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Old 05-12-2011, 11:37 PM   #271
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Will those rear bushings work on the front? I'm not sure if theres even a difference...the bushings go on where it bolts to the axle right?

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Old 05-13-2011, 09:31 AM   #272
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Originally Posted by ellman605 View Post
Well I had it aligned and balanced. Didn't help. Rotated the tires...MADE IT WORSE! Now it either doesn't happen at ALL or its HORRIBLE and I have to stop! ONLY happens from 45-50mph, everywhere else, nothing...

Attached are pics of tire tread, and where the trackbar is attached on the passenger side...looks worn? Maybe?
Like many who frequent this subject, you don't give enough information to allow any of us who have experience with DW help you much.
Anyone giving advice on the info you have given so far is just guessing (no offense to those offering help).
First, we need to know exactly what you drive:
  • is it lifted and how much
  • short arm or long arm
  • adjustable control arms or not
  • Adjustable track bar or not
  • any other upgrades to the suspension / steering
  • how many miles

You mention the steering wheel of off center... how long has it been like that? Did it happen all at once or was it something that happened slowly? Was it ever straight to begin with?
If it happened all at once, what were the circumstances?
If it did happen suddenly, there are two things to check for. Bent drag link or the pitman arm is either bent or possibly broken on the spined end and has "jumped" a few splines. (this is an easy one to overlook when inspecting the steering).
The camber on the alignment may or may not be a clue too. Is your front axle a D30 or D44?

As I did in posts above this one, I would recommend you go to
HappyTrails4wd.com and look at the article "Death Wobble" under the category "suspension". There you will learn more about the DW than you probably want to know. Don't skip looking at the Teraflex video of how to do an alignment. The Jeep they are aligning has an extreme lift, but what you will learn will more that compensate your time. It may provide you the answer to your problem as well.

What you are experiencing sounds fairly common. That doesn't mean it will be easy, just common.
Give us the info asked for above and we can probably help you through it.
Good luck and Happy Trails.

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Old 05-13-2011, 09:52 AM   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onejsmith

Like many who frequent this subject, you don't give enough information to allow any of us who have experience with DW help you much.
Anyone giving advice on the info you have given so far is just guessing (no offense to those offering help).
First, we need to know exactly what you drive:

[*]is it lifted and how much[*]short arm or long arm[*]adjustable control arms or not[*]Adjustable track bar or not[*]any other upgrades to the suspension / steering[*]how many miles


You mention the steering wheel of off center... how long has it been like that? Did it happen all at once or was it something that happened slowly? Was it ever straight to begin with?
If it happened all at once, what were the circumstances?
If it did happen suddenly, there are two things to check for. Bent drag link or the pitman arm is either bent or possibly broken on the spined end and has "jumped" a few splines. (this is an easy one to overlook when inspecting the steering).
The camber on the alignment may or may not be a clue too. Is your front axle a D30 or D44?

As I did in posts above this one, I would recommend you go to
HappyTrails4wd.com and look at the article "Death Wobble" under the category "suspension". There you will learn more about the DW than you probably want to know. Don't skip looking at the Teraflex video of how to do an alignment. The Jeep they are aligning has an extreme lift, but what you will learn will more that compensate your time. It may provide you the answer to your problem as well.

What you are experiencing sounds fairly common. That doesn't mean it will be easy, just common.
Give us the info asked for above and we can probably help you through it.
Good luck and Happy Trails.
Its an 05 tj, d30. Everything stock besides a rancho ss and 2" bb. 33" firestone destination ats. Wobble only occurs at 45-50mph, goes away below or above.

Posted pics of my trackbar where it ataches to the axle. I THINK the bushings are bad. Ordered new ones.

Steering wheel has always been to the left a little. Just suspecting its simply off center, nothing serious.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:12 AM   #274
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Its an 05 tj, d30. Everything stock besides a rancho ss and 2" bb. 33" firestone destination ats. Wobble only occurs at 45-50mph, goes away below or above.

Posted pics of my trackbar where it ataches to the axle. I THINK the bushings are bad. Ordered new ones.

Steering wheel has always been to the left a little. Just suspecting its simply off center, nothing serious.

You just threw another twist into the whole thing. Now I have to question whether you are experiencing Death Wobble. I have never heard of anyone "driving through" one. If it quits as you gain speed after 50 mph, you are likely experiencing a more simple shimmy.
With a Death Wobble, you won't have guts enough to drive through it. The steering wheel will rip your hands off if you try to hold a real one. That is still not to say you aren't well on your way to having one. Sometimes the shimmy is a "friendly" warning of things to come.

I would still have a serious check of your entire front suspension by someone who is really tuned in to Jeeps if you can find one. Make sure whoever does it KNOWs what they are doing, not just learning. They will probably not find one thing that stands out, but several small loose joints.

