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The Pilot has been driving me absolutely crazy with the rear suspension clunking noise :mad::mad::mad:

The noise SEEMS to be coming from passenger side rear

I've taken out the coil springs, replaced coil spring seats with new OEM pieces, replaced sway bar links, retightened rear bumpstops, double and triplechecked that the coil springs are installed in the correct position

Rear ball joints do NOT have any play, and nothing seems to be loose back there


BUT the clunking sound is still happening on every bump in the road.
It even seems to have gotten slightly worse! ?

Don't know how to describe the sound. It clunks like metal on metal contact
Check for worn bushings on control arms, shocks, links etc. Hoping it is suspension related. Have you crawled under for a look while someone flexes the suspension? Can you replicate the noise when parked.
 

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Well, a small update / question..

The Pilot has been driving me absolutely crazy with the rear suspension clunking noise :mad::mad::mad:

The noise SEEMS to be coming from passenger side rear

I've taken out the coil springs, replaced coil spring seats with new OEM pieces, replaced sway bar links, retightened rear bumpstops, double and triplechecked that the coil springs are installed in the correct position

Rear ball joints do NOT have any play, and nothing seems to be loose back there


BUT the clunking sound is still happening on every bump in the road.
It even seems to have gotten slightly worse! ?

Don't know how to describe the sound. It clunks like metal on metal contact
Just a WAG, rear sway bar bushings?
The parts are inexpensive enough (EDIT: and similar but different from the front sway bar bushings -- check the part number carefully), but the labor can be a bear.

I remember the guy who sold it to me left me some in that little trunk. I uploaded pictures I took of them below, OEM part number 52306-S3V-A00.

Those are for the rear, and I think the Inner Diameter is .76", whereas the front ones have an Inner Diameter of .91", according to the specs on Rockauto.com, The front and rear bushings sure look alike and the part number is the same except for one digit. Glad I double-checked.

2015-05-29 22.58.16.jpg

2015-05-29 22.58.16.jpg

2015-05-29 22.56.03.jpg

2015-05-29 22.56.03.jpg


However, here's something to try first that costs nothing and isn't to hard to do, once you know about it. A noise from the rear was driving me nuts before this took care of it.

 

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I was going to mention about the rear sway bar bushings being a somewhat common issue (as far as making a noise in the rear), but obviously that has already been mentioned.
I read a little about replacing them a while back, and (in typical Honda fashion) they are somewhat difficult to install considering you may have to loosen/drop slightly the whole rear suspension assembly to gain clearance enough to remove the bolts/bushings(at least on the 4WD pilots). I'm not sure if that applies to the 2WD pilots as well though(?).

Also, just FYI, I remember reading a post (somewhere on here) about someone chasing a hard to diagnose rear end clunk noise that ended up being one of the upper shock mounts being loose(the mounting bolt actually rattling inside the shock mount bushing).
I wish I could find/post a link to that thread, but I read it over a year or so ago. I believe they had to install a different bushing into the upper shock mount to remedy the problem.
I do remember that they finally figured out that the noise was associated with the shock because they disconnected the shock and went for a test drive, and the noise went away.
Obviously "rear end clunk" on a Honda Pilot brings up so many things from loose lug nuts, to loose jack, to seat belt strap bouncing off rear interior trim(and everything in between).

I don't know if I should hope that your noise is 'just' the bushings from what little I know about the difficulty of changing them.

At any rate, Good Luck!
I hope it proves to be something simple so you can focus on other things :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Thanks for all the suggestions!

Here is what I know so far:

The noise is definitely suspension related. Seat belts, seats, spare tire, spare tire tools, and everything in the trunk including secret compartment lid - are all solid and don't make any noises.

I hear the CLUNK when going over medium and large irregularities in the road / bumps (which is quite often)


I am certain that the clunking noise got much worse RIGHT AFTER I did work on the rear suspension

Here is everything I touched:

Bolt #31 taken out to remove the coil spring
Sway bar links #8 and #9 replaced with new parts and torqued to spec

134522


Also,

Old deteriorated bumpstops #6 replaced with new parts
Plastic spring seats #7 replaced with new parts

134523


I did the same exact thing on both sides

The clunking seems to only be happening on passengers side
It was clunking a little before, but after doing the rear suspension work, it is clunking A LOT louder.


I am not completely eliminating the possibility of the sway bar hitting something, but I got under the car many times and tried shaking the sway bar as hard as I could - it's not hitting anything.
The mentioned sway bar bushings that are above the subframe SEEM to be in good shape-the sway bar is not loose at all.


I suspected the bumpstops (#6 in the above diagram) more than anything - thinking the plastic portion of the bumstop could be hitting the bumpstop sleeve. However, I just got under the car and tried shaking the bumpstops with a good bit of force - they are solid inside the sleeve, no movement.
I am even more puzzled.

