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The $7000 4th Gen Acura TL Tech Project!

 
Old 10-01-2016, 03:40 PM
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I can't stay off of this site, just too much good info and helpful people... Anyway, the dealer finally swapped out the airbag inflator and I also had them update the software for the torque converter issue. I did my first drain of ATF for the 3x3 and I have noticed a HUGE difference in the way it shifts... Much improved just after the update and one drain... I had planned on doing all 3 in one day but now I'm not so sure. I've read multiple things from honda sites as well as this one and all are conflicting. Some say drive for 5-10 min, others say shift on jack stands, others say wait 100 miles. I have no idea what to do, I'm thinking about waiting a week or so to do the next one as this car has so many miles. But, on the other hand, this is what the first drain looks like, pretty dark from what I've been seeing from other posts.



I'm thinking I should wait to let the tranny adjust slowly by waiting a 100 miles or so and let it mix well, but on the other hand I feel like I wanna get that dirty crap out of my car as soon as possible. Another part of me says it really doesn't matter, just change the stuff sometime soon when you have the time...

I've never done this 3x3, usually in other cars I would drop the pan, change the filter, fill and be done. These are just a little bit different and I'm a total newb when it comes to Honda/Acura.

All opinions are welcome, even if you just quickly glance and read this post it would be nice to know what you are thinking. Thanks much!

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Old 10-02-2016, 09:38 PM
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Excellent post about your journey with the TL so far! For 7K, you got a great deal!

Few things I'd recommend:

Add an external filter, well worth it esp with your fluid being that dirty. I'd drive 5-10 miles and swap out the fluid. That'll be enough time for the fluid to mix! I certainly would do the drain and refill another 2 times since the fluid is pretty dark! I would also recommend you replace the pressure switches for 3rd and 4th gear if the shifts feel a tad sloppy.

Replace front lower control arms (or bushings if available), do the rear shock assemblies and get an alignment ASAP! You don't want to eat up your current set of tires! Also check your ball joints and other bits on the front suspension and replace them when you do the compliance bushings for the control arms!

If the foam on your center armrest is crap, buy some generic foam and fix it, makes driving a ton more comfortable!

Get your windows tinted! It'll make it way more comfortable

Upgrade to the 2013+ Accord style wipers for a cleaner, sleeker look and $10 refills for rubber vs $40 for new aftermarket blades

Cabin filter (ATP Carbon filter rocks) and WIX Engine air filter from amazon

For the A/C, sounds check and make sure your heater cable is connected and the valve is in the off position. (it's near the APP sensor under the hood)

For the amount you've spent, you are certainly ahead of the game! Looking forward to your progress! Most folks would have bought a car with 100K that needed the same amount of work for 12K and would have ended up with a 15K car vs your 10K car!

Last edited by csmeance; 10-02-2016 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:42 AM
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Thanks much for the comments/recommendations!

I'd love to add an external ATF filter! If that is possible with the 09-11 TL I would do it for sure. I'd need to find out where I could tap into lines to add. I think the 2012-14 has a cooler so you could with those. They might already have an external filter, not sure about my 5speed... I bought 11 quarts, I might even buy a couple more and go with a 4th fill. Honda DW-1 only $5.89 from local dealership.

I've been putting off the alignment for sure. main reason is b/c I went with the ole "highway check" dosent drift and drives straight on the highway method so I've just forgotten about it. When the dampers are replaced, is the main difference going to be the camber? Old coils change a bit over time? If so, I'm guessing it wouldn't be as noticeable on the highway as toe in/out issues. Carfax report had tires last replaced @180k and alignment done at same time. The tread seems alright on these, but it's time to start atleast looking for new tires(prob wheels as well) I will definitely have alignment done at that point.

