If you’re the owner of any Dodge HD truck and haven’t had any issues related to the front end suspension and/or steering, you’re either oblivious to it, or you’ve managed to find a one in a million truck. Since the release of the EXTREMELY popular 1994 Dodge Ram through the current generation of Rams, there have always been woes on the integrity, and many times the safety of these trucks in regards to the front end. Typically, the 1994-2002 (called the 2nd Generation Rams) mostly had issues stemming from premature failure of the steering gear boxes, causing an extremely loose feeling that would work its way down through all of the tie rods and ball joints. Most drivers would explain this looseness as “driving Miss Daisy” in which you’re driving down the road and constantly correcting the steering because of having to over steer the truck. On top of this, most notice an extreme harshness when hitting pot holes, speed bumps, etc. that can be felt through the steering wheel. In extreme cases of these trucks, many will experience an occurrence commonly known as Death Wobble (we’ll talk about this later in the write up).
Next came the release of the 2003 Dodge Rams (called the 3rd Generation Rams) that were in production through 2009. With the design of these trucks came different suppliers of axles and axle housings in which Dodge got away from Dana axles and switched to American Axles that were larger in diameter, as well as slightly larger gear box, and a host of other “smaller” changes. These trucks do not have as big of an issue with gearbox failure, just overall the gearbox is relatively weak, and unable to do its job as effectively as it should (which Dodge finally upgraded on the 2009 models). The biggest complaint of these trucks are premature ball joint failure, which largely stems from looseness in the tie rods, similar to the 2nd Generation Rams, and this looseness many times leads to the previously mentioned Death Wobble.
Now, WHAT IS DEATH WOBBLE? From the driver’s seat, Death Wobble is a situation in which an absolutely violent shaking of the front end occurs and transfers through to the steering wheel causing an abrupt side to side movement and this occurrence can only be stopped by literally slowing the vehicle down to a stop. The most frequent situation in which Death Wobble occurs is driving at freeway speeds, going around a corner, and hitting a bump, or especially an expansion joint on a bridge…..then IT happens!
But what is the actual cause, or what is really happening during this event? Basically, the suspension decompresses, releasing load on the front end, allowing everything to “loosen up” a bit. Now, the wheels are able to toe-in and toe-out from each other (basically the front of the tires will point towards each other and then away from each other) in rapid succession, shaking the front end.
One of the biggest reasons that this toe-in/toe-out is even physically able to happen is due to a poor steering geometry from Dodge, there is literally a pivot point between the wheels that obviously should be connected. Basically, if you were to follow the steering geometry starting at the gearbox, you will find the drag link connecting to the pitman arm and then to the passenger side knuckle. Then, the center link connects at the drag link and goes to the drivers side knuckle. The point at which the drag link and center link connect is the pivot point.
Now, this pivot point isn’t necessarily the worst idea in the world, but especially as surrounding tie rods wear out and give some slop, it will DEFINITELY lead to Death Wobble.
In mid-model year 2008, Dodge finally made some corrective action to this whole scenario and released a revised steering geometry for the trucks. Now, the center link goes knuckle to knuckle, and the drag link ties into the center link, thus eliminating the pivot point between the wheels.
This new geometry was released “under the radar” some could say. To this day, Dodge will never admit to Death Wobble or anything of the sort. For instance, if you take your truck to the dealer and say you have Death Wobble, you will typically be looked at with unbeknownst eyes and will be forced to explain what the truck is doing….because they’ve never heard of such a thing. At that time, they will go through the front end and look for signs of wear, and will typically find that the…….(wait for it, wait for it) tie rods are worn and need to be replaced. But guess what, they won’t just change the tie rods, you will get an entirely new drag link and center link, which also features a MUCH larger diameter than the old stock system. You can’t even purchase replacement tie rods from the dealer for the old system, its been completely discontinued, wonder why?
So, now how do you fix or prevent Death Wobble? Obviously, the first and most obvious is to change out the steering linkage to the newer style. At this point, you must also change the steering damper (shock) because the new geometry does not allow fitment of the older shock. For this, the best stabilizer shock on the market is manufactured by Carli Suspension and it utilizes a Bilstein 7100 series nitrogen charged shock. This damper has a built-in valve stem that allows the end user to actually alter the pressure in the shock. The advantage to this is that you can get just the right amount of pressure to apply a constant pressure against the steering, actually helping the truck to track straighter and almost keep everything in a constant bind, helping in the longevity of the steering components.
And what else can be done to improve the front end….the list is almost endless for the Dodges! However, there are MANY items that are great upgrades for when the factory components begin to show signs of wear, as well. For instance, the ball joints. As mentioned previously, the factory ball joints on especially the 3rd Generation Rams are a high wear item, and there are replacements available that will LITERALLY last a lifetime (and guaranteed to do so), and they’re actually also made by Carli Suspension. Also, upgraded track bars by both BD and Carli Suspension are built out of much stronger materials than the factory units and are even adjustable for those with lift kits to get proper front end triangulation. Another popular item are steering box braces, like those by BD again. A steering box brace ties the sector shaft coming out of the gear box to the frame rail. The reason for this is that with Dodge’s subpar boxes, they will get flex and movement coming out of the sector shaft, which then transfers down through the steering. This movement many times goes along with the “driving Miss Daisy” effect we discussed earlier. This will also help with the longevity of the box, by eliminating this movement. And since we’re talking about gearboxes, this is the last “major” piece to the puzzle. Through trial and error, we found the best boxes on the market come from Red-Head Steering Gears coupled with a Borgeson steering shaft.
148 thoughts on “Dodge Front End Issues on 1994-08 Cummins and the Dreaded Death Wobble”
I changed out the whole steering suspension and track bar ball joint. I still have the shake. I have a duelly mega cab 3500 ram.
You may always give the shop a call to talk to one of the diesel techs about your steering issues. Call toll free at 888.99.DIESEL
Check the air pressure in your tires did all the updates and changed parts still had the wobble so added air to max Pressure and pretty much all is gone and believe it or not brand of tire makes a difference .
ABS rear speed senser
were do i get this new steetring linkage?
If you look at the end of the article, there are 2 links that you may click to see the product page where we have them for sale on Diesel Power Products.
A very good article, however both links you refer to bring you to a web site but they do not have the steering linkage you refer in this article.
Both links you mentioned showcase every product that the manufacturer makes. Because there are 2 or 3 models for these model year ranges, we felt it was simpler to do the links this way. If you are still looking give us a call at 888-993-4373 and we will help you find the correct model.
There was a recall on my steering linkage from Dodge. I have a 2004 dodge cummins 3500 and it was fully covered by dodge
My husband owns a body shop, so has seen many accidents, and thus repaired them. When I told him what my 2006 Dodge Diesel Mega Cab was doing, he WOULD NOT believe me how extreme it was shaking. I felt like the whole dash was going to fall off, and my tire was going to fall off! Well, now he understands because it has happened to him. It is very scary, and I cannot believe that this has not caused accidents. I paid way to much money for this truck to have these issues, and I believe that it is an accident waiting to happen. I seriously think that this should be a recall! There has been other recalls in reference to these vehicles, and none to this extreme. Are you kidding me!!!??? I had my son in the truck with me, I guarantee there would be a HUGE law suit if something happened to him!! DODGE SHOULD HAVE TO BITE THIS ONE AND NOT THE CONSUMER!! So much for trying to stick with American made! My next truck…if I can even sell this one, WILL NOT be a Dodge!!!
I am in the same boat as you 7 sets of ball joints and I only have 115000 miles on my 06 3500 dually 4×4 diesel owned it since new!!! And there shot again! I have the upgraded linkage and even the HD BD track bar!!! I have gotten knowhere with dodge aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!! Class action lawsuit anybody??????
I have no accidents either!! Ii have replaced every part on the front end once ,twice or up to 7 times steering box to! And u-joints in front axle, wheel bearings etc.
My 06 is same exact way last week it broke my steering sleeve in half and I lost steering with my 2 girls in the truck I fixed it this week my sleve bent in half so not happy with this truck
2-12-17 I have a 2008 Dodge MegaRam 2500. Never had this issue till this weekend. I took my dog to a dog show in Indiana from Wisconsin. Driving down Hwy 65 at 75 mph and hit pot holes and I thought I was going to die. I could not hold on to the steering wheel and I was sandwiched in between semi trailers at 2am. I slammed on my brakes and the semi behind me luckily could get into the other lane. My 150# dog slammed into my seat and was so afraid the rest of the trip. He refused to be in the backseat. On the way home yesterday it happened 3 more times. I ended up driving 55mph making everyone mad at me as I avoided potholes and bridge abutments. I called my husband and told him it felt like I was going to tip the truck over. If this happened while I trailered my horsed, I’m not sure we would have avoided an accident. I am so pissed that I haven’t seen a recall on this for my truck.
You’re right, it is disheartening that Dodge never performed a full vehicle recall on the effected vehicles. From my recollection, there was only one recall performed by Dodge years ago, and it was only for vehicles that had been retrofitted to the newer steering linkage (from the original Y-style used on 2003-2008 model years to the T-style later used) to confirm and potentially change a tie rod used in the steering linkage. Dodge has updated some of the parts to supersede previously used components, but Dodge never released a complete fix. Fortunately, the aftermarket has applied numerous upgrades to alleviate the issue, but first, you must determine the exact cause, as its been proven that several factors could be causing this. You can read through some of our previous responses that suggest what to look for, or you can give us a call and we can discuss it with you over the phone if you’d like.
