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Death Wobble

13398 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  viperover
Ok So i did some searching on the site and i have not been able to pin point what is need to check next. I have the death wobble which happens mostly at lower speeds under 65. It had started out not to be so bad and a rare occasion, but decided to try and cure it and now its gotten worse. Had changed the cross bar and all the ball joints and steering damper. The steering is tight no real slop. Shocks are good not new but the wheels wobble side to side not up and down. the alignment was done (hence all the new parts) the ball joints are good. So you would think that things would have gotten better but now have gotten very dramatic. Please need some help.

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You most likely have a problem with the upper and lower ball joints. They are also called knuckle bearings. Do a search and you will find a detailed description on how to change them. These are the bearings that connect the front wheels to the axle. When you have this problem, you will see that the front tires are wearing at the side of the tire.


first off balance tires, then change rotors. they can develop a resonance and you can experience the death wobble if they are out of round. also, check for even wear on the tires themselves. sometime the tires can be 'balanced' on the rim, but still out of round. my dad's lexus gs300 didn't have a death wobble, but a close look at his tires showed uneven wear with areas of worn tread so bad that it eventually destroyed the wheel bearings. also, what size wheels/tires are you running? the 19/20 inch rims from the 2003+ RR are notorious for uneven wear.

Replace your rubber with new tyres ! I'm experiencing the same issues over highway expansion joints & my old school treads are out of round which is the issue ?


'88 Highline
Perth, W.A.
I had two root causes of 'death wobble' as you put it. First, the rear wheels were out of balance - sorting that cured half the problem. The other half was due to a worn intermediate steering column shaft - replacing that cured the final vestiges of wobble. Now the Rangie tracks straight and true across all ruts and the like - just have to solve the incredible cabin judder it can generate on occasion!
- Balance front wheels.
- ALWAYS tighten all road wheel nuts with a torque wrench (different torque on different nuts can cause the brake rotor to become 'skewed', causing wobble at high speeds.
- Lightly grease the brake calliper guide bolt pins, so the callipers 'float' well/freely.
- Replace brake rotors if they are worn unevenly.
- Replace panhard rod bushes (- they get soft with age/oil dripping on them, and the whole axle can 'twitch' left <-> right after going over a bump).
- Replace all 4 ball joints supporting the hub-carrier.
- Get a steering alignment done.

I've done all of the above on the front end in the last 6 months and it now steers/handles/tracks excellently - just as if it had come out of the showroom. :)
Before the above bits were looked at, it was a bit of a pig after highway speed braking or going over ruts and especially when braking hard whilst going round a corner would cause the steering wheel to shake VERY violently/uncontrollably.
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I've had good results just replacing wheel bearings if everything else is fine....
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