2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

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EasyDoesIt
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2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by EasyDoesIt » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:01 pm

After getting some death wobble over the past few weeks, I'm going to be doing some troubleshooting this weekend. Per previous post by Marcus...

"Before buying parts, do the usual test. Have a buddy turn engine on and turn the wheel back and forth repeatedly and watch every joint on Trackbar and tie rod to see if they move AT ALL. That will tell you what needs replacing. It is always better to do the parts all at once rather than one at time"

From what I've read it's one or a combo of four things, Ball Joints, Front Track Bar, TREs, or Tires. If it turns out my Ball Joints need replacing, does anyone know where the EMF units are in stock?

Quick rundown on my setup:
-2018 PW w/34k miles
-37" Cooper's with 50% tread (rotated and balanced every 5k)
-Stock steering stabilizer
-DOR steering brace
-Synergy Drag Link
- +1.5" Thuren front coils
-Thuren Fox 2.0 IFPs
-Centramatic balancers
-Aligned a year ago to Thuren specs
-Thuren Rear Drag Link

Thanks for any help.
Live: Las Vegas NV, Drive: 2018 PW & 2014 LR4

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by DamageWagon » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:01 pm

Dang that’s early to get DW on an 18. Yep, do that test. You’re spot on with the parts affecting the system.

Usually ball joints last a lot longer but sometimes they can go out. Usually tie rod ends also last longer than this as well. In my opinion the best way to test ball joints is to lift the front axle off the ground and disconnect the drag link and grab a tire by hand and turn it; see if the turn feels sticky or smooth.

TRE’s show wear by ‘popping’ up and down as you change steering direction.

In normal cases of higher miles I’m a strong proponent of changing all alignment-affecting components, but at your miles it might JUST be a worn out trackbar. Or your it could by any combination of the other three; but I’d personally swap in a new trackbar, so long as the DW did not begin shortly after a tire rotation as that would lead me to the tires.

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by EasyDoesIt » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:54 pm

Thanks for the reply Marcus. Depending on what the initial on pavement testing reveals, I'll try jacking it up and disconnecting the drag link.

I've only experienced DW a few times, always on the highway and always after a bridge abutment or bump. One of the times my wife was driving and it freaked her out so I gotta get on top of this.

My brothers (diesel mechanic) is trying to tell me all straight axle vehicles get DW and to just deal with it. I'm not ready to deal with it!

Steve
Live: Las Vegas NV, Drive: 2018 PW & 2014 LR4

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by DamageWagon » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:57 pm

Straight axle vehicles only get DW if something is worn out or the alignment is off. I’ve had minor DW develop into tires-off-the-ground DW in a power wagon, after only replacing the tie rod and assuming everything else was good. Ball joints were the rest of the fix.

DW comes from the inability of the tires to properly correct back to straight-ahead after an outside input.

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by RustyPW » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:30 pm

The only ball joints that was out when I replaced mine was the Carli's. Have over 50,000 miles on them. They're still tight. The bottom one a bitch to grease tho. If you can't get the EMF ball joints. Look into the Carli.
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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by Reloaderguy » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:38 pm

EasyDoesIt wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:01 pm
After getting some death wobble over the past few weeks, I'm going to be doing some troubleshooting this weekend. Per previous post by Marcus...

"Before buying parts, do the usual test. Have a buddy turn engine on and turn the wheel back and forth repeatedly and watch every joint on Trackbar and tie rod to see if they move AT ALL. That will tell you what needs replacing. It is always better to do the parts all at once rather than one at time"

From what I've read it's one or a combo of four things, Ball Joints, Front Track Bar, TREs, or Tires. If it turns out my Ball Joints need replacing, does anyone know where the EMF units are in stock?

Quick rundown on my setup:
-2018 PW w/34k miles
-37" Cooper's with 50% tread (rotated and balanced every 5k)
-Stock steering stabilizer
-DOR steering brace
-Synergy Drag Link
- +1.5" Thuren front coils
-Thuren Fox 2.0 IFPs
-Centramatic balancers
-Aligned a year ago to Thuren specs
-Thuren Rear Drag Link

Thanks for any help.
You're going to hate me for saying this but take off the Centramatics and try to reproduce the DW. I got low speed shake (not DW) from them but I assumed it was due to the lower hub speed associated with 40's. In my application, the Centramatics didn't spin fast enough to prevent the balancer media from becoming disrupted over low speed bumps. I have hydraulic assist that manages my steering input and I wonder if you're experiencing something similar but your steering doesn't resist the shake?

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by EasyDoesIt » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:50 pm

Reloader, I've thought about the centrimatics too but it's not low speeds where I get DW, it's above 65. I don't get any strange vibrations at low speeds.

After doing the buddy test, the TREs are tight but I am getting play at both ends of the track bar.

I also have a cracked/split/deteriorating bushing on my driver radius arm. All the rest of the bushings on the both radius arms look fine.

