Death Wobble

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by gulp3000, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. gulp3000

    gulp3000

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    So I went from 31x10.50s to 33x12.50s and I love the little height boost and the new look. Problem is, I now have the wobble. They had a hard time balancing them, so I'm starting there by having a different shop check and balance them.

    Tie rod ends and stabilizer are on the shelf waiting to go in as well.

    I searched and it seems like there are several possibilities. If it's still there after I take care of the above items, what would be the next likely suspect(s)? Is it my overdue front axle service?

    -'85 FJ60, 220K, probably original everything on the front axle.

    -She wobbles at around 35mph.

    -Brand new 15x8 steelie rims (tire shop says they are fine)

    -1/4" spacers in the front

    -33x12.50x15 BFG ATs
     
  2. 2badfjs

    2badfjs

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    re-balance the tires
    make sure it a shop that can do the bigger tires
    i tried balancing mine at work,could'nt do it .
    sent the over to a firestone store, no problem.
     
  3. gulp3000

    gulp3000

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    Which Firestone? I work in the city.
     
  4. 2badfjs

    2badfjs

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    i used the one at peoria and parker road in aurora
    what part of town you in?
    maybe i can recomend someone near you
     
  5. gulp3000

    gulp3000

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    Live in Loveland, work in Lakewood 3-4 days a week.
     
  6. 2badfjs

    2badfjs

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    give these guys a call
    merrill axle
    7800 w 16th
    lakewood 303-237-8846
    they use to do old school balancing.
    thats balancing the tires on the car, check and see if they still do that.
    that would at least tell ya if somethings going on in the front end.

    not that it matters, but you could tell them infiniti of denver refered you to them ;)

    good luck
    jim
     
  7. Mace

    Mace rock scientist.. Staff Member s-Moderator

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    jack up a tire and wiggle it to see if there is any play anywhere.

    Bigger tires accentuate DW the do not cause it.

    I bet your spring bushings are worn..
     
  8. gulp3000

    gulp3000

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    I'll dive into it this week. I put new poly bushings in last year. Thanks for the tips.
     
  9. 2badfjs

    2badfjs

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    poly bushing wont wear out that quick.
    still jack it up and try to feel some play....what mace said ;)
     
  10. mabrodis

    mabrodis

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    On my 40 I had DW really bad at times, I rebuilt the knuckles, that had no effect whatsoever, tierod ends all looked fine (not new but less than 5K miles on them), steering stabilizer was solid...finally rotated the tires and it got WAY worse, because the really bad rim/tire combo went to the front right, if you look at the suspension the wheel that has the best chance of started DW is the front right, because it can generate bumpsteer the easiest. I then got my tires all rebalanced and that cured it completely, tires still felt a bit out of balance, but I think it was the best they could do (had them done at Walmart). After I told my 40 the new owner put on new tires and says it drives smooth as glass...so don't discount what tires can do to create DW.
     
  11. gulp3000

    gulp3000

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    Update:

    #1) Rebalanced the tires. Guys at the shop spent a bunch of time on them dismounting and rotating and they are better, but not great. They are used tires I found on ebay (95%+ tread) so they can't be exchanged. It reduced the wobble to "tolerable"

    #2) New steering stabilizer (big improvement) and tie rod ends. Rebuilt the right draglink end (parts store missed ordering the left). Now I can still feel that the tires aren't perfect but the wobble is gone. Watched the front axle DVD from elmariachi tonight (worth the price!) and that project is next on the list.
     
  12. swank60

    swank60

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    Hmmm, I had the DWs not long ago, and it was the bushings in the front sway bar that were shot. Could be a weak point.
     
  13. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Adjusting the toe in took care of my DW when I went to 35s. Agreed that all other parts should be tight first though.
     
  14. brownbear

    brownbear Mod in Hibernation Moderator

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    I also think that besides the other stuff mentioned, you need to pay attention to the tie rod ends for correct placement. when the rods are adjusted(turned) they can load a tie rod to one side, as well the other rod end to the other side and not allow it to pivot correctly. I noticed you have to be careful to get the rod in the center of travel for both ends before tightening the clamps.

