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Topic: Dodge Death Wobble?

Posted By: burnmark on 07/06/10 01:48pm

My friend has a 2008 Dodge 2500 - CTD, still warrantied, with low ~30000km on it. It has developed what is apparently known as the dodge death wobble. At 110 km/h (about 70 mph) it starts to wobble.
There is a fair bit of info on it on the Dodge diesel site. They too mention the 70 mph mark.
They discuss track bars and ball joints.
He is fighting with the dealer over warranty, and getting stonewalled it seems.
Anybody have any experience with this issue?

Thanks
Mark


2006 Dodge 2500 Mega Cab 5.9 Cummins
2005 Outfitter WT272 (made by Travelaire)


Posted By: JustLabs on 07/06/10 02:11pm

Its not a Dodge thing,its a solid front axle thing.

Worn,damaged or loose parts are generally the issue.

A loose track bar is the culprit the majority of the time.

I'd start with the track bar and then look at the control arms.

Big tires with soft sidewalls can create a wobble also.


2011 Chevrolet 2500HD LTZ 4x4 CCLB Duramax/Allison
2007 Keystone Cougar 289BHS Fifth Wheel.



Posted By: Tystevens on 07/06/10 03:09pm

Does the truck have oversized tires, a lift, or leveling kit? Is that why he's having warranty issues?


2008 Hornet Hideout 27B
2010 Chevy Suburban 1500 LT, Z71 package, 5.3/6A/3.42
2011 Ford F150 XLT Supercrew, 3.5 Ecoboost/6A/3.55 LS

Prior TVs:
2006 Chevy Silverado 2500HD ccsb 4x4 LT, Duramax LBZ
2005 Chevy Suburban 1500 4x4 LT, 5.3/4A/4.10


Posted By: burnmark on 07/06/10 03:14pm

No tire size change or lift. Of course I am getting 2nd hand, but it has been in the shop about 5 times. They actually changed his tires and wheels saying that it was a tire problem, but it made no difference.
I know it first came to light due to odd tire wear, and like I noted, low mileage.
Apparently there are US TSB's and such that are not published in Canada?
The dealership denied the problem, and then seems to have been looking for cheap fixes.


Posted By: RRUGG on 07/06/10 03:20pm

My 2001 Dodge had it. Under warranty, I got a new steering box. Aftermarket I got a bracket to use a newer track bar. Also had an aftermarket "Dodge steering stabilizer." All helped some but didn't cure it. It was particularly scary towing our Holiday Rambler TT. Now have a 2008 Dodge with 48,000 miles on it and no issues at all.


RRUGG
2009 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ 1500 4x4 5.3L
2011 Kodiak 281RLGS travel trailer
2011 Egg Camper
2010 Chrysler Town & Country
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Camped in 49 states. Missing Hawaii.


Posted By: ib516 on 07/06/10 03:26pm

I have had no such issues on my 2002 or my 2007. Both have stock sized tires and stock suspension.


2010 Cougar 322QBS 5er
2001 Dodge 2500 Quad, 4x4, 360 gas, 4.10, auto - SOLD
2002 Dodge 2500 Quad, 4x4, 5.9L CTD, 3.55, auto - SOLD
2007 Dodge 3500 SRW Mega, 4x4, 5.9L CTD, 3.73, auto - SOLD
2014 RAM 2500 Crew Cab, 4x4, 6.4L Hemi, 4.10, 66RFE auto
- on order



Posted By: srt20 on 07/07/10 03:49pm

BFGoodrich All-terrains are known for causing the death wobble. Just to soft of side walls for larger trucks.


Posted By: coolbreeze01 on 07/07/10 06:16pm

It can be as simple as mud buildup on the inside of a wheel. Good luck.


2008 Dodge 3500 With a Really Strong Tractor Motor...........
LB, SRW, 4X4, 6-Speed Auto, 3.73, Prodigy P3, Blue Ox Sway Pro........
2014 Sandsport 26FBSL


Posted By: carringb on 07/06/10 03:34pm

Bushing wear is the most likely culprit. Those things are not covered under warranty. They are considered wear items.

