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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Thank you, Schwejo. I knew I'd seen that picture in the link you provided. To me the scarier idea is that if you look at my fittings in the video (link below) my fittings look clear outside and inside.

https://youtu.be/cX7uKDSy_Is
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I've read that Honda changed the part number of the radiator beginning in 2009. Whether or not that reflects a change in anything related to the Belleville washer, I do not know.

Regardless, I don't recall seeing anyone with a 2009- reporting a problem with the radiator/tranny fittings... yet.

Also, I don't think we ever established whether this issue was region specific or not. IE, rust belt only? (which would imply external factors causing the corrosion vs dissimilar metal corrosion which would affect all vehicles regardless of location).
 

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Thank you, Schwejo. I knew I'd seen that picture in the link you provided. To me the scarier idea is that if you look at my fittings in the video (link below) my fittings look clear outside and inside.

https://youtu.be/cX7uKDSy_Is
Your fittings do look good. The "rust" colored redish stuff is undoubtedly a thread locker / sealer type material . . .

I know you found the presence of cross contamination in your vehicle when tested. How much contamination?
 

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I initial bought a spectra - it leaked and overall quality seemed poor -then got a koyo which was much higher quality and only slightly more expensive.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Your fittings do look good. The "rust" colored redish stuff is undoubtedly a thread locker / sealer type material . . .
Agreed, additionally, when I loosened it on Saturday AM, it broke free with a "pop" like a good thread locker would.

I know you found the presence of cross contamination in your vehicle when tested. How much contamination?
It's not really shown on my current report & the initial report is on a PC which is packed in a box currently. I know this much my coolant looked more of a purple than the blue the Type 2 Acura/Honda typically was. Unfortunately I was in the get it out as fast as possible, and the red of the ATF, was much darker than today.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Sounds like Koyo and CSF are at the top of the list at the moment. Got any model numbers respectively?
 

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From my limited recent experience, would favor a good radiator shop over brand... get someone who can install and backup their product might be more useful than pre-selecting a brand. Certainly not Honda dealer for install. (Unfortunately, we live in too sparse an area to have radiator-specific expertise nearby).
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Sounds like Koyo and CSF are at the top of the list at the moment. Got any model numbers respectively?
The cooling system (Radiator & ATF Cooler) are standard thru all models RT, RTS, RTL, RTX, SPORT & SE. The 2006(introduced in 03/2005) thru 2008 use one Radiator & the 2009-2014 use a different radiator. It is possible that some 2009's will use the earlier Radiator.

CSF 3284 2006-2008
CSF 3402 2009-2014
CSF Catalog
 

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I'm late to the party on this thread, but I'm surprised at those who change out their radiators before they go bad. I'd like to know the failure rate of the OEM radiators that would get me to consider changing out the OEM radiator on my 2007 RTX.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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I'm late to the party on this thread, but I'm surprised at those who change out their radiators before they go bad. I'd like to know the failure rate of the OEM radiators that would get me to consider changing out the OEM radiator on my 2007 RTX.
The problems is two fold, first a part (the radiator) which is probably $70 for the OEM (HONDA) can "Ruin" a $3500-$5000 Transmission, and if you research you'll even find a few lost engines, because if one of those fittings fails you lose all of your ATF & AntiFreeze.

Second, it's entirely unpredictable, which is why people are replacing radiators early, IMHO. Although I typically drive 7-10 miles a day & currently have 3 vehicles to chose from, the RL is my preferred long haul driver and I'd prefer to replace if at my leisure rather than 1000 miles from home (upcoming road trip to Houston)

Several, believe it's related to Salt on the Road, Trust me my RL never saw a road with salt unless there was some residual salt/brine on the roads in Salt Lake in July 2011 when I was there for like 2 days. And although once corrosion starts, I think outside forces, road salt/brine may make the situation worse. I am of the belief that this is a poorly specified bellevue washer, is causing the issue and starting it internally

I also believe that UOA is the best option for early diagnosis.
 

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The problems is two fold, first a part (the radiator) which is probably $70 for the OEM (HONDA) can "Ruin" a $3500-$5000 Transmission, and if you research you'll even find a few lost engines, because if one of those fittings fails you lose all of your ATF & AntiFreeze.

