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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Help!! Steering issues and sway

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billyray50

Dallas

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Posted: 08/07/12 06:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok my steering problems started when i changed the michelin stock 265,s. Some of you may have remembered, to a high load index 126 Nitto terra grappler 285/70r /17 to at roughly 51,000 in may of 2010. At same time installed Helwig 1 ton sway bar because 4wheelparts here locally told me truck had 1ton axle from factory and air lift 5000 air bags. I was upgrading truck for a truck camper I just purchased. When I drove the truck around town the truck was horrible. The wander and play in steering was all over the place.A ride from Hell. Had a friend that managed a firestone here locally in Wylie ,TX. He took it for a drive on city and highway roads and said it was down right dangerous. Well they went thru the front end and checked every component..everything looked ok at the time. I did have both both wheel hub assembies replaced before the tire change. They disconnected the sway bar and no difference. did not think airbags would effect the steering..put stock tires on temporarly and handling and steering was back to normal. We decided to install a bd stabilizer kit and bd steering dampener. The steering and wander improved but still has quite a bit of play??. Well 37,000 mile later I am getting fed up with the play and wander in this Truck.Just came back from 6200 mile trip and truck seemed to handle weight fine but steering play is still an issue. I have read that 3rd genny dodge 2500 turbo deisels have a lot of steering problems. I am going to have the whole front end checked out again because it feels like steering is getting worse again. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.Never had any steering issues till I replaced stock michelin 265/70/17!!!! 2006 Dodge 2500 4x4 cummins turbo 5.9 quad cab longbed, Helwig 1 ton sway bar,Bilstein shocks, airlift 5000 air bags, Add aleafs, BD steering stabilizer kit, Bilstein steering dampener, and happijac tiedown system 87,000 miles 2012 Adventurer 86fb dry weight 2750 lbs.

BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 08/07/12 07:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

billyray50 wrote:

Never had any steering issues till I replaced stock michelin 265/70/17.


Why don't you go back to the OEM tires?

How wide are your wheels?

Brad


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SoCalDesertRider

Arizona desert

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Posted: 08/07/12 07:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The problem is likely you didn't upgrade your wheels when you changed your tires and now your tires are too wide for the wheels. When you put tires that are too wide on wheels that are too narrow, you get a lot of tire side wall roll/tuck when cornering, which causes sloppy handling/steering.

I've preached about it so many times here, change the wheels to the proper loaded rated and proper width wheel when changing to wider, higher load rated tires. So many folks won't listen and want to argue about it instead of spending the money to do it right and have a good handling truck in the end.

I had your exact situation on my old dually which came stock with 235 tires. Had 265's on the stock 6" front wheels and truck was wandering all over the place. Switched back to stock 235 tires on the same wheels and truck drove just like it should, very stable and firm.


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billyray50

Dallas

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Posted: 08/07/12 07:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was thinking of switching back to michelin 265 load range E rated at 3195 which is what it came with from factory. Will they be good enough to handle my camper with a dry weight of 2700?? One thing I am going to is purchase dual control guage kit and have air bags plumbed seperatly.

billyray50

Dallas

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Posted: 08/07/12 07:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The tires are nitto terra grapplers 285/70r/17.The origional tires from factory were michelins 265/70/17

Rangerz

Henderson, NV

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Posted: 08/07/12 07:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might try checking out the cummins forum. Lot of info over there about Dodges.

I fought a lot of steering issues with my 02 Dodge and got a wealth of information on that site.

Good Luck!


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BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 08/07/12 08:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoCalDesertRider wrote:

The problem is likely you didn't upgrade your wheels when you changed your tires and now your tires are too wide for the wheels. When you put tires that are too wide on wheels that are too narrow, you get a lot of tire side wall roll/tuck when cornering, which causes sloppy handling/steering.

Ditto. From what I have seen; factory wheels start out on the narrow end of the acceptable wheel width for the OEM tire size. Then when you go to a wider tire, you must go to a wider rim for it to work properly.

Several years ago there was someone who had done just that. He eventually replaced his narrow factory wheels with wider wheels and his handling/sway issues went away.

Brad

SoCalDesertRider

Arizona desert

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Posted: 08/07/12 08:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

billyray50 wrote:

I was thinking of switching back to michelin 265 load range E rated at 3195 which is what it came with from factory. Will they be good enough to handle my camper with a dry weight of 2700?? One thing I am going to is purchase dual control guage kit and have air bags plumbed seperatly.
What is your loaded rear axle weight, as measured on a truck scale? That will answer your question easily right there....

The 'dry weight' is completely meaningless and useless. What matters is your fully loaded axle weight. Until you have that, you can't make an informed decision about what tires you need.

Always match the wheel width and load capacity to the tire width and load capacity. This means new wheels when you decide you need higher rated wider tires to carry your load.

WyoTraveler

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Posted: 08/07/12 08:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a humble opinion. Could you be overloaded in the rear of the vehicle? I had a TC that was overloaded in the rear and the steering was real loose.


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ianblaster

Dothan, AL

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Posted: 08/07/12 07:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

billyray50 wrote:

.put stock tires on temporarly and handling and steering was back to normal.


Maybe I am missing something but it sounds like you figured out your problem according to the above statement. I agree that it could be a tire to big for the wheel.


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