'97 2500 4x4 front end goes -clunk-

My front end is making a clunking sound. It happens half a second before I come to a complete stop and happens again with a half second or so of taking off. The steering tends to wander a bit as it goes down the
highway.
The Dodge dealer went completely thru the front end and replaced some components. The handling was a little better. I went in and replaced all 4 shocks - the handling was a little better and the cluck has dimished slightly (maybe 10%).
Any ideas what could be causing this clunk? This is getting real old fast....
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Take a look at your track bar and your steering box.
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Max

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Also check your upper and lower control arms. These were loose on my 97 ram, and would only make noise when stopping and starting to move. You won't feel any movement by tugging on them with the vehicles weight on them. jack up the front end and try wiggling them.
wrote:

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A 2500 4x4 won't have control arms.
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Max

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wrote:

I don't understand, what is there holding the axle to the frame? Or are they called something else?
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Its a link suspension. When you say control arms, you are referring to the double A arm configuration. In the 4wd trucks, the axle is linked to the frame with four links and a track bar. Control arms literally control where the ball joint is located, while the links are fixed except for one bolt that should be set at the factory and need never be touched unless something well out of the ordinary happens. The particular reason for differentiating is because in the link suspension, the bolts are rarely touched, thus its very rare they are loose. They should be permanently set for the castor of the axle. In the 2wd, the bolts will be loosened in each alignment procedure.
Since the OP says they went over it, the most likely spot they didn't find is the track bar and the steering box. Neither will do anything too goofy when the truck is on a lift, since the track bar is under tension, and the steering box has no load. Also, a link bolt probably won't make much noise, since its always under compression load, but that depends on how the truck is driven, such as if it leaves the ground. The bushing on the other hand, might be a source of noise if its worn.
Just my take, having had several "clunks" end up in now the fourth GM built steering box being installed in my truck.
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Max

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wrote:

Thanks Max for clarifying that. The first thing I did today was to take a look in the dodge service manual, and sure enough they are called upper and lower suspension arms.
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I had a similar problem on my 2000 4x4. it was the intermediate steering column shaft. the shaft that telescopes in/out would pop/clunk during a start/stop when the body flexed. you could feel the pop in the steering wheel. was not hard to replace at all, and fixed the problem. part was around 200+ dollars, though.
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Had the same problem on my 2000, althought it didn't make much of a noise. It was more of a feeling in the steering wheel. If you replace this item, don't bother with the OEM stuff, go to Borgeson and get their replacement unit. Its about $50 more, but is a much better quality unit. The dealer installed an OEM under warranty, and I found the collar on the column end was loose and could not be tightened any further. Thus I still had a weird feeling in the steering. Put the Borgeson unit in, and haven't had any problems in that area since.
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yeah, I got a Borgeson too.

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On Wed, 02 Aug 2006 23:40:58 +0000, EDTHEWARD wrote:

The Borgeson website says:
"All BORGESON truck steering assemblies are easy to install with common hand tools. In 20-30 minutes your truck will be back on the road with vastly improved handling characteristics."
How difficult was it to replace this assembly? Anywhere to get details info?
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the steering intermediate shaft is 2 bolts, both pinch bolts, one at each end. the old shaft collapses on its self and the new slides in its place.
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http://dodgeram.info/tech/mods/borgeson/index.html
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