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Old 04-01-2012, 04:51 PM   #571
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Originally Posted by jiminmanjr View Post
I came on tonight to look for this exact problem. About a week ago I was driving on the highway and my 2003 Wrangler started shaking so bad I had to pull over. The whole thing was coming apart!!

I do need new tires, but was hoping to wait until fall. Now I think I'll do it and get an alignment and see if that helps.

Thanks for the info!
Somebody please help! i cant do over 50 it feels like the jeep is gonna fly to pieces, Started after i put my 2.5in suspension lift on, and i replaced steering stabilizer! any thoughts???

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Old 04-01-2012, 05:01 PM   #572
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I have the same problem! installed the 2.5in lift and right when i hit 50 it nearly kills me

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Old 04-01-2012, 05:09 PM   #573
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First get your tires balanced. Check for loose tie rod ends. Worn control arm bushings etc
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:13 PM   #574
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I have the same problem! installed the 2.5in lift and right when i hit 50 it nearly kills me
did you get an alignment yet? if not that also a good place to start. did the kit have you drill a hole for the front track bar? if spend the money and get an adjustable tracbar and make sure it fits tight in the hole.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:50 PM   #575
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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???

OK 6 months later and I am back for my second round with this beasty. The 05 is now at 63,000 miles and the wobble is back with a vengeance. I was able to induce it today while going down a smooth road at about 40 mph and rocking the steering wheel back and forth rapidly. I have looked and wiggled everything I can, and find no play. So just now I had my Grandson sit in the seat and turn the steering a bunch of times while I inspected the underneath. I can see the axle shifting left and right as the steering hits the end of travel but no looseness in any of the joints. I do see some compression of the bushings on both ends of the track bar, and currently believe that to be my problem. I do not see any evidence that the bolt I replace the original with has worn or elongated the bracket. I looked closely at both brackets (frame end and axle end) that the track bar bolts to and see no movement in either of those. The only movement I see is what appears to be compression of the actual bushings. The tie rod ends are all tight as is everything else I can pull or push on.

So my question is regarding replacements bushings for the track bar. I think it is time to go to a nylon or poly or something stiffer than the original rubber.

Is there a specific recommendation for an upgrade to these parts?

TIA
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:29 PM   #576
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ok guys so bear with me here..i had a 2003 dodge 2500 cummins with death wobble..i battled death wobble for honestly years before i found the fix..i Understand this is a TJ forum but i beleive in my experience that most solid axle setups are pretty much the same besides the obvious size difference in the axles and suspension components. now with that said i was a member of cummins forum much like this and read threads just like this with everyone saying do this do this do this. honestly although there may be similarities between vehicles issues in my experience i found that what fixed the issue for some wont fix it for others unless you just decide to replace every component on or around that axle and still find that after time the issue will still be there. this is what i did..i read thread after thread and found that the most common component brought up was the trac bar bushing wore out.. rather than replacing the bushings i just went all out and got a much more sturdy and beefy trac bar with polyurethane bushings...the problem was still there. i got told the stabalizer pump was bad.. i replaced it. i got told to put a steering box brace on it..i did. with all these things that were recommended to do i tried them all with better results but the problem would still be there. i ended up having to get a allignment twice and just decided to get a dual steering stabalizer setup..guess what it fixed the death wobble and its been gone for three years. my advice is just look at your steering and suspension and try to find the weak or worn components and replace and upgade. or plan b read these threads and run around like a chicken with your head cut off.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:54 PM   #577
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SNIP or plan b read these threads and run around like a chicken with your head cut off.
Yeup!!! Gotta agree with that part. I spent probably 5 hours this past weekend reading stuff and one Expert would say one thing and another would say something entirely different. Reading 3 different forums and getting MANY different ideas, none concurrent.

I have inspected this thing to death. I have not spent a lot of money (YET) but Time is also money. I redid the mount where the track bar hooks up to the axle and then yesterday I changed out the Trackbar with a new one from Napa. The Wife said she did not have a problem today but it is anyone's guess how long that will last.

