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Old 07-19-2010, 04:27 PM   #121
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Ok, I just got a 97 jeep with 35's on it and a 4 in suspension and a 3 in body lift. I have the same wobble but it is not that bad. The jeep just feels like it sways back and forth a little bit. What can i do to fix this issue.

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Old 07-19-2010, 04:58 PM   #122
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Search the forum some, read, read, read...
after you test the tried and true, if it doesn't help you resolve the issue... try again.

If it's just a "sway" start by rotating your tires and checking them for balance.

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:26 PM   #123
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DW is a basterd, no one wants it and it comes out of nowhere to ruin your life.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:37 AM   #124
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I have a 2004 unlimited that i bought used with a lift and 33"s on her. Two months into owning it DW reared it's ugly head. I had the tires aligned and balanced and replaced the factory stabilizer with a moog unit and DW is gone thank god!!! This may not be the answer for everyone but its a good place to start.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:22 PM   #125
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If you have the DW please make sure to check the upper and lower ball joints, I had the DW at about 45-50 MPH and I changed out ball joints and it has disappered totally.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:29 PM   #126
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Happened to me on every highway trip. Tire Re-balance - Completely gone. Sams Club only charges $3.88 per tire.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:10 PM   #127
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completely different.. My Grand Cherokee would do it to the point that people would pull over and ask if I was okay.. the DW is ferocious
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:21 PM   #128
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i just bought my car right when i hit 50 on the high way the way home it startin doing it real bad. i got home and noticed i was missin a stud or lug or whatever its called on the front right tire (duhhhh) i brought it to town fair tire and the guy said my tires were starting to crack and were dry rotted. im gettin destination AT's sunday so hopefully that fixes it... if not what should i fix next?
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:38 PM   #129
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Thanks to all of you posting, when I took my new **to me** Jeep back to the dealer, I was able to accurately described the **Death Wobble** They changed out the stabilizer bar -- haven't tried it at the speed I experienced it at previously yet.

Thanks for helping me sound intelligent!
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:19 PM   #130
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Steering Stabilizer fixed my DW. Cheap fix. I would try this first, It would suck to buy $600 tires when you could have bought a $30 steering stabilizer. It may not be the problem but it a cheap first step to check.
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:11 PM   #131
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The unbalanced tiers gave me the DW!

Got it fixed tho
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:17 PM   #132
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My TOTAL experience with DW--please read

My "new" 2003 Wrangler was purchased with the GY 30x9.50x15 tires and some crappy aftermarket wheels. Drove it for a couple thousand miles and no DW. I purchased a set of "canyon" factory wheels and had the tires mounted on them (and balance). Again, no DW. The tires have about 70% tread on them. My jeep is black, and not being able to leave it alone I purchased a set of Ion alloy aluminum wheels (black centers with the polished lip) in 15x8. Had the tires mounted and balanced (I manage a tire and automotive repair facility). Left to go home that afternoon and at 45 to 55 the DW was so bad that I couldnt drive out of it. I literally had to pull over. I brought the truck back in and checked the tire balance. My tire guy had balanced them with sticky weights and although my machine "ok'd" it, i went ahead and weighted both sides of the wheels and static balanced them. I test drove it again. Same thing. I noticed my track bar (from reading on here) was worn. I replaced the track bar with a moog one the next day, aligned the front end, checked all tie rod ends, ball joints, u-joints...Everything. Test drove. DW still there. I rotated the tires front to back. DW changed. Still there but could drive out of it. I criss-crossed the tires. DW changed again, but still there. Just for the record, the intial wheel install was done putting the tires back in the SAME position they came from.
I ended up moving the tires/wheels around to the spot the DW was the least noticable. When i say "least" i mean that you could drive out of it without feeling like you were going to kill someone. We checked lugs, wheel runout, indexed tires, rebalanced so many times it isnt funny. The only NOTICEABLE change from the stock canyon wheels to the new Ions was the OFFSET of the rims. The new rims stuck the tires out about 2" more than the stock.
Knowing that the wheels were the only thing that changed, I decided to take the front two tires and put them back on the jeep with the canyon wheels. I had the canyons on front and ions on the rear. Jeep would drive "almost" perfect. You could feel a vibration in the seat (sign of rear issues) but DW was gone. I moved the tires front to rear (canyons in rear, ions in front) and DW was back. I changed the remaining two front ions back out with the factory canyons and DW COMPLETELY gone.
Does anyone know why or how the offset of the wheels can cause this? I have all the equipment to check wheels for bent, out of round or other issues. None of this is the case. The only difference I can tell is the offset. And all i know is that changing back to the factory rims COMPLETELY did away with my DW. I would love to hear any ideas of why you think this may be.

