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Old 03-07-2014, 04:03 PM   #1
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DW help

I'm currently trying to track down the source of my death wobble. It occurs only sometimes at speeds above 50 mph usually after hitting a bump. I've done a lot of research on this and have already checked and fixed some things but the problem still persists.
What I've done:
1.Track bolt hole was wallowed out so I put a larger bolt in to take all the play out of the axle side track bar mout. (7/16 bolt).
2. I did a dry steering test but did not see much irregular movement in the tie rod ends, drag link or track bar mounts. The entire axle was shifting side to side under the jeep while the wheel was turning but I don't think this is irregular.
4. I did take off one of the tie rod mounts and move it around by hand and it seemed to be functioning normal
3. When I bought the jeep last month, it had newer steering stabilizer and swaybar links

What else should I check? Anyone have any suflggestions? How can you tell if the tie rod ends are bad? I don't want to spend the money on a front end allignmet bc next month I plan on doing a full axle swap and suspension lift. But in the mean time this is my daily driver so I need to get this DW straightened out so I can get around. Thanks!

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Old 03-07-2014, 04:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tjrubicon17 View Post
1.Track bolt hole was wallowed out so I put a larger bolt in to take all the play out of the axle side track bar mout. (7/16 bolt).
How did you manage to get a 7/16" bolt through the bushing sleeve in the track bar?

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Originally Posted by Tjrubicon17 View Post
2. I did a dry steering test but did not see much irregular movement in the tie rod ends, drag link or track bar mounts. The entire axle was shifting side to side under the jeep while the wheel was turning but I don't think this is irregular.
The axle should not be shifting side to side when steering...one of the functions of the track bar is to keep the axle from moving sideways when steering load is placed on it. Check the ball joint on the frame end of the track bar.

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Old 03-07-2014, 06:11 PM   #3
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I just ran a 7/16 drill through the bushing sleeve and it shaved just enough metal out of the sleeve to fit the bolt through. Worked pretty well and took all the play out of the axle side. How will I know if the ball joint on the upper mount is toasted? That's kin if the problem I ran into with the tie rod end. After I took it off and was able to move the joint by hand without feeling any clicking or popping I just assumed that the joint was good? What should I look for when I remove the frame side track bar mount?
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:35 PM   #4
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Have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth and see what is allowing the axle to move back and forth. If the axle is moving in relationship to the frame, one end or the other of the track bar has to be allowing it to move. It's made like this ZIf everything is tight and the height doesn't change, it all has to move together.

BTW, here's a pretty good video for diagnosing DW

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Old 03-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #5
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Thanks. Could the bushing on the axle side be so worn that is causes the lateral movement? The more I think about it I may just buy my adjustable track bar now and put it on. Then do the rest of the axle swaps and lift kit when it gets warmer.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:09 PM   #6
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Thanks. Could the bushing on the axle side be so worn that is causes the lateral movement? The more I think about it I may just buy my adjustable track bar now and put it on. Then do the rest of the axle swaps and lift kit when it gets warmer.
Could be...there shouldn't be movement there. That's what I would do if you're going to be replacing it anyway..the only problem you might have is making it short enough if you have no lift, but it will just mean that your axle sticks out a little further on one side than the other until you lift it.

If you decide to do the adjustable track bar I recommend the metalcloak, I believe it requires the axle hole to be opened up to 1/2". some of the others use the stock axle end bolt which yours is no longer sized for. TJ/LJ Jeep Wrangler Solid Chromoly Front Track Bar
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:27 PM   #7
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This would be the ticket. I'm surprised that it costs less than a JKS adj track bar. I haven't decided on weather or not to get the zone 4.25 combo lift or the regular zone 4 in suspension lift yet. But once it gets warmer ill be able to do a lift and swap my rubi axles over to my new 05 sport.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:49 PM   #8
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This would be the ticket. I'm surprised that it costs less than a JKS adj track bar. I haven't decided on weather or not to get the zone 4.25 combo lift or the regular zone 4 in suspension lift yet. But once it gets warmer ill be able to do a lift and swap my rubi axles over to my new 05 sport.
The only problem with any all 4" suspension lift is going to be the extras. You either have to drop your transfer case about 1 1/2" so as to not have drive line vibes (this kind of defeats the purpose of lifting), or you have to go to the expense of an SYE, CV drive shaft, adjustable rear control arms, etc. which gets pricey.

