The stock cupholder tray between the front seats of the Honda Odyssey is a well-known spill hazard.
It is possible to modify the stock cupholders to make them less prone to spill.

This instructable gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

Please note that this modification is designed to accommodate medium sized cups (16 - 20 oz) with tapered sides, and straight sided 12 - 16 oz bottles. It does not work well with small cups. You need to determine for yourself whether thhis modification will meet your beverage needs.
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Step 1: Cupholder tray base

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The cupholder tray base is attached to the front passenger's seat. 

Step 2: Gently remove cover

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Gently pull the bottom of the plastic cover to remove.
The cover is held in by 4 plastic push connectors.

Step 3: Cover and connectors

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The plastic cover and push connectors removed from the cupholder tray base.

Step 4: 12 mm nuts

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Three 12mm nuts, indicated by the yellow arrows, hold the tray to the passenger seat. 

Step 5: Remove 12 mm nuts

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Using a 12 mm socket or wrench, remove the mounting nuts that hold the cupholder tray to the passenger's seat.

Step 6: Tray removed

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Carefully remove the tray from the mounting bolts on the passenger seat.

Step 7: Remove 7 screws

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Place the cupholder tray upside down on a soft surface.

Remove the 7 small screws (flat-head Philips) indicated by the yellow arrows.

Step 8: Gently lift cover

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Gently lift the plastic cover to separate it from the tray arm.
Gently remove the cover from the tray hinges. 

Step 9: Remove 2 screws

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Remove the 2 screws where indicated.
This makes a total of 9 screws removed so far.

The front plastic part of the cupholder assembly will now come apart from the metal tray.
The rear plastic part of the cupholder is still attached.

Flip the whole thing over and remove the front plastic part gently.

Step 10: Free the rear section

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The front plastic section is removed from the metal base.

Remove the 2 screws indicated (pan head Philips).

Please note that these screws are different from the screws removed previously.
Don't mix them up! 

Step 11: 2 types of screws

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Note the difference between the 2 front screws and the nine removed previously.

Step 12: Remove rear section

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It should come right off after removing the 2 screws.

Step 13: Push

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Push gently where indicated to remove the plastic ring that holds the rubber flaps.

Step 14: Remove plastic ring and flaps

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Remove plastic ring and flaps.

Do this for all four cupholders.

Step 15: Saw

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Using a saw with medium to fine teeth, cut off the bottom part of all the cupholders.

Cut carefully so that you only remove the bottom part of the cupholder.

Step 16: Bottoms removed

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Bottoms removed from all four cupholders.

You may choose to only remove some of them, and leave some as they were.

Step 17: Sandpaper

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Smooth any rough edges with some sandpaper.

Step 18: Stopping point 1

If you only use tapered coffee mugs/cups in your vehicle, you can stop here.
Put everything back together, and enjoy your no-spill cupholders.

However, if you like the occasional iced tea or bottled water, read on.

Step 19: Straps, 60 degree

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Cut 2 pieces of 1 inch nylon webbing about 13 1/2 inches long.
Sew them together in the middle at about a 60 degree angle.

Fold over each end and sew it to make the end fatter than the webbing.

Step 20: Install webbing

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Use the plastic ring to attach the webbing to the cupholder as shown in the picture.

Push the ring down until it snaps into place.
You should be able to slide the nylon webbing to make some last minute adjustments.

Step 21: Snap plastic ring down

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The fat sewn end of the nylon webbing keep it from pulling out past the plastic ring.
When the plastic cupholder is attached to the metal tray, everything is held even more tightly.

Step 22: Snapped in place

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The webbing in place, and the ring snapped on.

Step 23: Close up

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Close up

Step 24: Repeat for all cupholders

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Repeat for all cupholders

Step 25: Finished product

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Finished product

Step 26: Product demo

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Product demo

Step 27: In the van

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Reverse all the previous steps to re-assemble the cupholder tray and re-install it in the van.

Here's what it looks like when it is done.

