Death Wobble issues - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ General Discussion Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 05-12-2014, 09:22 AM   #1
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Death Wobble issues

I have been having re occurring issues with this from the very beginning of owning my Jeep. I have a 2006 TJ with 70,000 miles all stock up until a few months ago, I put a 2.25 spacer lift on it and 31's. I have only had it for three years. The first incident was two weeks after I bought it. Had it inspected, couldn't find anything wrong with it. Ended up just getting it aligned and balanced. That seemed to help. A few months later it came right back. Still couldn't find anything wrong with it. Purchased new tires and had it realigned which seemed to fix it. That lasted maybe a year, then the wobble came back again. This time after inspection, found the trackbar bushing had gone bad. The bolt had also ovaled out the hole. I decided to try the bushing and bolt from Kevins offroad. I had to drill out the hole bigger to allow the bigger bolt. This worked great until recently. When I made the last repair, everything was a super tight fit. The wobble has come back again. When I looked at the trackbar, the bushing was fine but the hole had been ovaled out again. My jeep being my daily driver, it is getting to the point that its not worth it to keep or safe to have. Three times this has almost made me wreck or end up in a ditch. One thing I have always wandered was, the bracket always seemed a little thin and flimsy for its purpose. Has anybody else ever had this issue? Have you ever had to have anything re welded? So I could drive it until I find another vehicle, I had a family member weld two hardened washers over the front hole. Then I put everything back and tightened it real tight. I don't know how long this will last. Every time this happens I check other parts to make sure nothing else is bad, but it always ends up being everything is good.

kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 10:05 AM   #2
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,265
Images: 11
It sounds to me like the bolt has been loosening up thus allowing it to move to wallow out the hole. Use some locktite on the threads, and make sure the bolt is torqued down to specifications. Many here have welded plates over the track bar brackets to reinforce them, but it's usually done with other modifications that have been done, like track bar relocations or to take care of the hole wallowing out issue. Also make sure that the bolt fits the sleeve in the track bar bushing and that the sleeve is intact. Another thing you might want to check is your tie rod and drag link ends. Any steering component that allows death wobble to happen can, and often does damage other parts. It doesn't take too many of those episodes to cause damage.

__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 10:32 AM   #3
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
I am gonna take a look again today at everything else with a friend that's a mechanic and see what my tie rod ends are doing. The last time I checked them while messing with the track bar, there wasn't any play.
kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 11:05 AM   #4
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Dog View Post
It sounds to me like the bolt has been loosening up thus allowing it to move to wallow out the hole. Use some locktite on the threads, and make sure the bolt is torqued down to specifications. Many here have welded plates over the track bar brackets to reinforce them, but it's usually done with other modifications that have been done, like track bar relocations or to take care of the hole wallowing out issue. Also make sure that the bolt fits the sleeve in the track bar bushing and that the sleeve is intact. Another thing you might want to check is your tie rod and drag link ends. Any steering component that allows death wobble to happen can, and often does damage other parts. It doesn't take too many of those episodes to cause damage.
With all the issues I have had over the last couple of years, would it be worth it to go ahead and change out my steering components even if they don't look like there is any wear?
kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 12:39 PM   #5
Jeeper
 
mouse1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 282
Death Wobble SUCKS! I have had it a couple of times. Always worried it will come back. Good luck to you
mouse1 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #6
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,265
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakcullen View Post
With all the issues I have had over the last couple of years, would it be worth it to go ahead and change out my steering components even if they don't look like there is any wear?
I wouldn't change parts that didn't need changing, but I would definitely scrutinize everything in the front end with a bushing or a joint including control arm bushings, tre's, track bar, and ball joints....then make sure you have a good balance on the tires and the front end aligned.
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 02:52 PM   #7
Jeeper
 
mouse1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 282
That's what I did. Just look at the most obvious first and work from there. I ended up putting tires on as a last resort and that took care of it the last time.
mouse1 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 04:26 PM   #8
Jeeper
 
Khaki05Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 205
My 2005 LJ w/ 45kmi needed an adjustable track bar, sway links, tie rods, and ball joints.Take a look at those. I even had the front axle u-joints replaced to get ahead of those. Any minor problem you had was made worse with the lift.
Khaki05Wrangler is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 07:46 PM   #9
Moderator

WF Supporting Member
::WF Moderator::
 
doclouie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Was in the mountains, now in Texas
Posts: 3,674
Images: 4
Follow this thread and it will fix your problem:

