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Acura MDX Accessories and Modifications

sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
I want to add side steps or running boards. I did not want to pay the premium that the dealer was charging. How good are the factory or acura brand? Anyone have thoughts about which is more sturdy steps or boards? Would I be better off purchasing a 3rd party solution? My dealer wanted $750 to put them on, I am hoping to get them for around $300 and put them on myself.


  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The running boards look a little classier, the side steps look more sporty. You can buy them from and install them yourselves. You need a wrench (a power one, preferrably) for 72 (yes, 72) bolts.

    Some people have had the side steps powder-coated.

    $300? Ah, your best bet are the Manik side steps. Some think they look a bit sportier than the Acura side steps, and they're cheaper.
  • will4271will4271 Posts: 187

    Was that 72 bolts on each side step or on both.

    I'm thinking of installing it myself also.

    But I haven't heard from anyone that actually done that.

    Also the rear mud guards are not that hard to install is it?
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297 has pdf instructions. I think it is 72 bolts total for both side steps and boards. But it doeesn't look that hard. I drove by a dealer today and checked out both, I think I like the steps better.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I think I've seen at least two dozen posters on various systems who have put in the running boards or side steps by themselves, so it's definitely doable.

    It's 72 bolts total, 36 for each step. Some folks with the right tools have done it in under an hour.

    sbcooke, do look at the Manik side steps. Some people prefer them to the OEM ones. They're a bit cheaper, but some folks have had problems waiting for them to come in.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I looked at them on the web. I think I need to do some real world comparisons. Actually I need to take my wife around to look at steps or boards. She is the one who will be deciding. If we go with steps I will be looking at any and all options out there. I have complete power of attorney over the modifications to my Trooper!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The Manik side steps come in black or in stainless steel. The black is quite cheap, under $300, the stainless steel ones are under $400.

    I understand GoRhino side steps are now available for the MDX but I don't know how they look like on an MDX (too new).

    There are some good pictures of stainless steel Maniks in this thread. You can page forward to see more pictures as the owner experimented with different positioning.

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I think I have decided on side steps. However, Honda Pilot accessories are already starting to be listed, and they are a little less expensive. So I will wait a couple of months to see if I can get honda add-ons that will fit cheaper.
  • slockoslocko Posts: 109
    i have navi so i don't want to replace the radio since i have read that you might lose steering wheel controls?

    can anyone recommend speakers or another site where there are discussion on this?

  • nm2nm2 Posts: 9
    my friend got the stereo brand "Infiniti" to replace the Bose. they go for ~$500-$1000. (it depends on your taste). he installed it himself and said it was very easy to do so.
  • stekatstekat Posts: 4
    For the most part, I like my new MDX. A few relatively simple things seem to be missing.

    - For safety, make the doors lock automatically when shifting to Drive or at 20 mph (like GM and Chrysler). Seems too easy for a carjacker to enter from the liftgate.
    - Click the remote only once to lock the MDX, not twice.
    - Make the front windows go down when holding the unlock button on the remote (like Nissan). Great feature on really hot days.
    - Come up with A/C controls that don't require an engineering degree to operate easily. A knob would be nice.
    - Make the 2nd row seats fold flat (not a new idea).
    - Simplify the wiper controls.

    What else would you recommend?
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    .CD changer that has random across all disks
    .More space for the driver's left foot
    .more comfortable front drivers seats
  • Has anyone had their MDX retrofitted for a cellphone? Who did the work for you? What did it cost? Are you pleased with the results? Any complications?
  • Has anyone purchased a full mask and what did you pay for it?
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Don't have one myself. Problem with nose masks is that gunk can get caught in between it and the surface of the vehicle. That can result in scratches. A better solution are those Xpel-type products (e.g. clear bra).
  • Just bought my mdx and want to carry two touring kayaks on the top. Has anybody outfitted their mdx to carry kayaks? What did you find? I've been shopping Thule & Yakima and haven't found much of anything that will go on the MDX unless I take off my factory roof rack and start from scratch with a Yakima or Thule. I'd be interested in what solutions you have come with to utilize the factory rack.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    You should be able to mount thule bars to the mdx rack. I have seen it done, and looked like all standard issue thule gear.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Got mine yesterday from HondaAcuraWorld! $389.00 no shipping charge? I am not sure how that worked out, but there was zero charge on the invoice and they were delivered in about 4 days. I will update after I install them.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I put all the hardware that connects the board to the frame together last night. 48 bolts, but not to bad...sat down with a couple of porters in front of the tube and finger tightened everything. So if you figure that there is about $300 worth of labor involved in the dealer install price, I did about $100 of it last night! Saturday I am going to make a run at attaching everything up to the body. I have to go out and get a torque wrench first. Not bad, I saved over $300 on the dealer costs and I end up with a torque wrench at the end of all of it.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I installed the running boards today and finished about the exact time it started to rain...whew! It only took me about 3 hours. The first side took longer because I didn't follow the instrucions to the letter. It says to put the frame bolts on with only 3-4 threads before you put the board on. They need to be lower so the board will fit, I first tightedened them up 1/2 way all around, and then had to back them off to fit the board. This added a little time. The second side only took about an hour.

