Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Longtime Honda tinkerer, and "car dude". Have some nice AMG powered toys in the garage, and the bang for the buck on "make the loud pedal louder daddy" goes to a lot more smiles per gallon on those.

I have an 09 RTL, with 160K, that has been properly maintained for life - on 3rd TBelt/Pump, less than 3000 miles on all the suspension bits, LCAs, etc that I've done all myself. It's a good, long paid for vehicle, that I drive for household supply runs, and when the weather is bad. I can let my wife drive it when we don't want to jack up the MDX or one of the Mercs in snowy weather.

Spoiled as a work-from-home person for some time, the Ridgeline is going to start getting some "run the kids to private school" miles - about 25 a day, all Kentucky backroads with start-stop-curvy-hilly. No interstate, and rarely up to 55 mph.

I'm familiar with the snake oil of intakes and headers and untuned mods. Years ago, I was one of the first adopters of the RV6 cat deletes and pipes on the 09 Acura TL - finding them providing little to nothing in the way of power or MPG gains with no tuning options available at the time.

I know the K-Tuner has some J35 options now. I know the RV6 bits are available for the Ridgeline. I know there are some catback options and intake options.

Serious - please don't speculate, looking for real world experience only - experience question: Are the RV6 de-cat or HFPC, the J pipe, and their high flow cat worth the price of admission? Dropping 1200-1400 on exhaust bits that I don't need is an awful lot of MPG to recover a return on investment. Do they have to be K-Tuned to be worth the power / MPG gains?

Is an aftermarket exhaust system (nothing droney - I'm 44, not 24) worth the 500-600 for an MPG or two in the city?

Are there any beefier swaybar options? The Ridge pitches and rolls a bit too much for someone that can throw a 700 HP Merc around the race track and hit all the apexes, and the MDX drives MASSIVELY better on the same roads.

I'm curious if I can get the MPG up from 12-14 to more like 18-20 on the backroad driving by getting more power out of less throttle, and make the ride better / go easier on the braking with larger sways.

Thanks for any insights.
415732
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Are … their high flow cat worth the price of admission?

I'm curious if I can get the MPG up from 12-14 to more like 18-20 on the backroad driving by getting more power out of less throttle.
The first quote, in particular the part I put in bold, makes me think you’re asking a purely economic question. The answer to that is easy: NO. It’s not close; No.

The second one is pretty easy, too: No.

Are you really asking that, though, or are you trying to ask how much non-economic pleasure owners derive from those changes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On the 1st gen J35 TL, the RV6 cat delete and J pipe was something like an untuned 25hp across the powerband. 10% WHP gain by getting rid of chokey-emissions and exhaust design. I had an 03 CL Type S 6M, and did the Comptech headers / J Pipe / B Pipe and exhaust, plus pulleys / gaskets / intake and it turned that car into an absolute rocket. Friend with a 4.6L mustang at the type couldn't pull away from it. When you'd keep your foot out of it, you could get 30mpg combined.

On my twin turbo Merc - an ECU tune is good for a massive 150whp and 250 wheel torque. Just fuel / timing / telling the turbos to go balls to the wall at 2900 rpm. I see the K24 guys getting 300hp N/A out of the 4 bangers - back in the 90s we weren't getting that out of B16s with Turbos. So I'm always curious if there's been progress since the J motor has been around for 25 or so years now.

There's some second hand bits about on offerup / ebay where the blow wouldn't be quite as bad, but kind of weighing out putting a little money into the Ridgeline. Trade in / used sale values are through the roof right now, so it's a consideration on replacing it with the new Ford Maverick or Hyundai Santa Cruz (think 40mpg Ridgeline type vehicle) or just snagging a higher mileage Accord Hybrid and finding room for a 5th vehicle. I won't be surprised to see $5 a gallon for 87 octane by the end of the current federal administration's run - so the cost of 2 gallons of gas a day for school runs isn't insubstantial.

