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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know if there are any companies planning on making a lift kit for the Ridgeline?
 

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You'll probably never see a lift for a RL.

Independent suspension vehicles are extremely difficult to lift properly. There are only three ways to lift an independent suspension vehicle.

-Longer control arms
-Higher spring rate
-Suspension mount drop

Longer control arms are nifty, but all but impossible for the RL. This is the type of system used on prerunners, like Baja 1000 trucks. The suspension arms pivot at the very center of the truck, instead of out from the center line. If you take two suspension systems with the same range of motion (angle-wise), but with different suspension arm lengths, the system with longer suspension arms will have considerably more wheel travel, and as such, more room to jack up ride heigh without adversly affecting ride quality.

Higher spring rates get you more ground clearance because the vehicle sits higher, but ride quality goes down. One reason is that stiffer springs just don't give as much as you go over a bump. The second reason is that if you keep the same amount of suspension travel, but make the neutral setting higher, the suspension will have far less downtravel available to use in smoothing out bumps in the road. Too little downtravel or downtravel available will kill the ride quality. Higher spring rates make the truck sit higher, but they don't increase off-road performance. A slightly larger tire could be cleared, but the drawbacks would most likely outweigh the positives on a such a lift.

The time proven way to safely and reliably lift a vehicle with independent suspension is to utilize a sub structure that lowers the entire suspension system away from the vehicle. This is the type of setup you see on late model GM's that have been lifted. This is difficult and expensive to do, but it works well because it retains the factory suspension. The difference is that the suspension is now located farther from the rest of the body, and therefor larger tires can be fitted without hacking the bodywork to bits when the suspension is compressed or steering is at full lock. The downside is that it's expensive and difficult. Such a lift usually requires torching off old suspension components and welding new ones on. A well engineered lift of this type is as good or better as the factory suspension, and should last the life of the vehicle.

This would most likely be the type of system that a lift manufacturer would have to come up with in order to get a RL more altitude. The biggest drawback to a lift of this nature is price. The price for GM lift kits of this type start at over a grand, and go up from there. GM trucks only need this design in the front because they run solid axles in the rear. A RL would need this sort of setup front and rear due to the indendent suspension at all four corners.

I see a few other engineering problems with this as well. First of all, every other truck on the market utilizes a frame on body design, whereas the Honda does not. There is nothing necessarily wrong with a unibody design (my vehicle is unibody), but it does make it more difficult to attach such a suspension lowering structure. Also, what about the rest of the truck? Larger, and in turn heavier tires mean every part of the truck has more stress placed upon it, especially in hard usage. A half-ton Chevy or a Nissan Titan is designed to deal with such things, obviously. Their tow ratings of 7,000+ lbs and V8 engines attest to that. So does their weight. Weight hurts a lot of things, but weight in the right places means strength, and I don't know if the RL's steering and braking systems are up to the task of controlling heavier tires. Of course they could do it for a while, but whether or not they would survive the long haul as well as other half-ton trucks' equipment does is my question. The engine and transmission are another concern, especially the transmission. The engine is powerful...albeit not on the low end like a V8, but then again neither is the Hemi, so I don't really question the engine's ability to turn bigger tires, but I do question its cooling system. Same with the transmission. Without regearing the differentials, larger tires effectively gear the truck up, lessening the multiplication of the torque, meaning the engine and transmission have to work harder. A harder working automatic transmission means a hotter automatic transmission, and heat is the enemy. Over a short period of time the truck should be able to handle it just fine. If it can safely tow 5,000 lbs then it should handle taller tires. Again, my doubts concern the longevity of said components when subjected to the additional wear and tear that larger tires cause day in and day out. I would imagine that Honda engineered enough strength into the truck to be able to handle a tire a couple of sizes bigger, but it is possible that the truck might not handle it very well, as it is Honda's first venture into the world of trucks. Therefor I would assume there are at least a few weak points, even from a product as well engineered as the RL.

Obviously these are just my thoughts...and not to be taken as fact. I don't intend to insult the RL or its owners in any way. I think it's a well engineered vehicle that serves the purpose it was designed for exceedingly well. I couldn't agree more with Honda's motto for the RL, it is, above all else, a Honda.
 

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That's one pretty impressive post for #1, metal. welcome.
 

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Yes. Very nice post. Thanks for contributing.
 

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I can't wait to see your SECOND post, metalry101!!!

Thanks, I've wondered about all this stuff ever since we started talking about ground clearance (and lack thereof)...
 

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I hope someone comes out with an air suspension system for creating lift. The LandRover LR3 has a very interesting system. You 'dial in' the amount of lift that you need for the particular situation. If I am not mistaken, the LandRovers are all independent suspension. What I don't know is how the rest of the vehicle suspension would need to be modified for an air suspension system to work properly.
 

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simply, NO. the suspension design limits it, like metal said PLUS IF it was possiable the demand would be too looooooow(compared to body on frame 4X4s) to warrant manufacture.
 

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zero said:
I hope someone comes out with an air suspension system for creating lift. The LandRover LR3 has a very interesting system. You 'dial in' the amount of lift that you need for the particular situation. If I am not mistaken, the LandRovers all all independent suspension. What I don't know is how the rest of the vehicle suspension would need to be modified for an air suspension system to work properly.
This type of system would probably be the best for making a RL better off-road, but it's cost prohibitive for the aftermarket. Honda could design and develop such a system and intigrate it into the truck with success I think. As for what would need to be modified...nothing really. The idea of the air system you speak of is that you retain your stock ride height and suspension settings for when you're on the road, but when you're in rough terrain going slow and don't need the plush suspension and low ride heigh, you can jack the thing up a bit to gain a bit of clearance. Many, many vehicles have such a system. The Toureg and Cayenne both have it, as do all modern Land Rovers, and I think the Lexus GX470 might even have it. The Grand Cherokee might be equipped with something such as that as well...but I'm not sure (and I don't care, I can't stand the new Grand Cherokee, and I'm a Jeep guy). It could work very well if designed with care and if the computer system that controlled it was modelled after the LR3's (the only computer system in a 4x4 that actually does more good than bad on the trail).

