I have a lot of experience driving a 1995 Dodge Van 3500, in fact I wore it out with 190k miles. So I bought a 2001. The problem I am having is the this new van is at speeds over 60mph the van starts to fishtail. That is the back of the van weaves back and forth. I have had the front end steering components checked ( and aligned) and a few of the parts replaced. The rear shocks have also been replace and nothing looks amiss there. The only thing that I can figure out is the tires on the 1995 were Michelin Xt. The tires on the 2001 are Big O Big Foot AT. Would the tire make that big of a difference? I would hate to shell out $800 for new tires and not make a difference.
Yes, tires can make a difference. Are the tires that same make and size all the way around? Are the pressures up to specification for the weight you are carrying? When you get this ‘fish tailing’, what are you carrying or pulling? If pulling a trailer, what type i.e. 2 wheel, 4 wheel, load leveler, antisway device, tongue weight? If you have the rear of the van loaded, try redistributing the load to put most of the weight in the center.
If you decide to try another brand of tire, see if you can swap tires and wheels from another 3500 and try that before you buy. If you can find a savy tire salesman, ask him about putting a less compliant tire on the rear. I would imagine that a shop that deals in truck tires might be able to help you more.
Hope that helps. Post back with what solves this problem
Weaving at 60? I agree with you: I’m not sure I’d replace the tires without checking a few more things. Low tire pressure will cause a vehicle to weave. If you carry heavy loads, you need to check if you have to increase the pressure. Tire pressure for a fully loaded van, or one that is pulling a trailer is likely to be higher than for an empty van. Are the tires on the van the correct size as recommended by Dodge? I would be very skeptical of a solution that just substituted one brand of tire for another. Weaving at only 60 Mph is not something you would expect to experience just because of the brand name on the tire.
There is something else amiss here than just tire brand. Have you had all of the suspension parts checked, front and rear? Does the van behave the same whether loaded or not?