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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After test driving a bunch of cars including the new "2022" MDX A-spec (it was nice, but not amazing) and only having 100% fallen in love with one (well optioned Mercedes GLE450 love everything... but the price) - I think we're just going to make the fiscally responsible choice and stick with old faithful for now... which means actually fixing the NVH issues that are truly driving me INSANE. Not just slightly insane... but fuming "I hate this POS" angry insane.

1) It's been > 20k since the last brake services... so the brakes are warped / deposited... again. I actually think it's the rears this time... but whatever. I figure the PowerStop kit on RockAuto for front and rear rotors and pads outta get me another 20k+ miles. I have no interest in "premium" since I'm convinced there is something inherently mis-designed with these cars making them do this so easily.

2) I've got what I believe to be a bad inner CV axle with a throttle dependent vibration around 70mph regardless of gear or torque converter lockup. The problem is I don't know which one since they both physically look / feel fine. Sooo... in true parts cannon style I'm just going to replace both. New oem axles on order from Honda now for both sides. After hitting submit - I had that instant question... do I need to replace the axle seals on the transmission side at the same time? Current ones only have 68k miles on them and aren't leaking at all.

3) Since I now plan on keeping it more than a few months - I'm gonna succumb to Nail Grease's recommendations for Valvoline MaxLife ATF. I still maintain that DW-1 is "adequate" but hey since I'm getting close to due... cheaper and better product wins - so switching over there.

4) Tempted to buy some dynamat to try to make the car quieter - we don't run the radio much while driving. I'm thinking noise is most likely coming through the doors and fender wells, but not sure - anyone ever play with quieting a car down with this stuff? Just toying with the idea as $100 of sound deadening material could potentially go a long way.

And yes, VCM is disabled already.
 

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1) Do a few sequential panic stops from speed without actually coming to a stop. In a few minutes, you''l strip the old pad deposits off rotors and have like-new stopping. Avoid rolling to a stop with a hard push on the pedal and hot rotors, and you'll avoid a lot of deposits in the future.

2) Inner drive joints end up with grooves or depressions from wear. Slide the axle and the spider out after opening the boot, and your fingers do the walking inside. Great grease slows the wear but barely. Once there are depressions worn, replacement is the only option. :(

Sound from the front and rear wheelhouse areas seems like the most prominent in my car. Front already has some in the footwell. Rear needs the quarterpanels off, but offers good results. Know that you can go pretty crazy on the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1) Do a few sequential panic stops from speed without actually coming to a stop. In a few minutes, you''l strip the old pad deposits off rotors and have like-new stopping. Avoid rolling to a stop with a hard push on the pedal and hot rotors, and you'll avoid a lot of deposits in the future.

2) Inner drive joints end up with grooves or depressions from wear. Slide the axle and the spider out after opening the boot, and your fingers do the walking inside. Great grease slows the wear but barely. Once there are depressions worn, replacement is the only option. :(

Sound from the front and rear wheelhouse areas seems like the most prominent in my car. Front already has some in the footwell. Rear needs the quarterpanels off, but offers good results. Know that you can go pretty crazy on the way.
Thanks, I may have to try that with the brakes. I doubt it’s ever had a panic stop at least on the front pads / rotors.

Yep, unfortunately if I’m pulling the axle to inspect it I might as well just replace it so have both sides on their way.

Thanks for the thoughts on where the sound maybe come from. It seems to me most of it is from the front but it already has styrofoam in between the outer fender and the body. Trying to think where I could stuff more. :)
 

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1) Do a few sequential panic stops from speed without actually coming to a stop. In a few minutes, you''ll strip the old pad deposits off rotors and have like-new stopping. Avoid rolling to a stop with a hard push on the pedal and hot rotors, and you'll avoid a lot of deposits in the future.
THIS! Do this!

I never ever seem to have this problem on any of my vehicles- ever!

I think it may be in part or all to my driving/braking style.

When I'm driving my 'Cages' on the streets- I DON'T wait until the last possible second to slow down as if I was on a track, and using the braking point/location #'s on the side of the track to get the best possible lap times LOL.

I see people drive like this ALL THE TIME. You've going thru a green light, and a car/SUV on the street to the right- with a red light- is coming up to the intersection at like 35 mph, with 2 car lengths left to go, and then they slam on the brakes and look to see if they can make a right on red, going 30, THRU a RED LIGHT.
The law says 'right on red AFTER stop!. No on drives correctly anymore. Pisses me off TBH

This may NOT apply to you.

I'm glad you are getting your vehicle sorted out.

Rant over
 
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THIS! Do this!

I never ever seem to have this problem on any of my vehicles- ever!