Cannot replicate the noise when parked. I've been bouncing the car up and down, and shaking every control arm as hard as I can with my hands - cannot replicate the noise
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Also, just FYI, I remember reading a post (somewhere on here) about someone chasing a hard to diagnose rear end clunk noise that ended up being one of the upper shock mounts being loose(the mounting bolt actually rattling inside the shock mount bushing).
I wish I could find/post a link to that thread, but I read it over a year or so ago. I believe they had to install a different bushing into the upper shock mount to remedy the problem.
I do remember that they finally figured out that the noise was associated with the shock because they disconnected the shock and went for a test drive, and the noise went away.
I also came across a few posts about rear shocks making a similar noise on 1st gen, and 2nd gen Pilots.

The shock mount bolt rattling inside the mount bushing could certainly sound like what I am hearing


The shock is attached to the knuckle
When I was moving the knuckle assembly back into position (after putting the coil spring back in), I could have certainly disturbed the position of the shock bolts
 

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The mentioned sway bar bushings that are above the subframe SEEM to be in good shape-the sway bar is not loose at all.
Of course it could any number of things you've mentioned (or something you haven't), but just know that when I changed out my front sway bar bushings, after clunking at lowish speeds over driveway entrances, speed bumps, potholes and the like was irking me, the bushings looked OK before taking them out, but once out you could barely see they were out of round on the inside. New sway bar bushings made the clunking go away and it hasn't returned since in five years. The rear sway bar bushings are a bear in labor, though.

Not saying that's your issue necessarily, but I'm just sayin'. :)
 

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(RANT) I ordered the "Contitech Pro Series Plus Kit" (#PP329LK2) for the timing belt/water pump, tensioner, etc, and I paid about $55 more than the Aisin kit (all from RockAuto) just to receive an Aisin water pump and Aisin hyd. tensioner. That's great! I know now that the Contitech kit is in fact 'comparable' to the quality of Aisin, but obviously I am pissed that I paid an extra $55 for for the parts just to come in a "Continental/Contitech" box! (EDIT: Looking now at rockauto's website, the same kit I purchased is now marked up from $224.79/Sunday to $241.79/today)
Another thing, rockauto has the SAME exact part number listed for 2 different "continental/contitech" kits and under 2 different prices/$28 difference(??). I am going to guess they are in fact the same exact kit, just with a different warranty period offered. This does me no good considering there will probably be "no warranty" since I will be installing these parts myself (and not paying a "garage" to do it).
The timing belt does say "Continental" on it, but it is probably manufactured by whatever company (Aisin?) that also provides the belt for the "Aisin" kit from rockauto.
The idle bearing and tension bearing are made by "Koyo", which I am going to guess is the same exact company/supplier of those components in the "Aisin" kit (?)
It also came with two cam seals.

pilot.ocd, I am sorry to clutter your thread with my rant :mad::cry::mad: , I just hope it will help someone else from over paying for the same exact parts in a different box (like I did).

FYI, and maybe you already read this in another thread, but I remember reading someone describe how their rear sway bar would sometimes 'shift' to one side or the other causing a noise after they were done jacking up/working on the rear suspension components. I think this was proven to be caused by the worn bushings on the rear sway bar (allowing this extra movement). I mention this because you said the noise seemed to get worse after you were wrenching on it(?)
I am going to agree with plplplpl in that (at least on the front sway bar bushings that I changed) they didn't appear to be sloppy looking at them, but they definitely were the cause of the front end rattle I had. Sway bar bushings on these Honda Pilots seems (to me, at least) to be one of the most common causes of "clunk" noises.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
After many days of trying to figure out the loud clunking noise..

The clunking was (at least partially) rear shock absorber related.

I installed new rear shocks, and the clunking sound changed in pitch and became more erratic

It now sounds like a mix of some creaking and "tennis ball in a shoe box" sound.

I've read somewhere on Honda Ridgeline forums about a similar sound and nobody really knows what it is.

These noises on every bump have really been driving me crazy and make driving the Pilot unbearable.

Next thing to try - the rear sway bar and spare tire will be coming off
 

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I will try to keep this shorter than my usual "run-on" thread killing replies......:)
I am only guessing, but everything you describe makes me still believe it could be the rear stabilizer bar bushings. The difference in shock characteristics (because of installing new shocks vs older 'sloppier' shocks) could (IMO) change the the sound created by those "loose" stabilizer bar bushings by changing the pressure/amount of "bounce" allowed in the rear suspension.
I would think that if you were to eliminate the connections (unbolting one end of each side sway bar links) then that would eliminate the sway bar from even being connected anymore, and possibly prove if that is where the noise is coming from(?).
One thing I wanted to mention (with my 2007 pilot), I noticed that I would have a noticeable "clunk" from the rear on some days, but only during severely cold weather. I drove this pilot (starting in January 2019) with that occasional "clunk" noise on quick/sharp bumps during colder mornings/days, but then on warmer afternoons/days (on my way home from work) the sound would completely disappear(?). I drove this same pilot daily throughout the spring/summer/fall months of 2019 with that noise never happening again until after it got back into the colder months (earlier this winter). That same "clunk" would reoccur when hitting sharp bumps on those severely cold days. I feel like this was caused by the colder temps making those bushings stiffer than when it was warmer out. Obviously, the bushings on my pilot could have been at a lesser degree of being worn than the ones on your pilot(??) which would make it an even more frequent/pronounced sound for you.

