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What did you do today to your 2003-2008 Pilot?

162593 Views 2523 Replies 97 Participants Last post by  plplplpl
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Replaced NGK Laser Platinum spark plugs with NGK Ruthenium HX plugs on my 03'. Oil change with Amsoil 0w-40 Signature Series oil and Amsoil EA filter. Why 0w-40 instead of the recommended 5w-20? The 0w will flow a little faster on cold starts in the winter and the 40 will protect much better on 90F+ (outside air temp.) summer days.

Also, I called NGK and verified that sparkplugs.com is an authorized distributor/seller (they didn't have them listed on their website) so, I get real plugs and not counterfeits. Yes, there is a whole world of fake/counterfeit auto parts out there and I would recommend not buying auto parts off of Ebay. If you're not buying directly from the stealership, definitely go to the manufactures website and look up their authorized distributor/seller's and if they don't have this information posted give them a call.

Here are some fun for the whole family spark plug pics:

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Plan is to get shop organized for my 1st valve adjustment. Adjusting starts tomorrow and yes, I will be checking 3 times with torque wrench 馃槈馃憤. If all goes well, then off to doing oil change and 1st ATF Filter (for Pilot) and ATF D/F with Maxlife. 220k miles and now y鈥檃ll have me thinking about the 5W30 or 5W40 oil in lieu of standard 5W20? It鈥檚 Hot in Florida!
Oh..also will be installing new ngk IX plugs during valve project馃憤
It鈥檚 Fun Stuff & $ Saving!! 馃槉馃憤
Allow lots of time for the valve adjustment, it's tedious and hard on your back and legs when working on the back bank. I just finished mine in a hot humid garage, so I took lots of breaks to cool down and keep my body from cramping up after hunching over the engine for 2 days.
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This is the kind of stuff I like to see! I just posted a thread about a cyl5 catastrophic failure, and I was thinking about doing a valve adjustment pre-emptively.

Sounds like for a valve adjustment, I just need new gaskets for the head and valve covers as I take them off? Any other special tools (aside from the valve adjustment tool which looks as useless as ckeator says it is)?

--Chris N.
You have to remove the intake plenum to get the valve covers off, so buy a set of intake gaskets too (EGR lid gasket, upper and lower spacer gasket, and throttle body). I also had ordered one of those specialty valve adjustment tools but found it useless for the exhaust valves because it's too long, and kind of clunky and inaccurate for the intakes valves, so I just did the ol' wrench and screwdriver method. Also need an accurate torque wrench for setting the valve nuts to the right torque, as well as when you bolt the plenum and cover back on. If you haven't removed your EGR port cover and cleaned it recently, you'll want some cleaner to remove all the built-up crud you're gonna find in there. I used 4 cans of cleaner on my lid and intake manifold.
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Won鈥檛 that stuff take the paint off the valve covers?
LOL, I'm not squirting anything like that anywhere near painted parts ever again.
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Rubber TB tend to not show any breaks or cracks when past it鈥檚 service life when preemptively replaced but now you got 7yr/100k of peace of mind. That motor mount bolt was the same bolt that broke flush on the last step of my sub-frame spacer install. It was a PIA to drill that broken bolt out on the vehicle.
That bolt is seized on my motor mount bracket too. I have a feeling I'm going to have to drill it out.
Seized or not broken yet? Continue applying PB Blaster or whatever. Interested to see what steps @OhthreeHondaCoPilot mechanics use to take care of the broken bolt on the lower motor mount.Their situation is a lot easier since they have the lower motor mount out of the Pilot. I drilled the lower motor mount in the Pilot rather than risking another broken bolt to set me back.
I changed the passenger side motor mount a few weeks ago. I wasn't able to loosen that bolt at all, so I ended up just jacking up the engine and getting enough wiggle room to work the old mount out and the new one in without removing that bracket. But I'm planning to do the timing belt this weekend, so it'll be necessary to remove that frozen bolt this time since the bracket has to come off for the TB job. I had my biggest cheater bar on it and could only get it to turn about 1/16" of a turn. I was afraid I'd snap it off, so I just left it there and ordered a new bolt. So if I end up breaking it off this weekend, I'll drill it out, chase the threads, and use the new bolt.
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After dealing with seized/broken bolts I use anti-seize on these bolts whenever possible.
I just went out and backed the bolt out about 2 turns, then it got super tight. I used a syringe and needle to inject 6cc of PBblaster under the bolt head so it ran down the threads and not all over the bracket. Waited about 15 minutes, then cranked on the bolt some more and got it to come out. Here's a photo, showing why it didn't want to come out easily. Several of the last few threads were all gunked up with galled aluminum. I chased the threads of the hole in the bracket with a tap and then used the new bolt and everything seems good now. I'll definitely use some antiseize when I'm back in there this weekend. But maybe that explains why several people have broken that bolt when trying to remove it from the bracket.
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Today I finished my multi-day project of timing belt replacement, radiator replacement, ATF cooler installation, ATF filter replacement, A/C belt and tensioner and PS belt replacement, intake tube replacement, oil change, and first drain-and-fill session converting from DW-1 to Maxlife. I hope that's the last major work I have to do on the Pilot for awhile. It's hot, and I'm broke. Valve adjustment last week, and all new suspension last month. It's almost like a new car.
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Fantastic! So what are you going to do now?
Wait for something else to break or make funny noises? It's been non-stop work on this beast since I got it in March.
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Here鈥檚 a hint of what to do next...it鈥檚 almost like I was just released out of the state pen and did my first exterior mod in years thanks to @plplplpl View attachment 138264
I've been thinking about those. Do they add any wind noise? Or look too clunky?
I had a productive day with the Pilot. Changed the rear differential fluid, drained and refilled the front trans with Maxlife ATF (for the second time in a week), then drove an hour to a junkyard that has an 04 Pilot and got a full size wheel with decent tire for use as my new spare, then came home and did a third round of ATF drain and fill with Maxlife. My garage really stunk after dealing with all that differential fluid and ATF. Maxlife smells really nasty compared to DW-1.
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If you're dabbing a little behind your ears and/or elsewhere, you're doing it wrong. It's not enchanting Eau de Max. :p


Of course you used VTM-4 fluid only for your rear diff, right?

