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Front Suspension Violent Bounce

9011 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Mr Mac
2000 F150 XLT 5.4 Litre
141,000 miles today but problem began about 35,000 miles ago.
There has never been any abuse, heavy hauling or towing.
I cannot find a dealer or repair shop that can fix or even speculate what is causing this.
Problem: The front wheel(s) will hit a bump or pothole and will start to bounce. It is a bounce that picks up frequency very rapidly and has the steering wheel going wild as well. I must slow down or stop to get it to quit.
Attempted fixes: New ball joints, tires, tie rod ends, shock absorbers, idler arm.
The dealer says "I don't know what to try next"
An independant repair shop finally welded a mounting pad to the frame and put a large truck steering damper on it. This has prevented the violent runaway condition but when hitting a bump or pothole I can tell it wants to do it but the damper holds it back.
I don't know where to turn, any history out there that has seen this before? It is a dangerous condition that I would like to fix before I sell it.
Thanks, Mike in Michigan
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First off, welcome to the forum!

This issue sounds a lot like what happens to Jeep Wranglers and what they call the Death Wobble where the front end shakes violently after hitting a hard bump or pot hole. For the Jeep (which has a solid front axle assembly) the track-bar is usually the culprit though any loose connections in the front end can contribute.

Normally I would recommend replacing most of the components you already have so, no need to go there except to say that I hope you went with urethane bushings as they allow less movement.

That said, the death wobble is a result of loose front end components or components disconnected (as in the case of the Jeeps where we disconnect the front links that tie the sway bar to the frame to allow more wheel travel). Next up was the addition of the steering stabilizer which almost always does the trick even though you can feel the truck want to shake.

I would still take a few minutes with the truck up on a lift or jack stands and look for any play in any of the front end components to include the rack and pinion, sway bars and connecting rods/links. Again, if you went with rubber versus urethane bushings you can still change those out and that will help.

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Thanks Mac, The rack and pinion has been something I was thinking about also. I know that a power steering valve has a centering system that takes your wheel back to the middle, I was wondering if maybe it was some sort of hydraulic oscillation that was seeking center. Thanks again for the reply......Mike
You're quite welcome! This is, as a matter of fact, a subject I am intimately familiar with.

The wife's broom, er, ride.
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