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04 honda insight ALH 4T65E

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
So, it has come to this. Poorly prepared to make a thread, forgot to take pictures for almost all of this so far.
Backstory:
While tossing the 0A6 in my golf I realized that I'm making conversion axle shafts and mounts to do so. This is already engine swap territory, and I'm more of a honda weenie than a VW guy, honestly. Driving the insight around I realized that the golf is a very handy size, so it'll stick around until it tears in half from rust.
Bought an 04 insight with the CVT, put about 300 miles on it to see 'how it do', 'what it be', 'am I able to drive this car without needing to shoot hordes of gay-bashers', and all of life's other important questions. It was amusingly slow, handled kind of poorly, lacked cruise control, the hybrid system charged at steady state cruise until the battery was topped up so it wouldn't regen brake, and applied power when I didn't really care for it to. Once the hybrid battery had set enough codes to stop trying to work it made it even slower.
So, this answered the question of "TDI and dumb automatic, or kubota and stock CVT with hybrid stuff?"
Got a buick regal GS from a friend, had trans issues so he parked it. Sold it to me for $150. Got $200 for the motor, still got the catalyst and wheels, dragged in the rest to the junkyard for nothing. Direct clutch had burnt up, 4th gear hub was almost worn through the splines, various thrust bearings were burned up. Had the 1.21 overdrive chain in it, and a 3.05 final drive, so 2.93 final drive. Got a 2.86 final drive for an overall final drive ratio of 2.55:1, good for the diesel, should cruise 70mph at 1800ish. You'll see more of the final drive bits later on.
Got a blown up alh for cheap, ate a valve so honed it out until it cleaned up, .004 piston/wall so neatly prepped for severe use. Got together a bunch of used pistons and rods (every ALH I take apart has had 2 and 3 hydrolocked), cut the bowls out and tossed it together.
Tried for a while with a tin block plate, an oil pan and the trans case sitting horizontal to come up with a reasonable angle to mount the block at to make the adapter plate, came up with tilting the engine back 25 degrees (though after drilling the plate and looking at it, 26 or 27 would have been much better). Finally stacked it all up tonight and it's looking like 50 degrees would make for a much more compact package. May well redrill the plate once again.
Anyways, here's some pictures. Car didn't get a picture of it stock, oh well.

and the engine bay, recently vacated

Trans with newly drilled adapter plate, note how the upper right bolt could be a little further up and left, by rotating the engine just a couple degrees more. This is also the one that the hole in the block is a through-hole, with the alignment dowel tube, the perfect storm of "weakened adapter plate"

here's the 25 degree tilt,

other side is here:

Now, these are with the engine at 50 degrees backwards tilt.

nestled in there a lot tighter, makes for a shorter package, too.

Undecided on if I should make another plate, redrill this one, or just run the 25 degrees because lazy reasons. Spent a good few days of frustration relearning cad to overlay the two bolt patterns...
Onto the final drive, on the left is the stock HD final drive, with 3.0x ratio, HD differential gears and open differential, on the right is an abomination. These are very neat in that they have a planetary final drive, not normal gears like an 01m which is why they weigh the same despite being enormously stronger. Also drew me to them for other reasons to be seen shortly.
The 2.86 gears only came in the non-HD differential carrier, no big deal but I don't have an axle shaft or diff cover to fit the non-HD differential. Well, if I'm doing strange things already, may as well go all the way wierd and get a torsen out of the deal. So, on the right to the bottom is a piece of 1018 bar stock turned into a final drive carrier to fit the 2.86 planet gears, with the other end adapted to the torsen center differential from a burnt up ZF 5HP-19FLA that I found for $30.

The smallest spline (34 teeth) way down in there is one side gear, the middle spline is the carrier itself, where it would normally be driven from, and the biggest spline (49 tooth) is the other side gear. They run tubular shafts and all sorts of gears to get the power out of the side gears to the front and rear, I'm doing something a little simpler.

Rather than driving the carrier off the middle spline and needing to use tubular shafts with gears to get the power from the side gear out and around let's just use those three lightening holes as drive keys. Machined three nubs on the final drive carrier to press fit to those three holes. Took a lot of thought to get it measured out, and then even more to how I'd cut it. I'm limited to a manual milling machine with no digital readout, so 'hard mode' on all the machining. All of it done with a rotary table and patience.
The other end of the carrier looks similar to this peek inside, just that it is pressed together with the final drive carrier, disassembly involves heat, and hammering, so no pictures.
 
