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Hello, first post here... I wanted to make a consolidated record of my experience with lifting my 2007 Honda Pilot. (sorry if its a bit long winded) The information here should generally apply to all pilots between the years of 2003-2008. I hope this helps people searching for information on this topic as the info out there on lifting pilots is somewhat vague and limited.

So I picked up a 2007 ex awd pilot a couple weeks ago as we where needing something with a 3rd row for the baby on the way and I also wanted something with 4wd or awd as we go off road quite often visiting my wife's family. After doing the other maintenance that the vehicle required at the 180k mark (The previous owner drove the wheels off of it), I got on to researching what lift options where available. (Because I can't leave enough alone)

LIFT OPTIONS?

Long story short there is basically only one option, and that is a spacer lift. If you don't know what that is, it's just that, a spacer or block that sits on top of your coils to effectively raise the height of the vehicle by pre loading the coil, these are generally the cheapest option for lifting a vehicle however often suffer from poorer ride quality than if you where to do a nice adjustable coilover or something, but this is our only option with the pilot...

There are a couple brands that make these spacer lifts for the pilot, however besides the name of the box changing they all appear to be the same and net you about 2". So keep this in mind when shopping because prices can vary wildly. I saw some as low as 299 and some as high as 499. I went with a kit I got off of eBay made by a company called ReadyLift; part number 69-8010 should fit the 2003 through 2008 pilot... more on this kit later.

TIRES

The next thing that comes to mind when lifting a vehicle are tires... again not much info out there for what you can fit on the pilot but fortunately for me I had access to a couple different size tires to test after lifting the vehicle. To skip through a lot of hoopla, basically the largest tire I would recommend in conjunction with the 2" spacer lift on the OEM wheel with no wheel spacers is a 235/85r16. (Over the stock 235/70r16) Anything larger will risk hitting the lower coil spring bucket on the front strut. You might be able to avoid this by using wheel spacers or aftermarket rims but I personally feel like the OEM alloys look nice and didn't want to fiddle with wheel spacers so 235 85 16 was the size I went for. To be specific, General Grabber AT2's. The size increase doesn't sound like much but when combined with the lift it looks quite nice. Please be aware you will rub with any tire larger than stock but as long as you keep it reasonable the rub should be minimal. The size I went with rubs a bit at static position, backing up while turning and also rubs when stuffed and turning but nothing horrible that couldn't be fixed by trimming plastic.

LIFT INSTALL FRONT END

Now I'll do a quick rundown on installing the lift onto your pilot... I might try to upload pictures in the future but the text should be descriptive enough to get by...

First jack up the vehicle and place it on jackstands on all four corners if you have four stands available, if you only have 2 stands you can just start with jacking up the front or the back. We will start with the front end in this case.

First remove the front wheels by removing the 5 lug nuts on each wheel with a 19mm socket. Optionally now you can go through and spray with penetrating fluid all the bolts and nuts on suspension you think you may need to take apart as it may make it easier, you can read ahead to try and get an idea what your gonna be doing...

Now that you have access to your front suspension, disconnect the brake hydraulic rubber line and the brake electrical abs line attached to either side of the strut. Mine needed a 13mm and 10mm socket respectively.

Disconnect the sway bar link from the strut and then disconnect it from the sway bar. Mine required a 5mm Allen key to hold it from spinning and a 19mm wrench. One of my links was corroded to hell and the allen key was stripped so I had to cut off the end of it with a grinder... if you have to do this for the front end it is no problem because your lift kit replaces these links with longer ones for the front only.

Now your strut is the last thing left. Open your hood, if you look above where your strut mounts right where the hood cowl is you will see 3 plastic circular caps. Remove these caps a a flat head screw driver to gain access to the 3 mounting bolts for the strut too hat. (Some years might not have these access caps it appears, if that's the case just carefully pry up the windshield cowl enough to gain access, it's held on with plastic clips)

Now that you have access, remove the 3 top hat nuts that hold the strut to the body of the vehicle, mine used a 14mm socket on an extension to reach through the cowl. DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT LOOSEN THE SINGLE NUT IN THE CENTER AS THIS HOLDS THE STRUT ASSEMBLY TOGETHER AND CAN CAUSE INJURY IF REMOVED!!! You may need a magnet to retrieve the nuts from the cowl.

The last remaining fasteners are the two large bolts going through the lower strut and knuckle. If I recall, the bolts are a 22mm and the nuts where a 24mm. Remove both of the nuts and tap the bolts through with a screwdriver and hammer to remove them. You will probably need to wiggle the knuckle and move the suspension up and down while you do this to get the bolts free. This part it helps to have a second set of hands.

