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Old 01-20-2010, 11:18 AM   #1
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HORRIBLE death wobble

02 wrangler sahara, 3" teraflex, 35" toyo's...freakin horrible death wobble. installed new steering stabilizer, new front shocks, casters aligned...i have no idea what to do. every single time i hit 40 mph it starts without fail. daily work drive of 50 miles roundtrip, whole way under 40 mph! even auto teacher friend of mine can not figure out what next...any, any help and advice will be greatly appreciated!

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Old 01-20-2010, 11:30 AM   #2
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You're screwed. That's why it's called the Death Wobble. If you could fix it, it would just be a wobble. When you lift it you mess with the engineering.

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Old 01-20-2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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Try installing a pitman. Mine was really bad too until I did that and now it is gone
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:51 AM   #4
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Check your track bar and make sure it is torqued to the correct spec's, also make sure the mounting hole on the diff isn't worn bigger than it should be.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:58 AM   #5
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Few items to check:

1. Front trac bar good and tight, its it an adjustable trac bar???
2. All tires balanced
3.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
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Try rotating your wheels, maybe you can borrow somebody elses tires and rims, drive it around try to provoke DW, maybe your tires are causing DW, if not, keep looking for mechanical failures. Laters,
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #7
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Are you positive that its DW and not drive shaft vibration? Did your kit come with a TC drop kit?
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:40 PM   #8
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check the tread on your tires, mine had a really bad wobble and I found out that the tread on my tires were way outt
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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A new Pitman arm won't help and neither will a new steering damper be anything but a band-aid fix even if it helped. A bad steering damper is never the root cause of DW. If a new steering damper got rid of the DW, it is only serving as a band-aid for the actual underlying root cause of the DW. It's like putting a band-aid on a skin cancer... the skin cancer is no longer noticeable but it's still there waiting to come back to bite you later.

Odds are one or both of your front tires are not balanced properly, that's the most common cause of DW. That is often in combination with a front trackbar that is too loose where it is mounted to its passenger-side mount... from a loose mounting bolt to hogged out (worn) mounting bolt hole to a bad bushing in the arm itself.

I would immediately have the tires balanced perfectly by a shop that will take their time to get them PERFECTLY balanced... make sure the tire balancer knows he has to take his time to get them right due to your DW problem. Then tighten your passenger-side trackbar mount so it can't move. Even a little movement from that mount is excessive and can help allow DW to develop when triggered by something else like an out of balance front tire or a bump/dip in the road.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:09 PM   #10
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X2 on Jerry's advice, also check & tighten the Control Arm Bolts as well, both frame and axle side.

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Old 01-20-2010, 02:22 PM   #11
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Best way to check that it's NOT caused by the trackbar's axle end --
Remove the trackbar bolt, swing the trackbar end down out of the way - stick the bolt back through both holes in the axle bracket. It should be very tight, no room to wiggle wobble. The bracket the bolt goes through is too thin a material, the bolt worbles out.

Even if you Gorilla tighten that bolt it can still wiggle. The hole itself has to be snug.

I'm working on having a bushing set made that will address that problem. The first batch they did them wrong. I'll be putting them in a kit along with a drill and instructions - for cheap.

But, as advised, tires improperly balanced are probably the #1 culprit. A loose component, tie rod, drag link end, etc are #2 reason.
Slide underneath - have someone wiggle the steering wheel back and forth. Use your fingers - put them right on the rod ends one at a time while they wiggle the wheel. Ball joints, ends, brackets etc - your fingers can feel movement your eyes can't see.

Yes, DW is curable - it's just a pain - and sometimes expensive to find the cure.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:32 PM   #12
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I ended up welding a reinforcing piece of steel over my trackbar's axle end mounting bolt hole drilled to the right size just to make sure it won't be a problem for my TJ.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I ended up welding a reinforcing piece of steel over my trackbar's axle end mounting bolt hole drilled to the right size just to make sure it won't be a problem for my TJ.
Do you have any pics? I've seen others weld on washers, but I was thinking something like a plate where I could add some strength to the bracket while strengthening the hole would be a better idea. Curious as to what you did on the back side where the nut goes as it's pretty tight in there.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:35 PM   #14
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Jerry - That's how I've done several others. But I don't think it will last. That fixes the front hole, but the rear hole gets just as warbled out too. The bolt ends up being held tight on just one end. Then the front hole gets lots of sideways stress and eventually warbles again. It should last longer than stock, but we tend to keep our Jeeps a long time.
Once a plate has been welded on that plate would have to be ground off to put on a new one - a PITA.

The rear hole is near impossible to see, much less weld a patch over it.
What I'm trying is drilling out the hole till it's round again, then inserting a bushing into the hole - both front and back. I'm not sure if they'll need to be tack welded in place, hopefully not.
I'm trying to keep it KISS but a permanent fix.

I have 2 Cherokees with DW - one bad, one mild - to experiment on.

I ordered a batch of steel bushings to be custom made, but somewhere along the line I ordered wrong or they made them wrong. Gotta try again. $$$.

I'm thinking a kit with the drill, bushings, and new hardened bolt with the right length shoulder, and a new flanged nut - all inclusive.

I'll post it here "IF" it works. If it doesn't, I'll post it too.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:38 PM   #15
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One problem with a thick plate is it can interfere with the steering linkage.

The other solution would be to remove the entire bracket and weld on something simpler and stronger. But that's beyond the capability of most.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmo View Post
Do you have any pics? I've seen others weld on washers, but I was thinking something like a plate where I could add some strength to the bracket while strengthening the hole would be a better idea. Curious as to what you did on the back side where the nut goes as it's pretty tight in there.
I would also like to see what you did. Laters,
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:09 AM   #17
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Doesn't anyone use duct tape to fix this stuff anymore
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:59 AM   #18
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yea a loose trackbar is not what you want unless you want your tires to fly out when youre driving.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:18 PM   #19
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Thank you. very informative and you sound experienced in it! Thanks.

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