1997 - 2003 F-150

death wobble

 
  #1  
Old 06-29-2019, 08:36 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 380
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
death wobble

not sure if this should be here, or suspension, but here goes..... around 35-45mph I get a death wobble, still tracks straight, jsut its a lot of side to side movement.... what should I check? obviously suspension components, but just want to see if anyone else is having this issue? I am on 35s....
 
  #2  
Old 06-29-2019, 11:29 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: So. Texas
Posts: 2,077
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
Be dandy if you stated what it is you're driving, what work has been done on the front end, if any, and how many miles on the truck.
 
  #3  
Old 06-30-2019, 01:32 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 380
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Not sure what lift, but it is a red drop down lift (maybe Rancho?). 2001, 4x4, XLT, Automatic, 315/75/16 tires. 176k miles. SuperCab. 5.4L 2V Triton V8 330ci with a 5 Star Tuning 91 octane Performance tune. Only mod is no muffler. Does have a mismatched OE wheel on the right rear. Other wheels are Weld Mountain Crushers. Truck originally had 3.55 gears with OE lsd and 17" wheels according to door jamb sticker. 4.56 gear ratio w/ the OE lsd currently. 6.5' bed. 139" wheelbase. Because of the programmer, the speedo reads within 1 mile per hour of GPS, and those radar speed limit signs. 650 CCA battery.



 
  #4  
Old 06-30-2019, 08:44 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: here
Posts: 166
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
about the same specs on my 2002 f150. 1 check obvious front suspension. Upper ball joints are terrible on these..btw cheaper and easier to buy new upper control arms.
Wondering on your vebage.....tracks straight...but death wobble but side to side movement?

4.56 gears 35" tires but i went 2" body 2" suspension..... just replaced the dead TOO SHORT shocks (oe RANCHO's....how did they get the shocks too short on a stock suspension??? ...shocks were almost 3/4 too short in front.)

If nothing is WORN out...have a REAL alignment shop set up your front end. If the truck does NOT already have the cam bolt kit in the upper control arms you will probably need that to ($30) to get enough caster...fyi also recommend a steering stablizer (shock) add on. definitely takes out some of the "tracking" that the bigger tires add on rutted roads.
 
The following users liked this post:
  #5  
Old 06-30-2019, 09:08 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 380
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
ok, so truck tracks fairly straight, does have a slight pull. the steering wheel is a little off center when going straight. will be driving, and truck will be fine. if I am cruising up to speed, around 35-45mph I will get violent see-saw action of the wheel with the vibration, but it isn't like left to right turn kinda see-saw, I am still going straight, just a hard shimmy that I can still make the truck go straight with little input. I will try to take a video of it later. I thought about a steering stabilizer but didn't want to try to toss that on there as a band-aid, at least with not fully understanding the issue first. Also, had my reservations about it, because, from the videos I have seen, you install them to the lower mount in a certain place. Does it matter if the truck has a lift? I think I may be in the 6" lift area. I will also try and see if I can get some more pictures of the lift and maybe any part numbers on it, and also check if I have the eccentric cams already.
 
  #6  
Old 06-30-2019, 09:21 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wilmington,NC
Posts: 4,731
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
You obviously need to check for looseness in the ball joints, tie rod ends, pitman arm, idler arm, and sway bar bushings. If you don't know how to check these, take it to an alignment shop.
 
  #7  
Old 06-30-2019, 04:22 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 2,703
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
I had that wobble once on a Chevy 2wd with 15x8 wheels back in the '70s, and then one day had it on a lift changing oil, found the UBJs were worn bad. Put in new ones, cured.

UBJs don't get loaded like lowers carrying weight so they slop around more. Kneel down beside the front tires, one by one, grab the top of the tire and try with l you have to move it side to side as relates to the truck If it moves at all, upper ball joint is shot. Might help to jack some weight off suspension.
 

Last edited by tbear853; 06-30-2019 at 04:29 PM.
The following users liked this post:
  #8  
Old 06-30-2019, 10:30 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 380
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
  #9  
Old 06-30-2019, 11:03 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wilmington,NC
Posts: 4,731
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Balance the tires/wheels.
 
  #10  
Old 06-30-2019, 11:42 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 380
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
They feel pretty balanced honestly. Just wanting to see if this is common. It isn't all speeds. Just 35-45 mph.
 
  #11  
Old 06-30-2019, 11:43 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 2,703
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Hard to tell by video, looks like sudden onset after bumps. Loose UBJs will do that.
 
  #12  
Old 07-01-2019, 11:03 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wilmington,NC
Posts: 4,731
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Have you checked anything yet?
 
  #13  
Old 07-01-2019, 12:50 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: here
Posts: 166
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
NO adding a steering stabilizer is a non-issue with a lift BECAUSE...all your steering components are still in the same place relative to the frame (where stabilizer other end attaches).
 

Last edited by Fbird; 07-01-2019 at 12:54 PM.
  #14  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:13 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 380
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I haven't' checked anything yet. this isn't a daily driver, although I have been daily driving it since getting it fixed.....

been busy with work.


so, I was googling some parts, and things don't seem that expensive..... what brands are good replacements? I have seen moog, motorcraft, trw. I saw some from detroit axle? (are these the same people that make detroit lockers?) and dlz? I am trying to be frugal, but still want quality. At this point in my life, would rather spend more for the quality.
 
  #15  
Old 07-03-2019, 08:53 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wilmington,NC
Posts: 4,731
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Do the checking first to see what it needs. Then rockauto probably has he best deals.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: death wobble


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: