F250 death wobble refers to the excessive shaking of the steering wheel at high speeds. Loose or worn-out components in the steering and suspension system are mainly responsible for it. Uneven tire wear and bad brake rotors can also accelerate death wobble. Certain lawsuits can be filed for this issue.
But, that’s not all. So, read the article till the end to learn more about F250 death wobble.
What is the F250 Death Wobble?
The death wobble causes the steering to rattle excessively. Thus, the vehicle becomes hard to steer and the driver loses control.
Mostly, this problem occurs while hitting a bump or driving on an imperfect road at speeds more than 50-60 km/hr. The speed has to be lowered to stop the shaking.
What F250 Models Have Death Wobble?
2005-2019 F250 models are especially known for death wobble. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received over 1200 complaints about these models. Lawsuits suggest that Ford has known this problem for about 15 years now.
F250 Death Wobble- Causes And Solutions
There are many reasons why death wobble happens in the F250. Here, we’ve listed the reasons and their solutions.
Reason 1: Worn-Out or Loose Track Bar Joints
If the track bar is loose, you’ll hear noises from under the vehicle. Especially while driving the vehicle slowly or over bumps. Aside from the steering, the vehicle will also feel wobbling.
Solution: Tighten or Replace Track Bars
First, let’s see how you can adjust the track bars in your vehicle. Not all track bars are adjustable. So, first, find out if your track bars are adjustable. If they are, you will see an adjustment mechanism. For example, a threaded rod with a nut on each end.
For adjustment, you’ll need the following tools:
- Measuring Tape
- Ratchet strap
- 13/16″ Socket
- 24mm Socket
- 30mm Socket
- Torque Wrench
- 24mm Wrench (optional)
Now, just follow the process below:
Step 1: Locate the track bar on the rear of your vehicle. It will extend from one side of the vehicle to the other, with bushings at each end.
Step 2: Begin by loosening and removing the bolts securing the track bar. These bolts are typically 15 millimeters in size. Use a breaker bar if necessary to loosen stubborn bolts. You might also need to hammer it slightly.
Step 3: Once the bolts are removed, carefully remove the old track bar. Inspect the bushings for wear or damage, as they may need replacement.
Step 4: Position the new track bar in place. Ensure that it spans from one side of the vehicle to the other.
Step 5: Insert the bolts through the mounting brackets on both ends of the track bar. Tighten the bolts using a wrench. Start with them snug but not fully tightened.
Step 6: Align the track bar as needed to fit into any slots or grooves on the brackets. Once aligned, fully tighten the bolts on both ends of the track bar.
Step 7: Apply Loctite to the threads of the 4 Allen bolts on the track bar collar, then reinstall them.
Step 8: Double-check that all bolts are securely tightened, and the track bar is properly aligned and in place.
Step 9: Take the vehicle for a test drive to ensure that the track bar replacement has resolved any stability or handling issues.
If your track bars aren’t adjustable or too worn out, replace them. It’ll cost you about $202-$217 to replace them with professionals. But, you can save the labor cost of $55-$70 if you replace it yourself. Here, you can watch this video for a guideline:
Reason 2: Worn-Out Or lose Control Arm
If the control arm is corroded or loose, you’ll hear clunking, squeaking, and snapping sounds. In addition, you’ll face control issues while pulling the car on one side of the road. You’ll also notice uneven tire wear.
Solution: Tighten or Replace Control Arms
Now, if the control arms are loose, you can tighten them too. Here, you’ll have to be careful about the preload. Here, check the torque setting prescribed by the manufacturer.
But, if the control arm is too worn-out, you’ll have to replace it. You might need to replace both your upper and lower control arms. For that, you’ll need the tools below:
- Safety Glass
- Rubber mallet
- Metal brush
- Thread locker
- Torque wrench
Now, just follow the steps below:
Step 1: First, park your car and lift it up for work. Wear safety glasses for protection.
Step 2: Locate the jam nuts on the tie rods and loosen them. These nuts will need adjustment later to set the alignment.
Step 3: Identify and remove the cotter pins that secure the tie rod ends. You can use pliers or wire cutters to remove them.
Step 4: If the tie rods are stuck, use vice grips to grip them and tap on the vice grips with a hammer to loosen and remove the tie rods.
Step 5: Loosen the adjusting nuts on the tie rods. These nuts secure the tie rod ends to the inner tie rods.
Step 6: Remove the nuts that secure the tie rod ends to the inner tie rods. You may need to use a pickle fork to separate them.
Step 7: Replace the old tie rods with new ones. It’s recommended to replace both tie rods if one is being replaced.
