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Wellllllllllllllll yesterday didn't go as amazing as I had hoped.

I dropped the car off and revisited the conversation with the service rep as they jotted notes down into the computer. The service manager walked over and confirmed that I was there to have my ECU/Immobilizer/Keys matched to the car. Awesome!

The service rep pulled up my info and said "there's a recall on your passenger airbag." I was aware of that, and mentioned that they had already previously replaced the driver airbag. I asked the service manager if after they do the ECU work they could flush/bleed the clutch. I replaced the entire system (master, slave, and line) and just couldn't get the pedal to feel good. He said sure they'd get it done, and I left.

About six hours later I get a call from the service manager. He informed me that they unfortunately weren't able to get the VIN/Immobilizer rewritten and that their system wouldn't even connect to the ECU. He was paraphrasing a lot, but said it didn't happen. He then mentioned that they REPLACED THE PASSENGER SIDE AIRBAG and now the SRS light was on and he couldn't clear it, and the car was coding for seat sensors (ODS). I don't remember authorizing the airbag recall to be done. I get that it's important, but I went there for a specific reason and wasn't ready for anything other than the DLC port to be messed with in addition to the clutch being flushed bled.

So after the airbag story, he suggested I try and clear the lights myself. I get it, the car is in between two systems, and they were extremely considerate even allowing me to bring the car in. Then he said I can come get the car. I asked if he had bled the clutch and he said he forgot while trying to get all the other things done. DOH

So they kept it for the night and are going to sort the clutch out today. Hope I get a call today saying the clutch is firm again and everything is good to go. In the mean time I need to buy an HDS/HIM system so I can really accommodate this swap.

I went down a rabbit hole last night traversing the acura/honda forums looking for information and man did I learn a lot.

In a nutshell, the 04-06 Acura TL and the 07-11 Element had the critical systems communicating over a combination of multiplex (which used wires to illuminate trouble lights on the cluster) and F-Can that sends messages over the network to illuminate trouble lights. When the TL moved to 08+ they changed a lot of those systems to use F-Can, but the rest of the system remained the same with regard to the sensors connected (impact, rollover, Occupancy Detection System, etc). These critical systems are isolated, relying only on themselves to function, but use specific methods to communicate their status. So they can work 100%, but not be able to communicate their status as such so the car thinks they aren't working (even though they will function when needed).

I also learned that the SRS module and ODS system (the weight sensors in the seat that enable/disable airbags) are all sync'd to the ECU's VIN. The HDS/HIM system needs to sync the system together to clear the error codes. My system was complete and happy until the airbag was replaced. Since the Element's SRS communicates with the ECU/Cluster over multiplex, their HDS/HIM wasn't able to sync it - which I have to inform him of when he calls me back.

Again, i'm not mad, or upset with them, i'm just disappointed that I was so ready for this to be done and move forward with locking/flashing the ECU to the manual program, and nothing even close happened. Even ended up with a new airbag lol.

So now I wait for them to call back, and i'm going to buy a Honda HDS/HIM system so I can fully program/reprogram/sync systems and do the VIN service myself.
I'm gonna send my grandma down to that shop to give those boys a talkin' to.
 

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Discussion Starter #162
Well this whole forum changeover made it so i couldn't reply to my own post. I figured out that the changeover voided my email confirmation. So now that i've re-confirmed my email I can post again! Here is an update:

The Honda HDS system arrived. So i'll be able to poke around and see whats going on with the two systems that are currently functioning in the Element.

201320


Unfortunately the Element is up at my friends house getting the exhaust done so I can actually drive it without ear plugs. I did however verify the HDS communicates by trying it on the 08 MDX we've got.

I had to drive the Element over an hour away with the Acura TL gauge cluster temporarily wired in while I verify the various systems functioning (ABS/VSC/EBFD). So it was kind of an annoying drive with the cluster lit up and flashing like a Christmas tree along with it DINGING every few seconds lol.

I took some video once I got down the street for lols.

Element Driving

My friend has a race this weekend at Lime Rock, but after that it'll be full steam ahead on the exhaust. I'll update again once that is done. I did a ton of research on what sounds good as far as resonators and mufflers. The J32 has a really nice tone when done right. We'll see!
 

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Discussion Starter #163
I also created a mashup engine cover for the Element.

Got an 08 J32a3 cover which is the only one to my knowledge that has the “3.2 VTEC” insert and a physical Acura emblem. Swapped it for a Honda badge and - SHAZAM




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My grandma texted me today "What's that boy up to? And bring more popcorn".


