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Old 06-05-2018, 11:06 PM   #1
David M
EOC Rank: Oxygen
2004 4WD LX MT
Atomic Blue Metallic (ABM)
 
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Hey all... I’ve been getting a front clunking that I initially swore was the sway bar area but I’ve just replaced everything there, specifically in the links and bushings and still hearing it pretty bad. I feel and hear it when I go over cracks and breaks in the road more specifically. Not so much over big bumps. I really hear it over wash board dirt roads the most. I also hear something bumping or clunking a bit just when I hit the brakes but not after they are pressed. I’m also getting a slight clunk or knock when I change from 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd and higher rpm’s. Sometimes just as I engage reverse too. Not sure if all the clunking and knocking is related as it may be a few issues going on simultaneously.

I’m hoping that if I list what the symptoms are maybe someone could chime in with some constructive thoughts here.

Let me start off with everything that’s been replaced and with what:

Beck and Arnley Front stabilizer links; literally replaced 3 months ago. The sound I heard then when the old ones went is similar to what I’m hearing now and it feels the same. I feel it on the left and the right. Double checked the locknuts today and they were snug. Didn’t torque it down with a breaker bar or anything but did with a 17mm wrench and they were tight. Could these cheap bastards be done already?

OEM Front stabilizer bushings; replaced 4 days ago. I thought this was it but the noise is still there.

OEM Front struts-Salvaged; this is when I really started noticing the clunking and knocking but before then things were a bit muted possibly because of the noise and absorption of the really worn old struts and worn strut bearings I think. Could the lower strut bolts be loose. The noise doesn’t sound or feel like it’s in the tower area. I always double check my connections. And could both sides be loose? Seems rare.

Beck and Arnley Ball Joints; Replaced about 6-8 months ago. Will do wheel test later this week but felt around there today at the joint with the Element on the ground and everything looked good, clean, and felt tight.

Cardone CV axles; also replaced 6-8 months ago. This is another one of my initial thoughts. The boots look good. But... I felt around by the actual bar and axle where it connects/locks into the front differential and was able to feel a little play. Is that area supposed to be super tight after locked in? No leaks from it. I always thought a little play was normal, but I don’t know if that was there before or not.

Beck and Arnley Outer tie rod ends; replaced 3 months ago. Felt those today. Were also snug.

Power Stop Rotors and pads; replaced 1 year ago. Pads look absolutely fine. Rotors look good too.

Orielly brand Caliper Brackets; replaced 1year ago. I was in a pinch and needed two on the fly. This is another initial thought. Possibly a loose bolt somewhere maybe? Crappy design? But again, both sides? Seems rare.

Moog Compliance Bushings; replaced 3 months ago. They’re stiff but shouldn’t knock like this. Could the other control arm bushings be shot? I forgot to check those bolts today.

I think that’s about everything’s. My thoughts are either B and A stabilizer links are complete crap and gone already, the CV axles are shot or malfunctioning (maybe from the knuckle dislocating and being returned after putting on the newer struts?), or there’s some bolts loose in the brake caliper/bracket/rotor area’s.

I haven’t replaced the hub bearings. Could that be it? I’m not getting the signature wheel bearing moan.

This weekend I plan on doing a complete check, checking all bolts and nuts in the front assemblies as well as doing a wheel test from 12 and 6, and 9 and 3 o’clock.

Any ideas anyone?

Thanks for any advice here.

Last edited by David M; 06-06-2018 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:29 PM   #2
tuchubby
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2003 4WD EX AT
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first, loosen your wheel lugs and jack up the entire front - not just one side. next, with the wheels removed, give your suspension a push and pull. you may notice right away where your problem is. bolts and nuts can loosen up if torqued lower than spec. if you have cam bolts on your struts, that's where it's likely loose at. tighten that boy up and get it aligned (hopefully, they'll keep it tight too)
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:01 PM   #3
07lmnt
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Those Moog solid bushings knock like crazy. Every crack in the pavement makes an annoying clunk. The inside rearview mirror vibrates too. Do a search here for other postings.