Do you have any pictures of this because the same thing happened to my son last week and we thought some one cut it, it’s so clean of a break.
I have a lifted (3in, 37’s) 07 megacab diesel, Rancho lift, Rancho RX9000 shocks, BD steering box stabilizer, BD ajustable track bar, Carli ball joints (upper and lower) and Dynatrac freespin hubs, new bearings and new tires. And it still wobbles. Eveything is within 18 months of installation! My checkbook can’t take any more!
I have a 2008 Cummins with 67000 miles on it. Dodge did all the front end recall stuff, before my truck ever started having issues. I do have a Rough Country 5″ lift with 35″ tires, and the truck was fine for a year after it was installed. About a month ago problems started. It’s been to the alignment shop 3 times, a four wheel drive shop, and the dealer 3 times in the last 3 weeks. No one can find any slack in anything. I am disgusted and scared to even drive it anymore.
I have a 2008 Cummins with 67000 miles on it. Dodge did all the front end recall stuff, before my truck ever started having issues. I do have a Rough Country 5″ lift with 35″ tires, and the truck was fine for a year after it was installed. About a month ago problems started. It’s been to the alignment shop 3 times, a four wheel drive shop, and the dealer 3 times in the last 3 weeks. No one can find any slack in anything. I am disgusted and scared to even drive it anymore.
Dodge shaken syndrome on a 2007 mega cab 2500 ram
On Sunday December 23rd around 12:00p.m. we started our journey. Just wanted to let you know we still have not reached our destination, thanks to the poor design on the steering components of this truck. We left Sunday afternoon from Pennsylvania to Montana to be with my children on Christmas, unfortunately we had to spend Christmas Eve in a motel due to stress and not feeling safe driving on the snow covered roads. I have made this trip several times, it is about twenty-one hundred miles and it takes thirty-six to forty hours normally. Although it’s been in a variety of Chevy’s, crew cabs, and suburban’s, two wheel drives and four wheel drives, and nothing newer then an 1986; I have never experienced the stress that I have with this 2007 Dodge ram mega cab. It was always my dream someday to get a newer model truck like everybody else, but that’s what it was…a dream. Even though I bought the truck the dream didn’t come true. I love my old Chevy’s, but I thought I would upgrade to the new makes and models; however I have found that now I must revert back to the old Chevy’s. I have contacted dodge and being a mechanic by trade I know a little bit about what is going on and I know BS when I hear it. All they want to tell me is keep taking it to the dealership and spend more of my money but I think spending over $30,000 for a truck; that it shouldn’t be back in the shop at 60,000 miles, which is what the truck had on it when I bought it. I have never in my forty-six years have had to take my Chevy’s to a dealership or a shop; I did all my own work. I have given this truck the benefit of the doubt; I have put all new steering components on this truck such as, tire rod ends, Bilstein shocks, stabilizer shocks. I have even taken the truck to the shop to check the alignment, caster/camber, and still nothing helps. The truck had a brand new set of tires and wheels when I purchased it. The tires where the first thing I thought was the issue and have had three sets of tires on it so I have come to the conclusion it’s not the tires. I have talked with the other views online that are encountering the same problem, but they have had no better luck then me with the manufacturer. So I guess the next step is to record and videotape the fear and activity this vehicle is causing me. Maybe at least the people can see it on YouTube and it will save them from making the same mistake that I have made. I do have some good things to say about dodge, the looks, its spacious cab, the towing capacity and the extreme power the diesel puts out. However what good is any of that if you don’t feel safe when driving it because of the dodge shaken syndrome. For more and later information click on dodge shaken syndrome, I am not going away anytime soon. Thanks for taking the time to read this problem that I am having with my 07 Dodge ram mega cab 2500 truck.
I own a Dodge diseal truck 2008 I was needing to know if anyone has had the front axle break. Was real lucky Praise the Lord his hand was on me cause it could be that I could not be asking this question now. People say they have never heard of an axle breaking. Has there been any recalls or anything about bad I quote bad axles on front or back. Praise the Lord for every breath I take
We’re not aware of any recalls on an axle breaking, and while we have seen it happen, it was due to extreme use cases in which the axle itself broke, the axle housing bent, or the outer axle case spinning from the center case. But normally, no, definitely not a common thread. So glad you’re okay.
i have a 1991 GMC, 8″ lift, 35 in tires. it has the death wobble also. like the rest of you, it scares the hell out of me. shakes so hard it feels like the truck will just fall apart. i had the front end worked on and it was fine for about a week. don’t know what to do to fix it and im not going to sell it to someone else and have it kill them.
I have a 2006 dodge ram 2500 mega cab. I didn’t get death wobble until about 80000 miles. I changed ball joints and no death wobble at all. I bought the truck new and at 4000 miles i put 20 x 12 wheels and 35 x 13.50 – 20 tires with 8 in of lift on the truck. Like I said no death wobble till 80000 miles. About 2 months ago (145000 miles)wobble came back. Changed ball joints again. No more death wobble. Also I have never changed any steering components other than those that came with lift. Both times I put in $400.00 ball joints. I do get a little wandering on the road sometimes so I put on a steering box brace. Problem solved. I do have dual steering stabilizers which helps, of course. I love my dodge. Gonna run it in to ground.
2006 Ram 2500 quad cab, long bed, 5.9. Bought it with 40 miles on it, drove it straight to 4 WheelParts had a 6″ Superlift with dual shocks up front and 37 X 13.5’s, driven from Vegas to Alabama/Virgina many many times, empty/loaded/towing, 60-70-80+ MPH and never one issue with wobbling or shaking. After reading your guys’ comments I feel very fortunate. Truck has 70K on it now and 38 X 14.5’s.
I have a 2008 3500 mega cab. Driven from Edmonton Alberta Canada to Palm Springs Ca 2x a year since new. I have 300 000 km on it and have NEVER felt this “wobble” I have maintained the truck quite well, but now I am hearing this rubbing/ rotational noise. Have you had any such noise?
Best discribed as a wa wa wa wa every rotation of the tire. and it does not go away.
Double check your front drive shaft double joint coming from the transfer case above cross member if you don’t have free spin hubs yet then you more than likely ran your u joints dry of grease nice they are always spinning so get all checked
Sounds like a wheel beating is going out! If you have the funds, I’d install a SpynTec or DynaTrac free-spin hub kit (bonus besides being serviceable is you will pick up 1-1.5 mpg!).
Check front wheel bearings…
I’ve got a 2011 2500 heavy duty with a Cummins with 30000 miles and the drivers side tie rod broke at 30 mph going down the road ! I had just had the tie rod replaced under their recall 7 months earlier, either they didn’t replace it like they said or they still have a problem ! Does anyone know if the 2011’s are prone to the Death Wobble or not, I’ve not felt any thing unusual yet.
First, your dealer should take care of this, especially if it has been replaced recently. 2nd, all Dodges are prone to death wobble except for the 2013. They have finally redesigned their system so they should not have the problem from this year on. If you have any questions, give our techs a call: 888-99-DIESEL
I have a 2013 I bought it used and it has the wobble. I thought it was alignment issue had the dealership do the alignment wheel still isn’t centered. Dont know what to do. They replaced with new brakes also free. Same issues….ohh the shaking at 110 km to 130km
Hi there, congratulations on the new truck, but sorry to hear about the issues. With the truck being a 2013, depending on whether it is a 2500 or a 3500, it could have the “old style” steering or the new radius arm setup. The 2013 2500’s featured the previous design with separate upper and lower control arms and numerous other things making it unique from the newer style. The 3500 models received the new front end for 2013 featuring radius arms (instead of control arms), a different steering linkage, and again, numerous other upgrades. That said, many have still experienced Death Wobble even with the new front end. I would recommend giving us a call to cover the issues you’re experiencing once we determine which front end you have and we can make recommendations on how to eliminate it from your particular truck.
They finally had it towed to the nearest dealer where they replaced it and aligned the front end, they acted like it wasn’t a big deal ! I thought the new design since 09 addressed the wobble, like I said I haven’t experienced it yet. Brian
Dodge People Check Your U Joints On The Front Axle Where The Axle Connects To The Hub Sometimes They Go Bad And Will Also Cause Shaking Just Like If Your U Joint Went Out On The Drive Shaft Nothing Is Loose On My Front End But Around 65mph My Truck Rattles Like The Tires Gonna Fall Off But around 80mph It Goes Away And At 85mph Its Smooth Sailing I Have A 94 4×4 Dodge Ram And Was Told By My Step Dad That Thats Whats Wrong So I Jacked It Up And Shook The Tire And It Wobbles Right On The U Joint 2 $12 Parts Might Be All Thats Wrong
Hey, reading through this blog and your reply is the closest to what I am looking for and seems to be happening to my ’96 3500 dually. Only has 200k on it and have replaced a few factory parts, starter, few hoses, cable lock 4×4. It shakes, what seems to be more on the left side, but it’s more of a bouncing than a side to side wobble. I don’t know much about all of this, as the only other dodge diesel I have owned is a ’97 2500 years ago. If you are obliged or wouldn’t mind holler back at me.
