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2017 F250 Caster Oscillation (Death Wobble)

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2017 F250 Caster Oscillation (Death Wobble)

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  #1  
Old 08-19-2018, 09:48 AM
dsladdict
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2017 F250 Caster Oscillation (Death Wobble)

With 12,538 miles on my 2017 F250, I reported a concern to my selling dealer that involved a rapid, uncontrollable, front end wheel oscillation at highway speeds(65 mph) initiated by driving over a series of bumps in the road. The bump geometry most likely to initiate the oscillation is a dip followed by a bump. To correct the concern my dealer installed the caster/camber adjustment shim kit (5C3Z-38440-EEE) in this manner...
The service was performed in January of 2018. After performing the installation, I noted that the condition still existed in certain situations but my dealer assured me that was all that could be done so from a design perspective, it is what it is. Since January the condition has gotten worse and I can now feel play in the front end. Reading the description of work performed in January, the dealer states that the shims were installed to change the caster readings from 3.8 to 2.3 degrees. I understand this to mean that the amount of positive caster was reduced by about 1.5 degrees. From what I have read and understand about root causes of caster oscillation, it would seem that the shims were installed incorrectly.

Just wondering if I could get someone knowledgeable (Ford Tech or otherwise) to comment on my post.

Thank You in advance. This situation and my fuel leakage have me ready to walk away from Ford and buy a Ram. Of course this is premature in my ownership period and it will definitely leave a bit of a mark....
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:16 AM
willynilly
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im no expert on alignments but i dont see why they would reduce it to 2.3. ive got 5* on my ram and it drives great. i would think ford should be similar. im not sure how the end results differ but on ram the whole axle is rolled back when caster increases. ford it appears the axle remains stationary while just the outer knuckle rolls back, or forward in your case since caster was reduced
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by willynilly View Post
im no expert on alignments but i dont see why they would reduce it to 2.3. ive got 5* on my ram and it drives great. i would think ford should be similar. im not sure how the end results differ but on ram the whole axle is rolled back when caster increases. ford it appears the axle remains stationary while just the outer knuckle rolls back, or forward in your case since caster was reduced

Exactly, I think they installed the shims backwards. The amount of positive caster should have been increased. I test drove a 2018 Ram 2500 CTD this week over the very same road that consistently initiates the oscillation and the condition did not occur. The suspension felt great. Hate to throw in the towel here but I think I am done. Pursuing the lemon law means the dealer has two more shots to correct the condition. As of now they are trying to convince me that there is no problem and if there is it is the result of wear and tear therefore not subject to warranty repair. I only have 28,000 miles on the truck and am still within the 3/36K bumper to bumper period. This sucks...
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:32 AM
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i cant believe dealers tell people the steering wheel shake is normal. i think they know something is wrong but have no idea how to fix it so they lie and hope the customer will go away
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:36 AM
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I put Bilstein shocks on my truck. Have it to 16 trucks since 2005, which was when I first experienced it. Had 100 mi on my 05 when it first happened. It has never happened since. The friends of mine who haven't installed Bilsteins, still experience death wobble.
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:41 AM
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maybe try a different dealer and see what they say. if you cant get it sorted out and are considering ram, it may be worth waiting to the end of the year and see what the new model has to offer. if you dont like it you could probly still order a '19 or pick up one off the lot
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:19 AM
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It also has to do with the bushing on the track bar. Although the '17s came out with a much improved track bar.

The shocks help insulate the truck from the initial hit, preventing the forces from causing the wobble.
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:28 AM
dsladdict
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Originally Posted by brandon4 View Post
It also has to do with the bushing on the track bar. Although the '17s came out with a much improved track bar.

The shocks help insulate the truck from the initial hit, preventing the forces from causing the wobble.

