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Old 03-10-2019, 03:23 PM   #1
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Default Rear wheel spacers

Have a 2000 Dodge Pleasure-Way TD looking for 2 in rear wheel spacers a place where I can order them to help with steering wondering
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:11 AM   #2
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You may have wheel bearing problems if you do.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:54 AM   #3
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I have a 97PW. I debated about all kinds of things with regard to the steering. When I first drove it after buying it from my father in law, it was from Wisconsin to Phoenix. Traveled through Illinois in high winds. White knuckles. But the winds were so strong that at a rest stop my wife couldn't open her door! When the winds died down, it was ok. The problem with the steering is that it appears to be "all time" and doesn't become more like manual at high speeds. Since then I've driven it all over the southwest and last summer up to Glacier and back. Haven't done anything with the stock configuration. I read up on this and someone speculated that the widebody version didn't really appear to have a problem. Not sure about that. I still get back from a trip and when I drive my Rav4, I notice the difference: the Rav4 for a while feels like it has manual! So the touch on my PW is very light but wandering isn't really an issue. Are you sure the alignment is correct? On mine an alignment shop might want to use the Dodge Van Wagon specs. You can't. If you email PW they will give you the precise specs for your PW.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GallenH View Post
I have a 97PW. I debated about all kinds of things with regard to the steering. When I first drove it after buying it from my father in law, it was from Wisconsin to Phoenix. Traveled through Illinois in high winds. White knuckles. But the winds were so strong that at a rest stop my wife couldn't open her door! When the winds died down, it was ok. The problem with the steering is that it appears to be "all time" and doesn't become more like manual at high speeds. Since then I've driven it all over the southwest and last summer up to Glacier and back. Haven't done anything with the stock configuration. I read up on this and someone speculated that the widebody version didn't really appear to have a problem. Not sure about that. I still get back from a trip and when I drive my Rav4, I notice the difference: the Rav4 for a while feels like it has manual! So the touch on my PW is very light but wandering isn't really an issue. Are you sure the alignment is correct? On mine an alignment shop might want to use the Dodge Van Wagon specs. You can't. If you email PW they will give you the precise specs for your PW.
Thank you I will email pleaserway I have heard that a minus 2 degrees caster works
but like you said I should talk to pleaserway
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:10 PM   #5
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Here's something that I saw people on one of the forums recommending.

Dodge Ram Steering Gear Box Stabilizer

I've thought about that too but want to ask the mechanics at my local shop if
it looks ok to them first.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:20 PM   #6
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Thank you I will email pleaserway I have heard that a minus 2 degrees caster works
but like you said I should talk to pleaserway

Are you sure you mean minus 2* caster? That normally will make a vehicle very hard to keep in a straight line, and was only used on heavy vehicles without power steering decades ago. Maybe 2* minus camber but even that is iffy.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GallenH View Post
Here's something that I saw people on one of the forums recommending.

Dodge Ram Steering Gear Box Stabilizer

I've thought about that too but want to ask the mechanics at my local shop if
it looks ok to them first.

The steering box stabilizer, for all I have seen about it, is a very good addition for the Dodges, as the mounting for them is pretty weak and the output of the box not really rigid.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:06 PM   #8
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I put one of the steering box stabilizers on our 1999 Dodge Xplorer. I read lots of positive testimonials about them and decided that for $130 it was a cheap enough gamble for better handling. It was relatively easy to install and I think really does help drivability.
Dave
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:19 AM   #9
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The steering box stabilizer, for all I have seen about it, is a very good addition for the Dodges, as the mounting for them is pretty weak and the output of the box not really rigid.
booster: I'm guessing that you're saying that the *original* mounting is weak, correct? And that the stabilizer improves that defect. Interested because I might try it.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:20 AM   #10
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I put one of the steering box stabilizers on our 1999 Dodge Xplorer. I read lots of positive testimonials about them and decided that for $130 it was a cheap enough gamble for better handling. It was relatively easy to install and I think really does help drivability.
Dave
Did you do the install yourself?
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:24 AM   #11
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About 2 years ago I emailed PW tech and they responded quite quickly with the specs for my year PW. So here's a question for you: If I'm not having any tracking issues (if I let go of the steering wheel it stays going straight ahead and doesn't pull one direction or the other) does one risk having an alignment? It seems like you'd do that to correct problems and not as a matter of routine, correct?

(And BTW: Thanks for all of your posts. A great source of info.)
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:25 AM   #12
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Sorry: that goes to booster.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:50 AM   #13
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About 2 years ago I emailed PW tech and they responded quite quickly with the specs for my year PW. So here's a question for you: If I'm not having any tracking issues (if I let go of the steering wheel it stays going straight ahead and doesn't pull one direction or the other) does one risk having an alignment? It seems like you'd do that to correct problems and not as a matter of routine, correct?

(And BTW: Thanks for all of your posts. A great source of info.)

I would add one more requirement to your test and that would be how easy it is to correct when hit by a big wind gust from various directions. And of course a look for uneven tire wear.

In the past, for rear wheel drive vehicles, I would have said it is good to have it checked every couple of years, and if it is going straight and not showing abnormal wear leave the caster the same, maybe get the camber even and slightly positive if it is not that way, and adjust the toe to make sure it is in the proper amount.

With all the issues that we, and others, have been seeing with the current accuracy of wheel alignments, I really don't know what to say. My instinct would have been if it is going straight just get the toe right, but we just had an example where the freshly set toe was horrible, so even that gives pause.

The safe thing would be if you can find a truck place that still uses the manual gauges and then just have them check caster and camber and show you what they are. If they look OK and it goes straight just have them set the tow with the old style pointer gauge.

