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Old 05-19-2018, 12:27 AM   #1
updraught
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Default Death wobble?

Anyone had a "death wobble" from the shackles not being at 45 degrees?


"This allows the spring shackles to be located at their stock angle of approximately 45 degrees. Mike explains: “I think the shackle angle is very important front or back. When people flatten the springs out by removing leaves or by re-arching or even heating them, the springs become longer. This pushes the bottom of the shackles out so they become almost vertical. This will cause some serious ‘death wobble.'”


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Old 05-19-2018, 05:48 AM   #2
WHN
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Default Re: Death wobble?

It has always been my opinion that good springs are very important as to your cars handling and ride.

Even Model A Ford springs can reach a point of being worn out and needing replacement.

Sanding, grinding, new bolts and fresh paint, do not make new or even rebuilt springs. There 90 years old. They are an active part of the car. Like your shocks, front end, and brakes, they need to be properly maintained or replaced if needed.

There are quality replacement springs available from our suppliers. When you consider the part they play, new springs are not expensive.

Sorry for getting my soap box out. Enjoy.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:27 AM   #3
Simonpie
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Default Re: Death wobble?

I got rid of my death wobble by replacing worn components and a slightly bent tie rod.
I've pulled leaves out of my springs, but I have a speedster, so the softer spring matches the lighter body, making the shackles about right. I didn't notice wobble before or after the spring change. I guess that's not much help.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:46 AM   #4
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Death wobble?

I've had to replace worn , sagging front springs to stop shimmy or death wobble . I've found that incorrect tow in to be one of the main causes of front end shimmy .
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:39 AM   #5
George Miller
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Default Re: Death wobble?

Loose pitman arm is also a cause, or any loose steering part.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Death wobble?

I agree and a slightly loose pitman arm will also cause lots of slack at the steering wheel . The nut and bolt that connects the pitman arm to the sector needs to be kept VERY tight .
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:11 PM   #7
Clem Clement
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Default Re: Death wobble?

As a teenager I had 7 women in my Merc and it flattened out the springs so bad that the shackle ends hit and cut the insids of the rear tires. What should I have done?
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:50 PM   #8
George Miller
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Originally Posted by Clem Clement View Post
As a teenager I had 7 women in my Merc and it flattened out the springs so bad that the shackle ends hit and cut the insids of the rear tires. What should I have done?
with 7 women you did good. you can always get new tires.

Last edited by George Miller; 05-19-2018 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Death wobble?

My brother and I had three girls in my 30 coupe back when we were in H/S. It was fun shifting gears. Oops, did I say that outloud.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Death wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
I agree and a slightly loose pitman arm will also cause lots of slack at the steering wheel . The nut and bolt that connects the pitman arm to the sector needs to be kept VERY tight .
My 1930 Model A sedan, the two tooth sector shaft is really loose in the bronze bearing! I am going to have to bite the bullet and rebuild it! I improved the death wobble problem, immensely by adjusting the toe in! Someone had this old girl at about 3/4 inch toe in. That is now fixed and the Death wobble has slowed and is improved more by getting the car moving and burning in the brakes a bit! (holding the pedal down as I drive, briefly) It would appear there are high spots or grease or rust or ?? something that causes the brakes to apply kind of hit and miss on one front wheel, which starts at times the Death Wobble! So for me, two things, Steering sector bearing and adjust, and pull the front brake drums and find out what is going on with the brakes. I venture drums, shoes and some warn parts! 87 years!
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:08 PM   #11
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Death wobble?

Usually when the sector is removed there will be obvious wear marks on the sector shaft . In most cases I have found it necessary to replace the sector when I replaced the bushings in the sector housing. After replacing the sector bushings it will be necessary to either ream to size of have the bushings honed to fit the sector . If the brake problem with the brakes is grease on the brake lining , Lacquer thinner will remove the grease .This has just been my experience .
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:26 PM   #12
Ernie Vitucci
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Default Re: Death wobble?

