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Old 07-14-2011, 10:12 AM   #361
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by mr_cowboy1 View Post
I've been able to reproduce my DW. it's always going downhill when I apply the brakes and hit a bump. my mechanic said it is most likely the steering shock. that it most likely had a leak and the fluid now has air in it. any thoughts?
You NEED a new mechanic my friend. This guy knows steering like I know the martian language. (is there a martian language??)
Seriously, he doesn't know diddly. Please find someone who truly knows what they are talking about.

Like many, if not most, you don't give us much to work with as far as knowing what your Jeep has for modifications, mileage, and other things.
I'm going to recommend you go to post #308 in this thread.
Print it out and take it to whoever you choose to work on your rig. They should be able to find your problem much easier knowing all that info.

Your best bet is to find an alignment shop with Jeep experience... lots of it!
Your Jeep picture doesn't appear to be lifted much if any, so I'm going to guess it's basically stock. That actually should make it easier to repair and align.
You might have them (or yourself) remove the steering stabilizer while testing it. That will make DW show up a little more readily, but IS NOT your problem!!
Go read post #308. Then you will have some idea of what you are up against and what to expect.
Happy Trails

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Old 07-14-2011, 09:00 PM   #362
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How is the caster angle adjusted?

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Old 07-17-2011, 02:32 PM   #363
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Ok so this has to be what I am experiencing! I just bought a used Lj, it isnt lifted though... I havent gotten it in to check alignment and balancing yet--it is on my to do list this week. The thing is it doesnt seem to happen in any specific set of circumstances, and I bought it in Tulsa and drove straight to St. Louis at about 70-75mph with no troubles...a few days later it started. If it were something like balancing or alignment wouldnt it be more consistently happening? What should be my next step? Last night it happened around 45mph. Seems to be coming more frequently and at different speeds. I am a total jeep newb but I bought a Haynes and inspected front suspension with my lil virgin eyes. Nothing appears overly worn/leaky/broken.
HELP
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:30 AM   #364
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by kirbycrain View Post
Ok so this has to be what I am experiencing! I just bought a used Lj, it isnt lifted though... I havent gotten it in to check alignment and balancing yet--it is on my to do list this week. The thing is it doesnt seem to happen in any specific set of circumstances, and I bought it in Tulsa and drove straight to St. Louis at about 70-75mph with no troubles...a few days later it started. If it were something like balancing or alignment wouldnt it be more consistently happening? What should be my next step? Last night it happened around 45mph. Seems to be coming more frequently and at different speeds. I am a total jeep newb but I bought a Haynes and inspected front suspension with my lil virgin eyes. Nothing appears overly worn/leaky/broken.
HELP
Because my website is still under reconstruction so you cannot access this any other way, I will paste it into this forum once again. The article will educate you on the usual causes of DW and what to expect while repairing this problem.

The DW is one of the most aggravating problems you'll ever go through. Especially if you are not mechanically inclined, we recommend you don't try this yourself. Be warned though, finding someone really experienced and knowing with this is not always easy.

There are a lot of very experienced techs who will actually give up on this repair because they don't understand and have the ability to think into the parts that is required to see the big picture.

Here is the article:

“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.


Imbalanced or cupped tires can be the pressure on the trigger that starts a DW, but they are NOT the cause. **(Read that about three times)**


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 track bar 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 if 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.


While doing your road tests it is a very good idea to remove or at least disconnect the Steering Stabilizer. The SS will often mask your true problem and make recreating a DW harder.



You want to duplicate the problem, not cover it up until you’re out driving along and it surprises you in a bad way.


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 your 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.
Copyright 2010 - 2011 Happy Trails 4WD.com All rights reserved
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:54 AM   #365
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So how would one repairs elongated holes from the track bar?
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:44 AM   #366
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by donno151 View Post
So how would one repairs elongated holes from the track bar?
There is a good question. There are a couple ways to do it that we have had success with.
The first is to replace the brackets. This is not an easy chore as lining up the holes while welding is difficult unless you make a jig to hold both pieces while welding. I would use a slightly heavier plate for the replacement to create a thicker bearing surface for the bolt.

The second is to add plates to the outside of the existing mount and drill new holes through them. You of course will need a longer bolt doing it this way.

