Death Wobble: Fini

Final Thoughts On Death Wobble:

“Death wobble” is bad enough and common enough that it merits a recall. Everyone who owns a new(ish) car gets occasional recall notices about dumb little crap. Maybe some doofus in New Jersey managed to start a fire after dousing the seat with Sterno and stuffing a grapefruit in a left handed electric door switch; subsequently they called a lawyer on speed dial and now Suzuki is putting a new little $5 wingding on twenty thousand puddle jumpers and cutting a big ass check to a class action lawyer. That’s stupid.

Sudden catastrophic violent shaking and loss of control of a big rig at highway speed with no warning is a whole different animal. It’s a known issue. It’s not safe. Everyone has heard of it. It happened on a well maintained truck with no warning. Shit like that is the whole point of a recall. Congress dry humped Toyota over bullshit while I was rolling around on four tons of iron that might lose control due to a common and known flaw?

I call foul! I had my reservations about owning anything associated with a government owned company and this is why.

Shocked by death wobble I also pondered my choice in hefty trucks. Probably due to politics as much as anything there are only the “big three” in America. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no solution:

  1. Chevys suck more than Fords.
  2. Fords suck more than Dodges.
  3. Dodges suck more than Chevys.
  4. Enjoy the circular firing squad of suck.

After my little list I sense many hands poised over keyboards to emote over their favorite vehicle. “I bought a ’69 Ford and ran it a zillion miles with no maintenance… also I’m handsome and rich.” Yeah yeah yeah. Obviously every population of vehicles has a group of pure awesome shining brightly in the upper distribution two standard deviations past the mean. Maybe you won the lottery. So what? I’ll also admit modern trucks are better than previous models in terms of performance. Which is good news but doesn’t impress me when a solid modern truck suddenly fails at steering. Also, and this is the most damning of it all, my truck is hardly a lemon, it appears to require about average levels of maintenance for the work I put it to. I’m not unlucky, I’m just stuck buying from companies that are “too big to fail”.

One last gripe. There are trucks that clearly have the solution. Steering is not rocket science. There’s probably something which is not from the craptacular big three that’s an unpolished gem I’ve overlooked. But that’s the issue. I can’t go there. I’m talking trucks just under semi-tractor weight capacity, in America, that’s commonly available right now, and is neither customized, old, or fussy. If you love your Toyota just shut the hell up. If you built something out of a van and six tanks I don’t want to hear it. I wanted 4×4 too much to upgrade to a used class 8 and I carry stuff that’ll make an F-150 squat like a constipated turnip. This locked me into the big three one ton trucks.

Speaking of smaller trucks, I’m still bitter that the plucky little Mahindra was EPA’d into the ground. I needed big so I was still stuck with big three but I’d have bought a Mahindra the day I could get one. Dropping cash on a freakin’ front end “known issues” just rubs salt in my wounds.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to drive to Detroit, find the loser who perpetuated this mess, and set their mailbox on fire.

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About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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12 Responses to Death Wobble: Fini

  1. NA says:

    Lol, I love your descriptions. Even if you would go bigger you just end up with the same issues but with less power and a shitty ride.

  2. When I worked for one of the big three, I can’t count the times I wanted to go to Detroit and beat some engineer over the head with his “better idea”. Being a dealership technician has it’s advantages. It also has it’s drawbacks.

  3. Wolfman says:

    I do love my big Chevy- my Dad is a Bowtie man, started in 1972 with a 67 Impala. His dad traded in Oldsmobile, bought his first olds in 1961 and never bought another brand of car again. That being said, car companies are like political parties- pick one by your favorite features, cuz they’ll suck at everything else. Fords will do anything but turn corners, Chevys drown in anything more than wet pavement and I guarantee the sound of a new Dodge door closing is the same dull thunk and wind noise as every other I’ve seen- back to the ’47 2-ton my Dad keeps on the farm. Pick your poison!

  4. Dhawk says:

    tell detroit they are called leaf springs. yeah the rides not as cushy as coils but the your truck doesnt become possessed when things wear out and you hit the slightest bump at speed

  5. jon spencer says:

    Almost time to look at a “light duty” truck from International.

  6. MaxDamage says:

    Around here the 3/4 ton is about as large as is found, and then only for the diesel. The 1-ton went the way of the dodo. The 1/2 ton is more comfortable, more fuel-efficient, comes with more options and 90% of the time is used for tooling around and not actually hauling. To haul something the owners take all that money saved over a 3/4 ton and purchase a trailer.
    Does death-rattle happen on half-tons? Given how many have been sold and how a mandatory tire pressure system is on my car now because a few idjits in SUV’s forgot to check tire pressures and hence checked out of this earthly coil, I’d be surprised if the half-ton pickups share this trait.

    • I don’t know it if strikes 1/2 tons.

      You’re right that a 1/2 ton does 99% of what people need a truck for… even with a shortbox. (Before now I had several 3/4 ton longbeds and liked them all.) I use my truck pretty hard and I’d still get by with a 3/4 ton the majority of the time.

      On the other hand I doubt I’m an “average” user. I was in 4x4Low this morning before I finished my morning coffee and it’s -25 below out.

  7. Joe in PNG says:

    I am feeling so romantically posessive towards my old FJ Landcruiser right now…

  8. Sgt 73rdRegt says:

    Enjoyed your posts on the “Death Wobble”, although that’s because it wasn’t me looking for a change of underwear! I had never heard of it before but then again US made trucks are fairly rare in Australia, all of our stuff comes from japan or Korea, or until 2016 is locally made (General Motors Holden & Ford Australia are both stopping car production here, labour costs are just too ridiculous.
    Best vehicle I have owned was a 95 Isuzu 1 tonne truck (called a ute in Aussie English), 320,000kms before things started to wear out and it started to cost me money.

  9. cspschofield says:

    Your comments on Toyotas are understandable, especially if they don’t make one big enough for your purposes, but I can’t get the Toyota Hilux that Top Gear failed to kill out of my mind.

    • Toyota Hilux are the shit! Of course, I’m a resident of the formerly free nation called American. Getting a little diesel Hilux ‘aint easy around here.

      Plus, the duallies are handy. There are pros and cons to dual rear tires but when you need them they’re really nice to have.

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