Death Wobble on 70 series: my experience (1 Viewer)

Oct 3, 2011
Dear all,
I put this new post to share my last experience with Death Wobble on my BJ74.

The hardware:
BJ74 equipped with BG mud KM2 255/85/R16 on Alu rims. Each wheel assy weights about 30 kgs!!!
I rebuilt completely my rig in 2012 with new bearing kit for Front/Rear Axle (mounted by a local shop), new Schock Absorbers Trailmaster, new suspension OME, Caster wedge 2.5°, a new steering damper from Trailmaster, new steering rods as well. I went to a shop to make a final geometry check.

The facts:
I was driving last summer in North Belgium where the local roads are terrible. (Concrete road with big holes everywhere). I was driving at about 65 km/h when I experienced the famous Death Wobble and scared the s*** out of me (especially since family was with me....). Later in the evening, I went back to same spot, and again: Death Wobble. I could repeat it at exactly the same location. It would go away at about 35 km/h. On other road sections, I could feel some vibrations in the steering wheel but it would go away.

Quick fix?
I spent the all evening in the internet, including ih8mud to find some advices. As home is about 800 kms away... I had to find a way to come back safe and avoid death wobble at 110 km/h on the highway!!!
First thing I did was to reduce the tyre pressure from 2.1 bar to 1.6 bar. This makes the steering heavier but it improve steering damping.

Back home:
I dismantled the steering damper and found out that it is has a lot of play. I ordered a new OME SD24 damper, install it and problem seemed to be fixed.
Last month, I had to go through the vehicle technical inspection and they found some play on left wheel.
I checked both front wheel bearings, they were ok, but I use the worshop manual (FA-15) to adjust the pre-load. No more play after!!

Big heavy wheel may worn faster than expected a HD steering damper. It is worth as well to check regularly the play in the front wheels. It may required to re-adjust the pre-load.

Cheers, Giles

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