I think it may be in part or all to my driving/braking style.

When I'm driving my 'Cages' on the streets- I DON'T wait until the last possible second to slow down as if I was on a track, and using the braking point/location #'s on the side of the track to get the best possible lap times LOL.

I see people drive like this ALL THE TIME. You've going thru a green light, and a car/SUV on the street to the right- with a red light- is coming up to the intersection at like 35 mph, with 2 car lengths left to go, and then they slam on the brakes and look to see if they can make a right on red, going 30, THRU a RED LIGHT.
The law says 'right on red AFTER stop!. No on drives correctly anymore. Pisses me off TBH

This may NOT apply to you.

I'm glad you are getting your vehicle sorted out.

Rant over
I'm having trouble relating ... I don't have any warp rotor, pad deposition, pulsing brake pedal issues. I start braking well in advance of needing to stop and don't keep my foot on the brake. I'll brake some, let off, then brake more, etc. At lights I take my foot off the brake and shift to neutral until I see the cross traffic light turn red, then I put it in D and hold with brake pressure until I get the green.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yeah - I don't get it either. Ours is driven about as gingerly as you could. My wife is a "under the speed limit" person who slows well in advance. I also know all the "tricks" to try to prevent pad deposits - as I said I don't think this thing has had a hard stop, or even hot brakes in 20k+ miles... if I had to use them on a long down hill with a stop at the end I do drop it in neutral too at the stop and even will downshift on the downhill portion to take advantage of engine braking... yet here we are. They're starting to shimmy again.

All my other cars I can just drive and they work. I <thought> that was a Honda trait, but apparently not always. My USED BMW with a lot more miles and twice the age has never had a single vibration from any source despite being my "curvy mountain road" vehicle of choice. My IS300 has only had vibrations when it was... yes... abused... excessively towing 2/3rds it's weight and very much overheating the brakes. Our old Civic? - no vibrations from the brakes ever. Old Maxima? Yep never a vibration. My RX-7s? Nope... no vibrations despite even doing track days with it. My Integra GS-R? Was hard on those brakes and wore out quickly... but still smooth. 280Z? You guessed it - smooth braking though the A/C was poor. So yeah - the car that we've driven the absolute most conservatively is the one with these problems. Heck we've never even towed ANYTHING with the Pilot. I use the IS300 for towing. Yes... the IS300 over the SUV. If we're abusing the Pilot with driving style then frankly they're defective and shouldn't even be on the road. I'd hate to see what happens if someone actually abuses them.

If you read on this forum and consumer reports brakes are one of the biggest complaints people have about these cars so I know I'm not the only one. Strangely "drive line" issues (like CV axles) are also one of the other major complaints according to Consumer Reports. Both of which I'm dealing with now at only 68k miles. I've already done the front brakes before and seem to get right around 20 - 25k miles before they start shaking.

I can just keep replacing brakes with > 3/4 of the pad life remaining. I can try intentionally heating them up to clean them. Just annoying and not something I've ever had a problem with on any other vehicle despite this being the only one where I'm consciously careful with the brakes. Perhaps I should actually focus on driving it harder - I don't know.
 

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I'm pretty convinced that the relatively small brakes and the OEM pad material choices are major contributors to the pad deposition symptoms. A friend who does track days and tows to them with his Pilot swears that his Porterfield pads make a huge difference, as they are a lot more heat-tolerant than the OEM or most common street pad replacements. The total heat is the same regardless of pad, but the semi-competition Porterfields are a lot more tolerant. Downsides include a little more noise, certainly more and more corrosive dusting, and some, um, interesting characteristics when they are cold.

I still have the original pads in place at ~~50k, and at the rate they are wearing it may be another 50k before they wear to replacement thickness. I did the last fluids service with the car on the floor, but need to set up the lift soon to rotate the tires and inspect the brake pads and the rest of the underpinnings. Maybe the pads have magically worn a bunch in the last couple thousand miles/year since their last look. I typically put miles on rental cars while mine sits at home, and the Pilot is more our winter car and rests during the summers. Travelling consulting gigs are on hold for the past year, but only minimal driving too. Just not using the brakes much it seems.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm pretty convinced that the relatively small brakes and the OEM pad material choices are major contributors to the pad deposition symptoms. A friend who does track days and tows to them with his Pilot swears that his Porterfield pads make a huge difference, as they are a lot more heat-tolerant than the OEM or most common street pad replacements. The total heat is the same regardless of pad, but the semi-competition Porterfields are a lot more tolerant. Downsides include a little more noise, certainly more and more corrosive dusting, and some, um, interesting characteristics when they are cold.

