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Old 01-17-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
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2004 Jeep Wrangler Shimmies at 55 mph

I have a 2004 Jeep Wrangler, bought it with just 3200 miles on it. When it hits 55 it begins to shake. I use to be able to get past it, took it in to have rebalanced, was told I needed new shocks at 16,000 miles, did that..still had problem. Just took to mechanic and he tightened some balance bar under front of vehicle. As I approach 55 I feel it wanting to shake, definately better but the shake comes and goes. He told me I may need to get a stabilizer on the steering column. Has anyone else experienced this? Would appreciate any help I can get!

Thank you!

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Old 01-17-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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Post this in the 'TJ' Forum and you might get better responses than here in the 'JK' Forum.

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Old 01-17-2009, 08:58 PM   #3
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also, is is stock? Need some more info, but anyway, welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:17 PM   #4
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Welcome jmb, I moved your thread here to the TJ forum.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:32 PM   #5
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Check the U joints for any slack. I had the same problem, replaced the u joints and it went away.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:25 AM   #6
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Sounds like the death wobble. Do a search and read the many links about it.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:20 PM   #7
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Hey everyone! I am a new member of this forum having read and participated in another large forum in the past... Actually, I had this same problem.

Had a busted stabilizer rod and had it fixed... It helped, but didn't fix it. Actually, the only thing that cured the problem was a front to rear tire rotation. By the way, I have BFG AT/TA's... stock size.. no mods.

Hope this helps.... Chuck (as one famous Jeeper (Tom) used to ask... 'Have you hugged your Jeep today?'
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:15 PM   #8
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Could be the stearing stabilizer that is what it was for me...
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:56 PM   #9
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Google "Yucca Man death wobble"
Rotate/balance wheels
Tighten track bar bolts, esp at frame
Recommend Monroe steering stabilizer
All that helped, bur Currie front lower control arms eliminated my problems
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:01 AM   #10
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When it hits 55 it begins to shake ... As I approach 55 I feel it wanting to shake, definately better but the shake comes and goes ... Has anyone else experienced this? Would appreciate any help I can get!
I've got this on my Jeep and I've had it on my Toyota p/u before. I believe it's tire related as it has only happened to me on worn tires (both vehicles had/have MT/Rs). I don't know if this is the correct term but a certain "harmonic" occurs at ~50-55 mph with worn tires that causes a shimmy of about 10 or so degrees in the steering wheel. Below 50 mph and above 55 mph no shimmy on either my Jeep or the Toyota that I had.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:32 AM   #11
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I had it bad and found a TSB to replace the steering stablizer with an updated version. It made no difference. I ordered a new track bar and then realized I did not see the grease fitting on the joint so I started to grease it more often and not it is almost gone. I only had 50K on my 04 when it started and now it has 65K. Check and see if you have a worn track bar joint or loose mount at the other end.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:02 AM   #12
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Look at the newbies rollin' this thread!!! Go guys go!!!!!
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:06 PM   #13
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had this happen to me, ended up being a nail in the tire.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:20 PM   #14
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A shimmy is usually never anything more serious than bad tire balance. It doesn't matter if the tires were recently balanced, the tire jocks seldom take enough time to get them perfect as they need to be on a TJ. I normally have to take mine back twice to have my tires balanced to eliminate a similar shimmy, they rarely get them balanced well enough the first time.

One thing that never (!) causes a shimmy is a defective steering stabilizer.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:48 AM   #15
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I have an 05 wrangler 108,000 miles. Whole jeep would shake, replaced front shocks, have had new tires, rotations, front end elignments, had the rear drive shaft rebalanced, and replaced rims. I have the shake all in the front now. What to do next?
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:05 AM   #16
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A shimmy is usually never anything more serious than bad tire balance. It doesn't matter if the tires were recently balanced, the tire jocks seldom take enough time to get them perfect as they need to be on a TJ. I normally have to take mine back twice to have my tires balanced to eliminate a similar shimmy, they rarely get them balanced well enough the first time.

One thing that never (!) causes a shimmy is a defective steering stabilizer.

x2

My Jeep "shimmies" because one of my rims is so badly bent that it is unbalancable.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:10 AM   #17
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I have an 05 wrangler 108,000 miles. Whole jeep would shake, replaced front shocks, have had new tires, rotations, front end elignments, had the rear drive shaft rebalanced, and replaced rims. I have the shake all in the front now. What to do next?
Check if tires are balanced? Rotated around to see if it makes a difference? what tires are you running? What have you tried?

