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Old 09-18-2009, 11:54 AM   #1
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Death Wobble: Step 1 complete

Had the tires rotated and balanced. DW is still there and possibly worse.

Step 2 will be wheel alignment.

Step 3 will be an upgraded steering damper

Step 4 ?

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Old 09-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #2
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See where its at after step 2...Or as my dad said "one step at a time".

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Old 09-18-2009, 12:17 PM   #3
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step 1a. check track bar bolts....

also is the jeep stock or lifted.. when did the dw start?
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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step 1a. check track bar bolts....

also is the jeep stock or lifted.. when did the dw start?
Jeep is stock. DW was there when I purchased used.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:10 PM   #5
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step 1a. check track bar bolts....

also is the jeep stock or lifted.. when did the dw start?
Can you point me to the track bar bolts? I'm new to jeeps.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:20 PM   #6
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What kind of tires and how many miles on them?
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:34 PM   #7
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The silver diagonal bar?
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
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The silver diagonal bar?
yes,.... is that's your jeep?
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:56 PM   #9
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I see where you are going with that question 4Jeepn. If that is your Jeep that is certainly not stock.
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Old 09-18-2009, 03:47 PM   #10
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Not my jeep. I copied that photo off another thread.

Update: put the wrench to the track bar, seemed plenty tight. Put the wrench to all other bolts I could see. Everything looked tight except the two saddle clamps on the tie rods. Tightened those. Doubt if I changed anything. Will test drive in a bit.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:29 PM   #11
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Strange update...

The DW is noticeably less.

The only change I believe I made was tightening those saddle clamps on the tie rods.

Anyone think that should have helped?

Thanks
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:47 AM   #12
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Strange update...

The DW is noticeably less.

The only change I believe I made was tightening those saddle clamps on the tie rods.

Anyone think that should have helped?

Thanks
DW is hard to trace.. can be lots of little things... tie end could be part of it. have you also checked your ball joints? Jack tire off ground and place hands at 12 and 6 postions and try to move tire back and forth. Also how many miles on the jeep? Perhaps the unit bearing hubs too?
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:22 PM   #13
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dw can be hard to find. if it were me i would do it this way.
1. alignment, balance, rotation
2. check steering parts. have someone sit in the jeep and turn the steering wheel back and forth 1/4-1/2 turn while you FEEL the joints. your going to feel all the steering joints(drag link, tie rod, pitman arm) and you want to feel the track bar at both ends. it doesnt take much movement for dw to happen and you can feel something moving alot easier than you can see it.
3. ball joints. jack up the front end and grab the tire at 12 and 6 and try to move it, if theres no movement grab a pry bar and try again to make sure theres no movement. if theres movement replace the ball joints. might as well do all four if ones bad.
4. unbolt track bar axle end and see if the bolt hole is the same size as the bolt. the bracket is made of thin stamped steel and over time the bolt hole enlarges and allows movement. torquing the bolt gorilla tight can help here but the problem is still there. this turned out to be one of my problems.

notice steering shock is not on that list. that can be the last thing that you do but i wouldnt replace it till you find the real cause of the dw because a bad steering shock will not cause dw but a new one can mask the problem till it gets worse.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:47 AM   #14
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dw can be hard to find. if it were me i would do it this way.
1. alignment, balance, rotation
2. check steering parts. have someone sit in the jeep and turn the steering wheel back and forth 1/4-1/2 turn while you FEEL the joints. your going to feel all the steering joints(drag link, tie rod, pitman arm) and you want to feel the track bar at both ends. it doesnt take much movement for dw to happen and you can feel something moving alot easier than you can see it.
3. ball joints. jack up the front end and grab the tire at 12 and 6 and try to move it, if theres no movement grab a pry bar and try again to make sure theres no movement. if theres movement replace the ball joints. might as well do all four if ones bad.
4. unbolt track bar axle end and see if the bolt hole is the same size as the bolt. the bracket is made of thin stamped steel and over time the bolt hole enlarges and allows movement. torquing the bolt gorilla tight can help here but the problem is still there. this turned out to be one of my problems.

notice steering shock is not on that list. that can be the last thing that you do but i wouldnt replace it till you find the real cause of the dw because a bad steering shock will not cause dw but a new one can mask the problem till it gets worse.
For #3 - do I try to move the tire by pushing/pulling? How hard is it to replace a ball joint?