It makes sense if I'm going to spend $$ on alignment I should replace as much as I can before doing it. I dont have a press, or a kit to press so I would probably buy the entire control arm. The main reason for replacing the dampers initially was because of a clunking type sound it was making. The rest of the suspension is tight all around, no movement @ ball joints or anywhere else, tires movement solid when jacked up, which really surprised me for a car with this many miles. After replacing those front dampers the car drives/corners great and no noise @ all. Now after looking around the site and seeing a lot of coilovers being used, I'm thinking I may not want to be OEM so i'm putting off the rear dampers for now. Just a little lower on 19's /20's looks nice. Probably will wait til after winter.

My center armrest is actually pretty comfortable, previous driver must not have leaned on it while driving. But I know the way I sit it will need some attention in a few years. I did see another post about someone fixing the foam on a 3G and also saw there are leather covers for $30-40 when the time comes. It would be nice to see some covers that are slightly larger so thicker foam could be added(thinking dense foam on bottom, visco foam layer on top). Well maybe that's a little overboard :-D

Would love to get the windows tinted, haven’t used a squeegee in years(15-20yrs). I'd have to check out Ohio laws now and see who makes good tint.. I've gotten pulled over in the past for being too dark on previous cars.

Nice to hear about the Accord wipers, love to save some $$

I replaced the cabin filter with cheapo eBay one, next time will go carbon for sure. For intake always used to run K&N in other cars, but hearing not so good things about the oil and sensors. WIX looks good, nice reviews.

The A/C.. This is the only thing left that is annoying me a bit... Compressor kicks in, air blows cold always on passenger side, and only sometimes cold on the drivers side. It's been getting into the 60's the last few days now and the heat works well on both sides. I’m having trouble finding this heater cable, is there another name for the valve that might be in the service manual to check if it's off? I'm still going to replace the condenser when I get the bumper off, but doubting this will improve things on the drivers side.

Thanks again
~Scott
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:35 PM
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7000 was a good deal.. its always nice to have something to tinker with
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:47 PM
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nice car and good buy. I just recently bought an 2005 acura TL for 2k with 101k miles on it.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nightacura View Post
nice car and good buy. I just recently bought an 2005 acura TL for 2k with 101k miles on it.

Nice, sounds like you got a great deal! Interested to know how u got one for that price! Salvage or something? or someone selling knowing they needed the 105k service?
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by atomlinks View Post
Nice, sounds like you got a great deal! Interested to know how u got one for that price! Salvage or something? or someone selling knowing they needed the 105k service?
Clean title at the auction.
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:35 PM
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I've always wondered how auctions work, can anyone off the street bid on them? I'm guessing someone picked up the car I have now @ auction, prob for 4-5k, hell maybe even less.. Have you seen any decent 4g's @ auction?
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by atomlinks View Post
I've always wondered how auctions work, can anyone off the street bid on them? I'm guessing someone picked up the car I have now @ auction, prob for 4-5k, hell maybe even less.. Have you seen any decent 4g's @ auction?
Depend on the auction place you. some will let you bid on it, and some require business license. Last time i saw the TLX but it was salvage title "rear ended" for only 7k
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nightacura View Post
Depend on the auction place you. some will let you bid on it, and some require business license. Last time i saw the TLX but it was salvage title "rear ended" for only 7k
I see that now, looks like a decent size auction place nearby has auctions for dealers only, and other dates for public. I'm guessing the cars that the dealers don't want end up at the public ones? :-) It's crazy to think how much $$ can be made on these things if you get a great deal @ auction. I was cleaning up the backseat of this car(because my kids left their footprints) and in the drivers side pocket i found the used car sticker for the place that was selling it. 13k is what they were asking @ one point which is crazy, and they bought it @ auction the end of March. Now don't get me wrong, if you didn't know the miles on this car i'm sure someone may have paid that much just because it looks nowhere near a car with that many miles. I wouldn't mind buying salvage if it was repairable, like that TLX, but I'd probably only do that if I was planning on keeping the car for a long time. Also, I'm guessing it would last a long time if repaired correctly.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:51 PM
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Yeah, but you can go the day before auction start to see the car and they usually tell you if the car start, or run and drive, etc. Just like as my friend who recently bought a 2011 Chevy 2500HD fully load only 40k miles (salvage title) + repair only cost him $20k and the truck it self worth $35k clean title... you can alway sell 10%-20% below market value ($35k) because it salvage title.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:46 PM
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gotta keep in mind that insurance will only cover a reduce amount of the car since it is salvage. So as long as no one hits you buying from an auction is FTW
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by nightacura View Post
Yeah, but you can go the day before auction start to see the car and they usually tell you if the car start, or run and drive, etc. Just like as my friend who recently bought a 2011 Chevy 2500HD fully load only 40k miles (salvage title) + repair only cost him $20k and the truck it self worth $35k clean title... you can alway sell 10%-20% below market value ($35k) because it salvage title.
That's cool you can go a day ahead to check em out, should give you enough time to see what the parts would cost to repair if its salvage. Certainly a good deal if you can do the work yourself as well.