I am still unclear about whether the steering wheel was straight after the alignment or not. That is usually the last thing done in an alignment with the exception of a test drive. If it is still off, the guy who did your alignment isn't much of a professional.

With the alignment, even though you only have a 2" lift, they should have set the caster at about +4.5 to +5.5 degrees. That may also affect the camber reading which you said was off at first. The specs on a stock Jeep are +7 degrees +or - 1. A lifted suspension works better with a little less caster.

While doing the suspension check, double check the axle end of the track bar. I would check it first before loosening the nut on it to see if that makes a difference while watching it. If the bolt shows any sign of moving, the bolt holes may have elongated... which will be a major source of your problem.

The frame end of the track bar is the next place to be suspect of. The torque on the nut is often not correct and the taper fit on the stud will not be tight. You will see and/or feel movement there while someone moves the steering wheel back and forth. You will have to remove the cotter key to check that. If it is real bad, you can try another track bar, but that's not always going to work either. If the tapered bore is worn, you may have to have it sleeved or machined to make it work right.

A couple other things you may have to look into if all the other joints check out OK is to make sure you wheel bearings are all good and the pre-load is proper.
Another thing would be to check for a bent axle tube on the D30. This usually would show up on an alignment as a caster and/or camber being way off on at least one side.
Last, make sure the control arm bushings and the bolt holes in the mounts are all good. A loose nut on these will cause wear on the bolt or the mount. A little trick if you have to remove these, use antiseize on the bolt (only where the bolt and the bushing contact... not on the threads). The antiseize will last much longer than most lubricants you might use there.

Let us know how you come out on this project.
Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:27 PM   #275
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just got a new steering damper and wobble is gone!
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:34 AM   #276
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gone

The wobble is not gone, the steering damper is now hiding it from you. It will come back, read all the posts from people who deal with this everyday and they all agree. New steering dampers hide the the real problem.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #277
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I think mineis more mild to serious shimmy. Once in a while I have to come to a near stop (20mph before it gets under control), but it usally stops by 40mph.

Taking it into a shop, mechanic said he dealed with a similar case about a week ago, was a track bar issue on that one. Hoping for a miracle, supposed to make an 800 mile road trip in 3 day... =[
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:19 AM   #278
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Death Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellman605 View Post
I think mineis more mild to serious shimmy. Once in a while I have to come to a near stop (20mph before it gets under control), but it usally stops by 40mph.

Taking it into a shop, mechanic said he dealed with a similar case about a week ago, was a track bar issue on that one. Hoping for a miracle, supposed to make an 800 mile road trip in 3 day... =[
I agree that you have only "Masked" your real problem and it will be back. Steering stabilizers were used because of an inherent flaw in the steering design. They only prolong the inevitable.
I would say take your trip... but be on your toes the whole way. When you return, take the stabilizer off and have the whole suspension and steering checked out like is outlined in posts above. Fix the real problem and get on with life.
Good luck on your trip and Happy Trails
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:50 AM   #279
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Bought an '06 Unlimited four weeks ago and was doing it frequently at 90kph (about 55mph). I could accelerate through it and it would go away but if I cruised at 55, it would amplify and get scary. After two unsuccessful balancing attempts, the dealer took the Goodyear Wrangler tires off and put on 4 Michelin Cross Terrain. That worked. After 500km of driving all is well so far and the Michelins have refined the ride overall too. Seems to coast more easily and a definite jump in range on a tank of gas. Hopefully I'm wobble free for good.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:14 AM   #280
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by johnsonkid View Post
Bought an '06 Unlimited four weeks ago and was doing it frequently at 90kph (about 55mph). I could accelerate through it and it would go away but if I cruised at 55, it would amplify and get scary. After two unsuccessful balancing attempts, the dealer took the Goodyear Wrangler tires off and put on 4 Michelin Cross Terrain. That worked. After 500km of driving all is well so far and the Michelins have refined the ride overall too. Seems to coast more easily and a definite jump in range on a tank of gas. Hopefully I'm wobble free for good.
Welcome to the world of Jeeping. You apparently have experienced what I call a "Mild Version" of the Death Wobble. Consider yourself lucky and also cursed at the same time. While you consider all that, think about what you will do next.
In changing the tires, you have just taken away the "pull on the trigger" that is causing your DW. The real problem still exists and it will come back on you sooner than later.

If your "Dealer" is a Jeep Dealer, they should know better. If they don't, I wouldn't recommend them for dog catcher. They are just "technician wanna be" types.

For a real description of the causes and cures of DW, go to HappyTrails4wd.com and look into the article Death Wobble. It's in the categories. If you like, print out the article and take it to a "good" alignment center.

