2011 Honda Odyssey: Chassis

Summary

The Odyssey's fully independent suspension design uses a combination of MacPherson front struts and a precise multi-link rear suspension for an engaging and comfortable driving experience. As before, Honda engineers tuned the Odyssey's suspension for secure, nimble and enjoyable handling, and for 2011 it is better equipped to insulate passengers from road noise. The 2011 Odyssey has stiffer rear-suspension mounting points that reduce ride harshness over rough roads, and a "blow-off" valve design in all shock absorbers. The blow-off valve helps reduce harshness when the vehicle encounters severe jolts such as pot holes, along with minimizing the noise from small bumps such as expansion joints on concrete roadways. The braking system uses disc brakes at each corner with larger diameter rotors compared to the previous generation. Safety systems standard to all models include Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. A new variable-displacement power steering pump contributes to efficiency.

Chassis Highlights

  • Wheelbase unchanged from previous generation (118.1 inches)
  • 1.4-inch wider front and rear track (68.1 inches front, 68.2 inches rear)
  • 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
  • 17-inch wheels and 235/65 R17 tires, 18-inch wheels and 235/60 R18 tires (Touring)
  • 12.6-inch ventilated front disc brakes and 13.1-inch rear disc brakes

MacPherson Strut Front Suspension

The Odyssey's independent front suspension is a MacPherson-strut type, with a large, forged-steel lower control arm that helps to feed suspension loads into the frame over a wide area. The control arm provides separate load paths to the unit body from the coil spring and the shock absorber. This, in turn, helps to minimize the transmission of road noise and vibration to the unit body, and it also adds greater strength to the system. The springs are a low-rate, long-travel type that are designed to soak up bumps and road disturbances. The result is quick linear steering response and straight-line braking stability. A solid 24 mm (0.9-inch) anti-roll bar is linked directly to the strut via ball-joint connections to reduce body roll during cornering.

Multi-Link Rear Suspension

The rear subframe, which supports most of the rear suspension, is made of high-strength steel for high stiffness and minimal weight. The shape of the rear subframe is equally important - it must accommodate the multi-link rear suspension, and still all ow for the versatility of the third-row seat and flat cargo floor. For excellent ride and handling characteristics, the subframe attaches to the unit body at four widely spaced, rubber-isolated, mounting points. Rear-suspension components, especially the springs and shock absorbers, are as compact as possible to facilitate a wide and flat load floor.

Dual-Stage Shock Absorbers

The Odyssey has dual-stage hydraulic, gas-filled shock absorbers at all four corners that allow for a comfortable ride and good handling performance. New for 2011, integrated bypass valves better filter out road imperfections and support shock tuning for flatter, sharper-feeling handling. The purpose of the bypass valve is to reduce the impact harshness during medium- and high-velocity rebound shock movements, like when driving over a pot hole. The addition of a bypass valve, in turn, allows the shock absorbers to be tuned with much firmer low-speed damping properties that minimize body roll when cornering. The shock absorbers are firmer when performance counts, and softer when comfort is desired.

Rack-and-Pinion Steering System with Variable-Displacement Steering Pump

The Odyssey uses a rack-and-pinion steering system with a variable displacement steering pump. The variable displacement design reduces the constant load on the engine. When the Odyssey is moving at slower speeds, such as when parking, the power steering automatically increases the power assist so less effort is needed to turn the wheel. At highway speeds, it automatically reduces the power assist so that the driver has more feedback, all while exerting less drag on the engine for improved fuel economy. The steering pump uses heat-resistant rubber mount bushings, high-pressure die cast aluminum gear housings, and a damper valve to reduce steering wheel vibration. The rack guide uses a low-friction material for good on-center feel. The 2011 Odyssey has a tight turning diameter of 36.7 feet.

4-Wheel Disc Brakes with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

The 2011 Odyssey's 4-wheel disc brake system incorporates larger-capacity braking components than the 2010 model for improved brake-pedal feel. The ventilated front brake rotors measure 12.6 inches in diameter, up from 11.7 inches, with a rotor thickness of approximately 1.1 inches. The solid rear discs measure 13.1 inches in diameter, up from 12.4 inches, with a rotor thickness of approximately 0.43 inches. Dual-piston cast iron brake calipers are used in the front and single-piston cast iron calipers are used in the rear. A single-stage vacuum booster consists of one 10.5-inch diameter booster chamber. The parking brake is applied and released by stepping on the pedal located on the left side of the driver's foot well.

The four-channel anti-lock braking system is tuned to feel particularly stable, firm and linear. For optimum performance with widely varying loads, the Odyssey has Electronic Brake Distribution system (EBD) technology. EBD automatically optimizes braking force between the front and rear wheels depending on passenger and cargo load, reducing the distance it takes the Odyssey to stop as compared to a vehicle without EBD.

Wheels and Tires

The tire and wheel sizes for all 2011 Odyssey models have grown by one inch compared to their 2010 model counterparts. The Odyssey LX is equipped with 17x7-inch steel wheels (includes wheel covers) and 235/65R17 103T M+S tires. Odyssey EX and EX-L models feature cast alloy 17x7-inch painted wheels with a pewter-gray machined look and 235/65R17 103T M+S tires. The Odyssey Touring is equipped with 18x7-inch blade silver-painted cast alloy wheels and 235/60R18 102T tires. The compact spare is carried under the load floor between the front seats. This arrangement guarantees the security of the spare. Room is provided to stow a flat tire in the third-row magic seat well.

Fuel System

The 21-gallon fuel tank is molded of high-density polyethylene for low weight, corrosion elimination and impact resistance. It is positioned immediately ahead of the rear wheels to help guard against collision damage. Corners of the tank are rounded and the inside of the tank is baffled to diminish the likelihood of sloshing-fuel noise. A high-efficiency fuel pump is housed inside the fuel tank. The fuel-filter is a lifetime design that never needs replacement. The Odyssey complies with all evaporative emissions, on-board diagnostics, and refueling vapor recovery requirements. The fuel vapor canister and filter are protected against rock and debris damage by a deflection shield. The Odyssey's minimum fuel grade requirement is regular unleaded.

Towing

When equipped with a Honda dealer-installed accessory towing package, the new 2011 Odyssey can tow up to 3,500 pounds. The available towing package includes a Class II hitch, towing kit, ATF cooler and wiring harness. Improving simplicity and installation, the towing package no longer needs a power steering cooler as with the previous generation.

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

(See safety section)

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

(See safety section)

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