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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
2006 TSX - Royal Blue Pearl - 6MT - Project Commuter

I’ve used this site a ton the last few weeks doing research, so I wanted to contribute and share some information/photos on my particular set up. Feel free to message me with any questions.

I’ve been on and off hunting for a lower mile six-speed manual TSX for a while to start splitting the miles between it and my Evolution X. I’ve also changed positions at work and while it's a step up it means occasional out of town training and alternate work locations, often doubling my commute distance.

I found this one on from a seller in DC. He was the second owner, purchased in 2011 and put 30k on it. The first owner was in VA and had all the maintenance done through the dealership, it had a pretty extensive Carfax history of his visits. The total milage is 70k.

The second owner did new struts and front control arm bushings, he kept up on the interior and the vehicle mechanically, but it spent some time in DC and has the battle scars to prove it. The guy was a genuinely nice and well-kept person so I wasn’t grossed out by buying his vehicle.

Over the past two weeks I’ve finally got the vehicle to up to OEM standards plus (budget and time permitting).

First I spent four hours scrubbing the interior, used nearly a whole bottle of Chemical Guys interior cleaner, and a lot of Simple Green. Followed by some Aerospace 303 protecting and Chemical Guys leather conditioner. I even pulled the rear seats to clean under them. The interior is easily an 8/10, maybe better. I fit in the Accord Weathertech mats in the front, the rear mats do not fit. Also hardwired in my Redline with a cheap mirror mount (can’t justify a $100 blend mount). Swapped the shift knob with a Skunk2 heavy metal knob. Added the Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Car Seat Organizer (must have for any car), and bought a Kinivo BTC450 system for the audio. I have a Blackvue two channel dash cam on oder from Massdrop, that will go in as soon as it’s in my hands along with the B-112 battery pack.

Next, I scrubbed the engine bay, it wasn’t bad, just dirty, very little corrosion. Did OEM (NGK 6994) plugs, air filter, and cabin filter.

I washed and clayed the vehicle, then did two passes of Chemical Guys V32, then one of V36. Followed by a coat of Jetseal and 101 Wax. Then detailed all the trim with simple green then 303, used a back to black kit on the front valence. The paint needs more correction/polish and there are a couple dings/dents that PDR could fix, plus some scuffs on the rear bumper. I’ll get to this eventually, as of now my budget is already blown.

The front rotors were warped so I just did all the brakes. Centric rotors and Stop Tech Street Performance pads, I did the calipers with a G2 Black Paint Kit.

The suspension is Koni Sport yellows on an Eibach Pro-Kit with the TL Type-S bushings from Healtoe. You need a 39/64th drill bit for the bushings. Perch settings are middle rear and top front. I know its raked but I wanted the rears up a little higher.

I did Honda MTF in the transmission, Honda coolant drain/fill, ATE SuperBlue brake fluid for the brakes and clutch, Mobile 1 and Honda filter for the oil, and Honda PS fluid for the steering rack.

The first owner had a license plate frame backup camera that no longer worked, but the harness was there. Put a Rydeen ZH07-150B backup camera where the release switch was. While it is nice to have a switch, it is a perfect place to mount the camera with no drilling. I used a piece of thick ABS plastic up top.

Wheels are from an Evolution 8/9 MR. They are 17x8 38 offset on 235/45/17 Michelin A/S 3+ with a 7.7” tread width. These shaved 4.7lb per corner of unsprung weight. You will need Evolution/Mitsu OEM Mag lugs and 64.1mm - 67.1mm hub rings. These wheels typically go from 800-1000 depending on condition and buyer/shipping. NOTE: you will have to have your fenders rolled with this setup if you lower the vehicle, I did anyhow, maybe I'm special.

Evo 9 BBS 17x8 e38 = 17.8lb
235/45/17 A/S 3+ = 25lb
= total 42.8lb

OEM 17x7 e55 = 24lb
Michelin MXM4 215/50/17 = 23.48lb
Total = 47.48lb

The headlights were in rough shape, I removed them and my wife used a Meguires restoration kit on them, then installed X-Pel headlight protection (this is still curing in the photos, so you may see some fog)

Tint is at 35%. State legal.

