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Old 04-05-2017, 03:38 PM   #11
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That is interesting. I can't speak for a Chrysler product with coil springs, but on the the torsion bar rear drive cars, you had to unwind the torsion bar and remove the lower control arm from the frame to be able to get the strut rod in and out because it was shouldered on both ends. You could usually get away with leaving the ball joint attached. If the same is true for the spring vehicles, you will need to remove the spring, I think. At least it would give you an chance to replace the isolator.
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:20 PM   #12
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Hi Booster,

I have been through the service manual very carefully several times. for the coil sprung vehicles (at least this one) it doesn't look like I need to remove the ball joint, control arm or spring.

When I get home I'll see if I can post the proc. It's pretty straightforward according to the manual.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:24 AM   #13
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I have to replace my strut rod bushings this weekend. Any chance someone might go out to their RT Dodge and take a pic or confirm/deny the orientation of the strut rod bushing retainers? They run from the control arms to just under the feet of the driver and passenger.

Some say the cup side goes IN against the bushing, others say the cup side goes out, AWAY from the rubber bushing.

Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:49 AM   #14
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Dodge Ram manual (up to 2003) shows the cup side goes next to the bushing. The drawing in the manual shows the bushing as having curved surfaces which should fit into the cup of the the retainer.

You should be able to see how the original parts are orientated when you disassemble them.

Good luck with the install.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:36 PM   #15
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Joe, Thanks for the help. Interesting. I've got the Mopar factory manuals (2002 AND 2003) and I can't see anything in the picture about orientation. It's just like a "stick" drawing". But thank you very much for the reply.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:01 PM   #16
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I have the Haynes manual.
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:55 PM   #17
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​UPDATE:

I got the Prosteer bushings from Pepboys. While the picture SHOWS a metal sleeve,there was none in the package. It came with 4 rubber bushings, two dished washers and two flat washers.

Lift wheel off ground by frame, not control arm. Disconnect sway bar link, remove strut rod nut, Remove 2 strut rod bolts and jounce bumper. Nothing is under tension or compression. Very easy procedure.

I made the attempt at installation. Very straight-forward procedure​. While they "physically" fit, I noticed they were significantly smaller than the ones currently on the vehicle. Between that and the fact there was no metal sleeve, I decided to abort, put the originals back in (they were very worn and tattered) and order the OEM ones from Mopar. ($70).

The Mopar ones ALSO did not have the sleeve in the kit. I had to buy two kits (one for each side). Nor did they have the washers. Just two rubber bushings.
There was a note in each kit that said they were redesigned with a metal sleeve. It was at this point that I realized the metal sleeve is INCORPORATED into the front bushing. I can clearly see it.

The Mopar ones were much larger than the Prosteer ones. I notice that when ordering these from Pep Boys, the listing is the same for the 1500, 2500 and 3500. There's no place to specify the heavier duty front end (4500 LBS I think on this vehicle).

Mopar shows a separate number for the 3500 maxi than the others. I think this may be the difference is size.

Anyway, I installed them yesterday. While I had the wheels off, I squirted a little oil in the lower control arm spring pockets in case the metal on metal was making the noise. Upon test ride, it handled a bit better, less steering wander, but it seems the clunk noise was still there. Maybe not as load or as often, but still there.

Hope this helps some one.

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Old 04-12-2017, 03:36 PM   #18
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Thanks for the update. Good info.
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:45 PM   #19
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My 1999 Great West High Top (RAM 3500) also exhibited a loud front end “clunk” when turning tightly at low speeds over uneven terrain (i.e. turning into a driveway). It seems pretty common, if I’m not mistaken there is a TSB floating around for the issue on the late (98-03) Ram vans.

Mine needed an alignment, so I took it to a local front end specialist shop, and told them to go over the whole front end. I suspected I might have had a worn steering box considering the van has had a steering damper since new and it has 87K miles on it, I felt the whole steering felt just a little looser then I thought it should.

Notably when you’re having an alignment done, make sure you take your van to the shop in its “traveling configuration”. I.e Water tank full, gear on board etc.

They found only the upper balls joints had an issue; With those replaced and a good alignment, it handles better, steering is a tad tighter, and the corner clunk is entirely gone.

Upper balls joints might be worth checking…
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