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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Updated: So now I am in a dilemma. After speaking to a very trusted friend he recommended KYB because of the price compared to Bilstein. But he still doesn't put KYB over Bilstein because of the price he says they are equal in quality.

2011 Honda Pilot EX-L Suspension question and upgrade advice.
I have been looking for Struts and Shocks for my Pilot. So far I don't seem to find a variety.
  • Monroe
  • FCS
  • Bilstein
  • KYB
  • CEIKA extremely expensive price tag.
Has anyone seen any other brands? Has anyone had any experience with these brands?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Different question, I realize, but would you prefer KYB or Bilstein over OEM?
Few of the responses on Reddit said the same thing but OEM are expensive as hell especially new ones.
I was considering Bilstein. We'll what else everyone suggests.
 

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I had KYB replacements put in at all 4 corners when only the rear shocks were blown. I could not tell the difference versus OEM (rode just as poorly).
 

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(rode just as poorly).
Yeah, that was my reason for asking. Although ride quality is very subjective. I tend to like a softer ride although I realize as the suspension parts get older/harder, so does the ride. Just generally speaking the new Pilots ride noticeably smoother than my 2012 albiet a 4wd. That's what leads me to thinking maybe it's time to refresh some suspension parts. Although I do appreciate that the new Pilots don't have the exact same suspension as Pilots 8 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had KYB replacements put in at all 4 corners when only the rear shocks were blown. I could not tell the difference versus OEM (rode just as poorly).
See this is what I am experiencing. Shocks haven't blown out but I just don't feel that the ride is comfortable anymore.
 

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KYB makes complete strut assemblies, and are likely equivalent to OEM (if not identical, as OE supplier). If you're doing it yourself that's the easiest route.

I went with Bilstein B6 for front and rear which are monotube assemblies and allegedly a step up in performance. I'm extremely pleased with the way this thing rides and handles now. It isn't more stuff or harsh by any means, just feels more planted.

As for when/why to replace them my rear shocks were both leaking last year and my fronts started clunking a few months ago - first I replaced end links since they were sloppy but it was the struts making the noise when conpressed. The bump stops and dust boots were also disintegrated.
 

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Going with loaded struts (complete with springs and all), and, if you can get a decent discount from a dealer, OEM struts won't cost you a lot more than aftermarket, but will serve longer. Otherwise, Bilsteins.
 

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KYB makes complete strut assemblies, and are likely equivalent to OEM (if not identical, as OE supplier). If you're doing it yourself that's the easiest route.

I went with Bilstein B6 for front and rear which are monotube assemblies and allegedly a step up in performance. I'm extremely pleased with the way this thing rides and handles now. It isn't more stuff or harsh by any means, just feels more planted.

As for when/why to replace them my rear shocks were both leaking last year and my fronts started clunking a few months ago - first I replaced end links since they were sloppy but it was the struts making the noise when conpressed. The bump stops and dust boots were also disintegrated.
Were the fronts complete assemblies or did you use he original springs? If so, how much of a job was it?
 

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Were the fronts complete assemblies or did you use he original springs? If so, how much of a job was it?
KYB strut-plus made my job much simpler and safer than fooling with the compressed spring that can cause serious harm to the novice diy mechanic. Struts are available plain should you decide to have the old springs installed.
Suspension part Suspension Shock absorber Coil spring Steel
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
KYB strut-plus made my job much simpler and safer than fooling with the compressed spring that can cause serious harm to the novice diy mechanic. Struts are available plain should you decide to have the old springs installed. View attachment 143660
I honestly don't feel that the KYB complete sets are trustworthy and haven't been very durable. I have been reading a lot of reviews and people have been complaining about them.

Besides that, I have been pushing more towards the Bilstein B6.

But I am also planning on putting in the EBC brake rotors and pads. Hopefully, clean the calipers to paint them as well.

Nice project to do when sprint arrives.
 

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KYB strut-plus made my job much simpler and safer than fooling with the compressed spring that can cause serious harm to the novice diy mechanic. Struts are available plain should you decide to have the old springs installed. View attachment 143660
Thanks ... I was leaning more toward the Bilstein B6 for ride/reliability reasons, but not sure I want to tackle messin' with those big bad springs.
 

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I had the same issue w my 2011. I bought it in March of 2019 w 61k miles. There’s a huge bump on the way to my daughters day care which seemed to “float like a convertible over train tracks” more each time I hit it. Took a look at the shocks and noticed fluid. They were bad and I should’ve had dealer replace before I bought but I wasn’t as well versed as I am now. I did a lot of research and my brother in law mechanic recommended the Bilstein B6s. Got them for around $80 apiece give or take $10. Honda dealer wanted $600 parts and labor for rear shocks. I had the classic lower bolt seizure issue and my mechanic had to torch it. Saved over $200 including parts and labor by going w Bilstein B6s and the ride is markedly improved. My regrets were not doing it sooner and not having the front struts replaced w the B6s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I had the same issue w my 2011. I bought it in March of 2019 w 61k miles. There’s a huge bump on the way to my daughters day care which seemed to “float like a convertible over train tracks” more each time I hit it. Took a look at the shocks and noticed fluid. They were bad and I should’ve had dealer replace before I bought but I wasn’t as well versed as I am now. I did a lot of research and my brother in law mechanic recommended the Bilstein B6s. Got them for around $80 apiece give or take $10. Honda dealer wanted $600 parts and labor for rear shocks. I had the classic lower bolt seizure issue and my mechanic had to torch it. Saved over $200 including parts and labor by going w Bilstein B6s and the ride is markedly improved. My regrets were not doing it sooner and not having the front struts replaced w the B6s.
That's one thing that I am concerned about is the seized bolts but ill just take my time. I am waiting for the spring to do it myself.
 

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I just replaced all 4 corners on my ‘09 with 120K miles with Monroe. The ride is very smooth as far as I can tell. I am a professional GM tech, so I have the equipment and knowledge to do the struts safely. I replaced the upper mounts up front with MOOG and did the sway bar end links too. I didn’t experience the seized in lower bolts on the rear shocks like some have mentioned, but I slathered them in anti-seize while I had it apart anyway. Never just say “ehhh...eff the next guy” because the next guy is gonna be YOU!!
 

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That's one thing that I am concerned about is the seized bolts but ill just take my time. I am waiting for the spring to do it myself.
I’d probably assume that if you live anywhere that gets snow, then you’re going to have a difficult time with it. If you do end up doing the Bilstein struts, come back and let us know what you think. I think the difference in price on the rear shocks ($20-$40 on rock auto) was well worth it for the Bilsteins.
 

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I’d probably assume that if you live anywhere that gets snow, then you’re going to have a difficult time with it. If you do end up doing the Bilstein struts, come back and let us know what you think. I think the difference in price on the rear shocks ($20-$40 on rock auto) was well worth it for the Bilsteins.
Just out of curiosity - was your bolt seized on LHS, RHS, or both?
Mine was LHS, and I know of many other folks who had their LHS bolt seized solid.

To OP - 80% chance you will have a seized lower bolt. Patience won't help - it rusts solid inside a bushing inner metal sleeve, and the rubber bushing acts as a buffer when you try to remove it with an air-ratchet. You will need to cut it out.
 
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