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Suspension 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Suspension Problems and Questions


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  #1  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:20 AM
jbeanes jbeanes is offline
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Angry Bad vibes in '02 1500 4WD

My truck started with a bad vibration after about 115K miles. At first it felt like a rim that may be out of round, or a really bad tire out of balance, slipped belt, etc. I had everything rotated and balanced several times trying to find the problem. I even replaced the tires with 4 new. The vibration never moved or changed magnitude through this entire process. I had the drive shaft checked and it's fine. Somewhere along the line we replaced the ball joints just because it was time - they were not considered a suspect. Also, the front end has been aligned several times over the course of the "investigation".

Here's what's been done that I can recall:

1) rotating and balancing tires mulitple times
vibration did not decrease or move to another place

2)Had rims checked for out of round - all SAT
3)Had main drive shaft removed for TIR and balance check. All was sat.
4) Front end aligned
5) Ball joints replaced

The vibration is still there and is getting worse. Sometimes it feels like the vibe gets going and hits a frequency that is a "worst case" resonance and I feel like I need to pull off the interstate. I've read that I should remove the front drive shaft and test drive the truck....in case the FDS is bent or out of balance. The truck used to ride like a dream, now I almost hate to climb in it.
Any suggestions?
JB in NC

Last edited by jbeanes; 04-15-2010 at 11:22 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:23 AM
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You can try removing the front shaft. I don't see any mention of the track bar and these are known to wear out over time. Also, what sort of shape is the steering damper in?
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:34 AM
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I'm not sure about the steering damper but one more puzzling thing is that the vibration is not directly detected at the steeting wheel. There is no movement whatsoever in the steering wheel even when I let go of it. I don't know what to say about track bars as I dont' know what they are. More info on them would be appreciated.
Also if the moderator would please move this thread to the "Mechanical Problems" forum I would appreciate it. I inadvertently posted in this forum by mistake.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:05 PM
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The track bar is the long bar that runs from the frame to the front axle. The ends are prone to wearing out on them. The easiest way to check them out is to have a helper turn the steering wheel back and forth while you observe the ends for movement. Any chance you have a bad wheel bearing or and radial/lateral runout in the hubs?
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:47 PM
jbeanes jbeanes is offline
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I don't think I have a track bar issue, but the TIR you're talking about on the hub(s) is where my suspicion lies. Wheel bearings would've been long gone by now as I've been driving it like this for 20K miles. I'll check the track bar just the same.
Thanks for the input,
JB iin NC
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:06 PM
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Moved the thread as requested.

So the bounce is in the front end? I had a similar problem...but felt nothing in the steering wheel. Felt it more in the seat of my pants.

Did two road force balances, indexed the wheels to the hubs, checked for anything that might have been in-between the wheels and hubs, replaced two rear tires, did two more road force balances, then rotated the rears to the fronts to eliminate a tire/wheel balance problem (no change) and got a little frustrated with it.

Closer inspection revealed that part of the rear driveshaft balance weight had separated and come off. Balanced the rear driveshaft and it's all good.

My truck only has 41K on it so we didn't initially check the hubs or bearings but that's not a bad idea.

Also, what about your shocks and springs? All in good order???
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:33 PM
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I am having a similar problem in my 99 4wd, I threw a code on tuesday saying my speed sensor in the transmission is bad but have had no issues with the speedo or anything, then today it has started vibrating like crazy at about 65-70 on the freeway, but only when i am on the gas not coasting and not in the steering wheel, the 4wd shifter is bouncing a couple inches, then i noticed it doesnt do any of this if I turn overdrive off, do any of these things sound the same?
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:20 PM
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Might check the u-joints in the front axle , motor and trans mounts , locked up brake . Make sure you don't have a bent rear axle shaft . Theres a couple more things to check . Let us know how you make out .
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:13 AM
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Easy fix, decided that since the engine was running rough i would go that route first and found that I was misfiring on cylinder 1, replaced the plugs and fixed the problem, it was just a misfire that was amplified at speed and when o/d put the extra load on the engine it made the vibration from the misfire shake the whole engine/trans, the speed sensor was a $18 part that took 30 seconds to swap to get rid of the check engine light
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