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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Getting close to buying a Ridgeline, second test drive today and taking the wife with me this time. Anything in particular that dealer prep generally has missed on these and we should check before we buy?

Any options that some have found particularly great to add? $169 all-weather floor mats, $60 cargo dividers for the trunk, and a $45 cargo tray for underneath the rear seats, or the bed tent? I have a 3 day surf and camping trip in about a week. I have a two man tent already that will fit in the Honda's bed, what is it about that factory tent that makes it worth the upgrade?

This will replace one of our two shop trucks and pull our race cars to events (usually light little Miatas on aluminum trailer). Picture below is typical of our track toys, that was event at COTA earlier this year. Our old shop truck that we are likely trading in today is a 2008 V8 Dakota. The Honda won't have quite the same grunt but that's okay since we have moved from big heavy steel trailers to low profile super light aluminum open trailer and with any of our toys we will be well under the limit for the Honda. Friends racing Miatas have long recommended the Ridgeline as tow vehicle of choice, that includes Tim and Tom from Grassroots MotorSports Magazine. Tips for trailer brake addition to the Ridgeline?

One thing that didn't thrill me first test drive was the factory Honda Ridgeline Brakes. I am spoiled by the fantastic big brakes we make for our own race cars. We may just solve that issue on the Ridgeline by making our own kit using some nice Wilwood 6 piston Calipers. If there is enough demand we could even offer a finished kit as a retail item, I read some of the threads here on using brake bits from other cars and I am sure we can do a lot better and doing it custom on our own brackets so it fits inside the factory wheel.

 

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2019 RTL-E (white on beige) in central Texas
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Welcome to ROC, Brian!

Long-time '01 Miata SE (box-stock, not a track vehicle ;) ) owner here, so I'm familiar with your company's excellent reputation (y)

Nothing to suggest insofar as purchase options, I do advocate for the RTL-E (or BE) trim for the features those include. FWIW I, and many here, found many accessory items more suitable to my tastes than the Honda branded in the aftermarket (floor mats, for example, see sig block for my elections but there are many fans of the Husky and Weathertech options), YMMV.

Tips for trailer brake addition to the Ridgeline?
I, and some other ROC members, have been very pleased with the REDARC Tow-Pro Elite TBC. It's performed great for me (I'm a long-time satisfied Tekonsha Prodigy user, the REDARC gives up nothing to it) but the real appeal is it's installation flexibility. Hints of that in this thread, pics of my REDARC installation evolution are at this post, another nice one by member @ChrisFix is pictured here.

One thing that didn't thrill me first test drive was the factory Honda Ridgeline Brakes. I am spoiled by the fantastic big brakes we make for our own race cars. We may just solve that issue on the Ridgeline by making our own kit using some nice Wilwood 6 piston Calipers. If there is enough demand we could even offer a finished kit as a retail item, I read some of the threads here on using brake bits from other cars and I am sure we can do a lot better and doing it custom on our own brackets so it fits inside the factory wheel.
That'll certainly draw interest, I hope you post about that here if y'all undertake that mod even if not destined for retail distribution.

Confident you'll enjoy the Ridgeline, within its limits its a great tow-vehicle IMO, and the day-in-day-out ride comfort just can't be beat. Let us know what you end-up with :)
 

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...I have a two man tent already that will fit in the Honda's bed, what is it about that factory tent that makes it worth the upgrade?...
Probably that it does a much better job of shedding rain away from the bed and is easier to secure against wind. Staking down a regular tent in the bed of an RL might be a challenge. If you only plan to camp out in the truck when the weather is dry and calm, then your conventional tent may work fine.
 

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The Ridgeline tent also offers:

1) a zippered opening to the in-bed inverter so that you can inflate your air mattress or plug in your weather radio,

2) a Faraday pouch to store your key fob so nobody can open the truck doors while you are sleeping,

and

3) not sure, but I think it allows access to the trunk.
 

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Hi Brian and welcome to the ROC. Please take some photos of your new ride once you get it.

My exwife had a few Miatas. Great little car. I could never go on long trips in it however as I am pretty tall and the leg room was just not good enough. I did have two Mazda RX7s over time. a silver '79 G and a white '84 GSL-SE. Loved both those cars. I wish Mazda would bring back the RX7. Loved the smoothness of the Rotary engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks to all, we GOT IT.

Seriously considering that Honda tent, thanks for the helpful comments on that option. Will set up my old 2 man tent in the bed and see how that goes, getting ready for Guy's camping and surf trip next weekend. Looking forward to rolling up to campsite with the trunk loaded with Ice and two cases of Pacifico beer and cranking up the bed area stereo!

Shown here next to our 'old' V8 Dakota shop truck in the next spot that has towed to countless events and daily hauled everything we need to move from transmissions and wheels and tires to every sort of Miata part. Dimensions are very close to our old Dakota. The narrow driveway at home down the side of my house to the home garage won't tolerate a full size truck, considered a Ranger with the punchy EcoBoost 2.3 but wanted something intentially less truckish this time and the Honda sure does handle and steer and ride better than a traditional body on frame midsize truck.



 

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Looks great! Nice color too. I will be seriously interested in following your RL brake caliper redesign, if you choose to do it.
 

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Make us some suspension to. I need an Ohlins or Bilstein setup stat!
With some sway bars this f’er would handle extremely well!
 

