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rbarstow

Death Wobble?

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I have a 2016 F350 and have heard a little in regards to the f250/350 trucks experiencing death wobble.  Can anybody give me a liitle info on what exactly this is? Are certain models more prone to it/  How common it may or may not be?  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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"Death wobble" is NOT unique to F250/F350.  It is seen in almost all 4WD drive vehicles with a solid axle !

 

It show up at speed above about 45 MPH, so mostly on the highway.  You hit a small bump and suddenly the steering wheel and all of the steering system go into a violent oscillation.  The vehicle still is going straight (more or less) and you do have some control.  The only solution is hold on tight and take your foot off the accelerator and coast to a lower speed where it will stop.

 

No one has ever pin pointed a cause or a solution.  Tight (new) steering components help.  A steering damper helps.

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I have owned 3 4WD (1999, 2004 and currently a 2014) Superduties.  I have yet to experience this phenomenon 😃

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5 hours ago, danglin said:

I have owned 3 4WD (1999, 2004 and currently a 2014) Superduties.  I have yet to experience this phenomenon 😃

 

The 99 and 04 had leaf spring front suspensions and are far less prone to it. 

 

As Wizard said, ANY solid axle front end can. Heep Wranglers and the old Heep Cherokees were AWFUL about it. I've even ridden in a Squarebody GM that was bad. 

 

Death wobble is a violent harmonic oscillation. The front suspension begins to "ring" like a huge tuning fork. Anything that changes the harmonic of the suspension can lessen or increase the propensity of it. Tires/pressures, loose/damaged/missing parts, track bar angle not matching drag link angle for people who modify, etc. 

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I had this happen a few times on my F350 2006.  I just learned to stay away from bumps on the highway and not speed too fast.

Curious what this looks like from behind the truck?  I didn't look in the rear view I just held on tight and moved over fast

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I heard about this year's ago after getting my  2012 F250 4X4 and was worried about it for the longest. However, till this day I have yet to experience the wobble, despite driving on some rough highways from time to time.  

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On 7/19/2020 at 1:40 PM, JT84 said:

I heard about this year's ago after getting my  2012 F250 4X4 and was worried about it for the longest. However, till this day I have yet to experience the wobble, despite driving on some rough highways from time to time.  

 

So two responses by users who have never experienced the death wobble (Danglin and JT84).  Obviously a serious and dangerous issue when it happens and I'm sure far more owners experience it than is officially reported.  I'm curious how many other users haven't dealt with a death wobble?

 

I'll be taking delivery of my 2020 Super Duty likely in August of September and don't plan on a lift kit, bigger tires, or any other modifications.  I also keep to factory recommended maintenance schedules as much as I can so hopefully that will reduce the possibility of issues and increase worn part detection.  Within the next handful of years I'll end up with three new drivers in my house and, while the threat of the death wobble won't prevent me from letting them drive my truck it will be something I'll go over as far as safety talks go.  Similar to what to do for a blown tire, etc.

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19 hours ago, JEMetzger said:

I also keep to factory recommended maintenance schedules as much as I can so hopefully that will reduce the possibility of issues and increase worn part detection.  

Probably NOT !  I don't believe that the standard maintenance schedule says anything specific about testing front suspension components for wear,

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It's funny this thread has come up. I saw this on the road for the first time coming back from the trails on Saturday. Newer F350  was in front of me going about 75-80. Then I noticed all sorts of wobble. I thought he got a flat at first. It was strange see it shake but continue to move forward. I thought this was a Jeep only issue but I guess not.

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My '06 was straight standard no extra stuff on it. I can say that I only got it while in the high speed lane going FAR more then the speed limit..... and probably faster then I should have been driving a Diesel lol.

I think with my new one I'll be staying out of that lane and slow it down some😉

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Had a 2011 F250 PSD CCLB until last year when a tree jumped out and hit it. (2020 F350 PSD on order) Never experienced the problem described but it does not sound like fun.

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How fast are the oscillations? Like similar to trailer sway or faster?

 

Has anyone seen correlation to any suspension packages (ie camper) or tire type (A/S vs A/T) or size?

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18 hours ago, OffBalance said:

How fast are the oscillations? Like similar to trailer sway or faster?

 

Has anyone seen correlation to any suspension packages (ie camper) or tire type (A/S vs A/T) or size?

It's awful when it happens. It'll scare the crap outta you especially when you have little kids in the truck. Mine was with stock tires and maybe the 2nd time with cheaper tires but not the super cheap ones.  It's like hitting the rubble strip and the road being wavy all at the sme time, hrd to explain.

Can't answer the other question.

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