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2006 Pilot with 230k miles. I'm giving it to my son, so I'm taking care of some issues. I have a clunking noise from front end, both sides, when going over bumps, even just small variations in the road. I had original struts, so I replaced the struts. Still clunks. I replaced sway bar end links and sway bar bushings. Still clunks. Lower control arms were original, so I replaced them. Still clunks. I'm ok replacing these things because I want the car to be safe and I enjoy doing the work myself. They needed to be done with the high mileage, but what else could be causing the clunking?? Tie rods have a little play when rotating them, but I don't think that would cause the clunking issue. I don't even hear it when I jump up and down on the bumper. As soon as I start driving I hear it over every bump in the road. Please give your suggestions, surely someone has had the same problem.
Thank you
 

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Are you able to tell if it's more under the car or in the engine bay?
I would check the CV axles. Also, pop the hood and make sure everything is where it should be and tight. I'm sure some more experienced people will be able to tell you more.
 

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When you say you can hear it on both sides do you mean two distinct clunks or it does it when either tire goes over a bump?

I would check to make sure that the k-member bolts are tight just because it is easy to do. I doubt that they are loose unless someone dropped it down to remove the transmission. Next I would check the engine and transmission mounts. It could be the engine/transmission moving.

Does the steering feel pretty tight or does it have some sloppines?
 

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Did you use complete strut assemblies, or just replace the hydraulic cylinders? The top bearings wear out, and get noisy if not replaced. Otherwise, it sounds like the only things left for you to renew are the inner and outer tie rod ends. Yes, it could be worn tie rod ends causing the noise. At 230k miles, everything is worn out, and everything needs to be renewed if you want a quiet front end. That's just the way it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the responses. I did use a complete strut assembly (Monroe). I would say it's two distinct clunks, I can hear it on both sides. The steering feels normal, not sloppy. I thought about the motor mounts, how can I check them aside from removing them? I do not get the clunking when accelerating or braking which I thought would be when I would hear bad motor mounts? Is it possible that tie rods would clunk? I thought I would just see uneven tire wear and/or play when shaking tire if it was a bad tie rod. Thank you for the responses, please continue to share your thoughts. I'd really like to fix this myself.
 

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Well, yes, motor mounts...if they are original, they are going to be well worn. Yeah, when you hit a bump, the motor wants to bounce around. Of course that could be a source of noise. I think you are right to look at the mounts. Usually, the front mount and the passenger side mount are the ones to go first. The rear and driver side mounts seem to skate by a lot longer. If they are original, front and passenger side mounts are probably due.
 

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It might be the CV axle. The bumps load up and relieve on the bearings and they clunk/click. Go to a parking lot and make some tight turns under some acceleration and see if any clunking. A sharp left turn will load up the right axle and a sharp right the other.
 

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STMech beat me to it. I had two broken motor mounts in my 2004 pilot that I had replaced and the clunking stopped and it was the front and passenger side.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Motor mounts could make sense since I don't get the clunking when I bounce on the bumper but I get it as soon as I start moving. Is there any way to check the motor mounts with them in the car or do I just have to replace them and hope that was the problem?
 

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You can have someone watch the motor as you rev in drive/reverse. You have to keep a foot on the brake pedal so the vehicle doesn't move. The motor should not move an excessive amount. With the miles that you have on your Pilot, worn mounts are likely.
 

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It’s the inner tie rods if you drive it on a gravel lot and you hear a constant knocking. Everyone over looks these. I had to replace on my pilot at 225k. You can check them by taking loose the outer tie rod and seeing if the whole rod will bounce. The rod needs to have quite a bit of tension on it and shouldn’t drop on it’s own. New inner tie rods are extremely tight.

motor mounts you would hear a loud thunk under acceleration and sometimes under braking. The car also starts to feel rough and disconnected driving down the road. If they are bad enough you can hear the engine shift with a hard left turn. Usually the side one goes and then that takes out the front one. The rears are usually ok. You can check the side one, but it’s a little bit of a pain to take out with the pcm in the way. It’s on the left if you’re standing in front of the engine. If it’s just clunking under no load or when you aren’t on the gas, I would focus on inner tie rods.
 

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Start with something simpler and cheaper.
Your anti sway bar bushings are shot. Partscare dirt cheaper. A bear to install including the need to drop the subframe a bit to get access.
 

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Start with something simpler and cheaper.
Your anti sway bar bushings are shot. Partscare dirt cheaper. A bear to install including the need to drop the subframe a bit to get access.
you don’t need to drop the subframe at all. Just get an offset wrench. It’s not that hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the input. I have already replaced the sway bar bushings. It did not fix the problem. I did some more driving and it's definitely coming from the sides of the car, not in the front where the center motor mount is. I did the engine reving/brake test and there was some movement, but no clunking. I don't think it's that front mount. Car does not clunk upon hard acceleration either. Considering the Car has 230k+ miles and I want to pass it along to my son for a few more years of use, it's not going to hurt to replace a few more things until I find the problem. I ordered new inner and outer tie rods, passenger side engine mount and transmission mounts. All of those parts are still original to the car and would benefit from replacement anyway.
 