Step 8: If needed, install new adjusting sleeves to maintain proper alignment. Ensure they are adjusted to the same length as the old ones.
Step 9: Tighten the nuts that secure the tie rod ends to the inner tie rods. Once tightened, insert new cotter pins to secure them in place.
Step 10: Ensure that all components are properly tightened and secured. Do not forget to lock down the adjusting bolts. It’s crucial to perform a professional alignment after this procedure to ensure accurate alignment.
With that, your control arms should be ready to go. But, this procedure might slightly vary from the F250 control arm replacement process. So, you can watch this video for further guidance:
You could also get them installed by professionals. It will cost about $500-$700. Although, it may vary depending on the model of your vehicle.
Reason 3: Worn-Out Or Loose Shock
If the shock is loose or worn out, it’ll drive toward the ground while braking. You’ll feel excessive bouncing while driving the car. Even while accelerating, the rear of your vehicle will squat excessively. You’ll also notice fluids leaking out of your shock.
Solution: Adjust Or Replace Shocks
Over time, the ride height of the shocks might get compromised. Here, just adjusting the ride height again should solve the problem. You can watch this video on how to adjust the ride height:
F150 Vertex Coil Adjustment With Basic Tools. Normally, you can follow the steps for F150 for F250.
If the shocks need to be replaced, first, jack up the vehicle to support the weight. Then, remove the nuts of the shock with a wrench. Get the old shock out and take the new one.
Put new rubber mountings and washer on the new shock. Attach the bolts and fasteners of the shock according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You can also watch this video for visual aids:
You can also get the shocks repaired for $250-$580 with professional help.
Reason 4: Worn-Out Or Loose Ball Joints
In case of bad ball joints, the cabin will vibrate harshly. You’ll hear a rattling or clunking noise coming from under the vehicle. In this case, also, the front tires will wear out unevenly.
Solution: Tighten Or Replace Ball Joints
If the ball joints just spin, tightening should fix the problem. Here, you can watch this video on how to tighten ball joints:
But, if the ball joints are bad you’ll have to replace them. Here, you can follow this easy guide:
Step 1: Park the vehicle and jack it up. Then, remove the wheel from the vehicle.
Step 2: Remove the ABS sensor. You can watch this video for help:
Step 3: Remove the clamp and wiggle out the locking hub. Then, remove the snap ring to take out the washers and spacers.
Step 4: Next, remove the outer tie rod from the knuckle. Here, you can watch this video:
Step 5: Now, remove the caliper bracket bolts using a socket and wrench. Take out the caliper and hang it carefully to the side. Then, remove the rotor by pulling it out.
Step 6: Turn the knuckles to locate the four mounting nuts using a socket and wrench. Take off the bearing by wiggling it out. Grab the axle and wiggle it out in the same way. You can also pry it out from behind.
Step 7: Next, you need to take out the knuckle. Break free the pins of the upper ball joint nut. Then unbolt the nut. Spray some penetrate into the bushing.
Step 8: Lift up the bushing along the stud. Repeat step 7 for the lower ball joint nut. Then, screw in the nut a couple of threads and hammer the lower side of the knuckle with a mallet. The knuckle should become loose. Take it out.
Step 9: Now, remove the snap ring from the lower ball joint. Remove the grease fitting.
Step 10: Next, use a ball joint cup, adapter, and ball joint press to take out the ball joint. Ensure that the rod is aligned with the center of the ball joint. Follow steps 9 and 10 for the upper ball joint as well.
Step 11: Scrap out the rust and use penetrants where the new ball joints are going to be.
Step 12: Take the new studs and remove the boots from them. Then, install the new joints. Lastly, reinstall everything back.
If you have any problem in the reinstallation process, check out this video:
You can also get them replaced for $20-$80 each with professional help.
Reason 5: Faulty Damper Brackets
Faulty damper brackets can be identified by the leaking hydraulic fluid underneath your vehicle. It mainly happens due to a broken seal on the damper. Again, you’ll hear a clunking noise while driving.
Solution: Replace The Damper Bracket
If the damper bracket is bad, you’ll have to replace it as well. It’s quite an easy process. Just follow the steps below:
Step 1: First, remove the mounting nuts of the damper with a socket. Hammer the bolt a bit if it’s stuck. The old damper will simply come off.
Step 2: Before attaching the new damper, lubricate the stud for an easy installation. Here, you can use silicon paste.
Step 3: Put the stud through the wider hole of the damper. Don’t forget to put on washers on both sides.
