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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone -

I picked up a 2004 CGP base 6-speed last December. I was looking for daily driver I would feel safe carrying the kids around, was fairly reliable, was easy to work on, and I'd be able to take to the occasional track day / autocross. I have lots of experience working with Hondas (have a several Civic builds under my belt), so a manual TSX was near the top of the list.



I still had a '93 Civic dx coupe at the time, which had a fair number of mods and was a blast to drive on track. I knew the TSX won't be as fast, but seeing as I'll eventually build another fun car, I want to be able to hold my own on track in the mean time in my DD.


This was just a warm up, I wasn't faster than any of these guys. This was at a Driveway Austin Time Attack earlier this past summer.

Most of what I've been doing thus far consists of refreshing the worn out parts, replacing missing items. Overall the car was in great shape, had 109k miles when I picked it up.
Mods so far:

Suspension:
  • New OEM tie rods
  • New OEM compliance bushings
  • MOOG rear adjustible control arms
  • TEIN Flex Zs
  • Michelin Pilot Super Sports on OEM wheels
Engine:
  • cone filter
  • velocity stack
Drivetrain:
  • ASP3 Transmission Swap (Euro R)
  • ACT Streetline Flywheel
  • Exedy Stage 1 Organic Clutch
  • OEM Honda Reman'd axles
  • K-tuned shifter bushings
Brakes:
  • Hawk HPS 5.0 Pads
  • Centric Blanks
Wishlist / Next Up:
  • Flashpro
  • Regular cast of bolt-ons
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here's a short video of the shifter issue. There's a clicking noise that happens with clutch engagement. It sounds like it's coming from above the cable mechanism when standing above the transmission. I had a buddy at Acura put it up on the lift & check out all the mounts to be sure, and it's definitely not a mount. Seemingly related, the transmission will occasionally pop out of 2nd gear. It seems to happen most often when going up & to the right (like in a parking garage or entering a lot).

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rear Upper Control Arms

I recently replaced the rear upper control arms with adjustable MOOG units.

I love this tool.


The carrier is aluminum, so there's what appears to be a steel insert for the ball joint stud. The OEM nut is wide flange nut that covers both the steel and aluminum portions. The aftermarket castle flange nut is sized for the steel portion only. I don't feel this sees as much load as the lower joints, but the engineer in me doesn't like replacing the wide flange nut with a smaller one. The nut won't fit with a washer, so I may do a thread calc to see if I can get away with a shorter nut with the washer.

Replacement MOOG arm


You can see the steel insert in the aluminum body here. The OEM nut was wide enough to cover both (see the shiny portion)


MOOG's flange nut only covers the steel insert.



Maybe it's not that big a deal. I'll likely try to find a way to get a washer or wider flange nut in there anyway, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Front Creaking Noise

About a month ago, the car started to making a creaking / popping noise, coming from the front/center area of the car. If you lean your head toward the center dash stack, it sounds like it's directly in front of you.

As mentioned above, many of the suspension bits are new OEMs, and there is virtually no play in the ball joints. It only seems to make the noise when moving forward from a stop. Occasionally it'll make the noise when backing out of the ramped portion of the driveway. No noise on bumps, turns, or if I push down on the suspension. Car drives perfectly fine otherwise.

Here's a video:

Any ideas?
 

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Go back and check all of your suspension components, even the ones you didn’t touch touch. I had the exact same noises coming from random corners of the car, normally when backing up or going over uneven surfaces. Drove me nuts, till one way I said **** it, put the whole car on jacks, and rechecked every suspension bolt for spec. Turns out a bunch of my upper and lower control arm bolts had backed out some, and noise was from the bushings flexing and popping. Re torqued everything to spec(with proper preload)and not a peep since. Do it yourself because shops won’t take the time properly check everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Go back and check all of your suspension components, even the ones you didn’t touch touch. I had the exact same noises coming from random corners of the car, normally when backing up or going over uneven surfaces. Drove me nuts, till one way I said **** it, put the whole car on jacks, and rechecked every suspension bolt for spec. Turns out a bunch of my upper and lower control arm bolts had backed out some, and noise was from the bushings flexing and popping. Re torqued everything to spec(with proper preload)and not a peep since. Do it yourself because shops won’t take the time properly check everything.
I've gone through the suspension bolts a few times and I still haven't found it yet. I recently replaced the upper arms and all 4 ball joints. There was a little play in one lower, so I did all four. I've had a failure from a cheap set of eBay ball joints, so that's put me on edge about never letting anything in the suspension go.

