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Author Topic: K swapping my Insight  (Read 2322 times)
jloehlein
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« on: June 14, 2017, 04:43:05 PM »

Well, now that my Dad's car is done, it's back to my own projects.  I've got a 2000 Honda Insight that was my daily for about a year.  I averaged over 72mpg in the 16k miles I drove it.  Two years ago, it developed a fault in the hybrid charging system, so I stopped driving it.  I didn't want to spend time tinkering with it since I was building the Cobra.  Now it's time to "fix" it.

I'm planning on swapping in a 160hp K20 out of an RSX or 02-05 Civic Si and a 5 speed out of an Accord.  The base K20 will run on 87 octane and the Accord trans has the longest gearing.  I'm hoping to still get 45mpg+ once I'm done and have a car that runs low 14s.

I've got this week off work, so Jeff and I rolled the Insight into the garage and started stripping it.

Before


After




There is a lot of space in the rear with the batteries removed.  It'll be a very practical car Smiley  It's still got the motor in for now.  That'll be next to come out.

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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1994 Chevy Caprice wagon w/6 speed - tow vehicle
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
jamescarriv
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 07:45:26 AM »

Lol, why
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James

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jloehlein
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 05:47:12 PM »

A 14 second hatchback that gets 50mpg on 87 octane gas...why not!?!  Also, I'm tired of dealing with the hybrid complexity.  K20 should be more reliable.

I picked up the donor today.  The friendly neighborhood turkey even came and checked it out.

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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1994 Chevy Caprice wagon w/6 speed - tow vehicle
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
MikeDe
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 05:55:27 AM »

Because Racecar!
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2008 TBSS "BEAST" / 1990 Civic SI "Fireball" / 1957 Chevy "Melissa" / 2016 "Hottesy"
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wahoo5
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2017, 05:07:46 PM »

Great project. Put a quiet muffler on it and you will have quite the sleeper.

David
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David Ogburn
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jloehlein
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 07:16:02 PM »

Got tired of messing with the wiring on the Birkin, so I decided to spend a few hours taking the Insight apart.  I pulled the front end apart and removed all the stuff from the underside.  The car is from upstate NY and a lot of the fasteners are rusty.  I'll probably end up replacing the brake lines, as well.  Thankfully, the rest of the car is clean - aluminum is nice.













Should be ready to pull the axles and the motor out next.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1994 Chevy Caprice wagon w/6 speed - tow vehicle
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
jloehlein
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 08:10:36 PM »

Well, the motor is out.  So is the dash.  Planning on starting to strip the Civic tomorrow.








Also, check out this exhaust...it's like 1.5"



I'll have to figure out if I want to keep ABS or not.  I definitely want AC, which means I have to either remove or relocate the ABS pump.  I'm tempted to delete it because the engine bay is like a rat's nest of brake lines.  Removing it will greatly simplify things.

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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1994 Chevy Caprice wagon w/6 speed - tow vehicle
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
jloehlein
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2017, 03:30:28 PM »

Well, Jeff came over today and we were super productive.  The Civic is mostly stripped.  I still need to pull the gas tank out and some of the wiring running to the rear of the car.  My plan is to lay out all the wiring we've taken from the Civic, diet the harness so it's just what's needed for the engine, cluster, and fuel system, and then do the opposite for the Insight (diet the harness so it just runs HVAC, radio, power accessories, lights).  Then I can combine them.

Here is the front end of the Civic - the kid who owned it hit a tree.



After a little bit of time with the sawzall, angle grinder, and unbolting a bunch of stuff, we pulled the whole front subframe out.  After working on my K20 Civic, Jeff's K20 Integra and Paul's K20 GTI, the wiring is super familiar.



I've got a lot of cleaning to do.  I may use the Civic seats as well - the Insight ones are terrible.  If I use the Civic seats, I'll have Danielle re-cover them.



So the Civic is sitting without a front end or interior now.  I've gotta find a way to move it around without front suspension.






If anyone needs Civic parts, let me know!
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1994 Chevy Caprice wagon w/6 speed - tow vehicle
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
jloehlein
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2017, 10:06:45 AM »

Alright, Jeff and I went to Chesterfield Auto Parts over the weekend because I saw they had a couple K24 Accords show up in the last two weeks.  I got lucky and one of them was stick.  We spent a couple hours and liberated the trans, shifter and cables.  Cost $230 total.  Not too bad - hopefully it's in good shape!





I also managed to pull the full wiring harness from the Civic.  Now I'm starting to un-loom everything so I can separate out the wiring that needs to run from the ECU to the gauges and the fuel pump vs all the rest of the nonsense.  This is going to take a while, but I find the work relaxing.

Believe it or not, this is only like 2/3 of the harness:



Here is the rest:



And the Civic is out of the shop now.



I will probably spend the next month pulling the wiring apart and cleaning stuff.  I've been wanting to build a sandblast cabinet and powder coating oven for a while now.  This seems like a good time to do that.

So far, I've spent ~$850 and I believe I have the full drivetrain (might need axles?).  I'll be spending a significant chunk of money replacing wear items (e.g. wheel bearings, ball joints, clutch, etc) as I clean and rebuild everything, but I think my goal of $3k total for the swap is definitely realistic.
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2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1994 Chevy Caprice wagon w/6 speed - tow vehicle
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
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