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Old 01-24-2012, 05:47 AM   #511
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Death Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by xShMaCkBoYx View Post
I was told they used a 22 milimeter bolt in the joints of the track bar, this makes a sloppy connection. They suggest you change out the bolt with a 3/4"x3" long bolt and nut to make it tighter and to take up the slop.
I think you need to look at a ruler. A 22mm bolt is nearly 1". I think you are referring to the size of the head of the bolt (the wrench size used). If you try running a 3/4" bolt through a track bar, the bushing will be destroyed.

Actually, what you heard has some validity. There IS some slop in the bolt fitment on the axle end right from the factory. It does no doubt contribute to the DW problem.

For a pretty complete explanation of what causes DW and how to diagnose and repair it and destroy most of the myths, go to:
Death Wobble

There you will find about all you need to know about DW.

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Old 01-24-2012, 05:59 AM   #512
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by tom4jeep View Post
I recently had the DW issue on my 98 it has a 4 in skyjacker and 34inc tires i got them rotated balanced and a alignment and i have no sign of it anymore just to be sure im replacing the brushings. But for now this is a good fix from what i can tell.
Once again, "tires" never cause death wobble. They contribute to setting up the harmonics that "trigger" DW, but if your suspension and steering are working properly, you will NEVER have DW. It's just not physically possible if everything is in good working order.

For a much more complete explanation go to:
Death Wobble

That article goes into depth the REAL causes and repairs of DW and alignment.

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Old 01-24-2012, 11:52 AM   #513
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How did you measure to center your trackbar?
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:09 PM   #514
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Just thought I would throw in my two cents worth. Our 09 Wrangler is the ninth Jeep to grace our home and the third (a TJ, 08 JK, 09 JK) to come down with the dreaded DWs. On the TJ, a re-torque of the front-end solved the problem and the dealer replacement of the damper and re-torque solved the problem on the 08 JK.

Last weekend we had our first fit of the DWs in 09 JK. So we copied all of the good info provided here, along with several links to videos from Youtube.com and took 09 in to the servicing dealer. For the first time in years, the folks in the service department didn’t look at us like we were crazy and appeared to understand our problem. We checked in later and found out that the service folks had gotten together with the mechanics to hold a joint review of the problem.

Chrysler has always maintained it was the damper failure that caused the wobble, and then the wobble caused the front-end to shake loose, thus it required a new damper and to be re-torqued.

At the same time, most owners have maintained the front end came loose, started to wobble, and that caused the damper to fail. Personally, I have always leaned towards the concept that since the front-ends of other vehicles do not just loosen up on their own, something had to be failing that initiated the wobble, and it was this violent shaking that caused everything to come loose.

So which came first – the chicken or the egg? Well, Chrysler Jeep must have finally taken this issue seriously. Ok, it only took them about ten years!!! Today I received an email along with a picture of the new damper they are installing. They are apparently sticking with the damper being the root of the problem, but the replacement damper appears to be a serious replacement. We will see how this goes.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #515
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I had the worst DW in my 03 Rubicon, I basically went through and replaced nearly everything in the front end one by one. Nothing worked until I installed adjustable control arms and set the caster at -7. DW is gone completely and hasn't come back at all.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:26 AM   #516
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by Peaceful Pirate View Post
Just thought I would throw in my two cents worth. Our 09 Wrangler is the ninth Jeep to grace our home and the third (a TJ, 08 JK, 09 JK) to come down with the dreaded DWs. On the TJ, a re-torque of the front-end solved the problem and the dealer replacement of the damper and re-torque solved the problem on the 08 JK.

Last weekend we had our first fit of the DWs in 09 JK. So we copied all of the good info provided here, along with several links to videos from Youtube.com and took 09 in to the servicing dealer. For the first time in years, the folks in the service department didn’t look at us like we were crazy and appeared to understand our problem. We checked in later and found out that the service folks had gotten together with the mechanics to hold a joint review of the problem.

Chrysler has always maintained it was the damper failure that caused the wobble, and then the wobble caused the front-end to shake loose, thus it required a new damper and to be re-torqued.