Second, it's entirely unpredictable, which is why people are replacing radiators early, IMHO. Although I typically drive 7-10 miles a day & currently have 3 vehicles to chose from, the RL is my preferred long haul driver and I'd prefer to replace if at my leisure rather than 1000 miles from home (upcoming road trip to Houston)

Several, believe it's related to Salt on the Road, Trust me my RL never saw a road with salt unless there was some residual salt/brine on the roads in Salt Lake in July 2011 when I was there for like 2 days. And although once corrosion starts, I think outside forces, road salt/brine may make the situation worse. I am of the belief that this is a poorly specified bellevue washer, is causing the issue and starting it internally

I also believe that UOA is the best option for early diagnosis.
Thanks Carsmak for the explanation. Still not convinced that changing out the radiator until it goes bad or at least starts leaking IMHO is a good idea, but each to their own. I live in Nebraska and we have our share of brine being sprayed on the streets (now mixed with beet juice) and my 07 RTX hasn't shown any issues after 80k. Guess we'll wait and see.
 

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Thanks Carsmak for the explanation. Still not convinced that changing out the radiator until it goes bad or at least starts leaking IMHO is a good idea, but each to their own. I live in Nebraska and we have our share of brine being sprayed on the streets (now mixed with beet juice) and my 07 RTX hasn't shown any issues after 80k. Guess we'll wait and see.
100% agree with Carsmak. There is no reliable visual inspection to detect a pending failure. According to reports on this and other forums, SMOD has occurred with huge variations of age and mileage - even when "perfect" metal components on the exterior of the rad were observed just prior to a SMOD event. Far as I know, Carsmak pioneered the concept of trans fluid analysis for this forum as a reliable method to detect contamination. Short of that, Speedlever suggests a preventative step of rad replacement @ A14 service intervals - which is a method worthy of consideration as well.

Is the root cause of failure environmental exposure? Vibration? There seems no definitive answer. One thing for sure, its a nasty failure. And the components keeping fluids from mixing are marginal at best.

These images are from a thread Carsmak linked to. IMO, these tell the whole story. Your transmission literally depends on 1/4" of threads, a washer and an O-Ring.

Port threads.jpg

Ports.jpg

Waiting for a failure is risky business. That being said, "if" you find yourself moving down the road and experience a sudden drop in power transfer from motor to trans, stop immediately. Too many folks who maintain there vehicles according to schedule don't know what is happening & keep pushing the gas pedal which only increases mixing of fluids, making chances of recovery from this design much less likely.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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There is a recent post of the fitting failure where there was no indication of external corrosion. I don't have the thread link handy at the moment. Assuming the facts to be accurate as stated, this sounds (to me) like dissimilar metal corrosion which is a sneaky failure.

I wish I had the shop save my Pilot's radiator when I had it replaced during a tb/wp service a few weeks ago. I'd like to see how the fittings look and if they seem fragile at all.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Speed, I'm not sure, I'm really trying to track/tie together all the SMOD threads. I think there have been 2 recently, I've captured a link (on pg 3) to a new post started by "Joey". He still hasn't attached any pics. That's all the links I have so far.

99% chance the Pilot Rad is gone, but if you have time call them, there is a chance it's in the recycle bin.
 

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The cooling system (Radiator & ATF Cooler) are standard thru all models RT, RTS, RTL, RTX, SPORT & SE. The 2006(introduced in 03/2005) thru 2008 use one Radiator & the 2009-2014 use a different radiator. It is possible that some 2009's will use the earlier Radiator.

CSF 3284 2006-2008
CSF 3402 2009-2014
CSF Catalog
No that's not correct. It should be.
CSF 3284 2006-2009
CSF 3402 2010-2015

From their website.
 

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There is a recent post of the fitting failure where there was no indication of external corrosion. I don't have the thread link handy at the moment. Assuming the facts to be accurate as stated, this sounds (to me) like dissimilar metal corrosion which is a sneaky failure.

