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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Have owned my 04 for a long time, but besides a-spec suspension I never did any mod until 2013. I figure I am keeping the car for a few more years, so why not bring it "up-to-spec" to enjoy it more. I do plan to autox/track in the future, but at the same time this is a daily for hauling family so I need to balance comfort and sportiness. Hence, I term my build "Comport sport."

Most mods are popular/well-proven and already reviewed by many. But during my researches, I often found myself wishing for more details. Besides, for some of the parts, I did find things that were not mentioned in other reviews. I thought maybe it's worthwhile to add my own opinions for others to reference. Hopefully, this thread helps people in their decision making.

The mods I have/had are the following. Some of them are without reviews, e.g. camber kit and RSB, since they are what they are...

Engine & Dyno

  • Phase 1: CT-E Icebox + CT-E header + 06 cat + reflash
    - [Link] Dyno chart (with stock lid/filter)
    - [Link] Hondata reflash
    - [Link] DIY intake mod - remove xbar in stock lid
    - [Link] CT-E Icebox
    - [Link] CT-E header & 06 cat
  • Phase 2: RSP intake + J35 TB + 45 VTC + 06 intake cam + FlashPro
    - [Link] Dyno chart
    - [Link] 04-05 FlashPro Adapter Installation Tips
    - [Link] Mini-review #1
    - [Link] Mini-review #2
  • Phase 2.1: Revert to 64mm RBB IM + Fastline High-flow cat
    - [Link] Dyno Chart
    - [Link] Review
  • Phase 3.0: ASP ceramic-coated header
    - [Link] Dyno Chart
  • Phase 3.1: PRC pulley
    - [Link] Review
Suspension

  • [Link] Lighter-weight wheels
  • Ingall rear camber kit (no review since it is what it is)
  • Progressive RSB (reduces lean, enhances stability out of corner, and has little impact on ride quality/noise)
  • [Link] Suspension 1.0: A-spec suspension
  • Suspension 2.x
    - [Link] v2.0: Tein CST (F/R: 7/4 kg/mm)
    - [Link] v2.1: Tein CST (F/R: 8/4 kg/mm)
    - [Link] v2.2: EDFC-II
  • Suspension 3.x
    - [Link] Preface
    - [Link] v3.0: FlexZ Initial Impression
    - [Link] v3.0: FlexZ Notes
    - [Link] v3.1: CST Reborn (F/R: 8/5 kg/mm with revalve)
    - [Link] v3.1: The Road to Customization
    - [Link] v3.2: Alutec strut bar
  • Suspension 4.x
    - [Link] v4.0: Skunk2 front camber kit + new oem LCA/suspension bushings
    - [Link] v4.1: Spoon rigid collars, front & rear
Brakes

  • v1.0: [Link] RacingBrake 300mm slot rotor + ET300 -> ET500 + Stainless-steel brake line
  • v2.0: Racingbrake 4-pot caliper w/ ET500
    - [Link] Break-in Review
    - [Link] Review with 300ZX shims
    - [Link] Centric Posi-Quiet semi-metallic front pads
  • v3.0: XLR8 328x28 one-piece BBK by Stoptech
    - [Link] First Impression
    - [Link] Installation System Check
    - [Link] Initial Review
    - [Link] 1-2 month review
    - [Link] Model 3 test drive, and XLR8 BBK longer-term review
Tires

  • [Link] Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus 225/45R17 - 7k-mile Review
  • [Link] Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 215/50R17, 10k-mile Review
Look

  • [Link] Fastline performance cf spoiler
  • [Link] JDP carbon fiber lip
  • [Link] Customized Steering Wheel - Part 1
  • [Link] Customized Steering Wheel - Part 2
  • [Link] Depo oem-style headlight + Morimoto LED foglight
  • [Link] Eibach 10mm Wheel Spacers
Maintenance
  • [Link] Fix intermittent no-code airbag light issue by replacing SRS control unit
  • [Link] 2018-19 Restoration Preview, Step 1.1: Mounts/Starter. Bonus: Track mode on Model 3
  • [Link] 2018 Resto1.1: Engine/transmission Mounts
  • [Link] 2018 Resto1.2: OZ Racing Hyper GT, 17x7.5 ET45
  • [Link] 2018 Resto1.3: Hybrid 04/06 Stock Exhaust
  • [Link] 2018 Resto 1.4: New OEM Axles, Eibach 10mm Spacers, and from Heaven to Debug Hell
  • [Link] 2018 Resto 1.4.1: New Driver-side Ball Joints
  • [Link] 2018 Resto 1.4.2: Road-force Balance
  • [Link] 2018 Resto1.5: AAE Power Steering Rack + 555 Outer Tie Rods + Moog Sway Bar Bushings
Random Notes

