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Review: Engine Mods on my TSX

2833 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  twotonetommy
Before I continue, my TSX is an auto. Yes I know and agree that the standard transmission is a more appropriate and better suited vehicle for mods. I had my reasons for buying an automatic but that’s not the purpose of my post. I just thought I would share my personal experience on each mod I have installed. They are identified in the order they were installed. Each were installed and used for several months before installing the next mod:

Note: my ratings are based on:
Cool Factor - My overall enjoyment of the mod​
Performance - Performance felt – Butt Dyno​
Mileage - Gas mileage improved after installing the mod when driving conservatively​

Each category is rated from 1 to 5.
1 – nothing/no improvement to 5-Amazing difference.

1. Comptech Icebox with K&N filter: My first impression was a big smile because of the growl it made when it clicked into VTEC. Did it feel faster? Not really. Did I feel more of a pull? No. My mileage did not significantly improve even when driving calmly.

Cool factor: 3 / 5. Performance: 1 / 5 Gas Mileage: 1 / 5

2. Weapon R racing header with a high flow cat welded on to the test pipe: Right away I just felt the car wasn’t working so hard to breath. When I pressed the gas pedal down, the engine just seemed to come to speed just a little quicker. Having had the Comptech icebox on and now the header, the sound was virtually the same, just a little raspier. I liked the power improvement but it wasn’t a “WOW” experience. For the price of installation and the price of the parts, I was a little disappointed, just expected more. Mileage also improved a slightly.
Update: The fumes from the exhaust gets pretty smelly. I back up into my garage and it takes a few minutes for the smell to to away.

Cool factor: 2.5 / 5 Performance: 2.5 / 5 Gas Mileage: 2 / 5

3. Hondata Reflash: This was probably the most significant, noticeable improvement of all my mods. Yes it may be due to the combination of the other two mods but I really felt something with this reflash. Was it a night and day experience? No. Did it pull harder? Yes.
The power just seemed to pull much more linearly throughout the power band and with much more force. This really was a good purchase. I can now punch the throttle and it pulls with much more authority. I feel I have gained power – noticeably.

Cool factor: 3.5 / 5 Performance: 4 / 5 Gas Mileage: 1 / 5

Overall, knowing what I know now, I probably wouldn’t do the mods again. I say this based on the price vs performance factor. The gains were really only felt once I did the reflash. Even with the reflash, the power is better but not worth (in my opinion) the money I spent on it. It’s definitely a more enjoyable ride having the additional power.

That’s my two cents. I know many will disagree with me but that’s not the point of the post. It’s simple to give people a reasonable expectation of what they will get after spending the money. Maybe with flashpro, I would notice more significant gains. I just don’t have the time to fiddle with the tuning. I also don’t want to dyno my car because I don’t care. For me, it’s all about how it feels on the road and useable horsepower for daily driving.

Some might wonder why I put a gas mileage rating when I am looking for more power. Simply put, the better the breathing, the better the mileage if driven conservatively. I have also seen others ask if certain mods affect the mileage. I would say for all of my mods, if you don’t push down hard on the gas pedal, its improved slightly.

I have done some other mods to my car but my focus for this post was engine

I hope someone finds this post helpful.
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I really appreciate your detail and thoughts. I would agree with your Hondata review, though I do think for $300 it is worth it, not only is there more power but the driveability is so much better.

I bet the reason you're not getting the same "wow" factor as others with the WR Header is because you still have the high flow cat. I've read that the header is half the gain, and the catless TP is the other half. I'm about to put a WR header and TP on mine, I believe it will be worth the money.

Thanks for a great writeup.
Yessir, you are absolutely correct. From the dynos there is good HP gains with the WR header and TP, but the torque gain is pocket change. I've thought on this a good bit as I consider purchasing one. In my case, the decision to go with the header is all about maximizing my current mod setup - I have the Hondata, which is tuned for a header, so in order to maximize efficiency and power. Plus whether or not we feel it, 20HP makes a significant difference.

When people hear new, more aggressive sound from the header, especially if they leave one of the O2 sensors off, it creates a placebo effect and they think the car is faster. I think that's part of the "rave reviews" too. I've modded past cars adding 100+HP so I know what real power gains feel like. Still, for the TSX, I think this is a worthwhile job for <$400 used; installation is simple, and a little more sound and power is good for the soul.
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