Adjustable shocks, springs or both?

honda
suspension
pilot

#1

Hi…I live in Germany with my 2008 Honda Pilot and just returned with trailer hitch which has been installed now. The problem is the car now rides about 3-5 inches lower than it should and lower than the front…this is without any trailer ! First of all, this car does not exist in Europe at all…so any parts need to be gotten from the US, second I have the car converted to natural gas and the additional tank is where the pare tire would be - under the car at the back…so the combination of the natural gas tank and the weight of the trailer hitch cause the car to be quite heavy in the rear. So…the question is…should I buy new shocks ( the car now has 40,000 miles on it ) or new springs or adjustable shocks or adjustable springs and new shocks…or…or… ?

I’m sure the factory springs at 40,000 miles could use replacing…just not sure if new ones will remedy the issue or if additional measures need to be taken. Bare in mind that I will NOT be towing anything heavy here…this is just for trailer for garden stuff or to go to the building supply place etc. and that with normal driving…we’re going at speeds of 80-100 miles an hour - the normal pace for driving on the motorway here.


#2

Shocks won’t fix this (unless they’re air shock), you need stiffer springs. I don’t know where you’ll get them. Is it AWD or FWD? Is it shocks or struts? Any chance of adding ‘helper springs’ (if you can find them)?


#3

The weight of the trail hitch receiver is insignificant. It MIGHT way as much as 30lbs. Not sure how much your NG tanks weigh. If a couple hundred pounds or more that could drop the back end a few inches. I know when I attach my pop-up to my trailer with a tongue weight of 200lbs the back end will drop at least 3 inches.

Shocks won’t help with ride height. Springs will. There are road leveling shocks or even air shocks that might help…But it sounds like you’ve got some extra weight back there…I’d take it to a suspension specialist and ask them…sounds like you could use new springs/and-or shocks.


#4

thanks to both of you for your feedback…the vehicle is AWD and believe it or no the trailer hitch (from honda) weighs about 84 lbs ! Not sure how much the NG tank weighs but the outer casing is pretty heavy duty steel.
I REALLY wish I had bought a cheepy trailer hitch it would have saved me all the way around.
I wouldn’t mind if the back end dropped once I put the trailer on…but it’s significantly lower BFORE the trailer which leaves me wanting to make this safe and sturdy.
So…I guess I will get adjustable springs for the back and simply new shocks and struts for the front and back.


#5

84 POUNDS!?!?!?!?!

This is a Honda Pilot, not an F-350 Super-Duty! Did the hitch also include a lot of steel to reinforce the frame? That is unbelievable!

Yes, your going to need to find a shop that specializes in suspension work. Custom work would be best, because I believe this will require some fabrication. Since the Pilot is already customized with a CNG tank and hitch, helper springs or bigger springs would be beneficial, but I doubt a ‘bolt-on’ kit is available.

Try looking for a shop that installs wheel chair lifts. Those things are really heavy, and every car or truck I’ve seen with them has some suspension upgrades for the weight except the ‘Heavy-Duty’ trucks and vans.


#6

Frankly I believe you have the wrong car for your needs. Do you know what Honda recommends and how much weight they consider safe for your car?