Once the bolts are free the strut will be loose and will fall down, be sure to securely hold the strut and not let it fall and possibly damage the CV boot underneath. To get the strut out you might have to push down on the knuckle while fishing the bottom of the strut down through the brake lines and next to the CV axle and then pull the strut out top hat first making sure your not catching on the brake lines.

Now you have the strut removed it is time to add the front end spacer. It's important to note that the OEM top hat has a mark that points to the front of the vehicle, mine was a white arrow (this is very important otherwise your suspension geometry will be off) If you look at your spacer, it should also have a mark that points towards the front of the vehicle and it will also say which side the spacer belongs since they're side specific, make sure you have the proper side spacer for whichever side strut your working on!

With the markings of the spacer matched up with the marking on the strut top hat, attach the spacer to strut with three of the new nuts provided by the lift kit with a 14mm wrench. I didn't have a service manual so I torqued them good and tight with a calibrated elbow.

At this time you can also install the new longer front sway bar link to the sway bar with your 5mm Allen key and 19mm wrench.

Everything else is now done in reverse order of removal. Initially getting the strut in is easier with two people as it will be harder to fit in the same amount of space with the addition of the spacer on top. You will really need to push down on the knuckle to get it all back in there. Don't be scared. Also as you try to install the 2 lower bolts going through the strut and knuckle you may notice the holes don't want to line up, that's usually because the CV axle joint has moved a bit out of place but with a little wiggling and pushing the knuckle back towards the engine side of the vehicle it should pop back into place. Lastly once reassembled, make sure your brake abs line doesn't have to much pressure on it, after the lift I had to bend my bracket down a bit to give the line some slack.

LIFT INSTALL REAR END


Still with me? We are half way there…

Now jack up the rear end if you haven’t already and place it on jackstands.

Remove the rear wheels with a 19mm…
Spray the suspension fasteners with penetrating lube as you see fit…

(I apologize in advance as I have forgotten the sizes needed for most of the fasteners on the rear end but you should be able to figure that out)

Disconnect the sway bar link from the sway bar with a 5mm allen key and a 19mm wrench (no need to fully disconnect the sway bar link from the lower arm as we are not replacing the rear links…)

Remove the shock strut by removing the bolt from the upper end of the strut then the nut on the lower end attached to the knuckle. It might take some taps with a hammer or a pry bar but the strut should slide out.

Now we need to disconnect the upper camber link/control arm (whichever you prefer to call it). This part will be replaced with an adjustable unit that comes with the lift kit to maintain factory alignment spec. This piece also has a balljoint on the knuckle end and a bushing with a bolt going through on the other end. You will need a balljoint separator tool here. Remove the cotter key from the balljoint end and break the nut loose, spin the nut till the nut is just over the end of the threads than attach your ball joint tool and break the BJ free.

Remove the other end by holding the bolt and loosening the nut, the bolt might require some taps from a hammer to get out. (In some pictures of other pilots I’ve seen it looks like the nut might be welded into place here but mine was not, I needed to hold mine with a wrench)

Now you will disconnect the knuckle from the lower control arm. First place your jack underneath the lower end of the control arm and jack it up until it is barely supporting the arm (to prevent the spring preload form possibly causing injury once the arm is loose) The control arm is held on by a bolt and a nut located on the bottom end of the knuckle… this bolt might require hammer persuasion to remove once the nut is removed. (See a trend here?)

With the control arm free you should lower the jack slowly till the arm goes no further under spring pressure and then pry the control arm down enough to slide out the coil spring. To do this by yourself I used my foot to pry down the control arm and used my arms to wriggle out the spring. It helps to have two people here…

One last thing we have to do is remove the bump stop. Its that long thing that sits inside the coil spring on the topside. There is a hole in the center of it, you will need a 14mm socket on an extension and fish it through the hole till you’re on the bolt, then remove it. The bump stop should fall off.

Now you install the lift spacer on top of the bumpstop/ spring isolator so you slide the spacer on first and than the bumstop/isolator and retighten it with the 14mm bolt.

Again it will be more of a pain when reinstalling the coil as the spacer will add more preload to it. The key here is to have another person helping you because you really have to apply some pressure to the lower control arm to make it go down as far as it will go and at the same time you slide the coil into place. (make sure the coil ends meet the notches in the bottom cup and the op isolator pad) Once you have done that you position the jack underneath the arm again and pump up the jack till it moves the control arm up into position and the coil falls into place… it sounds way more complicated than it really is, trust me.

