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Old 02-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #1
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F350 Death Wobble

I have a 2011 F350 CC DRW with a bad front end death wobble. Just took a trip to PA. (not towing) and had a awful time, had to pull off the road several times. I stopped at my dealer on the way home and the SM seems to think its the steering stabilizer, I think its the General tires.
Any one else had this front end death wobble.

Thanks
Dennis
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
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Sounds like steering stabilizer to me too.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:55 PM   #3
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We had something similar go wrong for us last month. The dealer replaced a bunch of stabilizer stuff and charged us $781. Further down the road the front left tire developed separation of tread from sidewall, started really wobbling, wound up buying new tires too. We really don't know if we had replaced the tires first if that would have done the trick, but we just couldn't risk taking a chance, crossing the country in winter. Good luck, BTW we have a F350 CC 6.7L power stroke, SRW.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:08 PM   #4
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Death wobble is a violent steering oscillation brought on by hitting a bump, crossing a train track, or similar. It usually does not stop until travel speed is reduced or come to a stop. It will scare the heck out of you.

Changing a steering stabilizer may mask or improve, but the problem is still there. Usually caused by a worn or damaged steering component, especially the track bar mounting or bushings are suspect as it locates and controls the axle horizontally.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:17 PM   #5
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The "Death Wobble" is usually associated with the solid front axle F53, F350, F450 series. The twin I-beam is not a problem that I have heard of.

I'd get the truck to an independent truck front end shop and forget Ford.

But, the first place I'd look is the steering stabilizer damper.

Ken
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:10 PM   #6
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The "Death Wobble" is usually associated with the solid front axle F53, F350, F450 series. The twin I-beam is not a problem that I have heard of.

I'd get the truck to an independent truck front end shop and forget Ford.

But, the first place I'd look is the steering stabilizer damper.

Ken
When I was a kid working in a garage, we replaced a lot of king pin bushings in solid front axle vehicles... they would do exactly what you are talking about.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:30 PM   #7
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Replace the steering stabilizer and make sure all your tires are good. Check the suspension over but there is a very strong chance it is ok. There have been some revisions to the front stabilizer. You want a really scary ride, drive a Jeep Wrangler with a bad stabilizer. That is the true meaning of death wobble.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:50 AM   #8
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I did front end alignments for 10 years back in the 70's and early 80's. Something is loose in your front end, tie rod ends, ball joints, idler arm or pitman arm. Also "toe in" might be out and cause a systematic progression to the wobble with loose parts.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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Just one of SEVERAL threads you will see on the Ford-trucks forum found here Got the death wobble? REPORT IT! - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

Monty
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:18 AM   #10
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You've gotten some good responses. Some of these guys have a lot of experience with this stuff but attack this problem with caution. Responses here are only speculation based on past experiences. It will take a GOOD shop to really diagnose the exact cause.

Find a good heavy truck alignment/suspension repair facility. Expect and demand that they show you what they believe the problem(s) are before they start throwing parts at it. Throwing parts at it it's fixed is not the correct way to repair anything. Diagnosis, diagnosis, diagnosis. Most suspension problems can be diagnosed in 30 minutes or less, if you know what you are doing.

Any part on a vehicle can be checked, measured or evaluated to determine if it can perform the task it was designed to do. That's the proper approach to diagnosis.

If the alignment angles are off then they should be able to show you on paper the settings now and show you what they should be. If a tie-rod is defective they can show you exactly why they believe it is defective or worn out. They can show you bad or worn tires.

Best of luck and let us know what you eventually find.

TeJay
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:19 PM   #11
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On topic but not on my MH its my 64 deville convert this exact same thing is going on with it.I have thrown hundreds and hundreds @ it and it still happens. Please tell me what it is?
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vsheetz Death wobble is a violent steering oscillation brought on by hitting a bump, crossing a train track, or similar. It usually does not stop until travel speed is reduced or come to a stop. It will scare the heck out of you.

Changing a steering stabilizer may mask or improve, but the problem is still there. Usually caused by a worn or damaged steering component, especially the track bar mounting or bushings are suspect as it locates and controls the axle horizontally.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:28 PM   #12
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Proceed with caution, could be anything from tires to brakes to suspension or steering parts. I chased a similar problem on a class b motorhome and a Chevy pickup, it was a bad tire in both cases.

I would start with tires, have them tested with front end raised and spin tires to road speed, then proceed from there.

Just my 2 cents worth anyway. Good Luck.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:43 AM   #13
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First of all I would like to say thanks for all the great replies, you guys are Great.

Something I failed to mention is that this truck only has 26'500 miles.

Stopped by my mechanics shop on Saturday and had a look, we have come to the conclusion that it is most likely the tires. Could be a steering stabilizer but these tires are pure junk. I never like them from the first time I drove the truck.

I have spent most of the morning looking at tires and I have always replaced the OE with Michelins on all my trucks and they have served me well. Now just need to decide on the best tire for towing and let the money tree grow a few more leaves. 6 tires ouch.

Thanks again for all your help I'll keep you posted.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundman7 View Post
First of all I would like to say thanks for all the great replies, you guys are Great. Something I failed to mention is that this truck only has 26'500 miles. Stopped by my mechanics shop on Saturday and had a look, we have come to the conclusion that it is most likely the tires. Could be a steering stabilizer but these tires are pure junk. I never like them from the first time I drove the truck. I have spent most of the morning looking at tires and I have always replaced the OE with Michelins on all my trucks and they have served me well. Now just need to decide on the best tire for towing and let the money tree grow a few more leaves. 6 tires ouch. Thanks again for all your help I'll keep you posted.
Have you rotated tires from rear to the steer to see if the problem changed?

Rather than buying all six at once by just the steers now.
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