TJ shaking like crazy - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Tech Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 02-25-2014, 04:06 PM   #1
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
TJ shaking like crazy

Hello,

I'm new to the jeep world, been wanting one forever but was on a budget. So I went and look at a 98 wrangle sport 5 speed. Didnt notice anything funny when i test drove it. Drove it from Fort Worth to Dallas and had no problems. I went to the store a few minutes ago and was shifting for 3rd to 4th and It started acting crazy as hell, thought the damn thing was going to fall apart. Is this whats referred to as "Death wobble"?

Where should I start looking?

KC

Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 05:28 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 146
Here are a few easy things to check since you just got the Jeep:

1) make sure all the lugnuts are tight. You would be surprised what previous owners do (or don't do in this case)

2) check to make sure your tires are balanced. If the previous owner had a leak he could have added alot of tire sealant or slime to stop the leak . This throws the balance of the tires off and causes a horrible shaking.

3) when I bought my second TJ the dealership had just replaced the steering stabilizer and when I started driving it home, it started to shake like crazy. Turns out after about 15mins on the highway the steering stabilizer broke in and it was smooth sailing.

What im trying to say is that I wouldn't jump to the death wobble conclusion just yet.

Tjrubicon17 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 05:44 PM   #3
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,056
Images: 11
First thing to do is a dry steering test as described below. Chances are good that it's an issue with the track bar. Here's a pic of the suspension parts so you'll know what you're looking at.

Dry Steering Test

Do a dry steering test by having someone sit in your Jeep (with the tires on the ground) and continuously turn the steering wheel back and forth from about the 11 to 1 position while you lay under the front end and watch and feel for any lateral play in any steering or suspension joints. Check both track bar ends, the tie rod and drag link ends.
Although rotational movement in the tie rod and drag link is normal and necessary, there should be no end movement at all in the joints. There also should be no movement in the track bar ends.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	alignment01.jpg
Views:	411
Size:	127.4 KB
ID:	808073  
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 06:07 PM   #4
Jeeper
 
UnlimitedRubicon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: behind enemy lines fighting the Caliban
Posts: 1,142
If the "shaking" only happens at ~50 mph, it is usually tire imbalance.
UnlimitedRubicon is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 06:09 PM   #5
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
So I called the seller back and told him my story and he says "My wife mentioned that this happened to her about 6 months back but that he could not reproduce it". Then he suggested that I change the Track Bar. Funny thing, my brother came over and found a track bar under the back seat. I didn't even see that while looking at it.

He did tell me that he thought the right front tire may be unbalanced when I bought it. Could that be the only cause? I mean I couldn't imagine doing 60 or 70 mph and having that happen, I was truly scared for my life doing 35. Feel very lucky in a way I made it back to Dallas.

Thanks for the advice, looks like I just started my first project

and

KC
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 06:11 PM   #6
Jeeper
 
UnlimitedRubicon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: behind enemy lines fighting the Caliban
Posts: 1,142
Search youtube for death wobble and see if it resembles your experience.
UnlimitedRubicon is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
Jeeper
 
TheLocksmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Netmonster View Post
Could that be the only cause?
It could be but you really should look at your entire suspension and steering system to make sure everything is in order.

Water Dog gave you exactly what you need to track this problem down. If the original owner told me what you just said he told you I would get the freaking tires balanced and would take a really close look at the track bar.

It's a Jeep, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to start doing work on it. It's part of the fun of a Jeep.
TheLocksmith is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 06:50 PM   #8
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjrubicon17 View Post
Here are a few easy things to check since you just got the Jeep:

1) make sure all the lugnuts are tight. You would be surprised what previous owners do (or don't do in this case)

2) check to make sure your tires are balanced. If the previous owner had a leak he could have added alot of tire sealant or slime to stop the leak . This throws the balance of the tires off and causes a horrible shaking.

3) when I bought my second TJ the dealership had just replaced the steering stabilizer and when I started driving it home, it started to shake like crazy. Turns out after about 15mins on the highway the steering stabilizer broke in and it was smooth sailing.

What im trying to say is that I wouldn't jump to the death wobble conclusion just yet.

