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Watchu know about trucks?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 Suburban 2WD
108,000 miles
Lifted and put on 35's with 18x10's in 2008 @ 88,000 miles

For almost two years now, maybe longer I have had a steering wheel wobble. Always starts at 40mph then usually goes away between 47 and 50mph. Its worse when I coast down hill. Occasionally it will get so violent, I have to come to almost a complete stop before it stops. It seems worse if the Suburban sits for a week or so.

I can drive it in the morning and it will get the wobble. After about 10 miles it wont come back. The more I drive it the lesser the wobble gets. One theory I had it that I'm developing flat spots on the tires. The Suburban sometimes sits for a week or two or longer before I drive it. Possibly after driving it a few miles, the tires warm up, become "more round" and the wobble stops.

About a year ago I replaced upper and lower ball joints on both sides, inner and outer tie rods, shocks and brakes. Then had the wheels balanced and did an alignment. At first I thought the problem was gone. But after letting the Suburban sit a couple weeks, I drove it and the wobble was back.

Recently I replaced the hubs. They were worn, but not bad.

The pitman and idler arms were replaced in 2007 @ 78,000 miles with Moogs. Could those have gone bad? How do I check? Any other suggestion on what it could be? I really dislike driving my Suburban because of it. Its not my daily driver and I try to drive it at least once a week. But because of the wobble, I tend not to.

Thanks,
 

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Alignment, tires, or wheels
 

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Watchu know about trucks?
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alignment, tires, or wheels
When it doesn't have the wobble, it drives perfectly straight. I can take my hands off the steering wheel and it will drive straight as an arrow. Also no vibration. Other than the wobble at 40-47 the first 10 or so miles of driving.

That's why I kind of think its the tires. The Suburban sits for a couple weeks at a time. The more I drive, the less likely it seems to wobble.

But then......

Yesterday morning I decided to drive it. Had a slight wobble at 40-47 for a few miles. Then at one point I was coming down a hill and hit a bump. It violently started to shake. I had to hit the brakes and pull over because it was so bad. I then slowly started driving and its never happened again. I continued on to work for about six miles, went to lunch, and ran some errands after work. Put 25-30 miles on it. Never wobbled again after that one violent episode.

What has me baffled is how it just comes and goes.

So it could be tires.
 

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Most likely alignment. Specifically not enough caster. Put so,e different tires and wheels on
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Most likely alignment. Specifically not enough caster. Put so,e different tires and wheels on
I can have it realigned. I would probably be a good idea to check. But it wobbled before and after the last two alignments.

I'd like to try different wheels/tires, but I have none. I guess I can see if my father isn't going to use his Silverado for a few days and swap wheels/tires and front brakes with him. Well not really swap, just leave his truck on jackstands. My wheel/tire combo wont fit on his Silverado.
 

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tires were bought in 08? after 6 years they're due for replacement anyways. my guess is you might have a separated tire. even if there wear isn't there, the age is doing its work on the rubber compounds in the tire.

can't really say for sure though unless i was able to get them on a balancer and see for myself.

maybe double check torque on all the suspension bolts as well? something may night have gotten tightened all the way down during the hub replacement.

vibrations are a pain in the ass and can be hard to track sometimes. and sadly throwing money at it is about all you can do sometimes lol. but definitely go the cheap/free troubleshooting route first.
 

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Don't under estimate a good tire balance. surprised BruceBruce45 didn't recommend a road force balance.
 

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Lol, you have what the Jeep community affectionately call "Death Wobble". In all honesty do a search with that term on some of the "hardcore" offroad sites. There is a plethora of info and peeps who feel your pain. I'm curious as to the style of tire, size of rim and tire width. I had a set of 35" Ground Hawgs on a set of 15" rims and they were 12.5" wide. If you had seen these, they are a VERY aggressive tractor like lug pattern or tread (mud/sand) with a large balloon style sidewall. For this particular tire I personally never found the solution and spent a few thousand on parts and custom work trying to fix it. Ultimately I felt that the tire was too soft and designed that way to support regular driving. Do some more research with the deathwobble term and hopefully it will help. My time with it was pre-internet and the resources available were pretty limited in my neck of the woods. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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My apologies after re reading your post I've noticed more. Your setup is a little narrower than mine was and taller rim. This should give you a bit stiffer sidewall and better support. But if they are doing it after sitting for a while, and right after you start to drive. It sounds like you might be getting flat spots. And if these are soft compound, it doesn't take long or much for this to happen. Think playdoh rolled into a ball and left to sit on the counter for a day. It will develop a small flat on the contact point. Some tires just aren't meant for the asphalt. Again, best of luck.
 

