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Caravan/Voyager Suspension



  • wcskjbwcskjb Posts: 10
    My 96 GC with 130K rides OK in around-town driving, but at highway speeds the front right starts to shake like I'm driving over rumble strips. Lasts for about 5 seconds and stops.

  • gmac5gmac5 Posts: 1
    You can get rebuilt steering rack for under $200.00
  • I don't know if this information will help you, seeing as how u had this concern back in January, but .....did anyone bother to check to see if you had any excessive brake rotor runout? did they check your tie rods (outer and inner)? Did anyone check your rims to see if they were bent? How about too much runout in your front hubs? You mentioned you got new tires so I really doubt the problem is in your tires. You can however, have a bad rim. You say the vibration goes away the faster you go. This is because of centrifugal force. Newton's law. I'd have the entire suspension looked at...CLOSELY....and have the brake rotors measured for runout as well as the front hubs. Also, have the rear suspension looked at for a possible bent traction (panhard) bar. Good luck if you haven't had it fixed yet.
  • I caught your reply researching the same problem in my '03 GC SE. I have had vibration since putting new tires on this summer and just had rebalance for 2nd time and still have vibration. The vibration is noticable at about 40mph and then gets worse at 60mph. It is obviously not the tires and I do have a damaged rim. Mechanic said rim was not the problem and when I described it to him he thought it was something in front end. No. It is definetly in the rear and shakes pretty good. I have drums in the rear that need serviced. Could the drum brakes cause some kind of vibration? My kids will be disappointed if I can get it fixed because they won't be able to play the "uhhhhhhhhhhhh--h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h" game anymore. I can live without it. Thanks for any advice.
  • This is true for all front wheel drive cars:

    At this milage it is very likely the wheel bearing. A shop loves this because it turns out very costly UNLESS you do this: Replace the entire "spindle"* with one from a decent wrecking yard. It is a lot smarter than having a new bearing pressed into the old spindle.

    * The "spindle" is the big heavy steel piece the driveshaft passes thru... it also has the shock-strut bolted to the top of it... it also has the suspension bolted to the bottom of it... it also has the steering "tie-rod" bolted to the side of it... believe it or not: replacing it is no big deal... 1-2 hrs max.

    How to tell if yours is worn out? Raise the offending wheel like you are going to change the tire... grab the top of the tire and pull and push... is there any "play" at all?

    There shouldn't be. (maybe a tiny tiny bit) But a bad wheel bearing also makes noise when it is off the ground and is being spun anround w/ the transmission in neutral. A good one makes almost no sound.

    I do this all the time w/ vehicles w/ this amount of miles... and I always get another 10 years of use.

    Don't start replacing a lot of things just because the shop says: "we're in there anyway". When you need a new bearing, a used spindle is the way to go.

    They all wear out at about this many miles... it's normal.
  • It's over a year since you posted this question, but the problem is common, so information will help others.

    I just had this work done on my '01 GC. Cost of the sway bar links and bushings, done at a tire store, was about $235. That's a lot less than the dealer quoted you. :)

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yikes, $235 for swaybar bushings? Geez, I just replaced the bushings on our 2003 DGC ES with the blue NAPA bushings, which only cost $11. I crawled underneath, four bolts on one side, two on the other and the job was done. I cannot believe that your mechanic charged you over $200 for labor for such an easy job. :confuse:

    Best Regards,
  • I haven't fixed it yet. From what I remember, all the parts I need cost around $175 from the dealer. The clunking is not that bad right now, and has not gotten any worse since a year ago. Anybody know of better parts to replace them with, then what the dealer sales? ;)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, $175 for parts.

    The MSRP price for the OEM swaybar bushings is $4.95 per side, so $9.90. Okay, I guess that means that they did the swaybar end links as well (sometimes necessary, sometimes not), and they have an MSRP of $43.00 per side (for the OEM parts), so another $86.00. That brings our running total to $95.90, still a far cry from $175. I'm really trying to figure out what else they could have done to your van to bring the total up another $79.10.

    Any ideas?

    Best Regards,
  • I also just had the sway bar bushings replaced on my 2001 Dodge GC SE last week. I paid $100 - which included parts and labor. (Not from the dealer)
    Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season.
  • 727727 Posts: 9
    Hey :o)

    I'm new here. Just stumbled over this site. Looks good.
    I own a GV 3,3 -93 and have that annoying problem.Changed just about
    everything in my front suspension.. with no result. The one thing i didn't replace
    yet is the swaybar bushings. I'll try it, thanks. Maybe the cheapest spare ever
    can solve the problem.

    Best regards
    727 Denmark
  • 727727 Posts: 9
    At the risk of being a complete fool.. is stabilizer bar and swaybar the same thing??
    I'm trying to order new bushings to get rid of this problem.
    Everyone here mentions swaybar, and my Haynes manual doesn't use that term at all in the front suspension.It uses the expression: stabilizer bar. I'm confused.

    Hope someone is able to help ;o)

    Best regards, 727 Denmark
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,911
    Well, now I am at risk of being a complete fool, but since I am used to that, I will go out on a limb and say that yes, they are the same thing. At least, I have always interpreted them interchangeably.

    Although, I generally hear the term "stabilizer bar" used in conjunction with performance modifications wherein someone will install a strut tower stabilizer bar. Both those and the commonly used sway bars serve to reduce the body roll (and thus "stabilize") of the vehicle.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Probably the same thing. Where does the Haynes manual say the "stabilizer bar" is located?

