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As much as I hate to revive this thread I'm going to anyway. Last I was here I had replaced bushings with a couple different models and only after I WD40ed them did the noise quit. Sure enough the noise is coming back now two months later.

The one part I have not replaced is the bracket that holds the bushing in place. Someone on Youtube mentioned they thought these wear out till as the bar and bushing work it causes the top part that inserts in the slot to twist and rattle in its groove. Does this make any sense to anyone?

About done messing around. I can replace the whole stinking sway bar, bushings, brackets and bolts for $90 and am considering that. But before I have to take the sub cradle off again I thought I'd give this bracket thing a shot. Again, has anyone traced this noise down to the bracket?

I also ran a test to see if it was really the sway bar that was causing the problem after the rattle came back. I unbolted the bar end of the link on the driver side and wired it up out of the way so then there were no significant forces acting on the bar. i drove it around for a few days and sure enough never made a sound. Put it back on and there was again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #163 ·
I also ran a test to see if it was really the sway bar that was causing the problem after the rattle came back. I unbolted the bar end of the link on the driver side and wired it up out of the way so then there were no significant forces acting on the bar. i drove it around for a few days and sure enough never made a sound. Put it back on and there was again.
Don't have an answer, but I was thinking about running the same test. That said, I haven't done anything on my van since about November, because I just haven't felt like crawling around in my garage.


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I doubt the bracket contributes to noise. When mine gets noisy I just replace the bushings and the noise is gone. Have replaced them several times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #165 ·
Ok, I give up. Finally did the bushings again, this time the nice ones with a collar and new brackets and the clunk is still there. Paid extra attention to how the bushings and bar were sitting and made sure everything lined up correctly and is torqued to spec.

As I have been for years now, I'm just going to live with it.

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Did you ever check/re-torque the strut rud nut in the center "hole" of the upper strut tower mounts? Though I'd think any noise from this would be higher up than the footwell, but sometimes noise location is hard to nail down.

This same strut rod mounting location should also be checked for rust... believe some folks have had that mounting point totally rust out and set the strut rod free.

Hmmm... with a quick gander back through this thread, I see you noted the struts are new, so rust shouldn't be the issue...

Only other things that make sense in that area would be the sub-frame bushings, which I see you did mention at one point. Did you get a good look at both sets of sub-frame/cradle bushings on each side? There's one to the rear of each wheel well on each side and one at the top of the cradle behind the strut on each side. It was the rectangular one at the top of the wheel well that seemed to collapse/crush/fail oddly on my 2005 T&C...

How's the condition of your engine mounts, particularly at the rear and on the passenger side? My apologies if engine mounts were already covered and I missed it... this thread has grown quite long and I only did a skim review!
 

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We have both been fighting this for a year now. My last "fix" has lasted 6 months. I put new bushings in and liberally swabbed them inside and out and the swar bar too with a good heavy duty silicone grease. Put it together and it still made noise. But stay with me here. I noticed if I rocked the car it would clunk. I had the wife rock it while I got underneath and plainly saw that the strut links were not tight and moving in their hole. Tightened them up and have not had further problems. Note that I am convinced this was both the silicon grease and the loose links as I have done it with new non-greased bushings and properly tightened links and it still clunked.

In short, make sure the links are VERY tight and try gooping up the bushing with grease. Ya ya, I know, the bushings in theory are supposed to grip but I've tried that for months and a half dozen tries and replacement parts and this is the only time it's worked.
 

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We have both been fighting this for a year now. My last "fix" has lasted 6 months. I put new bushings in and liberally swabbed them inside and out and the swar bar too with a good heavy duty silicone grease. Put it together and it still made noise. But stay with me here. I noticed if I rocked the car it would clunk. I had the wife rock it while I got underneath and plainly saw that the strut links were not tight and moving in their hole. Tightened them up and have not had further problems. Note that I am convinced this was both the silicon grease and the loose links as I have done it with new non-greased bushings and properly tightened links and it still clunked.

In short, make sure the links are VERY tight and try gooping up the bushing with grease. Ya ya, I know, the bushings in theory are supposed to grip but I've tried that for months and a half dozen tries and replacement parts and this is the only time it's worked.
The bushings are supposed to grip the bar but, being poorly designed, they can't maintain the grip. There's the articulation of the links coming into play also, since they are connected to a rotating strut, versus the frame.
Surprised someone hasn't drilled a hole in the bracket and tapped in a zerk, with a hole drilled through the bushing.
 

