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Old 04-17-2015, 03:58 PM   #41
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

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Originally Posted by booster

The Dodge models mentioned are chronic understeering, due to the very short wheelbase, soft rear springs and shocks, and alignment specs. Higher front tire pressure, stiffer rear springs, added rear swaybar, reduced front swaybar, are all things that will help the Dodges. Will they ever be as good as the long wheelbase Chevies or Sprinters? Probably not, but you might get them as good as a tweaked Ford chassis.

The test I always use for handling is how much correction is needed at the steering wheel for various happenings, to keep you straight. Our tweaked Chevy is under 1/4" of steering wheel movement needed to correct for trucks passing, wind gusts, road ruts, etc, which is on a par with most cars. If you need to move the wheel over 1/2", you aren't optimized, in most cases. If you have to move the wheel 1" to get back on line, you are going to wear yourself out trying to stay in your lane. With our Roadtrek 190 we can do two fingers on the wheel in 95% of the road conditions.

All vehicles are a bit different, and folks perception of good and bad handling, and good and bad ride, are very personal interpretations. What is good for one may be bad for another, but the rules of physics should let you chose what you want to be to your preference.
This is helpful information. I've taken recent ownership of a 1994 Roadtrek 190 which is a conversion of a Chevy G30. It's already been nicknamed Wanda because it sure likes to wander at freeway speeds. The drive home was pretty fatiguing. Fixing this wander is a top priority. I ran the RT home dry and unloaded, one person with 50# front and 65# rear. (Doorjamb says 50# F, 80# R for fully loaded). At this point I'm not sure where to start. The tires or the suspension? The tires are an E rated BF Goodrich All Terrain. Shocks are softish, but not terrible. Below 50mph it steers fine. Any thoughts of where to begin?
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:15 PM   #42
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

Unfortunately, almost all the information you will see on here on the newer (2002 and up) Chevies, although Marco has done quite a bit with his 1989(?). I don't know how many changes there would be between his and yours, but he might.

The basics as were in the earlier posts all apply, though. You might find you are a lot heavier than you think, so it probably would pay to get it weighed. Offhand, I think those tire pressures are quite a bit too low. We see very difference in tire pressure need from full to empty, which is reality is only about 1000# on 07 Chevy C190P Roadtrek. 65 psi front and 80 rear normally work the best for nearly all conditions, so it is a free thing you can try.

With a 20 year old vehicle, with mostly unknown history most likely, there could easily be worn parts that affect the handling. Getting in to a good front end/alignment shop that does trucks is a good place to start. Have them check everything for wear, including the steering gear, and rear spring mountings, and fix the bad parts before getting a good alignment. There is really little use in trying to start improving a system until it is top notch shape. If you noticed the shocks not controlling well when driving the probably could use replacement. Even things like loose wheel bearings can mess up handling, and yours would be adjustable I think. You may even have adjustable in the rear, some did.

The fact that you can keep up with it below 50 but then it gets worse would indicate the corrections you have to make for whatever is not right are too large. By the time you make them, the next thing is happening etc etc. When vehicles are handling well, they often get more stable with extra speed, my 1996 Roadmaster wagon is that way, but it is an easy way to get a ticket.

Last I remember hearing, Marko was quite happy with the improvements in handling he was able to achieve.

Marko may also want to move this to its own discussion, as this was mainly Dodge related stuff here.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:31 PM   #43
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

Here is a link to the brochure for 1994. It shows a gross weight of 8600# pounds, so you will probably be within about 1000# of that empty of everything. It also shows 225-75-16 tires in load range E.