    I also got a good craftsman torque wrench out of the total cost was $389 + $75...not bad considering the dealer wanted $730 to put them on, and $450 to to sell them to me uninstalled.

    The instructions had one mistake...they said use a 10mm combo wrench, and you actually needed a 13mm wrench, the same size as the socket. I also found it easier to tighten everything up using a screwdriver type socket driver, and then just about 3/4 a turn with the torque wrench to set all the bolts.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I checked out the running boards on a pilot vs. my MDX's. The Pilot's are different, flatter without as much curve at each end. They also sit closer to the body. Initially I was looking at adding Pilot running boards because they were cheaper.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Does anyone know if the Pilot camera and or sensor for the pilot will work with the MDX? Do you have to have the Navigation package in order to get the camera/viewscreen?
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Currently no word on backward compatibility to the 2001/2002 Nav. However, the rearview camera does require the Navi system, since the non-Navi's screen is a simple etched, monochrome LCD. The Navi screen has what it takes to show images.

    For those with the non-Navi LCD screens, there are some aftermarket solutions, though they all come with their own screens. I've seen one that clips to the rear view mirror.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Reading the instructions from hondaacuraworld, and seeing how much cheaper it is...when the time comes, I am going to do the transmission/power steering cooler add-ons myself. They seem pretty simple. The hardest part looks like removing the front bumper...this is also as reported by a Pilot owner who just did the add-on himself.

    I wonder if we can get the package without the trailer hitch? I definitely want to get a "hiddenhitch". At least there are some decent modifications available for DIY'ers.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Has anyone installed an entertainment system in their 2001/2002 MDX? Either Honda or other after-market products? I am interested in a good system and considering either a portable unit I put on the center arm rest, or an integrated system.
  • just ordered '03 MDX T. Very disappointed to see all the negative posts and difficulties people are having with getting their Thule bars on this vehicle without the door jam foot (which, IMHO, is a bad set-up). My question is.... it seems that some posters have indicated that they have laid down Yakima tracks.... does the MDX rack come off easily and is it fairly easy to lay down the Yakima track. Once the track is down, will the Thule Tracker kit (TK1 and and 430 Foot Pack) work in conjunction with the Yakima track? My ultimate objective is to do away with the factory rack, lay down the Yakima track and be able to use my Thule's without having to attach to the dor jam. Any success stories???
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    One problem I have found is that rain doesn't stay off the rear window while driving. Has anyone installed the rear spoiler and does it keep rain off the window while driving?
  • Has anyone intsall HID headlights on the mdx yet. How did it came out, is it a big improvment over the standard headlights. Where and how much was the HID lights and was it easy to install? Am i right in assuming that all HID has to have a ballest in order for it to work? Second question is: Has anyone found any real good internet site for Acura MDX assessory? Third question: Anyone out there own a 2003 MDX, if so, whats your opinion of the improvment over the 02?
  • will4271will4271 Posts: 187
    I got my MDX Touring yesterday night. The manager wanted to close the books so he threw in the wheel locks and cargo liner.

    The light seems okay and don't have a desire to upgrade to HID as of yet.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    2002? or 2003? Welcome to the owners club. If 2003, which it sounds like from your other posts, how long were you on the waiting list?
  • will4271will4271 Posts: 187
    It's a new 2003 MDX Touring. I was still on the waiting list with Hopkins and they said it maybe a while.

    We couldn't wait so we looked around. We had a bad experience at Niello Acura (they wanted to charge finance charges even before the car arrived at the dealer...defaulted first payment due in 45 days not 30 days .. TG that I didn't sign the original agreement to buy from them.. canceled all thoughts after finding a better deal with the next dealer).

    I called five other dealers that Sun and visited Acura of Serramonte and found there's a '03 Touring coming in the following week so we booked it.

    Got that SUV on Halloween. The big guy (boss) Mark threw in the wheels locks and cargo tray w/o added cost as a gift so we help him closeout the books for month end. (not sure if the charges other people for it but if you buy on the spot, he will ding it)

    I learned to always look for the big guy...we had visited the same dealer and talked to other manager and he insisted in Touch of Class on all SUV or no sale plus many DIO. Of course, pure bs.

    Btw, I ran into a hassle with, the dealer did not take it. Some dealers do take them. Check them out first before you buy, it will save lots of grief (found out at the last min... salesman is not always right).

    Still you can talk to the dealer and see if Peoplefirst will give you a certified Check. Most dealers would take that but you have send your orig. check back first. (2-3 day process + fees).

    I like the customer service and wanted badly that they take it. Besides the great rate, it was very easy to pay for the car.
    But some dealers do take them because they have bad experience with a few of them. Check with their Finance person first.

    Cancelled the Hopkins deal, the salesman was not happy and before I finished my two sentences he clunk down my phone. I'm still waiting for that $1000 refund (don't really like far out deposits).
This discussion has been closed.