Dodge Ram 1500 / 2500 / 3500:

BRAND NEW TIRES, Only vibrates when it's in 4x4

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# 1  1/22/2014 10:17 PM

kysophie
New member
Registered: 1/22/2014
Posts: 2

BRAND NEW TIRES, Only vibrates when it's in 4x4

Just purchased 2 matching tires on my Dodge Ram 1500 Sport (regular cab).  Added previous tires back in the Fall of 2013 and needed to rotate these tires to be balanced since it's been about 5,000 miles.  Since I was at the tire store for the balancing, I told them to add the other 2 new tires with the same brand.  Drove the truck in 4x4 mode to the store as the roads were pretty slick that day and the truck has NEVER EVER vibrated/shimmied/or shook, until they recently added the 2 new tires.  Truck never vibrated even after the first 2 tires were put on in the fall.  But, after they added the 2 set of tires last week, it vibrates between 30 - 50 miles per hour.  I decelerate and it basically smooths out a bit.  Also, IT ONLY VIBRATES AND SHAKES in 4x4 mode.  Therefore, I took it to the same tire shop TODAY and they re-balanced the tires and told me everything should be fine.  Well, obviously it's not fine as I am posting this!  Almost feels as though they don't know what the hell they are doing or can't figure it out.  Please help!

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# 2  1/23/2014 1:36 PM

TechHelp2
Administrator
Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1299

Re: BRAND NEW TIRES, Only vibrates when it's in 4x4

This may sound stupid but are the tires the same size on the front and back tires. This has happened so it needs to be checked. This would throw off the wheel ratio from front to back tires and would only be felt in four wheel drive. 

If that is not the problem then it almost sounds like it could be a bad universal joint on the drive shaft for the front wheels.

If the balance were off, the vibration at 30 to 50 MPH would not go away when you take your foot off the gas. It seems that you only have the vibration when you have a load or foot on the gas.

I need to know the year of your truck so I can check for any service bulletins on this problem.

Take the truck to another repair shop for a second opinion and get there diagnosis we can go on from there.


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# 3  1/23/2014 2:24 PM

kysophie
New member
Registered: 1/22/2014
Posts: 2

Re: BRAND NEW TIRES, Only vibrates when it's in 4x4

Thanks for the prompt reply to my message, it's very much appreciated.

No, that's not stupid question and it makes me look stupid that I didn't ask that to myself!
Truck is a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport (short/regular cab)

I bought this thing brand new in 1998 and have driven it ever since and NOT EVER having this problem as far as vibration/shimming. This just occurred when the local tire store added 2 new tires last week.  Back in the fall same store added 2 new tires to the truck.  I did not add all 4 tires at that time because the treads seem to be fine on other 2.  So, I waited to get my money's worth on the tires and decided to replace the other 2 with the SAME BRAND to match it up last week because I have been driving the truck non-stop using 4x4 due to very hard winter this year.  Therefore, it only made sense to get 2 matching tires to get better traction in the snow.

So to explain this further, there were no vibration whatsoever after they installed the 2 new tires last week.  That's because I didn't have it 4x4.  Once it was in 4x4, that's when I noticed it.  I took into the shop yesterday and they told me the following.  "It's possible that the balance was off due to build up of snow/ice inside of the tires.  This is a common occurrence during the winter. I scratched my head and said "are you sure? They said, "yes".  They re-balanced it and told me they removed some snow/ice from the inside of the tires.  So, I drove it back to work in 4x4 mode and sure enough it didn't fix it.  I called the store right away and told the guy, it's not fixed.  I was obviously perturbed by this and the guy at the store knew this and he was getting agitated that I was perturbed by their lack of resolving this issue.  So, he said "we can certainly re-balance it AGAIN or add better brand of tires and you only have to pay the difference. I was pretty pissed off at this point and told him I will bring the truck in tomorrow.

My question is, can the BRAND/quality of tires cause the vibration?  Why didn't it cause the vibration back in the fall when I only replaced 2 tires and the truck had 2 different brands of tires with different tread depths.  I assume this would cause a vibration of some sort because of the 2 different sets of tires, or no?  The fact that he suggested it's the quality of tires and I will have to pay the difference didn't set well with me.  They should of said, let's try different set of tires and if that fixes the problem we will call it even for your troubles.  Did they, nope!

Lastly, drove the truck in this morning to work, and the vibration is even worse than yesterday when I took it in.  And yes, this time the vibration did not go away when I released the gas pedal.

Sorry for the rambling, but I wanted to make sure you are aware of my situation.  I do not want to spend more money on this as this problem wasn't there before the store added the 2 tires last week.  Should it be the store's responsibility to cover the cost of the repairs if I take it somewhere else?  Thanks again for your help!

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# 4  1/23/2014 8:42 PM

TechHelp2
Administrator
Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1299

Re: BRAND NEW TIRES, Only vibrates when it's in 4x4

If you or if you know someone that has the same size tires that you can try on the front of your truck to see if the vibration goes away? They don't have to be the same brand just the same size.

If the tire swap fixes the problem then this is where it can be complicated on how the repair shop can resolve the problem. Is it the brand of tire or just a defective tire?

Sometimes the tires in question may have to be dismounted just to see if there is any foreign body that may have gotten into the tire before it was mounted on the rim. If this happened you can balance the tire all you want and it will always be out of balance on the car.

If the rim is very rusty or had ice or water on the inside of the rim, mounting the tire could of broken off the rust or ice causing it to move freely inside the tire. Anything moving freely inside the tire will cause the tire to never be balanced. Bottom line open the tires (dismount) to see if there is anything inside that is moving around.

I found this diagnostic bulletin on the Alldata information website I think you will find interesting and may want to show it to the mechanic at your tire store.

I hope this helps you. Let me know when you can.

Wheel/Tire surge/vibration starts to occur at approximately 22 mph (35 kph) and goes away at approximately 32 mph (51 kph) and/or starts to occur at approximately 48 mph (77 kph) and goes away at approximately 78 mph (126 kph).

If using the EVA, wheel/tire surge/vibration will occur around the 4 - 6 Hz range and around the 10 - 16 Hz range. Tires and wheels must first be properly balanced. Follow the recommendations from the manufacturer of your tire/wheel balancer for proper tire/wheel balance information.

If the tires/wheels are properly balanced and the surge/vibration still occurs at the previously described speed range, perform the Match Mounting service procedures in the 1999 Ram Truck Service Manual (Publication No. 81-370-9108), page 22-5.

If all tires are properly mounted to the wheel and the surge/vibration still occurs at the previously described speed range, perform the Tire And Wheel Runout diagnosis in the 1999 Ram Truck Service Manual (Publication No. 81-370-9108), pages 22-8 and 22-9.

If the tires and wheels are within the specifications listed in the Service Manual and the surge/vibration still occurs at the previously described speed range, the tires and wheels could have a force variation condition that may cause a driveline surge/vibration. If tire balancer H-9702-DD-R (or equivalent) is not available to determine tire force variation, the tires should be exchanged with a Ram Truck that does not exhibit the surge/vibration condition. If the exchanged tires correct the condition, replace the original tires. If the exchanged tires have no effect on the surge/vibration, re-evaluate the surge/vibration to verify whether or not the surge/vibration starts to occur just as the torque converter clutch engages. If the surge/vibration is sensitive to torque converter clutch engagement, perform the Rear Axle Diagnosis.


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