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Old 03-11-2006, 04:40 AM   #1
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Opinions as to which truck is the best to use for a conversion project ?
I have a Volvo now , but the grass is always greener and I am eying a t2000 but would like to get some input from others
I don't care for the Freightliner much but I am told it is the best for converting cause every company already uses that unit!
I took a coranado out for a spin detroit powered like my volvo with an auto and I was not impressed

My volvo rides like a 15 ton caddy , its quite mushy, very quiet , handels very good till you start pushing it !
I am more of a BMW type of person and would like a firmer more precise type of handeling !
Any sugestions on what trucks to try? t
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Old 03-11-2006, 06:12 AM   #2
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A BMW X5!!

You are fighting the laws of physics with these trucks. I have driven both the T2 and my Kingsley is built on a 780. The T2 seemed somewhere between the Freightliner and the Volvo, more towards the Volvo but not close enough for me to call them equals.

That's my $.02.
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:27 PM   #3
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Here is my $.01 cents. As a long time Pacaar Owner and Fan. The newest large Conventional Volvo Model beats them all. When it comes to motors I am sorry to say that a Big Block Volvo also is on the top of the list. When it comes to all the things from Comfort,Room,Quality and the way it Handles,Pulls,Rides and Construction it can't be beat. Go Drive one for a couple hours loaded and empty and you will love it. They are giving Pacaar a run for there money. I am not saying that BMW and VOLVO Cages are equal but they are close. I have had Volvo Cages for 20+ years and feel the same quality is there in both Truck & Cage The only thing(although proven)I would never have is a Automatic Box. I really think it's a Mental thing on my part. I learned to drive on Triplex & Quad Boxes,And that was a long time ago. Depending on application any 13,15 or 18 spd.RR with Double O.D. is the Cats Ass. Well I think that was more then a penny's worth.

PLEASE NOTE: Even though I just posted a Recall reference about VOLVO under Announcements, I do not recall any other HD Truck Mfg. recently doing anything but taking a cruise down the DE-NILE RIVER. Even IH ended up in Court before they did anything back in the mid-late 90's
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Old 03-11-2006, 05:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
As a long time Pacaar Owner and Fan ... They are giving Pacaar a run for there money
Did you mean Pacaar or "Paccar", Inc, the corporate owner of Pete and Kenworth?
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Old 03-11-2006, 05:57 PM   #5
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So sorry, Nice Mr. Wallik I did not know that your spelling was perfect. I apologize for any and all inconveince this may have caused you. Am glad to see you can start breakin some stones So maybe there is humor on the left coast.Please feel free to continue at any time Sir.I live for this kind of stuff. I'm just dumb fat &happy on the right coast
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:23 AM   #6
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Anyway.. We like the Freightliner. I have driven the Volvo with a roll off body and didn't care for the turning radius or the ride. What I did find amusing was you can watch the fuel gauge drop as it's running, atleast in the one I was running. The computer was nice so you could set a shut off/idle time. We like the freightliner ride and turning.
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:03 PM   #7
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My experience in over-the-road rigs is that Volvos give a mushier ride that Freightliners. The Volvo front suspension seems very compliant in bumps and the steering wheel shaft oscillates around more. The worst, I've heard from several sources that Volvo is/was slow/unrresponsive on service and propietary parts seem to come over from Sweeden on a slow boat. I like the gage & switch layout better in Freightliners but the big Volvo cabs & sleepers are just super.

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Old 03-12-2006, 09:52 PM   #8
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.....you know gary....sounds like somebody is on a control trip again.....Just out live them and pour a bottle on their grave....I do!....It's kinda of an Irish thing to do!....geofkaye
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:39 AM   #9
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Medent, Its the oscillation in the steering that bothers me most !
I think it is from bump steer from the positive arch in the front springs changing the dimension from the pitman arm to the spindle arm as the suspension works up and down and especially side to side !/?
Of course with the conversion the side to side is increased .

It never seems to bother me when I am on my way to a race and fresh in the saddle , but on the way home , tired at 3:am its a pain in the butt !

I would give up soft for tight but I like quiet and lack of vibration and wont give those up !
When we use the truck as a camper its a non issue and everything is perfect cause we are on a relaxed schedule , However Racing 3 nights a week in 3 different directions we tend to push it a bit and thats when things become noticable!
thanks t
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Old 03-13-2006, 01:40 PM   #10
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On my 95 FL FLD 120, I could see why they called them freight shakers. Suspension did seem stiff even with my 12,500 front end and Brock's air ride. Never had bump steer on that truck, but hated how it drove over 65 mph. Seemed kinda squirrelly.

My 05 M2 the cab is super quiet, no rattling, love how the doors shut, just like my 04 F150 real solid and nice. I do have alot of bump steer on this truck, but for some reason it does not bother me even after 14 hours in the seat. Actually, this truck is weird, when I start out it seems to drive real tight. But over that first hour it seems to loosen up and I like that. The 14,600 pound front end seems more forgiving than that on the FLD. And I can drive this truck 70-75 mph all day long, seems to be it's sweet spot.
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:24 PM   #11
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warpath , I always assumed that the starting out tight and looseing up in an hour or 2 was the shocks and tires warming up !
I am opposite of you in that I love the tightness and could live with out the loose.

