Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: Death wobble, need your ideas

Posted By: taxgod4u on 06/11/12 01:58pm

01 F250, 6" lifted 4x2, auto, Crew Cab, Short Bed, 7.3L Diesel, rear air bags, 33" tires 15" rims, teconsia brake controlelr, while towing our 29' 10K lb 5th wheel in the moutains on a freeway, slight down hill, slight gentle left hand turn, new pavement quite smooth, at about 35-40mph in a 45mph zone, gently/moderately applying brakes I got a unjulation in the whole truck. Felt like I had roger rabbit cartoon tundra tires that were flat on the front end, the truck bucked/lunged to the front left wheel which was on the outside of the gentle turn, then rocked back left, and repeated for say 4 seconds back and forth until I got it to say 10mph and pulled over. the steering wheel turned back and forth quite a bit (more than the usual slope), so I had to fight it a bit. pulled over, everything looked good in the suspension and wheel bering areas, checked wheel lug nut torque and they were fine, tire pressure is fine, front pads looked fine. We limped home with no isuses.

I can't figure what failed or went wrong. my only guess is the trailer brakes did not kick in and the rig pushed my truck slightly sideways as we were turned at a 15-25 degree angle to make the turn, kind of rolling the side walls of the tire. any ideas? (let me know if this is too off point and I will move it to the towing forum)


All things in moderation, except acceleration!
Zip ties, the duct tape of the new milenia!

2001 F250 Powersmoke turbo diesel, 3.73LS
Crew Cab, SRW, SB, 6 inch lift, Single 28 inch semi airhorn underneath! SCMT, A Pillar mounted, Pyro, boost and Trans gauges.
2005 Wildcat 29RLBS, Prodigy, 2 EU2000i's Draw Tite 18K Signature Series, front receiver, on board air, Airlift HD airbags
2003 Ford Explorer XLT 4X4, V8, 5sp AT, 3.73LS
2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bower 4X4, V8 5sp AT, 3.73LS, Dual semi air horns underneath

2002 XR50, PW50


Posted By: donn0128 on 06/11/12 02:34pm

Warped front rotor caused by overheating the brakes. Or loose/worn suspension components. I would take it to a good alignment shop and have them take a serious look at it. If that is OK, then pull the front brake rotors and have them inspected. One or the other is your problem.


Don,Lorri,Max (The Rescue Flat Coat Retriever?)
The Other Dallas



Posted By: fly-boy on 06/11/12 02:59pm

Brakes activating on one side of the trailer and not the other.


2012 GMC 3500 Denali Duramax 4x4
2009 WW HKD with a big garage
A few toys



Posted By: copeland343 on 06/11/12 02:43pm

Had that happen several times with our truck. Over size tires will cause (and some times OEM size tires). What it was is a little wear in the steering and the roll bars. Change the shocks and bushing in the roll bar and check the steering stabilizer shock (if you do not have a stabilizer get one it will help as other parts wear). Check tie rods and king pins also. It will get worse as the truck parts wears and gets older. Easy to fix jack up front and change all loose and warn parts. Do not wait it will get worse and may put you in the ditch. You can also Google death wobble on the ford forums and see what other did to fix.


Posted By: Mile High on 06/11/12 03:10pm

Start with the impacts of the 6" alteration then work down to the factory design.


Posted By: zedd on 06/11/12 03:21pm

taxgod4u wrote:

... 6" lifted...


I think this is your problem.


2008 Ford F250 Super Duty, Lariat, 6.4l PSD, Super Cab. Long Bed
2006 Jayco Jay Flight 27.5 RLS Fifth Wheel


Posted By: taxgod4u on 06/11/12 04:18pm

thanks all, I don't think the lift is 100% the issue as we have towed for 7 years with it over the same route. Although I am sure it is not completely innocent... I will get the front end looked at soon.