So what's next. Thuren track bar and ??
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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by DamageWagon » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:04 pm

If TRE’s are tight, if we are to assume the ball joints are good, I’d definitely look at swapping trackbars. The radius arm center bushings do seem to die somewhat soon on the Articulink arms but based on what I’ve seen on a lot of trucks, if your radius arm bushing already looks like that then I would definitely question your trackbar. I personally would swap it and start there.

I don’t have any fresh stock ones here now but I could get you a Thuren if you’d like.

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by EasyDoesIt » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:55 pm

DamageWagon wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:04 pm
If TRE’s are tight, if we are to assume the ball joints are good, I’d definitely look at swapping trackbars. The radius arm center bushings do seem to die somewhat soon on the Articulink arms but based on what I’ve seen on a lot of trucks, if your radius arm bushing already looks like that then I would definitely question your trackbar. I personally would swap it and start there.

I don’t have any fresh stock ones here now but I could get you a Thuren if you’d like.
That seems way too easy, I was expecting to spend a lot more but I'll take it.

I'll send you an email on the Thuren one and we'll go from there.

Any other input guys I'm all ears.
Live: Las Vegas NV, Drive: 2018 PW & 2014 LR4

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by cb1987 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:03 am

why are you using centramatics? honestly i would try and get them out of there as theyre only covering a problem. check road force and see where your at now. hopefully not around 30lb. probly have to do match mount. maybe even dismount then some rim and tire swapping. 15lb is good if you can manage to get it that low

seems very unlikely the balljoints are shot. weve got new rams with double the miles as you. offroad on pothole washboard roads 5days a week with no balljoint troubles. granted we arent using 37s but still. factory joints arent the highest of qaulity but never the less they last quit a while

who installed the coils? i loosen every bolt on the radius arms except the cam bolt. after everything is back together, tires on, truck on the ground at normal ride height then i tighten arm bolts back up. this ensures the rubber bushing are in theyr natural most position and not bound up at all. i wouldnt be suprised if you have twisted up bushings

factory ss works good for a while. change it out if its questionable

i couldnt see the tierod joints being worn but stranger things have happened. change them if need be

factory tackbar have alot of rubber in the ends. probly alot of deflection. who knows the qaulity of rubber. thuren bar will firm things up for sure. not sure why you didnt install one at the get go. for nothing else, just to get the axle back to center so it looks proper

ill assume your caster is about 3.5- 4*. i would be more inclinded to get back around 5 but thats just me

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by EasyDoesIt » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:41 pm

Installed the Thuren front track bar, got an alignment to Thuren specs and removed the front centrimatics.

I checked my ball joints and tie rod ends, everything is tight. Had them double checked by Firestone (I know I know) and they confirmed, no issues or worn parts.

My radius arm bushings are still suspect because of that slight tear but I'll run them for now.

I installed my coils and everything else per the manufacturer instructions.

I've put about 100 miles on the truck since the alignment and all seems well.

Time will tell.
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Last edited by EasyDoesIt on Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by DamageWagon » Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:16 am

Leaving the steering stabilizer off is an accelerated way to test DW, but if it’s already on then no need to remove it. I’d like to know if everything goes well now, or not.

Alignment numbers look very good to me!

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by EasyDoesIt » Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:36 am

DamageWagon wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:16 am
Leaving the steering stabilizer off is an accelerated way to test DW, but if it’s already on then no need to remove it. I’d like to know if everything goes well now, or not.

Alignment numbers look very good to me!
My steering stabilizer could be going, it's not leaking but it does have a small dent from a misplaced floor jack 2x4 combo.

But I was trying to wait on that new fox ats unit.
Live: Las Vegas NV, Drive: 2018 PW & 2014 LR4

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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by OffroadTreks » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:51 am

EasyDoesIt wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:50 pm
Reloader, I've thought about the centrimatics too but it's not low speeds where I get DW, it's above 65. I don't get any strange vibrations at low speeds.

After doing the buddy test, the TREs are tight but I am getting play at both ends of the track bar.

I also have a cracked/split/deteriorating bushing on my driver radius arm. All the rest of the bushings on the both radius arms look fine.

So what's next. Thuren track bar and ??

IMG_20200125_121330.jpg
Mine look like that, David (not on this site) had his even more destroyed and no Death Wobble. I'd be surprised if that is your source.
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Re: 2018 Death Wobble - Buy Once Cry Once

Post by EasyDoesIt » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:51 pm

OffroadTreks wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:51 am
EasyDoesIt wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:50 pm
Reloader, I've thought about the centrimatics too but it's not low speeds where I get DW, it's above 65. I don't get any strange vibrations at low speeds.

After doing the buddy test, the TREs are tight but I am getting play at both ends of the track bar.

I also have a cracked/split/deteriorating bushing on my driver radius arm. All the rest of the bushings on the both radius arms look fine.

So what's next. Thuren track bar and ??

IMG_20200125_121330.jpg
Mine look like that, David (not on this site) had his even more destroyed and no Death Wobble. I'd be surprised if that is your source.
That's good to hear because I wasn't looking forward to replacing those bushings. Another 100 miles on the truck and no signs of death wobble.
Live: Las Vegas NV, Drive: 2018 PW & 2014 LR4

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