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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Can the early OEM Nimh CR-Z pack fit in and work in a later Lithium Car?

We know this works 99% the other way round. OEM Lithium in a Nimh car.. (y)

What has prompted me to looks at this it the fact the later Lithium packs are suffering from some BMS board failures.
Once they become unobtanium or unfixable it will be game over for the OEM Lithium packs.
If this idea works it would be a cheap way of getting a car up and running again as Nimh packs are plentiful and also used in the Insight G2.

Now I don't currently have a spare built Nimh pack so will have to acquire or build one out of my parts stock for this testing.
I'll extend the IMA 12V harness and motor wires to reach the Nimh pack simply sat in the boot. I don't want to remove the interior in my Lithium car to swap it out.

This is just a does it work or not test. :unsure:

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Let's start with a few basic facts.

2013-2016 CR-Z. The 144V Lithium pack/assembly weighs 40kg. 144V x 5ah = 720 wh approx theoretical capacity.
2010-2012 CR-Z. The 100V Nimh pack/assembly weighs 36.5kg. 100V x 6ah = 600 wh approx theoretical capacity.

Usable capacity would be quite a bit less than the theoretical 100% SOC capacity.

+/- 0.5kg or so weight accuracy of my bathroom scales.

A cursory visual examination shows.

The battery mounting space, mounting holes, and the main motor power cable connections are slightly different (Longer in the lithium cars).
So the packs should fit and bolt into the same place in either car. The foam boot inserts etc might be a bit different but that's a minor issue.

The 12V+ power lead is slightly longer in the Lithium car, but it can be shortened for the Nimh pack to reach the DC-DC connector.

The main IPU harness connector is identical and either pack will plug into either car.

IPU Harness connector detailed look.

Having studied the wiring diagrams and connector pinouts for both cars they appear to have almost identical pinouts and connections.
There are a couple of minor wire colour difference which may be due to UK/US car changes but the functionality appears identical.
There is an extra GND wire shown on Pin 16 in the 2013 Lithium car diagram that is not present in the diagram for the 2011 Nimh car.
Note the wire is actually present in my Nimh car so we can likely ignore this or just add a GND wire if needed.

It certainly looks like you can plug the Lithium pack into a Nimh car and vice versa without them fusing circuits. (y)

Things that might trip us up.

Of course we have a multitude of other things that will conspire against us to prevent this being a simple 1hr swap.
The main thing being CAN comms between the ECM & MCM modules in the front and rear of the car.

If the FCAN & IMACAN messages are in any way different/missing etc then it will be very tricky to make it work.

Anyway attached are the IMA harness connector pinouts for both cars and the wiring diagrams..

Based on the reverse swap (Lithium pack into a Nimh car) we did over a year ago, I think it is likely to work. But will it work without errors?

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have now purchased a cheap Nimh battery pack to test this swap. I'll collect it on tuesday.

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Note I got one from an Insight G2 as there are loads more of them around.
It's basically exactly the same as the CR-Z apart from the harness connector under the subwoofer.

I'll check this pack out and cycle it before I install it and I'll make up and adapter so it plugs into the CR-Z harness connector.

Basically if it works with this G2 Insight Nimh pack in the Lithium CR-Z car then it will work with a CR-Z Nimh pack.

Note I am busy with my solar powerwall project at the moment so don't hold your breath. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK some details.. Remember this is purely a proof of concept test.

I have repinned the old G2 insight connector (below) to match the CR-Z standard IMA connector pinout.

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The G2 IMA harness Male & Female (above) has a small buddy 3 pin connector and unused spaces on the main 20 pin connector. Weird!
So basically I traced checked those and then scavenged two small pins off another connector and populated/moved wires so the connectors match.

The final CR-Z compatible result (top and bottom view) is below.
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If I had used a CR-Z nimh pack I would not have needed to do this re-pinning.


Pack is now on charge overnight as it has been sat for months/years.
I'll attach some extension phase leads and hopefully get to test it tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If this Nimh into Lithium pack swap operates without serious errors we still have the potential IMA motor rotor sensor calibration to perform with an HDS.