The only other new part you will install is the adjustable camber arm. Just adjust these to roughly the same length as the old ones you took off and install. No need to do anything else special.

The rest of the install is basically in reverse order.

After you get everything back together it is vital to get an alignment, this lift will throw off your alignment numbers until then and it will possibly cause premature tire wear if you drive it for too long without proper alignment.

That’s all I have for the install so hopefully that helps others.

POST LIFT RIDE QUALITY AND THOUGHTS

So I can honestly say I have been pleasantly surprised with the ride quality after the lift. The rear end of the vehicle I can hardly feel a difference. I would say the rear end is about 10% more harsh and stiff feeling than it was pre lift. The front end is a bit more noticeable. I would say roughly 15% more stiff and harsh up front. Its not so much felt but heard. When going down paved sections of road where the road is done in sections you really here those separations in the road more than before but it is nothing horrible that you won't get used to really quickly unless your maybe used to driving around a super road quiet luxury vehicle... and in that case why would you choose a pilot lol?

Offroad it is very similar to how it was before lift with the added bonus of having a decent bit more ground clearance. Ride quality suffers a bit on fast washboard sections similar to how it felt on rough paved sections of road where the road noise was just amplified and louder. Again nothing I can't live with. Still worlds quieter than something like a Wrangler for example.

In summary I would recommend going this route to anyone that wants to make their pilot a bit more capable offroad or even if you want to give it a bit more of an aggressive look. I think when combined with the larger tires it really hits a sweet spot that I think compliments the looks and performance of the Pilot perfectly.



I apologize for the lack of photos, the wife currently has the pilot, I might add more later.
 

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thanks for the post waiting on pictures if you have any i went a cheaper route and put ruber 2" spacers on the spring to lift just enough to get 245/75/16 discover stt pro rough ride but looks beefy check my pics out.
 

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Looks good!

Got a Taco hiding in the background there?
 

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Nice write-up. Yeah, there aren’t too many lifted Pilots. I think I have seen two over the past 10 years.
 

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Awesome write up and I am really wanting to go down this route BUT it's the CV axles I don't want to be replacing them almost every year. Also I managed to put a wrangler tire 255's on stock rim no issues and no spaces runs fine .They are very aggressive looking.
 

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Lifted Pilot's are not a common sight on the road which makes it kinda special and unique. This detailed write-up is the best one out there and is ez to follow. Many thanks @azzwethinkweiz wherever you are ;)
 

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Rocky , Can you make this as a sticky ?
 
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Hello, first post here... I wanted to make a consolidated record of my experience with lifting my 2007 Honda Pilot. (sorry if its a bit long winded) The information here should generally apply to all pilots between the years of 2003-2008. I hope this helps people searching for information on this topic as the info out there on lifting pilots is somewhat vague and limited.

So I picked up a 2007 ex awd pilot a couple weeks ago as we where needing something with a 3rd row for the baby on the way and I also wanted something with 4wd or awd as we go off road quite often visiting my wife's family. After doing the other maintenance that the vehicle required at the 180k mark (The previous owner drove the wheels off of it), I got on to researching what lift options where available. (Because I can't leave enough alone)

LIFT OPTIONS?

Long story short there is basically only one option, and that is a spacer lift. If you don't know what that is, it's just that, a spacer or block that sits on top of your coils to effectively raise the height of the vehicle by pre loading the coil, these are generally the cheapest option for lifting a vehicle however often suffer from poorer ride quality than if you where to do a nice adjustable coilover or something, but this is our only option with the pilot...

There are a couple brands that make these spacer lifts for the pilot, however besides the name of the box changing they all appear to be the same and net you about 2". So keep this in mind when shopping because prices can vary wildly. I saw some as low as 299 and some as high as 499. I went with a kit I got off of eBay made by a company called ReadyLift; part number 69-8010 should fit the 2003 through 2008 pilot... more on this kit later.

TIRES

The next thing that comes to mind when lifting a vehicle are tires... again not much info out there for what you can fit on the pilot but fortunately for me I had access to a couple different size tires to test after lifting the vehicle. To skip through a lot of hoopla, basically the largest tire I would recommend in conjunction with the 2" spacer lift on the OEM wheel with no wheel spacers is a 235/85r16. (Over the stock 235/70r16) Anything larger will risk hitting the lower coil spring bucket on the front strut. You might be able to avoid this by using wheel spacers or aftermarket rims but I personally feel like the OEM alloys look nice and didn't want to fiddle with wheel spacers so 235 85 16 was the size I went for. To be specific, General Grabber AT2's. The size increase doesn't sound like much but when combined with the lift it looks quite nice. Please be aware you will rub with any tire larger than stock but as long as you keep it reasonable the rub should be minimal. The size I went with rubs a bit at static position, backing up while turning and also rubs when stuffed and turning but nothing horrible that couldn't be fixed by trimming plastic.

