The work that needs to be done to fix/minimize the death wobble is it something that usually is covered by warranty. I have a 2009 Wrangler with like 24,000 miles and have this problem. I was thinking that I might just need to have my wheels balanced but from what I am reading it seems to be much more.
Anyone have any tips for when I take it to the dealer?
Same thing here with the Death Wobble. Went to the Jeep dealer several times. Replaced Trackbar, Draglink, and Tierod. They balanced the tires and aligned the fronts and still no fix. I have both Death Wobble and Bump Steer. They finally said there was nothing more they could do for the DW as they have looked at everything. I have a 4" Superlift, so I called them up. They asked if I had adjustable lower control arms or simply the factory ones. I had the factory ones, but with cambolts for adjustment. They asked where the dealership set the caster after the lift install. The dealer said they returned it to factory setting. Superlift suggested to set the caster somewhere between 5 and 7 positive. Althought the dealership would not tell me the caster setting they had nor did they want to admit that caster angle might be an issue, they reset caster to 5.25 positive. They also installed a High Steer Kit to fix the bump steer problem. FINALLY the bump steer and DW are gone. I still get a slight vibration when hitting a bump but it goes right away and no DW.
Hope that helps.
2001 Wrangler lifted 4" with 33s
2005 Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi
2009 Wrangler 4dr lifted 4" with 35s
As other have said, sounds like bumpsteer. Just went through this on my '07 Wrangler X, 22k miles bone stock. Steering damper was the cause, disconnect and see if it is providing resistance or not. Mine was free for about 4" before it began to dampen anything. Learned on this forum that aftermarket, heavyduty versions, are available for <$50. Good luck
I have an 09 4dr unlimited with about 55k on it and i recently replaced my front shocks and up until about maybe a month ago everything has been fine. But once i hit about 60mph i notice that the its not a wobble but it feels like the front end is very loose feeling. I have read up about both the wobble and bumpsteer and im not sure what direction to go in next. I just had my wheels rotated on monday and it almost seems worse since i did that. Should i just get balance and alignment first and then go from there. That seems to be the next logical thing to do before diving into any replacement parts.
I took mine into a local place and had a tech do a test drive with me. Ball joints are starting to go along with the damper. Quote of just under 700. I don't think I can handle the ball joints myself. Definitely wont pay 200 for the damper
generally with stock jeeps, you get bumpsteer, not DW.
bumpsteer has numerous causes, much like death wobble, and both are often confused.
death wobble, like jk'n mentioned, is simply out of control, holy f'ing sh*t, stop the jeep, slam on the brakes type of wobble. there have been accidents and fatalities with it..hence the term.
DW is rare in stock jeeps. JK's shouldn't have any that are stock. if your stock jeep's problem is what I just described...check the track bars for damage, or slop. loose control arms, and control arm bushings are also a cause...along with way out of spec caster, a bent axle, anything really.
9 times out of 10 folks that cry DW are actually experiencing bumpsteer. it's a wobble or shimmy in the steering wheel that doesn't cause you to lose control, and leaves quickly.
with stock, and lifted jeeps, primary cause is too low of a caster angle, or too much toe in. what's going on is the exact same thing as the front wheels on a shopping buggy. the have 0 caster, therefore the wheels have trouble getting back to center after a sharp turn, at high speeds, or hitting potholes and bumps at weird angles.
an alignment shop corrects this by resetting the axle angle. with lifted vehicles, alot of folks lift the jeep, and don't get an alignment afterwards. they assume they don't need it because the jeep tracks straight. in reality...installing bigger tires increases toe in due to the new width. the tires basically start fighting each other, leading to tire wear and bumpsteer.
picture your 2 feet, toes straight ahead. you can easily walk straight. now point your toes together so each big toe touches. you now have too much "toe in". now walk. not as easy huh?
your tires do the same thing. they tend to skip and bounce hitting bumps with too much toe in.
with messed up caster, the tires can't find center, or "straight" as easily. so they hunt back and forth rapidly like the shopping cart. and like the cart, you don't lose control, but get a quick wobble or shimmy in the steering wheel.
caster and toe in aside, out of balance tires, or an overdue tire rotation are causes in stock jeeps.
sorry for the long post. I just wanted to explain a little about alignment to folks that might be confused about why shimmy or wobble occures when the suspension appears sound and tight.
my advice...rotate/balance the tires. if it still shimmies, check the alignment specs. the caster is probably off.
Not necessarily true. Bumpsteer is only caused by one thing and one thing only. The track bar and drag link running at different arcs. On a stock jeep this is not Possible.
Steering shimmy/wobble can have a 100 causes and often confused with bumpsteer.