O/T The Misterious Clunk is solved.... - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
Way Outta Control
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O/T The Misterious Clunk is solved....

For the last four months I've had a real problem with a metallic clunk in the drivers side engine bay on my 91 Caravan. I though for a while it may have been the transmission self destructing. However, no problems ever ensued. I replaced the transmission mount and the clunk went away...

I was ecstatic, until I had to brake quickly, and the clunk came back. It's been driving me mad for a while. It came and went with acceleration and braking.

Then the daughter's 91 Caravan went down with brake problems... so she's driving mine. I get a call last night that she drove to where she's dog-sitting with
  • the battery light on,
  • it was over heating and
  • there was no power steering.

Yep, you all guessed it, the Caravan threw the serpentine belt.

This morning I replaced the belt and found the alternator was loose and the serpentine belt would have had a slight wobble. I suspect that was the reason it threw the belt.

Then my daughter said: "Dad, while I was looking at the car, before I called you, look what I found..." And she handed me a hammer! I asked her where she found the hammer. She pointed to above the Air filter assembly, in front of the driver's side shock tower. I don't remember laying it there, but I'm sure I did. I've been in and out of that engine bay several times and never noticed it. To be fair... it's a grease stained wooden handled hammer that kind of blends in with the rest of the engine bay.

She found the clunk... I drove it 45 miles today without a clunk... the silence was heavenly.

Moral of the story: Account for your tools, one way or the other.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 11:55 PM
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I have some friends that had a later model Caravan and every time they hit any puddles of water on the road, it would throw the serpentine belt. The dealerships couldn't get it fixed to where it wouldn't do that and couple of months ago it happened and they blew a head gasket....
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2007, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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There's a kit out that takes care of that belt problem on the third generation Caravans. It's made by Gates:

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2007, 11:37 AM
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Lol Leve!

I can't count how many times I am showing off the engine, and the person looking at it reaches in with the question "is this yours?"

A bit of additional advice; if you have a under hood toolbox, make sure it is secure before wheeling, as the sound of a dozen hand tools hitting the fan, is rather disturbing

1985 CJ7 T.H.O.R

"He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm."
-Psalm 40:2
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2007, 09:37 PM
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Another pair of unbiased eyes. Sometimes it is the most simplest things . Thank you for your sharing your hubbleness.

1985 CJ with a transplanted 94YJ 4.0L motor, T176 tranny, mainly stock otherwise. ><>
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 01:07 PM
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I'm sure I've left a tool box full of tools in vehicles down through the years, and I've found half a tool box full from other people too!

We had a new kid, fresh out of auto/diesel school, and his dad was a close friend, so I hired him...
Second day out he took a car for a test drive, and pulled in right after he pulled out...

I picked up 4 wrenches and a screwdriver out of the drive way and street, and as far as I know he lost tools during the entire test drive!

I just found a really nice pair of the those long 'Reach Back' pliers in my FSJ this spring during tune up.
Nice of the PO to leave me good tools!
When I find tools, they are usually the 'Made in China' types!
We need to get people loosing better tools!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 02:20 PM
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My dad's Suburban had a clunk every time we would stop and then everytime we accelerated. Guess what we just had worked on .... new exhaust. The idiot left his box end wrench in the exaust pipe. Maybe it was for that extra deep rummble we were looking for??
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 04:37 PM
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I had bought a new Ford truck back in 1978, and after a couple of months, everytime I went around a curve there would be a enormous jolt! As if something was wrong with the suspension?

So since it was still under warranty, I take it back to the dealer, they test drive it, and it does it with them too!

Well every mechanic there tries to figure it out???? Finally an older mechanic, looks at it, test drives it...then comes wheeling back in...throws open the hood, and..."the smaller than normal battery, that the factory put in a larger than normal battery box" was loose...and was sliding back and forth...creating this heavy clunk!

Once tightened down...all was fine!


'70 Jeepster "LONG MAY YOU RUN"
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"The world is a cruel place, for an honest man!"
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 05:16 PM
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I read once (probably Reader's Digest) about a guy who worked for his state highway department mowing, trimming, plowing snow and picking up trash. He had several complete sets of wrenches he'd picked up on the shoulder, and a big roll-around to keep them in, also found at the side of the road.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
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