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Old 10-10-2011, 01:54 PM   #421
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my 2006 has 37k on it and got a good case of what i believe is DW this weekend. hit a bump doing 65 and it started. same thing later the next night doing around 50-55.

jeep is stock and everything looks to be in good shape, but the tires (which im pretty sure are the original set [wrangler GS-A]) are well worn on the front.

do you guys hear of the stock TJs having DW very often?

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Old 10-10-2011, 02:01 PM   #422
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It can happen to any truck w/ solid front axels. Have the front end shaken down, if there are worn parts replace them and have an align check performed. Most of the time unless the front end parts are severly worn you wont be able to tell just from looking at it. You will need to get the wheels off the ground. If your align is out have them bring it back inside specs. Then see if it goes away Thats where I would start. Un-even tire wear in the front is a sign of worn front end parts.

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Old 10-11-2011, 01:24 PM   #423
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Death Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBengal View Post
my 2006 has 37k on it and got a good case of what i believe is DW this weekend. hit a bump doing 65 and it started. same thing later the next night doing around 50-55.

jeep is stock and everything looks to be in good shape, but the tires (which im pretty sure are the original set [wrangler GS-A]) are well worn on the front.

do you guys hear of the stock TJs having DW very often?
Hi BayouBengal, (that's quite a handle)

Yes, your stock TJ is very subject to the Death Wobble. I agree with the post from OcalaJeeper to a point. You should have your steering and suspension checked by a competent source. To be sure they ARE competent, go to post 364 here, print it out and read it. Then take it to a very good alignment shop and ask them to read it. They may think they know it all, but we have found that very few have even heard of some of the problems spoken of in that article. Those are things that cause many shops to give up after replacing many of your parts and running up a large bill for you to pay with no real help in repairing your DW. If you follow the plan to diagnose the problem, you can expect a good outcome. If you don't, you may have to rely on luck and a larger bill to pay.

Your worn tires can be a contributing source, but they only help pull the trigger. If your steering and suspension components are working properly, you can't have a DW... ever. Before changing the tires, have the DW repaired. I usually disconnect or remove a steering stabilizer while checking to see if the DW is gone. The SS is only a cover-up for DW. If you don't have DW without the SS, you won't have it with one.

Good luck and let us know what they find. We can all still learn a thing or two.
Happy Trails.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:01 AM   #424
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Back in 1975 - 1982 I had a CJ6. When I bought it I had 10" rims fitted and some months later it developed a DW. I returned it to the dealer several times but they couldn't identify the problem. Eventually I changed back to standard rims with 7.15 x 16" tyres and the problem never occurred again. Years later I ran into the dealer and he told me they had found the aftermarket rims had been manufactured out of round, which caused the problem. Might be another thing worth checking.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:34 PM   #425
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I have been following this thread for quite some time so I thought I would share my experience. For last year I have been plagued by DW starting at about 25000 miles. After doing all of the usual fixes like SS, track bar bushings. Checked all components for any looseness or play there was none. My jeep is a 2006 with 35000 miles 95% highway use. Had the tires rebalanced and the alignment checked. The DW was still present and getting worse. The tires were in need of replacement. I replaced them with the same 33x10.5x15 BFGs. The DW would develop at 55 mph under 55 nothing. After the tire were replaced the DW seemed to go away. Although there was still a slight feeling at 55. The last adjustment I have made was the caster. The factory setting is about 7%. I have a 4" lift with non adjustable lower control arms. I replaced the lower forward control arm bolts with new bolts and cam washers. I reset the caster to 5% from 6.5%. After a test drive there is no longer a hint of DW. In the future I plan to monitor the related components closely in order to fend off further DW.














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Old 10-14-2011, 12:56 AM   #426
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Death Wobble

[QUOTE=dalehelman;1655434]I have been following this thread for quite some time so I thought I would share my experience. For last year I have been plagued by DW starting at about 25000 miles. After doing all of the usual fixes like SS, track bar bushings. Checked all components for any looseness or play there was none. My jeep is a 2006 with 35000 miles 95% highway use. Had the tires rebalanced and the alignment checked. The DW was still present and getting worse. The tires were in need of replacement. I replaced them with the same 33x10.5x15 BFGs. The DW would develop at 55 mph under 55 nothing. After the tire were replaced the DW seemed to go away. Although there was still a slight feeling at 55. The last adjustment I have made was the caster. The factory setting is about 7%. I have a 4" lift with non adjustable lower control arms. I replaced the lower forward control arm bolts with new bolts and cam washers. I reset the caster to 5% from 6.5%. After a test drive there is no longer a hint of DW. In the future I plan to monitor the related components closely in order to fend off further DW.


Hi there,

Glad to hear you got your DW under control. Had you gone back to post 364 and read it and then worked on it, you might have found your problem sooner.

You might still like to read it. Pay particular attention to the alignment recommendations for a lifted Wrangler. You will find that the folks at Teraflex tell owners of lifted (4" specifically) Jeeps to set their caster back to around +4 degrees + or - 1 degree. If you go to Blog - TeraFlex Jeep TJ Alignment Training Part 3 | TeraFlex Suspensions you can watch as they actually align a JK with an upper end lift. The lift may not be what you have, but the alignment is basically the same. It's good info. In fact, if you watch all three of the videos, you might be surprised at what you can learn.

Not to make extra work for you, but to help you be darn sure your DW is truly gone, disconnect or remove your steering stabilizer for a few days and try to make your Jeep do a DW. If it won't, you are good to go. If it does, assuming all your inspections were done like 364 says, try backing off on the caster another degree or two. I'm betting you won't have it until something wears out enough to start it all over.

Good on you for fixing something a lot of good shops can't. We've seen Wranglers that several other shops gave up on, and all have gone straight down the road after we worked on them.

Continued Happy Trails to you.
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:02 AM   #427
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
Whoa there a minute. You're frustration is getting ahead of good sense. Let's look this over a little.

