Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang,

Been hearing some clunking in the front end suspension when going over rough roads the last couple of months. And the ride has gotten harsher the last couple of years too.

Took it to the dealer for diagnosis.

They found a little play in the right front sway bar bushing, but believe the clunking is coming from both front dampers. Does this sound legit? Could these old dampers account for an increasingly rough ride from the front end?

Looking at $1300 to have dampers replaced, bushings replaced, and a wheel alignment completed.

Is this something I should address immediately, or can it wait a couple of months?

Any input you guys may have is very welcomed.

Thanks.

It is 2006 MDX Touting with 230,000 km on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,756 Posts
Look under the front end, and look for visual signs of perished bushings. If the bushings are dry rotted, or deformed... then yes, those parts should be swapped out.

Normally, a shock / strut will "clunk" only when the bushing (lower connection to the suspension) is in bad shape.

The sway bar bushings can certainly cause some clunking, and they're dirt cheap and easy to swap out, so that would be a worthwhile DIY fix to see if you can get off cheap.

OTOH, there are a host of "little things" that can cause this kind of noise, and sometimes they're difficult to reproduce when you're laying under the car trying to push it up and down (I just found a squeaky control arm bushing in a friend's Toyota this way the other night). ;-)

FWIW, you can buy a set of Monroe Quick-struts (with the new strut, spring, and mounts) for about $340 delivered via Amazon, and they will be pretty simple to install (no spring compressors, etc.). For well under $200 you can get a pair from a less-known manufacturer (do some research before buying though).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
By dampers are u meaning struts?

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
That is an excellent question.

Given the price they quoted me and info from HabbyGuy, I wonder if they mean the struts.

I will investigate further.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,756 Posts
FWIW, it's possible to buy just the shocks (aka dampers), and to buy an "installation kit" with a new mount and rubber isolation pad separately, or to buy the whole enchilada pre-assembled. I'm as much a DIY guy as anyone, but would be very tempted to buy the pre-assembled "quick-strut" so I can just bolt it in place and call it a day. I wouldn't get too excited if the shop you're dealing with is going to re-use your springs though - I doubt seriously they're "bad".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
OK, have some clarification on what they are suggesting. Still don't think

When they use the term "Damper", they mean the shock as circled in the attached image. They want over $400 per "damper" and then over $400 to install them both. I asked that at that price, shouldn't I be getting the Entire unit, springs and all. No, they will be re-using the existing springs.

Once completed, they will have to do an alignment. Another $160.

And if they replace the bushings on the sway bar, another $200.

I don't know if the dampers are the source of the clunks I hear, but I think they are the source of the harsh front suspension.

Anyhow, I'm going to check with a local mechanic to see if he can do this and how much it might cost. I am sure there are some after market units that can be used. For example, this one I see on Amazon.ca
https://www.amazon.ca/2003-2006-Acura-Front-Suspension-Assembly/dp/B014LFC6UG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1485273022&sr=8-3&keywords=acura+2006+mdx+strut

Thanks for the input gang.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hmm, then I just saw this ad. I wonder if this includes any that will fit my 2006 MDX?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
I recently changed my front struts and top bushings. Got all the parts from Rockauto (KYB). I removed the assemblies and had a local shop swap over the springs to the new struts. Well under $350 cdn. Hardest part of the job was undoing the lower strut bolts, I needed a 4 foot snipe on the breaker bar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
We refer to dampers as struts. I just replaced all my front. I had clunking, after struts in, it still clunked. It was inner tie rods, but suspension was due anyway. I would buy the full units, springs Already installed, and pay a shop to install if u won't/can't do it yourself. Good luck. Fear not the diy.

Bratcop

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hmm, then I just saw this ad. I wonder if this includes any that will fit my 2006 MDX?
We refer to dampers as struts. I just replaced all my front. I had clunking, after struts in, it still clunked. It was inner tie rods, but suspension was due anyway. I would buy the full units, springs Already installed, and pay a shop to install if u won't/can't do it yourself. Good luck. Fear not the diy.

Bratcop
Sounds like the clunking could be coming from any number of places (damper, tie rods, ball joints). Is there any way to diagnose the clunking problem right the first time, or is trial and error the only way to figure it out?

I really don't want to sink a lot of money into this trying to find the issue one part at a time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Use pry bar to check lower ball joints for play, look online for method. Disconnect outer tierod from inner. Inner should not really move by hand very easily. Again search my posts, I had pics up on that. Personally, id go ball joints and tierod first. Then if clunk still their, "dampers" ?

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,756 Posts
FWIW, when I bought my MDX, it had 160,000 western US miles (smooth roads). The front end really wasn't bad, but I could feel it was a little looser than a new car, so decided I'd enjoy the vehicle more if I "tightened it up". I figured I'd end up replacing front end parts eventually anyway, so replacing them as soon as I bought the car means I'd enjoy the new parts the whole time I owned it (figuring I wouldn't keep it long enough to burn through another set of LCAs and tie rod ends).

So, I ordered new lower control arms (which include the ball joints), and inner and outer tie rod ends. I did have to spend another $20 or so on a tie rod end remover tool, and of course, another $60 or so for a four-wheel alignment (which is something I'd likely have done anyway). So for around $300 all up (and a couple hours crawling around under my fenderwells) my MDX drove like a new one. I'm pretty frugal, but didn't bother to try to check and see which (if any) of the parts I replaced might still be good - based on the fact that if anything was worn out (and clearly, at least a couple of the main LCA bushings were looking bad), other parts would either be worn out, or likely near the end of their useful life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all that information guys.

I will take it to our local guy and let him have a look.

I would be willing to tackle installing the full strut/shock/spring unit on my own but I'm going to leave the tie rods and ball joints to the pros.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Sway bar end links are also a common clunking location. I had to replace mine and shortly after noticed a different sounding clunk. Then had to replace the sway bar bushings (passenger side easy...driver side...ugh...ugh..ugh..) and no more clunking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Just an update for everyone.

I took it in to a local shop a month ago and the mechanic couldn't pinpoint the source of the clunking with any degree of accuracy although he did confirm some play in the sway bar. He suggested we hold off on any work for awhile to see if we could learn more if it got worse.


Fast forward to yesterday. I took it back to him to get the oil changed and asked him to change the bushings on the sway bar. Well $15 in parts and an hour and a half of labour, and the clunking seems to be gone... I'm keeping my fingers crossed the issue is solved. Note the mechanic confirmed everyone's opinion about the hassles of the driver's side bushing.

So thanks for all your help and suggestions.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top