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[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
On to the shafts, the top is a buick shaft, middle is the insight shaft, and bottom is a 100mm CV joint you'd be familiar with in relation to an 02j or a vanagon/bus
I thought about using the bling 108mm CVs, but they cost money while I've got 4 of these 100mm ones sitting on the shelf. The 33 spline is just about the same size as the left side axleshaft that runs through the whole transmission, so strength shouldn't be an issue. Thinking I'll run these 100mm CVs inner and outer, because the stock insight outer is just pitiful. Actually the outer spline is smaller on the major than any other on the minor, so that has me minorly worried. Probably torque the nut up real tight and rely on the flat face contact to share some of the loading. Many people put bigger civic struts and knuckles in these cars while putting in k-series motors to get a bigger outer spline, but that seems... like more money than I want to spend at the moment.

Speaking of axles, here's the center axleshaft that runs through the whole transmission:

the spline actually fit one side gear in the audi differential, poorly. It was about a millimeter smaller in diameter, so it engaged the splines very loosely. Both are 34spl, BTW. The audi diff was going to need about an inch more length, so no matter what, it being close matters not a whit. Here's it pulled out of hiding from that bar marked "4340" in the last pic:

Gosh that's a terrible picture. Still had the metal shaper set up from when I made the shafts for the golf. Ever want to confuse a modern machinist, try and explain what a metal shaper is. They're so obsolete that just about nobody has even seen dang pictures of the machine type. Very handy though.
Anyways, that's where I'm at for now. Don't expect very quick updates, and do expect my normal lack of coherence.
 

turbocharged798

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Location
Ellenville, NY
TDI
99.5 black ALH Jetta;09 Gasser Jetta
This will be interesting because the insight has one of the lowest drag coefficients around, much lower than any A4 golf/jetta platform. Given the size and weight of the car, you could almost run an ALH completely N/A and probably still have enough power.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH

sent the shafts off to the heat treater on monday, took a pic before they left so I'd remember how much junk there was when I go and pick it up, heh

cut the tdi side dowels and the starter hole in the plate, bolted it up to the motor and... measuring with some dowel pins in the holes that I've got for the 4t65 dowels to be located by, they are .020" or more out, and the bad part: in what directions they are out by I kind of lack the imagination to measure.
So, I'm going to redo the adapter plate, this time at 50 degrees laid back. Kind of the ****s because I need to find another piece of 1/2" aluminum plate, but that's life. I could weld up the holes in the one I've got, but that's hokey as heck.

Also going to put the effort in and find someone with a proper sized DRO on their mill to drill the pilot holes. The way I laid it out was to transfer punch two holes, drill them, drop pins in them, then use a 12" vernier calipers to scribe an arc from them at the right calculated distance and where the two arcs lined up I punched, and drilled. Did not think it'd be the most accurate, and sure enough it wasn't. Too much stack up of tolerance.
Given the size and weight of the car, you could almost run an ALH completely N/A and probably still have enough power.
I'm convinced with a good remap, some port work and bigger injection hardware you could get 100hp out of a 1.9 SDI with an acceptable amount of smoke
But, I know how to do the turbo dance, so that's what I do. Were it a manual, I'd quite possibly go the N/A route.
 
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Exenos

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Location
Ontario
TDI
02 Golf
If i'm understanding your dilemma with the plate right you could cheat and just punch the dowel locations on the mill and transfer punch the rest of the bolt holes. That's what I had to do to get mine on the mill. Dowel locations are the only ones that actually mater. The bolts only clamp.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
well, they're 13" or so apart, I pretty much use a mag-back 1" dial indicator slapped on the table or knee on any occasion I need accuracy
Tried end-measures like you'd see on an old jig bore, but a bridgeport clone crap-mill isn't rigid enough to repeatably deal with the side loads of rigid stops like that, could go back to this and be extremely gentle with it, but I can't find the box that's got my set of end measures any more and setting up the troughs to be level and the stops to be square takes a few hours of hating life.
Tried mounting a 12" chinese digital slide-scale (like a digital caliper without the caliper jaws) but that went very poorly, they're only really any good for plus or minus .010" (if even that) over that kind of distance

Besides, I kinda want to go with steel on the plate with the hp I'm thinking of, and the 50 degree angle will pack in there a lot better. I'll just find someone local with a DRO on their mill and get them a case of whatever they're drinking. Same as when I borrowed someone's surface grinder when converting my injectors over to single stage.

knuckle info: 02-03 EP3 and all years EM2/ES2/1 are 4x100 bolt pattern.
 