Like we've all said a couple dozen times here, DW is probably one of the most difficult repairs you'll ever deal with. Without more details, it is impossible to tell you for sure what your next move should be, but we'll try to do the best we can with what you have offered.

Adding a real lift at this point would not be recommended. You need to find and repair your problem first. Whoever is giving you advice about replacing sway bars to help fix DW is someone you should cross off your list of advisers. You could have changed your socks and got the same effect.

First thing, go back to post 364 in this forum. Print it out and read it. Then take it to the best alignment shop you can find and ask them to read it before looking at your Jeep. They may appreciate knowing some things about checking a Wrangler steering and suspension that they likely haven't experienced before. Then have them do the check of all the components to see what they find. Then have the repairs done and have it aligned again. If they do it correctly, you should have no further problems.

After that you can make your decisions about putting a real lift on it.

Good luck and Happy Trails.
Thanks! Printed post 364 and really appreciate your input on this thread.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:00 AM   #428
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For the record, here's my first hand experience with "shake of death"

My first 2006, 4.0L, 6spd, LJ, had it starting at 50mph when the road surface bumped or washboarded just right. The jeep was bought used with 35K on it. The original tires were badly worn unevenly. It seemed to do it or not do it on the same stretch of road depending on the temperatures, summer or winter (in Michigan).

When I finally got new tires and a wheel alignment after replacing the sway bar links, death shake went away. Then it came back a few months later even worse. Replaced the steering dampener, which I know is only a bandaid, but the old dampener was shot. I could feel the liquid in the dampener bubbling when I moved it back and forth and that dampener had about 50K miles on it when I replaced it.

Everything I read about this is that it is basically inherent in the design of the front end of the jeep. A weakness in a few parts can make it happen more often. It doen't appear to be any one part. My LJ has 90K miles on it now and it still happens once in awhile when the conditions are right. I had new shocks put on and I'm slowly changing out the old and worn parts over time, when I have the time and money, lol.

Also bought another 2006 LJ with 37K miles, love the design, with auto and 4.0L. This one had original tires, I believe, and they were worn, but not as bad as the 6-spd LJ. It also did the death shake, but not as bad. When we got new tires and a wheel alignment, death shake went away. Overall, the auto LJ seems to feel tighter in the suspension while driving, compared to the 6-spd LJ. Sometimes the auto LJ has a hint of shake, but still not as bad as the other LJ. Both vehicles got 31"x10.5" tires when I replaced the old ones. Hope that gives you an idea of the problem.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #429
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Helpful! I STILL have DW right now.... despite my new tires, new steering stabilizer, and total realignment .... hopefully a new track bar will fix it.... it's driving me crazy!
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:48 PM   #430
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HiHeep...DO IT.

that's all i can say...I was messing with tire pressure a few weeks ago b/c i've had to keep airing up more and more to keep the shakes away...got sick of that band-aid (and being bounced around even worse than a Jeep does anyway!) so i was thankful i found this thread and post 364...thanks ONEJSMITH!

had my trusted shop order a jks track bar and BAM no more death wobble! just picked it up today and took it down all my known spots in the road that made my TJ go crazy...everything's good!

a little history on my front end/suspension...had a zone 3" lift done last summer and new tires/rims/shocks basically everything touched up and checked...so i KNEW the list in post 364 only left me with a few "touch ups" my rig might need...i figured the biggest expense would be a track bar...and after reading enough online, it looks like my lift had pulled the front axle over and pulled the front end down funky trying to balance out...that jks should come with the zone lift...and i've got post 364 to keep handy in case anything starts wearing out down the road!
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #431
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OK.... after reading all I could and post 364 I am wondering about the correct plan of attack.
2004 Wrangler Sport with 3.25 RC lift and 33x10.5 BFG AT. Had a slight wobble at 40-45ish that could be driven thru ever since installing the lift. Wobble got worse so I took it in for brakes(needed it anyway) front-end alignment and tire rotation(it was time). Now the wobble is worse and this morning had a nice start to my morning with a bit of death wobble. Thank goodness I had read about it previously so I knew to back out and let it settle down before re-accelerating. I think it was just doing the normal wobble I was accustomed to when I hit a bump and it went all rodeo on me
So I'm thinking check tire balance and asking the alignment guy about the stuff on post 364. Then moving on the 4Wheel Parts shop for suspension stuff if necessary.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:12 AM   #432
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by JEEPIN_DOG View Post
OK.... after reading all I could and post 364 I am wondering about the correct plan of attack.
2004 Wrangler Sport with 3.25 RC lift and 33x10.5 BFG AT. Had a slight wobble at 40-45ish that could be driven thru ever since installing the lift. Wobble got worse so I took it in for brakes(needed it anyway) front-end alignment and tire rotation(it was time). Now the wobble is worse and this morning had a nice start to my morning with a bit of death wobble. Thank goodness I had read about it previously so I knew to back out and let it settle down before re-accelerating. I think it was just doing the normal wobble I was accustomed to when I hit a bump and it went all rodeo on me
So I'm thinking check tire balance and asking the alignment guy about the stuff on post 364. Then moving on the 4Wheel Parts shop for suspension stuff if necessary.
Hi Jeepin Dog,

You describe the typical symptoms. I admire (and kinda fear) someone who will "drive through" a DW. You must have quite a constitution.

The first thing I would do is have it checked out by a qualified alignment shop. The way I "qualify" one is to ask questions. Too many of them only do what their machine tells them to do. They don't KNOW how to correctly do the inspection (or they are just too lazy). The place you had yours done is one of that caliber I would say. Because you should have some recourse with that shop, (you might save a few bucks if they will re-inspect and re-check the alignment for free), I would recommend printing out post 364 and ask them to read it before ever looking at the Jeep. Then they will at least know what to look for.