These work for the control arm brackets as well although it is just about as easy to just replace the whole bracket. Just make sure to get the holes EXACTLY where they were originally. It you don't, you may have some crazy handling characteristics that will confound you forever.

Having your control arms at different lengths to get the alignment correct can cause some weird things to happen. Suspension has to deal with many gyrations when all is equal. Changing the lengths of anything starts new things to happen, not all of which are good. When you have varying lengths from side to side, things can get really strange as the suspension cycles through all the possibilities.

Happy Trails
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:23 PM   #367
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I think most wrangler owners have experienced the DW at some point of ownership, if they've had the jeep for a while.

I had shakes at certain speeds, angle of the wheel. Turned out to be a suspension lingage problem. a quick fix at the mechanic shop.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:03 PM   #368
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Exactly... I have an '06 TJL and I got it lifted 4 inches. Immediate DW! I (fortunately) had it lifted at 4 Wheel Parts and I took it right back in. They switched out the track bar for an adjustable one and no more DW. Thank God.

PS- They didn't even suggest a charge for the adj TB.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:33 AM   #369
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New tires solved mine, thanks for the help everyone...
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:19 AM   #370
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Originally Posted by ellman605 View Post
New tires solved mine, thanks for the help everyone...
Same with me. Did you look at your old tires insides? Two or more of mine had separated and that's what was causing my DW. Inner core wasn't attached to outer half (tread bearing rubber) anymore.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:15 AM   #371
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by ArmyCop View Post
Same with me. Did you look at your old tires insides? Two or more of mine had separated and that's what was causing my DW. Inner core wasn't attached to outer half (tread bearing rubber) anymore.
I hate to burst your bubble but your tires were NOT the CAUSE of your DW. The were just the pressure on the trigger.
Think about it a moment... what was shaking, your tires or your suspension? If it were only your tires, would they only shake or shimmy once in a while or would they do that all the time? Hmmmmm?

You still have one or more worn parts just waiting for the next pull on that trigger and the thrill ride will start all over again. Save yourself the thrill and really repair your problem now.

Sneak a look at post 364 above and then follow the procedures for checking out the suspension and steering. When you've repaired the real problem, you can drive safely and with confidence.

Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:18 AM   #372
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by ellman605 View Post
New tires solved mine, thanks for the help everyone...
I hate to burst your bubble but your tires were NOT the CAUSE of your DW. The were just the pressure on the trigger.

Think about it a moment... what was shaking, your tires or your suspension? If it were only your tires, would they only shake or shimmy once in a while or would they do that all the time? Hmmmmm?

You still have one or more worn parts just waiting for the next pull on that trigger and the thrill ride will start all over again. Save yourself the thrill and really repair your problem now.

Sneak a look at post 364 above and then follow the procedures for checking out the suspension and steering. When you've repaired the real problem, you can drive safely and with confidence.

Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:23 AM   #373
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Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
There is a good question. There are a couple ways to do it that we have had success with.
The first is to replace the brackets. This is not an easy chore as lining up the holes while welding is difficult unless you make a jig to hold both pieces while welding. I would use a slightly heavier plate for the replacement to create a thicker bearing surface for the bolt.

The second is to add plates to the outside of the existing mount and drill new holes through them. You of course will need a longer bolt doing it this way.

These work for the control arm brackets as well although it is just about as easy to just replace the whole bracket. Just make sure to get the holes EXACTLY where they were originally. It you don't, you may have some crazy handling characteristics that will confound you forever.

Having your control arms at different lengths to get the alignment correct can cause some weird things to happen. Suspension has to deal with many gyrations when all is equal. Changing the lengths of anything starts new things to happen, not all of which are good. When you have varying lengths from side to side, things can get really strange as the suspension cycles through all the possibilities.

Happy Trails
Just thought of one other possibility to repair this problem. Weld a washer on both sides. You want to start with a washer with a smaller hole than the bolt and then drill it out to the proper size. I would use a thicker washer to increase the bearing surface.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:11 PM   #374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonbwell View Post
I had the steering stabilizer replaced AND I new track bar bushing put on and viola!! No more DW! the guy said that the bushing that needed to be replaced is a rubber/plastic one that comes stock and when it goes bad, it is that main cause for DW

any thoughts?

