Question about 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan

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99 grand caravan--hear a knocking in front suspension--recently replaced both sway bar links-still knocks--is it most likely lower ball joints? 170k miles--love the van, still goes great

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The knocking could be ball joints, control arm bushings, worn strut mounts or struts, missing or damaged spring isolators or a broken coil spring. All of these things are easily diagnosed once the truck is up on a lift , with the exception of the strut, since it cannot be tested unless it is completely removed from the vehicle. However struts should be replaced every 50,000-75,000 miles.

Posted on Mar 12, 2011

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Sway bar links are also part of the suspension that you really can't feel while driving. If you're handy enough take your front wheel off and you'll see a bar passing through to each side of your front suspension. It is connected to the lower control arm by sway bar links. The links have ball joints enclosed by rubber boots with grease. Eventually this grease will come out or the boots will tear and you'll hear metal on metal while force is applied. These are fairly cheap to buy yet you may have some trouble getting them off without air tools. If you try to do it your self i'd suggest spraying the bolts down with some lubrication.

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1 Answer

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Check your tie rods and the drag link bar which controls the steering. Have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth while you are underneath and you should be able to pinpoint the noise location.   I had the same problem on my 2001.  Replaced the lower tie-rod ends and also the ones on both sides of the drag link. This solved the problem.  Whether you do this job yourself or not, you will definately also need an alignment upon completion.  

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