There are some unique things on a Wrangler suspension that very few even think about that one must be very critical of when inspecting the steering and suspension. If they don't know, it won't ever cross their mind to look. Too often these are the cause of your problem.

The other critical thing they need to be aware of is that the caster on a lifted Jeep needs less than the stock specs call for. Yours, for example, should be about +4 degrees. This helps both the DW and the pinion angle change helps the front drive shaft from tearing itself apart.

If the first alignment shop doesn't want to work with you, I would find one that will... one with a lot of experience. You need one that is much better than the average to get the job done. The average guy doesn't understand steering and suspension well enough to help much. They just keep replacing parts until they get lucky.

One last thing. Take your steering stabilizer loose or remove it during all the work. While test driving it, you will find out much easier if your problem has been repaired or not if the SS is not masking the real problem. For no more problem than doing this little trick, you can save yourself a lot of expensive parts being added when they were OK to begin with.

Please let us know how it comes out. We can all learn more.

Happy Trails.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:42 PM   #433
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Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
Hi Jeepin Dog,

You describe the typical symptoms. I admire (and kinda fear) someone who will "drive through" a DW. You must have quite a constitution.

The first thing I would do is have it checked out by a qualified alignment shop. The way I "qualify" one is to ask questions. Too many of them only do what their machine tells them to do. They don't KNOW how to correctly do the inspection (or they are just too lazy). The place you had yours done is one of that caliber I would say. Because you should have some recourse with that shop, (you might save a few bucks if they will re-inspect and re-check the alignment for free), I would recommend printing out post 364 and ask them to read it before ever looking at the Jeep. Then they will at least know what to look for.

There are some unique things on a Wrangler suspension that very few even think about that one must be very critical of when inspecting the steering and suspension. If they don't know, it won't ever cross their mind to look. Too often these are the cause of your problem.

The other critical thing they need to be aware of is that the caster on a lifted Jeep needs less than the stock specs call for. Yours, for example, should be about +4 degrees. This helps both the DW and the pinion angle change helps the front drive shaft from tearing itself apart.

If the first alignment shop doesn't want to work with you, I would find one that will... one with a lot of experience. You need one that is much better than the average to get the job done. The average guy doesn't understand steering and suspension well enough to help much. They just keep replacing parts until they get lucky.

One last thing. Take your steering stabilizer loose or remove it during all the work. While test driving it, you will find out much easier if your problem has been repaired or not if the SS is not masking the real problem. For no more problem than doing this little trick, you can save yourself a lot of expensive parts being added when they were OK to begin with.

Please let us know how it comes out. We can all learn more.

Happy Trails.
Thanks for the reply! I'm heading to the shop with new data in hand and hope to get some answers. I have a trip planned to the 4wd shop Saturday but it makes sense to start with alignment first since it got worse after the recent work.

FYI... the DW I've been able to drive thru is nothing like what happened this last time. It definitely got my attention this time
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:22 PM   #434
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So.. I have a number of things to fix in order to solve the DW but some of those things can be fixed when I upgrade my lift. Sooo.. my next question is: how nuts is it to get a group of jeepers together and lift it? Should I just save up even more to pay a mechanic and hope that synergy will come at last? After going through the DW about 4 times, I don't want to muck around, but I also want to be able to work on my own suspension and gearing.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:32 AM   #435
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by serotina View Post
So.. I have a number of things to fix in order to solve the DW but some of those things can be fixed when I upgrade my lift. Sooo.. my next question is: how nuts is it to get a group of jeepers together and lift it? Should I just save up even more to pay a mechanic and hope that synergy will come at last? After going through the DW about 4 times, I don't want to muck around, but I also want to be able to work on my own suspension and gearing.
Hello again,
Well, here we go again. You say you have a number of things to fix... but what did you find???? Knowing that would make offering advice much more intelligent.

Next question: If you are thinking of installing your own lift, what mechanical experience do you have??? Even the most "simple" lifts can complicate things most people don't even know the questions to... much less the answers. You proved that with your 2" puck lift. Remember what it got you???

And then another question: If you are going to install another lift, what kind of lift are you thinking of??? Will it be a kit or are you going to piece one together from whatever you can get?

Before ever doing this kind of work on your Jeep, you need to think through why you are doing it and what you plan to do once you're done. A lift to satisfy one's ego can be much different from one for doing extreme trails or rock crawling.

You need to decide what size tires you want to run first. Everything begins with them.
Next, the wheels-- what back spacing to clear the steering and such.

Are your axles enough to turn the bigger tires without breaking every time you go out?
What gearing and /or lockers will you need to upgrade to?
What lift -- how high, long or short arm?
What about some of the newer fenders so the lift won't need to be so high just to clear tires?

Am I making my point yet? Way to many think only of the lift. Wrong thinking will get you in trouble that will cost you money and grief every time.

Talk to several who have gone through this before at least once. Twice or more is better. They will know what they are talking about... not just what they've heard.. which is usually BS.
Talk to the owner(s) of 4x4 shops. More than one is best again. You want to hear more than one opinion. Each shop will have their own prejudices about certain manufacturers.

One other thing you might think some on: When you get the lift installed, what kind of wheeling do you expect to do? You see, if you go do extreme trails with a lifted Jeep with the tires and all the other above things, what are your chances of getting stuck in a big way?

There is stuck in a puddle, and then there is stuck on a serious obstacle. Before or after a lift and big tires, would a winch be of any value? After 40+ years of wheeling, I say YES!!!

Even though the site is under construction, go to HappyTrails4wd.com and sign up for the free Ebook "How to Build Your Jeep Blueprint"©. It has a lot more about what is written here that will give you some things to ponder before you make your decisions.

I don't tell you all this to sound like a "know it all". Having built several of my own and worked on many other Jeep builds, I'm just attempting to pass on some experience. Jeeping should be fun. Building one to have positive Jeeping experiences of your own is not just adding a few parts on a whim. It takes some serious planning.

