CalPod for HCH-I MT?

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by lowandslow, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. lowandslow

    lowandslow Member

    Hi All,

    Can a Calpod type switch be used on a 2004 HCH-I with a 5-speed MT?
    I'd like to be able to sometimes control/limit assist and regen and was wondering if that would work like on the Insight-I MT's. If a Calpod won't work, are there any other ways to fool the system to stop assist/regen on this generation Civic? I'd love a MIMA but understand those aren't available for Civic's (am I right about that?).

  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Unfortunately, no it doesn't work. It disables regen but not assist -- exactly the opposite of what we want.

    There are no ways to manually control the behavior (other than with delicate foot control!) in your vehicle. :(
  3. lowandslow

    lowandslow Member

    Thanks Sean,

    I guess I'll just have to adjust that nut-behind-the-wheel and use a light foot.

  4. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Sorry, Ed!!! I know that car is ultra-assist happy in 1st-3rd gears. :(
  5. lowandslow

    lowandslow Member

    Your so right "ultra-assist" happy is a good way to put it. I can't seem to go light enough on the pedal to avoid at least some assist. It is so much easier to avoid assist in 4th and 5th. You just gave me an idea.... does it monitor what gear your in, and become less assist-happy in 4th and 5th??? If so, is there a way to fool it into thinking I'm in, say 4th gear, when I'm actually still in 1st, 2nd or 3rd gear??? Just a thought.
  6. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I don't know about fooling it but I think the assist is triggered by requested load. It is possible to drive the HCH-I MT without any assist in the low gears, but acceleration is just a creep. :p

    The same situation exists in the Insight MT but to a considerably lower extent. 2nd is the assist happy one and 3rd isn't too hard to stay out of assist in.
  7. lowandslow

    lowandslow Member

    I've continued to look for ways to reduce or eliminate assist/regen on my 04 HCH-1 MT and think I've found 2 approaches. First I tracked down the wiring for the Neutral Position Switch (NPS). After hitting the books (Service Manual, and Electrical Troubleshooting Manuals from Honda) I found that the NPS on circuit M23 provides continuity when in any gear. So I fabricated a quick jumper-wire and connected the 2 wires attached to that switch and Yea, I got NO assist or regen on a brief test drive. Then while trying to find this wire (Red Black) under the dash I learned it also ties into the Electrical Power Steering control unit (EPS). Well, I then turned back to the Clutch Interlock Switch (CIS)since it is so close to the driver and relativly easy to get to. I first simply applied some electrical tape over the CIS to hold it pressed in (simulating the clutch pedal near the floor) and got no assist/regen on a test drive. Last night I fabricated a quick "Calpod" type toggle switch to the CIS just as described by Delta a while back on his Insight, and today on my commute it worked great. I get no assist or regen when my switch is closed (continuity), but normal operation when it is open. There are a few un-intended consequences though. For example, I get no green "shift-up" light (not necessarily a bad thing), and I can start the ICE with the clutch engaged. Oh yea, and just a little bit of smoke from under the dash -just kidding - at least none so far! Well, I wanted to share this info with all, and also ask a few questions to those that are more familiar with this than me. First, will fooling the ECM to inhibit assist/regen via the NPS or CIS cause any major problems with the EPS or other systems (other than having to rememeber to deactivate my switch to allow regen of the IMA pack and probably 12 V bat)? Second, is it better to accomplish such an inhibition of assist/regen by using the NPS or the CIS (advantages or disadvantages of each)? Finally, will this work on all HCH-I MTs or just my 04 (a friend has an 05 and I wonder if the wiring or controls are different between 04 and 05 that would prevent this approach to inhibit assist/regen).

    lowandslow (loving the extra control of power managment)
  8. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I believe GreenBlues tried this in an '05 and it didn't work?

    Sounds like it does work great in your vehicle -- and your experience parallels what I see in my Insight. :D

    The DC-DC converter will continue to operate properly to keep the 12V battery charged so you don't have an issue there. I do recommend flipping the switch off (to factory configuration) when about halfway between shifts to 3rd and 4th gear. My Insight has some background charging going on in 3rd gear that helps keep the SoC topped up and leaving the switch on all the time inhibits this. I was able to see the SoC drop more quickly in this configuration so I started turning it off as soon as I got to 3rd gear.