At the same time, most owners have maintained the front end came loose, started to wobble, and that caused the damper to fail. Personally, I have always leaned towards the concept that since the front-ends of other vehicles do not just loosen up on their own, something had to be failing that initiated the wobble, and it was this violent shaking that caused everything to come loose.

So which came first – the chicken or the egg? Well, Chrysler Jeep must have finally taken this issue seriously. Ok, it only took them about ten years!!! Today I received an email along with a picture of the new damper they are installing. They are apparently sticking with the damper being the root of the problem, but the replacement damper appears to be a serious replacement. We will see how this goes.
The steering damper is NEVER the cause of death wobble! It will "MASK" DW by stopping the harmonics that trigger DW in the first place. The best way to tell if you have DW is to disconnect/ or remove the damper temporarily.

I am amazed that Jeep dealerships haven't learned about DW. This just makes no sense. They no doubt deal with this often and yet they seem as dumb as any shade tree. Verrrry sad.

Take a read of the article at:Death Wobble

You might want to print it out and take it to the dealer for their education. It was written originally for the TJ, but with the exception of the track bar mounts, they are basically the same suspension and steering.

As for re-torquing being a "fix", that is somewhat suspect unless you had some seriously loose items. I suspect you are referring to the track bar being loose as it is the usual and tightening it would definitely help. But I would want to check the bolt holes for elongation if the bolt has been loose for any amount of time. That is something too many techs don't look for.

I reiterate; if your steering and suspension is working properly, you cannot have DW. Tires (imbalanced or worn) and steering dampers cannot and will not cause a DW. Something (or several somethings) has to be worn or loose for you to experience DW. Once you understand that, you have a fighting chance at repairing it.
DW can be a real bear to diagnose. Too often it is the result of more than one thing being worn or loose. If you are lucky, one thing will cause (allow) it. Most are not. It has made many shops look incompetent.
Especially on lifted Jeeps, DW can be one of the most difficult things to repair. Understanding steering and suspension better than the average tech is required unless they simply replace all joints which any idiot can do.

Good luck with yours. Let us know what they finally find. It's always good to learn from experience.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:18 AM   #517
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2005 TJ: Last week I had a nail hole repaired in a tire, and Discount rotated my tires. I had the same size, brand & tread pattern on the rear, one was quite a bit more worn. Now the mismatched pair was on the front.

Instant death wobble at 45-50mph, especially on decel.




People argue semantics on this topic and some get really silly.



Whether the tires "caused" the death wobble or whether the tires "exposed" the marginally performing front suspension is debatable for those people.


Whatever, I don't give a rat's ___ over the semantics.

The tire rotation was the variable that made DW evident, period.





I checked the whole front end, ball joints and tie rod ends were good. The track arm bushing showed a little play. So I smoked the trackbar bushing out with a propane torch and used an air hammer to quickly remove the outer ring. I installed a new MOOG trackbar bushing and a Rancho stabilizer.


Here's my partially illustrated steering upgrade:

New hardware VS. old OEM.




FWIW, the factory 12mm bolt on the stabilizer was CRAP. Specifically, It was undersize, the shoulder was too short, and it was worn further undersize from years of vibration. The ~1/8" play IMO directly contributed to the DW.

OEM bolt in OEM stabilizer fitment after 86,000 gentle miles (my TJ was a city Wrangler):




Fitment had I reused the old bolt:



Note the inadequate shoulder, and that's not even including the bracket:




Here's a 1/2" grade-8 bolt from a hardware store, intended replacement, superior fit:




New bolt has appropriate shoulder:




I cut the new bolt to proper length with an air cutoff tool.

Side by side comparo:



The new 1/2" bolt is approximately 12.7mm, which is greater diameter than the worn down 12mm bolt was to begin with.

New hardware installed:




The new track bar bushing (blue, lower left) and stabilizer with properly fitted bolt nuked any evidence of the death wobble, even with the mismatched tires on front. BTW, I replaced the tires too.



FWIW, people are too polarized on the idea of stabilizers. True, they don't "cause" death wobble when worn. However, the geometery of the Wrangler IS NATURALLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEATH WOBBLE, and a stabilizer is a required item.








I spent years racing AMA National Harescrambles and WORCS races, and a stabilizer makes a tangible difference.

