Hard to tell without more specific information. Does the noise occur when the van is moving straight ahead or turning? Is it more pronounced at any particular speed? Does it happen more when you're on a bumpy road or going over bumps?
If you're sure the ball joints are OK, the next thing to check is tie rod ends. Tie rods connect the steering rack to the wheels. They have an inner and an outer joint on both sides, and either can wear out. The inner end is integral with the rod.
Here's how to test: With the van sitting level on a smooth surface, grab the tire at the nine and three o'clock positions and push/pull back and forth. You may feel a small bit of give in the steering gear, but if you feel any looseness, have that tie rod or outer end replaced.
Saturday, June 21st, 2008 AT 10:47 PM