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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Ford Superduty Death Wobble fix

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Ron3rd

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Posted: 05/30/21 02:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fisherman wrote:

Don't forget the upper and lower ball joints, they were the culprits in my 3/4 RAM. Death wobble scared the heck out of me at 60 mph. Took truck to the dealer, they said the ball joints were within spec, went to a Napa garage and the guy wouldn't let me drive home, the left upper almost fell apart it was so worn out.


On my 2016 CTD it was worn out track bar bushings. Dealer replaced the track bar under warranty. From what I've read the stock RAM bushings are junk.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 05/30/21 03:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

Grit dog wrote:

OP, what are these “increasing signs?”
In my experience and everyone else I’m aware of, it either happens or it doesn’t.
There’s never like an “almost” death wobble.


OK last March we had the right front hub replaced for the second time. The shadetree mechanic would did the first replacement bungled the job.
Anyway we started hearing a rattling from that side. But also the left front start a serious shaking whenever we hit even a small bump at over 35 mph. That has got progressively more violent. So bad that I have to slow way down when it starts now to stop it.
Trucks going into the shop Tuesday, the hub is under warranty and I asked them to carefully inspect the rest of the suspension. Truck has over 160K now. I put in Bilstein front shocks and a steering damper but that was quite awhile ago, maybe near the 100K mark.
I have a lot of faith in this mechanic shop which has been in business since the 1980's. They repaired a hose problem on the turbine and the front hub in a day last time I had the truck in.

Fair enough.
Not certain what you mean by bungle up the hubinstall, but you’re saying the rattling is the hub? Or unit bearing?
Yes that could cause dw. But I’d have them check the track bar as well. Presuming it’s not a leaf spring front and has a track bar
Good luck. Sorry it’s so hard to diagnose not in person, but essentially anything that has visible play if you’re turning the steering while stopped in place is suspect and a potential cause.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 06/04/21 05:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK to draw this to a very expensive end point, it was the U-Joints which led to a cascading failure of other suspension parts: new axles, new this new that but no wobble so far. All I can say to myself is: "Cheaper than a new truc....cheaper than..."
Dual dampers would not have fixed this.


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FishOnOne

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Posted: 06/04/21 05:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So the U-Joints caused the axles to fail?


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agesilaus

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Posted: 06/04/21 05:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah they said the U-Joint rubbed against the axle and caused them to fail. One of the Bilstein shocks was leaking fluid and there are two pages of parts replaced. I haven't gone thru them carefully.

And another problem coming up is the cab body mounts need replacing, this shop quoted $1400 but looking on YT the job seems straight forward and the new mounts are $140 for urethane or $229 for Kevlar. The major problem seems to be jacking up the cab, which I haven't figured out yet. Looks like you just remove one hard to turn bolt remove the old mount and replace with a new one. The $1400 seems to be a blue book or whatever they call it price since one of the guys on YT mentioned the same amount.

The mechanics say this is common Ford issue, the mounts are some junky material that you can flake off with your fingers.

Grit dog

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Posted: 06/04/21 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting diagnoses. Not that u-joints or unit bearings don’t need to be replaced periodically, but something doesn’t sound right. You front axle u joints and axle shafts should even be turning when in 2 wd and even a bad u joint wouldnt exhibit any driveability issues on a super duty in 2wd. Did you drive it with the hubs locked in forever?

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Posted: 06/05/21 04:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EYEMLOST wrote:

C Schomer wrote:

"Death wobble is a result of worn out/broken parts." Not true! Everything in my front end is new and I just had it aligned and tires balanced. 200 miles later, I got my first DW Friday when I hit a pothole. Craig

Some points:

1) What is YOUR definition of death wobble, then?

2) You say, "Not true!"
Please back up that claim so we all can learn.
Your point tells us nothing that re-enforces your claim.
I smell a huge assumption on your part.

3) Is literally EVERYTHING that affects your front suspension and steering system new?
IS THE RIG NEW???
You are not correct about only worn parts cause DW. I had a VW shop for years and if the dampener wore out it would wobble like crazy after hitting a pot hole. All other front end parts good. It was a common problem on bugs.

* This post was edited 06/05/21 05:31pm by Bird Freak *


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FishOnOne

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Posted: 06/06/21 06:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Interesting diagnoses. Not that u-joints or unit bearings don’t need to be replaced periodically, but something doesn’t sound right. You front axle u joints and axle shafts should even be turning when in 2 wd and even a bad u joint wouldnt exhibit any driveability issues on a super duty in 2wd. Did you drive it with the hubs locked in forever?


Yes this is where is was going as well. The Super Duty's have lockers on the front hubs that allow you to disconnect the front axles so they don't turn while driving. Perhaps you have yours locked in manual mode and they're constantly turning while driving even while your in 2 wheel drive.

agesilaus

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Posted: 06/06/21 07:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Super Duty's have lockers on the front hubs that allow you to disconnect the front axles


You mean the knobs on the outside hub of the front axles, on new models they only engage the electronic locker they do not manually lock the axle from what I've been told. Is there some other way to lock the axles?

FishOnOne

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Posted: 06/06/21 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

Quote:

Super Duty's have lockers on the front hubs that allow you to disconnect the front axles


You mean the knobs on the outside hub of the front axles, on new models they only engage the electronic locker they do not manually lock the axle from what I've been told. Is there some other way to lock the axles?



Yes the knobs on the outside hub on the front axles and yes the old and new Super Duty's lockers operate the same.

Your Super Duty lockers have two modes: Automatic and Manual on the hubs. To put into Automatic mode you turn the knob on the lockers clockwise until the arrow lines up to Automatic. You want to operate the truck with the lockers in Automatic mode. To put into Manual mode you turn the knob counter clockwise until the arrow lines up with Manual. Manual mode is a back up mode if the automatic mode fails to engage the front lockers (i.e. vacuum leak).

When in Automatic mode the lockers are disengaged until you turn the knob on the dash to 4Hi or 4Low. When this knob is in 2 Wheel drive mode the U-Joints and the front axle do not spin when the truck is moving which is the beauty of having front axle lockers.

When in Manual mode the lockers are engaged and the U-Joints and the front axle spin when the truck is moving. Because of this you typically don't want to operate in manual mode.

All Super Duty's including the newest ones have the same front lockers and the mode of operation is the same.

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