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2002 F450 SD 7.3L 4R100 RWD DRW
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been experiencing an annoying and down right scary driving experience whenever I need to take the truck out further than normal. I was looking into what people call the death wobble on Ford's, but that seems to only apply to 2005 and newer trucks. My driving experience is both hands white knuckling the wheels and constant corrections with what seems to be too much of a draft effect when other vehicles pass. It pushes the truck around due to the air/drag etc. It's hard to keep it in it's lane and unfair for other drivers to feel afraid of being near me.

So far I have gone over the front end and found nothing loose after replacing the upper and lower ball joints, new shocks, new sway bar bushings and end-links, a new steering damper, the tires and alignment are good. I have made 1/4 turns on the steering gear a couple times. No difference. It's not the feel of a loose gearbox either.

I can't believe how hard this truck is to control with all the new tight front end components and the fact that a DRW is meant for stability at speed. What else should I look at? There is no tie rod or pitman play or anything else I can find. I've snugged down all nuts/bolts underneath too just looking for something loose. Even in the rear, tightened down shackles and whatever I could find. The truck wants to give me a heart attack every 5 seconds.
 

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2002 F450 SD 7.3L 4R100 RWD DRW
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes I'm familiar with death wobble in jeeps. It's not that, I was just looking into what other steering or suspension components could cause the loose feel and in my searching it seems the 2005+ models have it bad. Bad enough for a class action lawsuit. Well I guess I could have it checked. The steering wheel is straight and no pulling even up to 50mph. Seems to get really bad at 60+mph. At that point its loose and constant corrections.
 

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2002 F450 SD 7.3L 4R100 RWD DRW
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm thinking it's the gearbox. I've tried adjusting it, but maybe just worn out. It's not a vibrations or ballance issue. It's just very loose and drify feeling. Hard to keep in the lane. Takes constant steering corrections.
 

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2002 F450 SD 7.3L 4R100 RWD DRW
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate the help and input. I mean it's not the feel of a gearbox in the normal way you'd think one is bad. If feels too good at speeds up to 55mph and little to no slop in the movement left to right. Then the steering feels really loose/uncontrollable at 60+ and freeway driving. I'm just thinking gearbox at this point is all. But one is usually sloppy all the time in my experience. I have replaced all loose components after all.

What is the steering actuator? There's the pump, hydroboost, and gearbox. Sytem is on good order, no noise or leaks.
 

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2002 F450 SD 7.3L 4R100 RWD DRW
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
RWD DRW, no lift. Monobeam front axle too. Everything about this truck is designed for freeway driving/hauling. It's crazy how bad it is. I think I will replace the gearbox when I get some free time. There's really nothing else it could be at this point. I hope I don't waste my time and money though.
 
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