. There is plenty of play in the positive cable, but the negative cable is pretty much as far as it will go. There's no tension in it, but I wouldn't mess with making it go much further. Then again I guess you could just easily get a new longer ground cable.

So far my MDF pieces have been working fine, but I wouldn't mind having a dense foam spacer instead. If we could get enough interest I might be able to make a batch of custom spacers. All in all it's a fun little project. I mean, it's cheaper than a civic replacment battery and it in theory *should* last longer. So far mine's been in there... what 4 months. And so far it's hasn't missed a beat. Only time will tell, but as far as I know I'm the first to have tried this type of battery in an Insight (it's all Waylands fault, he started this discussion on honda-hybrids months ago).
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Hi Rick:
Rick said:
(it's all Waylands fault, he started this discussion on honda-hybrids months ago).
___Yes, that Wayland guy is making me spend more money then I did for Christmas on the family ;)

___I am seriously thinking about the purchase and install of the Hawker as a precautionary PM item as well so keep me informed as to any updates. I can make a stack/stand/spacer at work so that isn’t to big a deal but I am interested in the supplier of yours and Willie’s as I only see the much more expensive Hawker PC680 and PC680MJ Odyssey’s up on Ebay right now? Surplus EV appears to offer a darn good deal but saving another $10.00 is always a good thing, right! I also saw by your photos above on how the Hawker was mounted/installed and it almost looks like a drop in and connect other then the spacer stack which isn’t a big deal other then the exact height of the stack itself …

___Here are some spec sheets on both the Odyssey SLI and the Genesis themselves. Although I am no battery expert (that is a guarantee), the Hawker Genesis appears to be a better overall choice. The Hawker Odyssey is designed for a maximum of 14.7 V fast charging voltage but a min/max of 13.6 to 13.8 Volts under a trickle charge arrangement per the charging specs located here. The Hawker Genesis on the other hand appears to have a larger range when being charged via the Insight (trickle charge) with a min/max of 13.62 V to 14.10 V as posted here. I know most std. alternators are punching out more then 13.5 Volts while above idle but I don’t know if they settle down afterwards or not? I never thought to measure the voltage after some period of time has past since the vehicle was started? If the Insight only trickle charges under all circumstances, the Genesis that you are using appears to be a much more solid choice given the above. The fact that the Genesis can be found far less expensively then the Odyssey only makes it that much more enticing imho! And don’t forget to correct any of the statements I have made or provided above if you find something I have missed or stated incorrectly …

___Thanks again as usual and Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3252k6wp][email protected][/email:3252k6wp]
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From what I've been told the only real difference between the odyssey and the genesis is the genesis isn't not completely sealed while the odyssey is air tight. My grandpa recently needed a battery for his miata and Mazda seemed to be the only source of any battery and they wanted $140 for the stupid thing! And he had already been on his 3rd so I told him if he were to spend that much we might as well make a Hawker work so we did. We ended up going with the odyssey because thats what they had in stock and it alredy had the posts on it and was almsot the same size as the oem battery. Anyways to make a long story short the car starts so much better with the Hawker battery and the hope is this one will last longer as the Arizona heat tends to kill flooded and gel batteries.

This is the guy on ebay who has the 13 ah genesis batteries: ... gory=40975
If you send him a message I'm sure he'd be willing to send you one.

As far as how the Insight charges the 12 volt it will pump out whatever current is necessary to charge it if it's low, but after that the DC/DC puts out what is needed to power the 12 volt loads then also puts a trickle charge on the 12 volt. I think it does so at 13.7 13.8 volts if memory serves. So yes the genesis should be best suited to take this sort of use. I may be buying an extra just to keep on hand.

BTW, the spacer is somewhere between 5 1/2" and 6". I just sanded the top one down until I had the height just right. Make sure the clamp pushes down on the top of the battery fairly well.
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Hi Rick:

___As usual, thank you for the lead. It was on E-Bay, not Ebay motors which is where I was searching for it like crazy last night!

___I just sent him an E-mail to see what he can do to ship me 1.

___Thanks again and Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1tks9vvj][email protected][/email:1tks9vvj]
I used a very expensive car stero battery. Only lasted about 9 months. SVR was the brand. It just died and was draing the whole car overnight. I pulled the orginal battery straight out of the shed and I haven't had a problem since.
hawker batteries

I have been using the Odyssey PC545 in my Insight for the past 16 months now. This is not a solution for the battery gauge recalibration, in case some of you are thinking it is. This battery is smaller than the Odyssey being written about in this thread.

The Odyssey line are 100% deep cycle batteries. Are the Genesis line deep cycle? I am under the impression that they're not, and that this is what separates the 2 Hawker lines, and why the Odyssey batteries are more expensive.

My PC545 is mounted on top of some bubble wrap. The negative and positive cables reach with no problem at all. It has more-than-enough power to start the 1 liter engine with the conventional starter, as has been experienced at numerous times.

I also have one of these batteries in my '84 Honda CRX, now with 1.6 liter DOHC VTEC engine and 160 hp. It has enough cranking power to start the CRX even after letting the car go unstarted for 6 weeks.
Hi Mitch:

___Did you consider either of the following Odyssey batteries before the purchase of your PC525 and if you did, why did you choose the PC525 over either?

PC625 (6.70” L/3.90” W/6.89” H/13.2#’s * HCA 625 A * CCA – 265 A * CA – 350A * HCA – 440 A) Plastic jacket

PC680 (7.27” L/3.11” W/6.67” H/15.4#’s * HCA 680 A * CCA – 220 A * CA – 300A * HCA – 370 A) Metal jacket

___I don’t even know the size nor any of the Amperage capacities of the Insight’s OEM Furukawa but I would like too before I make this battery purchase irregardless if it’s the Hawker Genesis or Odyssey of whichever capacity.

