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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

I just replaced my 2006 Pilot EXL radiator after the trans outlet blew out of the radiator (134k miles). I got lucky.. no SMOD just a lot of fluid on the ground. I chose the Spectra Premium CU2956 as my replacement with a Hayden 678 transmission cooler. I just wanted to touch on a few things I had a hell of a time figuring out. I removed the transmission hoses assuming I would find diagrams online.. wrong.

The inner most trans connector is the HOT line, with the outer line being the return (COLD) line. The hot line flows along the metal tube to the farthest passenger side line on the radiator, the return line comes from the "middle" spot and I ran that into the top of the trans cooler then put the bottom of the cooler to the return trans connector. There has been conflicting information but I can confirm this.

Tips:
1) Forget the connectors just buy a bunch of 91501-S04-003, 91503-SZ5-003, and 91503-SZ3-003 retainers. GET A RETAINER REMOVER.
2) I bought 16 QT DW-1 fluid. It took 5-6QT after the failure. But I will fill/drain a few more times.
3) I see many people abandoning the spring clamps, yes they are a pain in the ass but soak them in a water bottle full of apple cider vinegar for 24 hours, shaking every now and then, rinse thoroughly and then soak in WD40 and they will be brand new. Also I sprayed my rusty bolts on the fan shroud with high temp black enamel multiple times.. careful not to spray any of the radiator.
4) Replace your crush washers, mine leaked slightly
5) I would recommend replacing all trans and coolant hoses. The coolant hose going to the bottom of the radiator was too long and needed to be cut, use the old one as a reference. Harbor freight sells a great large tubing cutter. Trans hoses are cheap and you might as well. Reuse the spring clamps when you can if they aren't rusted to hell. Make sure the hoses don't bend alot.
5) The top and bottom electrical clips are a PITA to get off from the fan shroud. But it can be done. The metal swells and they do not want to come off (took me 2 hours). I came 90% close to breaking mine before they would come off. File these down a little before putting it back together. If you break it whatever just zip tie it.
6) Hot glue the radiator bottom rubber pieces to the radiator. Way easier.
7) I spent a whole day searching for an ATF temp gauge to place before any cooling, waste of time.. Nobody makes a good 3/8 T connector for measuring this. Lowes brass connectors could work but don't meet the temp ratings you would need. If you have another method let me know.

Remember not to overtighten any hose clamps. Keep even with the rubber.

Hope this helps someone!
 

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I would suggest Fuel Injection hose clamps vs the worm gear clamp.

 

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Hello all,

I just replaced my 2006 Pilot EXL radiator after the trans outlet blew out of the radiator (134k miles). I got lucky.. no SMOD just a lot of fluid on the ground. I chose the Spectra Premium CU2956 as my replacement with a Hayden 678 transmission cooler. I just wanted to touch on a few things I had a hell of a time figuring out. I removed the transmission hoses assuming I would find diagrams online.. wrong.

The inner most trans connector is the HOT line, with the outer line being the return (COLD) line. The hot line flows along the metal tube to the farthest passenger side line on the radiator, the return line comes from the "middle" spot and I ran that into the top of the trans cooler then put the bottom of the cooler to the return trans connector. There has been conflicting information but I can confirm this.

Tips:
1) Forget the connectors just buy a bunch of 91501-S04-003, 91503-SZ5-003, and 91503-SZ3-003 retainers. GET A RETAINER REMOVER.
2) I bought 16 QT DW-1 fluid. It took 5-6QT after the failure. But I will fill/drain a few more times.
3) I see many people abandoning the spring clamps, yes they are a pain in the ass but soak them in a water bottle full of apple cider vinegar for 24 hours, shaking every now and then, rinse thoroughly and then soak in WD40 and they will be brand new. Also I sprayed my rusty bolts on the fan shroud with high temp black enamel multiple times.. careful not to spray any of the radiator.
4) Replace your crush washers, mine leaked slightly
5) I would recommend replacing all trans and coolant hoses. The coolant hose going to the bottom of the radiator was too long and needed to be cut, use the old one as a reference. Harbor freight sells a great large tubing cutter. Trans hoses are cheap and you might as well. Reuse the spring clamps when you can if they aren't rusted to hell. Make sure the hoses don't bend alot.
5) The top and bottom electrical clips are a PITA to get off from the fan shroud. But it can be done. The metal swells and they do not want to come off (took me 2 hours). I came 90% close to breaking mine before they would come off. File these down a little before putting it back together. If you break it whatever just zip tie it.
6) Hot glue the radiator bottom rubber pieces to the radiator. Way easier.
7) I spent a whole day searching for an ATF temp gauge to place before any cooling, waste of time.. Nobody makes a good 3/8 T connector for measuring this. Lowes brass connectors could work but don't meet the temp ratings you would need. If you have another method let me know.

Remember not to overtighten any hose clamps. Keep even with the rubber.

Hope this helps someone!
Welcome to the forum, and great first post. (y)

How long did the whole job take, and how much $ would you estimate you saved by DIYing it?
 

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The inner most trans connector is the HOT line, with the outer line being the return (COLD) line. The hot line flows along the metal tube to the farthest passenger side line on the radiator, the return line comes from the "middle" spot and I ran that into the top of the trans cooler then put the bottom of the cooler to the return trans connector. There has been conflicting information but I can confirm this.
Thanks for sharing your experience as this will help many first gen Pilot owners who are due for radiator replacement. On the '04 I found the ATF return line connects to the external transmission filter before entering the transmission. Is that the same for the '06 ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Welcome to the forum, and great first post. (y)

How long did the whole job take, and how much $ would you estimate you saved by DIYing it?
Sorry for the late reply. I'm not sure how much I saved vs. going to a shop. But I added a Hayden transmission cooler, did a 3X drain/fill of honda ATF fluid and used the Spectra radiator. The ATF fluid cost about the same as the radiator. I would guess $350 total with all the clips, fluids, hoses, etc.

For me it took two weekends, so I would say a realistic 20-25 hours if you aren't experienced

Welcome to the forum, and great first post. (y)

How long did the whole job take, and how much $ would you estimate you saved by DIYing it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for sharing your experience as this will help many first gen Pilot owners who are due for radiator replacement. On the '04 I found the ATF return line connects to the external transmission filter before entering the transmission. Is that the same for the '06 ?
I believe the 2006 has an internal ATF filter so I was not able to change that. But I do have the radiator transmission return flowing to the intake of my external ATF cooler then back into the transmission
 

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I believe the 2006 has an internal ATF filter so I was not able to change that.
That is correct. So have you / will you be using Valvoline Maxlife ATF? It's a popular favorite around here. :)
 
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