Cause/fix 1989 F350 Death wobble - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cause/fix 1989 F350 Death wobble

My 1989 F350 just started having the death wobble at about 30mph. It is a 4x4. What is the cause and the fix for the problem. Thanks remote.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My first thought would be tracking bar bushings, some people also call the track bar a "pan hard". The bushings are inexpensive and easy to replace. The replacement bolts are 14mm. BTW, the track bar is the solid bar that bolts to the right hand side of the axle and to the center of the engine cross member.
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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'89 F350 = Dana 60 solid front axle, which are known for developing the death wobble, tis caused by worn out bushings in the kingpins or something like that. Check on Pirate4x4 for an article about fixing the issue:

Pirate4x4.Com - Dana 60
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Replace the track bar bushings and all the spring eye bushings with new polyurethane ones. To remove the rubber pressed in bushings get a 1/2" drill and a 3/8" drill bit and drill out as much rubber as possible. I say a 1/2" drill because the rubber will really choke the drill down, you may burn up a 3/8" and a battery drill would be futile. Next you need a sawzall (reciprocating saw) and a good metal cutting blade. I saw through them aiming for the gap where the spring eye wraps around. Once cut a hammer and punch, chisel, or screwdriver are used to drive out the outer sleeve. Clean up the rust with some emery cloth and install the new poly bushings with some grease to avoid the squeaks.

Also check alignment, tie rod wear, tire balance, and tire pressure. I dropped the pressure down to 45 in mine once to soften the ride and the wobble came back. I wouldn't change the kingpins unless there is slack in them.

Just my 2
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Mine does the samething and it's a 2 wheel drive.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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bad ball joints, bad I-beam or radius arms bushings, can be anything really. Jack up truck start looking for cracked bushings and loose clips and such.
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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make sure the truck has a steering dampner as well.

that and the tracbar bushings solved our problem.
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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2wd trucks very rarely have steering dampers, I ain't seen none from the factory and there really ain't no aftermarket kit either. I'm sure something can be fabbed up tho, as there are folks out there who drive 2wd duallies with steering dampers.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I need to get a jack first I guess, would a tractor jack work with the bumper adapter or?
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1980's F250 Cab w/doors, Dash, New Pw/Brk Booster,
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1973 International Scout II
Chevy 350 30over, 4-Bolt main, SS Valves, MSD Ignition, Comp 9000 Dist, Edelbrock Manifold/
Carb,
4" Suspension & 3" Body Lift, Dana Front/Rear/TC, TH400 w/Stage 2 kit, 33x12.5x15 BigO Mud tires.

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Old 09-23-2008, 01:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My 89 F350 4X4 has developed the same thing. When I took it to the shop they told me I needed a new trac-bar kit. $143 installed. Still have yet to take it back down there to see.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I need to get a jack first I guess, would a tractor jack work with the bumper adapter or?
I use a small bottle jack, tis a 12-ton AC Delco thing and I remember I paid round $40 for it at the parts store - I put that under the I-beam next to the radius arm. For a vehicle of this size I wouldn't trust a bumper jack of any sort.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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M.L.S.C., Your correct. I will look at some this week and see if I can afford it. Thanks, JASTECH
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1988 F350 7.3L Diesel Crew Cab 5spd, 200k+ miles

1980's F250 Cab w/doors, Dash, New Pw/Brk Booster,
sanded and primered Grey [B]For Sale BO


1973 International Scout II
Chevy 350 30over, 4-Bolt main, SS Valves, MSD Ignition, Comp 9000 Dist, Edelbrock Manifold/
Carb,
4" Suspension & 3" Body Lift, Dana Front/Rear/TC, TH400 w/Stage 2 kit, 33x12.5x15 BigO Mud tires.

1973 Jeep CJ5 (Project)
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I located a Craftsman 12ton bottle jack on Ebay and bought it with credit I had on PayPal. I hope it will go high enough to reach the bumper. j/k
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1988 F350 7.3L Diesel Crew Cab 5spd, 200k+ miles

1980's F250 Cab w/doors, Dash, New Pw/Brk Booster,
sanded and primered Grey [B]For Sale BO


1973 International Scout II
Chevy 350 30over, 4-Bolt main, SS Valves, MSD Ignition, Comp 9000 Dist, Edelbrock Manifold/
Carb,
4" Suspension & 3" Body Lift, Dana Front/Rear/TC, TH400 w/Stage 2 kit, 33x12.5x15 BigO Mud tires.

1973 Jeep CJ5 (Project)
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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for what it's worth, the front bumper is actually much weaker than it looks.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I located a Craftsman 12ton bottle jack on Ebay and bought it with credit I had on PayPal. I hope it will go high enough to reach the bumper. j/k
I agree with M.L.S.C. don't use the bumper..use the frame.You can always put 2 4X4's under the jack. Place them next to each other for a good base and if you need more, then stack the next two ACROSS the bottom two. I wouldn't go more than 3 high..I pulled (dropped) a Chevy 454 out of a'77 Winnebago (27') and had to jack the front end 29" off the ground for clearance. I used a 12 ton botle jack and stacked the 4X4's It was interesting to say the least...BTW when it was rebuilt/reinstalled you could get the front tires to lift high enough to make the steering loose!! Don't forget the JACK STANDS
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