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Old 01-05-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
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Death Wobble

Well I have had it twice now. I got the vehicle realigned last night, but I have a bad feeling that it is still going to happen. Anyone wanna help me diagnose it? I have read all of the threads, but I need someone who isn't gonna blow smoke and be honest with me. The guy at the alignment place last night said he didn't see anything, but I doubt he knew what to look for or would much care.

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Old 01-05-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Are you still using all the stock nuts and bolts. Trackbar, control arms and so on?

If so, this is a legit and easily fixable cause of DW. The stock bolts are just slightly too small for the holes and give enough room for things to shift and cause DW. Especially the trackbar bolt. You'll want to get grade 8, 9/16" bolts with fine thread(and corresponding nuts) to replace all the stock ones and see if that makes a difference.

It took me a while to hunt down everything I needed when I put my lift on way back when, but I think Northridge sells JK specific kits that have everything you'll need

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Old 01-05-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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How are your tires? Balanced even wear? My death wobble came from the tires being off. It eventually caused more wear on the other parts.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:44 PM   #4
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How are your tires? Balanced even wear? My death wobble came from the tires being off. It eventually caused more wear on the other parts.
The tires are kind of screwed from driving with a bent tie rod. I should probably change out the bolts first and see if that will keep her settled till I can afford new tires.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:47 PM   #5
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Yea in the JK forum there's a long thread about this and replacing the stock bolts. Fortunately in 2 JK's I haven't seen this (knock on wood) but it sounds like it helps many people. Also as the guy above said after swapping bolts you may want to do something about the tires if it happens again.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 1quick1
Yea in the JK forum there's a long thread about this and replacing the stock bolts. Fortunately in 2 JK's I haven't seen this (knock on wood) but it sounds like it helps many people. Also as the guy above said after swapping bolts you may want to do something about the tires if it happens again.
Anyone who has a torque wrench and can help me down near the springs?
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #7
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Cold works

My 2009 wrangler death wobbled ever couple days all last summer however I live in northern Canada and the cure seems to move to cold country cannot make my wrangler do death wobble no matter how hard I try since the temp dropped below freezing hitting large pt holes at high speed can feel the start of death wobble but goes away almost instantly only thing I can think is doing this is that track bar shock is stiffer in cold weather and it is doing better job food for thought
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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Track bar mount on the axle is the biggest culprit. That's the first thing I check. You can try swapping your front and rear tires, if the fronts have uneven wear that could trigger it. I have torque wrenches and plenty of time so if you want help give me a holler. But please pick a day when it's above forty
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #9
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I've got a torque wrench as well Chris.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:12 PM   #10
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Whos in the springs?
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:23 PM   #11
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I'm up the hill...
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:32 PM   #12
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Definitely get the tires balanced first. If you have a wobble between 50-60, this is probably it! Worked for me, like a charm, after I bent my tie rod!

Also, replacing the stock hardware with properly fitting hardware greatly improved my drive. There are tons of write ups and you can go purchase the hardware yourself if you want (I would try to get aircraft grade stuff if you can find it in the correct spec), but there is also a hardware kit sold somewhere that is pretty convenient!
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:16 PM   #13
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Bump
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:40 PM   #14
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I'm in the springs, I'll PM you the address.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:24 AM   #15
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I'm in the springs, I'll PM you the address.
Thanks man. Will you have time after 5 any day this week?
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:17 AM   #16
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jks seem to like to have compounding issues. cheap things to do first is to tighten your trackbar bolts, rotate your tires and give it a good look over for cracked welds on any mounts. stock hardware sucks, my track bar would loosen up every few weeks with stock bolts. get the bolt kit from northridge, that seemed to help mine out. There is no smoking gun for jk DW. Like i said it is a compounding issue that is usually the result of a few things.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlust
jks seem to like to have compounding issues. cheap things to do first is to tighten your trackbar bolts, rotate your tires and give it a good look over for cracked welds on any mounts. stock hardware sucks, my track bar would loosen up every few weeks with stock bolts. get the bolt kit from northridge, that seemed to help mine out. There is no smoking gun for jk DW. Like i said it is a compounding issue that is usually the result of a few things.
Dan if you would be free to help at any time soon I would vwry much appreciate it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:47 AM   #18
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I gotta get this done soon. I'm scared to drive over 40 right now.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:10 PM   #19
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c'mon by the house tomorrow after work Chris - we'll get it checked out.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:44 PM   #20
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I found three main things that were causing my Jeep to wobble like crazy. Unbalanced tires, tires worn unevenly, and the steering stabalizer needed replacing. After new tires and new stabalizer, no more wobbles. By the way, my wobbles also started when I was traveling at 50-60 mph, without fail. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:47 PM   #21
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c'mon by the house tomorrow after work Chris - we'll get it checked out.
530 work?
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:05 AM   #22
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Well Igrok and I looked at it a bit. We did steering tests with lock to lock and 10 to 2 and did not notice any perceptible play. We tried to get the tracbar bolts off to check it, but we were unable to loosen them. He thinks it could be unbalanced tires, but I'm not sure. This whole situation is very frustrating, I have to drive everyday for work and this continuing to happen just isn't work out.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:19 PM   #23
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there was a spot on the right front tire where weights WERE. Whether that was from a previous mounting is the question, but a quick stop at a tire shop and let them pull it off and put it on the balancer would tell the story.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:42 AM   #24
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there was a spot on the right front tire where weights WERE. Whether that was from a previous mounting is the question, but a quick stop at a tire shop and let them pull it off and put it on the balancer would tell the story.
My Mechanic said he believe the tires are a contributing factor, but not the root cause. We are trying to find a time I can make it in to figure it out.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #25
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My Mechanic said he believe the tires are a contributing factor, but not the root cause. We are trying to find a time I can make it in to figure it out.
Here is a link to the Official jeep TSB about the Death wobble http://dig.abclocal.go.com/kgo/PDF/T...E-ADVISORY.pdf.

