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Old 05-10-2015, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default Annoying rattle

A 1995 Pleasure Way on a Dodge 3500 chassis. 200,000 Kms, runs very well and everything works. However, for years there's been a very annoying (to me) rattle. It seems to come from under the van. It happens on, e.g.., pavement cracks or rough streets/roads at speeds up to perhaps 50kmh. There's no rattle at higher speeds. Whenever I've taken it in for service, I describe the rattle and ask them to locate/fix the problem. No success. I've ensured it isn't obvious things like the grey/black tank dump valve rods.
I've just noticed that I can stop the rattle by putting my foot very lightly (maybe inch depression) on the brake pedal - not enough to engage the brakes, but the rattle stops.
Dropped by a local service statute repair shop and described the above. Mechanic went into long story about how braking impacts the vehicle suspension/stance and problem is probably worn front end suspension systems requiring a host of new bushings and other components.
Anyway, before going back to my neighbourhood Chrysler dealer, thought I would ask if anyone out there has any theories that might lead to a solution. I even wonder if, when the van is on the hoist and the wheels/suspension are "hanging", the problem is hidden. Thanks for any thoughts.

Les
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Annoying rattle

The type of rattle sound, and if you can tell about where it is coming from might help figure it out.

If it is a tinkling type noise, exhaust heat shields come to mind.

If it is a clattery rattle, it could be the brake pads in the calipers. Look for broken retaining clips and such if it has them. Most pad sets now come with an adhesive damper type compound to put on the back of the pads to quite them down.

You probably have rear drum brakes, so it could have broken spring, retainer, adjuster, etc. Parking brake parts also rattle sometimes.

Loose front wheel bearings can make various noises from thump to more rattle type sounds and are very influenced by light braking forces.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Annoying rattle

It could also be a rusted out heat shield on your front disk brakes, quite common actually.

Another possibility is your calipers need a shim and they are "bouncing" or shaking.
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Annoying rattle

It's definitely a clatter, rather than a tinkle. More embarrassing to me than anything as I enter a campground.
Many thanks for the suggestions. I'm contacting a new (to me) mechanic who seems to be the right kind of guy to look into this, and I'll pose your thoughts to him, and post the outcome, if successful
Les
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:54 AM   #5
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You were right on, Booster. Problem was lack of retainer clips allowing the brake pads to rattle. Never realized so much noise could be caused by that. Mechanic installed clips and glue to pads, and hammered to fit the calipers. I can still get a rattle on a rough enough road, but it is very much improved. He says it was a fairly common problem in my vintage Ram.
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