Very frustrating


Oh and this post is not meant as a slam to those that are trying so hard to help on this subject. The time and effort you guys take to share your experiences and knowledge really is very much appreciated. Otherwise I would not have a starting point at all.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:53 PM   #578
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i know the feeling..just remember when people say things like_______ is just a bandaid it wont fix the problem forever ect..sometimes a bandaid is all that is needed why do surgery on the rig if its not needed.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:45 PM   #579
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I am getting some pretty terrible DW at 54mph, sometimes I can slowly accelerate and not wobble at all, but its starting to be a pain in the @$$. My question is, will getting a lift replace most of the worn pieces? Probably will get a steering stabilizer as well and tires shortly after. I realize that I will probably need an alignment, but I just want to make sure most of the parts that are out of whack are replaced.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:18 AM   #580
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well from my experience the most common issues with straight axle rigs is the trac bushings. they come stock with really crappy bushings and over time the will wear out giving you side to side play when hitting bumps thus causing death wobble. the more worn that component is the worse the wobble will become. id see if you could find a beefier aftermarket upgrade with polyurethane bushings. most aftermarket trac bars will come with the ability to replace even those bushings when worn at a relatively low cost. also if you have upgraded tire size ot just simply put alot of miles on your stock steering stabalizer pump it may be time to replace it. infact with the death wobble you are experiencing i would go so far as to say i could gurantee the stabalixer you have is worn out just due to the rapid in and out caused by the wobble itself. try a dual stabalizer set up thats what i did and i havent experienced the problem any more. by the way i also upgraded the trac bar, and got a precise allignment.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:06 PM   #581
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by yellowbeast View Post
well from my experience the most common issues with straight axle rigs is the trac bushings. they come stock with really crappy bushings and over time the will wear out giving you side to side play when hitting bumps thus causing death wobble. the more worn that component is the worse the wobble will become. id see if you could find a beefier aftermarket upgrade with polyurethane bushings. most aftermarket trac bars will come with the ability to replace even those bushings when worn at a relatively low cost. also if you have upgraded tire size ot just simply put alot of miles on your stock steering stabalizer pump it may be time to replace it. infact with the death wobble you are experiencing i would go so far as to say i could gurantee the stabalixer you have is worn out just due to the rapid in and out caused by the wobble itself. try a dual stabalizer set up thats what i did and i havent experienced the problem any more. by the way i also upgraded the trac bar, and got a precise allignment.
No offense... but that is a steaming pile of BS.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:51 PM   #582
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No offense... but that is a steaming pile of BS.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:15 PM   #583
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really im sure you are an expert in this area...enlighten me with your knowledge, please. what you have done is apparently identified a "steaming pile of bullshit" but have not identified any solution. i am merely talking from my experience guy..thats all it worked for me. i wish i had the capacity to come on forums and act like i know it all like obviously you do. i bet you have a huge 3rd member too.
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No offense... but that is a steaming pile of BS.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:30 PM   #584
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Hes an expert in posting the same article
Just look back at all of his posts in this thread he posts the same link every time. I was surprised he didn't in response to you.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #585
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expert eh?
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:13 PM   #586
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Damn! I'm grabbing a seat next to Griffmeister!
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:43 PM   #587
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06 TJ, 68K miles, driving back from a hockey game in MN it struck me the night before I was scheduled to leave on my way back to Ohio (flew up to MN to pick it up from the dealer). I was banging through the gears trying to merge onto the highway it absolutely disabled the jeep and forced me to pull off to the road. I immediately called my contact at the dealership who arranged everything to get it fixed free of charge and even picked up my room and board for another night and day. I bought it from one of his VW stores who got it in on a trade and neglected to do a full service on the necessary items to make it a solid Jeep. Turns out the tires (rolling on 33x10.50R15 BFG MTs) were over inflated, not balanced at all, needed to be rotated and the steering stabilizer was shot. While they were in there they also replaced some other steering components that had life left in them but they wanted to make it right, and they went above and beyond to make it right for me. Picked it up from their Jeep dealer later that day and drove it 750 miles home without any hiccups, I am loving it!

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Old 04-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #588
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hey everyone, lots of good info here and I'm still in the process of reading through the entire thread so forgive me if any of these issues have been addressed.

