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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 2001 Honda Insight and the IMA battery pack is kaput. I was wondering if there is a way to replace that pack with LiFePO4 cells. I believe the pack is 144 volts. Don't quote me on that one. I was considering just converting the darn thing to electric and stuff in an AC-35 120 volt pack of LiFePO4 cells. Preferred to fix the IMA pack for now. Any one have any ideas or help in doing this without spending an arm and leg for a NiMH pack.

Thanks
Pete :)

PS. does anyone know if the rear quarter panels on the Insight can be replaced. We mucked up our drivers side quarter panel and it looks super ugly. Looks like it could be replaced vs repaired. Since it is aluminum I don't want to repair. Just replace if possible.
 

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I think most Insight owners use LTO over LiFePO4. I'll add a link to some setups that people are running. There is a lot of good information on first gen Insights at Insightcentral.net

Good luck

 

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I can't be of any help with your battery question, however, you might be interested in taking a look at the Transport Evolved Youtube channel. They have just gotten a 2001 (I think) Insight, that was previously converted to a full EV using an EV1 motor. It is not currently operational.

They will be solving different problems, with the same car. Today's video was a tour of the vehicle, as it is, before the project has started.
 

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Of interest the Nissan Leaf AC motor has an identical spline count as the motor in the Honda Insight. Also the Prius Prime has a workable one way clutch that could enable pure IMA EV power alongside gas motivation at the flip of a

Others on Insightcentral.net have done lithium conversions with a MIMA like joystick to control things

Mudder also has a full replacement designed to replace all the modules under the hatch with lithium compatible components and more modern ac motor controlsComplete with a charger.

I would go there and read up, mudder has been searching for someone to complete his work so it’s plug and play.

lots of engineering efforts have gone into modifying the venerable Insight, good luck
 

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I was thinking about your actual problem and you could just do what I did and disable the IMA and run gas only.

The car runs fine but will have an IMA CEL.

There are threads on running without a hybrid battery

Also I have a grid charger which I use occasionally when I want ima power, quite simple to build

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·


I was thinking about your actual problem and you could just do what I did and disable the IMA and run gas only.

The car runs fine but will have an IMA CEL.

There are threads on running without a hybrid battery

Also I have a grid charger which I use occasionally when I want ima power, quite simple to build

Good Luck
Yes, I can disable the IMA and work at keeping the


I was thinking about your actual problem and you could just do what I did and disable the IMA and run gas only.

The car runs fine but will have an IMA CEL.

There are threads on running without a hybrid battery

Also I have a grid charger which I use occasionally when I want ima power, quite simple to build

Good Luck
So the problem is not turning off the IMA but smog. Without the IMA functioning it will fail the smog we are required to get every two years. I tried to fit one of my LiFePO4 12 volt battery into the battery tray for the Insight. Nope. About 1/4 inch too wide. The 12v battery is toast anyway so I will need a new one of those. I'd like the IMA to at least keep the 12v charged. I don't mind right now but the purpose is to have a hybrid not just a weenie gas engine. I would prefer an alternative replacement for the IMA but before I do that I need to know if the rear quarter panels can be replaced and where to buy one. So far no luck. Not worth keeping if the car looks like crap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So generally no one has a way to put in an alternative LiFePO4 144v pack to replace the nickel metal hydride batteries that come with the vehicle. Seems rather odd no one has done this and made the plans or the harnesses to do a direct plug in so all the components just work vs having to spend a fortune on a tiny battery pack for an old vehicle that is still quite useful if it had a battery assist. Looks like sending it to the wrecking yard is the way to go at this point. No one will by it with a damaged quarter panel and no one will buy it with a non functioning IMA battery pack. Pretty worthless at that point. Too bad. It is a nice little car. Yes, not the most comfortable but it does get you from here to there for a decent price.
 

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So generally no one has a way to put in an alternative LiFePO4 144v pack to replace the nickel metal hydride batteries that come with the vehicle. Seems rather odd no one ha.
mudder has created a drop in solution but wants the person who takes It on to finish the software and errata out of beta.

