Death wobble

   #1  

flusher

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Is DW more of a problem with 4WD trucks? Or does it happen also in 2WDs?
I'm zeroing in on 00-03 Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummins turbodiesel as my next truck.
 
   #2  

LRTX1

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I've never heard of it happen on a 2 wheel drive. For that matter I've never heard it happen with anything that didn't have grossly oversized tires and lifted or, something that was seriously neglected in the maintenance department.
 
   #3  

Dmace

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It can be found in either but more in 4WD. If the tires or brakes are non-stock then those are most likely the problem. If they are stock replacements then it's usually a sign of bad wheel bearings which are $180/each and take about 30 mins to install. I have never had the wobble on my 03 RAM 1500 4x4 QC short bed but did replace one bearing at 85k miles because I could hear it humming whenever I turned left. At 98K now and that's the only non-maintenance item I've had to replace.
 
   #4  

Egon

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Seems that used to be a topic discussed about the second generation Dodge's in the later ninety's. Think a new track bar was the answer. I never did have it happen to me.:)
 
   #5  

QRTRHRS

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None at this time.
Seems that used to be a topic discussed about the second generation Dodge's in the later ninety's. Think a new track bar was the answer. I never did have it happen to me.:)
Actually, a modified track bar is the answer. The upper end of the track bar has a tie rod end style ball joint that can and does wear out in as little as 20 to 30k miles.

At 100 bucks a pop give or take, an after market setup is a good investment. At the time I modified my 97' with "Luke's Link" there were not a lot of options as there are now. With Luke's Link, you drilled out the ball joint and replaced it with an adjustable one so you could tighten it up every so often.

I forget what year Dodge finally fixed the issue. Some of the mods on the market use hardware that let you go with the late model track bar.
 
   #6  

Egon

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That sounds good. I know my track bar was changed out to a different type after the second one needed replacement. Only up here they were more like four hundred dollars.:D
 
   #7  

WH401

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The problem is common with trucks that have a solid front axle, which in the years your looking at would be 2500/3500 Dodges and 250/350 Fords. GM's of that year have independent front suspensions, and Death Wobble is a very uncommon thing with them...not to mention they have a smoother ride. So then why do people buy a solid front axle truck?...solid front axles tend to be stronger, and they can more easily support the weight of a snow plow with less front end sag. Now that's not to say that Chevy's aren't built strong or what not, but everyone has their preference.

Anyway, what happens to cause Death Wobble is the front end components wear out, either ball joints, or tie rods, or drag links...pretty much any steering or front end suspension component can cause it. This will cause the wheels to "wobble" at certain speeds, and make the front end hop and shake to the point that you don't think your not going to make it. My 92' Dodge is doing this right now at about 40 mph if you turn the steering wheel the wrong way, but that's because it needs the king pin bushings replaced, (they were a precursor to the ball joint on the D60 front axle)...but it has 173k on the originals which I don't think is too bad.

As another poster said, bigger tires can lead to excessive problems with Death Wobble. Death has been such a complaint on 3rd Gen Dodges, (03 - 09), that Dodge actually developed a totally new steering setup starting at the box and going down to the tie rods. So far is proven pretty good. But still, most people that have stock tires and stock suspension haven't had a problem. It's people that "jack" their trucks up with bigger tires and then figure they shouldn't have a problem are the ones that are having issues.

When you look at a truck take it for a drive and take a look-see at the ball joints to see what they look like. Wiggle steering components if you want to.

On a side note, no truck, (or car), is perfect...they all have their issues. You just need to decide which issues are worse in your mind and then see which truck has the better pluses to out weigh the negatives.
 
   #8  

mustangsallysdad

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Is DW more of a problem with 4WD trucks? Or does it happen also in 2WDs?
I'm zeroing in on 00-03 Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummins turbodiesel as my next truck.
If you service and maintain the truck without any modifications to the front suspension or steering geometry, death wobble shouldn't be a concern.
 
   #9  

Ductape

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If you service and maintain the truck without any modifications to the front suspension or steering geometry, death wobble shouldn't be a concern.


I have to dispute this. I've had two F-350s with the death wobble, and a friend of mine has it with his year old 4 door Jeep Wrangler. Exactly what should you 'maintain' on a new vehicle? Even the dealer couldn't find the problem component(s). The best bandaid I've found for the death wobble is a good steering damper or two.
 
   #10  

mustangsallysdad

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I have to dispute this. I've had two F-350s with the death wobble, and a friend of mine has it with his year old 4 door Jeep Wrangler. Exactly what should you 'maintain' on a new vehicle? Even the dealer couldn't find the problem component(s). The best bandaid I've found for the death wobble is a good steering damper or two.
This thread isn't dealing with a "NEW" vehicle...regardless, you service the items that normally suffer from wear and tear...tires, brakes, bearings, u-joints, ball joints, suspension bushings, shocks, etc....do you really need an explanation? I have 2 F350's ('99 & '04) and have never had DW...I use factory replacement parts when needed and haven't altered what those high dollar engineers deemed to work properly on the vehicle. Both of mine have (from the factory) front and rear sway bars and a front steering stabilizer. One of them has over 200K on it and has had just about every component mentioned above replaced at some point. I still have no DW. If you are suffering from DW on a new vehicle it is a serious safety concern and your dealer should keep the vehicle until they find the cause...call your factory field rep. and file a complaint to get the wheels moving if you need to, but I still maintain my experience is often a worn or incorrect replacement part that is suspect. Also, the lifted (suspension lift) vehicles suffer from a change in suspension and steering geometry and a change in drive line angle...there are a lot of remedial things that can be done to deal with it after the fact, but the best way to prevent it is to not modify beyond the factory specifications.
 
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