Since the last update, I've eliminated the ball joints, upper bushings, front & side engine mount, and sway bar. It only seams to happen when the suspension motion causes the front to rise slightly: when taking off from a stop/moving at a very low speed, or stopping suddenly in reverse.

Next up I'm likely going to do the shock fork bushings and rear LCA bushings, might swap the rear engine mount out. It doesn't appear damaged, though.

A former Acura mechanic friend suggested that it may be a weld seam that's been damaged or is slightly rubbing. He said the occasional TL would come in for a similar problem. They also encountered a similar problem on a brand new MDX.

Running out of ideas. I may *gasp* take it into the dealer.
 

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I second what the guy above said, same thing with me I had those creaking noises and found it to be those rear arms as well as a mis seated front coilover (it had a tiny bit of extra space in the wishbone knuckle and was floating on top of it instead of firmly seated down), also I thought my stabilizer links were good and didnt allow movement but when I took them off the ball joint was crazy loose. Only other thing I could think is worth checking at this point in your case is subframe bushings or power steering rack and the mounts for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update - Noise Fixed

Noise ended up being front subframe brackets rubbing on the radiator core support. It took more experienced ears than mine to find.

Brakes up next: Hawk HPS 5.0s on order.
 

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Update - Noise Fixed

Noise ended up being front subframe brackets rubbing on the radiator core support. It took more experienced ears than mine to find.

Brakes up next: Hawk HPS 5.0s on order.
I'm facing a clunk noise right now too and I was thinking it was motor mounts but this is intriguing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm facing a clunk noise right now too and I was thinking it was motor mounts but this is intriguing.
The noise would occur almost exclusively when taking off from a stop, accelerating at a very low speed (<15 mph), or braking suddenly in reverse. Drove me nuts for a few months while trying to hunt it down. I finally gave in and took it to a friend-of-a-friend that worked at an Acura dealer.
 

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The noise would occur almost exclusively when taking off from a stop, accelerating at a very low speed (<15 mph), or braking suddenly in reverse. Drove me nuts for a few months while trying to hunt it down. I finally gave in and took it to a friend-of-a-friend that worked at an Acura dealer.
I mostly get it at low speed while going uneven surfaces or hitting bumps (I say that because I pry just can't hear it when I'm going faster)

Bushings/ball joints all seem tight (but I do have new lower LCA bushings, new LBJ and new tie rods waiting to go on). I did have a couple UCA bolts back out that were giving me a clunk before, but it's different. I need to get the car on the hoist and see what the deal is, but I'm almost certain my engine/trans mounts are the culprit. Could be my imagination but it feels like the engine is rocking more than it used to. Who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wanted a simple front lip, so I tried the STI V-spec clone without the OEM TSX lip. I didn't want something that low, and I don't plan on putting side skirts on. It lined up for the most part, just had to chop off about 2in from each end. Could use some slight reshaping with a heat gun, but otherwise I'm happy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Swapped in an ASP3 (Euro R) transmission this weekend, along with an ACT Streetlite Flywheel and Exedy Stage 1 Organic clutch. Haven't gotten to drive it around too much because of crap weather, but so far feels fantastic. Initial impression is that the ASP3 gearing seems much more suited to the car. It's also so nice to drive with a lightened flywheel again. The Streetlite is much lighter than stock, but not too light as to sacrifice drivability.

 
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