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· Registered
2001 T&C 3.8L Limited (2nd Owner)
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

This is driving me nuts trying to figure this out. I want to blame this on the new sway bar end links I installed last February 2022 with proper torque. They worked great. However, I just recently re-torqued end links thinking that would solve issue(I discovered they were way under torque after a susp. shop did springs/ stuts/rods in March.) I don't see how it could be them after inspecting them again. (See below)

**I had my dad shake the front corners of the van while I listened and saw, heard, felt, nothing from sway bar links. Today, I put front end on ramps crawled underneath and shook the sway bar as hard as I can where it connects to links. There is no play between bar and links at all. Nothing ? The sway bar has no indications of rubbing metal down the whole length and those inner bushings look great too.

Other things I have checked and ruled out:

1. No movement side/side or top/bottom with wheels off the ground. Or while turning steering wheel (Tie Rods, Bearings/hub, ball joint all good)

2. No cv issue I think. (No clicking while turning hard left or right forward or reverse or at highway speeds)
3. I inspected suspension cradle plate religiously looking for anything loose or rubbing. Everything great and the frame isolaters all in excellent condition and tight.

4. See no play/movement in new strut towers when I shake them with Van on jack stands.


Symptoms:

1. Clicking noise on initial start in both forward and reverse usually only on small inclines at like a stop light. Or "particularly" on our uneven gravel driveway on the farm.

2. It goes away completely after one or two clicks and do not usually hear anything although I think I have noticed it again at medium speeds when one side of van dips down on these country roads.

3. Sometimes after initial start up when VAn is cold I will hear it when van shifts from 1st to 2nd. Not usually.

4. I always hear it most when I park on the farm. I park on an uneven gravel driveway, nose pointed slightly downhill. When I put shifter in park and take foot of the brake. It will roll forward slightly and that is when I hear the click the most.

Like I said, I want to blame the end links from what I have read but they don't seem bad unless I am testing them wrong.

Van runs and drives excellent, passed stringent NY safety inspection no problem. I have to take a trip NY to Tennessee the middle of August and would rather figure this out.

What am I missing here?

With much gratitude,
Luke
 

· Registered
2017 DGC SXT
Joined
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387 Posts
When CV axles click while turning it's usually the outer joint that is to blame. The inner joint can be tricky and difficult to diagnose. Since putting the van in park on a slight downhill and letting go of the brakes causes this noise to be repeatable, I'm thinking a CV axle might be to blame.

Eliminating the sway bar links from the equation is very simple. Simply remove both sway bar end links from the vehicle and go for a drive. Do not drive too fast or take corners fast since there is no sway bar and the vehicle may feel unstable.

I would also recommend that you check your motor and transmission mounts. A noise like yours could be a bad mount.

I have a similar issue with my van that's driving me crazy as well. I like to keep my cars perfect so every little issue gets to me. The front right of my van makes a single "knock" sound when first taking off or when braking at slow speeds. It also makes this noise over certain bumps but the noise was very repeatable over a specific speed bump. I don't hear the noise at highway speeds or bumps on the highway. The noise is intermittent so that's what makes it hard to diag. Every front end component has been changed within the last two years. Motor mounts are less than one year old.

Back to you, could you post a video of the noise? That will likely help with the diagnosis. You did a great job identifying patterns to help diagnose the issue. I'm thinking that parking on the downhill slope you were talking about is a good idea to use for the video.
 

· Registered
2001 T&C 3.8L Limited (2nd Owner)
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey guys,

This is driving me nuts trying to figure this out. I want to blame this on the new sway bar end links I installed last February 2022 with proper torque. They worked great. However, I just recently re-torqued end links thinking that would solve issue(I discovered they were way under torque after a susp. shop did springs/ stuts/rods in March.) I don't see how it could be them after inspecting them again. (See below)

**I had my dad shake the front corners of the van while I listened and saw, heard, felt, nothing from sway bar links. Today, I put front end on ramps crawled underneath and shook the sway bar as hard as I can where it connects to links. There is no play between bar and links at all. Nothing ? The sway bar has no indications of rubbing metal down the whole length and those inner bushings look great too.

Other things I have checked and ruled out:

1. No movement side/side or top/bottom with wheels off the ground. Or while turning steering wheel (Tie Rods, Bearings/hub, ball joint all good)

2. No cv issue I think. (No clicking while turning hard left or right forward or reverse or at highway speeds)
3. I inspected suspension cradle plate religiously looking for anything loose or rubbing. Everything great and the frame isolaters all in excellent condition and tight.

4. See no play/movement in new strut towers when I shake them with Van on jack stands.


Symptoms:

1. Clicking noise on initial start in both forward and reverse usually only on small inclines at like a stop light. Or "particularly" on our uneven gravel driveway on the farm.

2. It goes away completely after one or two clicks and do not usually hear anything although I think I have noticed it again at medium speeds when one side of van dips down on these country roads.

3. Sometimes after initial start up when VAn is cold I will hear it when van shifts from 1st to 2nd. Not usually.

4. I always hear it most when I park on the farm. I park on an uneven gravel driveway, nose pointed slightly downhill. When I put shifter in park and take foot of the brake. It will roll forward slightly and that is when I hear the click the most.

Like I said, I want to blame the end links from what I have read but they don't seem bad unless I am testing them wrong.

Van runs and drives excellent, passed stringent NY safety inspection no problem. I have to take a trip NY to Tennessee the middle of August and would rather figure this out.

What am I missing here?

With much gratitude,
Luke
When CV axles click while turning it's usually the outer joint that is to blame. The inner joint can be tricky and difficult to diagnose. Since putting the van in park on a slight downhill and letting go of the brakes causes this noise to be repeatable, I'm thinking a CV axle might be to blame.

Eliminating the sway bar links from the equation is very simple. Simply remove both sway bar end links from the vehicle and go for a drive. Do not drive too fast or take corners fast since there is no sway bar and the vehicle may feel unstable.

I would also recommend that you check your motor and transmission mounts. A noise like yours could be a bad mount.

I have a similar issue with my van that's driving me crazy as well. I like to keep my cars perfect so every little issue gets to me. The front right of my van makes a single "knock" sound when first taking off or when braking at slow speeds. It also makes this noise over certain bumps but the noise was very repeatable over a specific speed bump. I don't hear the noise at highway speeds or bumps on the highway. The noise is intermittent so that's what makes it hard to diag. Every front end component has been changed within the last two years. Motor mounts are less than one year old.

Back to you, could you post a video of the noise? That will likely help with the diagnosis. You did a great job identifying patterns to help diagnose the issue. I'm thinking that parking on the downhill slope you were talking about is a good idea to use for the video.
Thanks for responding. I really like the idea of removing the end links just to rule them out. The new end links I bought in Feb. on Amazon did not have grease fittings but neither did the originals. If I am going to take the end links off I might just order the MOOG end links with fittings anyway.

As far as inner CV joint you mentioned: I am not getting any kind of shaking or vibrations at medium or highway speeds either. Also, I tried to shake the axles any place I could grab while I had it on ramps tonight and there was nothing at all. This was a California van for 21 years so it is very clean underneath.

Motor Mounts: I had ruled them out because I don't get any symptoms of worn motor mounts that I am aware of. I have no vibrations at all just idling or at highway speeds. I didn't suspect they could be clicking but maybe I will look closer at them tomorrow.

Thanks again,
Luke
 
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