LIFT INSTALL FRONT END

Now I'll do a quick rundown on installing the lift onto your pilot... I might try to upload pictures in the future but the text should be descriptive enough to get by...

First jack up the vehicle and place it on jackstands on all four corners if you have four stands available, if you only have 2 stands you can just start with jacking up the front or the back. We will start with the front end in this case.

First remove the front wheels by removing the 5 lug nuts on each wheel with a 19mm socket. Optionally now you can go through and spray with penetrating fluid all the bolts and nuts on suspension you think you may need to take apart as it may make it easier, you can read ahead to try and get an idea what your gonna be doing...

Now that you have access to your front suspension, disconnect the brake hydraulic rubber line and the brake electrical abs line attached to either side of the strut. Mine needed a 13mm and 10mm socket respectively.

Disconnect the sway bar link from the strut and then disconnect it from the sway bar. Mine required a 5mm Allen key to hold it from spinning and a 19mm wrench. One of my links was corroded to hell and the allen key was stripped so I had to cut off the end of it with a grinder... if you have to do this for the front end it is no problem because your lift kit replaces these links with longer ones for the front only.

Now your strut is the last thing left. Open your hood, if you look above where your strut mounts right where the hood cowl is you will see 3 plastic circular caps. Remove these caps a a flat head screw driver to gain access to the 3 mounting bolts for the strut too hat. (Some years might not have these access caps it appears, if that's the case just carefully pry up the windshield cowl enough to gain access, it's held on with plastic clips)

Now that you have access, remove the 3 top hat nuts that hold the strut to the body of the vehicle, mine used a 14mm socket on an extension to reach through the cowl. DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT LOOSEN THE SINGLE NUT IN THE CENTER AS THIS HOLDS THE STRUT ASSEMBLY TOGETHER AND CAN CAUSE INJURY IF REMOVED!!! You may need a magnet to retrieve the nuts from the cowl.

The last remaining fasteners are the two large bolts going through the lower strut and knuckle. If I recall, the bolts are a 22mm and the nuts where a 24mm. Remove both of the nuts and tap the bolts through with a screwdriver and hammer to remove them. You will probably need to wiggle the knuckle and move the suspension up and down while you do this to get the bolts free. This part it helps to have a second set of hands.

Once the bolts are free the strut will be loose and will fall down, be sure to securely hold the strut and not let it fall and possibly damage the CV boot underneath. To get the strut out you might have to push down on the knuckle while fishing the bottom of the strut down through the brake lines and next to the CV axle and then pull the strut out top hat first making sure your not catching on the brake lines.

Now you have the strut removed it is time to add the front end spacer. It's important to note that the OEM top hat has a mark that points to the front of the vehicle, mine was a white arrow (this is very important otherwise your suspension geometry will be off) If you look at your spacer, it should also have a mark that points towards the front of the vehicle and it will also say which side the spacer belongs since they're side specific, make sure you have the proper side spacer for whichever side strut your working on!

With the markings of the spacer matched up with the marking on the strut top hat, attach the spacer to strut with three of the new nuts provided by the lift kit with a 14mm wrench. I didn't have a service manual so I torqued them good and tight with a calibrated elbow.

At this time you can also install the new longer front sway bar link to the sway bar with your 5mm Allen key and 19mm wrench.

Everything else is now done in reverse order of removal. Initially getting the strut in is easier with two people as it will be harder to fit in the same amount of space with the addition of the spacer on top. You will really need to push down on the knuckle to get it all back in there. Don't be scared. Also as you try to install the 2 lower bolts going through the strut and knuckle you may notice the holes don't want to line up, that's usually because the CV axle joint has moved a bit out of place but with a little wiggling and pushing the knuckle back towards the engine side of the vehicle it should pop back into place. Lastly once reassembled, make sure your brake abs line doesn't have to much pressure on it, after the lift I had to bend my bracket down a bit to give the line some slack.

LIFT INSTALL REAR END

Still with me? We are half way there…

Now jack up the rear end if you haven’t already and place it on jackstands.

