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Most of those tuner chips just trick the engine into running richer, which means it can make a little more power, but more unburnt gas goes out the tailpipe causing the catalytic converter to run hotter and therefore reduce its life.

If it was me, I'd look at options to increase the engine's ability to breathe like doing larger diameter intake with less restriction, a little bit bigger high flow exhaust, ideally with money you'd do a turbo or supercharger if you could fit it. You could also search for custom sparkplug manufacturer. There used to be a company called TorquMaster or something like that. Their plugs made a small but noticeable difference for my 1990 Maxima. After you do all that, feeding the engine more fuel is worth considering.

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I don't have personal experience with a bigger exhaust on this engine. Modern engines do need some backpressure in the exhaust to keep the speed of the gas high enough, and momentum relatively stable to create a vacuum effect on the open exhaust valves.

A huge exhaust ruins that, making the gas movement very pulsing, reduces performance, and makes that unpleasant ear ringing sound you sometimes hear. This is different to and even more unpleasant than the noise maker some people put up their tailpipe.

3" is probably ok, but I'd look for a really good exhaust shop, or look online for someone tuning a variant of this engine in this or other cars for more advice. In theory it's calculatable but you'd probably need some data that isn't out there.



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I used a chip that plugs into the OBD II port and stays there. I also added a short ram intake because factory airbox bolts were seized and filter was dirty. The chip was found on amazon as well as the intake. With these two things installed I notice a big improvement in responsiveness. The chip says it advances timing a little changes shift points. Power Tune is the brand name it's a little white square unit. I like it cost $80 and intake cost $55. Just search 2005 MDX tuner on Amazon. I have been reading on this forum a user named Manus makes his own intakes and sells them. Just search cold air intake on this forum. I have not done anything with exhaust. I wouldn't worry about low back pressure as there are 3 cats on the vehicle.
 

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A chip that only advances timing and changes shift points should be fine. If anyone finds that chip again I'd be interested. But I'd hate to lose the ability to keep my ScanGauge plugged in.

One note is if it advances timing, most likely it will make it even more critical to use at least 91 or 93 octane gas. And if you notice pinging at high engine loads, I'd remove the chip and test my knock sensor.

Not to get in a rehash of the octane threads, but I've run a couple tanks of 87 and a couple of 93. It does seem to run a little smoother and get 1-2 more mpg. But it isn't enough to justify the extra cost. I'm going to try 89 to see if it is a happy medium. 91 isn't commonly available for me and I'm too lazy to do my own mixing.

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The 2 I just found on Amazon have to be lying about their crazy hp, torque, and/or MPG gains. Right there they've lost credibility with me that they know what they are doing and are telling the truth.

They also say they are adjusting the air fuel map. So that means they are richening the mixture. I might put them on a demolition derby car, but I wouldn't put them on a car I wanted to keep unless I was ready to replace the cats.

Fits Acura MDX - High-Performance Tuner Chip and Power Tuning Programmer - Boost Horsepower and Torque https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077DKJP5M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_x8DPDbTVZTC2E

Innovative Performance Chip/Power Programmer for Acura MDX 3.5L and 3.7L - Improve Your Fuel Mileage, Save Gas & Gain More MPG, Increase Horsepower & Torque with this Engine Tuner! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WFIJ0OM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_L7DPDbJACNPXA



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The 2 I just found on Amazon have to be lying about their crazy hp, torque, and/or MPG gains. Right there they've lost credibility with me that they know what they are doing and are telling the truth.

They also say they are adjusting the air fuel map. So that means they are richening the mixture. I might put them on a demolition derby car, but I wouldn't put them on a car I wanted to keep unless I was ready to replace the cats.