Note the gold Scotts damper on my handlebars:







I was riding a Factory Kawasaki racebike. It was tight, properly set-up with ACME custom progressive suspension, and a stabilizer still made a huge difference. No headshake, and no rock deflections.




Saying you shouldn't need a stabilizer with proper suspension setup is like saying you don't need shock absorbers. Granted, DW is a resonance problem that occurs within a speed range, and not an acute shock like hitting a rock at high speed, BUT the stabilizer's SPECIFIC PURPOSE is to take that violence out of the steering regardless the source. Using a stabilizer to combat a deficiency in the steering/suspension is a poorly devised band-aid.



If you have DW, it would be wise to look beyond a new stabilizer.


I found a handful of marginal areas on my rig, including my track bar bushing, my stabilizer, and an underize mounting bolt.

After my upgrades, my TJ ran with those crappy tires and there was no DEATH WOBBLE. Then I got new tires.

FWIW, my 2005 TJ is showroom, and was likely never off pavement:




My rig had it's problem areas, and chances are that any TJ or YJ will have similar if not greater problems that need to be addressed.


I have $16 in that new bushing and about $2.50 in the upgraded bolt and washers. That's less than half the price of the stabilizer...

Take a close look at yours.


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Old 01-25-2012, 12:22 PM   #518
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Death Wobble

DaisyCutter, You offer some excellent points and like you, our 09 JK is my hold on my youth and not a true off-roader. Hell, we only have 12,400 on it and that is all road and highway on a totally stock front end. It is for this reason that when it broke loose last weekend I began to reconsider what I knew and thought about DW. In the past, it occurred on true off road vehicles that had seen some serious ware and tare on the suspensions, but this time it happened on one that is about as pampered as they come.

I am sorry, but front-end suspensions do not simply fall apart. If hey did, the recall rate would put the automakers out of business. Even a multi-articulating setup like that on that on the TJ and JK, if maintained properly, is not just going to suddenly come loose. There has to be something that initiates the DW. As you point out, yours started on simple tire rotation, yet some will argue that that is not possible or that it must not be “true” DW. When faced with the reality of your vehicle feeling like it is about to explode, semantics are not important!

The truth for me is simple, when the steering wheel is about to break my wrist, the front end feels like it is going to sling everything on the side of the road and I can’t even focus on the instruments, then something is defiantly wrong. Did the damper cause it? I don’t know, but I do know this, Chrysler Jeep, for what ever you think of them, which must be good since we all bought their product, has way to much on the line to simply ignore the possibilities.

Who knows or can say who is right in this argument, but I do know that to simply rant and rave at each other here on line is not solving this problem in the long term. As for me personally, I would much rather work with the folks who built this thing and have so much on the line, along with the engineers to do the research, and try to find a solution. As a matter of fact, I have passed on your comments concerning over sizing the bolts. Could it be that simple?
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:29 PM   #519
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Daisy-cutter, Totaly agree with ya. Just one more thing thou. Check out the slop with the meteric bolt in that bushing you replaced also. Thats my only other advise. I had slop in that part also. Change to a 3/4" x 3" long bolt,nut, lockwasher.Grade 8
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:49 PM   #520
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Can one of you guys in the last 3 posts direct me to a thread or website that would be a 'jeep suspensions for dummies'....? I am pretty good with racing suspensions, but my LJ is beyond my understanding. I would like to understand each component and the interaction between them.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:16 PM   #521
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I have dw. I own a 2007 wrangler with a 2.5" lift. I put a new adj track bar, new tires, new HD stabilizer shock. I still have it. My ball joints and everything are perfect. I just saw that I have blown a busing on my drag link. I'm going to replace all of the bushings to see if that helps. DW can be one of many problems and ween u might have fixed the main problem, cause it happened so many times there might be another main problem. It makes working on jeeps fun
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:19 AM   #522
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You are on the right track STEAD0317. I had to the same thing. It was all a matter of frustrating elimination. Hope you fix the bugger. good luck!!!
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #523
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockandIceGirl
I had the worst DW in my 03 Rubicon, I basically went through and replaced nearly everything in the front end one by one. Nothing worked until I installed adjustable control arms and set the caster at -7. DW is gone completely and hasn't come back at all.
Did you install upper and lowers for both the front and rear?
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:13 AM   #524
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Just installed upper and lowers for the front end only, not the rear since there was no need.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:32 AM   #525
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockandIceGirl
Just installed upper and lowers for the front end only, not the rear since there was no need.
Okay thanks I think im in the same boat that you were my alignment specs are so off
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #526
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by RockandIceGirl View Post
Just installed upper and lowers for the front end only, not the rear since there was no need.
Couple of questions come to mind.
1. Is you Jeep lifted? (if so, how much)
2. Are you positive about the Caster being at -7 degrees?