I just bought a 99 tj sport. It seems like the last owner didn't use it much since it still only has about 78,000 mi. on it. Everything seems pretty much stock. I'm getting DW every so often (twice the other day) but never bad enough to make me pull off the road and come to a complete stop (had to hit the brakes though a couple times). anyway I'm no mechanic so i took it to a shop and here's what they found:

1) tires are dry rotted and front passenger has a broken band (but still lots of tread left on them)
2) suggested replacing the steering dampner
3) recommended replacing all 4 shocks
4) surpentine belt is cracked
5)axle fluid and transfer case fluid is dirty and could be replaced

they said that none of this is too severe that it needs to be done immediately (since I'm on a tight budget) but I should start saving to have these things done.

Any ideas or suggestions? I don't want to replace the tires if there's good tread left on them if I don't have to. They also said that the "shimmy" (which I don't think they realize is DW) won't cause any damage and is fine as long as I can deal with the shaking/vibrations. Keep in mind this is my daily driver with very rare off roading

Thanks for the help!!
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #589
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The tires are #1 priority in my opinion you wouldn't want to have a blowout in a jeep then change your fluids . You might find some better used tires on Craigslist just search under autoparts then Jeep. Welcome to Wrangler Forum
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:12 AM   #590
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by yellowbeast View Post
really im sure you are an expert in this area...enlighten me with your knowledge, please. what you have done is apparently identified a "steaming pile of bullshit" but have not identified any solution. i am merely talking from my experience guy..thats all it worked for me. i wish i had the capacity to come on forums and act like i know it all like obviously you do. i bet you have a huge 3rd member too.
To make this answer easy, go to:
Death Wobble

I wrote this and it pretty well lays out the "cure" for Death Wobble on a Jeep.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:26 PM   #591
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by yellowbeast View Post
really im sure you are an expert in this area...enlighten me with your knowledge, please. what you have done is apparently identified a "steaming pile of bullshit" but have not identified any solution. i am merely talking from my experience guy..thats all it worked for me. i wish i had the capacity to come on forums and act like i know it all like obviously you do. i bet you have a huge 3rd member too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunt View Post
hey everyone, lots of good info here and I'm still in the process of reading through the entire thread so forgive me if any of these issues have been addressed.

I just bought a 99 tj sport. It seems like the last owner didn't use it much since it still only has about 78,000 mi. on it. Everything seems pretty much stock. I'm getting DW every so often (twice the other day) but never bad enough to make me pull off the road and come to a complete stop (had to hit the brakes though a couple times). anyway I'm no mechanic so i took it to a shop and here's what they found:

1) tires are dry rotted and front passenger has a broken band (but still lots of tread left on them)
2) suggested replacing the steering dampner
3) recommended replacing all 4 shocks
4) surpentine belt is cracked
5)axle fluid and transfer case fluid is dirty and could be replaced

they said that none of this is too severe that it needs to be done immediately (since I'm on a tight budget) but I should start saving to have these things done.

Any ideas or suggestions? I don't want to replace the tires if there's good tread left on them if I don't have to. They also said that the "shimmy" (which I don't think they realize is DW) won't cause any damage and is fine as long as I can deal with the shaking/vibrations. Keep in mind this is my daily driver with very rare off roading

Thanks for the help!!
The best advice about your DW I can give is to find another shop. What those guys know will never be written nicely about. For the clear dope on DW go to: http://www.happytrails4wd.com/page/death-wobble
There I write about those kinds of shops and the grief they cause.
You'll also learn the right way to check for all of the "REAL" causes of DW.
With the age of your rig, unless there has been work done prior to the steering and suspension, I wouldn't be surprised if you don't have several worn parts that are contributing to the DW. You might get lucky and find one or two that are badly worn and replacing them might stop the problem at least for a while. DW is a bugger to diagnose even for those of us who have experience with several. If the first thing a mechanic asks you is about your tires, you can call him an idiot or just turn around and walk away (your choice).
If your steering and suspension are working correctly, NO tire problems can make your Jeep do the DW. Tires CAN be the pressure on the trigger that fires a DW, but they cannot cause it. Once in a great while changing tires or even rotating them will make the DW go away for a short time, but the real problem is still there. I often recommend reading the article and then printing it for an alignment shop to read before they ever say a word. Several people have told me this worked for them where nothing else had.
Good luck and Happy Trails.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:07 PM   #592
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thanks for the info. Am I playing with fire if I continue to drive with the DW or is it not going to cause any further damage?
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:10 PM   #593
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:58 PM   #594
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I hate to disagree with an expert of DW but I dont need to write an article to know there are MANY causes of DW, including MUD! I had the DW at 45 mph due to doing a half azzed job on washing my Jeep after a day of fun in the Mud. It showed up a week later when I was driving down the road. I went home and spent an hour under my Jeep with the power washer and after creating yet another mud hole in my driveway, no more DW.

