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Old 10-05-2020, 08:17 AM   #1
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Violent shaking - Suspect suspension tuning

We had an alarming indecent yesterday driving our truck on local errands without the trailer. It's a 2019 Ford F350 LB, CC, DRW 6.7 TurboDiesel. We were driving on I-40 through Amarillo, TX when the truck started violently bouncing and shaking to the point that the steering wheel was nearly ripped from my hands. I was able to decelerate and begin to pull off to the shoulder, at which point the shaking stopped completely. After getting my heart rate under control, we got out and inspected the wheels and undercarriage. This had reminded me of an incident long ago in my car when a wheel was indeed literally coming off after a mechanic had failed to tighten lug nuts. Everything hear appeared to be fine in this case.

Here is what I'm pretty sure happened: The section of highway had a poor surface with regularly spaced pavement joints and lots of crack sealant. With the stiff, unloaded suspension of the truck, we seemed to have struck a harmonic that amplified a natural oscillation of the springs and shocks.

Now the topic of Shock absorbers in stock Fords has come up a lot in these forums and many Ford owners really diss the stock shocks. I see that many recommend Bilstein shocks. Could this be a fix for our situation? Looking back on other incidents with the suspension, this is not the first time this has happened.

Thanks if anyone can share some ideas.

Angus
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:22 AM   #2
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You are experiencing what is called "Death Wobble". Unfortunately, not uncommon with the Ford Super Duty line.

This video may be of help.

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Old 10-05-2020, 08:26 AM   #3
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Scary!

Question does that 2019 F350 have a solid front axle?? I have not heard of a Death Wobble in a long time. I recall hearing about it a fair amount in Jeeps, and some PUs (don't recall the brands). One thing that was always in common was a solid front axle.

Do a Google search on F350 Death Wobble. I noticed a few listings that ford knows of an issue on the 2005-2019.
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:30 AM   #4
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Scary!

Question does that 2019 F350 have a solid front axle?? I have not heard of a Death Wobble in a long time. I recall hearing about it a fair amount in Jeeps, and some PUs (don't recall the brands). One thing that was always in common was a solid front axle.

Do a Google search on F350 Death Wobble. I noticed a few listings that ford knows of an issue on the 2005-2019.
Yes, the F350 4x4's have a solid front axle. My wife and I both had old XJ Jeep Cherokees for quite some time. My wife's was a '95 and mine was a 2001. Neither of those ever had the problem. My sister on the other hand had a 2000 Cherokee that suffered from the Death Wobble issue from the time that it had about 13K on it. She sold it quite a few years ago, but was never able to get it completely cured.
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:32 AM   #5
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You had the infamous death wobble. There have been quite a few posts about it on the Ford Super Duty forum I visit. Certain road conditions can cause the oscillation. It is known to be a problem on some 2017-2019 models. You need to get it to your dealer as Ford has a fix for it which involves replacing your steering stabilizer. From what I have read that will take care of the problem. Ford did something with 20 models as it has not been an issue. Mine has been rock solid.

One of the first things I do when I get a new truck is replace the shocks. This time I went with Fox 2.0 and have been very pleased with them. A little pricey though. On my last Ford I put a set of Rancho XL9000 adjustable shocks. They were very good and rode well but I didn't like having to set the adjustments when I hooked up to our fifth wheel. I don't think the shocks will have anything to do with your death wobble issue.
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:00 AM   #6
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I saw something about it on one of those news type t.v. shows that looks into things. One guy said he owns a $70,000 boat anchor because Ford refuses to take the truck back or fix it. He drives it to the store every now an then he said but that's it. From the people they talked to an the videos taken that's some scary stuff
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:47 AM   #7
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Thank you everybody!


We have a call in to the local Ford dealer now and waiting on a call back.


Looking back to a prior incident through the lens of this thread, this happened also along I-20 through Shreveport with the trailer in tow. Joan was driving and at the time we wrote it off to a poor road (it really was a bad stretch). It doubled the length of our sidewall crack. Ironically we were driving west to Ft Worth for the crack repair.


We really love the truck and Joan loves driving it as much as I do, with or without the house. We'll keep you posted.


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Old 10-06-2020, 01:54 PM   #8
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The first Ford dealer never called me back yesterday after I told them what the problem was and after asking me if I had bought the truck from them.


Today, All Star Ford in Amarillo cheerfully took my call right away, knew what the problem was, never asked if we bought the truck from them and gave me an appointment right away tomorrow morning (even scheduled around a standing vet appointment we had). They said it would take about an hour to install the new steering damper (in stock), and that it would fix the "death wobble".


Today we had to go shopping but we stayed off the highway to keep the speed down.


Fingers crossed...
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Old 10-06-2020, 03:50 PM   #9
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If you only experienced Death Wobble once hopefully you'll be ok with the SS replaced. Repeated DW wears out the track bar, ball joints, etc. I have had 4 Super Dutys in the last 20 years and have yet to experience DW. With only 10K on my '17 I replaced the OEM unit with a Fox.
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Old 10-06-2020, 04:43 PM   #10
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There is a recall on certain Superduty trucks. It is the steering stabilizer that is bad. I had the same wobble, and a slight wobble on any raised expansion joints. I had mine replaced a few months ago. The stabilizers built during a certain time frame are being replaced with new ones.

