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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-27-2008 08:39 AM
skyking49 I had two problems..first was bad rotors, second was steering damper. My problem is least AFAIK. Still have a slight shimmy but nothing like it was. I may just be a little picky now.
09-24-2008 08:38 PM
dr.johnod So did either of you guys fix the DW?? My(former) dealer refused to cover damper And if that did not fix it, what's next? how can you tell if a track bar is the cause??
09-16-2008 10:21 PM
Atthehop I replaced the damper with the factory TSB replacement which was replaced by a different number. Still no fix. Went searching for the front track bar and found it above the axle, my yj didn't have one, and the zerk was never greased. Greased it. Still NG.
I grease my front end every 3k along with the oil and filter. Picked up a new track bar at the dealer for 107.00 and wil replace it when I get a free minute. Note, had the tires rotated and balanced again for good measure. Only 62k on the 04 and it must be the track bar, the yj had over 200k and still had the original front end w/o the DW.
09-15-2008 10:28 PM
dr.johnod I love this thread! It is my prob. exactly! I had a bare bones 2005 SE, went with Ruby springs/shocks/wheels/flares, (no stickers)and new 275-15 AT/Ta's. Looks great! But death wobble at the smallest pothole, RR tracks forget it. Thanks for the insight, I will try the suggestions.
09-15-2008 03:30 PM
skyking49 They are replacing the steering damper tomorrow. They had to order the parts. At least this time it is a warranty issue so no money out of my pocket. I took the service bulletin with me that discussed this issue and the fix.
09-14-2008 12:49 PM
skyking49 Going back in tomorrow. Jeep has a shimmy at highway speeds. The service bulletin 19-003-06 involves installing a revised steering damper. I am driving to SC in a couple of weeks so I want everything checked out. This should be a warranty issue therefore no charge. I shouldn't be having any problems with a vehicle with 16,000 mi. on it. I would hate to compare my Jeep to my Honda I currently own or a Toyota I use to own.

Two rotor changes in 16,000 mi. is way out of the norm...for any vehicle. I am 60yr old and drive like it. so it is not because I abuse my jeep. Never off road and all maintenance done. I do not ride my brakes etc. Been driving standards all my life etc.
09-11-2008 03:55 PM
MouthfulOfGrass Since I saw this thread resurrected, I thought I'd reply with my results.

It was a worn out lower Ball Joint. Once it was out, you could wiggle it around easy, and see why it was a problem. The mechanic couldn't tell, until he went to replace the tie rod ends and realized it wasn't them, but the ball joint that was bad.

Haven't had a DW issue since then.
09-07-2008 02:02 PM
rrich Yellow - live with what? DW - read the previous posts! Or sell your rig to me cheap! If you mean the brakes - read on.

Sky - Never heard of it being common in Jeeps, but in your area a bad batch may have come through (or dealer's BSing.) I have seen it a few times on other vehicles. It's not common, but not totally unusual either.

Try something - Press on the brake pedal once or twice - like you were stopping normal - not gorilla hard.

Slide under and open the bleeder valve. You should get just a tiny dribble, a few drops, of brake fluid. We aren't bleeding it, just looking to see if there's any pressure in the line. Bet there is - if so, it'll shoot out a small stream.

If that happens, take it back to the dealer. The check valves in the MC are wrong.
The rear line for the drum brakes are supposed to hold slight pressure - 3-5 lbs - that keeps the wheel cylinder cups expanded against the cyl wall, keeping out air. The MC uses a check valve to keep a slight pressure.

But - the front disc should NOT hold pressure - the pads ride up against the discs all the time - there is no return spring like in the rear drum type. ANY pressure in the front line causes the pads to ride too hard against the disc, causing what you've experienced - very premature wear (and a loss of mileage and power - since the brakes are always on.)

Sometimes the maker of MC's put the check valve in the wrong port (bad batch?) Rebuilders are famous for it - and sometimes they leave them out totally, causing even more, but different, problems.

You can check it yourself - and cure it yourself if you want. Simply disconnect the brake lines from the MC - look right inside the ports - you should see the check valve inside the port. It should be on the line to the REAR brakes, not on the front line to the discs.
If you need to remove it; if brass, use a sheet metal screw inserted carefully in the valve's sleeve and yank it out. If rubber a long nose plier works.

You'll need to bleed it when finished - since any air got in right at the fitting - simply very slowly and gently push the pedal down just slightly, maybe 1/4 of the way down - not enough to feel pressure. Wait a few seconds holding that position (lets the bubbles come back up the the MC.) Then let up, wait a moment - you'll see a few bubbles come up. Repeat gently a few times until no more bubbles. Do it right, you won't have to bleed the entire system.