Sorry but it can sometimes be from a combination of parts and other times it could be as simple as mud and yes, tires CAN cause DW too! Most often it is the trac bar and/or bushing. Brand new Jeeps can get the DW so that pretty much debunks the point of "several slightly worn parts adding together to cause the entire problem" Dont confuse the fact that several different issues can cause DW. Today it may be MUD, in a year you could get it back because your trac bar is shot, 6 months later you could get it due to bushing, that does NOT mean it was all a combination. It means that certain parts wear at different times and as a result can create the SAME issue, the DW.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:57 AM   #595
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The dreaded DW

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Originally Posted by TJJeeperGirl View Post
I hate to disagree with an expert of DW but I dont need to write an article to know there are MANY causes of DW, including MUD! I had the DW at 45 mph due to doing a half azzed job on washing my Jeep after a day of fun in the Mud. It showed up a week later when I was driving down the road. I went home and spent an hour under my Jeep with the power washer and after creating yet another mud hole in my driveway, no more DW.

Sorry but it can sometimes be from a combination of parts and other times it could be as simple as mud and yes, tires CAN cause DW too! Most often it is the trac bar and/or bushing. Brand new Jeeps can get the DW so that pretty much debunks the point of "several slightly worn parts adding together to cause the entire problem" Dont confuse the fact that several different issues can cause DW. Today it may be MUD, in a year you could get it back because your trac bar is shot, 6 months later you could get it due to bushing, that does NOT mean it was all a combination. It means that certain parts wear at different times and as a result can create the SAME issue, the DW.
Thanks for this thread. I have a new to me 2005 TJ 6 speed that replaced my 2000. It is stock other than the 31x 10.5 tires. I experienced some shakes that i could drive through and then the true DW experience one night this week. About all I clearly remember was saying "holy sh*t" as I got off the gas and waited for the shake to stop. Fortunately nobody was around me. I took my jeep to some Jeep specialists (lucky to have them here!)--Moab Offroad. They are terrific. They would likely agree that there are many causes. For me, we've started with a new tracbar and adjustable lower control arms. I also added a new steering stabilizer which I had planned to do anyway. They found movement / slop and shot bushings at only 35k miles Alignment is scheduled and then we will see if caster needs adjusting from there. Regardless, the ride is already improved with the better parts. There were three jeeps there with the same problem--one about identical to mine in year and mileage. The new jeeps have lousy bushings apparently so indeed, DW can and does happen early. While it is an investment, I plan to continue replacing crappler parts (oh, Chrysler) as I can, regardless of any DW issue. Love my Jeep. Find a good Jeep expert vs a local "shop"or the dealer, especially if you have a lift.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #596
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Death Wobble

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I hate to disagree with an expert of DW but I dont need to write an article to know there are MANY causes of DW, including MUD! I had the DW at 45 mph due to doing a half azzed job on washing my Jeep after a day of fun in the Mud. It showed up a week later when I was driving down the road. I went home and spent an hour under my Jeep with the power washer and after creating yet another mud hole in my driveway, no more DW.

Sorry but it can sometimes be from a combination of parts and other times it could be as simple as mud and yes, tires CAN cause DW too! Most often it is the trac bar and/or bushing. Brand new Jeeps can get the DW so that pretty much debunks the point of "several slightly worn parts adding together to cause the entire problem" Dont confuse the fact that several different issues can cause DW. Today it may be MUD, in a year you could get it back because your trac bar is shot, 6 months later you could get it due to bushing, that does NOT mean it was all a combination. It means that certain parts wear at different times and as a result can create the SAME issue, the DW.
Hi TJJeeperGirl,
First, I am trying very hard to choose my words so as not to become offensive... that is not in any way my desire. I have never said that I am an
"Expert" though it wouldn't be too far from the truth in comparison. After being trained at a trade school in Auto Mechanics, I spent over a year doing alignments on vehicles before moving onto Heavy Equipment where I became a journeyman. Since then I have worked in a 4X4 shop installing lifts and other accessories. I have built Jeeps for racing that were very successful for their time. I think my experience and record speak for their self.
When I write an article, most of it comes from my own experience and some of it I learn from talking with and studying what others have to say. I do not know it all... but I have learned some along the way. My experience with Jeep DW is not just a one-time deal. I have worked on several... all of which went down the road properly after.

