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2001 CVT “Cherry Bomb” 338K+ Miles
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199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am mostly making this post for motivation and so y’all can help keep me accountable 😆

My list of things to do for the Cherry seems to get longer each day and though working basically 3 jobs does keep me from getting it done, procrastination is still the greater enemy 🤓

I was asked during the meet in Maryland when discussing a few issues, “Do you want to make it run, or do you want to make it right?” Well, I’ve got her running. Now I want to make her right :)

My List thus far (quasi in order of importance but not in the order I will get it done lol):
  • Replace radiator and burp coolant- I’m so done with coolant!! But this one is done, yay! ✅
  • Replace tie rod end boots (they’re toast)
  • Install Scott’s front springs
  • Replace sway bar links (also toast) Done!
  • Check brakes and lines. Brakes feel a little soft and I detect a slight burning smell at times. Replaced rotors, pads, calipers, and fluid. Done! ✅
  • My mpg has dropped recently- track down the reason for that. Done! Sticking calipers were the culprit. ✅
  • Deep discharge HV battery (This should be #1 on the list but for some reason it’s a little daunting :) )
  • Fix exhaust leak. Done! ✅
  • Fix driver side window switch (this went out on my way back from the Maryland meetup 😪)
  • Fix dash lights- I don’t know the set up back there, but several indicators do not light up and at times, the middle section of the dash is darkened
  • Figure out why my hood, headlights, and bumper don’t align (This is not conducive to my ocd 🙃)
  • Fix ALL water leaks. I’m swimming…

  • (Keeping an extra bullet here to continue adding 😂)
 

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2001 CVT “Cherry Bomb” 338K+ Miles
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199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Y’all believe I just drove 2300 miles with a rad like this? 😳 Thanks to @Bull Dog for pointing it out from a photo at the meet. Helping with maintenance and wasn’t even there 😆👊🏼
Automotive tire Tread Road surface Wood Brick

Wood Grille Rectangle Mesh Flooring

She’s purdy now ☺
Automotive parking light Car Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Automotive lighting

The kids said that the engine swap was open heart surgery, and now this is dental work 😂❤
 

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Add to your list - find a better driver's back seat cover;)

Everyone's MPG is dropping this time of year. Insights hate cold weather. You can fight back with grill blocks, warm air intake setups, a little extra air in the tires, say 50 psi.

On the dash lights, if the bulbs don't light when the ignition switch is turned on, the test cycle, then the bulbs are probably burned out. You can replace the bulbs after taking the dash panel garnish off, but they are all old and brittle. Don't dare try until you watch Scott's you-tube video. Get your odometer reset buttons, both sides if needed, at the same time. Scott has the little boards.
 

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Y2K Lithium Insight
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176 Posts
Deep discharge HV battery (This should be #1 on the list but for some reason it’s a little daunting :) )
For me the most daunting thing would be making a list in the first place. There's a reason the word "project" is in my username.

I've never worked with a hybrid automotive charger/discharger. Does it use the same harness for the light bulb discharger or do you have to hook something else up?

Y’all believe I just drove 2300 miles with a rad like this?
Did you know about the condition of the radiator before you made the trip? If so, I might not be the craziest person on this site🙃.
 

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3,142 Posts
I know it's getting colder so mpg drop is natural, but you mentioned brakes...

On the 2800mi drive home in @EggEnjoyers car from long island>SoCal, we struggled to get 50mpg, even though we only did 70mph and never used AC. I checked everything I could think of, and simply blamed it on clogged cats... Nope, it was the pass side brake caliper. It was just slightly dragging, not even enough to cause a temp differential between the rims(I checked more than once on the journey). Once I put fresh pads and rotors on it, as well as lubed everything up, his mpg instantly shot to 70+.
 

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2001 CVT “Cherry Bomb” 338K+ Miles
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199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@1036Project I’m a crazy list lady, I can’t focus without a list. I think I made like 3 just today (non car related) :)
It’s easy, uses the same harness and there are so many tutorials and step-by-steps for the discharge/charge process. Which, I think I’ve read them all by now, so Idky I’m nervous and putting it off. It’s stupid at this point, especially as it’s basically my last hope for this battery. 🤦🏻‍♀️
I was not aware of the state of the rad. You’ve got me beat as the craziest here by maybe just a couple points 😉

@Balto I’m glad you brought this up! I’ve been wondering about my brakes dragging. I definitely feel a lot of resistance, which I know my tires are low rn, but worse than that. I feel like she just wants to stop which feels awful lol. I’ve also checked the rim temps many times after various trips to town and have never felt a difference, so I bet it’s a similar situation. At least that’s an easy fix- I know what I’ll be ordering tomorrow haha. Thanks for that!!
 

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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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1,714 Posts
Balto nailed it with the brakes. Your mentioning a smell, plus the dropping mileage was the tip off. Jack up the front of the car, put on jackstands. With car in neutral, spin each front wheel. They should spin freely. If you feel resistance on either side, remove wheel and investigate brakes. Repeat for rear.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic — it draws in moisture from the atmosphere. Although I am betting most folks don’t do it, for max brake parts life a complete brake fluid replacement every two years isn’t a bad idea.

On the window switch/dash lights issue, unfortunately, you are going to have to remove the dash bezel to address. This is nail biting territory since it is easy to crack the plastic. If possible, this is a repair I prefer to do in Summer since plastic and cold weather don’t seem to do well together.

Your main window switch likely needs replacement. They fail and need to be replaced from the back side of the dash bezel. While in there, change ALL dash light bulbs. Additionally, obtain rebuilt odometer and trip buttons from Scott Kulbeck and replace those too on a while you’re in there basis.

Radiator replacement wasn’t so bad right?

Good luck!

Apologies to jime. I did not read his reply before posting.
 

