Fix + Fast
by Pete Jackson • Also see our main minivan repairs page!
Subject Vehicle: 1994 Chrysler Town & Country
Problem: Pop or clunk from rear of van when cornering or on even roadways.
Solution: New Shocks and/or Shackle Bushings
I bought a well used (but not abused) 1994 Chrysler T&C van in December 2004.
When I took a test drive of the van, the seller told that the rear shocks have been clunking for about a month. The van rode well and had no major clunks unless you went around corners or on uneven roadways.
About a week ago I had the shocks and struts changed. The front struts had a little life left, but the rear shocks had seen their time and were begin to leak oil, seize, and therefore clunk.
I got the van back from the shop (Tire Hut, Seaview, WA) and the technician informed me that the van still clunked around corners, and the rear shackle bushings were worn out. I test drove the van and agreed that he was right. It still clunked on corners, but not on uneven ground.
He also informed me of the driver’s side wheel bearing growl.
I took the van home and began the process of finding those bushings. I work for NAPA Auto Parts (Seaview, WA) so I figured I could get them through my suspension parts catalog. I looked and looked and found nothing for rear suspension parts besides shocks and alignment shims.
I ended up having to call Timberline Dodge (Portland, OR.) to get my bushings. I was assisted by a very helpful staff and was served promptly. I got the bushings the next morning when I arrived at the store.
Saturday morning I had the van in the air and began the dis-assembly process.
In about two hours I had the van fully repaired and driving much more smoothly with absolutely no pops or clunks. The cornering ability of the van also dramatically improved.
All of these torque specs and instructions came from my trusty Chilton care care manual. NAPA Balkamp number 799-2811. Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth Minivans 1984-1995
The best part is, you don't need anything but basic hand tools to do this job.
These part numbers work for all 1990-95 mini-vans. May work for other vehicles as well.
Mopar P/N 4228564 Rear leaf spring shackle bushings. You will probably want all 8 because you have to pull the shackle completely apart to change the lower bushings. There are two lower shackle bushings and two upper shackle bushings per side; the lowers tend to wear more than the uppers, but I replaced all of mine due to the fact the I tore the uppers when I pulled the shackle apart (some force required as everything is tightly fitted).
I also have the front spring eye bushings and will be changing those this summer when it's not so rainy. Basically the same procedure as the rear shackles. I noticed the rubber on those is cracking on the outer (visible) edges and will need to be changed as well. Those bushings are P/N 4228492 leaf spring eye bushings.
I also serviced the wheel bearings at this time. I discovered the seal had failed and allowed water the enter the hub. Changed both inner and outer bearings, as well as the seal and grease. The inner bearing had began to rust as a result of the water intrusion. Passenger side bearings were picture perfect, no problems, put new seal in when brakes were changed.
For those who are wondering, I did inspect the brake shoes, drums and brake parts on both sides of the van. All is good. Shoes are new (about three months old) as well as hardware.
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