Keep us up to date on your build. It's fun to hear and we can all learn from the experiences of others. You can benefit from the responses here as well.

Good on you and Happy Trails.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:12 AM   #436
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Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
Hello again,
Well, here we go again. You say you have a number of things to fix... but what did you find???? Knowing that would make offering advice much more intelligent.

Next question: If you are thinking of installing your own lift, what mechanical experience do you have??? Even the most "simple" lifts can complicate things most people don't even know the questions to... much less the answers. You proved that with your 2" puck lift. Remember what it got you???

And then another question: If you are going to install another lift, what kind of lift are you thinking of??? Will it be a kit or are you going to piece one together from whatever you can get?

Before ever doing this kind of work on your Jeep, you need to think through why you are doing it and what you plan to do once you're done. A lift to satisfy one's ego can be much different from one for doing extreme trails or rock crawling.

You need to decide what size tires you want to run first. Everything begins with them.
Next, the wheels-- what back spacing to clear the steering and such.

Are your axles enough to turn the bigger tires without breaking every time you go out?
What gearing and /or lockers will you need to upgrade to?
What lift -- how high, long or short arm?
What about some of the newer fenders so the lift won't need to be so high just to clear tires?

Am I making my point yet? Way to many think only of the lift. Wrong thinking will get you in trouble that will cost you money and grief every time.

Talk to several who have gone through this before at least once. Twice or more is better. They will know what they are talking about... not just what they've heard.. which is usually BS.
Talk to the owner(s) of 4x4 shops. More than one is best again. You want to hear more than one opinion. Each shop will have their own prejudices about certain manufacturers.

One other thing you might think some on: When you get the lift installed, what kind of wheeling do you expect to do? You see, if you go do extreme trails with a lifted Jeep with the tires and all the other above things, what are your chances of getting stuck in a big way?

There is stuck in a puddle, and then there is stuck on a serious obstacle. Before or after a lift and big tires, would a winch be of any value? After 40+ years of wheeling, I say YES!!!

Even though the site is under construction, go to HappyTrails4wd.com and sign up for the free Ebook "How to Build Your Jeep Blueprint"©. It has a lot more about what is written here that will give you some things to ponder before you make your decisions.

I don't tell you all this to sound like a "know it all". Having built several of my own and worked on many other Jeep builds, I'm just attempting to pass on some experience. Jeeping should be fun. Building one to have positive Jeeping experiences of your own is not just adding a few parts on a whim. It takes some serious planning.

Keep us up to date on your build. It's fun to hear and we can all learn from the experiences of others. You can benefit from the responses here as well.

Good on you and Happy Trails.
All good points. I have a 4 cylinder 2.4 L Wrangler with Dana 35's. I think running 33"x10.5"s without a winch is the most I can do with my lack of power. My Jeep is paid for which is why I was thinking of a 3.5 rockkrawler SL (adjustable short arm, due to the fact that I wanted to lift her myself and don't have the expertise, skill, or finances to do a longarm yet) and a 1"BL (helps with clearance and COG). Don't know the exact lockers I want but know I want a teraflex teralow 4:1 to help maximize power.. which also makes a winch seem impossible on my little rig.

After the other repairs I have made, I need a track bar and steering box, (and my caster (not surprising) is off ) and new tires. I can't run 33's with my current setup, which is not ideal anyway, so I have been thinking long and hard about how I can maximize her performance and have fun with her off road without rendering her powerless and still having her as a daily driver.

Since I got her, I started mudbog racing and much more technical offroading with other people's rigs.. which is what I really like but haven't got the space (trailer/garage) or finances to accommodate. And because I like the technical aspects of offroading, doing level 1 or 2 trails will not make me happy. I think I can do more with my Wrangler than that.

Regarding my skill as a mechanic: I'm not a mechanic but I am in a very technical field and did construction for while, so I think there is the possibility that if I met the right people, I could pull off a SL and BL, then add the tires and get it aligned to check what I've done. I've never done regearing or lifts.. but I'm a quick study.

So basically my little budget/DW experience with the 2" lift made me realize that I want more and think I can make my Wrangler more efficient and fun off road.

Thanks so much for the input.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:47 AM   #437
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Death Wobble

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All good points. I have a 4 cylinder 2.4 L Wrangler with Dana 35's. I think running 33"x10.5"s without a winch is the most I can do with my lack of power. My Jeep is paid for which is why I was thinking of a 3.5 rockkrawler SL (adjustable short arm, due to the fact that I wanted to lift her myself and don't have the expertise, skill, or finances to do a longarm yet) and a 1"BL (helps with clearance and COG). Don't know the exact lockers I want but know I want a teraflex teralow 4:1 to help maximize power.. which also makes a winch seem impossible on my little rig.

After the other repairs I have made, I need a track bar and steering box, (and my caster (not surprising) is off ) and new tires. I can't run 33's with my current setup, which is not ideal anyway, so I have been thinking long and hard about how I can maximize her performance and have fun with her off road without rendering her powerless and still having her as a daily driver.

Since I got her, I started mudbog racing and much more technical offroading with other people's rigs.. which is what I really like but haven't got the space (trailer/garage) or finances to accommodate. And because I like the technical aspects of offroading, doing level 1 or 2 trails will not make me happy. I think I can do more with my Wrangler than that.

Regarding my skill as a mechanic: I'm not a mechanic but I am in a very technical field and did construction for while, so I think there is the possibility that if I met the right people, I could pull off a SL and BL, then add the tires and get it aligned to check what I've done. I've never done regearing or lifts.. but I'm a quick study.

So basically my little budget/DW experience with the 2" lift made me realize that I want more and think I can make my Wrangler more efficient and fun off road.

Thanks so much for the input.
Hi again,
We got about 1/3 the info I would like to know about you and your rig, but you raise some clues that make me (in my simple mind) question if you have really thought through the whole scenario.

