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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have an opportunity to pick up '04TSX with 208,000km (130,000miles) for $6500 Canadian , as far as I know Timing Chain was already replaced on it by Acura dealer. Car is in great condition overall... Does it worth it or should I get something with less kilometers for more $$$ (can't go over $8000)? Thank you all !!!
 

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These are overall pretty stout cars. The K24 engines are for the most part non-problematic. If they said they replaced the timing chain, I would be a little wary as the chain doesn't really stretch or break in most daily driver cases. If it was the serpentine belt, then that's reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, it was Timing Chain, I just confirmed. The owner of the car had it at the dealer to do regular maintenance 6 months ago and they suggested he needs a new timing chain, so he replaced it...I thought it might be a good thing and if I buy it I wouldn't have to worry about it...Maybe I am wrong? Please guide me in the right direction. Thank you!!!
 

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Ha, he bought into the dealer's misinformation. Kinda feel sorry for the poor guy now. OH well, one less item to worry about. But overall, the car should run for another 100k miles without much mechanical issue. One thing I would do is to pull the dip stick for the transmission (if it's an auto) and check the fluid. Make sure it's more on the red/pink side. If it's more on the brown side, the owner has neglected it and I would walk away. If it's 6MT, make sure the clutch feels good, and you don't have any grinds or notchiness when shifting through the gears. Also look through his maintenance records to see if they have replaced the water pump, serpentine belt and spark plugs as well, as that should have been serviced by now as well.

The only other thing I can really think of that's of any issues on 04 models specifically would probably be the A/C compressor issues (I've seen a few where the compressor clutch breaks itself off the compressor) and A/C condenser (road debris makes it way through the front fascia openings and hits the condenser, causing it to slowly leak freon). Only other thing I've really noticed (and this is really hit or miss) is premature replacement of the primary AFR sensor. I've for the most part have just changed them out with Denso units on my customer's vehicles without much issue. Also for this mileage, I'd probably do a check on the engine mounts. Honda has always tended to use really soft mounts, so they may be worn or getting there.

As far as minor things that's common on these cars that's more of an annoyance than something that would cause drivability issues that I can think of would probably be the radio speakers. They're these small crap things that don't hold up well to much power. My suggestion would probably be to just replace them with good aftermarket units as needed (Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, etc., just whatever sounds good to your ears).

Also at this mileage, the factory dampers may start showing some wear as well. Nothing that really needs to be addressed immediately (unless they're blown or leaking). A good set of aftermarket units from KYB will do the trick if you plan on just comfortably daily driving it. Tokico has a high performance set if you want a little firmer ride and a little more sharper handling as an option.

The only other thing I can think of as an option would probably be the brakes. I'm guessing that this was a fully dealer serviced vehicle. While that's nice and all, but factory Honda rotors SUCK and warp easily. Set of good aftermarket rotors like Centric Premiums would be nice to combat the rotor's tendency to want to warp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ha, he bought into the dealer's misinformation. Kinda feel sorry for the poor guy now. OH well, one less item to worry about. But overall, the car should run for another 100k miles without much mechanical issue. One thing I would do is to pull the dip stick for the transmission (if it's an auto) and check the fluid. Make sure it's more on the red/pink side. If it's more on the brown side, the owner has neglected it and I would walk away. If it's 6MT, make sure the clutch feels good, and you don't have any grinds or notchiness when shifting through the gears. Also look through his maintenance records to see if they have replaced the water pump, serpentine belt and spark plugs as well, as that should have been serviced by now as well.

The only other thing I can really think of that's of any issues on 04 models specifically would probably be the A/C compressor issues (I've seen a few where the compressor clutch breaks itself off the compressor) and A/C condenser (road debris makes it way through the front fascia openings and hits the condenser, causing it to slowly leak freon). Only other thing I've really noticed (and this is really hit or miss) is premature replacement of the primary AFR sensor. I've for the most part have just changed them out with Denso units on my customer's vehicles without much issue. Also for this mileage, I'd probably do a check on the engine mounts. Honda has always tended to use really soft mounts, so they may be worn or getting there.

As far as minor things that's common on these cars that's more of an annoyance than something that would cause drivability issues that I can think of would probably be the radio speakers. They're these small crap things that don't hold up well to much power. My suggestion would probably be to just replace them with good aftermarket units as needed (Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, etc., just whatever sounds good to your ears).

