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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-01-2013 09:27 PM
Hardermods Death Wobble2 - YouTube

Here's mine from last summer
02-01-2013 03:10 PM
Shelby427 And after cleaning the mess in your drawers after you experience DW for the first time, you may need to replace the steering wheel from the death grip you had on it.


And there are two types of mechanics. Book learned and hands on. I'll take the latter over the former any day.

Funny, thinking about it as I've been both. One of my first specialties was Cadillac fuel injection and electrical systems. Was pretty darn good at it too. Anywho, went to a GM school for the latest version back in the early 80's. To diagnose it, it had a pass/fail system where you operated the various switches/controls in the vehicle, in a certain order to obtain a readout on the radio screen.

I was walking on clouds when I left school, I could fix em all now.

Okay maybe not. My very first problem child at the shop, I go to do the tests and WTH! There was no cruise control in this one, and the cruise system was part of the required sequence of systems that had to be done to proceed to the next item.

A Cadillac without cruise? Yep it was an option at that time, and this one was ordered with it as a deleted item! Who the hello orders a Cadillac without cruise control!

Call to GM tech assist, explain the problem and you could have heard the crickets chirping for an answer.

I ended up having to order all of a complete cruise control system, install it, run the testing sequence to find the problem in the vehicle, fix the darn thing, then pull the whole damn cruise system back out of the car when I was done.

Wrote one heck of a story on the warranty repair order, explaining what was involved in why it took 2 days of solid work, after the parts came in, to make a 5 minute warranty repair, and why they were going to spend a couple of grand for parts needed/ not needed for the repair.

Needless to say, we got paid for it, and the course at the training center got an update as to what can be involved when something isn't there.

Point being, book learned me to a point, the gurus at the training center and tech assist didn't have a clue as to what to do. Me though with a little bit of experience knew these cars were built like Jeeps, pretty much same wiring harness in everyone, whether it had an option or not. Simply install the missing parts and do the test. Hands on experience.
02-01-2013 02:18 PM
Patrick H Sorry if I dragged this thread way off course..
02-01-2013 02:10 PM
doclouie These posts have been very good, but if you ever do find yourself with DW there is a sticky at the top of the TJ tech section. It is long, but it will give you every possible way to get rid of it. Here it is:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/death-wobble-25090.html
02-01-2013 11:50 AM
Patrick H I should add, I know my limitations, and I'm not afraid to ask for help, or send a vehicle/ customer to someone else when I can't diagnose a problem myself.
02-01-2013 11:49 AM
Imped
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick H View Post
The point is, the patches on your shirt don't make you a good tech.
Exactly.

Jerry used the right word--to truly excel at something, you must be a student of it. I've got no patches, formal training, or certifications.
02-01-2013 11:46 AM
Patrick H
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I have to say that even the very best mechanics are not experts in all automotive systems. Most mechanics feel comfortable or very comfortable in several areas but I would say that there are some areas they know just enough to barely get by on. For example, many I have talked to are very weak on electrical issues and are more parts swappers there than troubleshooters. The same with steering systems that are no longer stock. It would take a miracle for most of them to figure out how to cure a case of Bumpsteer when there is a dropped Pitman arm installed that shouldn't be. If it can't be fixed with the factory service manual, they will often be clueless because they aren't students of anything beyond the usual and ordinary.

And not many mechanics truly understand what Death Wobble is or that it can be causd by multiple different problems or combinations of problems. A good illustration was when I was chatting with a mechanic at a Jeep dealership who had multiple patches sewn onto his uniform and he was a certified Master Mechanic. One of the patches he had on was a 'Suspension' patch. Death Wobble came up and he said something like 'Oh that's nothing, just a new steering stabilizer will cure that'. Master Mechanic? Not hardly.

I have no patches on my shirt. The only thing I'm "certified" in is A/C, and that's because when I started, R12 was still in use and required a certification to legally purchase and service.
That said, I know a few ASE "Master Techs" (called book mechanics) that I'd put my skills and knowledge up against any day, on most systems.
I love electrical, driveability, computer diagnostics, suspension, etc.
I don't do diesels, and try to stay away from european vehicles.
The point is, the patches on your shirt don't make you a good tech.
02-01-2013 10:58 AM
Dan216 I don't really think it just goes for mechanics. There are the 'goods and the bads' in every trade. Sure, there are a few mechanics out there who can't tell the difference between a wrench and a tire guage, but there are definitely one's out there who can get the job done right evertime, and care about their customers.

