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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 16444
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 14 years dealership experience
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2003 Chrysler Town and Country. Need the sway bar link repair

Resolved Question:

2003 Chrysler Town and Country. Need the sway bar link repair kit. How to repair the link step by step what needs to be done and what do I need as far as tools. In addition, here a clucking noise when the car is at idel. when rev the engine here the engine rev and the clunking noise as well well let go of the throttle you can here the clunking noise. The valves and rods on the engine are sound great and the car runs great, but that noise?????Could the clunking noise on top be associated with the suspension problem?????Thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.
Hi. Are you needing to replace the sway bar links, or the sway bar bushings?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Need to replace the sway bar links ( F stabilizer Control Links) both sides. Probably doesn't hurt to cut off the old bushings and place after market bushings that open up so you can install them with ease. In addition, the clunk noise ontop- could it me the intake gasket?


Thanks
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.

The sway bar bushings that mount the bar to the subframe are split from the factory, you don't have to cut them. There are revised bushings now from your dealer that have a wear sleeve on them. Too early to tell yet how long these will last-they've only been out for a few weeks. There are not any instructions in the book to replace the links. You'll know exaclty what to do when you get the wheels off. There is one nut at the top of the link to the strut, and one nut on the link at the bottom where it attaches to the sway bar.

 

graphic

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
about the noise and the rev noise..
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.
I'm sorry! There is a bit of normal upper engine noise in these that is normal. I think I'm talking about the same noise as you. Its there at idle, but when you bring the rpms up it gets louder. Its not in time like a lifter or rod, its kind of random, in the top end. If this is what you are talking about you've got nothing to worry about. If I'm completely out in left field, shoot me a little more description of your noise.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Please inform me of what is needed to repair the stablizer control link on the Town and Country--clunking noise and what bushings need to be replaced. In addition, how can you tell if the intake gasket is bad on the Town and Country--what to look for and what noise would it make. I know that the 3.3l have some normal engine noise, but I also hear a womp womp womb noise as well almost like taking a poker card and attaching it to to the back of your bike and as you pedal it flaps over your wheel spokes....

Thanks
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.

To remove the link you remove the 18mm nut from the strut end of the link, remove the 18mm nut from the sway bar end, and remove the link. To replace the sway bar bushings you remove the nuts holding the bar clamps, and remove the bushings. Here is a picture of them.

 

A leaking intake gasket will not make a noise. It will be a vacuum leak and cause the idle to be high, but the gasket is a steel shim, and does not leak. The noise you hear sounds like it may be the alternator. It may also make some noise when you shut the engine off as it spins down. You can remove the belt and run the engine for a minute to see if the noise stops. If it does, spin all the accesories by hand and feel/listen for anything out of the ordinary.

 

graphic

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Does the car have to be jacked in the air on both sides or can I go under the car while its resting on all 4 tires and remove the links and bushings? In addition, the van doesn't idle high-it just has the weired noise - and we thought it was from the intake gasket. The area where states 3.3l and you press it sound diminishes. In additions, on a side note....Does a 2003 Town and Country have to say LX on the back to be an LX. Paid for a vin check and the vin check doesn't say anything on the trim. Not sure if its the basic or the LX. It does have dual A/C and rear A/C---wood trim and cd/cassette. In addtion, power windows and doors, but nor power windows for the back window and its not fixed you have to open it yourself, nor rims.......and no center console on the floor...Missing a keyless Remote-wanting to buy one from ebay not sure how much a dealership will charge to program it though?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.

Yes, you will need to put the van on jack stands and pull the wheels to get to the links.

 

You are pushing on the top of the plenum to stop the noise? That is pretty strange. Some of the older vans had a plastic cover over the top of the plenum that said 3.3 on it, yhou may be able to remove this cover and look around. It doesn't sound like a noise that would hurt anything though.

 

If you buy a key fob an ebay make sure you get the right part number. the number is XXXXX the back of the fob, if you don't get the same number it can't be programmed to the van. A dealer normally will charge about $20 tpo program a new fob.

 

I can't say for sure on the LXI part, but I believe an LXI has the 3.8, and you can't get the 3.3. I'm not 100% on that though. I think you would also have power rear wing windows. You can take your vin number to your dealer and they will tell you exactly what you have.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I attempted today to install new sway links, however once I took off teh wheels the links looked sturdy and in good condition. Don't know why upon inspection did the auto shop say you will need to replace the F stabilizer control link on both sides when they look fine?????????Still here a clunk noise when driving over bumps but again the links appear fine---any clue????
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.
You can't visually see a problem with this style. At the top and the bottom there is a ball joint inside the round part behind the stud that the nut attaches to. These ball joints ride in a nylon cup, the cup is what wears out. When the cup wears out teh ball joint is free to move around before it contacts the nylon,, and it will clunk. The way to check these is with the van on the ground with the wheels on, and you put your hand around each joint one at a time while a helper bounces the front of the van up and down. You will feel the play in the joint when the van bounces if they are loose.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Your talking about the sway link that has a nut on each end.. I purchased two new sway links that come with new nuts. You want me to feel behind the first nut for play and also on the bottom nut for play around the nut. I looked at each nut and noticed behind each of them their were small bushings. is that correct? So, I take it I don't need the new sway links, but rather new cups?????? Please digress.... LOL by the way I snapped one of the stud bolts for the wheels today I'm driving the car with one wheel bolted with 4 lugs instead of 5 until I get a new stud and lug to fix what I broke---unbelievable
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.

The cups that the ball joints go into are part of the link itself. I enclosed a picture of the link, and drew arrows to the area where the joint is. Sorry if the picture is small, but you'll get the idea.

 

graphic

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I see so the link has the cups on it? So the new link has the cup.. I will check the new link and see what your talking about... correct...
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.
Yes, the links are all one piece, ready to install. I am quite sure that you do actually need them, they are not uncommon.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I attempted to pull on the links up and down while the car was resting on all four tires. The link/rod does have some play as well as where it attaches to the arms. I hear the noise that sounds like the clunking noise when doing so... I guess their bad????? Figure a 10 minutes on each side to remove and replace the link????? Or do I have to do something before hand...And are the two nuts---needing torque locking specs?

Thanks
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.
Yep, they are bad alright. Spray them down with penetrating oil before hand. Those are lock nuts to start with, and the threads are rusted. This will make them not fun to remove. Many times we just cut the nuts off instead of trying to fight them, you are going to replace the nuts anyway. If you've got compressed air and a cutoff wheel, don't even bother trying to take them off. When you put them back on it calls for 65 ft lbs of torque on the attaching nuts.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Should I go out and buy compressed air and a cut off wheel? The new sway links came with a nut on both sides--chrome plated.... Do I need to torque them up or make sure they are tightened as much as I can with a regular socket wrench... Can't locate my torque wrench...


Your are quick and I appreciate your help....Thanks A Million....
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 5 years ago.
If working on cars is something you do then an air compressor would probably pay off. It's going to cost a few hundred dollars to get something decent though, so that's a decision you'll have to make. It will make it a ton easier though. If you don't ahve a torque wrench, just get them pretty tight. 65 ft lbs is a bit looser than a lug nut would normally get torque on that, you'll figure it out. It just has to be tight enough-its not sensitive like a cylinder head.
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 16444
Experience: ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 14 years dealership experience
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