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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm at the end of my rope. I even went to two car lots to talk about trading my 2012 F250 in for a bowtie. My situation has reached critical mass.

I've loved my truck. I've got 155k miles and over the last year have developed a persistent death wobble. I've taken it to 4 different mechanics, all who thought they could fix it. I've replaced the track bar, track bar ball joint (2x), steering stabilizer, steering gearbox, and had multiple alignments. Only to have the death wobble return after a couple of days each time. I've read everything I can online and watched so many youtube videos that I'm embarrassed.

After getting handled at the car lots today, I decided to double down on figuring my DW out. I've watched more videos and decided to fill up my Amazon cart with every possible solution. I've looked at a Rancho dual stabilizer and shocks, a ready lift adjustable track bar, and new u joints.

But, then I keep reading others who have done the same only to have the problem return. Some talk about caster kits, which are pricey, and then others say they don't work. Man, I'm hoping somebody here has an idea .I sincerely can't spend another $1000 only to have the problem return. I've already spent over $1500 trying to track it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Each of the mechanics said they inspected the tie rods and that they looked good. They all keep telling me that everything on my front end is tight, and it's basically been completely rebuilt. And, today I was almost shook off the interstate after spending $850 getting a new Redhead gearbox last week.
 

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Yea, I've them balanced 3 times by two different guys. They also checked to ensure that the tires weren't out of round.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Honestly, I don't know much about caster. I had everything looked at by a front end specialist, and he told me he felt like they were right. He'd read some online about adjusting them to help, but he said he read just as many that said the opposite. My truck came with the 17", and now I have the OEM Ford 20". I run 275/65/20; so, nothing real supersized.
 

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I would find an alignment shop that knows these trucks.
If you have not already.
Replace the all three tierod ends.
Replace the track bar
Install dual steering stabilizers and keep the original in place (you will have 3.)

Lay under the truck and have someone turn the steering wheel from lock to lock.
Look for any play in the track bar ball joint. If it moves at all replace it too.
If that doesn't work get a castor kit installed.

My 2012 was like a light switch. Solid then boom. I could make it happen at 45 with a slight left on steering wheel. At 60+ it would almost toss me out of the seat.

Tie rods, track bar, new stabilizer, dual stabilizers and still present until I took it to a shop that specializes in Jeep and 4x4 trucks.

The alignment guy knew what to do.
 

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Steering stabilizers do not fix death wobble.

Check the front control arm bushings. A lot of people forget about them.

Like other said, have someone move the steering wheel while your looking at everything.

If nothing is loose, take it to a specialized alignment guy. And make sure you get the print out.

Heres my opinion on alignment-

Camber- In theory this can only be out of whack if the axle is bent. Hit anything hard lately? A good alignment shop will have a tapered shim they can install between your wheel bearing the knuckle face to correct this within a degree or 2.

Caster- Also can be out of whack if axle is bent. If your control arm bushings are worn it can allow your axle to be slightly rotated forward or back. A good alignment shop should be checking for this. However it can be deceiving. Due to the coil springs pushing directly on the axle, there is no vertical load on the control arms. However when you step on the brake, the axle housing is trying to roll forward. Causing you to gain caster(which is good. This means your tire wants to trail behind your axle causing it to want to go straight). However, after you spend a few minutes on the highway the axle relaxes and begins to lose caster. This is bad. And the problem is, were only talking 1 or 2 degrees of caster can cause nightmares. This is part of the reason why the death wobble goes away for alot of people as soon as they hit the brake.

The combination of caster and camber is what makes your wheels return to center. Because the axis in which the tire rotates when you turn the steering wheel is tipped toward the front of the truck and the center of the truck, As you turn the wheel, the front tires are raising the front of the truck. This makes the weight of the truck want to return the wheels to straight.

Toe- As long as you are toe in this shouldn't cause any issues but pre mature tire wear unless they are ridiculously toed in.
 

