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Old 02-15-2014, 08:52 AM   #1
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New here. 2012 four door Sahara with Death Wobble

Hi Guys and Gals,

My wife recently purchased me a 2012 Sahara 4 door. It's in incredible condition minus a dent in the front bumper. No worries there. I already found a replacement on CL. It has low miles, so I took it to the local dealership for a check over after a death wobble incident. They warranted the steering stabilizer and track arm with factory parts, but told me that it was more of a band-aid than a repair.

They suggested heavy duty track arm and dual stabilizer units.

A) does that sound right?

B) seeking guidance as to which brands and models are sufficient.

The dealership says there is a 2" lift on the vehicle that I was unaware of.


Thanks!

Blair

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Old 02-15-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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Picture of the jeep??

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Old 02-15-2014, 09:06 AM   #3
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Hi,



I don't have any additional images right now. She picked it up with 27.5K on it for $31K TTL. She was looking at comparable, base model jeeps, and this was was sitting at a Subaru dealership all by itself. It's six speed, loaded with leather, nav system, the aftermarket black wheels, etc.

The guy at the used lot at Chrysler/Jeep said he couldn't have come close to that, so I'm praying that there is no unknown issues

Thanks!

Blair
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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Very nice, Blair! I have the same model but without the after-market treats and no leather or nav. I have no input for your concern... just wanted to say I like your ride.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:14 AM   #5
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Thank you! I'm in love

She nailed it with this gift. I'm treating the bumper I found on Craigslist with rubberized, roll on bedliner. It finishes glossy rubber, so hopefully it will hold me over until I can weld something cool for the new bumper. I'm going to do something with LED clusters.

Blair
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:24 AM   #6
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There are quite a few threads on death wobble, but this is the one that everyone goes to:

Diagnosing Death Wobble and Fixing Non-DW Shimmies and Wobbles

It not only helps diagnose, but also has some corrective action for track bar issues. (larger bolts, frame hole repair, etc.)

The '12 is also subject to the Pentastar tick issue and may, if it isn't already done, require a head replacement. Jeep is doing them under warranty, but you will want to read here to know what it is all about. Your dealer should be able to tell you if it has been done already.

Update on ticking Pentastar..new head...

I also have a '12 Sahara and the motor is fine so far at 28k, but I keep an ear open all the time and watch for the CEL so that if it shows up, I will be right there to get it fixed.

We dig our JKU, I bet you will too.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:36 AM   #7
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Thank you!

I will listen for ticking. I don't think it's ticking.

As for the Death Wobble, it's not a light imbalance issue. What the dealership replaced stopped the issue. The steering stabilizer was leaky. I saw that myself, which is why I took it in.

The whole Jeep went into a violent side to side steering incident that cause me to almost come out of my lane. The steering wheel was almost impossible to hold on to.

I figure it cannot hurt to put in the aftermarket parts that accommodate for the new geometry after the 2" suspension lift.

Does anyone have suggested parts/part numbers?

Thanks again!

Blair
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:39 AM   #8
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The dealership wants just at $1K to replace the stabilizer and new track arm. Is that reasonable?

Is it worth it to have them do it? Would the warranty be any better than a local off road shop? Or, for that matter installing them myself?

I used to be a wrencher, but age has made me lazy. I have access to all necessary tools to install new components.

Blair
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:33 PM   #9
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I truly appreciate all of the congrats, but my original post was mostly about track bars and stabilizers. I have done some reading, and I see that some if the tried and true believe that the OEM stabilizers are just fine. Great! However, the track arm is definitely something that needs addressing if you lift your Jeep. What adjustable do you recommend?

Also, looking into this head/valve tick that is concerning; how audible us this? I hear ticking, but it sounds more like a fuel pump tick than anything else. Images to come in my DIY bedliner stock bumper. Wife hates it. I like it

I went down to 40 grit to get it to stick well.

Thanks!

Blair
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:30 PM   #10
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The dealership wants just at $1K to replace the stabilizer and new track arm. Is that reasonable?

Is it worth it to have them do it? Would the warranty be any better than a local off road shop? Or, for that matter installing them myself?

I used to be a wrencher, but age has made me lazy. I have access to all necessary tools to install new components.

Blair
A good trackbar costs like ~$300 and a steering stabilizer of the same quality as oem costs like $30-40. Add 9/16 bolts and you can put an extra $25 with shipping and all. If you put your manpowah, labor is "relatively" free. Granted, tightening the trackbar bolts is no easy task if you are not used to it.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:40 PM   #11
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DO NOT GIVE THE DEALERSHIP $1000 FOR THAT.

If you had the parts and tools handy right next to you, even a rookie could finish that job in under 2 hours. Very simple.

Leave the vehicle on the ground, but slightly removing weight with a jack will help removing the bolts.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:44 PM   #12
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Did they tell you why they wanted to replace the track bar?

The track bar joints is a common source of DW. And when you get experience DW, the violent shaking can weaken or damage the stabilizer so it is good to replace once the root cause is found. However, just blindly guessing it's the track bar and replacing is not the solution. Make sure they are replacing it because it is faulty.