J
i had it when i first bought my 04 tj, i replaced the stock tires with 31s and it went away
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:14 AM   #375
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by espo2402 View Post
i had it when i first bought my 04 tj, i replaced the stock tires with 31s and it went away
It sounds like you likely cured your problem. The Track bar is the first place to look for DW problems USUALLY. That doesn't mean you stop looking if you find it is bad at one end or the other.
It doesn't take much more effort to thoroughly check out the whole undercarriage when your under there. Knowing what's going on under there is always a good thing. You can plan ahead for repairs rather than have them beat you up when your most vulnerable and want to go somewhere fun.
Maintenance should be a priority always! Breakdowns on the trail will be rare if you KNOW what's going on before.
Glad you were able to cure your DW without the grief that goes with it too often.
Happy Trails
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:43 PM   #376
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In case anybody cares: Installed the stabilizer last night, and zero DW now. It's a Rough Country stabilizer from JCWhitney. I believe it was $40.

I hit all of the bumps on the expressway on purpose to try and initiate it, but there was no wobble.


Thanks for the information! I'm that it fixed it for you.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:39 AM   #377
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Death Wobble

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Thanks for the information! I'm that it fixed it for you.
Read my print----- You have "fixed" NOTHING!!!
Your super $40 steering stabilizer is only temporarily covering your REAL problem.
If you actually read some of the above comments and learn something, you won't feel like such an expert any more. Read #364 specifically.
Quit patting yourself on the back and spreading BS like you know something the rest of us don't.
You're like the guys who fill a pot hole without any compaction. Just wait a while for your real results.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:00 AM   #378
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Chill pill...
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:43 AM   #379
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Fixed nothing?

Hey! I will not come back to this thread because of "know it all" attitudes like the one above. You gave good advice but when you start berating others when they HAVE FIXED THEIR PROBLEM you have stepped way over the line. STOP BEING A JERK and give your opinion and let others do the same.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:00 AM   #380
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Red face Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by dstouten View Post
Hey! I will not come back to this thread because of "know it all" attitudes like the one above. You gave good advice but when you start berating others when they HAVE FIXED THEIR PROBLEM you have stepped way over the line. STOP BEING A JERK and give your opinion and let others do the same.
OK, when you are right, you are right. That was unnecessary and I do apologize for being over the top.

It was done to make a point but was not very tactful.

Sometimes it just gets tiresome hearing false information being imparted to people who could use some honest help with a serious problem.

Your passionate reply made your point with the same tact mine did if you think about it, but your assessment of his having "fixed their problem" missed the point altogether.

Band aids only cover a problem. They don't do any healing. Healing comes from another process. Steering stabilizers are nothing but a band aid for a design flaw. The operative word is "stabilizer". It is stabilizing a problem, not repairing it!

The steering stabilizer will wear out much faster because it is under much more stress to "stabilize" whatever is causing the DW. That is why you can nearly guarantee the DW will return. Some guys will even put dual stabilizers on. What does that "repair"? Zero comes to mind.

Thank you for the wake up. I will attempt to "stabilize" the "JERK" and keep the info and advice non-personal.

Happy Trails
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:35 AM   #381
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I'll do the same...

Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:00 PM   #382
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We have experienced this "death wobble" at 55 mph for thelast year - we have 46600 miles on original tires of 2004 Jeep Wrangler X Columbia ed. The mechanic couldn't find anything wrong and said it was the wind!! HAHAHA. anyone who has experienced this as the darndest phenomena - it hits right at 55 - if you go faster to 60 mph it goes away or if you slow down to 50 it goes away.
After reading alot of these comments, we are going to replace all 4 tires and see if that helps. Looking for adice --- the tire guy says he has to special order the 215/75R/15 size but can put on the instock 225/75R/15.. I have no idea what this means at all.. please help!!!
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:52 AM   #383
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by sheba View Post
We have experienced this "death wobble" at 55 mph for thelast year - we have 46600 miles on original tires of 2004 Jeep Wrangler X Columbia ed. The mechanic couldn't find anything wrong and said it was the wind!! HAHAHA. anyone who has experienced this as the darndest phenomena - it hits right at 55 - if you go faster to 60 mph it goes away or if you slow down to 50 it goes away.
After reading alot of these comments, we are going to replace all 4 tires and see if that helps. Looking for adice --- the tire guy says he has to special order the 215/75R/15 size but can put on the instock 225/75R/15.. I have no idea what this means at all.. please help!!!
If your "mechanic" was serious about it being the wind, he caused it (the wind) with his hot air. That is too ridiculous to comment further.