Mine did it at 65 MPH, would shake like hell. I could blow through it and all would be fine at 75-80 MPH. I never could get it to quit no matter what I changed. I didn't worry about it to much cause how often do I go 65-70 MPH except on the interstate?

Anyway, when I changed tires, problem went away completely. I went from SuperSwampers to something more road friendly and my ride is like night and day. Better gas mileage, more power, great handling. no shaking.


Not suggesting you go out and buy new tires, but you may want to keep it in mind when you need to buy new ones.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:21 AM   #18
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^^^ x2 on tires... At least, check 'em first before spending to much money. Rotate 'em and see if the wobble changes feel. You can also take it to a good tire shop and ask them if they can check your tires to see if any of them are "chopped". Thats when the tread starts to wear in a cross pattern, everytime the tire comes around to the "chopped" tread area it will shake the vehicle slightly. Its not easy to notice just by looking at the tires but a good tire mechanic should be able to run his hand around your tires and tell you if there are any chopped areas that would cause it to shake.

This is a very, very common problem with tires that often gets overlooked. People spend hundreds on new parts and mods that arn't needed... But, its hard to find a good mechanic that will actually troubleshoot rather than being a certified parts replacer.


and... Welcome!
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:41 AM   #19
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I have replaced tires, which are stock. I'm ready to start replacing front end parts. I'm told to have an alignment and have the tire man make them straight.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:47 AM   #20
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thanks, I'm going to try the rebalane and elignment again this weekend. All tires are sstock size. I have replaced tires twice during this hold thing. I've been told to have the tires aligned straight.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:27 AM   #21
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I've been told to have the tires aligned straight.
Ignore the doofus who told you that. Providing a little toe-in with a RWD vehicle allows the tires to be straight when actually driving. Setting it with no toe-in at rest would cause you to have toe-out while driving.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:26 PM   #22
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Check the U joints for any slack. I had the same problem, replaced the u joints and it went away.


Bad U joints causing the steering to shake??? That's a new one. I always figured bad U joints would cause driveline vibration instead. Always learning something new on WF.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:52 PM   #23
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There are u-joints on the front axle shafts but they'd have to be really bad to cause something that feels like a shimmy.

As said above, most shimmy is caused by either an out of balance tire or a bad tire.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #24
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Mine does the same thing. Stock everything. 55mph its not terrible or barley noticable but it wobbles....havent bothered messing with it yet
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:14 PM   #25
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I had the same problem with my tj around 55 mph had the stock tires rebalanced had 26,000 miles on them still had the problem but not as bad. Got a new set of bfg's /at and no more shimmy
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:16 PM   #26
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There are u-joints on the front axle shafts but they'd have to be really bad to cause something that feels like a shimmy.

As said above, most shimmy is caused by either an out of balance tire or a bad tire.
Yes Jerry, I understand that. The point I was getting at was: If the front axle u-joints need replacing aren't they part of the axle and therefore you would refer to it as "replace the axle" as verses "replace the u-joints" (as on the drive shafts)? Curiousity is getting the better of me.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:48 PM   #27
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I have a 2004 Jeep Wrangler, bought it with just 3200 miles on it. When it hits 55 it begins to shake. I use to be able to get past it, took it in to have rebalanced, was told I needed new shocks at 16,000 miles, did that..still had problem. Just took to mechanic and he tightened some balance bar under front of vehicle. As I approach 55 I feel it wanting to shake, definately better but the shake comes and goes. He told me I may need to get a stabilizer on the steering column. Has anyone else experienced this? Would appreciate any help I can get!

Thank you!
You will probably hear a hundred different ways of how to fix this issue. The best thing to do is start with the simple things first. Then talk to a Jeep mechanic that knows his stuff. A standard mechanic is a Jack of All Cars but a Master Of None.

The Death wobble does definitely suck!
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:52 PM   #28
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If the front axle u-joints need replacing aren't they part of the axle and therefore you would refer to it as "replace the axle" as verses "replace the u-joints" (as on the drive shafts)?
No, I would only call that replacing the u-joints which is not a difficult process. I have done that job on the trail. You can see part of that job in my website below in the earlier of the two Sledgehammer trail pages.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:00 PM   #29
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OK Jerry, I will defer to your superior knowledge and never differentiate between u-joints again.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:21 PM   #30
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Going from the stock Wrangler tire to some Michelin solved my wobble at 55mph.
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