Posted for anyone having similar problems. 

May 03, 2016
Bruce’s Auto Repair
Installed Dodge Ram Steering Gear Stabilizer on request.
(I can return it from where I bought it from, if not found to help.)
Check for brake pull… No problem discovered with brakes or calipers.
Recommendation:  Vehicle not safe to drive, likely Frozen ball joints” (lower.)
Steering box adjusted wrong, won’t return from turn and needs to be backed off. (Too stiff)
(Bruce not able to work on ball joints due to recent knee replacement but strongly recommended replacing lower ball joints and correcting adjustment of steering gear box before driving on any trip.)
$45

 

April 29, 2016
Called Tru Line as handling was still difficult… very hard to drive home.  Recommendation from Tru Line:
Drive vehicle for 3,000 miles to let new tires and gearbox settle in.  Discovered Tru Line had also changed tire pressure to 60 in front and 70 in rear. I returned tire pressure to 55 front and 75 in rear but this only seemed to make things worse.

April 28, 2016
Tru Line
Replaced defective gearbox, no charge
(although they said they found nothing wrong with first replacement.)
Checked steering system by installing gauge to check steering pressure, equal in both sides. Disconnected steering linkage to check for binding in ball joints non detected also not leaking PS fluid, alignment is good.
Performed front steering alignment at no charge.
Both gearboxes had the same lash. Set 2nd box pre-load slightly higher.
Discovered brake pull to the left and when released van shifts to the right before re-centering.
Recommend brake system analysis.

April 27, 2016
Took vehicle to Fairview Motors Brake & Alignment for brake inspection (see Tire Pros below)
inspect Brakes $130
Discovered front brake rotors were not serviced and rotors were below minimum specification causing braking issues until pads wear down. Bled brakes again. Adjusted rear brakes. No problem found with master cylinder or brake lines.
Advised new steering gear box likely defective: steering does not self correct back to straight after being turned left or right. Recommended return to Tru Line. Also advised that dodge steering boxes are rebuilt and many of these may be defective. Mechanic said that’s why he doesn’t like to deal with these.

 

Still had trouble with straight ahead driving and overall handling. Steering wheel did not seem true not to return to center, felt I was always correcting steering and that vehicle tended to drift to the right.
Trueline suggested swapping 2 front tires
Took to Tire Pros to swap tires and they said vehicle needed front brake pads.

Had to return 3 times after install of brake pads as pedal was hitting the floor.
Tires Pros said there was air in the line. I asked how that happened and was told it was because my vehicle was old. I complained that vehicle was not stopping safely and was told that vehicle was very heavy and I could not expect anything else!!!!!

April 14, 2016
Trueline Automotive, Inc (Van Nuys)
Asked for alignment check as vehicle was still not handling well, after replacing tires 2nd time.
Adjusted tow-in
Replaced power steering gearbox
Replaced Front stabilizer shock
$774

March 31, 2016
New Tires installed
Returned LT M/S 2 to Costco
Purchased XPS Ribs from Tire Pros, $1,338

March 30, 2016
Fairview Motors Brake & Alignment
Inspect front suspension and Alignment $198
Alignment was corrected. Printout of values in book
Confirmed complaint that vehicle does not track straight on the freeway since new tires installed.
Recommendation: replace tires to better handle load.

March 2016
Returned to Dal Pozo after test drive to Placerville:  Comfort of ride greatly increased but terrible handling, could not keep vehicle in lane, very little control of vehicle. Requested alignment and analysis. Dal Pozo drove vehicle around corner, grabbed steering wheel hard to demonstrate and said there was no problem.  Refused to do alignment, refused re-inspection.

March 22, 2016
Dal Pozzo
New Bilstein shocks installed.  $175

February 2016
New LT M/S 2 tires (4) from Costco
Balancing and installation / Older tires were cupping and had too much wear. Replaced for upcoming extended cross-county trip. Trip was canceled due to problems with handling. 

June 2012 –  February 2016
No Handling  Troubles, not perfect but handling was good enough for driving in high wind conditions, even in high wind warning conditions, mountain passes and hairpin turns. Still sensitive steering, rough ride and somewhat slow to take curves on mountain passes.

June 2012
Dal Pozzo Corp. (Santa Barbara)
Finally adjusted alignment correctly and was able to drive!
Rebalanced tires and lowered air pressure to 75 in rear and 50 in front.
$80

June 2012
Superior Brake & Alignment (Santa Barbara)
Inspect and determine cause of brake trouble
Reinstall quality front brake pads (Ian’s had put trashy pads on the LTV)
Alignment
$279

Brakes pulled, would barely stop and was very scary to drive… hand brake not engaging.  Took it back several times. Superior was very nice about it and they tried lots of different fixes… brakes got better but handling was terrible; I was limping along.

May 2012
Ian’s Tire (Santa Barbara.)
Install front pads (brakes.)
Rear Brakes, brake lining, machine rear drums
$390

Ian’s botched this job and the brakes had major trouble after work completed. I eventually was able to receive partial refund… wrong brake pads were used.

June 2011
Automotive Technicians Group (Goleta)
Turn front brake rotors and resurface
Install brake rotors and caliper, repack wheel bearings and install new seals
$316  (Confused on if they did this as rotors are now needing to be replaced???  Re-Check records?

October 2010
Figueroa Brake & Alignment (Santa Barbara)
Replaced Ball Joints (upper and lower)
Installed front end steering stabilizer Shock ($124)
Alignment
$1,305

September 2010
Front End Service Big Brand Tire (Goleta)
No charge … checked alignment and adjusted tire pressure.
In spite of improvements, still having trouble with handling

September 2010
Serna’s Central Truck Service (Nipomo)
Installed rear sway bar after inspection of handling problems.
Total with tax $954   Sway bar $593 plus $42 shipping.

August 2010
Associated Tire & Brake (Ventura)
Installed 2 rear wheel spacers ($140)
Alignment redone ($70.00)
$221 total

August, 2010
Ian’s Tire & Auto (Santa Barbara)
Tires:  Coopers, $774 plus stems, weights, installation
Alignment, $80
Monroe shocks

August 2010:  took ownership of vehicle

RV SONG

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