Death Wobble - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Death Wobble

Have a 2017 350 dually that I use as a wrecker. Front tires are worn out after 12k miles or so. Truck has developed a wobble that can present itself at any given time. I done some research and found others have had this issue, wanted to get input from people here on the forum.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 11:26 PM
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Lots of weight behind the rear tires, kills the front tires, the wobble can happen pretty easy in these kinds of use, new tires will fix it more then likely

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 08:36 AM
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Lots of weight behind the rear tires, kills the front tires, the wobble can happen pretty easy in these kinds of use, new tires will fix it more then likely
Just wondering how weight behind rear tires kills front tires. I like learning new stuff.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 10:58 AM
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I have towed Heavy tag trailers since 2001 with ford Duallys , the front tires have always worn out extremely fast , since 2005 ALL my trucks have had The Death Wobble, my 2011 gave the Death Wobble with the lowest mileage of any of my trucks, My Experience is that towing heavy over the rear tires lifts the front suspension just enough to cause uneven Front tire wear, leading to the Death Wobble, When my 2011 had the Death Wobble at a very early Mileage I noticed again bad wear early on with the front tires. I simply installed the front tires off my New 2015 and right on the 2011 and it has not happened again yet, Although i Did hit a bump last week that almost set off the Death Wobble again in the 2011, I say almost because the wheel started to jerk back and forth 2 times then went away, so i know it is getting time to change the front tires again. There are many things that cause the Death Wobble in these trucks, I have found that towing Heavy causes it for me.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 12:25 PM
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Just wondering how weight behind rear tires kills front tires. I like learning new stuff.
Dually trucks tend to have front tire wear issues due to lack of tire rotation and improper inflation. I also commonly see trucks in various states of disrepair that includes damage from abuse and or neglect with regard to replacing worn steering and suspension components. This is frequently compounded by the fact that all too often dually trucks, whether they be a pick up or cab and chassis with an unfitted body are unevenly loaded or the alignment has not been adjusted to correct the steering geometry that is affected by the additional weight or loads in the back of the vehicle which is supposed to be checked and corrected after the body is installed. To some degree front tire wear is the nature of the beast.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 09:03 PM
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ford super duty's are know for this problem take a look in to Dual front stabilizer shocks they fix my death wobble problem i picked up the kit of Ebay with bilstein shocks they work great for me haven't had a problem with the death wobble since. I am also running 38x20x15.5 wide wheel tires.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 10:12 PM
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Stabilizers are just a bandaid fix for worn parts/incorrect adjustments. IMO.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I was used to the tire life of 19.5ís. 15k miles must be all that Iím going to get.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 02:16 PM
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I guess I was used to the tire life of 19.5ís. 15k miles must be all that Iím going to get.


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If you rotate the fronts from side to side every 4-5K it will help
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:46 PM
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I rotated my fronts to my rear inner position and I haven't had the death wobble come back yet.

Ford did replace my steering stabilizer also.
So not sure if one or the other fixed it completely.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 12:15 AM
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loading the rear enough to where you gain more than an inch in the front will have MASSIVE toe changes, toe in or out is THE number one killer for tires over anything else since your literally chewing up your tires that are now pointed more and more inward as you unload the front weight from aligned hight

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 09:00 AM
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How do you figure on a solid axle truck, with a one piece tie rod connecting both front tires, that the suspension height has anything to do with toe?

Lowering the back and raising the front affects frame angle. At this point the front tires become the pivot point on the truck ( when veiwed from the side) and therefore increases your caster and minimally changes your camber but the toe should remind unaffected.

I have experienced what you are talking about on my early early bronco when it still had the original "y link" steering. I would hit a bump and with this style steering the toe would change drastically which would cause death wobble. I converted it to essentially the same style steering as out trucks to cure the problem.

One thing I have learned building lifted jeeps and broncos over the years is that the steering stabilizers are just a band air for poor suspension geometry. And that the toe alignment with cause death wobble.

Some Jeeps with enough lift cannot be aligned to "specs" or they will death wobble. Too much toe in (tires point at each other in the front). / \ will cause death wobble. I prefer to align death wobble prone vehicles with the toe either dead straight or out 1/16. It's not the best for tire wear but it stops death wobble.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 10:17 AM
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Lots of good info in here about rotating tires and steering stabilizers. I've never had DW on my 01 7.3, but have enough experience building Jeeps to run into it on multiple occasions. My ZJ hasn't had a steering stabilizer on it in 10+ years and can cruise 75 down the highway with NO death wobble whatsoever because the rest of the system is in good shape. A good steering stabilizer can help mask smaller instances of DW, but that's about all it will do.

I'm not familiar enough with the newer front suspensions to say for sure that this could happen on the newer Fords, but on my Jeeps the #1 cause for DW has been a loose trackbar/panhard bar. Tires are a close #2. Irregular wear and tires being out of balance can create enough of a harmonic motion to kick off DW.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Put 2 new tires on the front, wobble is gone but still a ton of wheel hop. Itís at the dealer now.


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2018, 08:18 PM
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I had it bad on my 2011. I hope it doesn't develop on my 2017. 25k now. So far so good.

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