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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned a 2011 Armada 4WD (180K miles) for almost two years. After owning it for almost a year, we moved from town to the backwoods of Tennessee. The backroads to get to our house are EXTREMELY rough.

When we moved to the country, I poked around here and did the recommended shock, strut, and rear springs upgrade. I also did the air leveler delete. And I replaced my tires with Hankook Dynapro XT's.

My driving experience over the past thirty years has been mostly 15-passenger vans (I have eight children) and mini-vans as my children began to marry and move out.

The Armada has always seemed to float (think early 70's Sadan de Ville) more than I would have thought. It may have reduced the "float" when I did the upgrades. But on a recent trip to South Carolina, I noticed the float had become extreme, and the Mada was tracking side to side after hitting a bump.

Upon inspection at a friend's house, I discovered a blown rear shock and some pretty nasty rear tire wear.

So, I replaced both rear tires, both rear shocks (the basic shop recommended), and had them perform a four-wheel alignment.

Now it feels like the float and strangely unstable tracking is back and may be as bad as when I had the blown rear shock.

My question is, what am I missing.

-is the front-end shot? (which parts are suspect?)
-is it possible the front struts have gone bad?
-is it possible they recommended and installed the wrong rear shocks?

Something else?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
 

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It sounds like a few things are going on here...First and foremost, on a 4wd vehicles you can't just replace 2 tires...The tread on all your tires has to be within a certain percentage of each other, or you can cause serious damage to the tranfer case when running in 4wd. Second, if the front struts have never been replaced then it is possible they are bad, everything wears out...If you bought the cheapest shocks they had (My guess based on your wording of "the basic") then it is very possible they aren't up to the task. The Armada is a big heavy vehicle, mine tips the scales at about 6K lbs, and so you usually need a good set of shocks to keep it under control, especially if you are frequently driving on bad roads. Finally, I would check your ball joints, tie rods, and wheel bearings. If the rear tires are wearing at a much faster pace than the fronts, then something is deffinatly wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It sounds like a few things are going on here...First and foremost, on a 4wd vehicles you can't just replace 2 tires...The tread on all your tires has to be within a certain percentage of each other, or you can cause serious damage to the tranfer case when running in 4wd. Second, if the front struts have never been replaced then it is possible they are bad, everything wears out...If you bought the cheapest shocks they had (My guess based on your wording of "the basic") then it is very possible they aren't up to the task. The Armada is a big heavy vehicle, mine tips the scales at about 6K lbs, and so you usually need a good set of shocks to keep it under control, especially if you are frequently driving on bad roads. Finally, I would check your ball joints, tie rods, and wheel bearings. If the rear tires are wearing at a much faster pace than the fronts, then something is deffinatly wrong.
Thank you!
 
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