Death Wobble?
__________________
2000 Sahara, 3.5" Rubicon Express Lift, 1" spring spacer & 1" Body Lift, 33" or 35" BFG Mud tires, Front & Rear ARB, Rancho 9000 shocks, UCF Ultra High Belly Up

doclouie is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-12-2014, 07:56 PM   #10
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 157
Images: 2
Some Manufactures suggest re-tightening after around 500 miles after install aftermarket items and then every 3000 miles or so, since it is aftermarket and especially if for something modified enough to create more then normal force over stock.
Weirdracin is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-14-2014, 09:59 AM   #11
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Well took a look at everything with a friend, couldn't find anything out of whack. With washers welded in place of the trackbar hole, I am going to have the alignment and balance checked then see what happens from there.
kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-14-2014, 10:59 AM   #12
Newb
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Panama City, FL
Posts: 11
I've been doing a lot of research on the DW lately (want to guess why?), and one thing you may want to check is if your front axle is still centered under the jeep. Apparently, it can get thrown slightly off and that can lead to issues. Off the top of my head, I've already had my tires balanced and aligned, replaced the sway bar arms, repaired wheel bearings, and changed the differential fluid. Still no luck, so I'm about to put in an adjustable track bar, new shocks, and a steerings stabilizer. I'll let you know if I have any success.
Aristotle113 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-14-2014, 02:57 PM   #13
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Since my track bar bracket has both holes ovaled out, would it be worth it to have the axle pulled and a new thicker bracket welded in place? I noticed rusty's offroad has a bracket that is 1/4 inch steel. I have never pulled the axle out before, but I assume that its pretty simple. My brother in law is a certified welder. This seems like something that could be done in an afternoon. What is your guys opinion?
kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-14-2014, 03:13 PM   #14
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,265
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakcullen View Post
Since my track bar bracket has both holes ovaled out, would it be worth it to have the axle pulled and a new thicker bracket welded in place? I noticed rusty's offroad has a bracket that is 1/4 inch steel. I have never pulled the axle out before, but I assume that its pretty simple. My brother in law is a certified welder. This seems like something that could be done in an afternoon. What is your guys opinion?
You don't need to pull your axle. Just cut out a piece of 1/8" to 1/4" steel plate, drill the appropriate size hole and have it welded on. If your Jeep has been lifted, get a metalcloak adjustable track bar, and you will be drilling the frame side taper out to 5/8" anyway. TJ/LJ Jeep Wrangler Solid Chromoly Front Track Bar
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Track Bar Bracket 2.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	73.1 KB
ID:	1099218   Click image for larger version

Name:	Track Bar Reinforcement Bracket.jpg
Views:	32
Size:	29.5 KB
ID:	1099226  

__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-14-2014, 03:33 PM   #15
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Dog View Post
You don't need to pull your axle. Just cut out a piece of 1/8" to 1/4" steel plate, drill the appropriate size hole and have it welded on. If your Jeep has been lifted, get a metalcloak adjustable track bar, and you will be drilling the frame side taper out to 5/8" anyway. TJ/LJ Jeep Wrangler Solid Chromoly Front Track Bar
What would I do about the inside hole of the bracket on the axle end? If I am cutting off the front side of the bracket, I guess I could fill in the back hole and re drill right? I apologies if I am making things a little more difficult. I tend to over think things when I have never messed with it before, don't want to screw it up.
kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-14-2014, 05:25 PM   #16
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,265
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakcullen View Post
What would I do about the inside hole of the bracket on the axle end? If I am cutting off the front side of the bracket, I guess I could fill in the back hole and re drill right? I apologies if I am making things a little more difficult. I tend to over think things when I have never messed with it before, don't want to screw it up.
Don't cut the old bracket, just weld the new piece over the top. With a tight fitting hole in the front and the bolt torqued to spec. most likely the back will be fine as is. It's kind of a clamp fit.
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-15-2014, 09:00 PM   #17
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Had it happen again today. Got frustrated and looked at everything again. Noticed my passenger sway bar link is loose. Looked at my control arm bushings, noticed they were pretty cracked. Some worse than others. I am not sure if my eyes were messing with me or not, but it looked like my driver side lower control arm bushing at the axle had some play. Tomorrow when I have legitimate lighting I will look at them again. I'm thinking my control arms are where the problem is.
kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-15-2014, 09:45 PM   #18
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,265
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakcullen View Post
Had it happen again today. Got frustrated and looked at everything again. Noticed my passenger sway bar link is loose. Looked at my control arm bushings, noticed they were pretty cracked. Some worse than others. I am not sure if my eyes were messing with me or not, but it looked like my driver side lower control arm bushing at the axle had some play. Tomorrow when I have legitimate lighting I will look at them again. I'm thinking my control arms are where the problem is.
Sometimes death wobble occurs not from one part of the suspension moving, but a combination of small amounts of movement in several joints. Couple that together with the fact that every time the Jeep goes through a dw experience, it further weakens and deteriorates joints and bushings. Like I mentioned earlier, check every joint. Get someone to help you and perform a dry steering test to help you narrow down where movement is coming from.

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.
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-15-2014, 09:51 PM   #19
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Dog View Post

Sometimes death wobble occurs not from one part of the suspension moving, but a combination of small amounts of movement in several joints. Couple that together with the fact that every time the Jeep goes through a dw experience, it further weakens and deteriorates joints and bushings. Like I mentioned earlier, check every joint. Get someone to help you and perform a dry steering test to help you narrow down where movement is coming from.

