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Sorry for the extremely delayed response...I was away for military training. 1 yearish update and 15k miles later (currently sitting at 225k)... everything is holding up well and still feels strong. I appreciate all of the input and advice on the welds and hope this thread at least motivated some people to take a look at this area on their pilot as the issue seems prevalent. My plan at this point is to keep this pilot until either the engine or transmission goes which hopefully is awhile down the road. For the amount I paid for the vehicle and what I use it for I couldn't be happier with it's performance thus far.
 

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It's now become part of my walkaround inspection every time my Pilot is up on a lift -- look at those subframe mounts for corrosion. So far so good, and maybe that's one of the benefits of yearly rustproofing just before the start of winter salt season.
 

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Hi all. I recently purchased a 2003 Honda Pilot EX-L Navi with 208000 miles a few weeks ago. The vehicle was one owner with all dealership maintenance (timing belt and water pump just done for second time) and overall in really good shape minus one bad area of rust where the unibody and rear subframe bolt together. I would say about 95% of the metal was rusted away and I honestly don't know how it hadn't yet separated. Based on this I was able to negotiate the price down to $1500. I did some searching on here and some other forums and saw that this issue was somewhat common with the early first gen pilots in cooler climate locations. Luckily I was able to have it repaired by a local mechanic/welder that I have all my vehicles serviced at. It took him about an hour and a half and only cost me $125. He said the repair was pretty simple to do and that just about any weldshop should be able to do it quite easily. I attached some before and after pics so you can see what I am talking about. As this is a somewhat common issue I figured it would be good to put some more information out there so anyone who runs into this problem doesn't fall for the dealer's advice of junk the car/it can't be repaired/we have to replace then entire unibody at a cost of $3000.
Thank you so much for posting - I had the same issue - with the same recommendations - junk it - nothing could be done - or spend many thousands replacing the unibody. Found a good welding shop - showed him your idea and pictures - $450 and rolling again
 

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After seeing and feeling the 'drag' in my 2003 Pilot I did some research and found that mine had the same issue. I searched for a welding shop that could/would do this repair but didn't have any luck. I ended up taking my vehicle to the shop that my employer takes our trucks to. I spoke with the owner, took pictures and the article on how you fixed yours and VIOLA! he did the same thing to mine! She drives like a dream now and he didn't charge me and arm and a leg!

Thank you for the information on how you repaired it without welds. Mine will be getting undercoating in a week to, hopefully, seal out any more rust. At the VERY least keep the rust at a minimum.
 

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After seeing and feeling the 'drag' in my 2003 Pilot I did some research and found that mine had the same issue. I searched for a welding shop that could/would do this repair but didn't have any luck. I ended up taking my vehicle to the shop that my employer takes our trucks to. I spoke with the owner, took pictures and the article on how you fixed yours and VIOLA! he did the same thing to mine! She drives like a dream now and he didn't charge me and arm and a leg!

Thank you for the information on how you repaired it without welds. Mine will be getting undercoating in a week to, hopefully, seal out any more rust. At the VERY least keep the rust at a minimum.
Did they bolt thru the floor, or put a thread in the patch?
 

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Hi all. I recently purchased a 2003 Honda Pilot EX-L Navi with 208000 miles a few weeks ago. The vehicle was one owner with all dealership maintenance (timing belt and water pump just done for second time) and overall in really good shape minus one bad area of rust where the unibody and rear subframe bolt together. I would say about 95% of the metal was rusted away and I honestly don't know how it hadn't yet separated. Based on this I was able to negotiate the price down to $1500. I did some searching on here and some other forums and saw that this issue was somewhat common with the early first gen pilots in cooler climate locations. Luckily I was able to have it repaired by a local mechanic/welder that I have all my vehicles serviced at. It took him about an hour and a half and only cost me $125. He said the repair was pretty simple to do and that just about any weldshop should be able to do it quite easily. I attached some before and after pics so you can see what I am talking about. As this is a somewhat common issue I figured it would be good to put some more information out there so anyone who runs into this problem doesn't fall for the dealer's advice of junk the car/it can't be repaired/we have to replace then entire unibody at a cost of $3000.
Sorry, but that is garbage welding. I've been welding for years, not a pro, but could do way better. I hope that holds. No wonder it was cheap and quick.
 

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This post is encouraging. I was considering driving my 2003 LX with 189K miles, and new tires, rear brakes and control arms to the junkyard after one of those $3,000+ estimates. Posted pic looks like driver's side rear subframe bolt area, which is where mine rusted through. So, is this the most vulnerable spot, and, if repaired, would the rest of this "frame" member be trustworthy? With my estimate, I also heard "liability issues" from a body shop that repairs and sells crash vehicles with salvage titles. It would, indeed, be helpfulto hear from others who had this problem and had repairs done.
I know a bit late but I do know that after my 2005 Pilot had the sub-frame drop a couple of day later I got under it and saw water dripping out of the hole it dropped from on the drivers side ,So I believe this is why it rusted, there must be a flaw in how it was designed where water makes it's way there and settles !
 

