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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again.

My wife's 2012 EX-L is around 130k miles, and needs shocks and struts. I recall reading a number of folks preferring the Bilstein B6 shocks and struts. I'd probably replace the shocks myself, and have the struts replaced by a mechanic, since I'm assuming that requires special equipment.

1. Are the B6 a good choice for everyday driving? No towing, up to 6 passengers at times.

2. Good vendors for these? I'm looking at Summit Racing, since Rockauto appears to be unavailable

3. Any other parts needed for the strut replacements?
 

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Bilstein make good replacement shocks for your Pilot. A complete strut kit is simpler for the DIYer as they come ready to install. Or you could pay to reuse your old springs and bearing plate.
 

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I just replaced rear shocks and front strut assemblies sort of lol. I went OEM with everything. IMO OEM prices for suspension aren't far off from aftermarket. I had to buy the individual parts for one of the struts as the assembly has been discontinued. On my last SUV I replaced the rear shocks with Gabriel and the front struts with Monroe quick struts and had instant regret. When my finance would ride with me in my car she had to wear a sports bra. The bumps hurt literally hurt. My mistake but now I tend to stick with OEM as much as I can. Bilstein make great shocks and struts my one issue is that on my truck one of my shocks had a bunch of rust on it after two years which annoyed me lol. Make sure you get it aligned after doing the front struts. My car is a 2014 Touring and has 185,000km (115,000miles) and a lot of the bolts were really tough to get out. I might recommend doing the sway bar links and bushings while you are in there. I think I paid $160 for the OEM bushings and sway bar links. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, good thoughts. OEM is an option I hadn't considered. Is there a good source for OEM shocks and struts?

With regard to Bilstein struts, it doesn't look like complete assemblies are available for diy types, so I'd be looking at B6 bare struts and having a mechanic replace them, I guess
 

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For grins, ask your mechanic what he/she recommends. They will be warrantying the quality of only their labor if you bring your parts to them, assuming that they would install customer parts at all. Most won't. They don't make any money on parts they don't sell, and always seem to on the hook for anything that might go wrong with them whether installation-related or not. A good mechanic has a relationship with their suppliers that might get them some reimbursement for warranty labor, where we as DIYers won't. The mechanic gets caught in the middle.
 

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Well I live in Canada so for me it was the dealership. I have heard people talk about a few sites:
 

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I put Bilstein B6s on a 2012 EX-L FWD at 150Kmiles. I have driven 1,000 miles and like them. I was worried they would be too harsh as some of the BMW sports car forums have stated. I think they are slightly more stiff, but I'm comparing to the old suspension with 150K miles. I think they are less stiff than a BMW X5 M sport suspension.
 

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In the meanwhile, if you just need some additional capacity to carry the load when all that stuff is on or in the car, consider an air-bag lift kit setup. Way cheaper, plus you can add or reduce the capacity assist as needed, with just a tire pump or portable air compressor. Search is your friend, with more than a few threads on the subject over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I opted for the Bilstein G4 OEM style shocks. In the process of removal, I removed the upper bolts easily. The lower bolts, however, have been another story. I soaked them well with PB blaster, multiple times. Hit them with my new harbor freight air wrench. The passenger side unscrewed fully from the boss fitting, but only backed out about 2 inches and wouldn't budge beyond that. I tried pounding on a crescent fit under the head, but it was awkward to get much force on it, kind of a backhand shot. I wound up re- tightening the bolts, since my wife drives it daily.

The driver's side hasn't budged at all yet. Last night, I put a 4ft cheater pipe on my breaker bar, and lifted up until it hit the undercarriage. It only caused the control arm to lift as I applied force. Note: this was tried with wheels on, vehicle not jacked up.

I'm assuming I can cut the bolt on the passenger side, back it out as far as it'll go, then saw flush with the control arm. On the driver's side, I'd need to cut the bolt head off with a grinder, and then also cut off the boss on the back side of the control arm... I'd rather not do that.

1. I don't have bolts on hand. Any source other than the Honda 90172-STX-A00?

2. Is there another method I'm missing here?
 

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So I opted for the Bilstein G4 OEM style shocks. In the process of removal, I removed the upper bolts easily. The lower bolts, however, have been another story. I soaked them well with PB blaster, multiple times. Hit them with my new harbor freight air wrench. The passenger side unscrewed fully from the boss fitting, but only backed out about 2 inches and wouldn't budge beyond that. I tried pounding on a crescent fit under the head, but it was awkward to get much force on it, kind of a backhand shot. I wound up re- tightening the bolts, since my wife drives it daily.

The driver's side hasn't budged at all yet. Last night, I put a 4ft cheater pipe on my breaker bar, and lifted up until it hit the undercarriage. It only caused the control arm to lift as I applied force. Note: this was tried with wheels on, vehicle not jacked up.

I'm assuming I can cut the bolt on the passenger side, back it out as far as it'll go, then saw flush with the control arm. On the driver's side, I'd need to cut the bolt head off with a grinder, and then also cut off the boss on the back side of the control arm... I'd rather not do that.

1. I don't have bolts on hand. Any source other than the Honda 90172-STX-A00?

2. Is there another method I'm missing here?
Try Liquid Wrench.


Or, Gibbs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
xGS, thanks. Last night, I shot some ATF/acetone blend on the welded nut, hopefully does the trick on the driver's side.

So as to the bolt not pulling out of the passenger side, I suspect the steel bushing has rotated free inside the rubber insert on the shock. Probably rusted onto the bolt and/or shrunk onto the bolt by 35 degree temps I'm working in. Maybe if I heat the lower end of the shock to make the steel bushing expand?
 

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I'm assuming I can cut the bolt on the passenger side, back it out as far as it'll go, then saw flush with the control arm. On the driver's side, I'd need to cut the bolt head off with a grinder, and then also cut off the boss on the back side of the control arm... I'd rather not do that.
Hmmm.....make sure before cutting that bolt off as it may be a pressed in stud. I'm not familiar with your Pilot but maybe the nut could be cut to release the shock on a first gen.
 
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