Because of the age of the tires, changing them may be enough to chase the DW away... TEMPORARILY!
Tires are NOT the cause of DW, but they can trigger it.

You will find that there is enough wear in one or more of your steering and/or suspension joints to CAUSE the problem.

Go back to post #364 and read it first. Then print it out for a real technician to read before they inspect your rig. I recommend taking it to a quality alignment shop for your best results. One with experience working on the Jeep Wrangler would be your best bet or even better... one with experience with the DW on the Wrangler. (that will be a rare find)

Ask them to read the article. There are some quirky things about a Wrangler that MOST techs won't have any idea about and not know what to look for or how to find it. If they follow the article properly, there will be one or more worn parts they will find that are your CAUSE.

I would do the inspection and repairs BEFORE changing the tires to confirm you have the DW fixed. If it goes away with the old tires, it won't be there to help the new ones wear faster than they will on a good suspension and steering.

DW is a difficult problem to diagnose even for someone experienced with it. With no experience, it can be nearly impossible... and that is no joke!
We've seen several shops give up trying to repair it. Even some shops with a good reputation have thrown in the towel.

Good luck finding the right tech. That can be the hardest part.

As for the tires, the 225/75R/15 will work just fine. They are only slightly larger than the original and you'll never notice the difference.

Happy Trails.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:49 AM   #384
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I 100% agree with the above post. I don't know where you live and I don't work for or get any reward for saying this, but if you have a 4Wheel Parts store near you, go there. They fixed my DW and really didn't charge me for doing it. I had already purchased some suspension from them so they just added a track bar that would adjust (at no expense to me) and that solved my problem. Once they solved the problem, I added the new tires and still no DW.
PS- My DW was also at 55 mph.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:02 AM   #385
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I think part of the problem here is people calling their shakes, shimmies and vibrations "death wobble". Speed induced vibrations are GENERALLY not DW. I had DW due to bad track bar bushings, and control arm bushings. It was triggered and escalated by bad tires. My tires wasn't the cause, only the trigger. Like Jerry and other say, there are SO MANY causes of DW, and many times more than one, everything should be checked out. Each Jeep is different, and the advice given on these forums are just that, advice. Just remember, many of the people here know more and have more experience than the majority of the mechanics out there.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:39 AM   #386
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by TJ-Mike View Post
I think part of the problem here is people calling their shakes, shimmies and vibrations "death wobble". Speed induced vibrations are GENERALLY not DW. I had DW due to bad track bar bushings, and control arm bushings. It was triggered and escalated by bad tires. My tires wasn't the cause, only the trigger. Like Jerry and other say, there are SO MANY causes of DW, and many times more than one, everything should be checked out. Each Jeep is different, and the advice given on these forums are just that, advice. Just remember, many of the people here know more and have more experience than the majority of the mechanics out there.
You may be right in a few instances about the "speed induced" vibrations but based on many personal experiences with DW in multiple vehicles, speed does seem to have a part in the triggering of DW.

I have been able to set off a full DW between about 35 and 75 mph on a stretch of road with many dips and bumps including manholes that I found where there is seldom much traffic (thank God).

I have also witnessed three obvious DWs on other vehicles while on Interstate highways at about 65 to 75 mph as well. Just watching it is terrifying.

For those who have supposedly "driven through" a DW (increased their speed to stop the DW), I have some doubts about whether you were experiencing just a shimmy or a real DW. I don't think I would have the guts to attempt an increase in speed while in a full DW.

When attempting to incite a DW in a vehicle known to do it, you expect it and even then it's a bloody scary thing. Holding on long enough to increase your speed would take guts I don't think I would have at 50 mph. Being out of control at that speed just isn't where I want to be.

I am going to take their word with some reservation about "driving through" a DW. When you're not expecting one you often have to scrape your legs once you get it back under control.

I'm just going on having heard from many other individuals, but darn few have experienced DWs more than I have. Granted that most of them were purposely induced trying to "prove" whether or not we had actually repaired the problem on several vehicles. Even with that kind of experience, I won't swear that a vehicle is totally cured until it has been driven for a month or two without any sign of DW.

