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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

Our family recently purchased a 2011 Honda Pilot (164k Miles). I got it checked out at a local mechanic shop after suspecting the struts and shocks were pretty worn. Sure enough, they were and the control arm with ball joint and sway bar link are also worn. I am considering piecemeal (meaning all at once, not separate left and right) the rear jobs first and then doing the front end. Is this project too much for the average person to do or is it pretty doable with the right tools? I appreciate any feedback.
 

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My local auto parts loans out specialty tools (48 hours) with a deposit. Watch a YouTube video to see what tool you need for the job. The videos will help you see if it's something you'd like to tackle.
 

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If you got the tools, space and time it can be done by the average DIYER with some guidance from here and a few good u-tube videos. First recommendation is purchasing complete struts+springs to make the replacement faster and safer. Second is to visit RockAuto for quality suspension parts and as a bonus the Piloteers use the RA discount to save a few bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I forgot how good RockAuto is for research auto parts. Makes life so much easier. Is it a good idea to split this up into rear and front? I figure if the rear work goes smoothly, then I feel like I will adapt well into doing the front (which does definitely have more to replace).
 

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I would also add that depending on where you live, you may have a rent a lift facility. We have one here where I live. Rent a bay, lift your vehicle and go to town. The have specialty tools there you can use/rent for very little and under body jobs go so much faster standing on your feet instead of laying on your back. Our particular facility is part of a mechanics shop, so if needed you can get some advise as well.
 

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Sounds like decent plan as the rear suspension has less components but similar work. Invest in floor jack and jack stands for safety.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just doing some research, this what I am thinking:

Rear:
Bilstein B4 Shocks
Preforged 11310211/2 Rear right and left sway bar links

Front:
MOOG or Beck Arnley for Lower Control Arm? Can't decide. MOOG looks slightly more reputable, but I read that some people had issues with the dimensions being slightly off of OEM.
Bilstein B4 Struts (without spring). Bilstein doesn't appear to make the Quick-Strut, but I really want to put Bilstein quality in it. Is it worth getting the spring compressor and taking the risk of creating a spring gun? I won't do Monroe. KYB for a decent middle-ground?

Appreciate the replies.
 

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I did this by myself in my garage over the course of a weekend. The hardest part was getting the upper nuts started on the struts.
 

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Just doing some research, this what I am thinking:

Rear:
Bilstein B4 Shocks
Preforged 11310211/2 Rear right and left sway bar links

Front:
MOOG or Beck Arnley for Lower Control Arm? Can't decide. MOOG looks slightly more reputable, but I read that some people had issues with the dimensions being slightly off of OEM.
Bilstein B4 Struts (without spring). Bilstein doesn't appear to make the Quick-Strut, but I really want to put Bilstein quality in it. Is it worth getting the spring compressor and taking the risk of creating a spring gun? I won't do Monroe. KYB for a decent middle-ground?

Appreciate the replies.
if you are going to rebuild the front struts piecemeal, be sure to install new top mounts with bearings. The only things that you would reuse are the old Honda coil spring, dust boot, and snubber-- and yours have 164k miles on them. Personally, I would recommend a quick strut assembly. I used KYB on my 2003, and like them just fine. They are perhaps a bit on the stiff side, but of course my old struts were so far gone that it's hard for me to make a valid comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
if you are going to rebuild the front struts piecemeal, be sure to install new top mounts with bearings. The only things that you would reuse are the old Honda coil spring, dust boot, and snubber-- and yours have 164k miles on them. Personally, I would recommend a quick strut assembly. I used KYB on my 2003, and like them just fine. They are perhaps a bit on the stiff side, but of course my old struts were so far gone that it's hard for me to make a valid comparison.
I should clarify that by piecemeal, I mean separating rear from front. I plan on doing all of the front work at once once I do it.
 

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I too am going to take on this project. Does anyone know if I can replace the ball joints in the lower control arm instead of buying a whole new arm? The compliance bushing can be replaced, but have had trouble finding out about the ball joint.


Looking to replace damn near the entire suspension just because 130k miles of midwest driving is bound to shorten the lifespan of any part. Get it all done at one time and then only need to get an alignment once.
 

