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Never ending clunks and such

Discussion in 'Minivans · Pacifica' started by 08GCSXT, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. 08GCSXT

    08GCSXT Member

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    The vehicle = 2008 Grand Caravan SXT 3.8 approx 106k miles.

    In this thread I had some strut issues along with the clunks...
    Strut Issue - 2008 Grand Caravan SXT. (at https://www.allpar.com/forums/threads/strut-issue-2008-grand-caravan-sxt.169038/ )

    Most of the clunks are gone EXCEPT for one that shows up when pulling into driveways. I had the shop take a closer look since I had new struts and stabilizer bar links and they found out my sway bar "bushing" were bad. They want to charge $250+ to replace a $18 part.

    I went searching on here at AllPar and found the following thread:

    2011 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN THUMPING CLUNKING RIGHT FRONT (at https://www.allpar.com/forums/threads/2011-dodge-grand-caravan-thumping-clunking-right-front.163047/page-4 )

    Among other things listed in there IS the VERY same issue I'm having.

    My main question for this bushing issue is: Can this be done in a driveway with hand tools and if so, if anyone has done it or knows the job, do you have any tips of tricks.

    So far I've found one tip being removing the heat shield for the power steering (I believe that's right). Other than that I've come up empty handed.

    Thanks again everyone and the search function on this forum worked AWESOME!
     
  2. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    I've had that clunk noise backing out of a driveway with a incline going to the street, and I always have the wheels turned because of parked cars on the other side of the street. Its on my 2005 G caravan, its been doing it for 4 years now but every thing else is smooth as silk.
     
  3. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Stabilizer (sway) bar bushings are a common wear item and cause clunks or thumps at low speeds on irregular surfaces.
    You hear it mostly when there is a left/right 'twist' of the bar (like entering a driveway, etc).
    Use OEM bushings for best results. Many of these aftermarket colored 'poly' bushings are junk IMO.
    They aren't too difficult to replace with hand tools. Jack and support the vehicle safely when working underneath it. The bolts are on the top-side of the crossmember, so some getting into a comfortable position may be necessary before attacking the fasteners.
    Gentle heat can soften the thread-lock. Use penetrant if there is rusted threads.
     
    MPE426HEMI likes this.
  4. link3721

    link3721 Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road
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    It's a cheap part but not trivial to replace. Their quote doesn't seem terribly unreasonable. If you have the time and ability it's worth giving it a shot yourself.
     
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  5. bguy

    bguy Well-Known Member

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    I replaced bushings twice on my 98. Never did cure it. I just filed under it doesn't matter.
     
  6. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Active Member

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    When I replaced a broken sway bar on my 92 Plymouth Grand Voyager. I ordered the sway bar from a Chrysler dealership on line and it came with the OEM rubber bushings. After only 2 years the bushing for the sway bar on the passenger side in the lower control arm is worn out and the sway bar is banging around. The driver's side is fine only the passenger side.
    Sorry to disagree with you Walt but I am going to replace the outter bushings with urethane ones.
     
  7. 08GCSXT

    08GCSXT Member

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    Awesome info everyone! I do plan on "checking everything out beforehand" JUST to make sure I can do this without the need to call for HELP!..lol!

    I don't know when I'll get to it but it will get done. I'll fill you in on how it went.

    Thanks again!
    Paul
     
  8. 08GCSXT

    08GCSXT Member

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    Oh, BTW: Our 2003 GC, my fathers 2005 Town and Country and NOW a 2008 ALL have had this issue. Our 2003 had it twice! You'd THINK someone at Chrysler would get a clue!
     
  9. 08GCSXT

    08GCSXT Member

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    One more question: Would some type of grease or lubricant help get these on? If so, what type.

    Thanks again!
    Paul
     
  10. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    RS Minivan sway bar bushings and links were improved in 2005 with TSB # 02-003-05:
    https://chrysler.oemdtc.com/TSB/02-003-05.pdf
    Links and bushings were noisemakers for years. The latest and greatest part number version is the best. Some have superseded a few times.
    If they are tight, they can squawk or crunch. If they are loose, they can thump or knock.
    No lubricant is suggested, but if one needed to I suppose a rubber-friendly silicone grease would help. Don't use a grease that would attack the rubber.
    The round center hole of the bushing usually wears into an oval and this is where the play comes from.
     
  11. Oklahoma Wolf

    Oklahoma Wolf What sanity?

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    Add the 04-08 Pacifica to that, too. Mine had one end link shot, which took out the bushings. I had to order OEM for it - they don't make aftermarket bushings for the Pacifica. I just slid them on without lube.

    This is in addition to the lower control arm bushings, which are also high wear items on the Pacifica.
     
    ImperialCrown likes this.
  12. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the minivan sway bar bushing fiasco. I replaced them twice on my 2001. A really annoying thud. The original OEM bushings were worn oval. I first replaced them with a blue aftermarket bushing that lasted a year, then the next time I replaced them with Mopar OEM. They weren’t that much more expensive, not enough to bother with aftermarket again. The Mopar ones had a split plastic bushing on the inside. To mitigate wear, I was told. I used those and never had to replace them again. Other than getting under the vehicle, they were actually easy to replace. You don’t have to take the end links off either, regardless of what someone like Haynes tells you Lol. Some bushings come with a packet of silicone grease that you can apply to the inside of the bushing.
    I never replaced any other suspension component on that 2001 DGC, other than those bushings and the two front sway bar to strut links ($18 each). It was 10 years old when I traded it on a new 2011 ( what a eye opener!). The 2001 was the best van I ever had. Total comfort too!
     
