The FSM (Factory Service Manual) is what your after which can be found here > 2004 service and diagnostic manuals in PDF format
If you look behind the motor, you will see the rack and pinion secured near the upper firewall. The tie rods meet in the center and secure to the rack and pinion by one bolt per a side. The bushings at this location can be the cause of sloppy steering etc. So check them out when your digging.
As for the noise. I'm gonna guess it's a thump or thud that happens if the visualize the suspension reaching the top and bottom ends of vertical movement?
Jack up the car, remove each front tire, place a jack under the wheel assembly (ball joint, wheel hub) and jack it up (essentially compressing your strut). As you raise it, grab ahold of the sway-bar link which comes off the strut, and down to a curved bar that runs to the other side of the car (swaybar) and try and shake it around.
When you reach that sweet spot that releases the tension to that swaybar, you'll either have play (which is a loose bolt or failed joint) or no play at all.
Swaybar links are the main thing that goes on these cars, thankfully they are inexpensive and easy to fix in the driveway.
I suggest you have air or electric impact tools handy, as the bolts rust and can be an enormous bitch to remove. Plan be if hand and electric/air tools fail, pull out a grinder with a cutting wheel.