    Good luck and let us know how your experience improves. :)
  9. lowandslow

    lowandslow Member

    Thanks for the info. Glad to hear the DC-DC converter will still work. I only used my new "Calpod" switch it a little this morning since it is new to me and I wanted to take it easy at first. I did notice an increase in my SoC since I used less assist, but turned my switch to normal during the few times I brake or have an opportunity for regen. So far so good. Now even more to learn and figure out how to best optimize IMA usage (but that's part of the challenge Huh?)
  10. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Yes indeed! I recommend using it the way I do in the Insight: Switch on during a start from stop for 1st and 2nd gears (maybe 3rd as well in your car?) to avoid assist while accelerating, then off for 4th and 5th. I also use it for hills that would pull assist otherwise. I always have it off for slowing so I can use the extra braking power of regen (my little 3cyl has ridiculously low internal friction and barely slows the car at all on its own).

    I think you'll see nice improvements in your mileage with the ability to keep the SoC topped off! As I recall, Laurie's '05 got kinda happy with 20 bars -- it felt as though there was background charging at everything below that.
  11. lowandslow

    lowandslow Member

    Oh I'm having fun with my new toy (my Calpod switch)!!!
    Got my SoC all the way up (is that 20 bars?) for the first time, and avoiding forced regen seemed to help on my FE, but it will take more time (and my getting familiar) to know for sure. I'll try using in in 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but not in 4th or 5th as you suggested.

    BTW I should make a correction to my earlier statement regarding the Neutral Position Switch (NPS). I got that backwards when I said "continuity in any gear." It is the other way around continuity means in neutral (and my jumper wire on the connector to that switch provided continuity simulating the trans in neutral). Sorry about that - just wanted to clear that up in case anybody tries the NPS route to freedom-of-forced-regen, and you-get-to-decide when assist comes in.

    Can't wait to drive home...
  12. Mr. Pancake

    Mr. Pancake Well-Known Member

    LowAndSlow, do you still find the switch helpful and, if so, any pictures/instructions so I could do the same to my car?
  13. lowandslow

    lowandslow Member

    Mr Pancake,
    Yes I find it helpful. I try to plan ahead and coast as much as possible up to lights and stop signs, etc. Therefore I don't use regen braking enough to replenish the IMA enough to offset the assist -happy nature of mine especially in town where a lot of starts and stops means a lot of assist even when I try to minimize it. I've been able to completely avoid any forced regen. It seemed to be improving my mileage maybe 1 or 2 mpg on the first half of this tank (the second half has some unusual driving conditions that reduced my mileage so it will take more time to determine the true effect). And the way I'm using it I think it might help the IMA pack last longer since I'm not getting-into-it as much as before. I can use it selectively where I can benefit the most but not many of the times it really isn't required.
    I don't have any pics but I suggest searching for Delta's post on Calpod for dummies or something like that. He has some nice pictures and I did mine just like he did (except for not having MIMA to factor in) meaning I just inserted and taped wires into the clutch switch connector so no damage to wire harness and the clutch switch still works as it should whether my toggle is on or off. If you can't find his post, let me know and I will take some pics for you.
  14. Mr. Pancake

    Mr. Pancake Well-Known Member

  15. Mr. Pancake

    Mr. Pancake Well-Known Member

    Went to the auto parts store this morning and bought a switch. Pretty easy to install. I mounted the switch in one of the accesory blanks by the auxillary power plug. I bought a "racing" style switch with a plastic red cover that has to be flipped up before you can flip the actual switch, I find it amusing. I only took a little test drive to check out the new mod but I like it a lot and think it will be very useful. Acceleration isn't all that bad without assist, not fast by any means, but not as bad as I thought it might be.
  16. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Excellent!! Success in both an '04 and an '03!! :D
  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Lowandslow and Mr. Pancake:

    ___Excellent news!!! Now the fun is really going to begin :)

    ___Please post some pics when you have the time as it sounds like the Clutch switch mod is far easier to install in an HCH-I than it is in an Insight-I.

    ___Good Luck

  18. jimepting

    jimepting Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the NPS trick works on the late model Insight 1. Anyone tried that yet?

    Also, anyone have a good explanation for why the CalPod doesn't work on these cars?
  19. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Jim, it appears the programming was changed for '05 and up models. It would certainly be worth trying the NPS hack to see if it worked for your car -- if it did that would be a relatively cheap mechanism to accomplish assist free driving.

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