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Re: front end noise
I`ve had the same problem with my Grand Voyager and the Guest above is correct, it is the sway bar BUT you`d think that it was the bushes, in my case, it was the brackets that encapsulate the bushes over the sway bar. Chrysler in thier infinate wisdom and reducing costs have fitted these brackets with only one nut and bolt at the bottom, the top section of the bracket is just a tongue that wedges the bracket into a lip. If you remove the bracket, you`ll probably see that the tongue is shiny where it`s been wearing away. Replace these two brackets and I think you`ll find you`ve now got a very quiet ride again like these vehicles should be. Ian
Have you looked at the sway bar link and control arm. I had this problem in my 1966 Grand Voyager and I have it now in my 02 Caravan. In the 96 it was the sway bar links and control arm etc. It cost me about 100.00 CAD for both sides including brake pads. (Since everything was being taken apart anyway, for 25.0CAD why not?) I would look at that. Talk to someone in your autoparts counter if you DIY and they should be able to help you get all the parts you need and if you take it to the dealer/garage tell them you believe it to be sway bar links etc and see what they say.
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See if you can bounce car and replicate the noise. If you can, you should be able to find it, and put your hand on it. Stabilizer bushing are a place to look, both at the lower a arm and on the frame. If you narrow it down to the strut, it will need to be replaced. The front trans mount also goes bad, try putting it in drive with your foot on the brake and give it some gas and see if the engine moves an excessive amount.
This noise is likely caused by swaybar end-link joints. Newer cars use solid rods with ball and socket joints, to connect the ends of the swaybar to the frame. These ball and socket joints at the end of these rods, create an amazingly noticeable and annoying noise in the car when you go over the slightest bump. There is no way to test these things unless you disconnect one end and check to see how tight the ball is in the socket just by wigging the with your hands. If they move around at all without pressure, they are no good. Go to ebay and search "bmw endlinks " for a picture.
What was said about the wear of the front end part when the alignment was given? I could be wrong but, I would say, Not likely for the tie rod ends and definately not the shocks for knocking sounds.. It sounds more like bad ball joints poping, although the idler arm and tye rod ends could be worn also .
I had the same problem with my 2002 Town and Country Limited. I took it to the mechanic and had the sway bar links and ball joints replaced and still had the same clunking noise when going over bumps at low speeds. The van sounded great on the highway, but country roads were horrible. I was about to replace the struts and pay another 700 dollars when i read somewhere that the sway bar bushings could wear and cause the noise. I took it to the mechanic and he said absolutely not it would be a waste of money. Being the stubborn guy I am, I went to NAPA and bought the two bushings for 12 dollars and replaced them myself in an hour. I took the van for a test ride and the noise is completely gone. Please ignore your mechanic and replace the bushings ASAP! Pretty cheap try even if it doesn't work.