Another example is football. Why is Ray Lewis still playing?????????!
02-01-2013 10:40 AM
Jerry Bransford I have to say that even the very best mechanics are not experts in all automotive systems. Most mechanics feel comfortable or very comfortable in several areas but I would say that there are some areas they know just enough to barely get by on. For example, many I have talked to are very weak on electrical issues and are more parts swappers there than troubleshooters. The same with steering systems that are no longer stock. It would take a miracle for most of them to figure out how to cure a case of Bumpsteer when there is a dropped Pitman arm installed that shouldn't be. If it can't be fixed with the factory service manual, they will often be clueless because they aren't students of anything beyond the usual and ordinary.

And not many mechanics truly understand what Death Wobble is or that it can be causd by multiple different problems or combinations of problems. A good illustration was when I was chatting with a mechanic at a Jeep dealership who had multiple patches sewn onto his uniform and he was a certified Master Mechanic. One of the patches he had on was a 'Suspension' patch. Death Wobble came up and he said something like 'Oh that's nothing, just a new steering stabilizer will cure that'. Master Mechanic? Not hardly.
02-01-2013 10:30 AM
Patrick H
Quote:
It doesn't take a genius to understand solid axle/link suspension and steering. Deductive reasoning is key to truly understanding how things work and where problems stem from.
Exactly, which is why there's no magic about the causes of or the diagnosis of death wobble, or any other suspension or steering related problem, on any vehicle.
I do know a few "less than great" mechanics here in town, and they aren't really good at anything. How they stay employed is beyond me.
I live in a fairly small town. I'm THE mechanic at the shop. I'm the only one. I've been working on cars for a living in this town since I was 18, 23 years. I have a reputation to uphold if I want to continue to be successful here doing what I do. No decent mechanic likes to hear people bad mouthing mechanics in general...Whoops, a bit off topic now, sorry.
02-01-2013 09:55 AM
Imped
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick H View Post
Are there really that many bad "mechanics"? Sorry, I just get tired of people making broad claims that all "mechanics" are stupid. No, I'm not pointing a finger at you Imped. In fact, most folks that bad mouth mechanics are clueless. You aren't.
For the majority of people that bad mouth mechanics, I urge you, if you can do it better or faster yourself, go for it!
To the original subject, I've had many, many vehicles come in with "death wobble". Lots of coil spring Jeeps, but also leaf sprung vehicles. Used to be a lot if TIB Fords come in with it.
There's nothing magic or mystical about "death wobble". If your vehicle has it, there's something(s) wrong, and it's easy to diagnose and repair.
For the most part, the guys I'm referring to are Indy 4WP's finest.....I don't know how some of them get paid to do what they do. I know some very good mechanics and I guarantee they could swap a Taurus window regulator or Camry heater core faster than I can. But when it comes to the stuff I specialize in, there's not a local mechanic that I would trust over myself. Hell, I recall a conversation I had with a very well-known and trusted mechanic about this very subject--he recommended a "better steering stabilizer." My opinion on him changed. It doesn't take a genius to understand solid axle/link suspension and steering. Deductive reasoning is key to truly understanding how things work and where problems stem from.
02-01-2013 09:17 AM
UnlimitedLJ04
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan216 View Post
Is it like the speed wobbles?
no it's a violent harmonic vibration through the steering linkage.

Death Wobble - YouTube
Ford F-250 "Death Wobble" - YouTube
Death Wobble - YouTube

it quickly destroys steering and suspension components once onset. It is usually caused by worn components, unbalanced tires, and/or bad alignment.
02-01-2013 08:58 AM
Patrick H
Quote:
As for a mechanic being able to diagnose it--most 'mechanics' I've chatted with don't know squat about proper front end diagnosis. Let's put it this way....I'm not a certified mechanic but there's not a front end I haven't been able to diagnose and cure to this day.
Are there really that many bad "mechanics"? Sorry, I just get tired of people making broad claims that all "mechanics" are stupid. No, I'm not pointing a finger at you Imped. In fact, most folks that bad mouth mechanics are clueless. You aren't.
For the majority of people that bad mouth mechanics, I urge you, if you can do it better or faster yourself, go for it!
To the original subject, I've had many, many vehicles come in with "death wobble". Lots of coil spring Jeeps, but also leaf sprung vehicles. Used to be a lot if TIB Fords come in with it.
There's nothing magic or mystical about "death wobble". If your vehicle has it, there's something(s) wrong, and it's easy to diagnose and repair.
02-01-2013 08:02 AM
Imped
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJR5 View Post
It drives like what I believe a Jeep with a lift and 33s would drive.
Properly done, a modified Jeep should drive as good as or better than stock. I drove a stock TJ in good condition last week and it drove like crap compared to mine. There's no logic behind the argument that suspension height (to a practical extent) has any bearing on the quality of one's steering but in order to understand that, you need to have pretty good knowledge of what's going on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJR5 View Post
Do I need to worry that the DW will show up out of know where? Can a mechanic diagnose it?
Out of nowhere? Well, it's not out of nowhere if there's a reason for it to occur. And if there's a reason, it will happen.

