2005 Honda Odyssey Chassis
Performance Beyond a Minivan

Overview

The Odyssey is built on the latest version of Honda's Global Light Truck Platform and provides the best balance of safety, comfort and performance. Key features that help set the Odyssey apart from the competition include a fully independent front and rear suspension with floating subframes and an ultra rigid platform. Riding on a 118.1-inch wheelbase, the Odyssey's platform uses heavy duty MacPherson struts in the front and a double wishbone multi-link rear suspension for performance levels that approach a level usually reserved for luxury sedans - a feel that no other minivan can duplicate! Already considered to be the best handling minivan, the redesigned Odyssey chassis results in a more direct and linear performance feeling with a firm and stable character that still provides a supple ride quality that is relaxed and quiet.

What's New for 2005

  • Standard Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
  • Floating rear subframe
  • Larger Wheels and Tires (235/65R16)
  • Michelin® PAX® System Technology (on Touring models)
  • Two-piston front brake calipers
  • Kickback reduction valve and damper added to steering box
  • Tighter turning diameter (36.7 ft., previously 37.7 ft.)

Specific Areas Targeted for Improvement

  • Resistance to External Forces
  • Steering Response
  • Stability
  • On-Center Feel
  • Maximum Performance
  • Cornering
  • Shock Noise
  • Body Vibration
  • Flat Ride
  • Smooth Ride
  • Harshness

Global Light Truck Platform with Unit Body Frame Construction

The 2005 Honda Odyssey uses a new generation of Honda's Global Light Truck Platform that incorporates enhanced levels of safety (ACE body structure) with class leading rigidity and performance. The Global Light Truck Platform is engineered to balance the rugged traits of a light duty truck frame with high levels of safety, handling and fuel economy. The unit body frame construction is comprised of three main units - the front subframe, the main frame and the rear subframe - and those sections are integrated into the body construction. The benefit of the unit body construction (compared to traditional body on frame construction) is lighter weight, better handling and enhanced energy absorption capabilities. MacPherson struts are used for the front suspension and a space saving double wishbone with trailing arm suspension is used in the rear.

Odyssey Chassis Highlights

The following list highlights the engineering features of the Odyssey chassis:

Ride, Handling and Braking

  • Low center of gravity and wide track add to vehicle stability;
  • 4-wheel independent suspension with a full floating subframe isolates road vibrations;
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control enhances control during hard cornering and poor road conditions;
  • Brake Assist System added;
  • 16-inch wheels and 235/65 R16 tires provide high levels of ride comfort and vehicle stability;
  • Toe-in control rear suspensions provides for better vehicle stability under hard cornering
  • 11.7-inch ventilated front disc brakes and 12.3-inch rear disc brakes; and
  • Fluid-filled and electronically controlled engine mounts (LX, EX) and Active Control Engine Mount System (EX with Leather and Touring) absorb engine vibration over a wide range of engine speeds. ACM helps cancel vibration during VCM operation.

Packaging Efficiency and Operability

  • Compact rear suspension design maximizes rear cargo space
  • Spare tire compartment in third-row wall

Independent MacPherson Strut Front Suspension

The Odyssey's independent front suspension is a MacPherson strut-type, with a large, forged lower wishbone arm that helps to feed suspension loads into the frame over a wide area. This, in turn, helps to minimize the transmission of road noise and vibration to the body and frame and also adds additional strength to the system.

The springs are a low-rate, long travel type that effectively soak up bumps and road disturbances. The front suspension is designed so that the inside front wheel (when cornering) will assume a slight toe-out attitude for maximum contact between the tire and the road. When braking, both front wheels will assume a slight toe-out attitude. A bushing built into the front inner pivot of the lower control arm provides the necessary compliance for this feature. The result is quick linear steering response and straight line braking stability.

The MacPherson strut front suspension incorporates a negative steering offset scrub radius which helps maintain straight line control on road surfaces with differing traction coefficients (i.e. a typical carpool lane when one tire is on the road shoulder and the other is on the pavement) along with maintaining a good contact patch for the tire during cornering.

