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Old 02-06-2007, 04:37 PM   #1
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Another death wobble question

I've been trying to read all the info on the dreaded Death Wobble to try and solve my problem.

I just recently realized, when I have the 33x12.5's on, no DW.
I'm running 215/75/15's on it right now to save $$ so I don't wear out my 33's so fast + for daily driving, and I get DW when I hit a RR track or dip at speed (35-45mph).

Would it be just because of the wider, heavier tire that it doesn't wobble (or it's a lot less and I don't notice) ?

Or could there be some geometry involved with the taller tires and alignment/suspension position ?

I know that my steering stabilizer leaked and is probably not 100%, but I have not gotten a torque wrench on any of the suspension yet to check for any looseness.

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Old 02-06-2007, 04:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by MouthfulOfGrass View Post
I've been trying to read all the info on the dreaded Death Wobble to try and solve my problem.

I just recently realized, when I have the 33x12.5's on, no DW.
I'm running 215/75/15's on it right now to save $$ so I don't wear out my 33's so fast + for daily driving, and I get DW when I hit a RR track or dip at speed (35-45mph).

Would it be just because of the wider, heavier tire that it doesn't wobble (or it's a lot less and I don't notice) ?

Or could there be some geometry involved with the taller tires and alignment/suspension position ?

I know that my steering stabilizer leaked and is probably not 100%, but I have not gotten a torque wrench on any of the suspension yet to check for any looseness.
same exact thing happens with my jeep.

bumpttt i wana know this too.

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Old 02-06-2007, 04:57 PM   #3
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chech your alignment / ball joints

if they are ok, i would look at an unbalanced wheel / tire on the 215s
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:32 PM   #4
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chech your alignment / ball joints

if they are ok, i would look at an unbalanced wheel / tire on the 215s
Had a trusted mechanic/tire/alignment shop do these things, after I had the new front tires put on mounted&balanced at another shop.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:40 PM   #5
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Most of the time deathwobble is caused by a track bar. then move to tie rods, and bearings. if tires are making it happen it most likley out of balance tires casuing the trouble.

Mouthfulofgrass hey do you know nick ( the owner of the bronco flopped on its side in your avatar)
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:02 PM   #6
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with my last set of tires I had a slight case of DW but I wouldn't say it was DW because it was nothing to bad like the Comanche was when I lifted it
ever since I put my new tires on that slight shake is gone
now if you do have DW does the jeep shake so bad that it feels like the hole thing is falling apart and you have to practically stop before it goes away if so then you have DW and you're steering geometry is not right (to high of an angle normally)
or you have some worn out parts
but since you only have it with those tires on I would say its the tires
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:48 AM   #7
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All things being equal and when you are running one set you get DW at the same place and then not with the others. I'd say that the one set isn't truly balanced and the other is.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:26 PM   #8
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Most of the time deathwobble is caused by a track bar. then move to tie rods, and bearings. if tires are making it happen it most likley out of balance tires casuing the trouble.

Mouthfulofgrass hey do you know nick ( the owner of the bronco flopped on its side in your avatar)
Yeah, I know Nick. I was in his Bronco that day and I was one of the guys helping to push it back on its feet.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:32 PM   #9
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with my last set of tires I had a slight case of DW but I wouldn't say it was DW because it was nothing to bad like the Comanche was when I lifted it
ever since I put my new tires on that slight shake is gone
now if you do have DW does the jeep shake so bad that it feels like the hole thing is falling apart and you have to practically stop before it goes away if so then you have DW and you're steering geometry is not right (to high of an angle normally)
or you have some worn out parts
but since you only have it with those tires on I would say its the tires
My description of it would be that it feels like my front axle came loose and is going to fall off, or my front wheels are going to fall off. Like as if the wheels were only on with one lug and that was loose. If I slow down immediately, it evens out and goes away.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:36 PM   #10
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All things being equal and when you are running one set you get DW at the same place and then not with the others. I'd say that the one set isn't truly balanced and the other is.
It may be that I didn't have the 33's on long enough to run into the situation where DW occurs.