On another note, thank everyone here for all their input. Its your experience and advise on this issue that made me join and gave me all the areas to check. I hope my information helps someone else out .
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:43 AM   #133
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Could that be the result of a Non-Hubcentric wheel? Meaning the wheel is not perfectly balanced or doesnt mate up with the wheel hub in the correct way, and some sort of Hubcentric stabilizer ring or wheel insert could be added to help. I know that someone here on the forum was machining a center cap insert that was weighted to solve this same problem. That may actually be in this thread as well.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:37 PM   #134
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I have an idea of why the offset gave you DW. Having a larger offset (less positive or more negative backspacing) places the centerline of the tire (which in straight movement could be perceived as a point force for rolling resistance) further outboard of the ball joint (steering axis). As torque is concerned (on the steering axis), the larger arm will yield greater authority to turn the wheels in the direction of the greater resistance between left and right tire, be it rolling or other. This is demonstrated when you hit a puddle of water with one of you front tires. You have noticed that when you installed the rims with the greater offset, hitting water will pull the jeep towards the water with much more authority than with the stock wheels.

The factor of authority increase could be roughly computed with: [(Distance from steering axis to hub surface) - (new backspacing)] / [(Distance from steering axis to hub surface) - (old backspacing)] x (new tire width) / (old tire width). Keeping in mind that negative backspacing will increase the sum. ex. 5-(-3.5)=8.5. Using the same tires for both conditions will eliminate the second half of the equation. 12.5/12.5=1.

Anyways, back on track. What I believe is the cause of death wobble is the weight shift of the vehicle at its natural harmonic frequency perpetuated by the steering authority granted to the wheel outboard of the turn. Larger offsets increases the authority, allowing the harmonics to overcome the steering stabilizer. Basically, every object has a frequency that it likes to oscillate at. That's why different objects give a different pitch when struck. The natural freq of that particular motion of the jeep is what you see during the DW. That's why the DW only shows up above a certain speed. Any slower and the freq of lateral movement would be too slow to allow it.

I believe the mechanics of it are as follows: Jeep jerks right, shifting weight to left. Left front now maintains greater weight and subsequent rolling resistance. Torque is applied to left side steering axis, pulling jeep to left. This process starts small from a bump in the road or diagonal track crossing, and increases until critical state where any additional magnitude would require a change in frequency.

Some factors that can initiate the DW: A dropped pitman arm will cause a misalignment with the track bar. This can initiate the DW because of bump-steer problems. Of course an imbalance in tires can do it as well. I saw that you changed the track bar, which is good, because a loose track can help facilitate the DW. It will allow the axle to shift laterally at the initial jerk and each subsequent oscillation. When the axle shifts laterally, the wheels are turned in the opposite direction, setting the steering up for the next oscillation.

Unfortunately, the factory steering boxes are not tight enough to override the DW. Holding the steering wheel from turning still allows the wheels enough travel to continue the wobble. If all other steering components are tight, you may need to get a dual steering stabilizer. This would be unfortunate, because in my experience, DW can usually be traced a loose component.

Good luck.
Brandon

<--DW
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:37 PM   #135
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Wish i would have read this about a month ago. ^_^ Same thing was happening to me, but i called it "shimmying" i like the sound of DW better
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:32 PM   #136
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I installed a 4” RE lift and instantly experienced severe death wobble. I researched the heck out of DW only to find out that it is a result of all components in the steering system starting to fail. Furthermore, an aftermarket steering stabilizer would only temporarily mask DW. I would rather have a permanent solution than a temporary fix (ex: toe in alignment, steering stabilizer, tighten the heck out of the track bar bolts, etc). My resolve was to replace the components in the steering system: tie rod ends, pitman arm joint, and track bar upper joint. As I started to price out OEM parts and found one tie rod end to be $160, I started looking into aftermarket steering system upgrades. I went with Rugged Ridge’s 1-ton crossover system for $170, that decision was easy! This kit does not fit with stock wheels that have a positive 32mm offset or 5.5” backspacing. I also replaced the track bar with Rubicon Expresses adjustable track bar (RE1600, $170) I did not want to use the RE’s heim joint setup and drill out the frame mount, so I picked up a 1-ton Moog TRE (part number ES2848LT, Autozone $22 w/lifetime warranty) that threads right into the upper end of RE’s track bar disregarding the heim setup. If you read up on heims you will find that they have a Teflon coating/bushing that predominantly fails and develops slop/play. I also picked up a Pro Comp steering stabilizer ($35) from 4wheelparts. Permanent solution cost $397. Plus I now have one ton rated steering components.