Keep your thoughts a commin' all great input on where to look


Posted By: taxgod4u on 06/11/12 04:19pm

follow up on the lift, since it is a 2wd, the lift gets it to the height of a leveled 4x4 + about an inch, no higher, so it is not a monster truck by any means


Posted By: sch911 on 06/11/12 03:53pm

Mile High wrote:

Start with the impacts of the 6" alteration then work down to the factory design.


Remove the 6" lift and the issue will be gone...


OEM Auto Engineer
2003 Damon Challenger 348 Class A - F53 Triton V10
2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 V8 Toad



Posted By: Don & Linda on 06/11/12 03:43pm

Wow, sounds like a terrifying moment.

This is real tuff one and hard to recheck a fix, without replicating the heart stopping, curved, downhill drive.

I doubt rotors, you would have felt, pulsations in the pedal and warped rotors won't make the whole rig lope and dance.

You checked all the things, I would have looked at, following this event.

You're idea of sidewall fold seems to make the best sense and perhaps compounded fly-boy's idea of uneven brake action adding to the undulations. Slightly worn steering components may also helped start the trouble.(I ran 33s on a 4x4 Blazer and it destroyed stock idler arms like crazy)

Good luck with this one, my heart felt sympathies, as it sounds like you were very close to rolling the rig.

Go with care, Don


Sorry if this post seems long, I lacked the time to make it shorter.
almost quote from S.L. Clemens

Don & Linda

1st RV UL EMS 4s Dome
2nd RV 21' AMF Scamper TT PV D300 Dodge
3rd RV National Seabreeze 133LX w/Demco Dolly
4th RV Jayco 2450 5TH PV Ford F-250 SD



Posted By: Denny & Jami on 06/11/12 04:24pm

Had it on my 2WD DRW when in the mountains, took a while to figure it out but it ended up being the brake slide pin not allowing the brakes to retract all so the brakes were not cooling off all the way. When they cooled the warp was gone and every thing was normal again. I also had the same problem after hitting a bump but that was a tire with a broken belt. I would remove the calipers and clean and lube the slide pins.

Denny


2013 F350 SC DRW 6.2 V8 4.30 gears Air Lifts
2003 HitchHiker Premier 35FKTG 215/75/17.5 Sumitomo tires


Posted By: Dr Quick on 06/11/12 04:38pm

If the problem has happened since you did the lift, then you have your answer. The lift would raise the center of gravity of the truck, and in a turn, that could make the truck want to roll to the outside of the turn.


Dr Quick



Posted By: overthehillbill on 06/11/12 03:42pm

X-2 on front rotors.
Link below is great for answers concerning 7.3's

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum31/


Bill
'08 Cedar Creek 32TK, 35'9", 13,990#
'01 F-250,Lariat, 7.3L, SC, Auto, LB, JW Towmaster Tranny, 6.0L Tranny cooler, DP custom tunes, 4" Turbo back exhaust, Auto Meter Gauges, Firestone Air Bags. '07 Headlights and Grille, Prodigy P-3.


Posted By: B.O. Plenty on 06/11/12 04:31pm

Mile High wrote:

Start with the impacts of the 6" alteration then work down to the factory design.


I agree! This often changes the entire as designed, geometry of the suspension..

B.O.


2011 Big Country 3250TS...2010 Ram CC Laramie 4wd Cummins


Posted By: taxgod4u on 06/12/12 02:59pm

cyber fixin? is that asking others for similar experiences to help identify areas of potential causation, or smashing my PC on the hood...

The diesel folks are coming up with the same scenarios, so everyone is on point! thanks to those who replied so far. I have an apt with a good suspension shop tomorrow and will do the brakes this weekend.


Posted By: SolidAxleDurango on 06/12/12 06:43pm

SuperDutyMan wrote:

I've worked on this stuff for years,still have a shop...death wobble,go right to the steering stabalizer,then ball joints,your problem will probably be in that area.


LOL if your answer is to go right to the steering stabilizer, I'm surprised you're gainfully employed.