You state you are currently under powered. What do you think adding larger tires is going to do for that? You need to think about that for a while before you find you're in a deep hole and can't get out.

What I mean by "a deep hole" is the money pit you are building and likely won't be happy with. If a 4-banger is laboring in stock form, just the simple act of adding oversize tires is like adding a heavy anchor and chain to drag around.

If you do some research, I think you will find that most guys (even with the 4.0L six) who add 33" tires to a stock wrangler running gear find they can't pull a fly off of a toilet seat. You probably have 3.73 gears in the diffs now. With the 33s, you will need to go to about 4.56 or even 4.88 just to stay even in the power curve.
The Teralow will help while off road, but with the stock diff gearing, you will still be severely under powered. What you will find is the Jeep will need to have more ground speed than you would prefer to be going just to keep from stalling out on a regular basis.

I'm not telling you what to do, but I would think in a little different direction with the resources you claim.

You will be able to do most of the same trails with 31" tires with your current running gear than you will have power enough to pull with 33s. Granted the 33s will raise your diffs another inch, but at what cost? Especially if you use this Jeep for a daily driver, you don't want to affect the power and mileage simply to have an inch of altitude.

Driving without that inch will actually make you a better driver. You will need to pick your lines with more skill, but I see guys with 31s doing Moab and Ouray all the time, and they can pull that fly off too.

Especially if you try places like Ouray, that power is necessary just to pull you up the road at 9000 to 12,000 ft + altitudes. Even my 4.0L labors at 10,000 to 13,000 ft, and it is under geared a bit for highway purposes. Guess what a 4 cyl will be like with high gearing.

I recommend to most newbies to wheeling, think recovery first. Then start planning for the altitude. The first tool you add to a Jeep to be used for any kind of off-highway running is a Hi-Lift jack with the kit to allow you to use that jack as a winch. I have worn out two Hi-Lift jacks in 40+ years of Jeeping. I won't go wheeling without one. There are some other "must have" items, but that's a whole other article. (If you read my Ebook like I recommended, you will learn what most of those things are).

Following that line of thinking, if you are going to be doing some serious wheeling, what are the chances of you crawling over a rock or tree? What kind of damage might they do to your rocker panels? They are mega expensive to repair. A little armor on the rocker panels, the transmission and engine oil pan, and especially the rear fenders is where you want to go.

Those big tires will encourage you to go places where body damage is almost a given if you don't protect it. If your not spending your money at a body shop, you can afford things like lifts.

My next priority leans toward a winch. With a winch, you can't believe the confidence you gain about where you can go. You have to learn a new set of limits too. That winch won't get you out of everything... but it will certainly help 98% of the time.

There again, you have to have some equipment to make that winch do all it's capable of. Tree strap(s), several stout D-rings, and at least one snatch block, a good piece of chain, and multiple pairs of gloves. More than once I've had to tie my Jeep to a tree from the rear to pull someone from the front.
That takes a lot of gear, but trust me, it's well worth it.

Lifts were once necessary to have the large tires. With the new style fenders that are available now, all that altitude in not always necessary.

BTW, a body lift does little or nothing other than allow for some clearance for raising your transmission like some lifts will do. They DO raise your center of gravity and they make ingress and egress more difficult. (a good reason to think about some kind of step or side bar on your rocker panel guards).

I still think talking to owners of similar vehicles to what you have in mind for yours is your best way to go. The more you learn from their mistakes and what they did right, the better your chances of staying a happy Jeeper. That's the most important thing you want anyway.

Happy Trails.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:32 PM   #438
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I just got my Jeep back from the shop from getting regeared and out of no where I experienced DW. I've never experienced it before and it didn't have the problem when I dropped her off. Could the steps taken during the regear have introduced DW? Or is this just coincidence?
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:46 AM   #439
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Death Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRiceGuyRJ View Post
I just got my Jeep back from the shop from getting regeared and out of no where I experienced DW. I've never experienced it before and it didn't have the problem when I dropped her off. Could the steps taken during the regear have introduced DW? Or is this just coincidence?
This is one for the archives. Theoretically, the answer is no. In reality, yes.

They likely took your tie rod off to access the differential. In doing that, they may have done something to one end or the other to loosen it up just enough to add to the wear on your other joints to put you over the edge.

I would recommend going to a better than average alignment shop to have it checked out. Copy and print Post 364 for them to read BEFORE they even look at your rig. There are some things to check on that they probably don't know about written there. Get the suspension and steering checked out. Replace the bad ones.

To really know that it is really repaired and your DW is gone, disconnect or remove your Steering Stabilizer so it doesn't mask any other problems. I would run without it for a week just to be sure. (I don't run one at all)

You don't mention any mileage or any other clues so that is the best I can recommend.

Please let us know what they find. We can all learn from the experience.

Good Luck and Happy Trails.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:32 PM   #440
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My recent experience

The Wife's 05, X model, 60,000 miles currently, Tires replaced about 8,000 miles ago Stock size, Stock suspension, developed a DW at about 30,000 miles and not knowing any better I took it to the Stealership. They diagnosed a bad Steering Stabilizer and quoted me over 200 to change it. I replaced the stock model with a Rancho and it was better.

Now a few weeks ago she tells me it is back and I was getting ready to leave town for some time and did not have the opportunity to troubleshoot it properly. I again replaced the Stabilizer (under warranty) and the problem was still there. Today I finally read through all 300 odd posts here and got a bit smarter on the subject.

