1 2 3
1SlowVW HalfDork
1/16/22 10:58 a.m.

This is really neat. I used to hang out a lot on the old vw diesel forums. I get the same vibe in this thread. You still want great mileage but it doesn't mean it can't be peppy and fun at the same time. 

84FSP UltraDork
1/16/22 12:05 p.m.

I like that you are keeping in the spirit of the car with your efforts.  Very significant improvements from stock.  I would bet that economy goes way up when you aren't at WOT as it is breathing so much better.  Looking forward to seeing the results of the latest mods. 

For those of us worried that Hotrod modding would end in the hybrid ev era this is your notice that it is alive and well!  

J1000 Reader
1/16/22 3:20 p.m.

Anyone that does this cam swap make sure to swap the timing lobe! I forgot to and had a camshaft sensor error. Had to do the whole job over again haha but now it's running great! Took it out today around town. The noise is awesome but way louder than I expected so I may add another muffler. I'll see. My dyno appointment is Tuesday so I am going to just make a few tuning changes to make it safe for the drive and then drop it off! So far it definitely has got more power and torque from the cam but it immediately goes lean. In closed loop it's running with +15-20% added fuel trims so that's a good sign. I have absolutely no clue what power numbers to expect.


J1000 Reader
1/16/22 3:38 p.m.

In reply to 1SlowVW :

Yep I've always loved hot hatches for exactly that reason. Good mileage and room to haul stuff!

In reply to 84FSP :

That's the plan! It is a toss up. Some EV stuff you can mod a lot like Hondas and Nissan LEAFs etc but on the other hand with the new generation like Tesla and Rivian etc they are clamping down on the DIY fixes and tweaks and forcing the owner to stay in their ecosystem. I'll be modding my cars til I'm dead, though, you can count on that!

sobe_death Dork
1/17/22 12:05 p.m.

Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I'm talking to someone in Houston about a cheap example of one of these.  It's almost challenge priced, so as long as it's not a flood car I think I'll be joining you and add a second 2-door Honda to the stable!  Any suggestions on specific problems that would be a deal-breaker?

J1000 Reader
1/17/22 2:16 p.m.

In reply to sobe_death :

Nice! I'm impressed you found a cheap one! If it's a CVT make sure it drives ok and doesn't stutter or lag or things like that. If it's '11 or '12 it has Nimh batteries which are more robust so problems are likely not significant. If it is 13+ then it has a lithium battery which, if abused, could be dead-dead. These cars also have weak 12v batteries because they rely on the hybrid battery for most start-up duty so if it requires a jump start that's usually no big deal. Lastly check the front shock towers if the car was lowered or drove on bad roads the seam can actually start to pull away and tear. See this thread for an example: https://www.crzforum.com/threads/should-i-be-concerned.84425/ Take it for a drive and make sure the IMA battery charges up and gives full bars of assist on acceleration. In rusty climates the front springs can rust and break and the passenger side driveshaft can rust through and snap.

Other than those specific things it's just the same as any other car, really.

J1000 Reader
1/17/22 8:48 p.m.

Dyno appointment tomorrow morning at 9am. Can't wait! I'm going to ask him to please try to a dyno run with full IMA assist and one with no assist after it's fully tuned. Then once I start messing with the IMA I'll have a good baseline.

Today I changed the oil just in case there was any junk in there from the camp swap. I used some Rotella Gas Truck 0w-20. Use the 5w-30 in my truck and Blackstone always gives me props for having a great sample and I've heard of people using Gas Truck oil in their sports cars so I'm going to give it a try.

Rotella Gas Truck 0W-20: https://amzn.to/326pE02


J1000 Reader
1/18/22 1:11 p.m.

It's on the dyno now. Any guesses to the power it will make? Will be measured at the wheels, SAE corrected.


Mods are:

GE8 manifold

GE8 rocker assembly w/titanium nuts

Cat Cams camshaft #2503201

E70 fuel

Supercircuit downpipe and midpipe

AEM catback exhaust


My guess is 125whp

J1000 Reader
1/19/22 12:24 p.m.

