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Help...2005 Dodge grand caravan...clunking noise in front end


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7 replies to this topic

#1 SteveD

SteveD
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Posted November 25, 2007 at 10:08 pm

My caravan has been making this clunking noise in the front end since I have had it. I bought it used from a local Nissan dealer with 22,000 miles on it. I have an ext. warr. to 84,000 miles it now has 68,000 miles. The nissan dealer has put new struts on it and it still makes the noise. It did seem to be less noticable after the struts but now is back loud as ever. There was also some kind of metal piece/bracket over the timing belt cover/area that "broke" after the van was at the dealer they replaced it. I have had it with this dealerships service dept. The problem persists. I can move the steering wheel left to right quickly at slower speeds and make the clunking noise happen. It does not make a difference if I am coasting or applying brakes the noise still happens as the van rolls over minimally bumpy surfaces. It seems as though a piece that should dampen movement is broken or missing. I question motor mount(s) but dont know what I should look at to tell. What other areas or parts should I be looking at? If the van is sitting still and I push up/down on the front end there is NO clunking sound. Also, if we drive over speed bumps there is a terrible noise from the strut/shock kind of like a squeak /rub sound. I have looked to see if the tire rubs the wheel well but it does not seem to be touching it. Anyone else had this experience? Please help. My next step is to eat the cost of taking it to a Dodge dealers service dept. then taking their findings back to the warr. work dealer.

Thanks,
Steve
Lexington, SC

#2 malcom

malcom
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Posted November 25, 2007 at 10:25 pm

Sway bar bushings. They make a clunk over bumps and need renewing every 75k miles.

#3 earlyrizr

earlyrizr
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Posted November 26, 2007 at 12:00 am

yup I agree with malcom, I'm on my 3rd set of swaybar bushings and 1 set of links.In my opinion the bushings wear way to fast.

#4 Seatiger

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Posted November 26, 2007 at 12:17 am

MOOG branded sway bar bushings are inexpensive and made of a blue plastic... they last a bit longer than OEM's :)

#5 SteveD

SteveD
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Posted November 26, 2007 at 06:51 pm

MOOG branded sway bar bushings are inexpensive and made of a blue plastic... they last a bit longer than OEM's :)



Are the bushings hard to replace? I can see part of them with the van on the ground and can feel the bracket that holds them in place. Oh, by the way, I can rock the van side to side and the clunk noise happens. I was laying on my back holding the pass. side sway bar while rocking the van with my foot on the wheel well and could feel the bar move in the bracket. I did not feel this on the drivers side. The end links on the sway bar look intact as far as the little rubber boot.

thanks

#6 Seatiger

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Posted November 27, 2007 at 05:03 am

Are the bushings hard to replace? I can see part of them with the van on the ground and can feel the bracket that holds them in place. Oh, by the way, I can rock the van side to side and the clunk noise happens. I was laying on my back holding the pass. side sway bar while rocking the van with my foot on the wheel well and could feel the bar move in the bracket. I did not feel this on the drivers side. The end links on the sway bar look intact as far as the little rubber boot.

thanks


Mines were done on a shop with a hole in the ground (6 feet deep, 15 feet long, 3 feet wide), you need a ratchet with a very deep socket (kind of a spark plug socket). No dissassembly of large sensitive parts needed, just remove a nut, put new sway bar bushing, replace nut, be happy. My Voyager had the PAX side bushing faulty, and the driver side was okay but replaced it anyhow. MOOG sway bar bushing looks like made of a denser plastic. Hope it lasts a bit longer :)

#7 SteveD

SteveD
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Posted November 27, 2007 at 07:46 pm

Sorry....I should have done a SEARCH on this topic "front end clunck" and I would have found the answers.
Silly me thinking that I was the only caravan owner that was having this problem. I should have known by all my past experiences with this van and my earlier 97 T&C that practically everyone else was having the same problem.
I got the base model this time thinking there would be less to break or go wrong...lol.

#8 crewcut

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Posted November 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Just a reminder. If the Moog links come with a grease fitting. make sure the front link faces the rear of the vehicle. The shop that did mine faced them to the front and the half shafts chewed off the fittings. I can't do it myself because my right shoulder was injured. I should have looked when I picked up the van. with a bad arm, I can't even toss a brick.


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