Some things ya just gotta live with.

Jim applies brake noise spray to Dodge Ram 2500 squeaky brakesI know I’ve said before that it is important for full-time RVers to look into rig issues immediately. But one can only look into certain things so many times, before you just have to give up and live with it.

We’ve written plenty about our brakes so I won’t delve any further into the ugly details. But that “nuisance noise” we were told we had by one shop – not the one that ripped us off – came back pretty quick a while ago and never went away.

Tight fit at Davenports with room to spare for the tenantWhen we were visiting the Davenports before the holidays, Randy convinced me that if you want something done right you really do have to do it yourself. He has a garage fully equipped with tools, and knows how to use them. So we tore apart our brand new brake system and applied brake silencer spray to the back of all the pads. Something the last Dodge shop we went to – the one that did rip us off – did not do when they installed them.

Jim applies brake noise spray to Dodge Ram 2500 squeaky brakesUpon completion, I was confident we had conquered the brake squeal once and for all. And I was happy it didn’t cost a dime.

This time it took almost a couple weeks before the persistent chirp returned every time we applied the brakes.

After researching Chrysler brake issues, and noticing the same squeak coming from various other Dodge trucks at many an intersection, we’ve decided we can live with this.

Or as this AA1Car report on Silencing Disc Brake Squeal says

“If an inspection of the brake system reveals no serious faults such as worn, loose or damaged parts, you have a choice to make. You can live with the noise, or you can pay to eliminate the noise.”

Well, with brand new brakes and a squeak that can’t be eliminated, our choice is simple – we are going to live with it. Or I’ll try to fix it myself the again next time we get fed up. Now if only I could learn how to do my own front end work, or learn to live with how our truck drifts when hands are released from the wheel …

Dodge Truck Front End Alignment, Indio CA Big O TiresWe took our Dodge Ram 2500 to a Big-O shop for an alignment after noticing this new issue. After waiting for a couple hours and seeing them test drive the truck a couple times, they told us it didn’t need an alignment. According to the computer, it was fine.

But I don’t a computer to know when my truck won’t cruise in a straight line. Which it still wouldn’t do, after they charged us for the alignment it didn’t need. So they rotated the tires. And it still drifted, though not nearly as bad. Here we go again.

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10 Responses to “Some things ya just gotta live with.”

  1. consider silicone based brake fluid, it can cover fluid temp over 500deg., exhaust brake etc.you`re putting this rig to extreme condiotions.

  2. To visit my shop would require a barge… I’m located in Kailua Kona Hi. on the big island. I worked for 17 years in frame and alignment shops in Southern California before opening my own shop here 12 years ago. http://www.konacarshop.com

    I think I remember reading you’re in Northern Ca.? Try http://www.allwheelinc.com/ these guys should be able to fix your problem if they’re not too far from you.

    • We started in Eureka, CA but have been on the road for nearly two years now … currently in west Texas. Thanks again for the advice.

  3. i would listen to alignment ! get thee to his shop, s.a.p.

  4. An alignment shop can solve your pulling condition. Most tire shops don’t have the expertise that’s needed in this case.

    From the looks of your photo above, the truck is 4×4, there are eccentric cams on the bottom track bars of the front axle that can be turned and that will twist the axle changing the caster which will fix the pull, if it’s not a tire causing it as mentioned above.

    I fix dodge trucks that pull on a regular basis, the caster is always short on the right side causing the drift or pull to the right and mind you the “computer always says it’s ok”

    Computers don’t align vehicles, people do. I own a calculator, but that don’t make me an accountant.

    You can try twisting the axle yourself just to see the difference, loosen the cam on the passenger side and turn while watching the axle, you want to see it tilt backwards toward the rear of the truck.

    Tighten it up and do the same thing on the other side except you want to see it tilt forward. Now go test drive. If it’s not a tire, chances are it will go straight.

  5. in the pic ya look like me 20 yrs ago !,on your knees paying tribute to the mechanics god !

  6. all roads are “crowned” to facilitate water runoff, check for steering drift on as flat a surface as you can find. the tire separation issue is seen on the sidewall of the tire as “ripples”, correct air pressure is paramount !,for specs look at sticker on drivers door sill,try crossing the tires, corner to corner.
    don`t “live with it” never give up !!
    squeeky brakes can be eliminated, they make shims that act as a cushion between the brake pad & the caliper piston, try a NAPA store. bon sort !!

  7. Jim,

    Sounds frustrating. I had the same alignment issue with my wife’s van. The van would pull while we were driving it but the ‘computer’ said it wasn’t in need of an alignment. The shop even rotated the tires for us. After many trips to different shops we found out that one of our new(er) tires had a separated radial which would not show up in the alignment but would cause the vehicle to pull. The garage you take it to MUST have a tire balancing machine that applies a load to the tire while balancing. The normal balancing machines won’t detect it. There were only a handful of shops in our metro area that could do this test, my shop wasn’t one of them. So, I got a new set of tires out of them! It’s worth looking into.

    Bill

    • Thanks for the great tip Bill! A “separated radial” sounds serious. If (When!) we decide to take it in for another look, we’ll make sure the shop has the right equipment.

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