Thanks
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:28 AM   #15
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For #3 - do I try to move the tire by pushing/pulling? How hard is it to replace a ball joint?

Thanks
Yes, push in on top and pull out on bottom, and then the opposite, if there is any slack you have at least one balljoint going south. Sometimes a prybar under the tire, pushing upward will yield results as well...


You may need the alignment rechecked. Tightening the tierod sleeve will sometimes alter the Toe. its generally minor, but it can. It may be why the DW is less, or that could be placebo.

But in any case those bolts should never be left loose.

Oh and if you replace a balljoint, you'll need to have alignment checked....In reality if you had a balljoint going out, your alignment tech SHOULD have seen it, and notified you. As in reality a bad ball joint makes the car not alignable. (properly at least)
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:44 PM   #16
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I haven't had the jeep aligned yet. I was waiting until I do all the other stuff first. I was afraid that I would screw up the alignment if I did that first.

I read a DIY for the toe alignment. It looked pretty simple... just get the back of the tires canted 1/8 to 1/16 inches out further than the front of the tires. I question how well this works. Any comments?
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #17
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I haven't had the jeep aligned yet. I was waiting until I do all the other stuff first. I was afraid that I would screw up the alignment if I did that first.

I read a DIY for the toe alignment. It looked pretty simple... just get the back of the tires canted 1/8 to 1/16 inches out further than the front of the tires. I question how well this works. Any comments?
Its based loosely on an old "field alignment".

Basically the alignment tech (or shadetree person) finds a point on the tire. We would scribe a line all the way around both tires. Then use this line, and measure front of wheel and rear of wheel. Don't go greater than 1/16 total toe in. You'll eat up the outside of the tires.

Its moderately accurate. But I'd just pay the cash to have it done...I used to do it both ways, and I could get it close, but I prefer the certainty of a machine telling me the numbers rather than a ruler.

FWIW I just paid my old boss 36.00 to set the toe. I changed to a heavy duty tie rod. He was impressed with how close I got it. still got it.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #18
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Update:

Step 2 wheel alignment done

Step 3 upgraded steering damper done

Step 4 tightened all the bolts as much as possible

Step 5 greased all the front end joints with grease fittings

Jeep only has 28K miles on it

DW still exists.

Any suggestions?
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #19
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did you do the all joint test? IF you did and no movement I would start by taking out your trackbar in the front and checking it. Make sure the bushings are not shot. Along with the holes on it to the axle and then the frame side.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:13 PM   #20
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I don't think you can really fix it. That's why it's called the DEATH wobble.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:09 PM   #21
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did you do the all joint test? IF you did and no movement I would start by taking out your trackbar in the front and checking it. Make sure the bushings are not shot. Along with the holes on it to the axle and then the frame side.
So you think the track bar is the primary suspect?

It kind of looks like a pain to remove.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:46 AM   #22
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Spaceman,
click on page 2 of the death wobble sticky. Jerry sent you a picture with everything outlined that should be checked. It's about 3/4 of the way down the page.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:08 AM   #23
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Take out the bolt through the trackbar at the axle end. It's easy - only one bolt.
Pull the trackbar down and out of the bracket.

Take the bolt you took out and put it back through the holes. Then you'll be able to see if the holes have become warbled out. The bolt should fit TIGHT in the holes, no slop. Even 1/8 inch of slop will cause DW.

When you tightened everything you tightened that bolt - reducing the DW.
Tightening that bolt only reduces the DW, you cannot tighten it enough to stop it if the holes are too big! It'll still move and eventually get worse again.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:25 PM   #24
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Well tried to pull track bar down. Bolt seems to be rusted in place. Put some deep creep on it and waited a few minutes. Gave it a few sold whacks from the top and a few solid pulls from the bottom using a long crowbar. Bold didn't seem to budge. Convinced myself that this wasn't the problem.

I'm thinking tire balance or bent rim.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:41 PM   #25
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ive got mine down to a controable shimmy, used to have to pull over in order to stop it.

alignment, rotation, rebalance tires - made worse
new HD steering - made it tighter
new steering stablizer (RE)- not much
durango gear box swap - not much change
new track bar - helped the most
hydraulic assist - corrects itself as soon as it starts- the ram is taking the blow
new tires in 2 weeks(35" goodyear kevlars)- i feel like after everything i have done it has to be in the tires...
if its not fixed after that i will be upgrading to a borgeson steering HD shaft...then probably long arm/3 link the front if that dosent work...

good luck...it sucks

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