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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all

I have a 2003 EX, MT, 2WD Element with 148K miles on it. A couple weeks ago, my wife was driving the Element and heard a loud thud from the back end while she was driving onto the highway (gradual bend, up hill, on ramp). That's all she noticed and, unfortunately, I was not in the car to hear the sound.

Since then, there is a subtle clunking coming from the back end, particularly over bumps. I got down under the car and shook the sway bar and see if the bushings might be dried out, and it felt solid as a rock. I went to the rear right tire, grabbed it, and jerked it around with my hands. Solid. I went to the rear LEFT tire and did the same thing, and immediately replicated the clunking sound. I checked the lug nuts and they are secure.

Bottom line: I can grab the tire and jerk it around, getting a clunking sound. I can also hear the same clunking sound over bumps.

Thoughts?

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you - I was thinking the bearing/hub assembly might be the issue. I'm about to place an order at Autozone for pads and rotors and am considering adding a wheel bearing/hub assembly to the order. I am new to these kinds of repairs but am happy to take the time and learn to do it correctly. Any concern about replacing this myself? I have access to a repair shop with a lift, complete tools, and a little supervision.

$190 for parts to do this all myself or I could just take it to the local Honda dealership ($250 for the brakes plus whatever parts/labor would be for the bearing replacement?)
 

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It might be a worm differential suspension bushing

I have the same issue with my 2005, 143k Element. I had it checked out yesterday. The mechanuc showed me how the rubber byshing around the bolt connecting suspension next to differential was shot. Getting it fixed. $120 for part $80 labor. Regards
 

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I dunno, when my front passenger side wheel bearing went it made a whining sound. Reminded me of the sound the school bus made with it's big knobby tires. The thud I had at the rear end sounds like the jack thumping when going over bumps. Replacing the swar bar links and bushings fixed this.
 

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If you have a clunking sound in the rear end check the rear sway bar bushings and the rear shocks for oil leaking out the seal on the shaft. Both will cause a clunking sound.
 
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