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Hello,

Our family recently purchased a 2011 Honda Pilot (164k Miles). I got it checked out at a local mechanic shop after suspecting the struts and shocks were pretty worn. Sure enough, they were and the control arm with ball joint and sway bar link are also worn. I am considering piecemeal the rear jobs first and then doing the front end. Is this project too much for the average person to do or is it pretty doable with the right tools? I appreciate any feedback.
Have 2006 Pilot with 182K miles; did change front struts, control arms w/ball joints, timing belt w/take-up, serpentine belt w/take-up, water pump, power steering pump, spark plugs and all engine rubber hoses, o2 sensor, all breaks and rotors/hand brake pads used Bosch products, all oils "front & rear", flushed cooling system and new coolant, had wheel alignment. Prior to all the work the brakes always felt like inadequate, sort of soft; after work the brakes are excellent and the car runs like new!! Still have "ticking" from engine which I now is the injectors by using stethoscope, especially the front, have all the material for installation but have to wait due to Covid19. Did fabrikate special tool for removing crankshaft bolt and used the starter to loosen. The only problem now is the VSA warning light, need to take the car to Honda dealer to reset after the Pandemic.
 

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Just doing some research, this what I am thinking:

Rear:
Bilstein B4 Shocks
Preforged 11310211/2 Rear right and left sway bar links

Front:
MOOG or Beck Arnley for Lower Control Arm? Can't decide. MOOG looks slightly more reputable, but I read that some people had issues with the dimensions being slightly off of OEM.
Bilstein B4 Struts (without spring). Bilstein doesn't appear to make the Quick-Strut, but I really want to put Bilstein quality in it. Is it worth getting the spring compressor and taking the risk of creating a spring gun? I won't do Monroe. KYB for a decent middle-ground?

Appreciate the replies.
ID do MOOG coming from a honda mechanic friends opinion
 

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Don't piecemeal it - do it all at the same time, one end complete.
I'd do the front end first, then do the rear end. You car's steerability and control depends mostly on the front end, even in an AWD.
When you piecemeal - every time you disconnect a balljoint you risk damaging it. Plus, when you break everything down it's so much easier to get to everything and deal with it than having to do it one piece at a time.

For parts: I recommend using complete genuine Honda loaded (i.e., with springs already installed) struts for the front - they last way longer than any aftermarket equivalent and aren't that much more expensive.
You can replace just the struts but then you have to find the compression tool, break the old ones apart, buy and replace all worn out components and put the springs into the new ones. It's a waste of time, compared to just swapping the complete loaded struts.

Rear - you can do genuine or I personally like Bilsteins.
Sway bar bushings - Honda or MOOG (make sure MOOG part number doesn't start with RK - those are their economy PoS version).
Sway bar links - MOOG, because they are greasable and easier to take out (again, CK or K, aka "Problem Solver", but not RK PoS).
Control arms - I installed Mevotech, there are mixed reviews, I don't have a final opinion on them yet. Original Honda pieces are outrageously expensive. MOOG only makes a cheap RK version and I've had bad luck with Beck and Arnley in the past (and they are also owned by MOOG now), and Mevotech "Supreme" version seemed solid, so I went with it. The fit and finish seem fine and it seems to work OK so far.

One important thing: replace ALL the bolts that are marked "replace" in the manual. I also put in new bolts for the compliance bushing holders, even though, not required, but it makes it easier down the road because you will not be dealing with seized, sheared and broken bolts.

Be careful when disconnecting everything from the knuckle - drive shaft rubber boots may be old and getting fragile, and too much stress on them (if they are extended too far and then compressed, etc.) may cause them to tear.

Rear compliance bushing holder in 2011 calls for 20mm long bolt while the front is 25mm, it's easier to just use 25mm long bolts all around - makes it easier to install, as you wonlt have to fight the new rubber not wanting to compress enough to let you catch those first threads.
 

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I did the same for my 2011 Pilot. Strut towers complete, compliance bushings and slotted and dimpled rotors for the front. Major stopping improvement. At 198000 I have the belts, water pump and idlers ready to go. Ordered the large 19mm impact socket for the crank pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Don't piecemeal it - do it all at the same time, one end complete.
I'd do the front end first, then do the rear end. You car's steerability and control depends mostly on the front end, even in an AWD.
When you piecemeal - every time you disconnect a balljoint you risk damaging it. Plus, when you break everything down it's so much easier to get to everything and deal with it than having to do it one piece at a time.

For parts: I recommend using complete genuine Honda loaded (i.e., with springs already installed) struts for the front - they last way longer than any aftermarket equivalent and aren't that much more expensive.
You can replace just the struts but then you have to find the compression tool, break the old ones apart, buy and replace all worn out components and put the springs into the new ones. It's a waste of time, compared to just swapping the complete loaded struts.

