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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Turd Nugget 2000: A bedeviled K24a_ swap build

This thread will be the transformation of a dead, 300k Insight into a relatively modest daily driven street sleeper with decent mpg. Input from members highly encouraged as I'm honestly out of my depth on a few things, namely mounts and wiring, possibly the LCA/ball joint issue. Sure, it's been done before (and better) but I don't have a lift, cherry picker (yet), excess space, and my lone power tool is a recently purchased Milwaukee Li-ion ratchet. I've been dreaming of this swap for 2 years. I've read every page of every other K-series build and regretfully did not take more notes. It was either get busy on the damn thing or seek medication lol.

Goals: Budget conscious where possible, 5 speed manual and 200hp, cruise control and AC. 40-50mpg. "[ ]" means it has been purchased/have.

Previous swaps: '89 CRX HF + D15Z1 twelve years ago and '97 Civic Hatchback DX + D16Y5 five years ago. LEGOS compared to this swap.

Engine: ['04 TSX K24a2 with assorted drive by wire for cruise control]. May opt for the K24 out of an Accord to alleviate drive by wire throttle issues and run 87 octane. If not I'm satisfied with what I have.

Transmission: '03-07 Accord 5 speed manual and cables. Stock Insight shifter box. Flywheel and clutch TBD.

Mounts: Barring Brian at Hasport making a group buy batch may have to cobble something together. My welding experience is 4 minutes above fresh noob and that was 10 years ago. Innovative kit would place the engine too far forward and low for my taste as others have mentioned.

Axles: Some have used '94-01 GSR + EP3 or custom but I won't know until the engine is mounted and lengths measured.

Fuel: name brand fuel pressure regulator and [regular fuel hose]. Was told by Ryanthegreat1 that I may need a TSX pump in order to keep trims intact. May have to patch/replace hard lines first due to corrosion. Fun.

ECM: [stock TSX plus factory immobilizer and key. TSX engine harness wiring] modified to mate with factory Insight.

Suspension: LCA machined to accept insert for stock EM2/EP3 knuckle vs. stock Insight LCA into welded insert in EM2/EP3 knuckle. EP3/RSX strut assemblies mated to Insight top hat mounts to preserve original bolt holes in the shock towers. We'll see how all *that* turns out.

Springs: Ground Control coilovers unless Scott's springs can support the extra weight of the engine effectively. 12v battery will be relocated to the rear to preserve some balance.

Brakes: Stock EM2/EP3 rotors and calipers up front, 4 lug. [HX wheels].

Dash Cluster: most go S2000 but I'd be happy with stock it I can get speedo, tach, coolant temp, fuel gauge, and idiot lights to work.

Exhaust: Stock TSX if possible (up to the cat) then custom the rest of the way.

Advice/criticism is welcome. Constructive preferred. Onward!!!

Mak
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
As for the name, Turd Nugget 2000 abbreviated is TNT which is appropriate considering the likelihood of such a project blowing up in my face once I'm waist deep in it.

The CRX took 3 years because of school and I injured my back when the trans slipped off the hoist chain, fell on my chest, and broke the wooden creeper underneath me. The Civic Hatch only took a year but once while lifting a small trolley jack my back (same one! lol) spasmed and I was crippled for three days.

This project has already caused grief due to extracting the K24 was a 12 hour nightmare. A buddy and I were an hour and a half away from home and hit roadblock after roadblock, mostly bent bolts from light front left damage. Most of the pull ended up being during the night as a result, in the grass/gravel, with one ****ty cage light and seized suspension bolts galore. The previous owner at the location alluded to a cherry picker before I arrived but none made an appearance so we strapped the subframe to a truck after it was lowered and towed it to freedom with the shell's front end jacked precariously high. Then it took 4 guys and some luck to lift the engine/trans into the back of said truck. At 4 am. In the wet dew. I was useless at work the next day. Everyone kept asking if I'd been in a fight. Fights don't hurt like that morning did. Never again lol.