Considering no one has made (yet) a drop in lithiumreplacement for the much more commonPrius it’s not surprising no one has invested in a few thousand insights. Heck the HONDA BEV ECU in the Insight has never had a tuner solution so we can’t even unlock the engine tables.

I own 2 Insights and they are reliable if you live in the right location, I am kicking myself that I didn’t agree to be apart of mudders beta test.

Also I have a completely failed pack in one of my cars, a $50 grid charger can shut off the cel and make all systems in the car fully functional for about a week before I have to do another grid charge

Well worth considering and the car although not valuable in perfect condition may fetch more than you expect in damaged condition (certainly more than the$150 they get at the wrecker)

I would definitely post it for sale on Insightcentral with your location, there is a hardcore following who will keep your car out of the wrecker

If you were in Wisconsin and your carwas red I would buy it as a parts unit for my other cars.

My one insight is a total wreck but still gets get FE and still has a good OEM battery
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
mudder has created a drop in solution but wants the person to finish the software and errata out of beta.

Considering no one has made (yet) a drop in lithiumreplacement for the much more commonPrius it’s not surprising no one has invested in a few thousand insights.

I own 2 Insights and they are reliable if you live in the right location, I am kicking myself that I didn’t agree to be apart of mudders beta test.

Also I have a completely failed pack in one of my cars, a $50 grid charger can shut off the cel and make all systems in the car fully functional for about a week before I have to do another grid charge

Well worth considering and the car although not valuable in perfect condition may fetch more than you expect in damaged condition (certainly more than the$150 they get at the wrecker)

If you were in Wisconsin and your carwas red I would buy it as a parts unit for my other cars.

My one insight is a total wreck but still gets get FE and still has a good OEM battery
I could be a beta tester but Im not a coder.
 

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As a long time Insight owner, this has been discussed many times on the dedicated Insight forum at:

www.InsightCentral.net

In summary:
- There have been a fair number of conversions using the Honda Fit LTO packs, but these require considerable fabrication of mechanical parts to secure the packs. Post #8 above shows where a mounting frame for the packs can be purchased. Even then, there is some electrical work which has to be done. Unfortunately the packs are no longer available from Greentec so this route is coming to an end. There have been a few one-off conversions with other batteries also.

-The feasibility of offering a commercial conversion has been discussed at great length. As of yet no one has seen a route in America to adequately handle the product liability risk (we are a nation of lawyers and litigants). In addition, there seems to be a lot of price resistance to the labor cost involved in a conversion. A small production run is underway in the U.K.

There is a current discussion underway at this link:


I suggest that you check in at InsightCentral to see what has been discussed. The site is very friendly and is web based so that you do not need facebook to join.

JimE
 

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mudder has created a drop in solution but wants the person who takes It on to finish the software and errata out of beta.

Considering no one has made (yet) a drop in lithiumreplacement for the much more commonPrius it’s not surprising no one has invested in a few thousand insights. Heck the HONDA BEV ECU in the Insight has never had a tuner solution so we can’t even unlock the engine tables.

I own 2 Insights and they are reliable if you live in the right location, I am kicking myself that I didn’t agree to be apart of mudders beta test.

Also I have a completely failed pack in one of my cars, a $50 grid charger can shut off the cel and make all systems in the car fully functional for about a week before I have to do another grid charge

Well worth considering and the car although not valuable in perfect condition may fetch more than you expect in damaged condition (certainly more than the$150 they get at the wrecker)

I would definitely post it for sale on Insightcentral with your location, there is a hardcore following who will keep your car out of the wrecker

If you were in Wisconsin and your carwas red I would buy it as a parts unit for my other cars.

My one insight is a total wreck but still gets get FE and still has a good OEM battery
Who is Mudder? I own a renewable energy solutions company focused on battery reuse and recycling. We have the engineering expertise to finish such a project and would be ecstatic to take it on! My email is [email protected], I would love to know more details if you are willing! Obviously giving back to the community is key here as well and as a research based company that is what we are all about.