Well nobody guessed so nobody wins a prize laugh

It made 115hp/106ft-lbs with electric assist. Was hoping for more but oh well. It definitely is faster but frankly I expected more from the cam upgrade. It's possible the cam just needs more RPM to make power. The car makes power all the way to redline which is still at 7200 RPM. Unfortunately if you rev over that then the IMA system throws charge errors and drops out so I haven't revved further, but power was still climbing. Also typically CR-Zs dyno with the HP and ft-lbs figures very close to eachother, whereas mine definitely has a good 10HP more than ft-lbs. I'm guessing this is because the powerband has shifted up in RPM and without the cam maybe I'd make 106ish HP?


I had the dyno guy plot two of the best power runs, one with assist and one without. You can see the run without assist made 112hp but at 7000 RPM whereas the run with assist made peak power of 115hp at 6500 RPM. I'm impressed at how far up into the RPM range the IMA assist helps out! The top 500 RPM is flat HP between the electric motor dropping off and the ICE engine getting to peak power, which is pretty cool.

115 + 15% losses would put me at 132HP at the crank, so a solid 10hp above stock. Like I said I expected more from the cam. I just wish I could rev another 500 RPM and see what happens.

(Drop in the blue range at the top is data error he tells me)

sobe_death Dork
1/19/22 4:31 p.m.

Not bad for the elevation!

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/19/22 4:43 p.m.

I'm a diehard Honda guy and always wished I had one of these as my work commuter car but they're simply outside of the budget for that role. It's fun to watch you build one though. 

sobe_death Dork
1/19/22 4:49 p.m.

Has there been any talk of engine swaps in these while retaining IMA?  Mostly thinking of the Accord/Clarity hybrids which get 200+hp from their combined drivetrains.

TT86 New Reader
1/19/22 6:10 p.m.

Awesome thread! Love the meticulousness. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/19/22 10:14 p.m.
GCrites80s said:

So all BFGs are getting those Rival-esque shoulder blocks that go into the sidewall? I was sitting in line somewhere and saw some forgettable crossover with tires like that and was like, "Someone put Rivals on that?" But no.

I have those Advantage T/A's for my e30 as well - and have the Comp 2 A/S on my Porsche and GTI. They do look VERY similar at a glance other than the e30 ones being a tall sidewall since they're only 15s. I'm happy they even made the cheap-ish Advantage T/A look like a performance tire. 

bonylad GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/20/22 8:41 a.m.

I had a 09 GE8. Base manual car. Super fun, stiff chassis. Under powered. It was a blast though. I could drive it at its max capacity alot of the times and still be legal. I was also chasing the couple of a hp that on a car that small and light - makes a difference on.  I think I may have made it worse, as mods on a L15 at the time were not a thing.  Great build!

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/20/22 8:59 a.m.
sobe_death said:

Not bad for the elevation!

It's been corrected for elevation (19%)

J1000 Reader
1/20/22 2:51 p.m.

In reply to sobe_death :

I hadn't looked at it, really. It would take a lot since the IMA stuff isn't as open for tuning at the ECU. Just looking at photos the Accord 2.0L hybrid motor is definitely in a completely different configuration. I have seen people swap in the new L15B7 turbo 1.5L engines into CR-Zs but without IMA. I have no clue if that motor is compatible.

I have not taken apart the CR-Z IMA system myself but from drawings and photos it looks like the IMA mot0r is a module that slots in between the bellhousing of the tranmission and the engine block. The flywheel and clutch bolt through the rotor of the motor to the engine crankshaft. If the L15B7 or a 2.0L motor has the same bellhousing as the CR-Z's engine then it just may work. I also am not certain, but I think that the CR-Z engine block (LEA) is identical to the GE8 Fit (L15A7). If so then anything that fits onto a fit transmission would fit the CR-Z IMA.

78CobraII New Reader
1/20/22 11:38 p.m.

I have to wonder if that electrical module could be used for something else...maybe even stacked for more output?