Below are my alignment specs. I’m going to eventually buy an Ingalls Spherical kit for the rear and have that re-adjusted.

TL/DR Breakdown:

2006 TSX 6MT 70k miles
Koni Sport Yellows
Eibach Pro Kit
Reinforced upper mount TL-S bushings
Centric Rotors
Stop Tech Street Performance Pads
Rydeen ZH07-150B backup camera
Blackvue B-112 and DR650S-2CH
Mirror mount and hardwire for radar
Skunk2 shift knob
Pro-Clip iPhone Mount
Weathertech Mats (Accord 44060)
Rear OEM Cargo Tray
Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Car Kit
35% tint

I apologize for the potato pics and some poor lighting.

The organization plates are for the rescue I got my hounds from. Greyt Expectations Greyhound Rescue Home Page - amazing dogs.


115 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, I wont do much else for the next year, then maybe some minor engine stuff under the guise of possibly more MPG >:)

I'm really digging the car though, very comfortable and weirdly satisfying to drive. It handles the tight back roads well also, had a 30 min drive to a friends through them Saturday and it was a lot of fun. The car is easy to feel connected to, although I'm not a fan of the seat, needs more bolster.

115 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
A couple updates.

OEM Mudflaps
Blackvue 2 channel dashcam
Blackvue Power Magic Battery Pack B-112
MEIDI 120W 3-Socket Cigarette Car Lighter Power Adapter
Blendmount 2000R series
Redenso XP Radar detector
Covercraft UVS100 Sunshade

When I want to run the camera in parking mode I plug into the battery, which gives (according to manufacture, ten hours) when I want to run it only when the car is on I plug into the top box. This is because Blackvue was too cheap to put a switch on the battery to toggle it on/off.

You can see at this mounting location I catch a little of my rear view mirror, but I had to move it up to the roof line so I could use the sunshade.

Both the radar and the battery are wired to the fusebox via a add-a-circuit. There are a couple switched circuits in the box that are unused and I plugged into those.

Walk around showing fitment:


115 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
As soon as I got the car I drove it in the garage and put it up on jack stands. It stayed there for about two weeks while I was getting it cleaned up and the new parts on. During that time the battery died on me which I thought was weird but thought perhaps I left a light on or something.

I charged it up and didn’t think much more about it until I had the battery die again after a long weekend where I just drove the Evolution. I went ahead and replaced the battery, kind of stupid of me for not checking other things first.

Friday I had the battery die again on my after sitting two days. I had the battery and alternater checked and both were good.

There are a plethora of threads blaming the hands-free link (HFL) across the Acura platform of this cars generation. It is easy to get to and unplug, I didn't use it anyway (AirPods for hands-free FTW)

I put the meter between the ground post on the battery and the ground cable to the car. When you first make the connection the DC mA value will spike then drop down to its baseline. That is when you'll see its lowest value then see it jump up. It would do this every 20 seconds or so. Apparently this is the HFL searching for a phone. Once I unplugged the HFL it sat at .17 and didn't move from there. It's unfortunate that Acura isn't giving owners notice of this, it cost me $120 for a new battery I didn't need. I can't image what a shop would charge to narrow this down, especially since it's not going through a fuse, which would make it a real pain in the ass to find.

This is the value with the HFL unplugged

The car sat for three days after unplugging the HFL and it fired up just fine this morning.

I'd recommend to anyone who has one of these to just go ahead and unplug that HFL if you don't use it, I unplugged the XM unit as well, apparently those can go bad also (although rare).

115 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I did a trade with someone who was putting their TSX back to stock to sell. Traded OEM calipers/pads/rotors and the OEM struts and springs for the Fat Five Customs brackets, Acura RL calipers, pads, and 12.8 350Z Brembo/track package sized rotors.

Couple of take aways for anyone else looking to do a similar set up.

*OEM Banjo bolts will probably be too long and will leak even when tightened to spec.

*Copper crush washers required are 10mm. When the package from a auto parts store says 10.3mm that means it is the size after being crushed (according to the parts guy at the counter)

*The hub of the Acura is 64mm, the rotor is made for a hub size of 68mm. If you do not get hub rings for the rotor it will become lug centric not hub centric and you could get some vibration. These sit flush under the rotor so you’ll be able to use hub rings for your wheels at the same time.