And I like to tinker, so there's that too. :D
 

·
Registered
2006 Ridgeline RT
Joined
·
261 Posts
On the 1st gen J35 TL, the RV6 cat delete and J pipe was something like an untuned 25hp across the powerband. 10% WHP gain by getting rid of chokey-emissions and exhaust design. I had an 03 CL Type S 6M, and did the Comptech headers / J Pipe / B Pipe and exhaust, plus pulleys / gaskets / intake and it turned that car into an absolute rocket. Friend with a 4.6L mustang at the type couldn't pull away from it. When you'd keep your foot out of it, you could get 30mpg combined.

On my twin turbo Merc - an ECU tune is good for a massive 150whp and 250 wheel torque. Just fuel / timing / telling the turbos to go balls to the wall at 2900 rpm. I see the K24 guys getting 300hp N/A out of the 4 bangers - back in the 90s we weren't getting that out of B16s with Turbos. So I'm always curious if there's been progress since the J motor has been around for 25 or so years now.

There's some second hand bits about on offerup / ebay where the blow wouldn't be quite as bad, but kind of weighing out putting a little money into the Ridgeline. Trade in / used sale values are through the roof right now, so it's a consideration on replacing it with the new Ford Maverick or Hyundai Santa Cruz (think 40mpg Ridgeline type vehicle) or just snagging a higher mileage Accord Hybrid and finding room for a 5th vehicle. I won't be surprised to see $5 a gallon for 87 octane by the end of the current federal administration's run - so the cost of 2 gallons of gas a day for school runs isn't insubstantial.

And I like to tinker, so there's that too. :D

With my normal driving I get 16-18 mpg on my commute and easily hit 20 on the highway, 100% stock as far as I'm aware
 

·
Registered
2021 Ridgeline Sport
Joined
·
473 Posts
On my 21 Sport, I get 25 MPG average going 73-75mph on the interstate with ECO on. But I have a couple of extra gears. Suspension improvements is something hard to find on a limited production vehicle like this .You can lower it or raise it, but stiffer springs aren't around yet. From what I have found, more HP means usually less mileage, my CRX had Mugen exhaust, headers, a CAI intake, it had a lot more power, and the gas mileage went way down. To me, it seems like the more power you get, the more you will use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
2007 RTS..never have had anything that low MPG. On same route for 25 years even my 1995 Tahoe got 14-15 in town..but I do live in the foothills and not many traffic lights for my 14 miles one way, Quite happy with that and now have 171,000 and MPG is still about same.. I get approx 16+ every costco fillup. Gas prices here are $2.55

My 375 BHP 53 Stude resto mod gets better that 15 in town with a 4 spd 4L60 and still carbed..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
@Aaron Gillum That city mileage is very low unless the vehicle is idling a lot in traffic or a parking lot. Exhaust and intake mods will allow you to move more air through your engine but the computer will add more fuel to keep the mixture from getting too lean, so those aren’t fuel economy mods. On my 2008, I pulled the fuel injectors at about 130K miles and had them bench cleaned. The shop tested flow on them before and after cleaning and there was some difference. The result: better drivability and probably got back 1 mpg overall.

Tuning turbocharged engines means turning up the boost by changing when the wastegate starts to open. So you move more air through the engine that way. The computer also has to add more fuel to keep it from going lean just like any other engine. The J35 is a good engine with 4 valves per cylinder and flows well. The vtec takes advantage of the flow in the upper rpms by shifting to the secondary cam profile. We’re talking mid-2000’s technology that is pushing 250 hp, so that’s just where it was at.

I believe that the 2009 and newer moved to a mass air meter setup versus 06-08 like mine that has mass density. At least yours can measure an increase in air moving through the engine and dial up the fuel delivery to make a bit more power. Mine would just run leaner and that’s not so good. It’s hard to improve fuel economy in the city because it’s about running the smallest engine possible hence cylinder deactivation and start/stop technology. On the highway, you can improve aerodynamics, reduce rolling resistance or drive at a slower speed. Let us know what you end up doing.
 

