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2004 Dodge Ram 1500 rotors keep warping

I had an accident a couple years ago. I hydroplaned on the freeway and ended up hitting the center concrete wall with the back right corner of the truck. Ever since that time after a few thousand mile any where from 2500 to 6K my rotors warp. I do not ride with my foot on the brake peddle. I have 198K miles on the truck and other then the brake issue it run great. I take it to a mechanic I have used for years for all my vehicles and we have replace everything from the wheel up to the firewall, Rotors ( even high performance) Pads, Calipers, Rubber line connecting the Calipers to the metal line in the front, Master Cylinder, and the Booster. The front warp worse then the back but all of the rotors warp. What else in the braking system other then the Antilock brake stuff could it possibly be? I have spent way to much money now and replaced my rotors 7 times since the wreck. It feels like the brakes engage randomly when driving down the road, I will feel a drag or a shudder like if a wheel is out of balance.

Thanks Tony

Do both you and your mechanic use a torque wrench when tightening the truck’s lug nuts?
If lug nuts are over-torqued (and unevenly torqued), this will frequently lead to warped rotors.

If you don’t have a torque wrench, you can pick up one at a reasonable price at Harbor Freight, and your Owner’s Manual should list the correct torque for your lug nuts.

I imagine the mechanic does, I can ask next time I go in which will be here soon I already nned to replace my rotors again.

Does this random shudder come and go or does it remain once it begins?

Do you know if the mechanic is actually checking the rotors with a dial indicator and micrometer to verify the rotors are really warped or is he just assuming that’s the case because of a shudder? It’s quite common to assume so.

There’s a lot of things that can cause a brake shudder other than the brakes and especially with 198k miles on the clock.

NUMBER: 05-001-05

GROUP: Brakes

DATE: January 6, 2005

Brake Shudder or Vibration

This bulletin involves installing brake pads, hub and resurfacing the rotors and checking rotor runout.


2004 (DR) Ram Truck (1500 Series Only)

NOTE :This bulletin applies to 2004 vehicles built on February 25, 2004 and February 26, 2004 (MDH 0225XX and 0226XX)


The vehicle may exhibit pulsation or vibration in the brake pedal and/or steering wheel when the brakes are applied. The condition is most noticeable at speed over 50 MPH but can occur at lower speeds.


If a customer indicates that the condition is present and the vehicle was built on Feb.25 or Feb. 26, 2004 (MDH 0225XX or 0226XX), perform the Repair Procedure.




  1. Inspect the front brakes for any signs of abnormal wear or damage. Repair as necessary.

  2. Remove both front calipers adapters with the calipers attached, support and set aside.

  3. Remove both front hub and bearing assemblies using the appropriate service manual procedures for 2 or 4 wheel drive.

  4. Install both new hub and bearing assemblies with the appropriate part number listed in the Parts Required Section above.

  5. Install the new front pads and anti-rattle springs with the appropriate part number listed in the Parts Required Section above.

  6. Resurface both front brake rotors with a Daimlerchrylsler approved on-car brake lathe. If an on-car lathe is not available at the dealership, the rotor resurfacing must be sublet to a facility with an approved on car lathe.

  7. Mark one wheel stud on each side with a dab of paint or suitable marker.

NOTE :Wheel stud torque is critical to the success of the repair. the following procedure is intended to identify excessive rotor distortion which could be caused by improper wheel stud torque.

  1. Install the wheel and pre-tighten the lug nuts in a cross pattern to: 70 Nm (50 ft. lbs.) then final tighten the lug nuts in a cross pattern to: 183 Nm (135 ft. lbs.) and mark the wheel at the same location as the marked wheel stud.

  2. Set up a dial indicator to measure mounted rotor lateral runout. Place the dial indicator plunger against the inner machined rotor face, visible between the brake caliper and the front splash shield (Fig. 1). Rotate the wheel and tire assembly two turns and take runout measurement. If the measurement is less than .050 mm (.002 in.) no further action is required. If the measurement is greater than .050 mm (.002 in.) remove the lug nuts and relocate the wheel one stud clockwise, tighten the lug nuts as described in step 6 and check the runout again. Do not remove any brake parts. Repeat step 7 for each wheel location until you achieve the lowest mounted runout. Minimum mounted rotor runout will be achieved by moving the wheel, not the rotor.

  3. Repeat the mounted lateral runout check for the other rotor.

Reimbursable within the provisions of the warranty.

I’d love to know what happened on two production days only to cause this problem.

Was that the 2 days when Chrysler employees made the news after being videotaped drinking and smoking weed at lunchtime…?


That’s assuming the problem is related to the brakes and not due to something else.

Sounds more like they got a batch of wheels and hubs that had some combination tolerance stack up issue (or were at some tolerance limit that was later discovered to be a problem). The real bummer is that the owner still has to live with the effects even after the hubs are replaced. The wheels must be indexed. Imagine not knowing this and removing a tire (or rotating tires). Even the dealer could mess it up again unless the owner knows and points out to make note of the position before removal. What a PITA.

i have had issues with the brakes on my dodge also in the past granted mine is a 98 diesel. so they are different trucks but my brakes woul drag a little in the front sometimes. to resolve that issue i found out that the front calipers were dragging on the caliper slides and not returning all the way. due to brake dust and such working its way into the slides. i replaced the slide bolts and found out that dodge requires a use of a certain type of grease on these slides. (cant remember the name call your local dealer and ask) at least they rewuire it on my year of truck. and i also adjusted the rear brakes all the time since they do go out of adjustment quite a bit. and this ended all of my issues. hope this helps you even a little.

vwfan, the guy’s talking about warped rotors and runout, and you’re talking about dragging brakes.

db4690, if you look at his post he also says it fells like the brakes are engaging or dragging while he is driving down the road.

Heck, I bought an '09 vehicle last year and the rotors were warped. I am beginning to think they stop better when they arent straight.