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Old 09-17-2010, 10:14 AM   #1
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Death wobble

Early this week I noticed that when I get up to around 52mph, my car starts to shake like someone is turning the wheel back and forth by 2-3" and the steering-wheel vibrates along with what feels like the rest of the car.
Upon further looking into, I've realized that what I have is death wobble; something I had never heard of until Wednesday. I know nothing about this problem and was hoping I could get some questions answered.
What is the cause of death wobble? If left unchecked, will it continue to get worse?
I have a stock 2008 Wrangler Sahara that has never had any aftermarket work done on it. As far as I know, the tires have not been rotated and it has 17350 miles on it.
Could off-roading be the cause of this? i.e. hitting rocks, ledges, large bumps etc. Would these things possibly knock the tires out of line?

Any information and help you can give me is appreciated.
Thanks

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Old 09-17-2010, 10:47 AM   #2
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If you haven't modded anything yet it most likely isn't what people call the death wobble. Usually that comes after suspension and tire mods. A lot of people
Have theories about what causes it and how to fix it but really it's unknown. Temp fixes include beefing up control arms and bushings an stuff like that. Quite often it comes bak after a while though. I believe it's from putting a lot of strain on the parts from the heavy tires and extended suspension.

What is wrong with yours sounds more like shot ball joints and/or pitman arm. I'd take it into a trustworthy place that does alignments and just ask them to do an inspection of it for you. Or if you don't know any trustworthy mechanics check out the parts yourself.

Like I said though the death wobble is a mystery to most so if you have it good luck. I had it on my dodge and just went all out and replaced my whole steering system. May have been overkill but it worked and I had fun doing it.

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Old 09-17-2010, 10:53 AM   #3
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I believe you need to research "bump steer" instead of death wobble.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:16 AM   #4
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Stearing stablelizer is your problem had same prob did the research and then replaced stabl, and no more prob...
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BOBH42 View Post
Stearing stablelizer is your problem had same prob did the research and then replaced stabl, and no more prob...
They actually had a recall for the stabilizers on RHD's. If I read the notice correctly it was only the RHD's, but it'd be worth looking into.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:34 PM   #6
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Stearing stablelizer is your problem had same prob did the research and then replaced stabl, and no more prob...
i second this. very easy to put one on and only cost you around $50. If is solves it gratz if not do something else your only out an hour of your time and $50
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:49 AM   #7
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bump-steer on stock jeeps could be an alignment issue as the caster set at the factory is sometimes off. if it's a little too low you'll experience it.

another common is is a tire out of balance. JK's come up to 32" stock, and big tires are sometimes a problem keeping them balanced.

as other's have said, it's possibly a stabilizer. although i've seen quite a few jeeps around running without one, issue free.
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:55 AM   #8
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bump-steer on stock jeeps could be an alignment issue as the caster set at the factory is sometimes off. if it's a little too low you'll experience it.

another common is is a tire out of balance. JK's come up to 32" stock, and big tires are sometimes a problem keeping them balanced.

as other's have said, it's possibly a stabilizer. although i've seen quite a few jeeps around running without one, issue free.
I have a feeling the problem lies with my alignment. My Sahara came with 32" BFG Dueler A/T's.
17000 miles and that havn't been aligned.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08_Sahara16

I have a feeling the problem lies with my alignment. My Sahara came with 32" BFG Dueler A/T's.
17000 miles and that havn't been aligned.
it's at least worth a look. find a shop that'll check it free. the caster and toe are adjustable on JK's, and both can cause bump-steer. if that checks out, pay the $10 for a tire balance and rotation if you haven't gotten one lately. even if neither of those are the problem, it beats buying a $60 stabilizer and having it not work.

i'm 90% certain though it's an alignment or tire issue.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08_Sahara16 View Post
I have a feeling the problem lies with my alignment. My Sahara came with 32" BFG Dueler A/T's.
17000 miles and that havn't been aligned.
Since it happens at a particular speed, the most likely culprit is that you tires are out of balance. Check for things that could throw the balance off such as caked mud on the inside of the wheel or even stones stuck in the tread.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:10 AM   #11
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I just had a problem with Death Wobble. I spent about $1000 tracking the solution down, but in the end it seemed like a new alignment, properly inflated tires and a balance solved the issue.

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