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Honda Insight CNG in Vegas

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  • Honda Insight CNG in Vegas

    Hello, My name is Bennie, Im a stagehand and a Honda nut. I have owned 30+ and I have done several swaps and build over the years. I commute every day 60 miles round trip. I drove a K24a2 (200whp) 6 speed manual with TSX overdrive for 200K miles, I also ran E85 for 3 years and learned a lot about fuel/energy/conservation/etc. Since we had just experienced $5 gallon gas and even my Civic was getting expensive to drive so after 12 years and my only new car, I sold my Civic and bought a 2002 Insight CVT. I was very impressed with the car and couldn't wait to swap a K motor in it and call it a day, but I couldn't justify the swap because I could justify more than 200 HP in a commuter car, I also liked the Idea of an easy to drive automatic. I spent some time searching for a unique engine swap and found a freshly wrecked 2008 Honda Fit Sport automatic/paddle shift and bought it. About 1 year ago the IMA battery died and I pulled her off the road. Unlike most of the popular swaps, this one is rare for both the engine (its slow) and Insight chassis is just rare. This car is 80% done and the goals are shifting a bit as I learn more, so much in fact that I have a second Insight and will be converting it to a D17 Honda 5 speed as well as turbocharged. Throw in the mix my new wife I picked up along the way is from Utah, CNG is now officially on the radar. Found out there is a CNG pump with high ratings very close to my work and I really think a CNG Insight would be cheap to run.

    Here are some questing I have after a year of research. These are some of my questions.

    1. Why are the parts like hose end injectors hard to buy in America?
    2. I understand the valve seats on a CNG Honda are hardened. If I convert a non CNG engine to CNG, can I expect the car to go for a considerable amount of miles (50K?) or not worth it (5K?)
    3. Home refueling, 'seems' like the thing to do but again, seems like no American companies making the gear.
    4 My engine has 10:1 compression, 12.5:1 is a shelf Item, Can I expect similar HP with this swap? (Its also 2618, is that OK?)

    For my #2 car I want to utilize the bi-fuel capabilities of Honda Kpro and run CNG as a base fuel with E85 for the higher HP needs. Both #1 and #2 will have completely adjustable ECUs.

    Lastly I would love to have a home pump, I have done a tone a read a bunch, but from a quick perspective of a newb CNG guy but not a newb to tinkering with stuff, is it worth it? (Local CNG is $2.25 gge)

  • #2
    Glad you found us on CNG chat. Welcome to the forum.
    I'm not a mechanic but will offer some of my opinions on your list.
    1. Let a Honda person answer the auto questions.
    2. Valve seats have been hardened in all engines since unleaded fuel came out. (I have a 2006 F150 5.4L engine converted in 2008 (bi-fuel) it now has 278,000 miles and guessing at about 230,000 on CNG.. Still getting 7,000 mile to a quart of oil and never touched the engine other than plugs, coils, filters and a water pump)
    3. Lots of opinions on suitable home fueling. I'm a BRC Fuel Maker distributor for MN and WI. The BRC FM compressors are certified by the AGA as appliances and exempts them from many of the NFPA 52 regulations. Basically there is no regular maintenance required as the compression module is the only moving part. (other than the fan a contactor and a solenoid valve. Expect 5,000 to 7,000 hours without maintenance. (Phill 0.5gge/hr, Q2 series 1 gge/hr, Q8/Q10 4 gge/hr) The Phill can be installed inside or out, the Q2 must be installed outdoors with options for indoor fueling, the Q8/Q10 are for commercial applications only. The BRC FMS are oil free so there are no oil changes, filter changes (oil and high pressure) belt changes, valve changes or rings to replace. Four bolts and brop a new compression module in a Q2. BRC Fuel Maker currently has a sale going on with a $1,500 discount on the Q2 series and $5,000 discount on the Q8/Q10. Contact the distributor in your area before 6/30/2017 as that is when the sale ends..

    CNG has an octane rating of 130. Apparently the 12.5/1 ratio Honda used is/was ideal.

    Lastly... My home fueling cost for May was 63 cents a gallon. (E10 equivalent) That is 52 cents for the gas and 11 cents a gallon to run the compressor. (I tend to fun 25,000 to 30,000 a year at about 18 mpg. Last year I used 66 gallons of gasoline.

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    • #3
      ..Glad to see another person on CNG. I started over ten years ago by building up my own little CNG station using an Army Surplus flame thrower compressor I bought at Ft Mead Md. Then bought the never filled tanks for scrape value off the top of a CNG bus that a company got a grant to build but never finished it! Then I upgraded and bought four FMQ-8-36 units surplus from the University of New Hampshire for $ 600 each. They paid about 36K each. I also bought a honda civic GX with 42,000 miles from them for $ 800. I have found that if you look around there is plenty of good used stuff to be had. Last week I saw a 2002 CNG F150 33,000 miles great shape with a cap on craigslist in PA for only $ 1,500 !!! Look at Craigslist in Vegas I have seen a lot I would have bought over the years if I was closer. We are fueling in NY for about $ .50 per GGE . CNG is a great way to go! Good luck with what you are doing!

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