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[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
Okay, time for an update!
Borrowed a friend's DRO-equipped mill one sunday night at about 10pm, 3 hours away with work that morning. haha Only drilled bolt holes with that, then used those to locate the dowel counterbores on my milling machine, done with a boring head.
As per usual, don't got a pic of the bare steel or even the steel with the holes in it. Have the picture of me cutting the center out with my ghetto circle cutting jig. Cheap bastard oxy-propane for the win.

here's it on the TDI dowels with the unmolested crank flange

then spent a while paring it down

Converter wouldn't sit low enough to touch the flexplate, so I made up a piloted facing tool for the mag drill

could have taken the crank out, put it in the lathe on a steady rest and done it that way, but this way is a lot easier, plopped a flywheel on the adapter plate, clamped it down and magnetted to that. That's a 1/2" bolt as the shank, for scale. 20N jacobs chuck, 3/8" minimum gripping diameter

Still wasn't sitting low enough, needed to ream out the pilot bearing area in the crank, same size (21mm/.825") but deeper. They'd drilled it deep enough just didn't ream it completely. Also had to chamfer it a bit. Tossed a quick 90 deg grind on a 1" drill and used that for the counterboring. Also pictured is the flywheel, 1/4" plate ends up right for 1/16" of clearance for the converter, meaning I'll probably mill it down another 1/16" or so under the bolting pads to get room for the converter to balloon a little.

Assembled the trans final drive for the last time. Had to bore the nose cone cover thing for an hk4516 bearing rather than the 40mm ID hk4016 that the 'heavy duty' differential used. Looking at the picture now I realize that I didn't cut the flange retention snap ring groove on the spline. Rather than take it apart again I'll just do it with the engine running and an angle grinder.

Put together a unit bearing to try and use civic outer CVs on the insight knuckles, found a bearing that was small enough on the outside to fit in the knuckle and 38mm on the inside to fit the civic hub flange

fits on there, bolted on and all, good thing I only made one of them

because the CV hits the bolts well before it gets all the way in there. Going to go the route of civic knuckles rather than the insight ones.
 
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Nero Morg

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
Oh my god.
Oh my god.
Subscribing. I want to see how this turns out.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
Well, I suppose time to upload more pictures.
Got the pan figured out. Placed the pickup pretty much over the drain pan so if it ever gets blocked up I can poke a wire in there.
Pan warped like mad welding it up, should have had it bolted to a junk block while welding, but wasn't going to yard out the one I've got buried in the back shed. Bolted it on tight when done and heated it to about 600F with the weed burner torch and it flattened out pretty good

starter's from a ford 5.4, ring gear's from a ford 2.3

picture of the pickup, I guess. Been a couple weeks dunno what I was aiming at. Maybe how flat it is sitting?

with a junk head on it

Flywheel started out as 1/4" plate, ended up pretty thin
note to self, next time use 5/8" plate for the adapter, not 1/2

Flopped it down flat:

note the brace from block to trans

in the insight engine bay

blobberated together an engine mount


since then I got the motor back out, cleaned up a head and got a head on it. Trying to scare up a balancer, forgot to grab one when I got the blown up short block and well, there ain't a junkyard around here that's still open that's got any TDIs.
 

Nero Morg

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
Nobody's gonna expect the diesel Insight.
 

2002maniac

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Location
Utah
TDI
'02 Golf
Wow, nice swap! This thing should be very quick and the mpg should be fantastic. These Insights are extremely light and slippery.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
Wait. The 02J fit!?! I... Oh well, I'm invested at this point. haha

Well since the thread got bumped, it turns out that your tie rods do absurd things like move when you do ridiculous things such as turning. Then they hit your timing cover.