Have them read it so they for sure understand what to look for when inspecting your steering and suspension. The Jeep suspension has some "quirky" things that someone not experienced with them won't know how to find. Usually, they will find "minor" wear in some components that on many other vehicles won't mean much. On a Jeep, they do mean something... something serious.

When a little wear here and there adds up, it is called Death Wobble on a Jeep. Check for the worn bolt holes in the track bar mounts first. This is one that few alignment guys even know about. The same problem can show up on the control arms if a nut loosens and allows the bolt to work for a while.

Your old tires probably had a wear pattern of cupping or excessive wear on the edges. It won't be long before the new ones will begin showing this same wear and the shimmy/ DW will start all over again.

Trust me, it won't be long. By your description, I'd guess around 10,000 miles that you will begin having the same problem again.

Don't let some "tech" tell you to put a steering stabilizer on it. That only masks your real problem.

Take this problem seriously. It can be literally deadly. If you "drove through it", you had only a minor DW. When you have a full on DW, you won't have guts enough to attempt to drive through it. You will be scraping your legs and pulling seat covers from your behind after you get back under control.

Please go have this checked out soon. You won't be sorry and you will save wearing out those new Michelins prematurely.

Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:02 AM   #281
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Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
I agree that you have only "Masked" your real problem and it will be back. Steering stabilizers were used because of an inherent flaw in the steering design. They only prolong the inevitable.
I would say take your trip... but be on your toes the whole way. When you return, take the stabilizer off and have the whole suspension and steering checked out like is outlined in posts above. Fix the real problem and get on with life.
Good luck on your trip and Happy Trails
What is the inherent flaw that a stabilizer masks?
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:06 AM   #282
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tires

Tire can even look good but create all kinds of problems.I have seen new 24.5 steer axle tires for semi's call for 2 pounds of lead to balance, new 16 or 17 inch truck tires call for a pound or more. The tire tech will pound the lead on and send you down the road rather than mount another tire and return the heavey one. Thirty years in a tire store you will learn alot about tires, new and used.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:18 AM   #283
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At first when i had factory tires on my jeep, i started to get the death wobble BAD! at the time i just took it into a car care center. they installed a shim kit to try and illiminate the "shopping cart effect" due to the caster angle on jeeps. i drove out of there and it was still there if not worse. frustrating on the money you spend at shops!! anyway i looked at the tires i had and being that i had those tires on there for such a long time with the death wobble i noticed the wear on the tires (bubbles, scuffing and out of roundness!!) when i installed my M/T's on my jeep i went from 8 inches wide to 10.5 inches wide, NO Death wobble since!! wider tires can help tremendously i found with this. mine is a 99 tj it could be a different condition in your case but its worth a try!! hope this helps
-Nick-

If there was one attribute assigned to the description of DW that I could forever eliminate, it would be the comparison to what a shopping cart caster does.

Other than being round and rolling on the ground, there is simply no other aspect that is appropriate in the comparison.

The Kingpin axis or the line around which the steering knuckle pivots on the front of the TJ, (or any of the Jeep Models with the same front end and most other vehicle with SFA's) is exactly on centerline of the rotational center of the tire or put differently, the center of the unitbearing.

The top of the steering knuckle is tilted back behind the lower which also means the Steering axis is Inclined which is where we get caster.

To have any comparison to how a shopping cart caster work, the caster or steering axis inclination would have to be perfectly vertical or zero degrees and then the centerline of the unit bearing would need to be several inches behind or trailing like a shopping cart caster does.

Besides, when is the last time you saw a shopping cart with a steering gear and a tie rod besides the ones you tossed in there to get through the check out line?
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:49 PM   #284
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death wobble

I was extremely concerned when my 05 TJ began violently shaking after a small bump on the freeway. It occurred several times before I had a chance to take it in for a look. Fortunately it was corrected with new tires. As it turns out, the basic steel radials had started to come apart and the bulges from the slipping belts could be seen on the sidewall.
After the new tires I had the alignment checked and it was slightly toed, but nothing that should have caused the issue that the tires obviously had. It was a relief that $700 in tires fixed what could have been even worse according to the previous posts... glad I had it checked out before buying and replacing front end parts! ... and thank goodness for wrangler forum for pointing me in the right direction!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:34 AM   #285
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by ajones8230 View Post
I was extremely concerned when my 05 TJ began violently shaking after a small bump on the freeway. It occurred several times before I had a chance to take it in for a look. Fortunately it was corrected with new tires. As it turns out, the basic steel radials had started to come apart and the bulges from the slipping belts could be seen on the sidewall.
After the new tires I had the alignment checked and it was slightly toed, but nothing that should have caused the issue that the tires obviously had. It was a relief that $700 in tires fixed what could have been even worse according to the previous posts... glad I had it checked out before buying and replacing front end parts! ... and thank goodness for wrangler forum for pointing me in the right direction!

