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  #1  
Old 02-17-2008, 09:57 AM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Exclamation Medium Duty Quality thread- Monroe

I had the recent pleasure of purchasing a C4500 with a pickup conversion from Monroe with So-Low suspension. I took delivery of the vehicle with 0.7 miles on it at the Monroe's Flint facility. I was excited to stand next to it, but everything else was a disappointment. So began the saga.

This vehicle incidentally passed all of Monroe's and GM's QC checks. It has been the most disappointing vehicle purchase that I have ever made. I want to increase the awareness of these problems for everyone...to advance the knowledge of this community. I encourage all of the medium duty owners to check their vehicles for the same problems and check NHTSA.gov for TSB's and defects investigatons for their particular vehicle as well. GM is getting ready to sell off the medium duty products to Navistar...maybe no one cares anymore.

The vehicle did not get a pre-purchase inspection by the dealer, so this is how it comes. And don't forget...your medium duty dealer may not be your local neighborhood dealer.

At 0.7 miles:

1) Driver's headlight out.
2) Headlights not aimed...pointing about 15 feet infront of the truck...just about useless. Monroe does not apparently align or examine the headlights after altering the suspension of the truck.
3) Water leaking through cab lights onto the brake pedal and onto the driver's floor.
4) Right rear passenger door leading edge so far out of alignment that air and water could enter the passenger compartment. Every '07 Kodiak that I have seen has the same door problem!
5) Severe front end vibration at 50, 60, and 70 mph with severe steering wheel shake at higher speeds. I've discovered that GM didn't bother balancing the Alcoa wheels. The medium duty dealer recently put 5 oz on weight on each of them and the vibration persists. Flat spots? Monroe's shocks? Alignment? All are possible culprits of the continued vibration.
6) Steering wheel about 20 degrees clockwise. Monroe's 0.6 mi test drive obviously failed to see this or the vibration. No alignment bolts touched, so I guess it wasn't aligned after being lowered 2". I was told by Monroe's inside sales that if the steering wheel is straight on the test drive that the QC check is satisfied!
7) Rust on all the aftermarket fasteners and rusty scuffs on the running boards. The suspension U-bolts look awful from behind. Beware snow belters!
8) No apparent block sanding of the Monroe pickup bed. Fine imperfections up and down the length of the fiberglass.
9) GM's orangepeel on the cab finish is awful. Monroe's finishing process was far superior on the bed. To the trained eye..this is the dead giveaway that the paint wasn't put on by the same process.
10) Brake squeal. I think this is also a common problem.
11) Factory CD radio stinks. Not really a problem...this is a commercial vehicle right?

My truck has already spent a day at the GM dealer and there was a lot of finger pointing at Monroe. Monroe's warranty folks seem anxious to help, but why should I have to do all of this? I now have to take it to a tractor alignment facility to align Monroe's suspension, and my experience tells me the vibration won't be solved here. It's going to be a David V. Goliath and a lot more finger pointing.

It now has 800 miles on it and I haven't been able to tow anything secondary to the vibration.

Also, beware of the titling and insurance woes. In Ohio, it is considered commercial from both the titling, financing, and insurance standpoint. Get quotes first! Only GMAC seems willing to treat it as a non-comm vehicle.
There is no JD Power or Kelly Blue book or Edmunds to keep you out of these possible shark infested waters.

I encourage feedback. Maybe a Medium duty "quality" forum should be started.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2008, 12:53 PM
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DmaxMaverick DmaxMaverick is offline
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I won't defend GM when they lay an egg, and they do on occasion. Your complaints lie with the upfitter. Every complaint you've stated, except for the radio (old news...), and perhaps the door alignment, is a component either replaced, or modified, by the upfitter. How can you include GM in such a complaint? This would seem to me to have nothing to do with GM's QC. The dealer should be responsible for the door alignment and radio, but the driveability issues you have are not a GM QC issue. You are due a functional vehicle, and should have it. Bashing GM because the upfitter dropped the ball isn't serving your needs, nor will it get you a working truck.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2008, 01:34 PM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default It's a little more complicated than that

I'm not into mud slinging for fun. This looks like a pandemic from my perspective, so I will defend my position.