  • [Link] 2014/03: One Year Down The Road
  • [Link] 2014/04: No to Aftermarket Body Parts
  • [Link] 2014/06: What's Next After phase2.1
  • [Link] 2014/07: Beyond TSX
  • [Link] Engine Tuning Impressions*
  • [Link] TSX vs Modern-day Sports Sedan
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Still experimenting with Tein CST...

The reference data in the manual are for CL7 with 18" wheel. I feel the extra weight of CL9 does make the recommended setting not so ideal (on 17" stock wheel).

Weight (F-R)
CL7: 860kg - 530kg
CL9: 879kg - 586kg

Spring seat height
CL7: 198mm - 307mm (wheel gaps are 13.97" and 13.58"; or 1.57" - 1.18" drop)
Obviously on CL9, the recommended setting will have a lower drop due to the extra weight. The shop set my wheel gap to roughly 13.5" front and rear. I don't like the setting because I feel the front carries too much weight. A-spec and Tein JP's settings both have ~0.5" difference between front and rear so it looks like it's the "golden" setting that I will try out.

Damper clicks
0 is hardest; 16 is softest
CL7: 8 - 10
Mine: 9 - 12/13. The ride height is putting too much weight on the front so I haven't found a setting that convinced me. But this setting feels ok, quite comfy at the rear but with enough feedback up front.
 

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The mods I put effectively GT-nized TSX compared with stock. Rundown:
  • A-spec suspension
  • Ingall rear camber kit
  • Hondata reflash
  • DIY intake mod - remove xbar in stock lid.
  • CT-E Icebox
  • CT-E header
  • Tein CST
  • Progressive RSB
Great list of mods! I have CST (added EDFC) with Progress RSB and Ingalls Rear Camber for my suspension mods as well. My power adders are similar to yours too. I'm running Comptech I/H/E along with the reflash.

I'm happy with the way my TSX is now and am not really looking for any more mods. You've gone down a good route for a sporty yet comfortable sedan. I still smile every time I drive my TSX!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great list of mods! I have CST (added EDFC) with Progress RSB and Ingalls Rear Camber for my suspension mods as well. My power adders are similar to yours too. I'm running Comptech I/H/E along with the reflash.

I'm happy with the way my TSX is now and am not really looking for any more mods. You've gone down a good route for a sporty yet comfortable sedan. I still smile every time I drive my TSX!
Thanks yeah the mods are effective and street friendly. I am very happy with the engine mods they greatly increases partial-throttle torque, but still unsure about the coilover. Still need to tune the ride height and install RSB. Care to share your CST settings?

I might add EDFC later on but no further either... I think it makes better sense to get a new car since anything further costs lots more $$$
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The car looks practically stock except for flp spoiler! I think I have better pics on parts than on the car. But yeah I will add more pics along the way...
 

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Thanks yeah the mods are effective and street friendly. I am very happy with the engine mods they greatly increases partial-throttle torque, but still unsure about the coilover. Still need to tune the ride height and install RSB. Care to share your CST settings?