I will admit, the fact that I am comparing your 2WD pilot to my 4WD pilot could mean that I am way off in my thinking.
I don't mean to lead you down the wrong path, I just wanted to share what I have personally experienced in the past with my pilot.

Good luck!
I hope you get it figured out soon enough.
I have an 18 mile/one way commute to work and "clunks" drive me crazy!
 

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Discussion Starter #70
I appreciate the responses and the suggestions!

I read somewhere on the forums that a 2nd gen Pilot owner was able to eliminate rear shock noise by spraying the bushings with this lubricant. I've been spraying it on every bushings but it didn't affect anything.
Untitled.png

Both old rear shocks were completely worn out. Absolutely no rebound movement when fully compressed.

20200303_145817_HDR.jpg

New FCS shocks from RockAuto $35 shipped for both. Very cheap but they seem to function just fine.
20200306_180603_HDR.jpg

Rear brake pads were worn down to almost nothing (and had uneven wear). Made sense to replace rear brake rotors and pads.
20200303_142936_HDR.jpg

Both rear bumpstops completely disintegrated, and old bottom spring seats

20200224_141305_HDR.jpg

The bumpstops are a discontinued part, and there is not a direct replacement aftermarket bumpstop.
New OEM bumpstops can still be found online with a hefty price tag.
I was not able to find any information on whether Odyssey bumstops are a direct fit.
I ended up using some bumpstops I had lying around (I believe they are EP3/RSX/7th gen Civic rear bumpstops). Just a little black RTV silicone and they are in there solid.
20200224_143942_HDR.jpg 20200224_155959_HDR.jpg

Other new rear suspension parts (did not install the sway bar bushings yet)
20200224_142438_HDR.jpg


So as already mentioned, right after changing out the rear shocks, the clunking sound changed drastically, and also some creaking sounds became more noticeable.

I took out the spare tire and spare tools/jack plastic cover (noticed that the cover had a lot of movement) - this seems to have eliminated a significant amount of creaking sounds.

I will be switching to TireJet repair kit in place of the spare tire.


So right now I am down to just the "tennis ball lightly bouncing inside a shoe box" sound.
Especially when there are consecutive bumps in the road (small or large)

So rear sway bar is coming off next
 

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I’m guessing you already eliminated the small cubby where the third row headrests are stored. But if not look in there.
The Pilot looks like it’s coming together nicely.
 

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Does it have a trailer hitch? If it does, make sure it is tight. Mine has a slight rattle when I use one of my old ball mounts.
 

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Another thing to look at, and which is a really easy and really cheap fix, are the screws holding the latch of your tailgate in place. Worked for me. I would never have guessed it or found it, so here's a how-to with pictures.

Rattle/Squeak from rear of hatch
 

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Another thing to look at, and which is a really easy and really cheap fix, are the screws holding the latch of your tailgate in place. Worked for me. I would never have guessed it or found it, so here's a how-to with pictures.

Rattle/Squeak from rear of hatch
Thank you so much for this! I couldn't believe how loose 2 of the screws were under there. No more chirping over imperfections in the road.
 

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I realize this is has nothing to do with a "rear end clunk" but it made me remember.......
A semi-related issue I had with my '07 pilot was the two large phillips head screws securing the U shaped door catch came loose, causing the interior lights to actually "come on" when making a hard right hand turn.
It allowed the door to flex outward just enough to momentarily release the interior light switch on the door jamb.
 

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Discussion Starter #76 (Edited)
Well, it has been 2 months since my last update

The Pilot is alive and well

What I've done:
  • install new rear license plate garnish (yes, the 2003-2005 part does fit 2006-2008)
  • treat interior with Weiman leather clean/conditioner
  • replace blown drivers door speaker
  • install new OEM rear mudguards
  • install Ventshade Bugflector II , very nice fit and look for the $43 price
  • install nerf bars (ARIES 206003)
  • cleaned and painted trunk storage compartment cover (used Dupli-Color Medium Gray fabric spray can). It had bleach stains but a whole can of the Dupli-Color fabric spray made it look almost brand new
  • wetsanded and painted taillights using VHT Red Nightshade, they turned out much darker than expected, now they look like 2003-2005 taillights + some tint.
  • put 245/75 tires on it, Kumho Crugen HT51, ride amazing and look perfect! But they come with a slight weight penalty at 33 lbs each, whereas 235/70s are usually in the 27-30 lbs range
  • did valve lash adjustment and new valve cover gaskets and new sparkplug tube seals
  • did throttle body coolant bypass
  • complete brake fluid flush
  • painted the faded roof, hood, rear bumper, and roof rails. Plastidipped rear wing and all door handles and door window trim. Basically did a quick/dirty job making it look not so faded and neglected like it used to be
136412


136413


136415


Noticeable difference with 245/75 tires, tire / wheel well gap is sooo much better

136414
 

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