Death wobble...I think?!?!? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:28 AM
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Death wobble...I think?!?!?

Hey guys I am new around here. Been on the site a few months but havent posted anything. Just been doing alot of reading and research about these trucks.

Ok for starters let me tell you about my truck. I just purchased a 2005 f-250 4x4 crew cab with a fab tech 4.0 coilover 8" lift with the upgraded 2 fox shoxs front stablizers and has the 4 link front kit instead of the radius arms, also has 35" tires. The truck has a bunch of other stuff done to the motor and trans and chip and all that good stuff but I figured I would tell you more about the suspension as that is where I seem to be having a problem.

OK well at first after I bought the truck I just always noticed the truck was very touchy to input for steering once you got going about 40 mph or so. This isnt my first lifted truck, but is my first lifted ford diesel. I thought the steering had a little issue but maybe it was just how the ford trucks were. So I called up the guy I bought the truck from and he was telling me he had already replaced the hydrabooster and put moog ball joints in the truck and had the truck aligned about 2 months before selling the truck. So I figured that maybe that was just how the truck drove and went on my merry way.

Well about 2 weeks ago I noticed when getting up to freeway speeds about 55-60 mph the truck would shake like the tires might be out of balance and would even start to make the truck to go left and right and was very hard to control. So I took the truck home and started doing some research to see if anyone else had a problem and got a bunch of results...death wobble was the main thing that came up. So I went outside and did a couple checks on things. I checked if bolts were tight, I checked my tire pressure, and I dont know if I did it right but I checked the drag link bar. What I did was I took a 2-3' piece of metal pipe and stuck it between the axle and the drag link and kind of pride the drag link upwards. It seemed to have a little movement in it, but more so it was flex between the big shaft part on the drivers side of the drag link and the tie rod end of the drag link on the passenger side where the two of them come together with a coupler/sleeve. It would almost start to bend at that point or flex. What I also did was grab the drag link with my hand and twist it like a throttle on a dirtbike/streetbike. I dont know if the ball joints in the drag link are shot or not but I could get it to twist probably 1/3 of a turn to where the ball joints would max out and then turn back all the way the other way to max the ball joints in the other direction pretty easily. I would assume that the ball joints are either worn or almost totally shot.

Well I didnt happen to get to drive the truck for a week and a half and I took it for a little small trip and notice every time I would get to between 55-62 mph the truck would kinda shake and more so if I hit a bump around those speeds it would be worse. It also was extremely hard to handle. I would assume this is the death wobble alot of other people have had happen to them as well. Is the problem just the drag link? Could there be other problems? What about alignment, should I have the alignment re setup to a "certain spec"? I am a little lost right now. I dont want to just keep throwing money at the problem and not fix it. Its not my DD but I dont want to waste a ton of money on fixing it.

I was thinking about ordering one of the WC Motorsports drag link but it just seems a bit pricey. I was thinking about maybe having a good fab guy friend of mine make me one. Is it hard to do or should I just buy the real deal one? ANy ideas from you guys on what I should do or anything to really check to get this right? I dont want to drive the truck again until it is fixed. It was way to hairy to drive.

Thanks for any help guys and sorry for the long post.

Kevin
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:44 PM
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Sounds almost like a combo of that and bump steer. Have you had a chance to get the specs of where the caster is supposed to be at, maybe it is in need of an alignment.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by layson View Post
Sounds almost like a combo of that and bump steer. Have you had a chance to get the specs of where the caster is supposed to be at, maybe it is in need of an alignment.
I am not sure what the specs are of the aliginment right now, nor do I know what the specs of the alignment need to be. Any idea what I need them to be at?

I just know it felt like it wondered a bit on the road. It didnt feel very percise at all. Then it got worse really fast haha. I finally was able to have someone turn the wheel for me while I was looking at everything. I could see my track bar where it mounts to the frame would move back and forth about a 1/4" to 1/2". I would have to say I think that is my problem. I am trying to decided if I should put a stock part back in it, a mog part in it, or have a custom part made for it. I just dont know if its worth $400-700 for a custom part or like $80 from the dealer (I get dealer parts at cost) and just replace it when it goes out again.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:44 AM
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Definitely shouldn't have that kind of play. I probably wouldn't stick a stock one back in. What track bar is in it now?
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:34 AM
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Yeah once I saw that I knew that was the problem or a good part of the problem. I was just trying to see if anyone else had some good insight.

It just has the stock one in there right now. So I figure if I got another 30-40k out of a stock one that would be fine. I drive the truck 1 to 2 days a week normally. Its a driveway queen lol. I just drive my little ranger to work haha.

I think I am going to look up how much the stock part is and see if I can order one up this week. Do I need an alignment after? Or should I replace the part and then see how it is and then if there still is a problem go get an alignment?
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:53 AM
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I doubt you need an alignment. I would probably fix that and then see how it drives. You will know if you need to dig more into it. It makes me wonder if the guy before you couldn't fix an issue since he had it aligned right before he sold it??
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by layson View Post
I doubt you need an alignment. I would probably fix that and then see how it drives. You will know if you need to dig more into it. It makes me wonder if the guy before you couldn't fix an issue since he had it aligned right before he sold it??
I would have to totally agree with that. I bet that is part of the reason he was selling it. He said he was trying to buy a house but who knows. I know when he bought the truck a little bit ago he paid cash for it, so I dont think it was a money issue with fixing it but he might have got to the point where he was like I am just over the steering lol.

Either way I will fix it and get it right. I remeber even calling him and asking about it and he said he just had it aligned. So I figure there was something going on. Just cant wait to have the truck running right aka steering right.

I also found a bushing I could buy. Think its worth trying to put a new bushing in it first for $10 and see what it does? What about the balljoint at the end of the track bar, should I replace that as well. When I get home tonight I think I will try and pull the track bar off and see how it all looks. How do I know if that balljoint is toast and needs to be replaced?
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:04 PM
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So over the weekend I finally replaced the bushing in the track bar. Thems eem better but I still have a little bit of an issue. It still seems like it wonders a little bit but not alot. It also still seems to have a little bit of the shake but its not nearly as bad as it was. It seems alot more controlable.

One thing I did notice is that not that I got a good bushing in there it seems like the tires seem to drag across the road a little bit more. Im thinkign the alignment was done with the worn out part in there and now that its fixed it just need to be re aligned.

ANy quesses on this one? Its alot better but not 100% where I want it. I am thinking about tighting up the steering box, good idea or bad idea?
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