One note to that however. The truck already handles high speed off-road situations exceptionally well. Where it leaves something to be desired is when the going gets rough and slow, and without a low-range transfer case, it's not going to do very well in these situations, no matter the suspension. Also, with limited articulation, the RL is going to lift tires, meaning either locked diffs (selectable like the LR3) or an intelligently programmed computer control system (like on a Grand Cherokee) would help drastically.

If you want a vehicle as big as an RL that'll crawl over rocks then buy one of these: H2 (you may laugh at its gas mileage, but it rides almost as smoothly as a RL, does almost as well in the high speed stuff, and it'll outcrawl damn near anything on the market in stock form with a competenet driver (given that it will fit)), the Range Rover (it's amazing what the thing can do, even with 20" rims), the Toureg (again, it's stupid how well this thing works, especially with the TDI V10), the GX470 (Lexus? off-road? Well, it is built by Toyota...), and the Dodge Power Wagon (solid axles, sway bar disconnects, lockers front and rear, BFG A/T's, Warn winch, etc. Ya...it rocks, except for the Hemi).

I think a RL could be made to do as well as the Tundra, Silverado, etc on the rocks, but I think that's up to Honda. An adjustable suspension setup like what the LR3 utilizes would be very, very effective I'm sure, but the LR3 also utilizes a transfer case with low range, locking diffs front and rear, and enough body armor to keep an entire platoon safe. If Honda created an off-road package with a similiar setup to this, I think the RL could be as impressive in the rocks (again, for a factory rig) as it is on the roads leading to the rocks.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Here's to hoping that Honda makes an "off-road" trim option available in the future.
 

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Thule fit kit

Thule now has a roof rack fit kit for it's 400xt feet. The kit number is 2163. I will now be able to use all my older Thule attachments. Order it at ORS Racks Direct (orsracksdirect.com). I worked there a long time ago. Good folks.
 

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Re: Thule fit kit

bliss53 said:
Thule now has a roof rack fit kit for it's 400xt feet. The kit number is 2163. I will now be able to use all my older Thule attachments. Order it at ORS Racks Direct (orsracksdirect.com). I worked there a long time ago. Good folks.
Thanks.

Regards,

Scott
 

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Re: Thule fit kit

Does anyone have water spots on the front windshield that will not go away? I have great paint but the front glass only is bad, any suggestions
 

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Re: Thule fit kit

DogFan said:
Does anyone have water spots on the front windshield that will not go away? I have great paint but the front glass only is bad, any suggestions
Hard water spots. Limeaway will take them right off. Don't get it on your paint. Wear gloves. Rinse well.
 

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Re: Thule fit kit

DogFan said:
Does anyone have water spots on the front windshield that will not go away? I have great paint but the front glass only is bad, any suggestions
Hey DF, what are doing here? What's water spots on windshield have to do with Thule Fit Kit? To answer your question, clean twice with Invisible Glass by Stoner, then Rain X treatment. :)
 

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Re: Thule fit kit

My ridgeline is en route and should be in by the end of october, I have a full thule setup on my element (it's becoming my wife's element) and want to transfer it. It stinks that I have to replace the feet as well as get a fit kit.

I can't tell from the pictures and i'm not familiar with this foot kit but we won't need the Honda rack side rails will we? Won't these adapt to the same mount points that the Honda rack does? Thats how the element's feet work, a cap comes off the roof and they bolt into threaded mounts in the roof.

If someone could post pictures that would be uber helpfull, we probably wont get them until spring as kayaking season is mostly over here in new england. Thanks in advance.
 

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Somebody forgot to tell the guys at www.truxxx.com that lifting a Ridgeline wasn't possible!!

This truck was done by Kelly & Sons, Crazy Painters in Bellflower CA. It
looks even better in person, and they were telling me "Just wait until we
buff it out and pinstripe it - it doesn't look like anything yet!". They
were commissioned by Honda to build the truck. It has 20" KMC Wheels and
305/50-20 Toyo Tires with a 2" Truxxx Lift Kit. The tires only fit with
some
massaging of the wheel wells, although you can't tell by looking at it. The
truck was built for the Honda motocross team to use at the races, and for
some display events.

The Truxxx Lift Kit will be available for the general public within about 60
days


http://truxxx.com/photo/thumbnails.php?album=8
 

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Are we talking about a body lift, or a suspension lift? I can't imagine it's a body lift, the RL not being a traditional body on frame construction. I wonder how many inches the lift is?
 

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If it is a specialty truck, then there could be a lot of special equipment in the vehicle which can't be put into the stock model. Just like the super lifted truck TheKid used to talk about that Honda has up in Canada.
 

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Just a side note, Anyone who does any off road or snow or sand driving knows you MUST let air from the ties, I on Sand will let down to 15 pounds.

My estimate is a lowering of the entire body about 2"... from 8". something to 6". something?

A 10 pound drop in air, seems to be ok, for almost everything except sand/beach driving. I don't notice much drop in height.

Anyway, I know this truck could go so many more places with 9-10" in clearance. Instead of the 8" clearance. incorporation of an air supension like Landrover could do the trick.

Just my thoughts, J
 
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