Death wobble (I think) - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Death wobble (I think)

A couple weeks ago I was doing 70 miles an hour and hit a couple bumps and I thought my front end was going to fall out underneath the truck. Shook like heck. I slowed down and it stopped.

Two days ago I balanced rotated the tires. And checked the alignment and it was dead on. This afternoon i hit one pothole with left front tire doing 70 and the same thing happened. I also had the track bar checked and nothing looks bent also everything on the front was tight... bolts etc. could my shocks be bad?
The truck does not seem to absorb any type of decent bump very well. As long as I'm not going fast it does not create any type of death wobble. Something is wrong with my suspension. I need some suggestions to tell the mechanics tomorrow. Because right now I don't even want to drive this truck until this problem is fixed it's too dangerous.


2012 6.7 3" Rough Country Lift 35" BFG KO2' Rough Country Steering Brace and Dual Steering Stabilizer
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by vintageman76 View Post
A couple weeks ago I was doing 70 miles an hour and hit a couple bumps and I thought my front end was going to fall out underneath the truck. Shook like hell. I slowed down and it stopped.

Two days ago I balanced rotated the tires. And checked the alignment and it was dead on. This afternoon i hit one pothole with left front tire doing 70 and the same thing happened. I also had the track bar checked and nothing looks bent also everything on the front was tight... bolts etc. could my shocks be bad?
The truck does not seem to absorb any type of decent bump very well. As long as I'm not going fast it does not create any type of death wobble. Something is wrong with my suspension. I need some suggestions to tell the mechanics tomorrow. Because right now I don't even want to drive this truck until this problem is fixed it's too dangerous.

After many years of working on light and Med duty trucks I find often track bars are checked incorrectly , I look at them on the ground and with the truck running and safely chocked I have someone whip the steering wheel L &R with my fingers on the Cross link any play at all will intensify 35 in. rubber is a lot of rubber under her and lifting the dynamics will play a part with center of gravity getting tweaked .

Hope this helps will be following ,Mitch
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NREMT-IMitch View Post
After many years of working on light and Med duty trucks I find often track bars are checked incorrectly , I look at them on the ground and with the truck running and safely chocked I have someone whip the steering wheel L &R with my fingers on the Cross link any play at all will intensify 35 in. rubber is a lot of rubber under her and lifting the dynamics will play a part with center of gravity getting tweaked .



Hope this helps will be following ,Mitch


I'll mention this to the mechanic. Thx

2012 6.7 3" Rough Country Lift 35" BFG KO2' Rough Country Steering Brace and Dual Steering Stabilizer
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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He found that the steering stabilizer bearing was bad and replaced it. I took it out tonight and it did it again. What the heck man? He said I need to go to a higher lift so that the stock trac bar would not be stretched to its limits.

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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 06:59 PM
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to me that is the dumbest advice either you need new trac bar bushings or bad ball joints! I replaced my trac bar didnt fix it replaced ball joints wheel bearing hubs and u joints now its fixed! My guess its ball joints!

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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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I am almost ready to trade. I am beyond frustrated, but I have to have a diesel and I have 4 kids and a wife so the dodge with a bench will still seat us all. Now this. I am tired of chasing this. I tell him about ball joints wheel bearing hubs and ujoints. Maybe he can chase this down. I have $5k in aftermarket stuff on this deleted truck. Now, I am ALMOST ready to trade.

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:17 PM
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Yes, you have DW. Get rid of those tires, you have the absolute WORST tire possible on a heavy truck. They should be renamed BFG DW's from all the problems they cause.

95% of DW issues are going to stem from tires or shocks. Factory shocks, and most of the replacements, are junk. Cheapest route will be Bilstein 5100 or 5160's, nest step up will a set of Fox or Kings valved correctly for your truck.

As far as the track being stretched, how is that possible? LOL! If it is seen as a problem get an adjustable one and install it, no need for more lift. The 3" list is about all you can do without control arms and other changes, but, the first thing it does is cause DW with worn shocks and BFG tires. Shocks will likely fix the issue but you will chase problems the whole time with those tires.

