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Suspension 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Suspension Problems and Questions


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  #1  
Old 08-02-2012, 12:47 PM
shardy
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Default Metallic rattle from the front

Let me first assure you: I've searched the whole Internet about this trouble before comming to you here with my question. I've come up with so many possibilities (which I will enumerate) that I found that formulating my question to you as clearly as possible would be my best bet. So here it comes.

My truck has this rattle up front (drive side most suspected) that is heard only when i hit rapid bumps like gravel roads washboards or potholes. It sounds like loose pieces of metal clunking together. I can also sometimes reproduce the sound by coasting slowly and applying brakes sharply.

Now It took it to a mechanic and explained the whole thing. He changed a tie-rod that was loose but the truck still does it. Brought it back to him but his final words were : "we cant reproduce the trouble, the truck is fine".

Well I use this truck on gravel roads all the time and let me tell you: I can reproduce it, it's actually f*** annoying.

The truck has had all scheduled maintenances done, I treat it like a jem, although it's true, I make it work when out in the woods.

I'm not mecanically enclined at all. I do grasp the general concepts but I don't touch myself. And before I sink thousands of dollar trying to have someone search and find the nature of that trouble, I would like your advices. Here are a list of potential culprits:

1- Sway bar links
2- Ball joints
3- Caliper bolts
4- Hood stops (this I can check myself :-p )
5- Rack and pinion
6- Strut/strut mount

Feel free to post any specific question. Thanks
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:56 PM
roby1217 roby1217 is offline
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this might sound dumb and trivial, but could it be something in your tire? I only ask because when my wife got a chunk of metal in here tire I took it to get patched and started hearing and clinking shortly thereafter. I took it back and the guy said "oh yeah, I couldnt pull it out so I pushed it all the way through the tire" so I had that piece of metal clinking against her rim and was only heard at slow speeds and over bumps
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:27 PM
shardy
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Not dumb at all. But the 4 tires were changed since the trouble began and the sound is more like in open air.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:00 PM
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The sway bar links will definately make that sound and will be very hard to see/find. The best way is to simply disconnect them by undoing the nut on top and disconnecting the sway bar and then going for a short, low speed drive.

Worn out shocks can also cause this.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:58 PM
shardy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IN2H2O View Post
The sway bar links will definately make that sound and will be very hard to see/find. The best way is to simply disconnect them by undoing the nut on top and disconnecting the sway bar and then going for a short, low speed drive.

Worn out shocks can also cause this.
I heard it could be the link kit bushings, what do you think?
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:45 PM
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Shardy, Its actually amusing that you posted this thread because, I to have EXACTLY the same problem. I have also searched high and low across the information super highway. First let me say that, I have a 2008 single cab Ram SLT Sport, basically identical to your truck. The truck had a hellwig leveling kit in it which I did not like. So I removed the leveling kit and installed Billstein 5100 adjustable mainly due to the high praise the shocks got on this website. Once I got the truck back it rode like a Million dollars. Super crisp and response. Although after about a week, I heard this dreaded noise, exactly as you have described. (I can also hear it when going over rail road tracks slowly) So I brought the truck back to the shop that installed the Billsteins for me, and long story short they gave me back the truck, said that a bolt had backed off a bit and was a bit loose, that they tightened it and all is good in the world. So I picked it up and wouldn't you know it... it was perfect. I am super crisp and handled like a wet dream. Until about a week later... Then the noise slowly came back, as well as a loosening of the steering, and sloppy overall feel of the steering. So I got under the truck and couldn't really see anything a miss. So I drove to the mechanic and asked them very politely to show me the exact bolt/nut that they tightened. He pointed to the driver side Sway Bar Endlink. Blew my mind... Thats it! The sway bar end link?? Ok so today when I get home from work, I am buying a tube of Blue Loctite and I am going to paint that bolt. If this actually corrects the problem then perhaps new Swaybar end links are needed. Since your problem and my problem appear to be identical I would imagine, if this solves my problem it will solve your problem. I will up date on my situation later tonight. Good Luck.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:00 PM
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Thanks Ramsport, I will look forward to that.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:23 PM
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I try to mount a camera under there in different vantage points to try to get the audio/visual when it happens in motion.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:00 PM
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Well I have good news & I have bad news... (at least for me)
Good news is my metallic rattling sound can no longer be heard. I basically unbolted the driver side sway bar end link from the sway bar, and cleaned with a wire brush & WD-40 all the threads and metallic washer. I did this to ensure the BLUE loctite I was going to use would adhere nicely. Then I re-installed the end link back to the sway bar and added a generous helping of BLUE loctite to the threads on the shaft of the end link. I tighten the top nut down until I was satisfied it was tight. I let the loctite sit for about 15 min as per the instructions. Here is the bad news...
I then decided that while I here I may as well check the passenger side. I wanted to ensure the passenger side was equally tight. Well it must have been because I snapped the freaking the head right off the end link w/ only one pull of the wrench. Talk about pissed off... So I can not fully test out the remedy being that I only have 1 sway bar end link connected. But on the test ride afterwards even with the pass. side end link broke, I could not hear that metallic rattle. So I am almost certain a lose driver side Sway Bar end link is the culprit to annoying sound. I just ordered a brand new set of Moog replacement end links for both sides, which will be in later today. I will repost w/ pictures after the final out come.
Shardy if I were you I would get underneath with a 15mm deep socket and open box wrench of the same size, and make sure the top nut is nice and snug. But dont pull a Hulk like I did, or you may end up w/ a bigger headache. Good luck for now.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:10 AM
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OK, I can confidently say that I have corrected the metallic rattling sound issue coming from the front of the Ram. I would also guarantee anyone who is experiencing the same issue, can correct it with New Sway bar end links, or at a minimum a new bushing kit. I ended up snapping one of the stock sway bar end links, as you have probably read in the previous post. So I bought a new set of Moog (improved design) Sway bar end links. They cost $42 each @ my local A&A auto part store. I can say the Moog design is FAR superior over the stock design.
Shardy, if you are mechanically inclined I would def. recommend you purchase a set of these Moog (improved design) Sway bar end links part # K80894. They have Hex nut for ease of removal in the future as well as a grease fitting.


If you think that your end links are fine and only your bushings need to be replaced a bushing kit: RAYBESTOS Part # 5451021 only costs $12 bucks from Rockauto.com
Either way New links or a bushing kit, this will def. get rid of the rattle as well as bring back that crisp tight steering. I will most likely create a thread detailing changing a stock sway bar end link w/ photos and step by step instructions, if this could help others. Hope this helps you & anyone else with an annoying metallic rattle in their front end. If you or anyone else has a question feel free to message me.
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