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Brooks Travel Adventures

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

335
Kissimmee, FL
Member #

4129

Hello All,

I am starting to work on my 2005 Honda Pilot. There are not too many builds that I have found online so I thought I would post mine here. It is a work in progress and I will update as I add to the rig.

I purchased the Pilot from my mother who bought it new and I know all the maint. was kept up and could not pass on buying it. It has the VTM-4 system and I look forward to seeing what it can actually do. I have owned a few Hondas and know they will run forever if you take care of them.

I started by upgrading to Firestone Destination AT tires in the same stock size as it will be some time before I lift it. (there is only one lift kit I have found) I also installed a hitch receiver and roof rack rails and basket.

One of the next things will be to fabricate a skid plate as there is no protection to the engine/transmission at all. I also plan to get a full size spare and then a rear tire carrier from Wilco Offroad (Hitchgate Solo).
Other items I am looking into as funds allow:
2"lift (then maybe 30" or 31" tires)
Transmission Cooler
Front hitch receiver
LED light bar
Hi Lift Jack
Dual Battery system

I am open to any suggestions if anyone has experience with these vehicles. I used to run a ZJ back in the day but the pilot is so much more comfortable to drive and we do use the 3rd row seating. (why I can't do a drawer system.

For now I am traveling mostly in the Florida water managment areas and plan to do some trips to Ocala National Forrest and the Pilot seem more than capable for these purposes.
IMG_0555.JPG
 

Brooks Travel Adventures

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

335
Kissimmee, FL
Member #

4129

I figured I should link to the products I used as well here are what I put on so far:

Arksen cargo rack. It is the same rack as the Curt rack only cheaper.
Roof rack rails
Drawtie Hitch. Bought on offer up for $50.00
Firestone Destination AT tires https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?gclid=Cj0KEQjw2fLGBRDopP-vg7PLgvsBEiQAUOnIXCsurJkdm4Zj1kD8qVM1kvwBPtd2dbYfLUNwu2gHB9waAlxI8P8HAQ&tireMake=Firestone&tireModel=Destination+A/T&partnum=475SR6DESTATOWL&GCID=C13674x012-tire&KEYWORD=tires.jsp_Firestone_Destination_A/T_Tire&code=yes&src=17540115&ci_sku=475SR6DESTATOWL&ci_sku=475SR6DESTATOWL&ci_src=17588969&ef_id=V8XAgQAAAIpxEv36:20170330112806:s

I do have some projects to make the rack sealed better to prevent rust that I will be posting as I get them done.IMG_0609.JPG IMG_0610.JPG
 
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Brooks Travel Adventures

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

335
Kissimmee, FL
Member #

4129

It has been a while as I have been busy but finally making some changes. Just picked up a CVT Mt Shasta extended for $350.00. Needed some work and mounting hardware as well as a new travel cover. Fixed the floor as the last owner hit a branch but it is coming along. I will post more once it is mounted.



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Brooks Travel Adventures

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

335
Kissimmee, FL
Member #

4129

I own a 2007 Honda Pilot and am doing a similar build to you. So far the VTM-4 system has been very impressive! Have you made any headway on the skid plate? I am going to try to fabricate one from a transmission skid that I found at a salvage yard.

IMG_1659 by Seven Days Photography, on Flickr

IMG_1587 by Seven Days Photography, on Flickr
I have not yet. Waiting to do the lift First as I have not gone anywhere I felt I needed one yet. Just picked up the rooftop tent and next thing will most likely be the wilco rear tire holder. Then I will do the lift. Look forward to seeing what you do with yours. In starting to see more of the pilots now.


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b0wfin

Rank III

Advocate II

I bought my spacers off of ebay. I have a 2" spacer in the front ($100) and a 1.5" spacer in the back ($175). Right now I only see the rear kit for sale on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nylon-Rear-1-5-With-Camber-Arm-Lift-Kit-For-Honda-Pilot-03-08-/332296058369?fits=Make:Honda|Model:Pilot&hash=item4d5e637601:g:WXIAAOSwgu9ZX~as&vxp=mtr

I installed a set of Firestone air springs in the rear to add a little more height. The air springs have been an amazing investment! They improve the ride comfort, eliminate sag from heavy loads or towing, and improve handling. I did a little research to find an air spring that was the same diameter as the Honda Pilot bags but 1" taller. I chose the Firestone 4135 Coil-Rite Kit ($98) they are still working great after a year.