I’ve got an update for her.

My friend is done with racing so it’s back to the Element. Since the newer J32 has part of the manifold cast into the head and has precats instead of a true manifold, it cause some clearance issues with the subframe that the older Elements/ older J32 engines do not encounter.

What seemed like a lot of work to me was really no big deal for my race car fabricator buddy. He’s got a lift at his house, plasma CNC, welder, all the goodies to do this.

So on the lift it went to drop the subframe.


Then to notch and box it in for strength.


All boxed and welded up!


Once the subframe was down he noticed there was contact between the subframe and the oil pan. When he dropped the subframe he said the engine dropped a little more so he cut away some to make sure it cleared 100%. Not sure if this happens on the older J32 but glad it was taken care of.


This notch was made right where the jack point is on the front of the crossmember (for reference)



The rear also had to be notched slightly and boxed.



Front clearance achieved!



Rear clearance achieved!


The kit came with exhaust spacers but if you remember, I hacked one up. My friend is going to make some using the flanges I had him cut for me. They’ll be about 2 inches.



That’ll bring the pipe just below the starter heat wrap.



We decided to limit the complexity of the exhaust and run it under the subframe before tucking it into the channel the factory exhaust went. It seems like it would be really low to the ground however, it is no lower than the gas tank so for now that is an acceptable amount of clearance. Plus it allows to drill and tap the subframe to bolt the hanger that came with the j-pipe. Pretty excited about that!


Sort of where it’ll end up. It’ll be slightly higher once finished.


He might be able to finish this weekend. Can’t wait to hear what it sounds like fired up! I went with a vibrant ultra quiet resonator and a magnaflow muffler combo. Keeping the third cat in the equation so it should have a nice throaty growl without drone or rasp. I got the part numbers from a YouTube video I found of a guy with all factory components in place but with the vibrant and magnaflow pieces swapped in. So hopefully it’ll sound somewhere in the ballpark of this: https://youtu.be/ds11xj7bVDo


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Discussion Starter #166
Another update!!

My friend worked all day and got it done! Just need to finish it with a 45 degree turn down after the muffler.

Front precat connected via extension:



Rear precat connected via extension:



Rear section tucked up where the factory exhaust was:



Muffler still needing the turn down:



Full shot:



As for how it sounds, it’s too late to get a video so hopefully tomorrow he can film it. However, in his own words he said:



And




So I’m pretty excited to hear it. He’s not one to say something like that if he didn’t mean it so yeah - stoked!


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Discussion Starter #168
Weird, I’m on my phone using the Tapatalk app and I can see them. I’ll check on my computer a little later and see what’s up.


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Discussion Starter #172
He also said I’ve got a solid 6 inches of clearance which is more than his stock height Subaru has. So we’re good on the exhaust running under the subframe!




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Exhaust clips are in!!



Does not sound like an Element! Can’t wait to take some clips with it under load.


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OH MAN!!! WOW your on that final leg!!!

Mega thank you i know i speak for all the community we really appreciate all the hard work, time out of your life and most of all the MONEY spent on getting this kit fully dialed in. I know we all are going to benefit from the you heartache.

Are they going to make some mod/additions to the existing kit??? Now that you have it more dialed in?
 

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Discussion Starter #176
Thank you for the kind words! As far as them making changes, I’m not sure if they would be willing to invest anymore R&D into the kit. They targeted the older Element, which I’m sure this kit works fine for.

I’d be 100% willing to help out and supply one off parts to anyone wanting to do this swap on the newer Element (07+). Even wiring cheat sheets and all.

I know that there are other companies that make the adapter plate for the j-series to k-series AWD transmissions that seem a bit more buttoned up. Hell, I may even change out my plate and flywheel adapter for one of them at some point.

Here are a couple:

https://automotiveknd.com/shop/drivetrain/baystate-dyno-performance-j2k-adapter-plate/

http://inlinepro.com/inlinepro-j2k-1/ (wrong photo at link but it’s the right one)

The only thing that I haven’t seen in other kits is the passenger side engine mount. The rest of the mounts are 100% factory Element mounts.


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Awesome work and the pics are phenomenal - you're friend has some great skills! Sound is spectacular as well with the new motor. Thumbs up all around!
 

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So my grandma called me last night. She's somewhere in the Far East, maybe Sri Lanka, hard to tell, it was a bad connection. "How are you?" she asked me. "Fine" I replied. A few moments of silence later "How's the J Element?" "I'll ask" I replied.
 
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