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Haven't had that issue with my 06.

To me, it sounds metallic, like a thin metal bar clanging against thin metal (nail in a can). Can't tell if it's timed exactly with turning the steering wheel or more from the X pitching. Total guesses again. If the noise is timed with the steering wheel, in the cabin I would check if the steering assy is loose from the dash mounts or u-joint is loose at the bottom of the shaft where it connects to steering gear pinion. I recall you have a post about steering looseness. Maybe they're connected (or disconnected). If the sound is lower and outside, the two bolts that mount the steering gear.

If you can lift both front tires, then you could have someone turn the wheel and you can get under the dash to check for the sound while the car is static. Turn the steering wheel, shake the tires, etc.

I know you don't thing it's the strut but there's a strut mount at the top and it has a strut bearing. The mounts are up high under the plastic trim at both corners of the windshield.

Be interesting to know when you find out.
 

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Like the magnet ideas or some way to lock it in.

If you can see the socket with your scope, can you tape a magnet on the end of it and fish it out?

Since you seem pretty talented at pulling the dash apart :), if look at the plastic inner fender on ehonda parts, looks like there are screws that hold it to the body. Maybe you can unscrew and bend the inner fender away enough to push or drop the socket.

Anyways, glad to hear you found it.
 
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