The 4.25" combo lift keeps the suspension lift at 3" and uses a motor mount lift to take care of the vibes, then stacks on a small 1.25" body lift. That way it keeps both drive line and suspension closer to stock, plus if you ever want to do a tummy tuck and get the belly skid even higher, the body lift part is already done. It also gives you about an extra 1" of clearance under the engine oil pan, which if you want to play in the rocks, you'll appreciate.

If I had to choose between the two, I'd do the combo.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:51 PM   #9
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...I believe it requires the axle hole to be opened up to 1/2".
Yup, I opened my axle side hole to 1/2" (I think 31/64" would be a tighter fit with the bolt they shipped but I wasn't going to go there with it) and the frame side to 5/8" for my MC track bar. My only concern with the design was having a heim joint up front where a lot of force is seen but there hasn't been any horror stories of premature wear so perhaps my concern is needless.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:11 PM   #10
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Opening up that frame side hole is going to be a huge pain in the nads isn't it. I'm guessing you had to drop your hole axle to get a drill in there?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:25 PM   #11
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Opening up that frame side hole is going to be a huge pain in the nads isn't it. I'm guessing you had to drop your hole axle to get a drill in there?
Nah. I was done in less than a minute. It was a little snug but you can get it pretty easy if you position yourself properly with the drill. It's all about technique when you drill it out too. High(ish) drill speed and slow feed into the hole with a cordless, just use cutting fluid or paste on the bit. If it bites into the sides it's harder to get going again because the burr wants to trap the bit. I drill and tap a lot of metal at work, I'd warn you if it was going to be mission impossible. I was on worn down ~32" tires and I just slid under and jockeyed it in there.
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:34 AM   #12
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Thanks for the reassurance! I just checked and it says that it's going to take 2-3 weeks to get the track bar. That is a long time to wait, I kind of need the part ASAP since I have next week off. I'm just glad I can still drive it as long as I stay under 50.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:55 AM   #13
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Call them. I had mine in 4 days. I think that's their general statement in case they are super busy. You might get lucky and they have one ready to ship. Anyhow, good luck with whichever way you go.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tjrubicon17 View Post
Thanks for the reassurance! I just checked and it says that it's going to take 2-3 weeks to get the track bar. That is a long time to wait, I kind of need the part ASAP since I have next week off. I'm just glad I can still drive it as long as I stay under 50.
Dude! I suggest that you do more research on whats actually causing the DW. If you change the track bar and it's not the track bar thats causing it.. not only will you not get rid of the DW, you will also start to damage the new component(s). You may (like myself) even fix the problem temporarily.. I installed the JKS HD Adjustable Track Bar. Its a monster lol. It was monster enough to disguise the DW, but ultimately it just took a bigger bump and angle to start the wobble. In the last three weeks I have upgraded my track bar, dampener, discos.. I have gotten an alignment and made sure my wheels are balanced and still get it. It has gone from getting it often to once in a week. For shits sake, I went to have my alignment checked again today and to my surprised found it was still out. Im going back tomorrow for them to do it again. I also bought new tires and new wheels. I'm not messing around with this thing, but also decided to do all the upgrades anyway. It sounds like you dont have a grand to spend to fix your rig if this track bar doesnt solve your problem. These guys arent trying to steer you wrong (I dont think) but the track bar might have been thier problem and thats what they fixed first or their problem wasnt bad enough to work its way around the track bar yet. I just dont want to see you get financially strap and be without your rig. If theirs one thing we can all agree to is don't drive your rig with this problem. You will damage it to the point that you have multiple problems and then your looking at thousands not hundreds. Get the alignment checked first and go one step at a time from there...
Check my post on track bar, DW and how to pick up chicks with you jeep.. no the last one wont help the DW, but it will help you feel better while youre dealing with it.

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Old 03-08-2014, 10:06 PM   #15
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Thanks Jeff. I'm pretty confident here that it is the track bar. As water dog has pointed out that it is the only component that would cause the axle to move side to side under the jeep. Since I need to get an an adj track bar anyways I'm not out anything getting a new one. I've only experienced the wobble once since fixing the axle side track bar mount and it was only for a few seconds until I was able to slow down enough for it to stop. The frequency and intensity of the wobble has drastically delined since fixing the axle side track bar mount, so I feel confident driving it around town when I need it. Im not planning on doing any highway driving and very little driving above 50 mph at all. I do appreciate your concern though. Glad someone is looking out!
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:08 PM   #16
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Good luck with the fix.. Let us know how it turns out.

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