Edit: The whole reason I ended up on this post was because of your CitiCar, I recently picked up a gutted 76 and was wondering what you have done with yours!
I could be a beta tester but Im not a coder.
We are in South Dakota but I do have access to a nation wide shipping network of auto parts salvage companies that offer extremely cheap shipping for lithium. If I gain access to the conversion data I would be happy to contract out a beta tester!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Who is Mudder? I own a renewable energy solutions company focused on battery reuse and recycling. We have the engineering expertise to finish such a project and would be ecstatic to take it on! My email is [email protected], I would love to know more details if you are willing! Obviously giving back to the community is key here as well and as a research based company that is what we are all about.

Edit: The whole reason I ended up on this post was because of your CitiCar, I recently picked up a gutted 76 and was wondering what you have done with yours!


We are in South Dakota but I do have access to a nation wide shipping network of auto parts salvage companies that offer extremely cheap shipping for lithium. If I gain access to the conversion data I would be happy to contract out a beta tester!
Sounds good to me. PM the details.
 

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So generally no one has a way to put in an alternative LiFePO4 144v pack to replace the nickel metal hydride batteries that come with the vehicle. Seems rather odd no one has done this
What's odd is you thinking you're smarter than Honda's engineers. There were SOUND engineering reasons for picking NmH batteries for a hybrid OVER lithium. They take and output much higher currents.

So, either completely redo the powertrain software in the car, or replace the NmH with NmH, even if it means repurposing an NmH from a Prius or welding up your own NmH pack. No free lunch in this one.

Or, you can wait - Youtube's Transport Evolved is embarking on a BEV Insight project, though Nikki has been blessed with having the propulsion motor already installed.
 

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What's odd is you thinking you're smarter than Honda's engineers. There were SOUND engineering reasons for picking NmH batteries for a hybrid OVER lithium. They take and output much higher currents.
It was my understanding that the stock NiMH batteries output a max of 100A at 144V. If that's wrong please let me know. But 100A is nothing for high draw LiFePO4. High draw headways can do it easily and even the high capacity headways can do 100A discharge constantly. I imagine Honda engineers didn't go with LiFePo4 because it would have been incredibly expensive and there weren't many of them at that point, considering LiFePO4 was only discovered in 1996.

LTO is overall a better chemistry, but it is still quite expensive at this point and has a lot less aftermarket support products like BMS's or active balancers.

As far as inrush voltage and whatnot from the regenerative braking, that could be solved with voltage regulation although it would probably need to be a relatively high amp one.

What's odd is you assuming Honda listened to it's engineers on everything. Speaking as a current engineer, business people listen to one thing only, cost and recuperation of said cost.
 

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Who is Mudder? I own a renewable energy solutions company focused on battery reuse and recycling. We have the engineering expertise to finish such a project and would be ecstatic to take it on! My email is [email protected], I would love to know more details if you are willing! Obviously giving back to the community is key here as well and as a research based company that is what we are all about.

Edit: The whole reason I ended up on this post was because of your CitiCar, I recently picked up a gutted 76 and was wondering what you have done with yours!


We are in South Dakota but I do have access to a nation wide shipping network of auto parts salvage companies that offer extremely cheap shipping for lithium. If I gain access to the conversion data I would be happy to contract out a beta tester!
Any updates on the kit? Sounds like an interesting embarkment!
 

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I imagine Honda engineers didn't go with LiFePo4 because it would have been incredibly expensive and there weren't many of them at that point, considering LiFePO4 was only discovered in 1996.
While NiMH was the only viable choice two decades ago, it is still the preferred choice in non-plug-in hybrids. LiFePO4 may return to popularity with EV manufacturers, but so far it has come and gone (mostly with the rise and fall of A123 Systems).

As far as inrush voltage and whatnot from the regenerative braking, that could be solved with voltage regulation although it would probably need to be a relatively high amp one.
This sounds like a suggestion to use some sort of separate voltage regulation device for regenerative braking, but that would make no sense. The motor controller is the regulator, and of course it needs to be managed appropriately for the battery.
 
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