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Old 03-09-2009, 07:48 PM   #1
rldriver
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2004 Dodge 3500 problem

We have a early 2004 Dodge 3500 with automatic transmission. Three times in the last few weeks I put on the brake and the truck started to vibrate real bad. It felt like the anti locking brakes were cycling on and off. If felt like the truck was not going to stop. We finally got stopped and then pulled over and everything was working fine. Scared the hell out of us. Glad we did not have the RV hooked up behind us.

The brake fluid was low the first time and I filled the reservoir to the proper level but it happend 2 more times. Could air in the lines cause this?

Any one have or heard about this situation before?
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:50 AM   #2
kilch123
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Air in the lines will not cause this condition.

How low was the brake fluid? You should never have to add fluid - as the brakes wear out, the fluid level in the reservoir will drop, but will still remain visible in the plastic container.

If the ABS is active, you will feel a buzzing vibration (not severe) - this sounds like there is something wrong (there could be several problems that cause vibration)

1 - Loose or missing caliper slide pins would cause the caliper to misalign, and vibration

2 - Severely worn out brake disk (or disk that is warped)

3 - Loose wheel bearing (truck or trailer)

Also, there is a TSB that applies to your truck if it is a 4WD (TSB #22-005-06) Symptom/Condition:
The customer may experience a self sustaining vibration (shimmy) felt in the front end of the vehicle after striking a bump or pothole.
This may be related - it replaces several front end parts to fix this 'shimmy' (sometimes called a 'death wobble')

Unfortunately, since that is a TSB and not a recall, it will come out of your pocket
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:21 AM   #3
rldriver
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Thanks for the info Tom, we are going to try and get into a Dealer this week, before we have to haul the rig to a new location on Sunday.

One other thing, all 3 times our speed was under about 10 MPH.

In answer to your question, the brake fluid was at or just below the fill mark.

Thanks again
Dick
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:31 AM   #4
kilch123
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On the Dodge Owners Forum, there's a member from WA that has her truck in a dealer right now that's getting great service - I'm trying to find out which dealer that is for you - she's picky, so if she's impressed, they must be doing a great job!

here's the Dodge Owners Forum link (they've got some great info for your truck!) http://dodgeownerforums.com/smf/index.php

Here's that dealer info:

From the other forum:
Enumclaw Dodge
Risa Radcliffe is the Service Adviser I work with. Jon is the Service Manager.

I can NOT sing these guy's praises enough!
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:43 AM   #5
H. John Kohl
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by rldriver

Thanks for the info Tom, we are going to try and get into a Dealer this week, before we have to haul the rig to a new location on Sunday.

One other thing, all 3 times our speed was under about 10 MPH.

In answer to your question, the brake fluid was at or just below the fill mark.

Thanks again
Dick
If you had not qualified your statement that it only happened when applying brakes I would suggest checking your "U" joints. My 3500 needed new joints after about 50K miles. These joints are sealed so when they dry out they are gone. I found it by driving between 5 and 10 mph in parking lot. Felt like I was driving on a corduroy road. Let us know what you find.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:50 AM   #6
kilch123
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"Felt like I was driving on a corduroy road"

that's a funny quote right there!
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:16 PM   #7
NCFischers
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I had a ABS module go bad on me one time on a Ford Explorer and it felt just like that when I applied the brakes. It wasn't cheap to fix.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:28 AM   #8
rldriver
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Another thought, could this be caused by chattering front brake pads or out of true front disc brake rotors?

Dick
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:13 AM   #9
49merc
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Another great place to go is The Power Shop in Enumclaw. They really know their stuff. Let us know when you find out as I have a 2004 3500 with 72000 miles on it. What is the milage on yours?
Bob
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:22 AM   #10
sreigle
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Dick, while the rotors and/or pads might be the culprit I would think in that case it would do it on all hard stops, hitched or not. At least I'd think you'd feel some wobble.

If you can find a Truck dealer (one that specializes in trucks) I'd recommend you take it to them. Unlike a car dealer, when we had a problem and went to the Ford truck dealer, their service tech took a ride with me while hitched to our Montana with our Ford. I thought I was having a problem with the trailer brake controller, the builtin one, so they suggested going on a test drive with the trailer attached. Otherwise you may get a car dealer who starts replacing things until its fixed.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:50 AM   #11
SlickWillie
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Those ABS systems will definitely do that, but I'm curious about the under 10 MPH scenario. Really sounds like a torque converter failing to unlock. Of course, so many problems can mimic each other......
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:45 PM   #12
49merc
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Dick, have you had an exhaust brake installed on your truck? If so possibly it is not unlocking the torque converter which has happened on mine.
Bob
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:43 PM   #13
noneck
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Right, often times if its in the Rotor you will feel it in the pedal as a pulsation and should magnify with more pressure on foot. If ABS that one is more of a really shortened, rapid pulse that wouldn't correlate to a rotor issue. If a torque converter lockup you should feel something in your seat as it will come from under and behind you....don't know if this helps.
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:01 PM   #14
rldriver
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by 49merc

Dick, have you had an exhaust brake installed on your truck? If so possibly it is not unlocking the torque converter which has happened on mine.
Bob
Bob, interesting you would ask that question as I got off the telephone with the installer of our BD Power exhaust brake today. I told him my story and he asked "if felt like stopping with a stick shift and not putting in the clutch". Both Jackie and I said "yes that's exactly what it felt like".

He indicated that it could be the torque converter and all we needed to do was find a BD Power dealer that could hook up our system to a computer and do an adjustment.

Now all we have to do is find some one that can do that.

I did take it to a Dodge dealer yesterday and got new front pads and had the rotors faced off, only took about .005". Took it out this morning and same shimmy. It only does it when it's cold or warming up. So I will try it in the morning and then shut off the exhaust brake and see if it will stop.

Thanks again to every one trying to help will keep you informed.

Dick
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:32 PM   #15
49merc
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Dick, that is the same exhaust brake I have and I have felt that. Mine had a sticking valve on on the BD unit and I had to unhook an airline and put a few drops of ar compressor tool oil in the line and it freed it right up. I had the same syptom. If you call BD they can hook you up with a local dealer. If you are anywhere Enumclaw WA. the Power Shop can fix you right up. They installed mine.
Bob
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:10 PM   #16
rldriver
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by SlickWillie

Those ABS systems will definitely do that, but I'm curious about the under 10 MPH scenario. Really sounds like a torque converter failing to unlock. Of course, so many problems can mimic each other......
You are right on...
BD Power exhaust brake is the problem, it won't let the torque converter unlock.

I took it out this morning and when it started to shimmy I turned off the exhaust brake and it stopped vibrating and ran fine.

Now I have to find a BD Power installer to have it fixed.

Thanks to all for your help.
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