Fits Acura MDX - High-Performance Tuner Chip and Power Tuning Programmer - Boost Horsepower and Torque https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077DKJP5M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_x8DPDbTVZTC2E

Innovative Performance Chip/Power Programmer for Acura MDX 3.5L and 3.7L - Improve Your Fuel Mileage, Save Gas & Gain More MPG, Increase Horsepower & Torque with this Engine Tuner! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WFIJ0OM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_L7DPDbJACNPXA



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Yeah the one I have is the 1st link the powertune. Yeah it does use the port so you couldn't use you other gauges unless you got a harness to run both, but it doesn't sound like you would want it anyway. I'm just trying to share my experience not a professor or anything. I am happy with the power tune. And I always use premium fuel.
 

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And yes they are lying about the crazy hp and torque gains. I also see no difference in MPG. Vehicle is definitely more responsive though. That's all I can say.
 

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Yeah the one I have is the 1st link the powertune. Yeah it does use the port so you couldn't use you other gauges unless you got a harness to run both, but it doesn't sound like you would want it anyway. I'm just trying to share my experience not a professor or anything. I am happy with the power tune. And I always use premium fuel.
How many miles have you used it, and have you had any repairs or trouble codes related to the exhaust or fuel system?

Actual real world successful use is better than theory. But I wouldn't want to be the guinea pig beta tester for a company I didn't trust.

Perhaps the engine is running that lean and conservative from Honda, to hit either emissions or fuel efficiency goals, that you can fatten up the mixture with very little extra unburnt fuel in the exhaust. But if that's the case I would have also expected the mpg to go down a small but detectable amount.

I thought that you can't really duplicate the OBD port without running into a lot of trouble with communication conflicts.

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Is your cold air intake this one? Sounds like you thought it made a difference in responsiveness. How do you like it as far as fit and installation?

When my the rubber intake on my Pathfinder disintegrated, I replaced it with a K&N cold air intake. I don't know if was worth $300 if my intake wasn't broken. But I got it for $180 and was very happy with the performance improvement at that cost, given the OEM part was the same cost.

High performance parts Short Ram Air Intake Kit & Blue Filter Combo Compatible for 04 05 06 Acura MDX / 05 06 Honda Odyssey / 06 07 08 Pilot 3.5l V6 Engine https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016PM0LJG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_-aIPDbVX6DEXD

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Here are those spark plugs.

I bought a set of these 20 years ago for my 1990 Maxima. I was very happy at the performance to cost. I still have the spark plugs in storage. I took them out when the car was wrecked and haven't found anything to put them in.

The company disappeared from the internet for several years. Now they are back and I don't think the price has changed in 20 years.


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yes this is the intake I used I've had the intake in the chip on for about 30 thousand miles I have 170,000 on the car now no problems no codes Maybe the gas mileage went down .1 or 2 but it all depends on how you drive it I'm happy with it I only replace the intake with the one in your link because my stock one was messed up I realize this is not cold air intake and probably sucks more hot air than stock but it was a cheaper fix
 

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fit of the intake was very good and installation was very easy the filter kind of rests on the battery they give you a bracket with the kit but I didn't use it the one that MANUS sells on this forum looks nicer but cost more
 

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I don't know if the intake made that big of a difference, could just be the clean air filter, because as I said before the screws were seized in my stock airbox cover preventing me from changing the air filter. When I took the whole airbox out and looked in from underneath the air filter was filthy, like it hadn't been changed in a long time. Another note on the power tune module: when you first plug it in it has a reset button that you hold down for a period of like 15 sec. then release and start the car. The instructions say that the module "learns the car" over about 200 mi and maximizes efficiency and what not . They also claim that when you take it off the car the tune "goes away" and the ECU holds no memory that it was ever tuned. Instructions are in English and very clear. Hope this helps to answer some of your questions about it. Those spark plugs look awesome by the way.
 

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I watch a good bit of Jason, but I hadn't seen that episode. Thanks. That was an excellent more detailed explanation.

And it does get to the point that back pressure alone is bad. It's all about velocity and resonant tuning. My only quibble with it is a properly tuned exhaust system will have slightly more back pressure by its very nature, than an untuned sewer pipe exhaust. But his lead point is perfectly valid that just adding backpressure to an exhaust,
without tuning it as a system, is not going to help.

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