Also, I know Firestone used to have a lifetime alignment for around $120. I plan on doing this once I get my new wheels and tires. If you hit stuff a lot that is a good deal.

Hope this info is helpful to someone…
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:45 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjtoth View Post
I have an idea of why the offset gave you DW.

<excellent writeup above>

Good luck.
Brandon

<--DW
Nice analysis.

On another forum on which I moderate I have had to point out that once you start modding your vehicle, even the most simple of mods you begin to deviate from the hundreds of design considerations that went into the original specs.

Regarding jeeps, this is a totally new field for me but anytime you move weight/mass further out from its intended location all the design parameters change, parts wear out quicker and as you point out DW happens.

Do you believe the primary culprit is the lateral movement of the weight or the addition of weight brought about by larger tire/wheel combos? In other words, using stock and +2" as examples you would have the possible variables of 1) stock wheel/tire, 2) mod wheel/stock tire/0 offset change, 3) mod wheel/stock tire/+ offset change, 4) stock wheel/+ 2" tire/0 offset change 5) stock wheel/+ 2" tire/+ offset change 6)mod wheel/ 2"mod tire/0 offset change and 7) mod wheel/ 2"mod tire/+ offset change. Which do you think would provide the most impact to DW? And I know that doesn't get into lift or other aftermarket considerations.

Sorry for the detailed questions. This is how I grow into this.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:57 PM   #138
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Thanks McBear,

Don't worry about the long question, my answer will probably be longer. (deployed right now and am bored out of my mind)

Before I get into your question, I think I should clear up something I mentioned above. There are two types of factors to consider when discussing DW. The first is factors that make your Jeep susceptible to DW, and the second being factors that initiate the DW. I believe that all jeeps could go into the death wobble if the initiating factor was great enough.

Kind of like a stubborn horse. You can make any horse move (DW) if you kick it hard enough (Initiating factors).

For example, I own a 3/4 ton dodge that has a similar steering/front suspension setup as a Wrangler. Getting back on the road, the huge imbalance caused by the snow packed in half of one of the front rims caused that wheel to surge forward and aft. I could feel the truck trying to go into DW at around 15 mph. Now this technically wasn't the DW I felt, but it was an imbalance that caused my steering to oscillate at the same frequency as the wheels were turning. That particular truck would only go into DW above approx 35 mph. That was the speed I had to slow to in order to stop the cycles. Had I been going above 35, it would have been in a very bad DW.

This just shows that a vehicle doesn't have to be susceptible to the DW to experience it. In other words, every Jeep has its tolerance for vibrations and initiating factors. The tighter the steering components, more positive the offset, the more it takes to bring on the DW.

Some vehicles with loose suspension components, such as a track bar, will go into the DW just by hitting a small bump, whereas others may require a very rough diagonal crossing. For most Jeeps on the road, even that won't induce the DW.

You differentiated modified wheels and an offset change. Most often times when changing the wheels on a jeep, a more negative/less positive offset is used. This is done for tire clearance of control arms during turns.

I don't believe the modifies wheels would affect DW, unless they are mounted incorrectly (hub-centric vs. lug-centric), are bent, or the bolt patter is not concentric with the wheel itself, causing an out of round (sort of) condition.

For most instances regarding wheels, it is due to the offset change. This is a susceptibility issue. It facilitates DW as described in my previous post. (the torque thing)

The +2 tires on the other hand are an initiating factor. For anybody who has ever worked in a tire shop, you know that as a rule of thumb, the larger the tire, the more weigh it is going to need for a good balance. This makes perfect sense, as you are dealing with larger mass, where errors in manufacturing are not only going to be exaggerated (especially out of round conditions), but also further from the axis of rotation, requiring more weight to balance.

In a perfect world, the tire/rim combination would always be perfectly round, helping it wear more evenly, and there would be no such thing as cupping from heavy breaking and alignment issues. So even if you can get your tires balanced inside a 1/4 oz tolerance (common standard), they will be out of balance in 1000 miles.

That being said, if a tire imbalance (small enough that it wasn't shaking the jeep at all speeds) is the "cause" of the DW, there is/are other facilitating factor(s).

So to answer your question, the two contributing factors, tires and offset, "cause" death wobble in different ways. Offset allows it, Tire imbalance causes it. And the simple answer would be offset. I believe that the offset required to clear the larger tires is a greater contributing factor than the bigger tires themselves.

1<2<4<6<3<5<7. Between 4 and 6 would be stock wheel/stock tire/+ offset change.

