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Old 08-22-2013, 12:28 PM   #1
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Death Wobble Fix Not Fixed

A few weeks ago I experienced Death Wobble in my 2006 Wrangler on two different occasions. I printed out the article here on DW (it's a sticky) and took the Jeep into a local garage. Asked them to check everything on the list and replace anything that was worn.

They ended up replacing the left & right lower control arms and the steering stabilizer -- $989. When I picked it up, I could detect no wobble in the steering wheel and everything seemed good.

A couple of days ago when making a slow left turn, I heard a clunk from the front end - never heard that before. The a while later, a clunk when making a right. Every once in a while, a clunk from the front end I never heard before, always while turning the wheel one direction or the other. Yesterday I could feel a definite vibration in the steering wheel when the road turns slightly right or left, and on the way to work I got death wobble.

Took the Jeep back to garage last night and told them something has definitely changed from when I picked it up. A clunk that was not there before, the steering wheel wobbling under my hand again (it did that before the fix) and now DW. They called a few minutes ago to say they were going to test drive it as they has checked it out and found nothing wrong.

SUGGESTIONS? I am not crazy, passengers have heard the clunk in the front end too and it never made that noise before the repair -- something loose? What are they missing??

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Old 08-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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$989 for two lower control arms and a steering stabilizer? Man, I wish I could make that much money for an hour's (at most) worth of work and less than $100 in parts.

I'm guessing the individuals working on your Jeep don't really know what they're doing, nor do they know how to properly diagnose front end issues on a solid axle vehicle.

That's why I would recommend either going to someone who does know what they're doing or working through it yourself. It's not rocket science......simple cause and effect.

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Old 08-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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Not something loose, but something is either too long or bent and when the steering goes past that point you hear the noise of it overcoming that piece. They should put it on a rack and rotate the steering while looking under the Jeep.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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Man, that stinks paying for something and it not being fixed. Here is something YOU can check for free. Have a buddy move the steering wheel left and right quickly (engine off, 2 inches each way). While your buddy is doing that, look at the ends of the track bar to see if there is ANY movement at the joints or ends. If there is movement, then it is time for a new track bar, or better yet AN UPGRADE! If there is no movement, then I don't know what to tell you, other than go to a for wheel drive shop that is well versed in death wobble. GOOD LUCK!
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
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You might check that the axle end front trackbar bolt is tight, if you still have the stock bolt it is smaller in diameter than the hole in which it is bolted, if it is not properly torqued it could be that your trackbar is popping left and right on that bolt. Any of those components being loose could cause DW.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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I have never heard of control arms causing death wobble... I would think if you had broken CA's you would have a whole host of other problems.

Replacing the steering stabilizer is something that shops do when they cant find the real problem.

The above mention rounded out hole is a good place to start, but nearly ever front end suspension component could be your source. In my case a large part of the front end was replaced and then all four tires before my problem was gone, and that was only after the dealership outsourced the problem to an offroad specialist.


IMO its better and cheaper to skip the regular mechanic and take it to an offroad specialty shop. They can usually diagnose it a lot easier without making you buy a ton of extra parts that you dont need that wont fix the problem.

Most regular mechanics dont even know what DW is, let alone how to fix it. Thatd how you end up with a new steering stabilizer and the same problem.

Not only that, but the more DW incidents you have the more likely you are to break something else.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sccrbrg View Post
I have never heard of control arms causing death wobble...
They hold the axle in place, don't they?

What is DW? A condition in which the axle is not properly constrained.

They can be the root cause for extreme wobbles. I've seen it more than once.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
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They hold the axle in place, don't they?

What is DW? A condition in which the axle is not properly constrained.

They can be the root cause for extreme wobbles. I've seen it more than once.
Yeah, but I personally havent seen any that could cause DW but not be noticeable before/after DW incidents.

If they were bad enough to cause intermittent death wobble I would think you would be having other problems as well.

JMO though. I dont claim to have seen all cases/stages of CA deterioration.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:27 PM   #9
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I was so worried about taking it in because I am new to the area and don't know who is good. Called a lot of places asking if they had heard of, and knew how to fix, death wobble. But I ended up with exactly what I was afraid of, they don't know how to fix it and I think they may believe I am just nuts. They called today at 4:45 and said they test drove it and cannot duplicate any of my complaints. They are keeping it tomorrow but now they want to look at the back end! I don't think the back end is causing a clunk in the front end when I turn the wheel. I am going to have to find someplace else to take it.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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How sure are you its dw? I ask because more than once Ive had people come to me claiming they have dw & its been either a tire bal or a driveshaft that lost its weights.Just be sure your actually experiencing dw.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:22 PM   #11
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Very true, could be any number of other 'wobble' issues. Biggest thing in my opinion though is nothing should be clunking when you turn. That's a pretty sure sign that something somewhere is incorrect.

I really hope you find someone that can properly diagnose the issue, look for 4x4 shops in your area that specialize in off road and lifted vechicles as was mentioned above. They are going to be better equipped and more knowledgeable on the issues that irk off roaders.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sccrbrg View Post
I have never heard of control arms causing death wobble...
Well you can consider me the first person you've heard of... New control arm bushings are what finally killed the wobbles my jeep had for the past 3 years.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #13
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How sure are you its dw? I ask because more than once Ive had people come to me claiming they have dw & its been either a tire bal or a driveshaft that lost its weights.Just be sure your actually experiencing dw.
I would think that both of those items would be constant or at least easily re-created.

I am certainly no expert on DW, but everything I've read so far seems to suggest the track bar is the biggest culprit.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #14
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Have you looked through this thread?


http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/diag...ion-78090.html

If not, seriously (I mean REALLY) go through that. It had a lot of good information. Like someone else mentioned, have a friend shake your steering wheel for a few minutes while you closely look over suspension and steering components and check for play. That can be an incredibly insightful process.
Then tell us what you find!
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeitherFanboy View Post
A few weeks ago I experienced Death Wobble in my 2006 Wrangler on two different occasions. I printed out the article here on DW (it's a sticky) and took the Jeep into a local garage. Asked them to check everything on the list and replace anything that was worn.

They ended up replacing the left & right lower control arms and the steering stabilizer -- $989. When I picked it up, I could detect no wobble in the steering wheel and everything seemed good.

A couple of days ago when making a slow left turn, I heard a clunk from the front end - never heard that before. The a while later, a clunk when making a right. Every once in a while, a clunk from the front end I never heard before, always while turning the wheel one direction or the other. Yesterday I could feel a definite vibration in the steering wheel when the road turns slightly right or left, and on the way to work I got death wobble.

Took the Jeep back to garage last night and told them something has definitely changed from when I picked it up. A clunk that was not there before, the steering wheel wobbling under my hand again (it did that before the fix) and now DW. They called a few minutes ago to say they were going to test drive it as they has checked it out and found nothing wrong.

SUGGESTIONS? I am not crazy, passengers have heard the clunk in the front end too and it never made that noise before the repair -- something loose? What are they missing??
Death wobbles are a unforgettable experience. There are a lot of reasons why this happens but as your lower control arms and stabilizer have been replaced I'd lean toward say its your track bar which is why it was on my jeep
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:05 PM   #16
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Well you can consider me the first person you've heard of... New control arm bushings are what finally killed the wobbles my jeep had for the past 3 years.
But those are the bushings, that is understandable. But if the control arms are so damaged that the entire thing needed to be replaced I dont think the DW's would sneak up on you like that, would think it would be obvious long before you got up to speed that something was wrong.

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