Front end noise

2001 Dodge Dakota,V-8,4-door with 138,000 miles. There is a pop/bumping noise that can be heard in the cab of the truck while turning. It is more pronounced when turning left, yet it does happen occasionally if making a right turn. I have had the front end checked twice for ball joint, steering linkage problems, shocks, etc. and have yet to find the source. Seems like this msyterious noise is hiding in the deep pits of the unknown.

Ideas, thoughts, solutions?

Have the CV joints and bearings checked.

Would the Dodge Dakota have CV joints? I thought this truck was a rear wheel drive. The bearings might be a place to look as well as the motor mounts.

Sometimes odd wear patterns can develop on a ball joint or tie rod end and a normal check for looseness may not apply. The joint may feel perfectly tight but will still be bad. There is no way of checking this short of separting the joint and working it by hand.

An example could be a tie rod end on one of my daughter’s Mitsubishis. The car ran well and drove straight with no problemns. However, during a sharp right turn a pop similar to a sledge hammer hitting an anvil would occur. The front suspension was completely tight but once separated the left front tie rod end had a very bad spot in it that could be easily felt. Tie rod end replaced and problem solved.

If the truck were mine I would try separating the outer tie rod ends from the steering knuckles first and work them by hand. They should be somewhat stiff but smooth in all directions. If you can feel the joint “catch” at any spot then that could be your problem. Hope that guessin’ helps.

Hard to check ball joints, have a pro. check em out. Sounds like ball joints.

If I remember, this vehicle had the guarantee for the ball joints extended up to 100K because of so many problems.

Two pro’s have checked the ball joints. One unbrideled the right side just to hand check and advised he could not detect a problem. I told him to replace the right side even though no obivious problem could be detected. Noise still present. I guess I will ask him to do the same for the left side just to do the process of elimation game. I just hate buying parts that do not fix the problem.
What say you?