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Old 05-28-2011, 12:35 AM   #301
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My wobble scared the crap out of us going 70 on the interstate to church. I was praying. Everything looks tight under my stock 97 TJ. The stabilizer is really bent up though. The larger cylinder looks like a hammer was taken to it. Any thoughts? Oh yeah, and the rear passenger wheel was bad warped too.

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Old 05-28-2011, 09:12 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
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
The dialing in portion comes from my ability and absolute need to eliminate any bumpsteer. Unless you want to spend the time and money to build the system correctly with a relocated trackbar, that's not going to happen. The TJ front axle is not off the shelf amenable to high steer modifications without the time and money spent and I view it as putting lipstick on a pig because when you're done, the steering is worth more than the front axle.

Bang for the buck, we flip the driver's side tie rod which actually puts the bottom of it above the top of the axle tube and then run the Currie steering. Cheap, effective, and works exceptionally well.

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Old 05-28-2011, 10:22 AM   #303
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I still have intermittent death wobble and had to pull of the road yesterday because the shaking was so severe. Do you have any associates that do the steering modification you mentioned in Tucson? I'm only running 31 BFG AT's and don't plan on using bigger tires due to the poor gas mileage. I currently don't have a lift but might add a 1.75" BB or a 2" coil-spring lift; I want to keep my center of gravity low. Thank you.


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Originally Posted by Black Magic Brakes View Post
The dialing in portion comes from my ability and absolute need to eliminate any bumpsteer. Unless you want to spend the time and money to build the system correctly with a relocated trackbar, that's not going to happen. The TJ front axle is not off the shelf amenable to high steer modifications without the time and money spent and I view it as putting lipstick on a pig because when you're done, the steering is worth more than the front axle.

Bang for the buck, we flip the driver's side tie rod which actually puts the bottom of it above the top of the axle tube and then run the Currie steering. Cheap, effective, and works exceptionally well.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:27 AM   #304
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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)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wish_Master_3 View Post
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?
Ok there Wish Master. You've got a prime suspect for the DW syndrome. Not knowing your 4wd shop's background, it's hard to say what his experience level with this is, so just for your peace of mind, go to HappyTrails4wd.com and print out the article "Death Wobble" for him to read. If he doesn't know already, it will give him some things to check for that the average tech will overlook. (If he does know, it won't hurt to review it anyway).
If he's saying your ball joints are bad, that would be a very good place to start. But I would want to double check the track bar on both ends like the article tells you to do. The mounting holes on the axle end on most Jeeps with DW I've worked on have been elongated. This is easy to overlook and can cause you to replace a lot of other components that may not need to be replaced "searching" for the reason for your DW.
Once the new joints are installed, don't forget to get it aligned, but with your 4" lift, make sure the alignment guy knows to set the caster at +3 degrees +or - 1 degree. He may argue that the specs on a TJ call for +7, but there again, show HIM the article to back up what you are telling him.
Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:37 AM   #305
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I wanted to download the Jeep information on your site, but it says that I have to give my email address. Will I get a slew of junk mail if I sign up? Thank you. By the way, can the track bar bushing be replaced and restore the track bar to like new operation? Thank you.


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Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
Ok there Wish Master. You've got a prime suspect for the DW syndrome. Not knowing your 4wd shop's background, it's hard to say what his experience level with this is, so just for your peace of mind, go to HappyTrails4wd.com and print out the article "Death Wobble" for him to read. If he doesn't know already, it will give him some things to check for that the average tech will overlook. (If he does know, it won't hurt to review it anyway).
If he's saying your ball joints are bad, that would be a very good place to start. But I would want to double check the track bar on both ends like the article tells you to do. The mounting holes on the axle end on most Jeeps with DW I've worked on have been elongated. This is easy to overlook and can cause you to replace a lot of other components that may not need to be replaced "searching" for the reason for your DW.
Once the new joints are installed, don't forget to get it aligned, but with your 4" lift, make sure the alignment guy knows to set the caster at +3 degrees +or - 1 degree. He may argue that the specs on a TJ call for +7, but there again, show HIM the article to back up what you are telling him.
Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #306
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by Black Magic Brakes View Post
The dialing in portion comes from my ability and absolute need to eliminate any bumpsteer. Unless you want to spend the time and money to build the system correctly with a relocated trackbar, that's not going to happen. The TJ front axle is not off the shelf amenable to high steer modifications without the time and money spent and I view it as putting lipstick on a pig because when you're done, the steering is worth more than the front axle.

