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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to figure out if I have a bad front motor mount like some people have experienced... Over the past 20,000 miles or so I have noticed a "loose" sound coming out of the front end. It seems like whenever I am at lower speed with less road noise I notice a "pop" or "clunk" coming out of the front end when going over a slight bump in the road.

I thought that this could be from the struts or strut mounts. So I replaced the struts, strut mounts, stabilizer links & shocks this past weekend. I am still experiencing the issue. I am also getting a steering wheel shimmy on the highway at about 70 mph.

I have replaced the passenger side oil filled motor mount about 20k ago. It was leaking so I replaced it that same day with an OEM Honda mount. It seems like a lot of people have seen this issue. Does this sound like I have a bad front motor mount???:confused:
 

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When I replaced my front motor mount, it was making a rapid fire banging noise between 30 and 45 mph when cruising at that speed. I also replaced my side motor mount shortly thereafter. What year and how many miles on your Pilot? The front mount wasn't a very hard job to do and after I put the new and old mount side by side, it was very obvious how collapsed the old one was.
 

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Inner tie rod ends. In some cases you have to slide the bellows boot back to feel/observe the inner joint movement directly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your help guys. I am going to check the inner tie rod ends this weekend. I just had it aligned at Goodyear and they didn't say anything about the tie rod ends. Do you think that they would have seen bad ones in the alignment?

My Pilot is a 2003 with 125K on it.
 

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A few years ago had two independent shops--one a notable Honda specialist-- check for the knocking noise in the front and blamed it on struts or sway links (which were indeed shot).

Heck, I checked the inner tie rods myself and failed to find the bugger until I pulled the rack boot back and TADA! the joint had visible and feelable play. Replaced the passenger inner. Noise gone, and steering wheel vibration gone.

Well, noise gone for year. Now I think the driver's side is kaput.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will try that this weekend! Do you think that I will need an alignment again since I had it done 6 days ago?
 

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Not if you mark the steering wheel location on the column before you start, and do ONE side at a time, re-centering steering wheel after each.

There are posts elsewhere that elaborate on this, but essentially put a piece of masking tape both steering wheel and on the column, then find a level stretch of road where you can drive straight and have the passenger draw a match line on both.

Note the # of threads or length of threads exposed between tie rod jamb nut and outer end and match when you put the new inner on.

Then drive the same stretch of road and adjust ONLY the tie rod you replaced until the steering wheel /column matchlines meet up when driving straight. You can easily crank the wheel, reach the jamb nut and adjust the tie rod in a parking lot along the way until you get it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not if you mark the steering wheel location on the column before you start, and do ONE side at a time, re-centering steering wheel after each.

There are posts elsewhere that elaborate on this, but essentially put a piece of masking tape both steering wheel and on the column, then find a level stretch of road where you can drive straight and have the passenger draw a match line on both.

Note the # of threads or length of threads exposed between tie rod jamb nut and outer end and match when you put the new inner on.

Then drive the same stretch of road and adjust ONLY the tie rod you replaced until the steering wheel /column matchlines meet up when driving straight. You can easily crank the wheel, reach the jamb nut and adjust the tie rod in a parking lot along the way until you get it right.

Ok... So this weekend I inspected the inner tie rod ends and they appear to be ok. I tried moving them to re-create the popping or loose sound & I couldn't reproduce the problem. I am thinking that maybe the drivers side wheel bearing is going bad. Doesn't this usually make a humming noise when it starts to go bad? I haven't noticed a humm but it does make a loose sound over bumps...
 

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You ruled out inner tie rod ends--actually pulled the rack boot back to check them?

Did you check sway bar frame bushings? A few posts have mentioned these.

No, wheel bearing don't make loose sounds--at least like I understand what you describe-- but they will hum, whine, grind, etc. It increases in pitch with speed, and intensity when making turns, changing lanes, etc.

The radiator side motor mount test is straight forward and posted in detail elsewhere. It can make a heavy knocking/banging noise most noticeable on throttle tip in and lift off at around 35 mph. There might have been some general rattling while cruising--been too long.

The wheel vibration at 70 mph may be a wheel/tire balance issue, or tire with a low/high spot. Had assumed you looked into that first.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I do have a defective tire on the rear passenger side. I have ordered a new one and it should be here on Saturday.

As far as the tie rod ends.... I removed the boot off the drivers side and it didn't budge when I pulled on it. I am pretty sure that it is coming from the pass. side but I am going to check it probably this evening. I called Goodyear back and they say that they checked this during the alignment. I might take it to them and ask them what is going on.

I haven't looked at the sway bar bushings yet but I will probably do that also. This weekend I am going to have the new tire mounted & all 4 tires balanced.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well after looking at the pilot again this weekend I decided to take it to the shop up the street. They are going to replace the defective tire and balance all 4 tires. They are also going to look at the suspension. I twisted the tie rods and it makes a metal to metal sound on both sides. Both inner tie rods might be shot. This guy seems to be real reasonable so we will see what happens...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After taking it to the shop they found nothing wrong with the suspension. I guess I will try another shop... I will keep you all posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
After getting the right rear defective tire replaced & all four balanced the problem is gone. No more loose sounds or popping. The steering wheel is also straight now. I had no idea one tire could cause all of these problems!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The outer tread (closest to the outside of the vehicle) was bare on one half of the tire but not the other half. It also was losing air and I had to re-air every week. When Goodyear did the alignment they said that the rear suspension looked great and there was nothing wrong with it. These tires have about 20k on them. The rest of the tires have 7-8/32 of tread left so I think that the rear passenger tire was a defect from the factory. I originally had to move that tire to the rear due to steering issues...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well after driving the Pilot about day or two after I posted that the popping sound was gone, it came back. It was probably there when I left the shop, I just didn't notice it. I did look at the inner tie rod on the drivers side again and I can twist it left to right and it makes a clunk noise every time. The passenger side doesn't do this since it was replaced. Should I be able to twist the tie rod end left to right (front to back)?
 

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Twisting by hand is not reliable as new tie rods are stiff and perfectly good ones with many miles remaining will be looser. The clunk is probably the outer stud/ball hitting the joint housing at the limits of rotation--expected.

About the only way I've found to check a suspect inner tie rod end that isn't grossly sloppy is to pull the boot back so the inner joint is exposed, then grab it with your fingers and move the wheel back and forth. You'll quickly detect play if that's the cause. That's how I found my Pilot's noisy inner after three shops missed it

One way to check outers is to park in driveway on rough concrete and feel the joint as someone rocks steering wheel with engine running.

You can also pop the outer joint stud out of the knuckle. If you can turn the stud with fingers (without nut), it's likely on last legs.
 
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