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owequitit: 2021 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

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    owequitit: 2021 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

    Stock:






    Towing the CB7:





    Blacked out trim:









    POWERTRAIN:

    PRL Intake tube

    PRL air filter

    PRL Intake Duct (on order)

    SVCM VCM disabler

    IdleStopper auto stop/start disabler

    Amazon oil catch can


    SUPENSION:

    STOCK

    BODY:

    Blacked out chrome trim

    OEM Black "eyebrow" on front grill

    Blacked out tailgate emblems

    OEM Black lug nuts

    INTERIOR:

    OEM Neoprene rear seat cover

    DUHA rear underseat storage

    Amazon glove box organizer

    Amazon cubby rubber liners

    Smartliner all weather floor mats

    ICE:

    STOCK

    GARMIN Mini 2 Dashcam


    So here is my current DD. Picked it up back in March of 2021 as soon as they hit the lot because I knew the supply shortages were coming...

    Got lucky and found the trim and color I wanted, which was not easy. They initially produced a bunch of Sports (many with the HPD package, which I don't like) and then the next group were Black Editions and RTL-E's. I looked at a white Black Edition, but I really wanted this color, and I don't like the red hue on the leather on the BE.

    Not a lot of mods at this point, I just blacked out the trim mostly and added a dash cam.

    Honestly, I was a little reserved when I got this thing because I wasn't sure how I was going to like it. I was originally dead set on a Tacoma TRD OR and nearly bought one, but the dealer tried to screw me in the middle of COVID so I walked. I ended up test driving one of these afterward and was simply blown away. I had never given them much credit or really even considered them. The one I drove was a 2020, right after they put the ZF9 in it, and I decided I liked the truck, but didn't like the Pilot front end, so I decided to wait and see what they changed for 2021. I am glad I did. Originally, I figured I would like it for a little while and then I would want something else, but it has turned into one of my favorite Honda products ever! The more I have it, the more I love it. It's seriously one of the best riding Hondas we have ever had, and frankly one of the best riding vehicles I have ever driven.

    Yeah, I get all the "it's not a REAL truck" B.S. but it is, in fact, a real truck. I do truck stuff with it all the time and it just does it fantastically. Haven't found something reasonable that it won't do yet, and for a midsize, the bed width and length are really nice. The trunk is a game changer, and the interior space is more along the lines of the shortened quad cab fullsize trucks, so it is far and away bigger than any other mid-size truck. It also has good performance for a mid-size.
    Last edited by owequitit; 11-12-2022, 12:42 AM.
    The OFFICIAL how to add me to your ignore list thread!

    #2
    "Not a real truck," good grief. The odds of those people doing any heavy duty work with their own pickups is slim to none. Nice purchase, though, it's good to hear they sound pretty capable. I wasn't crazy about the styling of these early on, but it's grown on me. I really liked the first gen just for being a unique take on an old vehicle type... and watching one race up Pikes Peak didn't hurt my perception either, haha.

    Comment


      #3
      I've heard nothing but good things about these, honestly. something i would consider as well. later.
      Avoiding dirt at all costs

      Comment


        #4
        I've personally liked and followed the 2nd gen Ridgeline since it first arrived way back in 2017. There was even a couple of times I thought of pulling the trigger on one but timing was never quite right. Each time I get into a serious discussion about this segment of trucks it always leads to debates over the usual BS if it's a "real truck" and how much better the Taco is, you know. I tend to agree for 75% of buyers it's the right truck. For hard core and image seekers maybe not. But one thing I found is a lot of the people who believe "it's gotta be full size or it's not a truck" types come away genuinely surprised by this YT video from Edmunds. It's not your typical truck review and it will do one or all of the following things after you see it.

        1. It will shatter a lot of illusions as to how much market BS goes into hyping trucks with "real real offroad suspensions". especially the ones with all the hardcore stripes, blackout trim and bilboard alphanumerics plastered onto the bed.

        2. A good number of drivers (depending on brand) will see just how limited their suspensions truly are after being subjected to long washboard roads.

        3. Dealers do make a difference when you bring your vehicle in for warranty work especially if they think you've abused it.