I spoke with Volvo today about bump steer and it seemed like they were picking my brain more then me theirs !
I was told some of the new volvos are so bad with bump steer that they are undrivable an are being returned !
They said there is a KIT comming as soon as next week maybe, to Help with the problem (help not cure) The kit is only for newer trucks I am told cuase they are much worse than the older ones ! 14 hours don't phase me either till I add a trailer , a long night of racin , 40 mph cross winds and a dead line to get back to the shop and open the next morn ! man I am getting old t
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:48 PM   #12
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I guess loosening up maybe the wrong term. It just seems like the truck settles in. Definitely runs on rails down the highway, but I am only towing a jeep and not a big olé trailer.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:52 PM   #13
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.......mess around with your tire pressure some and check alignment at a truck shop-KPI- looseness -wheel trueness-lugs tightened same and rim not bent....I run 100 psi and have an alignment-squirrl drivin' was makeing me tired after 8 hours......make sure your front tread pattern and plys are the same should also be same date of manufacture along with air pressure off same gauge.....try some Counterbalance or Equal for balancing the front end some.....geofkaye
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:10 PM   #14
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fastlap:
The steering wheel motion in big Volvos (actually a 660) wasn't bump-steer. It was like the like the steering wheel shaft sort of bobled around a bit without causing steer changes, at least the way I just let it bobble, not trying to hold from bobbling.

Expanding on choice, Volvo-Freightliner is my hands on experience. With KWs I've not driven but talked to drivers & dealers and get a concensus that the T2000 has has growing pains from their intro in '97 or '98: electrical-instrument problems, wind noise in the door closures and wind bouncing the big cab around. From dealers things are getting better each year and by 2002 & 2003 the original problems are gone (ha ??). Get the latest one you can afford. One dealer said the 10 speed eaton autoshifts are good, get the 2nd generation (came out in 2001 KWs, pure push button no little shift stick), 18 speed one give more trouble. It looks like the big-cab Petes have their growing pains too. One driver with a new one liked it OK, another observation our KW dealer had a couple of them that were traded in for new T600s after only a couple of years, didn't get to details of why.

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Old 03-14-2006, 07:09 AM   #15
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The problem Volvo told me about was oscillation in the steering wheel after or during a bump at speed 50-75mph
They said the driver must then slow to under 40 mph to get the wheel to stop oscillating !
Day cabs were worse than sleepers for some reason !

I Just made an offer on a t-600 , dont think I will get it though , we will see
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:46 PM   #16
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....what you are talking about is called, by the off-road guys, as the "death wobble"...it is a combination of things: out of round tires-out of balance tires or rims-dragging brake-loose or bad bearings-worn front end parts-bad alignment-rims with mud in them-loose lug bolts-steering arm or king pin worn-tie rod ends bad-steering box needs to be rebuilt....or all of the above....you won't be able to get past a DOT or a COP if he sees the "death wobble" and your front tires will wear and make it even worse.......have a good day!.....have the cheapest thing done first and work to the most expensive......geofkaye
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:08 AM   #17
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Geof, I am not talking about "death wobble" that is way different and can be pretty violent !

I am talking about a very slow oscillation in the the steering wheel 30-90 degrees each side of center that occurs in trucks that are brand new or have All new parts, tires and wheels !
Its called bump steer or travel steer and most trucks (if not all) will have some

This is not a very violent issue and most people will not even notice it cause they are sawing at the wheel a little anyways!
Its not particualy dangerous like caster shimmy or caster shake or as you called it "Death wobble"
The more spring arch and spring travel a truck has (or I should say Uses) the more bump steer it will exhibit !

Matter of fact the tighter(newer) all the front end and suspension parts are, the more bump steer you will have as then every suttle little movement of the front springs will be transfered back through the drag link to the box and wheel ! bump steer is worse in big rolling type of bumps and non existent in sharp abrupt bumps (generaly speeking)

The truck will track straight while all this is going on and if you try to dampen the steering it will make the truck wander so it is best to let it have its head so to speak !

Volvos seem to have more suspension travel then most trucks (mine has 12.5" rear and around 10" front )
The way to cure this is make the front springs run as flat as possible (load them up)and Keep the Max weight on the front axel at all times (most conversions already have this , mine don't!)

Agreed "Death wobble" caster shimmy is increased greatly by any loosness in any suspension componet (or in balance)
But my opinion is that what causes "death wobble" would some what cure bump steer!
t
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:42 AM   #18
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Well I have to add another $0.02 cents. This whole topic seems to have jumped around so much that it is more out of wack then the steering or the frontend. In fact this is a "STATEMENT,AND NOT AN OPINION"

BOTTOM LINE IS: If anything in the steering/frontend is doing any of all the things that have been mentioned in the postings/replies. "THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG" Why even try to nickel & dime repairs with the most important components
in/on the Truck????? If after the first minor adjustment doesn't work or you don't know your ass from page 8 about it.

"TAKE IT TO SOMEBODY THAT DOES AND SAY REBUILD THE WHOLE FRONTEND AND STEERING COMPONENTS I WANT IT LIKE NEW"

Now my opinion: If ANY of my vehicles regardless of weight,size,SPEED,amount of wheels anything. Will not let me take both
hands off the Steering Wheel,Handlebars,Stick/Yoke or whatever controls it. And it does not stay where it is suppose to or where I want it to stay there is something WRONG!!!
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:23 AM   #19
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Marc , this is a design issue and has nothing to do with worn parts or repairs needed !
This exists on new volvo trucks(some mods) right off the production line !
I would like to know if PETE or KW have the same ?
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:11 AM   #20
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fastlap -

As I mentioned my M2 as the same deal. Alot of spring arch and inturn suspension travel and bump steer. New truck also jsut like you said. It was a little wierd when I first drove it, but I have become a custom to it now and it doesn't bother me at all. But if I had a big trailer behind me it maybe a whole nother issue.

My FLD had alot of weight on the front end and had pretty flat front springs. No bump steer there. But the ride was also much rougher than the M2.

Are you willing to trade ride for more steering control? Are you planning on doing something with those front springs?
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