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2008 Chrysler Town & Country Limited 4.0
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I replaced the sway bar bushings on my '87 Camaro years ago with Energy Suspension poly bushings, and they came with a zerk fitting that went through the bushing IIRC. Since the Camaro had a ton of zerks in the front suspension and steering (old-fashioned recirculating ball type), I'd hit them with some grease about once or twice a year. Never heard a peep out of them. Neither our '09 GC or our current '08 T&C makes this noise either.
 

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I noticed the 5th gen vans use a sway bar bracket with TWO bolts holding it to the cradle, instead of a slot and tab. Might be a good way to fix the noise; get 5th gen brackets and drill holes in the cradle, and nut/bolt the brackets in with new bushings. That oughtta grip the bar better!
 

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My 2cents on sway bar bushings for any vehicle.

Rough-up the rubber surface that contacts the bar, then spray some 3M 77 (spray rubber cement) on the roughed-up area and work it in. Wait for it to dry a bit then apply a generous amount of graphite to the rubber cement and work it in. The end result is the bar is tightly held yet allowed to smoothly rotate. The treatment used in California for me lasts a few years.
 

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On my van the holes in the sway bar are worn out and the holes are too big for the sway bar link studs to fit snugly. The slop causes a noise. I solved it by using torque nuts. The torque nuts look like small lug nuts and the cone shape grips the bar tightly and eliminates the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #173 ·
I'm going to try again today by simply loosening everything back up, hitting it with some lube and then tightening everything (including links). If that doesn't do it, I'll just chalk it up to poor design and call it a day.

I can live with the problem, I just want to solve it because my wife keeps telling me she thinks the front end is going to fall off...


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Many solutions for the poorly designed, single bolt bracket, system have come and gone:
  • rubber bushings
  • thermoplastic bushings (Blue MOOG is still available?)
  • hard polyurethane bushings with special lubricant. They haven't become popular, maybe because of harshness, More on polyurethane bushings:
- rubber bushings with an abrasive fabric bonded to the inner face (no longer available) somewhat similar to this MOOG product
Sway Bar Bushings with Synthetic Fabric Liner
MOOG Problem Solver sway bar bushings feature an innovative synthetic fabric lining paired with a high-quality natural rubber material for quiet operation. Less prone to splitting, discoloring or cracking, these bushings eliminate the need for lubrication and maintenance.
I believe the sway bar bushings for the 5th Generation may have this plus they have a proper 2 bolt bracket.
  • bushings with a nylon? sleeve (current Mopar and MOOG solution)
  • bushings with a nylon? sleeve with a white pasty material between the sleeve and the rubber (Mopar for a short time period)

This "liner" material sounds interesting:

Maybe just get some of the lubricant used for polyurethane bushings and try that.

Just think, we have sent humans to the moon. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #176 ·
Ok, so I've taken the bushings apart and lubed with fluid film and there is absolutely no change in the noise. Still clunking away over bumps and on take off (kind of makes me wonder if that's a motor mount) and the chirping/squeaking noise is been making is just as pronounced.

For now, I'm just going to turn the music up and pretend it's solved. I'm feeling all done giving my time to this damn noise, especially if it's a flaw in the design itself. Maybe I'll feel motivated to try and address it again in the future, but given that it's not dire and isn't going to cause me to be stranded, I gotta let it go.

Thanks for the help and insight to everyone in this thread.

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Discussion Starter · #177 ·
To get away from their clunking minivans??? :rolleyes: Can't hear it from there...
Thankfully, Chrysler accountants didn't design the rockets.

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Ok, so I've taken the bushings apart and lubed with fluid film and there is absolutely no change in the noise. Still clunking away over bumps and on take off (kind of makes me wonder if that's a motor mount) and the chirping/squeaking noise is been making is just as pronounced.
Maybe a nut has backed off on a sway bar link. It happens, fairly often, makes an awful racket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #179 ·
Maybe a nut has backed off on a sway bar link. It happens, fairly often, makes an awful racket.
Accidentally left that out, but don't think so there, sadly. I checked the torque on the end links and it's what it should be. I'll check again next I have the wheels off, as I may as well just to be certain.

But it did this prior to new end links as well.

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