        And lastly the Ridgeline is a lot tougher than most people give it credit for and it's not as much a "soft-roader" as many might believe especially when comparing it to the competition and most especially after you watch this video!
        It's not perfect but it's not half bad either...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqfM...st=WL&index=70
        Last edited by hiptech; 11-08-2022, 09:54 AM.
        My Collection:
        93SE Sedan (Cashmere Metallic)
        00EXV6 Sedan (Naples Gold)
        04TSX 6-Spd Navi (Premium White Pearl)

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by CyborgGT View Post
          "Not a real truck," good grief. The odds of those people doing any heavy duty work with their own pickups is slim to none. Nice purchase, though, it's good to hear they sound pretty capable. I wasn't crazy about the styling of these early on, but it's grown on me. I really liked the first gen just for being a unique take on an old vehicle type... and watching one race up Pikes Peak didn't hurt my perception either, haha.
          That's the funny part. The day I took the pictures hauling the Accord back home, we were by far the most loaded truck I saw that day.

          We towed the car at 75-80MPH through AZ and NV (if you don't, you'll get run over), and that included over several 6% grades, including right on the other side of the valley where they do the SAE certification test (which is just north of Bullhead Arizona). It did completely fine. In most cases, it was loafing around in 8th or 9th gear at less than 2000RPM at those speeds and gave me 15MPG. It had no issues with braking or going, and it was a lot less stressful than I expected because well, "it isn't a real truck." At one point, we were cruising on HWY 93 between Kingman and Vegas and I was just trucking in the right lane and a decked out Tacoma with big wheels came flying up on his way to Vegas (normal for that road, nothing reflective of the driver or the truck), but be must have been surprised because when he caught up to us, he slowed down and then inched past us and after he got up ahead of us, took off again.

          I also used it the other day to move a Queen size bed, box spring and frame and can confirm that it will take a Queen mattress flat in the bed. I knew it would take a Queen sized air mattress, but now can say it will do a regular mattress too.

          As a side note, I bought the bed tent for it, and I hope to be able to test it out this winter.

          This one has also competed in various races, but doesn't get a lot of advertisement. Obviously, Honda has their Baja winning trophy truck, but the chase vehicles are actually stock Ridgelines with a skid plate, a front suspension leveling kit and AT tires. They are otherwise stock.

          Similarly, this has competed in the Rebelle Rally, and they have had Passports and Pilots compete in various events as well, where they have won or done really well.
          The OFFICIAL how to add me to your ignore list thread!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by hiptech View Post
            I've personally liked and followed the 2nd gen Ridgeline since it first arrived way back in 2017. There was even a couple of times I thought of pulling the trigger on one but timing was never quite right. Each time I get into a serious discussion about this segment of trucks it always leads to debates over the usual BS if it's a "real truck" and how much better the Taco is, you know. I tend to agree for 75% of buyers it's the right truck. For hard core and image seekers maybe not. But one thing I found is a lot of the people who believe "it's gotta be full size or it's not a truck" types come away genuinely surprised by this YT video from Edmunds. It's not your typical truck review and it will do one or all of the following things after you see it.

            1. It will shatter a lot of illusions as to how much market BS goes into hyping trucks with "real real offroad suspensions". especially the ones with all the hardcore stripes, blackout trim and bilboard alphanumerics plastered onto the bed.

            2. A good number of drivers (depending on brand) will see just how limited their suspensions truly are after being subjected to long washboard roads.

            3. Dealers do make a difference when you bring your vehicle in for warranty work especially if they think you've abused it.

            And lastly the Ridgeline is a lot tougher than most people give it credit for and it's not as much a "soft-roader" as many might believe especially when comparing it to the competition and most especially after you watch this video!
            It's not perfect but it's not half bad either...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqfM...st=WL&index=70
            I've been interested in it to some degree too. I didn't like the styling, and I did take a quick look when it first came out, but dismissed it partly because of the rear door opening. One thing I will give Honda credit for though, is addressing shortcomings and improving the vehicle.

            1) For 2020, the changed the somewhat problematic 6 speed for the ZF9, which gave it much more aggressive gearing, seems to be far more durable and runs substantially cooler than the 6 speed did. They also fit all trucks with a locking tailgate at this point, instead of having to put one in. They also adopted the "front door checker" mod, which had been popular by owners, where they put the nearly 90* front checkers on the back, allowing the back door to open several more inches and actually make the back seat more accessible. Then obviously, for 2021, they redid the front end to fix the "Pilot with a bed comments," added more offset to the wheels, added in some content, etc.

