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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's with this non-ventilated thin rear disks on the TSX?

The car deserves beefier brakes both front and back - at least 1 inch more in diameter disk ventilated all around. Honda cheaped out on this important part.
 

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Welcome, OWK -- and I don't know from ventilated or non-ventilated, thin or thick.
But I've wished the brakes were better.

BTW how long have you had your TSX and how many miles do you have?
I've posted that the braking on my car seemed better after a while than at first. It made me wonder if brakes get "broken in" over time. I still don't know the answer to that, but I'd be curious if your car is just starting out. And if so, if you'll be finding the braking to be better after some more mileage.
 

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O. W. Kone said:
What's with this non-ventilated thin rear disks on the TSX?

The car deserves beefier brakes both front and back - at least 1 inch more in diameter disk ventilated all around. Honda cheaped out on this important part.

Welcome to the site, as Larch said give the brakes a little break-in time. But you are right that they are not the best that can be had. I read a review somewhere that after 4 hard panic stops they turned to mush.

Keep in mind on FWD, braking is always biased toward the front and typically you will go through about 3-4 front pads for every rear set. That is why Honda can get away with smaller, non-ventilated rotors.

If I remember correctly, the proportioning valve is set for about an 80-20 split on brake pressure? Bottom line, the fronts are doing most of the work with the rears along for the ride.

I'm sure the aftermarket has numerous upgrades by now?
 

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hip said:
....you are right that they are not the best that can be had. I read a review somewhere that after 4 hard panic stops they turned to mush.
Ouch! I hope not.

Larchmont, who tries not to panic. :D


....Keep in mind on FWD, braking is always biased toward the front.....
As I understand it, BTW, that's why the TL 6MT has Brembos only on the front.


Useless trivia factoid: This was the first time the word "dainty" has ever been used on this site. And it's never been used on "the other" site.
(Yes, I checked.)
:D
 

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hip said:
Keep in mind on FWD, braking is always biased toward the front and typically you will go through about 3-4 front pads for every rear set.
All wheeled vehicles (cars, motorcycles, bikes) are front-biased during braking because of weight transfer. Of course, FWD cars more so because they tend to have more static weight at the front anyways.
 

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Stoptech has a kit now for the TSX but they don't touch the rears because even those small disks and calipers are more than enough to lock up the rear.
 

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larchmont said:
Useless trivia factoid: This was the first time the word "dainty" has ever been used on this site. And it's never been used on "the other" site.
(Yes, I checked.)
:D
Larch,
I'm really worried about you... :jeffy:
 

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hip said:
I'm sure the aftermarket has numerous upgrades by now?
It has for years ... they're called "BMWs". :)

More seriously, my Volvo has solid rear rotors and the car will stop. But the Volvo OEM pads (I run the OEM pads on Brembo rotors) are just messy and make the wheels look filthy. The tradeoff is that you can use cleaner pads but they won't last as long and the car won't stop as well. In Hondas for 98% of drivers it won't make any difference 98% of the time. In BMWs or Porsches (which have used ventilated rear brakes as long as I can remember) it probably doesn't make any difference, either, because most are brought to "Track Day" about as often as most SUVs go off-road. It's essentially a maketing decision and not necessarily a bad one. It's also one of many reasons that a TSX is so much cheaper than a 325i. There are a lot of other places that Honda "cheaps out" in their designs. Usually it doesn't matter.

As for "dainty", I'm becoming convinced that Acura sells the ultimate in "Chick Cars"......
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
larchmont said:
Welcome, OWK -- and I don't know from ventilated or non-ventilated, thin or thick.
But I've wished the brakes were better.

BTW how long have you had your TSX and how many miles do you have?
I've posted that the braking on my car seemed better after a while than at first. It made me wonder if brakes get "broken in" over time. I still don't know the answer to that, but I'd be curious if your car is just starting out. And if so, if you'll be finding the braking to be better after some more mileage.
Thanks for the Welcome.