I recommend MOOG polyurethane bushings. You may feel a little more harshness, but they'll last longer.


Bryan

2000 Ford E350 DRW Wagon (14-pass all captains chairs)
V10 - 375,000 miles



Posted By: carringb on 07/06/10 03:35pm

Also, is there a chance the wheels are not stock? The wrong offset can also contribute.


Posted By: RCMAN46 on 07/06/10 03:54pm

Has anyone with this problem checked to see if the front and rear axles are tracking. I remember back in the late 50's and early 60's we had problems with pick-up frames out of diamond and they would go down the road like a dog.


Posted By: Wildwilly101 on 07/06/10 04:25pm

Check the track bar bushings


Posted By: Boatiac on 07/07/10 03:36pm

I can tell you Ford also has the "death wobble". My brother has a 2007 F-350. His started about 15K. It is lifted, big tires, the whole gamut. Bought it from the dealer all prepped out. He had everything on the front end replaced, nothing solved it, until, he replaced the tires at about 30K, has another 10K on it and it has never happened again since replacing his tires.

Now my story, 2003 32' Class A, Ford F-53 Chassis. Did it to me 4 times, less than 20K, had every thing checked on the front, no loose parts, no problem tires. Installed a (expensive!!) steering stabilizer on the front, problem gone. Sold it at 28K and it never happened again.

Nothing to give you definitive here, but there's two cases that took two different actions to fix. One thing I did discover during my research was how common of a problem this was to both Fords and Dodge, but all the fixes were just guess's.


2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax, Ride-Rite Air Bags w/compressor
2008 Gulfstream Canyon Trail (Sedona Edition) 34 FBRW
2005 Honda Rincon, 2013 Polaris Rzr 800
1999 Bayliner Capri



Posted By: eric james on 07/07/10 04:31pm

Death wobble suck, it's rampant in the lifted Jeep world (anything with a solid axle).

Start with:

Alignment
Steering stabilizer
Track Bar
Ball joints
Steering Box
Tires


2009 Keystone Passport UL 290BH
2003 Ford Expedition EB 5.4L/3.73




Posted By: Bird Freak on 07/13/10 04:25pm

Boatiac wrote:

I can tell you Ford also has the "death wobble". My brother has a 2007 F-350. His started about 15K. It is lifted, big tires, the whole gamut. Bought it from the dealer all prepped out. He had everything on the front end replaced, nothing solved it, until, he replaced the tires at about 30K, has another 10K on it and it has never happened again since replacing his tires.

Now my story, 2003 32' Class A, Ford F-53 Chassis. Did it to me 4 times, less than 20K, had every thing checked on the front, no loose parts, no problem tires. Installed a (expensive!!) steering stabilizer on the front, problem gone. Sold it at 28K and it never happened again.

Nothing to give you definitive here, but there's two cases that took two different actions to fix. One thing I did discover during my research was how common of a problem this was to both Fords and Dodge, but all the fixes were just guess's.




Ok, the class A I get, but how is a lifted truck with over size tires and wheels not supplied by Ford a Ford problem if you changed the tires and no more problems. Does that mean if I change the suspension and tires and wheels on any truck its the manufactures problem because I modified it?
Sorry, I just hate to see Dodge, Chevy, or Ford blamed for something they had nothing to do with.


Eddie
03 Fleetwood Pride, 36-5L
04 Ford F-250 Superduty
15K Pullrite Superglide
Old coach 04 Pace Arrow 37C with brakes sometimes.
Owner- The Toy Shop-
Auto Restoration and Customs-28years
We love 56 T-Birds


Posted By: rsh_757 on 07/09/10 04:38pm

Engineer9860 wrote:

advntrs wrote:

An easy fix for this situation is to raise the radiator cap and slide a Ford under it!