I agree, I would spring for some Bilsteins but it would seem that they are not yet available. If I decide to keep the truck and fix on my own, I am going to have those shims turned 180 degrees so that I have 5+ degrees of caster, replace tie rod ends, and install Bilsteins....
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:38 AM
FastTaurusSHO
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I don't care how much I like the truck, the death wobble is frankly unacceptable. I'd pursue the lemon law approach. The truck is under warranty so any wear and tear claim should be covered unless they can prove excessive use/abuse. IMO.
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FastTaurusSHO View Post
I don't care how much I like the truck, the death wobble is frankly unacceptable. I'd pursue the lemon law approach. The truck is under warranty so any wear and tear claim should be covered unless they can prove excessive use/abuse. IMO.
I may at that, Plan is to bring to a different service department this week and see what they tell me. I foresee many hours on the phone, letters to managers, and probably a few arguments in my near future.
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:32 PM
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My caster is right around 2.5 and I have the same issue. From what I have read, these trucks really do much better with around 4 degrees of positive caster. I'm waiting on some 2 degree positive cams from Carli to see if they help.
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:10 PM
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I agree with everything you said. It pisses me off that we have to fix some of these issues ourselves. The Lemon law approach is very frustrating.

I'm just thinking that the Bilstein plan will benefit u on all fronts.

The 05-16 shocks will fit these trucks. I've put them on my '17, '18, and '19. They went on nicely. They'll keep your tires on the ground much better.

They should be an option from Ford.

"Non Death Wobble Ultimate Pkg"
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by brandon4 View Post
I agree with everything you said. It pisses me off that we have to fix some of these issues ourselves. The Lemon law approach is very frustrating.

I'm just thinking that the Bilstein plan will benefit u on all fronts.

The 05-16 shocks will fit these trucks. I've put them on my '17, '18, and '19. They went on nicely. They'll keep your tires on the ground much better.

They should be an option from Ford.

"Non Death Wobble Ultimate Pkg"
thanks for the info, not sure where I will land with this. Hard to keep the emotion seperate from my decision...
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:05 PM
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Try that separate dealer and make sure they use a knowledgeable tech who understands alignments and how to install the caster bushings and check everything. Explain your experience so far, ask For a ford service manager file to be established. Be calm, cool and collected, and tell them what will happen when they don’t fix this. Those definitely look wrong to me but I am not a tech. I have had, and am on my third SD and that kit looks absolutely incorrect. Make them print out the alignent report before and after and explain to you why it’s not at 4-5 degrees caster. Make them test drive it over the same places and drive it with their dealer plate on and you in the passenger seat, safely buckled in. Then ask them to explain to you how a 50,000 USD truck is supposed to do this and that there is nothing wrong. I wish I had my report to scan to you. I have experienced this on previous trucks but on this one, it seems to be very rare. If this isn’t resolved, I would ask for the file and to be able to discuss with the service manager locally, and the service tech from Ford who is responsible. Remember this is strike two, 3 strikes and you get a new truck. You have to play hardball, but you have to be fair in your treatment of the staff.
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:05 PM
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My 2017 F350 SD with 5000 miles got the dreaded DW on a 600 mile trip earlier this summer. Hit me 2 times and scared us to death, happening in heavy traffic. Took it to the dealer and they were very responsive---they would not give the truck back until they thought they had it fixed. The fix appears very similar to your shim set up. I was told they used a aftermarket shim set up from Napa. They had to fight with Ford to get them to cover it under warranty. They also said they had done 3 other trucks (one from Alaska) and the "fix" had taken care of the DW. I went on a 1000 mile trip up into Canada last week and no problem with DW at all. I think they got it fixed --hopefully it will hold. I will look at the invoice (warranty) from the dealer and see if they have the castor reading down, and get that to you. And have a picture of mine --if that helps. I am going to have the Bilstiens on and a steering stabilizer also. But I am hoping they have the base issue fixture. And I totally agree it is BS-----
that we have to fix Fords poor engineering. They are going to kill someone with this problem.
 
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