GM is responsible for the defective headlamp, which is a pretty big issue when you are driving the vehicle for the first time at dusk. I had to bail out in a rest area in a Michigan snow storm and then limp to a parts joint just to get the truck home. I also had to buy a cheap torx driver. Upon replacing the headlamp I realized that the steel springs and stamped housings were all badly corroded...not terribly pleasant to deal with with cold fingers, and not a bright outlook for future headlight changes.

No one inspected the door at body. There was another Kodiak at the dealership of the same year...with exactly the same door issue. I did not feel alone. This was not an accident with just this truck.

Shipping a vehicle with a factory wheel option and not placing a single wheel weight on those wheels when they were 5oz out of balance doesn't really seem appropriate.

Then the cab lights...water all over the brake actuating rod and the pedal which was frozen. Water in the dash and on the brake system looks like a safety matter waiting to happen. Again, the other Kodiak at the dealership had a wet headliner and water inside too, and there were a pile of new cab lights on the seat waiting to be installed.

We agree on the radio! But I really did not expect much with the size of that cab and the size of the speakers.

Monroe and GM seem like equals to me. 6 or 7 of the 11 points point to GM. My opinion. And I absolutely respect yours and anyone elses for that matter. This is my third GM. Maybe I've had bad luck this time, but that is for everyone else to decide. I tried really hard to be objective and not opinionated.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2008, 02:29 PM
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DmaxMaverick DmaxMaverick is offline
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There's no excuse for misaligned doors. To find two on the same lot with the same issue is very unusual. I've seen dozens of 4500's, and none had this issue. Must have been the same guy doing the doors on those trucks. I dunno about the headlamp issue. Could be unique, and could have been caused by the upfitter. Either way, the upfitter should have caught whatever issue there was with it, as they should have been adjusted and inspected along with the suspension mods. Period. The water leak is another issue, and should be addressed. I've not heard of it around here (CA). Wheel weights? Same thing. You could have just bought a "Friday truck". It happens. Most of the GM medium duty truck reports have been very positive, so it's hard to say just what's going on. Unless you have operated the truck before the upfitter got it, you really have no way of knowing what issues they are responsible for. That said, I think your issues, for the most part, are unique to your experience. Warning other MD owners of all your issues is a good thing, but we have to be careful where the "Chicken Little" line is drawn.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2008, 06:31 AM
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Mark Rinker Mark Rinker is offline
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I have been watching this product line carefully and would have to agree that there appears to be QC problems, especially in the later models.

The number of 20-30K mile C4500s on the new/used market is very high, and I have talked to a handful of loyal GM light duty truck owners that were sorely disappointed in their C4500 purchase. Mostly what I would call interior and body 'fit and finish' issues. We know the drivetrain is strong.

As for the radio, upgrade your front door speakers, adding insulation, and you'll be amazed at the power and sound of the GM factory radio.

Also, there is a perception problem in the customer base as well...the Chevrolet customer steps out of the quietest and most refined 3500 one-ton pickup on the market into a rough-around-the-edges, noisy, harsh riding BEAST that clearly isn't for everyone. Certainly, one look at the front axle and spring assembly should tell you this truck is not for taking your date to the movies in. My wife and kids flat out refuse to ride any distance with me, only the driver's chair is air-ride, and the other seats are fixed and very harsh.

Alot of the body problems stem from the harsh unloaded ride. Anything that can rattle loose, will rattle loose over time.

This farm boy has spent lots of hours in more crude ma-cheens, and I suspect the first owner of my truck worked through the factory gremlins in the 20K miles he put on. I know it was into the dealer a handful of times for small repairs, and replaced the driver's seat entirely.

The good news? Put 6,000#s on the flatbed, or 14,000# behind the Kodiak and it smooths right out and asks how far you want to go! This week is Minneapolis to Phoenix, and I am looking forward to the miles. My advice if you have driven a Kodiak (at least 50 miles, loaded and unloaded, not just around the block) and still want one? Buy used. There are some great deals out there...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Chevr...spagenameZWDVW

Offer this dealer 30K cash and I bet you'd have a new truck. It cost someone 60K to upfit.
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Last edited by Mark Rinker; 02-18-2008 at 06:57 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2008, 07:46 AM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default Update

Again...this is all objective.

