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A Pilot as a project car. Fun times. :)

Nice to see you're organized and methodical (normal people talk for OCD :)), so this looks like you're going to make a go of it despite borderline scam seller. Where is he from?

Unless you're planning on replacing all the leaking gaskets and seal, this would be when I step in to recommend, that's right folks...

Throw in a bottle of AT-205 and drive for a hundred miles or so. For ten bucks, what've you got to lose (except less oil)?

More Information for ATP AT205



*cough heard he was from Canada
 

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Welcome @pilot.ocd ....glad to see another first generation Pilot repaired and enjoyed again despite how it all started for you from ebay. You've joined the right forum with a bunch of knowledgable Piloteers to help keep your Pilot running right.
 

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Also if I may add many of us here have our rides well over 200k-250k ish if not on the way to the 300k milestone.

Welcome to the Forums
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
A Pilot as a project car. Fun times. :)

Nice to see you're organized and methodical (normal people talk for OCD :)), so this looks like you're going to make a go of it despite borderline scam seller. Where is he from?

Unless you're planning on replacing all the leaking gaskets and seal, this would be when I step in to recommend, that's right folks...

Throw in a bottle of AT-205 and drive for a hundred miles or so. For ten bucks, what've you got to lose (except less oil)?
The seller is a somewhat reputable used car dealer in Pompano Beach FL. Their argument was that the vehicle is 16 years old and some issues are to be expected. But when I asked why their photos were taken in such a way that they purposely hid the extent of the body/paint damage, they basically said - sorry can't help you. Not to mention all the other problems this car has.

As far as the engine leaks, I replaced both camshaft thrust plate O rings, and I replaced the VVT seals. That helped a tremendous amount - it no longer leaves a puddle of oil everywhere it is parked.
But it is still leaking quite a bit and I am not sure where from. I might do valve adjustment and new valve cover gaskets in the near future.
The crank main seal does show some oil seepage but nothing to be too worried about at this point.

Thanks for the AT-205 recommendation. I will certainly look into it!

Welcome to the forum. That’s a bummer the eBay seller wasn’t fully honest with the condition of the Pilot. It sounds like you have the mechanical skills to get the Pilot back running decently, then you’ll get to enjoy all of the efforts you put into fixing it up.
Thanks!

You can buy the airbag complete on eBay for around $100. Cheaper if you can find one at a PickNPull.
Yeah, good idea, I will try to locate an airbag in good shape. For now I painted the emblem with a brush :LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Welcome @pilot.ocd ....glad to see another first generation Pilot repaired and enjoyed again despite how it all started for you from ebay. You've joined the right forum with a bunch of knowledgable Piloteers to help keep your Pilot running right.
Thanks. I am definitely learning a lot reading through this forum!
Also if I may add many of us here have our rides well over 200k-250k ish if not on the way to the 300k milestone.

Welcome to the Forums
As of right now, the plan is to restore this Pilot and enjoy it for many years/miles (y)
 

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Installed brand new radio control buttons and simply painted the emblem with a brush with some paint I had lying around. Also spent quite a bit of time cleaning all the grime off the steering wheel and surrounding dash area.
134320
 

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Installed brand new radio control buttons and simply painted the emblem with a brush with some paint I had lying around. Also spent quite a bit of time cleaning all the grime off the steering wheel and surrounding dash area. View attachment 134320
Wow. Impressive! I actually like that blacked out look on the wheel.
 
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Discussion Starter #28
Replaced the drive belt tensioner and reused old OEM bolt, all seems fine as of right now (post updated 2006 EXL diaries / extensive maintenance write-ups)

Main issues to address right now:

- D (drive) is blinking almost every time I drive the Pilot. The trans fluid is at correct level. The shifting doesn't seem rough, but the shift from 1st-2nd gear does seem smoother than 2-3 and 3-4 shift (this is of course purely subjective)
I am going to do another transmission fluid drain/fill this week (this will be drain/fill #2) and I replace the 3rd and 4th gear pressure switches with new OEM parts.

- Clunking sound in the back when going over bumps is getting more noticeable.
Sounds like worn out sway bar links or maybe incorrectly attached spare wheel - will need to get under there and find out what it is

- Turns out they had plain water in windshield washer reservoir, it froze at night but didn't seem to do any damage, will need to reach under and drain it.

