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Old 05-08-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
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Stock Wrangler and Death Wobbles

I bought a stock 07 Wrangler with almost 3,300 miles on it. Had been stored, no rust and little dust. 71 miles down the road I got my first experience with Death Wobbles. Sunday and hours from home I got the joy of experiencing it a couple more times. Everything was tight and right, accept the steering stabilizer bar seal had a leak. Changed it. Still have a little vibration at highway speeds, but I hope tires will fix that. Honestly believe it is not a permanent fix. The only info I can find on it is for lifted Jeeps. I need some ideas on diagnosing the problem.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:19 AM   #2
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Checklist is right here: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/dia...les-78034.html

Read carefully and check each of the listed items. Based on that, you should be able to determine (a) whether it really is DW and (b) how to fix it.

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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Tires won't fix Death Wobble. If you are driving and get a vibration at about 60MPH, you need a re-balance of the wheels, but its nothing like Death Wobble.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Kolector View Post
Tires won't fix Death Wobble. If you are driving and get a vibration at about 60MPH, you need a re-balance of the wheels, but its nothing like Death Wobble.
Why would that speed create the vibration?
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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Tires out of balance will be felt at highway speeds, a bad tire ie. out of round, will mainly be felt at lower speeds. More like a shimmy felt in the steering wheel.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:55 PM   #6
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I think the tires need replaced purely from sitting too long. Had nothing to do with what happens occassionally. Freaking scarey when the steering wheel is suddenly jerked out of your hands and the vehicle acts like the front wheels have a mind of their own and can't agree with each other. Hubby was in front of me and agreed that they looked exactly like what I said. I went over the checklist, mostly pointrf to lifted Jeeps. I just don't want the demon to return and be proactive.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ Lyons View Post
I went over the checklist, mostly pointrf to lifted Jeeps.
While lifting can certainly impact the issue, nothing in that checklist is specific to or points to lifted jeeps. Stock jeeps have steering stabilizers, drag links, tie rods, track bars, ball joints, etc.

Which begs the question of whether you really "went over" the checklist? You actually have to do each thing mentioned, not just poke your head under the Jeep and look around to see if any of those components "look" off.

While I've never had DW, I can't recall an instance of somebody on this forum actually doing all the identified inspections on the checklist and not finding the problem.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Kolector
Tires out of balance will be felt at highway speeds, a bad tire ie. out of round, will mainly be felt at lower speeds. More like a shimmy felt in the steering wheel.
ESP

A road force machine will tell you if a tire is bad.

My spare is toast
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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i'm just going to throw this out there...

trackbar, trackbar trackbar
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:20 PM   #10
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Nope not track bar. I had a hard time finding a place that offer road force balancing here nearby. The local DT only has high speed balancing not a machine capable of putting enough pressure against the wheel to do a road force balance. Any ideas on shops that offer this? Names?
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:41 PM   #11
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Nope not track bar. I had a hard time finding a place that offer road force balancing here nearby. The local DT only has high speed balancing not a machine capable of putting enough pressure against the wheel to do a road force balance. Any ideas on shops that offer this? Names?

could just try and rotate your tires and see if the wobble is still there
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #12
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Tires being out of balance should not shake to the point of having no control. Yes you will get shakes and shimmies but not that bad. I balanced mine the other day and one was out a total of 3oz which is ALOT but the shake was only noticeable at 80km/h and it was barely there, just enough to annoy. Death wobble is a mechanical thing, the only time I have experienced it was going over railway tracks on the highway at 80km/h when I first bought it, haven't had it since.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Tires being out of balance should not shake to the point of having no control. Yes you will get shakes and shimmies but not that bad. I balanced mine the other day and one was out a total of 3oz which is ALOT but the shake was only noticeable at 80km/h and it was barely there, just enough to annoy. Death wobble is a mechanical thing, the only time I have experienced it was going over railway tracks on the highway at 80km/h when I first bought it, haven't had it since.
I had a bad wobble issue, wouldn't classify it as Death Wobble, but it happend going over bumps, tracks etc. By lower Ball Joints had gone out, only at 22k miles on an 07. Replaced those and its like night and day. But I also replaced the Trackbar and Front Lower Control Arms as well....just to be sure, lol.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Kolector

I had a bad wobble issue, wouldn't classify it as Death Wobble, but it happend going over bumps, tracks etc. By lower Ball Joints had gone out, only at 22k miles on an 07. Replaced those and its like night and day. But I also replaced the Trackbar and Front Lower Control Arms as well....just to be sure, lol.
Strange with me because the jeep is pretty sturdy hitting bumps. No shimmy/wobble
At all hitting bumps. But I still feel a
Vibe that comes and goes after both tires hit a bump.