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I assume this didn't happen the same time you purchased wheels. Has this wheel / tire combo ever been ok?

Did you remove the hub clips when you put on the new wheels? I assume they are gone since you replaced the hubs. Do things change when you rotate the tires?

Good luck.
 

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tires were bought in 08? after 6 years they're due for replacement anyways. my guess is you might have a separated tire. even if there wear isn't there, the age is doing its work on the rubber compounds in the tire.
This was an issue I had. Wobble was so bad it seemed as if the truck was playing hop-scotch.
 

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Lol, you have what the Jeep community affectionately call "Death Wobble". In all honesty do a search with that term on some of the "hardcore" offroad sites. There is a plethora of info and peeps who feel your pain. I'm curious as to the style of tire, size of rim and tire width. I had a set of 35" Ground Hawgs on a set of 15" rims and they were 12.5" wide. If you had seen these, they are a VERY aggressive tractor like lug pattern or tread (mud/sand) with a large balloon style sidewall. For this particular tire I personally never found the solution and spent a few thousand on parts and custom work trying to fix it. Ultimately I felt that the tire was too soft and designed that way to support regular driving. Do some more research with the deathwobble term and hopefully it will help. My time with it was pre-internet and the resources available were pretty limited in my neck of the woods. Good luck and keep us posted.
you really spent $1000s on suspension and steering to try and make bias ply tires ride smooth? those tires are not even round from the factory. you can have them true'd but you don't buy those tires to have a smooth ride. it really just comes down to luck on those whether or not they are gonna ride really nice or not.
 

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Lol, you have what the Jeep community affectionately call "Death Wobble". In all honesty do a search with that term on some of the "hardcore" offroad sites. There is a plethora of info and peeps who feel your pain. I'm curious as to the style of tire, size of rim and tire width. I had a set of 35" Ground Hawgs on a set of 15" rims and they were 12.5" wide. If you had seen these, they are a VERY aggressive tractor like lug pattern or tread (mud/sand) with a large balloon style sidewall. For this particular tire I personally never found the solution and spent a few thousand on parts and custom work trying to fix it. Ultimately I felt that the tire was too soft and designed that way to support regular driving. Do some more research with the deathwobble term and hopefully it will help. My time with it was pre-internet and the resources available were pretty limited in my neck of the woods. Good luck and keep us posted.
If you read my post above, death wobble is addressed as a primary cause, fixed by correcting castor.
 

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I'd start with borrowing some other wheels and tires and trying those out. When I first lifted my truck, I put on some 35" Pro Comp Xtreme a/t tires and couldn't get 3 to balance worth a damn. Caused pretty much the same wobble you describe. Balanced them 6 times in 3 months, and every time it was rotate the tire on the wheel and add way too much wheel weight. Changed to some BFG's, and had Pro Comp confirm that all 3 were "out of round".
 

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Watchu know about trucks?
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sunday I checked every nut and bolt up front. Everything was torqued to spec. I then had my father turn the wheel back and forth while I laid underneath. Nothing looked loose or worn.

Monday I took it in for an alignment and wheel balance. The current alignment was within spec and wheels didn't need re-balancing. If I had dropped it off then came back I might of thought they didn't do anything, but I stuck around and watched.

There was no wobble on the way home. But I didn't expect that there would be.

The tires are 35x12.5x18 ProComp X-Terrains. Are they prone to this type of issue?

My mother is on vacation from work the week of Thanksgiving, so I'm going to borrow my father wheels/tires for a few days. That way he can drive my moms Tahoe if he needs to go somewhere. There is no way I'm letting him borrow my Camaro. Plus he's afraid to drive it anyway.
 

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The experience I had with my Pro Comp tires has led to me stating that I will never own them again.
 
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