TV = 07 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually 6.7 / QC-LB / CTD / G56 / 3.73 / 4wd / EBrake
5er = 12 Keystone Avalanche 330RE
Toys = 08 Kawasaki Brutie Force 650i 4x4 ( x2 )


Posted By: jjj on 06/11/12 05:24pm

I own a 02 ford f-350 super-duty dually. I bought it used with 18000 miles and during a test drive I hit a small bump and had the front wheel wobble on it. It makes the steering wheel wobble back and forth until you slowed down. It turn out that lot of super duties did this if not equipped with a steering stabilizer which mine did not have.The dealer installed one and the problem went away.I would also check the main drag link,it is the rod that goes from the steering box to the right front side of the steering linkage.The joints can wear and be very loose and cause the wobble.I had this problem on my 73 ford f-150 the were so worn out the would just flop around.


2002 F-350 Crew-Cab Dually
V-10-4.30 gears Mag-Hytec diff.cover
w/Amsoil-6.0 trans cooler Curt Q5 20K hitch & bedsaver
2005 Keystone Challenger 34TBH-Fifth Airbourn



Posted By: 1rickw on 06/11/12 07:56pm

Same here... Warped Rotors. Had them turned. All OK now.


2004 Jamboree 26Q + great wife to travel with


Posted By: SoCalDesertRider on 06/12/12 07:22pm

How are you fitting 15" wheels on an F250???


05E350 6.0PSD
97F350DRW 7.3PSD 4x4 4.10 11' flatbed
98Ranger
69Bronco ATC250R CR500
20' BigTex flatbed carhauler
Callen Camper

92F350 CrewCab 4x4 351/C6
B&W TurnoverBall, Curt Magnum V
HD Springs Bilsteins,
285/75-16E BFG AT on 16x8 Stocktons
4.56's & LockRite rear


Posted By: ol Bombero-JC on 06/12/12 01:54pm

donn0128 wrote:

Warped front rotor caused by overheating the brakes. Or loose/worn suspension components. I would take it to a good alignment shop and have them take a serious look at it. If that is OK, then pull the front brake rotors and have them inspected. One or the other is your problem.


Ditto the above!

"Cyber fixin" - won't cut it - however, try your Q on one of the Ford Diesel forums - lots more folks with lifted trucks there, than here..

~


Posted By: kwrightvt on 06/11/12 09:48pm

partsjockey wrote:

Might also look at the track bar. I know from my Jeep days the track bar was a very common cause of death wobble. I was always from the school of thought that said the steering stabilizer didn't actually fix, but merely mask issues such as dw.


Spoken like a true Jeeper. I'm going to assume Solid Front Axle. Check the entire steering system and make sure you're not running an adjustable track bar with a drop pitman arm. Also make sure the drag link and said track bar are parallel. Steering Stabilizers are very overrated.

The lift kit may be causing it, but there are ways to beat DW and keep the lift.

EDIT: Just did my research, it's IFS. Can't help you there. Only dealt with SFA.

* This post was edited 06/12/12 12:48am by kwrightvt *


2010 Keystone Cougar 322QBS
2006 Silverado 2500HD Duramax Allison Crew Cab 4x4
B&W Turnover Ball/Companion
Prodigy Brake Controller



Posted By: partsjockey on 06/12/12 09:25am

kwrightvt wrote:

partsjockey wrote:

Might also look at the track bar. I know from my Jeep days the track bar was a very common cause of death wobble. I was always from the school of thought that said the steering stabilizer didn't actually fix, but merely mask issues such as dw.


Spoken like a true Jeeper. I'm going to assume Solid Front Axle. Check the entire steering system and make sure you're not running an adjustable track bar with a drop pitman arm. Also make sure the drag link and said track bar are parallel. Steering Stabilizers are very overrated.

The lift kit may be causing it, but there are ways to beat DW and keep the lift.