Originally Posted by thisaznboi88 View Post
gotta keep in mind that insurance will only cover a reduce amount of the car since it is salvage. So as long as no one hits you buying from an auction is FTW
I always wondered how that works with insurance on salvage cars, if insurance would cost more, what happens with a total loss etc. I know I just went through updating insurance policies on our 2011 Odyssey and this TL. The TL costs a few more bucks monthly, but when I asked how much I would get if it is declared a total loss on the TL she told me $8500. I really hope that never happens. The Odyssey we'd get closer to $20k, but it only has 30k miles. Both have same coverage. Weird that I'm paying more to protect the TL even though if it has a total loss I would end up with less than half of what they would be giving me for the Odyssey.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:54 AM
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So I ordered a 2012 shield from Ebay $60 w/free shipping. It arrived in 2 days. This is how it looks on top of the china grill.
09 TL China Grill with 2012 Shield

I had fully anticipated cutting the china grill up so that this shield fit flush and was inset into the grill, but when looking at it i had no idea it had such a nice bevel on the sides. Now I'm thinking I might just modify the shield(as it was cheaper than the grill) Maybe cut off some of the brackets, file off a few of the tabs on the top and it should fit rather nicely. it extends out past the sides enough for a little support as well. Hell I could even stack some 3M double sided tape on the sides and the top. There will probably need to be a little support near the lower portion across the bottom. I'm thinking i can pick up a solid piece of aluminum at the Home Depot and create a support bar for it. Should be fun thinking about this for a while...
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
^since these engines are PLENTIFUL, you'll find them for as low as $500 all the way up to a grand depending on used mileage....
I replaced a 3G TL engine recently for $650 and $650 for labor.

and its as simple as uninstalling and installing engine...
I remember I watched a video on Youtube from ericcarguy who replaced 04 TL engine. the replacement engine is from AT model, he put it into 6mt TL with some adjustment.
is that you? haha
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:26 PM
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yeah, the chevy he bring it to a collision repair shop to do it. Also, the insurance roughly pay you 70% (Salvage) value of the car, instead 80% (Clean title) value of the car. Also, at the auction they usually tell you whether this car is title is clear, Salvage, Collision, etc. up front.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:20 PM
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I did the other 2 rounds of the 3x3 ATF change last night, 10 miles of driving side streets and a little bit of highway. And I wonder if anyone was watching me go in reverse the entire length of the holiday inn parking lot :-) It made sense to me at least lol.

Here is what came out after each drain. Looking @ the side of the white cup can tell. That 1st one was pretty bad, not translucent @ all. I will probably go for a 4th in a month or so.

1st -Initial



2nd Drain



3rd Drain.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:24 AM
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Car has been running perfectly so far, really feels like a brand new car! The wife wants now wants to drive it everywhere unfortunately. I guess its okay though because after taking a trip with the odyssey this weekend I noticed we have 44,000 miles on it! I really thought we had closer to like 35,000. It's probably better to put more miles on this car so I guess I'll let her drive it.