Some posters above you stated that Ford has the wobble as well. So, I don't see how your solution can help the OP's problem.


The last two Fords I have owned (2001 F350/1997 F250) both did thos when the factory tires were aired up to the max. After bring the pressure down to under 50lbs in the front the problem went away. I am positive my Dodge would do it too, but I never even gave it a chance. I hardly used the factory tires and the ones I did use were never aired to the max when I wasn't loaded heavy. For that matter the fronts have never had more then 50lbs in them.

One thing I keep an eye on that can be a part of concern is the track bar and it's bushings. I have not had an issue with this but have seen an older Dodge with 50k miles on it have the bushings go out, it was older (2001) but had lower miles and that part still went bad. He was told by Les Schwab that any of the solid axle rigs can have this fail and early, without even being beat on it can wear quickly and it was a 250 dollar repair for him.


2008 Cougar 310SRX 5th Wheel
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 QC 4x4 CTD
2008 Nissan Armada LE



Posted By: advntrs on 07/09/10 05:17am

surveyorjp wrote:

advntrs wrote:

An easy fix for this situation is to raise the radiator cap and slide a Ford under it!


Ah I see. That way, since the Ford truck spends so much time in the shop, you don't notice any "death wobble".

Me thinks your "fix" isn't the answer.


I have never noticed a Ford in the repair shop!!


08 F-350 Super Crew 6.4
08 28' Keystone VR-1
"Every man dies, but not every man truly lives"



Posted By: DirtyOil on 07/07/10 07:01pm

Death Wobble or DW ( not to be confused with "dear wife" or maybe so?)

Anyways, DW can effect a stock truck to a non-stock truck suspension/tire setup. BFGs have been blamed for DW, although I have never run BFGs and have experienced DW. Nature of the beast with a "solid axel" front end. There are a number of areas one could look at:

1. tires, are they balanced, do they have a "bulg", abnormal wear... over sized doesn't matter as stated it happens with any size tire!

2. worn suspension parts, look at the Trac Bar... you want to see if there is movement at the bushings - to do this, have someone ( you trust well)(with truck running) turn steering wheel left and right, you lay down infront while looking at both ends of the Trac Bar for excessive movement. If there is movement at the bushings REPLACE.

3. grab the tie rods if you can move (twisting action) the tie rod then REPLACE.

4. jack one side of the front just enough to get a pry bar under the tire, have a buddy lift up on the pry bar while you look at ball joints for play, if there is play REPLACE.

5. With same "trusted" buddy have them with truck running turn steering wheel left and right while you look at sterring box "sector shaft" if loose/wobbley REPLACE steering box

6. take truck to alignment shop and have them add positive castor 4.5 to 5 per castor adjustment ... (don't let them say it can't be done ask them to humour you and just do it) you can also do this yourself. Very easy to add castor, just turn castor encentric washer till both sides have the "arrow" point at the front axel. (castor is retarded on this things... they are like the lousy shopping chart where the front wheels wobble like madmen)adding more positive castor is changing the axis of the tire to make it more stable when hitting potholes/cracks ect.

You can also add a "steering box brace" or add a double steering stablizer.

Dodge also has a TSB out for the front end. It concerns the right side tie rod which has the steering stablizer "bolted" through the rod.

I agree with the others here the Trac Bar may be your issue. Been there, I also drive about 40,000 miles/yr on gravel and oilfield roads. Have done plenty to the front end of my 2005 3500, including 6" lift larger tires aftermarket 20x10 rims with proper back spacing.
After installing new Trac Bar bushings I have never experienced DW only time has been when the bushings wear out!

Hope this helps!


2013 Dodge 3500 CTD Crew 4x4 Laramie
2014 Sprinter Copper Canyon 269FWRLS
B&W turnover ball gooseneck hitch with Andersen Ultimate fifth wheel

GUTS GLORY RAM


Posted By: advntrs on 07/08/10 08:22am

An easy fix for this situation is to raise the radiator cap and slide a Ford under it!


