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The area outlined in green is the motor/generator (IMA motor). The electrical connector is for the three commutation sensors that detect the position of the rotor. The Insight has a three-cylinder gasoline engine, and three-cylinder engines tend to vibrate quite a bit, especially at idle. Many engines use a counterweight on a shaft connected to […]

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This is the bottom end of the internal combustion engine. Three pistons move up and down in steel cylinder sleeves to turn the crank shaft. This engine, like many Honda engines, is a lightweight aluminum casting. I imagine the piston rings are thin and low tension (to reduce drag and increase mileage), and placed very […]

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The Insight does not have an exhaust manifold; instead, the exhaust runners are cast directly into the cylinder head. This is a pretty unique design, and I cannot think of any other car with an integral exhaust manifold. I imagine this was done to save weight. The ignition coil packs are located above the exhaust […]

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The clutch on the Insight is the same as any conventional car, and is just as easily serviceable. There is no need to remove the engine or the hybrid system in any way other than disconnecting the battery for safety. The clutch job on the Insight is just as easy as a clutch job on […]

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There is a mark on the head near each of the spark plug holes indicating which of three available indexed spark plugs should be used for that cylinder. The proper plug must be used for each cylinder to prevent misfire. A tune-up with aftermarket plugs is likely to be disastrous for this car. This spark […]

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This is the Insight transmission sitting on the bench. It too is pretty unremarkable. It’s just like any other transmission. The sensor on the left is the vehicle speed sensor (VSS). It generates a 0-to-5 volt pulse as the output shaft spins. The faster the output shaft (and wheels) spin, the more frequent the pulses […]

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On the other side of the head, there are three fuel injectors, sandwiched between the fuel rail and the cylinder head. The injectors are controlled by the computer using a duty cycle signal (percentage on-time vs. percentage off-time). When the computer wants to add more fuel, it increases the injector on-time, (also called pulse width). […]

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This is the internal combustion engine block stripped to the casting, crank, rods and pistons. The short block is all aluminum with steel cylinder sleeves. The timing chain guides are made from plastic with a robust aluminum backing. Looks like Honda will avoid all the timing chain troubles motors that the Toyota 22RE encountered. The […]

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This is a rather poor picture of the oil leak under UV light. Dye was added to the motor oil a couple hundred miles before this picture was taken. Our first thought was that the timing chain tensioner o-ring was leaking. It’s a fairly easy repair, so we replaced it and rechecked. Unfortunately, the leak […]

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The Insight uses a conventional belt-driven water pump and a thermostat to control temperature and flow. I suspect there will be electric waterpumps controlled by temperature sensors on future hybrids, which would eliminate the need for a drive belt, thermostat, front crank pully, and front crank seal (assuming the AC compressor is electric as well, […]

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