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Utah Dually

New Death Wobble Issue – 2001 3500 EX Cab Dually 2WD?

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The truck has 82K on the clock – All of a sudden I am experiencing a death wobble around 40 to 50 MPH only under certain conditions. The truck has a Trick Flow tank in the bed. If I put 150 LBS close to the tail gate and hit a small bump it will go into the shakes. If I move the load over the wheels nothing. If I hook my trailer up (10,000 lbs), nothing. My mechanic has replaced a part on the pitman arm and added a steering stabilizer and said the ball joints are fine. I went to a respected alignment shop yesterday and the response was “ Yep that’s a Dodge alright”. I am going to put new tires on the front today since that is a suggested fix but no one seems to be able to tell me for sure they can fix it. Any suggestions on which path I should pursue next? I love this truck and plan to die with it.

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my guess would be to adjust the toe setting...but that will change with the weight.

 

that much weight belongs more forward and spread among the truck, not reward and lifting the front end.

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Posted (edited)

Climb under the truck.  With the engine running, have a helper turn the steering wheel lock to lock while you look for any movement in any joint in the linkage between the steering knuckles.  I'm talking about excessive slop.  There should be exactly 0.  "Movement" will show up when they change direction and start turning to the other side.  Replace anything that has play in it.

 

That said, DW is "mostly" caused by play in the track bar.  The fix is to replace with stock lifetime part or 3rd gen track bar.  Don't go for all the hype.

Edited by Junkman

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The other thing that plays a huge roll in death wobble is oversize tires and wheels. Shocks that are worn out. Tires that are out of balanced which is typical of oversized tires. Typically something is loose or worn out that allows the bouncing of the axle to continue I've seen this one time as I rode past a truck that hit a bridge seam and the axle was jumping off the ground in an orbital motion. 

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The title says, "2001 3500 EX Cab Dually 2WD?" with a question mark. Is this a two wheel drive or a four wheel drive truck?

 

If it is a two wheel drive truck, then it is has an independent front suspension - no track bar.  But it does have upper and lower ball joints and it does have upper and lower control arms.  Are any of these loose?

 

Are you truly experiencing the death wobble?  If you are, you probably think that your truck will leave the road and you won't live to tell about it. 

 

I didn't think that two wheel drive trucks had a problem with the death wobble.

 

- John

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7 hours ago, Stormin08 said:

my guess would be to adjust the toe setting...but that will change with the weight.

 

that much weight belongs more forward and spread among the truck, not reward and lifting the front end.

 

I do get that, but my tongue weight is more than that and it doesn't cause it to wobble, which seems strange to me. Remember this is a 2 wheel drive 3500. One thing I forgot to mention is that when turning left at highway speeds it wants to kinda hunt and peck, but turning right seems normal. 

Yes this is truly "death wobble" it is scary as all get out and you are on the verge of losing complete control. I have had mechanics check under the truck for anything loose and they don't seem to think there is anything wrong. I replaced the tires today, which some people say can be an issue, so we shall see.

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Don't forget to check for excessively worn shock absorbers.  They may not leak and may appear to be normal, but if one or both of them collapse or extend easily without resistance, that can definitely contribute to your condition.  The only way to check the shock absorber's condition is to disconnect the shock absorber at one end and operate it by hand.  There should be lots of resistance, especially while extending.

 

Death wobble is usually generated by several worn steering / suspension parts and having large tires and wheels on the truck.  What is your tire size?

 

- John 

 

 

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Well I put new tires and shocks on the old girl and that did wonders for her. I am going to have the alignment checked just to make sure everything is correct. Thanks for all the suggestions.

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You really need to climb under and have someone turn the steering wheel while you look for any play.  DW can put you in a ditch at speed and you haven't listed any specific diagnosed part that needed replacing.  I had horribly worn shocks on my 4x4 and there was no DW.  Granted, different steering set up but solid axles are more prone to DW.

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15 hours ago, Utah Dually said:

Well I put new tires and shocks on the old girl and that did wonders for her. I am going to have the alignment checked just to make sure everything is correct. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Just now noticed this. I never had DW just sloppy steering. After replacing everything but the steering box it got better. I decided to replace the junk Rancho shocks I had and that made as much if not more difference than the rest. Can't track straight if the tires are bouncing off the road. Worn tires won't help either. Glad you made some progress.

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