As for a mechanic being able to diagnose it--most 'mechanics' I've chatted with don't know squat about proper front end diagnosis. Let's put it this way....I'm not a certified mechanic but there's not a front end I haven't been able to diagnose and cure to this day.
01-31-2013 10:25 PM
BLK00TJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJR5 View Post
Do I need to worry that the DW will show up out of know where? Can a mechanic diagnose it?
No, and not likely.
01-31-2013 10:15 PM
LJR5 Do I need to worry that the DW will show up out of know where? Can a mechanic diagnose it?
01-31-2013 10:12 PM
LJR5 I just bought a 2005 LJ with 4 in lift and 33s. Didn't know what DW was until a posted a picture and some commented that I had 2 stabilizers. It drives like what I believe a Jeep with a lift and 33s would drive.
01-29-2013 01:21 AM
pcwolf Also wish to add ... mock the Death Wobble spirits at your own severe risk!
01-28-2013 12:38 PM
Jerry Bransford DW is when the entire front-end breaks into an oscillation that builds to the point that the Jeep has effectively gone out of control. Fully developed DW is unbelievably violent, so much so that other nearby drivers will notice it and move to get out of your way.

Something like a bump in the road or an out of balance tire will usually serve as the trigger for DW. A good tight front-end where nothing is loose will dampen that trigger out & nothing will happen. But when something is loose, it won't be dampened out and true fully developed DW can develop. Think of a big church bell being struck by a hammer. If you keep your hand on the bell to serve as a damper, it won't produce that big 'gong' sound. But if nothing is there to dampen the vibration that was triggered by the hammer, the bell will vibrate... it just happens to vibrate at a high-enough frequency to produce the ringing gong sound. Once it starts ringing, dampening it with your hand will stop it.... if you don't dampen it out with your hand, it will continue to oscillate (ring).

That's pretty close to how DW develops... it's a low frequency vibration/oscillation that shakes the Jeep so badly we call it DW... think of being inside that church bell when it's ringing, just that the Jeep is "ringing" at a much lower frequency.

So once triggered by a bump/jolt/out-of-balance-tire, the front-end is supposed to self-dampen itself so DW won't develop. But if something is loose, like a track bar, control arm, etc, it won't be able to dampen out that vibration which can then develop into full-blown DW.

Some confuse Death Wobble with a simple shimmy produced by an out of balance tire... the two are as different as a gentle summer breeze is to a full-blown tornado that is blowing your house down.
01-28-2013 12:28 PM
Imped It's just a fancy name coined by people who don't understand how to properly diagnose front end issues.

All it is is a condition caused by worn or loose parts. Nothing more, nothing less.
01-28-2013 12:01 PM
Wattapunk From the tales being told, a sure sign that you just experienced DW is checking your briefs for skidmarks along with possible urine contamination for those with weak bladder control under tense situations.
01-28-2013 11:52 AM
Dextreme Dan, its not just a vibration like you would get from an unbalance tire or bad u-joint. It feels like driving on 4 bent to hell rims in a 8.0 earthquake... When a passenger screams at you, "What ever that <insert favorite expellative> was, don't do that again!"

Then its probably Death Wobble.
01-28-2013 11:26 AM
JustinCHorst
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan216 View Post
Is it like the speed wobbles?

no, watch the above video
01-28-2013 11:23 AM
apv57 It feels more like you're being shook but yeah it also affects your steering wheel which also shakes.
01-28-2013 11:19 AM
Dan216
Quote:
Originally Posted by apv57 View Post
I have bad death wobble in my 05 tj in the highway... Hit a bump and the jeep basically wobbles back and forth for a good 5-10 seconds but very viciously...

So, you're basically rocking back and forth (side to side) while you're driving?
01-28-2013 11:17 AM
Dan216
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinCHorst View Post
Something I wouldnt worry about unless you have it.... and you will know when you have it.

Is it like the speed wobbles?
01-28-2013 11:17 AM
apv57 I have bad death wobble in my 05 tj in the highway... Hit a bump and the jeep basically wobbles back and forth for a good 5-10 seconds but very viciously...
01-28-2013 11:14 AM
JustinCHorst Something I wouldnt worry about unless you have it.... and you will know when you have it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8KyRiux1kw
01-28-2013 11:10 AM
Dan216
What is this Death Wobble thing everyone is talking about?

Give me a break, I'm new to Jeeps!

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