Acura MDX SUV Forums banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I finally decided to do my very first preventive maintenance item on my 2007 MDX and you guessed it right, it is the radiator. Will buy the rad from RockAuto. But what else to replace?

My car is made in Oct or Nov of 2006. So it is 12-1/2 years now. Do upper and lower hoses go bad on Honda vehicles often around this many years? Another item I can think of is the thermostat. It is quite expensive for what it is and compared to aftermarket options. So I am wondering whether I need to replace it now. If not, I shall touch the same place in 4 years when I do my 2nd timing belt job. So it is not like that I will delay it to infinity.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like the dealer replaced a bunch of smaller hoses and clips to connect ATF to radiator. The two big hoses, thermostat and radiator cap are not changed. If so, maybe I can keep using them for a few more years. Thanks.

Connecting hoses and various clips.

If this helps, here's the list of items Acura replaced for my 2008 MDX when they replaced the radiator:

19010-RYE-A52 (Radiator itself)
25210-RYE-000 (Pipe comp C ATF)
25211-RYE-016 (Hose 170mm ATF)
25212-RYE-006 (Hose 235mm ATF)
25215-RAA-006 (Hose 155mm AFT)
90635-RV0-003 ( 8 Clips Comp Oil Pip)
90511-PH7-003 (2 Clips water hose)
91501-S04-003 (5 inner fender clips)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am not sure about my IQ, never tested. But I am sure I am broke. So have to do this myself. Also it is hard to find someone I can trust. So I won't be sure about the quality of the job anyways.

But I shall follow your DIY guide carefully. I have a whopping luxury of three days to get this done. Let's see how it goes. BTW, I also have a set of fancy clamp pliers, the type that has a long cable. Maybe that will help a bit. Will see.

I did replace only the radiator and just that...
The hoses looked very pliable and I had no issues with the constant pressure hose clamps…
So.. Yeah not what I would recommend but I had no issues ever since and its been a year now.

What I will say is that if you are touching the T-STAT only use HONDA OEM 2 Stage T-Stat, DO NOT MESS UP by going aftermarket, I have seen literally dozens of hondas on the shop having issues with aftermarket T-Stats.

Also add the radiator rubber feet to your list, By some reason mine were pretty deformed and I had no luck trying to shape them back together.




-If you are really planning in doing what is to me the most painful, boring and time consuming DIY ever in the MDX?
https://www.mdxers.org/forums/74-se...7897-diy-replace-radiator-flush-f-2g-mdx.html
I say good luck my friend…

-If you are smart you will pay any kind of money to have this done by someone else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes a real PIA. (If you have a 5" pair of needle nosed pliers, to get the lower radiator hose clamp off & on.)
While your bumper cover is off, you could buy a $55 head light polishing kit and maybe replace your D2s bulbs (OSRAM or Morimoto).
Why do you have to take the bumper off? I thought the limiting factor is the condenser cannot be moved further enough to give space for the removal of fan and radiator. If removing the bumper can yield more space for the condenser, maybe I will do that too.

So I read schirmich's DIY and the key step seems to be that pull the condenser forward first, then pull the rad up a bit so that the fan can come out. Correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Had mine done at my local Indi a month or so ago. After Acura telling me it needed to be done a few times over the past two plus years. :D

Rad
thermostat
upper, lower hoses
both trans hoses
A/C Condenser that had to moved to get the rad out, crumbled apart because of rust

There were a couple of other small items that needed to be replaced because the rust was soo bad.

In the end, I had to take it back three days later for a trans fluid leak.
one of the trans fittings was bad and the shop had to replace the rad with another.

The mechanic was pissed, saying he hates doing the same job twice.
While mechanic was pissed, I would be scared in your situation. I guess the leak is from the ATF hose to rad, so why did he need to do it again. Just remove the lower shield.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One of the ATF fittings on the rad was defective and would not seal. Had nothing to do with the hose or clamp.
Did the shop provide the rad? The shop did it free of charge the second time?

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My impression is that for cars that have run properly for 100k miles, just replacing engine oil more frequently with high quality high mileage fully synthetic engine oil will alleviate this problem a lot. The high mileage stuff can revitalize the seals. Also replace the ATF more frequently helps. (In my other cars, I also use high mileage fully synthetic ATF. But I dare not for MDX.) If anything goes wrong, a lot of people had success using some snake oil to solve the problem, like AT205. Scotty Kilmer said this many many times. So I am actually not that worried.

My next preventive job is to clean throttle plate, egr passage and adjust valve clearance. I shall do them after 2-3 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
It took me about 2-1/2 hours to remove all the top and bottom shields, grille and front bumper. Following schirmich's DIY and the other video on how to remove bumper to diagnose headlight issues. Now everything is wide open! I hope this can make the main job easier.



Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
It's a luxury to replace the bulb right in front of the eyes


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Counter clock wise to remove ignitor, unplug the ignitor wire, and push the two metal tabs down and toward the gap to release the bulb. Now you can see the biggest danger when doing this by feel or blindfold. That stupid tab is connected to the housing only via a quarter of the edge of the tiny screw! For a clumsy guy with fat fingers, he might poke the metal tab off that tiny screw cap and it will fall somewhere in the belly pan or front bumper. That would be a nightmare for an unprepared fellow.



Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Also pay attention to this stupid ignitor plug. It tends to move around inside the plastic cover, making it hard to go on. If manhandled, I can see the tab might get pinched or squeezed.