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To add to what @jime said about being old and brittle...

Don't work with any of the interior plastic parts when the weather's cool/cold!
That stuff busts like the chickens under perfect conditions.
Adding cold temperature to the mix is bad. Bad. BAD!
 
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Balto nailed it with the brakes. Your mentioning a smell, plus the dropping mileage was the tip off. Jack up the front of the car, put on jackstands. With car in neutral, spin each front wheel. They should spin freely. If you feel resistance on either side, remove wheel and investigate brakes. Repeat for rear.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic — it draws in moisture from the atmosphere. Although I am betting most folks don’t do it, for max brake parts life a complete brake fluid replacement every two years isn’t a bad idea.

On the window switch/dash lights issue, unfortunately, you are going to have to remove the dash bezel to address. This is nail biting territory since it is easy to crack the plastic. If possible, this is a repair I prefer to do in Summer since plastic and cold weather don’t seem to do well together.

Your main window switch likely needs replacement. They fail and need to be replaced from the back side of the dash bezel. While in there, change ALL dash light bulbs. Additionally, obtain rebuilt odometer and trip buttons from Scott Kulbeck and replace those too on a while you’re in there basis.

Radiator replacement wasn’t so bad right?

Good luck!

Apologies to jime. I did not read his reply before posting.
She can't do that. It's a CVT :(. Even in neutral there is a fair bit of trans drag.
 

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2001 CVT “Cherry Bomb” 338K+ Miles
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199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What's going on with the exhaust?

She can at least try the brake drag check on the rear wheels.
I’ve got a pretty bad exhaust leak between the cat and head. I have the gasket there, but I think build up/rust on the cat is keeping it from sealing properly. Not sure, just smth else to investigate. All anyone could say at the meet is- well, it’s loud 😂
 
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2004 Blue 5 M/T
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I’ve got a pretty bad exhaust leak between the cat and head. I have the gasket there, but I think build up/rust on the cat is keeping it from sealing properly. Not sure, just smth else to investigate. All anyone could say at the meet is- well, it’s loud 😂
I think you just need a new gasket, it seemed to be blowing out a significant amount of exhaust there as if part of the gasket was entirely compromised or folded over or something like that, though cleaning up the mating surfaces is definitely not a bad idea.
 

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2001 CVT “Cherry Bomb” 338K+ Miles
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think you just need a new gasket, it seemed to be blowing out a significant amount of exhaust there as if part of the gasket was entirely compromised or folded over or something like that, though cleaning up the mating surfaces is definitely not a bad idea.
I’m not sure! I did get a new one from Bull Dog so we’ll see if a good cleaning and replacing the gasket helps. Thanks for helping me find that leak, btw! 🤪
 
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2001 CVT “Cherry Bomb” 338K+ Miles
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Bit by bit, knocking some stuff off the list. Got the sway bar links, one disk, and both sets of pads installed. The driver side disk still has its two screws and they’re impossibly rusted stuck. Will have to revisit that.The pads were toast and rotors like vinyl records :)
Automotive tire Bicycle part Wood Rim Automotive wheel system

Automotive tire Bumper Wood Tread Automotive exterior

Artifact Wood Automotive tire Road surface Tints and shades

Hand Automotive tire Tire Wood Finger

Driver side on left, passenger on right.
Wall Gas Tints and shades Font Metal

Finger Wood Font Nail Thumb

Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle brake Rim Bicycle part
New and old comparisons.
@Arbus, are Vans acceptable for this project? 😂😉
 

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Unpopular opinion, but don't put the screws back in the rotors. It's an assembly line QOL thing and isn't necessary beyond that. Especially for people who live where rust exists.
 

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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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The uneven pad wear suggests that the caliper slide pins may need lubricating. It could be that one wheel was doing most of the braking and if you aren’t in the habit of performing high speed panic stops, you might not notice uneven brake clamping pressure (the car isn’t necessarily going to pull to one side if most brake applications happen at 5 mph). Be aware that those screws (holding the rotor on) aren’t your average Phillips head screws either. Rather they are JIS. Japanese Industrial Standard (but I don’t know which JIS size). Plenty of penetrating oil, impact driver and proper JIS bit are going to up your odds of success on the rotor removal. Good luck.

You need an impact driver to free those rotor screws. It is like a twist drill that you wack with a hammer to generate rotary force.
 

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The uneven pad wear suggests that the caliper slide pins may need lubricating. It could be that one wheel was doing most of the braking and if you aren’t in the habit of performing high speed panic stops, you might not notice uneven brake clamping pressure (the car isn’t necessarily going to pull to one side if most brake applications happen at 5 mph). Be aware that those screws (holding the rotor on) aren’t your average Phillips head screws either. Rather they are JIS. Japanese Industrial Standard (but I don’t know which JIS size). Plenty of penetrating oil, impact driver and proper JIS bit are going to up your odds of success on the rotor removal. Good luck.

You need an impact driver to free those rotor screws. It is like a twist drill that you wack with a hammer to generate rotary force.
And R rotors are the worst 🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢. I had to take an angle grinder to my SR rotors to get them loose(I was replacing them anyway).
 

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2004 Blue 5 M/T
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I wouldn't recommend driving it with new pads until you get that other rotor off, you'll likely have to end up replacing the pads on that side again since it'll carve grooves into it. Have you tried an impact screwdriver on those screws? Also, as @Balto said, don't put those back in, it'll just leave you in the same predicament a few years from now! And as @Joule said, JIS drivers are absolutely amazing! I got some when I started working on vintage Honda motorcycles and they will make you want to throw every Phillips driver you have straight in the trash! They even grip regular Philips screws better than a Phillips driver do!

It's funny how we all seem to like similar things @Joule , I also like Volvos... I've had 13 of them 😂, 12 being redblocks.
 
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