Bang for the buck, we flip the driver's side tie rod which actually puts the bottom of it above the top of the axle tube and then run the Currie steering. Cheap, effective, and works exceptionally well.
You know, I would truly like to work with you. It's rare that I find someone who really understands the steering and suspension systems like you seem to.
Initially after installing my 4" Teraflex lift (they don't even offer it any more with the triangulation on both ends for the TJ) I had some bump and torque steer. We tried the Currie upgrade first with poor results. Don't get me wrong here. The Currie steering is a great upgrade on most rigs, it just wasn't what mine required. After swapping to the Teraflex high steer, this Jeep drives way better than stock on or off road.
The only problem I've had is that the tie rod is still not high enough to clear everything I have attempted to do, so I've bent it a couple times.
The whole package now will score a little over 800 on an RTI ramp.
The tires stay firmly on the ground enough that I seldom have to reach for the ARB switch to lock it up.
Keep up the great work.
Happy Trails
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:19 AM   #307
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by jeeper_creeper View Post
My wobble scared the crap out of us going 70 on the interstate to church. I was praying. Everything looks tight under my stock 97 TJ. The stabilizer is really bent up though. The larger cylinder looks like a hammer was taken to it. Any thoughts? Oh yeah, and the rear passenger wheel was bad warped too.
Yeah, a DW at 70 is a new kind of thrill. Glad you survived. Now let's see if we can fix your problem.
No offense, but it's unlikely everything is "tight". And even though your stabilizer is junk, that shouldn't matter one little bit if everything is working properly otherwise. A good operating steering system won't need a stabilizer for the actual steering operation, it's more to take the shock of hitting an obstacle away from the rest of the system and your hand on the wheel.

Rather than going through all the checks and fixes here again, get on the internet and go to HappyTrails4wd.com and look under the categories for "Death Wobble". the article tells you the usual reasons of and the fixes for DW. It is a good idea to print it out and have whoever is working on your rig read it. Few techs have enough experience with this problem to really KNOW what they are doing, so they experiment until they finally get it.

There are some special ways to go about looking for your problem that they will need to know, and it will save you both time and YOUR money if they do it right the first time.

Let us know how it comes out.
Happy Trails
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:38 PM   #308
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Death Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
Yeah, a DW at 70 is a new kind of thrill. Glad you survived. Now let's see if we can fix your problem.
No offense, but it's unlikely everything is "tight". And even though your stabilizer is junk, that shouldn't matter one little bit if everything is working properly otherwise. A good operating steering system won't need a stabilizer for the actual steering operation, it's more to take the shock of hitting an obstacle away from the rest of the system and your hand on the wheel.

Rather than going through all the checks and fixes here again, get on the internet and go to HappyTrails4wd.com and look under the categories for "Death Wobble". the article tells you the usual reasons of and the fixes for DW. It is a good idea to print it out and have whoever is working on your rig read it. Few techs have enough experience with this problem to really KNOW what they are doing, so they experiment until they finally get it.

There are some special ways to go about looking for your problem that they will need to know, and it will save you both time and YOUR money if they do it right the first time.

Let us know how it comes out.
Happy Trails
It has come to my attention that my website is temporarily off line. We are changing the platform it is built on. Here is the article (slightly modified) for your use.

“Death Wobble”©

By Jerry Smith

HappyTrails4WD.com


The dreaded “Death Wobble”. If you have ever experienced one, we don’t have to tell you it’s one of the scariest experiences you’ll ever have. If you’re still a Death Wobble “virgin”, count your lucky stars!
What Is A Death Wobble?

You are driving down a street or even out on the open highway cruising along like usual. Your speed could be anywhere between 30 and 85 mph. Your vehicle hits a very small bump or depression. One so small, you never even saw it.
It could have been something as simple as where the pavement changes as you cross a bridge approach or departure. Nothing that looks sinister.
From out of nowhere, your steering wheel begins shaking violently back and forth so hard you can’t hold it still no matter how hard you try. You cannot turn. The front of the vehicle feels like it will shake apart any second.
Your only recourse is to slow down… as fast as possible! That by the way is the only known way to stop a Death Wobble.
This phenomenon will catch you off guard. If you are lucky, the first one will be of the “light-duty” kind. Consider this to be a warning of bad things to come it you don’t get it repaired NOW!!
Any shimmy that starts all of the sudden… from no shimmy to any shimmy, take it seriously. Once in a while you will receive this little warning if you are lucky. Most of us don’t get a warning. We go from normal to totally out of control in a micro-second. That’s the way a Death Wobble works.
What causes a Death Wobble?

