2003 AWD suspension issue that does not make any sense

2003 AWD suspension issue that does not make any sense

Postby Hank [OP] » December 2nd 2013, 4:50am

That's about how I can describe it and hopefully some of you guys can shed some light on this.

My suspension is pretty tight, I've replaced just about everything but the control arm bushings and ball joints. Treadwear is perfect, no shake, vibration, etc. I had a shop and the alignment shop tell me everything is good. FWIW..

I have soft oem style shocks and a hellwig rear sway bar. Front sway bar bushings are new.

It is an AWD and after pulling the 2" lift, I adjusted the torsion bars up a while back to level it out. Yes I got an alignment, look for my old thread on that one, I added some extra camber and caster to help with towing.

I am not happy with my tires, before the alignment I replaced my worn out BFG A/T KO's with some Falken Sincerra SN200 Touring tires. A little soft in the sidewall.

Here is how I'd describe the issue: With just me in the van, I seem to move around slightly in the lane and attributed it to the crappy tires. Kind of like being blown around and having to frequently adjust in the lane while driving.

I have family in town this week and have been using the van to haul everyone around sightseeing. With 7 people in the van, 4 adults and 3 kids, the suspension is loaded a little more and it is driving great. No drifting or moving around in the lane and minimal steering wheel adjustments are needed to keep tracking in line. I'm not talking 7 heffers in the car, just 7 normal people smallest kid is 46lbs, biggest adult is 180lbs.

Here are my thoughts on what it could be and I'm open to any other ideas.

1. Van too high when unladen and with the softer sidewalls plus higher center of gravity it is getting pushed by the wind or tossed around by the road conditions.

2. With the added weight in the van, the suspension moved to spots in control arm bushings that have minimal wear?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Last question, how much does the van get lowered when you flip the rear axle? Thinking that lowering the CG in general would be much better for towing.
Camaro eating, trailer dragging 2003 AWD tuned with hptuners.
See http://www.hptuners.com
http://www.hptuners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11225
Balancing by http://www.innovativebalancing.com
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: 2003 AWD suspension issue that does not make any sense

Postby WoodButcher » December 2nd 2013, 5:19am

Almost all vans feel better when loaded, same with a pickup.
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Re: 2003 AWD suspension issue that does not make any sense

Postby DRZ » December 2nd 2013, 5:57am

IF there is no toe in or toe out and the wheels both point equally straight, the chassis will "hunt". Adding weight might change that just enough to "fix" the problem. That being said, lifting any vehicle will make any stability problem worse. Hard to know for sure from a key board instead of in person.
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Re: 2003 AWD suspension issue that does not make any sense

Postby redfury » December 2nd 2013, 6:17am

Not my van, I load it up with 8 adults and it feels like the rear axle is driving on butter around corners. New tires on the van seems to have helped out, but I haven't driven it loaded with the new rubber yet.
A temporary fix usually becomes a permanent solution, therefore it does not exist.
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Re: 2003 AWD suspension issue that does not make any sense

Postby Hank [OP] » December 3rd 2013, 4:31am

DRZ may have called it on this one with the toe issue.

Looked at my alignment specs in my steering box post.

Thinking my tires may not be as crappy as I think they are as it drives so well with the 810 lbs of people inside.

caster
L initial 2.8 final 4.0
R initial 3.6 final 5.0

camber
L initial -.4 final +.4
R initial -.5 final +.3

toe
L initial 3/32 final 0
R initial -1/32 final 0

Corsemoto posted the factory specs
AWD Left
Caster 1.00 Preferred +3.50 Camber 1.00 Preferred 0 Toe-in (in) 0+/-0.20

AWD Right
Caster 1.00 Preferred +4.50 Camber 1.00 Preferred 0 Toe-in (in)0+/-0.20


It has been about a year and a half since the alignment. I may head in for a check and have him add more caster and a little toe. May also bring the trailer along and have him align it on his truck bay rack. As I'm thinking there are some issues when the trailer is loaded down. With the load leveling hitch, I still get a little sag in the rear and lift in the front.
Camaro eating, trailer dragging 2003 AWD tuned with hptuners.
See http://www.hptuners.com
http://www.hptuners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11225
Balancing by http://www.innovativebalancing.com
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