So I inspect everything I can underneath and can not find anything loose until I get to the Track Bar where it mounts on the axle. I start disassembling and remembering the post about the bolt being undersized I check that first. Sure enough there is what I consider a RIDICULOUS amount of play in there because of that bolt. I can not find the correct bolt to fit this as the holes in the bracket and the sleeve of the bushing are not exactly the same size. I checked the bracket but can not see any evidence of elongation but a 7/16 bolt goes through the bracket nicely but will not fit through the sleeve of the Bushing. So I pulled the Track Bar off and drilled out the bushing to accept a 7/16 bolt and reassembled everything and torqued it all up and the Track Bar is nice and snug now. The amount of material removed from the Bushing Sleeve was insignificant IMHO.

I did a quick run up and down a particularly bumpy section of the Interstate at speeds up 85 and she is nice and stable. I am not calling it fixed but for now it seems OK.

So I guess my only question is regarding the Stock Bolt for that Track Bar. It just seems to me that it is so poorly sized for that job that it almost had to be designed that way on purpose?? Like they wanted some slop in the system there?? I am a Retired Helicopter Mechanic so I have a bit of knowledge but am not qualified on the intricacies of vehicle front ends. I just do not understand if this really is a design flaw (specifically regarding that bolt size) I would have thought Jeep would have fixed it a long time ago???

Thoughts???
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:40 AM   #441
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Death Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskerfish View Post
My recent experience

The Wife's 05, X model, 60,000 miles currently, Tires replaced about 8,000 miles ago Stock size, Stock suspension, developed a DW at about 30,000 miles and not knowing any better I took it to the Stealership. They diagnosed a bad Steering Stabilizer and quoted me over 200 to change it. I replaced the stock model with a Rancho and it was better.

Now a few weeks ago she tells me it is back and I was getting ready to leave town for some time and did not have the opportunity to troubleshoot it properly. I again replaced the Stabilizer (under warranty) and the problem was still there. Today I finally read through all 300 odd posts here and got a bit smarter on the subject.

So I inspect everything I can underneath and can not find anything loose until I get to the Track Bar where it mounts on the axle. I start disassembling and remembering the post about the bolt being undersized I check that first. Sure enough there is what I consider a RIDICULOUS amount of play in there because of that bolt. I can not find the correct bolt to fit this as the holes in the bracket and the sleeve of the bushing are not exactly the same size. I checked the bracket but can not see any evidence of elongation but a 7/16 bolt goes through the bracket nicely but will not fit through the sleeve of the Bushing. So I pulled the Track Bar off and drilled out the bushing to accept a 7/16 bolt and reassembled everything and torqued it all up and the Track Bar is nice and snug now. The amount of material removed from the Bushing Sleeve was insignificant IMHO.

I did a quick run up and down a particularly bumpy section of the Interstate at speeds up 85 and she is nice and stable. I am not calling it fixed but for now it seems OK.

So I guess my only question is regarding the Stock Bolt for that Track Bar. It just seems to me that it is so poorly sized for that job that it almost had to be designed that way on purpose?? Like they wanted some slop in the system there?? I am a Retired Helicopter Mechanic so I have a bit of knowledge but am not qualified on the intricacies of vehicle front ends. I just do not understand if this really is a design flaw (specifically regarding that bolt size) I would have thought Jeep would have fixed it a long time ago???

Thoughts???
You made a great diagnosis there Mr. Chopper mechanic. Like you, I have questioned more than a few things about the Jeep front end on the TJ. There seems to be some design or manufacturing flaws and that would be different if they had true quality control.

I have concluded that Dana manufactured the axle with standard bolt sizes and the track bar has metric. (just a conclusion). You can find this syndrome in other places, but this one is in a particularly critical spot. The typical Union factory worker doesn't have to think about anything, they just plug in whatever they're responsible for, so little things get assembled thousands of times "because it was made that way" every day. They wouldn't make a pimple on a mechanic's butt.

I might recommend one more thing for you. Especially because you just replaced it, disconnect or remove the steering damper/ stabilizer for a while.
Then drive it on the bumps like you experienced the DW before. This will tell you if you still have other problems hiding.

With your current mileage, you likely have wear in several other joints which when combined, add up to DW. It takes an experienced eye to gauge the wear in things like ball joints and the like. The cumulative wear is what seems to befuddle most when diagnosing this problem. There are so many "causes" of DW, it's hard to say for sure that one item is the culprit. Often, fixing one will at least temporarily make it go away. It's the "straw that breaks the camel's back" thing.

I applaud you finding that. Most guys just accept it and move on. With DW, you can't afford to accept anything. Every excess movement is to be scrutinized and added to the others. That is how we repair things correctly.

Good luck and congratulations.

Happy Trails.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:33 PM   #442
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
You made a great diagnosis there Mr. Chopper mechanic. Like you, I have questioned more than a few things about the Jeep front end on the TJ. There seems to be some design or manufacturing flaws and that would be different if they had true quality control.

I have concluded that Dana manufactured the axle with standard bolt sizes and the track bar has metric. (just a conclusion). You can find this syndrome in other places, but this one is in a particularly critical spot. The typical Union factory worker doesn't have to think about anything, they just plug in whatever they're responsible for, so little things get assembled thousands of times "because it was made that way" every day. They wouldn't make a pimple on a mechanic's butt.

I might recommend one more thing for you. Especially because you just replaced it, disconnect or remove the steering damper/ stabilizer for a while.
Then drive it on the bumps like you experienced the DW before. This will tell you if you still have other problems hiding.

With your current mileage, you likely have wear in several other joints which when combined, add up to DW. It takes an experienced eye to gauge the wear in things like ball joints and the like. The cumulative wear is what seems to befuddle most when diagnosing this problem. There are so many "causes" of DW, it's hard to say for sure that one item is the culprit. Often, fixing one will at least temporarily make it go away. It's the "straw that breaks the camel's back" thing.

I applaud you finding that. Most guys just accept it and move on. With DW, you can't afford to accept anything. Every excess movement is to be scrutinized and added to the others. That is how we repair things correctly.

Good luck and congratulations.

Happy Trails.
That conclusion regarding the SAE Dana and Metric Jeep make sense but it really shows piss poor design follow through I think. It also answers why I was having to use both sets of wrenches!!

This is my Wife's daily driver so I need it to be as safe as it can. I will certainly look at removing the SS to evaluate the rest of the system but it will have to wait until after the New Year. Deer Season is about to start and I will not be home for the next 2 months. I do not want her to have any issues while I am out of town

Thanks for the feedback and the very informative posts
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:42 PM   #443
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
Hi again,
We got about 1/3 the info I would like to know about you and your rig, but you raise some clues that make me (in my simple mind) question if you have really thought through the whole scenario.

You state you are currently under powered. What do you think adding larger tires is going to do for that? You need to think about that for a while before you find you're in a deep hole and can't get out.

What I mean by "a deep hole" is the money pit you are building and likely won't be happy with. If a 4-banger is laboring in stock form, just the simple act of adding oversize tires is like adding a heavy anchor and chain to drag around.

If you do some research, I think you will find that most guys (even with the 4.0L six) who add 33" tires to a stock wrangler running gear find they can't pull a fly off of a toilet seat. You probably have 3.73 gears in the diffs now. With the 33s, you will need to go to about 4.56 or even 4.88 just to stay even in the power curve.
The Teralow will help while off road, but with the stock diff gearing, you will still be severely under powered. What you will find is the Jeep will need to have more ground speed than you would prefer to be going just to keep from stalling out on a regular basis.

I'm not telling you what to do, but I would think in a little different direction with the resources you claim.

You will be able to do most of the same trails with 31" tires with your current running gear than you will have power enough to pull with 33s. Granted the 33s will raise your diffs another inch, but at what cost? Especially if you use this Jeep for a daily driver, you don't want to affect the power and mileage simply to have an inch of altitude.

Driving without that inch will actually make you a better driver. You will need to pick your lines with more skill, but I see guys with 31s doing Moab and Ouray all the time, and they can pull that fly off too.

Especially if you try places like Ouray, that power is necessary just to pull you up the road at 9000 to 12,000 ft + altitudes. Even my 4.0L labors at 10,000 to 13,000 ft, and it is under geared a bit for highway purposes. Guess what a 4 cyl will be like with high gearing.

I recommend to most newbies to wheeling, think recovery first. Then start planning for the altitude. The first tool you add to a Jeep to be used for any kind of off-highway running is a Hi-Lift jack with the kit to allow you to use that jack as a winch. I have worn out two Hi-Lift jacks in 40+ years of Jeeping. I won't go wheeling without one. There are some other "must have" items, but that's a whole other article. (If you read my Ebook like I recommended, you will learn what most of those things are).

Following that line of thinking, if you are going to be doing some serious wheeling, what are the chances of you crawling over a rock or tree? What kind of damage might they do to your rocker panels? They are mega expensive to repair. A little armor on the rocker panels, the transmission and engine oil pan, and especially the rear fenders is where you want to go.

Those big tires will encourage you to go places where body damage is almost a given if you don't protect it. If your not spending your money at a body shop, you can afford things like lifts.

My next priority leans toward a winch. With a winch, you can't believe the confidence you gain about where you can go. You have to learn a new set of limits too. That winch won't get you out of everything... but it will certainly help 98% of the time.

There again, you have to have some equipment to make that winch do all it's capable of. Tree strap(s), several stout D-rings, and at least one snatch block, a good piece of chain, and multiple pairs of gloves. More than once I've had to tie my Jeep to a tree from the rear to pull someone from the front.
That takes a lot of gear, but trust me, it's well worth it.

Lifts were once necessary to have the large tires. With the new style fenders that are available now, all that altitude in not always necessary.

BTW, a body lift does little or nothing other than allow for some clearance for raising your transmission like some lifts will do. They DO raise your center of gravity and they make ingress and egress more difficult. (a good reason to think about some kind of step or side bar on your rocker panel guards).

I still think talking to owners of similar vehicles to what you have in mind for yours is your best way to go. The more you learn from their mistakes and what they did right, the better your chances of staying a happy Jeeper. That's the most important thing you want anyway.

Happy Trails.
Great points and appreciate all your input. Since this was a Wobble Thread, I didn't go into details about skids, sidebar, rocker panels, highlift jack, or anything that would monopolize space away from the intent of this thread. Good stuff.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:45 AM   #444
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I took my 2005 Rubicon into the Dealer because the front left tire was cupping and she was shaking pretty bad. They told me the air pressure was wrong on every tire (which apparently is a big deal on these big-lugged tires). They adjusted the air pressures and rotated the best two tires to the front axle. I didn't really notice a big improvement and a couple times she had a really bad shake around 50 mph. I am really NOT impressed. My Rubicon only has 50,000 miles on it and it's mostly highway miles. I run her about 70 mph and it gets kind of hairy when she starts to shake without warning!
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:55 AM   #445
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aardwolf View Post
I took my 2005 Rubicon into the Dealer because the front left tire was cupping and she was shaking pretty bad. They told me the air pressure was wrong on every tire (which apparently is a big deal on these big-lugged tires). They adjusted the air pressures and rotated the best two tires to the front axle. I didn't really notice a big improvement and a couple times she had a really bad shake around 50 mph. I am really NOT impressed. My Rubicon only has 50,000 miles on it and it's mostly highway miles. I run her about 70 mph and it gets kind of hairy when she starts to shake without warning!
Would seem if its cupping your alignment is off, did they check that? What size and make of tires?
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:59 PM   #446
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I have a couple questions for everyone

I have a 99 TJ with 168k on it and everything is great except for a few things that bother me. First off, the jeep rides smooth at any speed, no alignment problems or wheel balancing probs ... I think

The first problem that I get is this. When I hit a bump in the road on either of the front tires, SOMETIMES the bump causes the car to shake laterally a little too much - not alarmingly too much but enough to get my attention. It feels like the whole drivetrain and axle is shaking left and right before it calms down(usually when I let off the gas quickly).