That is why I say it is a very difficult problem to diagnose and repair. There are so many reasons for it to show up, chasing down the real cause can make you crazy.

Knowing HOW to check out a front suspension and steering the right way and then knowing WHAT to LOOK FOR is absolutely critical. Very few techs have the first hand experience to deal with this problem and are just "experimenting". That is why I wrote the article and invite people with this problem to print it out and take it to their techs. Learning from other peoples experience is much easier than "experimenting".

You can experiment a long time with this one. It's just my opinion, but this is one of those occasions where there are "mechanics" and then there are "technicians". A mechanic simply replaces parts until he gets lucky. A technician "diagnoses" the problem... even a rare problem, and then repairs it. With all the possibilities in a suspension and steering that can cause DW, the mechanic can replace a lot of parts before getting it repaired.

A really good technician can "see inside" the parts. They have an understanding of things that the majority do not. They can "experience" things in their minds that others just can't with mechanical things.

I have been very fortunate to have worked with several of these really good techs and have learned how to "see inside". I don't know if it is a learned thing or if you are just born with an understanding, but there is a big, big difference between individuals.

I've known guys who could "read" a problem without ever touching a part on the vehicle, even without ever having experienced the particular problem. They just KNOW!

With DW, you need a specialist. They must know and understand suspension and steering in a special way or it's all experimenting. A very good, experienced alignment tech is usually your best bet although with the electronic equipment they have to work with, some just do what the machine tells them to do and don't think for themselves. DW has no respect for computers. It's strictly a mechanical thing.

Here's hoping reading this is as close as you ever get to DW.
Happy Trails.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:06 PM   #387
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DW when I brake?

I had the death wobble and replaced the stablizer shock and the track bar. Now the 45 thru 55 wobble is gone but about the same speed when I brake the front end does the same feeling. New brakes and sway bar links installed too. Any idea what it is when I brake???
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:21 PM   #388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04X68bronc View Post
I had the death wobble and replaced the stablizer shock and the track bar. Now the 45 thru 55 wobble is gone but about the same speed when I brake the front end does the same feeling. New brakes and sway bar links installed too. Any idea what it is when I brake???

warped front rotors may be?
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:32 PM   #389
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No, I know what that feeling is and when I press the brakes it moves the steering left and right just like the death wobble. I brake any other speed it doesnt do it. well, have not tried 70 yet lol. Stock height but have 31x10.5 on it alum wheels
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:36 AM   #390
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by 04X68bronc View Post
No, I know what that feeling is and when I press the brakes it moves the steering left and right just like the death wobble. I brake any other speed it doesnt do it. well, have not tried 70 yet lol. Stock height but have 31x10.5 on it alum wheels
You have an interesting problem, but you provide very little info to work with. (mileage, who is doing the work, are they qualified and familiar with DW, what brake parts were replaced??????????)

My first thoughts tell me you did about half the job on your DW problem. The new stabilizer is doing its best to mask the problem, but like usual, it is only a poor bandage covering up the real problem.

Go back to post 364 and study it first. Then go through the entire procedure to check all your steering and suspension joints. If you are not a tech, find a very good one to check it out. Joe average won't know how to do it well enough to help you much. This is no joke... DW is one of the most difficult repairs you can experience unless you are just lucky. I usually recommend finding a very good alignment shop because they work with these systems all the time. I would look for an experienced alignment tech... preferably one experienced with Jeeps if possible.

I'm going to guess you will find bad ball joints at a minimum. The other thing you may find is the frame end of your track bar is wallowed out and moving around. I would check that and the other end of the track bar for having the holes elongated on the axle mount.

The other thing you didn't mention is whether or not you had it aligned. If you didn't, you may have a serious toe-in or toe-out that is changing when you brake.

Again, I'm just guessing, but I would bet you have multiple things causing your DW.

I might also suggest taking the stabilizer off while you are working on the front end and test driving it. It will give you a better reaction as to whether or not you have really fixed anything. (I would say give your stabilizer to a Hobo and throw him on the train... but someone would get offended). Stabilizers are just a temporary fix for a design flaw in the steering system.

Be sure to check out the control arm bushings and the mounting holes for elongation. If they are bad, the whole axle could be rotating which would enhance the toe problem above.

Get back to us with what you find out. It is always interesting to know what is found.

Happy Trails

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