TNT was delivered last night at 3:45a. It took all of 4 minutes before an errantly placed ramp slipped off the trailer and there goes my dangling donor. Got it on solid footing just as the tow driver backs it down and liberates the front bumper from the body with ease. No permanent damage on either account but it's not how I wanted to start this project. Enough exposition, time to clean her up and see what's in store...
 

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You need to post videos of this process on youtube. It sounds like it's going to be hilarious. Good luck. I hope it works out for you.
 

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...considering the likelihood of such a project blowing up in my face once I'm waist deep in it.

... I injured my back when the trans slipped off the hoist chain, fell on my chest, and broke the wooden creeper underneath me. ... once while lifting a small trolley jack my back (same one! lol) spasmed and I was crippled for three days.

This project has already caused grief due to extracting the K24 was a 12 hour nightmare ... it took 4 guys and some luck to lift the engine/trans into the back of said truck. At 4 am. In the wet dew. I was useless at work the next day. Everyone kept asking if I'd been in a fight. Fights don't hurt like that morning did. Never again lol.

... took all of 4 minutes before an errantly placed ramp slipped off the trailer and there goes my dangling donor. Got it on solid footing just as the tow driver backs it down and liberates the front bumper from the body with ease. No permanent damage on either account but it's not how I wanted to start this project.
I look forward to seeing your... obituary?

This is the funniest intro thread I've seen on here.
 

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+1. You seem to have a continuing disregard for safety. Big heavy things like cars, engines, and transmissions can hurt you-or worse. Please be careful, use jack stands, attach things properly, and constantly ask yourself "What are the consequences if this thing falls?" Your back is going to get worse as you grow older, and it's too late to undo that one. Spend a day in a wheel chair and see how you like it.

And what will you have when you're done? You're going to put a lot of money and effort into this car, and it'll still be a turd. It sounds like you're going to cut corners whenever you can, so it probably won't be very much fun or reliable.

If you're going build a hot rod, start with a nice car. The red one in the pictures looks like a better candidate. Turn the turd into your daily driver (using parts from the red car) and build the red car with the K24.

Just my thoughts as I was reading this.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #7
+1. You seem to have a continuing disregard for safety. Big heavy things like cars, engines, and transmissions can hurt you-or worse. Please be careful, use jack stands, attach things properly, and constantly ask yourself "What are the consequences if this thing falls?" Your back is going to get worse as you grow older, and it's too late to undo that one. Spend a day in a wheel chair and see how you like it.

And what will you have when you're done? You're going to put a lot of money and effort into this car, and it'll still be a turd. It sounds like you're going to cut corners whenever you can, so it probably won't be very much fun or reliable.

If you're going build a hot rod, start with a nice car. The red one in the pictures looks like a better candidate. Turn the turd into your daily driver (using parts from the red car) and build the red car with the K24.

Just my thoughts as I was reading this.

Sam
To clarify, those injuries were the lowlights if you will of a 15 year history with Hondas. I wouldn't still be alive if I was habitually careless.

I don't usually have help. At least consistent help. Therefore, I always use stout jack stands and even two spare tires underneath in case the stand fails. As for the wheelchair, the back spasm could not have been predicted. I picked up the jack with proper form that time as I had literally a hundred times prior with no issues. I was overdue for hitting the ground in pain.

This won't be an extravagant race-minded build as others have done, yes, but it would be a waste of time to build this half-assed and without thought. Proof of my work ethic are my other two swaps: both still run to this day and aren't hack jobs. Besides a bad main relay solder joint and a loose injector negative wire they've ran reliably post swap.

Like most of you on this board, I don't like to see good Insights trashed or scrapped for silly reasons. My red one needs nothing but paint if you're picky. The turd was weeks away from being crushed and I saw an opportunity. The foundation looks solid and I can repair the cosmetics and minor issues as I go. First up, trunk latch whir and pressure washing the seats. If a better candidate shell comes along soon then I may just get her back to running status, fix obvious flaws and send her to a new owner at cost.

I do appreciate your feedback, my tone appeared more flippant in the beginning posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Why not? They are cheap compare to a broken body part. Always use bolts and nuts for engine hoist instead of a hook.
Oh, one will be borrowed or purchased before it's over with, no way around that. After dealing with D-series single cams forever I am astonished/fearful at how heavy this lump really is.
 