Remove the rear wheels with a 19mm…
Spray the suspension fasteners with penetrating lube as you see fit…

(I apologize in advance as I have forgotten the sizes needed for most of the fasteners on the rear end but you should be able to figure that out)

Disconnect the sway bar link from the sway bar with a 5mm allen key and a 19mm wrench (no need to fully disconnect the sway bar link from the lower arm as we are not replacing the rear links…)

Remove the shock strut by removing the bolt from the upper end of the strut then the nut on the lower end attached to the knuckle. It might take some taps with a hammer or a pry bar but the strut should slide out.

Now we need to disconnect the upper camber link/control arm (whichever you prefer to call it). This part will be replaced with an adjustable unit that comes with the lift kit to maintain factory alignment spec. This piece also has a balljoint on the knuckle end and a bushing with a bolt going through on the other end. You will need a balljoint separator tool here. Remove the cotter key from the balljoint end and break the nut loose, spin the nut till the nut is just over the end of the threads than attach your ball joint tool and break the BJ free.

Remove the other end by holding the bolt and loosening the nut, the bolt might require some taps from a hammer to get out. (In some pictures of other pilots I’ve seen it looks like the nut might be welded into place here but mine was not, I needed to hold mine with a wrench)

Now you will disconnect the knuckle from the lower control arm. First place your jack underneath the lower end of the control arm and jack it up until it is barely supporting the arm (to prevent the spring preload form possibly causing injury once the arm is loose) The control arm is held on by a bolt and a nut located on the bottom end of the knuckle… this bolt might require hammer persuasion to remove once the nut is removed. (See a trend here?)

With the control arm free you should lower the jack slowly till the arm goes no further under spring pressure and then pry the control arm down enough to slide out the coil spring. To do this by yourself I used my foot to pry down the control arm and used my arms to wriggle out the spring. It helps to have two people here…

One last thing we have to do is remove the bump stop. Its that long thing that sits inside the coil spring on the topside. There is a hole in the center of it, you will need a 14mm socket on an extension and fish it through the hole till you’re on the bolt, then remove it. The bump stop should fall off.

Now you install the lift spacer on top of the bumpstop/ spring isolator so you slide the spacer on first and than the bumstop/isolator and retighten it with the 14mm bolt.

Again it will be more of a pain when reinstalling the coil as the spacer will add more preload to it. The key here is to have another person helping you because you really have to apply some pressure to the lower control arm to make it go down as far as it will go and at the same time you slide the coil into place. (make sure the coil ends meet the notches in the bottom cup and the op isolator pad) Once you have done that you position the jack underneath the arm again and pump up the jack till it moves the control arm up into position and the coil falls into place… it sounds way more complicated than it really is, trust me.

The only other new part you will install is the adjustable camber arm. Just adjust these to roughly the same length as the old ones you took off and install. No need to do anything else special.

The rest of the install is basically in reverse order.

After you get everything back together it is vital to get an alignment, this lift will throw off your alignment numbers until then and it will possibly cause premature tire wear if you drive it for too long without proper alignment.

That’s all I have for the install so hopefully that helps others.

POST LIFT RIDE QUALITY AND THOUGHTS

So I can honestly say I have been pleasantly surprised with the ride quality after the lift. The rear end of the vehicle I can hardly feel a difference. I would say the rear end is about 10% more harsh and stiff feeling than it was pre lift. The front end is a bit more noticeable. I would say roughly 15% more stiff and harsh up front. Its not so much felt but heard. When going down paved sections of road where the road is done in sections you really here those separations in the road more than before but it is nothing horrible that you won't get used to really quickly unless your maybe used to driving around a super road quiet luxury vehicle... and in that case why would you choose a pilot lol?

Offroad it is very similar to how it was before lift with the added bonus of having a decent bit more ground clearance. Ride quality suffers a bit on fast washboard sections similar to how it felt on rough paved sections of road where the road noise was just amplified and louder. Again nothing I can't live with. Still worlds quieter than something like a Wrangler for example.

In summary I would recommend going this route to anyone that wants to make their pilot a bit more capable offroad or even if you want to give it a bit more of an aggressive look. I think when combined with the larger tires it really hits a sweet spot that I think compliments the looks and performance of the Pilot perfectly.



I apologize for the lack of photos, the wife currently has the pilot, I might add more later.
Thanks for the account of your experience. I’m lifting my 2008 pilot. Did you have to buy longer rear struts or use an extender? Did the original length work with the lift?
 

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I’m lifting my 2008 pilot. Did you have to buy longer rear struts or use an extender? Did the original length work with the lift?
The lift choices for Pilots are limited. ReadyLift SST kit uses coil spring spacers plus shock mount extensions to use OEM rear shocks.
 
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