EDIT: Just did my research, it's IFS. Can't help you there. Only dealt with SFA.


Missed the 2wd part! Sorry I'm out there lol


Posted By: partsjockey on 06/11/12 07:39pm

Might also look at the track bar. I know from my Jeep days the track bar was a very common cause of death wobble. I was always from the school of thought that said the steering stabilizer didn't actually fix, but merely mask issues such as dw.


Posted By: Vulcaneer on 06/12/12 06:35pm

I go with steering stabilizer. That's what fixed my death wobble. Get a heavy duty one.


'12 F350 SB, CC, SRW, 6.7 PSD, 3.55 RAR, 6 spd auto
2011 Open Range 393RLS 14,250 GVWR
Pullrite Super Glide 18K

Retirement = It's all poops and giggles....UNTIL someone Giggles and Poops.



Posted By: Bonefish on 06/12/12 09:38am

The over size tires probably exagerate the effect.

The newer breaking systems have ROTATION SENSORS on the wheels that send information to the ABS or breaking system. If one or more of these go out your truck it will buck like a bronco!

Bonefish






Posted By: Mile High on 06/12/12 08:25am

kwrightvt wrote:

partsjockey wrote:

Might also look at the track bar. I know from my Jeep days the track bar was a very common cause of death wobble. I was always from the school of thought that said the steering stabilizer didn't actually fix, but merely mask issues such as dw.


Spoken like a true Jeeper. I'm going to assume Solid Front Axle. Check the entire steering system and make sure you're not running an adjustable track bar with a drop pitman arm. Also make sure the drag link and said track bar are parallel. Steering Stabilizers are very overrated.

The lift kit may be causing it, but there are ways to beat DW and keep the lift.

EDIT: Just did my research, it's IFS. Can't help you there. Only dealt with SFA.
delete


Posted By: SuperDutyMan on 06/11/12 06:34pm

I've worked on this stuff for years,still have a shop...death wobble,go right to the steering stabalizer,then ball joints,your problem will probably be in that area.


2011 Palomino Sabre 31RETS,5th Wheel,Triple Slide,4000W Onan Genset
2006 Super Duty,XLT, V10, 6 Speed, 4.10, Tow Command, Tow Pkg. 4X4,Dual Exhaust,K&N,Reese 15K,Air Bags



Posted By: Snow_King on 06/11/12 04:57pm

You need more caster! Dodge pickups do this a lot. I dialed in more caster years ago myself. Is this a twin I-beam front end? May take a front end shop and some aftermarket parts to give it more caster. For all of those talking about the lift, it most likely removed caster.


Somewhere in a Fifth Wheel - Where it does not Snow


Posted By: Snow_King on 06/12/12 09:39am

More positive caster helps to overcome a front end going into a death wobble.

Caster defined:
To understand caster you need to picture an imaginary line that runs from through the upper ball joint and extends through the lower ball joint. From the side view the imaginary line will tilt forward or backward. The tilting of this imaginary line is defined as caster. Tilting the top of the line to the back is positive caster. Vehicle tracks straighter with more positive caster and steering effort goes up. Chance of death wobble goes down.

Some do not seem to understand death wobble.
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/how-to-fix-your-own-death-wobble/

Something in this thread to check.
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/108601........wobble-w-twin-i-beams-seeking-ideas.html

* This post was edited 06/12/12 09:50am by Snow_King *


Posted By: Snow_King on 06/11/12 10:32pm

I believe a little Googling says it is a twin I-beam in the 4x2.


Posted By: sirdrakejr on 06/12/12 08:28pm

Moved from 5th wheels to tow vehicles.
Frank


2011 Palomino Maverick 1000SLLB on a 2004 Dodge Quadcab CTD Ram3500 SRW long bed equipped with Timbren springs, Stable Load bump stops, Rickson 19.5" wheels/"G" range tires and a Helwig "Big Wig" rear anti sway bar.