2006 Dodge 4×4 Crew Cab. I have the death wobble at 60K. Had new ties rods put in, 2 different track bars and 3 different sets of bushings and nothing has helped it. Never again will I ever buy a dodge product again. I never had any problems with my ford powerstoke. Now I know why Dodge needs a goverment bailout because thier products are S**t.
I know the Death Wobble issue is extremely frustrating, but honestly it is a good thing you chose the Dodge instead of a 2006 Ford. If you had gone with the 6.0L ford Powerstroke, you would have probably had to replace 2-3x more parts then on your Dodge. Most people have to replace the whole engine at around $12k. Some have had to replace it a few times. You made a very wise decision when you purchased your Dodge. Dodge has finally resolved the death wobble issue with a redesign of the suspension and steering on the 2013+ models. They also have not ever publicly admitted to the problem, but neither had Ford. That is why there are law suits in nearly every state of the US. If you are curious about the problems people have faced with the 06 Fords, read this:http://blog.dieselpowerproducts.com/lawsuit-against-ford-6-0l-power-stroke-diesel-engine
Literally thousands of people have had the same issues with the 6.0L. The 6.4L and 6.7L models are much better and have very few engine related problems.
The engine is too heavy! I have an 01 and have my problem’s. I work on class 9 trucks they can correct the problem if they want, but then they won’t sell no part’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes the 6.0’s were horrible but as every ford diesel owner know the 7.3’s were unstoppable they quit making them strictly because they weren’t gettign enough returns.
They stopped making the 7.3 because it could not comply with the new upcoming emission standards. It had nothing to do with anything else.
I am in the same boat as you 7 sets of ball joints and I only have 115000 miles on my 06 owned it since new!!! And there shot again! I have the upgraded linkage and even the HD BD track bar!!! I have gotten knowhere with dodge aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!! Class action lawsuit anybody??????
I have no accidents either!!
I WOULD LOVE TO CLASS ACTION. RIGHT NOW I’ BETWEEN PALMDALE AND NEEDLED , CA cAN’T TURN AROUND CAN’T GO BACK. AND I HAVE 4 GRANKIDS WITH ME.. i FEAR FOR KIDS AND ME
I understand your frustration and stand behind you 100%. My 2006 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab Diesel shares the same shit title as the rest. It started with a Fan blade assembly breaking and tearing apart the radiator, and how about the front universal. I replaced my entire brakes (rotors, pads, calipers, ets) with new tires, alignment and shortly after the Death wobbble returns. Moreover, and recently I lost my entire steering with my children in the truck with me. We just turned off the highway and snap, the right tie rod broke. Thank God I was able to bring the vehicle to a stop and we are all alive!!! My dealership, totally emphatic said: Nope, no recall just regular wear and tear but we will fix it at full pop. New inner & Outer tie rods (broken???), Steering box leak/replacement, Gear box, Shaft pitman, right outer tie rod ball stud broken, steering link damper bracket and shock twisted. Oh by the way your front universal broke again. I became beyond furious when I was told for the year of the truck one can expect some repairs similar to this. I replied “what at a 160, 000kms with easy highway mileage only”. Duh!!! So now do I drive it and try my best not to turn LEFT because of the impending pretence of a front steering and suspension recall dispute? Dodge is lucky that nothing happened to us. Byers beware of the serious problems that can jeopardize your family’s life as well as yours. Guts & Glory. Yeh I suppose if can trust the four tires you are riding on. Piece of Shitttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have had 2 Dodges an 03 3500 4×4 dually with a 5.9 cummins and an 06 2500 4×4 with hemi. The 03 I got it with 30000 miles on it and used it daily as a car hauler and tire hauler. I averaged 7 tons 2x a day with it 5 and 6 days a week. I never did anything to the steering. I mean nothing. I sold it with 235000 miles on it. Thats 2 motors, 4 clutches, 10 sets of brakes , and at least 12 sets of tires. Never a wobble…. period…
Now the 06, I had a week and it put me on the side of the hwy looking under it for something broke. You can run 70 80 no problem until you hit 2 or 3 bumps in a row and you might as well get ready to stop or slow way down. It is going to happen and I mean bad but all in all I will work with it and run it till I kill it.
I have an 06 Ram 1500 Mega Cab With 35,500 mile all original stock. I experienced the death wobble twice this saturday 7/20/2013. I was towing a boat for family vacation absolutely terrifying. I have an appointment with the Dodge dealer in Ludington Mi. To hopefully fix. Keep you posted.
I have a 2012 Longhorn 2500….bad shakes at interval speeds but a slight shake and wobble at most speeds. Dodge changed my front end, tie rods, bushings etc….I bought new BFG Tires….have had them balanced 7 times and force balanced. Still shoes and wobbles….passenger seat shakes severely. It has been to the shop numerous times and Dodge claims its normal. Went to new dealership yesterday and today they are pulling BOTH drive shafts…..they said that the U Joints will rust onto the aluminum drive shaft. Also advised me that these drives shafts (Front and back) are bad out sling a weight and becoming imbalanced or getting out of Phase?? They are pulling my drives and sending them out to Clutch Products to be tested. Fingers crossed that they find it because the shake drives me nuts…This is a $72,000.00 truck and the the dealership tried to convince me this is JUST HOW THEY RIDE. I have 8 Dodge trucks and they have been GREAT…Just this Longhorn causing me issues. If this doesnt fix it I am gonna show my ASS until they BUY IT BACK!
did it get fixed if so what did thay do
I Was driving my 2004 2500 ram Diesel through the Cascade Locks Oregon on interstate 84 in 2009 and the DEATH WOBBLE HIT … It caused the outer casing of my left front tire to separate and the tire wiped out and the whole front end of my truck disintegrated all over the highway and threw me from the slow lane into the fast lane very quickly , then back to the slow lane just as quickly . I was able to get to the side of the road and stopped safely without hitting anyone .my tire still had air just no outer casing …I drove it 20 miles to Hood River Oregon les schwab tires ..told them I didn’t want to try changing it myself because it looked like it would explode in my face.. they told me that I made the right decision.. If there had been another car in the fast lane that day .. I might have been killed , or killed someone else.. I would bet that there has been deaths caused from this design flaw.. it just gets over looked at the crime scene because everyone died.. and the tires look normal just like in any other wreck..
You had a tire failure
Ya that is going to shake the truck
Its kind of hard to blame the truck on this one
Ever check your air pressure?
You think your tire looked normal?
Sounds like you had to light of a tire rating for this truck but they were cheaper right?
Will the up grade set up work on a 2001 dodge Cummings or what can I do to upgrade to similar set up thanks anything will help
Yes, this upgrade is designed for the 1994-08 Cummins. They changed the setup on the 2008+ dodges. Please contact us if you have any other questions.
i bought moog parts to replace in my 1994 dodge 2500 front end. will these parts work or should i get different parts
I would recommend giving our sales guys a call and asking them. The number is 888-99-DIESEL.
Have a nice day.
I was heading back from Calgary on highway #2 when I experienced the what I initially thought was a blow out. I had just crossed over a small bridge and hit a slight bump in the road. The truck shook violently and I had to slow down and pull to the side of the road. I was travelling on cruise control at 110kph. I have owned the 2004 Dodge Laramie 3500 for a year. When I purchased the truck I replaced all of the ball joints, brakes and axle seals on the vehicle. This was the first time I have ever experienced this problem which almost put us in the ditch. I work in the insurance industry conducting Cause and Origin investigations. Chrysler is no different that any other large manufacturer. The cost to recall and fix this problem for Chrysler would be in the millions. Most large companies will deny they have a problem until there are multiple deaths relating to the problems. Even then it is far cheaper to pay out a couple of million in collateral damage than to pay 100 million to fix the problem. Hopefully Transport Canada will force the issue as there is clearly a severe problem with the front steering on the Dodge 2500/3500.
Bought a used 95 Ram1500 2wd in Dec. 2012 with 108,000 miles. Driving on the interstate the next summer, hit a dip snd the death wobble started until I slowed 15 mph. I took it to a local shop and they reccomended that 3 ball joints needed replacing. Have not experienced d.w. since the repairs. yet…….
wow..guess I have been lucky up to now (99 2500 4×4 with 235K ) right ball joint fell out in Home depot’s parking lot, then all the joints started going out after a very serve wobble, so after replacing all parts, I can’t even get down our road with out a problem….going to try bracing the box and adding two shock stabilizer. any info on a class action would be great.. good luck to all victim’s
I have a 2006 Dodge 2500 MegaCab, I never had the death wobble until 150k miles.
I have replaced the entire steering system and all linkage. It was great for about 50k miles, now the death wobble is back. There is a recall at Dodge for the replacement of the left outer tie rod assembly, took it to AutoNation Dodge in Spring TX. After they had it 2 days and would not answer any of my calls, I went to the dealership and they told me they cannot do the recall because I have after market ball joints and tie rod ends. Their service department is a joke.
They explained my whole front end is worn out and they could repair it for $1850.00
I will hang on tight and endure my death wobble until I can fix it myself, Auto Nation is nothing but a bunch of thieves. The recall was just a way to get me into the dealership to “up sell” me.