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I am basically following your steps? After some easy steps like remove hood latch, radiator and condenser top brackets, ATF cooler holding brackets, there's a difficult one. Remove the bottom radiator holding screw in the middle. It is hard to locate. But I found an interesting trick. Just look for notches on the frame. See the picture. The big notch is for petcock and the small one is for this screw. The other bottom bolt near driver side is even hard to locate. But follow the notch, you will.



Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Man, I have a set of fancy cable operated clamp pliers. See the picture. So I don't think this is a problem for me. But I do have a few questions.

1 did you remove battery and battery tray?
2 there are no small bolts on the bottom of driver's side fan?
3 when I want to lift radiator straight up, what is the limiting factor?

I am done for today. Will finish it up tomorrow. The car is in the garage and barely drive-able. Will drive it up ramps tomorrow. Surprisingly, I am fine so far just lying on the ground with the car flat on the ground.

Also the condenser is limited by AC metal lines on the passenger side. But on the driver's side, I have opened a big gap here.


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I also marked each end of every ATF hose. The 1st picture should be viewed with the biggest coolant lower hose on the right side. The hose on the foreground is irrelevant here. Hose 1 is from transmission. Hose 6 is from exterior cooler back to transmission. 2nd picture can be viewed as is. Hot coolant from 1 to 2 to 3 to ATF heat exchanger inside radiator. Picture 3 should be viewed with the big metal surface at bottom. Coolant exits radiator from 4, goes to external cooler and comes back from 5. Finally 5 is connected to 6 via the long metal ATF tube.


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
It took me another 2 hours plus to get the passenger fan out. Now taking a break. First take out the two top small bolts. Easy. Next the bottom two or one bolts. Not super sure now. Even there are holes for two.

Next use the curved jaw pliers to take off the sensor on the fan and squeeze the anchor feet of the sensor holding pin. I managed not to damage either.

Next use a big screw driver or a pry bar as I used to pry off the top ATF hose holder. Do it gentlely and you won't break it. Don't worry about the lower one. The angle is not right.

Next go to the bottom and undo ATF connection 5. Then you can move the hose around and use a small flat head screwdriver to undo the lower ATF hose.

Then the fun begins. ATF connection 3 and 4 are both in strange angles. I used a combination of cable hose pliers, needle nose vise grip pliers and 10 inch channel lock pliers to remove them. The process ain't pretty, but you know you will prevail in the end all the time.

I can them pull the passenger fan straight out, with the driver's fan still there. So taking out the headlight definitely bought me some extra space.




Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Taking out the drive fan is even easier. Use the curved jaw pliers to take out the big sensor on top. Use a normal straight jaw needle nose pliers to take out the smaller sensor. Now there is a fun little prick that's holding the smaller sensor to the fan. It has 4 feet. So it didn't work when I squeeze it with curved jaw pliers. Now my hobby of watching YouTube car repair helped I put a 7mm 1/4 socket on a ujoint, the on an extension bar. I poked the anchor with the socket and it squeeze the 4 feet at the same time and I pulled the anchor out. Easy and fun. This might be the best part of the adventure. First time using a 7mm socket, Bro!

Next just go to bottom and undo another sensor with bare hand and you can remove the driver's fan. It took me another 30 minutes.


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Taking out the radiator is even easier. The radiator clamp for me is also facing the impossible direction. However, now everything is open and I simply dropped my cable hose pliers and finished it off. Now all the difficult job is over. Just need to be patient. I shall refill the coolant and idle a few times in several days to make sure nothing is leaking before I put it back. The only tool I am missing in the whole process is a smaller vise grip pliers. Otherwise, the 2hrs spent in removing passenger fan could be easier. All and all, about 2hrs of suffering. The rest is easy stuff. I had no helper. I also did not jack up the car or on a ramp. Neighborhood crime is going up. I was afraid that my vehicle might be vandalized if I cannot finish it before nightfall.



Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Now compare the radiator ATF inlet/outlet. The old one is on the left. The rusty middle washer, sandwiched between the big nut and bottom stainless steel (?) washer is actually not a simple washer. It is called a cup spring or bevel spring. The top big nut squeezes on this cup spring to keep tension and prevent ATF/coolant mix. Mine is rusty, but not super rusty. So I might go for another 10 years, or next month. Who knows. The new Denso one is much beefier. There are two big nuts now to secure this junction. To be honest, I am not super sure about the construction. But skirmich said it is fail-safe. So I shall take his word for it :) I believe in this case, buying a new Acura radiator really doesn't give you anything. It still can fail after several years. For guys in cold areas, the failure starts to show up after a mere 4/5 years. This is what I see on 1st gen MDX forum. Not sure about 2nd gen. So just buy a Denso or Spectra.



Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
@qqzj This is a GREAT post! The pics are fantastic, and the details provide insight.

It's cool how you're keeping us posted as you go. Way to go, man.

Are you using OEM parts or a mix of oem / non-oem?

Thanks again to @skirmich for earlier DIY post to provide some direction.

https://www.mdxers.org/forums/74-se...7897-diy-replace-radiator-flush-f-2g-mdx.html
Thanks. For radiator I used Denso. See my previous post, sent slightly earlier than yours. For the rest, I used all 100% OEM because I did not change anything else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I also found a foreign object on the frame near the radiator. I don't remember I ever took it off. Any ideas? Thanks!


Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top