Death Wobble - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 11:14 AM
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Nick
1988 Land Rover Defender 90
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Death Wobble

Hello,

I own a 1988 Defender 90 2.5TD (crap). Motor not the issue right now the issue is when I hit about 50MPH my right front tire goes into a death wobble. I had this issue before and it was the tire itself. I've put on new tires and drove fine up until I had it shipped back to the US. Could it be the tire again or something different?

Thanks

Nick
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  #2  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 11:26 AM
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Brian
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Search function man, search function.

Start here: Death Wobble Eradication - Defender Source
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  #3  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 11:45 AM
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Raub A.
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My death wobble ended up being tires but it could also be a number of other things as well. See if you can eliminate tires first.
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  #4  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 12:43 PM
Naplm00
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M
1983 110 200tdi 3 door soft top
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I'm going to guess either swivel pin preload wheel bearings or or worn suspension bushings or components. A competent tech could diagnose in a few minutes with the that wheel jacked up
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  #5  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 12:54 PM
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check pan hard bushings
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  #6  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 01:05 PM
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David Frank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostChord View Post
Search function man, search function...


No, you're not a ding dong, new guy. I just thought of this because of Brian's post.
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  #7  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 01:22 PM
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My Radius Arms were loose...
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  #8  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 01:29 PM
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if everything else looks fine, check toe and steering box centering.
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  #9  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 01:31 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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Generally speaking..

A speed specific wobble, that is easily repeatable is usually tire balance. Go get your tires balanced as the first thing you try as it's the easiest and the cheapest. Any wobble resulting from an impact, regardless of speed is always worn components. Wobble at varying speeds, under different engine loads without an impact.. swivel preload, loose steering box/connections, worn bushings etc.

Go get the tires balanced.
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  #10  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 01:37 PM
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John B.
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With every new Defender purchase take a few hours and setup the front end properly.....

1) Adjust wheel bearing preload.
2) Adjust swivel bearing preload.
3) Check adjust steering wheel to have the box in the center of travel (many times it is off).
4) Adjust steering box preload.
5) Check all the following for wear and replace if needed:
- Radius arm bushings.
- Panhard rod bushings.
- Steering tie rod ends
6) Tighten all suspension bushing bolts to spec.
7) Check and adjust toe.
8) Adjust front link to center steering wheel.
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  #11  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 03:05 PM
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David Frank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
With every new Defender purchase take a few hours and setup the front end properly.... steps 1 - 8+!
Freakin' sticky nomination right there!
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  #12  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 04:05 PM
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Brian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D90Overkill View Post

yo ding dong man ding dong yo
Lol - 80's flashback is awesome.

------ Follow up post added March 22nd, 2018 05:13 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by rovertrader View Post
check pan hard bushings
Exactly what caused my death wobble.

Like so:

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  #13  
Old March 22nd, 2018, 08:46 PM
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Raub A.
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There is a better than even chance your death wobble problems stem from Mercury being in retrograde right now.
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  #14  
Old March 23rd, 2018, 09:21 AM
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Nick
1988 Land Rover Defender 90
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Thanks all

Thank you all for the information. Looks like I know what I am doing this weekend. Does anyone know a good source in the US for Defender Parts? I found a few that will ship from England not so much here in the States.
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  #15  
Old March 23rd, 2018, 09:23 AM
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john
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rovers north and safarihp between the two you could build an entire truck
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  #16  
Old March 23rd, 2018, 10:29 AM
sonoronos
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rovahfarm, atlantic british, lucky8, toddco, defenders nw, british 4x4 outfitters, SDO, lots of small shops run by enthusiasts
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  #17  
Old March 23rd, 2018, 02:00 PM
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Chris Davis
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I've had it twice. Once a loose wheelbearing. That one was easy. Once a swivel ball preload. I did everything first before I found that one...

And a note on wheel balance--it usually doesn't cause the death wobble in my experience but it certainly kicks it off!! I had a wheel out of balance with the death wobble. I fixed the out of balance and all was good... until I hit a pothole on the freeway and BAM! death wobble (Swivel preload). So I do know that it contributes, but the oscillation IMHO is usually tied to something else otherwise you just feel the shimmy from a tire out of balance which I had when I lost all the wheel weights offroading...
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