Hello have experienced the death wobble and got whip lash, what is being done, before someone causes an accident or worse someone gets hurt bad or killed, do attorneys know of this? if not maybe they should.
Was fortunate to recently find a dodge 2500 diesel with only 45k miles on it for a great price. Love the truck! Well or so I thought! I was driving on interstate 77 headed south just past Princeton WV, doing about 70 mph, into one of the good downhill right hand curves. Well the truck hit and expansion joint on a small overpass! You guessed it the DEATH WOBBLE started! I only heard about the death wobble this morning searching for information on front end wobble! Of course I was in in traffic, had to immediately brake, not swerve into another lane. Check rear view to be sure I would not get hit from behind or cause someone else to crash….also thinking I should of had my will up to date! Yes it was that bad and I “don’t scare easily”. What an experience and it happened twice more during the 5 hour drive! In clear conscience I could not sell the truck to someone as is and I don’t look forward to the cost of replacement parts. All I can say is….THIS SUCKS!
I bought a 07 mega cab 4×4. Paid way to much for these problems. Replaced hub bearing, tie rods, stabilizer shock, alignment and it does it just as bad if not worse than before. Won’t dump anymore money. Trying to sell, but can’t in good faith because of the DEATH WOBBLE. getting another truck, but won’t be a dodge anymore.
Just be careful of the 6.0L PowerStroke. The 6.4+ PowerStrokes are dependable, but if you think your problems on the Dodge are bad, you don’t want to hear about people’s issues with the 6.0L PowerStroke. If you want, you can read a few comments here: http://blog.dieselpowerproducts.com/lawsuit-against-ford-6-0l-power-stroke-diesel-engine
The 6.4l is worse
Th GM front end is not great marvel either. It’s not as prone to death wobble, but it’s just as hard on parts
With the dodge, has anyone decided to check what degree the caster is at. Their explanation as to where the drag link attaches is not the problem. My 91 f250 diesel I used to own has drag link attachment point similar to that, and even at 300,000 when the OEM parts were changed, it never once wobbled.
Had a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500. The death wobble started at 98000 miles. I paid $1600 out of my pocket to fix. Had steering linkage, track bar, stabilizer ends, pitman arm all replaced. Death wobble cured. That was in July of 2013. In November of 2013 I got a recall on front end parts. Truck was in shop in 2010 for a different issue and there was recall on front end parts and truck was inspected and deemed ok. The recall in 2013 was for parts that they used in 2010. Dodge couldn’t even get it right the second time. I sent in all receipt’s and proof of repairs. They denied my claim. When talking with the people at Chrysler they realized that what I paid for was the recall for 2010. The lady on the phone resubmitted for the 2010 recall and I was denied again. They said that since parts were good at original inspection and did not fail until three years later that it is not their problem and they would not reimburse me. Also the Rams of these years are famous for the dash boards to crack and fall apart and their heater boxes to have their door to break where you have no control over defrost, heat direction or how much you get of each. Most time it comes out dash only with no heat or defrost at all. They do not cover these parts either. They were made of very cheep plastic. They don’t even consider them safety issues when you can’t get your windows to clear in winter. I won’t buy a Dodge again. I don’t like Ford so it looks like I will look at Chevy or GMC. I sold truck in January 2014 because of Chrysler’s inability to help their customers.
In reading this article and the comments, I have to ask, does this death wobble only occur on diesel Rams or are all models affected? I’ve got a ’98 1500 that has an odd, intermittent vibration in the front end, but I don’t feel it in the steering wheel and have no issues with steering or otherwise.
I HAVE A 97 RAM 1500 WITH 5INCH SUSPENSION LIFT WITH TERRIBLE STEERING WANDER, BUMP STEER, AND DEATH WOBBLE I HAVE CHANGED TO AGR GEARBOX AND REPLACED ALL BALL JOINTS AND TIE RODS IT MADE IT BETTER BUT NOT CURRED WILL THIS KIT FIT ON MY TRUCK OR SHOULD I JUST FAB ONE UP
I have a 1996 dodge ram 2500 4×4 and I am experiencing the death wobble in my truck and I wanted to know if the new upgraded kit would fit my dodge
If you want to upgrade your Ram to reduce the symptoms of death wobble, give us a call at 888-993-4373. Our diesel techs will steer you in the right direction. Pun intended. 🙂
On my 94 dodge 4×4 the Pittman arm nut if it’s snuggled all the way the truck wobbles now if u loosen the nut to over have way down and let the Pittman arm drop it don’t wobble no more y is that
I also have a 96 2500 dodge 4 wheel drive diesel the death wobble has happened 3 times the last one this week and my son was driving with my grandkids with him he went into oncoming traffic and almost had a head on collision and ended up I’n the ditch they were banged up but thank God they are OK thousands of dollars spent on the front end already and now not setting in my driveway not fixed yet
I also have a 96 2500 dodge 4 wheel drive diesel the death wobble has happened 3 times the last one this week and my son was driving with my grandkids with him he went into oncoming traffic and almost had a head on collision and ended up I’n the ditch they were banged up but thank God they are OK thousands of dollars spent on the front end already and now setting in my driveway not fixed yet
01 Dodge Ram 2500 Canada Yes the wobble scares the ^&%$ out of you 215,000 miles just started happening 5 months ago. list of parts steering box, pump, wheel bearings, tie rod ends, ball joints, shocks, sway bar bushings , the links to the axle , track bar , steering damper. Its pretty bad when you go over a bump and anticipate the wobble. Hand on signal getting ready to prepare. Parts from Napa guess I should of gone after market. Has any one changed the axle to frame bars.
It is very real! do attorneys know of this situation, before someone gets hurt or killed, seems when talk to Chrsyler, they prefer to call it a extensive shimmy, talk to dodge dealer and they call it the death wobble and so do O’Reillys! Let’s take action and get this resolved,! everyone needs to report it!maybe there is a attorney who has heard or wants to get involved any info appreciated.
Well nothing can be done to press any kind of charges or legal action of any sort being that Chrysler had to fIle bankruptcy, and thus being relived of all legal issues.
94 ram 2500 4×4 cummins, Death wobble. Man it scares the hell out of you. I pull my race car 26 foot enclosed trailer, Can only go to events close by afraid something will break on the road if I go long trip. 30 year + automotive tech. find no looseness in front end parts. Wish I could come up with an answer love the cummins but afraid to leave town in truck. Any help would be appreciated. If someone wants to go for a class action count me in. James Padgett
has anyone experienced a loud pining/knockin noise when turnin the steering wheel when at a stop. and when cost to a stop the same noise happens?? but once you give it some has the noise goes away. and driving straight the noise is gone. if u sit and idle its loud if u tap the gas pedal the noise goes away. and when u turn the a/c on while idleing its EVEN LOUDER! but will go away if u give it gas. I have no clue what it could be i replaced the power steering [pump it wasnt that. anyone have a clue as to what it can be????
2000 Dodge Ram 4×4 Quad Cab, 5.9L Gas. 6″ Skyjacker lift with EVERY COMPONANT NEW up front. ( tie rods, track bar, ball joints, urathane sway bar bushings). Stock 16″ wheels n tires (have 325/60R18 Nitto Terra Grapplers not installed). I have had this un-nerving “death wobble”, more than 5 times in the last year. First time it happened, my rear end pinched a hole in my drivers seat! Only happens when I hit a bump just right. Still cannot figure this s**t out and I am a mechanic!
This is a SCARY AND DANGEROUSE thing to happen when going down the highway and have your streering start to wobble uncontrollably. it is the same DEATH WOBBLE everyone experiences. I can not believe dodge did not recall this well known issue. I have been reading and posting on this for months trying to get my 2003 cummins 2500 rightfully fixed from dodge and will continue to until resolved.
I must be very lucky for not experiencing any of these problems. I have a 2006 megacab 3500 dually. I bought the truck new never touched the suspension and modded the motor to put down a lot of power. Ever since 14 miles this truck has been raced hard, 4×4 through rivers mud pits and deserts, and has also been a hotshot truck since the day I got it pulling trailers 80% of the time often over 12-15k pounds of payload. The only thing I’ve ever done to the suspension is the passenger side tierod ($43 part from o’rilleys). Now I will admit their is a tad bit of play in the stering wheel driving down the road but I just rolled 225k miles. Have checked everything including ballpoints and everything is tight. I have never experienced the death wobble and I pull trailers at 85mph and race it to 120.
Same here with the “death wobble”. Purchased my 2007 Dodge Ram 1500(V8 4.7L Flex Fuel) with with about 72,000 miles January 2013. 2 days after purchase drove from San Antonio, TX to Rogers, AR(640 miles). I barely noticed any wobble on the road trip and since I had 3 different types of tires I thought it just needed an alignment. I have experienced the wobble around 6 times since owning the vehicle. It probably would have gone into the wobble more than that, but knowing the truck I tried to slow down when coming up to bridges or any bumps in the road that I knew of. In reading some of the previous post, it blows my mind that Chrysler is not taking responsibility for and able to get away with this because they previously filed bankruptcy. Its hard to go after any one person in this case but somebody should be held accountable. All of these vehicles should be driven off a cliff in my opinion. My apologies, but I am fed up. All aside, I cant deny the power and feel I get from the truck.