*Copper crush washers can be re-used if you anneal them, then sand them flat.

*Beck Arnley calipers come with the wrong sized Banjo bolts and washers, also if you actually get all the hardware be surprised. Pitiful quality assurance from them and Rock Auto.

*Most pads you find will be ceramic, I went with some Auto Zone Duralast metallic pads, they feel great and were only $20.

*if you over-torque the caliper bolts to the aluminum bracket you will pull the threads out and ruin your brackets.

*Bleeders on the RL calipers are 8mm vs the factory rear which are 10mm. The bleeder valves are 9nm, dont overtorque and ruin it for the next time you have to open them.

*Brembo bleeder valve caps (on the rubber tether) can be found on eBay for cheap.

*Hub rings for wheels tend to get pushed into the hub of the wheel when you take your wheels off five times over the course of a week. I got vibration from 63mph to about 73, I took the wheels off and put the hub rings on the hub, then put the wheels on and the vibration went away.

Fastbrakes will sell you the hub rings, properly sized banjo bolts, and correct crush washers for a decent price.

The Acura RL caliper was originally intended for inverted flare fittings. Most people who do this mod just use banjo bolts with success. I was going to look for another solution but ended up going the banjo bolt route and there has been no sign of leaks (after using the proper crush washers).
Details on this here —>

Bleeding new calipers was a real PITA.

1st and 2nd bleed was the two-man where you open the valve, person in car presses pedal 2/3 the way down, close valve, pedal up. Approx 15 per wheel in the correct order (LF RF RR LR), no air in the tubing. Pedal felt bad after starting the car.

3rd time was following the Healtoe bleeding instructions, pedal still felt terrible.

4th bleed I did a gravity bleed, used a rubber mallet and tapped each caliper to shake loose any trapped air. Bleed a full line each (a length of tube from the caliper up to the height of the master cylinder), that was a significant improvement but I was still getting more pedal travel the first press then the second. I cycled the ABS twice before doing this bleed (driving and slamming on brakes from about 45).

Chasing the proper pedal feel I bought a new set of pads (previous pads had about 20k on them) from Autozone, Duralast metallic (most out there for the RL are ceramic) and I triggered the ABS four times on a wet road before pulling into the garage to change the pads and bleed the final time.

For the fifth bleed, I used a Motive Power Bleeder 101 with their annoying universal cap. Be prepared for a messy cleanup, but I put a whole 32oz bottle of fluid through the system this last time. Finally, the mushy feel was gone, the first pedal press is the same firmness as the second. Takes twice as long to clean up the mess as it does to actually bleed, I was so upset at how much of a mess it made I was going to send it back until I felt how nice the pedal was on the test drive.

Washers that came with the Beck Arnley calipers

Brembo Caps, kind of a crappy photo.

stolen photo showing a cap

Rotor ring from Fastbrakes (you can just barely see the shiny ring)

Banjo Bolt and washers from Fastbrakes and view of FFC bracket.
See how small those washers are, the crush washers from advanced that were 10.3mm were significantly bigger, these tiny ones seem to fit in and seal better.

Some stats from Fastbrakes about the piston size..

Video of fitment

115 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, I try to share any information that I had to dig to find for the next person. Good future reference stuff.

569 Posts
Great job pushing through for the final product man, sounds like anything that could've gone wrong did.
Now was it worth it?

I've been really hesitant about doing this "BBK" set up, mainly reservations on pedal feel. I also find it hard to believe the TSX factory MC can handle the larger capacity of the RL's.

115 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
It was significantly more time and money spent than I had planned, which I was salty about but it is what it is.

I would have regretted it if it wasn't for the fact I have another vehicle and garage space where one car can up on jack stands for a week and it's not a big deal. If it was my only car and no garage it would have been a massive inconvenience.

I learned a lot about brake systems and bleeding, much more than I knew going into it. I never discount lessons learned and I really enjoy tinkering in the garage, even if it is frustrating or a pain in the ass. Another lesson, don't let anyone else touch your car unless it's a shop with accountability.