So you're saying if I have DW, then it's likely that no matter what tire I have on it'll happen the same ?

I think I'll try switching the front and rear tires/wheels. They're different brands, I'll see if it still acts the same.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:32 PM   #11
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how much lift do you have
check all the joints especially track bar
and put a new steering stabilizer on since it was leaking
you probably have a bad track bar joint but I would check both your tie rod ends and drag link ends and replace
or your steering is to steep of an angle


normally your track bar has a bad end it will let the axle shift under the rig
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:51 PM   #12
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It may be that I didn't have the 33's on long enough to run into the situation where DW occurs.

So you're saying if I have DW, then it's likely that no matter what tire I have on it'll happen the same ?

I think I'll try switching the front and rear tires/wheels. They're different brands, I'll see if it still acts the same.
No, what I'm thinking is that if you are getting the DW with one set of tires and not the other then I would start with the tires that do cause it.

However that being said. You still need to check the front suspension points that Mr 4x4 told you about. Because if you have had the wobble then odds are somethings have loosened up.
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:15 PM   #13
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I guess I am going to go against the grain of what everyone is saying.

REGARDLESS of what tire you have on you shouldn't have death wobble. Unbalanced tires result in a shimmy in the steering wheel or quirky steering. Not death wobble. It has been my experience that with larger tires you normally run a smaller air pressure which allows more cushion. Might be enough to keep the death wobble at bay.

You have some other problem other than unbalanced tires. It is not your steering stabilizer. IT IS NOT your steering stabilizer.

You need to get under your jeep and see what is moving. Have someone work the steering wheel back and forth while the jeep is off. You will see the problem.
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:29 PM   #14
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Mostly you guys are saying the same thing. Something is loose in my steering components.

Now I just need to enlist the aid of a co-pilot to work the steering wheel while I check on things. I'm sure my 11 year old will jump at that chance, I already told him the Jeep is his in 5 years.....



And, thanks for all the input, I'm GONNA fix this.
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:31 PM   #15
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Oooh ok i was in the silver TJ. Tell Nick we gotta get back out again. this time take your jeep too
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:06 PM   #16
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Oooh ok i was in the silver TJ. Tell Nick we gotta get back out again. this time take your jeep too
Were you the dude with no doors and your sways duct taped ? I only remember the black Jeep who was leading, I can't remember how many others there were or what color. Aging brain. That was before I had a Jeep, or knew the difference between a YJ or TJ or CJ.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:03 PM   #17
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that was me up front. I had a black hard top , that was chris with no doors.

we gotta hit up cleghorn again. now that im lifted
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:15 AM   #18
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that was me up front. I had a black hard top , that was chris with no doors.

we gotta hit up cleghorn again. now that im lifted
Yeah, now that I have a Jeep, I just need to make time to go with you guys again. I was going on that Gorman trip before the fires ruined it.

I'm trying to get out to Death Valley, soon. Too bad there's no long weekends between now and Memorial day, I'll have to make one.
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:03 PM   #19
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How many?

How many different sizes are you running? Or are they just different brands? Before I tried any other moves I would put the 33's in the same situation and try to make the DW occur.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:48 PM   #20
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I had DW off and on until I put on dual steering stabilizers. Whether or not it's coincidence, I don't know - but I haven't had it since. . . 05 TJ, 33" procomp xt's, 3 1/2" rubi lift.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:39 PM   #21
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from what ive had in experience dual stabalizers do fix the problem sometimes but in my opinion they just mask the real problem.

mouthfulofglass, were going to clagehorn this sat at 9am. hope you can mke it. so far its just me and another jeep.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:33 AM   #22
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I've got a little experience with DW...

Front tires that are out of balance are a common trigger for DW. Hitting a bump or dip in the road is another common trigger for DW. By itself, neither of those two are enough to allow DW to actually develop though.