Rear - you can do genuine or I personally like Bilsteins.
Sway bar bushings - Honda or MOOG (make sure MOOG part number doesn't start with RK - those are their economy PoS version).
Sway bar links - MOOG, because they are greasable and easier to take out (again, CK or K, aka "Problem Solver", but not RK PoS).
Control arms - I installed Mevotech, there are mixed reviews, I don't have a final opinion on them yet. Original Honda pieces are outrageously expensive. MOOG only makes a cheap RK version and I've had bad luck with Beck and Arnley in the past (and they are also owned by MOOG now), and Mevotech "Supreme" version seemed solid, so I went with it. The fit and finish seem fine and it seems to work OK so far.

One important thing: replace ALL the bolts that are marked "replace" in the manual. I also put in new bolts for the compliance bushing holders, even though, not required, but it makes it easier down the road because you will not be dealing with seized, sheared and broken bolts.

Be careful when disconnecting everything from the knuckle - drive shaft rubber boots may be old and getting fragile, and too much stress on them (if they are extended too far and then compressed, etc.) may cause them to tear.

Rear compliance bushing holder in 2011 calls for 20mm long bolt while the front is 25mm, it's easier to just use 25mm long bolts all around - makes it easier to install, as you wonlt have to fight the new rubber not wanting to compress enough to let you catch those first threads.
I just again want to reiterate that by piecemeal, I mean doing rear or front first, then doing the other one; not right rear, then left rear, etc.

The only reason I was thinking of doing the rear first is less overall cost and easier job. I figured if I can succeed at the rear job, then I would have enough confidence in the front which has dramatically more to do. Fortunately, my Pilot is a FWD.
 

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I just again want to reiterate that by piecemeal, I mean doing rear or front first, then doing the other one; not right rear, then left rear, etc.

The only reason I was thinking of doing the rear first is less overall cost and easier job. I figured if I can succeed at the rear job, then I would have enough confidence in the front which has dramatically more to do. Fortunately, my Pilot is a FWD.
Gotcha.
It's not that bad of a job. Rear is dead-easy, front is a bit more involved. Make sure you have a good torque wrench - most front end bolts are torqued with loaded suspension, so your torque wrench will need to be dead-on, otherwise it might cause you some grief with steering issues.
One other thing to consider at your mileage (something that I just found out on mine): your LHS transmission and RHS engine mounts may be worn and loose - check those and replace them as well, if necessary. These aren't expensive like the front/rear ACM ones.
Here's what a worn one will look like (prying with a large screwdriver or a prybar):
Link to video
 

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I too am going to take on this project. Does anyone know if I can replace the ball joints in the lower control arm instead of buying a whole new arm? The compliance bushing can be replaced, but have had trouble finding out about the ball joint.
No, unfortunately, not, the entire control arm is replaced as one piece (outer balljoint and two inner bushings), which is a shame for all of us who have access to a hydraulic press, I personally feel bad throwing away two perfect chunks of aluminum instead of just replacing the bushing and balljoint on them.
You can replace just the rear bushings separately, though, although they are priced at, like, 80% of the cost of a complete arm assembly.
 

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I'm getting ready to replace all the front end parts on my 04: control arms, tie rods, struts, sway bar links & bushings. I'm wondering what's the best order to remove and reinstall these parts in? If I remove everything at once, then there's nothing holding the knuckle onto the car except the axle, so I figure at least one part should be connected to it at all times to keep from pulling the axle out. I'm thinking remove the sway bar link, remove and replace outer and inner tie rods, remove and replace the control arm, remove and replace the strut, then install the new sway bar link. Any corrections to that order or other suggestions?
 

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I'm getting ready to replace all the front end parts on my 04: control arms, tie rods, struts, sway bar links & bushings. I'm wondering what's the best order to remove and reinstall these parts in? If I remove everything at once, then there's nothing holding the knuckle onto the car except the axle, so I figure at least one part should be connected to it at all times to keep from pulling the axle out. I'm thinking remove the sway bar link, remove and replace outer and inner tie rods, remove and replace the control arm, remove and replace the strut, then install the new sway bar link. Any corrections to that order or other suggestions?
Or you could do the strut first, then you’re only stressing the old ball joint when you would need to disconnect it from the strut, and not the new one.
 
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