Finally, no more steering wobble/shake (3 Viewers)

Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
231
Location
Orange County, CA
Just in case somebody is having the same issue.

It started by having a very slight wobble while hitting the brakes to slow down on mountain road downhill turns.

A couple of trips later the wobble started getting scary and every once in awhile even while going straight and hitting the brakes on somewhat uneven asphalt roads or on the reflective pavement marking bumps.
So I had the knuckles rebuilt because they were due and 100 series brakepads and drilled rotors installed by Yotamasters; the best local shop for these trucks in my opinion.
I figured the brakes were the problem but it continued to wobble. I checked the bushings and all steering components for signs of damage or play and everything looked good. I also rechecked the brake pads and brake rotors in case they got warped and inspected the wheel bearing for play, everything seemed fine.
I then had my fleet service department at work check it out and "all looks fine" they said. Next I had the guys at yotamasters take a look and couldn't find the culprit either.
I thought to check the alignment and had big-o tires take a look. After waiting for 30 minutes, the service guy gives me the keys back and says they had three techs drive it and they all had different opinions and couldn't agree on what was causing the issue. One said is the brakes, the other said bad tires and the third had no idea. Since they couldn't agree they said sorry but can't help. :bang:

Finally, a week later I decided to check the steering stabilizer even though it looks brand new and it is only a couple years old like all my OEM bushings and the 80 is a non-daily driver vehicle that sees few miles a year.
When I removed it and pushed it closed, noticed a few inches in the middle had no resistance. Whaaat?!! The thing looks brand new and no signs of leakage. The soft spot didn't show itself every time I compressed it but it was there often enough.
So I replaced the TJM stabilizer with an OME piece and it was an immediate change. It drove perfectly straight like it just got an alignment and after a long trip to the sierras, camping in monache meadows and doing the Sherman pass trail. Im happy to report that there are no more shakes or wobbles.
Maybe it is one of the first things to check and everybodyelse knows that but I never thought it would make such a difference.:clap:

I know I could have said long story short ....... but wha the heck. :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
127
Location
Los Angeles
Just in case somebody is having the same issue.

It started by having a very slight wobble while hitting the brakes to slow down on mountain road downhill turns.

A couple of trips later the wobble started getting scary and every once in awhile even while going straight and hitting the brakes on somewhat uneven asphalt roads or on the reflective pavement marking bumps.
So I had the knuckles rebuilt because they were due and 100 series brakepads and drilled rotors installed by Yotamasters; the best local shop for these trucks in my opinion.
I figured the brakes were the problem but it continued to wobble. I checked the bushings and all steering components for signs of damage or play and everything looked good. I also rechecked the brake pads and brake rotors in case they got warped and inspected the wheel bearing for play, everything seemed fine.
I then had my fleet service department at work check it out and "all looks fine" they said. Next I had the guys at yotamasters take a look and couldn't find the culprit either.
I thought to check the alignment and had big-o tires take a look. After waiting for 30 minutes, the service guy gives me the keys back and says they had three techs drive it and they all had different opinions and couldn't agree on what was causing the issue. One said is the brakes, the other said bad tires and the third had no idea. Since they couldn't agree they said sorry but can't help. :bang:

Finally, a week later I decided to check the steering stabilizer even though it looks brand new and it is only a couple years old like all my OEM bushings and the 80 is a non-daily driver vehicle that sees few miles a year.
When I removed it and pushed it closed, noticed a few inches in the middle had no resistance. Whaaat?!! The thing looks brand new and no signs of leakage. The soft spot didn't show itself every time I compressed it but it was there often enough.
So I replaced the TJM stabilizer with an OME piece and it was an immediate change. It drove perfectly straight like it just got an alignment and after a long trip to the sierras, camping in monache meadows and doing the Sherman pass trail. Im happy to report that there are no more shakes or wobbles.
Maybe it is one of the first things to check and everybodyelse knows that but I never thought it would make such a difference.:clap:

I know I could have said long story short ....... but wha the heck. :)
I need to do this..........
Thanks.
 

Wayne

Bought by His blood, kept by His power
Joined
Oct 12, 2003
Messages
993
Location
Middleburg, Florida
I had exactly the same issue and a new steering stabilizer fixed it. In the process I also discovered the relay rod ends need replacing. The grease boots look good, but the joints are worn and are to loose.
 