Posted By: JRBurn on 07/08/10 08:37am

I had DW on my 2006 Dodge 3500 4x4 since it was new and it has been to several dealer and they all gave the same answer (it’s within Dodge specifications).

I installed new front stabilizers; adjustable track bar all helped a bit until I found out about the TBS # 22-005-06 it installs new steering linkage from the midyear 08 Dodge.

This absolutely cured my death wobble I have driven over 3k and no more wobble and the beast part was I called the Dodge 800# for customer assistance and the agreed to reimburse me for the repair 1K


06 Dodge CTD Quad Auto DRW 4X4, 4.10, Garrett stage II Turbo,
ATS Stage II Tranny & Exhaust break.
08 Weekend Warrior SLC 3905 Dual Slide
10 Polaris RZR S Purple Thunder K&T Stge II Turbo kit
05 Yamaha YFZ450, 06 Honda 250EX
CORVA, Action



Posted By: dodge guy on 07/08/10 11:25am

One other thing to check is the alignment, particularly the toe. when the toe is in or out on a solid front axle truck each tire tries to fight the other and the result is the death wobble. double check the track bar (no joint at one end anymore, they now use bushings).

Good luck!


Wife Kim
Son Brandon 12yrs
Daughter Marissa 11yrs
Dog Shadow

07 Cherokee 32B
02 Excursion 4X4 V-10 4.30 gear 5Star tuner Y-pipe mod Hellwig sway bar
Reese HP dualcam Prodigy brake controller

A bad day of camping is
better than a good day at work!



Posted By: bstark on 07/08/10 12:21pm

Oh how well I remember the "D/W" from my old Dodge D100 solid front axle Van days of '69'. I hit a set of railway tracks that crossed the road at an angle at around 6o mph and by the time I got that truck stopped, every part/tool/personal possession on shelves in the rear of that truck, was on the floor. A guy coming toward me pulled over and came back to tell me the front wheels were taking turns jumping off the ground!


Today is just the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!


Posted By: qbert10 on 07/08/10 12:34pm

If I'm not mistaken there is a fix for the death wobble in the Dodge. Most of these problems stem from a steering box stability problem. There are brakets that are supposed to fix this problem, for sale in the aftermarket. BD Diesel has one. Here is the link.

I have not had this problem with my 06 as of yet. 70,000 miles and I have 305/70s on the stock wheels. I would immagine that I'm due to see this effect before long.

BD Diesel Steering Box Stabilizer.

Hope this help,
Will-


Self and Spouse
2 children
2 dogs: UConn, Siberian Husky; Mya, Lab/ Catahoula Mix
2009 Chevy HHR
2010 Dodge 3500 CCLB DRW 6.7 CTD, G56, 4x4, Red, B&W Companion Hitch
2009 Jayco 31.5FBHS(previous-2007 Rockwood8318SS)(before that-2003 Innsbruck 275FBS)


Posted By: Engineer9860 on 07/08/10 06:33pm

advntrs wrote:

An easy fix for this situation is to raise the radiator cap and slide a Ford under it!


Some posters above you stated that Ford has the wobble as well. So, I don't see how your solution can help the OP's problem.


In Memoriam: Liberty Belle



Posted By: surveyorjp on 07/08/10 08:15pm

advntrs wrote:

An easy fix for this situation is to raise the radiator cap and slide a Ford under it!


Ah I see. That way, since the Ford truck spends so much time in the shop, you don't notice any "death wobble".

Me thinks your "fix" isn't the answer.


2012 Dodge Grand Caravan. Popup shopping


Posted By: jwduke on 07/07/10 06:42pm

srt20 wrote:

BFGoodrich All-terrains are known for causing the death wobble. Just to soft of side walls for larger trucks.


My '04 has these BFG tires, 38XXX miles, & no death wobble.


'04 Dodge 2500 QC 4x4 w/CTD
'03 Hitchhiker II 31RLBG



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