2011 Power Wagon Purchase

#1
Hi all. I wanted to test the waters here on EP regarding buying a used 2011 Power Wagon. There is one local to me with only 13k miles and $30k but when I test drove it, I got the dreaded Death Wobble. Now this is a great price for this rig, but what would you all recommend? The tie rod recall had been recently done as well.

Is there a known solution that I can implement to eliminate DW permanently? ie: Carli, Thuren, etc.?

All input is greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 
#3
First and usually most expensive thing to check is ball joints. Chances are they are worn especially since its a power wagon and has likely been wheeled/had bigger tires on it. Also on the list, control arm bushings, track bar bushings/tie rod end, wheels bent/tires out of balance, blown shocks, possibly steering related components. If they will let you take it to a 3rd party to be inspected make an appointment with an offroad shop and tell them you want to buy it but it has death wobble, see what they come back with. Its relatively odd that it has DW with only 30K on it. Makes me think it was lifted(or is) and possibly was wheeled hard or had huge tires on it.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
#4
Something's worn or tires especially BFG's are out of balance.
The one time I got it was after a rebalance and rotation. It was a disgruntled employee's last day and he took it out on my tires.
Toyo's seem to work well with these trucks.
 
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#5
It's actually very clean and bone stock. Doubtful that it was ever wheeled. It does have the original bfg ats.

Thanks for the advice atl, I may just take it to a shop. I just don't want to shell out $30k for a daily driver and not be Comfortable doing so. I'm also going to be towing an airstream and definitely don't want to battle death wobble when towing. Had an '05 Lj That had Death Wobble and I couldn't get rid of it.

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Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
#6
Certainly can't blame you for being cautious.
I still pucker up to this day on the freeway whenever I hit an expansion joint or pothole at speed.
I drove a company Ford E-100 decades ago that got it way worse than the one event with my CTD.
As posted,an inspection from a reputable frontend garage would be in order.
 

crismateski

American Adventurist
#7
a lot of times it is the tires. The wagon is heavy and needs a stiff sidewall. The Toyo's seem to be a great option on the wagons. I have 185k on my 06 and 50k on a set of Toyo MT and have never had death wobble. Carli Ball Joints and Carli or thuren track bar will also make a world of difference.
 
#9
The simple truth is this: Dodge/Ram/Chrysler/Fiat used shoddy & inferior parts in the front end. Ball joints that go bad in as little as 4500 miles, cheap rubber trac bar bushings, cheap rubber control arm bushings, cheap tie rod ends, & IMHO-factory reject tires, etc. . Far too many people have had issues with their tires to be a coincidence.

Because of this, USUALLY, no ONE part is so worn out, that you can say: "there's your problem right there."

I say, use this to your advantage with the price. Plan on rebuilding the front end, completely, with QUALITY parts & your problem will be gone .

I absolutely LOVE our Power Wagon now. I had to completely rebuild the front end at 18,000 miles---WHILE IT WAS UNDER WARANTY !!! Yes, i bought it new-ordered it in fact. The dilema is: how much is your time worth to you ? They can keep throwing factory parts at it, but they will keep wearing out fast. I did not want to be without my truck, numerous times, while they just replaced a part here & there. I wanted it done once & done right. I am very happy with the outcome of the approach i took.

2008 Power Wagon w/G-56 6-speed manual. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh (the holy grail of PW's IMHO !!!) LOL
 
#10
Thanks to everyone for the replies.

Twinstick, do you have a comprehensive list of parts you used to replace the front end components?
Thanks

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#12
Carli Extreme upper & lower ball joints
Carli adj trec bar
PSC steering gearbox brace---notched & braced by a friend (to clear the swaybar disconnect mechanism).
Borgeson steering shaft
Carli control arms
Spicer front axle "triple lip" seal u-joints
MOOG HD tie rod ends---all 4.
A competant shop to do a front end allignment after it is all done---preferably one with experience with Dodge 2500's.

Other things can also be a factor:
Cam bolt allignment
steering stabilizer
tires & tire pressure
unit bearings/wheel bearings

Trust me, i am not trying to scare you here. Just trying to help you go in with "your eyes wide open." It could be something simple. The main issue in your case is: MAKE SURE no permenant damage has been done BECAUSE OF the death wobble "episodes" it has already had. Round holes can become oblonged. Other components can be stressed (steering gear boxes). You get the idea.
 
#13
Thanks again for all the help.

Twinstick: You didn't scare me at all. I was already scared going in to this!

New direction: I may just go brand new and get a 2015 PW. Has anyone heard of issues with 2015 models?
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
#14
Thanks again for all the help.

Twinstick: You didn't scare me at all. I was already scared going in to this!

New direction: I may just go brand new and get a 2015 PW. Has anyone heard of issues with 2015 models?
Check the tires. If the tires are cupped or jagged due to lack of rotations, they can give a faux death wobble going down hill and hitting a bump. Or down a ramp coasting. Good shocks can usually dampen it. Factory shocks don't stand a chance. If you grab the steering wheel hard the truck will shake, if you loosen you grip, the steering wheel will shake. Great for scaring the F out of passengers. " Look what I can do."
 
#15
Thanks again for all the help.

Twinstick: You didn't scare me at all. I was already scared going in to this!

New direction: I may just go brand new and get a 2015 PW. Has anyone heard of issues with 2015 models?

Yes. They are no different, from a cheap factory parts standpoint. Wheel bearing at 8000 miles in a 2015. Death wobble in a new 2014. Etc..., etc... .