___Thanks in advance and Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:sio2gxw8][email protected][/email:sio2gxw8]
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Hi All:

___After a Google search using Honda, Insight, and Furukawa as the search terms, I came across a page quoting who else but John Wayland. Here is that site with his article entitled 12 V Battery Issues. Make sure you read it!

___Apparently, John was looking for a drop in replacement to use for a higher powered stereo for his own Insight and spoke highly of a particular “GS” brand Deep Cycle battery with the terminals on the proper side and the size is almost an exact match. It weighs somewhere around 21 #’s which appears to be more then the Insight’s OEM Furukawa but beats the drop in Civic replacements by a ton ;) Here is the GS website. The PDF listing the battery(s) in question is on page 8 of the document as found here. One of these three I believe is the one that John was speaking of and are listed as the NS40ZL, NS40Z(S), or NS40ZL(S) with the difference between them being terminal location and type. I couldn’t find the exact ID so if you were to order a GS, you will have to verify that the pos and neg terminals are lined up along one side and that the neg terminal is to the left when viewing the battery from the side with the terminals towards the back.

___Another item I picked up from John’s write-up is that the OEM is a 27 Ah rated battery for the 5-speed and 30 Ah rated for the CVT. This would lead one to possibly consider the Odyssey PC925 MJ if you wanted an equivalent Hawker AGM as a replacement for the OEM Furukawa. The PC925’s are not only much larger and heavier (I don’t think they can be dropped in without cable mods and weigh 26 #’s), they are also much more expensive in comparison with retail pricing in the $100 to $120.00 range + shipping :( In defense of the AGM built Hawker Genesis and Odyssey’s, they should be no worse and appear to have advantages a std. deep-cycle type cannot match in an Insight. A SLI can discharge large amounts of power quicker then a std. GS Deep Cycle apparently although I am not sure what advantage this creates for the Insight in the case of its 12 V system? Another item that John added that really makes a case for the Hawkers is the following:

… Then we discovered Hawkers, small deep cycle sealed AGM batteries that yet, could dish out huge currents and act like an SLI type. I've had Hawkers last 5 years of EV drag racing!
___As it stands, I can pick up the Hawker Genesis G13EP for just $29.50 shipped from the Ebay offering. When adding the terminals, I am still north of $40.00 which is a good deal imho … I have to think about all this some more to decide what is best but I sure do like Rick’s install choice right now given the cost and very HQ high tech AGM battery. My brain hurts from looking all of this stuff up today ;)

___If there are any battery experts hanging around the forum, please feel free to add your own research and conclusions whether that be empirical, actually experienced, or something you may have read on the web on your own …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3oiskx4v]Waynegerde[email protected][/email:3oiskx4v]
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hawker odyssey pc545

xcel, I did review all of the odyssey batteries prior to buying the PC545. The main reason I chose the 545 is because it was listed with a (shipping) weight that was 3 lbs. lighter than the other 2 (12 vs. 15lb., according to Battery Mart). I already knew I wouldn't need extra cranking amps, since this same PC545 battery has no problem cranking my CRX engine, which has 60% more displacement, along with running all of the electrical accessories with no problem. Also, my CRX has custom battery mounting designed for the dimensions of the PC545. So, if I ever need to move a battery from one car to the other, it's alot less of a hassle.
Hawker Genesis compared to Hawker Odyssey

I called up Hawker Energy Products customer service today and asked them about the differences between their Genesis line and their Odyssey line. Linda told me that the Genesis batteries are not a good choice for automotive applications, since they lack the vibration resistance and temperature resistance that is necessary. She stated that the Odyssey batteries have thicker plates, allowing for the vibration resistance required for automotive use. Moreover, she stated that the Odysseys come with a superior casing, allowing for a higher temperature. They provide a 3 yr. warranty for the Odyssey battery in automotive use, whereas the Genesis comes with a 1 yr. warranty. She stated that the Genesis is designed for use as a back-up power source, as well as for telecommunications, but again asserted, "not for automotive use".
Huh, well should be interesting to see how long it holds up then because if any car is going to jar and vibrate a battery it would deffinitely be the Insight.
Hi Mitch; I also have an Odyssey my airplane !! About 20 months ago I discarded the Gill G-25 in my Cessna 150 (100 hp Continental) and went with the Odyssey. It only weighs 11 lbs compared to the 22 lb Gill. It is small, compact, and really cranks over the Continental! Apparently it will last more than 8 yrs under "normal" use. I think I bought it for about $75 online from "The Battery Store". Anyway, lots of Glasair and RV builders use them. My Insight is still quite new, so no plans to replace the Furukawa anytime soon. Billy........
Well it gave out. On the first of this month I made a drive to Las Vegas and the car sat for two days. When I came out it was completely dead. Push starting it was a no go so I finally got the Hotel people to bring me a jumper box. It started right up and I was on my way. Half way home I stopped for fuel and it seemed to have charged back up. The car turned back on fine after that. It sat for a day and a half at home and started up fine so I drove with it for another week or so before I checked it. After sitting overnight it only showed 12.5 volts under no load and under the load of the headlights dropped to 11.5 volts so right there I decided it was time.

Conveniently I happened to have one of Optima's newer civic sized yellow top batteries I had previously pruchased for powering some camping lights in my garage, and I had simply by chance grabbed the one with the proper terminal configuration. So it's at the moment in my car. I think I will keep my eye out for another Hawker as it served me well for over a year, but the fact that it was a very old stock battery, even by Hawker standards, deffinitely contributed to it's early dimise. Ohh yeah, that and me boiling it accidentally when I first got it too can't have helped either. I might just break down and go buy a brand new warrantied one too, I haven't decided yet.
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