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Comments on 3rd Generation TL Transmission Integrity

Recently on one of our frequented forums, a discussion was started about the reliability of the 2004-06 Acura TL transmission, especially as it pertains to be being put under force of supercharging.

One of the forum members there had this comment on the matter:

"Again, don't waste your money on modding this thing to go faster. You have a glass transmission in your '05. If you're gonna go FI, you'll need to replace that first because you'll be doing it eventually. You'd be better off starting with a TL with a 6MT."


Another said this:

"Putting a turbo on a 04-06 auto is a tragedy waiting to happen."

Heeltoe cannot say we've seen evidence that supports what these folks are saying. We know the earlier TL transmissions had issues (1999-2003 model year TLs), but the new ones we have heard no such reports. We do have a few customers with early model 2004-06 TLs with boost and have not gotten word of issues.

For more information, I called CT. Their comment to me on the integrity of the 2004-06 was that it is not problematic. In fact they did track testing at Thunderhill Raceway on a 5AT TL back in 2005 where they monitored trans temps and performance and found that these transmissions were found to be vastly more stable and consistent than the problematic 2g TL transmissions. The 2g TL transmissions, if we were talking about those, would be a completely different conversation where I would definitely agree that owning that car, not just boosting it, would be taking a risk and you should sock away some cash for a new transmission now...just in case.

CT has sold more than 100 of these superchargers to 2004-08 TL customers and the vast majority of them are on early model cars, as only recently have there been viable tuning options for the 2007-08 models. Their initial concern was that the transmission could not handle the extra torque and proved to themselves these concerns were unfounded, such to the point that they no longer recommended the use of a transmission cooler and raised the standard boost level.

Fact is, the 3rd gen TL transmission is no more problem-prone to most other Honda transmissions which are generally known to be reliable and live long lives, and take extra abuse given to them. Yes, some people I am sure have had problems. Some of them have been boosted and some have not, I am positive of that. But the statements about the early 3rd gen transmissions being failure-prone in the face of boost, we disagree with.

More fun facts...CT was commissioned with providing the drive-train for the Honda float in the 2015 Rose Parade. That might sound like a "huh" statement, but it should be known that these float are massively heavy. It is a full square-tube steel construction and they carry more than a few people on them. The engine used in the float was a standard Honda V6 engine, and the transmission was a completely standard Honda V6 auto trans. While probably a newer generation engine than the 2004-06 TL, the driveline needed to withstand a lot of stress and be ultimately reliable. CT assembled the driveline and the parade was a success!


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