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Premium Member
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello IC Forum,

I came to your world almost exactly a year ago by way of jeffffej's YouTube videos, in search of a gen1 Insight to call my own. Initially I was in the market for one of his, but I wasn't sure I deserved it such a special, unique machine. There were lots of leads over the coming months, all of which resulted in one or both parties backing out for a whole host of different reasons (some of them... unpleasant ones). Now, at long last, jeffffej's gracious and unparalleled guidance and our combined patience and determination have all paid off, and I am the proud new owner of this battle-scarred beauty queen.

Automotive parking light Car Vehicle Automotive side marker light Wheel


She belonged to Natalya, or her partner to be precise, and was therefore not the project car we had long discussed my purchasing from her, but rather a scratch-a-dent alternative, offered to me for considerably less, and at a time when considerably less was precisely what I could justify spending. Though the list of future upgrades and repairs is not short, the important bits are pretty well intact, along with a couple perks:

a little over 200k
runs smooth
non-CVT manual transmission (with typical grind when downshifting into 1st and 2nd)
cold AC courtesy of a newly installed compressor
tinted windows
relatively new tires.

Aside from acquiring a new IMA harness and computer to go with a new IMA battery, very little of the work that needs doing is mechanical, and I can tolerate a lot of cosmetic imperfections. My other terrestrial tugboat is a 1997 Toyota Previa, affectionately known as Ug, Priscila, Yaitso Gunbu, Cosmovo, Our Lady of the Electric Tornado Train, and The Black-Eyed Buck Hunter. Those last honorific titles should tell you the kind of mayhem she and I have been through in the three years we've been together, and it shows, but no matter what God throws at her, she refuses to die. The new gen1 already has as long a list of names (Mollisia, Sippy Longstalking, Parvus, Stiletto). I'm hoping it's a good long time before I have to come up with any more near-death-experience names for another vehicle, but I think it's safe to say we have a storied future ahead of us.

Some observations I've made, still being an almost complete noob to this vehicle and any others like it:

Being gas-only, it seems to take a lot of RPMs in 1st to be able to keep acceleration steady when shifting into 2nd. I was tripping that 12v drain thing that happens in 1st with the battery and brake dash lights, but I think I've learned how to stay beneath it and still get the power I need going into 2nd gear. Double clutching does seem to eliminate most of the grind when downshifting into 2nd, but there's always at least a short buzz/zap of clutch-on-gear. Natalya's suggested rev matching to address that, which I'm hopeful I'll get better at with practice, as well as checking the clutch fluid reservoir (which I keep putting off for no reason). Downshifting into 1st at any speed seems to be a 100% no-no. From what I've read on these transmissions, I think that's standard. That aside, accelerating in 1st from a dead stop can require a level of clutch finesse beyond what I'm used to with my admittedly limited experience driving stick, but this too I feel like I'm getting the hang of, bit by bit.

Anyway, that's my big update on the one-year, on-and-off hunt finally coming to a close. For $1750, I think I got just about exactly what I wanted for a price I didn't think was possible, and can look forward to taking Mollisia/Sippy Longstalking/Parvus/Stiletto to the "jeffffej Insight Spa" in Augusta, Georgia when schedules and finances permit. Big Thanks to both jeffffej and Natalya for each of your roles in making this little dream come true, and more thanks in advance for whatever aid you are able to provide further down the road.

-Danny (myxomop)
 

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Premium Member
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684 Posts
Rock and roll, baby. It will only get better from here on. The engine is a low torque engine being helped at low RPM's by the electric motor. The gears are tall and you will get used to that, too. In a month you will be a pro, a happy pro. Welcome to the Happy Insight Drivers Club! ;o)
 

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48 Posts
Welcome and congrats. Not to worry about needed fix-ups since almost all available cars are well worn by now. I have also recently bought a red 03 with 128k . Low miles was the main selling feature. Then, only to discover after getting it home from another state, that it needed much work. Such is the life of a collector trying to find the last few Gen ones with reasonable fix-up potential. Be patient with it.
 

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Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
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12,111 Posts
Welcome to the "Family". Being a first time manual operator, you will learn as you drive. Patience is the best practice. Most INSIGHTERS seldom shift down to first at any speed above 5 mph most of the time. Good luck.
 

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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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1,562 Posts
I drove sticks regularly for more than ten years and never saw a need to downshift into first. At those speeds, brakes do the trick. No need for engine braking.
 

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62 Posts
Hmm... at any speed you mean like 5mph? I can definitely downshift into 1st at very low speeds. There is speculation that I have a well rebuilt transmission though.
 
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