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Pardon My Stupidity In Advance.
My 03 EX/AWD 100,000 miles ( wife's car) has loud rear end clunk noise.
( Like a bowling ball, roling around) when going over any bumps, even backing out of the driveway. The rear does not bounce (like cars in the movies)
I cleaned all her junk out of the car, and the spare is secure.
There is no visible leaks from the shocks...
I have not done a close inspection yet.
What else usually wears out in the rear of an E, AWD, besides struts?
 

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I'm having this same problem, though I had it when I bought it at 33,600. Any revelations since this posting?
 

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Have you ruled out the exhaust system? Maybe there is a bad mount and the muffler and/or pipe is contacting something.

Check your swaybar bushings.

Check the swaybar end links.

Raise the rear seats and pop the access covers in the cargo area. Make sure the strut nuts (2/side) are snug.

Inspect the rear axles. Are the boots intact? Any obvious signs of problems?

That's where I'd start.
 

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Have you ruled out the exhaust system? Maybe there is a bad mount and the muffler and/or pipe is contacting something.

Check your swaybar bushings.

Check the swaybar end links.

Raise the rear seats and pop the access covers in the cargo area. Make sure the strut nuts (2/side) are snug.

Inspect the rear axles. Are the boots intact? Any obvious signs of problems?

That's where I'd start.
My exhaust system does indeed 'clunk' when I am backing out of my drive way at an angle or hit a bump while rounding a corner. It actually swings over and hits the heatshield :rolleyes:
 

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My exhaust is tight. The clunk sounds heavier and like it's in the center of the rear end. The spare tire is tight too. I visually inspected the bushings, they all seem tight. Must be something I can't see. I took it to the dealer pre- 36K and they couldn't reproduce the sound. Now, at 102K, it's loud and nasty.
 

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Sway bars? That's what it was when my old Focus was making a similar sound.
I would think maybe the endlinks...that is what I believe is making noise on the wife's CR-V. It's more of a pop than a clunk though :D
 

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100k on mine & exact same issue. It was just diagnosed with a broken stabilizar bar when I had the tires replaced. The shop estimated 1 hour labor + $35 for each bar, I'd like to attempt to replace all 4 on my own...anyone done this?
 

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I too have the same problem. I replaced the passenger side strut at about 78,000 miles and just replaced the drivers side now at 100,000. Still have the same sound. Both struts were shot as there was visible signs of leaking. How difficult is it to change the sway bar bushings?
 

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I just bought Used 05 EX Auto With 101k MINT for $4900 drove 500 miles but it was well worth it,never owned Element but always wanted one but my wife never liked it until she saw one in person and the Interior SOLD HER:) However i do own 06 CRV EX-L which basically has same suspension
Being in Auto Repair Business i put the element on the lift looked it over,clean as a whistle,Sway bar links were fine Mid Rubber Mount Was ok then we took it down popped the cap from the rear strut and pushed the SUV up and down while holding my hand on the upper strut mount and sure enough r/r strut was shot then i noticed a leak from the right side,but left one was fine also the r.rear tire was capped so most likely please do your self a favor if you got a car with at at least 80-100k replace all the struts huge improvment in ride quality plus KYB will give you lifetime Warranty

that 500 mile trip pissed me off with that clunking noise but again it was worth it for me at that price plus i get KYB's all around for $48 a pop my cost and my labor
Hella of a Truck i Love it

DOES anyone know if the truck is pre wired for Factory Fog Lights?
And the Audio wow i was shocked that think really kicks come to find out its got a Sub in the center console and 275w System Plus Sat Radio is prepaid for 2 years LOVEEE IT !
 

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this is the problem

I have been searching for this noise for over a year... I have been searching high and low. But I think I found it! At first I thought it was the shocks but it made noises at times when the shocks didn't move. Side to side motion. I got the noise when I went over bumps slowly, almost a crawl.

Ok so, I found this bracket on top of the rear differential. I get alot of play when I move the rear differential side to side and up and down. There are 2 sets of bushings that are suppose to cusion the differential. Probably if your getting this noise you notice the very top busings are shot; flattened, dry rotted and collapsed. All in all it would be best to just replace all the bushings in that area. If you think I'm wrong, just be aware that you get a bouncing noise up and down, you get a noise when your suppension extends forward hand backwards and you will get a side to side noise. It makes sense and if you look at where the differential is you will also notice that this is the spot where the noise is coming from. I too thought it was the spare tire.