I might add EDFC later on but no further either... I think it makes better sense to get a new car since anything further costs lots more $$$
I'm lowered about 1.5" front and rear, my drop is similar to that of H-Techs or the A-Spec kit. As for dampening, I upgraded to the CST mainly for comfort (and NY roads are really bumpy) so my EDFC is set to full soft 95% of the time. When the highway has a newly paved stretch or is predominantly smooth, I'll set it to full stiff.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm lowered about 1.5" front and rear, my drop is similar to that of H-Techs or the A-Spec kit. As for dampening, I upgraded to the CST mainly for comfort (and NY roads are really bumpy) so my EDFC is set to full soft 95% of the time. When the highway has a newly paved stretch or is predominantly smooth, I'll set it to full stiff.
Thanks, yeah that's the benefit of EDFC. No compromise needed..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I finally found a setting for Tein CST that I am happy with.
Keep in mind the numbers mentioned are not all precise, better treat them as rough numbers.
My reference is a-spec by the way.

Ride Heights
I am happy with the rear end so mainly tried three settings for the front:

R - 13.5"
F -
13.5": Too much weight in the front, this adds front-end bites but when exceeds grip limit switches to under-steer sooner. The front doesn't feel as crisp as a-spec even though the grip level is higher, but the major deal breaker for me is the lost of rear-end feedback.
At this ride height, I measured from the lowest point of the thread to the bottom of the lower perch (let me call this perch height) and it's 35mm.

14": This is more like OE F-R difference. I immediately like the better front-rear balance and the crisper/stiffer front (because the spring preload increased). Unfortunately I soon find out that the preload is too much to the point that I can tell the damping is not enough to control the spring. Need to up the front damping to 9 to catch the spring but then the combination is just too stiff. At this point, I know I only need to lower the spring a bit to lessen the preload.
Perch height is 42mm.

--Updated from 13.9" to 13.8"--
13.8": Point two inch doesn't sound much but it made a big difference! I like a-spec front end so use it as reference. With damping set to 10 the front is close to a-spec crisp but a few notches smoother. I suppose by upping the damping it will be really close to a-spec. The 0.1" difference also somehow makes the F-R balance better than 14", but I need to corner the car harder to really say for sure :)
Perch height is 4mm.


Damping
0 is hardest; 16 is softest
F-R: 10 - 13

The recommended 8-10 setting was too hard for where I live when paired with 13.5" - 13.5" ride heights.
I get CST to have softer rear for comfort, so run it at the softest setting I can live with. I have tried 10~13 and think 11~13 are all pretty decent setting to have both comfort and handling.
The front I should experiment a bit with the new-found front ride height, but 9-11 are decent compromises.
One thing worth mentioning is that I feel the damping change per click is more significant at the front than the rear. Or maybe it's because I sit in the front..

I will write a complete review and post some pics after I install the RSB.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Review of bolt-on engine mods

Car: 04 AT
(MT might behave differently compared with the review)

Installed the parts in the following order:
Hondata reflash -> Icebox -> CT-E Header+06 cat

1. Hondata Reflash


Pros: Excellent value due to all-round improvement.
Cons: This is Pandora's box; once you get this you will want more...

Got this because I wanted more power and the best bang for the buck seemed to be a reflash. And indeed is a great value. The throttle is more responsive. Power increases throughout the range. I would say 1k-3k not much power gain just more responsive. But there is now a real power band starting from 3.5k to redline. The VTEC kick is felt less but you still know it is there by the surge of power and the roaring. The earlier VTEC window comes very handy when needed. Fuel economy wise I observe no difference if driven normally.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
2. Intake mods

Tried two intake mods. One is stock lid with crossbar removed; the other is CT-E Icebox.

2.1 Stock lid without xbar

Pros: Noticeably reduce 2-1 downshift engine braking on AT; Easy DIY
Cons: None

Removing the xbar improved throttle response marginally but not much. The biggest difference for me was the less abrupt 2-1 downshift. I am not sure if this is common or not; my AT when coming to a stop the downshifting from 2-1 created a spike in engine braking. Once I removed the bar, I felt it was easier to modulate the brake when slowly bringing the car to a stop.

2.2 CT-E Icebox

Pros: Better drivability; Rpm picks up faster above 3.5k; Noise only at higher rpm
Cons: Power gain need to be felt by stomping the throttle

The velocity stack makes the engine pulls smoother and faster, especially above 4k. The lid + filter improves throttle response as well as shifting the resonant frequency to around 2.5k from 2k with stock lid. Noise-wise, Icebox is stock-like below 4k. Above 4k the engine starts to roar deeper and clearer than stock, and I like the sound a lot!

