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Old 06-09-2010, 12:02 AM   #15
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Does it seem to be speed related? Most older Ford trucks need a steering damper or the original replaced (if equipped, if not you can buy an aftermarket add on kit) Typically when the steering gearbox has alot of wear the front end will shake violently at high speed after hitting a bump in the road. usually it will not go away until you slow down or stop. Combine worn tires, worn out or loose steering gearbox and worn out or no steering damper that is what you get. You can usually adjust the gearbox (just a little, too much will make the steering tight & not return to center, about 1/2 turn to 1 turn should do) replace or add a steering damper, get the front wheels balanced if the tires are in good shape and that should do it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:39 AM   #16
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Agree with PLDodd, it seems that the "shimmy" or "death wobble" as it is often called is often from a combination of wear related issues in the front end of the truck. The cure for my 2003 2 wheel drive F250 was a front end alignment that included an adjustment of the steering box. I also replaced the radius arm bushings. The Ford Truck Enthusiast forums are a great source of info on the subject though much of the information there relates to 4 wheel drive trucks so mine data carefully for your 2 wheel drive truck.

Steve
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:39 PM   #17
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Rodney,
I'm like Vernon and not convinced it is a u-joint. That said, the easy checks are u-joints and engine mounts. I had a bad vibration in a Suburban one and the center carrier bearing on the drive shaft was bad. Took me a while to figure that one out. Might be someting else to check.

Good luck.

Bruce
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:12 PM   #18
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help in Albuquerque ?

Does anyone have suggestions for finding help in Albuquerque? I want to get this fixed but I cant afford to just throw money at this one thing at a time and hope something fixes the problem. What garages are the safest bet?
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:19 PM   #19
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Ditto what War Eagle said. Ford Truck Enthusiasts site can be very helfpul, and if one of those guys are near you, they might even come over and help you with it.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:50 AM   #20
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Take your Brownie to NAPA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondocker View Post
How does one [check motor mounts]?
Go down to the local auto-chain-parts store with your camera, and ask to see a set of new motor mounts. Make note of how the upper & lower plates are segregated by the big piece of rubber. Then locate your truck's motor mounts, and compare them to your pictures.

FWIW, one day, oh let's say 12 years ago, I noticed the sound of an exhaust leak on the Mighty Burb. On the rack at the muffler shop, the RH muffler's inlet pipe was found to be loose. After the pipe was welded, I asked the technician how that might have happened, and he asked me if I had checked my motor mounts lately. Sure enough, the passenger side motor mount was totally smushed. The lack-of-tight-attachment had allowed the motor to twist the pipe out of the muffler.

Oddly, though, I never felt any vibration before replacing the mount nor did I think there was less vibration after the new mount was installed.

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Old 06-14-2010, 11:46 AM   #21
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The tip-off on engine mounts, like TomW's 'burb was the exhaust noise, not vibration. Broken engine mount will not make the steering shake uncontrollably, steering linkage, gearbox, etc.will. In the VA state inspection procedure we have to inspect all mounts (including transmission) If we find one broken, it's usually noticed by a thump or clunk noise or sensation when in gear & accelerating. Most folks don't even know they have a broken mount when they do!
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:54 AM   #22
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I had a busted MM on a 1972 Ford full sized wagon (351 W and auto trans). Whenever I hit the gas, the left side of the engine would come up real hard and knock the car out of gear!
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:59 PM   #23
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Flywheel and Clutch details?

Boondocker,

Do you know what flywheel and clutch is in your truck right now?

Your 1997 7.3L with a manual transmission was built by Ford with a Dual Mass Flywheel, DMF. Your original or service DMF has about 120 components in it including a double row ball bearing to seperate the secondary flywheel from the primary flywheel. If this bearing is worn and allowing the secondary F/W to orbit rather than stay concentric, it is a huge source of potential imbalance to an engine and the coming and going matches up fairly well.

If you would like to determine which F/W you have, remove the dust cover under the F/W it bolts to the transmission with about 4 small bolts. If you see springs in the engine side of the F/W, it is a DMF. The solid F/W is just that, solid.

If you have been converted to a solid flywheel optional aftermarket system, none of this applies, those flywheels are one piece cast iron.

If DMF equipped, start engine, select neutral, engage clutch (pedal up) increase engine rpm, feel for vibration(s).