220 miles this morning a mix of city and burb driving. I am sure the brakes are breaking-in. The observation was just an physical observation not a comment on the braking ability.

I think my Integra had ventilated disks from the factory both front and back.

Hip, Comptech has drilled rotors front and back for TSX. But that's beside the point - Honda should have put in beefier brakes. They simply cheaded out there.

Also, Honda cheaped out on the high beams - they should have put in the super-whites (sylvania sliver star) for a better match with the HID headlights. The halogen highs look more distinctly yellow against the HIDs. IMO awkward to say it politely :( .
 

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O. W. Kone said:
Thanks for the Welcome.

220 miles this morning a mix of city and burb driving. I am sure the brakes are breaking-in. The observation was just an physical observation not a comment on the braking ability.
Yes indeed, that's what I thought -- the low mileage, as well as that you were making MOSTLY a physical observation. But I was also assuming that you wouldn't have been moved to say it unless you were also disappointed in the braking performance -- which (consensus seems to be) will get better as you go along.

BTW, I'm wondering.... how much in general can you really tell about the braking just from those physical characteristics? Not that I know about these details, but I would have thought it depends also on "quality," plus other aspects of the car besides the brakes. And I imagine it must, at least to some extent, but maybe those things are either pretty standard or sort of negligible....

....Also, Honda cheaped out on the high beams - they should have put in the super-whites (sylvania sliver star) for a better match with the HID headlights. The halogen highs look more distinctly yellow against the HIDs. IMO awkward to say it politely :( .
Well, IMO you're pretty polite even when you're being impolite. :D

I never thought of that, didn't even realize about it. Don't know if it's ever been pointed out on these sites -- anybody else recall?

In terms of "performance," though, the high beams are pretty great, aren't they? The low beam OTOH doesn't make everybody happy. To me, it's one of the disappointments about the car. I was coming from a TL-S, whose low beams IMO were much better, in fact the best of any car I ever had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thin disk will wear out faster. Larger disk and pads improves braking because there is more surface area for the braking action. Ventilated disks like the ones in the front allow for better cooling of the disks thus reduced chance of disk warp in the long run. Less heat means less gas generated from the heating of the brake pads - the gas forms a very thin layer on the disk surface that prevents better contact of the pads with the disks during hard braking. Less heat may also extend brake pad life. Cross drilled and ventilated disks are used for improved braking for these reasons.

I am coming from a 95 Integra so the HIDs are an improvement for me.

I could also use a little less of front end push. Perhaps a heavier rear anti-sway bar from Comptech will solve that problem.
 

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O. W. Kone said:
Thanks for the Welcome.
I think my Integra had ventilated disks from the factory both front and back.

Hip, Comptech has drilled rotors front and back for TSX. But that's beside the point - Honda should have put in beefier brakes. They simply cheaded out there.

Also, Honda cheaped out on the high beams - they should have put in the super-whites (sylvania sliver star) for a better match with the HID headlights. The halogen highs look more distinctly yellow against the HIDs. IMO awkward to say it politely :( .
Well, there are many sides to every story and as we all know, car manufacturers will do whatever it takes to sell a car... so long as they can make a profit.

As it has already been said, for the way most Honda/Acura drivers drive, the current setup is probably sufficient. I suppose it’s all relevant and what you compare it against. Keep in mind that despite the fact that Honda sells this vehicle as an Acura or premium model, we all realize it is based on an Accord platform, a much improved and great platform, but still an Accord. Honestly, whenever anyone asks me what kind of car it is, I tell them it's a European model Accord. I find it more honest and less pretentious to downplay the Acura part.

I know many here will take exception with that statement, but it is grounded in fact. For as good as the TSX is, it is essentially an Accord. Yes, Honda made some real improvements on the TSX over the Euro Accord, but most was cosmetic. On the plus side, they did an excellent job, otherwise none of us would have bought one.