Welcome to the world of Jeep,
Brandon
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:40 PM   #139
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Figured it out....

MY DW issue was due to wheels not being "centered" on the hub. I bought a set of ION alloy aftermarket wheels and NO ONE told me they were LUG CENTRIC. I was using standard 60 degree lugs. The fix for my wheels (see my looooong post above) were ET style 60 degree lugs. Put the wheels back on my tires, balanced them with sticky weights on the inside. Test drove. Drives perfectly. Thanks for all the great info on here. I love my TJ ....again.
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:37 PM   #140
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pretty new here seingalot on dampers and stabilizers thing like that, has any one got a diagram on what is what under these things in know some of it but if you guys could help it would be great.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:47 AM   #141
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Could a DW come from a bad pit man arm?
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:48 AM   #142
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Death wobble...my experience

I have 4 Jeeps now, but have owned a total of 6. I have had only one model w/Death Wobble...2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 6cyl Manual.

I have sunk a lot of money...only because most mechanics, whether a 4x4 shop or dealer, have many suggestions, but most in my opinion don't have a clue.

Bottom line...this is after buying shocks, reinforced steering components, etc...that the tires are 90% of the issue. Just this past week...I had the tires rotated...and back came the death wobble. Rotated that tires back...zippo. It's not the balacing either.

I have come to the firm conclusion that on this Jeep that the tires wear much differently on the front and back (sounds obvious), but to the point you can't rotate the tires unless you do it ever 2-3k miles and keep it up. Otherwise run the tires down and the miniute the wobble comes back...replace them. It's the cheapest route to go after all this time.

I've read all the engineering reports...and my opinion is the strenght of the tire wall and the wear of the tire is 90% of the issue. If you don't fix that no matter how much money you put into the suspension or steering it won't work.

Don't waste a lot of time. Buy new tires even if they don't look that bad.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:03 AM   #143
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call me sick but a part of me enjoys gettin DW, not cause im psycho and want to kill myself or anyone else, i just think its fun, but i tend to get it when i have my canoe strapped to the top of my jeep. that canoe does wonders with the wind going down the highway.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:34 AM   #144
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call me sick but a part of me enjoys gettin DW, not cause im psycho and want to kill myself or anyone else, i just think its fun, but i tend to get it when i have my canoe strapped to the top of my jeep. that canoe does wonders with the wind going down the highway.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:59 AM   #145
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how much weight are you putting up there
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:29 AM   #146
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pretty new here seingalot on dampers and stabilizers thing like that, has any one got a diagram on what is what under these things in know some of it but if you guys could help it would be great.
Here ya go. And the steering stabilizer, also known as a steering dampener, is that object that looks like a shock absorber that is bolted to the Drag Link. Just keep in mind that the steering stabilizer is NEVER the cause of or cure for Death Wobble.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:50 PM   #147
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I had some serious death wobble at about 35 mph and decided to crawl under the jeep and see if I could find anything myself. What I found made me almost crapped my pants. I recently had a front end alignment to save my new tires and evidently they forgot to tighten up the lower control arm bolt on the passenger side. It was so loose that I could turn it by hand!
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:45 PM   #148
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Here ya go. And the steering stabilizer, also known as a steering dampener, is that object that looks like a shock absorber that is bolted to the Drag Link. Just keep in mind that the steering stabilizer is NEVER the cause of or cure for Death Wobble.
I took some pictures to help with my questions. I point at two shafts that can rotate about 1/8 of a turn about their axes, and I was not sure A) what exactly they're called, and B) are they supposed to do that? This picture helped me to figure out what they are, but are they supposed to rotate at all?

Are the tie rod and the drag link(?), the shafts I point to in the pictures, supposed to rotate at all?

I circled the bushings where the movement is coming from. Am I going to need to replace these?
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:05 AM   #149
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I just got a DW this morning at 50mph, no mods, no lifts, just went mudding yesterday and got stuck, did alot of rocking to try and get out. But never hit anything.
I am in the process of reading this thread, but there is a ton of posts to wade through!! Any suggestions or ideas? Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:13 PM   #150
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I just got a DW this morning at 50mph, no mods, no lifts, just went mudding yesterday and got stuck, did alot of rocking to try and get out. But never hit anything.
I am in the process of reading this thread, but there is a ton of posts to wade through!! Any suggestions or ideas? Thanks!
make sure you dont have any mud stuck on or in your wheel - check the back of the wheels too. if you do, its going to cause them to be way out of balance (and lots of the posts in this thread say that tire balance cured it for them).

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