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Discussion Starter #1
This is a follow up post to my recent HRG Lift discussion. The 255/70/16 BFG AT tires are now installed on my 16 X 8, offset +19, GM Rally Wheels drilled to a Ford/Honda Bolt Pattern. They fit amazingly well after minor cutting, which I demonstrate below. This has been a three-month research-intensive and expensive journey, and I could not have done it without the many thoughtful EOC posts I read. Particularly notable is the detailed information from Cursh; RWC (who sadly has sold his E); and some dude named Swellement.

The Rallys are 100% made in California by U.S. Wheels. They are chrome steel and weigh a whopping 30 lbs. each (10 - 13 more than stock). The OEM center caps came off my 1966 El Camino and say "Chevrolet Motor Company Disc Brakes" (which my Elky actually does NOT have). Most guys on this site do not like chrome, or Corvette wheels, but, then again, most people don't like Honda Elements. To them I say, as a new resident of Portland, OR (by way of New York City), "Keep the Element Weird!"

Below are the best pictures I could take with the E on the ground showing the three (3) areas trimmed and the resulting excellent clearance. I did this work along with Art of 4WP in Portland, who did a phenomenal job. He only charged me an hour's labor (instead of the 2 ½ hours we spent) and no aggravation charge for me hanging over him in the shop (the manager was not too happy, but left us alone). First, the trailing inner front fender plastic was completely cut out around the pinch weld, which itself was ground down and coated with Rustoleum. Second, a tiny sliver of the bottom leading edge of the front fender plastic was trimmed off. Thirdly, we cut off and hammared down the pinch weld at the trailing inner rear wheel well.

I have not taken the E off road yet, but there's been no rubbing going lock to lock in the front and no rubbing front and rear over Portland's potholed streets. There's about 3/4" space between the front inner edge of the tire and the front strut spring cup, or coil spring seat, if you will. This is plenty as the cup itself does not move, but everything above it. If the strut cup clearance issue can be solved by someone, I believe the E is good for 31s, 32s, or even 33s with more drastic cutting/shaping of steel and plastic. A 4" total lift would help, but that may not be possible considering the health of the drivetrain (particularly, CV joints). All questions and thoughtful comments are welcome.
 

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Been following your lift and NY to Portland adventure, awesome info you're sharing!

How is your E driving? It's been a little while longer now and I'm curious since I'm exploring
doing something very similar to what you've done in regards to the suspension.

Have you gone off-road (light, heavy) yet?

I live just north of Vancouver, BC, and my E needs some more ground clearance, but
don't want to sacrifice it's commuter/highway side by killing the suspension angles...

Many thanks!

P.S. I'd been keen to discuss your costs, but in PM if you're able...
 

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BIG BIG fan
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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826 Posts
Very Nice! Just a little nostalgia added to an Element!

Take me back to the '60's! : - )
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Been following your lift and NY to Portland adventure, awesome info you're sharing!

How is your E driving? It's been a little while longer now and I'm curious since I'm exploring
doing something very similar to what you've done in regards to the suspension.

Have you gone off-road (light, heavy) yet?

I live just north of Vancouver, BC, and my E needs some more ground clearance, but
don't want to sacrifice it's commuter/highway side by killing the suspension angles...

Many thanks!

P.S. I'd been keen to discuss your costs, but in PM if you're able.

Hi Freemotion, thanks so much for the kind words. Since the lift and suspension rebuild my E has been riding a bit better than before and handling ALOT better. While that sounds strange, I'm sure it's mostly due to how poorly it rode and handled before the rebuild because of the 3 leaking struts, two torn tie rod ends, busted and missing sway bar bushings, etc. Ironically, I thought it handled fine when I first bought it, but, again, this 2003 Element is the newest vehicle I've ever owned by far (lived in Manhattan NYC for several decades, owning only a 1966 El Camino that was mostly in storage). Furthermore, the better handling may be partially due to the wider wheels and more aggressive offset. I notice a tad bit more torque steer when punching it from a dead stop.

The bottom line is that it's running and driving as it should, and I'm enjoying the hell out of cruising around in Portland, Oregon in my much taller Element. I haven't taken it off road since the mods, but will be doing some light off roading in the Fall when I (re)take up fly fishing on the Deschutes River (also been decades since holding a fly rod). The alignment went well and the follow up with my mechanic under the lift showed everything in good order. The CV angles appear stock or nearly stock because of the HRG spacers.

