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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
First-time car and 2008 Honda Pilot VP owner here (~176,000 mi). Got it from my mother and am learning everything about cars for the first time with this vehicle. I am going to change the rear shocks relatively soon as I get some wobbling in the back end when I am driving on the highway and speed bumps causing more ruckus than they did when I first obtained the Pilot. Most parts in the vehicle are original so would it be worth changing the shock absorber bushings as I replace the shocks themselves? Cannot find a relative video or discussion on replacing shock absorber bushings so I am a bit lost.

Also, the vehicle sways sometimes to the left and sometimes to the right. I took it in for a diagnosis at my local Honda dealership and they told me that the sway bar was worn (among a plethora of other things to be on the lookout for). I did read on a post that you do not have to replace sway bars themselves, so what parts should I pick up (besides the stabilizer bar bushings) to hopefully cure the swaying?

P.S. My friend's father is a real handyman with these types of things and willing to assist me in undergoing my vehicular processes.
 

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New SB bushings and end links will help to reduce the sway and clunking noise. New KYB shock absorbers will improve the control and ride. Check out RockAuto and use the forum discount. If there is any sagging new coils might be needed.
 

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And, make sure the sub frame amounts are stable and not rotted out.
I have never heard of a sway bar causing car to sway? I guess there is a lot I do not know?
I have heard of the sub frame mounts causing this however
 

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Like aggrex said, sway bar bushings and end links are the most likely cause of the clunking. I would change the shocks rather than just the shock bushings if it has 175,000 miles on it. When you say it is swaying left and right I wonder if you actually meant pulling or wandering left and right (I am having trouble with wording). Worn tie-rod ends will cause a car to wander left and right. If the tie-rods are worn that would be my first item to address. There are also lower control arm bushings that could cause it.

Did the Honda Service Dept give you a written list of defects? I know it is tedious but if they did can you briefly list the stuff they identified as problems?
 

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And, make sure the sub frame amounts are stable and not rotted out.
I have never heard of a sway bar causing car to sway? I guess there is a lot I do not know?
I have heard of the sub frame mounts causing this however
This sort of thing, to help you visualize it:





 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Like aggrex said, sway bar bushings and end links are the most likely cause of the clunking. I would change the shocks rather than just the shock bushings if it has 175,000 miles on it. When you say it is swaying left and right I wonder if you actually meant pulling or wandering left and right (I am having trouble with wording). Worn tie-rod ends will cause a car to wander left and right. If the tie-rods are worn that would be my first item to address. There are also lower control arm bushings that could cause it.

Did the Honda Service Dept give you a written list of defects? I know it is tedious but if they did can you briefly list the stuff they identified as problems?
Of course, I am going to change the shocks but I am asking if I should change the shock bushings at the same time?
By swaying sometimes right and sometimes left I am referring to letting go of the steering wheel while driving. It will drift to the right and then at another time when I let go, it will drift to the left (and vice versa). I tried to get an alignment done not long ago and the mechanic did not do it for me because they said my alignment was good.
Honda Service Dept:
  • Wiper blades (both, replace)
  • Dampers/Struts Front (both, replace) (leaking)
  • Rack, power steering (replace) (causing the pump to make noise)
[Been inspecting this area of the vehicle right around the serpentine belt that makes noise when the car has been left idle (particularly in the cold) for awhile. It seems to be one of the tensioners or pulleys is going to need to be replaced at some point in the near future. Does not appear to be leaking power steering fluid and the vehicle is making turns fine.]
  • Timing belt & Water pump (replace) I am getting to that soon!
  • Valves w/ Gaskets (adjust) (I had them replaced by a mechanic of mine but I did not know they would have needed adjusting and he made no mention although I would have paid for it!)
  • Rear Main Seal (replace) (I do not know if I will ever get this done)
  • Sway Bar Link Kit (front, replace)
  • Spark plugs (they keep causing misfires in my check engine light because the ones my mom ordered to replace around the time I obtained the Pilot were bosch, which Honda told me do tend to set off misfires so I may change those out myself at some point)

Ok got that out of the way.

Should I replace the SB bushings as well as tie-rod ends and lower control arm bushings?
 

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  • Wiper blades (both, replace)
    • This is an easy one
  • Dampers/Struts Front (both, replace) (leaking)
    • This is not a bad job. KYB runs rebates occasionally. I looked and there are no rebates at the moment. Both front struts are about $125 or Strut Kits are $270 from Rockauto without the discount code.
  • Rack, power steering (replace) (causing the pump to make noise)
    • If it is not going through a lot of fluid I would not replace the rack. I might change the fluid and use Honda steering fluid.
[Been inspecting this area of the vehicle right around the serpentine belt that makes noise when the car has been left idle (particularly in the cold) for awhile. It seems to be one of the tensioners or pulleys is going to need to be replaced at some point in the near future. Does not appear to be leaking power steering fluid and the vehicle is making turns fine.]
  • Timing belt & Water pump (replace) I am getting to that soon!
    • When you do this I would change the serpentine belt and that tensioner. You will already have it off. I would also use new coolant since you are basically dumping almost all of it anyway.
  • Valves w/ Gaskets (adjust) (I had them replaced by a mechanic of mine but I did not know they would have needed adjusting and he made no mention although I would have paid for it!)
    • Personally, I would defer this one unless you are having issues. If the plugs don't clear up the misfire I would revisit this item.
  • Rear Main Seal (replace) (I do not know if I will ever get this done)
    • This is a big job. I would not change the seal unless the leak is real bad. The oring on the seal plate usually leaks before the main seal does. Changing both is the same about of work. Pull the engine or transmission.
  • Sway Bar Link Kit (front, replace)
    • I would do the links and bushings. The drivers side bushing is the hard one to do. The others are pretty easy.
  • Spark plugs (they keep causing misfires in my check engine light because the ones my mom ordered to replace around the time I obtained the Pilot were bosch, which Honda told me do tend to set off misfires so I may change those out myself at some point)
    • I would swap them out for Denso or NGK

Ok got that out of the way.

Should I replace the SB bushings as well as tie-rod ends and lower control arm bushings?
  • If the tie rods are ok I would not change them. A good alignment shop would have let you know if they are bad. Same with the lower control arms. Look at the back compliance bushing on the lower control arm. It is the one that has the bolt coming up from the bottom.
The wandering could just be your tires or the roads in your are. Some roads will make a car pull one way or the other based on the crown in the road. I find that fast lane on interstate highways seem to be the best when trying to see if something is pulling one way or the other. Make sure to not check it on a windy day.

If it is still throwing a misfire code that would be what I would focus on first before doing any of the otehr stuff (except the wipers). If you do have a misfire I would do the plugs and make sure that there is no oil down in the tubes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
New SB bushings and end links will help to reduce the sway and clunking noise. New KYB shock absorbers will improve the control and ride. Check out RockAuto and use the forum discount. If there is any sagging new coils might be needed.
How many SB
The wandering could just be your tires or the roads in your are. Some roads will make a car pull one way or the other based on the crown in the road. I find that fast lane on interstate highways seem to be the best when trying to see if something is pulling one way or the other. Make sure to not check it on a windy day.

If it is still throwing a misfire code that would be what I would focus on first before doing any of the otehr stuff (except the wipers). If you do have a misfire I would do the plugs and make sure that there is no oil down in the tubes.
The wandering occurs everywhere. What do you mean by oil in the tubes? Sometimes the engine light is on and sometimes it is off.
 

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power steering (replace) (causing the pump to make noise)
Hope you haven't paid for this replacement yet, as for the vast majority of cases it's fixed with a simple orange o-ring that costs a couple of dollars, and you can change it yourself.

 

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And, make sure the sub frame amounts are stable and not rotted out.
I have never heard of a sway bar causing car to sway? I guess there is a lot I do not know?
I have heard of the sub frame mounts causing this however
I thought about my remarks. If you mean your car sways to the left or right going straight down the road- then I meant the sway bar won't cause that.

If it leans too much going around a corner- that's the sway bar.

HTH
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hope you haven't paid for this replacement yet, as for the vast majority of cases it's fixed with a simple orange o-ring that costs a couple of dollars, and you can change it yourself.

Oh cool. If I just call my local Honda parts department and give the parts number will I be able to get the orange o-ring?
 

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Oh cool. If I just call my local Honda parts department and give the parts number will I be able to get the orange o-ring?
For the low price of these o-rings it’s not worth getting them from anywhere else. Parts department will find them for you.
 

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Oh cool. If I just call my local Honda parts department and give the parts number will I be able to get the orange o-ring?
Yup. When you get it, make sure it's the correct part number for the orange lifesaver. :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do not know what these are called but was inspecting the underbelly today to see how many SB bushings I will need and noticed these rubber bushings in the rear were worn to hell. What are these bushings called? Also the metal "bowl" piece directly underneath the coils? The one in the rear left hangs noticeably lower than the one on the right rear (aka more coil is shown). Tried moving the vehicle and it still is like that.
 

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Looks rusted/broken off to me!

Where are our resident experts!

Gurus to the Courtesy phone please!
 

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Looks rusted/broken off to me!
Yup. Vanished into thin air, apparently.