The rotor data in the NIMH MCM going into the car is obviously not for the Lithium cars motor/sensor combo at the front.
So we will have to perform the calibration or we will likely get a code sooner or later if the alignment is off.

Then we have to hope the HDS is fairly dumb and will let us access the NIMH MCM in the Lithium car and do the procedure.

I note from the other swap thread Lithium into Nimh I mentioned this but can't see/remember if I ever did the procedure??

C) Swapping in the Lithium MCM really means the IMA rotor calibration procedure should be carried out with the HDS tool
However the HDS software might not like the fact we have a Nimh ECM and a Lithium MCM.
If we can't get to the appropriate screen in the HDS menu then we cannot do the procedure.
We might be able to ignore it as the Lithium MCM will have a completed rotor procedure stored but it will be for a different car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well it works... Starts and drives normally. (y)


We do have a non fatal IMA error but I haven't plugged in my HDS or done the rotor relearn etc yet so we shall see in due course if we can make that go away.
But for those in areas/countries without error code jobsworths it's an option for now.

More news in due course.
 

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Nice to see it works! How will the NiMH pack react to the S+ button than the new Lithium Cr-Zs have?

Also, is the IMA motor the same for NiMH and Lithium? If so, is the power difference caused by the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Motor is the same. Haven't tested S+ button yet.
The battery will only give what it can, the car (ECM) won't care.
Lithium/Nimh Power difference is caused by battery and electronics.

HDS result. It's basically the same missing CAN packet type errors as with the swap the other way round Lithium into Nimh.
The HDS talks to the car normally but won't let me do the IMA rotor recalibration because of the DTC's.
That's must have been the same the other way round as well. I had forgotten.

The error codes are not rotor calibration related and the car works and drives etc so we can ignore all that for now.
I need to review the masses of CAN data accumulated and see what we can find.

Does anyone have a spare gauge cluster and the harness connector with 6" wire they can send me?

One thing I had completely forgotten is to sort out a fan for the temporary pack LOL
Just realised it's sat in the back there and has no cooling. Doh.. :p :rolleyes:

EDIT Fitted a duct tape fan plugged into cigarette lighter socket.
Luckily I don't live in Arizona!
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Bottom line. Basically you can now swap Lithium and Nimh packs back and forth between cars and the IMA will work.
You can use CR-Z Lithium or Nimh packs or Insight G2 Nimh packs which are much more common.
You could probably put a CR-Z Lithium pack into a G2 Insight LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Note the S+ button does not work, possibly because the IMA light is on.

However the car is already giving the maximum assist and regen it can for a standard good condition Nimh pack during normal driving.
So you aren't losing anything as far as outright IMA power is concerned.

You might lose the throttle and assist curve changes etc that happen with S+ but not maximum IMA power.

The MCM tells the ECM at the front what assist and regen power the Battery can provide and just clamps power levels at those it can manage.
 

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Thank you soo much Peter for doing this. You are a savior, its Definitely goin to help alot of people like me in the future.
I have couple of questions if you could answer please. Few days ago, I saw a Nimh pack similar to this in a local shop here in very cheap. Im now thinking to do this swap So the car atleast run until I get this lithium error fixed probably by next month . Meanwhile, I wanted to ask

1. Does running the car like this with IMA light On effect the car or any of its part in long run as the total voltage of both the packs are different?
(iirc In my father's Toyota Prius, low voltage from a weak battery resulted in the ABS Pump failure twice by the time we replace the battery itself. So is it possible anything similar happening in Hondas too?)

2. S+ button does not work but Does the Modes works with NiMH pack (ECO,Normal,Sports)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Uzair Mir

1) Nothing else outside the IMA system in the CR-Z runs off the IMA battery apart from the IMA motor.
So it won't have any effect on anything else asfaik. The Prius is a very different beast and much more complicated.

2) I haven't tested the modes yet.

I was however driving the car around all yesterday with good IMA performance and no problems. (y)

My plan today is to gather some CAN data and then swap in a CR-Z MCM instead of the Insight G2 MCM and gather data again to see if there are any differences.
Although physically identical the MCM's might have slight programming or message differences.
We may well get the same error messages with both MCM's but we might not!
I'll check the part numbers etc as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
If you want to do this swap and avoid messing with the main white harness connector then use a pack from a G2 Insight 2011 onwards or CR-Z Nimh pack.
Just check the connector before you buy. If it is the single type then you are good to go and it will just plug in and work.

