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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
¡Hola everyone!

First things first, I don't yet have a CR-Z, but I'm just curious as to whether it would be possible to upgrade the brushless DC motor in the IMA engine?

Let's ignore the availability of compatible motors for now, since a custom one wouldn't be too hard to produce.

If it is possible, I assume some engine timing stuff would need altering right? How difficult would this be?

Thank you so much in advance.
GEM
 

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it is a very well designed and compatible system. If more capacity was possible then Honda engineers would have made it even more advanced than the changes between the NIMH and LI-ION cars. However if you want more capacity/capability see the @PeterPerkins postings.

Why not actually drive one first and see if you like it as is. Mine is stock and I find it not lacking and works very well for what it is. It is an economy car with sporty tendencies and one of its main attributes is the reliability.

What will this change do to that? Being discontinued I doubt anyone is developing changes for the IMA. People are having a hard enough time finding parts they need to keep them working. Many after market and factory parts are now not available or very expensive.

You are even having issues buying one and have to finance it. If you can't afford to buy it outright don't even think of doing any modifications just do all the maintenance and keep money available for repairs. Don't forget you need money for insurance registration etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It was asked purely out of curiosity, I wouldn't have any intention of making this change anytime soon - if ever.
Please don't let my current financial situation as a young student represent what it will be in a couple of years' time.
 

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Let me make this simple in a number of years you will find all kinds of vehicles available that do not exist now. There will no longer be CR-Zs and even fewer Hybrids. The questions you are asking make no sense at this point. The CR-Z is a dead end. You do not even have a vehicle yet and if you are thinking about all these modifications then maybe it is not the vehicle for you.
 

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¡Hola everyone!

First things first, I don't yet have a CR-Z, but I'm just curious as to whether it would be possible to upgrade the brushless DC motor in the IMA engine?

Let's ignore the availability of compatible motors for now, since a custom one wouldn't be too hard to produce.

If it is possible, I assume some engine timing stuff would need altering right? How difficult would this be?

Thank you so much in advance.
GEM
As far as I know the IMA motor was custom designed by Honda, Honda published a documents stating the suppliers they worked with for all the parts on the CR-Z and the motor was custom made in house.

See @PeterPerkins posts on this forum, he has an extensive ongoing project to increase the power from the IMA motor and increase the duration of which it can assist for using more powerful, higher voltage/capacity lithium packs and capacitors. All of these modifications are purely to the battery pack and associated electrical control units but he has not done anything at all to the motor.

The motor can practically output around 30kw of power for brief periods of time, say 30 seconds at most. It can't handle high sustaned output as it is a fairly compact, disc shaped unit that would get too hot if used in such a way.

Also, please don't be put off by what @Spdbump has to say, he seems to be against any modifications of any nature whether intended or theorietical.
 

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I am not against modifications I am against reduced reliability and people doing things that may destroy their car. Many people modify but they have a clue as to what is possible and what can be done then there are the pie in the sky ideas and total theoretical ideas that are a waste of time, money and thought to even consider.

Many on this forum have made working modifications and have gotten the CR-Z they thought wanted but then months later the Cars are gone the member is gone and we never hear from them again. I am primarily against people wasting money and time to create a never ending project that is not a vehicle anymore.

I have seen so many postings with ideas like adding electric motors to the rear axle, adding both a super charger and a turbo charger, converting the car to fully electric, converting it over and making it a K-Swapped car, electric turbos. In the end if you create something that works and is as reliable as the original car then I am all for it but most of what I see on here is a constant search for more power with no consideration of usability or reliability.

These cars are not muscle cars and it is not as easy as those older non electronic cars to modify. If you are going to modify at least have a concept of how the car works as is. Some of what people want to do is crazy in my opinion and maybe the CR-Z is not the best vehicle as the base of those projects.

I am also against people financing a car and then modifying it. In my opinion you should only spend money to modify a paid off car. If you can't afford the car and its upkeep you can't afford modifications especially ones that no one has done and can destroy the car. I worked very hard to be able to buy my car and I am not like most people I keep my cars as long as possible and only replace when repairs cost more than the car is worth. Most who modify keep them a very short time and replace their cars because they get bored with them or their project failed.

@PeterPerkins Knows these cars better than anyone else on the forum. he has been modifying Honda Hybrids longer than anyone and knows what can be done and what can't be done but it is a very expensive and long process. He is professional in his approach and is not just a back yard mechanic looking for Horse power only. His work has had a focus of increasing capability, capacity, usability and reliability of the IMA battery system. This is practical. Most of what I see on here is trying to make a CR-Z what it is not.

Anything is possible with lots of time, knowledge and money but do you want a vehicle that you can use on a daily basis or do you want an empty bank account and an unreliable car only you can work on? Most on here who are in these discussions seem to have no Idea how their current car works. They have no idea of the engineering involved in making the CR-Z and all the compromises the engineers had to make to have a reliable car at the price point it was sold at. If you have unlimited money and time of course you can make the CR-Z of your dreams but most here do not have those skills.

