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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it looks like my 2004 Pilot with 260,000 maybe going for it's last drive. I went to have the common body rust repaired on the passenger rear fender and when the body shop removed the rear fender a rusted rear frame rail and left and right rear frame rail sections were exposed. It almost looked like the rust was "infected" from the totally rusty factory installed trailer hitch. It also has the rusted rear frame mounts but those can be repaired by the plate method list elsewhere in this forum.

The body shop basically said that the cost to repair would exceed the cost of the car, and yes I should have taken pictures. The shop owner is a friend of mine and called me yesterday to come over and see it on the lift for myself. It looks like real bad news if I ever get rear ended.

The interior is flawless and it's sporting new rims and $1K worth of Michelin tires. The engine and tranny are strong but the New England winters and salty roads appear to have taken it's toll. I'll make one last attempt to check about boxing in the rusting frame with new rails but I think it is the end of the line.

I learned a lot about keeping it going through this forum and have been here for awhile, I lost my original login and started a new account a few years ago. We bought the Pilot when our kids were young as a soccer team hauler. Now it's just me and my wife so I'm looking as smaller cars with the RAV4 currently in the lead. I'll probably drive the somewhat unsafe Pilot through the summer hoping the car market becomes closer to normal in the next few months. Thanks to all who have helped me through the journey with the Pilot.
 

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Crappy to hear about this but heavily salted roads are hell on vehicles. Good luck with your future purchase, lot of good vehicles in that compact SUV class.
 

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Well it looks like my 2004 Pilot with 260,000 maybe going for it's last drive. I went to have the common body rust repaired on the passenger rear fender and when the body shop removed the rear fender a rusted rear frame rail and left and right rear frame rail sections were exposed. It almost looked like the rust was "infected" from the totally rusty factory installed trailer hitch. It also has the rusted rear frame mounts but those can be repaired by the plate method list elsewhere in this forum
The rusty rear subframe mounting cross member is critically important and some owners have made a successful diy repair. The rusty rear impact beam above the hitch looks bad but is a replaceable part. Picked up a replacement impact beam from eBay for $120 shipped. Steel is a bad choice for the impact beam when subjected to annual salt baths. Too bad you didn’t get some pics.
Motor vehicle Bumper Wood Automotive exterior Automotive tire
 

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Some photos would be great.
To buy a few more years, I'd consider the cost in doing the work. There have been many successful fixes of what would look like hopeless situations.
 
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The rusty rear subframe mounting cross member is critically important and some owners have made a successful diy repair. The rusty rear impact beam above the hitch looks bad but is a replaceable part. Picked up a replacement impact beam from eBay for $120 shipped. Steel is a bad choice for the impact beam when subjected to annual salt baths. Too bad you didn’t get some pics. View attachment 147924
agree, I just got a used beam for $21 at a pick your own part salvage yard. The bumper cover was already taken making the job pretty quick.
 

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I agree with the general idea of keeping it on life support for a while.

I don't recall anyone noting that rear subframe mount failure happened suddenly or dangerously. I suspect that getting rear-ended with all that rust will just extend the "crumple zone" a few feet further forward into the unibody.

That's not to say it's not important - if you had kids in the back seat (and forget the third row), it's not safe. But if it's basically a 1 - 2 person car now, I think another year or two is realistic. With that goal, it's a lot easier to do a minimalist repair that remains economical.
 

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2016 CRV Touring AWD, 2005 Pilot RIP.
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That was the mileage my 05 decided to tell me it was done thanks to rust.

Sad farewell.
 

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Glad you got a lot of good life out of your Pilot.

Enjoy your new car!
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Pics would help sway us in one direction or the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Body and repair shops in the state of MA will not touch it, there are a few places in NH that will do the work. It is pretty bad and at 17 years 260k miles I've gotten my moneys worth. I'm frugal, not cheap but I'm sure someone will pick it up at auction. It's off to RAV4 for me....
 

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No worries, you're likely doing the best thing in your situation - Moving on.

The design of the Pilot's (sheet metal) frame and Honda's minimal rust deterrent provisions for the inside surfaces lead one to believe they intentionally planned for failure of the chassis.
While not bullet-proof, the mechanicals were well tested in earlier machines and 250K mileage was easily reached.
I think Honda fully realized that for continuing sales in the SUV market, some failure point was needed.
They are not interested in building a vehicle with "perpetual performance".
 

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They are not interested in building a vehicle with "perpetual performance".
I think that's exactly right. I also think it's the right call for Honda and for their customers.

Honda sells cars that are highly featured and moderately expensive, because that's what most people want to buy. The price of a Pilot that would be as durable as a Land Cruiser would be about the same as a Land Cruiser. Not much of a market for that, I expect.
 

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I think that's exactly right. I also think it's the right call for Honda and for their customers.

Honda sells cars that are highly featured and moderately expensive, because that's what most people want to buy. The price of a Pilot that would be as durable as a Land Cruiser would be about the same as a Land Cruiser. Not much of a market for that, I expect.
Toyota isn't infallible in that regard either... plenty of Tacomas with frame rot, Tundras (and anything with the early 5.7) with stretched timing chains, etc. Sometimes the mythology is better than the fact, right?
 
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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Are you suggesting "planned obsolescence"? Say it isn't so. :)
 

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If I agree and say: "It isn't so" .. will Honda (or any other manufacturer that needs to sell new cars and not just parts) change their policies ?

Perhaps in a perfect world, but this one is anything but perfect.
 

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I would just like to point out how spoiled we are... we can complain about frame rust on a 260k mile vehicle. As recently as the 80's and 90's for some brands vehicles could barely make it to 100k without major work and they constantly needed minor adjustments and parts replaced.
 

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Toyota isn't infallible in that regard either... plenty of Tacomas with frame rot, Tundras (and anything with the early 5.7) with stretched timing chains, etc. Sometimes the mythology is better than the fact, right?
I think that any vehicle more likely to deliver the "perpetual performance" that GTD preferred will cost a lot more than a Pilot or a Tacoma, and isn't driven in conditions like salted roads or soggy tideflats. I don't think that's a slam against Honda, planned obsolescence or mythology. It's just the compromise required in designing a vehicle that will sell 130,000 units a year in the US versus something like a LandCruiser that only does 3,500.

Rust always wins (or never sleeps, depending on your era). As you note, most cars today will hold up way better than their counterparts from the "good old days", all other things being equal. It's pretty impressive to be able to discuss a Pilot that's been driven in salt every winter and "only" lasted a quarter of a million miles, and trying to encourage the owner to hang on for another 20k or so.
 
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