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Old 06-03-2010, 07:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Scranton, PA
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My Shaking Wrangler - Please help

Good Afternoon Forum Members,

I am a frustrated Wrangler owner, writing to you today from a balmy PA afternoon. My baby is sitting outside, parked on the side of the street, unhappy and unwell.

Here are the specs: she's a 2006 Wrangler TJ, manual 6-speed, 2.4 liter 4 cyl, 36,000 miles (today, in fact), and I'm her second owner; got her at 25,000. Black with a black soft top, though that's not important at the moment.

My Jeep shakes (in addition to the Death Wobble I started experiencing four months ago). As I'm slowing down, in neutral, whether I'm using the brakes or not, you can feel shaking in the floor of the vehicle. It started as an odd shake in the stick shifter, but has escalated in a matter of days to a rattle throughout the vehicle at extremely low speeds - ten miles an hour or less. First gear, second gear, reverse position, neutral, doesn't matter. It happens constantly, though slightly less pronounced when I'm in 4wd. The shaking disappears above 10 mph and turns to a fun new vibration at 30, then a higher-pitched vibration at 50+.

My mechanic inspected the entire vehicle two days ago and replaced the brakes, and he replaced the rotors today, but to no avail.

Before I go spending any more money trying to guess what's wrong with her, I'd like to pose the question to you guys: what on Earth should I fix?

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Old 06-03-2010, 07:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Did the mechanic check the U joint?

Black 2006 SE. 2.4L 4 banger with a 6 speed manual. Cooper Discover RTX 31x10.5-15 on stock steelies. No lift.....yet.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by frankenbury View Post
Welcome to the forum. Did the mechanic check the U joint?
X2 check ALL ujoints! As far as DW make sure your tires are perfectly balanced and your front track bar is tight on both ends. There can be zero play on either end of the track bar. I know this personally.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:07 PM   #4
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Check the stearing stableizer. Up grade it
My spelling sucks if u dont like move on
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:49 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Scranton, PA
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Hey all, thanks for the welcome and for the quick advice.

U-joints are my next step in the ruling-out process, I'm going to take a look at them and probably replace them this weekend. Steering damper/stabilizer is something I've heard often when others describe this problem, but I'd bet that's something I can't replace myself...

Hoping U-joints aren't difficult to replace. Also eager to check my track bar... will keep you guys posted.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:14 PM   #6
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A steering stabilizer should be easy to replace yourself.
"I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead"
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:19 PM   #7
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Location: northeast ohio
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Is your Jeep modified? If so, how much lift, and what's your tire size?

Modified Jeeps get this problem frequently. Suspensions get loose, driveshafts vibrate, ujoints get spun out etc. Lifted Jeeps lead to big tires, that lead to offroading. Agressive tread vibrates, and big tires don't stay balanced. Mud gets in weird places, and causes weird things. Sometimes the setup isn't quite right, and additional mods are needed.

Stock Jeeps get problems too. Even street queens. Potholes, speed bumps, weather, and thousands of miles play into it.

Your problem is suspension or driveline related. It could be a number of things. My advice is take it to a Jeep suspension specialist aka a 4x4 shop. I don't know how mechanically inclined you are, but I'm under the impression you haven't pulled too many Jeeps apart. Apologies in advance though as I could be wrong. That's why instead of troubleshooting the problem, I'm suggesting a 4x4 shop inspection.

Unless of course you'd like to play with it yourself. We're all more than willing to help. If that's the case, start grabbing and pulling stuff shocks, springs, control arms, antiswaybars, trackbars, and see if there's slop anywhere.

If your Jeep is stock though...I'm thinking tires.

A balance and/or rotation is a good order.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:58 AM   #8
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I have an 05 Wrangler, it is stock. I have a shake/vibration. at first it was all over, now it is in the front. I have replaced front shocks, brake are good, changed rims, tires, balanced tires, front end alignments, had the rear drive shaft rebalanced, and a U-joint. A Jeep man checked it over said front end is tight. What can be done now. Its at all speeds except up to about 40 mph. Feels like I'm driving a tank.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:48 AM   #9
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@GroundHawg: My Jeep is totally stock, haven't put a lift on it (yet), and no I'm not terribly experienced when it comes to pulling apart Jeeps but we all have to start somewhere, so I'm cautiously optimistic. I have enlisted the help of a few friends who have done similar repairs themselves -- and one who has years of Wrangler experience -- and so I shouldn't screw her up too badly.

If the U-joint replacement doesn't work (the one in the front looks pretty gnarly to me, so that's where I want to start), I'll try looking for a local 4x4 shop. I appreciate the advice!

As I get underneath her this weekend I'll probably post some photos for everyone's amusement.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:23 AM   #10
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It slipped my mind when I posted, but before the ujoints or anything really, check and see if your tires are balanced. It's cheap and fast.

I got death wobble yesterday and I'm sure I threw a weight. I'm off to find out out today
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:52 AM   #11
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Thanks to everyone for your sagacious advice, you've been a fantastic help!!

To update you all: I had too much to do this weekend (read: chickened out) and so decided to have a professional check my U-joints. Yeah, I feel a little bad that I didn't do it myself, but having an experienced mechanic tackle this eased my mind a bit. I'm probably one of the only people in the world who was ever elated to find out that my front U-joint was bad, just as I had suspected.

I should get her back today or tomorrow afternoon. Once I'm sure she's all better, and she's been all polished up pretty, I'll take some pics to show her off to you guys.

Thanks again!!!
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:05 PM   #12
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When the U-joints went in my ol' 93' Ranger, at 40mph you'd swear the damn thing was going to lift off the ground. It is amaizing how much hop they'll get from an unbalanced driveshaft. It progresively gets worse and worse until you cannot go faster than around 15mph without feeling like your inside of a shaker cup!
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:56 AM   #13
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i bought my jeep used and it had 88 ford rear axel. on long drives i would get a HUGE vibration going on until on day i heard a big bang. come to find out the alignment was severely off. so off it cracked my transfer case and bent the hell out of my drive shaft. then after that i got every jeeps good friend the D.W. 2 track bars, ball joints and u joints later all is good. hope any of this helps.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:12 PM   #14
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I am having the same problems with my '04 Wrangler. It started with shaking when I hit pot holes, bumps, etc. I had the tires rotated and balanced. Problem fixed, so it seemed. Within a week, I could not drive over 50 miles per hour without it shaking violently. I had to slam on the breaks and pull over to the side of the road to make it stop. So, now I have new break pads, bushings have been checked, new track bar, etc. (pretty much everything previous posts have mentioned). My mechanic is stumped. The last thing he suggests is for me to get new tires and balance/align. I'm concerned with putting more money into it because he is not sure it will fix the problem.

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rattle , vibration , wobble

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