Obviously, against a Porsche, BMW, etc. the Acura may not stack up as well in every area. But just like some Porsche or BMW owners may feel their cars are lacking, so they modify and enhance theirs with performance parts. It all comes back to what you are looking for and how much do you want to pay?

Most here feel Honda has done well and leave it at that. Some may decide to make subtle improvements or mods and others may turn their TSXs into racers. I suppose that is the beauty of the car, it can be whatever you want it to be?

As for the headlights, I agree from an aesthetic point of view it may not "look" great having different lighting in the high beams. Somehow, I don't think that was Honda's priority when they developed it?

Look at it this way, Honda could add rear vented brakes, super-white high beams and much more, but would you have purchased the TSX if they charged another $3K? Maybe yes, maybe not, just like everything in life, it’s a compromise.

I know when I was shopping, my closest 2nd choice car was the G35. it had the higher output V6, RWD, LED tail lamps, rear reclining seats and better performance. But, it also had what I felt was a cheaper looking interior, and was priced higher by about $3K-$5K depending on model and accessories.

Being biased toward Honda and comparing the two, I couldn't justify the extra dollars, but some people do and are happy. Some do and are unhappy too just as you or I might be over small things we think they "cheaped out" on. The point is, there isn't a car out there that any of us believe is perfect, because... it doesn't exist.

You make your choice and drive your decision, unless you are so unhappy that you decide to sell and move on?
 

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O. W. Kone said:
Thin disk will wear out faster. Larger disk and pads improves braking because there is more surface area for the braking action. Ventilated disks like the ones in the front allow for better cooling of the disks thus reduced chance of disk warp in the long run. Less heat means less gas generated from the heating of the brake pads - the gas forms a very thin layer on the disk surface that prevents better contact of the pads with the disks during hard braking. Less heat may also extend brake pad life. Cross drilled and ventilated disks are used for improved braking for these reasons.....
Great reply -- thanks, OWK! Even I can understand that. :D


hip said:
.....As it has already been said, for the way most Honda/Acura drivers drive, the current setup is probably sufficient. I suppose it’s all relevant and what you compare it against. Keep in mind that despite the fact that Honda sells this vehicle as an Acura or premium model, we all realize it is based on an Accord platform, a much improved and great platform, but still an Accord.....
Yes, Honda made some real improvements on the TSX over the Euro Accord, but most was cosmetic. On the plus side, they did an excellent job, otherwise none of us would have bought one.
.....Honda could add rear vented brakes, super-white high beams and much more, but would you have purchased the TSX if they charged another $3K? Maybe yes, maybe not, just like everything in life, it’s a compromise.

I know when I was shopping, my closest 2nd choice car was the G35. it had the higher output V6, RWD, LED tail lamps, rear reclining seats and better performance. But, it also had what I felt was a cheaper looking interior, and was priced higher by about $3K-$5K depending on model and accessories.

Being biased toward Honda and comparing the two, I couldn't justify the extra dollars, but some people do and are happy.....
Great post by Hip too. Actually a lot of people would have bought the Acura even if they didn't do a great job. I even might have. :tardsmash

I think you might be minimizing the differences between the TSX and the Euro Accord. As you say, most of the differences are cosmetic, but.....and pardon me for putting it a little academically, but IMO that's not the question. It's not whether "most" of the changes are substantive or not, it's WHAT the substantive changes are and how significant they are. It seems that very, very few people know exactly what those are. I think there are basically two types of people on this. There are those who just "assume" that the changes are great, because it's "an Acura." Then there are the more knowledgeable people, who tend to say "it's basically an Accord" and wave off the whole thing without really inquiring further. My understanding is that there are only a couple of major differences, but that they are indeed major: the power, and the suspension. I would love to try a Euro Accord to see the difference. I bet I'd love that too, but that the differences from the TSX -- especially the suspension -- would feel very significant to me.