I have since spoken to Monroe's warranty department today, and although I invited them to call the dealer while the vehicle was in for service, they are doing it now. That is not proactive. I informed them that the GM mechanic said the alignment was Monroe's responsibility...and that it needed one. Monroe's initial stance was that "lowering" had no effect on the Kodiak's alignment, and that is GM's responsibility. They said they would stand behind their product yesterday... their response today is that "Monroe is not paying for an alignment." I guess things change. The Gen. Mngr. is to call me later.

Looking at the suspension design, toe is fixed...unless you change the castor angle. And in this case the steering wheel is out of alignment. So at the least, it needs an alignment to center the wheel. That is Monroe's responsibility, plain and simple. I cannot believe what is happening.

I talked to Goodyear about the vibration to get some further insight. My cab/chassis could have been sitting for 10 months, and I had questions about steel belt -memory- flat spots. I informed them that all the MD trucks that Monroe gets for upfitting do not have wheel weights too! (That information came from Monroe. GM is delivering MD trucks without checking wheel balance according to them.) Mine was an example of this. Goodyear agreed that GM is going to cause the new tires to cup at the least from bouncing down the road, and then here goes another line of fingerpointing and wasted time. Goodyear advised me to take it to a truck tire service center and have the radial and lateral runout of the tires checked, as well as the Alcoa wheels, at their expense. Goodyear was more than pleasant to deal with.

Another question...why isn't anyone balancing these vehicles before delivery? Monroe didn't see it as their responsibility, even though they are the one transforming it into a "premium" product. GM installed the wheels and tires...so it's another hot-potato.

I need to hire someone to take this truck around town and make calls, so I don't have to take any more time off work! That is costing me big $$. It's become my second volunteer job.

Trust me...if the situation was different, I would have turned around and abandoned this vehicle. Unfortunately, my trip to pick up the Kodiak happened on a Friday evening in the middle of a nice lake-effect snow storm. I just wanted to get home at that point in time, and Monroe had locked the doors. Maybe, I should drive it the 300+ miles back to them now.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2008, 07:03 PM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default Tires, Alignment and GM Customer Service Response

If it's true that the Medium Duties are not getting wheels balanced at delivery, I think GM may be responsible for the consequences. I'm getting this resolved early in the life-cycle of my tires, but if I was having premature wear and/or cupping, I think I would be making a much bigger issue of this. Wheels out of balance cause premature shock and tire failure.

This is a MD Quality thread. Chime in if your Kodiak doesn't have wheel weights.

Chime in if your Kodiak has quality problems in general. Things won't change unless we develop a community voice.

By the way...GM Medium duty cust.service called today. They reviewed my list of complaints...and when they found out it was up-fitted by Monroe, they wanted to close the case. They told me my only option was to take it to a GM/Monroe dealer which was 1.5 hours away. I urged them to keep the case open until the truck was right.

Monroe and GM have both denied me an alignment even though the vehicle was lowered, it continues to shake, the steering wheel is off, and the GM mechanic suggested it! They ignored the fact that the rear wheels still have not been balanced and ignored the other 5 issues that I had. I don't know what to do with the appointment that I have at the GM mechanic-approved, out-sourced truck shop. I am in communication with Goodyear too. They want it taken to one of their shops to check the radial runout for a possible defect. But, since the truck sat in Monroe's yard for so long they said they'd probably deny a claim for flat spots in the belt.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:30 AM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default Monroe Warranty

Monroe's Gen Mngr did not call; however, Monroe warranty department called again today to tell me that Monroe is not responsible for wheel balancing or alignments on their up-fits. They went further to say it was the consumer's responsibility. Well, there you have it. I guess unbolting the shackles, lowering the vehicle and moving the steering wheel out of position are not indications for an alignment. That is in direct conflict with the GM mechanic's opinion. Who would have thought?

