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Superduty death wobble

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Post  HorsinAround February 12th 2020, 11:32 am

For those of you that have bought newer SD's, have you experienced death wobble? I am in the market for a new to me truck, and test drove a 2019 F250 6.7 4x4 with 18000 miles on it. I hit a bump on a bridge at 65 mph and the truck went into death wobble. I veared off to the emergency lane and hit the brakes to get the truck slowed down and under control, then continued the test drive with no further issue. The truck was stock, so I was surprised that it happened. I did some research over the weekend and found that there is at least one class action lawsuit on the issue, but Ford is not acknowledging the problem. Service managers at 2 dealerships say Ford has a TSB on it that says to replace the steering stabilizer.

Kind of makes me not want to buy a SD if this is or can be an issue..


Last edited by HorsinAround on February 12th 2020, 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Bill Heard February 12th 2020, 12:43 pm

No wobble here. Bought this truck two years ago. 2017 F250 with 4200 miles on it, has 41,000 how, stock. I hate to hear about something like this.
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Post  HorsinAround February 12th 2020, 2:58 pm

Me too, and replacing the stabilizer is a band-aid not a solution. The service manager I spoke with directly said he has found that the upper ball joint should be replaced as well, and some of the stuff I read online suggested the trac bar needs replaced. It must be enough of an issue that 2 service managers at dealers in 2 states are aware of it and the TSB.

Alan
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Post  dfree383 February 12th 2020, 4:04 pm

I've owned quite a few SD's since 1999 and have never experienced the death wobble......
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Post  HorsinAround February 12th 2020, 10:09 pm

Yea, Not sure what it is. My daughter's BF bought a new 17 F250 diesel, and his started doing it with 5000 miles on it. Took it to the dealer and they fixed something and he hasn't experienced it since (now 69000 miles). I know if I buy a new truck, I will have it for at least 7 to 8 years and I don't want to be dealing with the issue after the warranty runs out.
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Post  QtrWarrior February 13th 2020, 6:56 am

I've owned my 99 SD since it was new.
The only time I had a death wobble was when the lower ball joints needed replacing..
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Post  HorsinAround February 13th 2020, 7:57 am

QtrWarrior wrote:I've owned my 99 SD since it was new.
The only time I had a death wobble was when the lower ball joints needed replacing..

How many miles was on the truck? That is really the point. Trucks with less then 20, 000 miles should not have to have steering components replaced..

I had 130000 on my 99 SD when I traded it and never experienced it. I don’t know if it has traction but I did see where A class action lawsuit had been filed on the issue. Claim was Ford knowingly sold defective stuff. Article says it has gone before a judge but I haven’t seen an outcome yet.

https://fordauthority.com/2019/08/new-lawsuit-alleges-ford-super-duty-f-250-f-350-death-wobble/
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Post  dfree383 February 13th 2020, 9:27 am

HorsinAround wrote:
QtrWarrior wrote:I've owned my 99 SD since it was new.
The only time I had a death wobble was when the lower ball joints needed replacing..

How many miles was on the truck? That is really the point. Trucks with less then 20, 000 miles should not have to have steering components replaced..

I had 130000 on my 99 SD when I traded it and never experienced it. I don’t know if it has traction but I did see where A class action lawsuit had been filed on the issue. Claim was Ford knowingly sold defective stuff. Article says it has gone before a judge but I haven’t seen an outcome yet.

https://fordauthority.com/2019/08/new-lawsuit-alleges-ford-super-duty-f-250-f-350-death-wobble/

Depends on the area, you southern guys are lucky to generally have nice roads...… Pot holes kill suspension parts up north.

Just did some reading on the subject and it appears their are about 1200 reported cases in the last 20 years, considering their have probably been 5 million plus trucks built in that time, I wouldn't thing it is a super duper everyday problem.
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Post  69F100 February 13th 2020, 1:04 pm

I see you have the link listed I read about the death wobble on the f250.
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Post  QtrWarrior February 13th 2020, 5:58 pm

HorsinAround wrote:
QtrWarrior wrote:I've owned my 99 SD since it was new.
The only time I had a death wobble was when the lower ball joints needed replacing..

How many miles was on the truck? That is really the point. Trucks with less then 20, 000 miles should not have to have steering components replaced..

I had 130000 on my 99 SD when I traded it and never experienced it. I don’t know if it has traction but I did see where A class action lawsuit had been filed on the issue. Claim was Ford knowingly sold defective stuff. Article says it has gone before a judge but I haven’t seen an outcome yet.

https://fordauthority.com/2019/08/new-lawsuit-alleges-ford-super-duty-f-250-f-350-death-wobble/

At the time..roughly 100K
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Post  HorsinAround February 13th 2020, 7:48 pm

dfree383 wrote:
Depends on the area, you southern guys are lucky to generally have nice roads...… Pot holes kill suspension parts up north.

That is for sure

Just did some reading on the subject and it appears their are about 1200 reported cases in the last 20 years, considering their have probably been 5 million plus trucks built in that time, I wouldn't thing it is a super duper everyday problem.

What I saw was NHTSA has had 1200 cases reported to them. I do not believe this number includes the number of cases reported at the dealerships or to Ford directly. For me, it seems high odds that it happened to me on a test drive, and to my daughters BF, then 2 Ford dealer service managers acknowledge the problem and Ford's TSB on the issue. I REALLY want to purchase an SD, but frankly with Ram's rebate package right now on new 2019's on top of the death wobble issue, I am leaning towards RAM. The cash difference right now is almost $7k with similiar options.