I hate to burst your bubble, but you have NOT "Fixed" anything. You have just removed the pressure on the trigger. Wear in your steering and/or suspension is what causes DW. The tires may have been what set it off, but they do not cause it.

The folks who did your alignment were not competent in checking out your rig before doing the "alignment". The toe in issue had more to do with your problem than the tires. But even it was only a contributor.

DW comes from one or more (usually more) joints in your steering or suspension either wearing out or just the accumulation of wear between all the components.

Go to HappyTrails4wd.com and read the post "Death Wobble" under the categories. It explains the causes and cures for DW. If you take the time to view the suggested videos showing an alignment being done, you will learn a bunch as well. The suspension being aligned is probably far more advanced than what you are running, but the basics of an alignment are what you want to know about.

You did not state whether or not your Jeep is lifted. If it is, pay particular attention to the part where Caster is explained and then pass that on to the alignment shop so they will get it right.

You might want to print out the article and have the alignment people read it. They may learn how to properly check out a Jeep suspension... something I guarantee they missed the first time. You do have a problem and it will come back to haunt you. Take it seriously. You already know about surviving DW. Don't wait for it to surprise you again.

Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:16 PM   #286
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death wobble ive had it do it 6 times before i fixed it

one of the most scariest things ever good thing i wasnt on the freeway . i went to a rustys wheel to wheel tie rod conversion and dual stabilizers and it doesnt do that stuff no more be careful if you get death woble it could be bad
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:19 PM   #287
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death woble i went through at least i wasnt on the freeway change the steering to rustys wheel to wheel tie rod conversion with dual stablizes death woble gone .. its no joke
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:45 AM   #288
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About your Death Wobble

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death woble i went through at least i wasnt on the freeway change the steering to rustys wheel to wheel tie rod conversion with dual stablizes death woble gone .. its no joke
I hate to sound like a broken record (if you are old enough to know what that even means), but your new double steering stabilizer has NOT "fixed" anything!!!! You have just temporarily covered up the real problem. Death Wobble is not caused by bad tires or steering stabilizers.
DW is an inherent problem with the engineering of the Jeep front suspension and steering systems.
Changing tires only takes the pressure of of the trigger that starts a DW. Adding a steering stabilizer or two just temporarily covers up the real problem. They will even slow the wear that is going on with your tires if you pay attention to them enough to see it happening.
Even though you have no DW now, the real cause of it (wear of one or more parts in your steering or suspension) will continue until one day you will be driving along and hit a very small bump or depression and BANG...
you are back in a DW.
Take the time to go to HappyTrails4wd.com and check out the post "Death Wobble".
There you will find the causes of DW and the cures for it plus some info you don't usually hear anywhere else about how to truly fix it.
Get it repaired before it bites you again.
Happy Trails---
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:26 AM   #289
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by Black Magic Brakes View Post
What is the inherent flaw that a stabilizer masks?
The flaw is in the way the linkages are not always in sync through their gyrating.
With the differences, as wear in ball joint, tie rod ends, track bars, and occasionally the control arms accumulates, eventually something, usually a very small bump or depression, triggers the DW. Even cupping tires wearing to a certain point will be just enough to "pull the trigger".

Too many people have been led astray by unknowing "experts" telling them what they have "heard" when they don't know their knee from their elbow.
You don't learn about DW in any book I have ever heard of and it is plain that even good shops haven't had enough experience around the problem to KNOW how to deal with it. Most are just experimenting.

The best way I know of to get rid of this problem is to go to a very experienced alignment shop... preferably one very experienced with the 4 link suspension which is most prone to the DW.

Once we start lifting and otherwise modifying a Jeep in any way that affects the suspension or steering, there is an increased chance that you will eventually experience a DW. That's just a fact of Jeep ownership.
The big variable is how and where you drive it.

If you're off road a lot, it will show up sooner. More articulation causes more wear in the joints which is the real cause of most DWs. The two really big causes have to do with the track bar.

The nut on the axle end mounting bolt gets loose and the mount bolt holes get elongated and or the bushing wears along with it.

On the frame end, the stud will work in the bore until the nut is loose and everything moves way more than it should. Those are the first places to look.

All other joints; tie rods ends, ball joints, drag link ends, and the control arms must be checked for any excessive movement. Wheel bearings should also be scrutinized for proper preload.

Make sure the Steering gear is tight on the frame and that the frame is not twisting from pressures on the track bar mount tower.

Those are all either the only cause or wear in all of them added together will be enough to allow a DW to occur.