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The single connector type harness is the same as the Nimh CR-Z part number PN 1N000-RTW-000/1.

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If it is the slightly earlier double connector type G2 Insight harness 2009/2010 PN 1N000-RBJ-000 you have to move/cludge three pins like I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
The three button modes work fine. Sport, Normal, Eco. It's only the Lithium specific S+ button that doesn't work at the moment.
The S+ button may be a function that is specifically controlled/implemented by the Lithium car OEM MCM in which case it will never work with this Nimh MCM Swap.

I tried a spare CR-Z MCM attached to the G2 Insight battery and the results are the same. It all works apart from the non fatal IMA code.
The Nimh CR-Z and G2 Insight MCM parts numbers are a bit different but it's basically the same magic silver box....

I gathered quite a bit of CAN data this morning from the G2 Insight MCM and the CR-Z MCM running in the Lithium car to check for subtle differences.
But if there are any they clearly are not vital.

The IMA errors with the CR-Z versus the G2 MCM are exactly the same. (y)
The issue is basically the same as the reverse transplant Lithium into Nimh but with slight variations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have been analysing the CAN data from the various Nimh and Lithium cars and modified one of my OBDIIC&C gadgets to send some missing packets on the FCAN bus.

It's very early days but I can report the IMA light and warning screen are now off as I got rid of one of the errors. (y)

The CEL is still on but it does not seem to affect anything and i'm working on getting rid of that as well as we speak.

I will do some more testing and tweaking over the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
CEL now off as well but autostop not working.. Interesting. Drives fine.
No autostop or no working car is not a difficult choice if we can't fix that gremlin.

I also think the DC-DC in this unknown history G2 pack is possibly dodgy. I'll swap it out with a spare.

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Hey @PeterPerkins, good to see the progress you are making.

I also just bought a temporary cheap NiMH pack (1B000-RTW-J50) to test around until my lithium pack got fixed. its the single connector type that you mentioned in your earlier post (Part # 1N000-RTW-000/1). From what I understood, I just Drop in this pack and it should work, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
@Uzair Mir

Remember this is all still very early days and we could yet break things during further testing and longer trips.
If you understand that and assume all the risks then fine and good luck.


Based on what we know so far It should work ok, but you should give the NIMH pack a proper low current 18-24hr grid charge before using it...
How long has it been stood? Months? Make sure you use a decent fan in the pack vent if grid charging to keep it cool.

Make sure you get the big motor phase wires etc the right way round.
The U,V,W layout/orientation is not the same between the Nimh and Lithium.

Be careful with the 12V feed wire and disconnect the 12v battery at the front when swapping the packs over.

As you are actually physically fitting your pack into the car properly you might discover some things we don't know. (y)
 

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@Uzair Mir

Remember this is all still very early days and we could yet break things during further testing and longer trips.
If you understand that and assume all the risks then fine and good luck.


Based on what we know so far It should work ok, but you should give the NIMH pack a proper low current 18-24hr grid charge before using it...
How long has it been stood? Months? Make sure you use a decent fan in the pack vent if grid charging to keep it cool.

Make sure you get the big motor phase wires etc the right way round.
The U,V,W layout/orientation is not the same between the Nimh and Lithium.

Be careful with the 12V feed wire and disconnect the 12v battery at the front when swapping the packs over.

As you are actually physically fitting your pack into the car properly you might discover some things we don't know. (y)
Yeah i was about to fit the pack in and realized the orientation of u/v/w is not same so stopped there, i was just extending the U wire right now but i dont know how long the pack could have been sat there, could be months/years. Is it necessary to grid charge it first for a day or can we atleast check if it is even working and 12v is charging and then grid charge it later?
I dont have parts to make a grid charger for now, will have to find those tommorow
 

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Also by breaking things you mean braeking the parts of this IMA battery, right? I dont want to break anything else in the car which is not already broken (anything other then IMA battery) 😔
 
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