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Old 05-04-2018, 01:26 PM   #1
grumppyoldman
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Default Steering wheel wobble

What kind of stabilizer will work on a 41 front end to eliminate wheel wobble. What have you guy's used with success. Al
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Old 05-04-2018, 01:42 PM   #2
Vintage Copper 47
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

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Originally Posted by grumppyoldman View Post
What kind of stabilizer will work on a 41 front end to eliminate wheel wobble. What have you guy's used with success. Al
I would do a diagnostic on your whole front end.. check your steering box.. is everything tight?.. oil inside? . then check for steering looseness - how much turning results in your draglink movement?.. It goes without saying, check kingpins, etc... it could be as simple as an out of balance tire...
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:06 PM   #3
hotrodart
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

Ditto what Walt said...... A steering system damper should not be needed if all the parts are tight.....it's a band aide at best. Worn parts are dangerous and should be replaced. Remember.....Ford did not put a damper on these when built. I rebuilt the front end (king pins, tie-rod ends, spring and anti-roll bar bushings, etc) on my '40 and it steers very easily with no play or wobble.
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

You might also check your toe-in.
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

Ah, the "Death Wobble". Not that unusual in old Fords. Diagnosis a bit unclear. King pins and tie rod, drag link ends must be tight. Steering box play must be to spec. Then you must check the toe in and set to Henry's number. Someone else will chime in, I'm sure!! Summit sells stabilizers, I think, but in this case it's more of a Band-Aid. The problem CAN be solved without gadgetry. Some folks have reported improvement by shifting to radial tires.
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

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I agree with hotrodart's comments.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showp...&postcount=262

My take on a stabilizer, its a vw beetle 1969 era.

Its a truck but I bet very similar for a car.
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

Jack your car up and place the chassis on jack stands and check all your related front end components. The stabilizer just masks a problem.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:39 PM   #9
grumppyoldman
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

Thanks for the suggestions, I've replaced the kink pins and used the ones with needle bearings. Some said they don't work too well. The wobble didn't go away, but was better. Just had tires balanced and rotated. Wobble got worse. Guess I'll start over reworking and checking everything again. Al
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

Have you checked the steering box for play? Drag links? Tie-rod ends? Another possibility is the ball on the wishbone being loose. If anything on the axle or wishbone have been modified might need to check the castor angle.

Because moving the tires seem to make a difference there is a possibility the a rim is not true. And it can be the tires, just because they are balanced doesn't mean they will run true.
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Old 05-05-2018, 08:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

To answer your question, type 1 VW dampers work well, are easy to install, and are inexpensive. I like the tighter steering wheel feel they provide and they reduce the "elbow factor" our old cars all have.
Be sure all your steering components are good and tight.
No slop.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

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Originally Posted by grumppyoldman View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, I've replaced the kink pins and used the ones with needle bearings. Some said they don't work too well. The wobble didn't go away, but was better. Just had tires balanced and rotated. Wobble got worse. Guess I'll start over reworking and checking everything again. Al

How were the wheels mounted on the balancer---most modern wheels are centered by the hole in the center, modern balancers mount the wheel this way----the old ford wheels are lug centered,the hole in the center may not be the wheel center and should be mounted by the lug holes on the balancer---most balancers have adapters to do this, but it takes much more setup time
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

I used a VW Super beetle steering dampener.
VW has more than one type, this was the best by me.
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

OK guy's I just finished checking everything with the front end off the slab, everything just hanging, the only thing I could detect was the passenger side king pin has a very little movement, drivers side good and tight. Like I said before, I replaced the king pins with the kind that have the needle bearings. When I had the tires balanced and rotated, they put 32 lbs. air in them. I let the air out to 28 lbs. and drove it, it starts wobbling at 60 and stopped at 75, before the balancing, rotation and air change it started wobbling at 55 mph and stopped just past 65 mph. Going to see if there is a shop around here that still does king pin work since I don't have a reamer to do the bushings.
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

Sure sounds like more of a tire/rim issue to me.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:33 AM   #16
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

The Death Wobble causes and cures has been beat to death ( sorry) on this forum and the Jalopy Journal.
My take on it is:
On a stock Early Ford.... level chassis, same size tires all around etc., the cause for the death wobble is usually worn parts combined with adjustments (toe in/out ) out of spec.
Rebuilding a stock front end and doing the proper adjustments including tire pressure will usually cure a STOCK car.
On a MODIFIED car......rubber rake ( big N little tires) dropped axles etc.
IMHO the cause is a change in caster.
In many cases.... the front end is brand new/rebuilt and the adjustments are correct, with the rear of the car rotated up the caster changes and causes the death wobble.
A steering damper will help as it will slow down the side to side oscillations.
All the pat answers of worn parts, alignment, radial or not tires, tire pressure etc. will help.... but will not cure it.... on a MODIFIED car unless the caster issue is addressed one way or another.
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Old 05-06-2018, 12:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

I agree with JSeery - it sounds like a tire/rim problem rather than the Death Wobble - which would never allow you to keep driving at 55 mph.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:33 PM   #18
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

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I agree with JSeery - it sounds like a tire/rim problem rather than the Death Wobble - which would never allow you to keep driving at 55 mph.
Yep, about the only thing that will stop true wobble is a complete stop.
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

I always like to add, the more you drive with the wobble, the more likely you'll need tie rod ends replaced, regardless of the original cause. Been there done that.
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Old 05-07-2018, 01:04 PM   #20
grumppyoldman
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Default Re: Steering wheel wobble

Just came from tire shop had them re-rotate the tires, like they were before, no wobble up to 75, feels good now. Maybe get a VW stableizer just for insurance. Thanks for all the suggestions. Al
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