These discussions are all fun to read but I am practical I want a car that can be my only transportation and can be driven anywhere any time and if it has an issue be repaired by any knowledgeable mechanic anywhere. We have enough issues finding mechanics to work on CR-Zs that are unmodified.

But as you always see me state your car, your money, your decisions.

As far as I know the IMA motor was custom designed by Honda, Honda published a documents stating the suppliers they worked with for all the parts on the CR-Z and the motor was custom made in house.

See @PeterPerkins posts on this forum, he has an extensive ongoing project to increase the power from the IMA motor and increase the duration of which it can assist for using more powerful, higher voltage/capacity lithium packs and capacitors. All of these modifications are purely to the battery pack and associated electrical control units but he has not done anything at all to the motor.

The motor can practically output around 30kw of power for brief periods of time, say 30 seconds at most. It can't handle high sustaned output as it is a fairly compact, disc shaped unit that would get too hot if used in such a way.

Also, please don't be put off by what @Spdbump has to say, he seems to be against any modifications of any nature whether intended or theorietical.
 

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I am not against modifications I am against reduced reliability and people doing things that may destroy their car. Many people modify but they have a clue as to what is possible and what can be done then there are the pie in the sky ideas and total theoretical ideas that are a waste of time, money and thought to even consider.

Many on this forum have made working modifications and have gotten the CR-Z they thought wanted but then months later the Cars are gone the member is gone and we never hear from them again. I am primarily against people wasting money and time to create a never ending project that is not a vehicle anymore.

I have seen so many postings with ideas like adding electric motors to the rear axle, adding both a super charger and a turbo charger, converting the car to fully electric, converting it over and making it a K-Swapped car, electric turbos. In the end if you create something that works and is as reliable as the original car then I am all for it but most of what I see on here is a constant search for more power with no consideration of usability or reliability.

These cars are not muscle cars and it is not as easy as those older non electronic cars to modify. If you are going to modify at least have a concept of how the car works as is. Some of what people want to do is crazy in my opinion and maybe the CR-Z is not the best vehicle as the base of those projects.

I am also against people financing a car and then modifying it. In my opinion you should only spend money to modify a paid off car. If you can't afford the car and its upkeep you can't afford modifications especially ones that no one has done and can destroy the car. I worked very hard to be able to buy my car and I am not like most people I keep my cars as long as possible and only replace when repairs cost more than the car is worth. Most who modify keep them a very short time and replace their cars because they get bored with them or their project failed.

@PeterPerkins Knows these cars better than anyone else on the forum. he has been modifying Honda Hybrids longer than anyone and knows what can be done and what can't be done but it is a very expensive and long process. He is professional in his approach and is not just a back yard mechanic looking for Horse power only. His work has had a focus of increasing capability, capacity, usability and reliability of the IMA battery system. This is practical. Most of what I see on here is trying to make a CR-Z what it is not.

Anything is possible with lots of time, knowledge and money but do you want a vehicle that you can use on a daily basis or do you want an empty bank account and an unreliable car only you can work on? Most on here who are in these discussions seem to have no Idea how their current car works. They have no idea of the engineering involved in making the CR-Z and all the compromises the engineers had to make to have a reliable car at the price point it was sold at. If you have unlimited money and time of course you can make the CR-Z of your dreams but most here do not have those skills.

These discussions are all fun to read but I am practical I want a car that can be my only transportation and can be driven anywhere any time and if it has an issue be repaired by any knowledgeable mechanic anywhere. We have enough issues finding mechanics to work on CR-Zs that are unmodified.

But as you always see me state your car, your money, your decisions.
Obviously, many naive people come to this forum who don’t know much about the CR-Z or perhaps even about cars in general. It’s these types of people who ask questions such as the OP of this thread.

When people ask these questions, wouldn’t it suffice to just tell them “no it isn’t possible, no one has done it before, because xyz, etc etc”
That would surely satisfy their curiosities as to their wild modification possibilities.

If not, then they can do their own, individual research and figure it out for themselves.

I don’t think that many people actually modify the CR-Z to extreme ends in order to achieve something the car wasn’t designed to be. Most people who modify them will be using off the shelf parts which mildly enhance the handling, appearance, braking, power etc. These parts usually don’t end up ruining the car, and can almost always be removed to take the car back to stock. There are plenty of areas where there is room for improvement, in my opinion the brakes are a particular weak point.
 

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I am not against modifications I am against reduced reliability and people doing things that may destroy their car. Many people modify but they have a clue as to what is possible and what can be done then there are the pie in the sky ideas and total theoretical ideas that are a waste of time, money and thought to even consider.
Hard to come up with new ideas that evolve into something robust with that attitude. Also way to squash the dreams of the youth that might be slightly interested in the automotive world. So what if a disposable economy car gets used up in the process.