** The experiences talked of here are mostly related to Jeep Wranglers. Other experiences may vary, though not by much**
That question causes “fear” in even the best of auto repair shops. The vast majority of them are not experienced with a Death Wobble and will have a devil of a time repairing it.
Even a shop full of experienced technicians will often have their hands full. This is not an “easy fix” very often. As a consumer with this problem, you will be convinced the shop is incompetent before it is over. You may be right in this particular instance. But before you decide, give them a lot of rope to hang themselves. They may be very competent in most repairs, just not this one.
Most shops will have “some ideas” of what to do. Others will just be experimenting. One thing you may want to ask is “have you repaired any other vehicles with this problem?” That is about the only way you will know if they are “experimenting” on yours.
Finding a shop that specializes in suspension and alignments would be your best choice. They will need skills in those areas well above the average.
When looking for a shop, if the first thing they ask is when you had your tires balanced, just turn around and walk away. Unless your tires were just installed, that won’t have anything to do with your problem.
A Death Wobble is seldom a “this is your problem” type of repair. It won’t be that simple. The exception will be if your track bar end on the frame side is really worn. That is the first place to look.
The vast majority of the time, it will be a combination of several slightly worn parts adding together to cause the entire problem.
Those parts will include things like the ball joints, tie rod ends, drag link ends, the trackbar ends, control arm ends, and occasionally the need for an alignment and/or toe adjustment to be sure the other items are working properly.
Only if the Death Wobble was one of the light duty “warning” types will the alignment help. It may “hide” the wobble for a while, but it will just be temporary.
One “trick” that will sometimes “mask” the problem will be to either add or replace the steering stabilizer. This will not cure the problem… just hide it temporarily it at all.
Lifted vehicles are maybe slightly more prone to the Death Wobble. The reason for this is the change in all the angles of your steering and suspension. Most will have a much more acute angle than a stock parts would have.
If you have just recently lifted your rig, an alignment should have been done. If not, when they do it, ask them to make double sure the ball joints and all the steering ends are in very good condition, not “just OK”. Small wear in each when added together make for a lot of wear as far as a lifted suspension goes.
Be prepared to have several new parts installed. The first will probably be the track bar ends. (this will require a new track bar in most cases) Next will likely be the ball joints and then the steering linkage ends. After that, the control arm ends. This is by no means an “always” order of things, but experience with several of these has shown this to be “normal” if there is such a thing.
How to properly check your steering

The following procedure is the best way to begin the inspection of your steering. Most well trained technicians will know how to check ball joints for wear, but the following may be new to most of them.
Have someone inside the Jeep rock the steering wheel back and forth enough to make the steering move the tires slightly. This will load and unload the steering components. Both visual and touch inspections should be done to each joint (tie rod ends, drag link ends, track bar ends, ball joints, and the control arm ends… both upper and lower). Sometimes you can “feel” what you can’t see. Be very critical of any movement caused by wear.
When inspecting the track bar, there are some special things to look for. First, take a wrench and check the bolt on the axle end mount for tightness. If it is even a little bit loose, it is a very good idea to remove it and check the bolt holes in the mount for elongation. This is normally hidden from view and is easily overlooked.
You can also loosen the nut and watch the bolt for lateral movement as the pressure changes from one direction to the other as someone violently moves the bumper up and down to see if it moves.
Next, check the frame end of the track bar. This one is often best done by feel as you can feel movement you cannot see. Just be careful not to get your fingers pinched. Often, the stud will move in the bore of the hanging tower as well as the ball joint can be worn. More often it is the stud in the bore moving. Watch for twisting in the frame while checking this as well. The leverage on the tower can overcome the frame and weaken it over time.
Next check the steering gear for movement on the frame and in the gear. Once in a while a steering box will loosen on the frame and move.
Check the control arm ends for movement. Here again, like the axle end on the track bar, make sure the mount bolt holes are not elongated as well as checking for wear in the bushings. Trying to move the control arm with a pry bar between the mount and the control arm will usually show wear if there is any.
Make sure the wheel bearings have the proper preload and then lift the front tires off the ground enough to be able to rotate the tire and wheel. Check the wheel for run-out (make sure it isn’t bent).
Look for cupping or other abnormal wear patterns in the tire tread. “Reading” tire wear patterns can tell you a lot about a suspension and alignment with a little experience. A good alignment tech can do this.
While the tires are up is a good time to check the ball joints for vertical wear. There should be very little or no vertical movement.
This is a lot to check for, but if you don’t, expect to repeat it sooner than later.
When replacing any parts, especially if your Jeep is lifted, if you can afford them, upgrade to the most heavy duty and adjustable you can find. The ability to adjust everything is a great benefit to “dialing in” your steering to make your rig drive like a new one or even better.
You may be warned ahead of time, unless you have all of these items replaced all up front, there is a reasonable chance you will get your vehicle out of the shop “repaired and ready to go”, and the problem will persist. Things will go well for a while and all of a sudden, it will be back!
If a technician is really good, they may know of a particular street where they can “make it happen” more often than not. (Very, very few will have this much experience) But there is no guarantee about this. You normally can’t just go out and create a Death Wobble at will.
In Grand Junction, I know of such a stretch of road where I have experienced the Death Wobble many times. (They’re still not fun). With that kind of background, I can tell pretty much when a vehicle is really “repaired”, but I still will not guarantee that until most or all joints are replaced.
OK. We’ve replaced all suspect parts… what’s next?
It’s time to go to the alignment shop. Here is something not many know about lifted Jeeps that can make a big difference in how you Jeep will perform.
As you lift a Jeep, the angles on the steering and suspension change. This is not always good. One trick that has been learned over time is to adjust the caster a little toward the negative as the lift increases. For instance, a Jeep with a 4” lift should have the caster at +3 °, + or - 1°. The alignment tech may want to set it at +7° because the specs show that is where it should be.
For a little more proof of this and a very good education in aligning a Jeep, go to: Blog - TeraFlex Jeep TJ Alignment Training Part 1 | TeraFlex Suspensions where you will see a three part video of a Jeep with an upper end suspension being aligned. This suspension won’t be like yours, but the basics are still the same. And who would know how to properly set up a suspension than the manufacturer of the premier Jeep suspension? Trust me, the time spent will be rewarded.
I hope you never have to live through this problem, but if you begin lifting a rig, don’t be surprised if it rears its ugly head after you get some miles on. Keeping a good alignment will help… for a while. But when it is time, the only help is proper repair.
Happy Trails to you.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:03 PM   #309
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Thanks 1jsmith for posting that article. I'm heading to the shop tonight to start inspecting my steering. Thanks again!!
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:13 AM   #310
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You know, I would truly like to work with you. It's rare that I find someone who really understands the steering and suspension systems like you seem to.
Initially after installing my 4" Teraflex lift (they don't even offer it any more with the triangulation on both ends for the TJ) I had some bump and torque steer. We tried the Currie upgrade first with poor results. Don't get me wrong here. The Currie steering is a great upgrade on most rigs, it just wasn't what mine required.
Yeah, that's not gonna work. The kit you installed made the axle move straight up and down and not follow the side to side shift that a trackbar induces and with the Currie attaching at underside of the steering knuckle with the draglink, your bumpsteer would have been horrible.


