Death wobble, what the bell is going on? Help - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 9th, 2014, 09:23 AM
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Eric Smirh
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Death wobble, what the bell is going on? Help

I have been driving my 90 for 2 years, about 3 months ago I had a shake develop in the right front tire. It would start as a wheel hop and then turn into a violent wobble shaking the whole truck. It does not happen all the time, but when is does it's the same speed, about 45 mph. When I got the truck the steering box was leaking badly. I replaced the box and the death wobble is still there, I had it aligned. What is it? Could it be shocks? Or something else? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  #2  
Old January 9th, 2014, 09:35 AM
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Brian Jones
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Tire Balance?
Swivels?
Wheel Bearings?

Jack up the wheel and see how much play there is. Up and Down and Side to Side.
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  #3  
Old January 9th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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u joints?
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  #4  
Old January 9th, 2014, 09:39 AM
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Lots of stuff on this, you'll need to isolate the problem, as I have found primarily with the advice from others (thanks again JSBriggs) that there is more than one cause...seemingly it always goes back to the swivel pre loads. That said there are other contributing factors causing your harmonic issues, it could range from bad shocks, bad tire, stabilizer...and so on. Good Luck and find a knowledgeable LR mechanic.
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  #5  
Old January 9th, 2014, 09:55 AM
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I've had the death wobble on my RRC 95... I just shotgunned the issue by doing all the suspension bushings, new dampener and tie rod ends. It was all needed anyway and I didn't have the time or inclination to pinpoint the issue. All of those items on inspection looked tired.

The death wobble is well documented on RRC and discos of similar years. DWEB ( gasp ) has quite a bit of info via search. I don't chat over there.. or even lurk.. but they still have a nice repository of info.

--chris
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  #6  
Old January 9th, 2014, 10:50 AM
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Fwiw, in the deep cold we've been having bushings lack compliance they have in warmer weather. The truck will tend to wander more especially if you have put some good miles on your truck.
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  #7  
Old January 9th, 2014, 11:00 AM
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Tom Rowe
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Here's a step by step:
http://landroverforums.com/forum/dis...-wobble-55586/
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  #8  
Old January 9th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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All good stuff...but start with the pre loads. If you aren't sure about what condition they're in or have been wheeling do that first. There are easy ways to check for excessive play. I just went through this several weeks ago and $1800.00 and a few (now) trail spares later (CV's)...that's the conclusion.
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  #9  
Old January 9th, 2014, 11:20 AM
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Tom Rowe
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Why start with the hardest thing first? Especially when you might not even need to do it.
To correctly set the preload you have to remove the swivel seal and if you mess it up removing it, it means pulling the swivel ball.
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  #10  
Old January 9th, 2014, 11:22 AM
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All good solid advice so far.
I'd just add that I'd start with the simplest first. Get the front tires balanced.
Do you have tubes or running tubeless?

My wobble began at 70mph and it turned out to be a twisted tube.

Swivel ball preload tension is super important as well, but if you just developed this wobble, I'd look to the tire first. Based on your location, I doubt that you have any snow/ice buildup inside the rim, but again, look into getting those tires balanced first. THat way if you move onto setting the pre-tension you will know that the tires are in balance.
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Old January 9th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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I'm a slow learner, but I have learned to never assume
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Four wheel drive allows you to get stuck
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  #12  
Old January 9th, 2014, 12:09 PM
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Visual check your bushings. Have someone shake the truck side to side while you put your hands on the panhard rod bushings. Do you feel a clunk?

Like Jeff said it is probably your preload on your swivel pins. Its a simple job to do. Jack up the truck and take off your panhard and steering rod and move the tires back and forth. If they are stupid easy to move then your preload is too loose. Take some shims out and make it tighter. There is a set lbs to those that you can do with a fish scale... or you can just feel it out with your arms.
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  #13  
Old January 9th, 2014, 12:14 PM
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the top end poundage is 10. If you cant get at least 5 pounds it's time to replace the pins...side note I would only rotate the rear to the front on the tires to check for a tire problem...straight swap front to rear.
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  #14  
Old January 9th, 2014, 12:52 PM
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Eric Smirh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Treehorn View Post
All good solid advice so far.
I'd just add that I'd start with the simplest first. Get the front tires balanced.
Do you have tubes or running tubeless?

My wobble began at 70mph and it turned out to be a twisted tube.

Swivel ball preload tension is super important as well, but if you just developed this wobble, I'd look to the tire first. Based on your location, I doubt that you have any snow/ice buildup inside the rim, but again, look into getting those tires balanced first. THat way if you move onto setting the pre-tension you will know that the tires are in balance.
Here we go, another learning curve, getting tires balanced and rotated front to rear today, do they still put tubes in tires? I'll have to check that. The only ice I see is in my drink, I've heard about the stuff you call snow, it looks like fun. The temperature did dip down into the 60's last night, 74 today. Pre- tension? I think I take a pill for that, lol, thanks for all the advice, lots to check on,
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  #15  
Old January 9th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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no tubes....lol. Unless you're on the rivah....
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  #16  
Old January 9th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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does the lower swivel pin have a seal?
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  #17  
Old January 9th, 2014, 09:19 PM
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Eric Smirh
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Ok, did alignment, rotated and balanced tires, still have death wobble. I will replace shocks, they look tired, any recommendations on stocks? But I think preload on the pins is next. Looked it up, doesn't look to hard,

Thanks again for the advice,
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  #18  
Old January 9th, 2014, 09:22 PM
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Yes, the lower pin has a gasket and the upper uses metal shims.
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  #19  
Old January 9th, 2014, 11:47 PM
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In for a penny....
If you do go forward with adjusting the pins, you might as well go all in and install new Railco bush, thrust bearing, top pin, and lower bearing along with swivel seal. Get new shim packs too, reusing gnarly old shims sux. Oh and new seal retainer plates for a little bling factor.
It's a two to four beer job.
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  #20  
Old January 10th, 2014, 12:37 AM
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I highly doubt its shocks. They would not cause a wobble.

Just take out some shim and tighten it up. Those bearings don't have much load on them and never spin more than 15 degrees. Its not like a wheel, shaft, or other type of bearing that has constant spinning or vertical load on it. They are just there to keep high speed wandering at ease which causes wobble if they are not tight.
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