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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, long time reader, first time poster.

I have an 04 pilot EXL that I am retiring and turning into a ranch truck. We have a little 250 acre family ranch with decent roads and shouldn't have too many issues, but it does get a little muddy out there when it rains. I have never had any issues all stock, but now the Pilot is going to live out there and I will no longer be the only one driving it.

That being said, I was going to beef up the tires. I've seen I can go up to 245/70/r16s, but I was considering doing a 2in booster lift because of a couple low spots and was wondering if that would be an issue in the long run? Also, with a 2" lift, how big could the tires get?

This car will drive 4 hours from here to there and then never see pavement again. I would be shocked if we put 2k miles on it over the next 10 years.

I have read all the lifting threads I can find and seen people debate about tire size and weight being an issue along with the lift putting too much pressure on the vehicle. I get that being a problem if I am driving every day, but what about this situation?

Any useful feedback or ideas is much appreciated.
 

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If the roads are "decent" for the most part, it might be cheaper to hire a dozer for a day and fill-in (lift) the low spots. 🤷‍♂️ Pretty sure you can get a tire with the correct/original diameter with a "mud-grip" type tread. Any increase in original tire diameter increases the load on the engine/drivetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I considered that. The lifts on amazon are about $150. A dozer would be $500 or so for the day. But saving that money doesn't do me any good if the lift and tires kill all the parts of the car.

Thanks!
 

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You'll be be doing the lift install yourself, I presume. 10 speed bike for example......is 1st gear easier to pedal than 2nd gear, 3rd gear, etc.? Increasing tire diameter (from stock/original) is the same effect as increasing the gear number on the 10 speed bike.
 

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I think it's a "right tool for the job" situation. A Pilot might not be it.

If you need an extra 2" to be confident in the Pilot, maybe you should sell it for the insane prices they're getting now and buy a Cherokee. You can lift that all you like, put on some skid plates and probably have money left over. If someone else tears it up, it's easy to fix.

If the height is just a "nice to have" and your worst-case scenario is getting stuck in a greasy bottom, put a trailer hitch on it so your neighbor can pull it out and call it good.

I'm not an off-roader by any stretch. I have driven mine (stock, with stock tires) on some pretty rough ranch roads. It did fine, but it was slow and careful going, sometimes with an outside spotter. It will walk out of surface grease (slowly) with VTM locked. They're good cars, but a Pilot is too tender underneath to inspire confidence if what you really need is a reliable, tough work truck so you can get something done.
 

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It's all about how it will be use. Light duty, pulling a utility trailer under 2500 lbs, stay on the paths, it will likely be fine. Not what I'd want for a ranch vehicle. A 2 inch lift isn't enough. The catalytic converter underneath can start a brush fire. I'd opt for something that doesn't have the engine mounted sideways under the hood.
 

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What's the intended use for the vehicle on this property? That is probably the most determining factor. If you are looking for the thing to get you to the pond to do some fishing etc. then don't waste your time on a lift kit. Get some good AT tires on the thing.

If however you are looking to use it for hauling/towing that is another matter. A lift kit will lower your towing/load capacity, unless you go with a custom lift kit which will be very expensive.

Also what other equipment do you have on the place. You don't need a dozer, a decent tractor with a back hoe attachment, front blade attachment, or just a truck load of dirt as well as a truck load of gravel and a couple of shovels could do the trick, depending on the low spots. A bucket on the tractor would make it easier to move the dirt/gravel than a wheel barrow, but if you have the dirt and grave dropped next to the ruts a couple of shovel and a few hours work and you are good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, after the other replies, that is what I was thinking. All it will be is get to the pond or the deer stand kinda vehicle. It just so happened that we decided to retire this vehicle and it has performed so we'll out there already that it all worked out.

Tractor is the thing we are saving for, but are lucky our neighbor will mow.

Getting some shovels out there is probably the best short term answer.
 

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Personally I just don't think the Pilot can handle abuse like that. These are relatively "wimpy" SUVs. But since the car is being retired, it couldn't hurt to put a couple hundred dollars in it and just see how it goes.

Also since it'll only be used off roads, you could get rid of the catalytic converters right?
 

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I'd say put some AT tires on it and then for as long as it lasts, just drive it into the ground, literally. It may even surprise you.
 

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Right after I posted that I figured someone would have a problem with my statement...All I mean is Pilots aren't as robust and tough as some other SUVs. But what it lacks in toughness it makes up for in comfort and reliability. So it's a good tradeoff right?
Can’t speak for the newer Pilots but it seems if one makes the commitment to spend a few grand at the crucial 100-150K mark towards essential maintenance items such as timing belt/water pump/valve adjustment/fluid replacement etc the Pilot will soldier on. But I agree....treat her like a $2 ranch hand lugging manure and she’ll start on the downward slope.
 

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Hello, long time reader, first time poster.

I have an 04 pilot EXL that I am retiring and turning into a ranch truck. We have a little 250 acre family ranch with decent roads and shouldn't have too many issues, but it does get a little muddy out there when it rains. I have never had any issues all stock, but now the Pilot is going to live out there and I will no longer be the only one driving it.

That being said, I was going to beef up the tires. I've seen I can go up to 245/70/r16s, but I was considering doing a 2in booster lift because of a couple low spots and was wondering if that would be an issue in the long run? Also, with a 2" lift, how big could the tires get?

This car will drive 4 hours from here to there and then never see pavement again. I would be shocked if we put 2k miles on it over the next 10 years.

I have read all the lifting threads I can find and seen people debate about tire size and weight being an issue along with the lift putting too much pressure on the vehicle. I get that being a problem if I am driving every day, but what about this situation?

Any useful feedback or ideas is much appreciated.

Just get a real truck. A used one, whatever. With a Bed on the back, etc.
 
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Can’t speak for the newer Pilots but it seems if one makes the commitment to spend a few grand at the crucial 100-150K mark towards essential maintenance items such as timing belt/water pump/valve adjustment/fluid replacement etc the Pilot will soldier on. But I agree....treat her like a $2 ranch hand lugging manure and she’ll start on the downward slope.
Every day life, getting groceries, road trips and the occasional light off roading are easy for these to handle, but more than that and things start wearing out quickly.
 

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Right after I posted that I figured someone would have a problem with my statement...All I mean is Pilots aren't as robust and tough as some other SUVs. But what it lacks in toughness it makes up for in comfort and reliability. So it's a good tradeoff right?
I prefer to call it the 4 door minivan just to bug my wife. (She refuses to get a minivan)
 

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Just get a real truck. A used one, whatever. With a Bed on the back, etc.
You know, I say the same thing about all of them 1/2 pu "truck" owners. Get a real truck. Something like this.......
145519
 

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You know, I say the same thing about all of them 1/2 pu "truck" owners. Get a real truck. Something like this.......
View attachment 145519
I was parked at a busy Costco this weekend sitting in the Pilot while LOML shopped. It was a bit comical to watch two big over-sized 4-dr pickup trucks try to park in the empty spot vacated by regular sized vehicles. Either the tail stuck out or the inability to squeeze comfortably between parked cars caused them to leave after a brief struggle and find a bigger truck friendly spot. Over-sized, 4-dr, empty 5.5ft bed, blingy wheels and noisy V8s for mall crawling :unsure:
 
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