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1996 STS, 110,000 miles.

Most annoying, there's a clunk in the front end when I hit almost any kind of bump in the road. Had the suspension checked, and everything look pretty tight, they said the ball joints could be a little worn. Would that cause a bad clunk?

Windshield washer doesn't work anymore. I push the thingy on the turn signal stalk forward, and nothing. Any ideas?

Has anyone replaced the power window motor in the drivers door? Is it bolted or rivetted in? (This lets me know whether I can do it myself or not).

Does anyone know where to get the Bass, Treble, Fade, and Balance knobs for the stereo? They're all cracked.

I checked Ebay for a shifter for my car (it's leather) and I can't find a replacement. Would a newer one (wood) fit?

The HVAC fan speeds up and slows down sporadically. This just started happening, and it goes from hi to low very quickly, and the fan speed on the display doesn't change.

Other than that...so far so good with the car...:)
 

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I have a clunk like yours but no idea what it's from and no desire to find out since it still rides fine and no money to fix it anyway. Anyway rivets can be drilled out and replaced if you go to Harbor Freight and pick up a $10 pop riveter (or if you're lucky like I am, a friend will already have one.) The shifter and knobs might... just maybe be found in decent condition in a junkyard. There is a thread about wood shifters on older models, look for it and there may be some helpful info in there but I'm not sure.
 

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Regarding the window motor whether bolted or rivited sholdn't matter. If rivited drill them out and go buy a cheap pop riviter to reinstall or use bolts after the rivits are drilled. I would go with the riviter because bolts could get loose.
 

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Cars with front wheel drive and transverse mounted engines tend to wear out the engine mounts around 100k miles because of the torque of the engine in that position. This would cause a clunk at times. You might also feel it while accelerating. You can check this with a friend simply by having someone stand on the brakes, place the car in drive, give it a little gas, let off, place it in reverse and give it gas, let off. While they are doing this you watch for movement of the engine. If the mounts are good there will be only a small amount of movement. If the mounts are broken you will know.

Be very careful doing this procedure!
 

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The clunk you discribe is common and usually stabilizer bar bushings.

Last time I did a window motor it was riveted in. However the rivets where 1/4", bigger than the cheap 1/8" type you buy at most stores. Fortunately my neighbor was a Ford mechanic and brought home a big 1/4" riveter. In the absence of one you can just use a nut and bolt but be sure to use lock washers and Locktite so it does not work it's way loose. You don't want to have to go back in again if you don't have to.
 

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Front end: raise front end off the ground (tires), grab top and bottom of each tire - push/pull on tires, shaking back and forth. Wife's van had same symptoms - was ball joints. Also just had a reman engine installed at 175K - my front motor mount was fried - never had a clunk in the front end however.

aqb10
 

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Ranger said:
The clunk you discribe is common and usually stabilizer bar bushings.
You've reminded me of the time my Mustang busted one of the front sway bar links. That definitely caused a clunk when driving on uneven surfaces such as speed bumps or potholes. It was a relatively easy and inexpensive fix for me on the Stang, don't know if the Caddy is as easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Kev said:
Cars with front wheel drive and transverse mounted engines tend to wear out the engine mounts around 100k miles because of the torque of the engine in that position. This would cause a clunk at times. You might also feel it while accelerating. You can check this with a friend simply by having someone stand on the brakes, place the car in drive, give it a little gas, let off, place it in reverse and give it gas, let off. While they are doing this you watch for movement of the engine. If the mounts are good there will be only a small amount of movement. If the mounts are broken you will know.

Be very careful doing this procedure!
I've done that, it's not the mounts, at least it's not now that I've replaced the upper forward one.

Thanks for the insight though...
 

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aqb10 said:
Front end: raise front end off the ground (tires), grab top and bottom of each tire - push/pull on tires, shaking back and forth. Wife's van had same symptoms - was ball joints. Also just had a reman engine installed at 175K - my front motor mount was fried - never had a clunk in the front end however.

aqb10
Keep in mind that if you do this and the tire has play, it could also be bad bearings. Bad bearings would not cause a clunk though. They would cause a steady almost whistle sound while you're driving, if they produce a sound at all.



Most times the clunk sound would come from the stabilizer bar end links. Usually the bushings wearing out, but most caddies do not have rubber bushings on the front end links. They have ball joints with a lateral facing stud coming from the joint. If it had rubber bushings, it would clunk even if the bushings were good, so it doesn't. The ball joints in the end links are what go bad to cause the noise. My favorite way of checking the end links is with a rubber malet, you just whack the bottom end of it while the car is on the lift and if you hear any noise from it, it's bad. Keep in mind that if the wheels are turned, or if only one wheel is off the ground, there will be tension in the sway/stabilizer bar and you will be hard pressed to find anything wrong with them.

Another thing that would cause a clunk is the struts going bad.
 

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Krashed989 said:
Another thing that would cause a clunk is the struts going bad.
Yup, usually happens right about 100K miles. Our vehicles are famous for that.

Regards,
Warren

P.S. If that turns out to be the case, you might want to look into passive replacement struts. Check at Boston Suspension or Arnott Industries for struts that are hugely less expensive than the OEM struts.
 
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