I wonder who's responsibility it will be if the tire belts are ruined from sitting for a year in Monroe's pass-through yard?
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:21 AM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default Problem? Take three minutes and fill out NHTSA's form

So far there are 1 or 2 people on this thread with similar troubles, some of which are safety concerns. Please go to this link, put in vehicle year, make, and KODIAK, and type a few sentences. This is where we begin to get something done here.

You can select c4500 or c5500, but leave it under KODIAK.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/Consumer.cfm

Please let NHTSA know about your wheel weights, uneven tire wear, leaking cab lights, poorly aimed headlights, mirrors, etc...if it's a safety concern or defect, they will do an investigation, but like the Atty General, there needs to be multiple WRITTEN complaints to make something happen.

Identify the upfitter in the text too, if it relates to them.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:27 PM
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I can tell you from experience that had the truck been through the PDI process, the water leak, door fit, headlamp, steering and possibly the vibration would have been addressed before you were to have taken possesion of the vehicle at my dealership. Problem is the truck roles off the assembly line and right through the hole in the fence (so I've been told) over to Monroe. No GM PDI is ever done UNLESS the vehicle is then shipped to a GM dealer after Monroe is done with the truck. We get Monroe conversions in all the time and they usually have a ton of Monroe related issues that need to be addressed before delivery to the customer. I noticed that you stated that you have the air suspension added to the truck....... not a GM option and could relate to the vibration problem if it turns out to be a driveline angle issue. I have also seen alot of new trucks come in with "SQUARE" tires. We then contact whoever the tire manufacturer is and they take care of that. The water leak is actually a common issue. The lenses are cracked around the screw holes. There are updated lenses for that. The head lights on every new vehicle have to be aligned. They are never right off of the assembly line. The steering wheel is easy enough. Check the toe, if ok then reposition the wheel on the column. The column is not keyed. You can put the wheel on 180 degrees out if you want! As far as the other complaints go, you and the dealer need to work it out with Monroe. It could be worse......... it could be a Regency conversion. They SUCK! It seems like every time we get one in, there are major problems with it!

One other issue you might run into is.............. who is going to work on this vehicle? In my area, the light duty dealers don't like to repair the C-4500 vehicles even though they are authorized to sell them. So where is your nearest Medium Duty Dealer? Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:49 AM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default Right on. Keep posting alignment, wheel, or headlamp issues!

You are correct, and it follows with what my relatively-local MD dealer says, except, they routinely do not balance unless they feel a vibration. I'm not sure they would have picked up on the headlight alignment, unless they were specifically looking at it. The problem here is that, even though there are PDI monies for this type of thing, they would not touch any suspension related items unless Monroe Warranty gave consent...which they did not. The GM mechanic "sealed" but did not replace the cab lights, which I assume is because they were not cracked, and he fit the door nicely.

Recently, the delivering saleman has assured me that they would pay for an alignment and balancing on the company CC, just to avoid Monroe all-together on the other safety issues.

But that's the tragedy...hole in the fence or otherwise...these vehicles shouldn't be hitting the streets like they are. It's the 21st century, and there are certain basic standards that should be met at the manufacturer.

Let's not talk about "value" or "ride" on this thread. That is subjective. Please continue posting if you have quality issues. As I've said elsewhere, if we are complacent, further mediocrity with ensue, as it is evident there are no watchdogs and the manufacturers are taking full advantage.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:37 PM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default Suspension Geometry--lowered vehicle problems--update

So I took the early advice and had my Kodiak alignment looked at by a tractor pro--a real artisan.

He said that it was not acceptable for an alignment to be neglected by Monroe after such modifications. Mine was not tracking straight in the rear, secondary to a axle which was 1/8" off perpendicular, and you know about the steering wheel already.

Monroe drops these front ends (So-Low) about 2" and then moves the steering wheel about 2 splines one direction or another. On my truck, the wheel was still too far to the right--over corrected. Herein lies a major design flaw. It is my understanding, after my suspension clinic today, that steering boxes operate at their tightest tolerances where the factory zeros the steering wheel. There is a mark on the steering shaft at zero. By moving it 45 degrees, one side or the other, you are begging for sloppy steering and an uneven "feel" and "range" (his words.) Monroe does not install an adjustable drag link to put the steering box back to "zero" ...ever. This effectively lengthens the drag link. So they are begging for sloppy steering and again violating acceptable engineering standards. Looking at the design, I see now why I get bump steer which is worse on left wheel impacts than on the right, add that to the sloppy steering accuracy, and this shows how these could be made so, so much better.