J1000 Reader
1/21/22 8:47 p.m.

I read an article the other day about Garrett bringing electric turbo F1 technology to the consumer market. These aren't the gimmick "turbos" powered by an electric motor, but a real turbo with a high power motor/generator built into the rotor. The idea is that instead of a wastegate, excess energy can be pulled out of the turbo as electric energy. So basically you can boost the engine and the electric motor at the same time using the turbo! It can be used to spin-up the impeller to reduce lag during sudden acceleration, also.

As soon as they sell one of these turbos that would be sized well for my 1.5L engine I will make it a goal to incorporate it into my CR-Z.




My lithium CR-Z battery arrived. It's from a 2014 with 52k miles. The '13+ CR-Zs got lithium batteries instead of Nimh. They are inferior, really. But the reason I picked this up is so I can use some of the parts for my upgraded battery. The lithium IMA parts like the DC-DC converter and other stuff is rated to 220 volts so I can use it with a custom battery to hit that magic 40kw number.


clutchsmoke UltraDork
1/22/22 10:57 a.m.

The mod potential for the CRZ is a lot deeper than I imagined and you're really heading to the deep end! Will be following along.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/22/22 11:51 a.m.

Super cool project you've got going.  I've always been a fan of these, though I didn't know they were so slow in stock form.  I'm very interested to see how much performance you can add.

Also, that electric turbo is very cool - what a great way to get the most out of both the ICE and electric parts of the system.

BTW, I'm another cross-town neighbor - I'm over by DU.  If you need  machine work or welding, I could lend a hand.

J1000 Reader
1/22/22 8:11 p.m.

In reply to TT86 :

Thanks. I've "ruined" a lot of cars and made some slower with poorly chosen parts so I'm hoping to avoid that with this car and use my knowledge to stick with what works.

In reply to bonylad :

In other markets there is a Jazz Sport Hybrid or something like that is basically a Fit with the CR-Z hybrid system so it's faster and I think has sportier suspension and stuff. It would be cool to "IMA swap" a US Fit.

In reply to 78CobraII :

Haha maybe. It does look like it. The IMA motor is pretty thin too, like 1" or so. It's easy enough to triple the output. I kind of just want to buy an extra one and see what random transmissions it might be able to mate with.

In reply to clutchsmoke :

Oh yeah, definitely. Almost as limitless as other Hondas. My goals are to match the performance of a K20 Honda with 200hp or so with a n/a 1.5L and hybrid upgrades. If I can't do that I'll just turbo it smiley

In reply to TVR Scott :

Thanks. Everything is slow up here at elevation and I think most people would be surprised if they really put a stop watch on their car and timed the 0-60. The published times are really fluke runs and they drive the cars really abusively. I just launch like a normal human and shift briskly and consistently so it's an excellent tool to dial in various cars. I've used it on quite a few. At $160 it's definitely one of the best tools for tuning I've bought: https://amzn.to/3ApczMa

J1000 Reader
1/22/22 8:12 p.m.

Speaking of 0-60 I really need to time my car after the dyno session but it's been icey and wet. Today I was out ripping around town and kept bouncing off the limiter at 7200 RPM over and over. It is so eager to rev. Unfortunately everytime it does then it throws a Charge System Error and the IMA regen and assist turn off for a short while. Really is a kill-joy when that happens.

physician Reader
1/25/22 11:29 a.m.

Intersting projectbof injecting some fun in commuter.

How does your mods impact fuel millage at the moment?

Does it still do 50 mpg?

J1000 Reader
1/25/22 3:32 p.m.

In reply to physician :

Running E85 fuel kills MPG but if I keep my foot out of it I can average 30 MPG running E70 (70% ethanol). I bet if I switched back to regular gas I could get mid to high 40s. That's what I got when it was stock. I've never gotten such good MPG on E70 before my old EP3 would do 26 on a good day. My wife's Mazda2 gets 34 MPG on E70 with her driving but she doesn't enjoy the redline like I do.

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners