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#4461119 - 07/16/17 06:06 PM 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 2220
Loc: London, England
Thought I would post up to see if any US based forum members have any hints or tips.

I did join up to Piloteers but each time I did so the forum i tried to log in to post and I was banned permanently with no reason given.
I thought the first time was a glitch so joined again and the same thing happened again.
Could be because I am currently in Ghana so maybe the IP address is throwing up a red flag, will try again when back in the UK.

Anyway back to the subject in hand.



As i have said before i wasn't consulted prior to purchase but i did do a Carfax check to makw sure everything was legit (which it was)

Vehicle has 124k on the clocks, on first use oil was clean, filter is recent and oil life was showing as 60%. Coolant is clean.

Its a FWD 2007 EX-L. It did have a nice set of matching LTX Michelins, one was punctured on way back from the DVLA after being registered and a used tyre of Chiness origin fitted as a stop gap.
Last week the driver hit a pothole too fast and snapped the lower shock mount from the knuckle and blew the sidewall of the osr tyre, so a day with the space saver and a 60mile journey looming meant a search for a tyre was in away from the capital Accra. The shock also came apart and threw oil over the wheel arch and lower arm, something thats never happened to me before, i did find one person on Piloteers who had broken the same mount though.

First impressions are that its roomy, leather seats are in good condition and are comfortable.

We have had to limp the vehicle with three shocks, it was actually not that bad, just a little bouncy on occasion.

I have a plan of attack moving forward and hoped for somw advice.

I shall leave the current oil and filter in situ till the next visit.

I would be very grateful if anybody could advise of any parts suppliers that will ship to the UK.

Initial shopping list is as follows.

Full set of shocks.
OSR knuckle.
Front discs and pads.
Rear discs and pads (probably parking brake shoes aswell, i think the parking brake is a drum inside the rear disc.
Front Bullbar (black)
Rear lightguards (black)
Bluetooth/ipod/iphone kit to allow handsfree calling and playing of Music from phones.
Full set of tyres, going for 245/70/16 instead of 235/70/16. Considering BF Goodrich KO2, General Grabber AT or AT2.
Air filter, fuel filter and cabin filter aswell.

Also an ATF drain and refill, can fortunately get that in the UK.

Was even considering buying suspension arms etc and rebuilding it completely once and for all.

Also a full cambelt kit, water pump, serpentine belt and tensioner etc.

One other thing is the VCM, it cuts in and out relatively smoothly. Was wondering if it was worthwhile fitting a VCMuzzler as apparently the 2007 was not overly problematic and was not part of the Class Action Suit.

I know some people might think i am mad spending this on an 07 Pilot.

Have finally got all the exact paperwork and expences and the vehicle actually cost just over $6000 to get it cleared from customs and actually owes us nearly $14000. I knew we should have bought a brand new entry model Mitsubishi L200 or Nissan NP300 double cab. Though i doubt they would have been as comfortable.

First full tank with mostly urban miles in heavy Accra traffic was empty in 171miles! Under 10mpg.

Second tank with mostly long journeys avoiding the heavy traffic was at 170miles with half a tank left. Hopefully this will end up as more than 20mpg.

They don't use gallons in Ghana, they use litres, so my MPG figures are in UK gallons.

The tank took 80litres when filled to the brim after 171miles.

As always, thanks in advance for advice and comment. Would rather no comments inferring that it is stolen as one troll did previously.
_________________________
16 S350d LWB 25k Mobil Super 3000 XE 5w30
17 Smart ForFour Auto 6.5k Mobil 1 0w40 FS

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#4461142 - 07/16/17 06:35 PM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: bigjl]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2973
Loc: USA
I'm sorry but I cannot find if there is a question in all that text or you just want comments on a situation you are describing.

Can you provide a more succinct version?

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#4461156 - 07/16/17 06:55 PM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: bigjl]
HangFire Offline


Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2506
Loc: Central Maryland
I can't help you with overseas parts availability.

I did put in a word at piloteers.org about your situation.

http://www.piloteers.org/forums/25-comments-suggestions/136042-auto-ban-user-ghana.html
_________________________
Various musings: http://hangfire.net

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#4461164 - 07/16/17 07:03 PM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: bigjl]
Ram02 Offline


Registered: 05/13/17
Posts: 131
Loc: New York Queens
Replace the timing belt
_________________________
2013 Malibu 2LT PG 0w20
2013 Accord Sport PG 0w20

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#4461221 - 07/16/17 08:35 PM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: bigjl]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32671
Loc: ME
Get as many chemicals in the UK as you can, so you know they're up to spec.

Aftermarket suspension arms may not be as sturdy as OE ones, so I would not change those prophylactically. Go OE if you must do them.

The water pump, cam belt etc are also a great idea.

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#4461402 - 07/17/17 05:40 AM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: Reddy45]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 2220
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
I'm sorry but I cannot find if there is a question in all that text or you just want comments on a situation you are describing.

Can you provide a more succinct version?


Maybe you should read it again. That might help.

Thanks for your advice.....


Edited by bigjl (07/17/17 05:45 AM)
_________________________
16 S350d LWB 25k Mobil Super 3000 XE 5w30
17 Smart ForFour Auto 6.5k Mobil 1 0w40 FS

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#4461403 - 07/17/17 05:41 AM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: HangFire]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 2220
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: HangFire
I can't help you with overseas parts availability.

I did put in a word at piloteers.org about your situation.

http://www.piloteers.org/forums/25-comments-suggestions/136042-auto-ban-user-ghana.html


Thanks for that.

I suspect it is because of the IP Address, i shall try and rejoin when back in the UK
_________________________
16 S350d LWB 25k Mobil Super 3000 XE 5w30
17 Smart ForFour Auto 6.5k Mobil 1 0w40 FS

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#4461406 - 07/17/17 05:44 AM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: Ram02]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 2220
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Ram02
Replace the timing belt


Absolutely. On the to do list. Do you have an opinion on brand?

Do you know of any part suppliers that would ship to the UK?

I do have family in the US that i could use but I would rather avoid that is possible.
_________________________
16 S350d LWB 25k Mobil Super 3000 XE 5w30
17 Smart ForFour Auto 6.5k Mobil 1 0w40 FS

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#4461411 - 07/17/17 05:52 AM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: eljefino]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 2220
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Get as many chemicals in the UK as you can, so you know they're up to spec.

Aftermarket suspension arms may not be as sturdy as OE ones, so I would not change those prophylactically. Go OE if you must do them.

The water pump, cam belt etc are also a great idea.


OE parts may be cost prohibitive. An idea on which US brands are good quality would be great.

I have heard of brands like Monroe or Sachs but other brands are unknown quantities.

But i don't know the difference between OE quality and those which are inferior quality.

About to leave the House to look at a stripped 06 Pilot to see if the rear knuckle (stub axle is what i thought it was called!) is correct and hopefully there is a decent shock aswell. This will be a patch up as we are going home in a week.

Rebuild will be planned when back in the UK.
_________________________
16 S350d LWB 25k Mobil Super 3000 XE 5w30
17 Smart ForFour Auto 6.5k Mobil 1 0w40 FS

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#4461833 - 07/17/17 01:28 PM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: bigjl]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 2220
Loc: London, England
There has been a reply to the thread on Piloteers helpfully started by Hangfire.

In case the person checks this thread again I registered with a different name.

I first used PilotinAfrica then tried TravellingPilot.

One bit of good news is managed to find a complete used knuckle that was a bit rusty but was complete with a rusty backplate, rusty disc and siezed caliper!

Also found a used shock that looked fairly new.

A very hot and sweaty day was spent in the ised car parts area of Accra and then used made a good knuckle with parts from the car and tje used knuckle.

Car is now mobile with four shocks.

After having a good look at the knuckle where the shock mounts isn't strong enough for the size if the vehicle for the roads in Ghana.

I will continue my online search, which should be a bit easier now that i don't have to source a knuckle.

It does also seem that the 2wd and 4wd early Pilots use the same knuckle.


Edited by bigjl (07/17/17 01:35 PM)
_________________________
16 S350d LWB 25k Mobil Super 3000 XE 5w30
17 Smart ForFour Auto 6.5k Mobil 1 0w40 FS

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#4462943 - 07/18/17 02:31 PM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: bigjl]
Daverino Offline


Registered: 01/25/17
Posts: 19
Loc: Texas
Honda Pilots are made for smooth US roads. They do not have a robust suspension designed for rough dirt roads in developing countris. If I was to recommend a used car to be imported into Africa I would recommend a body on frame vehicle, preferably a Toyota/Lexus that is common in the target nation.

The Lexus GX470 is sold around the world as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. And many of them in the US are driven by well-to-do mothers who drive to the grocery store and to pick the kids up from school, and only that. I would definitely get the timing belt done in the US with quality parts from a certified mechanic, as both of those things could be hard to find in an area where the vehicle was not sold when new. This is made even more severe at times because the US vehicles are only gas powered, and in foreign markets diesel is often dominant or the only engines supplied to a region.

In this era of Honda products the automatic transmissions had a reputation for early failures. My 2005 Acura TL has the same design I believe. I have done some reading and it seems that the transmissions can be made to last if you treat it right. First be sure to change out the transmission fluid with a drain and fill about every other oil change, if you drive in traffic with lots of shifting try to make it every oil change.

This is due to the transmission fluid being overheated and breaking down early. I have switched away from Honda OEM transmission fluid and now am using Amsoil Signature Series ATF. Many are also using Redline ATF with great enthusiasm. Both of these aftermarket fluids are more resistant to breakdown than OEM. This is a thicker fluid (better for higher temps) and will make the transmission shift more deliberately. The new harsher shifting you will experience is actually easier on the trans clutch packs than the slow and buttery shifts, and in theory should make the trasnmission last longer.

One thing that seems to kill the transmissions early is that there is a problem when the transmissions kick down to a lower gear. For example if you are cruising in 4th gear at 40mph, and you stab the throttle for more power the transmission will try to downshift to 2nd. The transmissions in these cars had a problem with this and it is said to cause extremely premature wear. Try to anticipate your needs for acceleration and downshift before hand manually.

If the vehicle is AWD/4wd be sure to change out the differential fluids. I am sure that you can find a write up online of how to do it yourself. If you are in a hot climate I would try to go one level thicker than what is specified in the manual. So if it calls for a 90 weight, I would go with a 110 weight full synthetic. Amsoil and Redline have products that are well thought of.

If you frequently drive in deep water you may instead want to change all the fluids as frequently as possible, with whatever conventional fluids are readily at hand, but meet the basic specs. Dirty water getting into your diffs and trans and staying there will do more harm than the worlds best fluids can prevent.

The main issue you seem to be having the car right now though is that it is not robust enough to handle the roads and driving style that you are putting it through. The number one thing I have read about and experienced on rough roads is to slow down. There is an overlanding guru on youtube that lives in Africa that says it is the most important advice he can give out. His name escapes me at the moment.

Either way though the car will seem to need all the mechanical help it can get. I would recommend that your first dollars spent should be toward wheels and tires. Get the tallest tires and the smallest wheels that are practical. Any increase gained in sidewall thickness will add comfort to the car's ride and physical protection from severe impacts like you are describing. Do not neglect to look into getting the smallest wheels possible as well. Try an online wheel fitment guide like at the TireRack to find out how small you can go. This will help to add more sidewall and less weight to each corner, and the suspension is taking a beating as it is.

Front wheel drive cars with transverse V6 engines are known to have terrible turning radius's, and I am sure that the Pilot is like steering an oil tanker in the city. I would get as big a diameter wheel as possible while still being able to turn. Do not hesitate to trim the bumpers or inner fender well panels. This car may not live very long with the abuse it is getting now anyway, a little bit of plastic cutting now to get more protection is a smart idea.

Cars for the US market are also designed with the idea that the gasoline will be of a minimum guaranteed quality. This is often not what you find in developing countries. Try to buy gas at the bigger and busier gas stations in the bigger cities. I would also only get premium high octane gas, because even if it is diluted down it will be of a greater octane rating than when they dilute the regular octane. Hot conditions closer to sea level are also more likely to cause pre detonation so going to a higher octane is a good idea anyway. I would be surprised if you feel your car having more power and greater fuel economy. Never run your gas tank down to near empty as well, as the fuel pumps need a minimum amount of gas to provide cooling to the pump, running all the way down will kill the pump. Which will be a big deal when parts are thousands of miles away.

That is all that I can think of for now.
_________________________
"Daverino has the direct Bat Phone line." -georgemiller

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#4463115 - 07/18/17 05:31 PM Re: 2007 Honda Pilot in Ghana [Re: bigjl]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 2220
Loc: London, England
All good info Daverino.

Thanks.

The vehicle was being driven up a rutted track to some farm land, i wasn't there somebody else was driving. Impact was hard enough to blow a tyre (Michelin LTX with about 7mm of tread left)

As i said earlier i was told about it after the wife bought it.

Ghana is full of Land Cruisers, most Police vehicles are Nissan Navaras (like a Frontier in the US i think but diesel)

Not seen any Lexus 470 but i am sure tbey are about, only issue with large engined vehicles are import duty, the Pilot cost nearly 6000 to get cleared at Customs for that reason.

I think it will be up to the roads in Accra as they are actually pretty good.

Some roads outside of the Capital are excellent, huge sections of the main road between Accra and Kumasi are new.

When going towards Cape Coast they are decent but to reduce speeds they havs traffic calming measures that should be in a Shopping Mall Car Park rather than a main road with traffic doing 60mph.

But as soon as you get onto roads that don't connect large cities, tourist destinations or the roads that large national and international companies use they are worn ans potholed.

My choice would have been Toyota Hilux or Land Cruiser (they still do the 70 Series here), a Mitsubishi L200 double cab or Nissan NP300 double cab (they call that the Hard Body and both the L200 and NP300 are available in "African Spec".

If I was going for something a bit more "posh" i would have gone for a Discovery LR3 in V8 form from the US, a Pathfinder 4.0 petrol or a mk1 Range Rover Sport or full fat Range Rover.

They are still a nice place to be.

Maybe i will paint it Nato Green and fit aggressive All Terrains with black modular steel wheels!



Edited by bigjl (07/18/17 05:41 PM)
_________________________
16 S350d LWB 25k Mobil Super 3000 XE 5w30
17 Smart ForFour Auto 6.5k Mobil 1 0w40 FS

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