    After I adjusted my relay rod to center the steering I noticed that I had not centered the travel. I thought I could feel it.

    In aviation(where I worked) when a rod had limited travel(bound up) we said the rod had no twizzle. that was the made up name for rod travel. something hard to explain to apprentices.
     
  15. gulp3000

    gulp3000

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    When I bought mine, it only had one sway bar link! Drove fine though. New ones went in with the lift last year.
     
  16. Winslow

    Winslow

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    I got a Wobble too!

    I'm in the same boat. I am running 38" Swampers with only a 2.5" backspacing. The tires weigh an incredable 190lbs a piece! I do the dance at 35-40mph and can power right out of it. I am going to band-aid the problem with a steering stablizer. When I was sprung-under with 35s I actually went off the road do to death wobble, so it can get serious. My fix at the time was two stabilzers. Never got the seat-shackin blues again.
     
  17. Tinker

    Tinker

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    Take it to Merrill or Bear (South Broadway near Hampden). I prefer Bear.

    Some shops (like Discount) won't deal with spacers unless they're OEM (like Porsche).

    Old school method of matching/balancing tire/wheel is to dismount the tire & put the wheel on a bubble balancer & set the tire on top & rotate the tire relative to the wheel until the whole mess is the closest to balanced. That makes the amount of weights the lowest. Then you mount & spin balance it. Of course, you should probably do all of them & switch the tires around to different wheels so you get the best naked matches.

    The chain tire stores may have one person per store that knows what's going on. The best shop in Denver closed up years ago - they worked on all the Ferraris & high-end Porsches, but the old man retired & the sons were tired of it. They even straightened tie rods rather than replaced. Try to find that any more!
     
  18. sl33py

    sl33py

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    has anyone used the weighted "dust" you put in the tire? read about it a while back - not sure how it works, a special valve and filter of some sort. anyone used this?

    rob

    found a similar product (actually cheaper iirc) for 33ish 8$ tire.

    http://www.innovativebalancing.com/index.html
     
  19. stanley

    stanley

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    my 90 year old grandfather is in town, don't get to see him to much. He had an alignment shop that he retired from back in 79'. he was telling me when all the automakers went to ifs, the alignment buisness went to hell. Using his words, most modern aligment shop don't know their ass from a hole in the wall, all they do is replace little parts. He said that suspension work was lucrative in the 40's through the late 70's. the problems of solid axles and factory steering systems are complex. Well without me saying anything he started telling me a story about this guys that brought in a old mustang into the shop the other day (his sons run it now) the guy's mustang had the death wobble. He smilled and said he know what the problem was before he even looked. When you lift or lower a suspension the oem pitman arm will create an angle with the bars, the pitman arm and bars are suposed to be FLAT no anlge at all, zero, nothing. What happens is if you lift or lower, and have the aligment done perfect, it will still have the problem. when you are travleing down the road and the suspension goes up or down the bad angle created by the oem pitman makes the tires tow out and in (death wobble) supposidly this was a very common problem back in the old days.
     
  20. srplus

    srplus Walked with the Dinosaurs

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    and if that doesn't work...

    Sometimes DW is caused by slightly out of round tires... yes - out of round - not square, mind you.

    Had this problem on 3/4 tons Suburban a long time ago with brand new tires... can not remember all the crap we did before I took it to an old friend like stanley's GP and he asked if anyone had tried shaving the tires... the old goat used to own a tire store and had a special machine that he put the tires on that gracefully trimmed just a fraction of the rubber off each and every tire. I was amazed at how 'out of round' the tires actually were. As they spun around and engaged the knife it planed off the excess just like resurfacing the inside of a drum. Of course we did the outside of the tire only...

    Cleared up the problem immediately! The original tire store (where i bought the tires) had balanced them several times and had also had done two alignments. It took an old goat who knew what he was doing to solve the problem.

    You just never know.
     
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