Here's my take:

1. Car looks pretty rust-free, other than that chunk of shock absorber. Good news.
2. At 178k, the moving parts of the suspension (front and rear) are shot. Hopefully there's nothing else rusted and broken off.
3. The drifting you're experiencing in the steering is probably related to front suspension wear, but your mostly-MIA rear suspension isn't helping.
4. Replacing the rear shocks is an easy job. Replace everything else that moves back there while you're at it. I would even replace all the nuts and bolts if you hope to drive it for 40-50k or so. Just be careful that you don't try to crack off the nuts that are welded to the frame. They're easy to spot if you're looking for them.
5. Once you've got the rear done, plan to do the front. This is more involved, but is a straightforward driveway job. There are lots of threads here and YouTube videos to help. You'll be replacing struts, sway bar links, steering links, lower control arms and sway bar bushings. And the nuts and bolts.

Dont's:

  • since you asked, don't bother replacing bushings or ball joints in the lower control arms. Buy all new. ProForged are good and a lot cheaper than Honda.
  • don't dive into all this without a plan. It's a lot of work, and will take some time. Of the things you've mentioned, the timing belt is probably most important if it's overdue, but the rear shocks are fast and you basically don't have any.
  • don't buy Honda shocks, struts, control arms, or timing belt kits. You've already gotten good advice for these in this thread. Get the small stuff from Honda, especially the nuts and bolts.
  • don't buy stuff on e-bay. The risk of counterfeits seems high. Rock Auto gets good reviews and offers a discount code for Piloteers. Any of the online Honda parts dealers are good.
 

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Take a picture just a little higher and to the right of that first one of the left rear shock. I'm curious.
 

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In any event, here are your suspension parts from Rockauto.

2008 HONDA PILOT 3.5L V6 Suspension Parts | RockAuto


And here's your Piloteers 5% discount.

5% Discount Code: 31517DFA058403
Expires: February 12, 2021


Please enter this code in the ‘How Did You Hear about Us’ box to receive the discount. Please enter ONLY the discount code, no other words or numbers. All orders are placed online and the discount code must be entered before an order is submitted to receive the discount.

But I really want to see that picture first.
 

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I do not know what these are called but was inspecting the underbelly today to see how many SB bushings I will need and noticed these rubber bushings in the rear were worn to hell. What are these bushings called? Also the metal "bowl" piece directly underneath the coils? The one in the rear left hangs noticeably lower than the one on the right rear (aka more coil is shown). Tried moving the vehicle and it still is like that.
FYI: the rusty orange bits are the remnants of what used to be bump stops. You no longer have bump stops as they have rotted away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Yup. Vanished into thin air, apparently.

Here's my take:

1. Car looks pretty rust-free, other than that chunk of shock absorber. Good news.
2. At 178k, the moving parts of the suspension (front and rear) are shot. Hopefully there's nothing else rusted and broken off.
3. The drifting you're experiencing in the steering is probably related to front suspension wear, but your mostly-MIA rear suspension isn't helping.
4. Replacing the rear shocks is an easy job. Replace everything else that moves back there while you're at it. I would even replace all the nuts and bolts if you hope to drive it for 40-50k or so. Just be careful that you don't try to crack off the nuts that are welded to the frame. They're easy to spot if you're looking for them.
5. Once you've got the rear done, plan to do the front. This is more involved, but is a straightforward driveway job. There are lots of threads here and YouTube videos to help. You'll be replacing struts, sway bar links, steering links, lower control arms and sway bar bushings. And the nuts and bolts.

Dont's:

  • since you asked, don't bother replacing bushings or ball joints in the lower control arms. Buy all new. ProForged are good and a lot cheaper than Honda.
  • don't dive into all this without a plan. It's a lot of work, and will take some time. Of the things you've mentioned, the timing belt is probably most important if it's overdue, but the rear shocks are fast and you basically don't have any.
  • don't buy Honda shocks, struts, control arms, or timing belt kits. You've already gotten good advice for these in this thread. Get the small stuff from Honda, especially the nuts and bolts.
  • don't buy stuff on e-bay. The risk of counterfeits seems high. Rock Auto gets good reviews and offers a discount code for Piloteers. Any of the online Honda parts dealers are good.
Would you be able to list all the nuts and bolts with the part numbers to replace in the rear shocks (maybe the front ones too while you are at it or maybe link a dedicated post to such so more accessible to others if there is not already one)? Since you mentioned not bothering with replacing bushings or ball joints in the lower control arms, does that mean when I purchase the parts off ProForged they come with new bushings and ball joints? Proforged > Rock Auto? On ProForged should I get AWD or FWD (dunno if means 4wheeldrive or front-wheel drive in this case)? Do you have a website you would recommend to get ProForged parts off of (did not see them on Rock Auto) or could I use Amazon (prime shipping)? Sorry for the bombardment of questions.
 
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