I have a 2004 Ram 3500 4×4 I have 374000 miles and never had a death wobble. I have replaced the ball joints twice due to wear both replacements were moog gushers. Also have replaced unitized bearing assemblies several times due to wear. The steering has never had a problem. Just now for the first time I have discovered a wore out right tie rod. Still no death wobble. I replaced it with no issue.
I don’t know exactly what the issue is, but mine has given me no problems. The 2009 linkage does look like an improvement in design as well as the new Dodge HD steering box. I do think I might upgrade in the future as parts continue to wear.
Does this issue only apply to the 4X4’s or it includes the 2X4’s as well. I have a 2006 3500 RWD that has a vibration at highway speeds, not as bad as the death wobble explained earlier, but definitely there and getting worse. over 230,000 miles on truck, plan on changing out all bushing parts up front including wheel bearings, brake rotors and new tires to see if that will get rid of the vibration.
2006 2500 4×4 SLT Cummins I used to love this thing. But now I am even afraid to just scab it back together and sell it. I just couldn’t do what someone did to me I have had this truck for 3 years. I wore out the Grapplers that were on it and got the death wobbles a couple time. But as soon as I replaced the tires it went away. Well the wore out again and WOW I can’t keep it on the road. When I finally found out the problem it was too late. Keep an eye on your bracket that the spring bolts to I have to replace the whole front housing. The axle tube is broken up so bad it is unfixable.
Death Wobble comes from straight axel, cannot be prevented, it is a truck, this truck does not have independent front end, so a wobble is to be expected, now what is over-looked in this article is the fact that there are no grease fittings, but only two, out of twelve, give or take a couple, so after twenty-thirty thoysand miles , front end has to be replaced, ne ball joints, tie rods, drag link, control shock, maybe steering box, etc., I recommend a professional do it, then get truck aligned with new tires, as all this matters a great deal, important, is getting truck greased ever five thousand miles, but you will still feel the wobble, if you feel this at a higher speed, you are going to fast!
Forgot to add, if a truck is sitting a lot, that will cause grooves to be worn in greasable joints in front, which affects steering on why at higher speeds, and changes at lower speeds , still death wobble is born of h typ of truck, straight axle, no upper and lower control arms, except spindle ball joints upper an lower, also our wheel drives mainly affected, not two wheel drives , most important, need a way to grease ball joints of each component , dry ball joints, will form a groove in the ball joint ,after all , this truck is built to be strong , it’s not a car, so that’s perspective
Your an idiot. trucks can and should got 70-85mph. you life should not be in danger. once you get the death wobble and cant get rid of it you may think differently.
2006 1500 Megacab Hemi 105,000 miles. Death wobble @ 70mph after hitting bump had to slow less than 50mph before it cleared up. Has happened a few more times since, don’t feel safe doing road trips with family in truck anymore. Took it to Les Schwabs they said all steering parts was within spec and didn’t believe the severity I described. They rotated the tires and said I didn’t have enough pressure.. YEah right! Problem still there. Going to try repair before selling truck. Thanks for the article and others comments.
Same here had death wobble took it to Les schwab ,didn’t believe me either. So took one of their mechanics on a test drive over my favorite bump…He believes me now! Scared the $&$$ out of him. Had to take it to a specialist to get it fixed.
I have a 13′ RAM 2500 4×4 crew cab that I had death wobble on starting at 38K miles and less than 1.5yrs old. I took it to the dealer where I bought it and they said they couldn’t find anything wrong with it (this was before I knew about death wobble). It happened again about 1 week after I’d taken it to the shop so I did some research and then took it back and told the dealer that this truck had death wobble. They checked the truck again and now say that the steering column is loose, steering dampener is leaking, and drag link and tie rod end are worn??!! I’m like what!? You just had this in your shop last week and said nothing was wrong but now that I say it’s got death wobble you want to admit there is a problem? So they call me and tell me it’s going to be about $700 to replace the parts and I stay calm and tell them that’s not going to fly. I told them that they need to go back to Ram and that there is no way any reasonable person would pay for a repair like this with 2000 miles out of warranty and not even 1.5yrs old. They called me back an hour later and said Ram would warranty it. After the repair I asked them if they put upgraded parts that resolved this issue longterm and all they could say was that they replaced the worn parts with the same parts but new. I guess I’ll drive it a few thousand miles more and trade it on a Ford or Chevy. Damn shame b/c it is so close to being a perfect truck. Matt
I bought a 1500 Dodge extended cab new in 1998 and the first time I experienced the “Death Wobble” it caught me completely by surprise. I hit a pothole in the road and it immediately set up a violent shaking in the front end. I had to immediately brake down to about ten miles per hour to get it to stop or have the entire front end shake off. If you happen to have a tailgater close behind you, I don’t know what would happen. It shakes so violently it would soon do major damage. When I hit the pothole it set up a bouncing like dribbling a basketball that continues until you slow down to stop the dribble rhythm. In my case the fault was in the belts in the tires separating and new tires solved the problem but you are uneasy after that and eventually it did happen again and I wondered if it had happened to others. Now I know and it is really a terrifying experience when it happens.
Your description matches what happened to me. I have a 2000 3500 dually with 354,000 miles.
It happened the first time two weeks ago on a pothole ridden California steet. It happened again yesterday on a highway entrance. Unnerving to say the least.
I have a 1994 dodge cummins , that i bought from a guy that was the original owner . He used it for plowing. Lets just say he had no maintenance plan and was very frugal. I have had the truck for about 6 months and have had a lot of work on the front end . I too have experienced the death roll .But not my first time, i had a cj5a military jeep maybe around late 50 or early 60. It also had the death roll i ended up putting a stabilizer shock on it , that took care of it for the most part. Also the jeep was all stock.
I have a 2013 ram deisel 3500 crew cab drw that I bought new. I now have 14350 miles on it and just experienced the death wobble going across a bridge going about 50 mph. I guess I worried to much about the engine and didn’t know dodge had a front end problem. I have an appointment on Friday.
Peter, we have the same issue on our Dodge ram 2013 3500. have yours been fixed – what was causing it?
It’s a 2004 Dodge 2500 4×4 and I have seen the Death Wobble while following this truck… it’s scary when seen while following and my son was driving it… His words “What the F***” and this was driving it about 35 to 40 MPH down a country road… Once on the highway he still would not drive over 40 MPH… He stated we can tow to the shop but “I’m not driving it”…
“The Death Wobble is real and it’s a Death Trap”… there should be a class action suit against Dodge for this one…
I have a 2006 3500 dually. I put new tires on 7 mos. ago and had firestone align the front end. Both tires are worn out on the outside edges already and now I have experienced this “death wobble”. The truck has 215,000 miles on it but I bought it used w/ 176,000. I only drive it on the weekends but am always towing. The wobble has only happened twice both times after hitting a bump and going over rr tracks at high way speed. I’ll replace the front end and hope to correct the problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
We just had the u-joints, rods, replaced/repaired on Tuesday, April 28th. Yesterday, on the way back home from work, the “death wobble” struck not only once, but twice. The only way to stop it is to reduce your speed drastically and when the highway is full of vehicles around you, this becomes very dangerous. Today, April 30, on the way to work this morning, again the “death wobble” struck. I have a 2006 Dodge Mega Cab and until three months ago, we had no issues with the front end. I agree, Dodge needs to recall and fix this problem. Had I not been able to move off to the side of the road as quickly as I had, I would have been in a horrendous accident this morning. Thank you to the semi drivers who quickly moved into the left passing lane, or I would be history today.
I have read a lot of comments on the death wobble, but I fixed it on my 1994 Dodge Diesel way back in 1995 before the name of death wobble was even thought of.
It shook so hard I had to stop in the middle of the freeway and start again several times.
I simply replaced the steering stabilizer and that fixed it until I sold the truck at over 500,000 miles without another shake. By the way the frontend was completely wore out
and still didn’t shake.
Yeah, the steering stabilizer upgrade does resolve it for many people. Glad it worked out for you.
what namebrand did you use
what name brand of steering damper did you use.
and another note on this situation of death wobble if there is too much up and down play in your upper & lower balljoints your your wheels & knuckle assembly can bounce violently within your axle housing causing loss of contact to the road.
I have a 2000 dodge ram 4×4 2500 cummins, and i just got the death wobble in the front end. What parts are the problem?
All of them, sorry 🙁
The root cause of the ‘death wobble’ vibration is the frame assembly being excited (by the front axle assembly) at the natural frequency. When this happens the oscillation is self-amplifying and can literally tear stuff apart if not dampened (typically by applying the brakes and slowing until the ‘excitation’ is removed and the energy (of the shaking is dissapated). That’s the easy part …how to prevent it from occurring is harder. There are two culprits that together cause the problem: 1) the source of the excitation, the front axle and suspension assembly, and 2) the inherent flexibility of a pick-up truck frame because of the gap between the cab and the bed. There is no ‘superstructure’ to stiffen the frame at this point. If you jump up and down in the front of the bed at just the right rate, the frame will flex like a spring . The just-right rate depends on a number of things, but wheelbase is the biggest variable. All ladder type frames have relatively low natural frequency – other things being equal, the longer the frame the lower the frequency that will cause the frame to flex in-synch with the front axle shake and at the least scare the crap out of you! Worse yet, makes you fear your truck!