- The dog/urine smell inside gets pretty nasty when I have the heater blasting.
I ordered a new carpet on RockAuto, color 807 Dark Gray for around $180 with shipping and tax
Also ordered new rubber floor mats (also gray), Motor Trend brand
 

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No check engine light. Just D flashing green.
Last time I drove the Pilot, D was flashing the whole time.
If you have a code reader, you might have a stored code. If you don't have a code reader, you need one to own a Pilot. :) If you don't have a stored code, you might need a fancy reader to pull powertrain codes. I'd probably replace pressure switches with OEM ones, before I paid for a Honda diagnosis.

Double-check wiring harnesses/plugs connecting to tranny.
 

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Installed brand new radio control buttons and simply painted the emblem with a brush with some paint I had lying around.
View attachment 134320

Wow. Impressive! I actually like that blacked out look on the wheel.
Impressive indeed. Now you've got my OCD stirred up again. After years of trying to ignore the faded steering wheel emblem, now I'm inspired and prodded to also go for that nice blacked out look. What paint did you use? I've got a little bottle of OEM Nighthawk Black Pearl touch-up paint.

https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Honda-08703-B92PAH-PN-Touch-Up-Nighthawk/dp/B007W7WVVU/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8


For the flashing "D," swap out the 3rd and 4th gear shift switches and do a 3x ATF drain & fill, if you haven't already.
 

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If you don’t have access to a Honda specific code reader, there is a way to display (blink) the major code on the dash. The subcode will not blink though. I’ll have to dig up the procedure for this.
 

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2. It is normal for our transmissions to have very dark fluid. Even if the fluid was changed regularly every 30k miles, the fluid will stay black looking. So I would not fret too much. MOST people do not keep up with this. Just do the drain/fill 4 times with fresh DW-1 or Maxlife.
My two cents - the ATF on my 06 EXL AWD with 260k miles is not black for sure, lets call it a dark red. Kinda of a dark cough syrup color on a white paper towel. Just a reference point for you. It has been replaced per MM reminders with Honda fluid only.

I suggest getting alternator tested, mine died at 160k I think.

Also, check radiator closely for leaks, I understand that this generation would get cracks in the plastic headers. Mine had a tiny leak at about 160k also if I remember right.

Also, you may have some bulbs out in the AC control buttons. Easiest fix of the whole thing I bet.

How about CV boots/axles? I think passenger side is the weak ones for the Pilot.

Cool project car it sounds like.
 

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Why do I need to disable VCM? I have the same Pilot and it's working fine. What is the advantage? - Steve
VCM is known to cause piston ring wear, oil consumption, spark plug fouling, accelerated catalytic converter fouling, premature wear on motor mounts, vibrations felt in the cab..... all in the name of about one mpg in fuel economy. Different models are affected differently. The early VCM (2006-2008 FWD Pilots) used a J35Z1 engine and didnt have as bad of an issue as the later J35Z4 engines (2009-2015 Pilot) where the issue was much more prevalent. It was bad enough, that there was a class action lawsuit on this which Honda settled by offering to replace piston rings on affected customers, extending their warranty to 8 years and unlimited mileage. Honda Engine Misfire Class Action Lawsuit Settlement | Top Class Actions

So the risk versus reward doesn't make sense to leave VCM enabled, IMHO. But certainly some year models are much worse than others.
 
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- The dog/urine smell inside gets pretty nasty when I have the heater blasting.
I ordered a new carpet on RockAuto, color 807 Dark Gray for around $180 with shipping and tax
Also ordered new rubber floor mats (also gray), Motor Trend brand
On sale right now:
 

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On my 2008 when VCM would engage, there would be a horrible shudder. If I needed to accelerate I would have to push the gas very far down so it could "break out" and engage all 6 cylinders. I honestly believe if I hadn't muzzled it, it would have destroyed my transmission.

I don't think it has caused any oil consumption but I still highly recommend some sort of muzzler.
 

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VCM is known to cause piston ring wear, oil consumption, spark plug fouling, accelerated catalytic converter fouling, premature wear on motor mounts, vibrations felt in the cab..... all in the name of about one mpg in fuel economy.
Probably why I try to keep my '04 Pilot around. Minimal electronics, known weak spots and relatively ez to maintain / repair. Wonder if that new tech for auto start/stop to save a few mpg will cause similar engine wear issues.
 
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