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Discussion Starter · #561 ·
Always loved Chen's autofocus series, and seeing the ultimate unicorn CL7 on there was quite the treat. Curious what all spoon did with the OEM axles. What all would be worth polishing? The inner joints maybe?

you ever find some seats Sony? My local yard specializes in fun honda/acura and got me a set of good condition black seats for $150 both. He's in newport news VA so might be worth a trip if you're close enough get there and back in a day. He doesn't like dealing with people online so there's lots of TSX, TL-S, and FG2 parts available that are usually hard/expensive to find.
Yeah I wish there are more information about the changes of that car.

No, I never tried hard looking for one. I guess I just don't feel comfortable about an used seat, as I do not know what it has gone through. Also, I am not sure how long I will keep the car. I am basically waiting to see more non-Tesla EVs, and also how Type-S looks like. I have learned that maintaining three cars is right at the limit of my comfort zone.

Perhaps I should just go ahead fixing the seat, because at the very minimum the TSX is here to stay for a year or two. (Don't buy any first-year car!)
 
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i feel you on the "from parts unknown" aspect of seats full of stranger farts and who knows what else. it's the only reasonably priced option though. replacement covers are $$$$ and Euro R recaros are just JDM Farts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #563 · (Edited)
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S3+ 225/45R17 Conclusion

Summary
  • Dry grip: 5 stars, spectacular front-end grip on my car.
  • Wet grip: 5 stars
  • Response: 5 stars, lightening quick.
  • Feedback: 5 stars, very connected to the road.
  • Comfort: 3 stars

Details
The A/S3+ hits every performance mark. It has every good trait one associates with a good summer tire:
  • The grip is delicious.
  • The steering response is lightening quick and precise.
  • The feedback are strong and clear.
  • The grip level does not drop off quickly beyond maximum grip. There is a huge buffer where the tire slips but still holds steady.
  • It takes heat well, does not feel greasy easily under stress.

The downside of all the performance/sportiness is that the ride comfort is only acceptable. When I shopped for replacement, I thought about moving to 235/45R17 or 215/50R17 to absorb more shocks. I ran the tire pressure @ F/R 34/32psi most of the time.

I cannot judge wear and noise due to the modifications on the car, and also my driving style. I lost track of the mileage of the tires, but it must be less than 25k miles. I probably replaced them earlier than absolutely needed, but due to my camber settings (at least -1.5 all around) and how I drove the car (corner attack mode whenever chances arose), the tire wear was uneven. The inner part was near bold, the outer edge was also pretty worn out, and the middle section about 20% left. I felt a definite drop in grip just before replacing the tires.

A/S3 is no doubt unique because it feels like a slightly water-down summer tire, more than a souped-up all season tire*. Naturally for replacement I thought about staying with A/S3 but tweaking width/height, but All Season 4 seems like a good improvement from A/S3. Higher number should be better, right?

*I can say that because I cycled through a lot of tires on TSX in the last several years. Kind of crazy or silly to be honest…..

2016: Pilot Super Sport
2017: Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus
2018: Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2
2019: Michelin Pilot Sport A/S3+
2021: Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4
 
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I recently replaced my tires with AS4's (215/50/17) to replace the AS3+'s (225/45/17). The AS4 compound and tread looks near identical to the AS3 and having the meatier sidewall makes the ride a bit more comfortable. I would raise the comfort score to 3.5. Only problem with the thinner tires is that the grip and traction is a bit compromised when taking the corners hard. Corners that I've tackled confidently for years requires slowing down more than before. Because of that, I would reduce the grip scores to 4 or 4.5, but that is to be expected with the thinner tires and larger sidewall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #565 ·
I also made the switch to A/S4 and am still learning how to use the tires. My initial impression is not so good. Like you mentioned there is a considerable drop in traction compared to A/S3+. The worst thing is that the front end is the one that suffered greatly compared to A/S3+. I lost quite a bit of confidence and dare not toss the car into corners like before.

There is also a very strange delay in the way the tires handle quick steering input. The delay is very apparent under weaving maneuver, where the tires feel uncertain about the directional change, then suddenly catch up and induce a counter force when I am about to turn the steering wheel into the opposite direction. The steering weight is also too light - I used to judge the grip limit by the change of steering weight on A/S3+. Now that technique no longer works well.

Currently at around 400 miles, I think I started understanding how to use the tires. The key is the initial steering input. These tires are not very linear, so I need to tip-toe initially to gradually build up grip level. Once the car leans on the tires, the traction seems fine. I think I can adapt to the tires, but I do not understand why Michelin needed to re-invent the wheel and took a different route on A/S4. A/S4 feels more in line with P Zero AS+, which I don't like either.

I am seriously considering exercising the satisfaction warranty to switch to Pilot Sport 4.
 
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Interesting... I thought the lower grip was due to the thinner tires and larger sidewall. It didn't occur to me that the problem could be the compound itself. Did you go back to the OEM tire specs with the AS4's? Or did you keep the 225 width with the new tires?
 

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Discussion Starter · #567 ·
I stick with 225/45R17 since from the reviews I saw, AS4 has better ride quality than AS3+.