Does anybody know what might be causing that? I think it happens when I hit a bump on my rear tires as well but I hit bumps on the front tires more often.

Also, sometimes when I shift out of reverse and into first it causes a tugging/jerking sensation that I can feel coming up through the shifter. It can actually be pretty intense sometimes. This only happens when I'm rolling back a little bit and I try to shift into first before I stop rolling backwards.

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:13 AM   #447
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by Aardwolf View Post
I took my 2005 Rubicon into the Dealer because the front left tire was cupping and she was shaking pretty bad. They told me the air pressure was wrong on every tire (which apparently is a big deal on these big-lugged tires). They adjusted the air pressures and rotated the best two tires to the front axle. I didn't really notice a big improvement and a couple times she had a really bad shake around 50 mph. I am really NOT impressed. My Rubicon only has 50,000 miles on it and it's mostly highway miles. I run her about 70 mph and it gets kind of hairy when she starts to shake without warning!
I hate to have to tell you, but your Jeep dealer has some very incompetent help in their shop.

You don't explain enough to be even sure if you are experiencing death wobble or just a shimmy... very different things. Cupping tires can also cause a healthy vibration, but your description doesn't go far enough to tell which you have. The "around 50 mph" makes me think it's DW though.

They should have done a complete check on the steering and suspension. If they were even half capable, they should have found some worn joints that should be replaced and an alignment done. Apparently that's above their pay grade.

I would recommend a couple things. First: go back to post 364 in this forum. Print it out and read it for yourself and then take it to a very good alignment shop (not your dealer). Ask them to read it before they even look at your Jeep. Unless they've done a lot of Wranglers with DW, they will likely learn a couple things from the article that 99% of techs don't know about. Those "things" are often the real cause of the DW I think you have.

Your tires will never be the cause of DW. They can be the pressure on the trigger that sets it off. I tend to think you have an alignment problem along with some worn joint(s) that are causing the cupping and DW.

Hope you can find some better help. Please let us know what they find. We can all still learn more.

Happy Trails.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:42 AM   #448
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by fgwilson99 View Post
I have a couple questions for everyone

I have a 99 TJ with 168k on it and everything is great except for a few things that bother me. First off, the jeep rides smooth at any speed, no alignment problems or wheel balancing probs ... I think

The first problem that I get is this. When I hit a bump in the road on either of the front tires, SOMETIMES the bump causes the car to shake laterally a little too much - not alarmingly too much but enough to get my attention. It feels like the whole drivetrain and axle is shaking left and right before it calms down(usually when I let off the gas quickly).

Does anybody know what might be causing that? I think it happens when I hit a bump on my rear tires as well but I hit bumps on the front tires more often.

Also, sometimes when I shift out of reverse and into first it causes a tugging/jerking sensation that I can feel coming up through the shifter. It can actually be pretty intense sometimes. This only happens when I'm rolling back a little bit and I try to shift into first before I stop rolling backwards.

Any ideas? Thanks!
If you have 168K miles on original equipment, you should be mighty happy with your Jeep. The first problem sounds very much like the beginnings of Death Wobble. If you can get it to quit by just backing off, it's not too advanced yet. That can be bad from a diagnosis stand point. This is usually more difficult to pin down the problem(s).

Go back to post 364 in this forum. Read it and print it out to take with you to a very good alignment shop. Ask them to read it before they look at your Jeep. They likely will learn more than they already know about the Jeep steering and suspension and it will help them do a better job of diagnosing.

You will need an alignment after they do the repairs. A good way to know if they "fixed" the problem is to remove your steering stabilizer for a while. If the DW doesn't show up without it, you can put it back on knowing your problem is gone... for a while at least.

As to the shifting problem.. most of the problem in this case is the "Nut behind the wheel" (no offense intended).
Even with a synchronized transmission, you don't want to be rolling in the opposite direction you are trying to shift to. If you've been doing this long, the synchros in the trans are likely damaged some. You may also need to adjust your clutch (or even replace it with the mileage). Both will cause the jerking you describe.

The first thing you need to learn is to STOP rolling the opposite direction before shifting. If it hurts when you do something, don't do it!

Enjoy your Jeep. They are some of the most exciting vehicles you can drive.

Happy Trails
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:02 PM   #449
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Most everything is original. I put a better axle in the back and I have no problems there. The front axle is original as far as I know. I'm just gonna have to check the assembly in the front to see if theres anything that s loose. Like I said, it's barely a problem and is probably an easy fix. As for the shifting thing I don't shift from reverse to first while rolling back wards anymore, I'm not so thick as to keep causing the problem. The clutch assembly is probably original as well so it probably needs to get replaced and that doesn't surprise me. All in all the jeep is in outstanding condition with all those miles on it.


I have one more question. Does anyone know where to get the necessary hardware to connect the liftgate pistons to the rear windshield? I just got new ones for my hardtop and they didn't come with the ball connectors I need

-Forbes-
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:09 AM   #450
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So I put a 2" BB on my 2005 a few weeks ago. This took my slight "vibe" at 55 into a full on death wobble at 55. Basically, I have a jeep I can only go 50mph in right now...

Took it to a shop. I usually do my own work, but I had to go out of town for the next 2 weeks and just wanted it fixed. Took it to what I THOUGHT was the best place.

They replaced the track bar (calming it was loose) and the bearings (calming one on each side was worn, but we went ahead and replaced them all), and an alignment (since I had just lifted it). They swear up and down its better. On my way home I have to pull off the interstate twice....

So I take it back and they are talking about possibly doing a caster kit. My question is, what caster should we be talking abut for a 2" bb? I see your notes for a 4". I did give them a copy of post 364 which they took, but I'm not sure they read. The wobble is severe, and a new trackbar, alignment and bearings didn't even touch it....

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