Posted By: taxgod4u on 06/13/12 11:29am

could be 16's, I am at work and did not confirm. thanks for the correction. What a difference an inch makes and thanks to MOD for moving this to the correct category. getting some great feed back on where this thing is gonna cost me $. it is never "oh, you just needed more air in your tire, or your tool box shifted..." more like "oh, you need a custom made diamond studded titanium muffler berring"


Posted By: taxgod4u on 06/15/12 11:01am

had it checked out, all was fine. BUT the ford stealership FAILED to notice that my pitman arm nut was about to fall off!!!!! I noticed that after they did their thing and I drove it home. Made them beat it to the proepr torque. I added a second nut to act as a jamb nut, painted white lines on it so I can easily tell if if comes loose again. Stupid friking idiots at Ford. Possibly the cause of the original problem, but who knows.


Posted By: Perrysburg Dodgeboy on 06/13/12 01:37am

I would start by jacking up the truck, putting it on jack stands on the frame. Then grasp the tires at the top and check for up and down movement. The grasp the tires on the sides and check for movement there.

Up and down will be ball joints or hubs, side to side will be suspension (tie rods, drag link or idler arm) or hub. Hint if you have up and down and side to side it's a safe bet you need hubs.

Hope this helps you out.

Don


On Sunday Jan. 26,2014 Toledo Fire department lost two Hero's in a fire.
God Speed Privates Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman. We will take it form here my Brothers.


Posted By: zman-az on 06/13/12 12:30pm

Perrysburg Dodgeboy wrote:

I would start by jacking up the truck, putting it on jack stands on the frame. Then grasp the tires at the top and check for up and down movement. The grasp the tires on the sides and check for movement there.

Up and down will be ball joints or hubs, side to side will be suspension (tie rods, drag link or idler arm) or hub. Hint if you have up and down and side to side it's a safe bet you need hubs.

Hope this helps you out.

Don


Good advise, however the first thing I would do is have a profesional shop look at your caster angle and do a front end alignment since you did lift this truck. Your problem is most likely due to the lift on the truck, but as mentioned you should be able to make it work fine. I would assume you put larger tires on as well. Not all shops balance these large tires properly so make sure the shop you take it to does a good job at balancing tires. I would also get someone inside the truck and have them turn the wheel side to side in short strokes. Watch all steering componets as well as any suspention parts and links. If you see movment in the bushings of a suspention part that will probably be your problem. I have seen worn out bushings and loose bolts which oval out the frame mounting holes. Your truck has been used so parts wear out, now you throw on a lift with larger tires and these worn out parts are put to more stress and finally showing themselves.

I would not invest in a steering stabilizer as that is only masking a problem.

Keep in mind it may be more than one thing causing your problem.






Posted By: Turtle n Peeps on 06/15/12 11:06am

taxgod4u wrote:

had it checked out, all was fine. BUT the ford stealership FAILED to notice that my pitman arm nut was about to fall off!!!!! I noticed that after they did their thing and I drove it home. Made them beat it to the proepr torque. I added a second nut to act as a jamb nut, painted white lines on it so I can easily tell if if comes loose again. Stupid friking idiots at Ford. Possibly the cause of the original problem, but who knows.

Scary!


~ Too many freaks & not enough circuses ~


"Life is not tried ~ it is merely survived ~ if you're standing
outside the fire"



Posted By: Turtle n Peeps on 06/12/12 11:02pm

You need to read this.


Posted By: retired-tech on 06/12/12 09:56pm

if you need a stabilizer to fix a wobble there is another problem. i would get the front end checked out as the death wobble is a common symptom of bad ball joints on a truck that is known for wearing out the ball joints in 2 or 4 wheel drive versions. and the oversize tires arent helping matters up there either.


2000 K3500 CCLB DRW 6.5 TURBO
2009 Cougar 320 SRX
2007 atlas 24 auto hauler
1987 GMC origional low miles



Print  |  Close