Video: Why Yes, This Honda Is Powered by a Lawnmower Engine

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cL2FKDtpRt8

Honda's use of higher-revving, lower-torque engines have been the butt of many automotive jokes fixated around the idea that Hondas are powered by lawnmower engines.

But what would a lawnmower-powered Honda actually drive like? Thankfully, someone did the heavy lifting for us by putting a $99, 6.5-horsepower motor into an early Honda Insight.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/17/20 10:46 a.m.

Love it. 

spandak
spandak HalfDork
9/17/20 11:38 a.m.

Ha! I'll follow that project. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/17/20 11:43 a.m.

This is a fun project, for sure.  I'd like to learn about these small displacement engines.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UberDork
9/17/20 12:15 p.m.

cute

 

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
9/17/20 1:39 p.m.

This is our forum friend Doc Brown! He changed user names once or twice, so I'm not sure that's right, but I always loved his exploits. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/17/20 3:28 p.m.

In reply to Mezzanine :

Yup. More about the project here

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
9/17/20 6:48 p.m.

Thank you for the high praise! You can always count on me for the off-beat challenges. I really enjoy working through the engineering aspect of these projects with the added benefit of learning something new.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/18/20 3:57 p.m.

In reply to Doc Brown :

Thanks for sharing it. Love seeing these builds. 

jharry3
jharry3 HalfDork
9/18/20 4:04 p.m.

Definitely Grassroots.  It doesn't make it to Motorsports though.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/18/20 4:50 p.m.

In reply to jharry3 :

...yet devil

spandak
spandak HalfDork
9/19/20 10:20 a.m.

I'm actually really interesting to see dyno results before and after mods. These are the silly things we think about doing but never do, until someone does. Awesome

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/19/20 11:39 a.m.

In reply to Doc Brown :

Bravo!  It's not only a fun and wacky exercise, but also a well done video!

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
9/19/20 6:33 p.m.

In reply to SVreX (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks!   Moar videos are on the way!

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid SuperDork
9/19/20 7:36 p.m.

I just watched all the videos on the insight. Also keeping up on it and this is cool for an neat little idea to do. You should a video of what you all pulled out of the car and are how are you keeping lights and other items powered with a an ALT?

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
9/19/20 10:24 p.m.

In reply to ckosacranoid :

That's a great idea for a video.  As I mentioned before the car is stripped to the bone, but it looks normal.  It might be cool to give folks a tour of the car and a little detail of why some parts were pitch and some were kept.

Greg Smith (Forum Supporter)
Greg Smith (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/19/20 11:55 p.m.
ckosacranoid said:

I just watched all the videos on the insight. Also keeping up on it and this is cool for an neat little idea to do. You should a video of what you all pulled out of the car and are how are you keeping lights and other items powered with a an ALT?

Otuka Racing and Photography- need photos, just ask!

it looks like he's using the battery for onboard electronics at this point. So maybe that's on a trickle charger? Michigan, y'know. 

jb229
jb229 New Reader
9/20/20 12:28 a.m.

After you added the stage 1 upgrades, it makes about the same bhp as the engine in a 2CV.

KentF (Forum Supporter)
KentF (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/20/20 4:23 p.m.

Pit car!

 

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid SuperDork
9/21/20 6:27 p.m.

Just watched the new video. Bee cool to see the fuel mileage video since its a cool idea to see what it is getting. Also I am glad you liked the idea for the walk though which would be cool for other to see what you did and how and why you did things to inspire other poeple to go and build something weird.

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
9/21/20 7:09 p.m.
Greg Smith (Forum Supporter) said:
ckosacranoid said:

I just watched all the videos on the insight. Also keeping up on it and this is cool for an neat little idea to do. You should a video of what you all pulled out of the car and are how are you keeping lights and other items powered with a an ALT?

Otuka Racing and Photography- need photos, just ask!

it looks like he's using the battery for onboard electronics at this point. So maybe that's on a trickle charger? Michigan, y'know. 

Correct, right now all the electrics are powered from the battery.  .... yes, because Michigan LoL.  Anyway I'm using a Miata battery so it has a bit more capacity than what you may get from a lawnmower battery.

The engine is fitted with double generator coils under the flywheel, however they are not connected yet.  I'll cover that in an upcoming video.

   

  

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
9/21/20 7:25 p.m.
ckosacranoid said:

Just watched the new video. Bee cool to see the fuel mileage video since its a cool idea to see what it is getting. Also I am glad you liked the idea for the walk though which would be cool for other to see what you did and how and why you did things to inspire other poeple to go and build something weird.

Thanks again for the idea on the walk through video!  Now, the MPG video where Cadillac vs Honda.....  Keep in mind the Caddy has a secret weapon that I didn't mention... things just keep getting weirder. 

 

Episode 5 ...

 

 

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid SuperDork
10/3/20 11:48 a.m.

When is Ep 6 coming Doc?

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
10/4/20 7:19 a.m.

In reply to ckosacranoid :

Episode six is coming out on this Tuesday.  It was a lot of fun to film and I think you guys will enjoy it. 

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid SuperDork
10/5/20 10:40 p.m.

Cool, can not wait.

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
10/6/20 11:57 a.m.

Fun series.

You keep teasing the engine build! ;)

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
10/6/20 4:24 p.m.

 

Episode 6.

This was a fun video to shoot.   The results of the tests were a huge surprise.  

 

https://youtu.be/w0zLfouT9kc

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid SuperDork
10/9/20 11:57 a.m.

The last video was pretty neat to say the least and how well that thing moved with that little fuel in it and how far it went which was neat for pulling that much weight would be that good for gas. I think your trans helps with the gas though.

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
10/9/20 7:14 p.m.

In reply to ckosacranoid :

I was equally surprised with the MPG results.  LOL,  At one point during testing I came dangerously close to passing another car.surprise

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid SuperDork
10/10/20 5:22 p.m.
Doc Brown said:

In reply to ckosacranoid :

I was equally surprised with the MPG results.  LOL,  At one point during testing I came dangerously close to passing another car.surprise

OM MY GOD!!!! THE HORROR!!!!!!!

flat4_5spd
flat4_5spd New Reader
10/11/20 7:43 p.m.

Really enjoying the series. Any plans to try EFI / ECU controlled ignition ?  Ultimately, you're planning to switch to a Predator 420, right? 

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/12/20 2:32 p.m.

 At one point during testing I came dangerously close to passing another car.surprise

The most agonizing and laborious pass i ever made in my life was when i took my Insight to Colorado. I lost the use of 5th gear completely, and even though 3rd gear goes to top speed, i still had to slow down and get a bunch of distance and do something like a one-mile run-up to complete a pass! I think i only did it once while up at that elevation. And that Insight had the FULL ONE LITER of engine still!  

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
10/12/20 7:14 p.m.

In reply to flat4_5spd :

Yes,  This series will include the 420 EFI. count on it !

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
10/12/20 7:25 p.m.

In reply to Vigo (Forum Supporter) :

I feel your pain.  I had a full head of steam in the boilers and was running on empty when some dumb ass pulled out in front of me.  I knew if I passed  I was only going to be pulling over in a mile or so...  anyway, I backed off the throttle and lost all forward momentum.   so disappointing...    It would have been nice to pass someone.

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid SuperDork
10/12/20 9:58 p.m.

So are we going to see this at the challange this month? Would be pretty cool to see you do that even if you place last....but cool for build though.

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