Quote:
After swapping to the Teraflex high steer, this Jeep drives way better than stock on or off road.
For the rest of the folks, they need to understand that in order to get it to do that, you had to install a drop pitman and get the draglink as flat as possible at ride height to build in as wide of a neutral zone as possible to minimize your bumpsteer.

Quote:
The only problem I've had is that the tie rod is still not high enough to clear everything I have attempted to do, so I've bent it a couple times.
The whole package now will score a little over 800 on an RTI ramp.
The tires stay firmly on the ground enough that I seldom have to reach for the ARB switch to lock it up.
Keep up the great work.
Happy Trails
Along with some brake wizardry, I also dabble a bit in some steering parts. If you have the desire to own an unbendable indestructable tie rod, I can accomodate you. I make them for our company and if you're not in a hurry, I can run them through with a batch when we do the next run. Heat treated 1.25" 4340 solid bar brought up to 48 Rockwell.

Both tires off the ground-



After effects- (what looks like a slight kink is a shadow)

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Old 05-30-2011, 12:26 PM   #311
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Yes thank you for pasting it in. You guys are awesome!
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:57 PM   #312
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Yeah, that's not gonna work. The kit you installed made the axle move straight up and down and not follow the side to side shift that a trackbar induces and with the Currie attaching at underside of the steering knuckle with the draglink, your bumpsteer would have been horrible.


For the rest of the folks, they need to understand that in order to get it to do that, you had to install a drop pitman and get the draglink as flat as possible at ride height to build in as wide of a neutral zone as possible to minimize your bumpsteer.



Along with some brake wizardry, I also dabble a bit in some steering parts. If you have the desire to own an unbendable indestructable tie rod, I can accomodate you. I make them for our company and if you're not in a hurry, I can run them through with a batch when we do the next run. Heat treated 1.25" 4340 solid bar brought up to 48 Rockwell.

Both tires off the ground-



After effects- (what looks like a slight kink is a shadow)




How much for the tie rod end? you make both of them or just the one?
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:52 PM   #313
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The tie rod ends are included in the tie rod kit Blaine at Black Magic Brakes sells. I installed one last year and while I've bent my previous tie rods including my two Currie tie rods probably 8-10 times over the years, I haven't bent Blaine's yet.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:25 PM   #314
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Does this kit come with a drag link? Will it fit a stock TJ? How much is it? Thank you.

