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Hello Guys/Gals,

Just thought I should share this with you all.

A few months ago I went to the car dealership looking for a new car because my 15 year old 2002 MDX suddenly appeared aesthetically anemic to me, where I live we drive everywhere, and there are no trains or buses except for the express bus which goes directly into the city of Atlanta. I would admit, in all these years my car never broke down nor have I ever had a flat tire (knock on wood), I did get a cracked windshield at one point and I had to rebuild my transmission after a failed inspection at around 90,000 miles. However, the silver color faded unevenly and the front leather seats looked shiny and worn. So now, what do I do!? There's a nice sound system in my old car with Bluetooth, GPS, along with front and rear cameras and a clean looking dashboard. I decided to peruse the dealership showrooms in my area with no clear goal.

Well, those $50,000 cars sure looks good on the streets but parting with that kind of moolah for a car is not a wise idea, plus they’re still using gasoline to power them so I'll be stuck for another 15 years with a gasoline car and car payments. The kicker though is that the dealer told me he's offering $2,000 for my used car as a trade-in… Ummmn….Uuuugh…wait what? Did he just say? Hang on…I’ll be right back (Me driving home; everything on my car works, who the hell does he think he is? $2,000? He can go directly to hell, I fly on planes that are 30 years old, I can have an old car that drives on earth, plus! There are only 138,000 miles on my car, I’ll ride this b**** till the wheels fall off).

I went home, did some research on Google, Acura forums and Youtube then decided it was worth it to upgrade my car. I even researched down to the rims (weight) and tires as it relates to road noise and comfort, calipers, rotors and brakes for stopping performance. I see what's on the streets and I've got something for those streets sitting in my Cabeza. Some of the work I can do myself and I’d get the mechanic and tire shop involved to do their share. After taking inventory, I bought a bunch of parts from Rockauto.com and the manufacturer which includes front seats, shocks, sensors, spark plugs, steering ends, headlamps, wiper assembly, etc. over the last few months. There's also a place in my neck of the woods call "Pull-A-Part" where they have all these used cars lined up in rows on acres. You search on their website for your make and model then you go scavenge for parts that may look better than the ones on your car for pennies on the dollar, a great resource. I had the mechanic bleed and replaced fluids from all systems on my car. I also bought some vinyl wrap (a new skin, Sterling silver. trying to stay compliant with these police out ah road). Took off the roof rack and the tow hitch to reduce weight and wind noise. Long story short, approximately $8,000 in with some sweat and aches and my car rides like new and looks amazing... See Images.
 

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Well played, wrhurst!

I've avoided car payments since... well, at least 40 years or so. I get a lot bigger kick driving something "interesting" than I do something "trendy". Normally, I'll buy something unusual that needs some repairs, then fix it up, drive the wheels off it for 20-30,000 miles, and sell it for a profit.

I have to admit I broke that trend with the MDX - I found a "needs almost nothing" version that I bought a few years ago, with 160,000 miles. Now it's got 237,000 miles, and still looks and performs like a nearly new car (a few points off for tourque converter whine, and a minor vibration in the front that I'm replacing my right front axle to solve). And the nice thing is, I could most likely sell it for enough to recoup all but $2000 or so of my purchase price. For the math-challenged, that works out to a depreciation of about two and a half cents per mile. I can live with that!


Enjoy that beautiful MDX for many years - I think you made a VERY wise decision to end up with a fully turned-out MDX over something newer and more expensive (and likely, less reliable).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
habbyguy thank you for your kind words. I tried to keep things in perspective like not going overboard with the rim size I went from 17in to 18in (not 22in to ruin the car). I used standard light bulbs so I don't blind other drivers at night. It's really worth it to keep those cars (Honda/Acura).

I did buy a new pair of MDX 2005 Headlamps but I need to find the right pigtails so that it can work on my 2002 MDX. The indicator and the other yellow light (don't know the name) needs one. So it's sitting in a box until I find time to research it. They actually look better on the 2002 than the original. If you know what I need that'll be great.
 

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Looks good, just be sure and keep the timing belt service in mind every 105,000 Miles, or every 7 years, whichever comes first...
 

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wrhurst, I agree with your decision on the 18" wheels. That's what my MDX's previous owner put on, and I think they're the perfect compromise between handling, ride quality and looks. Yeah, if this was a TL that I was going to thrash around on track days, lower profile tires would make sense. But nothing we can do to our beloved MDXs is going to make them handle as well as a stock Civic. ;-) And those ultra-low profile tires really DO ride hard.

I think these are the pigtails you need... https://www.ebay.com/itm/190798289020


FWIW, I put high beam bulbs in my low beam (projector housings). Made a big difference (the MDX low beams aren't very bright). I tried the LED approach, but the ones I got were just about bright enough to read a newspaper with, as opposed to their claim of being several times brighter than the originals. So I just went with a standard high beam bulb. IIRC, I had to trim a notch that's designed to keep you from installing the wrong bulb, but don't recall whether it was in the socket or on the bulb - but it'll be obvious. Or, you could save the hassle and just get this harness (already designed for the high-beam bulb): https://www.ebay.com/itm/9006-to-H11-H8-Bulb-Conversion-Pigtail-Connectors-Wiring-Harness-Plug-Headlights/291361683589?hash=item43d6827885:g:nqgAAOSwy4hUUVpe

In way of reference, the low beam on the first iteration of the headlights (2001-2) is an H11, while the 2003 switched to the 9006 bulb. The high beam on both is a 9005 bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
PTC DAWG Thanks. I'm good with that for now. habbyguy I'll look into it.
 
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