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Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Peter Connan » 16 Sep 2016 16:36

Picasso wrote:Apologies for asking a naive question; :confused:

What are the symptoms of the "Death/Steering Wobble" ?

Is the "Death/Steering Wobble" something which is experienced at any speed and any surface or does it only occurs under specific circumstances / conditions.

I have on my car a steering wobble which occurs ...... say , I drive on the highway, everything is fine and perfect. Suddenly I hit an uneven spot which generates a steering wobble whereas the wobble seams to continue for a few seconds even after I have passed this uneven spot already.
Is this what you call a "Death/Steering Wobble" ? :think:


The "Death Wobble" is often confused with "normal" steering wobble which can occur in any vehicle in which the steering or suspension components are a little bit worn.

The "Death wobble" is called that because, if it happens to you, you genuinely think you are about to die. It is impossible to control, and the vehicle is impossible to control when the death wobble occurs.

It can occur at any time, at virtually any speed over say 60km/h, and would normally happen after a disturbance as mentioned above, but the critical thing is that it is a harmonic vibration, in that it rapidly accelerates beyond any means to control it.

The normal suspension wobble usually starts at around 80km/h in the Patrol, and will last to a speed comensurate with the amount of wear/play in the system.

Both are caused by play somewhere in the steering or axle location systems, usually coupled with some imbalance in the system (such as an imbalanced wheel, bent rim, out-of-round tire or waprped brake disc) not by the steering damper, but the steering damper can mask the symptoms.

But it is important to realize that no steering wobble is ever CAUSED by a worn steering damper. There is an underlying cause which needs to be found in order to prevent long-term wear.
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Picasso » 16 Sep 2016 16:42

Thanks Peter :thumbup: :salute:
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Rhett » 18 Sep 2016 12:31

I had a wobble which started at around 80km/h and disappeared around 110km/h. Sent it a few times for wheel balancing, and even the "specialist" tyre guys told me after the second time that it was flat spots on the tyres. I must of looked like a complete amateur to them. Needless to say I decided to diagnose the issue myself. Started with tightening up front bearings, (helped slightly), then moved on to tyre and rim rotation to try eliminate them. That made no difference. Checked bushes and suspension components for play, but decided to remove the shims from the king pin bearings first......

.... and EUREKA! No more wobble at all. Basically an hour of grade 1 backyard work and problem gone. My next step will be to put new front wheel bearings in for peace of mind.
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Wilkie » 18 Sep 2016 12:43

Hi Rhett glad you sorted your death wobble out.. I don't think it will be necessary to replace those front wheel bearings
maybe first give them a good wash with petrol dry them check for any wear or marks and repack them with a superior wheel bearing grease
Those are proper bearings :mytwocents: :mytwocents:
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Rhett » 18 Sep 2016 13:02

Thanks Wilkie, sets my mind at ease too.

Proper bearings for proper 4x4's!
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Kagiso II » 18 Sep 2016 16:45

Robert Hale of Dune OffRoad posted the following on FaceBook [I shared it to the group "Nissan 4x4 OffRoad Stories & Pictures" ]

It does say a lot, go have a look see: http://coopertyres.co.za/News/Read/20030
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Michael » 21 Sep 2016 07:39

Rhett

Glad you got it sorted man!! Mine had exactly the same symptoms and doing what you did also solved my problem.

On a side note, the fact that removing the shims on the swivel hubs solved the problem means that they have wear on them and will probably need replacing. They are very cheap at a bearing place and cost me around R160 per side.

My wheel bearings had some pitting on them due to water coming in at the rear oil seal so I replaced both wheel bearings and swivel hub bearings.

Therse are the bearings and seals I used. The first number is the OEM part number, not sure which of the last two numbers I used.
Oil seals can be bought from Nissan, they are affordable there.

Front Wheel Bearing
Dust Seal 40227C8200 / 65X88X9/18TAY
Inner Bearing 43210C9300 / HR33110J / 33110XJA-FBJ
Outer Bearing 40215C6000 / LM501310 / 501349/10-FBJ

Swivel Hub Bearings
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Rhett » 22 Sep 2016 10:05

Thanks Michael

I will consider replacing them in the new year. They are so easy to get to once the car is jacked up that it should be an afternoon's work, with a beer or two.

Thank you for the codes, I actually have my manual next to me so I've written them in.
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Rob Marussi » 22 Sep 2016 18:07

:thumbup: Thanks that makes great sense and helps a stack I have had the same ( death wobble ) on both my 4.8's and no one has ever been able to sort them out.
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Re: Patrol Death/Steering Wobble – Trouble Shooting & Fix

Postby Wilkie » 22 Sep 2016 18:59

Michael wrote:Rhett

Glad you got it sorted man!! Mine had exactly the same symptoms and doing what you did also solved my problem.

On a side note, the fact that removing the shims on the swivel hubs solved the problem means that they have wear on them and will probably need replacing. They are very cheap at a bearing place and cost me around R160 per side.

My wheel bearings had some pitting on them due to water coming in at the rear oil seal so I replaced both wheel bearings and swivel hub bearings.

Therse are the bearings and seals I used. The first number is the OEM part number, not sure which of the last two numbers I used.
Oil seals can be bought from Nissan, they are affordable there.

Front Wheel Bearing
Dust Seal 40227C8200 / 65X88X9/18TAY
Inner Bearing 43210C9300 / HR33110J / 33110XJA-FBJ
Outer Bearing 40215C6000 / LM501310 / 501349/10-FBJ

Swivel Hub Bearings
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Michael in the owners manual they show you what lower kingpin retaining bolt to take out and get water out if car has been in deep water to avoid those bearings from getting damage :thumbup:
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