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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I have done as much digging as I possibly can, short of physically comparing in person. I've checked here, CR-V forums, facebook groups, honda-tech....as much as I could. Has there ever been any consensus as to what suspension components from the 2nd gen CR-V swaps over with the Element? It has been asked countless times, but far from a definitive "yes, the struts are compatible" or "no, I tried and they're definitely different" answer has ever been given. I'm just putting a call out here just to cover all my bases before I go ahead and try myself.

More specifically, I'm looking for a new set of struts, and the CR-V has slightly better selection. Looking at the part numbers, the struts and shocks between CR-V and Element are different, but the parts diagrams look identical.

Bilstein offers their B6 4600 heavy duty struts/shocks for the CR-V and I would LOVE to put these on my Element, but they're also pricey for an uncertain gamble. Has anyone actually tried to swap CR-V struts onto their Element? I reached out to Bilstein, but seeing their application was not made for the Element, they weren't willing to advise.
 

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Have you looked at the OEM parts diagrams? They aren't always accurate, but sometimes you can see differences there.

I think the most likely problem is that the spring and shock rates are different (they likely don't weight quite the same)
 

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Another idea (and this might be expensive due to labor) you could go to a pull a part and get your hands on a complete CR-V strut to see what happens. Shouldn't be more than $35
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I have literally stared at the 2 parts diagrams and have even ALT + TABbed between the two windows rapidly to see if I could spot any differences, and aside from some bolt placements on the diagram, they look exactly the same (granted exact measurements may be different).

I can tell you that it looks like the copy of the CR-V diagram has a slightly heavier line weight than the Element diagram :razz:

The weight was also something that I was wondering, as a great difference might have resulted in a different valving for each model. Even at their greatest disparity, the weight difference between a CR-V and an Element is about 300 lbs., based on the options. A 2006 CR-V EX/4WD/MT is 3406 lbs., while a 2007 Element EX/4WD/MT is 3579 lbs., a difference of a mere 173 lbs. Weight distribution % is 56/44 vs 54/46, respectively. Even if they are valved differently, I can't see it being THAT different.

My next step will be to do exactly that: Grab a salvage strut assembly from both an Element and a CR-V and compare. I just wanted to ask here in case there was a definitive answer that I had missed.

This is the one case I would have been content with someone telling me I hadn't searched well enough and linked me a thread with the answer :lol:
 

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Haha - Feel you. I respect the decision to swap out OEM parts from another model. It's my favorite kind of modding =P

If the Ridgeline shocks technically fit, then I would put a lot of money on the CRV struts/springs being able to bolt up one way or another.
 

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Yeah. I just looked at the parts diagrams for both the 05 element and 05 CRV and the rear control arms look identical too. The springs and valving must just be slightly different.

As someone who's recklessly messed with both spring rate and shock effective rating recently, I don't think you'll notice. Especially if the biggest possible weight difference is 300lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So the next question: Does anyone in the SoCal area have some dead front/rear struts from their Element that they'd be willing to donate to my little research project? I feel like comparing off the vehicle would be best, and my E is my DD so I can't take it apart as a guinea pig. I'm in the process of sourcing the most beat/dead/defunct/used strut from a 2Gen. CR-V I can find for as cheap as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Unfortunately, I haven't pursued this further, simply due to time constraints. I still have high hopes for this. The rears I would say are practically a sure thing. It's a pretty simple cartridge design and the measurements put them pretty darn close, if not identical. The fronts I think are the bigger question, simply because it's a more complex assembly which means more room for discrepancies.

The only progress I DID make, was during my talks with the folks at Aerogenics. Since they do lifts for both the E and the CR-V of all generations, I inquired about the suspension differences.

Also, I have another question for you, since you seem to have experience with both the CR-V and Element suspensions. Would you happen to know if the 2nd gen CR-V struts and shocks are compatible with/match an Element? I'm looking for new struts, and I see that Bilstein offers their 4600 HD series for the 2nd gen CR-V, and would love the option for my Element. Thanks in advance for any help.
This is what they said:

To my knowledge, the front shocks should be very similar, can’t say if the bottom mount is interchangeable but the top mount is identical. The rear shock has different top mounts and like the fronts, I’m unsure if the bottom mount will directly fit. However, maybe the front Bilsteins can fit with little modifications and the rears can possibility fit if you use the Element top hat. This is all speculation because I haven’t actually tried to swap the CR-V / Element shocks. Perhaps a custom mount can be made to make them fit on the Element.
So, definitely not a definitive answer, but they certainly have more experience than I do with the CR-V
 

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it was earlier this year that i replaced the Eibach/Koni combination on the front of my 2002 CR-V with an Eibach/Honda combination. so same 30mm drop, but the OEM strut. reason for replacement was 1 Koni strut was slightly bent, due to a bad desert landing. i didn't keep the Koni struts, so can't donate them to your project.

you probably already know this, but here it is, anyway:
Honda CR-V Gen 2 are from 2002 to 2006.
the 2002-2004 are Gen 2.0 and the 2005-2006 are Gen 2.5
Gen 3 starts with 2007 models.

Elements are most closely related to Gen 2 CR-Vs.
 

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So I went to the pick and pull this morning and snagged a gen 2 cr-v front shock and an element front shock. Took some photos of them side by side and will say they are almost identical except for the balljoint arm on the cr-v is about 1/2” higher. Check the pics and tell me what you think.
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I like it. That isn’t a con unless you are slamming the E.

Also, Rocky Mountain outfitters has $110 off-road front shocks for the CRv (many of us have discovered that the 4600 fronts are over $500 a pair)
 
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