Strut Noise on 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan

I've had a clunking noise (that you can feel in the steering wheel) whenever you hit bumps pretty much all the time I've owned this van (50k-115k). It may be getting a bit worse lately (though not awful). Control and handling wise the van seems fine. Also, doing the old bounce test, the struts seem to be fine. Nevertheless when I asked my mechanic lately I think he said it was the strut bushings and the only way to fix that would be to replace the entire strut (both ot them). Sound true - or might there be an easier and cheaper option (vehicle has about 115k miles). Also, I should mention that I am getting new tires very soon.

by in New Palestine, IN on June 01, 2009
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4 answers 1 comment
ANSWER by , June 01, 2009
I do not work on many Caravans but I have replaced sway bar links on two in the last year that I initially thought could have been shock absorber related. I disconnected the sway bar links and tied them out of the way drove the the car over a few speed bumps, noise was gone. Could easily be the shock mounts but I would check the sway bar links. Hard to say without being able to hear the noise first hand.
ANSWER by , June 23, 2009
My 2002 Grand Caravan was doing the same thing. It was the sway bar link. It cost $27 at Advance Auto Parts and took about 45 minutes to replace. You must jack the front of the van in the center so that both front wheels drop to unload the sway bar. Piece of cake really.
COMMENT by , June 30, 2009
Replaced the sway bar bushings and links. That did it! Many thanks for the responses!!
ANSWER by , August 01, 2009
I have a 2002 Grand Cvan with 120,000 miles on it and have replaced the sway bar bushings several times for clunking noise when hitting bumps. Cost is around $100.00 including parts. My advice: do this first. I just had strut bushings/bearings/dampers etc. done for about $600.00, including an alignment. If you have struts replaced, have these parts replaced also. Good luck!
ANSWER by , May 23, 2013
If its a dodge its not the struts. its the steering column joints they have u joints in them and when it turns they rub and pop. not sure what the exact name of it is but ask a mechanic he can tell u. Trust me I had the same exact thing happen. Its common on the van and also on the dakota trucks. you may get lucky and it be the sway links but I didnt.