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MikeM
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5/07/2009
13:56:27

Subject: Rough Ride !
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I recently bought my 3rd Dakota, this one a 2005 to replace my 2000. Both trucks have the heavy duty suspension. But the ride on my 2005 feels a lot more "jittery" than my 2000, which had 120,000 miles on it and the original shocks. This 2005 model has only 50,000 miles.

I know a truck isnt gonna ride like a luxury sedan but I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to smooth the ride a bit, like replacing shocks? I just read a Consumer Report review of the 2005 and they also describe the ride as "jittery", i.e., when I hit even the slightest pothole, the wheels just shake for a second or two before they settle down.
Anybody got any suggestions ???

Mike


Mike

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5/07/2009
14:03:34

RE: Rough Ride !
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2 things come to mind

Shocks & Tires

& for the hell of it did you check your tire pressure?

read the side walls first see what they call for
and see what they are pumped up to



info
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5/08/2009
06:04:32

RE: Rough Ride !
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reminder-pressure marked on sidewall is MAX psi at max load. Pressure should reflect wieght being carried.



?
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5/08/2009
08:29:20

RE: Rough Ride !
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If it it "shakes" that much
what about ball joints ?
or tie rod ends ?

They sure don't build em like they used to..



MikeM
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5/08/2009
09:12:52

RE: Rough Ride !
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Thanks guys. Tire pressure is OK. I know I could deflate the tires a little for a smoother ride but that's a little dangerous if it causes overheating and my gas mileage will suffer too.

The shocks are a possibility but I'm a little surprised and disappointed if that's it because as I said, my last truck, a 2000 Dakota still had the original shocks @ 120,000 miles and the ride wasnt as bad as this one.

The ball joints or tierods sound like the most likely thing to check. It feels like after I hit a bump, the wheels just vibrate for a second, like the axle nut is loose. (I'll check that too just in case.) I'll also jack the truck up and see if I can get any play up or down on the ball joints. My 2000 had the ball joint recall...I dont know if that is still an issue on Dakotas.

And one last thing...I checked all the lug nuts and they are tight.

Mike

daddio
Dodge Dakota
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5/08/2009
17:10:33

RE: Rough Ride !
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Mike, check the shocks. I see you stated that your '00 still had the originals @ 120K? My '00 had a front shock just blow the seals @ about 20k. Slung oil all over the place.



MikeM
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5/12/2009
15:38:57

RE: Rough Ride !
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Ball joints and wheel bearings look ok. I guess I'll have to replace the shocks with something other than OEM shocks, like Bilstiens or Monroe.

I did find that the rear stabilizer links that connect to the stabilizer bar are loose, causing a rattle when I go over a bump. I'm hoping I can just replace the rubber bushings instead of replacing the link? Anybody have any guidance ?



Mike

daddio
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5/12/2009
17:09:31

RE: Rough Ride !
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If they're like the links on the front sway bar on my '00, the ends that bolt to the lower control arm are bad but the bushings on the other end are still good. Go figure!

You could try replacing just the bushings(they should be identical to the shock bushings) if they are bad enough to rattle.



truck mech
Dodge Dakota
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5/13/2009
06:16:35

RE: Rough Ride !
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Mike-If you have pumped up your tires to max psi on the sidewall, and are not carrying max weight, you will have a rough ride... Tire pressure should be adjusted to match weight for proper ride and HANDLING.. Rock hard tires increase the likelyhood of hydroplaning and reduce rough surface response. Tire overheating only occures when the tire is underinflated for the weight being carried. Your owners manual should have a weight/psi chart.....



MikeM
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5/13/2009
07:35:03

RE: Rough Ride !
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truck mech
Thanks but no, I dont have the tires pumped to max sidewall pressure. They are at the recommended 35/35 psi front/rear. I know I could smooth out the ride a little bit if I dropped the pressure a bit, but I consider that a band-aid...I'd rather get at the root of the problem.

Mike

truch mech
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5/13/2009
12:52:02

RE: Rough Ride !
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you would be surprised how many people are running around on rock hard tires inflated to max pressure and wondering why they have a skiddish vehicle. 35 is a good everyday pressure for a dak. But I,ve seen people running 40-45 psi. as far as shocks- if they are over 40,000 miles old, replace them with a quality shock. I,ve had good luck with monroe reflex shocks. Quite a change from the factory units.



MikeM
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5/14/2009
12:00:38

RE: Rough Ride !
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thanks truch mech. From my initial research, it looks like I dont have many options for shocks for the 2005 except for Monroe. I'll probably get a pair of the Reflex shocks for the rear and try them out. I can do them myself. And when the finances are available, I'll have someone do the front "struts".

Mike

Kowalski
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5/16/2009
09:17:27

RE: Rough Ride !
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I agree with "truck mech". The problem for many of us is that the stock shock valving is not well suited to the spring rate of the suspension of an unladen truck. While a premium shock often helps, airing down the tires should not be considered a bandaid fix - as that has a direct effect on the spring rate. You'll see this used as suspension tuning on race cars.

Lead, follow, or get out of the way

MikeM
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5/24/2009
09:55:07

RE: Rough Ride !
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An update FYI. I put the Monroe Reflex shocks in the rear. Big difference, although still somewhat jittery. I guess that's the nature of the beast. Also, I did realize that there was other stuff rattling around in the back, adding to my irritation when I went over bumps, like the jack, the back seat and some stuff I had in the truck bed. I'm gonna try putting some foam padding behind the back seats and in the jack compartment to tighten things up.

Thanks for all your help. Now I will do the struts.

Mike

jbracefan1977
Dodge Dakota
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5/30/2009
06:50:49

RE: Rough Ride !
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+1 on shocks and tires



Buy oem Softw
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2/11/2012
06:36:47

wyptpPepZtdrUE
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AxaVtm Gripping! I would like to listen to the experts` views on the subject!!....



R. Rea
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11/26/2017
17:14:14

RE: Rough Ride !
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Hi Guys. I Bought my 2005 Dakota Q-cab, 2wd, V8 from the original owner with 56K Miles. It Was Dec. and Cold! the day I road tested it. Normal ride and drive. 2 Days later temps were in the 60's.It drove/rode like a bread truck! (I am a retired full line mechanic and shop owner (35+ years). Since then I have installed New Upper and Lower Control Arms (W/Ball Joints (Moog), Sway Bar Link Kits and Frame Side Bushings, Complete Strut Assemblies (Monroe), Inner and Outer Tie Rod Assemblies (Moog), 4 New Tires (Cooper Discoverer In The Factory Size). It Still Rides Worse than any truck I have ever owned!!! So that's why I'm looking online for some solution! The only thing that seems to help is tire pressures at 28 PSI. Cold mornings @ 27 PSI or warm afternoons @29+ PSI, Rough/Harsh ride!!!



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