·
Registered
2011 Honda Ridgeline RTL w/Nav + DVD
Joined
·
43 Posts
It’s hard to improve fuel economy in the city because it’s about running the smallest engine possible hence cylinder deactivation and start/stop technology. On the highway, you can improve aerodynamics, reduce rolling resistance or drive at a slower speed. Let us know what you end up doing.
^This^

It's hard to improve naturally aspirated MPG on something that is both HEAVY and has a front profile shaped like a stepped brick. Not to mention it's higher off the ground then some small trucks (90s ford ranger etc). I've always wondered if the guys with lowered Ridgelines have noticed any slight change in MPG.

I have always found that I get the best MPG for highways with slight grades when I allow the hill to tell me how fast to drive. Is the truck shifting down? Go slower so the trans stays in the highest gear. When you crest the hill, use gravity to help resume your normal cruising speed (70-75mph for me). I can get my 2011 to give me 21-22mpg on the trip computer using this method. (but usually it's closer to 20.5 when I hand calculate.)

If the route you're driving is seriously hilly, there isn't much you can do because you still have to move a heavy vehicle uphill after every downhill, and that requires the transmission to shift down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's hill up, hill down, 4 way stop, 90 degree turn. (Kentucky farm-roads turned cross-county routes).

It does seem there are some lowering springs available for it that drop 2 inches and retain factory geometry on camber / alignment. Having already done the suspension (KYB strut and all the bushings / bits refreshed with stock springs) I'm not really in any hurry to rip all that back apart again - but dropping it 2 inches would improve the street driving quality considerably.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
It's nearly impossible to safely make a meaningful improvement on most modern vehicles with aftermarket mods. The lowest-hanging fruit includes aerodynamics, rolling resistance/alignment, and tuning transmission shift points.

Performance mods can give you the same power at a lower throttle setting, but only because the engine is now ingesting the same amounts of fuel and air it was before - hence, no improvement in MPG.

Older cars with carbs sometimes had intake/exhaust variances among cylinders, and well-designed aftermarket pieces could improve MPG by better equalizing gas flows to prevent rich or lean cylinders, allow more aggressive timing advance without preignition, etc. Newer cars get more engineering and better parts in these areas to optimize EPA ratings, so there's less improvement to be had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's nearly impossible to safely make a meaningful improvement on most modern vehicles with aftermarket mods. The lowest-hanging fruit includes aerodynamics, rolling resistance/alignment, and tuning transmission shift points.

Performance mods can give you the same power at a lower throttle setting, but only because the engine is now ingesting the same amounts of fuel and air it was before - hence, no improvement in MPG.

Older cars with carbs sometimes had intake/exhaust variances among cylinders, and well-designed aftermarket pieces could improve MPG by better equalizing gas flows to prevent rich or lean cylinders, allow more aggressive timing advance without preignition, etc. Newer cars get more engineering and better parts in these areas to optimize EPA ratings, so there's less improvement to be had.
Eh - gotta disagree pretty strongly there.

You realize the K-Tune on the current 2.0T Accord is like a 50hp / 90tq / +8 MPG gain with just a computer flash?
I've done computer tunes and bolt on mods (I/H/Downpipe/Exhaust) on my last 3-4 Mercs and gained 150-200 WHP over stock and +300tq stock. Copius amounts of performance just in ignition timing, line pressures and turbo engagement adjustments.

The Ridgeline's restrictive tri-cat system, and "low-end-torque-favoring" tune, is certainly something that if the time were invested, could be tweaked for MPG benefits with a change of plugs, transmission line pressure adjustments, and fuel/ignition tuning - I just would figure as big as the Honda community is, that someone would have vetted this out by now and had a map to share with the bolt-ons and experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Eh - gotta disagree pretty strongly there.

You realize the K-Tune on the current 2.0T Accord is like a 50hp / 90tq / +8 MPG gain with just a computer flash?
...I just would figure as big as the Honda community is, that someone would have vetted this out by now and had a map to share with the bolt-ons and experience.
And still pass emissions? Impressive.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top