Read: make a DOT-accepted adjustable drag link and you will sell hundreds.

We examined the new Goodyear Highway tires and there was significant tread lateral runout as well as a radial hop in each. This explains the vibration. The balance on one was still not perfect yet. I'm meeting with Goodyear tomorrow; we'll see how they will address this.

I will later measure the input and output angles on the drive shaft to see if they are within 4 degrees or whatever the spec is. This was recent advice.

I don't think the dealer would do this amount of "sorting" even if they are getting the PDI check.
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:18 AM
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Mark Rinker Mark Rinker is offline
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So - do you think that your truck was a good value, overall? How's the ride? My 2004 Kodiak just turned over 70K miles yesterday. Over 50K in ~10 months. Its been a good truck for the intended purpose. Good luck with your upfit oversites. I agree that you are on to something here - that should be addressed before the customer takes delivery.

Question: What is your intended use for this truck?
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:23 AM
murphyslaw murphyslaw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braveheart View Post
So I took the early advice and had my Kodiak alignment looked at by a tractor pro--a real artisan.

He said that it was not acceptable for an alignment to be neglected by Monroe after such modifications. Mine was not tracking straight in the rear, secondary to a axle which was 1/8" off perpendicular, and you know about the steering wheel already.

Monroe drops these front ends (So-Low) about 2" and then moves the steering wheel about 2 splines one direction or another. On my truck, the wheel was still too far to the right--over corrected. Herein lies a major design flaw. It is my understanding, after my suspension clinic today, that steering boxes operate at their tightest tolerances where the factory zeros the steering wheel. There is a mark on the steering shaft at zero. By moving it 45 degrees, one side or the other, you are begging for sloppy steering and an uneven "feel" and "range" (his words.) Monroe does not install an adjustable drag link to put the steering box back to "zero" ...ever. This effectively lengthens the drag link. So they are begging for sloppy steering and again violating acceptable engineering standards. Looking at the design, I see now why I get bump steer which is worse on left wheel impacts than on the right, add that to the sloppy steering accuracy, and this shows how these could be made so, so much better.

Read: make a DOT-accepted adjustable drag link and you will sell hundreds.

We examined the new Goodyear Highway tires and there was significant tread lateral runout as well as a radial hop in each. This explains the vibration. The balance on one was still not perfect yet. I'm meeting with Goodyear tomorrow; we'll see how they will address this.

I will later measure the input and output angles on the drive shaft to see if they are within 4 degrees or whatever the spec is. This was recent advice.

I don't think the dealer would do this amount of "sorting" even if they are getting the PDI check.
dump those goodyears and grab a set of Yokohama's. just my professional opinion.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:32 PM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default The saga continues. Read it only if you like sad stories.

Met the Goodyear representative today. I thought this was going to be the silver bullet. I was planning my first 600 mile trip with towing (same day) and was pushing it pretty close. The intended use of the truck is to pull 4 horses in a 8k trailer and pull a double car hauler. It pulled the empty horse trailer today. To concentrate on defects:

1) OE right front tire got replaced, as it had 65 thousandths of radial runout. He was not comfortable with it. The left had 40 thousandths-- less than 70 is within spec. He was not concerned with the tread lateral jog. He tried to reseat the bead to make it go away. No change. It got rebalanced up front. They checked it first with the GM MD dealer weights, and the balancer read "0"s. It had about 5-6 oz a piece, divided inside and out. They took off the weights...made a mess of the Aluminum incidentally... and the balancer called for 3oz on the outside lip only. How can two balancer's call for a 2oz difference? And it read the 5 oz as being OK? So now I'm skeptical of the balancer. Not very accurate. Or it read the piezo and found a different solution to the harmonics with the same result.

