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Old 02-25-2011, 03:03 PM   #1
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HORRIBLE vibration (off and on) in front end!

I just finished fixing my engine hesitation problem when the kid that drives it told me there is a HORRIBLE front end vibration....so bad that he has to pull over when it happens. i DID NOT believe him but finally experienced it myself these past few days. It usually happens around 35-45mps. It happened to me after I hit a small bump in the road. The entire front end shakes like someone has ahold of it and is shaking it back and forth. It is felt in the steering wheel but not as much as u feel it through out the entire jeep.

If you slow down or stop, it goes away until it happens again at totally random times.

I thought BALL JOINTS so I replaced all four ball joints PLUS replaced the front shocks as well as one wheel bearing/hub. My girlfriend drove the jeep after I did the repairs and it happened AGAIN!

This jeep is basic! No big tires, lift or accessories...it is a daily driver for snowy days....

Any ideas?????

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Old 02-25-2011, 03:23 PM   #2
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Some good suggestions in this thread:
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/death-wobble-25090.html

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Old 02-25-2011, 04:04 PM   #3
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Read the very first "Sticky" at the top of this TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum. Then look at the third "Sticky" on the General Jeep Discussion part of the forum.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:50 PM   #4
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That's what we refer to as bump steer. It can be caused by a number of things. Cheapest first. Before you start throwing money at suspension parts, get your tires balanced and make sure your alignment is good. Tire pressure and condition can be a factor as well.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:59 PM   #5
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No, Death Wobble as the OP is asking about has nothing to do with Bump Steer. They are two completely different problems. Death Wobble is when the entire front-end of the Jeep goes into convulsions which is a harmonic oscillation of the front end that can be triggered by anything from a bump in the road to an out of balance tire. Bump steer is when the steering is forced left/right in sync with when the axle moves up/down.

For Death Wobble, it's normally a combination of a triggering event like a bump in the road or an out of balance tire to start the cycle towards Death Wobble, and then something else is usually loose enough to allow it to fully develop into full-blown DW. And for those who have not experienced Death Wobble, it is violent (!!!) beyond what you can imagine. Fully developed DW cannot be driven out of, you can only pull over and slow down to either a full stop or nearly to a full stop until it dampens itself out. It will blur your vision and shake your teeth and is such an obvious out-of-control condition that other drivers can't help but notice will move out of your way. It's not something anyone who has experienced true fully developed DW will ever forget. It's VIOLENT!!!

Two common causes that combine together to cause DW are an out of balance tire coupled with something loose in the front end, typically the passenger-side of the track bar mount, or perhaps a bad ball joint or control arm bushing. So as first steps, I would have the tires very carefully balanced, check the passenger-side of the track bar mount for any looseness (it cannot move side-to-side AT ALL!!) and tighten its passenger-side mounting bolt for good measure (45 ft-lbs), and insure the toe-in is correct. Doing those three things should help. If not, there are more things that can be checked.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Two common causes that combine together to cause DW are an out of balance tire coupled with something loose in the front end, typically the passenger-side of the track bar mount, or perhaps a bad ball joint or control arm bushing. So as first steps, I would have the tires very carefully balanced, check the passenger-side of the track bar mount for any looseness (it cannot move side-to-side AT ALL!!) and tighten its passenger-side mounting bolt for good measure (45 ft-lbs), and insure the toe-in is correct. Doing those three things should help. If not, there are more things that can be checked.
Definitely check alignment and tire balncing first, it can be the easiest "fix" and your lcoal tire shop has all the right equipment for "professional" measurements. Changing the track bar saved me... Making sure that the front axle is centered under the vehicle was an important step too
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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Yep X2 on the suggestion to check the front-end alignment, I forgot to mention to also check the toe-in. Improper toe-in can encourage DW to develop.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:50 AM   #8
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I had DW a while back when it first happened I freaked as I was going onto the highway ramp on a curve hit a bump and it felt like the whole front was falling apart I slowed and pulled to the side came to almost a stop and it quit got on the bulletin boards started reading reading reading and then start with tire balance then alignment still happened oh also had a newer adjustable track bar still did it jacked it up checked ball joints u joints then had a friend get and steer back and forth first fast then slower looking for something to jump out and say here I am change me, nothing so a week later doing regular maintenance rotated the tires front to back back to front and no more DW soon it will be time to rotate again so that will be interesting to see what happens but anyway that's my DW story hope it helps too

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