Death Wobble and Steering Dampner - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'11-16 General Questions General questions related to 2011-Up Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Death Wobble and Steering Dampner

My truck has been in numerous times for the death wobble. They've blamed it on tire balance. Still continued after balance. Blamed it on tires. New tires didn't fix it. I've had the track bar, track bar ball joint, track bar ball join again along with short & long drag links.



Just got back from service and told them it is still doing it. Shakes violently around 70mph when hitting a pothole, transitioning to uneven road, or making sweeping freeway turns. They said everything is fine. They are blaming it on my aftermarket Bilstein steering dampner. They said the truck is not designed to have a single gas dampner. They said replacing with a stock will fix my problem.


Is what they told me correct. Should I not run with the Bilstein?



What have you guys done to correct your death wobble?


Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 07:44 PM
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I have not had Death Wobble.
I have a Bilstein Dampener and a NAPA on the other truck.
Neither one has caused Death Wobble.
They are mounted on genuine Ford parts.

Its a topic that has been discussed before so you might find some good threads with a keyword search until guys respond.


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2002 F-250 4x4 SC LB 7.3 PSD w/ZF-6. 177,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II. Bilstein 5100. Stancor GPR. Walker BTM. Noco Mod. Michelin Defender LTX 285/75/16.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 11:52 AM
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Just drive under or over 70.

1996 F250 4x4 ext. cab, long bed 5 spd. 3.55ls, Tymar Intake, Tymar 4" downpipe and 4" exhaust. AIC, B&W turnoverball, EBPV brake, tranny temp gauge, boost gauge, and egt gauge. 2.5" axle drop bracket, F350 springs up front, and F350 rear axle blocks. 260k miles. RETIRED.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 10:27 AM
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Read where Jeeps have same issues. Jeep engineers claimed found the problem. They say it’s the dampening. So they suggesting new redesigned damper. Redid gas chamber, valving. Hence they issued TSB or recall or something to change to improved damper.

What they found was gas and valving in their stock units major contributor to wobbles. Especially in cooler climes. Gas will contract, defeats the fluid dampen effect.

Humm, maybe?

Question - are Jeep eng smarter than Ford? LoL.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 12:43 PM
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So gas shocks work fine in cold weather but steering stabilizers don’t?

Headscratch.

Good luck and if it was me, I would keep it under 70 until I get it fixed.


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2002 F-250 4x4 CC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 182,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II, AIC, Bilstein 5100, Stancor GPR, Marinco Mod, B&W Turnover Ball, Michelin Defender LTX


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2002 F-250 4x4 SC LB 7.3 PSD w/ZF-6. 177,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II. Bilstein 5100. Stancor GPR. Walker BTM. Noco Mod. Michelin Defender LTX 285/75/16.

SOLD:
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2000 F-250 4x4 SC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 164,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. Rebuilt Fuel bowl w/gold spring, 6.0 Cooler, Walker BTM, Stancor GPR, Michelin LTX M&S2.

Last edited by ArcticDriver; 08-22-2019 at 05:52 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 07:02 AM
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I canít imagine that a Bilstein steering damper would cause death wobble unless itís old & worn out. I suppose you could check their diagnosis & try a stock damper & see how that works. When that doesnít work, ask them, ďNow what?Ē.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickKent View Post
Just drive under or over 70.
Ever drive through W Texas on 10 at below 70? It's bad enough at 80.

Spoke to the tech guys at Bilstein USA. They stand by their product and it's application on my truck. The state 'our product will not create a 'death-wobble'". I tend to believe them over the dealer. My Bilstein is only 6 months old. But, I will to put on an OEM and see what happens.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 02:21 PM
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Its a castor and camber problem. It has nothing to do with your damper.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 01:14 PM
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You should buy a set of Centramatic wheel balancers. Years ago I had the balance problem and I bought a set of the Aluminum Centramatic wheelbalancers for my 245-70-16 E Michelins on Alcoa classic rims. These wheel balancers are a disc with a rolled tube at the end, filled with a thin liquid oil and BB type shot. As the wheel spins after 23 mph the gyro effect starts working and it will balance the tire/rim 100% all the time. If you have steel rims you get the steel disc wheel balancers. Aluminum rims you get the aluminum disc. At 200-250.00 for a set of four they are worth their weight in gold. When I had new tires installed at Costco the Tech did not torque the nuts at 140 ft. lbs., they were about 90 lbs, some less. When I left the shop I could feel the balancers not working. I went back and had the Tech hand Torque the lugnuts at 140 ft. lbs. and the van runs like a new Benz now at 80 MPH plus. When you let your hands off the wheel you can feel the gyro effect and the van tracks straight with no drifting. When you order a set get a live person on the phone (Not just a website buy with no help) and tell the tech what kind of truck, rims and mods you have and they will design a set for your truck. On the rear I had a small clip on the drum (emergency brake) part of the system, so when the disc balancers went on I had the tech remove the small clip so they would be perfect flush with the drum. I have the 4 wheel ABS brakes, but there is a small clip on the rear and I wanted them to mount perfect. They said did not need to do this, but why not?