Congrats on the full size spare. You are now a Piloteer worthy of the name. :)
But I'm still required by statute to ask, "Valve side up or down?"
I've got a couple plastic oil drain cans that I use for catching fluids, but one doesn't have a lid so whatever you catch in it will dissipate the odor into the garage. The Honda DW-1 ATF doesn't smell bad at all, but the Maxlife smells horrible. I used Honda genuine VTM-4 fluid for the rear diff. It's stinky too, but not as bad as other diff fluids I've worked with, and kind of reminds me of the smell of the Navy ships I've been on.

I bought one of those Slippery Pete pumps from Amazon for this job, and it worked okay at first but broke all apart after I removed it from the jug when I was putting everything away, so it ended up getting diff fluid all over the cardboard sheets I was using to protect my floor. So easy cleanup, and I threw the pump away, but still managed to stink the place up all afternoon. I'll try the Harbor Freight pump next time, since it's still kind of a one-time-use kind of thing, and it's easier to throw out an oily pump than try to clean it and store it till the next rear diff change.

And I put the new spare with the valve side up. I've read all the threads about the pros and cons of the different methods when I was researching what year tires would fit on mine, but luckily found the same year and model in the junkyard so I know it's the exact same wheel. I can see the spare tire if I stand behind the Pilot now, so I know why most people might prefer the look of the tiny spare, but since I travel in remote areas with no cell coverage regularly, the security of knowing I've got a full size spare is worth it. I also carry appropriate tools in the back for emergencies. I'd like to find a better jack to keep in the Pilot though since I know the factory jack has its limitations.
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My 04 Pilot has been humming along quietly and smoothly for the past few months, and I haven't had to do any maintenance, which has been great after the 4 months of constant work I put into it when I bought it in April. I've put 12k miles it since April. The past couple weeks though, it's been chilly in the mornings (below 50 degrees F) and it started making a horrible grinding and whining noise for the first few minutes after starting. After reading the various threads on here, I figured I'd try the replacement PS pump o-ring trick. Got it at my local dealer on Saturday along with a bottle of PS fluid for $6 total. Yesterday I replaced the o-ring (it had the original black one), and swapped out about 10 ounces of fluid with a turkey baster. This morning was the coldest temperatures we've had so far this year, and the pump was absolutely silent when I started the engine. Incredible that one tiny rubber ring can make that much of a difference!
No oil change during the last 12K miles?
I don't consider oil change a major maintenance job, compared to all the other stuff I did on it this summer. I changed it at 5k and at 10k. Also have done 4 drain-and-fills with Maxlife ATF and my transmission is whisper quiet and smooth finally.
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And did you have a 录" swivel socket? :)
I didn't open the PS reservoir to see if it would puke fluid, but mine was way louder than the one in that video. I was really worried it was the pump going bad because it was a harsh metal-grinding sound, but figured the o-ring was a good first step. Instead of fighting with the bolt under the hose fitting, I just unbolted the PS pump entirely from the engine so that I could tilt it up, put a 10mm socket on that little bolt, and then I didn't loose any fluid when I pulled the hose off. Having easy access to that little bolt allowed me to easily reinstall it to 8 ft-lbs when done, per the manual.
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Ah yes. All those days of working in my hot garage are long past. No tank tops now though, our high temp was 42F today. My Pilot took me to plenty of beach trips and mountain adventures in the past several months, and I think it's one of the most enjoyable vehicles I've had in the past 25 years.
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Replaced my headlights with a black lense version because I absolutely hate chrome. And I found out my radiator has already been replaced with a Denso version 馃馃徎
Where'd you get the black headlights? They'd look awesome on my dark blue 04. I bought some generic headlights from Amazon last year because the originals were badly yellow, hazed, and full of water every time it rained. I'm not overly happy with the beam pattern of the generic ones and would like to replace them, and the black ones look cool.
I didn鈥檛 break any clips! I was able to reuse all my old clips, and didn鈥檛 even break any tabs on the bumper! It came off very easy and went on without a hitch. And the aftermarket headlights fit perfect. I was worried I鈥檇 have to adjust the trim pieces that mount to the headlight but I just lined up where they were at before I took it apart and it went right on.
Can you let us know how they perform in the dark? I've already taken my front bumper off 3 times in the past year for the AC hose, then the headlights, then the radiator replacement. I'd hate to do it one more time and find that these headlights are even worse than the no-name ones I'm currently using.
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Got the rear brakes and rotors done today. Got the manual impact hammer for the set screws. Turns out the right tool makes all the difference-go figure!
You don't need to keep using those screws on the rotors. Their only purpose is to hold the rotor onto the hub while the vehicle is being assembled at the factory, or while you're putting the caliper/pads on, but you can temporarily use a lugnut for that task. There's no good reason for anyone to continue using the two screws in the rotors because they cause way more problems than they're worth.
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It's been awhile since I've posted any activity about my 04 Pilot because it's just been sitting in the driveway for the past year and a half, but this weekend I pulled it into my garage and jacked it up and started removing parts in preparation for yanking out the transmission over the next couple weeks and getting it rebuilt.
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