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Man. Mopar. Minivan.
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Discussion Starter #1
So, now that I've got sounds coming from both vans, I took this recording just now of the 2000 which as of a couple of days ago started to click fiercely when turning the wheel. I have a huge knot in my stomach because when this happened to me before on my '96, it meant a repair that was well over $1000 that involved the whole kitten'kaboodle of the power steering system being replaced... after it flat out failed on me.

http://web.mac.com/chrisjcarpenter/Site/Downloads_files/Steering Tick.mp3

I SINCERELY hope there is a way to fix this without having to pay $1000+ to have the entire system ripped out of the van and replaced like last time...

Thoughts?

Has anyone ever removed the whole thing and put it back in again? :jpshakehe
 

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On the 3rd Gen vans it's quite an easy job - apart from removing the PS Fluid lines where they enter the steering box.

This is what I posted after doing mine.

http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php?t=8178

I got a rack complete with steering box from a local breaker - £100 / $195.
 

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Man. Mopar. Minivan.
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm nervous about getting a rack from the junk yard as I won't know if the one I get is just as bad as the one I'm putting in. I say that only because I don't know what's physically wrong with mine to know what to look for.
 

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Advance Auto Parts lists a rebuilt rack (w/lifetime replacement warranty) for $200 + core. The OEM part lists (new, not rebuilt) at $500. I'm guessing that that's the difference.

Of course, this doesn't answer your original question....
 

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My rule on the wreaking yard is if it moves or is electric, don't buy it. I have wasted money on used parts only to have them fail and then you get to buy another on. Then you do the job twice. Sometimes a re-manufactured part is almost like a new part and I do those. Rebuilt is usually the cheapest parts which usually fail much sooner than a re-manufactured part.

There is no substitute for a new part.
 

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The yard I used has a 7 day return policy, plus the rack & box came from an 85,000 mile van which had been rear-ended so wasn't in the yard for mechanical failure.
 

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My rule on the wreaking yard is if it moves or is electric, don't buy it. I have wasted money on used parts only to have them fail and then you get to buy another on. Then you do the job twice. Sometimes a re-manufactured part is almost like a new part and I do those. Rebuilt is usually the cheapest parts which usually fail much sooner than a re-manufactured part.

There is no substitute for a new part.
In my opinion, you're not so much wasting money, but, wasting time. When I had to replace my abs valve assy., a used one (not rebuilt) was $300. Strip and save junk yard $10. Soooo, even if I bought 20 of them, and only 1 worked, I still saved $100. (For the record, the first one worked: Savings of $290:thumb: ). As for checking for a good/bad one at the wrecker, I would turn the wheel from stop to stop 2 or 3 times (might be difficult if it's already on the ground). If no noise or binding, then it's at least better than yours. Good luck.
 

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Man. Mopar. Minivan.
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Discussion Starter #8
So this is turning out to be a major issue with my van that has officially rendered the Town & Country inoperable. I've managed to avoid driving at all since last Sunday, but I've got to tell you, grocery shopping with a bike and backpack is interesting when the grocery store is 10 miles away haha.

I had some library materials to return today, waaay to much to be carried on my bike- so I started up the van and tried to move it out of my spot. I started to back out of the spot but the second I started to even slightly move the steering wheel the ticking started loud and clear as day, but now I can feel it in the steering column.

Before it would click occasionally when the steering wheel travelled the mid-range between both extremities, and would only really click when you go close to each end. But now it's ticking just as bad no matter where the wheel travels.

Someone told me that I might be able to save it, or at least let it limp along a bit more if I go up underneath and "Grease all the zerk fittings you can find." Does anyone have any details on this? I don't quite live in a situation that I can be completely without a car and be fine, however there is no way I can afford to have this serviced now what with the other recent repairs that had to be made to the van.

If anyone knows where to find these zerks/what to look far/what to do, any and all help would be appreciated! :cry:
 

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If it's clicking while the van is stationary/barely moving, i doubt greasing the zerks will fix it.

While it's most likely, are you positive it's the rack? Might be the pump... Get a helper so you can poke around and listen where the noise is coming from...

-Jim
 

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Man. Mopar. Minivan.
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Discussion Starter #10
Just throwing something out there...

I'm trying to remember this from when my father told me a long time ago, but is it unreasonable to suspect a problem with the "CV joints" from what I remember him telling me "Constant Velocity Joints" are the linkages that allow the wheels to operate at different heights and speeds when the car is turning, and it also connects the wheels to the transmission.

I've just been considering that given what these CV joints do, could it be these that are making the sound?

I ask because the ticking does not appear to be muffled at all when you're standing next to the van or have the windows down. The steering gear looks like it is an enclosed unit (obviously to prevent damage). And I would think, now that I'm thinking about it, if it were damaged in anyway, I would start getting un-even movement through the steering wheel and resistance in some parts, which I'm not. Also, if the sound were originating from inside the steering gear enclosure, the ticking would be slightly muffled and wouldn't be so clear.

However, the CV joints are just behind the wheels right?

In some ways I hope to god its the CV joints because I'm guessing getting new CV joints put on is much less expensive than ripping out the whole steering system and getting it replaced...

Thoughts?
 

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Man. Mopar. Minivan.
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Discussion Starter #12
The steering gear on my van is bad. However, it still functions and there has been absolutely NO effect in steering performance, except for the really awful ticking sound. Personally, I can't justify losing nearly $1000 on a part that hasn't technically caused any problems as of yet.

I know what everyone is going to say... "yes, but you KNOW that there is a problem, thus you're a fool for not taking care of it while you still can."

If this were a minor repair, and I had the means to take care of it now without having to pull a bank job, I would. But I can't afford to drop $1000 on a job that who knows might not be necessary for a long while. If I had a wife and kids who relied daily on the safety of that van, this would be an entirely different discussion. But as it stands, it's just me and I'm willing to take that risk.

After all, my 1996 ticked, granted not as loudly, for over two years before it finally tanked and had to have the steering gear replaced.
 

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If I had a wife and kids who relied daily on the safety of that van, this would be an entirely different discussion. But as it stands, it's just me and I'm willing to take that risk.
Let's say for the sake of argument that (worst case senerio) you lose your steering. And as a result you hit another car (possibly with a wife in kids within). The point being: If you don't fix it, and drive it anyway, it's not only you taking a risk, but everyone else on the road as well.

And don't let the junkyard alternative antimadate you. I've gone there lots of times and have had very little trouble with the parts I've received. The junk yard is not about cheaping out (everybody wants to buy new parts), it's about being able to repair your vehical and still affording groceries (Believe me, I've been there).

(I don't want to sound like your mother, but) If you're not going to fix it, then for safety's sake, take the bus!!!
 
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