It also shows that you could have a Chevy 350 CID engine or a 454 CID, which can make a big diference in a lot of things.

http://www.roadtrek.com/wp-content/u...model_year.pdf
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:44 PM   #44
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

Thanks. It's a 350 v8
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:44 PM   #45
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

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Originally Posted by olddodgevan
Any updates to report?
Yup, finally. Got back from a 700 mile trip on Interstate, good two lanes and not so good, even 18 miles of rough, steep, narrow road into a ghost town. Plenty of wind from all angles. I am pleased with my heavier roll bar and active suspension. Much more stable, didn't feel like the rig was trying to chuck me into deep borrow pit or oncoming traffic, more relaxing to drive. The next thing is taking it to an alignment shop to check the castor and if I can, get some more dialed in.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:21 AM   #46
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

Purchased 1998 Dodge wide-body Pleasureway last July 2014 with 64,000 miles on it. Rear end swayed so bad on interstate had difficult time keeping it in one lane.
Reading this forum found out this is common on DODGE B-3500 CHASSIS. The following are the upgrades I did to eliminate the rear end sway.
1-Installed 2" spacers on rear wheels
2-Inflated rear air bags to 75psi
3-Inflatted rear tires to 65psi & front to 60psi
4-Replaced drag link, steering damper, re-bushed front sway bar links
5-New Monroe Gas Magnum p#34910 rear/p#34794 front for 9000lb front end
Previous owner replaced all four ball joints @ 55,000 miles. Later found out ball joints were for 4000lb front end
After all these upgrades it was handling 80% better and left Cleveland, Ohio area for Naples Fl. Upon entering Florida in I-75 it started to feel as if front tires were basket balls. Front end swaying and difficult maintain control.
Ended up replacing all four ball-joints with Moog parts for 9000lb front end. When upper ball-joints removed they nearly fell apart. RV now steers like a car and can drive with one hand on wheel and no rear sway. NOW IF SOMEONE CAN TELL ME HOW TO ELIMINATE FRONT BOUNCE IT WOULD BE GREAT. RV NOW HAS 68000 MILES.
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:37 AM   #47
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

2002 Dodge RT 190V getting Bilsteins and rear wheel spacers tomorrow. Will drive it for a few weeks to get used to that change, then will consider having a spring shop add extra leaves to rear springs. Tires are Big O all terrains that came with the vehicle. May replace but they only have 4k miles on them so I am going for other fixes first.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:08 PM   #48
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

Where are you guys getting the spacers? There are several brands on the market. My 170 is running KYB, are Bilsteins or Monroe that much better?
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:18 PM   #49
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

The spacers I ordered are from SuperSteer in Oregon.
http://www.supersteerparts.com/products ... el-spacers
I put Konis on our last (VW) camper and they were great. Bilsteins are on my truck and have a lifetime warranty. They seem to win the consensus at curing Dodge wandering. I have a friend with a 3500 work van that loves them and convinced me to try them on the RT.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:37 PM   #50
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

joebullite: When you say the front end bounces like you have B-balls on the front, what do you mean? The only difference in mine is 80# in the rear and the shocks are Bilsteins. We have no bounce in the front end travelling down the road.
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:18 AM   #51
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

I purchased the rear wheel spacers from Motorsport Technology (http://www.motorsport-tech.con) 2 for $240.00.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:36 AM   #52
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Default Re: Dodge chassis upgrades

Try this company for spacers . No experience with them. Just found them snooping the web. [url]http://www.ezaccessory.com/8_Lug_Wheel_Adapters_s/47.htm[url]
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:37 AM   #53
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The Bilsteins and 2" rear wheel spacers are in. Wow, what a nice difference. Driving is much less busy and stressful. There still is a slight feeling of lightness to the steering, probably due to the genset and AC in the far rear, but the wandering has ceased to be a problem.

I took a 200 mile trip over last weekend and was very pleased with how the vehicle drives now. When I get the time I am going to take the camper into a good suspension shop and have them add a leaf or two to the rear springs. But for now I can relax a lot more and enjoy the ride. Thanks all for the helpful posts here on this topic.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:32 AM   #54
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Anyone know anything about these spacers?

http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBa...=1478838624339

Thanks,
Mark
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