If you have to replace the track bar consider an adjustable one it will allow you to recenter the axle since it shifts laterally with lift.

A 2 year old Jeep with a mild lift should not be experiencing DW. There are no guarantees but its not as common for recent models and mild lift if they are installed correctly.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:49 AM   #13
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Not to hijack this thread but I have a brand new bumper that I took of for my metal one and it's on Craigslist if your interested
Thanks for the offer, but I too am planning on going steel. There was just a dent in the stock bumper corner that was driving me nuts I got the whole replacement assembly for $60.

As for the track bar and steering stabilizer, the original stabilizer was leaky. I got under it and there was hydraulic fluid all along the tube with no upper source.

The original track arm, according to the dealership was loose. I suspect it was not torqued properly during the lift process.

I have put ~1K on the jeep since then and all seems well. I'd still like to put an aftermarket track arm on that is adjustable. What brands are good? I see tons on FleaBay.

I do have access to all the tools required. I have two friends that I consult with regularly that are technicians. One of them is actually a Chrysler/Jeep master tech. That's why I'm here though Many times, as in my other hobbies, whats on paper is not always the case.

Also, is the brush guard necessary? The plastic one under the bumper? I prefer the look without it. I know some work as air dams for the cooling system, but this one looks to be of little function other than to push sticks away from suspension components.

I appreciate all the help!
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:39 PM   #14
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I've been told here that the air dam helps with hood flutter. Makes sense as it would cause more air to pass directly under and less up into the engine compartment.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair View Post
I'd still like to put an aftermarket track arm on that is adjustable.
Be sure to do the bolt upgrade, that's the key to the track bar.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:07 PM   #16
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This?

2012 2013 Jeep JK JKU Track Bar and Lower Control Arms Upgrade Bolt Kit Grd 8 | eBay

What is this besides a bunch if grade 8 bolts and washers?

Thanks regarding the air dam. I will put it back. I hate those plastic Molly bolts, so I drilled them out to remove them. They are cheaper to replace than the Asprin while trying to loosen them

Thanks!

Blair
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:22 PM   #17
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Its the change from metric to SAE 9/16 that fixes the tolerance problem. The stock metric bolt has too much play.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:26 PM   #18
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Cool. That's cheap enough at the local, "Ace Hardware".

Thank you!

Blair
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:57 PM   #19
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Its the change from metric to SAE 9/16 that fixes the tolerance problem. The stock metric bolt has too much play.
The standard bolt is 14 mm and 9/16" is 14.3mm rounding up. I think the hole in the sleeve is more like 15-16mm so it will only help marginally unless something changed in 2014.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:06 PM   #20
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Nobody makes a sleeve to close that gap? Has anyone made one?

I'm just driving and loving the jeep for now, but I'm eventually going to want to get off road and I'd rather it be ready.

Blair
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:27 PM   #21
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I bet the previous owner had death wobble and got sick of Jeep so they traded in for a Subaru since reliability was on their mind. Once you fix this death wobble you may be in the clear and ready for years of worry-free fun.

SO, good luck. Might be the ball joints.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:54 PM   #22
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The issue is with the trackbar, followed by the balljoints. The SS is not the cause of DW, and putting in a new one will only mask the problem.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:58 PM   #23
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Since the dealership replaced the track bar and damper, I have had no issues. I did manage to get another front bumper and took it down to 40 grit, then roll on bedliner'd it. Turned out very cool looking until I get or weld up a metal one. I also welded a drop and extension so my bike rack will now clear the swing gate

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:29 PM   #24
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Look at you go. I'm still deciding on what to use my limited funds on and you're getting stuff done. Good for you. Looks great.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:39 PM   #25
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Thanks! I am poor. Trust me! It helps to have a welder and a little machining capability. They sell a drop like this kind of, but it's not very sturdy looking or feeling when mounted. I welded everything that had a joint and made it exact with only 1" of clearance from the bottom corner of the swing gate.

The bedliner is very cool! It was about $25 for a small can with applicator. Then I had the sand paper stock from other hobbies. Overall, I put about $85 in the new bumper, and I have already had about a dozen guys ask where I got it. That's a start

Blair
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:20 AM   #26
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I'm not particularly handy. I have a lot of respect for folks like you and many others here who look at a need and get it done yourselves. Years ago, I replaced the fan belt on my wife's car. Ended up breaking a part off the alternator when the pry bar slipped while creating tension on the belt. That led to a series of refurbished alternators and my wife being stranded in various locations at various times of the day and night. I guess that left me rather discouraged when faced with doing the work myself.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:15 AM   #27
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Since the dealership replaced the track bar and damper, I have had no issues. I did manage to get another front bumper and took it down to 40 grit, then roll on bedliner'd it. Turned out very cool looking until I get or weld up a metal one. I also welded a drop and extension so my bike rack will now clear the swing gate
Looks great, do you have shot of bumper?
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:40 AM   #28
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Hi,

Thanks! Sorry it is splotchy looking. It's dirty and drizzling here in DFW.



It is actually very uniform and clean looking.

Blair

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