Independent Double Wishbone Rear Suspension

The Odyssey provides the ride and handling advantages of a double wishbone rear suspension, a setup commonly found on high performance vehicles and racecars for its superior wheel motion characteristics. The suspension uses a triangular control arm and a long rail-shaped trailing arm to connect the chassis subframe to the wheel. Enhancements to the rear suspension include larger bushings that disperse forces over a greater area and a floating subframe that is isolated from the body by rubber bushings.

The geometry of the suspension now allows for enhanced suspension movement characteristics. The shock absorber is located so that it moves along the same direction as the tire stroke, thus is more efficient in absorbing shocks from the road surface and provides for better ride comfort. Additionally, toe-in compliance has been enlarged through the rear suspension transverse links, formed by the rear suspension and rear subframe mount, where they pivot at the wheel carrier. Any side pressure that may result from cornering, off-camber road or crosswind, causes the outside wheel to assume a slightly toe-in attitude. The resulting steer-effect helps to counter the roll-induced steer effect of the side force, so the Odyssey tracks straighter under these conditions. An additional benefit to the Odyssey's suspension design is the compact packaging that provides a low and flat cargo floor.

Power Rack-and-Pinion Steering

The Odyssey's steering system is tuned for quick, linear, car-like response and sensitive feel - and the torque sensing, power steering assist is high for parking maneuvers and low at highway speeds. As cornering forces rise, understeer is mild and linearly progressive to accentuate predictability.

This system has been tuned for optimal steering feel. The valve body incorporates a damper valve that improves firm steering feel at high speeds, and a kickback reduction valve that substantially reduces steering kickback when encountering bumps or objects in the road. A roller bearing in the steering shaft makes steering easier in parking situations. The turning diameter of the Odyssey has been tightened from 37.7 to 36.7 feet (curb-to-curb).

Anti-Lock Braking System with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)

Odyssey brake components are large in capacity to help handle heavy cargo and towing loads. The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) has four sensing and activating channels to detect a wheel on the verge of lock up. In the event this occurs, brake pressure is held, then reduced, to permit that wheel to regain traction before full braking resumes. The Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) system electronically regulates front-to-rear brake effort proportioning to help compensate for placement of cargo in the vehicle and maintain an optimum braking load on front and rear wheels for enhanced stopping characteristics.

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with Traction Control

For enhanced control during acceleration, cornering, and sudden collision-avoidance maneuvers, the Odyssey is equipped with a 4-channel Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system that works in conjunction with the drive-by-wire throttle and ABS systems. VSA enhances vehicle stability by applying brake force to each of the Odyssey's four disc brakes independently while also managing the throttle and ignition systems. An additional benefit is the limited-slip differential effect the system provides for the front wheels by applying braking force to a slipping wheel thereby redirecting driving force to the wheel with more traction.

Analyzing data that is constantly received from eight sensors monitoring speed, steering input and lateral G forces, the VSA system compares the driver's control inputs with the vehicle's actual response. If the actual response is outside a predicted response range, VSA automatically intervenes with an appropriate corrective action. In the case of oversteer, VSA applies braking to the outside front and rear wheels to counter the unintended yawing effect. If understeer is detected, VSA applies braking to the inside front and rear wheels and reduces engine power to help bring the car back onto the driver's intended course.

The VSA system in the Odyssey has been carefully calibrated to add handling stability and predictability with minimal intrusion to the driving experience. Its operation is designed to be transparent, so drivers may not even notice when VSA is working. Whenever the system is actively enhancing the vehicle's stability, an indicator light flashes on the instrument panel. In addition, VSA's stability enhancement and traction control can be turned off with a cockpit switch while still leaving the Anti-lock Braking System fully functional.

Brake Assist

The VSA system can also recognize emergency braking situations and provide braking assist when needed. When the driver uses the brakes strongly, a pressure sensor recognizes braking system operation beyond a specific value for pedal stroke and speed. Then, the VSA modulator pump assists braking pressure to increase braking force and shorten braking distance. This feature can be especially helpful when the driver is unable to press the brake strongly.