I have also learned a lot about my trucks with an infrared non contact thermometer. By shooting the exhaust manifold right at the cylinder head connection you can see temp differences that might point to miss firing cylinders.

I think I can add to this list, but consider trying this first.

Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:34 PM   #24
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The fix (I hope)

I took the truck into the ford dealer to see what they thought. They said I needed a new fly wheel and clutch. This seemed suspicious to me since I had replaced the clutch a couple years ago and didnt really think that was it. So being cautious, I asked around about the ford dealer- nobody had good things to say. I did find a local diesel shop with good recommendations. Their verdict: bad hubs and you are lucky the wheel didn't fall off.

While replacing the hubs they found the ball joints were bad and since the tires were pretty much buggered up they replaced the front tires as well. I sure hope that gets it because I cant afford to rebuild the truck one piece at a time.
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondocker View Post
I took the truck into the ford dealer to see what they thought. They said I needed a new fly wheel and clutch. This seemed suspicious to me since I had replaced the clutch a couple years ago and didnt really think that was it. So being cautious, I asked around about the ford dealer- nobody had good things to say. I did find a local diesel shop with good recommendations. Their verdict: bad hubs and you are lucky the wheel didn't fall off.

While replacing the hubs they found the ball joints were bad and since the tires were pretty much buggered up they replaced the front tires as well. I sure hope that gets it because I cant afford to rebuild the truck one piece at a time.
The Diagnosis they provided sounds spot on to me, and with 200K on your truck it was due anyways. The symptom you were experinceing is called "Death Wobble" or DW. It occurs when you have slack in your steering components this allows the tires to caster back and forth like a shoping cart with a bad wheel.

In your case if the slack was in the ball joints and hubs (which if it is a 4x4 it would have been kingpins) that will most definately cause DW.

Something you really need to keep in mind with that big 7.3 up in the front end is that motor is heavy, they put it in medium duty trucks as well as your full size ford. Because it is heavy it is very hard on your suspension components. The moral of the story is you should be getting under your truck with a grease gun atleast once a month and in doing so you will be suprized at how much better it treats you.

I own and opperate a towing company, on my wrecker I often have to grease it once every 2 weeks just to keep the truck happy if I am running it hard. It is a dirty job but the pay off is everything works like it is suposed to and im not having to spend 3 hours a side with a 20 lb sledge like many others trying to drive king pins out.

To be honest, I will never take my vehicle to a dealer for anything if I can help it, they charge more than most shops per hour, and they dont always have the best talent working for them because they are trying to charge the most while paying the least, and they enjoy the dealer status and the draw of unknowing customers to thier shop because they are the suposed experts.

You will find though that independant shops tend to be better because when they fix your vehicle thier reputation is on the line. Id rather deal with a shop that has 5-15 employees verses a dealer who has 100 because at a smaller shop people tend to be more accountable for the work they do, at a dealer through the relative obscurity of being part of a crowd people do not carry the same responsibility.
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:49 PM   #26
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Thumbs down Didnt work

Ok, the front end work, while admittedly needed did not fix the issue. All was fine until I got to Albuquerque when the shaking set in with a vengeance.

The symptoms:
  • Severe shaking which is intermittent.
  • A low grade (barely perceptible but not normal) shake at idle
  • The shake has a wobbly feel to it.
  • Pushing in the clutch (going down highway) results in an immediate but short lived worsening of the shake.
    • If you then (clutch still down) push down on the accelerator the shaking returns.
Does this sound like the fly wheel or something else? Oh yeah, the drive shaft was checked and the tie rods are supposedly in OK condition

I have to get this thing into a shop tomorrow and hopefully I can get to Phoenix in time on Wed.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:15 PM   #27
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Im wondering if it might be a burnt under valve cover harness, any thoughts?

I do remember when I had it worked on a couple years ago some of the glow plug related wiring had to be reworked- makes me wonder.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:29 PM   #28
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I am going to say your clutch is highly suspect, if your dual mass flywheel is coming apart it will do exactly what you are describing.

Glow plug wiring will only effect starting of the engine when it is cold.

You also may have an injection pump that is about to go out on you. Have you ever changed your pump? Do you notice any excessive smoke when you are in the throttle?

From what you are describing it sounds to me like either the IP or clutch/flywheel are suspect. but it sounds more like something in the clutch department
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