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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
The tie rod ends are included in the tie rod kit Blaine at Black Magic Brakes sells. I installed one last year and while I've bent my previous tie rods including my two Currie tie rods probably 8-10 times over the years, I haven't bent Blaine's yet.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:20 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
Ok there Wish Master. You've got a prime suspect for the DW syndrome. Not knowing your 4wd shop's background, it's hard to say what his experience level with this is, so just for your peace of mind, go to HappyTrails4wd.com and print out the article "Death Wobble" for him to read. If he doesn't know already, it will give him some things to check for that the average tech will overlook. (If he does know, it won't hurt to review it anyway).
If he's saying your ball joints are bad, that would be a very good place to start. But I would want to double check the track bar on both ends like the article tells you to do. The mounting holes on the axle end on most Jeeps with DW I've worked on have been elongated. This is easy to overlook and can cause you to replace a lot of other components that may not need to be replaced "searching" for the reason for your DW.
Once the new joints are installed, don't forget to get it aligned, but with your 4" lift, make sure the alignment guy knows to set the caster at +3 degrees +or - 1 degree. He may argue that the specs on a TJ call for +7, but there again, show HIM the article to back up what you are telling him.
Good luck and Happy Trails
OK so ive printed out the post you posted and watched the video of tera flex alignment i plan on calling a shop tomorrow to have them look at it, but i would really like to attempt the work my self since the parts are already like 200 bucks so yea says that there's no order to go it but any suggestions on if i should replace my ball joints or wheel bearing first? of maybe my steering linkage found a steering kit on quadratec for like 300 but if its worth it... but should i look into the ball joints and wheel bearing first or.....
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:28 AM   #316
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by Wish_Master_3 View Post
OK so ive printed out the post you posted and watched the video of tera flex alignment i plan on calling a shop tomorrow to have them look at it, but i would really like to attempt the work my self since the parts are already like 200 bucks so yea says that there's no order to go it but any suggestions on if i should replace my ball joints or wheel bearing first? of maybe my steering linkage found a steering kit on quadratec for like 300 but if its worth it... but should i look into the ball joints and wheel bearing first or.....
My recommendation would be to have it checked out FIRST. It sounds like you may have a limited budget. Make your plans for repairing it based on what you find.
If you are mechanically inclined, you might tackle some of this kind of repair. Ball joints require more tooling than the average guy has and some tie rod ends can be difficult for those not experienced. That's why most pay the professional to get it done right the first time.
Get it checked out. Replace the worst worn parts first (don't make extra work though... if you go after the ball joints, don't just do one at a time. That makes a lot of extra work)
Make sure to check all of the components thoroughly before doing any repairs. Know what you need before jumping on the first problem you find. You might find one worse if you keep looking. Start with the worst problem first and move to the next (if that makes sense from a don't make extra work standpoint).
When you are satisfied the components are all good, then take it to a good alignment shop (experienced in Jeeps) and have them recheck everything to see if they can find anything you may have missed. Then align it according to the article..
Happy Trails
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:49 AM   #317
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The tie rod ends are included in the tie rod kit Blaine at Black Magic Brakes sells. I installed one last year and while I've bent my previous tie rods including my two Currie tie rods probably 8-10 times over the years, I haven't bent Blaine's yet.
Come on now Jerry, you know I don't sell those and you know who does.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:55 AM   #318
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How much for the tie rod end? you make both of them or just the one?
My apologies for not being more clear. I was trying to show onejsmith what I can help him with if he wants an indestructable tie rod. The part I showed is a direct replacement for the Currie Steering that our sister company Savvy Offroad sells.

I designed and then we developed it to work with the Currie steering. But, it was not done until my partner Gerald had bent and mangled all of my go-to solutions for tough tie rods that I've used for years. He's a bit hard on stuff which forced me to come up with a tie rod that could take all the abuse he can dish out and so far, no one has managed to bend or break one.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:24 PM   #319
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Does the death whooble on happen on Jeeps with none-locking hubs? My first jeep " 1986 Renegade" did not have this problem. The front tires free wheeled when not locked. My 2000 TJ does have the whooble. I notice you are spinning the front Diff. and all the way back to the transfer case when your 4 wheel drive is not engaged. Bad design poor mileage. Could this be causing this whooble?
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:30 PM   #320
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Does the death whooble on happen on Jeeps with none-locking hubs? My first jeep " 1986 Renegade" did not have this problem. The front tires free wheeled when not locked. My 2000 TJ does have the whooble. I notice you are spinning the front Diff. and all the way back to the transfer case when your 4 wheel drive is not engaged. Bad design poor mileage. Could this be causing this whooble?
With the need to adhere to CAFE standards in regard to fuel mileage for an entire vehicle line by manufacturer, if the mileage could have been improved enough to matter by the simple addition of a hub kit, it would be there.

If you'd like to see what the actual difference is, it's a simple matter to un-bolt the front driveshaft and tie it up under the motor mount for a couple of tanks and find out why hubs aren't needed.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:41 AM   #321
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Is there a kit for manual locking hubs for the TJ? If I would unbolt the front drive shaft from the transfer case the shaft would still spin and cause alot of damage. Removal of the universal joints @ the wheels would be free wheeling.
Convenience is probably why we don't have manual locking hubs.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:51 PM   #322
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death wobble