I wish I had the shop save my Pilot's radiator when I had it replaced during a tb/wp service a few weeks ago. I'd like to see how the fittings look and if they seem fragile at all.
Speed, if galvanic corrosion is the root cause of SMOD, it *seems logical* there would be visual evidence. In the "anatomy of a Denso rad" thread, trans fluid fittings *appear* to be made of the same material as the heat exchanger. Assuming that to be true, the Belleville washer *should be* the galvanic suspect.

Given ambiguous evidence regarding cosmetic condition of the washer/fittings appearing to be galvanic free at the time of a SMOD event, the next logical conclusion for root cause would be a failure @ the threads of the fittings/exchanger interface.

I recognize the series of assumptions here, BUT - 1/4" of M/F threads only 5 twists deep responsible for compressing the fitting, to rad tank/heat exchanger - which supports hoses connected to two "floating" structures (the engine rad and the continuous Y axis movement of engine torque) leads me to believe the varying age/mileage failures we've seen are related to pipe threads degrading over time. A close inspection of heat exchanger fittings in a post SMOD example should verify that suspicion easy enough.

Anyhow... just searched for "why transmission preheat". Several returns, but at first pass, this dialog on the subject was found here.

According to the Allison Transmissions document titled "Transmission fluid and filter service recommendations" / August 12, 2012:

"Preheat or fluid warm up is required when operating Allison transmissions below the fluid’s minimum critical temperature, which is viscosity grade dependent."

Further:

CAUTION: Disregarding minimum fluid temperature limits can result in transmission malfunction or reduced transmission life

This is the first information I've found justifying the concept of "preheating" transmission fluid. The missing information is the rate at which the heat exchange process occurs when a heat exchanger is buried in engine coolant. Will the engine coolant thermostat open soon enough for it to transfer its heat to a a heat exchanger? Or will the trans warm itself due to hydraulic pressure after a mile or two of travel? Under what environmental conditions does "pre-heating" offset wear caused by cold trans fluid?

Why the answers to those kind of questions aren't universally understood remains mysterious.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Good points. Seems I recall someone posting a pic of the threads next to a tape measure. Iirc, the threads were about 1/8 inch in length. Wow.

Also, assuming there is a single root cause for this fault and that is galvanic corrosion, then external factors (rust belt) should not factor into the cause. Otoh, that may be a faulty assumption (there being a single causal factor).

I bet Honda knows more about this than we do. I sure wish they would enter the discussion.

Afaik, we still haven't tied location into the failures so that we know if the majority of failures are rust belt related. Or not.
 

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Good points. Seems I recall someone posting a pic of the threads next to a tape measure. Iirc, the threads were about 1/8 inch in length. Wow.
Right you are. I misspoke. Thread length is only 1/8" deep.

Port threads.jpg

I dunno what anyone else thinks, but... considering the risks involved in this design, this seems to be a marginal implementation/design for such a critical mechanical connection. Many forum members have offered the opinion that Honda's design is "good enough" in regards to reliability. IMO: the reliability of this design is only good enough to mitigate Honda's in-warranty failure risks. Without relying on regular fluid analysis, your suggestion to replace an otherwise fully operational engine rad @ A14 service intervals is the best way to avoid catastrophic failure.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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The cooling system (Radiator & ATF Cooler) are standard thru all models RT, RTS, RTL, RTX, SPORT & SE. The 2006(introduced in 03/2005) thru 2008 use one Radiator & the 2009-2014 use a different radiator. It is possible that some 2009's will use the earlier Radiator.

CSF 3284 2006-2008
CSF 3402 2009-2014
CSF Catalog
No that's not correct. It should be.
CSF 3284 2006-2009
CSF 3402 2010-2015

From their website.
No, I'm certain my "correction" to their info is correct, CSF's website is in error. Go to whichever Honda parts website you prefer, starting in 2009 the Honda Part Number is: 19010-RN0-A52, this radiator's dimensions are different & includes a place for a sensor. This is the same with part number with all trim levels and both countries of mfg (CAN/USA). Which is the second and least glaring of the errors from CSF's website. And although I didn't specifically point out their error, in my post, just read my last sentence above. YMMV
 
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