I have worked on vehicles that have been to several shops (one from three different cities as well.. including Las Vegas) where the other shops threw in the towel and gave up.

DW is not an easy diagnosis. You have to know your steering and suspension much better than the average good tech does. Most don't understand all the things an axle goes through in an average drive down town, much less off on a class 7 or higher trail.

That is why setting up a lift, even a good kit suspension, takes more than just swapping parts. Any old suspension will work off road. But how it performs on the highway at speed is just as important to the majority of Jeep owners. They use them as daily drivers too.

Having suspension problems with a daily driver is not fun. That is why I frequent this particular thread. I can help if the other party will just do what is recommended. When they do just what they're told, it will save them time and money to get the results they wish for.

Happy Trails
PS: I agree with your assessment of the shopping cart comparison. It is only a visual for those lacking mechanical aptitude in my opinion.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #290
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death wobble fixes

ok so i went through it trying to eliminate my death wobble in my TJ. track bars, re-iforced or heavier duty parts, changed the angles of alingment off stock. in the end it turned out to be a bad rim that wouldnt balance. stick with steel rims and keep them balanced and it will definately go a long way to helping you out. good luck
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:26 AM   #291
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The flaw is in the way the linkages are not always in sync through their gyrating.
With the differences, as wear in ball joint, tie rod ends, track bars, and occasionally the control arms accumulates, eventually something, usually a very small bump or depression, triggers the DW. Even cupping tires wearing to a certain point will be just enough to "pull the trigger".
You are one of the few folks I've seen on the boards outside of one friend I have from Canada who has their finger closer to the DW pulse than most.

We have a lot of the same ideas about causation when it comes to DW, but before you get too carried away with your gyration effect on the linkages, I'd like to invite you to do some research on Haltenberger linkage and why it exists. That's an invitation borne from respect for you knowledge and willingness to help and also because knowledge is a good thing. Just keep an open mind is all I ask.

Quote:
Too many people have been led astray by unknowing "experts" telling them what they have "heard" when they don't know their knee from their elbow.
You don't learn about DW in any book I have ever heard of and it is plain that even good shops haven't had enough experience around the problem to KNOW how to deal with it. Most are just experimenting.

The best way I know of to get rid of this problem is to go to a very experienced alignment shop... preferably one very experienced with the 4 link suspension which is most prone to the DW.
The only issue I have with suggesting an alignment shop is it gives the unknowing the impression that DW is alignment related.

Quote:
Once we start lifting and otherwise modifying a Jeep in any way that affects the suspension or steering, there is an increased chance that you will eventually experience a DW. That's just a fact of Jeep ownership.
The big variable is how and where you drive it.

If you're off road a lot, it will show up sooner. More articulation causes more wear in the joints which is the real cause of most DWs. The two really big causes have to do with the track bar.

The nut on the axle end mounting bolt gets loose and the mount bolt holes get elongated and or the bushing wears along with it.

On the frame end, the stud will work in the bore until the nut is loose and everything moves way more than it should. Those are the first places to look.

All other joints; tie rods ends, ball joints, drag link ends, and the control arms must be checked for any excessive movement. Wheel bearings should also be scrutinized for proper preload.

Make sure the Steering gear is tight on the frame and that the frame is not twisting from pressures on the track bar mount tower.

Those are all either the only cause or wear in all of them added together will be enough to allow a DW to occur.

I have worked on vehicles that have been to several shops (one from three different cities as well.. including Las Vegas) where the other shops threw in the towel and gave up.

DW is not an easy diagnosis. You have to know your steering and suspension much better than the average good tech does. Most don't understand all the things an axle goes through in an average drive down town, much less off on a class 7 or higher trail.
I'm the guy who gets the jobs that have been to all the shops, whose owners have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars and then I get to fix it.

Quote:
That is why setting up a lift, even a good kit suspension, takes more than just swapping parts. Any old suspension will work off road. But how it performs on the highway at speed is just as important to the majority of Jeep owners. They use them as daily drivers too.

Having suspension problems with a daily driver is not fun. That is why I frequent this particular thread. I can help if the other party will just do what is recommended. When they do just what they're told, it will save them time and money to get the results they wish for.

Happy Trails
PS: I agree with your assessment of the shopping cart comparison. It is only a visual for those lacking mechanical aptitude in my opinion.
It's hard to get folks to understand that NO, it's not supposed to be undriveable at speed because it's a Jeep. My first and foremost build requirement is that you can drive it with one hand on the steering wheel with no concerns at 70+ no matter what. That and you can toss anyone the keys with no qualms, cautions, or warnings. If I can't build them that way, I don't build them.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:28 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by HumaitaHillbilly View Post
ok so i went through it trying to eliminate my death wobble in my TJ. track bars, re-iforced or heavier duty parts, changed the angles of alingment off stock. in the end it turned out to be a bad rim that wouldnt balance. stick with steel rims and keep them balanced and it will definately go a long way to helping you out. good luck
More DW is triggered from Crap Steel Rims than any other thing you can do besides ignore your maintenance.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:29 AM   #293
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by Black Magic Brakes View Post
You are one of the few folks I've seen on the boards outside of one friend I have from Canada who has their finger closer to the DW pulse than most.