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Post  rmcomprandy February 13th 2020, 8:07 pm

About 15 years ago, I was talking to a Ford suspension engineer about this very thing. Only it was concerning a GMC having that death wobble. They have no stabilizer and putting a FORD stabilizer on the GMC cured their problems. But, after further discussion about this happening with some high mileage Ford trucks, he said to set the wheel alignment with 2 to 3 degrees more of caster that the spec, as that will make everything within the steering system come to find its center easier and faster which can keep that from continuing.

I do believe it can be caused by a loose or over worn ball joint.

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Post  jasonf February 14th 2020, 3:31 am

I had a 2003 and a 2017 now with no wobble issues thankfully. One thing I do notice with my 2017 F250 CC shortbed is the rearend jumps out really bad on bumps or washboard. My 03 never had that issue.
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Post  Mark Miller February 15th 2020, 1:04 am

jasonf wrote:I had a 2003 and a 2017 now with no wobble issues thankfully. One thing I do notice with my 2017 F250 CC shortbed is the rearend jumps out really bad on bumps or washboard. My 03 never had that issue.

Is the 17 the Aluminum Body or was that year the steel body?

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Post  jasonf February 15th 2020, 2:05 am

Mark Miller wrote:
jasonf wrote:I had a 2003 and a 2017 now with no wobble issues thankfully. One thing I do notice with my 2017 F250 CC shortbed is the rearend jumps out really bad on bumps or washboard. My 03 never had that issue.

Is the 17 the Aluminum Body or was that year the steel body?

Aluminum.
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Post  wayney February 15th 2020, 8:22 pm

rmcomprandy wrote:About 15 years ago, I was talking to a Ford suspension engineer about this very thing. Only it was concerning a GMC having that death wobble. They have no stabilizer and putting a FORD stabilizer on the GMC cured their problems. But, after further discussion about this happening with some high mileage Ford trucks, he said to set the wheel alignment with 2 to 3 degrees more of caster that the spec, as that will make everything within the steering system come to find its center easier and faster which can keep that from continuing.

I do believe it can be caused by a loose or over worn ball joint.

I was just going to say that it sounds like a caster issue to me. My 97 f250 4wd has no steering stabilizer from the factory.

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Post  Mark Miller February 16th 2020, 1:08 am

jasonf wrote:
Mark Miller wrote:
jasonf wrote:I had a 2003 and a 2017 now with no wobble issues thankfully. One thing I do notice with my 2017 F250 CC shortbed is the rearend jumps out really bad on bumps or washboard. My 03 never had that issue.

Is the 17 the Aluminum Body or was that year the steel body?

Aluminum.

Probably because of the lighter weight of the Aluminum is why the 17 jumps around more than the 03 did!!

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Post  cool40 February 16th 2020, 1:50 pm

Lack of caster in the alignment is definitely a contributing factor. A steering stabilizer is also helpful and sometimes enough to cure the problem until parts get wore out. I’ve had old Ford I-beam trucks to do it as well as straight axle f450 wrecker I still own to do it and all the things mentioned are contributing to it. The very worst pos i have encountered is the 05 Jeep Wrangler. With all the caster rolled in the front axle and a new stabilizer it still would do it. I figured out the track bar bushing was shot on the axle end and replaced it with a tube adapter and heim joint. You can move the steering wheel and watch the body go side to side.
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Post  pajsid44 February 18th 2020, 12:20 pm

cool40 wrote:Lack of caster in the alignment is definitely a contributing factor. A steering stabilizer is also helpful and sometimes enough to cure the problem until parts get wore out. I’ve had old Ford I-beam trucks to do it as well as straight axle f450 wrecker I still own to do it and all the things mentioned are contributing to it. The very worst pos i have encountered is the 05 Jeep Wrangler. With all the caster rolled in the front axle and a new stabilizer it still would do it. I figured out the track bar bushing was shot on the axle end and replaced it with a tube adapter and heim joint. You can move the steering wheel and watch the body go side to side.              



Lee's got it right, its easy to find the culprit, have someone turning the steering side to side in short movements while you inspect... I've had the death wobble on my 18' f250 (with 20's) turned out the first time was steering stabilizer that ford replaced (under warranty), the second time was a track bar (~$200 & 15 min change), lately every once in a while it does it lightly (almost like the lane assist is on) if you hit a bump wrong. (Pa roads, its always pothole season) I'm assuming the next link will be a tire rod end. I can usually tell before before the death wobble will happen every time you hit even the smallest of bumps, because it usually pulls rt of left some on straight away, or has a delay like slop in the steering when dead stopped and turning to back in somewhere.. Once fixed its always back to the day I drove it off Lem's Lot 53k miles ago.
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Post  Bsherry March 14th 2020, 4:48 am

I am on my 4th Super Duty and hope to buy a 2020 this year (maybe a Job 2)

F Series has been the best selling truck in the U.S. for a lot of years and it's not because of people like me that just buy Fords; It because they make the best truck!

If the possibility of getting a truck that has "death whatever" scares you then buy something else.

I will keep buying Super Duties because I'm old and don't know any better Smile

Bruce

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Post  83-88T-Bird Guy March 16th 2020, 9:01 pm

In 2013 I bought a 2004 Ford cc/ Dually with 132K miles.
It went into death wobble twice on the drive home after buying it.
First time I ever experienced that.

The first time I stabbed the brakes to get it to stop.
The 2nd time I stabbed the throttle and drove out of it.

I put 2 brand new tires on the front and luckily it has not done it since
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