1998 Dakota front end knocking???

Hi everyone, I own a 1998 Dakota Ex-cab w/ 3.9L engine, and it has about 100,000 miles on it. All fluids are topped up and clean. Now, I have experienced a loud knocking noise in my front end the last few days, but
it isn't continuous. At least once a day, the front end will make a loud knocking noise about 3-8 times under my feet, then stop. I took it to the mechanic (naturally it doesn't do it when he takes it out)and after a test drive and checking it out on the hoist, he has no idea. One thing I did notice tonight after it knocked while coming home, was that the pullies in the engine were squealing slightly after I parked it and left it running. Any ideas would be appreciated before someone decides to take me to the cleaners for repairs. Thanks.
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Stationary? Moving? Accel? Decel? Corners?
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Christopher A. Young
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Thanks for the reply. I find it only happens when the truck is moving. It happened once when I picked up my son from school, I was parked, started the truck moved up about 10 feet and it clunked twice. Then it didn't happen again until the next day. It may clunk a few times and then stop, and then not happen again until sometime the next day. Last night it clunked about 6 times, so I slowed down and it did it again another 3-4, so I put it in neutral and coasted as far as I could. When I put it back into drive, I made it home with no more noise except when I parked it, I popped the hood and noticed the squealing noise coming from the pullies in the front of the motor. I'm just praying it's not in the transmission. Wouldn't it be a more consistent noise if a gear was damaged? Other than that, it shifts and runs just fine. Sorry for the long post, but I have no clue. Thanks again Stormin Mormon.
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Y'welcome for the reply. It's hard to diagnose, without being in the truck. to hear if it's far front, left, right, etc.
The options that come to mind are wheel berrings, ball joints, steering linkages, idler arm, Pitman arm, and other front end allignment parts. Or universal joints. The clue is low speed -- if it were transmission, I'd expect the problem at highway speeds.
Well, if it gets worse, the mechanic will be able to find it.... I know, not encouraging.
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