If you’re still with me – hang in there, sorry to be such a geek. I own (from new) a ’94 2500 CTD 4×4 (manual) and have come to know the front suspension pretty well.
Another major component of how the frame responds is where, in relation to the axles does the cab-to-bed ‘split’ occur. The bed and cab separately stiffen the frame below, so a long bed-short(er) cab will flex differently than a short bed-long(er) cab. There seem to be (too) many late-model ‘mega-cabs’ listed above, that frame combination might be ‘just right’ (just wrong!) to ‘dance-with-the-axle.’ Also note that loads in the bed behind the rear axle (including the tongue weight of a trailer) tend to ‘unload’ the section of the frame between the bed and cab… the ‘unloaded’ frame can flex more easily. Keep in mind that the ‘death-wobble’ involves the frame too, the suspension and steering just supply the right ‘excitation’ to get the frame to act like a tuning fork.
Rapidly wearing suspension components are a symptom, not a cause. Tie rod ends, even worse ball joints, that are shot in 30k miles have been beaten to death by the elements they are trying to hold together. Something is shaking to initiate the wear, then the looser it gets the worse it gets.
Okay, here are some suggestions…
Tires first… this front end design is very sensitive to tire ‘tracking’ and balance, even pressure. There are some really ‘bad’ tires on the market (some with very ‘good’ names). Out of balance and/or poor tracking tires work the tie rod ends.
Check the (non-serviceable) wheel bearings, if they’re loose – the wheel will shake even if it is balanced (at twice the rotational speed/frequency) and tear up the ball joints.
Shocks! Keeping the front axle on the pavement and dampening any bounce is the best defense against any and all bad behavior. The OEM shocks should be replaced no later than 30k miles, and invest in super-premium shocks… plan on replacing them at perhaps double that interval. Like tires, shocks wear out and that makes the death wobble all the easier. Check the spring towers for cracks when they change the shocks.
Drag Link !!! Two reputable front end shops inspected and aligned my CDT 4×4 and declared all was well (even though it still pulled to the right). I then found a guy that got into the pit and showed me the very shot bushing on the frame end of the Drag Link (Track Bar). Big difference – he told me ‘they all do that but nobody looks.’
The vibration characteristics of the frame are mostly beyond our control, but consider that altering the frame response to prevent the amplification of the input is the “A” fix… quieting the front axle is important, but the frame may still want to dance. Consider adding a skid plate or diagonal bracing, particularly near the cab-bed gap. Structurally the goal is to stiffen the frame against twisting forces. The death wobble occurs when the left and right frame rails are oscillating in opposition to one another with the front axle in perfect opposition. Increase the natural frequency of the frame to a higher value than the frequency of the energy from the axle assembly … no wobble.
Chrysler should be able to analyze the character of each frame-cab-bed combination and add some stiffening components to the frame and significantly reduce the problem.
I love my truck and it has served me well – but it’s a long way from perfect. For the record mine is a long bed-regular cab and has not yet ‘wobbled.’ I have experienced the death wobble in a x-military jeep and another solid-front-axle vehicle. I hope mine never does!
Hope this helps, nobody should be afraid of their truck.
Wish I had known this about 5 mos., ago going down the freeway the wobble took me by surprise. loosing an A-frame was the only thing I could compare it to …
I own a Dodge 3500 diesel 4WD and bought it used with 195,000 miles on it. It is in excellent condition except for the classic front end problems. Initially, I’m surprised I wasn’t pulled over for drunk driving.
I did have a 2500 diesel with 135,000 miles that got totaled, which had no front end problems at all strangely.
Anyway I’ve spent a great deal of money on the 04 trying to solve the problem. I installed a rebuilt steering box first and a heavy steel brace across the front that improved thing’s somewhat but not enough.
Then I went with the upgraded later steering geometry plus the massive Borgeson steering box and shaft and that improved thing’s to an acceptable level but it is still not right. The front end is tight and the Borgeson upgrade is undeniably an improvement but the truck still wanders some, something not experienced with the 05. The only thing I can think of is the connection between the steering wheel and the top of the Borgeson steering shaft recently installed. Any help?
I got the “Death Wobble on My 1999 Dodge sport. Traveling down the highway at 70 mph, hit a hole and I saw my life flash in front of my eyes. I thought the truck fell apart. I put a new steering damper on, and it tightened the steering a bit, still get that wobble. How do I fix it. I’m putting new shocks on, the bushings look like the need replacing. Any suggestions
I don’t own one of the Dodge trucks all of you are talking about, but I do have a 01 Jeep Cherokee. My Cherokee is 4wd with solid axle in the front. I was experiencing severe Death Wobble at highway speeds above 63 or so mph, nearly every time I hit a rough spot on the road. This happened over several months, just couldn’t figure out what was causing it. I checked my suspension all the way around, found only a stabilizer bar on the front broken,everything else was good to go. I repaired this but the wobble issue still remained…finally dawned on me to check my wheels. Found the culprit! In my case, I had mud(dirt) build-up inside two of my four rims which was throwing the wheels off balance. I cleaned all 4 wheels and the problem is gone! It’s been 6 months and no more issues. What I’m saying is check your wheels(or have them checked)for good balance and keep em clean.
Wow! I was beginning to think I was going nuts until I finally reached this Post on October 27, 2011 by Diesel Power Products. I found this 1998 Dodge 1500 Laramie 2wd 5.2l engine with 96K mileage and with the body in excellent shape for being 17 years old. I recently replaced the most everything underneath . Upper and lower ball joints, coil springs, shocks, front and rear brakes, break hardware, calipers, pads, rear drums, shoes, break wheel cylinders, hubs,……everything except the drive shaft.
I have to admit, I was not happy with the way the truck handled even after a front end alignment. I kept checking to see what the heck was causing the hard road hits and the vertical shock jumping after-affect. I could not find anything written about this response until now.
I would welcome any suggestion from those who have the experience to know, on what I will need to, do to correct this problem for good. I put a lot of money into this truck so far and hoping I can correct with not a lot more money to add.
Rides nice on smooth roads, but not all roads are smooth and I crindge every time an unexpected bump in the road acts like a hard hit followed by the vertical shock jumping.
07 Dodge2500 125,000 mile just had the death wobble on highway, coming home from work. Scared the hell out of me , though the truck was falling apart. Just bought it 5,000 miles ago. Should of bought a Toyota full size. Had 03 Dodge2500 single cab never had any problems. Not to mention the transmission problems vibration on slow take off .feels like belts slipping
I have an 04 cummins, 200k, broken front coil spring, I had no issues with death wobble until I replaced the front coil springs, went with a “heavy duty” spring setup which raised the front end a little higher than the back. Also at this time replaced the ball joints and put on a new steering stabilizer shock. At first I noticed a slight shimmy going over raised bumps in the road, now it has gotten as bad as feeling like both front tires jump off the road alternatively. I replaced all 4 shocks and that really helped but didn’t fix altogether so we opted to put on the upgraded front end set up and now it’s worse. This is a frustrating issue. Loved the truck until this happened, it never wore tires funny and always tracked straight. Think I will try the heavy duty dual steering stabilizer setup. If that doesn’t work going to put stock springs back on, any suggestions are welcome.
I have a 2006 longhorn edition 4×4 hemi. I purchased this truck with 4000 miles on it. I had heard of the so called death wobble but had never experienced it.
I recently drove my truck on a road trip. As I was traveling down the highway at 80 miles an hour. I hit a slight bump. The truck started bouncing so violently that it simply was a miracle that I was not killed. Or anybody else.
The truck was uncontrollable. As I hit my brakes to slow down. Other drivers saw what was occurring and slowed down around me. So as not to cause a pile up on the interstate.
As I slowed and pulled off the interstate the truck continued to bounce (shake). I literally had to come down to 5 mph before it stopped. I parked the truck in the emergency lane. Got out expecting to find a broken steering component. Only to find none. In disbelief I got in truck and SLOWY pulled away !!!! I arriving at destination with no more issues.
On return journey. Same thing. Small bump. Uncontrollable bouncing.
After returning home I took truck to alignment shop. Everything OK. No problem. Truck only has 13,000 miles. So I put new tie rod ends. New Rancho 9000 shocks. Front dual stabilizer. New tires. Another alignment. Drive it again on interstate. Same issue.
Like all who have experienced this issue. It is hard to explain how bad it is when this occurs.
To say this issue is a health hazard is a complete understatement. How many accidents have actually occurred due to this is hard to say. I would dare to say more than needed. Due to lack of acknowledgement from Dodge I dare say there will be even more.
To continually throw money at a obvious design flaw is useless. That is why it is called a design flaw. Like many. I will simply sell truck. I thought purchasing a newer model would be a better option. After reading. Obviously Dodge still continues to sell trucks with continuing steering design flaws. Perhaps class action lawsuit is only way force Dodge to reconsider selling poorly designed trucks.
I have a 1500 dodge Ram 2006 and I have the same thing to happen . I got a recall on the control arm, And the dealer toll me that it was all right . So I toll him to drive the truck on the freeway win he came back he toll me that I don’t need to drive that truck anymore. I replaced all the parts on the front end nothing works.
