Since 2005 there has been an issue with Ford trucks that is known in the industry as the “death wobble.” It’s an interesting problem because it doesn’t seem to affect all trucks. It happens to trucks that are stock and trucks that are lifted.
“We have dealt with this problem and found after replacing all components in the suspension and steering that show any sign of wear, we still had the problem with some trucks,” says Moonlight Diesel shop owner Terry Thain. “In the end we determined the cause to be the track bar. Even though we had put a new bushing in the bar, it was still causing the problem.”
The Logan, Utah, based diesel shop built its first upgrade and tried it on a troublesome truck and it solved the problem. They let the truck run for some time, but as luck would have it, the truck was in an accident. A car impacted the left front corner of the truck and the body shop replaced the steering gear box that was damaged, but its bushing was fine.
“We inspected it and felt good enough about it to move forward with putting together a kit to offer the truck market,” says Thain. “We have found the cause to be a poor bushing design allowing excessive bar movement, and our kit solves this issue.”
The Ford track bar repair kit is for 2005 and newer Ford Super Duty trucks. With this kit you will be able to replace the track bar bushing with an improved design to solve the death wobble issues with this steering and suspension design.
Moonlight Diesel offers three kits. All are intended to reach the same goal in solving the problem, but with different components depending on your needs. The first step is to determine which kit you need and the tools you will need to install it. And of course it’s important to read all the instructions prior to install.
The first kit is complete with the new designed bushing, new high-quality ball joint, and a drill bit needed to install your kit.
The second kit doesn’t include the ball joint and this is for those who have already replaced it and know it is good.
The third kit doesn’t include the drill bit or the ball joint.
You will need access to a press, drill, torque wrench, and a ball joint press if replacing the ball joint.
Remove the track bar from the truck per Ford service procedure.
With a suitable press, remove the old bushing from the track bar.
STEP 2 Continued
Debur and clean the rod end.
Press the new bushing halves into the rod end. It can be done in a vise or a press, but it is not recommended to use a hammer to install them. Next press the sleeve through the bushing halves.
Install the new ball joint to the axle per Ford procedure. Then with 1/2-inch drill and 7/8-inch drill bit coming over the axle, drill the rear hole in the frame bracket. Note: Don’t drill both halves yet. The factory bracket and some aftermarket brackets are cast iron and some lift kit brackets are custom steel brackets. The bolt provided should accommodate either bracket. Install your track bar loosely to the ball joint and slip bar into the frame bracket, using the track bar as a guide for the drill bit and continue to drill through the front half of the frame bracket. This allows for a perfect fit for the bolt and solves the problem of variations in brackets and mounting. Install the track bar bolt that is provided. It is recommended that you use locktite on the threads and torque to 450 ft/lbs. The bolt is rated up to 610 ft/lbs but is not required for this application. Now finish by tightening the ball joint end of the bar and torque to 184 ft/lbs.
The last step is to take your truck for a test drive. While it is not required, we would recommend an alignment at this point. After 100 miles, recheck the torque on all fasteners.