Death wobble on tape - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 1st, 2016, 12:18 AM
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Michael
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Death wobble on tape

Accidentally hit a pothole at 65mph and caught the steering "death wobble" on video. https://youtu.be/RPeYzYjgv1g
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  #2  
Old March 1st, 2016, 12:23 AM
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That was pretty mild.
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  #3  
Old March 1st, 2016, 12:26 AM
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David Frank
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Glad you landed it! Good work. Better with 4 wheels than 2!
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  #4  
Old March 1st, 2016, 02:47 AM
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Time to toe out your tires!
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  #5  
Old March 1st, 2016, 07:01 AM
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That happened to me a couple of times in Ulster..those Northern Irish roads can be a bit rough...turned out to be the Panhard rod bushes.

Hope you get the problem sourced.

All the best




.
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  #6  
Old March 1st, 2016, 07:56 AM
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Robert Davis
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You have 1 or more of 4 causes...
The Joints on your steering shaft have come loose or are worn out and possibly some or most of your suspension bushings need to be replaced.
While you're at it check the swivel ball play and remove shims as needed.
Check for play in the steering box and adjust as needed.
Get her done.

Danger Will Robinson, get out the wrenches...
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"What's with this death wobble, Uncle Douglas, I can't keep it in 1 lane?"
UD: "Just Power through it man!"
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  #7  
Old March 1st, 2016, 07:59 AM
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Michael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Time to toe out your tires!
I have castor correction bushes, new drag link and damper going in next week. But it's apparent I have about 1" of play from the steering box, so add that to the list.
The 2" lift messed with the toe in and I hope that gets sorted out with the new bushes. But the tire wear and this DW confirm its too toe in right now.

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  #8  
Old March 1st, 2016, 08:25 AM
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Brett Fritzler
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Bushings won't have any affect on toe in/out.
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  #9  
Old March 1st, 2016, 09:57 AM
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Check your steering stabilizer. My guess is that it needs to be replaced
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  #10  
Old March 1st, 2016, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_110 View Post
Check your steering stabilizer. My guess is that it needs to be replaced
Fix it first and then replace the steering stabilizer.

It is a common misconception that the stabilizer's job is to dampen these vibrations.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #11  
Old March 1st, 2016, 10:57 AM
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I have a few front end things to sort out.
1 loose wheel bearing
2 bent draglink

------ Follow up post added March 1st, 2016 11:01 AM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrna04 View Post
I have a few front end things to sort out. 1 loose wheel bearing 2 bent draglink
I going to attempt measuring most of the steering geometry before and after.
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  #12  
Old March 1st, 2016, 11:44 AM
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God I drove a disco with this issue and seriously thought I was going to lose it on the highway.

I wouldn't even drive it until its fixed, you can be severely compromised as speed and losing control in a 90 is horrifying
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  #13  
Old March 1st, 2016, 12:24 PM
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Mine was ultimately caused by a shock that had a soft spot in the compression ... or that was a result of underlying issues ... but basically i replaced everything on the front end to get to the bottom of it.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #14  
Old March 1st, 2016, 02:02 PM
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Eric Smirh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Mine was ultimately caused by a shock that had a soft spot in the compression ... or that was a result of underlying issues ... but basically i replaced everything on the front end to get to the bottom of it.
Mine was the pretension in the swivel balls, I also changed most of the front end, it's been good ever since. Mine would start at 45 mph. That was scary enough. At hwy speed? Holy crap!!
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  #15  
Old March 1st, 2016, 04:03 PM
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I battled this same problem on and off for over 4 years. It finally came to a head at last years MAR. I did a moderate trail ride on Saturday and couldn't drive over 20 mph back to camp without the front end going apeshit. It turned out to be the panhard rod (the bushings were only 6 weeks old). Luckily Charlie and Skinny Pete came to the rescue.

See the last photo on this page: 2015 Mid Atlantic Rally (MAR) Review

Here's a thorough, methodical troubleshooting process from a fellow member: http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ion-33943.html
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  #16  
Old March 1st, 2016, 04:11 PM
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Mine was swivel balls and/or drop arm..............
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  #17  
Old March 9th, 2016, 02:50 PM
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Zachary Hoyt
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jumping on the discussion. I got my '88 D90 about 3 days ago. I have noticed that there is about 2-3" of play in the steering wheel between left and right at low speeds, and that at high speeds I don't get what sounds like a death wobble per se, but a slow rhythmic pulling left and right. It is not violent and is controllable, but it just seems like the truck doesn't want to go in a straight line at highway speeds, particularly when on a downhill grade. I visually inspected the ball joints, as directed by another member, and there was no play in them, but then again, I don't really know what I'm looking for. any help is appreciated!
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  #18  
Old March 9th, 2016, 02:57 PM
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Robert Davis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITALY2AMERICA View Post
jumping on the discussion. I got my '88 D90 about 3 days ago. I have noticed that there is about 2-3" of play in the steering wheel between left and right at low speeds, and that at high speeds I don't get what sounds like a death wobble per se, but a slow rhythmic pulling left and right. It is not violent and is controllable, but it just seems like the truck doesn't want to go in a straight line at highway speeds, particularly when on a downhill grade. I visually inspected the ball joints, as directed by another member, and there was no play in them, but then again, I don't really know what I'm looking for. any help is appreciated!
Sounds like your front alignment is tow out preventing straight tracking.
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Uncle "Richard" Douglas has a Land Rover with big wheels that never gets stuck... until he breaks something so it won't go. Uncle Douglas always breaks something. - Anna Crowther at the Conclave 2012 (AKA Carburetor Neck)

"What's with this death wobble, Uncle Douglas, I can't keep it in 1 lane?"
UD: "Just Power through it man!"
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