The specs for a stock Wrangler TJ is +7 degrees is why I ask. I just wanted to make double sure before I even consider this as another possibility for correcting Death Wobble.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:06 PM   #527
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Death Wobble

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Okay thanks I think im in the same boat that you were my alignment specs are so off
I see you are having fun with the DW. May I recommend you go to Death Wobble
and read the entire article before you spend a lot of money throwing parts at your rig till you get lucky.

There are some things to look for that nearly nobody knows about in the article as well as how to check out steering and suspension properly. There are some other things you'll be better off knowing before you begin working on your Jeep. (or even before you ask someone else to work on it)

I recommend that you print the article and have whoever works on your rig read it before they ever look at it. I have been told time after time that they learned a few things even though they swore they knew it all before hand.

DW is about the worst problem to diagnose that I know of so any help is always good help.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:57 AM   #528
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Yess the DW has kept my rig off the road and trial for a few weeks now. I have read that article as well as many others and the general consensus is check track bar (end and bushings) and make your way around the rest of the steering components.

I went under the front end looking for any exposed metal or anything loose. Nothing seemed off but my toe rod/drag link ball joints needed grease. I then greased them and continued inspecting. I removed my axle end of the track bar and saw elongation within the mount hole i made due to my 3.5" RE lift. So im guessing this is a key point of interest. I attached my track bar and then lifted the front end. My brother shook the wheel and i saw play in the track bar bushing. My next move is to purchase adjustable track bar and install.

My only concern is that my right front caster is 3.9*. My stock specs specify 7* but Iv read that 5 is best with a lift. Either way Im starting thinking I need adjustable control arms to truly get my rig to drive right.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:04 AM   #529
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Blindside – I just read this post and thought it might help. It is something I am going to consider. Good luck to you!!


http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/the...ts-128154.html
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:40 AM   #530
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by blindside9704 View Post
Yess the DW has kept my rig off the road and trial for a few weeks now. I have read that article as well as many others and the general consensus is check track bar (end and bushings) and make your way around the rest of the steering components.

I went under the front end looking for any exposed metal or anything loose. Nothing seemed off but my toe rod/drag link ball joints needed grease. I then greased them and continued inspecting. I removed my axle end of the track bar and saw elongation within the mount hole i made due to my 3.5" RE lift. So im guessing this is a key point of interest. I attached my track bar and then lifted the front end. My brother shook the wheel and i saw play in the track bar bushing. My next move is to purchase adjustable track bar and install.

My only concern is that my right front caster is 3.9*. My stock specs specify 7* but Iv read that 5 is best with a lift. Either way Im starting thinking I need adjustable control arms to truly get my rig to drive right.