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I have a 2005 Pilot with 232,000 miles. Engine runs great. Just redid a bunch of suspension parts and found this rotting rear subframe mount issue. Here's what I did following some other examples shared. Make sure the wiring harness on the front side of the crossmember is moved out of the way. I cut the bad mount and the bulbous hub on the bottom of the crossmember off with a Sawzall. Save the metal pate on the bottom of the bushing. 2x2x3/16x5" long angle. 4x3x5/16 plates. Take the rear seats out. Pull up the carpet. Look for the crossmember to floor welds. Use a hole saw to make a hole in the floor directly above the bushing center. Take some measurements relative to holes in the floor to locate the new hole properly. I used the multiple pieces to fit them, mark them in place, and take them out to weld them. I would fit, add more parts, mark, remove and tack, fit,remove and weld, etc. to get the structure to fit nice and tight. Once I had the U shaped weldment, I put it in place and marked where to drill using a sharpie through the bushing hole from below. I drilled a hole through the U structure where marked and also through the plate that is installed on top of the floor. I also cut away some of the plate to clear the VTM harness that goes through the floor. The top of floor plate has to be as long as the outside of the angle bar to eventually drill and bolt through to clamp the structure around the crossmember. I used an old Honda 12mm swingarm bolt to clamp the subframe though the bracket and to the plate on top of the floor. I double nutted the bolt. Then I drilled through the top plate through the floor and through the angle bar to bolt the structure together using 5/16-32x1.75 long bolts. You could also tack weld the nut to the bolt. Got the steel and hardware for free. Spent a Saturday and 0$. Hope it passes inspection!
 

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View attachment 134806 View attachment 134807 View attachment 134801 View attachment 134802 View attachment 134803 View attachment 134804 View attachment 134805
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I have a 2005 Pilot with 232,000 miles. Engine runs great. Just redid a bunch of suspension parts and found this rotting rear subframe mount issue. Here's what I did following some other examples shared. Make sure the wiring harness on the front side of the crossmember is moved out of the way. I cut the bad mount and the bulbous hub on the bottom of the crossmember off with a Sawzall. Save the metal pate on the bottom of the bushing. 2x2x3/16x5" long angle. 4x3x5/16 plates. Take the rear seats out. Pull up the carpet. Look for the crossmember to floor welds. Use a hole saw to make a hole in the floor directly above the bushing center. Take some measurements relative to holes in the floor to locate the new hole properly. I used the multiple pieces to fit them, mark them in place, and take them out to weld them. I would fit, add more parts, mark, remove and tack, fit,remove and weld, etc. to get the structure to fit nice and tight. Once I had the U shaped weldment, I put it in place and marked where to drill using a sharpie through the bushing hole from below. I drilled a hole through the U structure where marked and also through the plate that is installed on top of the floor. I also cut away some of the plate to clear the VTM harness that goes through the floor. The top of floor plate has to be as long as the outside of the angle bar to eventually drill and bolt through to clamp the structure around the crossmember. I used an old Honda 12mm swingarm bolt to clamp the subframe though the bracket and to the plate on top of the floor. I double nutted the bolt. Then I drilled through the top plate through the floor and through the angle bar to bolt the structure together using 5/16-32x1.75 long bolts. You could also tack weld the nut to the bolt. Got the steel and hardware for free. Spent a Saturday and 0$. Hope it passes inspection!
First.....Nice Job.....

But I have some questions.....

I am curious as to why you chose to bolt it to the vehicle instead of welding it on?....

Also.....Why did you use so many pieces of steel instead of using one large piece of U channel across the bottom and one large piece of L bracket on each side?....

Did using the additional square plate on the bottom.....set the rear of the vehicle up a little higher than stock?....

Thanks.....
 

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Hi all. I recently purchased a 2003 Honda Pilot EX-L Navi with 208000 miles a few weeks ago. The vehicle was one owner with all dealership maintenance (timing belt and water pump just done for second time) and overall in really good shape minus one bad area of rust where the unibody and rear subframe bolt together. I would say about 95% of the metal was rusted away and I honestly don't know how it hadn't yet separated. Based on this I was able to negotiate the price down to $1500. I did some searching on here and some other forums and saw that this issue was somewhat common with the early first gen pilots in cooler climate locations. Luckily I was able to have it repaired by a local mechanic/welder that I have all my vehicles serviced at. It took him about an hour and a half and only cost me $125. He said the repair was pretty simple to do and that just about any weldshop should be able to do it quite easily. I attached some before and after pics so you can see what I am talking about. As this is a somewhat common issue I figured it would be good to put some more information out there so anyone who runs into this problem doesn't fall for the dealer's advice of junk the car/it can't be repaired/we have to replace then entire unibody at a cost of $3000.
 

