Do I need a steering stabilizer-damper?
We have gotten more than a few calls from customers asking "Do I need a steering stabilizer-damper? What does it do? Why do I need it"?
We've also noticed a growing trend online of people telling folks that they don't need one.
In this video, Kevin goes over what a steering stabilizer is, and why you do in fact need one.
"From time to time I see folks on the Internet asking whether or not you need a steering stabilizer on the front coil spring suspension that would come under your Dodge or your Jeep or something like that...and I see people answering from an authoritarian standpoint, telling people that they don't need a steering stabilizer...which vexes the HELL out of me. Let's jump into that...let's talk about it.
So, first off, do you think a manufacturer would spend extra money on unnecessary items from the factory... and when I ask this question I'm assuming you know that your vehicle came with a steering stabilizer to begin with, right? Manufactures are really good at going through overhead expenses making sure that they're not spending any more pennies than they can possibly spend. Unfortunately this concept also ends up being one of these deals where parts break, because they DON'T spend the money that they could, in order to make a quality design on a particular item. For instance, a door handle...whatever it is... so again, do you think that a steering stabilizer would be standardized equipment if the engineering department deemed it not unnecessary? So that's part A...
Part B: We'll talk about shock absorbers for a second here.
Question: Could you run your vehicle with no shock absorbers?
Answer: Yes you could You could....but there's a reason to have shock absorbers in the system. The reason is because as soon as your fully-inflated tire hits an imperfection in the pavement...it's going bounce...and being the fact that it's rubber...like a rubber ball...it's going to bounce up and down. Now the shock absorber is designed to dampen that up-and-down motion that the tire creates. Well, the steering stabilizer (also known as a steering damper in other parts of the world...)...the Steering Dampener does EXACTLY the same thing. It's just a left-right motion instead of an up-down motion, so when you hit an imperfection in the pavement, wouldn't it make sense to have a factory application of a steering stabilizer in place...in order to catch that movement left and right...so that the rig doesn't trigger into Death Wobble? I mean...wouldn't that make sense to you? So, there's folks out there that say, "Well, you know...if everything is perfect, then you don't need a steering stabilizer. Well, yeah...okay...so this is NOT perfect world that we live in... we all know that. I'm not sure why they continue on this path of "you don't need a steering stabilizer if everything is perfect"...this is not a perfect world.
Furthermore as your tires grow larger and are heavier, you need even more dampening...so that would come in the form of shock absorbers that would be that would have even better dampening the factory shock absorber has. And...THIS is TOTALLY common knowledge that nobody disputes, you know? "If you get bigger tires, you need shocks that dampen better". Nobody ever disputes that...but, you go put a bigger tire on there, and you have a dampener that's a beefier design, or perhaps you put a second stabilizer in the design because your tires are so large that they need extra dampening...and these guys come unglued! I'm not sure what their logic is but it's just erroneous information.
I mean, again, if the steering stabilizer was optional equipment, by all means, the manufacture wouldn't put it on to begin with, so just don't pay any attention....that's about all I can tell you. If you want to solve your death wobble problem you need to take out all of the looseness out of the steering, and the front suspension, OK? And, that requires you to have an operational steering stabilizer!
We'll talk about steering stabilizers in another video as well...as far as the quality is concerned...but for now, I'll let you run. My name's Kevin from KevinsOffroad.com. You can give us a call or shoot us a text at 602-841-3355. We've got a guide on how to fix Death Wobble, if you go to our website, which is KevinsOffroad.com, and type in "Cure Death Wobble" in the searchbar there, you'll come up with a step-by-step guide. We also have a book that we sell...we know a thing or two about death wobble. We became experts on this...not because this was my live-long passion...but because customers were coming to us and they needed help, and we were able to help them out, and we're happy to help you out as well. Give us a shout and we'll take excellent care of you and get this Death Wobble problem under control. I appreciate your time, and I will catch up with you really soon. Thanks!" -Kevin