The kit comes with a bumper that is not compatible with the pilot. I created a custom bumper for the air spring to push against using an 1" thick cutting board.

I am really happy with the results.
 

Brooks Travel Adventures

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

335
Kissimmee, FL
Member #

4129

I bought my spacers off of ebay. I have a 2" spacer in the front ($100) and a 1.5" spacer in the back ($175). Right now I only see the rear kit for sale on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nylon-Rear-1-5-With-Camber-Arm-Lift-Kit-For-Honda-Pilot-03-08-/332296058369?fits=Make:Honda|Model:Pilot&hash=item4d5e637601:g:WXIAAOSwgu9ZX~as&vxp=mtr

I installed a set of Firestone air springs in the rear to add a little more height. The air springs have been an amazing investment! They improve the ride comfort, eliminate sag from heavy loads or towing, and improve handling. I did a little research to find an air spring that was the same diameter as the Honda Pilot bags but 1" taller. I chose the Firestone 4135 Coil-Rite Kit ($98) they are still working great after a year.


The kit comes with a bumper that is not compatible with the pilot. I created a custom bumper for the air spring to push against using an 1" thick cutting board.

I am really happy with the results.
Thanks. I will look into that. I only had seen the expensive kit for sale.


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I'm about to start a similar build on a 2004 Pilot. Getting a set of Cooper Discoverer AT-3 tires installed today. I've looked into lifts as well, but have only seen the ReadLIFT kits for about $600. Can't wait to see more of your progress.
 

Brooks Travel Adventures

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

335
Kissimmee, FL
Member #

4129

32's on a Pilot?!?! Do it! I love this build. Very inspiring. Where did you find your used CVT?
I don't think I will go to 32s lol. I have the stock size right now but may go to 31s after the lift.

I found the tent on offer up. The guy was asking $500 and when I went to see it he showed me the hole in the floor. Also, he was missing the mounting hardware, rods for windows, and the travel cover needed to be replaced. I wound up getting it for $350. and have put about $250 into it. The floor just had damage to the shell of it and I just sealed it up with sheet aluminum. The structure was good. The only thing I had any trouble with is the mounting hardware as everyone has them back ordered. I did order a set but have found a solution by making my own out of aluminum. going to try to mount it tomorrow to see how if it will work. I will post pics then.
 
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Brooks Travel Adventures

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

335
Kissimmee, FL
Member #

4129

I'm about to start a similar build on a 2004 Pilot. Getting a set of Cooper Discoverer AT-3 tires installed today. I've looked into lifts as well, but have only seen the ReadLIFT kits for about $600. Can't wait to see more of your progress.
Thanks I will be looking at what you do as well. Not too many of us pilot owners here but I do see the numbers growing. The little bit of offroading I have done has impressed me. The VTM-4 system works very well.
 

AdvNerd

Rank III
Member

Advocate I

Cool project. I just sold my Subaru Outback and inherited a 2007 Pilot from my parents. It has 187k miles and every single piece of my AC system is broken. Compressor, every tube leaks, blower, condenser and the light behind my AC controls in the cab. It was a northern car for most of it's life and I suspect the salt destroyed a lot of the seals. Other than that everything is in way better condition than other high mileage cars I've had.

It's promising to hear the good experience with the VTM-4 system off road. It's good to hear that if I ever get the courage/time to replace the AC system this might make a nice camp rig, or just wait until it cools off a bit outside :-P
 

Brooks Travel Adventures

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

335
Kissimmee, FL
Member #

4129

Ok so I got the tent up and all the new parts are here. The breakdown is as follows:

Used CVT Mt Shasta Extended that needed work. There was a hole in the floor from the last owner hitting a branch. He also did not have the rods to hold up the window flaps and the travel cover was ripped. He also did not have the mounting hardware.

The biggest issue was the mounting hardware as everyone has them back ordered. I did order a set but found a solution by making my own brackets. Here is an Instagram video showing what I came up with.


In total, I am happy with the setup and can't wait to take it out next weekend!!

Breakdown of cost:
tent $350.00
Aluminum and rivets $80
Rods $30
Travel Cover $150
Material for Brackets $20

So total for the tent is about $630. Not too bad considering the Price for a new one.

Not sure what the next project will be yet. Looking between 2in lift, rear tire carrier, or front hitch for better recovery point in front.

IMG_4201.JPG IMG_4200.JPG