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I already have the factory 3500 lbs hitch installed. Do I only need to add the transmission cooler to bring the tow capacity up to 5000 lbs? The 3500 lbs hitch and 5000 lbs hitch look to be the same.
 

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I have the 3,500 tow package. I installed the OEM setup myself. I tow a 2,500 SeaRay 180, and it should be ok for now. I would like to add the trans cooler if this vehicle works out. I pulled my boat with a 2005 Odyssey for 8 years without any trouble, and no trans cooler. I moved up to the 2015 MDX SHAWD due to the van having 150,000 miles on it, and wanted to upgrade. So, I took the boat out last weekend for the first time this year with the MDX. Bottom line, I miss my Odyssey. I had a more stable ride, pulling performance the same, and visibility better with the Odyssey.

My question. Is Sport mode the best for towing? Otherwise,I feel that it is always bogging down, and gas pedal travel long before I get acceleration. Do I need to de-select anything during towing? The manual says nothing.

Thanks,
Rick
 

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I'm not sure if the 2017 is the same, but earlier 3rd gen MDXs also required changing the front middle grill. This should have been done for the trailer hitch install (3500#) but I suspect most folks either don't know or don't bother. It is easiest to do when you install the transmission cooler. OTOH it would be easy enough to remove the plastic blocking the airflow on the sides with a Dremel instead of buying the part without the blockage and replacing.

Greg
 

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Got 3500LB tow hitch installed to my 17MDX couple off weeks back. Spoke to dealer if I need to tow 5000LBS some time later then do I need to get 5000LBS tow hitch inastalled?. He confirmed that I just need to add transmission cooler.
Do I only need to add the transmission cooler to bring the tow capacity up to 5000 lbs?
YES
 

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I'm not sure if the 2017 is the same, but earlier 3rd gen MDXs also required changing the front middle grill. This should have been done for the trailer hitch install (3500#) but I suspect most folks either don't know or don't bother. It is easiest to do when you install the transmission cooler. OTOH it would be easy enough to remove the plastic blocking the airflow on the sides with a Dremel instead of buying the part without the blockage and replacing.

Greg
This is the first I've heard of changing the middle grill. I have the 5,000 pound tow kit on my 2015 MDX (08L92-TZ5-200 + 06255-5J8-326) and was concerned I was missing the grille. So I did some research and found the accessory grille, Acura part number 71103-TZ6-A00. It appears to fit 2014-2106 MDXs.

However, from what I can tell it is only required for the 2016. So I suspect it is related to the trans cooler for the 9 speed transmission. The grille is listed as required in the 2016 owners manual and it is included in the 2016 specific trailer hitch kit (08L92-TZ5-202). When I look up available accessories on estore.honda.com the grille only comes up under 2016.
 

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Thanks for the clarification that it is just the 2016 and not 2014-2015 models. The accessory grill only opens up the sides, which would improve the air flow by a modest amount. It makes one wonder why they even bother, and why they don't just ship the stock MDX with the more open grill (perhaps they do now with the 2017 and its new grill design). I think your suspicion that it has to do with the 9-speed is probably the case. Anyway, it is more easily and cheaply solved with a Dremel than a new grill.

Greg
 

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Please know that with the tranny cooler, you will hear a "clunk" as the dog clutch engages that is not audible without the cooler. It is very frustrating for a vehicle so expensive to sound like a bolt bucket. At this point my dealer says Acura is aware of the situation and that no fix is planned since it does not effect functioning of the vehicle and is not doing harm to the transmission.
 
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