We have a lot of the same ideas about causation when it comes to DW, but before you get too carried away with your gyration effect on the linkages, I'd like to invite you to do some research on Haltenberger linkage and why it exists. That's an invitation borne from respect for you knowledge and willingness to help and also because knowledge is a good thing. Just keep an open mind is all I ask.



The only issue I have with suggesting an alignment shop is it gives the unknowing the impression that DW is alignment related.



I'm the guy who gets the jobs that have been to all the shops, whose owners have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars and then I get to fix it.



It's hard to get folks to understand that NO, it's not supposed to be undriveable at speed because it's a Jeep. My first and foremost build requirement is that you can drive it with one hand on the steering wheel with no concerns at 70+ no matter what. That and you can toss anyone the keys with no qualms, cautions, or warnings. If I can't build them that way, I don't build them.
The main reason I recommend a "GOOD" alignment shop first is that they work with this problem more often than the average shop. Too many techs in the average shop are nothing more than parts changers. Their diagnostics skills are near zero when it comes to something out of the ordinary.

Suspension and steering other than shocks and struts are above their pay grade. Most have never learned the right ways to look for worn ball joints and the other steering joints. Therefore, they just change parts until they get lucky.

With DW, experience has shown that it is seldom a one component problem. You can improve the condition by replacing one faulty part, but if you really test drive the rig well, you can create the condition again.

While testing, you need to know the triggers that set up the circumstances that set off a DW. Otherwise, your just on a Sunday drive.

As for your comment about the Haltenberger linkage, I didn't bring it up because that goes over the head of most of the readers here. I applaud your knowledge.

Haltenberger linkage is cheaper to build and easier to work around all the obstacles. It has the "inherent flaw", spoken of before, where it does not allow for precise geometry in the steering linkage.

When we begin lifting and changing tires diameters, the angles on this steering begin to change, making an already tenuous system worse. This sets up things like Bump Steer and Torque Steer.

That is one of the reasons for converting a lifted Jeep to Parallel steering with a "High Steer" kit. It gets your steering up away from rocks, but the major point is it puts a better steering system to work for you.

The imprecision is one of the reasons DW is so prominent in Jeeps. When components oppose each other, there is a problem. In this instance, that opposition amplifies the wear in other components and sets up a rhythm of movement we call "Death Wobble".

These rhythms are triggered by various things. The bad rim mentioned, tires with poor wear patterns-- which were caused by the worn components in the first place-- bumps or depressions in the road, or any number of things.

Covering up the problem with steering stabilizers and such do nothing to cure the real problem. They are just a bandaid that covers the sore, but in this case, the sore does not heal without outside assistance.

If people would pay attention to things like abnormal wear in their tires, and fix the problem before it ruins the tires, we'd all be better off. But we all know that will never happen.

Happy Trails
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:23 AM   #294
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The main reason I recommend a "GOOD" alignment shop first is that they work with this problem more often than the average shop. Too many techs in the average shop are nothing more than parts changers. Their diagnostics skills are near zero when it comes to something out of the ordinary.

Suspension and steering other than shocks and struts are above their pay grade. Most have never learned the right ways to look for worn ball joints and the other steering joints. Therefore, they just change parts until they get lucky.
I hope you didn't misinterpret, I didn't say you shouldn't recommend or find a good alignment shop, I just said I'd like to see more delineation so folks would quit thinking DW is even remotely alignment related.

That's not to say you can't slow down the triggers for DW to get your rig driveable to get it to the tire store for a good balance or what not, but it's never the root.

Quote:
With DW, experience has shown that it is seldom a one component problem. You can improve the condition by replacing one faulty part, but if you really test drive the rig well, you can create the condition again.

While testing, you need to know the triggers that set up the circumstances that set off a DW. Otherwise, your just on a Sunday drive.
Yes, well I know. Probably like you, I'm the DW guy in my little corner of the world.

Quote:
As for your comment about the Haltenberger linkage, I didn't bring it up because that goes over the head of most of the readers here. I applaud your knowledge.

Haltenberger linkage is cheaper to build and easier to work around all the obstacles. It has the "inherent flaw", spoken of before, where it does not allow for precise geometry in the steering linkage.
Do some more digging. I think you'll find that a knuckle to knuckle tie rod system is more DW prone due to the solid connection between the two knuckles and the bigger reason HB linkage is used is to break that connection and slow down the cross talk between the two sides.