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Makitadiesel, rooting for you and your build. Have a look at another forum member here and on HT, his build is with the L15A1 and auto trans. I quickly glanced through it and one thing he pointed out was trying to re-use the insight top hats with the RSX struts is a "no go", also whatever all he used he was unable to not have to re-position the hats to regain proper alignment. I'm sure you've seen what LHT has done with K-series in the insight in the past but anything you can dig up or get straight from John in the form of fitment and work arounds would surly help you in getting this swap done.

https://honda-tech.com/forums/honda-insight-cr-z-154/build-thread-1g-insight-w-l15a-fit-t-ultimate-commuter-3290050/

And here is another guy doing a K24 in an insight build that may help you out.
https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/k24-2001-honda-insight-the-jack-of-all-trades/104788/page1/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kraftwerksfit: Thanks, I'm aware of both threads and have taken tips from both. Not the high dollar gearset or coilovers of Proawemike of course but I pick and choose paths. The top hat/RSX conundrum fix I've read was a mix of machined stock top hats with welded RSX center strut rod mounts. We'll see if an easier solution presents itself.

Mudder: Thanks for the encouragement!

Fair warning, this will not be a fast or glamorous thread. Progress will be slow but hopefully steady. What isn't documented here will be recorded in a notebook I've used for such things. Keeps up with dates/hours/comments/cost type thing. Plus I'd rather work on the car than talk about working on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Today was clean the interior day. If cleanliness is next to godliness then this filthy beast was Satan's discarded gym underpants. No more. Vacuumed for well over an hour, removed seats for cleaning (next post) and made some curious discoveries along the way.

Unrelated, does anyone know of a better image hosting site than Photobucket? I can't embed currently. Free preferred, this is a budget build after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Loaded the seats up in the CRX and proceeded to the nearest car wash. Soaked and pressure washed, mats too. The color of water that squished out can be best referred to as less than pleasant Folger's black roast. Yum. If this is your daily I'd recommend a couple days in the sun to fully dry out. Total cost: $2.

No after shots bc they are still drying. Not brand new looking but much improved from the dingy befores of 306k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Found this under the spare tire cover. I believe politics and cars (or the internet for that matter) should never mix so I will only say it's a sign that either I'll get lucky or screwed with this project. It's not expired yet, anybody need some political coverage? Lol.

Next up, checking to see if the cam is broken. More curious than anything.
 

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Also, to anyone that says you can't get a reliable swap by going cheap and cutting corners. You most certainly can. It just consumes more time because you have to think about how to do it cheaper. If you rush. Yes. It will be crap (ask me how I know). Take your time. Do research. Time is free.


The cleanliness of the interior reflects the package you found.

Good luck with the project, I'll be following it.
 

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Unrelated, does anyone know of a better image hosting site than Photobucket? I can't embed currently. Free preferred, this is a budget build after all.
**** photobucket. Used them for years, this year they decide to ruin 90% of build threads on the internet with $400 ransoms.

Anyway, check out IMGUR. It's awesome, only downside is they don't allow linking to certain forums.

My backup is Postimage.org ? free image hosting / image upload, this seems to work everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks ADDvanced, works like a charm.

Progress has been slow, spent some time on the stock engine autopsy for my own curiosity and knowledge. The cam gear pin was sheared and cam end chipped, a common head-related death usually from lubrication issues in the cam journals. Vtec screen wasn't spotless but not occluded either.

Started stripping the front end to free up some room and to clean, consider this a public service announcement. The space about the rocker sill is a bastion of earth, dirt, and leaves. I haven't weighed my shop vac but I've already sucked up literal pounds of accumulated crud out of the exterior crannies. Exhibit A:

 

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Looks like I'm not the only one here that has a CRX and an Insight!

Hope the build goes well, I'll be paying attention to details of Insight budget K swaps for when it comes time to do mine
 

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The crud you found is due to a design defect by Honda... some of the crap that falls into the opening by the windshield wipers has nowhere to go... I, too, vacuumed considerable buildup when I first took mine apart.
 
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