2014 Dodge Grand Caravan - rear stabilizer bar?

Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
2,250
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
I drove a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan owned by relatives, and noticed some knocking/clunking on unpaved rural roads. The van has high miles for the year (318K km, or almost 200K miles) but a lot of that is probably highway miles. The owners bought it from a rural dealership with a lot of miles already on it, and live in the country themselves.

This is not the van with the bad clockspring, which I talked about in another thread.

Anyway, regarding the clunking, I thought immediately of the stabilizer-bar end links. The van was at our house for a few hours, and I crawled under to check out the rear first. I couldn't find a rear stabilizer bar. The van is FWD, not AWD, and has a solid rear axle with coil springs. There's a Panhard bar from the axle up to the body. The shocks are outside the coil springs.

This was just a quick look, and I hadn't run the van up on ramps, so I wonder if I'm missing something. Is it likely that a vehicle that new would not be equipped with a rear stabilizer bar? Rock Auto lists end links and bushings for the front stabilizer bar only. What am I missing here? Is it possible the Panhard bar takes the place of a rear stabilizer bar?

Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
13,646
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Yeah, lots of new(er) vehicles don't(or didn't) have rear stabilizer bars. For example, the 2015 Honda Civic LX in my signature doesn't have a rear stabilizer bar in this trim. We'd have to move up a trim line to get it. Nor did any Honda I've ever owned in its lower trim line.

So though it's rare, it is not completely uncommon. I've owned lots of modern cars that not only DID NOT have a rear stabilizer bar, they also DID NOT have rear disk brakes...Toyota Camrys were like that in most LE trim as were Corollas. Maybe Hyundai/KIA Elantra/Forte' in their lesser trim.
 
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Joined
Aug 3, 2017
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1,704
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MN
The solid rear axle negates the need for a stabilizer bar. It acts in the same fashion, linking two wheels together with opposing forces.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
13,646
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Right! However there are even some solid rear axle vehicles that do in fact have rear stabilizer bars. Or even rigid axle/rear differential like the 1980 FORMULA Firebird in my signature which does.
OOPS, sig isn't showing.
 
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Joined
Apr 16, 2015
Messages
9
Location
Metro Detroit
Check the rear brake pads for missing anti-rattle clips. Sounds just like what you are describing. Sometimes they fall off due to rusted retaining tabs and then the rear pads will rattle in the caliper bracket over bumps.

Quick test is to drag the brakes (two foot it) over some bumps. If the noise goes away, you know its from the pads rattling around.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
123
Location
Spokane, WA
If the shocks were replaced recently, they will rattle if you don't tighten the bolts enough. Also, look for the exhaust pipe or resonator sitting close to something else and rattling over bumps, the exhaust is so low on these it gets banged and bent pretty easily. Maybe grab and shake the tailpipe (when it's cold!) and see if you can replicate the clunk. Those would be my first thoughts to look for.
 
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