About paying an extra $3K for those things, yes, it would vary a lot. I'd be happy to pay extra for the better brakes and for some other things, but I could care less about the high beams. I'd gladly pay a lot extra, though, for LOW beams that were more to my liking. Which is right in line with your point: Honda/Acura seems to have done a good job catering to the bulk of their market. They seem to have put in enough of everything to make us basically happy.

About the G35: I recently rented one for a few days. I wouldn't have taken it over the TSX even if it cost $3-5K less than the TSX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
hip said:
Most here feel Honda has done well and leave it at that. Some may decide to make subtle improvements or mods and others may turn their TSXs into racers. I suppose that is the beauty of the car, it can be whatever you want it to be?

As for the headlights, I agree from an aesthetic point of view it may not "look" great having different lighting in the high beams. Somehow, I don't think that was Honda's priority when they developed it?

Look at it this way, Honda could add rear vented brakes, super-white high beams and much more, but would you have purchased the TSX if they charged another $3K? Maybe yes, maybe not, just like everything in life, it’s a compromise.

You make your choice and drive your decision, unless you are so unhappy that you decide to sell and move on?
Hip, I work for a Japanese company I have learnt how fastidious they can be about the subtlties. A large American company IS contract manufacturing a product for us - what they feel is good quality is unacceptable by my Japanese counterparts just because of minor appearnace flaws that has no bearing at all on product performance or quality. Even I would consider that product to be perfectly good for the US and European markets. That is exactly why the TSX is so well made Honda thought about the minor details. I detailed the inside of the car with leather treatment the week I got it - the only fault I detected was a half inch piece of thead caught in the seams of the rear middle handrest. That is why I find is so out of character for Honda not to use a superwhite high beams.

As for the brakes if Honda could put in ventilated disks disks all around in their Integra LS with only 140HP in 1995 - it is not unreasonable to expect higher grade brakes in their new car.

Neither changes would have cost Honda $3K.

As for your last comment about choice - all I can say Honda and other makers do listen to the customers if we comment on the perceived shortcomings they will respond in their future years or models. If they hear no complaints they have no way of knowing what the customers would want. I have already pointed out these shortcomings to Honda.
 

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O. W. Kone said:
.....As for the brakes if Honda could put in ventilated disks disks all around in their Integra LS with only 140HP in 1995 - it is not unreasonable to expect higher grade brakes in their new car.

Neither changes would have cost Honda $3K....
Yes -- I wondered exactly that about the Integra thing.

And I wonder how much it would have cost for them to have higher-grade brakes.


An afterthought about this: I imagine that the higher-grade brakes would add weight in the wheel areas. (Right?) Wouldn't that affect power and handling? People often forget to consider the possible effects on performance when they start mentioning extra things they'd like to have on the car.

And if the answer to this is yes, I wonder if maybe THAT'S why Honda used what they did, not to save a few bucks. I don't know if this would be a plausible explanation, but it's certainly more palatable.


P.S. Things I would have been happy to pay extra for, as long as they didn't cause any compromises in performance, ride, or comfort:

-- better brakes
-- better tires
-- broader illumination on low beam, no sharp "cut-off"
-- power passenger seat
-- memory driver seat

And, as a lower priority than any of those (I know I'm in the minority):

-- an extra 10-15% power/torque.
 

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O. W. Kone said:
I detailed the inside of the car with leather treatment the week I got it - the only fault I detected was a half inch piece of thead caught in the seams of the rear middle handrest. That is why I find is so out of character for Honda not to use a superwhite high beams.

As for the brakes if Honda could put in ventilated disks disks all around in their Integra LS with only 140HP in 1995 - it is not unreasonable to expect higher grade brakes in their new car.

Neither changes would have cost Honda $3K.