I have seen Death Wobble in Fords,Chevies,Dodges,Freightliners,Volvo trucks, and the list goes on. Independant front ends,straight axle front ends,2 wheel drive,4 wheel drive,all wheel drives. Jeeps don't have a corner on the Death Wobble market, if the conditions are right about anything including motorcycles can have a Death Wobble. What is the most common problem that I have found, modified suspensions not done correctly or done cheaply and loose parts are on the top of the list. But what if the car/truck is newer and nothing has been altered, changed,or modified and you still have Death Wobble. Then maybe you have a built in design problem, looked good on paper but doesn't work in the real world. The combination of the steering angles doesn't work for that vehicle. Companies will not admit they have a design problem because that opens them up for a law suit. Remington Firearms for years have said that their Model 700 safety doesn't have a problem but yet the rifle will fire when loaded and taken off safety on some models. Car makers will put out a recall on a part that may or may not hide the problem until the car is out of warranty.So what happens if you have a vehicle that has a design problem and then you modify the suspension? You just let the company off the hook for any problems you incur with the car/4x4's and now the lift maker get the blame.So now the lift maker has to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it. Does anybody wonder why Jeep doesn't make lift kits or hasn't been into court over Death Wobble in their newer non-modified car/4x4's? Maybe because nobody can say for a fact what is the exact cause of Death Wobble. Why, because most times it is a combination of things not just one. Now that makes every case of Death Wobble different, different causes with different solutions. So listen to the pros here trying to help, your getting mountains of information for free. Try to get that value from your Doctor next time you see him. My 2 cents worth.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:39 PM   #323
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Is there a kit for manual locking hubs for the TJ? If I would unbolt the front drive shaft from the transfer case the shaft would still spin and cause alot of damage. Removal of the universal joints @ the wheels would be free wheeling.
Convenience is probably why we don't have manual locking hubs.
Yes, there are many hub kits for the TJ. I've run them in my rig and my wife's rig for many years. I started with the small Warn hub conversion in 99, put one on my wife's rig in 01, and switched mine over to the 5.5 conversion a couple of years later. In that time since, I've likely installed at least 20 of them on various rigs and in fact just did one 2 weeks ago on the road trip rig below.

You will not see enough of a mileage increase to ever pay for the conversion. The only reason we ever did them was when we started running them, it was the only option to get high strength axles. Now stronger axles are a dime a dozen and there is a flavor of hub kit to suit just about anyone.

As recently as yesterday, I set up another kit with one of the Vanco BBKs in the 16" flavor.

No, it won't cause any damage whatsoever if you unbolt it from the pinion and tie it up. I just had a buddy return from a 5000 mile + road trip and due to an unbalanced front drive shaft, he tied it up as I described, hooked it up to go wheeling, and then removed it and tied it up for highway use.

No, it's not convenience. It because it doesn't matter in the TJ. As I said, CAFE standards allow them to have an overall MPG rating for the entire line of vehicles. If they can save mileage in one place, it allows them to build lower mileage vehicles in other models.

Ever wonder why Dodge made a full size pick-up with a V-6 in it? It wasn't because it was awesome, worthwhile, or great to own, it was to increase the MPG average so they could balance out the number of things like the Viper and V-8 Dakotas they wanted to sell.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:52 AM   #324
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Question Any more DW experience on online? thx!

My 06 TJ sport has had bouts with death wobble from day 2.... well, really 30K 40K miles. unfortunately I drive my jeep continually, since I couldn't/can't keep running F250's/350's (I know Fords, sorry but have sold them!) to project sites, work meetings and bars. So, now with 165K miles the DW bouts are too frequent to manage the vehicle. I did read some great posts from more knowledgeable jeep riders/mechanics here, particularly this good one from yuccaman.
Yucca-Man: Death Wobble
However, I've changed the front end, looked most everywhere (I think) and now guess I better change the tires. They are old, but did take a balance. Hate to spend the 800/1000 if the overworked TJ still demands that I stop the vehicle every 5 minutes, say on rt 91 with a Canadian Trucker (Vancouver fan) behind me, even after changing tires! Anyone find some more hidden reason(s) for this syndrome? bushing? frame creep? cheap gas, lipstick case in tranny, raccoon nests??? Any thoughts? thx. Wm
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:57 AM   #325
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Can someone circle the areas to check on this photo?

This is not my set up but mine is pretty much the same minus the lift.

I gave up chasing my wobble a year ago on my '06 but just read through the latest posts and got motivated again.

My front end shakes like crazy at 55 mph. Not the death wobble but bad enough that my passengers get nervous.

I've done the balance, new steering damper and alignment to no avail.