Pilot Sport 4S for the size is still back-ordered, so I took TSX out for another "soul searching" tour with AS4. I don't know if it is me adapting to the tires, or the tires are now well scrubbed, but my view on AS4 changed quite a bit. I still think they are harder to work with, but at least the grip level is good in steady state. I will probably keep them because I have another botched plan with TSX that is keeping me busy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #568 ·
Michelin Pilot Sport AS4 225/45R17 700-mile Impression

I went with AS4 225/45R17, mainly because A/S3+ was so good performance-wise and I read AS4 has improved ride quality. The price is also lower compared to A/S3+ and in particular Pilot Sport 4S, so it was not a difficult decision to make.

Right off the bat, I noticed the improved ride quality. Impacts are more dampened, and the sidewall has to be much softer than A/S3+ at least in the initial phase of an impact. More than once, I checked the markings on the tires to make sure they were 225/45 and not 215/50. Yes, the difference compared to A/S3+ is that dramatic.

However, the improved ride quality comes at the expense of performance,. The new tire is not as sharp and direct as A/S3+, and as I mentioned earlier, there is a delay in its response to sudden directional change. I will recap here for completeness, the symptom is most apparent when doing weaving maneuver, where the tires do not respond immediately, then catch up suddenly just about when I start turning the steering wheel back.

Another thing I complained about is the steering weight is too light, and I can no longer rely on steering weight to judge grip limit. With A/S3+, I can basically point and shoot, late braking and toss the car into corners confidently and know where the limit is easily. With AS4, I have not figured out how to judge the grip limit yet, and in the few times I did cross the limit, the transition happened faster than A/S3+. So far I adapt my driving to really rely on trial braking and slower steering input to build up turn-in grip, then once in steady state the tires do have a lot of grip. I am getting my confidence back little by little, so sooner or later I should know the limit and how to stay there better.

Noise-wise, the tires seem to produce slightly higher-pitched rolling noise than A/S3+, but my car has loud wheel noise so in the end they are not very different. I believe AS4 has lower rolling resistance than A/S3+, but it could be due to new vs worn tires. MPG so far seems to be 1 or 2 mpg better.

In many ways, AS4 reminds me of Pirelli P Zero AS+. I have no doubt that Michelin targeted the P Zero, but my initial thought is they might have lost the plot a bit. I do not need to think about the tires at all with A/S3+, but with AS4 I need to make them work. To me, Michelin only needs to refine the ride quality of A/S3+ and even if everything else stays the same, it would be a 5-star product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #569 · (Edited)
Front seat leather replacement

I bought from Lseat purely because of the price. At this stage, I just want to keep TSX running fine with just enough resources, so if I have to shell out 1~2k I rather buy something like Spoon calipers than some leathers. I saw some reviews talked about long turnaround time and not-perfect fitment, but figured at the low price, those are reasonable. The worse case would be slightly mismatched color and perhaps loose fitment. How bad can it be?

Sure enough, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong (again). Below are my lessons learned from the experience, I hope no one follow my steps:
  1. From the free color sample, I thought the closest to the factory was "ecru white" color, but the color surely is not. This color is like white with a touch of yellow, instead of the factory creamy yellow. I should have gone with the ivory color.
  2. The sides of the replacement bottom cover are too short - apparently 06-08 and 04-05 have different template.
  3. I sent Lseat my oem driver-side cover as template, as they said they could make a new one for me.
  4. I asked them if they could make the new cover in a different color, and was told yes.
  5. I was not in a hurry and put this in the back of my mind, but three months later I heard nothing and needed to follow up to get "another" replacement leather sent to me.
  6. Turned out the promise was lost in translation, as the leather covers I received were simply tweaked from the original replacement leather. So, ecru white it is.
  7. The Lseat cover does not follow the carved out area reserved for the seat belt buckle. The upholstery shop needed to tweak (whatever that means) the cover to make them fit better.
  8. There is an exposed stitch on the back side of the driver-side leather, plus some holes (!). Those issues can be fixed by vinyl repair, so while I contacted Lseat and let them know, I still went ahead with the installation.
  9. I do not expect to hear anything from them. I mean if someone could ship item like this out, basically they do not care.
  10. The upholstery shop said the oem headrest cover cannot be removed, as the cover is bonded. I am not sure what that means, but just FYI. The shop could be wrong, but at that point, I cared no more about details and just wanted this nightmare to end soon.
  11. Finally everything was put back together, and to my surprise, the leathers looked decent if I ignored the color difference and small details here and there.
  12. Unfortunately, after the installation, the car has a strong chemical smell. The smell is strong enough that it makes me dizzy at times. I am not sure if it comes totally from the leather, or anything used by the upholstery shop (maybe glue) to make the leather fit. In my mind, I am already prepared to redo the leather if the smell does not go away and is indeed from the Lseat leather.
  13. The material itself is ok. At the low price point, no one should expect top-notch quality, but it is decent. Definitely better than leatherette, and is somewhat soft.
So that is my experience. I hope this helps for people thinking about replacing the covers, especially those with 04-06.

This highlights the color difference, the camera dramatized it a bit, but I just want to convince everyone that "ecur white" certainly is not the color to match oem.
 
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