As for your last comment about choice - all I can say Honda and other makers do listen to the customers if we comment on the perceived shortcomings they will respond in their future years or models. If they hear no complaints they have no way of knowing what the customers would want. I have already pointed out these shortcomings to Honda.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with most of what you said, but I do disagree with your superwhite high beam example. Here's why, I'm usually one of the first to "comment" on the differences between the newer Hondas and previous generations. I am constantly comparing my wife's '93 Accord with the TSX and can clearly see many areas of cost cutting. Compared to older Hondas, it's very obvious where they saved dollars.

But you need to keep in mind how the playing field has changed since 1993. Honda is no longer struggling for market share in the US, they have become a "leader." As a leader, they aren't focusing on just retaining customers but capturing new ones. If they loose a few along the way through attrition, oh well, that's business.

So instead of worrying about deleting items they once used in previous models like the rear vented rotors of your Integra or the little covers used to hide the seat bracket mounting bolts in our '93 Accord, they look at the competition instead. What are they offering or leaving out? Then they determine which features will bring the biggest bang for their yen. The quality remains high, but they eliminate things in a way to make it more cost effective for themselves.

A perfect example, the speakers covers in the doors used to be seperate. Now they are integrated and part of the entire door panel. The levers down next to seat used to contain 2 seperate levers, one for gas, one for the trunk opener, now one lever does both. Is this being cheaper, no its just more cost effective engineering and manufacturing. As a customer or end user, you are satisfied because the quality and reliability are still high, but their cost to manufacture is lower, thereby increasing their profits.

If you or I or even Larch owned Honda, we'd do the same thing. It's economics and a business. Why haven't you complained about the deletion of the amber rear turn lenses in the tail lamps, or the lack of body side moldings or making mud flaps standard. These used to be included in previous generations?

My guess is that the car is so inheritantly "good" you and I and everyone are willing to overlook these items and live without them or choose to add them later if possible (superbrights). But also, more importantly, the competition doesn't offer them either (mostly). The stuff Honda does include is generally better than everyone else's but is still less than what they once offered. It's not necessariy wrong, it's just business and we all decide to accept it or not?

Also, something else to keep in mind, let's say Honda gave you everything you asked for. Now the price bumps up by about $1500-$2000, would you pay? Maybe, but this would also shrink the gap between its own models. Either the TL raises its price to maintain the price gap or Acura loses sales of that model because their TSX entry level model is almost as well equipped as the TL. Now all their models become more expensive and eveyone complains how overpriced Acuras have become (if they aren't already)?

There are so many aspects to this business, it's like hitting a moving target. I believe you when you say how the Japanese quality levels are way superior to the domestics. That is why we all love our Hondas and Acuras and aren't driving equivilant Chryslers and Fords models (if there are any). But it also comes back to economics and being competitive.

Perhaps we may get rear vented rotors by way of the new A-Spec, maybe that's how they plan to offer them, as part of a high performance package? Or maybe not?
 

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hip said:
.....The levers down next to seat used to contain 2 seperate levers, one for gas, one for the trunk opener, now one lever does both. Is this being cheaper, no its just more cost effective engineering and manufacturing.....
Great analysis in that post up there, Hip.

I'm picking out this little point not because it's one of the more important things (it's not), but because I don't recall that anybody has ever mentioned this either on any TSX site (although OCICBW), and I never much thought about it either.

But now that I do.....I would never think it was "cheap," it wouldn't even occur to me that it cost less to make it this way.

In fact, I would have thought it cost more, because it is (or at least seems) more sophisticated. And it's more elegant, it's more compact, and it takes up less space (unlike this sentence :D ). If it were an option that cost an extra 50 bucks, I'd pay it.

I thought that these days, in general, when you can make something more compact or less compact, or when you can make two different things integrated or you can make them separate, I thought that smaller tends to be more expensive than bigger (think watches and clocks, or compact camcorders and humongous ones), and integrated tends to be more expensive than separate.

