Modifications and Adding Lightness

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by Sunin, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Maxx

    Maxx He who posts articles

    Yeah, reading this I thought - pull carpet, sound deadening, heat shields, replace glass with plexi (but no duct tape... do it right). If you can live without roll down windows, pull the power window innards. Pull glove box, rear trim, stick to light weight LRR tires, light weight wheels. Replace wiper fluid resi with smaller one. Pull out all dash plastic. Pull out door cards. Pull headliner and roof card. Replace that sunroof with plexi and pull out workings.

    By the time you're done, you'll be left with a car that weighs - and is worth - much, much less!
  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    If you can find lighter rims than the factory ones, use them. Trouble is, they're already among the best available. Same with the tires - this is a specific model in only this size, with the best RR of any tire available.
  3. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger


    Wayne took a CVT Insight just like yours to 146mpg on the 2007 MPG Challenge.

    Lightening up any vehicle is a good idea but you are considering weight reduction on the Lance Armstrong of vehicles. ;)

    The CVT Insight is still on par with the Prius I, casual Prius II driver, and Insight II.

    The mods that might give significant improvement: CalPod switch, FAS switch, hot air intake. They are all relatively simple.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  4. Sunin

    Sunin Well-Known Member

    I'll look into those. I have no idea what a calpod switch is... search is your friend. Calpod is for clutches only right? There might be something similar in the Automatic housing.. i can look.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  5. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I think it's manual only. :(
  6. Sunin

    Sunin Well-Known Member

    I want to see if I can make a push button to fake the trans into thinking I shifted to neutral. In order to avoid actually shifting it. I know the cable won't take that repetitive abuse. Back in the day an old dodge omni and an auto where you used the automatic to rev it higher. about 3 months of that and the cable gave way.
  7. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I don't think you need to worry too much about that with this car. There are many of us here who have shifted AT vehicles to neutral and back to drive several thousand times without any problems at all.
  8. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Try xcel's 2005 accord, for one.
  9. iamian

    iamian Well-Known Member

    Weight and speed have a linear relationship with rolling resistance.

    Keep in mind that rolling resistance is not the only force that acts on a car... but it is a big one.... rolling resistance is the reason higher PSI in tires gives better MPG, but in that case it is reducing the coefficient of rolling resistance.

    For a CVT insight with AC + driver + fuel + etc... you probably started out close to or over a combined weight of about ~2,150 Pounds... of course you could go to a scale and get a direct measurement if you like.

    The % lowering of rolling resistance is directly , linearly related to the % decrease in weight.

    If you started at 2,150 and lost 300 pounds that would be ~13.9% weight reduction... which would yield a ~13.9% decrease in rolling resistance.

    Sense rolling resistance is not the only thing effecting MPG you will get less than this % increase in MPG.... exactly what % of your MPG comes from rolling resistance will vary depending on many variables including: speed, temperature , tire pressure, etc....

    Depending on the specifics you will be a above or bellow ... but ... in general I would expect that about 1/2 of the decrease in rolling resistance will yield MPG improvement.

    So a ~13.9% decrease in rolling resistance I would expect to yield a ~7% increase in MPG under the same conditions / skills / etc....

    So that would take a 60 MPG average to a 64 MPG average... or a 70 MPG average to a 75 MPG average.

    As it has been said above... driving skills can net you much better results... although the driving skills can be combined with the decreased weight.

    Then if you do mostly shorter trips ... add PHEV power and you will do even better.
  10. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired


    after much though, I think you should actually ditch the modification idea completely.

    Work on your driving skills and I'm sure you could get up to 80+. If you can bring your skill level somewhere in the vicinity of Sean's, All those modifications will be put to shame as far as mpg increases.

    Besides that fact, you wont be able to quantify what these mods really do until you reach a skill level where you plateau. If you are dissatisfied at the plateu, which can take a while, then modify your Insight.