Ball joints and all tie rod ends replaced, as well as the front TB. Different tires did not change a thing. It's still there, not bad bit drives me nuts
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:12 PM   #15
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I have had 4 sets of tires on my jeep in a year and between them have had no tire related issues. All different sizes I might add. As for wobbles after hitting bumps and what not, just the once when I first bought it, since them she has been solid
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10

Strange with me because the jeep is pretty sturdy hitting bumps. No shimmy/wobble
At all hitting bumps. But I still feel a
Vibe that comes and goes after both tires hit a bump.

Ball joints and all tie rod ends replaced, as well as the front TB. Different tires did not change a thing. It's still there, not bad bit drives me nuts
To clear this up... I can hit a good bump/pot hole going 70 mph and the jeep is sturdy as all hell... No problems.
But simply hitting a bump or road or those bridge joints going 10-20 mph I'll feel a vibe... Weird
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:51 AM   #17
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To clear this up... I can hit a good bump/pot hole going 70 mph and the jeep is sturdy as all hell... No problems.
But simply hitting a bump or road or those bridge joints going 10-20 mph I'll feel a vibe... Weird
Our '09 has some similar, subtle shimmies as well. Generally solid, but some expansion joints, or road heaves cause a minor suspension resonance.

I watch it closely to notice if it gets any more pronounced, but I ultimately chalk it up to the live axles/4x4 suspension, as I just don't think it's designed to handle bumps at speed.

I'll be getting new tires soon, so I might just have the shop give the suspension a once-over to ensure all is well.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgola27

Our '09 has some similar, subtle shimmies as well. Generally solid, but some expansion joints, or road heaves cause a minor suspension resonance.

I watch it closely to notice if it gets any more pronounced, but I ultimately chalk it up to the live axles/4x4 suspension, as I just don't think it's designed to handle bumps at speed.

I'll be getting new tires soon, so I might just have the shop give the suspension a once-over to ensure all is well.
Suspension lift?

I've been through my suspension many times making sure everything is tight. It just bothers me because I don't know what is causing it. Something minor I would not be as worried.

I need closure lol
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:35 AM   #19
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Suspension lift?

I've been through my suspension many times making sure everything is tight. It just bothers me because I don't know what is causing it. Something minor I would not be as worried.

I need closure lol
No suspension modifications. Bone stock.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:06 PM   #20
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Sounds like a defective steering shaft my fellow peep. Take it in and have them measure the play. There should be 1/8" or less.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:15 PM   #21
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Sounds like a defective steering shaft my fellow peep. Take it in and have them measure the play. There should be 1/8" or less.
I thought this, but nope

I put my stock track bar back on and adjusted my tie rod. I might have been toe'd in too much.
Feels pretty good now. Minor vibes on the highway do to the tires.
Bumpsteer is there but minimal. Handles a lot better now.
Got her up to 85 mph, driving with one hand
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by kjeeper10

I thought this, but nope

I put my stock track bar back on and adjusted my tie rod. I might have been toe'd in too much.
Feels pretty good now. Minor vibes on the highway do to the tires.
Bumpsteer is there but minimal. Handles a lot better now.
Got her up to 85 mph, driving with one hand
Your still dealing with the aftermath of lifting your rig? Howd ya make out with lca and driveshaft issues?
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkmcd99

Your still dealing with the aftermath of lifting your rig? Howd ya make out with lca and driveshaft issues?
I think the jeep drives great. Well as great as its going to get. I don't mind minor shit.
It is a jeep

Still don't know what caused/is causing my little vibes. Might be symptoms of Bumpsteer.

I ruled out pinion problems. From what I've read, just did not describe what I was feeling, as far as DL vibes.

Handling better with my stock TB back on.
I can't figure that out. I measured both off the jeep, my TF bar was about 3/8 longer.
My axle should have been centered at that length

I think my next upgrade will be rear UCA's and the correction brackets still to straighten the coils.
As you know from that other thread, my TB bolt is nipping the coil. I don't know where my axle sits using the lower hole on the TF bracket.

I'll be fine

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