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We also test rode the Ranger. Didn't like the ride as it was bouncy on smooth roads. Also the rear window was manual, and no rear ventilation controls. And the killer was the top of the line Ranger still has manual mirrors! You had to put the window down to adjust the mirror. I did like the engine as it was responsive once the turbo kicked in.
 

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I have a two man tent already that will fit in the Honda's bed, what is it about that factory tent that makes it worth the upgrade?
Welcome Brian. After a year and a half, I am still having seller's remorse with my '12 Miata SE. As far as a bed tent is concerned, you may find a SofTopper with their tent a viable option.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How does the paint hold up?

We normally do paint protection film of entire front, and sometimes entire vehicle, for any new Mazda Miata because the paint seems so thin. Wondering if we pony up for that on the Honda? Never did on our 08 Dakota and the paint proved plenty durable.
 

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How does the paint hold up?

We normally do paint protection film of entire front, and sometimes entire vehicle, for any new Mazda Miata because the paint seems so thin. Wondering if we pony up for that on the Honda? Never did on our 08 Dakota and the paint proved plenty durable.
You will definitely need to protect the front of the Ridgeline including at least 12-18" of the hood. The paint quality is not the RL's strongest suit.
 

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You will definitely need to protect the front of the Ridgeline including at least 12-18" of the hood. The paint quality is not the RL's strongest suit.
Interesting. After 14 years with my G1, I barely had any paint dings on my 2006 hood/front when I traded it in last October. Shame it went downhill from then.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Decided we will clear bra the front end BEFORE I get rock chips in it. Doing full front end with XPEL on Thursday back to the doors.



Also decided we are going to upgrade the brakes. Took it on drive in the hills and too easily faded the stock brakes. Otherwise impressed with how light it feels on it's feet, handling is really pretty decent for this type of vehicle, I dubbed it the "Miata of Trucks" with our team once back to the shop. Might upgrade that rear sway for a bit less understeer at the limit.

But 12.6 inch front brake rotors is smaller than we run on some of our 2200 pound track Miatas, we can do better and still fit it inside the stock 18 inch wheels. Now the fun decisions, what should we do for caliper color? Red would be fun, but perhaps just too flashy for such a classy silver truck. Not this caliper in particular but these are the three contenders in color, I have done them all on Silver Miatas in the past and liked it every time so I am a little torn.







My latest Budget NC Street project with the bold RED on Grey Miata.


Or keep it simple BLACK as shown on another of our race Miatas:
 

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Now the fun decisions, what should we do for caliper color?
I'm thinking either a "Ford engine blue" or a metallic bronze, copper, or champagne (maybe Honda's own Pacific Pewter Metallic) for a look that would let someone with a keene eye know that there was something special about the brakes, but without being over-the-top.
 

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For the team vehicle, whatever color rings your bell !

If looking forward to retail potential and only one color offering .... I'd go with black for broadest appeal.

Color and/or retail potential aside, this is gonna be good for sure .... sub'd to follow!

Really interested to hear how upgraded brakes 'play' with various auto-braking functions (e.g. coming upon a slower vehicle with ACC activated; that a situation that can already result in, ahem, "firm" braking depending on closing speed .... wondering if that will get a bit too aggressive with non-OE brakes :unsure: ). Not sayin' the trade-off wouldn't be 'worth it', there's other ways to moderate ACC behavior ;) (e.g. "pay attention", reduce closing-speed 'manually'!).
 

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For the team vehicle, whatever color rings your bell !

If looking forward to retail potential and only one color offering .... I'd go with black for broadest appeal.

Color and/or retail potential aside, this is gonna be good for sure .... sub'd to follow!

Really interested to hear how upgraded brakes 'play' with various auto-braking functions (e.g. coming upon a slower vehicle with ACC activated; that a situation that can already result in, ahem, "firm" braking depending on closing speed .... wondering if that will get a bit too aggressive with non-OE brakes :unsure: ). Not sayin' the trade-off wouldn't be 'worth it', there's other ways to moderate ACC behavior ;) (e.g. "pay attention", reduce closing-speed 'manually'!).
If I understand brake-related ADAS functions correctly, the system is based on rate of deceleration rather than brake pressure. When it wants the vehicle to slow or stop, it modulates the brake pressure in an attempt to achieve the desired rate of deceleration. This allows the system to reduce speed by a controlled amount regardless of coefficient of friction between the pads and rotors. It takes a few dozen milliseconds for the hydraulic pump to ramp up brake pressure during which time the system is constantly receiving feedback to make adjustments.

EDIT: Alternate explanation below.

If I understand ADAS braking functions correctly, the system uses cascade control with the rate of deceleration as the master loop and the brake pressure being the slave loop.This is required since the relationship between the rate of deceleration and brake pressure can vary (i.e., wet brakes vs. dry brakes or stock pads vs. aftermarket pads). The primary goal is to control the rate of deceleration so that the vehicle slows by an expected amount. The secondary goal is to modulate the brake pressure to achieve the desired rate of deceleration. If the system always assumed a set rate of deceleration based on the amount of brake pressure, there would be conditions where the system wouldn't slow the vehicle enough (i.e., wet brakes) or too aggressively (i.e., high-friction aftermarket pads). Cascade control would allow the system to compensate in real-time for differences in braking performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Modern paints seem to just be weaker/thinner for environmental reasons so I am not surprised to read that G1 paint proved more durable than G2. I have parked our new Ridgeline until we can get the paint protection film on it tomorrow.
 
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