Also at this mileage, the factory dampers may start showing some wear as well. Nothing that really needs to be addressed immediately (unless they're blown or leaking). A good set of aftermarket units from KYB will do the trick if you plan on just comfortably daily driving it. Tokico has a high performance set if you want a little firmer ride and a little more sharper handling as an option.

The only other thing I can think of as an option would probably be the brakes. I'm guessing that this was a fully dealer serviced vehicle. While that's nice and all, but factory Honda rotors SUCK and warp easily. Set of good aftermarket rotors like Centric Premiums would be nice to combat the rotor's tendency to want to warp.
Wow, THANK YOU DEAN ! This is very informative and just what I was looking for. I will schedule the viewing and will go over all points you mentioned above. By the way this car is 6speed manual I am trying to stay away from Acura/Honda automatics after double fiasco on my 1999 Acura CL3.0 auto...:eek: . Also I don't think the owner serviced it all the time at the dealer. I only know that Timing chain was done there and he bought it used from Acura dealer...i will ask for all records and see what he has...
 

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Wow, THANK YOU DEAN ! This is very informative and just what I was looking for. I will schedule the viewing and will go over all points you mentioned above. By the way this car is 6speed manual I am trying to stay away from Acura/Honda automatics after double fiasco on my 1999 Acura CL3.0 auto...:eek: . Also I don't think the owner serviced it all the time at the dealer. I only know that Timing chain was done there and he bought it used from Acura dealer...i will ask for all records and see what he has...
OK. Most TSX's I see tend to be auto's, so I usually lean in that direction in terms of advice. So, yes, make sure that the shifts nice and smooth, good clutch engagement, and yada yada yada. Notchy shifts and grinds could be from not servicing the MTF. My customers with 6MT TSX gets their trans filled with Torco MTF (great MTF BTW, I even use it in my RSX race car and 350Z race car). If it'll need a clutch, I'd suggest to stay Japanese for the most part. If I recall correctly (I may need to dig out this year's Exedy Clutch catalog to double check), Exedy now makes a straight OE replacement clutch kit for this car. If a clutch upgrade is needed, I've sold a lot of the Competition Clutch lightweight flywheel and stage 2 clutch for the RSX Type S to my TSX customers with good results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looking at 2003 Lexus IS300 (same miles)now... both are great but from what I've heard Lexus's reliability is better. I want TSX but if IS300 is a better built car (reliability wise) I will have to go a Lexus route...Any suggestions?
 

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I take it that this is also a 6MT IS300. I've worked on a few. That 2JZ-GE engine is a nice engine, but for some reason in stock form in that car, it felt gutless. That engine is no doubt a bulletproof engine as well. Just know that you'll probably be spending more in fuel on that car, however it has 1 thing that the TSX doesn't have: RWD hoonability. The few IS300 customers I've had seem to have taken the same build route with me:
Vortech supercharger
Tein Flex or CST coilover (with Eibach ERS springs, because the Tein manufactured springs still suck)
chassis bracing
HKS HiPower muffler
custom B-pipe
headers (which were a pain in the ass to install BTW)
Supra TT brakes
stronger rear LSD (usually something like Cusco, Kaaz, or OS Geiken)
Koyo radiator

This engine as stout as it is really needs forced induction to wake it up, however it is a great engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I take it that this is also a 6MT IS300. I've worked on a few. That 2JZ-GE engine is a nice engine, but for some reason in stock form in that car, it felt gutless. That engine is no doubt a bulletproof engine as well. Just know that you'll probably be spending more in fuel on that car, however it has 1 thing that the TSX doesn't have: RWD hoonability. The few IS300 customers I've had seem to have taken the same build route with me:
Vortech supercharger
Tein Flex or CST coilover (with Eibach ERS springs, because the Tein manufactured springs still suck)
chassis bracing
HKS HiPower muffler
custom B-pipe
headers (which were a pain in the ass to install BTW)
Supra TT brakes
stronger rear LSD (usually something like Cusco, Kaaz, or OS Geiken)
Koyo radiator

This engine as stout as it is really needs forced induction to wake it up, however it is a great engine.
Lexus IS300 I am looking at is Automatic transmission, to be honest I am not a mod guy and prefer my cars to stay stock. I don't really care about how fast they go let it be IS300 or TSX, I only need to know which one is going to be more reliable in a long run...Thanks Dean!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I decided to look for 2005 TSX instead of 2004. Found one with 150.000km for $9000 , grey in colour. Is 2005 a better choice, I was told by the owner it consumes oil and that I have to keep checking on it every 1500-2000km...
Is this normal? Thank you!
 
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