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Old 11-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Another front end suspension clunk

My 02 MDX with 184,000 km has the infamous suspension clunk when traveling over small bumps and slow speeds. It is not noticeable while turning, accelerating, braking, or at higher speeds. After hours of searching the web and this forum I think I have narrowed down the problem to 4 or 5 likely culprits.

1. Stabilizer bushings
2. Stabilizer end links
3. Tie rods
4. Lower control arms (i.e. compliance bushing, ball joints, control arm bushing)
5. Bad strut/ strut mount

I would prefer to diagnose the problem, rather than just throw parts at it. I can't detect any movement in the tie rods when trying to shake the wheel.

Where should I go from here?
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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good luck. I've read compliance bushings can also be the culprit. My 04 with 130k has had the clunk for a long time. I had the struts replaced and stabilizer links recently replaced and it did not go away. I tried to change the stabilizer bushings myself and unfortunately could only get one side done (rear ac line is in the way).

My 04 is starting to make a lot of strange noises (heat shield death rattle) and have learned to live with it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It seems like a lot of people start with the stabilizer links, but it doesn't end up solving their "clunk" problem. Maybe its because these are the easiest to replace?

The compliance bushings are part of (pressed into) the lower control arm. Most people opt to change the whole control arm for convenience. This will probably be my last option since it's the most expensive and I can't see any significant tears in any of the bushings.

I read that removing the rear engine cradle bolts and dropping the engine cradle the necessary couple of inches is the easiest way to change out the drivers side stabilizer bushing.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So I bought the stabilizer bushings today since it was the cheapest solution (or least expensive error).

Any other thoughts out there on this? Should I have started somewhere else?
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I tried to change the stabilizer bushings myself and unfortunately could only get one side done
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i have the same issue. changed the swaylinks and still the same thing. guys at honda say its the strut mounts.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have this infamous clunk in the rear of my 03 that is working up to 148,000 miles. I also have the very annoying heat shield rattle. The clunk issue is exactly as describled, over small bumps at low speeds. Hollow sound and doesn't seem in any way to take away from the still good handling of the vehicle. Please report if a fix is found. Thanks...Matt
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 1604169 View Post
So I bought the stabilizer bushings today since it was the cheapest solution (or least expensive error).

Any other thoughts out there on this? Should I have started somewhere else?
not sure but you may not have a hard time changing the sway bar bushings. I believe only the 04+ have one side hard to get.

Good luck and let us know how it works out?
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry to revive an old thread, but I finally got around to changing the stabilizer bushings and I am happy to report it was a total success!!! I must admit I was skeptical, but after swapping them out the front end clunk is completely gone.

As mentioned before, the driver's side was a bit frustrating due to the A/C lines being in the way, but I managed to get it out with nothing but a simple box end wrench. No fancy socket adapters or joints required. I just laid straight on my back with my head towards the front of the vehicle and I could wrap both hands around and managed to turn the bolt 1/8 turn each time using the closed end of the wrench. About an hour to do the drivers side.

I would suggest anyone with the same problem start with this option first since the parts are so cheap and its an easy DIY.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry to re-open this thread, but I have a quick ??? Can anyone tell me what the exact part and/or part number is? I asked the Honda dealer for front stabilizer bushings and he didn't have a clue what I was talking about...
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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On my 05 replacing the anti sway bar bushings was all that was needed to stop the suspension clunk on


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Old 07-27-2013, 07:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sorry to re-open this thread, but I have a quick ??? Can anyone tell me what the exact part and/or part number is? I asked the Honda dealer for front stabilizer bushings and he didn't have a clue what I was talking about...
Here's how to look up the part numbers and prices.

1. Go to the website for Tim at Acura of Peoria by clicking here.

2. Enter all your car's information in the boxes under "Know the Vehicle?" and click SELECT.

3. Click on CHASSIS.

4. Click on KNUCKLE.

You'll see all the front suspension parts with part numbers and prices. The bushings are noted as BUSH. You might want to replace all the bushings as long as you're in there.

Note that the diagram says a quantity of 1 bushing is required, but that's one per side, or a total of two. (Some of the other suspension part numbers are different for left vs right, but the bushings are the same.)

If you decide to order your parts from Tim's website, don't forget to use his coupon codes (which you can find here) for discounts on shipping.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks ever so much!!!!
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm having the same "clunk" that I hear a low speed going over small bumps and it is inconsistent. My MDX is a 2007 with 140k miles. Looks like most of the problems in this thread were from the earlier generation. Is this still a problem in the 2007-2013?

I can't tell for sure that my noise is coming from the suspension area, so I am going to try to check to make sure my motor mounts are not broken also.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My front suspension 2007 MDX feels loose, and I would like to tighten it up.
Can someone help me in what common parts need to be changed in front suspension.

Here is what I think:
2 x 51320-S0X-C01 LINK ASSY., FR. STABILIZER @$16.15
1 x 51210-STX-A02 KNUCKLE, R. FR. @$115.60
1 x 51215-STX-A02 KNUCKLE, L. FR. @$115.60

anything else??

Thanks
Sergio
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