Thanks
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:18 AM   #326
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by wmj View Post
My 06 TJ sport has had bouts with death wobble from day 2.... well, really 30K 40K miles. unfortunately I drive my jeep continually, since I couldn't/can't keep running F250's/350's (I know Fords, sorry but have sold them!) to project sites, work meetings and bars. So, now with 165K miles the DW bouts are too frequent to manage the vehicle. I did read some great posts from more knowledgeable jeep riders/mechanics here, particularly this good one from yuccaman.
Yucca-Man: Death Wobble
However, I've changed the front end, looked most everywhere (I think) and now guess I better change the tires. They are old, but did take a balance. Hate to spend the 800/1000 if the overworked TJ still demands that I stop the vehicle every 5 minutes, say on rt 91 with a Canadian Trucker (Vancouver fan) behind me, even after changing tires! Anyone find some more hidden reason(s) for this syndrome? bushing? frame creep? cheap gas, lipstick case in tranny, raccoon nests??? Any thoughts? thx. Wm
We'll need some better info to be of great help.
Let's start by backing up a step or two.
You say you have an '06 TJ sport. Is it stock or lifted? Any other modifications? (try to be specific on the mods) Weight distribution and other factors can contribute to this problem sometimes, but knowing the degree of modification (if any) makes the most intelligent diagnosis possible short of seeing and driving the vehicle.
Even include what tires you run can help.
Before you spend the money for tires, let's find the reason for the DW. Tires can contribute to setting off a DW, but they are not the actual cause. The cause will usually be related to: Track bar end(s), tie rod ends, ball joints, drag link ends, and /or control arm ends. There are a few other things to look at as well - (Flexing of the frame on the track bar tower, loose steering gear on frame, elongated holes in either the track bar mounts or control arm mounts to name a few)
You say you "changed the front end". What did you change it to?
By now you see we need more specific info to be of much help to you. Get back with that and we should be able to point you in the right direction to cure the DW and make you a happy Jeep owner again.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:44 AM   #327
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Need help!! I am going out of my mind. Here is some background information.

Feb 2011 - Bought 2006 Wrangler X 4.0L Manual Transmission. The previous owner put on 15" ION alloy wheels with 31" BFG ATs 31X10.5. There is no spare on it at this time. He also put on Rhino side steps. Everything else is stock.

A month ago, I installed a Rough Country 2.5" lift with a rear track bar bracket. Took Jeep for a test drive and had severe DW. OOPPSS, forgot the alignment. Took it back home and did an alignment, DW gone. I was feeling a little vibe so I installed a 1" TC drop. I thought it was mental re: the vibes so I had my wife drive it without me to test it. She came back...SEVERE DW!!

I found that the track bar bushing was bad at the axle. I replaced that and went with a stronger bolt. I torqued it to 60 lbs. I had someone turn the steering wheel back and forth and it looked solid. I also checked the ball joint on the frame end and that also looked good. I took it for a drive and got a wobble between 40-45mph but could accelerate though it. I was thinking that this may be a wheel balance issue so I decided to rotate the tires, front-to-back, back-to-front. Took it for a drive and was able to accelerate to 50-55mph. I hit the brakes to stop for a light and all of a sudden, DW came back!! I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to stop before it fell apart. I checked the wheels when I jacked it up and could not move them up and down so I think that part is ok. I have seen the article that Jerry posted on HappyTrails but not sure what direction to look at next. Any help?
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:42 AM   #328
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by TJ-Mike View Post
Need help!! I am going out of my mind. Here is some background information.

Feb 2011 - Bought 2006 Wrangler X 4.0L Manual Transmission. The previous owner put on 15" ION alloy wheels with 31" BFG ATs 31X10.5. There is no spare on it at this time. He also put on Rhino side steps. Everything else is stock.

A month ago, I installed a Rough Country 2.5" lift with a rear track bar bracket. Took Jeep for a test drive and had severe DW. OOPPSS, forgot the alignment. Took it back home and did an alignment, DW gone. I was feeling a little vibe so I installed a 1" TC drop. I thought it was mental re: the vibes so I had my wife drive it without me to test it. She came back...SEVERE DW!!

I found that the track bar bushing was bad at the axle. I replaced that and went with a stronger bolt. I torqued it to 60 lbs. I had someone turn the steering wheel back and forth and it looked solid. I also checked the ball joint on the frame end and that also looked good. I took it for a drive and got a wobble between 40-45mph but could accelerate though it. I was thinking that this may be a wheel balance issue so I decided to rotate the tires, front-to-back, back-to-front. Took it for a drive and was able to accelerate to 50-55mph. I hit the brakes to stop for a light and all of a sudden, DW came back!! I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to stop before it fell apart. I checked the wheels when I jacked it up and could not move them up and down so I think that part is ok. I have seen the article that Jerry posted on HappyTrails but not sure what direction to look at next. Any help?
You sound like several people who we've helped out. Let's start from the beginning.
My first question about your write up... WHO did the alignment? Was it you or a real alignment shop? (Just curious)

Second point on the alignment... did they do a thorough check of ALL steering and suspension components or just throw the alignment gear on a point it? Too many just "point it".

They are amateurs of the worst kind in my opinion. Too many alignment shops don't know how to properly check a Jeep suspension and therefore they miss little things that add up to big things on a Jeep. They hardly ever check ball joints, wheel bearings, and few have a clue what the track bar does, much less how to check it out.

If your lower ball joints need replaced, if you can afford them, have some adjustable ones installed so they can adjust the caster and/or camber if necessary. That can also help get the alignment closer to what the specs call for.