Motor has to move forward, taking a few hours to move the radiator and rework the mounts I'd already made
Or! I can spend a few more hours than that making a stupid fabricated inner tie rod that clamshells over the steering rack and... I'm an idiot. So it's been real cold out and I've been procrastinating hard.
 
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PakProtector

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
AnnArbor, MI
TDI
Mk.4 and the Cummins-es
Completely Mad! It seems I missed the reason not to just plug in the TDI and O2J...something to do with fitment no doubt. Still want one...though I can't live with an auto. Carry on!
cheers,
Douglas
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
Well since someone bumped it I'll make a text-update because taking pictures is a pain.

moved the engine a couple inches forward for steering clearance
made the torque mount, put together a harness and got it running with only the intake on for possible runaway concerns
made the left axleshaft in a crappy cut and weld manner
made a coolant return pipe and cylinder head coolant flange
getting close to putting coolant in it and running it long enough to cut the groove for the right axle flange retaining clip
figured out that there isn't really room for the hx40 in there, so gonna look around for a 7.3 superduty application TP38, as it is similarly sized but reverse rotation which puts everything in much better places.

torn on which cluster I'll be running, the obvious choice is the VW one as it is real simple to get working (6 tooth reluctor wheel at wheel speed with this tiny size tire is close enough for the VSS), but it is significantly larger than the hole in the dash
gotta read up more on canbus, maybe they'd be cross compatible? Doubt the heck out of it.

the reason for going with an auto was because autos are really nice in high power applications. Lag on shifts is for losers. :p
 

nick-w

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Location
Santa Cruz
TDI
Jetta 2002 /1998 mk3
Got my insight tdi up and driving!!

I did a standalone wiring harness with no instrument cluster at the moment. I’m just using a gps for miles and speed.

First Fill up was 62mpg with not much HWY mostly city and mountain driving.

The manual is working great and You can definitely tell the car is a lot lighter than the MK4 when going up hill!!
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
Nice, great to hear, I'm sure those numbers will improve significantly on the freeway.

Got mine driving a couple weeks ago too, just with welded together axleshafts and n/a with no turbo, breathing through the tiny stock insight exhaust. Took a few tries to get all 4 forward gears outta the 4t65, but I got it with the internal switches in the transmission and two relays, so the trans only has the power wire and TCC lockup wires going to it ATM.

Haven't gotten around to fixing the tune at all, so it is just running in limp mode with pp764 injectors and an 11mm injection pump on a manual trans coded ECU, so while totally driveable it will smoke quite a bit with careless throttle input. Still has all the hybrid stuff in the back, so it is not even all that lightweight yet.

Only got a 2 gallon can in the passenger seat, so my range is extremely limited. Only gone maybe 40 miles so far (to work and back twice), seems like I might be getting as bad as 25 mpg just with the screwing around I've done.

No speedo signal on mine yet, gotta get around to making up a 6 toothed wheel to attach to an axleshaft somewhere and all that. Just got a basic harness with a golf/jetta cluster haphazardly jammed into the place where the stock cluster was. It sorta fits, but it is very tight vertically. A passat cluster housing is a little narrower vertically but it is a lot wider horizontally (both use the same gauge cluster with different shaped bezels) I'm thinking I'll just take the 02 passat cluster and cut off the sides to get it to fit nice in the insight dash.
Also have a new beetle cluster that doesn't fit anywhere at all, so that one's right out.

Oh right, dropped the stock fuel tank out to look at converting it over to diesel. Hammering the filler neck restrictor out took a very long time. I should have just cut it out with a die grinder and washed the grinder dust out. Would have been much quicker. The tank is sized such that it looks like I should be able to get 10 gallons in there by eliminating the EVAP airspace. There is a standpipe on the filler inlet that comes out pretty easily, you reach in through the sending unit hole and pull off the rollover valve, then there's a metal tube pressed into the plastic filler inlet barb that's molded in the tank. You can squeeze the plastic inlet with a pliers to crush the metal without damaging the plastic, then it just yanks out from the inside of the tank. Haven't gotten the sending unit figured out yet either. Undecided on if I want to run an in-tank lift pump or another external one.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
just reuploading a few relevant pictures
haven't really done much of anything since #21 up there, probably 4 gallons of fuel through it. Got sidetracked with buying a house and all.




 
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