            And yes, the truck is much more capable than people think it is, but it does have some inherent factory limitations:

            https://youtu.be/vDgRu4WEG4I

            https://youtu.be/Fv-0j6qPNgA

            The guy in the Ridgeline owns New Age Performance, and he currently has the fastest Civic Type-R drag car, which I believe is well into the 10's. He is also well known for his 300+ HP NA K series engines. The guy in the Passport is just an enthusiast who overlands all over the western US. He has done some of the more aggressive trails in Moab and also in the Colorado Rockies. He has videos of all of it.

            That said, the limitations in order of the first that would cause issues to last:

            1) Ground clearance is not great. The Ridgeline has about 7.5", which I have figured out occurs at the little aluminum splash shield that covers the PTO and rear cat. The clearance at the rest of the truck is actually not horrible with it varying between 8.5-10" depending where you measure. Manny has a set of Eibach lift springs for the Ridgeline with a 1.5" spacer and then he has a homegrown strut extender, which he should have on market soon. Everything else he is using is commercially available except one part (I'll explain).

            2) The second limitation is protection. There is a company that makes skids for the front, rear diff, gas tank, carrier bearing and catalytic converter that also replaces the thin aluminum cover I mentioned above. Honda clearly wasn't expecting a lot of off-roading when they designed it. You could put this in number one too.

            3) Tires. The truck comes with road biased all seasons. Obviously, AT or MT tires make a huge difference, and there are several AT's that don't really degrade ride quality or noise, which are hallmarks of this truck. If I really wanted M/T's, I'd have to consider whether the Ridgeline is really the best platform for that.

            4) The AWD system is actually highly capable. It is essentially identical to SH-AWD, but is programmed more for maximum traction and stability. The rear differential is between a mechanical locker and an open diff. It is capable of locking 50/50 to both rear wheels, but since it is clutch based, it has a threshold beyond which it can't lock fully anymore. It's something like 70% of the available torque in 1st gear. Beyond that, the clutches have to slip slowly, so it becomes effectively an LSD. Below that threshold though, is MUD or SAND mode, it locks the two axles together like a locker would.

            The other limitation inherent in this version of the AWD system is that the front is open differential and Honda didn't really put a well designed or highly capable traction control system on the front. The new Pilot will have something that effectively like A-Trac, wherein it has the ability to generate brake vectoring on the front end, which ensures that power is able to be transferred to the rear. As it is, the system is really slow to react, or doesn't react at all when opposing corners are spinning, which effectively bypasses the rear diff. As I said, the new Pilot Trailsport addresses this, which makes its i-VTM4 much more effective. I expect the next Ridgeline will get that too.

            To work around this, Manny basically installed 2 line locks in the front end, one on each front wheel. This allows him to lock the brake pressure on whichever front wheel doesn't have traction, which not only helps to transfer power to the other front axle, but also ensures the torque goes into the system to be transferred to the rear. This is what they are talking about when they are talking about locking up a wheel. You have to get pretty extreme with the scenario to get to the point where such a system is essential to keep moving though.

            The other issue that not having a low range causes is a gradual heat buildup in the transmission. He cured this by installing a fan on the stock transmission cooler. The new Pilot also has about a 10% lower 1st gear ratio which will also help that. The ZF9 has a first gear ratio of 20.4:1, so it isn't exactly tall. Not as low as a Jeep, but IIRC, it is close to a Tacoma in 4L and 2nd gear. The new 10 speed will have something closer to 22:1.

            All that aside, I don't think anybody is buying this to rock crawl. However, with some light mods, this thing will do pretty much what the majority of people need to do either on or off road. I love the comfort, the usability and the build quality of it.

            I am super excited about the next Pilot and we will most likely trade our 2019 in on the new one, which addresses a few of the key issues I have with our current Pilot. At this point it is more a question of whether we want a Trailsport or an Elite.

            I guess the only other thing I would say about the Ridgeline is for people not to dismiss it. If it truly won't do the job you need great, but it is FAR more capable that people want to give it credit for.
            Last edited by owequitit; 11-12-2022, 12:34 AM.
            The OFFICIAL how to add me to your ignore list thread!

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