Power-wise, I feel the gain isn't that obvious. Maybe because I haven't combine the lid and velocity stack together, my butt dyno would say the gain is more like 5% than the 10% shown on dyno. The gain is there, but mostly felt at VTEC window.

A few things I noticed that are not mentioned in the reviews I read are:
- The off-throttle engine braking is not as strong as before.
- Braking feels more linear and easier to modulate.

Combined with the improved throttle response, the drivability of the car is much better. I couldn't think back how I managed to live with the stock settings for so many years.....

UPDATE 12/03/2014
The major issue with Icebox is fitment. Mine is used and unfortunately the fitment is not good, more often than not, I can see small dust in the lid after a while. I also don't like oil filter as they gets messy easily. For me, the fitment issue is a deal breaker so I am switching back to stock lid without x bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
:worthlesss
Yeah I know! Just haven't had opportunity to take nice pictures of the car. Besides, a package is is coming that will make the car less stock-like ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Comfort Sport (aka Family-friendly) Build

3. CT-E header + 06 cat (with Hondata & Icebox horn)







Pros: Surprisingly effective mod. The engine feels much more lively and torquey. Power more readily available.

Cons: Sacrifice on noise & vibration, especially the later. On AT, there can be rattle but in my case the rattle wasn't consistent. Also, after raising the ride height the rattle was gone.



The pros and cons above say it all. I was surprised by the new-found torque at partial-throttle; my butt dyno says the gain is more than 20%. Before someone jumps in and point me to the 10% gain on dyno, remember I said partial-throttle not full throttle as in dyno. I think what happen is the air flows better so air velocity can reach optimal range faster. In other words, the max power might be +10% only but the engine can now reach max power with less throttle input. The downside of this is, at partial throttle you feel like the engine has more to give, but when you gun for it there are actually not a lot left.



After installing the header I found myself VTEC less, (yes the torque increase is that good!), and for those times I access VTEC, the power gain is still obvious but just not as significant as low-to-mid range.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Comfort Sport (aka Family-friendly) Build

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About the header, are you trying to say that the CT header produces more midrange torque and loses a bit at the top end?

Nice looking PWP! Do you have any plans of painting that trunk lip spoiler?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
About the header, are you trying to say that the CT header produces more midrange torque and loses a bit at the top end?

Nice looking PWP! Do you have any plans of painting that trunk lip spoiler?
Header increases power throughout the range compared with stock. Just that my butt dyno feels the mid-range gain is more than the top end.

Thanks. The spoiler I know it's not for everyone, but I like the cf look. I didn't like it at first but after having the wheels the look had grown on me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
4. Fastline performance spoiler

Pros: Looks good to me; painted one looks like OEM.
Cons: Little performance gain :p

This is the easiest to review, because there is zero butt dyno involved!

I always like TSX with lip spoiler. The spoiler that I like most is EDM one, but it is too expensive and hard to get. So FLP spoiler is the second best choice. The build quality justifies the price well. The CF is beautifully woven for the most part; for my unit only a small spot on the bottom edge the weave is less smooth. Initially, I ran the raw cf look because painting it cost extra and brings zero gains. But the look grew on me especially after I put on the wheels. Some suggested FLP spoiler looks too large compared with EDM one. Yes in certain angles FLP looks thick, but mostly looks fine.

In terms of differences, lip spoiler is supposedly mainly for look but I can say above 60mph it made a small difference. The rear end seems slightly more stable and the wind noise coming from the rear is less. I have installed the spoiler twice and on/off on the same day so I was pretty sure what I felt was real. Just don't expect your car gain +10mph top speed or shave 0.5s off your 0-60 and you will be happy with the look!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
5. Lighter wheels

The wheels I got are only ~5 lbs lighter than oem but it is enough to make a difference. Acceleration feels more responsive and braking also feels more effortless. Besides, the look turned out great. But the biggest difference is the increased stability by the wider track (ET45). There really is no downside for lighter wheels and I think will be a mod that I will do to my future cars. BTW, I stick with oem spec 215/50-17 because it's a family-friendly build.
 
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