Ive fixed 4 Jeep Death wobbles each one was the Track-bar but you already have a aftermarket one. Many times I could not see any movement when sitting still so I hooked up my Gopro camera to the frame and aimed it at the track bar once the DW started it was clear how the track-bar was the problem.

I take it you do have a better steering stabilizer?

Like someone said it is the size of the stock bolt could cause it to move in the bushing's steel sleeve if the track bar did not have new bolts to replace the stock ones I would replace them.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:35 PM   #26
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Chris,

I have been battling death wobble since I bought my 2009 5 months ago. A month after I got it, I was noticing that it would generally wander all over the road. Then I ran across a bump on the right side and the wobble began. I took it to a mechanic and used the term "Death Wobble" and he didn't want to have anything to do with it and recommended that I take it to the dealer. I took it to the dealer and the replaced the tie rod and tightened up the track bar that they said was real loose.

That helped significantly. The wandering went away. I think that was tied to the tie rod. The wobble went away too. Things seemed cool for a month or so. Then I started noticing light wobbling again. I discovered the bolts on the axle end of the track bar were loose. I tightened them up. This went on for several weeks they would keep loosening. After about 6 weeks of that full on death wobble started showing up again. I tightened the track bar and it kind of went away or so it seemed.

Then I had my tires balanced and rotated. Hoo boy!!! I would get a full on death wobble 3-4 times a day while driving. I got tired of this and decided that I would take it to somebody that should understand a modified, lifted jeep. I took it to Predator. They put on a Teraflex track bar. They also had to replace several other items that were damaged on the right hand side because of all the shaking. The Teraflex track bar is a monster and I love it. I just picked it up today and so far so good. I am getting very very light wobbles that seemed to first show up back when I had the tires balanced and rotated so I am going back this weekend to have them rebalanced again.

This video is great at showing everything the track bar does.



The part with steering without a track bar was extremely interesting because there seemed like times I would turn the wheel left going around a gentle curve and the jeep wouldn't turn. It was like the body might turn but the chassis "floated" right. It was only a split second seat of your pants feeling but I did feel it. I think most of my problems developed from too much flex in the track bar not able to deal with the larger, heavier, tires.

Also with the above video... damn it is easy to change a track bar.

I hope you get your problems ironed out. I love my jeep but I sure am getting tired of the wobbles.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:40 PM   #27
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I have also seen where death wobble can wear out that u-joint that attaches the right wheel to the axle which then causes the wobble to get worse. I believe that this was also part of my problem. You get a wobble that is caused by one component that wears or tears up another and then that worn component causes the problem.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:44 PM   #28
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As I've said many times it is a compounding issue. My attack is to always start with a tire rotation, full inspection of all tie rod ends, ball joints and wheel bearing (aka unit bearing) them remove the track bar and inspect the bushings, most aftermarket still have a bushing on the frame side. Reinstall trackbar and tighten usually replacing the factory bolts for good shanked 9/16s aftermarket stuff. Then give it a good alignment. This has fixed over 90% of the cases that I have delt with.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:20 PM   #29
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The problem I have found is that the places find that the track bar is loose, fix that, and send you on your way. What I am finding is that the wobble damages other components but mechanics won't look at all the components. It also seems like they don't even take it out for a drive to check if the problem is solved because they are too busy and have to run the next customer in. Also, so many dealer mechanics don't understand lifts and their geometry.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:45 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlust
As I've said many times it is a compounding issue. My attack is to always start with a tire rotation, full inspection of all tie rod ends, ball joints and wheel bearing (aka unit bearing) them remove the track bar and inspect the bushings, most aftermarket still have a bushing on the frame side. Reinstall trackbar and tighten usually replacing the factory bolts for good shanked 9/16s aftermarket stuff. Then give it a good alignment. This has fixed over 90% of the cases that I have delt with.
Dan, I get what you are saying. But I don't have the tools or the ability to do this myself. I need help. I don't trust my mechanic because he knew this was an issue that I told him to address everything whwn he installed the new steering kit and he either ignored me or didnt do a good job. I need an independent party to examine this

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