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Death Wobble - Help!
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Posted 3/12/2011 11:37 AM
rekogniz1
Regular


Date registered: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, Colorado
Vehicle(s): 1999 G500, Land Rover Disco II, Jaguar S-Type
Posts: 81
50
Death Wobble - Help!

When driving down the highway and hitting pretty much any bump I get a death wobble the literally puckers you up. What is the most likely cause of this?
#186286
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Author
Posted 3/12/2011 12:03 PM
DUTCH
Administrator Doppelgänger




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, GA, Atlanta
Vehicle(s): 2000 G500 NMLE, 2014 ML350BlueTEC
5000
RE: Death Wobble - Help!

rekogniz1 - 3/12/2011 11:37 AM

When driving down the highway and hitting pretty much any bump I get a death wobble the literally puckers you up. What is the most likely cause of this?


I can tell you what eliminated it for me - new OE (not poly) bushings on the front trailing arms and anti-sway bar.
#186291 - in reply to #186286
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Posted 3/12/2011 12:09 PM
rekogniz1
Regular


Date registered: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, Colorado
Vehicle(s): 1999 G500, Land Rover Disco II, Jaguar S-Type
Posts: 81
50
RE: Death Wobble - Help!

I will look into that. Would steering stabelizer gone bad cause this? It dont think it was this bad when driving home last night. Seems like it started just today.
#186293 - in reply to #186286
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Posted 3/12/2011 12:49 PM
needamerc
Member




Date registered: Apr 2010
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Vehicle(s): Too many G's and more MB's
Posts: 40
25
Re: Death Wobble - Help!

Another possibility is the Steering Damper (shock absorber).
#186297 - in reply to #186286
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Posted 3/12/2011 12:57 PM
rekogniz1
Regular


Date registered: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, Colorado
Vehicle(s): 1999 G500, Land Rover Disco II, Jaguar S-Type
Posts: 81
50
Re: Death Wobble - Help!

It feels like I am getting a little bit of wheel bounce as well. Would a bad front shock cause this? The left front seems springy over the bumps as well. Dos t seen to feel right even on smooth pavment. I get some shimmy in the steering wheel. The faster I go the worse it gets.
#186298 - in reply to #186286
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Posted 3/12/2011 2:53 PM
nadd
Expert




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: UK / UAE
Vehicle(s): 2000 G500, G55 ART LHD, '02 ML320 RHD
Posts: 1241
1000
Re: Death Wobble - Help!

rekogniz1 - 3/12/2011 5:57 PM

It feels like I am getting a little bit of wheel bounce as well. Would a bad front shock cause this? The left front seems springy over the bumps as well. Dos t seen to feel right even on smooth pavment. I get some shimmy in the steering wheel. The faster I go the worse it gets.


Herr Harald put together a good list:
http://www.4x4abc.com/G-Class/vibrations.html

Don't let it scare you though, I hope it is just 1 or 2 items on the list. Some problems (bearings, steering linkage?) can be tested by lifting the front tires off the ground and wiggling them around to see if there is play (6-12 o'clock, 3-9).
#186306 - in reply to #186298
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Posted 3/13/2011 10:37 AM
bwillie

Date registered: Dec 1899
Location:
Vehicle(s):
RE: Death Wobble - Help!

I have had this from time to time. I have typically removed the steering stabilizer for a test drive after replacing parts so you know what the cause is/was. I have put on a new steering stabilizer in the past and it can just mask the problem. The shocks, and bushings on the panhard arm are typically what have been the issue for me in the past. It is a good starting place.
#186352 - in reply to #186286
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Posted 3/15/2011 1:21 AM
512bbi
Elite Veteran




Date registered: Jan 2007
Location: North western US and Europe
Vehicle(s): 05G55kge,Range rover classic,clk55amg,ML 430
Posts: 1188
1000
RE: Death Wobble - Help!

Tire balance before anything else.

The faster you go the worst it gets.......could be you lost a balancing weight suddenly.

Everything else including the steering damper can be also but not suddenly or getting worse with extra speed.

