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What's Death Wobble??

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by PhoenixZorn, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    What's the dictionary definition of Death Wobble?? I'm wondering because I think I have it, and I want to know what to do about it in the event that it is indeed Death Wobble.
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    True death wobble is a life altering experience. It's that violent and that scary...

    The only thing you want to do when it happens is nail the brakes and get the truck stopped ASAP. The steering wheel wrneches itself so violently from one side to the other that it's all you can do to hang on.

    If this is regarding one of your earlier posts I'd guess you might have a ball joint problem, or a wheel balance problem. Worn tie rod ends would be my third guess. Worn drag link ends usually just cause the truck to wander.

    Rene
     
  3. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    I left work today and drove through the parking lot at about 10 mph... I let go of the wheel and it was flopping back and forth with about 3-4 inches of travel, 2 inches each way from center. I stopped and picked up a High Lift jack and tightenned up the lugs on the front tires... I'm going to the shop tomorrow for my first oil change and I'll get an alignment while I'm at it. The worst thing is, before the engine swap there was so wobble or shimmy at all... and they had to cut part of the frame to fit the headers... If that's what caused it... I'm gonna be madder than a pig that can't find a mud hole when it's 115 degrees outside.
     
  4. crazy_cooter56

    crazy_cooter56 Registered Member

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    If you had the Death Wobble you wouldn't dream of letting go of the steering wheel. When it happens you pray that you can hold on and keep it under control long enough to lay on the brakes and get the thing stopped. I have experienced it in several vehicles and it has been a white knuckle experience that I did not enjoy every time. You'll also get out after you're stopped and see if anything has fallen off of your truck it shakes so bad.
     
  5. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    LOL, you nailed it. I had death wobble so bad it ripped the drivers side inner fender off, not that there was much left holding it on. When I stopped the wife jumped out and said she's "not getting in that f*cking thing again until it stops doing that!" :D
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    If you have ever had real true to life death wobble you won't have to ask if you have death wobble. There will be no doubt in your mind that you have death wobble if you get it.

    After it is over you will be pulling seat cushion out of your a$$, your knuckles will be white as a ghost, you your heart and mind will be going faster then a sprinter on speed, and you will have just defied physics with the amount of pressure you applied to the brake pedal to get that Unholy Rollercoaster to stop.

    Harley
     
  7. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    What causes it?
     
  8. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    It can be alot of things that cause death wobble. Worn steering parts and big tires is the most common causes.

    D60's are more prone to death wobble then D44's or 10 bolts. One of the ways to fix it is to replace any worn steering parts and to put washers above the kingpin springs to create more pressure on the kingpin springs.

    In my case I had just converted to crossover steering. I installed my draglink in the hole that the hysteer tierod usually goes into. This gave me awesome turning radius but it reduced the amount of power the steering system can apply on the tires. The tires had more leverage then the steering so it shook violently when I hit a bump that would kick the tires around heavily.

    Harley
     
  9. M-1028

    M-1028 1/2 ton status

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    Mine has it right now. I need to rebuild the kingpins BADLY. Its funny because mine only dose it through a dip in the road near my house, but it dose it everytime like clockwork. It only happens on mine between 10-25 mph. What I've learned if you turn the wheel and put pressure on the steering it usually stops.
     
  10. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Mine used to do it like clock work when I was slowing down to turn into my schools parking lot. I was be going about 20 MPH and hit the little bump and WHAM, hello death wobble. It wouldn't stop unless I stomped the brakes and got down to about 3 mph. Turning the steering wheel wouldn't even stop it, only stopping would. It would drive great most of the time but when you found those bumps that where just right it caused nasty death wobble.

    Harley
     
  11. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the info.

    This guy i knew back in high school had this huge Ford with 44's and I saw him going over the railroad tracks at about 15-20 mph and I thought his wheels were going to fall off it was wobbling so bad! I wondered what caused that.
     
  12. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    DW is the most violent shaking you will ever experience in a vehicle. Your tires are literally shacking L&R as fast as they can. The problem comes when you are so used to it you can feel it before it actually start. Warped disks can give the same feeling under braking.
     
  13. crazy_cooter56

    crazy_cooter56 Registered Member

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    It's also not set for any one type of vehicle. The worst I ever had was in a 79 Ford that the track bar bushings were shot in. Doing 65 down the highway when it started so bad that it unlatched the hood. So I had to slam the brakes and try to get off the road while having virtually no control and no vision. I was giving a guy who's car had broke down a ride home and I believe he was wishing he'd just walked. My Jeep Comanche also did it when I first lifted it and the midsized vehicles really feel like they are gonna fall to many pieces.
     
  14. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    Sound like common tire wobble. Replace your steering stabilizer.
     
  15. paulmoon

    paulmoon 1/2 ton status

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    My 69 CJ5 used to DW on the freeway. Scare the f*** otta me! It started after the lift and wide tires. Once you experience it you'll never forget it! :eek:
     
  16. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    A steering system that is in good shape should not need a steering stabilzer. If you need a stabilizer to control the steering you are masking the real problem.

    Harley
     
  17. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    Then why do vehicles come from the factory with a steering stabilizer?
     
  18. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    I have a bad lower passenger side ball joint in the front axle... that's why I have the wobble.... I'm gonna buy the ball joints and either fix it myself or have a friend do it... no more going to the shop unless it's because I'm covering my warranty on the engine.
     
  19. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    To help reduce any signs of bump steer and to dampen the steering inputs to the driver. It makes it feel nicer to drive.

    I have been running without a steering stabilizer for over 3 years.

    Harley
     
  20. kevinsmith235

    kevinsmith235 Newbie

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    death wobble

    Hey guys I got the same problem with my 79 blazer with a 6" lift and a 3" body lift.My tires are 39" super swampers.Between 10 and 30 mph it shakes like you would not believe.Its actually scary.Someone told me i don't have enough caster in my alignment.i also have the wimpy half ton axles.Does anyone have an idea where i should start to try and fix?
     

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