Quote:
When we begin lifting and changing tires diameters, the angles on this steering begin to change, making an already tenuous system worse. This sets up things like Bump Steer and Torque Steer.

That is one of the reasons for converting a lifted Jeep to Parallel steering with a "High Steer" kit. It gets your steering up away from rocks, but the major point is it puts a better steering system to work for you.

The imprecision is one of the reasons DW is so prominent in Jeeps. When components oppose each other, there is a problem. In this instance, that opposition amplifies the wear in other components and sets up a rhythm of movement we call "Death Wobble".
I don't know that I consider a knuckle to knuckle high steer system better. For the most part, the trade-offs don't make it that worthwhile.

Most don't have the wherewithal to dial it in correctly, build a higher trackbar mount and the big one for me is few high steer set-ups take Ackermann into account and that's very sad.

Quote:
These rhythms are triggered by various things. The bad rim mentioned, tires with poor wear patterns-- which were caused by the worn components in the first place-- bumps or depressions in the road, or any number of things.

Covering up the problem with steering stabilizers and such do nothing to cure the real problem. They are just a bandaid that covers the sore, but in this case, the sore does not heal without outside assistance.

If people would pay attention to things like abnormal wear in their tires, and fix the problem before it ruins the tires, we'd all be better off. But we all know that will never happen.

Happy Trails
I distill it down to what I consider it's base level. DW is caused when the locating and steering components for the front axle lose their ability to do their job through wear, being too small, or joint integrity.

It doesn't matter if you run square blocks for tires if your front axle parts are strong enough to control them. (extreme example)
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:49 PM   #295
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track bar replacement?

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Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
I hate to burst your bubble, but you have NOT "Fixed" anything. You have just removed the pressure on the trigger. Wear in your steering and/or suspension is what causes DW. The tires may have been what set it off, but they do not cause it.

The folks who did your alignment were not competent in checking out your rig before doing the "alignment". The toe in issue had more to do with your problem than the tires. But even it was only a contributor.

DW comes from one or more (usually more) joints in your steering or suspension either wearing out or just the accumulation of wear between all the components.

Go to HappyTrails4wd.com and read the post "Death Wobble" under the categories. It explains the causes and cures for DW. If you take the time to view the suggested videos showing an alignment being done, you will learn a bunch as well. The suspension being aligned is probably far more advanced than what you are running, but the basics of an alignment are what you want to know about.

You did not state whether or not your Jeep is lifted. If it is, pay particular attention to the part where Caster is explained and then pass that on to the alignment shop so they will get it right.

You might want to print out the article and have the alignment people read it. They may learn how to properly check out a Jeep suspension... something I guarantee they missed the first time. You do have a problem and it will come back to haunt you. Take it seriously. You already know about surviving DW. Don't wait for it to surprise you again.

Good luck and Happy Trails
Thanks for the feedback! With that in mind, I will crawl underneath and have my son turn the wheel for me while I check out the trackbar and other components (although I'm no expert). I definitely don't want that experience again! I also mentioned this issue with my shop, and they stated that they'd take a closer look at those parts to find the culprit when I take it back in. I was thinking I might just buy a new adjustable track bar (saw one for $129 rusty's offroad) and put it on for good measure.... Thoughts?
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:10 PM   #296
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Ok not sure if the prob has been addressed but... I have horrible death wobble and ive replaced my stock track bar with an adjustable track bar and had it professionally installed, also tightened all the bolts on the tie rod bars (steering stabilizers) and upper and lower control arms and rotated my tires and had an alignment done! It use to just wobble a little bit but now its like horrible to where i about have to stop to get it to stop. I dont know what else to do ive tried to check to see the wheel bearing but dont really think it looks bad? Can any one help me please i dont want to drive it until I get this fixed and really lookin forward to dring it again please help!!!!
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:44 AM   #297
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Death Wobble

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Ok not sure if the prob has been addressed but... I have horrible death wobble and ive replaced my stock track bar with an adjustable track bar and had it professionally installed, also tightened all the bolts on the tie rod bars (steering stabilizers) and upper and lower control arms and rotated my tires and had an alignment done! It use to just wobble a little bit but now its like horrible to where i about have to stop to get it to stop. I dont know what else to do ive tried to check to see the wheel bearing but dont really think it looks bad? Can any one help me please i dont want to drive it until I get this fixed and really lookin forward to dring it again please help!!!!
Please take this for the way it is meant, not as a personal criticism. You have not given us much to work with. We don't even know what you drive or how it might be set up.
That not withstanding, one of the first things you did right was the new track bar. Where that may have gone wrong though is... did the shop that installed it check for the problems related to the old one?