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OP, this sucks. I’m sorry your having to deal. It’s not a complicated issue for those that understand it. Where you located? If in Vegas I can swing by and identify the cause in 5.
 

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Carli Suspension had a good write up on it and will probably provide some advice (and parts) if you give them a call.

Google Carli Suspension Death Wobble. I would post a link, but I'm too new here...
 

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Replacing the tires is the only way I've solved that issue. Same with a friend who replaced every suspension component in the front end and still had the wobble. Replaced his tires and it went away.
 

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My 2011 F-250 experienced this and I had the Stabilizer Bar replaced after much research. This resolved the issue but I was told the standard F-250 wasn't setup for off road even though it's 4x4 and if I was to rough on it I could damage it again. Almost 5 years on without additional issues. Ford initially tried to say they've never heard of it and I sent them the stuff below. Hope it helps.

NHTSA video:
https://youtu.be/gT8CKiqSxJE

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults;jsessionid=RjDcWs1G0ldvbw20lWJN42bPYNmrbssyDvvDQPwhRnhp2pZstGrR!182953998?prodType=V&searchType=PROD&targetCategory=A&searchCriteria.model=F-250&stats=1033770,2,1,88,20,F-250&makeStats=&jsonBaseURL=/downloads/folders/&searchCriteria.model_yr=2011&searchCriteria.make=FORD&searchCriteria.prod_ids=1033770

https://youtu.be/8EuQ6f8rgT4
Fast forward to 1 minute,* shows external view, then internal

http://m.carcomplaints.com/Ford/F-250/2011/suspension/death_wobble.shtml

http://www.ehow.com/how_7309130_do-death-wobble-ford-f_250_.html
 

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Replacing the tires is the only way I've solved that issue. Same with a friend who replaced every suspension component in the front end and still had the wobble. Replaced his tires and it went away.
I second this. My 2011 had horrible death wobble, which was fixed temporarily by replacing track bar, tie rod ends, and getting an alignment, all by an excellent local alignment shop. It returned from time to time, but not as often. As soon as I went with new tires, death wobble was gone and has never returned. Switched from 275/60/20 Goodyear (GM take offs) and now have 305/55/20 BFG Mud KM2. Death wobble gone.
 

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If you’ve tried everything else.. the front end components are good, and all else fails... before you trade it.

X3 for a bad tire. I’ve experienced this as well. Broken, loose belts going in and out of position. Due to very rough roads (Alaska highway, bush roads, and the Dempster) excessive pounding, issue right from the factory, were my guesses how it broke. It will look good and balance on a machine, but put weight on it, warm it up, and it can go in and out of balance as the broken, maybe even partially broken, belt/s shift. I can’t say it was a death wobble the same as yours, but it sure shook the entire truck. Enough to hit the brakes a few times. It would come and go, like someone was flipping a light switch. New tires solved it.

I’ve experienced the death wobble in old worn out trucks, but it was more than obvious everything in the front ends were simply worn out. I’ve also seen bad bearings, going in and out of balance on other machinery, no appreciable noise, no play, but just enough to throw the balance in and out.

Good luck.
 

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On my 04 F350 I had a death wobble so bad I would have to come to almost a complete stop.It would come and go. It ended up being the right front u joint. I changed it out and never had it again.
 

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My 2000 excursion had this. I finally decided to replace the tires with the cheapest ones I could get, cause if that didn't fix it, I was getting rid of it. At least one of the BFG A/T I replaced apparently had delaminated on the inside. New tires fixed it. The delamination did not cause issues when balancing the tires, as I tried that several times at diff't shops, but at higher speeds would make the truck shake like nothing I've seen.
 

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I agree on the front u joint. We beat our heads trying to find the same thing. I never would have guessed it was the u joint but it was obvious it was bad once we took it off.
 

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FYI--if you decide to try new tires go to a larger tire shop. Most will allow you to change to a different tire within 2 weeks or 30 days of purchase. Put cheap tires on it if considering trading as a last step. If it cures the issue, go back and swap them for a set you prefer.

Tom
 
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