I am enclosing a link that has the scrematic and also you can purchase from this site at a much cheaper cost than the dealer. Somewhere around 60% cheaper, and they are oem parts. I do not work for this company for parts, but I have been coming to this post for the past year trying to isolate this issue. At first it was minor, now it is so blatant. I was about to change all suspension parts til I isolated this noise. Good thing I ddidn't because none of that would have worked. Not saying that you shouldn't change your shocks if they need it, just saying fix the problem at hand; or else you will be dissappointed.

I cant tell you how many times I have had a mechanic try to isolate something and it was about as helpful as asking my 2yr old neice what she thought. The only difference is my niece wouldnt have charged me so much:)

Disclaimer... I am not a mechanic but I have been working on cars since i was 10. My dad is a mechanic but retired so throughout the years I have done my fair share. I have not changed these parts yet because I am waiting for them to arrive. But as soon as they get here and I change them I will update all of you on the fix. I am 98% sure this is the noise.

total price of fix from this site was 108$ for just the parts. I called the dealer and it was going to 275$ for these same parts, not to mention they didn't have all of them in stock. Not sure yet but I cant imagine it should take more than 1 hour to do. I say 30 min but you never know.

I have a honda element 2004 so this link is for that

http://www.hondapartscheap.com/index...AL - MOUNT

parts 16, 17, 18 & 26... (26 is the bolts, Might as well change these too they are cheap enough)
as you will see it says recommended qt 2 on some of them this means you need to order 2. There is not 2 in the package.
GL let me know!:)
 

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This has been posted up a lot. Check my Thread too. "THE CLUNK" We have horrible roads in my city, so you can hear it all the time!
The Problem seems to be the REAR passenger strut assembly. It's really easy to fix. and Only a $50.00 part used on ebay.from a wrecked E. (where i got mine).
Essentially you have a BLOWN rear Strut. Usually passenger side on all of us, with 03 EX AWD's. (IDK why it's just this model, but it seems we all have this problem).
I had this problem and did sway bar end links, and it didn't fix it. so then i did the rear strut assembly and it did!
BTW, even after having the strut off the E, it did not feel or look broken. (there was no play at all with the assembly) that's why it's so hard to figure out! Any mechanic would grab the the shock in the strut, and try and wiggle it and would say "nope, that ones nice and tight". Even tho. its broken. Good Luck and follow my directions below to fix it. This is a fast and relatively inexpensive FIX.

Here is how you fix it!!!
The strut 2 bolts are located under the passenger side rear seat, there is a piece of plastic that you just pop off, located on the floor of the element. Then you take off the wheel, 5 bolts, then u disconnect the strut from the wheel assembly which is 1 big bolt. After u have those all disconnected you stand on the wheel assembly, and the strut will fall right out. Then your helper puts the strut up in and u step off the wheel assembly. with my helper, we did it in approx 17 mins. Wheel off to wheel on. Shouldnt take you longer then 30 mins!
Tools: a socket set, a jack, jack stands.
 

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Ah! Thanks for the instructions RaveBox. I need to replace my driver side strut and I was a bit intimidated with replacing it myself but you make sound pretty easy, I think I'll give it a try. Besides the clunk from the bad strut, I get a clunk whenever I step on the gas. It'll keep 'clunking' up until I hit about 40 mph and then it stops. After reading what vsraymond posted, I thinking it's the same thing he had too. Any other possibilities?
 

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Is "clunking" your describing, close to a creaking? I have a similar issue when I go over bumps below 40 mph. I have had two mechanics tell me two different things. One told me my CV joints needed replaced, and the other told me it was most likely my rear differential, and that my joints were all ok. the second mechanic was very honest, and told me, I should take it to the dealer, to have them take a look at it, and didn't charge me for the look over. Maybe I'll try the bushing replacement myself. The slight thought of going taking my E back to the dealership makes me want to puke. My local dealer has proven to me that they can not be trusted.
 
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