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The main places I'd want my gears lower would be 1-4 I would think. The mountains I'm not running up at 80mph, usually speed limits are like 65 in the mountains or less so I'd be able to use lower gears. I would think a short 5th would just suck gas down at all times. When I had the hch trans I was pretty surprised how much it made it accelerate better if you shifted at redline. It actually pulled decently hard. I'll probably need the slightly shorter HCH final but I'm hoping not because that's going to use a lot of gas at 88mph.
 

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True, I think making 5th shorter would definitely make it noisier while cruising on flat ground though. I'd hate to have a droney car. My Matrix that I swapped transmissions in got a bit droney on the highway since it sits just under 4k at 88mph.
 

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Ideally if the engine can do it I'd like to have HCH or better spacing with normal final drive. Is there a way to have a closer 1-4 than HCH does? I remember shifting at 6200 and it going to about 4k in the first 4 gears roughly. I'd like that to be more like 4500 or so, are there any gear sets that might accomplish that? I don't mind having 5th being really far apart from 4th, I just want to be able to climb mountains really well and then cruise calmly at flat ground at sea level. I think the Insight would be down to about 50hp or less going through Eisenhower so it would need all the gear it could get.

I know it's a completely different car but I had on my Matrix with the 5 speed it would have issues because dropping a gear was 2k rpms and then it would lose speed so you'd be back and forth and going to redline constantly to keep up with traffic, going to a 6 speed I would only drop 1k to 1500 rpms and it was much more happy in the mountains. It just has a short 6th that annoys me now.
 

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I know in my matrix even though I liked the gearing overall better for accelerating I lost about 5mpg on a 32mph car so like 15% with the same driving habits. I don't mind having to shift out of 5th at any incline. I've always believed that a manual is meant as a drivers car anyways. I prefer a tall overdrive gear for crusing and then close low gears so I can basically always be at peak power at whatever road speed if I need to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Well in that case, I would suggest an HCH Case, with a Fit 3rd and 4th gear. This will get you the shortest 2nd, 3rd, and 4th available. Then, your choice of an HCH Final Drive and HCH 5th, or an Insight Final Drive and Fit 5th. (You could also do Insight Final drive and Insight 5th, but I'm not sure that would be a good idea for your proposed driving style)

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The 3rd and 4th sound like something I'd be pretty interested in doing. I could probably keep the final drive stock then. I'll try out the car on my routes and see how it likes the standard final drive when I'm cruising on flat land at 88mph. That should tell me whether or not I'm going to want a lower final. I don't need a shorter 1st since I'll have working IMA so the only thing I'd want the shorter 5th would be if it wasn't behaving well on the highway.
 

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I live in Colorado and have gone across the mountains on Interstate 70 (Eisenhower pass) multiple times. I find two things. First, the real problem is in Utah on the flat where the wind always blows in your face. No transmission change is going to fix that. Second, 4th gear is useless. If you can't make it up the hill in 5th, you quickly end up in 3rd. On the other hand, there are occasions where there is a slight downhill grade and the 5th ratio is probably too low (high, numerically). I do a lot of mountain driving in 3rd gear. The only thing I use 4th for is city driving and that's because I'm too lazy to shift to 5th.

So maybe the thing to do is keep 1-3 the same, and use 4th as the cruising gear for most conditions, and then raise the 5th gear ratio (lower numerically) for use as a super-duper overdrive. Maybe.
 

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Also here is a completely unsubstantiated theory. When the Insight came out, hybrids were new. So the car salesman takes somebody out for a test drive and they want to point to how the hybrid system works. First gear, no problem, you start up and go as usual. But then in 2nd gear, where you can take some time to demonstrate the assist and the charging, you want it to really obviously be working. That's why, according to my theory, the assist and charge in 2nd gear is so aggressive. Maybe.
 

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I don't have any desire to go any taller than stock 5th with a naturally aspirated engine. I think it would honestly just put too heavy of a load on it and it would lose speed at the drop of a hat. I agree with stock 4th being useless which is why I don't mind having a larger gap between 4th and 5th by going with a Fit 3rd and 4th. I think Bull Dog is pretty on the money with the mutant transmission variants. I'll just have to do some testing to see where my final drive wants to be. I think with my higher speeds taking me up the power curve I might be able to get away with a stock final and stock 5th since I'll pretty much always have V-Tec activated.
 

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Is there a shorter 2nd?
To my knowledge, 2nd is not a discrete gear but actually part of the mainshaft. I'm not sure if the bearing sizes are the same between Insight, Fit and HCH.

I'm in agreement - stock 5th and final drive, and the shortest 1-2-3-4 you can find. The 2nd gen Fit transmission internals are probably also compatible, which might open up some options to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
This is correct, first and second gear are part of the mainshaft and cannot be "swapped."

2nd gen fit gears are a wild card. It's possible that the gear sets may work, but I have yet to get myself a 2nd gen Fit transmission to tear down. Time and money.

Also, they are numerically "worse" than Gen 1 Fit 3rd and 4th gears in this exercise.

Gen 1 vs Gen 2
1.321 vs 1.303
0.97 vs 0.949
 

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Are first and second better in 2nd gen though? I'm mainly looking to go into second at higher rpms. I'll have a 40% current hack and c&c so I'm not worried about first being too tall. It only ever really got too tall once my ima failed, then it was terrible. I never had a current hack before.

If first and second are better then maybe I could do gen 2 fit first and second gen one fit 3rd and 4th and insight fifth and final.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
First gear is the same in all these transmissions. Which is why I haven't been talking about it.

Now, I'm going to quote myself here because a relevant point seems to have gotten lost.

Well in that case, I would suggest an HCH Case, with a Fit 3rd and 4th gear. This will get you the shortest 2nd, 3rd, and 4th available...
Let me say that again, With an HCH Case for the 1.87 second gear, and (Gen 1) Fit 3rd and 4th gears, you will get the shortest 2nd, 3rd, and 4th available...
 

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Ok, yea, I was pretty sure that was the case, was just being hopeful. I guess I wouldn't want a shorter second anyways since that would make me enter 3rd at a lower rpm so it would probably hurt the 0-80 for merging. I'm looking at a 40% current hack and c&c so it should have pretty good merging and passing performance with your hearing recommendations. Thanks for the charts, they were really helpful at making it less a abstract, I'm very visual.
 

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Back in the good olde days, the way you chose the axle ratio was to match the power curve and the drag curve, so that you reached top speed at the power peak in top (1:1) gear. That is basically the situation with the Insight 4th gear, assuming the Insight can go 120+ MPH (ungoverned)--which it undoubtedly can. That makes 5th the "overdrive," but nowadays they are all indirect in the gearbox so it is a moot point and I'm sorry for being an old geezer and bringing it up.
 
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