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Black Cherry ZDX Mods

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Old 03-12-2017, 09:10 PM   #1
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Black Cherry ZDX Mods

This thread will document the mods to my 2010 ZDX with the Technology package. It only has 25K miles - its freaking cool - like a brand new car. I just picked her up yesterday, so I am still planning out the mods. Will change the wheels, debadge and tone the grill down for sure. And will do some intake and exhaust and suspension mods over time.

Here are some pics in the before condition. I am not really a pinstripe guy, but someone hand painted the stripes and they are kind of cool...




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Black Cherry ZDX Mods-img_8263sm2.jpg   Black Cherry ZDX Mods-img_8268sm2.jpg   Black Cherry ZDX Mods-img_8267sm2.jpg   Black Cherry ZDX Mods-img_8253sm2.jpg  
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:11 PM   #2
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Welcome and congrats!
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:47 AM   #3
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Nice ride and welcome!
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:04 PM   #4
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Thanks all for the warm welcome. Got your pm, zdxsr, I can't reply yet because I am still on newbie triple secret probation. Good eye, that is indeed Valley Forge National Park in the photo backgrounds. You must be local to me. We should do an east coast ZDX meet up at the park when the weather gets warmer. With only 7,000 sold in the US, it might be kind of lonesome. I will start a new post and see if that gains traction.

While I'm waiting to get started on the ZDX, here are some links from last years project - don't worry I won't do anything this drastic to my lovely ZDX. Here is a video
and a more detailed build thread Honda Hack - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

Here is the obligatory snowed in zdx picture from Winter Storm Stella...
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:18 PM   #5
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Great looking Z!! Welcome!!
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:42 PM   #6
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The Mods Have Begun

Yesterday, I finally had some time to start work on the ZDX. I went with TSW Valencia 20x10s with ET40 offset and 285/40R20 Nitto tires - they were about 2K mounted and balanced from Discount Tire Direct. The steering is a bit crisper and they do fill the wheel wells up better - noticed they are a bit noisy but worth it. There is some slight rubbing at full steering lock. Then, I took the grill off and removed the chromed plastic. I wanted to get a feel for what it will look like with a blacked out grill - hopefully Rick Ramistein will have a cool carbon fiber grill available soon. It looks a bit rough without the trim, but I dislike the stock grill so much, I may leave it like this for a while. My wife is less thrilled by this plan. I also removed the Acura badge and lettering from the rear and removed the lower reflectors - all good stuff I found on this forum - I am going to fill the reflector hole with some black plastic to make it look better. All in all not bad for a days work...





After the blacked out or carbon fiber grill, I will work on blacking out the rest of the trim. I would also like to figure out how to delay the pesky 1-2 transmission upshift. I noticed it even does that is manual mode - crazy....
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:19 AM   #7
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Tailpipe Black Out

Finally found some time to do more work on the ZDX. Here are some pics of the tailpipe mods. I bought some mesh from customcargrills.com for the openings and painted everything up with a charcoal wheel paint from Eastwood. I went the extra mile and painted black the inside of the cavity where the reflector was and screwed in a piece of black abs sheet to cover the opening so you don't see daylight through that side. The grill over the reflector area is JB welded in place and the grill over the exhaust opening is just cut so it wedges into the seam between the trim and the shrouding that goes around the exhaust pipe. I am simultaneously working on the front grill and fog light surround - will post about that when it gets a little further along...





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Old 10-08-2017, 03:49 PM   #8
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Man, losing that chrome looks TERRIFIC!! That is a mod I would buy in a heartbeat! Looking forward to your progress!
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:32 PM   #9
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Front Grill In Process

Here of some pics of the front grill mod progress. I really like the smaller 2013 grill, but wanted to mod that from stock too to tone down the ugly. I looked for a used 2013 ZDX grill on ebay for a few months before I bucked up for the three main parts from the dealer - it was around $700 - ouch. The Black Cherry color was not available in 2013, so I got the body color piece that goes around the grill in white and painted it with a rattle can of color from PaintScratch.com - the color match is pretty good and I shot clear over it. Then I cut the center out to the black grill piece so I could get rid of the band at the top of the grill and fill in the whole area with black mesh. I also trimmed the chrome piece a bit and will paint that black along with the silver trim around the fog lights. I read that you have to remove the bumper cover to get the fog light trim off, but I was able to get in and pry up all the clips except the one on the outside and pulled those pieces off. I got some XXL diamond mesh for the grill from customcargrille.com - actually bought a 12 x 48" piece first, but when I put the bend in the center and fit it up I realized the grille needs to be a 'V' shape rather than a rectangle, so I had to order a 24 x 48" piece to have enough material. I should get that cut, bent, and glued in place and paint everything this weekend...