I ordered a PCV Valve just for the heck of it and went to check out where it goes. I popped the hood, turned around for a second and SLAAAMM. Popped the hood again, went to get the PCV valve and again SLLAAAM.. Damn hood wouldn't stay open. I guess with the cold weather the supports just can't take it anymore... I ordered a pair of supports for the hood($22 ebay) and they should be here tomorrow.

I know I know, exciting stuff here :-) I've also been looking around for some tires/wheels. I've seen some past sales on some nice rims on this site, now it's got me holding out for a good deal. I did see some cadillac wheels/and new tires for $700 that may have fit, but they are gone. I do feel a little more prepared the next time a good deal comes around with fitment/offset/wheel size etc.

I've been holding off on the grill because it has that small chip in the corner(reason I got it half off), not really sure what to use to fix it. I did find the small piece that came off, wondering if I should superglue it, fill with some bondo sand and be done? The only thing that worries me with superglue would be in the summer heat, if it would expand at a different rate and end up cracking with fresh paint.

Last edited by atomlinks; 10-25-2016 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:33 AM
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Awesome, man...
I love doing maintenance on cars!
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by atomlinks View Post
Car has been running perfectly so far, really feels like a brand new car! The wife wants now wants to drive it everywhere unfortunately. I guess its okay though because after taking a trip with the odyssey this weekend I noticed we have 44,000 miles on it! I really thought we had closer to like 35,000. It's probably better to put more miles on this car so I guess I'll let her drive it.

I popped the hood, turned around for a second and SLAAAMM. Popped the hood again, went to get the PCV valve and again SLLAAAM.. Damn hood wouldn't stay open.
I just did the power steering fluid flush and had the same thing happen...no warning or noise at all, just 'BOP-who-the-whatta!?!' Ordered mine off Amazon for same price as yours.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by srg818 View Post
I just did the power steering fluid flush and had the same thing happen...no warning or noise at all, just 'BOP-who-the-whatta!?!' Ordered mine off Amazon for same price as yours.
Sneaky lil buggers for sure! When I started the timing belt job I hung my shop light from the hood catch and while looking around inside the bay I received a BOP-who-the-whatta to the back of the head! I thought it just couldn't support that shop light and I stopped hanging the shop light from the hood. The cold comes in and it couldn't even stay open under it's own weight.

Got them in the mail today and replaced them tonight. By far the easiest thing I've done to the car. The brand that I received was "Maxpow" ordered from seller sanlongparts on ebay. He didn't list the brand name in the description so I really didn't know what I was getting. I looked them up on amazon and looks like they are $28.69 They are really pretty nice. I can now lift the hood halfway up and it pushes the hood up the rest of the way on it's own and stays up. Even with the shop light on there it stays up. I could probably put a half dozen shop lights on there now and it would be fine. Also when shutting the hood I no longer have to push down all the way on the hood to fully latch and close. I can just give it a slight shove down and it closes the rest of the way like it should.

The box came a little banged up:





But they were perfectly fine, no damage.



I also replaced the PCV valve, which was also pretty easy. Lift up the harness cover by the front coil packs, its located just above the engine oil cap, remove 1 bolt, slide it out. There will be a metal ring on the old one that you'll have to transfer to the new one. The valve that I pulled out was pretty dirty, gunk everywhere and it didn't have the same rattle as the new one. I probably could have just cleaned the old one as it was still good, but I already purchased the new one so in it went.


Location of PCV Valve, above engine oil cap:



Old one on top has the metal ring, just pull it out, transfer to new one and put everything back together:

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Old 10-26-2016, 05:43 PM
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by atomlinks View Post

I also replaced the PCV valve, which was also pretty easy. Lift up the harness cover by the front coil packs, its located just above the engine oil cap, remove 1 bolt, slide it out. There will be a metal ring on the old one that you'll have to transfer to the new one. The valve that I pulled out was pretty dirty, gunk everywhere and it didn't have the same rattle as the new one. I probably could have just cleaned the old one as it was still good, but I already purchased the new one so in it went.
I will add that to my build list, thanks for the pictures!
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Old 11-13-2016, 01:26 AM
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Nothing new here, car still running great.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:45 PM
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And 3 days later after I post that the car is running great.. I get this tonight on the way home. Said something about emissions system blah blah, got the code, filled up with a fresh tank of gas after i got the code. Car didn't run that well when the code was displayed. Got home and reset it. that it doesn't happen again. But hey it's my first check engine light yay!

