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- Feb 15, 2016
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you only suggested chinese tires so i can only assume they were the cheapest thing you can find testing for fitment or something. with torsion bars its basically like having a single rate coil springs your basically riding around with them almost bottomed out with the keys cranked up. those bars only have so much spring twist in them. anyway as im still unsure of the capabilities of the tires im just going to assume they super squishy sidewalls with basically a super stiff suspension spring rate. the 4bt is about 750lbs with just the engine and oil. do you only have the alternator and ps on it for accessories? they don't weigh much just by themselves. so your definitely lighter up front than i thought maybe a bit heavier than you think tho according to what im reading. hmmm what are you running for shocks up front? the drag link is your steering cross bar the pitman arm is the z ish shaped arm off the steering gearbox to the passenger side there is another up there looks very similar called the idler arm. when i had my 97 i used to always run a mid load range tire dont remember exactly what load range it was but it could handle all the seats down fully loaded and a 16ft trailer fully loaded. my current assumption is your suspension is very stiff due to the extra weight and stiffness of the torsion bars paired with tires with very large sidewalls trying to flex and bounce and possible need for a firmer shocks to handle those points. maybe a mild lift and backing off on the torsion bars. sounds like your going all in anyway why not just go all the way and do a solid axle swap.The 4BT is about 750lbs (6BT is around 1100), the NV4500 about 220. I probably gained 350-450lbs. I have had it over the scales and I seem to remember 5800 but before I get it aligned next time I will weigh both axles.
Is the implication that I would have an unbalanced spring rate carrying the heavier load between the front and rear? I did also replace the drag link and idler (not sure of terminology) when I refurbed the front end before the swap. The OEM parts that I pulled off were somewhat worn and the rubber seals were going away but as I stated swapping out the front end parts made a minor improvement. I think that the steering box is probably more worn than I suspected. The feeling that I get from from the replies is that it should drive pretty well. This is encouraging! Since the chassis components are similar to a 1/2 ton PU my modest load increase seems like it should be within comfortable limits for the chassis.
Chinese tires are not necessarily bad tires. I am running load range F's on my ram. When I purchased them a few years ago load range F's in my size were very hard to find in any brand. I needed the load range F because my rear axle load was putting the load range E tires over their limit. I haul a slide in camper and pull a big enclosed trailer, typical CGVW is 22k it drives great and is not fussy at all. I have been running them 3 seasons and they still look nearly new. I am using them on my 3 axle equipment trailer that I haul a Case 580 on. Zero problems. Trailer duty is rough duty when you make a turn the loads that those tires endure are ugly. I am running them on my Monaco 36ft class A no issues at all. It drives just the same as with the previous Good Years. Any tire mfg can have issues. It takes a tough tire to survive at rated load full time. Check out the tire failures of name brand tires on class A motor homes. It is an epidemic. So bad that they recommend that you swap them out every 4 years regardless of mileage. When I spent a few weeks in the Shanghai area in 2012 the roads were full of all types of vehicles. Lots of trucks obviously loaded heavier than would be allowed in the US. The roads were not covered with tire carcasses or trucks with flat tires.