2) Looks like the Alcoas have at least 10 thousandths of runout. I was told that is OK. We remounted the wheels with the high spot "up" so to further use the slack in the hub to minimize the runout. Thoughtful, but not terribly sceintific. Despite my request, they hit 'em with a 1" impact. Not a torque wrench in the truck shop!

3) Heard from two separate people (not employees) while the Goodyear rep was "away", that the only way to make a MD stop shaking is Michelin.

4) During the trip, at 50 mph and especially in a long, high-load turn, there is a lateral vector to the persistent vibration. It is down right awkward in a turn. I was looking at the hash marks on the speedo and they were definitely moving left to right. It still shakes violently at 70, with and without a load...8k trailer...empty. The vibration at 60 is gone mostly, but comes and goes.

5) I can feel the steering wheel pass through zero "and tighten up" on a gradual right turn. I wonder how the steering wheel shift has affected the turns to the left and turns to the right? I also wonder if the "slop" is compounding the lateral vibration while turning-- at the speed, load of a cloverleaf.

Weight definitely makes the Kodiak more behaved. I agree with those who claim this. But I've got 2.5 days tied up into making this stop shaking and still no result, with and without the load. It's awful. I mean it. If you try to talk to someone while driving, it's like you're getting a fist-pounding massage.

6) Oh, the trailer brake controller. It's not progressive like a Prodigy. Comes on and stays at the set level. I had to turn it all the way down to drive in a rural setting; The trailer was trying to stop the Kodiak before I was applying any real pedal pressure. It was set on "2" max. Am I missing something, or is this Draw-tite unit bad? All it has is a manual slider and gain knob and NO documentation from Monroe.

I don't know what to do next. Get GM to put a set of Michelins on it, and make an adjustable drag link, and buy a Prodigy? And then start all over with the shop visits and build the Kodiak the way it should have been built?
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:09 PM
murphyslaw murphyslaw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braveheart View Post
Met the Goodyear representative today. I thought this was going to be the silver bullet. I was planning my first 600 mile trip with towing (same day) and was pushing it pretty close. The intended use of the truck is to pull 4 horses in a 8k trailer and pull a double car hauler. It pulled the empty horse trailer today. To concentrate on defects:

1) OE right front tire got replaced, as it had 65 thousandths of radial runout. He was not comfortable with it. The left had 40 thousandths-- less than 70 is within spec. He was not concerned with the tread lateral jog. He tried to reseat the bead to make it go away. No change. It got rebalanced up front. They checked it first with the GM MD dealer weights, and the balancer read "0"s. It had about 5-6 oz a piece, divided inside and out. They took off the weights...made a mess of the Aluminum incidentally... and the balancer called for 3oz on the outside lip only. How can two balancer's call for a 2oz difference? And it read the 5 oz as being OK? So now I'm skeptical of the balancer. Not very accurate. Or it read the piezo and found a different solution to the harmonics with the same result.

It matters on whether they were both dynamic balancers or static balancers. my machine will do both. if I balance a tire on one setting and spin it on another it will some times tell me its not right.(yet to have one come back for shaking) It is also possible that the dude running one of the two machines didn't know how and messed up the settings, properly running a balancer isnt as simple as most people would thing. also once a year COATS(mfg) comes in and calibrates both of my machines, when was the last time theres was looked over? I love Michelin's(but I am partial since they underwrote my store) But I push them all Toyo's BFG's Good Years Yokohama's ext.

2) Looks like the Alcoas have at least 10 thousandths of runout. I was told that is OK. We remounted the wheels with the high spot "up" so to further use the slack in the hub to minimize the runout. Thoughtful, but not terribly sceintific. Despite my request, they hit 'em with a 1" impact. Not a torque wrench in the truck shop! Yeah that is about right.

3) Heard from two separate people (not employees) while the Goodyear rep was "away", that the only way to make a MD stop shaking is Michelin. That is all I will run on my service trucks(two 5500's and one international)

4) During the trip, at 50 mph and especially in a long, high-load turn, there is a lateral vector to the persistent vibration. It is down right awkward in a turn. I was looking at the hash marks on the speedo and they were definitely moving left to right. It still shakes violently at 70, with and without a load...8k trailer...empty. The vibration at 60 is gone mostly, but comes and goes.