I still have the original pads in place at ~~50k, and at the rate they are wearing it may be another 50k before they wear to replacement thickness. I did the last fluids service with the car on the floor, but need to set up the lift soon to rotate the tires and inspect the brake pads and the rest of the underpinnings. Maybe the pads have magically worn a bunch in the last couple thousand miles/year since their last look. I typically put miles on rental cars while mine sits at home, and the Pilot is more our winter car and rests during the summers. Travelling consulting gigs are on hold for the past year, but only minimal driving too. Just not using the brakes much it seems.
I really think you're right about material - I'd LOVE to find a good pad but since my wife drives it I can't go with a track(ish) type of pad. I used to run a Hawks on my RX-7 that needed some heat and they were very interesting until you did a few stops. I remember leaving the neighborhood I'd intentionally do a few hard "stops" to get them up to temperature, once warm they worked great though. Like you our OEM pads had TONS of life left when I pulled them ~40k miles. Felt bad pulling them since they sure looked like they could easily clear 100k miles... but that shaking. Nope.
 

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Back to the inner drive joint vibration -- The wearing part in those is not the spider bearings on the inner end of the driveshaft, it's part that the bearings slide into. There are three profiled longitudinal "grooves", with rounded shoulders that match the bearings on the spider legs. The material here is sintered steel, and the contact is with the rollers on the spider. They wear in those grooves where the roller is in constant pressure/contact, and eventually they wear to the point where the axle is no longer kept centered. You can feel the wear with your fingers but the axle has to come out and the grease gets cleaned out. By then you are 80% of the way to replacement anyway. I suspect that many decide to replace the axle as they chase the wear in the inner drive joint that's allowing the vibration. The inner joint gets CV joint grease, and may be something that deserves cleaning and repacking once in a while. Regular CV joints (outer in our Pilots...) certainly do. Especially if you accelerate and/or steer when you drive. Extreme if you tow, by the way.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Back to the inner drive joint vibration -- The wearing part in those is not the spider bearings on the inner end of the driveshaft, it's part that the bearings slide into. There are three profiled longitudinal "grooves", with rounded shoulders that match the bearings on the spider legs. The material here is sintered steel, and the contact is with the rollers on the spider. They wear in those grooves where the roller is in constant pressure/contact, and eventually they wear to the point where the axle is no longer kept centered. You can feel the wear with your fingers but the axle has to come out and the grease gets cleaned out. By then you are 80% of the way to replacement anyway. I suspect that many decide to replace the axle as they chase the wear in the inner drive joint that's allowing the vibration. The inner joint gets CV joint grease, and may be something that deserves cleaning and repacking once in a while. Regular CV joints (outer in our Pilots...) certainly do. Especially if you accelerate and/or steer when you drive. Extreme if you tow, by the way.
Yep - that's exactly what I think is going on. I just can't tell which side without pulling it apart so I'm just going to replace both with new OEM parts. Do you see a need to replace the seals on the transmission if they aren't leaking? In the past on old cars I typically did (like my Integra with 140k miles)... but with only 68k miles I get concerned of creating a leak by replacing a perfectly good seal that's not leaking.
 

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I really think you're right about material - I'd LOVE to find a good pad but since my wife drives it I can't go with a track(ish) type of pad. I used to run a Hawks on my RX-7 that needed some heat and they were very interesting until you did a few stops. I remember leaving the neighborhood I'd intentionally do a few hard "stops" to get them up to temperature, once warm they worked great though. Like you our OEM pads had TONS of life left when I pulled them ~40k miles. Felt bad pulling them since they sure looked like they could easily clear 100k miles... but that shaking. Nope.
For a long while I drove my "weekend GP" car on the street to events. It had early carbon brake rotors and pads, and the first stops were pretty exciting if I forgot to keep a foot on the brake pedal to warm things up leaving the house. Once heated, standing on the pedal just prior to turn-in was about the same as dropping the anchor underway. Before heat, it was hard to tell if the brakes were at all connected to the pedal. Later in life, "decent" pads on summer DD's still needed a little heat, but at least I could stop at the end of the long 1/4-mile steep downhill driveway without crashing through the gate. We had very easy immediate access to Angeles Crest Highway (SR2) for, um, brake and tire testing sessions, where good hot brake performance seemed essential. Now in central Oregon we have easy access to even more 'mountain performance driving' opportunities, but with seasonal limitations. Not in the Pilot though. It handles and brakes like a school bus. I don't expect it to ever be a performer, but if I did the brakes would get very early attention. It's our winter ride and year-round limo, handy when more than one passenger is along.
 
