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Stuck with a 3rd Gen
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The "Da, Da, Da, Da" noise at the front of my 99 TC Limited's suspension has gotten frighteningly loud in the recent days! In fact, I could even slightly feel the vibration when my foot is on the gas or brake pedal! It seems that the noise and the vibration come from the driver side lower control arm. I'm guessing either the rear bushing on the arm or the ball joint has fallen apart completely. Will jack up the van this weekend and inspect carefully.

In the meantime, I need some recommendation on a good brand of front control arms for my van.

Criteria:

1. Fitment. Don't wanna any nightmares of the holes don't line up.

2. Durability. Hope they will last some time.

Here is the link to the available brands at RockAuto:


File away your recommendations, per your experience as well as the two criteria listed above!

PS: the local parts stores ask too much for these arms. I have to go the RockAuto route.

TIA!
 

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wtz_ftw have a 1998, replaced my passenger side with the MOOG from rock auto, has been working fine for 3 years now "MOOG RK80634 this should be the part number for the drivers side", you will have to remove a few parts under the van, and don't forget to remove the locking pin from the ball joint, i found out the hard way
 

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Stuck with a 3rd Gen
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472 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
wtz_ftw have a 1998, replaced my passenger side with the MOOG from rock auto, has been working fine for 3 years now "MOOG RK80634 this should be the part number for the drivers side", you will have to remove a few parts under the van, and don't forget to remove the locking pin from the ball joint, i found out the hard way
I'm thinking of replacing both control arms. They go in pairs. I did notice the Moog control arm in the RockAuto lineup of brands, but it is in the "Economy" category, which, of course, gave me second thoughts.

Are they reliable?

I'd prefer something in the "Daily Driver" category. :)

What do you mean by the "locking pin" from the ball joint? The clamping bolt and nut? Of course, they need to be removed for the ball joint to become free!

I'm not a professional mechanic, but that much I know! :)

Don't mean to sound testy. Sorry. :)

Thanks for the input!

PS: I have two tools to separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle:

1. HF 3/4" ball joint separator


2. HF ball joint separating fork

 

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3rd Gen Plebeian
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233 Posts
That's half the parts you need to go ahead and swap the 4th gen front end. There are some 4th gen struts on sale for as low as $9, the only other thing you need to buy are 4th gen outer tie-rods. Then you build the 4th gen strut with your 3rd gen mount and spring.
You need some 4th gen knuckles out of the junkyard, the caliper, rotor and pads. You can use the 3rd gen hubs, just need the longer bolts holding the 4thgen spindle to the hub.


I bought the Mevotech Supreme control arms, the Moog Problem Solvers look on par. There are probably only 2 or 3 manufacturers of them anyways. All the "Brands" you see on RockAuto are other companies just repackaging the same manufacturers.
 

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Stuck with a 3rd Gen
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472 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The control arms might be half the parts needed for the 4th gen front suspension swap, but not half the price, Edy! :)

I did some curiosity shopping at RockAuto. With every part new, it comes to about $800 with tax and shipping!

And that is ONLY for the front!

I don't have that kind of dough, first of all. :) And even if I do, I should spend it wisely, like, saving it towards the purchase of another, better vehicle. :)

The van's two pass side doors are badly busted. And there is a little oil leak at the timing cover and a little coolant leak at one of the freeze plugs facing the tranny.

With the price of the 4th gen front suspension swap so expensive, I think I have to keep the van as it is, until one day it cannot drive any more, and I switch to another vehicle. :)

Are the 4th and 5th gens better than the 3rd?

I could also consider other manufactures as well--Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, for instance.

OMG, is it allowed to mention Toyota and Honda at this forum!? :)

I bought a pair of Moog front control arms, btw.

This weekend, I will jack up the van to have a serious look-see at the front end suspension. Hope I can find the source of the "Da, Da, Da" noise!

Thanks very much for the input, Edy!
 

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3rd Gen Plebeian
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I probably spent $300 on the swap, and I needed the control arms, brakes, and tie-rods anyways.
 

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I have used Mevotech with out issues, take the part #'s and check out the parts on Amz/bay, might find some savings.
 

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Stuck with a 3rd Gen
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472 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I jacked up the van today and had a careful look at the front end suspension. I found a significant gap between the front sway bar bushing and the front sway bar at the pass side. See pic.

I think this might be the source of the "Da, Da, Da" noise. At about 30 to 40 mph on the street, the noise is especially audible when there are retaining walls or obstacles on one or both sides of the street. As I said, I could even feel the slight vibration at the gas or brake pedal.

The only funny thing is that the noise seems to come from the driver front, whereas that gap is located on the pass side!

There is NO gap between the bushing and the front sway bar at the driver side.