Step 28: Crack

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After a few weeks of use, one of the cupholders developed a crack, shown in the picture.
This crack is purely cosmetic, not functional.
The metal base underneath provides all the strength needed.

saccithesnowman made it!7 months ago

Thank you so much for these instructions. I combined your project with one I found here: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/27-diy-modifications/115346-cup-holder-flap-mouse-pad-mod.html. Using mousepads, I created new tabs and easily installed them thanks to your step-by-step photos for disassembling the tray. We're so excited to be able to use our cupholders again in our 2003 Odyssey - after 3 or 4 years of no tabs. Thanks!

roballoba1 year ago
Great Idea! I just bought an 06 and the DVD player was full of soda. I bought one on eBay and it was all sticky with soda too. One can only imagine how this happens. You have created the solution! Good work.
mamalion31 year ago
I just purchased a 2002 Odyssey from the original owners 3 wks ago. These cup holders have been the bane of my existence ever since. I wish I had the capacity to do this... I'm just a dummy when it comes to stuff like this. :( I would love to modify them though...I will be dreaming of this design.
jaded1 (author) 2 years ago
4 years later. Still works great!
sgross33 years ago
Did this this afternoon...took about 2 hours. The hardest part was finding the nylon strapping material. I ended up at Michael's craft supplies and used 1/2" wide Velcro strips. It was the two-sided stuff and one roll did all four cup-holders. It was also a good chance to clean the gunk that had accumulated in the nooks and cracks on a 2001 Odyssey.
I didn't have a sewing machine so I just folded the ends over and stapled them with a heavy-duty office stapler. For the center connection, I used a pop-rivet with a couple of small flat washers on both sides.
Works great and my wife is happy now. Happy wife...Happy life!
I saw this and had to try it on my wife's 2002 Odyssey. Worked like a charm! A spectacular 'Ible! I just wish I could do the same thing to my Camry!
The only difference was that I used an industrial strength stapler in lieu of sewing. Worked for both the ends and the cross.
Nice problem solving, but for those that don't have the mechanical skills might want to check this out. www.drinkdocker.com

I designed , patented and manufactured these for all makes and models.

Odyssey owners have been very pleased. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ati3utJQUf0
This is a great workaround!  I just wanted to find out how to remove the tray to clean out the grunge, but now the cupholders will actually be usable. Thanks!
abadfart6 years ago
2nt gen legasys have realy bad cup holders
Great minds think alike! (only you actually did the project and wrote an excellent ible! ) Why oh why can't Honda get their act together? I'm on my 2nd CRV and this flaw really bugs me. Send your design to them and ask to be reimbursed big bucks :0)
BuangAyam7 years ago
Truck Parts---Wow..That was great and nice modification .I wiil definitely try it to..It's useful specially if you have kids..
timmy1234s7 years ago
Ha! My mom owns a 04 or 03 odyssey too. I think it is ok. But my whole family doesn't have a problem with the cupholder. Also, we have leather seats.
jangelj7 years ago
I have an 06 Odyssey. I just got some PVC tube from Home Depot that fit snuggly into the cup holder. It fits into the top of the cupholder, and sits on the lip (does not go all the way to the bottom of the cupholder). I cut the PVC to the desired height (about 2 inches is enough to stablize a bottle of water of coffee mug), painted it with spray paint to match the tray, and glued it in place. It works so well, I even did a similiar thing to my 97 Explorer. All you need is about 1.5" to 2 " of additional height and you're good to go. Sorry, no pics.
cprocjr7 years ago
great idea! my suburban has the same problem. i wish it could be fixed like that but i can't.
Wow, nice idea! Very original idea!

Anyways, getting a little off track, haha, just kidding, but ANYWAYS.... nice job, the pictures are great, especially the one in step 11, that's very cool! Nice job. +1 rating.
jaded1 (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Step 11 If you don't have a lot of tinkering experience, all those little screws can look alike. I'm sure that the Honda engineers use different screws for good reason. Thanks for the comment!
tiuk7 years ago
Great idea. I can't believe they'd release cup-holders like that in this day and age. My sister's '96 Camaro has a single one inch deep cup holder, and it's basically worthless.
jaded1 (author)  tiuk7 years ago
An emergency stop that dumped 3 full cups of coffee off the stock cupholder was the inspiration. Thanks for the comment!
canida7 years ago
This is genius! Great mod.
jaded1 (author)  canida7 years ago
Sandisk1duo7 years ago
Da_Fudge7 years ago