Hopefully, things will get worked out with the new machines and incompetent techs so we can get good alignments with the machines, but we are 5 for 5 being poor to horrible on the last 5 alignments. It is to the point I am trying to get setup to do them at home, and will be getting a first shot at it when the snow is gone. I have the gauge and turntables and am in the process of making a decent toe gauge, so we will see.

I wish I had a better answer for you, but I don't think there is one unless you can find a very good shop that does a good job. The rest of us have not found that to this point.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:43 AM   #14
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Booster: Yes, I remember a recent thread dealing with alignment issues which is why I asked. My tire wear is actually not that noticeable. Certainly nothing irregular in terms of inner or outer wear. Tread is uniformly good. But the tires are now 4 years old. In the southwest expected tire stability is about 5-7 years. The heat is hard on rubber. [BTW my daughter lives in Rochester, MN..........an aside re your location]. So I'm more looking ahead to replacement and wondering if an alignment during that process is warranted. Your (and others) posts have left me wondering if I'd just be making things potentially worse. Cheers!
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by D&J Phillips View Post
I put one of the steering box stabilizers on our 1999 Dodge Xplorer. I read lots of positive testimonials about them and decided that for $130 it was a cheap enough gamble for better handling. It was relatively easy to install and I think really does help drivability.
Dave
Did it remove all the wandering or just some in a scale from 1 to 10 how much did it remove and who are you able to install it yourself did you have to remove a wheel
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:33 PM   #16
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Did it remove all the wandering or just some in a scale from 1 to 10 how much did it remove and who are you able to install it yourself did you have to remove a wheel
Yes, I installed it myself and it wasn't that difficult, no wheel removal and did not have to jack it up.

There is a backstory - I first had the entire front end rebuilt with the instructions to replace anything that needed replacing = new ball joints, some tie rod ends, and new shocks. Still wandered so I researched the steering stabilizer and read all claims I could find - mostly by the off-road community and they made a big deal of how the stabilizer stiffened the frame as well as supporting the pinion shaft.... Look closely at the various pictures and you can see that the ones for pick-ups have a long tube that reached across to the opposite frame rail - unfortunately not so for the vans. In the case of the vans, the stabilizer is only a bearing support but does not help tie the two frame rails together.

So, after my initial front end rebuild and still wandering more than I wanted, I noticed that I could see lateral movement in the pitman shaft where the pitman arm attaches as I turned the steering wheel back & forth. I then had the steering box rebuilt by Red Head steering (Possibly the best according to my research) and there was some improvement but still wandered too much.

Then, the last step in this process was the steering box stabilizer, and again, it is a bit better. The van still wanders but the above work in conjunction with several alignments I finally decided I could live with it and have gotten used to the way if drives and now call it 'acceptable' - not great mind you, but acceptable.

Also worth noting is that mine is an Xplorer with dual wheels in the rear. On this short wheelbase van I believe that will mean somewhat different handling experiences because of the dual wheels.

Dave
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:10 PM   #17
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Ok, here I go showing my age (and perhaps my ignorance), so be gentle please.

My question is
: Does your model van have recirculating ball steering? If so, they used to be adjustable (at least the manual steering models were in the 1970's). When the steering got loose from mileage, you could loosen a set nut on top of the steering box, screw in the center bolt a half-turn or so and it would tighten the steering action and take the slack out. It was something you might have to repeat every 30K miles or so.

It was sort of fool-proof (because I was able to do it) and if you initially didn't tighten enough, you just went back and gave it another turn. Conversely, if during a test drive around the block, the steering did not return to center (too tight), you could just back off the adjustment a bit.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:47 PM   #18
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Ok, here I go showing my age (and perhaps my ignorance), so be gentle please.

My question is
: Does your model van have recirculating ball steering? If so, they used to be adjustable (at least the manual steering models were in the 1970's). When the steering got loose from mileage, you could loosen a set nut on top of the steering box, screw in the center bolt a half-turn or so and it would tighten the steering action and take the slack out. It was something you might have to repeat every 30K miles or so.

It was sort of fool-proof (because I was able to do it) and if you initially didn't tighten enough, you just went back and gave it another turn. Conversely, if during a test drive around the block, the steering did not return to center (too tight), you could just back off the adjustment a bit.
.

He does have recirc ball gear in his Dodge, as you do in your Chevy. I would assume that a gear rebuilt by Redhead, who have really good reputation, would have been adjusted properly.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:51 PM   #19
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Thanks D&J I did receive the specs on wheel alignment from Pleasure-Way and in the fine print it tells me that the rear airbags can be a real problem in the stability and to keep a constant pressure between 50 and 60 lb my unit is 20 years old and it does leak quite a bit I'm sure it's probably the lines but it may be the bags and I have noticed that when I fill up the airbags there is a lot less wondering I am 83 years old and it is getting tough to do some of these jobs so I will try to find a place where I can take it in and have it checked out
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:57 PM   #20
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I’ve been plagued with the handling / wandering issues… drove me crazy. I now have 197k MILES on my 2000 RT190 Dodge 3500. Spacers, steering stabilizer, springs, and “special” alignments tweaks.. everything seemed to make some small improvement real or not.
Talking to a Friend who had managed large fleet in the oil patch and who had also been a “tire enthusiast” all his life. He asked what tires I had on the VAN….. always the Michelin LT, whatever they were selling at Costco at the time. To make a pleasant discussion over a couple beer short. It was resolved that soft the side walled Michelin may be the issue… the Van is always near the Max GVWR.
He recommended a couple tires with stiffer sidewalls…. I ended up with Bridgestone DURAVIS M700 HD 245/75R16 load rated E and I have never looked back. Bob
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