After being triggered, something else must be wrong for DW to actually fully develop. Most commonly, that is a loose lower trackbar mounting bolt. Tighten it to 55 ft-lbs. for a 2002 or older TJ, 45 ft-lbs for a 2003 or newer. After that, bad or loose ball joints, bad control arm bushings, and sometimes bad shocks. Remember there's a triggering event and then something is loose enough to allow the DW to actually develop after the out of balance tire or bump in the road triggered it.

The bigger the tire, the more critical it is that the tires all be perfectly... not "good enough"... balanced.

Installing a new steering stabilizer to cure DW is like placing a band-aid over a cancer. You won't notice the cancer any more but it's still there. Installing DUAL steering stabilizers is REALLY a bad idea. Not only must you have a severe problem making you even think of doing that, but now you're going to cause the power steering pump to have to work significantly harder against those two shock absorbers (what a steering stabilizer really is). Which can cause overheating or even the PS fluid to boil over on a hot day on a tight trail requiring lots of steering input. Unless you're running 40" tires, leave the dual steering stabilizers to the show truck or street queen crowd.

Take care of the basics and DW won't be a problem. My TJ developed severe DW 8-9 years ago but after taking care of the basics as described above, and keeping them that way ever since, I've not had any more DW.

And to be sure, you don't even even need a steering stabilizer to prevent DW. I've had to run my TJ without one several times and had no occurance of DW.

Finally, DW is not just a problem with Jeeps. It's an industry-wide problem with vehicles with solid axles and 5-link coil spring designs. Ford, Dodge, Jeep, etc. all share this problem that is made worse with bigger tires like we love to run on our Jeeps.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:48 AM   #23
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Jerry you hit the nail on the head. from what ive worked on with dodge rams, 1 ford duper duty and many jeeps. theres always a link problem somewhere.

I need to copy and paste what you put for future DW questions
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:26 PM   #24
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from what ive had in experience dual stabalizers do fix the problem sometimes but in my opinion they just mask the real problem.

mouthfulofglass, were going to clagehorn this sat at 9am. hope you can mke it. so far its just me and another jeep.
At that time, I'll be under the Jeep trying to figure out what's loose or worn so I can solve this DW issue. I want it fixed before I do anything else.
Plus I'm going to put the 33's back on and leave them on. My wife was making fun of me for having them stacked in the garage saying I'll never put 'em on again. I can't have that kind of talk.
I asked this in another thread, and I'll ask it again here: For a spare, is there a reason why I shouldn't use a 33x10 1/2 for my spare ? Even though my other 4 are 33x12 1/2.
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:00 PM   #25
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Thanks Amerijeep for making the Death Wobble subject a sticky in the "yj" section, where I never look.
Now that I saw it I'm reading the article.

Just kidding on the sarcasm, I just wish I'd have seen it sooner.
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:38 PM   #26
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Mouthfulofgrass where are you located??? besides the wind
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:41 PM   #27
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Mouthfulofgrass where are you located??? besides the wind
North Orange County California, Near Whittier.

What's wrong with wind ?

I'm pretty sure I sent you a PM, did you get it ?
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Old 02-12-2007, 05:33 PM   #28
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got it, and replied. did you get teh DW fixed???
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Old 02-12-2007, 05:50 PM   #29
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Nope, couldn't find anything loose that I am sure of. It'll take someone with more experience than me to figure it out. I'm going to study the service manual and see if I can figure it out better. I need to get me a torque wrench, and start checking the torque on all the bolts/nuts.

Got the 33's on though, love it !
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Old 02-13-2007, 03:06 PM   #30
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Death Wobble

I bought a 97 jeep wrangler not too long ago that had a severe DW problem. It felt like it would literally throw you out at about 30 mph. If I slowed it would stop.

It had 114K miles, a 2 in lift, and 32s, but looked like it was in good shape.I took a chance and bought it at a discount anyway.
I took the jeep to a good local mechanic. He was able to fix it.

The problem I had was too much sealant in the front tires that was the trigger for the vibration. Once the vibration started it caused the severe DW because the actual problem was the ball joints were worn out. He scooped out all the sealant, replaced the ball joints and a tie rod and the jeep has driven great ever since.

I hope this helps
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