So I watched some death wobble videos on youtube and that's whats happening. Violent shaking!
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 06:54 PM   #9
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLocksmith View Post
It's a Jeep, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to start doing work on it. It's part of the fun of a Jeep.
lol Looks like my weekend booked now. I do get it though, just hoping to not have to spend a ton of money on the parts. I don't mind doing the labor.
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 06:57 PM   #10
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlimitedRubicon View Post
Search youtube for death wobble and see if it resembles your experience.
Thanks, took your advice that is exactly whats happening. That kind of violent shaking.
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 07:01 PM   #11
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,056
Images: 11
Unbalanced tires can trigger dw, but there is an underlying problem in loose or worn parts that lets it continue. There is always a small side loading on the tires, once that load is released by a loss of traction, a loose joint will set up a rebound type situation that will just keep on going until you come to almost a complete stop. The more often this is allowed to happen, the more other parts can be damaged.

Was the track bar you found a new one or one that had already been changed out?
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 08:56 PM   #12
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
I did have to come to almost a complete stop before if stopped shaking. The one we found under the back seat doesn't look all that new. The boot is cracked I can see the grease. I have a shop by my house that offer a $19.99 suspension check. Do you guys think that they would be able to tell me what's wrong?
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-25-2014, 09:10 PM   #13
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,056
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Netmonster View Post
I did have to come to almost a complete stop before if stopped shaking. The one we found under the back seat doesn't look all that new. The boot is cracked I can see the grease. I have a shop by my house that offer a $19.99 suspension check. Do you guys think that they would be able to tell me what's wrong?
I couldn't tell you...do you trust them? Personally, I would do my own first. If you do the dry steering test and watch both ends of the track bar for any movement while someone else does the steering, you may be able to diagnose this yourself. Sometimes the track bar bolt mounting hole gets wallowed out enough to even allow new track bars to move. Any movement there can cause DW.
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 05:22 AM   #14
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 146
^X2 on the wallowed track bar hole. I've had that happen.
Tjrubicon17 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 07:56 AM   #15
Jeeper
 
TheLocksmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 27
And as far as expense, generally speaking most of the front end components that go bad are fairly inexpensive. If you can do the work yourself, which it sounds like you don't mind then you should be fine.

Here are the steering components: JeepĀ® Wrangler TJ Steering Parts - Quadratec

and the suspension:
JeepĀ® Wrangler TJ Steering Parts - Quadratec

So a new factory track bar is $72.99

Of course those aftermarket units might be something to look into, especially if you have a lift installed.
TheLocksmith is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 08:21 AM   #16
Newb
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 4
This happened to me about 6 months ago. Replaced the track bar, steering stabilizer and the lug on the track bar and everything's been right as rain.
JeepStl05 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 09:30 AM   #17
Jeeper
 
Shark_13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,356
Get under there and do a dry steer test as Water Dog mentioned before you go spending money or taking to a shop.
Shark_13 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 10:34 AM   #18
Jeeper
 
UFOtestpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,818
Also, unbolt the front track bar and inspect the bushing/sleeve, then reinstall and torque. I couldn't see movement with the dry steer test but when I unbolted it and inspected mine one of my major problems was apparent. I have since replaced the track bar and replaced wheels and tires, with a PERFECT dynamic balance. Problem solved for me. Good luck.
__________________
For some, it is easier to kill the light inside of themselves than it is to fight the darkness all around them.
UFOtestpilot is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 02:13 PM   #19
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
I took it to the shop this morning, they called and said that the steering gear box needed to be replaced and that everything else looked good. Could that be the cause?

They quoted me $425 installed with a wheel alignment and the tire balanced.
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 02:38 PM   #20
Jeeper
 
UFOtestpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,818
If that's the cause I'd rebuild it, or get a rebuilt/replacement for <$100 and do the alignment myself. Spend the other $300+ on something worthwhile. That's just me though.
__________________
For some, it is easier to kill the light inside of themselves than it is to fight the darkness all around them.
UFOtestpilot is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 05:51 PM   #21
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
My Jeep has a 4" lift and most track bars I see online for a 4" lift have a adjustable track bar. Mine doesn't. Is that normal?

Also my local shop said the suspension, looked fine expect for the steering gear box. But I can for sure see ware on the bushings on bottom of the sway bar link.


Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-26-2014, 06:33 PM   #22
Jeeper
 
UFOtestpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,818
Somebody drilled the stock axle bracket and moved the track bar over. I think you should be shaking the steering system down yourself and fix the crap that the PO did and didn't do. It seems that about 1 out of 20 rigs get done right, and I think the rest just get a "lift kit" and big tires. Hope you get it sorted out.
__________________
For some, it is easier to kill the light inside of themselves than it is to fight the darkness all around them.
UFOtestpilot is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-27-2014, 06:56 PM   #23
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
track bar install

So the shop by house did the steering gear box and no surprise 2 mins down the road hit a bump and I get wobble again.

I bought a Pro Comp track bar today from my local 4x4 shop. I will be installing it this weekend. I plan on using the factory hole on the lower end and from what I understand I have to drill out the one on the top using a 5/8 bit. Seems easy enough. Anything I should be careful of when drilling?
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-27-2014, 07:21 PM   #24
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,056
Images: 11
Did you ever do a dry steering test, or are you just guessing on the track bar?

Another thing you should do is check the toe-in. If it was never aligned after the lift was installed your front wheels could be toed in way too much. Basic Jeep Front End Alignment
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-27-2014, 07:35 PM   #25
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
I just guessing about the trak bar because the PO insists thats what the issue is. I'm watching planman's youtube videos on death wobble diag now. I plan on doing the dry steering test in the morning. Just looking at the track bar while my brother turns the wheel and noticed there's some vertical play. The shop told me they did an alignment.
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-27-2014, 07:43 PM   #26
Jeeper
 
UFOtestpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,818
Quote:
Originally Posted by Netmonster View Post
Anything I should be careful of when drilling?
Usually I advise slow speed and cutting fluid. However, the hole you are chasing will "trap" the 5/8" bit if you go too slow. I would still use a cutting fluid or paste on the bit. Rapid tap or similar will work and use a light touch at higher speed, just let the bit do the work while you steady it in the hole. It'll go like butter.

You've been given some good advice by other folks in this thread, I hope you get something out of it and find/resolve the issue. Control arm bushings, tie rod ends, drag link, etc, can all add to this issue. Good luck.
__________________
For some, it is easier to kill the light inside of themselves than it is to fight the darkness all around them.
UFOtestpilot is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-27-2014, 07:57 PM   #27
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,056
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Netmonster View Post
I just guessing about the trak bar because the PO insists thats what the issue is. I'm watching planman's youtube videos on death wobble diag now. I plan on doing the dry steering test in the morning. Just looking at the track bar while my brother turns the wheel and noticed there's some vertical play. The shop told me they did an alignment.
It could very easily be the track bar, but sometimes it is a little play in several joints especially if it has been allowed to do the dw thing several times; that has a tendency to wear other parts quick. When you disconnect the axle end of the track bar, check the bolt fit in the bracket hole (there should not be any slop), and make sure the new bar is torqued to specifications.
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-27-2014, 10:10 PM   #28
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
I have been looking at the control arms both upper and lower and the bushings look pretty worn. Looks like all the control arms are factory. With a 4" lift should I keep the factory arms and just replace the bushings or upgrade to aftermarket control arms? This is probably a stupid question but I have been looking at aftermarket replacement arms on quadratec.com do they come in pairs?
Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-28-2014, 12:14 AM   #29
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
jeepwayoflife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: California/Montana
Posts: 3,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Netmonster View Post
I have been looking at the control arms both upper and lower and the bushings look pretty worn. Looks like all the control arms are factory. With a 4" lift should I keep the factory arms and just replace the bushings or upgrade to aftermarket control arms? This is probably a stupid question but I have been looking at aftermarket replacement arms on quadratec.com do they come in pairs?
At 4" you should have aftermarket arms they should all come in pairs. Front upper, rear lower, and so on
__________________
--------------------------------------------------------
jeepwayoflife is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-28-2014, 12:03 PM   #30
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepwayoflife View Post

At 4" you should have aftermarket arms they should all come in pairs. Front upper, rear lower, and so on
Could this be contributing to my wobble?

From what I can gather with the stock lower control arms when you have a 4 inch lift kit, that pulls the front wheels towards the back and the back wheels towards to front creating a shorter wheelbase. Which leads to stability issues.


My local 4x4 shop will sell me some rubicon express lower control arms for $200 plus tax a pair. Seams like a good deal. Everyone else sells them for $239, saves me about $90 bucks for front and rear.

What would be the result if I replace the lower control arms fornt and back and left the upper control arms for now?

Netmonster is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jeep Wrangler Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Network Links
»Jeep Parts
» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:35 AM.



Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC