We’ve heard of automakers cobbling together cars with hardware store-grade wood before, but this is a new one. Meet Honda’s newest tool for dealers to service the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX SUVs: a pair of 4x4x8 wooden posts.
Yes, you read that correctly. Honda is sending dealers a pair of wooden posts, much like what can be found at any big box hardware store, as a tool to work on its new EVs. This same tool has found its way to Reddit’s /r/JustRolledIntoTheShop where the poster claims that Honda’s new “special tool” is “literally two 8-foot 4x4s with an official Honda part number painted on.”
That part number might look like it reads “Ozark Kazoo” (and that’s totally what I’m going to call 4×4 posts now), but it’s actually: “07AAK-KHZA100.” Honda calls this part a Dunnage IPU Support, and according to the Tool Release notice affixed to the wood, its specific use is to help lift EV batteries, presumably to prevent damage by providing a buffer (or support) between the lift and the battery pack.
Dunnage, IPU Support was sent to your dealership as a required special service tool. This tool will to be used (sic) in conjunction with 07-EL-53000 EV Battery Support Fixture and 07-EL-53080 HV battery lifting system to facilitate the replacement of the Propulsion Battery.
EL-53080 and EL-53000 as referenced above are two General Motors parts. The first is known as an “electrical vehicle service cart,” a wheeled cart to hold the EV battery when removed from the vehicle, and the second is a “high voltage battery lifting adapter” which is to be used with a Forklift to move the EV batteries. Given that the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX are both GM Ultium-powered vehicles, these parts all appear to tie in together.
A quick search shows one dealer in Florida that will sell you this same tool—and its MSRP is an astronomical $179.48. For comparison, a single pressure-treated 4x4x8 post at Home Depot costs $10.68.
The good news, though, is that shipping from Florida to Pennsylvania is a mere $9.77. What a steal.
So if one could just run to Home Depot and grab these parts, why does Honda ship them to their dealers? For starters, it’s clear that Honda knows how to service its vehicles. Hell, the dealer model is built around doing exactly that, complete with instructions from the automaker. Having the right tools to do the job is important, and we’re guessing that no tech wants to put their tools away, degrease, and run to the hardware store to get a large tool.
One commenter also notes Honda and other dealers not just to prepare the techs doing the work, but also to cover themselves.
“Manufacturers do this so that way they cover themselves for required tools for repairs and keep the days down in the shop to a minimum,” writes user frank13131313. “In the past, I have seen some special OEM tools sent to us that were the most ridiculous things ever, was shipped a Phillips head screwdriver for a headlamp adjustment tool recall, oil filter wrench as some of the car off assembly line had loose filters, zip ties, butel tape, etc…”
On the flip side, other commenters say that some OEMs instruct dealers that some parts of repair (like Loctite or rivets) are to be obtained locally. It’s not clear which is the case here.
There are also a few interesting points from commenters who claim to be dealership employees over the slew of tools sent to service Honda’s new EVs. Some state that the pile of specialized tools takes up an entire small service bay. Others expressed their concern over the reported $30,000 dealership investment into the tools required by Acura and Honda in order to service their Ultium-powered cars despite the partnership being officially axed.
So, there you have it, folks. If you happen to find yourself servicing your new Prologue or ZDX outside of warranty in the future, or you just want some sweet Honda-branded wooden posts for your next woodworking project, be sure to buy a pair of genuine set of Ozark Kazoos—I mean, Dunnage IPU Supports.