    Until then, Time your lights and get to know your car better.
  11. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    I agree with Ricardo, enjoy your Insight as is! Good discussions thou. Hal
  12. Sunin

    Sunin Well-Known Member

    I am in agreement, but I need help. I'm Now averaging even with big hills 55mpg, upwards of 70mpg when I'm running on flat.

    So any hypermilers near Sioux City? hehehe

    I am totally happy with 55mpg average, but I've always been one to push for more. From my computer overclocks, to my miata, to my career. So that is where the urge comes from. Although that is probably TMI..
  13. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Sounds like you are improving nicely! Do remember that winter temps are going to keep you down significantly from what you can achieve in summer.

    Are you using DWL (Driving With Load) yet?
  14. Sunin

    Sunin Well-Known Member

    Yep I am, I don't have cruise on the car and rely on the display to lock in my mpg I want. Sometimes due to the hills it is just not feasible to keep it at 75mpg without going under 5 mph of the speed limit. I do not feel safe going much less than 35 on a 40mph road. I am looking forward to the summer. If I can achieve 55-65mpg rather easily now, I am going to guess that will be +10mpg in the summer :)

    I am working the rollercoaster method of hills atm it is hard to resist adjusting the throttle and actually letting up a bit as you go up the hill and then gently increasing on the way down. I do not lock the rpm, but I do try to lock the mpg display. You really do get a feel for how slightly you need to adjust the gas.
  15. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Good approach. Use the downhill gravity assist to build momentum so that you can hold a higher average up the next hill. Keep in mind that law enforcement likes to lurk at the bottom of hills and also that many drivers have the inexplicable habit of slowing on the down hill and accelerating on the uphill (the most fuel INefficient approach :confused:) so they will tend to blast over the crest of a hill at something over the the limit... and they can't see you on the other side before they get over the hill.

    This means that you should look far back in your rearview mirror and take note of cross streets other vehicles can pull out of after you've passed them. If all is clear, your most efficient way over the hill is a drop off in speed so that you just barely get over the top (preferably just coasting), but do adjust for traffic and road conditions.

    What is your average temperature this time of year? 10mpg improvement might even be on the low end of what you can expect if you keep working on your technique and the temps are extra low right now.
  16. Sunin

    Sunin Well-Known Member

    Avg now is about 25-30F. Sometimes lower. Plus it is very windy here. I would say avg day is 20-25mph winds. I do not know if that goes away in the summer or not... Will find out this year :)

    I saw some posts about a hot air intake. Might be something that I can do pretty easily.
  17. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Okay -- you've got a lot of upside ahead of you. :) We've had similar temps here and I've been stuck in the 70's and low 80's for FE. With no wind and good traffic patterns I can top 100mpg around freezing. Put me in 60F+ and I'll be over 100mpg for pretty much any trip I take. That's a pretty big difference. ;)

    The hot air intake can definitely help. I've not got a specific hot air intake installed but I do have the lower grill blocked and half of the top grill blocked. Facing the car from the front, the air intake horn opens on the left. I've got that side completely blocked and do see a nice increase in intake temperature because it is forced to pull air over the warm engine. The classic way to do this is to reroute the intake to pull air from around the catalytic converter.
  18. Sunin

    Sunin Well-Known Member

    Out of curiousity why does hot air improve fuel mileage? Wouldn't the ECU compensate for the hot air and lean the mixture, thus produce less power, thus you have to step on the gas more to maintain speed?

    Its somewhat confusing to me. I know how to add power to a car, I am foggy on how to add FE.
  19. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    You do end up with less power but better fuel economy. The mixture isn't "leaned," though. Think of this way: do you get better mileage in the summer or the winter? There are a lot of variables but the density of air in the combustion chamber has a fairly large impact on fuel economy. The air/fuel ratio will stay the same but the denser air will require more fuel to keep the ratio up.

    This works for any vehicle but don't try it in the summer -- you'll end up with very little power indeed! The object is to get the combustion parameters closer to what you experience in summer.
  20. Taliesin

    Taliesin Well-Known Member

    Another effect that the warm air intake helps with is cutting down the warm-up time for the engine (it makes more difference than you would think).

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