When you have rebuilt your front end and steering system and you still get a death wobble now and again, like when running over railroad tracks and hitting the brakes at the same time...and she wobbles...Snyder's has a Steering Stabilizer which is found on page A-111 of the 2018 catalog part A-3283 for $105.00. No drilling required. We put one of these guys on our A a few years ago and she now behaves herself. It is actually pretty close to what is on my Jeep Wranger...2001 version. Ernie
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:50 PM   #13
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Death wobble?

I've never used a steering stabilizer on a model A. The ones that came on the CJ5 jeeps that I had , made them steer like power steering , even when running HUGE mudder tires .
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Death wobble?

If you are still getting a shimmy after rebuilding your cars front end, might there still be a problem that needs to be addressed?

Would adding the steering stabilizer be fixing or hiding a problem?

I would guess the car owners definition of rebuilt is the biggest question.

Was the front end removed from car and completely taken apart. Were all worn parts repaired or replaced including king pins, spring, shocks, steering box, tires, and rims?

It would be my opinion that a correctly restored Model A front end should not need a steering stabilizer.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:26 PM   #15
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Death wobble?

It's NOT a "DEATH WOBBLE" until it has caused someone's DEMISE! Let's use the proper words to describe what's happening, like SHIMMY/ROCKING/JERKING/WOBBLING/FISH TAILING/BOUNCING/ETC/ETC.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:27 PM   #16
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Death wobble?

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Originally Posted by BILL WILLIAMSON View Post
It's NOT a "DEATH WOBBLE" until it has caused someone's DEMISE! Let's use the proper words to describe what's happening, like SHIMMY/ROCKING/JERKING/WOBBLING/FISH TAILING/BOUNCING/ETC/ETC.
Bill W.


Right, the death wobble. LOL
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: Death wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WHN View Post
If you are still getting a shimmy after rebuilding your cars front end, might there still be a problem that needs to be addressed?

Would adding the steering stabilizer be fixing or hiding a problem?

I would guess the car owners definition of rebuilt is the biggest question.

Was the front end removed from car and completely taken apart. Were all worn parts repaired or replaced including king pins, spring, shocks, steering box, tires, and rims?

It would be my opinion that a correctly restored Model A front end should not need a steering stabilizer.
My 1930, when I bought it had one of those Stabilizers installed! And typical of these old Fords, there are no original or aftermarket shocks installed. I have not taken the stabilizer off yet, as I am working the uneven stopping of the brakes and the very worn steering sector, which, I believe, are the cause of "THE WOBBLE!". Henry's engineers did not engineer this car to wobble when it was new, and being 87 going on 88, there has to be worn parts in the brakes and steering that no amount of front end Stabilizers are designed to cure. When I had my bride, turn the wheel with me under the car by the steering sector, it actually hops a bit due to the worn bearing. To me, the stabilizer is a band aide covering a problem that may have multiple parts worn causing the Wobble! To do it right, I plan on working thru the Brakes, (the suggestion of Lacquer thinner will be done) and all brake parts will be inspected for wear, and then the steering sector fixed, and the Steering box properly adjusted, the toe in again checked and adjusted and then the removal of the Stabilizer! Then I will take the old girl for a ride and see how well the car wobbles or does not wobble! If there is still wobble, I will go thru the same procedures again with more diligence!
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:55 PM   #18
Tacoma Bob
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Default Re: Death wobble?

I posted a long PDF explanation of my steering woes a week or so ago. On thing I discovered was my spring perch nuts were loose. Driver's side took two full turns and the Pass. side took 3/4. FWIW. Easy thing to check for sure.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:42 AM   #19
DHZIEMAN
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Originally Posted by Tacoma Bob View Post
I posted a long PDF explanation of my steering woes a week or so ago. On thing I discovered was my spring perch nuts were loose. Driver's side took two full turns and the Pass. side took 3/4. FWIW. Easy thing to check for sure.
Thank you! I will add it to my check and fix list!
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: Death wobble?

Don't forget, low tire pressure or incorrect toe-in can also add to the equation and amplify the severity of a front end shimmy.
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