Random Front End Violent Vibration at Speed - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Random Front End Violent Vibration at Speed

I have a 2008 F-250 6.4L and I've recently experienced this problem twice and
wanted to see if anybody can estimate what the issue might be. Here's what
happens:

When traveling at Highway speeds (ie: 55 - 75 mph) all of a sudden and
without notice the front end of my truck will start to vibrate violently. It
feels like trying to drive a vehicle with out of balanced tires or something.
It causes the whole front half of the truck to vibrate like I was driving over
a bunch of speed bumps at highway speed. This effect lasts until I slow down
to around 40mph or less, and then stops. Then when I cruise back up to
speed, the ride is smooth and without issue. This effect has happened twice
in the last 2 weeks. Does anybody have a guess as to the problem?


My personal (uneducated) theory is that my shocks are going bad. I now
have 80,000/miles on this truck and they've never been replaced. It seems
like one shock is getting stuck at random and causing the wheel imbalance.
But that is only a theory. Could this be something other than shocks, given
that its such a random event that only occurs for a short period of time
and then vanishes?


Thanks,
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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At present, my new updated theory is: Warn/Bad Ball Joints after talking
to a mechanic friend of mine. Still gotta take my truck to the shop for
an assessment to be 100% certain.

Ugh.. If its ball joints, anybody got an idea on labor costs to replace?
I believe the parts cost around $50 - $75/ea, so thats around $200-$300
in parts. What might the labor cost?
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 08:36 AM
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My experience is that's what we call "death wobble" on our trucks. Different opinions as to why and how these trucks do it but I would use those two words as a searching tool. Sorry to hear bud. At least u know ur not alone.


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post #4 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonw2 View Post
My experience is that's what we call "death wobble" on our trucks. Different opinions as to why and how these trucks do it but I would use those two words as a searching tool. Sorry to hear bud. At least u know ur not alone.


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I think you might be right. From the symptoms I've read about, I'm experiencing
the same thing. It occurs at speed and then when you slow down it goes
away.

Ugh.. Now I need to see if the cause is a cheap fix or is gonna put me in
the poor house.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 09:29 PM
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"Death Wobble" can be caused by a number of things,

First check all of your steering and front suspension parts for any excess play, worn out parts can cause it.

Bad shocks or a bad alignment can also cause it.

Incorrect tire pressure can also cause it.

My truck started having the Death Wobble after I installed my 5" Procomp lift kit even though I had it aligned after. I added a dual steering stabilizer kit which completely solved it.


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post #6 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregsSD View Post
"Death Wobble" can be caused by a number of things,

First check all of your steering and front suspension parts for any excess play, worn out parts can cause it.

Bad shocks or a bad alignment can also cause it.

Incorrect tire pressure can also cause it.

My truck started having the Death Wobble after I installed my 5" Procomp lift kit even though I had it aligned
after. I added a dual steering stabilizer kit which completely solved it.



Thanks. The gist I was getting after reading lots of postings on the topic
was the cause could be any number of things. Not a simple X is broken and
needs a fix.

As such, I'm just going to run down a check/repair list from cheapest to
most expensive and pray the cheap solutions resolve the problem. First
on the list will be to rotate my tires, balance them, get a wheel alignment,
install new shocks, and steering stabilizer. If it occurs after that, then I'll
start down the road of new upper/lower ball joints. Hopefully it isn't the
ball joints.
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 07:23 PM
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I have the same issue. Brought it to the dealership for my death wobble diagnosis and was told that everything was within tolerance. Added an aftermarket Bilstein steering stabilizer in place of the OEM unit. This masked the problem until the next oil change/regular maintenance interval. Was told that my track bar bushing was toast. Bought an aftermarket track bar and drag link as well as a dual steering stabilizer kit for my truck. Waiting to install the parts to see if this solves my problem.

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post #8 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 08:00 PM
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Real deathwobble pretty much always starts with the track bar on front ends like our trucks have.

From there is will accelerate the wear of other items on the front end.

Stock shocks are crap the day they rolled these trucks off the lot. So, thats not helping any, but thats not the problem. The stock Goodyears also have soft sidewalls(like most GY's) and anything under the 65psi called for they wiggle a good bit up front compared to my much heavier load rated BFG's.

Jason

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post #9 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonY View Post
Real deathwobble pretty much always starts with the track bar on front ends like our trucks have.

From there is will accelerate the wear of other items on the front end.

Stock shocks are crap the day they rolled these trucks off the lot. So, thats not helping any, but thats not the problem. The stock Goodyears also have soft sidewalls(like most GY's) and anything under the 65psi called for they wiggle a good bit up front compared to my much heavier load rated BFG's.

Jason


How much are Track Bars? And are they easy to install (ie: unbolt the old
and bolt in the new)? Or do you need special tools and have to disassemble
half the truck to swap in a new one?
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 06:47 AM
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If you are stock height you could just replace the bushings. I got a new bushing and a new track bar ball joint and i am going to replace them when i do ball joints.

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