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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cerberusiam View Post
Yes, you have DW. Get rid of those tires, you have the absolute WORST tire possible on a heavy truck. They should be renamed BFG DW's from all the problems they cause.



95% of DW issues are going to stem from tires or shocks. Factory shocks, and most of the replacements, are junk. Cheapest route will be Bilstein 5100 or 5160's, nest step up will a set of Fox or Kings valved correctly for your truck.



As far as the track being stretched, how is that possible? LOL! If it is seen as a problem get an adjustable one and install it, no need for more lift. The 3" list is about all you can do without control arms and other changes, but, the first thing it does is cause DW with worn shocks and BFG tires. Shocks will likely fix the issue but you will chase problems the whole time with those tires.


So the open country after markets that are on there are junk? What tires are good? I was told the BFG's were better than the Nito. I'm open to suggestions but I just don't want to spend another $2000 or $3000 on this truck and not be fixed. I had to spend about 2000 last year deleting it.

2012 6.7 3" Rough Country Lift 35" BFG KO2' Rough Country Steering Brace and Dual Steering Stabilizer
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:35 PM
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Death wobble is easy to diagnose and fix. I suggest that you take the above advice about rocking the steering wheel back and forth while the truck is running while looking at, listening to, and feeling each and every steering related part, including track bar, for play. Any part that has play gets replaced. If you have BFG tires, give them to someone with a Jeep, they don't belong on your truck. Steering stabilizers have nothing to do with death wobble, your truck should drive fine without them. The steering stabilizer is for soaking up extra stuff, not masking mechanical insufficiencies.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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What is the best 35 inch tires for this truck? I am currently in Owensboro Kentucky does anyone know a good shop around here that could get me squared away? If not, I'll pass this along to the guy that's been looking at it today.

2012 6.7 3" Rough Country Lift 35" BFG KO2' Rough Country Steering Brace and Dual Steering Stabilizer
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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:51 PM
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I have the same tires as you do no issues. You have worn out parts like I said it might be ball joints. you can trade in you truck to fix a low cost item or spend 40 to 60 grand on a new ride your call.

2005 dodge cummins 4.5 inch fabtech lift,BFG's Ko2's, Home Depot CAI (thanks to AH64ID), SMARTY PoD
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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 08:13 PM
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For shocks Bilstein, Fox, or King. Anything else is a crap shoot on how they are valved, mostly for gasser trucks. You noted a problem with the shocks in the initial post so maybe they are wrong for the truck or just bad? The first thing I would do is order a set of Bilstein 5100's from Genos Garage for the front and see if that changes anything. It won't fix the tires but they will stop a lot of the problems that start DW. Would not hurt to do a Bilstein steering damper if there is any question at all about the existing one. Again, it won't address the root cause but it will stop the oscillations from getting out of hand.

You might be able to live with the tires if you can clam it down enough, but, a 35" BFG tire on a 17" rim is just asking for problems. The same height tire on 20" rim behaves completely different, still not a good choice in tire but better than the 17" ones.

Who ever told you BFG's are better than Nitto is either getting a cut of sales or flat out lying or simply has no clue. Either the Terra Grappler or the Mud Grappler are far superior to ANY tire BFG has. Toyo and Nitto are the two best choices with Cooper right in there, BFG just sells a bunch because they are cheaper. What size rims do you have, that will determine more than anything what tire you can run. If you have 17" rims forget 35's, there isn't a 17" tire made anymore that meets the needs of these trucks. You will have to back off to a 33" tire in 17 inch to have a chance of something that will be solid enough, or, you need larger wheels. The 187's have a decent selection but 20" tires have a lot broader range of choices now with all the newer trucks running them. Look at tire weight ratings and get some thing that is upwards of 3700 lbs in an SRW configuration then look at the weight of tire. A 62 to 65 lb tire is going to be heavy enough, under 60 lbs and you are taking chances.

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