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Yep - that's exactly what I think is going on. I just can't tell which side without pulling it apart so I'm just going to replace both with new OEM parts. Do you see a need to replace the seals on the transmission if they aren't leaking? In the past on old cars I typically did (like my Integra with 140k miles)... but with only 68k miles I get concerned of creating a leak by replacing a perfectly good seal that's not leaking.
The two Pilot inner drive joints see pretty equal wear/loading, so plan to do both WYAIT. I have no experience with seal life, but... If you have the right driver to install them (MUST be square to the axle) then it's cheap insurance. A carefully-crafted piece of plastic pipe will do the trick if you don't have a seal driver kit. I'm a toolaholic, and don't shy away from making easy tools like this when I need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, I got around to working on it this weekend.

1) I SUCK at any type of suspension work. Let’s just say the nut on the tie rod end isn’t exactly strong metal and an M12 x 1.25 die isn’t the easiest thing to source.

2) I HATE suspension work.

3) Why don’t axles ever want to just slide in the hub? Like REALLY?

4) I only got one axle done because of items 1 & 2 & 3. It was the passenger side axle. I’ll let some else do the other side one day.

5) MY PILOT NO LONGER SHAKES!!!! For those chasing vibrations around 70mph that are throttle dependent this is huge! Tonight was the first time I can remember in I don’t know how long that I the car actually drove like it was supposed to. A true miracle. Also, interesting side note... Honda revised the passenger side axle part number but NOT the drivers side. I suspect they improved the part. Either way, for anyone else searching who loathes their Pilot as much as I have because of the unfixable shake... replace the axles! Mine externally looked ok, felt ok taking it off, etc. It was still BAD. Your axles do not have to leak, click, or anything else to cause vibration.

With all that said, take my advice on timing belts, valve covers, starters, whatever... but do not listen to me for suspension advice.
 

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There may be a case for using the right tools for suspension work. May be... In my limited experience, most who attempt DIY suspension work do it with peanut-sized tools, or follow some yeaux-tooob "guidance" that tells them to "just hit it with a hammer until it comes loose...".

Most POLAPS will free-rent the tools needed for casual suspension work. In case the discussion comes up again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There may be a case for using the right tools for suspension work. May be... In my limited experience, most who attempt DIY suspension work do it with peanut-sized tools, or follow some yeaux-tooob "guidance" that tells them to "just hit it with a hammer until it comes loose...".

Most POLAPS will free-rent the tools needed for casual suspension work. In case the discussion comes up again.
Yeah, and it's also nice to have a lift so you can get decent angles on some of this stuff. It's doable and I got it done... and it's driving a lot better... but yeah. Lesson learned. I hate suspension work and I'm ill equipped for it despite being capable of tackling many other DIY tasks with a fairly decent selection of tools, albeit limited on the suspension specific genre.
 

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A note on noise; you are wanting to reduce noise transmission from various noise sources into the cabin. Open or closed cell foam provides slight improvement of noise transmission through otherwise empty cavities.

The most effective traditional noise transmission mitigation is via the OEM or you adding liberal amounts of soft mass-ey material (limp mass), like bituminous pads or coating (made for automotive application), loaded vinyl and similar materials, located near the noise source--before it gets the cabin shell-- if possible. The OEM doesn't like use lots of this because of the added manufactruing steps, increased vehicle weight, reduced MPG. Honda leans heavily on the vehicle sound system to actively reduce road noise, in lieu of adding a few hundred pounds more limp mass. The system is pretty effective (disable it and compare).

If you want to further reduce noise transmission, the wheel wells, firewall (engine side), under the carpet from the dash to the driver's seat, and the pan of the rear hatch/spare tire area, are reasonably accessible. Some claim improvement by putting loaded vinyl over the strut towers under the hood, leaving a hole to access the mount hardware.

If you are further motivated, the metal door skins are a significant noise path, where limp mass helps. If really motivated, remove the seats and carpet, and third row side panels, and add more limp mass (you'll likely find some strategically located there already).

As for air noise, make sure the door gaskets are tight and compressed--shoudln't be able to pull a strip of paper past the gasket ANYWHERE around the door when the door is closed. You'd be surprised how often the gaskets are ill fitting.
 

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Yeah, and it's also nice to have a lift so you can get decent angles on some of this stuff. It's doable and I got it done... and it's driving a lot better... but yeah. Lesson learned. I hate suspension work and I'm ill equipped for it despite being capable of tackling many other DIY tasks with a fairly decent selection of tools, albeit limited on the suspension specific genre.
I have a few of the bigger tools for changing ball-joints, tie rods & ends. The really big stuff gets borrowed tools or goes out to the pro's. Trying to do big tasks with too-small tools gets dangerous.

