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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003 Pilot - love this car!
180,000 miles

1 year ago I was tired of a suspension noise up front. Replaced sway bar links and strut assembly (Gabriel brand). When I replaced the struts it raised the front by at least an inch...maybe 2 inches from stock height. Noise persisted. I decided it could be a motor mount so I replaced the mount on the passenger side. Noise persisted. After front struts I had the car aligned and put new tires on. The noise is like a thud and seems to be on rebound. Happens on rough roads and sometimes over even small bumps.

Fast forward 20,000 miles. My tires are cupped and it sounds like I drive a Jeep with knobby tires.

Just replaced both front wheel bearings and a CV axel on the passenger side because on the last oil change I noticed the boot was slinging grease all over.

Today I installed a Moog front suspension kit which consisted of lower control arms and inner and outer tie rods. Noise still persists.

What else could it be. Could the struts be bad from Gabriel? The increased ride height worries me. It’s almost as if the noise happens when the strut rebounds.

I am thankfully able to do the work or most of the work myself so mostly I have the cost of parts on these repairs.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Jon
Hey
 

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What else could it be. Could the struts be bad from Gabriel? The increased ride height worries me. It’s almost as if the noise happens when the strut rebounds
One source for the thud could be from the strut bearing or loose upper mount bolts. But as mentioned by @huntertn the SB bushings could be suspect too. I'm not impressed with the Monroe QS for Avalon and will use KYBs the next time. I get a thud on rebound from the rear suspension.
 

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I'm inferring from your description that the thud was the same before and after the new struts, making it unlikely that they're the problem.

Start by checking your previous work:

  • did you install new strut mounts with the struts? If not, that's the only thing left, and they can make noise.
  • is everything in the strut assembly torqued to spec?
  • are all of the LCA bolts, including ball joints, torqued to spec?

Carefully inspect the LCA mount points and strut mount points for cracks.

If all good, tire wear could have been worn tie-rod ends, but I doubt that would account for the thud.

You'll need another alignment after doing the LCA's and tie rods, so might be most efficient to ask them to pry on everything and see if they can find something loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm inferring from your description that the thud was the same before and after the new struts, making it unlikely that they're the problem.

Start by checking your previous work:

  • did you install new strut mounts with the struts? If not, that's the only thing left, and they can make noise.
  • is everything in the strut assembly torqued to spec?
  • are all of the LCA bolts, including ball joints, torqued to spec?
Carefully inspect the LCA mount points and strut mount points for cracks.

If all good, tire wear could have been worn tie-rod ends, but I doubt that would account for the thud.

You'll need another alignment after doing the LCA's and tie rods, so might be most efficient to ask them to pry on everything and see if they can find something loose.
Thank you so much for the reply. 2 weeks ago after the wheel bearing and CV axel I took it to a shop to have the alignment checked. They said they wouldn't do it because their technician said it needed inner tie rods and struts. I told them that the struts were only 20,000 miles old. They didn't change their story. I used these parts....which the reviews are absolutely terrible....so maybe it is a bad design or not optimized for the pilot.....
 

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This is why I spent a few weeks ordering every suspension part and installing everything together. Sucks to spend money on fixes to only still have issues. I went with the KYB brand from RockAuto for struts and shocks, Moog for coils and Honda for bump stops. In the end I replaced everything except the rack and pinion for just under $1500 mostly ordered off RockAuto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I decided to order Moog struts and replace the 1 year old Gabriel’s. I will hold judgement on the Gabriel’s until I know for sure that they are the culprit. I called Gabriel yesterday and got nowhere other than them sending me back to Amazon where they were purchased.

it’s frustrating that this has ruined a set of new tires and I have to spend another $90 for an alignment!

I just keep telling myself that this is cheaper than a $750 car payment for a new one!
 

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It's 100% better than a payment! I'll have 8-9k into my 256k 04 when finished but my cost of ownership will be around $0.08 per mile or $1500 per yr. WORTH IT!
 

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I decided to order Moog struts and replace the 1 year old Gabriel’s. I will hold judgement on the Gabriel’s until I know for sure that they are the culprit. I called Gabriel yesterday and got nowhere other than them sending me back to Amazon where they were purchased.

it’s frustrating that this has ruined a set of new tires and I have to spend another $90 for an alignment!

I just keep telling myself that this is cheaper than a $750 car payment for a new one!
Did you order pre-loaded struts (spring+strut)? One tip I got is to protect your CV boots during removal and installation.
 
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