Rather than explain it here for the 40th time, just go to HappyTrails4wd.com and really study the post in the categories "Death Wobble".

There you will find a description of the usual causes and cures for DW. If your rig is lifted, before having it aligned, pay close attention to the correct way to align a lifted Jeep. Watching the Teraflex videos will bring a lot of understanding to you as well.

It can also be a benefit to you to print out the article and have the alignment shop or who ever you have working on it read it. Not many shops have dealt with this and they basically experiment on your dime. If they read and use the techniques to check for the problem(s), they will have a much easier time repairing it.

Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:57 AM   #298
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by Black Magic Brakes View Post
I hope you didn't misinterpret, I didn't say you shouldn't recommend or find a good alignment shop, I just said I'd like to see more delineation so folks would quit thinking DW is even remotely alignment related.

That's not to say you can't slow down the triggers for DW to get your rig driveable to get it to the tire store for a good balance or what not, but it's never the root.



Yes, well I know. Probably like you, I'm the DW guy in my little corner of the world.



Do some more digging. I think you'll find that a knuckle to knuckle tie rod system is more DW prone due to the solid connection between the two knuckles and the bigger reason HB linkage is used is to break that connection and slow down the cross talk between the two sides.



I don't know that I consider a knuckle to knuckle high steer system better. For the most part, the trade-offs don't make it that worthwhile.

Most don't have the wherewithal to dial it in correctly, build a higher trackbar mount and the big one for me is few high steer set-ups take Ackermann into account and that's very sad.



I distill it down to what I consider it's base level. DW is caused when the locating and steering components for the front axle lose their ability to do their job through wear, being too small, or joint integrity.

It doesn't matter if you run square blocks for tires if your front axle parts are strong enough to control them. (extreme example)
I can appreciate a bunch what you're saying. My only minor disagreement might be with your "knuckle to knuckle" steering account. We have installed several of these (not all of the same manufacturer) with great success. I run the Teraflex high steer and have never had any problem. But like you say, it's all in having "dialed in". That applies to most systems though.
Even poorly engineered systems can sometimes be made to work with the right understanding of the whole picture.
Happy Trails
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:37 PM   #299
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Please take this for the way it is meant, not as a personal criticism. You have not given us much to work with. We don't even know what you drive or how it might be set up.
That not withstanding, one of the first things you did right was the new track bar. Where that may have gone wrong though is... did the shop that installed it check for the problems related to the old one?

Rather than explain it here for the 40th time, just go to HappyTrails4wd.com and really study the post in the categories "Death Wobble".

There you will find a description of the usual causes and cures for DW. If your rig is lifted, before having it aligned, pay close attention to the correct way to align a lifted Jeep. Watching the Teraflex videos will bring a lot of understanding to you as well.

It can also be a benefit to you to print out the article and have the alignment shop or who ever you have working on it read it. Not many shops have dealt with this and they basically experiment on your dime. If they read and use the techniques to check for the problem(s), they will have a much easier time repairing it.

Good luck and Happy Trails

Ok yea sorry forgot to include all that just was in a hurry to post and get to bed but anyway I have a 2005 Tj se with a 4" lift and 33" I took it to a local 4wd shop and he works mainly with Jeeps (lifted) so i trust him to do a good job he drove it and saw what I was talkin about the death wobble at 45 mph but he said my ball joints upper and lower left adn right were bad, but people have told me the wheel bearing is bad but he told me its not that bad to start with the ball joints.... so.... any help is this a good starting point?
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:24 PM   #300
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I just got me a 97 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, had a Jeep CJ5 years ago and loved it but had to sell it, but had to get another :-) . Went to the Jeep dealer to get another key made and on my way home DW! Wow....was doing about 55-60 mph, hit a small bump and boom, full blown DW. I had to pull over just to get my composure...and nearly clean out my drawers. I've been hovering on this forum for a few weeks leading to buying my Jeep and have been trying to learn as much as I can about DW, causes and fixes. I tried going to the website HappyTrails4wd.com but I get an error...so if anyone knows if there is a new link could you please post it. As for my Jeep:
It's a 97 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L completely stock, 118,000 miles. I believe the tire size is 225/75R15 (It's at the shop getting the a/c fixed). I noticed the drivers side front tire is new (Goodyear Wrangler...same as the others but they need replacing soon) and the spare is really chewed up...inside edge and outside edge are showing radials....so....I think they just swapped it out. So I'm sure I have some worn frontend parts and in dire need of an alignment. I do a lot of the work on my vehicles so soon as I get the Jeep back from the shop for fixing the A/C leak I'm going to start inspecting. I do plan on putting a little bigger tire on but that is it...maybe a 30/9.5 15 or 31/10.5 15

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