Then I read a diatribe like yours... one experience with DW and you become the "expert" and make bold statements that many people on this forum will read and take as gospel. They will take your lead and run out and spend their hard earned money chasing the wrong things trying to repair their rig.
That is why I will tell you that your premise is wrong and only half thought through. Reading through some of the other posts will tell you that you are not an orphan in doing this, so please do not take this as a total personal jab. Your "opinion" is as good as anyone's. I respect that up to the point that it has others suffering. The knowledge and experience I impart here are meant to "Help" only. I hope you will respect that as well.
If you had read and understood everything in the article, you'll have to admit that bad tires, for any reason, can be the catalyst that start DW. They are "allowed" to go into DW by other parts not doing their job correctly. Worn and/ or misaligned parts on steering or suspension, individually or in concert are the "cause" of DW. If your steering and suspension are doing their job correctly, you will not have DW. For that reason, I would recommend that YOU take yours for a good inspection.
BTW, I will be taking my own advice as the other day after running on a muddy road I experienced DW on Happy Trails (my 06 TJ Rubicon).
Again, I hope you take this with no offense. None was intended... just think about your "opinion" a little deeper and I'm sure you may find it stopped a little short.
At any rate, go out and enjoy your Jeeping. It sounds like you do... that is the real reason we both take time to converse here. The love of this great sport is much more important anyway.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:53 PM   #597
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I'm not an expert, but I've had some major DW last year on my '97 TJ. At first it was once in a blue moon, but pretty quickly it would happen on every drive until I finally dropped it off at a dealership while on my way to Virginia wine country. It just didn't feel safe anymore.

Up until that point I had read a lot on the subject, including here on Wrangler Forum. So I knew there were a lot of possible causes. But at the end of the day the dealership, per my request, replaced my trackbar (and the bushing, which was shot to hell, even to my untrained eye), did an alignment, and replaced the steering dampener.

This happened early last fall, and to date there hasn't been a repeat. That being said, my worn tires aren't helping either, and I'll be replacing those this summer.

Final bill $900. But very much worth it, in my opinion.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:39 PM   #598
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Improper balance of tires, out of round rims, bad bearings or bushings, cupped or uneven worn tires, loose tie rod ends, the list goes on & on. Do not buy cheap tires or aftermarket wheels because you get what you pay for. Always make sure you make the proper steering geometry adjustments per lift kit manufacturers recommendations if you install one.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:52 PM   #599
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Originally Posted by coolda View Post
I had a 2" skyjacker budget boost lift kit installed on Friday...after happy hour, i started to drive home (had 1 beer...honestly)...Well, it felt like I had consumed a 12 pack once i hit 50 mph and my 2001 Wrangler started shaking and vibrating where i almost lost control...not happy...my tires and rims are new and i never had so much as a "shimmy" at any speed UNTIL i had the 2" kit installed...I am new to site, have researched and read about the Death Wobble in jeeps, and would like a check-list to have my mechanic go through to "solve" my wobble...I honestly feel like ripping the damn lift kit out...any help is appreciated...
Check your toe-in. Once you raise it, it will toe your front tires in. My 4" lift toed them in a full inch and I had serious DW. Once aligned, it drives great.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:44 PM   #600
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Thanks for the Info.

Had this problem also, I did not know that it was common. I put two inch lift on and drove a couple days just around town with no problems. Low speed. Then we were on our way to eat with my wife in the vehicle also. Getting on the highway and hit some rough road. Oh my gosh the thing starting shaking like crazy. Of course the wife was coming unglued since she accused me of not connecting something or just doing something wrong to her Jeep. Brought it home and did a bit of adjusting on the frt. Alignment (just temp. fix.) took it out and hit a bunch of rough road intentionally. Even got on the highway up to about 80 with no problems. Going in tomorrow to have the alignment done by an experience frt. End tech. hopefully this will fix it for good. Now at least I know that I am not the only one with this issue.

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