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Old 10-06-2020, 06:38 PM   #11
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Ford has a recall on this
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Old 10-06-2020, 06:40 PM   #12
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I think I had this issue once on my 2015 F250. I was driving in southern Utah/northern Arizona. I was going fairly fast, 70mph or so, hit a large unexpected bump in the road and had the violent shaking. Almost thought I was going to crash. At the time I attributed it to hitting the bump and having a tire lift off the ground. However, after further research, I suspect it was the DW. I am fairly disappointed in Ford for allowing some of these issues to persist. I have had enough other issues with my truck, that I doubt I will buy another Ford.
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Old 10-07-2020, 09:51 AM   #13
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Just got back from the Ford Dealer, a small old-school family business called All-Star Ford in Amarillo. They took me right on time, finished within the hour as promised and charged me zero.


work was described as "replace internally defective steering damper"


I had gotten no recall notices on the FordPass app, as I normally would. Other Ford owners had warned that Ford considers this a normal wear item and therefore I would be charged, but this Ford dealer explained that they have extended coverage for this part.


We have 20,000 miles on it and the service manager suggested the next step for us would be looking at the tracking bar at about 80,000.


Thanks again everybody.


Angus
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:22 PM   #14
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When I read this I immediately thought of my experience in my 2006 F250 4X4 last year during the summer...heading down the freeway from work when suddenly I experienced sever bouncing coming from the rear-end. No load, very little to no air in the air-bags. I was able to slow and exit. The bouncing went away as I exited. I pulled into a parking lot and inspected everything. Nothing noticeable. I then rolled the truck back and found that the passenger rear tire had a huge bump in it. Thankfully it didn't blow out on me and I didn't have the trailer on it. Tires were about 2yrs old maybe. Replaced both rears at the same time under warranty.
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:55 PM   #15
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Death Wobble

I fought this for a year and tried everything on my F350 SRW Superduty. Finally went to knowledgeable front end guy who has made a fortune on this problem. He checked everything and made sure no worn out parts. He then installed a dual steering stabilizer. Problem solved.
I spent a lot of money chasing this. 🤯😤🤬. Fix was about $400.00 bucks.
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:20 PM   #16
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I just received a notice from FORD on this: Ford is now recognizing this "death wobble" issue as "sustained steering wheel oscillation" and will cover installation of a redesigned the steering linkage damper for 7 years or 100,000 miles.

Refer to: Customer Satisfaction Program 20N04 if your dealer is unaware of this
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Wyldink View Post
There is a recall on certain Superduty trucks. It is the steering stabilizer that is bad. I had the same wobble, and a slight wobble on any raised expansion joints. I had mine replaced a few months ago. The stabilizers built during a certain time frame are being replaced with new ones.

Ron
I have a 2018 F250 and have never experienced the “death wobble”. However, in the past couple of months, my steering has felt “loose” and I can feel some ‘clunking’ even through the accelerator and brake pedal—just a general loose feel. I did replace the steering stabilizer (per the letter from Ford) with a Fox 2.0, but still getting the loose and shaky feeling when driving. Especially at slower speeds on not-so-smooth pavement. My wife , who never feels or hears anything, drove it yesterday fo pick up some stuff, and when she got home, she said, “Oh my gosh! You need to get your truck to the dealer, it’s horrible.!” So trying to make an appointment now, but sure wish I knew what was going on.
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:34 PM   #18
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I have a 2018 F250 and have never experienced the “death wobble”. However, in the past couple of months, my steering has felt “loose” and I can feel some ‘clunking’ even through the accelerator and brake pedal—just a general loose feel. I did replace the steering stabilizer (per the letter from Ford) with a Fox 2.0, but still getting the loose and shaky feeling when driving. Especially at slower speeds on not-so-smooth pavement. My wife , who never feels or hears anything, drove it yesterday fo pick up some stuff, and when she got home, she said, “Oh my gosh! You need to get your truck to the dealer, it’s horrible.!” So trying to make an appointment now, but sure wish I knew what was going on.
I’m going to take a shot in the dark and guess ball joints along with the lousy stock shocks (assuming you still have them)crapping out.
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:20 PM   #19
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I’m going to take a shot in the dark and guess ball joints along with the lousy stock shocks (assuming you still have them)crapping out.
Yeah, I’ve still got the stock shocks on my truck, but thinking about replacing with Fox sometime soon. Didn’t think about ball joints but that could definitely be my issue. My truck is still under warranty, but ball joints may be a wear item (?). I’m taking to our dealer next week and let them sort it out for me. Started doing this about a month ago, so don’’t want to live with it any longer. Thanks for the ball joint thought—hope that’s it !
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:05 PM   #20
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The wobble and cab bushings

I have a 2014 F250 with 125,000 miles. Just spent $2400 replacing virtually everything in the front suspension. It took 3 separate trips to the dealerbefore they finally fixed it. Scary as it can be. Now the followup. I just had to replace all 8 cab bushings and I'm certain that the Death Wobble was a contributir to their failure. They wanted $1640 for that but i did ut myself for $150 in parts. Get it fixed as soon as possible.
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