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Joined
May 6, 2008
Messages
1,323
Location
Loomis, Ca
I have the same problem your describing

I picked up but not installed 555 tie rod ends..... tightend up wheel bearings, passenger side was a bit loose

I think Ill get a new steering stabilizer as well, OME

Hope this does it, its kinda getting scary on long down hill Sierras summits.....:eek:
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
231
Location
Orange County, CA
I have the same problem your describing

I picked up but not installed 555 tie rod ends..... tightend up wheel bearings, passenger side was a bit loose

I think Ill get a new steering stabilizer as well, OME

Hope this does it, its kinda getting scary on long down hill Sierras summits.....:eek:

It sounds like what I had. Replace the stabilizer and keep us posted. It took about two minutes to replace.
 

Wayne

Bought by His blood, kept by His power
Joined
Oct 12, 2003
Messages
993
Location
Middleburg, Florida
1. Disconnect the two bolts holding the steering stabilizer bracket to the frame.
2. Remove the cotter pin and castle nut and using a tie rod end tool separate the relay rod from the pitman arm.
3. Remove the nut and using a tie rod end tool separate the steering stabilizer from the relay rod.
4. Place the steering stabilizer bracket in a vise, remove the nut and using a tie rod end tool separate the stabilizer from the bracket.
Assemble in reverse order.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
231
Location
Orange County, CA
Luckily my stabilizer was nearly new and the bolt/stud from the TJM are the same size as the new OME one so I only had to remove two nuts, pull shock out and replace with new shock. Two minutes. ;)
 
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Grench

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Lincoln, NE
That actually explains something that has been in the back of my mind. My wife's truck had been exhibiting the same weird wobble symptom. We checked brakes, etc. During those checks one of the rear shocks was going out so I ordered 4 new Toyota shocks and a new OME steering stabilizer. After those were installed, the issue was then gone - which bothered my brain. Now it makes sense. Thanks!
 
Joined
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OC, CA
Replacing the stabilizer / dampener is frequently just a band aid for a larger underlying problem with slop in the steering that doesn't go away and it will still wobble at a different speed or initiate under different circumstances.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
231
Location
Orange County, CA
I agree as well. The steering damper is just that. It damps the movement. It should have zero effect on "wobble" or other steering anomaly.
Replacing the stabilizer / dampener is frequently just a band aid for a larger underlying problem with slop in the steering that doesn't go away and it will still wobble at a different speed or initiate under different circumstances.
I agree in that other steering,suspension or brake components are probably more likely to cause it and that is why I went through everything else multiple times and with multiple mechanics. The damper's job is actually to stop steering "anomalies" and the fact that the new steering damper stopped the "wobble", it means that it was bad and it needed to be replaced; therefore, not a band aid. So far it hasn't happened again under any driving conditions from off road, freeway, highway, or mountain roads.
It is possible that the lift angles, bigger tires, weight or other conditions created by modifications to the vehicle could make it more prone to have those issues but if we make sure that all components are in good condition "including" the damper and that only good quality parts were used on the mods and it doesn't wobble, then I'm good with it. :)

It would be cool if we could do a test for comparison reasons by having you remove the damper to replicate a bad damper and see how it behaves.
I know that off-roading without it, on different terrain it would shake and wobble the steering to a point of being quite violent sometimes. Please let us know if you could do that and what are the findings. Make sure conditions are as safe as possible though:cheers:
 

dogfishlake

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Keep us posted on how the dampener is doing as you get some miles on it. I have to find the source of wobble on my 80 too, just haven't had time to look real hard yet. I will certainly look at all the common suspects, but I will also check my dampener. Even if it is a "band aid", I'm sure it's nice to have the wobble gone.
 

dogfishlake

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Damper or not, it doesn't do the wobble without slop somewhere. Lots of people have replaced the damper without any effect or a minor effect of doing it under different circumstances and speeds. I'm not trying to pee on your birthday cake here; just cautioning others about easy fixes for the death wobble.
I'm definitely going to try to find my source of wobble before the dampener too, good point!
 

BlueCruiser84

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Unless you have one of those spring loaded return-to-center dampers the above posts are accurate. There is no preload on a damper so nothing to cause a wobble. Worst case scenario is that a bad damper is not absorbing steering movement which would cause any slop to be more noticeable.

Off-road without a damper will be exactly how you described. Every bump jerks the steering wheel around. On a SMOOTH road with tight components the damper should play a VERY minor role. Pull yours off and find the source of the wobble, then reinstall once all is tight.
 

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