THIS IS DEFINITELY WORTH LOOKING INTO!!!!!! I have 98 DODGE SPORT 1500 5.2L 4X4, and this fixed my problem. I have also replaced right outter tie rod, upper and lower ball joints, over time prior to this.
2006 Dodge Ram diesel..ok guys , when you give up
On all your attempts to fix ur death wabble.
Just buy the steering stabilizer bar and bring in
The alignment tow 1/4″ from dodge specs, and your problem
Will be fixed.
I just did this to my 2001.5 ram 2500 4×4. napa gold ball joints, 2003 steering retro tie rod set, steering box stabilizer, track bar retro kit, 2010 pro comp dual stabilizers, borgenson steering box and shaft , plus new bearing hubs. the only thing is one has to use 4 inch neg offset wheels on front to clear tie rod steering joints ends so not to hit wheels.
I just experienced the death wobble yesterday—’96 2500 4 wheel drive….. i’d heard of the wobble, but never experienced it…..I wasn’t on the freeway, so slowed down with no problem—it did it 3 times in about a 10 mile drive….. will take it in and have it checked and fixed if possible……. then probably sell the truck…. don’t want to deal with that anymore down the road……. I can definitely see that if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, it could be a real problem……
okay looking at the pictures, they are definitely wrong with the labels, because i have a 99 ram cummins and the steering set up is exactly like the picture labeled 2009+…
So unless i am missing something here ( i know for a fact the truck is not been modified with the new set up because parts are readily available) then something isnt right. but either way, even that newer set up is still a pain and has issues, there are fixes out there for it too, such as more solid mount points for the gear box as well as twin stabilizer kits etc. Also replacing bushings with poly’s help a lot. ive seen it stiffen suspension with nothing but doing poly’s for tie rod ends.
Brandon, thanks for the response, and you are exactly correct, as 1999 model years, and only 1999 model years, they were an anomaly in the fact they had the T-Style steering. We have questioned dealers why they went with the T-style for a year and then abandoned, but have never gotten a solid response. The main difference between yours and the one produced in 2008.5 is the sheer diameter of the bars, as they went to a more robust drag link and center link with the new iteration. Great catch on your part, and we couldn’t agree more that changing the bushings to polyurethane is a big improvement. Thanks again.
2006 dodge 3500 Cummings quad cab short bed.100 tho miles.no death wobble till steering upgrade to 2009 linkage without stabililizer.installed 09 stabilizer and went away?all Napa parts.1/2 parts made in USA 1/2 parts made in Taiwan?i feel every small bump in the road.it feels like it’s always ready to death wobble but steering shock won’t let it.did ball joints @90 thousand moog brand.shocks are bilsteins.LOST ALL TRUST IN TRUCK.tow in set with tape to 3/16 with 315/70R17 tires.goin to try more tow in.also have Chevy Dana 60 in a rock crawler that only death wobbles @ 40 mph with 40″tires.2 of 9 lives r gone.TWO steering box sector shafts have sheared off.YUCK!
2001.5 just did whole front end. napa gold ball joints, hubs, ujoints, seals . 03 retro drag link, 03 retro t style tie rod set. steering box stabilizer bracket, 2010 dual procomp stabiizers, borgenson steering box and column with ujoints. key is to use 4 inch backspace wheels to clear tie rod ends. 12 to 1 steering over stock NO wander at all. alien toe at neg 1/16 to neg 1/8. better then new as I found the new ball joints at the time had more then a 1/4 inch plat up and down from the factory.
I have the same issue with the death wobble .it’s very unnerving to be on a long haul and this happen .I took my truck to the dealer and they said the front end was fine . That it was my tires .I have a 2008 3500 .I have done some research and have found that the original tires are garbage . Most come with general ameritracs . These tires have a tendency to unravel inside at speeds of 75 to 85 mph . I’m sure my front end does need work but these generals are pure garbage .
Brian, Aug. 14/2016 Very interesting series of sagas. I have a 97 Dodge 2500 diesel 4X4 “Club Cab” with over 700,000 miles on it since new. During the 1st year I owned it(purchased brand new) I replaced the track bar 3 times, because of steering wander. I also had an independent shop do front end work. The ball joints & the tie rod ends were replace with Moog premium parts. I have never ever experienced the “death wobble” or any shimmy, wobble, vibration etc., that wasn’t the fault of a tire(s). Replacing the tire(s) in question always restored normal driving experience. I recently replaced the tie rod ends, a worn Pitman arm & ball joints for the second time in over 700,000 miles. I usually drive by myself, I never exceed the speed limit (intentionally that is, simply because Alberta has the highest traffic fines in North America) & I rarely have more than 2 or 3 hundred pounds in the box. I rarely pull a trailer, & then a single axle unit with never more than a thousand pounds & only for short distances…..usually less than 50 miles. I have at least a dozen friends or neighbors that own Dodge trucks from 91 on up through new, & none of them have experienced the infamous death wobble. I don’t doubt it exists. I owned a 78 GMC 1 ton 4X4 that would react exactly as posters here have described & under the same trigger conditions …..bump, pot hole,RR tracksetc. The truck was uncontrollable & could have the wobble stopped only by SEVERE application of brakes & coming to nearly a complete stop. The problem was bad “king pin” bushings. Now before someone calls me a liar , because 78 GMC trucks did not have “king pins” , I am referring to the bushings that the steering arms rotated the wheels about, what ever the proper name is. I agree with those who believe a class action suit should be brought against Chrysler to at least repair the problem. Not being a lawyer, I was unaware that having filed for bankruptcy indemnified the company from law suits. Good luck to you all & thanks for a lot of very interesting info & the opportunity to learn a few things.
I purchased my 2004 2500 4×4 longbed crewcab new. I have had this problem since day one. I repeatedly was looked at like I was crazy when trying to explain at the dealership. Believe it or not I started to drive the truck differently. When I hit a bump on the freeway I have learned to let off the gas and start braking before the truck vilantly starts to dismantle or kill me. I had never thought to google search this issue. I’m glad I did and I’m hoping there is a fix for this. I’m sure there have been fatel casulties regarding this issue.
i AM TRYING TO FIND OUT if A 2007 1500 Mega Cag I have been told that the front end is the same on a 2500 reg cab and a 1500 Mega cab I need to repair this seen I use it for work and can NOT take off. PLease Phone me 208 201 3554 or txt or [email protected] Thank you for your time!!!!
You are correct, the majority of the front end components on a 1500 Mega Cab are the same as the 2500 and 3500 models. The 1500 Mega Cabs are considered a heavy duty half ton, featuring 8 lug wheels and ball joints and steering components that are exactly the same as their heavier duty counter parts. We will have someone contact you for further details.
Yes, the 2007 Ram 1500 Magacab utilizes the same suspension components as the 2500/3500. Give us a ring and we will get you the parts you need to repair your truck! 888-993-4373
Original owner of `96, 2500, 2wd long bed diesel (300K miles); I always experienced Death Woble & Rambling Steering. I equated it to steering a camel, smack the camel on the side of its head with a camel crop to adjust steering & direction of travel. I replaced several steering boxes, even a super heavy custom built one from a racing mfg failed, along with numerous ball joints / tie rod ends. Problem is now resolved with the addition of a cross member bolted between the frame rails & a mounted bearing which stabilizes the shaft (emanating from the steering gear box)for the Pitman Arm to Tie rod. The problem was FRAME FLEXURE originating from the moving Mass of a 4K lb engine jumping up & down from street bumps while rigidly fix to the frame, resulting in the frame flexing. This flexing is transferred to the steering gear box ( internal components) & tie rod ends/ball joints via the rigid bars comprising the steering /suspension. The constant movement from flexing frame also transfers stress to the steering gear which wears it out & further fosters “Death Wobble.” The “Fix”, cost $125, & was a commercially made aftermarket part. Don’t know if it is still available. Also, I owned a `62 M37 (Dodge Power Wagon) it too developed “Death Woble”. A simple fix was new old stock (NOS) Tie Rod Ball Joints from military supplier, they were 1.5″ diameter & weighed appx 5+ lbs each. A superior part from those replaced on the `96 Ram. Problem resolved. Also, the M37 did not experience any frame flexing. It had a, (massive beast) 5 ton Braden PTO winch spanning the gap between the frame rails.
I did this to my 2001.5 2500 and more.
Tie rod, 09 upgrade, drag link retro kit, stabilizer steering box bar kit, hubs, ball joints, ujoints, dual stabilizers 2010 t link kit, steering box, ujoint shaft, will work for 01 and 02 2500 with , have to have 4 inch neg offset rims.
I have a 1998 Dodge D2500 4×4 w/ a 24 valve Cummins 5.9L. I bought the truck about a year ago from my father-in-law’s company. Right before I bought it he put about $3000 into the front end to fix the “loose” drifting. I didn’t notice any improvement after I bought it and upon inspection I can’t see any “new” parts in the front end area.
My question is: What is the best way to fix the “loose” steering in the front end? (it gets bad at 40+ MPH) The truck drifts all over the road. Would a new stabilizer be enough? I have seen threads about a Redhead steering box?