Wheel and Tires

The Odyssey features 16 x 7-inch wheels and 235/65 R16 tires on LX, EX, and EX with Leather models. LX models use Bridgestone Turanza all-season tires and the EX and EX with Leather models use Michelin LX4 all season tires. The Touring edition is equipped with the Michelin PAX System, a unique style of extended mobility tire (see below for more information.) The Odyssey EX and EX with Leather models have alloy wheels and the Odyssey LX model has steel wheels with full wheel covers. The spare tire on LX, EX and EX with Leather models is a compact size (T135/80D17) that is mounted flush inside the panel of the driver-side wall of the third row.

Michelin® PAX® System

The Odyssey is among the first mass market vehicles and the first minivan in North America to adopt Michelin's innovative PAX System, an extended mobility tire-and-wheel system that allows drivers to continue driving in the event of a loss of air pressure. The Michelin PAX System, exclusive to Touring models, gives drivers the security to travel on a punctured or deflated tire for up to 125 miles at 50 mph. The PAX System uses a unique wheel size of 225 x 460A (about 17.5-inch) with 235-710R 460A tires. The PAX Extended Mobility System is comprised of four components:

  • A tire design that dynamically locks onto the wheel and will not come unseated during normal use, with a performance-enhancing structure and short sidewalls
  • An inner support ring which carries the load of the vehicle if pressure is lost
  • A specially shaped wheel to facilitate the inner support ring
  • A tire pressure monitoring system with position indicator that warns the driver of pressure loss

The system offers owners the convenience and security of knowing that they will not be stranded with a flat tire while offering numerous benefits over conventional run-flat tires and radial tires. Unlike conventional runflat tires, the PAX System uses an inner support ring instead of a heavy and stiff reinforced sidewall, allowing for improved overall ride quality as well as increased stability in run-flat situations.

Additionally, PAX tires offer benefits over traditional radial tires including:

  • As much as a 12-percent lower rolling resistance, benefiting fuel economy
  • Sporty appearance and sporty handling capabilities with low-profile sidewall and increased wheel diameter
  • In the event of a flat tire, drivers no longer run the risk of having to stop in dangerous or uncomfortable situations (night, rain, highways, etc.) and there is a much wider choice on when and where to change the tire
  • In the event of tire pressure loss, the new tire bead anchoring system securely locks the tire bead to the wheel
  • No need for a jack or getting dirty while changing tires

The PAX System uses a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that displays pressure status for each individual tire on the Odyssey Touring model's Multi Information Display. In the event of a puncture, the Multi Information Display will alert the driver with a visual and audible warning. When the tire is deflated, the stability of the vehicle remains intact. In addition to electronic warnings, a deflated PAX System tire makes a slight rumble noise and the ride quality of the vehicle changes. PAX System tires are normally reparable after a puncture and being run in the deflated condition.

A special bead system creates a physical interlock between the uniquely shaped wheel rim and the bead (or attachment surface) of the tire. Instead of air pressure alone creating a tight lock between tire and wheel, the tension in a PAX tire pulls on a bead wire, tightening it into the wheel and preventing the tire from coming off the rim.

Special equipment is required for mounting and dismounting PAX tires from the wheel in the event of a flat tire. Since this a new technology, a Michelin Service Network has been established nationwide to insure that a pre-mounted replacement tire is available within at least a 125-mile radius from almost the entire United States. As the popularity of the PAX system increases on other vehicles, PAX tires will be available at a greater number of locations. In the unlikely event that a tire is not available, the Michelin Service Network includes a 12-hour delivery assistance program and compensation for a rental car, accommodations or other needs while waiting.

Detailed information regarding the PAX system is available at www.michelinman.com. A 24-hour/365 day per year toll-free number has been established (located on a document included with the Owner's Manual) to assist customers with PAX repair needs.

A phase-in program has been created with Honda dealers to further insure that customers will have quick and convenient access to wheel repair at the time of the 2005 Odyssey launch. Honda dealers are stocking complete wheel assemblies that can be switched with a flat PAX tire. Under normal use conditions, the repair is covered under the tire's road hazard warranty for the first 50 percent of tread life and then pro-rated just like any typical road hazard warranty for a new tire. In addition to the dealer program, Michelin dealers are in the process of installing PAX tire mounting and dismounting capabilities to further enhance the convenience of PAX tires.

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