The pedal really feels good, I don't think anyone would notice any difference unless they just got out of another TSX with new pads and a fresh bleed. I go from an Evolution X, the wife's 2015 VW SportWagen, and to this and the pedal doesn't stand out as significantly different (not enough to make me OCD about it, the Evo pedal is definitely firmer but its newer with a much better system).

Stopping power is probably the same, if I had it to do over again I'd try to do some 60 to zero or 45 to zero stops and see what the distance is and take some temperatures of the rotors/pads then compare to this set up and see if there is a big difference or not.

I do love the look, this is the first vehicle I've had in a while that didn't have nice four piston brakes and I'm a big geek for that stuff (phone background has been my avatar since 2014 and before it was the same photo but with my TL-S) my eyes are glued to the front wheels when I walk up on the car every time now. Very satisfying.

If you are ever in the Baltimore/DC area hit me up, you can try it first hand.

115 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ha, yea but the engine is totally stock.

I don't think I'll be doing much else anytime soon, I'd really like to get the rear bumper fixed, the dings pulled out, and something done with the right side.

That side was repainted after someone on a motorcycle apparently hit the car (low-speed accident in DC) so that side is somewhat dull compared to the other side. Maybe someone will rear-end me in the next year and I can get it all done at once heh.

23 Posts
Nice, you don't have to do much else, it's already looking great. A friend of mine at DSRLeasing has same color though on newer Acura. Yours is looking lovelier to be honest :p

115 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Its been a while, I still have the car, just turned 85k.

The RL Calipers started to catch some corrosion so unfortunately, I had to paint them. I also did the top part of the rotor front and rear.

About a month ago I had all the dings removed, $600 and the guy said there were 11 dents he popped out. Its nice not to walk up to the car and focus in on the dents anymore. Here it is at pick up.

I installed a brake light flasher.

Purchased some sweet BBS valve stem caps from eBay.

Picked up a passenger side seat from a you-pull-it place to strip the ODPS system. The website said $40 for a seat but they charged me an extra $20 because it as electric and an extra $60 because it had an airbag, those prices were of course not advertised, what a scammy place.
Anyway, got the sensor out. I'm still shopping for some minty Euro R Recaros.

I bought a Euro-R front and rear lip, and A-Spec side skirts from the Russian guy on Acura Tuning Club. $930 shipped. Euro-R's didn't come in Royal Blue so color didn't matter. I got a quote from a shop I trust to paint/install the parts, fix my rear bumper, wet sand the side of the car that had been repainted and do an aggressive polish for $2,000. Planning that next year sometime. I still need to find a grill.

I broke a fog light, a replacement will be installed with the Euro R lip

Installed some Hardrace Rear Camber arms from HealToe. I really dislike how the car feels and I was hoping properly dialed in camber would help. It does feel better but I'm going to replace the Konis with some proper coils overs. I haven't had any issues, just some personal preference things. On the lower perch in the back the car is too low, upper perch the car looks raked. The front is too low, it makes it look like a lowered car, not something well sorted from the factory. I bought TL-S upper bushings and appropriate drill bit ($160) and since the car was so low I had to have all four fenders rolled ($$) to fit the Evo 8/9 wheels (17x8 e38 235/45/17) I could have used the extra money and time spent and put it into some coil-overs. My other car has Ohlin R&T coil-overs and I know it's not fair to compare but when I drive that for a week then drive the TSX, the Acura feels like total shit no matter what adjustments I do to the struts (currently full hard in rear half in front)

Next year I am going to change them out for proper coil-overs, raise the front to match the rear, do the roll center kit, and the hard front compliance bushings. I think that will make the car feel many times better than the current set up.

I talked to the shop that has some work on the car and they said most heavier cars (i.e. not Integras/Civics) have the same issue I have with the Konis, just not feeling planted, feeling a bit loose and cheap over uneven surfaces.

The photo is before final torquing of bolts, pre-alignment and not dialed in for arm length.

The new phone wouldn't fit in the old mount. I used my existing Pro-Clip and their new iO Magnetic attachment.

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