Lastly, the quick and easy stereo mods I outline elsewhere on this site have gone very well for me too. I'm happy to discuss everything I purchased and all of my costs via PM. There's little else I'd do different, which I realize means I got lucky. But it is what it is. I wish the recent work on my Elky went half as good, but that may be as much luck as the difference between Genuine Honda/USA-made parts and cheap Chinese fare peddled to us classic car fans. If Honda America started making parts for 1960s Chevys, Fords, and Mopars, they would have a million customers overnight!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very Nice! Just a little nostalgia added to an Element!

Take me back to the '60's! : - )
Thanks for the nice compliments TE'66! I think the Element model itself could easily have been built in the 1960s and will be a timeless (even if not universally loved!) body style going forward. This is why the old Chevy Rally Wheels look good on it. They probably wouldn't look so good on, say, a late-model CRV, or even a 2019 Silverado. Were you born in '66 or do you have a '66 vehicle? I have a 1966 El Camino.
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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Yes, the style of the Element indeed has it's roots in the 1960's. If there was a car that Honda borrowed their basic styling cues from more than any other, it was the first generation Ford Bronco! : - )

I also am heavy into antique Lionel Trains. I buy - sell - repair etc. I was born in 1958, but I got my first train set for Christmas in 1966! TE is my initials. So when I started dealing in trains on eBay, it seemed natural that my handle should be te1966! And the name has kind of stuck!

Now I have to go and pray that this hurricane misses us! As of the last weather advisory, we're right in its path! : - (
 

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2005 Honda Element AWD
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Westie -- I just came across this post today looking for help with my 2005 EX AWD. My setup looks very much the same as your old stock with 3" lift pic. I only did 2" but I have all kinds of weirdness happening with the drive now. When accelerating, I get a wobbling I can feel in the pedals and can hear a clacking sound (more than a clicking sound) that speeds up and slows down with my speed. I just had it aligned yesterday and will be looking for wheels and a wider, bigger tire next but I need to get this thing to drive smoothly first. Did you encounter any issues with the stock E after adding the lift?
 

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2003 4AT 4WD, 228K miles
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Having owned quite a few Chevrolets with rally wheels, I love the look! I think the chrome looks great, especially with your black vehicle. And those disc brake center caps are the perfect caps to run, better looking than the more common "derby" caps in my opinion. Makes the wheel look deeper.
I've never had a set of wheels drilled to a new pattern - do they replace the center section of the wheel or actually modify the existing holes? Any pictures of the unmounted wheels?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Westie -- I just came across this post today looking for help with my 2005 EX AWD. My setup looks very much the same as your old stock with 3" lift pic. I only did 2" but I have all kinds of weirdness happening with the drive now. When accelerating, I get a wobbling I can feel in the pedals and can hear a clacking sound (more than a clicking sound) that speeds up and slows down with my speed. I just had it aligned yesterday and will be looking for wheels and a wider, bigger tire next but I need to get this thing to drive smoothly first. Did you encounter any issues with the stock E after adding the lift?
Westie -- I just came across this post today looking for help with my 2005 EX AWD. My setup looks very much the same as your old stock with 3" lift pic. I only did 2" but I have all kinds of weirdness happening with the drive now. When accelerating, I get a wobbling I can feel in the pedals and can hear a clacking sound (more than a clicking sound) that speeds up and slows down with my speed. I just had it aligned yesterday and will be looking for wheels and a wider, bigger tire next but I need to get this thing to drive smoothly first. Did you encounter any issues with the stock E after adding the lift?
Esmutko, my HRG Engineering lift came with spacers for the engine/transaxle which lowers the drivetrain angle. That may be your problem or perhaps theres a few suspension components that need to be replaced? Keep me posted on how it goes! P
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Having owned quite a few Chevrolets with rally wheels, I love the look! I think the chrome looks great, especially with your black vehicle. And those disc brake center caps are the perfect caps to run, better looking than the more common "derby" caps in my opinion. Makes the wheel look deeper.
I've never had a set of wheels drilled to a new pattern - do they replace the center section of the wheel or actually modify the existing holes? Any pictures of the unmounted wheels?
Thanks Nowhereman! Jegs actually has these wheels in the Honda/Ford bolt pattern. Plus, they're made in the USA! Would love to see how yours looks with them! P
 
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