Mario
#186508 - in reply to #186286
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Posted 3/21/2011 11:15 AM
condit
New user


Date registered: Dec 2010
Location:
Vehicle(s):
Posts: 3

RE: Death Wobble - Help!

I own a 2002 G500. I had the same issue. When it was the least bit cold, the front end would shake like crazy!! Then once the tires warmed up, it would stop. However, the problem only got worse. I replaced the steering damper and the problem went totally away. It is a SIMPLE fix. Steering damper is only held in place by two bolts. You can DIY or you can purchase the part and take it to any mechanic and have them put it on. I asked my local mechanice to put it on while they changed my oil. He installed it for $15!! Sure beats what the Stealership wanted which was around $500 for the entire job. The part was only like $220. Good Luck
#186690 - in reply to #186286
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Posted 3/21/2011 12:19 PM
NOPEC
Extreme Veteran




Date registered: Feb 2008
Location: Babylon, Long Island, NY
Vehicle(s): 1985 Mercedes 300GD
Posts: 344
300
Re: Death Wobble - Help!

Dealership really charges $500 for that?

Recently, in the sports section of the local paper, a Mercedes Benz dealership offered a coupon for an oil change... $180!!!!!!!! What a bargain! [/sarcasm]
#186692 - in reply to #186690
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Posted 3/21/2011 6:40 PM
DUTCH
Administrator Doppelgänger




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, GA, Atlanta
Vehicle(s): 2000 G500 NMLE, 2014 ML350BlueTEC
5000
Condit

Please go into your My Profile and complete the sections to tell us the year and model of your G, as well as where you're located. That info helps us to help you better, both now and in the future. Thanks.
#186709 - in reply to #186690
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Posted 3/22/2011 9:15 AM
defenderthomas
Veteran




Date registered: Sep 2009
Location: Tampa, FL
Vehicle(s): 2002 G500
Posts: 204
100
Re: Death Wobble - Help!

I had the same issue a month ago. Took it to my regular mechanic (NOT MB) and he rotated and balanced my tires (not road force balanced) and it's now perfect. Cost was like $60 maybe?
#186730 - in reply to #186709
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Posted 3/23/2011 9:37 PM
bwillie

Date registered: Dec 1899
Location:
Vehicle(s):
Re: Death Wobble - Help!

I just went through everything on the front end over the weekend and it is amazing how big a difference it made. I did not realize how bad it had gotten.

I updated shocks to the adjustable ranchos, those things were really beefy and ride well. Mounted the new tires, replaced steering stabilizer and bushings. It is time consuming to do all of it but all and all is it is pretty inexpensive and well worth it.
#186844 - in reply to #186730
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Posted 3/25/2011 4:10 PM
robwill54
Veteran


Date registered: Aug 2007
Location: South of Houston on the Gulf
Vehicle(s): '12 G550,F350 Superduty, E350 Cab, Audi A3 TDI
Posts: 102
100
RE: Death Wobble - Help!

I recently chased the shimmy bug, did all the above. Temperature (ambient of at least 70 F) seems to have fixed the problem. Next winter I will park it and not worry.

Bob
#186981 - in reply to #186286
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Posted 3/26/2011 7:41 PM
NOPEC
Extreme Veteran




Date registered: Feb 2008
Location: Babylon, Long Island, NY
Vehicle(s): 1985 Mercedes 300GD
Posts: 344
300
Re: Death Wobble - Help!

It's amazing what a tire balance will do. I was experiencing the shimmy (a "death wobble" masked by the updated dampener) at exactly 60 mph. I just upgraded to Yokohama 275/65/18's and of course they were balanced and now I can go as fast as I want with no shimmy.
#187057 - in reply to #186981
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Posted 3/27/2011 1:31 AM
Allister779



Date registered: Sep 2007
Location: Alberta
Vehicle(s): 1990 300GD
500
RE: Death Wobble - Help!

Wow, if I only drove my G above 20c (70f) I'd never get to drive it here.

 

#187068 - in reply to #186981
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