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Discussion Starter #1
I need new front sway bar bushings. I know they are tough to get at but do you really need to drop the cradle? I have read a few threads but nothing definitive.

Is there a "how to" somewhere?

Thanks,
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Is there more to it than this? I've never had to replace mine yet.

 

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You don't need to lower the subframe. Undoing the bolts is a bit tricky due to limited clearance but it is doable. . . .
 

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No special tools. An assortment of wrenches with varying angles is nice. A smaller socket set with a U-joint also nice. Not really enough room for power tools. Maybe an air ratchet.

Get the truck off the ground and remove the wheels - makes life WAY easier.

Consider doing the end links at the same time if you think yours may be loose, noisy or failing. If you do these, the bolts tend to be rusted/frozen so have a grinder/sawzall handy.
 

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Did mine last night and replaced with poly bushings.
I used a long arm on the 14mm socket to loosen the bolts (and tighten). Limited space so the bolts will turn like 1/8 turn for each time. Takes "forever" but less work than dropping the subframe.

I can also recommend having a flat rod at hand to be used to pry the sway bar up when moving the bushings back and forth.

I pulled the bushings to the inside of the mounting place on drivers side. Passenger sides bushing moved to the same spot. Lots of room for sliding the old one off the rod (there is a slit in the bushing) and working with the new one.

Poly bushings are not so soft and flexible as the rubber ones. I put them in really hot water before prying them open and pushing the gap over the sway bar.

When reinstalling it can be a PITA to line up the clamp and bolts over the threads in the frame. It is both narrow spaces and impossible to see without maybe using a mirror. I used the flat rod for the final adjustment prying the bar upwards, but then it also will move backwards. Also some WD40 on the bolts might ease the job.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, I did them yesterday before turkey. It was the longest job for only removing four bolts, took about an hour. It was straight forward though. Just used 3/8 ratchet (fine tooth) and a shallow socket with a 1" extension. Working from the wheel side I could get 2-3 clicks on the ratchet. I used moog rubber bushings.

No more clunks! Thanks to all!
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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How does one know they need replaced?
I'm wondering the same thing. My Pilot has a low speed clunk (I can hear and feel in the steering wheel) that seems to be related to body roll, not side-to-side motion. The shop wants to replace some bushings somewhere on the steering assembly, not the sway bar bushings.

The assembly (not sure of the name) is below and behind the fill port of the tranny and there is a rocking motion when the steering wheel is turned the shop thinks should not be there.

I believe the assembly is the steering gearbox mount cushion that is suspected. Specifically, the unit just below the dust seal in the image below. The shop says it's a 4.5 hour job (dropping the cradle to replace those bushings.

This image is from the Pilot FSM, but appears identical to the image in the RL FSM.
 

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I had a clunky sound when driving on uneven surfaces. Doesn't have to be these bushings, but most likely. They are also the cheapest option to start with if you have any "clunks" from your front end.

As the clamp is bolted to the frame, any gap between the bushing and the clamp will be very audible in the car.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Update on my Pilot clunk: the stab links were replaced (aftermarket part) about a year ago. I automatically ruled them out as a possibility for the current clunk.

The shop got their prybar out again and found play in them. Again. Replaced with Honda OEM stab links this time and the clunk is gone. Go figure. I hope it's gone for a lot longer this time around.

I wouldn't have thought to look there again.. after just replacing them so recently. Now I'm a little peturbed at the shop that put on those aftermarket stab links.
 

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Update on my Pilot clunk: the stab links were replaced (aftermarket part) about a year ago. I automatically ruled them out as a possibility for the current clunk.
I would have, too. I replaced my front links with Moog links, and they appear to be FAR heavier duty than the OEM links, with the plastic ball end inserts.

Now I'm a little peturbed at the shop that put on those aftermarket stab links.
In most cases, going to the aftermarket like this gives better results, and longer life. It could be that the particular pair of links installed on your vehicle were just bad from the start (mass production; nothing's perfect). My Ridgeline's clunking is better, though it's not gone completely. There seems to be a small pop from the right side when I turn the steering wheel the first time of the day, and I think it's related. I haven't put it up on jack stands over night, to see if I can isolate the first pop of the morning. It might not do it anyway, with the suspension unloaded.
 

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I don't know what brand they were. I bet they weren't Moog.
 

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Well, I still have a slight clunk in my RL, so I can't promise the Moogs are perfect (though I've generally been happy with Moog stuff). I'd be sort of sore if the Moog ones were noisy out of the box. I work at home, and drive the RL only a time or two each week, so diagnosis of this is never super high on my radar, unfortunately.
 
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