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Strut noise diagnosis -- Am I on the right track?

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  #1  
Old 03-08-2009, 09:36 PM
mrm mrm is offline
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Default Strut noise diagnosis -- Am I on the right track?

Hello,

My 2003 DGC makes clunking noises (just like every other DGC, apparently).

Based on the nature of the clunks (always come in pairs, not related to body sway, tends to start when the suspension is in rebound) and the location, I thought it might be the upper strut mounts.

The left side is a little worse than the right.

Today I put the front end on jackstands and put a jack under the front ball joints. With my finger on the tip of the strut (under the hood), I detected about 3/8 of vertical travel when raising the jack under the left side ball joint.

The right side had about 1/4 of free play.

I assume this isn't normal? Can somebody confirm?

Next, I pulled out the strut assembly (3 little bolts up top, two big ones below). This experiment didn't get too far because I don't have a spring compressor.

I assume that something is loose or worn out, but I'm not sure what. Aside from the sloppy 3/8", the struts seem to be doing their job well. Do I need a bushing? New struts? A new one of those hat-shaped things that holds the top of the spring?

Maybe I can just tighten the nut on the end of the strut rod? I'm still kicking myself for not checking putting the impact wrench on those nuts while I had the strut lying in the driveway.

Thanks very much for any experience in this regard.

/chris
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2009, 12:36 AM
mr_mahoney mr_mahoney is offline
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Default noise

Good article to consider:

clunks and bumps
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:13 PM
mrm mrm is offline
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Thanks for the article link, mr mahoney.

I'd read about noise from the sway bar bushings and links, but never in such detail.

But I don't think that's my problem. I suspect the upper strut bearing.

I'm just hoping that someone can confirm that the strut rod movement I described is abnormal.

Well, that and how much I'll need to replace: Does the whole assembly at the top of the spring need to be replaced, or can I get just the small wear parts inside there?

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:45 PM
Kevioll Kevioll is offline
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I belive if the strut bearing is bad, you will experience a clunk or popping sound when turning the steering wheel while sitting at idle (such as manuevering to turn & leave a parking space) . The bearing just allows the top of the strut to rotate in place when turning the wheels, and if it was failing the strut would bind as the wheels were turned, rather than to turn smoothly. It wouldn't cause a noise while traveling down a straight bumpy road. Is that what you're experiencing?
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:59 PM
smokem10 smokem10 is offline
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I had the same noise, I always thought it was the struts too. But after plenty of research, It was the sway bar bushings. Real easy to change and cheap. THey were like $12 bucks for both. After installations, the clunk noise was gone and the steering felt stiffer too. HTH....

Rocky
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:03 PM
GAB GAB is offline
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I had clunking noises in the front on two of my caravans and thought it had something to do with the suspension-struts but it turned out to be sway bar bushings.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:46 PM
mr_mahoney mr_mahoney is offline
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Default clunks bumps gone, now pops

I replaced the sway bar bushings, a few weeks ago along with the Sway Bar Link rods and the front end was much quiter. It no longer sounded like a hay wagon.

Now when we turn corners, we have the loud popping sound. I am going to scan close my repairs to be sure I have everything tight, but am I now to look at Struts ? Can the top bushing be replaced?
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:49 AM
Kevioll Kevioll is offline
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See now that sounds like a strut mount bearing that is binding. If the vehicle is idling in park and you turn the wheel can you duplicate the noise? if you can, have someone turn the steering wheel side to side while you look at the springs one side at a time. If the bearing is binding, you'll see the spring pop & jerk and hear the noise too.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:59 PM
geoman95 geoman95 is offline
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Default Thumping Sound - 2005 Grand Caravan

To correct people about the thumping issue.
The sway bar bushing only solve the thumping sound when going over bumps, not while turning.

Funny enough, I replaced the stuts myself for the issue with thumping while going over bumps. It didn't work, so I replaced the sway bar bushings and that solved it.

Now I have a thumping when a turn the wheel when parking and slowly turning out of my driveway. The sound comes from the front driver side. I didn't have the issue until after I replaced the struts which makes me think I made a mistake installing them or the new strut or new strut mount was defective.

Any Ideas?
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:49 PM
MartymanVR6 MartymanVR6 is offline
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Did you replace the strut mounts?.....its easy to check

Jack the car both front wheels up
Turn the key to the "on" position
Grab the wheel and turn it from side to side while looking at the coil spring....it has to turn smoothly with the wheel......if it gives like lil bumbs or the coil spring kinda jumps....change em there finished

Did you use an impact gun to fasten the top nut?

For the sway bar bushings just hold onto the bar near to the bushing and move it up n down with force (or use prybar)....if it moves replace the bushings

Elcheapo way.......undo everything remove bushings apply black electric tape where the bushing is on the bar....like 10 turns....lol........put everything back in order and test drive.....if the noise is gone, replace the bushings
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:49 PM
 
 
 
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Tags
bad, caravan, clunking, diagnosis, dodge, front, journey, mount, noise, noises, noisy, rebound, strut, struts, upper

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