    Best Regards,
  • 727727 Posts: 9
    Thank you very much :o)
    Hey, this place is cool.. ;o)

    Best regards. 727
  • 727727 Posts: 9
    Front suspension.
    A curved.. bar.. stretching from one wheel to the other.

    Thank you ;o)

    Best regards, 727
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yup, that's it. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • 727727 Posts: 9
    Thanks. you've been really helpful.

    Best regards
    727 ;)
  • Does anyone have a general idea how long it takes to change the sway bar bushing on a 2001 caravan?? It was done at a local shop 3 years ago, prior to me taking ownership..I believe it cost my sister about 150.00 to do it. I'm going to try it myself as I have the garage and tools to do it.. I believe it's ten or so bolts to the frame pan and then the sway bar bolts....

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm thinking that it took me less than an hour and a half to do both sides.

    Roll'er up on the ramps, crawl underneath, unbolt and move the servo unit under the left side swaybar bushing (three bolts IIRC), unbolt and remove both bushing covers, pull the old ones off, open up and slide the new ones on, replace the covers and the servo and you're done.

    Best Regards,
  • :) Sorry for the long read....I just finished replacing both of my sway bar links and the sway bar bushings. I have a 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager (3.0L) 181,000 miles. Driver-side link was broke. Popped out of ball joint. The link that was broken was difficult to replace because the fact it had become unattached from its ball joint. When I went to wrench off the bolts on the sway bar end, the torque flexed the sway bar. Had to jam a piece of wood in there to keep the sway bar from flexin. The passenger link was a little eaiser to remove, however, being it was the original link, I had to utilize a #40 torx head bit gripped with a vice grip, and a 18mm gear wrench. Not the best way to remove rusted bolts, but after a lot of cussing and elbow grease, both links were removed. The sway bar bushings were somewhat easy, however I first had to remove 9 - 11/32 bolts and one 18mm bolt....(whatever) that held on the cradle grate. Once removed, loosened the two bushing retainers and slipped off the old bushings, slipped on the new ones. (make sure to put them on the correct way) Then, making sure the sway bar is centered, I bolted on the new links, then tightned up the bushing retainers, reinstalled cradle grate. Done! Took me about 4 hours to finish. $130.00 in parts from the Dodge dealer, and about $300. in labor saved.
    Test drove and now the suspension and steering responce feel like new, not like navigating a boat.
    Note: PB Blaster is your friend, as well as leverage. ;)
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Ahhh yes, the joys of working on a car!

    Creepingdeath - you mentioned the tools and PB Blaster. How many beers were needed ;)
  • robbie19robbie19 Posts: 1
    So I come out of the house yesterday morning to a huge puddle under my van. My brother in law drives an hour to come look at it and it has a leak related to the power steering. He couldn't find it so we took it to a shop. Today they are telling me it might be a rack and pinion leak or something to do with the breather. Everything I have read states that it could be $700 - 900 just to fix it. I only paid 700 for it 1.5 yrs ago and already 200 in repairs. It has 249K on it. Is it even worth it to fix it? Should I fix it and then turn around and sell it? Any advice, feedback or ideas?

    I don't have a lot of money and will have to take a loan to fix it if its that much. However, without it I have no way to get around and I am a full time student at the university currently missing my second day of classes.
  • sattysatty Posts: 6
    I have a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan that has a slight front end vibration that cannot be found but is tearing through tires. HELP! I have replaced the struts, sway bar bushings and end links, tie rods and most recently the entire rack. The van has 122k on it and has been great up till now and it is just one thing after another with the front end. I recently took the van in as the front left (drivers) tire was wearing out very quickly and I had noticed a slight vibration in the front end. I was told the rack was bad causing the vibration and the tire wear problem. After spending $1300.00 on repairs and two front tires the vibration is still there and I am now wearing out the new left tire. Dodge cannot find the problem and says everything looks and appears to be in good condition and again has no answer for the vibration and tire wear. The alignment has been re-done 4 different times to no avail/ with solving the problem. The last dodge mechanic said there is a very slight vibration on the front drives side axel possibly causing the problem but again not sure. Of course they want another small fortune to tear into the van with no guarantee it will solve the problem. Please help
  • What kind of life should one expect from the sway bar and control arm bushings? 25K, 50K, 100K, for standard suburban roads and driving? My 05 GC has less then 40K and I replaced the sway bar links and bushings 2 years ago and now the control arm bushings are worn. Seems to me that someone needs to redesign a suspension, since I had a 92 GC that ran flawlessly to 150K before I had to do maintenance beyond oil changes and replacing mufflers, tires, and shocks. This 05 GC is not the 92!

    mct :mad:
  • I Have a 1998 Plymouth G.V. and it has developed a shake in the rear at about 60-70 MPH below that it is fine.We have replaced tires rims brake drums shocks and drums.We have even gone so far as removeing the rear brakes and drums and it is still the same.Disconnecting the rear shocks causes the symtoms to occur at a lower speed indicating to me the problem is definately in the rear.The last thing we did was replace rear wheel bearings, same thing. It will keep vibrating at 60mph with the trans in neutral and the engine idleing,I am at the end of my rope.Is it possible panhard bar bolts and bushings could be causeing this?
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