What makes these great, if you go 4-wheelin and have mud packed on one side of the rim (usually on the inside where you can't see it) these wheel balancers will correct the imbalance from the packed mud and will keep the tires/rims 100% balanced all the time. The tread wear also wears across very even and gives you so much more life from a set of tires. I bought mine back in or around 2001 and they still work perfect with the lifetime warranty.

Even with other issues you may have, these wheel balancers will help you so much, may even correct all your problems.Look at the videos how they work.

Tire Balancers, Tire Balancing, Wheel Balancer and Wheel Balancing from Centramatic


You will thank me after you get them running. All the best,

2000 E350-Super Duty Ext. Mobile LivingRoom-7.3LPSD
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 08:27 PM
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Disconnect it, drive it, still doing it? If so, not the dampener. What about the wheel bearings? Have those been checked? Front shocks been checked? How are the tires wearing? Clue to me that it is suspension related is you said when you hit a pothole. If it is fine and smooth prior to impacting a pothole, then the pothole is upsetting the fine balance somewhere. A shock could have enough give to cause the wheel to bounce enough to cause the oscillations to start up, once they start they will continue until something else settles it down, such as slowing down.

It is a shock absorber, it softens the blow when the wheel hits something that forces it out of straight ahead, it won't cause the entire steering to go wonky though. If worn it won't help, but wont be the root either. Test with out it connected and see. Then when it still does it, take it back and say, What dampener? If it is still there, but you notice that it is far worse, then replace it with the OEM one as it is worn.

I would also try taking it to an independent shop that specializes in truck suspensions and get their take on the issue.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 06:12 AM
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I pointed out the Jeep wobble, what Jeep engineering recognized and their discovery, and a proposed correction. That correction could make many Jeep owners happy, not experienced wobbly driving.

Sorry I didnít capture the story, adding more details of their efforts, discovery of cause/effect, and corrective actions. The main thing they home in on was temperature effecting the damper functions, especially cooler ambients.

Personally my truck is not a 4x4, twin I-beams setup, have no wobble effect. Know a few Ford owners who experience wobbles, and maybe help a bit. As a teen, was able to drive the old, earlier WWII Jeep, and that thing wobbled a bunch. Found out to stop the wobble take steering move it left-right in big way to wiggle steering straight again.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:56 AM
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I had the wooble and the dealer worked on it several times to no avail. Finally the tech seen the stock track bar would flex when moving the steering back and forth. Replaced it with a track bar from XDP and solved the problem.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 06:29 PM
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Search ford death wobble videos, you will have your choice of entertainment for as long as you can stand!

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redneckinsac View Post
My truck has been in numerous times for the death wobble. They've blamed it on tire balance. Still continued after balance. Blamed it on tires. New tires didn't fix it. I've had the track bar, track bar ball joint, track bar ball join again along with short & long drag links.



Just got back from service and told them it is still doing it. Shakes violently around 70mph when hitting a pothole, transitioning to uneven road, or making sweeping freeway turns. They said everything is fine. They are blaming it on my aftermarket Bilstein steering dampner. They said the truck is not designed to have a single gas dampner. They said replacing with a stock will fix my problem.


Is what they told me correct. Should I not run with the Bilstein?



What have you guys done to correct your death wobble?


Thanks in advance!
Having had a jeep and many other 4x4s. even the best steering stabilizer on earth is not a fix to DW. I have had a Jeep since the 70's. Fiat is foisting this as a fix to cover a stupid law suit. Brought on by people that should not own a solid axle 4x4. Jeeps built by a company that even FixItAgainTony seems to not understand hey its Fiat. why not put on two steering shocks? why not 4? 4 should keep if from oscillating.

Assuming this is stock still no lift to change caster numbers. I has something well worn out if its in full on DW. Tires play a big roll in this. They must be ZEROED out, not just close. everything in the front axle must be tight. Linked suspension are more prone to issue. Much of it not checking ball joints and all the other joints correctly.

Its never Just the balance. That alone should at the most cause a left to right slow pulse. You feel that no DW you need to get the tires balanced. If not this eats at every moving joint. It takes a few issues then it wobbles. No one i ever heard of died? From rolling a jeep, ya i now a few personally.

I well set up hunk of junk jeep even on say 37s dont even need a steering stabilizer . My 47 and 66 never had one. I added one to slow the steering down off road as those manual steering boxes would rip a finger off when the steering wheel wipes out of your hand. Thumbs out was a rule.

Blistien steering shocks. Will not cause wobbles. But they are gas charged. This makes them push to the direction its mounted against. some people do not like it as it kida wants to steer that direction. I have drove them and well its hard to feel since most are on 35+ and lifted and one could point at other issues before the blistein been part of a bad riding jeep or DW. since by then the caster numbers might be way off roll center angle issues.

I would say if the person that is doing this work thinks a steering shock is the fix to wobbles, you need another mechanic. At best it will hide an issue, not long though. Trackbar on linked is one area kingpin/ball joint/ trunnions can cause it too. tie rod ends. something is worn.

Bullhead 4 wheelers, Az.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 07:51 AM
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Found info about Jeep wobble issues. Not saying could be fix for ford’s, or any, just what Jeep eng found, and suggested fix. Maybe need Jeep eng to tackle that Ford mysterious bounce...
https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-car...x-jl-wrangler/

Last edited by CajunMick; 09-07-2019 at 07:58 AM.
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