Thank you in advance for your help,
Many items can cause play in the front end, however there are some key components that tend to be the main issue in these trucks. Components such as the Steering gear box, Track bar, Steering linkage, Ball joints, and Control arms are generally most common.
To diagnose what parts need to be replaced can be difficult. We would recommend to have someone who is very experienced with these trucks give it a run down to check all components above. The steering stabilizer will not fix your issue, although it may help. This is commonly referred to putting a band aid on a large wound. Will it help, yes. But would it fix the issue properly, no.
We would suggest to start off checking each item in the steering system for play. When the components are found that need to be replaced, we would recommend upgrading them to a more heavy duty component. Items like the Red Head Box, Synergy Track bar, Carli control arms are upgrades that are worth investing in to ensure longer life and better drive-ability.
Hi my name is Lucas from argentina. I recently bought a 97 dodge 2500 pickup. The front end is destroyed. Here in argentina we don t have parts for 97 ram. so I have to order and ship to argentina. I need a complete list of parts for the front end.
for these trucks there can be a laundry list of recommended upgrade parts for the front of these trucks. We highly recommend verifying what needs to be replaced first. As a rule of thumb we would recommend the big key components first. Here are the parts we recommend.
BD Steering Box Stabilizer:
Red Head Steering box:
Synergy Track Bar Mount:
Synergy Track Bar:
Synergy HD steering System:
I was in a car accident and I am having brain injuries. (98 dodge 4×4 with 5.9 cunnins. I forgot to mark the front drive shaft and installed all the u joints. It is a split shaft, Is there any way to line up the shaft to reinstall which way do the cardian u joints line up to the front u joint. I am getting a rough vibration between 90 100 klms, Also can feel as it is in 4×4 when going slow on dry pavement. Any answqers guys. Thanks in advance
seems like a vg site to ask thanks again
I have a 2013 dodge 3500 diesel … now I have read that dodge fix the ” Death Wobble” as of the 2013 and up … well my truck had the steering box shaft break when driving and i hit 4 other cars.. the insurance fix the truck , i have put only 7000 miles on it and now I have the “Death Wobble” problem with it… I’m in the process of reinforcing the steering box and the axle stabilizer bar… Any other suggestions ???? I have other friends that have newer Dodge truck and we ALL have the same problem… So if dodge says that they have fixed the problem . they LIED…..
I have a 08 1500 with the hemi. I had the death wobble too. I fixed the issue by mistake actually. I bought a new 2″ leveling kit from procomp that came with the 2″ coilover spacers and new shocks. After i assembled the 2″ leveling kit i snapped the stabilizing arms (due to rust) and didnt have any way to go to the parts store. I then remembered that i had some stabilizing arms for a 04 silverado. They were about 1.5 inches longer than the originals but since i added a 2″ leveling kit i figured it wouldnt hurt. I was right. Not only did it not hurt anything but i no longer have the death wobble. Im not sure it it was the stabilizing arms or the leveling kit but all in all it only cost $200
i am not experiencing the death wobble, thankfully. i do however have a vibration at 58 mph or higher. the faster the worse it gets. i have done wheel alignments balance rotation balljoints wheelhubs tirers , and it has been at 4 diff shops. no one can find or fix it. about the only thing i have not done is change tie rods, draglink and such.. truck is an 06 2500 cummins 4×4. any help would be greatly apreciated.
Thank you for the inquiry. In most cases, a vibration as you’re describing is caused by tires or hubs, but obviously you changed those and the problem persisted. In some instances, looseness in a u-joint or a steering linkage can cause this vibration. If its due to a steering linkage, however, you’ll typically see some amount of abnormal tire wear. When you had the truck at the differential shops, did they inspect the ring gear for any abnormal wear?
I have a 2000 dodge van ..I’m lucky to be alive!! Class action suit!! Yes!! I have replaced everything front end related.. several times! Have lost ball joints twice complete failure at over 60 mph!!! Help!!??
I have 1998 dodge ram 2500 12 valve. Front end steering is completely stock and I am getting ready to replace all parts using moog. I ran across this article and saw that “changing the geometry” might be beneficial. Is this possible for the Gen 2 Dodge Rams?
Hi there and thanks for the inquiry. Yes, there are several ways to accomplish this on the 2nd Gens, as well, and yes, it is beneficial. The best option out there is using the Synergy Heavy Duty Steering Kit. This is substantially beefier compared to the original steering, both in terms of the drag link and center link, as well as the tie rods themselves. The other option that some will go is to retrofit the factory steering linkage from a 2008.5-2012 Ram, which is what was being retrofitted by the dealers for the 2003-2008’s. We’ve had one of our employee’s 2nd Gens originally retrofitted with the factory conversion, but it does require you to actually cut off part of the upper tie rod as its too long for the 2nd Gens, however, the tie rod tapers and everything else is a perfect match, but again, not specifically built for your application. This is another reason the Synergy system is a better option and why on that same truck, it was later changed out for the Synergy system. For both, you will also need to replace the steering damper. Below are links to both options so you can check them out in more detail. As always, if you have any other questions, please let us know.
Yes i have a 2008 dodge ram 2500 with short box and mega cab , well have had the death wobble for some time now the first time it happened it scared the shit out of me and i thought it was the end . I had my garage look at it the ball joints on both sides were bad had them changed hoping that it was fixed but no had the steering box change and a tie rod end changed still not fixing the death wobble . Now in the last two weeks changed the bottom arms that go from the axle to the frame and the shock on the steering arm , well guess what still have the wobble . And by what i have read here dodge does not want to do a thing about it and i am not sure what to do next i have spent close to $2000.00 on this problem to date and can’t just let it set in the yard to rot , also put new tires on for another $1600.00 and dodge still well not do anything .What are these companies waiting for people to be KILLED over this .
Very sorry to hear of the troubles your Ram is giving you, but lets see if we can help. First and foremost, with your truck being a 2008, if its an earlier model year 2008, it would have come from the factory with what is known as the Y-Style Steering, as opposed to the later models receiving a T-Style. The easiest way to check on your truck is if the steering stabilizer shock attaches to the tie rod/center link using a bolt that goes through the tie rod, you have the Y-Style, but if its clamped on using two u-bolts, then its the T-Style. If you have the Y-Style, that could be your issue as this design basically has a pivot point between the two front wheels. If this is the case, I’d recommend upgrading at least to the Mopar T-Style Steering Kit found here:
And for a bigger upgrade, the Synergy HD Steering is a solid solution, which would also be a good investment even if you already have the factory T-style steering:
Both of these options will require you to replace the steering stabilizer with one that is designed for use with this style of steering. That said, a good steering stabilizer is imperative in controlling the front end and aiding in the prevention of Death Wobble.
Next, you didn’t mention your track bar being replaced. The factory bushings can wear on this and will cause slop in the steering and axle as a result, which can, yes, also cause Death Wobble. Now, if your truck is lifted or even leveled, upgrading the track bar is even more important because the track bar should, in theory, be parallel to the drag link (bar coming off of the pitman arm). As the truck is even leveled, it will shift the axle towards the drivers side and increase the pitch of the track bar. By upgrading to an aftermarket, quality track bar, you’ll not only gain the ability to lengthen the track bar to recenter the axle, you’ll also gain vastly stronger joints that will eliminate any slop you most likely currently have. We’ve had great luck with the below line of track bars to help eliminate this issue:
And lastly, sector shaft play coming out of the gearbox can also cause this violent shaking essentially right at the source. While your gearbox has been replaced, obviously I’m uncertain as to the integrity of the box, but assuming it is of high quality, its still a very good idea to add a steering box brace that will prevent ANY play of the sector shaft by tying it directly to the frame. Here’s an example:
I hope this information helps you determine the root cause of your issue and gets your Ram on the road again safely. If you have any other questions, please let us know.
I experienced the death wobble for the first time this summer 2022, in my 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 Deuley with what I consider low miles (about 126000 approximately), (previous owner had upper and lower front end ball joints and steer gear box, replaced at 81632 date 09/02/14) just like you said, coming off a bridge, stopped and did a visual inspection, I thought that I had a flat tire or loose or damaged front end, shook my head and got back in drove away no further trouble. Now I know. The only front end work I had done previously was installing steering stabalizer at time of new front tires and alignment.
Les, while it was a good start replacing the ball joints and gear box, there’s definitely a few items that can cause Death Wobble that should be addressed. I also personally have a 2004 Ram, albeit its a 2500 SRW, but same front end. I bought the truck with 191k on it, and immediately went through the front end, including ball joints, Red-Head Steering Gear, Mopar T-Style Steering, Rock Krawler Track Bar, SuspensionMaxx Sway Bar End Links, wheel bearings, and I may be missing a few things. The truck now has about 230k on it, and just the other day, had to go pick up a vehicle and I had one of our guys here at the shop drive it, and they immediately mentioned how nice it steered. Anyways, the moral of the story is that there are items that should still be addressed as they are truly the culprits of Death Wobble, most notably the steering linkage and track bar. Here’s some recommendations for you:
im looking for crossmember bushing 5211314aa dealer do not carry any more
That part number doesn’t pull up whatsoever for me, but if you could please call in and describe the vehicle application and which exact bushing you’re looking for, we may be able to find an aftermarket alternative. Our phone number is (509) 473-9588 or you can also e-mail [email protected]