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Old 10-16-2017, 06:35 PM   #10
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More Progress

This weekend, I prepped and painted the fog light trim and bent, cut and started gluing in the mesh grill in. The cutting was pretty tedious with side cutters, but I got a nice tight fit. I just needed to glue the center part on the car because the grill support was so flimsy with a big hole cut out of it and I want it to fit right when I am done. With everything off the car, it will be easier to weigh the mesh down for a tight fit and glue the rest of the mesh in - and less chance to drip JB weld on the paint. I used SEM adhesion promoter and more Eastwood satin black wheel paint to black out the plastic trim. You can see the front end starting to come together in the final pic with the fog light trim back on - there is still some work to trim the chrome 2013 grill surround to make it fit properly - I am not sure how much the mesh will affect how it seats in. Then I can paint that black too....



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Old 10-23-2017, 12:36 PM   #11
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and still more progress

I continued bonding the grill to black plastic support piece, I did some more trimming and bending to get the mesh to lay right. I think most of the epoxy will be out of sight and covered by the grill trim, but I will paint it all black when I am done. Just need to do the two side and this part will be done. I also decided to paint my stock rims satin black and put winter tires on them, don't want to expose my TSW rims up to salty roads. I popped the Acura logos off the stock center caps and filled the holes with plastic body filler and painted them. It took a lot of time to scuff the rims with 400 grit and then mask off polished area, I only got the taping and painting done on two this weekend. They turned out better than expected.






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Old 11-05-2017, 04:25 PM   #12
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Front grill project continues

I finished bonding the mesh into the grill and test fit it on the car - everything lined up well - the only minor issue is that the chrome grill trim sits a bit proud at the bottom because it is spaced out by the thickness of the grill mesh. I looked at cutting the chrome trim down but it will be difficult to make a nice looking cut there with the way the mounting tabs are part of the underside of the trim and, if is not right, it will be very visible. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor - so I am good to have the bottom edge of the trim stick up a bit. I scuffed that chrome trim and painted it black. Also painted the mesh grill and epoxy to match. You can see that I sanded down the body color part that fits around the grill - it has been a bit of a saga to get the paint right on that part - I will post more about that later. I also painted the rest of the wheels and ordered Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV winter tires. I went with 255/55R19 instead of the stock 50 series to fill up the wheel wells a bit more - we'll see how that looks and fits.




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Old 11-05-2017, 06:29 PM   #13
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Looking forward to the final rendition, keep up the good work.

Last edited by zdxsr; 11-05-2017 at 06:31 PM. Reason: edit
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:40 PM   #14
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Grill Finished

It took a bit longer than expected to finish the front grill. I painted the body color trim from the 2013 the grill way too many times. First time looked good and had a nice color match but I burned through the edges when I buffed it out with a buffing wheel - should have just buffed it by hand. So a resprayed the edges with the remaining paint and it looked good until it fell off the car onto the concrete when I was test fitting it - should have painted it after the test fitting was done. As it fell to the ground, I expected that I would want to curse out load, but I surprised myself and just chuckled. As I get older, I am more accepting when stuff goes wrong and am not so focused on getting things done. It is much better to enjoy the ride and just have fun working on the project no matter how long it takes. So by now I had finished the first spray can and reordered more from paintscratch.com. It takes a while to arrive because it ships ground from the west coast. It finally comes and as I am repainting the trim, I was pretty certain there was a big problem with the color match...

Yup that was no good. I had the send a sample back to paintscratch.com and wait again for another ground shipment from the west coast. Luckily, that next paint match was excellent and I was extra careful buffing and putting the grill together and installing it.

Oh, one other thing went wrong - the mesh over the exhaust opening at the rear was just fit into the seam between the trim and the sheetmetal piece that wraps around the exhaust pipe and one of them fell out on the road somewhere. So I ordered some more mesh and epoxied both sided in along the top edge of the trim so it will be less visible.

Then I repainted and reinstalled them...

The final results are worth the wait.




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Old 11-26-2017, 12:55 AM   #15
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Nice mods so far!
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:10 PM   #16
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Time for Winter Tires

Thanks all - its been fun doing these mods. Today I did an oil change and put on the Nokian winter tires on the repainted stock 19" rims. I think the tires fill out the wheel wells a bit better than stock - these are 55 instead of 50 series - no rubbing yet. Not sure if I will lower it or not in the future. The ZDX is up to 39K miles, so I will start keeping an eye on oil consumption.

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