Thanks for any help!
Sorry to hear about your DW keeping you off the road and trails. It can be a serious problem and a very difficult one to cure. You sound fairly knowledgeable about what you've learned, so we can probably work you through this.
One of the first questions I would have asked you answered... your 3.5" RE Lift. That makes a difference in how we approach things. Other questions would be how many miles have been put on the Jeep since the lift and how many miles total? The answer would give a clue as to the wear we could expect in the ball joints, tie rod and drag link ends, and the track bar.
With the RE lift, you have already changed the upper and lower control arms, but they are also subject to wear and in most instances rebuild-able. To be honest, the RE joints are (at least in my opinion) a bit small and wear out at a higher rate than some other lifts. RE is one lift I recommend you keep lubed at a much higher rate than some others.
I would recommend you double check those joints with a lot of scrutiny. Usually, a pry bar placed between the joint and the axle with the weight off the axle is the best way to check these. Any play in them should be considered too much.
You mention elongation in the track bar mounts but not if you addressed repairing the problem. If you caught the problem early enough, keeping the bolt torqued properly may get you by. If on the other hand you have a lot of elongation, you should repair this while replacing the track bar.
There are several ways to repair that. One is to get thick washers with holes just a bit too small for the bolt to go through and weld them to the existing mounts. Then you drill out the holes to the correct size. (or drill first and weld them on with a bolt in them for alignment) If you do it this way, get a good grade of washer, not the cheapest junk you can find. The bearing surface on many washers is fairly thin compared to the washer thickness. You want the maximum bearing surface.
As for the caster and alignment. If you read my article Death Wobble , you know that a lifted Wrangler should have less caster than the stock specs call for. Yours should be set at +4 degrees (+ or - 1 degree).
If you haven't already, I highly recommend you watch the Teraflex Alignment videos. They will show you how to set your adjustable track bar and the rest. I know the lift is totally different from yours, that doesn't matter on bit. Alignments are basically the same, just the way you do them is changed.
One last thing. I don't know your experience level, so please forgive me if this sounds offensive. If you are not a practicing technician with extensive steering and suspension experience, take the Jeep to a very experienced alignment shop (preferably Jeep experience) and ask them to check the Joints on the steering and suspension. This is critical. If you don't KNOW how to check ball joints and what to look for, you may find you still have problems and get really frustrated. It is well worth the effort.
A really good alignment tech will know a lot just by looking at your tire wear patterns and will know how to check all the joints for wear and know how much wear is too much.
By the way, greasing your steering before checking it for wear is not the best way. The grease can take up the slack and make it difficult to find the wear.
Let us know how it works out.
Good luck and great Jeeping.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #531
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Talking Thanks

My Son experienced his first ever DW the other morning he was getting up to 45mph when it started he's only 19 so I think he about pooped himself . I wasn't sure what it was so we drove back home realy slow I started researching this online & found this site , so I found out it all works as a system all it would take would be one loose end . The track bar was not all the way tight at the axel but everything else was tight I greased everything & aired down the 35" Comp-MT from 35psi to 30 he has a 98 light Jade pearl TJ with 4" SL & 2" BL it's very cool BUT DW is not . Well after doing that it's fine no more problems. I talked him into a Jeep because I've had a brand new 83 Renagade when I was young had it 12years with no real problems NO DW (leafs) then I had a 95 wrangler Sahara & now I bought a 97 TJ Sahara I just put a 4" lift superlift & 33" baja claws TTC with black eagle rims . I hope I don't regret this so far it runs straight ! Thanks for the info on here.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:41 PM   #532
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What are the torque specs for the front end of a TJ?

Im seeing a theme that points to the first stop in getting rid of DW is to torque down the front end.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #533
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Thats a great post i just went out and got new ball joints tie rod ends and new tires because of this very problem and an alignment will follow. thanks for the good info
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:46 AM   #534
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Idk what my DW is from it happens between 55-59mph then stops at 60 and suggestions? Oh btw in 16 so it scarred me shitless
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:39 PM   #535
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Quote:
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Idk what my DW is from it happens between 55-59mph then stops at 60 and suggestions? Oh btw in 16 so it scarred me shitless
That isn't DW. This is more of a tire issue.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:59 PM   #536
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That's what I thought but another Guy was telling me difrent thanks
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #537
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Quote:
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That's what I thought but another Guy was telling me difrent thanks
No worries. In general, any speed related shake is usually a tire or balance issue. NOT ALL, but most!

Have your tire balance checked or Ben rotate your tires and see if it still happens.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:49 PM   #538
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I just got them rotated a week ago when It got shaky but it wasn't before I'm guessing the Guy was lazy threw the fronts to the back and backs to the front
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:43 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by TJ-Mike

No worries. In general, any speed related shake is usually a tire or balance issue. NOT ALL, but most!

Have your tire balance checked or Ben rotate your tires and see if it still happens.
Sorry, that should have said "even rotate your tires".

Since that is when it started, I would have the tires checked and balanced. They will also check to make sure your rims aren't out of round as well. Good news is that it sounds like your issue is an easy and inexpensive fix! Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:26 PM   #540
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I went back today and he said he will rerotate them. He did. No problem now thanks

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