5) I can feel the steering wheel pass through zero "and tighten up" on a gradual right turn. I wonder how the steering wheel shift has affected the turns to the left and turns to the right? I also wonder if the "slop" is compounding the lateral vibration while turning-- at the speed, load of a cloverleaf.

Weight definitely makes the Kodiak more behaved. I agree with those who claim this. But I've got 2.5 days tied up into making this stop shaking and still no result, with and without the load. It's awful. I mean it. If you try to talk to someone while driving, it's like you're getting a fist-pounding massage. these trucks when unloaded are a killer on the back, they only soften up a bit at full load.

6) Oh, the trailer brake controller. It's not progressive like a Prodigy. Comes on and stays at the set level. I had to turn it all the way down to drive in a rural setting; The trailer was trying to stop the Kodiak before I was applying any real pedal pressure. It was set on "2" max. Am I missing something, or is this Draw-tite unit bad? All it has is a manual slider and gain knob and NO documentation from Monroe.

I don't know what to do next. Get GM to put a set of Michelins on it, and make an adjustable drag link, and buy a Prodigy? And then start all over with the shop visits and build the Kodiak the way it should have been built?
I think I would return it and get one that has not been lowered, seems that most of the problems are stemming from that modification.

I would recommend the Michelin XDE M&S retreads for the drive axle. they are a great tire, awesome tread patters will go good in the mud and snow and handle well on the road. For the steers I would go with Michelin XZA-1B's or Yokohama RY023
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Main rig-1978 chevy 3/4 f/t 4x4 8" lift 38 14.5 16 toyo m/t's. BUILT 350(soon to be 6.2) quad batteries. front and rear 15k winches. lockers F/R. dana60 front full float corp 14 rear. th400/np203.

donor rig. 1988 GMC K3500 140k miles, th400. IFS(read CRAP) semi float 14 rear. drove it 142 miles home at 17mpg and 1/4 quart of delo 400.
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2008, 07:19 AM
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Mark Rinker Mark Rinker is offline
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My '04 C4500 had Michelins all the way around when I bought it with 20K miles.

Wonder if the previous owner had upgraded from the Goodyears already? Or could the Michelins have come OEM factory in 2004?
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2011 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3L daily driver
  • Previous owner of two 1994 6.5L K3500s, '01, '02, and '05 6.6L K2500s, '04 C4500, '06 K3500 dually, '06 K3500 SRW, '09 K3500HD SRW, '05 Denali
  • Total GM diesel miles to date : ~950K
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2008, 09:51 AM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default Check your option list, build sheet

Options S4L and R4L are Michelins.

My truck is brand new and has the Premium Goodyear Highway tire option.
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2008, 10:49 AM
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Mark Rinker Mark Rinker is offline
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Checked the visor code list and it came from the factory with Michelins. At 70K, the rears are about 35% remaining and steers about 50%. I plan to run larger diameter rear rubber to reduce cruise RPMs by 15% and am considering a swap from duals to super singles.

From re-reading your thread, I would conclude that the Monroe lowering kit is very suspect. Ever driven one without?
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2011 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3L daily driver
  • Previous owner of two 1994 6.5L K3500s, '01, '02, and '05 6.6L K2500s, '04 C4500, '06 K3500 dually, '06 K3500 SRW, '09 K3500HD SRW, '05 Denali
  • Total GM diesel miles to date : ~950K
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  #20  
Old 02-29-2008, 08:27 AM
Braveheart Braveheart is offline
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Default ZF lenksysteme --steering-- opinion

So here's the word from ZF engineering/Sachs:

Moving the steering wheel as a solution to the drag link geometry change upon lowering a Kodiak creates two problems.

1) Steering range different left to right--determined by release valve or wheel stops, regardless, it changes.

2) Steering feel becomes loose, as the steering gear is out of it's sweet spot--tightest tolerence.

Best solution is changing the drag link. Next best is changing the pitman angle. Changing the pitman angle creates another smaller problem for rate and effort, but much less noticable.

Remember all of this is happening in the background of Monroe denying me an alignment.
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