    #12 MPE426HEMI, Nov 1, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  13. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by "eye opener"? I got a new 2016 and I like it. I kept my 2005. A quick comparison of the 2 is hard but for me that damn power window pod was always rubbing my knee so as the driver I prefer the '16 but I do think the seats on the 05 were a bit better and whole better for sliding back for a lot more leg room. Over all I think the 2016 is a little better then the 05, everything to consider.
    PS- The biggest difference is the 3.6 vs the 3.3 for power.
     
  14. page2171

    Level 2 Supporter

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    My father-in-law had every generation of Mopar minivan except for the 01-07 exactly because of the power window pod. He hated riding in or driving our '02 Grand Caravan because that pod was always in the way. It didn't bother me. Agree on the 3.6 vs the 3.3. A 3.6/6 speed in a 01-07 Grand Caravan would be pretty sweet.
     
  15. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you think of it is ok by me, especially if it works for you. It’s your money, so I am glad you bought an FCA minivan. What I meant by eye opener is it was like a uncomfortable tin box compared to my 2001 DGC Sport with lots of body squeaks and rattles. My 2001 had the awesome wiper defrost and cross wipers which are way better IMO, especially in Winter, I was missing some of those options. The comfort in that thing was like first class luxury. The only thing I liked about the 2011 was the stow n go and exterior looks. I didn’t care for the 3.6 or the racket it made. The 3.3 was super reliable for me with plenty of power and I had that van full of people all the time. The new 6 speed was a bang box compared to the old 4 speed. But many say these issues are pretty much resolved now. For what was gained in power and mpg on the 2011, it wasn’t worth it to me. I was sick of it after a week. But it was reliable, had decent ground clearance and was great for hauling stuff, which I used a lot. Power was more than ample with a fair amount of torque steer too, even with TC active.
    My wife always said we should have kept the old 2001, but it was 10 years old at the time with 220K on it.
     
    #15 MPE426HEMI, Nov 4, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  16. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    My 2005 was missing the defroster window because of Damler cheapmess.. I did like the 3.3 4 speed, it had plenty of power in the city but the 3.6 shines on highway passing. So far on my 2016 drivetrain is smooth as silk and no rattles yest. I hope its as good and reliable as my 2005.
     
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  17. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    I really like the style of the 2011-Up generation. It’s aggressive and to be honest, the somewhat box shape was welcome to me after seeing everything on the road contoured to death. The front & rear are really nice and I love the tail lights, the front fascia/ grill are nice too. The interior on my SXT was simple & fine. Although, I don’t want no more black interiors, if possible. The lack of a handle on the rear hatch drove me crazy because I had no way of tying it down when I had a long(er) load or a full load that I couldn’t shut the door down on without breaking the rear window. (It should be closed at all times, however, from time to time it just wasn’t going to work that way). The one thing that really pissed me off about it (and it wasn’t the van’s fault) was that I had to pay for a higher trim just to get those electric rear vents, which were on my 2001. (I find them essential with small kids as they didn’t have the strength to close those clamp type and plus I could control when they were open/closed from the drivers seat). So, I got those and shortly after lo & behold there was a recall on the switch, which they had no parts and no idea when they were going to have parts available. I went to the dealer to have Winter tires installed and they performed the recall which was to unplug the switch until parts were available. So when I got home, I plugged it back in! When I traded it in last year, that recall was still in limbo.
    Would I buy another one? Yes, and I might just have too next time, because I miss the minivan. I think it was worth the extra gas I’d burn over a 4 cyl vehicle. The most versatile vehicle on the road, if you ask me.
     
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  18. amclaussen

    amclaussen Member

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    08GCSXT: Probably the same thing that happened to my 2002 Stratus R/T Sedan Turbo (Mexico)... Car has always produced "clunks" after some 10,000 miles with new stabilizer or "antisway" bar links. See, these badly designed links have two spherical or ball joints housed in the ends of a plastic link. the problem is that NO MATTER HOW MARVELOUS or "ADVANCED" the damn plastic is, it is still plastic!
    In my car, one of the damn links developed a hard to see, almost invisible hairline crack, and that produced the clunking noise.
    So I complained in the ALLPAR forum and interestingly enough, two day later I received a phone call from then Daimler-Chrysler, offering to provide a new part even when the car had just expired the initial warranty period (then two-year)... So I went to the designated dealer and picked up the part, not after signing a letter that I would not complaint again (!) The supplied part was different, as it was made from metal with no plastic on it. It worked more or less exactly like the original one, and soon started to develop a new clunking noise too. So, in the end, it was not only the plastic the cause of the noise, but the defective design geometry of the part, as it places too much force at the offset part, quickly developing wear and play. After wasting dollars in these stupidly designed parts three times, I visited a local wheel alignement shop, that offered to put a DEFINITIVE end to the clunking, and they did!, they fabricated a slightly different old-style link, that is the same part but WITHOUT any spherical joints, but using old style rubber donnuts and large metal washers, like the old cars had, just welded at 90 degrees to be able to be screwed like the originals.
    The modified links are now more than 3 years old without a single "clunk". Sometimes, old mechanics outsmart the too-intelligent factory engineers!. Amclaussen.
    P.D.: As a bonus, the shop owner told me that there was a BEEFIER sway bar available, that came in the older first generation Stratus and Cirrus in the few V6 equipped 1995 models, that fit my 2002 and sold me one. This fatter bar is 31 mm diameter instead of 26 mm. This is almost TWICE as stiff (stiffness is proportional to the fourth power of the diameter in sway bars). Again, some intelligent mechanic shops really outsmart factory engineers, as my car is supossed to be the R/T version, but the stoopid factory designers used the standard suspension from the slower and puny standard Stratus versions. So much for abusing the R/T badge in grocery getter vehicles by stoopid young auto designers, that simply do not know the true meaning of the old "R/T" badge anymore.
     

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