Without much thinking about it, I always regarded this combination gasoline cover opener/trunk opener as an advance, not an economy.
 

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larchmont said:
Great analysis in that post up there, Hip.

I thought that these days, in general, when you can make something more compact or less compact, or when you can make two different things integrated or you can make them separate, I thought that smaller tends to be more expensive than bigger (think watches and clocks, or compact camcorders and humongous ones), and integrated tends to be more expensive than separate.

Without much thinking about it, I always regarded this combination gasoline cover opener/trunk opener as an advance, not an economy.
That's exactly correct Larch, when I or anyone design a product there are always goals to achieve. In the case of cars or Hondas, they have many specific requirements. Generally they are broken down into two areas; refinement and innovation.

In the case of refinement, they look at the features currently offered and determine how to improve them while simultaneously making them more cost effective to manufacture. To some extent refining can be easier than innovating. The reason is technology, advances in technology provide cost effective solutions that drive prices down.

Here's a great example, do you recall on your old Acura the climate control buttons used for recirculation? One button would allow outside air in and the other would recirculate the air. Well, why not combine those into one button? You reduce cost, dashboard real estate and improve reliability if only by eliminating an extra switch that could potentially malfunction. That's what Honda and almost everyone else did. Did it cheapen the car or make it less expensive to buy? No, they maintained the use of high quality switches, eliminated one and as far as the customer is concerned, you or I could care less if we push two seperate switches or one switch twice?

What about hood mounted windhshield washer jets, is anyone crying over the lack of these? Probably not unless you felt the need to change them out with illuminated versions. If you did, most likely you didn't care for them in the first place. Instead, Honda has installed them under the edge of the hood where they are hidden, all be the same color and make the car look "cleaner." Most importantly, Honda saves some yen.

Some countries require certain features or are culturally expected in certain parts of the world. Headlight washers make sense everywhere and many premium car makers include them in the U.S. domestic market. Again, Honda choose not to, why... to save money. Sure, we'd all like them, but not many will complain because Honda didn't offer them before, so most don't feel "cheated." Yet in Europe they are either required or expected. What about the center rear headrest on the Euro Accord, a must have safety feature that Honda includes in most of their family vehicles. Any complaints, I'm not hearing any? Again, Europe and other countries may require them so they're in there.

However, on the flip side they do make mistakes and remove or change items that irriatate some customers. The rear brake rotors might impact some people, but not enough for Honda to worry about because braking performance is deemed adequate.

But what about antennas? Some people hate electric and mast antennas because of the way the car looks and because electrics were always failing. Car makers loathed them because of warranty costs. In fact, that was the real reason electric antennas were eliminated, cost of repair. Well, now we have integrated window antennas that IMO do not function nearly as well as I am constantly reminded whenever I drive my wife's Accord and listen to a superior reception in her car compared to my TSX.

A better compromise would have been to install a fixed mast antenna on the rear roof. Again, a gamble by Honda that integrated window antennas would not create enough negative resistance to keep people from buying. I do agree with O. W. Kone, if enough people are unhappy with their receptions or lack of rear vented rotors, they should write Honda and tell them. But, it would take a lot for them to justify a change and that might possibly occur in a later model year.

When you are innovating, this becomes more difficult. You work with the technology that is currently available, but when innovating there is usually no benchmark in terms of cost, reliability, acceptance by the customer, etc. The Navi is perfect example, a lot of people like it especially with the Voice Recognition. But how many are willing to step up to the plate and pay an extra $2K for it? This technology is still evolving and over time it's cost will continue to drop as well. As more people have it, more will expect it. But if Honda deletes features that customers feel important... guess what? People will complain.

Interior space is a precious commoditiy for auto makers, they will do almost anything to gain and preserve it in order to make their interiors larger without making their cars bigger. So if Honda, Toyota or any car makers can find a way to eliminate hardware, you bet they will, it saves money and that's what this is all about... saving and making money. :soapbox:
 
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