I'm about to put stock rubber ones back in.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:22 PM   #4
Mrselfdestruct
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Motor mounts...
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"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:55 PM   #5
dgale
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Originally Posted by Mrselfdestruct View Post
Motor mounts...
And/or the MT mount. All are easy to replace - the trans mount would be the first I'd suspect but worth checking the front and rear motor mounts as well. It doesn't seem like the right motor mount has many issues. I replaced all four last year with OEM mounts from Majestic Honda. Everything I've read says to avoid the aftermarket mounts and go OEM on these.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:13 AM   #6
David M
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2004 4WD LX MT
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Thanks so much... I’m going to check into them. Would I be able to tell if they were going by sight? I guess a test with the engine running and triggering the throttle and looking at them while the engine kicks, right? Should I be looking for rips in the rubber?

To replace them do I need to do anything special like need special tools? Do I have to remove anything first like the sub frame? I just support the motor right?

I feel the clunking in the pedal, which is why I suspect it’s sway bar or brake related but I’ll definitely give the mounts a heavy look over.
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:11 AM   #7
dgale
EOC Rank: Carbon
2004 4WD EX MT
Satin Silver Metallic (SSM)
 
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Location: Arcata, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Thanks so much... I’m going to check into them. Would I be able to tell if they were going by sight? I guess a test with the engine running and triggering the throttle and looking at them while the engine kicks, right? Should I be looking for rips in the rubber?

To replace them do I need to do anything special like need special tools? Do I have to remove anything first like the sub frame? I just support the motor right?

I feel the clunking in the pedal, which is why I suspect it’s sway bar or brake related but I’ll definitely give the mounts a heavy look over.
If any of them are totally shot then is should be visually apparent - when I replaced mine, none of them were totally gone but all of them showed signs of wear and cracking and I was glad I replaced them - the OEM mounts all made it 160k+ and I expect the OEM replacements to do the same, so I was glad to do it.

Easy job and only tools needed are wrenches/socket wrenches and a floor jack to support engine. The trans mount and rear mount were super easy. The front mount was easy as well but a bit harder to get to bolts - easy to do with some socket extensions etc. There are some how-to's on doing them on this site. I'm pretty sure there are some YouTube videos out there as well.

Last edited by dgale; 06-08-2018 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Brain Freeze
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #8
David M
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2004 4WD LX MT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgale View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Thanks so much... I’m going to check into them. Would I be able to tell if they were going by sight? I guess a test with the engine running and triggering the throttle and looking at them while the engine kicks, right? Should I be looking for rips in the rubber?

To replace them do I need to do anything special like need special tools? Do I have to remove anything first like the sub frame? I just support the motor right?

I feel the clunking in the pedal, which is why I suspect it’s sway bar or brake related but I’ll definitely give the mounts a heavy look over.
If any of them are totally shot then is should be visually apparent - when I replaced mine, none of them were totally gone but all of them showed signs of wear and cracking and I was glad I replaced them - the OEM mounts all made it 160k+ and I expect the OEM replacements to do the same, so I was glad to do it.

Easy job and only tools needed are wrenches/socket wrenches and a floor jack to support engine. The trans mount and rear mount were super easy. The front mount was easy as well but a bit harder to get to bolts - easy to do with some socket extensions etc. Check out the Element Owners Club Forum for some how-to's on doing them. I'm pretty sure there are some YouTube videos out there as well.
Will do. Thanks again.

I looked at some prices on Hondapartsnow.com. Are they really like $60-90 a pop? Jeez.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:16 AM   #9
dgale
EOC Rank: Carbon
2004 4WD EX MT
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Arcata, CA
Posts: 1,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Will do. Thanks again.

I looked at some prices on Hondapartsnow.com. Are they really like $60-90 a pop? Jeez.
Here's the engine/trans mounts for your E:
https://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com...gine-mounts-mt

#1 is the MT mount, #2 is the rear mount, and #8 is the front mount.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:21 AM   #10
dgale
EOC Rank: Carbon
2004 4WD EX MT
Satin Silver Metallic (SSM)
 
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Location: Arcata, CA
Posts: 1,266
Here's a brief write-up I did on replacing the rear motor mount:
https://www.elementownersclub.com/for...86&postcount=5

Here's one for the front motor mount:
https://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ighlight=mount

And here's one for the trans mount:
https://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ighlight=mount
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