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View attachment 134806 View attachment 134807 View attachment 134801 View attachment 134802 View attachment 134803 View attachment 134804 View attachment 134805
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I have a 2005 Pilot with 232,000 miles. Engine runs great. Just redid a bunch of suspension parts and found this rotting rear subframe mount issue. Here's what I did following some other examples shared. Make sure the wiring harness on the front side of the crossmember is moved out of the way. I cut the bad mount and the bulbous hub on the bottom of the crossmember off with a Sawzall. Save the metal pate on the bottom of the bushing. 2x2x3/16x5" long angle. 4x3x5/16 plates. Take the rear seats out. Pull up the carpet. Look for the crossmember to floor welds. Use a hole saw to make a hole in the floor directly above the bushing center. Take some measurements relative to holes in the floor to locate the new hole properly. I used the multiple pieces to fit them, mark them in place, and take them out to weld them. I would fit, add more parts, mark, remove and tack, fit,remove and weld, etc. to get the structure to fit nice and tight. Once I had the U shaped weldment, I put it in place and marked where to drill using a sharpie through the bushing hole from below. I drilled a hole through the U structure where marked and also through the plate that is installed on top of the floor. I also cut away some of the plate to clear the VTM harness that goes through the floor. The top of floor plate has to be as long as the outside of the angle bar to eventually drill and bolt through to clamp the structure around the crossmember. I used an old Honda 12mm swingarm bolt to clamp the subframe though the bracket and to the plate on top of the floor. I double nutted the bolt. Then I drilled through the top plate through the floor and through the angle bar to bolt the structure together using 5/16-32x1.75 long bolts. You could also tack weld the nut to the bolt. Got the steel and hardware for free. Spent a Saturday and 0$. Hope it passes inspection!
Where did you buy the mount from?
 

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View attachment 134806 View attachment 134807 View attachment 134801 View attachment 134802 View attachment 134803 View attachment 134804 View attachment 134805
View attachment 134808
I have a 2005 Pilot with 232,000 miles. Engine runs great. Just redid a bunch of suspension parts and found this rotting rear subframe mount issue. Here's what I did following some other examples shared. Make sure the wiring harness on the front side of the crossmember is moved out of the way. I cut the bad mount and the bulbous hub on the bottom of the crossmember off with a Sawzall. Save the metal pate on the bottom of the bushing. 2x2x3/16x5" long angle. 4x3x5/16 plates. Take the rear seats out. Pull up the carpet. Look for the crossmember to floor welds. Use a hole saw to make a hole in the floor directly above the bushing center. Take some measurements relative to holes in the floor to locate the new hole properly. I used the multiple pieces to fit them, mark them in place, and take them out to weld them. I would fit, add more parts, mark, remove and tack, fit,remove and weld, etc. to get the structure to fit nice and tight. Once I had the U shaped weldment, I put it in place and marked where to drill using a sharpie through the bushing hole from below. I drilled a hole through the U structure where marked and also through the plate that is installed on top of the floor. I also cut away some of the plate to clear the VTM harness that goes through the floor. The top of floor plate has to be as long as the outside of the angle bar to eventually drill and bolt through to clamp the structure around the crossmember. I used an old Honda 12mm swingarm bolt to clamp the subframe though the bracket and to the plate on top of the floor. I double nutted the bolt. Then I drilled through the top plate through the floor and through the angle bar to bolt the structure together using 5/16-32x1.75 long bolts. You could also tack weld the nut to the bolt. Got the steel and hardware for free. Spent a Saturday and 0$. Hope it passes inspection!
 

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Hi, thinking of purchasing an 04 with same problem, any chance of getting those pics viewable? The first one is but that's it. I know it's an old post but worth a try. Thanks to all for sharing!
 

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I suppose that is my pet peeve about unibody construction. What people want to call the frame is not really a frame. I've seen 1930s automobiles that have spent 65-70 years sitting in a field. The body my be rusted away, but the frame, being a body on real frame constructions, is still strong and serviceable even though it is rusty on the exterior. Unibody construction "frames" unlike body on frame vehicles do not have the inherent strength to be fixed like a standard body on frame vehicle. You can't lift the body off the frame, torch out a bad section of steel and weld a new one in.
 

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Hi, thinking of purchasing an 04 with same problem, any chance of getting those pics viewable? The first one is but that's it. I know it's an old post but worth a try. Thanks to all for sharing!
First.....Nice Job.....

But I have some questions.....

I am curious as to why you chose to bolt it to the vehicle instead of welding it on?....

Also.....Why did you use so many pieces of steel instead of using one large piece of U channel across the bottom and one large piece of L bracket on each side?....

Did using the additional square plate on the bottom.....set the rear of the vehicle up a little higher than stock?....

Thanks.....
I used many pieces to get a better fit to the body. I marked the parts and took them to a friend to weld. I bolted around the frame instead of welding simply because I'm not a skilled welder. Using the square on the bottom seemed to have a negligible impact on ride height at that corner. I did shave off some of the frame to minimize the height difference.
 

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Welcome @soncosa ....to the Pilot fan club but IMO DO NOT buy a Pilot with extensive frame rust. But if you own one that might be a different story.

Thanks for the welcome and the fast reply. To be honest my question was posed to "Finalcut9" from above with the 9 photos, of which only the first was viewable, but thanks again anyway!
 
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