Step 4: Now, just install the new damper by attaching the nuts and bolts. Don’t fully tighten any one side. After attaching both sides, torque down the bolts according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
With that, your steering damper is also replaced.
Reason 6: Tire Wear
If the tires are worn unevenly, this can cause vibrations in the steering and suspension systems. Thus, it might contribute to death wobble.
Although tire wear alone isn’t enough to cause death wobble. But, combined with other factors, it accelerates the process.
Solution: Replace Tire
Thus, it would be in anyone’s interest to keep the tires in shape. Check the tread depth of your car. If it’s under 2/32nd of an inch, go ahead and replace it. For AWds, it’s recommended to replace all four tires at once.
You can take it to the local auto store. They’ll replace all four tires for about $460-$1280. You can also purchase the tires and replace them yourself by following this video:
Reason 7: Warped Brake Rotors
Like tire wear, brake rotors also contribute to death wobble combined with other factors. You’ll feel vibrations and pulsations in the steering wheel if you have a damaged brake rotor. It happens especially while applying brakes.
Solution: Replace Rotor
Replacing the rotor is a quite simple process. While breaking, if the brake pedals start pulsating, the back rotors are usually bad. And, if symptoms of death wobble arise, normally the front rotors are bad.
Here, you’ll need the tools below:
- Extension bar
- Sludge Hammer
- Braking Caliper Grease
Now, just follow the guide below to replace these rotors:
Step 1: First, take the tires off. Rotate the wheel to a side for better working space.
Step 2: Now, remove the bolts with a socket to take the caliper assembly out. You can use a breaker bar if the bolts are stuck.
Step 3: Now, hit the back of the rotor with a sludge hammer to get it out. Take the new rotor and coat it with an anti-rusting spray. Put some anti-seize on where the rotor is assembled. Then, fit the new rotor on.
Step 4: Attach the caliper bracket and tighten its bolts with a socket and extension bar. You can also replace the brake pads while reattaching the caliper if necessary.
Step 5: Before attaching the brake pads, apply some braking caliper grease. Apply it on the upper and bottom sides. Then, put the pads back on.
Step 6: Attach the cover and bolt it in. Turn the wheel and put the tire back. The rotor should be replaced perfectly this way.
You can also get them replaced for $30-$75 each with a professional.
Are There Any Law Suits Against F250 Death Wobble?
Yes, multiple lawsuits have been filed against Ford for the death wobble problem. For example, the lawsuit filed in 2019 was against the 2005-2019 F250 problems. Plaintiff accuses Ford of willingly selling defective pickup trucks to customers.
Is a Buy Back Program Or Recall Available?
No, buyback and recalls are not available for F250. There have been numerous complaints about the death wobble issue. But, Ford hasn’t taken such steps to solve them yet.
Although, in December 2020, Ford extended the warranties and free repairs for F250. Although, customers reported that only the steering dampers are being fixed. The problem also reappears after some time.
What The Owners Want And Might Get From A Lawsuit?
Most People filing a lawsuit against Ford have these demands in mind:
- Recall fixing the defect causing death wobble.
- Reimbursement fees for the money customers have already spent fixing this problem.
- Compensation for possible injuries due to this problem.
If driving with F250, you’ve met an unfortunate accident, you may be eligible for these compensations:
- Property damage
- Current and Future treatment bills.
- Missing salary if you’re unable to work due to injury.
- Future wages if you’re unable to work due to the accident.
Contact an appropriate law firm to help you achieve these goals.
What Is The Best Year F250 to Buy?
There are good F250 models for each generation that you can buy. The 2005 F250 belongs to the first generation. The second-generation 2009 F259 has also proven to be a standout. The 3rd generation 2011 F250 and 4th generation 2020 F250 are also great trucks to purchase.
Can You Drive With Death Wobble?
No, you shouldn’t drive with a death wobble. If such an incident happens, slow down and pull the car over to one side. As you slow down, notice if the shaking decreases. If it comes to a minimum at slow speeds, drive the vehicle to the closest garage. Fix the issue that’s been causing the problem.
Do Tightening Trucks Reduce Speed Wobbles?
Yes, but tightening trucks reduce speed wobbles only at a certain wobble. The wobble will simply happen when the speed is greater than the previous. For example, if your truck wobbled at 80 km/hr, it’ll now wobble at 100 km/hr.
Hope you learned everything about the F250 death wobble. But, we’d like you to know one last thing. Don’t speed too much on rough roads. It puts too much pressure on the steering and suspension components causing death wobble. Thanks for reading the whole article.