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.
OK thanks, I will be doing this again tomorrow. What is the best way to check control arms if I am by myself?
kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-15-2014, 10:26 PM   #20
Jeeper
 
AZ_Zoner's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Valley of the Sun, Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 254
Images: 3
I recently went through DW issues on my 04 Rubicon. It has a 4" lift, had a drop pitman, lower adjustable control arms, unknown adjustable track bar.
Here is the sequence I went through:
- Watched tons of You Tube videos, read hundreds of threads.
- I crawled underneath and looked and felt for hours for a loose ball joint, Helm joint, bushing, etc.. per the recommended dry steering test that have been recommended. I didn't find anything.
- Installed upper adjustable control arms and had caster and toe in set. New steering stabilizer. Helped but not fixed.
- Installed new track bar with and went back to stock pitman arm. Again helped but not fixed. Did fix the bump steer.
- Installed ZJ Tie rod set up. Re-aligned toe in. Spent several hours under jeep with a torque wrench and went through every bolt on the suspension front and back. Loosened and re-torqued. Topped off grease on every zerk. Rotated and balanced tires. DW is gone!!!!!

So I feel it was a combination of everything I did help to eliminate the DW. Not just one thing. I always thought it felt better after each segment but there was always a little feeling at 45mph that it could go into DW. On the last go around on fixing it that feeling at 45 was gone. We drove around for a few hours hitting every rough street, hitting every bump, manhole cover and rail road track. Almost 90 miles. So we have a great steering system now and no DW!!

I know it is so frustrating and hope this helps.

Craig
AZ_Zoner is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-16-2014, 03:03 PM   #21
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Took some pictures today of my control arm bushings. Was wandering if someone could give me an opinion on them. I pushed, pulled, and pried with a screw driver just to see what they do. They all move to some degree. Some worse than others, but it's just a tiny amount. The first four pictures are my top then lower control arms on the passenger side. The rest are the driver side. Some of them have some pretty good cracks. One actually looks like it might be torn. The fifth picture, which is my upper driver side at the axle, didn't look right at all. Is it supposed to be sticking out like that? Everything felt tight, it seemed right.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20140516_145707.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	99.4 KB
ID:	1106106   Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20140516_145730.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	70.9 KB
ID:	1106114  

Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20140516_145747.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	65.3 KB
ID:	1106122   Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20140516_145809.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	76.0 KB
ID:	1106130  

Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20140516_145829.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	89.6 KB
ID:	1106138   Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20140516_145857.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	97.4 KB
ID:	1106146  

Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20140516_145920.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	70.0 KB
ID:	1106154   Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20140516_145943.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	90.9 KB
ID:	1106162  

kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-16-2014, 03:14 PM   #22
Jeeper
 
DWDK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 481
They should move at all really. They all look pretty shot,they need replaced.

If there is one or two that seem okay just do them all at once and be done with it and you won't have to worry for a awhile.
DWDK is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-16-2014, 04:53 PM   #23
Jeeper
 
AZ_Zoner's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Valley of the Sun, Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 254
Images: 3
I'd be replacing those bushing first thing! And if that is any indication of how the other.components are, I'd look at TRE's too!

Cb
__________________
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do." Mark twain
AZ_Zoner is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-17-2014, 07:11 PM   #24
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Water Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 5,265
Images: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakcullen View Post
Took some pictures today of my control arm bushings. Was wandering if someone could give me an opinion on them. I pushed, pulled, and pried with a screw driver just to see what they do. They all move to some degree. Some worse than others, but it's just a tiny amount. The first four pictures are my top then lower control arms on the passenger side. The rest are the driver side. Some of them have some pretty good cracks. One actually looks like it might be torn. The fifth picture, which is my upper driver side at the axle, didn't look right at all. Is it supposed to be sticking out like that? Everything felt tight, it seemed right.
I would replace them. You can buy Moog control arms at Rockauto.com with the bushings already in them for around $24 each. Buying the bushings separate wouldn't save very much (if any). That way the only bushings you would have to actually drive out and in would be the uppers on the axle.
__________________
Dennis
Water Dog is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-18-2014, 11:55 AM   #25
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Replaced the control arm bushings yesterday. I can tell a difference in the steering, especially when I hit bumps at 55. Still may need to do more, but its alot better since I fixed the track bar and CA bushings. Thanks everybody for all the input and advice.
kayakcullen is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-30-2014, 01:19 PM   #26
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia Missouri
Posts: 40
Hey its me again. I was wandering, should there be any play at all in the steering shaft? I didn't think so, but was wandering what someone else opinion would be. With my Jeep shut off, I can grab the steering shaft and twist it back and forth. Its not much movement, but definitely noticeable. If something needs to be replaced I am guessing it is the steering box, right?

kayakcullen 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




» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:35 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