When they did align it... what angle did they set the caster? With your new lift, it should probably be at 3.5 to 4.5 degrees, not the 7 degrees the specs will call for.

Did you install a drop pitman arm? With 2.5" of lift, this is not an absolute must on most Jeeps, but it's on the borderline where you may want to consider that. It will help bring your drag link back to proper angles. If you have any bump steer, a drop pitman will help with that quite often as well.

You mention that the ball joint on the track bar appeared OK. But did you check to see if there was movement where the stud goes through the tower? THAT is where you usually find the movement. The torque on the nut must be re-torqued (if the bore is not wallowed out). Also check that the tower is not flexing from the frame.

Where the track bar bushing was bad, did you check the bolt holes for elongation? That is something that is quite common. These are often things that have to be felt as well as looked at to find movement.

The best way to check this is to loosen the nut and then do the check with someone rocking the steering wheel back and forth. You may not SEE it move, but you can FEEL it move if the holes are not tight and round.

I am going to assume you installed a grade 8 bolt in the track bar. That is one place you can probably get away with that, but in some other places on a stock-size suspension system, grade 8 hardware may be too brittle for the application. When grade 8 bolts are in a tightened situation, they are much stronger than the grade 5 you replaced. But in a shock load environment like a moving arm will have, they may break under the shock loads that happen in a suspension. That is why you find Grade 5 in most shackles and other suspension joints. Just a little FYI.

Check all of the steering linkage this way while you are rocking the steering wheel. Look and feel all of the joints. You might be surprised at what you feel and can not see.

Make sure your steering box is tight on the frame. They do come loose. Check the wheel bearings for proper torque/ pre-load.

Last, check the control arm bushings and the bolt hole bores on the mounts just like you did on the track bar. Loosen the nuts and pry the control arm away from the axle and from the frame ends.

Remember, what appears to be just a little wear in a few places adds up to a lot of wear as far as your steering goes. It can't compensate for several little worn parts. It just loses it's integrity and then you lose control.

Check out all of these first. Repair as needed, and let us know how it goes. I think you'll be happy other than the cost to bring it all back to "good" condition.

Happy Trails.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:04 AM   #329
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Hi Jerry, Thank you so much for responding. Here are some answers to your questions.

My first question about your write up... WHO did the alignment? Was it you or a real alignment shop? (Just curious)
I only did a basic toe-in alignment, nothing else. I looked up the instructions on different threads on this website and set the toe-in about 6 different times.

If your lower ball joints need replaced, if you can afford them, have some adjustable ones installed so they can adjust the caster and/or camber if necessary. That can also help get the alignment closer to what the specs call for.
I am the total newb here when it comes to working on vehicles, however, I am mechanically inclined and not afraid to jump right in. How do I check the ball joints and wheel bearings? What am I looking for?

Did you install a drop pitman arm? With 2.5" of lift, this is not an absolute must on most Jeeps, but it's on the borderline where you may want to consider that. It will help bring your drag link back to proper angles. If you have any bump steer, a drop pitman will help with that quite often as well.
No, the only thing I have done was the coils, shocks, and rear track bar relocation bracket. I have always read on this forum that a drop pitman arm was not necessary.

You mention that the ball joint on the track bar appeared OK. But did you check to see if there was movement where the stud goes through the tower? THAT is where you usually find the movement. The torque on the nut must be re-torqued (if the bore is not wallowed out). Also check that the tower is not flexing from the frame.
I had my wife move the steering wheel back and forth while I looked. THere was no more movement in the track bar on the axle side and I did not see any at the frame side with that ball join. I am going to re-look at it today and re-torque that nut. When looking at the axle side, I checked the hole to see if it was elongated but could not tell that it was.

I am going to assume you installed a grade 8 bolt in the track bar. That is one place you can probably get away with that, but in some other places on a stock-size suspension system, grade 8 hardware may be too brittle for the application. When grade 8 bolts are in a tightened situation, they are much stronger than the grade 5 you replaced. But in a shock load environment like a moving arm will have, they may break under the shock loads that happen in a suspension. That is why you find Grade 5 in most shackles and other suspension joints. Just a little FYI.
I originally installed a grade 8 and snapped the bolt in half by over-torquing it. It broke at the nut that is attached to a bracket. (fly nut?) I then went with a grade 10.9, M10 70mm bolt, same grade locking washer and 10.9 nut with blue thread locker....torqued to 60lbs. Didn't see any movement anymore but will re-check to see if it loosened up after the last test drive.

Make sure your steering box is tight on the frame. They do come loose. Check the wheel bearings for proper torque/ pre-load.
How do I check the wheel bearings for proper torque?

Jerry, again thank you so much. After reading this entire thread and research online, I was really hoping you would chime in.

Thanks again!

By the way, is your website still down? I was having issues accessing it.







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Old 06-25-2011, 11:05 AM   #330
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One more thing Jerry, should I go ahead and get an alignment and wheels balanced first?

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