The seals for both balljoints are aged, and one side even has slight cracking. I'll swap in the front sway bar bushings first to see if the noise goes away. Afterwards, I'll decide whether I want to swap in the pair of Moog control arms.

Thanks for the inputs, everyone!

 

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3rd Gen Plebeian
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The sway bar bushings will only make noise if the suspension is articulating, and probably only when the rubber is completely gone. You'd hear banging when you hit a bump.

If the noise happens rhythmically, all the time, you likely have a poorly balanced wheel or tire defect.
 

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my van has sway bar issues

it makes a distinct "klunk" noise when going over bumps that can be felt in the steering wheel and floor panels

it especially makes the noise on things like potholes, where the suspension has to recoil

i'm not sure a sway bar issue sounds like what you're describing
 

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Stuck with a 3rd Gen
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472 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The sway bar bushings will only make noise if the suspension is articulating, and probably only when the rubber is completely gone. You'd hear banging when you hit a bump.

If the noise happens rhythmically, all the time, you likely have a poorly balanced wheel or tire defect.
That's a good thought! I'm going to change the driver front tire to the rear to see if the noise goes away. :)

Could a bad balljoint make that constant, rhythmic Da Da sound?

The van does make some sound when going over a bump, but isnt' that normal? :)

I'll also need to check the front suspension again. Jack up one corner of the front at a time, then yank at the wheel.

Today, I jacked up the entire front. When I proceeded to yank at the two tires, there was clear movement of both tires due to the free spinning of the axles, when the entire front was jacked up.

I even applied the E brake. There was still movement of the axles.
 

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Stuck with a 3rd Gen
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472 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
my van has sway bar issues

it makes a distinct "klunk" noise when going over bumps that can be felt in the steering wheel and floor panels

it especially makes the noise on things like potholes, where the suspension has to recoil

i'm not sure a sway bar issue sounds like what you're describing
Could a bad balljoint cause that constant, rhythmic Da Da sound?

I'm going to switch the driver front wheel to the rear to see if the noise goes away.

If it does, then Edy is right about a poorly balanced tire or defective tire.

Thanks for the input!
 

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Stuck with a 3rd Gen
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The noise at the front end is driving me nuts! While doing research, I stumbled on this YouTube video. It almost completely summarizes my experience!

Please make sure you turn the volume of the video to the MAX to hear distinctly what the sound is like!

If you don't, then you won't hear the sound!



In the beginning of the video, it's the "wo, wo, wo" sound. It happens per revolution of the wheel, and it is when you go straight on the road. When the driver started to turn left, the noise became louder and turned into "Da, da, da." He had a bad right side hub bearing, in other words.

In my case, it's when I start to turn right, even slightly right, like, when the road curves slightly to the right. I've got a bad left side(driver side) bearing!

The noise at the driver front also makes it obvious, too.

Now I'm deciding whether to buy a new hub bearing or to pick up one from the junkyard.

Or can my van get to the yard? :)

The noise is really loud especially when I make a right turn!
 

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3rd Gen Plebeian
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They were on sale for $20 on RockAuto last month. I still suggest rotating the tires to see if the vibration moves to the back. A tire that isn't beaded straight, has a lump, or had a flat spot would become more pronounced in a turn as weight is transfered onto it or off of it.
 

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Stuck with a 3rd Gen
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Discussion Starter #15
They were on sale for $20 on RockAuto last month. I still suggest rotating the tires to see if the vibration moves to the back. A tire that isn't beaded straight, has a lump, or had a flat spot would become more pronounced in a turn as weight is transfered onto it or off of it.
Just ordered one Power Stop bearing hub assembly (513123) from Rock Auto. $24.89. With tax and shipping, it comes to $33.55.

It's an "Economy" model. Was going for Timken, but too expensive. Comes to $60 with tax and shipping.

Will rotate tires tomorrow or the coming days, just to rule out an imbalanced wheel, as you say!

You sure know your stuff, Edy! Your critiquing of my diagnosis is almost spot on! Very impressed! (y)
 

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3rd Gen Plebeian
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I'm a mechanic. I've also wasted an embarrassing amount of my life reading the 3rd Gen Service Manual.o_O
 

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The "Da, Da, Da, Da" noise at the front of my 99 TC Limited's suspension has gotten frighteningly loud in the recent days!


I'm having the service station put on $ 600 dollars worth of MOOG on my 2005 T&C

Struts
Lower Control Arms
Inner / Outer Tire Rod Ends
Stabilizer Bar Link Kit
 

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3rd Gen Plebeian
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233 Posts
Don't forget about the sway bar bushings on the front too, they're cheap and easy to install but fail on a lot of vans.
 
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