Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Cummins of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2001 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel. It drove smooth the night that I bought it. But the next day on the way to work, I was going about 40mph on a straight road.. and it started shaking like crazy. Almost like all my tires blew out. Pulled over and turned off the truck. Tires were fine. Turned it back on and kept driving. It seemed fine. But I’m nervous about what it could be. Is my truck F’ed up? Will it do it again? What could it be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The engine won't fire properly if the fuel is water contaminated. Can buck, jump, shudder, miss fire and stumble
Truck came with almost a full tank of gas. Dono how water would have gotten in there. Is there a way to check to see if that’s it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
Classic description of death wobble, but that's a little slow to see it. What's the tire size, truck mileage, and miles on/condition of the tires? If something is very loose, the alignment is crap, the tires are oversize and very well worn... I'd believe it in an instant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Search death wobble. I believe that’s what you experienced.
I looked it up. It definitely sounds like what I have. What can I do? It happened the very next morning after I bought the car. It seemed funny that he told me that he didn’t wanna sell it a few weeks ago. Then all of a sudden is basically giving his truck away for 3-4 grand less than he wanted. If he knew about it, can I confront him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Classic description of death wobble, but that's a little slow to see it. What's the tire size, truck mileage, and miles on/condition of the tires? If something is very loose, the alignment is crap, the tires are oversize and very well worn... I'd believe it in an instant.
Mileage is over 200,000, tires are a little dry rotted. He said he did an alignment on it the day before I picked it up.
 

·
Registered
2020 3500 HO 4x4 SRW CCLB
Joined
·
748 Posts
Another vote for death wobble.

Replace the front end steering linkage with an 08+ T-style and replace all worn parts, ball joints. Trackbar. Put on a good set of E rated tires. Align to Thuren specs (0 Toe).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
You may want to change out the gas from the fuel tank to diesel too, that will cause the engine to blow up if you don't.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
can I ask the seller to fix it? He is a mechanic. And it happened after only driving it for a few hours.
If you saw death wobble at 40 to 45, he's seen it too. He knows it's there. He sold the truck without mentioning it and without trying to fix it, really, so, just my opinion, I wouldn't trust him. There's also the issue of not knowing exactly what's allowing it to happen. Could be half a dozen different things, or a little of all of them.

Check your front end caster. If he says he aligned it, and he knew there was DW, and if he knows at all what he's doing, he dialed in excess caster to try to hide it. That would mean the axle is tilted back as far as it can go. If that's the case and you saw DW at 40-45, there's other stuff going on.

Here's what contributes to death wobble:

(1) sidewall weakness and low tire pressure, poor tire quality, poor tire stability
(2) inadequate caster
(3) loose tie rod and/or drag link ends
(4) loose track bar ends
(5) loose steering box
(6) loose balljoints
(7) weak or no steering stabilizer
(8) excess unsprung weight, especially outboard of the knuckles
(9) weak shocks
(10) excessive toe-in

So you've got 200,000 miles on dry rotted tires... there's just no way to know until you get under there and start checking everything, but the tires are surely part of the problem.

Here's the think about DW -- every time it happens, it gets worse, because it's pure heck on the components. It knocks the crap out of them and makes everything looser, and then it just happens more and more.

You want to keep the truck, dive under the front end and replace anything that's loose. As noted above, replace the married drag link/tie rod with a retrofit t-style linkage. Check your balljoint play. Replace the shocks and steering stabilizer. Check track bar wear and looseness. Replace those tires. Align it to neutral toe and heavy on the caster.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brutal

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
The biggest issue with DW is chasing what part is causing it - I have seen guys chase DW for months.

I would check the track bar first. Are the joints on the ends bad? I would also remove the track bar and check the mounting points for the bolts.- If driven long enough with a bad track bar, the mounting holes can become wallowed out and out of round - so even if you change the track bar you will still have slop and still have death wobble.

I would also check the radius arm joints to ensure those are good.

The drag link to the steering box could also be bad - bad steering box.

Things like bad shocks, steering stabilizers, tires - are trigger items and not the root cause of DW. There is a component of the front suspension that is weak and allowing the axle to move back and forth. Once you have that part identified you can eliminate death wobble.

I drove a 2013 jeep on 40s and a 6" lift with no steering stabilizer and never had death wobble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you saw death wobble at 40 to 45, he's seen it too. He knows it's there. He sold the truck without mentioning it and without trying to fix it, really, so, just my opinion, I wouldn't trust him. There's also the issue of not knowing exactly what's allowing it to happen. Could be half a dozen different things, or a little of all of them.

Check your front end caster. If he says he aligned it, and he knew there was DW, and if he knows at all what he's doing, he dialed in excess caster to try to hide it. That would mean the axle is tilted back as far as it can go. If that's the case and you saw DW at 40-45, there's other stuff going on.

Here's what contributes to death wobble:

(1) sidewall weakness and low tire pressure, poor tire quality, poor tire stability
(2) inadequate caster
(3) loose tie rod and/or drag link ends
(4) loose track bar ends
(5) loose steering box
(6) loose balljoints
(7) weak or no steering stabilizer
(8) excess unsprung weight, especially outboard of the knuckles
(9) weak shocks
(10) excessive toe-in

So you've got 200,000 miles on dry rotted tires... there's just no way to know until you get under there and start checking everything, but the tires are surely part of the problem.

Here's the think about DW -- every time it happens, it gets worse, because it's pure heck on the components. It knocks the crap out of them and makes everything looser, and then it just happens more and more.

You want to keep the truck, dive under the front end and replace anything that's loose. As noted above, replace the married drag link/tie rod with a retrofit t-style linkage. Check your balljoint play. Replace the shocks and steering stabilizer. Check track bar wear and looseness. Replace those tires. Align it to neutral toe and heavy on the caster.
I don’t have the money to replace all these parts and most of the parts you listed, he said he replaced. So he definitely knew. He experienced it, tried to fix it, gave up, and sold it to me. Should I confront him? He told me everything was fine with the truck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
I don’t have the money to replace all these parts and most of the parts you listed, he said he replaced. So he definitely knew. He experienced it, tried to fix it, gave up, and sold it to me. Should I confront him? He told me everything was fine with the truck.
Ouch. Very tough call. Like sstoner said, you can chase this for months. One option would be to see if you can get your money back and undo the sale. Wouldn't be a bad thing, unless the truck is otherwise a creampuff and there's something that's going to be deceptively easy to fix....

If everything in the front end is really new, then it should look it, and every end will be tight. Check the track bar mounting holes as noted above. If they're good and all the rod ends are solid and the balljoints aren't too bad... probably just tires and alignment and steering stabilizer. Probably. You just won't know until you inspect everything.

If you're not able to inspect everything yourself, you're going to be at the mercy of one mechanical or another until it's fixed. And that could take a while.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Klausenheimer

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,222 Posts
Ouch. Very tough call. Like sstoner said, you can chase this for months. One option would be to see if you can get your money back and undo the sale. Wouldn't be a bad thing, unless the truck is otherwise a creampuff and there's something that's going to be deceptively easy to fix....

If everything in the front end is really new, then it should look it, and every end will be tight. Check the track bar mounting holes as noted above. If they're good and all the rod ends are solid and the balljoints aren't too bad... probably just tires and alignment and steering stabilizer. Probably. You just won't know until you inspect everything.

If you're not able to inspect everything yourself, you're going to be at the mercy of one mechanical or another until it's fixed. And that could take a while.
Funny how details always slowly trickle out. I'd also start with proper tires.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top