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Symptoms of ball joints going out ford HD trucks

1quick

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I got a little death wobble at low speed yesterday for the first time and my wife's brother thinks it's ball joints, I know it could be a million other things that cause death wobble, but what are some other symptoms of bad ball joints, mine have been replaced by the previous owner but I have know idea at what millage, what should I look at first
 

GoldPanther

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Knocking sounds when you turn and drive at the same time, other times knocks at bumps, other times when knocks when backing up. It will depend on the suspension design. The best way to find out is to lift the car and with a pray bar tray pulling the arm down and if you notice any play then you must replace it.
 

10sec

I haz dat teddy bear smile.
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Isn't the death wobble due to the stabilizer bar in the front?
 

Outlaw

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Isn't the death wobble due to the stabilizer bar in the front?
Stabilizers, ball joints, worn king pins, tie rods and just about any part of these trucks lol. Anything that allows for play can amplify a vibration and overpower the stock stabilizer pretty easily.

I'd start with a stabilizer [MENTION=917]1quick[/MENTION]. You can lift the front end off the ground and look for play in the ball joints as well, wouldn't put it past any Ford front end to need ball joints.
 

rowekmr

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What's the specs of the truck? When I was into Excursions it tended to be loose steering boxes, weak rear springs and caster that didn't cause death wobble but it cause highway wander. For the Super Duties they are prone to death wobble from what I have read is worn and improper specs (alignment, lift, etc.)

Bill of the Powerstroke fame has a video about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb3bh96FVB8

Here's a video that addresses the steering stabilizer issues that Outlaw brought up plus it has before and after videos where you can see the actual tire wobble.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmP8kefje6w
 

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