Many on this forum have made working modifications and have gotten the CR-Z they thought wanted but then months later the Cars are gone the member is gone and we never hear from them again. I am primarily against people wasting money and time to create a never ending project that is not a vehicle anymore.

I have seen so many postings with ideas like adding electric motors to the rear axle, adding both a super charger and a turbo charger, converting the car to fully electric, converting it over and making it a K-Swapped car, electric turbos. In the end if you create something that works and is as reliable as the original car then I am all for it but most of what I see on here is a constant search for more power with no consideration of usability or reliability.

These cars are not muscle cars and it is not as easy as those older non electronic cars to modify. If you are going to modify at least have a concept of how the car works as is. Some of what people want to do is crazy in my opinion and maybe the CR-Z is not the best vehicle as the base of those projects.
Everyone has to start somewhere. These are now inexpensive cars that look cool. Honda specifically wanted the CR-Z to be the next tuner car and here we are. It took a decade to become affordable for the tuner crowd to play with them. And also a decade for the R&D to happen. Reliability in modifications is something that comes with a lot of experience and some maturity. We don't all start at that level.

I am also against people financing a car and then modifying it. In my opinion you should only spend money to modify a paid off car. If you can't afford the car and its upkeep you can't afford modifications especially ones that no one has done and can destroy the car. I worked very hard to be able to buy my car and I am not like most people I keep my cars as long as possible and only replace when repairs cost more than the car is worth. Most who modify keep them a very short time and replace their cars because they get bored with them or their project failed.
That is fair, financing a project is not a great idea. But hey for some the desire to have that unique ride out weighs (in their head) any financial sense. The argument could be made for financing a test mule for product development but this is not that.

@PeterPerkins Knows these cars better than anyone else on the forum. he has been modifying Honda Hybrids longer than anyone and knows what can be done and what can't be done but it is a very expensive and long process. He is professional in his approach and is not just a back yard mechanic looking for Horse power only. His work has had a focus of increasing capability, capacity, usability and reliability of the IMA battery system. This is practical. Most of what I see on here is trying to make a CR-Z what it is not.

Anything is possible with lots of time, knowledge and money but do you want a vehicle that you can use on a daily basis or do you want an empty bank account and an unreliable car only you can work on? Most on here who are in these discussions seem to have no Idea how their current car works. They have no idea of the engineering involved in making the CR-Z and all the compromises the engineers had to make to have a reliable car at the price point it was sold at. If you have unlimited money and time of course you can make the CR-Z of your dreams but most here do not have those skills.
Again, Peter is a skilled and experienced developer(?). We don't all jump in at that level. I certainly didn't start at that level. Something that is learned with experience, trial and error, and mentoring from peers. If we as the existing car community just shut down every entry level "ricer" we soon won't exist. Do I love ricers? No! Do we need to keep kids interested? Yes! The cars on the road are showing this trend as they have all turned into 2 ton appliances with wheels and an iPad haphazardly glued to the dash. Fun to drive driver's cars or enthusiasts cars are quickly disappearing.

These discussions are all fun to read but I am practical I want a car that can be my only transportation and can be driven anywhere any time and if it has an issue be repaired by any knowledgeable mechanic anywhere. We have enough issues finding mechanics to work on CR-Zs that are unmodified.

But as you always see me state your car, your money, your decisions.
I too desire for practical cars. But I also desire for things the OEMs won't make. That drives me to build OEM quality tuners that I daily 20K+ miles a year with zero issue.
 

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I would definitely not say I know the complete CR-Z better than anyone else.
But I do have a good understanding of the IMA/electronics in the Honda IMA car range in general.

I always like to encourage new ideas and contributors, but regularly repeating information on forums is time consuming and frustrating...
Lots of people also have wild unrealistic ideas or talk a lot about projects but produce little tangible results..
It's always better to read and research first before going balls out..

In response to the OP's post..

IMO Upgrading the IMA motor would be mechanically and electrically very difficult/expensive.
The OEM IMA motor will stand ~35kw for very short periods, but it is not designed for continuous duty at anything like that.
5-10kw continuous might be about the limit as it has no active cooling or temperature detection.
There is a pdf paper on the internet about an IMA motor during open air bench testing..
Class H insulation in the stator is rated about 180C IIRC.
The Neodymium magnets probably would not like that temperature either.

Stacking IMA motors has never been successfully completed asfaik.
Yes it's been proposed over the years by various people including me, but actually done/working? Links? I might have missed it.... ;)
Again with a huge budget and skills anything is possible.


Increasing the stock IMA motor intermittent Kw output significantly is possible as has been shown over the years.
 
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