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Thanks for the input. I have already replaced the sway bar bushings. It did not fix the problem. I did some more driving and it's definitely coming from the sides of the car, not in the front where the center motor mount is. I did the engine reving/brake test and there was some movement, but no clunking. I don't think it's that front mount. Car does not clunk upon hard acceleration either. Considering the Car has 230k+ miles and I want to pass it along to my son for a few more years of use, it's not going to hurt to replace a few more things until I find the problem. I ordered new inner and outer tie rods, passenger side engine mount and transmission mounts. All of those parts are still original to the car and would benefit from replacement anyway.
That’s great you want to keep car and pass on to son. I would definitely replace inner & outer tie rods, (sounds like your going too) and because of the mileage, replace lower control arm too. (Has the lower ball joint). That could be causing clunk too on small bumps.
Good luck
 

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Thanks for the input. I have already replaced the sway bar bushings. It did not fix the problem. I did some more driving and it's definitely coming from the sides of the car, not in the front where the center motor mount is. I did the engine reving/brake test and there was some movement, but no clunking. I don't think it's that front mount. Car does not clunk upon hard acceleration either. Considering the Car has 230k+ miles and I want to pass it along to my son for a few more years of use, it's not going to hurt to replace a few more things until I find the problem. I ordered new inner and outer tie rods, passenger side engine mount and transmission mounts. All of those parts are still original to the car and would benefit from replacement anyway.
That’s great you want to keep car and pass on to son. I would definitely replace inner & outer tie rods, (sounds like your going too) and because of the mileage, replace lower control arm too. (Has the lower ball joint). That could be causing clunk too on small bumps.
Good luck
 

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Did you use complete strut assemblies, or just replace the hydraulic cylinders? The top bearings wear out, and get noisy if not replaced. Otherwise, it sounds like the only things left for you to renew are the inner and outer tie rod ends. Yes, it could be worn tie rod ends causing the noise. At 230k miles, everything is worn out, and everything needs to be renewed if you want a quiet front end. That's just the way it is.
I have seen this issue on my wife's 2000 Odyssey. Another shop replaced the struts, but used the original top plates and springs. The top plate was bad, made a dull "bell" like sound. I replaced both struts with Unistruts when the weather got better (no garage) and problem went away.
 

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2006 Pilot with 230k miles. I'm giving it to my son, so I'm taking care of some issues. I have a clunking noise from front end, both sides, when going over bumps, even just small variations in the road. I had original struts, so I replaced the struts. Still clunks. I replaced sway bar end links and sway bar bushings. Still clunks. Lower control arms were original, so I replaced them. Still clunks. I'm ok replacing these things because I want the car to be safe and I enjoy doing the work myself. They needed to be done with the high mileage, but what else could be causing the clunking?? Tie rods have a little play when rotating them, but I don't think that would cause the clunking issue. I don't even hear it when I jump up and down on the bumper. As soon as I start driving I hear it over every bump in the road. Please give your suggestions, surely someone has had the same problem.
Thank you
ok so did you check stabilizer bar bushings. May be worn many Mercer notice bar going to both ends and links.
 

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Ok. So you’ve given 3 clues to suggest your inner tie rods or CV joints/half-axles:
1) you only hear the noise when moving. If the engine mounts are bad you can usually replicate it on a parked vehicle.
2) the noises come from each side. This indicates a suspension component in motion.
3) You hear the noise over bumps. This indicates up and down movement causes shifting.

I had a similar problem on my left front and it was due to play in the CV joint. It wasn’t bad enough to click when turning, but there was enough play that it moved when going over uneven roads.

I would start by simply checking for play in the inners and CV components.

Axles and CV joints are more common than inner tie rods - but if your outer tie rods and struts were bad, that would put excess stress on the inner joints to the point they could/would eventually fail. Easy to check by merely rocking the wheel when in the air.
 

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I'm surprised no one has asked for it yet, but a video reproducing the symptom - with good audio - will help immensely. Like... 100x better than any description you can type up.

I would also suggest checking the center nut on each strut. If you replaced the whole strut assemblies yourself, then its possible you loosened this nut when "clocking" the strut (i.e. when you attached the 3 upper strut bolts, you had to "twist" the bottom of the assembly to line up the bottom with the wheel assembly).

To check: take the dashboard plastic cover off so you can access the upper strut bolts. The center nut is, well, in the center of the 3 upper strut bolts. If it is loose then there's your problem - just tighten it up. I know there's a torque spec for it, but I'm pretty sure that spec is for an unloaded strut. When I had this issue I had to tighten the nut less than 2 full turns by hand, and tightened it to ~snug (a decent crank with my hand halfway up the socket wrench).

--Chris N.
 
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