Current Fault Log
------------------
P0305: Cylinder 5 Misfire Detected

Pending Fault Log
------------------
ECU reports no pending faults

Historic Fault Log
------------------
ECU reports no historic faults
Other discovered fault codes
(possibly pending, current or manufacturer specific)
----------------------------------------------------
ECU reports no other fault codes logged

End of report.

Edit, figured I'd include a picture, flashing between these 2 screens. google site:acurazine.com P0305



Last edited by atomlinks; 11-16-2016 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 11-16-2016, 09:18 PM
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nice work. I bought a crv for cheap and so far it's been fix this fix that. lol but the car is so much fun to drive. So I know exactly how you feel when getting a nice high mileage car. Just little stuff that needs to be done here and there.

In your situation I would check the cats to make sure they didn't start to crumble.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by thisaznboi88 View Post
nice work. I bought a crv for cheap and so far it's been fix this fix that. lol but the car is so much fun to drive. So I know exactly how you feel when getting a nice high mileage car. Just little stuff that needs to be done here and there.

In your situation I would check the cats to make sure they didn't start to crumble.
Thanks man, I remember you having a few issues with the crv from your turbo thread. Sometimes things just happen @ the worst times! I really don't mind and really kind of expected and was looking forward to some more things to come up with this car, I'm just hoping for a simple fix. I'm not quite sure about how to check if the cats to see if they starting to crumble, total newb here but willing and ready to learn :-) From what I've been reading the concern is that they wear out/ get old, crumble and get plugged up? I saw something about a pressure test by taking o2 sensors off but I don't believe I have the right tools to check the pressure.

This VSA thing is kind of throwing me off though, it's Vehicle Stability Assist? That is what was showing on the screen, but the scanner didn't come up with any stored codes for it... Weird.
Both the VSA and the Emissions started flashing as soon as I started the car. It's wasn't running rough or anything, just noticed a slight decrease in performance when merging on to the highway when those lights were on. Just seemed like it lost a bit of its "get up and go" Wondering if these cars go into a kind of "safe mode" when codes come up and how long that takes to reset if it does.

My plan for now was to write this off as a fluke/ bad gas or something, I don't know(wife filled up at a different gas station recently with 93, I had to verify lol). If it happens again and I get #5 I might try swapping the coil packs and reset again and see if i get the code in the other cylinder? I did see another video about pulling the coils out one at a time while its running to "feel" if the engine runs any worse, if one of them that I pull has no change to how the engine is running then that coil pack should be the one that may be shot.

I haven't driven the car since clearing the code, tomorrow I'll drive it for about an hour round trip to work and see what happens and see if it comes back to life performance wise.
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Old 11-17-2016, 06:09 AM
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If you pull the O2 sensor you can see if the substrate in the cat is damage. maybe a good time to do some upgrades :p. High flow cats FTW?
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by thisaznboi88 View Post
If you pull the O2 sensor you can see if the substrate in the cat is damage. maybe a good time to do some upgrades :p. High flow cats FTW?
I really want to do everything from high flow pre cat jpipe etc all the way back at some point. But, if a want ends up turning into a need... I put about an hour worth of driving on her today and she seems to be back to normal, no codes. Time will tell I suppose, I'm not worried about it... yet. As I was walking out of work today and saw her at the back of the parking lot I just thought to myself, man I really really love this car. It is the nicest car I've ever owned, even though she has a lot of miles.