I replaced the seals in the hydraulic cylinders in my lift last week. Not too tough, but while moving things around to get a cylinder back in, I lifted one end of laid-down the column to move it, causing the carriage to take a run for the new lower end. Kabong! Had body parts been in the way, they would have done, um, poorly. I need to think things through a little better.

In my teen years, a neighbor with a GTO was replacing front springs with a set from a Caddy. Better weight transfer for drag-racing he said. One "got away from him", and went through his mother's washing machine. Lesson available is to remember how much energy is available when working on suspension parts. It's enough to hold the car up under a lot of serious loads.

Oh... For about $10 in new seals and $15 in hydraulic oil, no little puddles or even dribbles in the bottoms of the columns. :) Floor scrubbed and resealed. Got Some exercise along the way too. All good again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A note on noise; you are wanting to reduce noise transmission from various noise sources into the cabin. Open or closed cell foam provides slight improvement of noise transmission through otherwise empty cavities.

The most effective traditional noise transmission mitigation is via the OEM or you adding liberal amounts of soft mass-ey material (limp mass), like bituminous pads or coating (made for automotive application), loaded vinyl and similar materials, located near the noise source--before it gets the cabin shell-- if possible. The OEM doesn't like use lots of this because of the added manufactruing steps, increased vehicle weight, reduced MPG. Honda leans heavily on the vehicle sound system to actively reduce road noise, in lieu of adding a few hundred pounds more limp mass. The system is pretty effective (disable it and compare).

If you want to further reduce noise transmission, the wheel wells, firewall (engine side), under the carpet from the dash to the driver's seat, and the pan of the rear hatch/spare tire area, are reasonably accessible. Some claim improvement by putting loaded vinyl over the strut towers under the hood, leaving a hole to access the mount hardware.

If you are further motivated, the metal door skins are a significant noise path, where limp mass helps. If really motivated, remove the seats and carpet, and third row side panels, and add more limp mass (you'll likely find some strategically located there already).

As for air noise, make sure the door gaskets are tight and compressed--shoudln't be able to pull a strip of paper past the gasket ANYWHERE around the door when the door is closed. You'd be surprised how often the gaskets are ill fitting.
Thank you! It feels like it could use some insulation in the doors. I may consider around the wheel wells too. Thankfully air noise isn’t a problem and my door seals are still in great shape. Really really appreciate the reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have a few of the bigger tools for changing ball-joints, tie rods & ends. The really big stuff gets borrowed tools or goes out to the pro's. Trying to do big tasks with too-small tools gets dangerous.

I replaced the seals in the hydraulic cylinders in my last last week. Not too tough, but while moving things around to get a cylinder back in, I lifted one end of laid-down the column to move it, causing the carriage to take a run for the new lower end. Kabong! Had body parts been in the way, they would have done, um, poorly. I need to think things through a little better.

In my teen years, a neighbor with a GTO was replacing front springs with a set from a Caddy. Better weight transfer for drag-racing he said. One "got away from him", and went through his mother's washing machine. Lesson available is to remember how much energy is available when working on suspension parts. It's enough to hold the car up under a lot of serious loads.

Oh... For about $10 in new seals and $15 in hydraulic oil, no little puddles or even dribbles in the bottoms of the columns. :) Floor scrubbed and resealed. Got Some exercise along the way too. All good again.
Heh yeah, if my garage was tall enough I’d have a lift. Unfortunately there is a bedroom above it.
 

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Brian -

MaxJax goes up to get the lift pads about 4' off the floor, so the Pilot will fit under a 10' flat ceiling if door and tracks are pretty tight to the ceiling. My current workbay has cathedral ceilings, with doors following the ceiling contour up, and shaft-drive openers. Plenty of room for a full (6') height lift, but... The MaxJax columns unbolt from the floor and roll out of the way when not in use. Workbay is about 20' wide, maybe 30' deep, so room to get around the car and lift columns in use. Outsides of the column pads are at 132" to fit any car we have. If you have that kind of width, you are a candidate. I use a roller seat to scoot around and work under the car. Standing under a car is overrated. Bulk of the work done is suspension/brakes/etc., or cleaning/detailing. There's enough range to bring that kind of work to comfortable height either sitting or standing. You'll need a 4" garage floor slab to hold the anchors safely. I can safely say that the portable two-post lift has been one of the better garage equipment investments. I've had it for at least a dozen years now, so it's well paid for itself at this point. No crawling under the car on stands, no working hunched over. Got a few cars and toys to "support"?

They come on sale through Home Depot and Costco every once in a while.
 
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