She does need some tint and new shoes, but exhaust may have to come first :-)

Cell phone pic today black and white filter. Not a photography guy @ all, but I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to shoot into the sun! Bit of glare but there are just some moments that ya wanna remember how you were feeling at the time.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:25 PM
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Man you are doing a great job,keep up the good work Dude.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:45 PM
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:15 PM
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So I picked up a complete set of 19 inch wheels/tires/tpms that came off a 2010 TL via craigslist. Tires are Pirelli P6, wheels Avarus AV8, they have a little tread but they are shot/cracked etc, one is actually pretty dangerous(sidewall bulge). I didn't really want them after I saw the condition of the tires and wheels, but after walking away to my car he yelled back and just seemed to want to get them out of his garage so I offered him $50 for the set and threw them in the car. Hopefully I'll be able to do something with them, if not i'll at least have the tpms(if they work).

I wanted these just for the TPMS and to use the wheels on our Odyssey because our odyssey wheels look like complete crap, but I'm thinking these might look decent on the TL. If I get tires for the TL should I go with 245/40/19 as tirerack suggests or replace with 255/40/19 which is what this set of wheels has on them? A couple of the tires have some damage on the tire itself, all the way around(like chunks missing) and I'm kind of wondering if these hit the fender a few times or something.

Haven't put them on yet, but here is a pic:
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:21 PM
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Well, I thought I'd swap these out just to see if the TPMS works. Should be a 10 minute job and I can't even put one of the brand used wheels on. Apparently I don't have a socket that fits either. Had to put the old wheel back on. Thinking I probably need some thin wall socket? or new lug nuts? I have no idea at this point but I'll probably take some investigating. What did I get myself into lol I have no idea what I'm doing.

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Old 12-04-2016, 07:37 PM
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Well, It looks like this won't work without getting some new lug nuts. From what I've been reading I need some tuner style lug nuts that are 14mm x 1.5 with a Ball Seat. Now where to find something like that where it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, hmmm Ebay lug nuts? That just doesn't sound safe. I might need to start a thread on this as I'm not seeing many new posts about options other than some threads that are pretty old(but helpful :-) )
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:20 PM
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Since I know nothing about lug nut types I'll post this here. Looks like I'll need to find out what type Avarus Wheels use since I really can't tell the difference by looking at them.


Closeup of what it looks like:
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:52 PM
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Well one bent wheel, a broken TPMS, and one shady craigslist used tire shop scam later... I'm cutting my losses on these wheels. No biggie, I'm out $50 and some time. No sense in throwing good money after bad. BTW they are Acorn/Tapered lug seats.

I did get a flickering headlight last night. The next time that I started the car the light no longer works @ all. I ordered these for $25 from amazon. If they work they work If not well that's okay too.. they are $25 and seem to have good reviews..

HID Xenon Low Beam Headlight Replacement Bulbs by Kensun - (Pack of two bulbs) - D2S - 6000K

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Old 12-11-2016, 09:06 PM
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i would have recommended these

https://www.theretrofitsource.com/co...to-xb-hid.html

or if you have the cash to spare

https://www.theretrofitsource.com/co...66240-cbi.html

but then again it might be the ballast going out.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:51 PM
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Thanks for the recommendation man. I saw those OSRAM ones on amazon for $90(not sure if seller is legit there though) but I really don't know what's wrong so I was going to try out the cheap option first just to see if it fixes it for now. Honestly I've only changed one bulb ever on a car and that was in the civic which was pretty easy. For the 4G it seems a bit more complicated to get to(which is why I probably should have used a better bulb). Hopefully they come in quick! The only thing I remember from the civic was to make sure and wear gloves and not touch the bulbs with bare hands.
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Old 12-11-2016, 11:48 PM
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Here's a video of the flashing I took right after I started the car. I shut it off right after this and it did not come back on @ all.

VID 20161210 180611 - Sendvid
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:06 PM
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Well, I received the HID's today. The light started blinking again so I'm not sure if it is the bulb or what. The TL is covered in snow now. I don't know what it is but I just don't feel like working on the car as much with the colder weather. Hopefully I'll get her in the garage to warm up and let the snow melt and get these installed.
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