Let us know.

The other possibility is the MC piston isn't retracting quite far enough. The rod is too long. Easy way is make a small shim to fit between the MC and the booster. Thick Cardboard will work to try it, but something that won't compress over time is needed - metal, plastic etc.

The dealer should have checked for both possibilities rather than just putting on new brakes.
09-07-2008 11:45 AM
i get the dw when i have my 33by12.50s on wtf

hey guys does anyone know how to cure it or do i just live with it.
09-07-2008 09:11 AM
skyking49 364.00 and it is "fixed." Warped rotors and metal to metal brakes. This has to be some sort of defect. This has happened to many many people and it is rare for them to go bad so fast. I have never had this type of problem with any other vehicle I have owned. Two weeks after I drove it off the lot they replaced them because they told me there was a "bad Batch" of Jeeps with defective rotors. Who is to say these were not defective too.? I am going to check into it.
09-06-2008 09:23 AM
skyking49 My jeep is at the dealers. They tell me my rotors are severely warped and brakes are metal to metal. I had the dealer replace the rotors 2 weeks after I drove it off the lot because they told me there was a "bad batch of Jeeps with bad rotors." Now they find the same problem. Not sure if they are going to charge me for this....hopefully nothing.

This was the cause of my "death wobble."

Rotors do not normally go bad after 16,000 mi.
09-05-2008 01:52 PM
rrich Ever since solid axles were used it's been called "shimmy." DW is a more recent term.

I've gotten involved with several "uncurable" DW cases, it's always a challenge.
Start with the easy and basics.
Check tire balance and for bent rims.
Check underneath for anything obviously loose - tie rod ends, ball joints, track bar ends, etc. Just looking isn't enough. Put your fingers on the joint, touching both surfaces while someone wiggles the steering quickly wheel back and forth. You can feel looseness better than seeing it. Do that on all joints.

Look for small cracks or broken welds in the frame, even several feet back from the front suspension.
Check carefully where the steering box mounts - the pod it mounts to often breaks the welds. -- this is important - that pod breaks off and can leave you without steering!

Do the Poorman's Magnaflux Trick on all the welds (spray a light coat of flat black paint on all suspected areas, drive it a few days, look for a small thin orange line of rust along the crack.)

A steering damper will not CAUSE DW, it MAY hide it somewhat, but you should not even need one at all. The damper is to take the sudden shock out of the steering wheel when off roading.

Replace anything that's suspect. I know that can be expensive and lots of work, but it has to be done.

Especially check the axle end of the trackbar where it attaches to the axle. The bolt may be tight, but it's still been the problem on the "impossible" ones.
Remove the bolt, the nut on the backside has a flange on it that keeps it from turning.
Drop the trackbar down.

Put the bolt back in the hole through the mount - notice it's loose - and notice the worn marks on the bolt. The hole warbles out egg shaped, and the bolt itself gets a ridge worn in it. Even if the bolt is tight, it still moves back and forth in the egg shaped hole when DW'ing.

Get a new bolt and nut from THE JEEP DEALER. They will be about $10 for the pair - THE BOLT IS NOT A STANDARD METRIC BOLT, it has a shoulder that must be matched, the nut has the flange to help with installation. Trying to use a standard metric bolt without the shoulder is asking for trouble.

The holes in the mount - the front one can be welded, but the rear there's no access. What I've done is carefully weld the front hole slightly undersized and redrill it. Then shape a hunk of 1/4" plate like the front of the bracket with a new exact sized hole in it. Then weld that plate over the holem aking sure the holes line up. The original bracket is only 1/8, so adding the 1/4" piece makes it now 3/8 thick.
You may have to grind the head of the new bolt slightly to clear the tie rod.

Make sure the trackbar's bushing is tight on the bolt too. If not, replace the trackbar. The bushing itself is not replaceable.

Re-assemble it. Before tightening, make sure the trackbar just barely fits into the bracket. The bracket should "pinch" the end tightly. If there is any looseness, shim it with thin washers.

Tighten it "gorilla tight" using the correct Locktite.

So far - every "impossible" one I've done that did the trick.
09-05-2008 01:28 PM
MOz This thread is probably a little stale and obsolete by now.

Post a new thread if you continue to have DW problems. We can help you.

BTW - welcome to WF
09-05-2008 09:42 AM
Death Wobble

This is more than a tire problem. I am taking my 2006 Jeep Wrangler X to the dealer tomorrow. Sometimes when I hit a bump at low or high speeds the Jeep shakes violently. It feels like the wheels are going to fall off. I am not exaggerating at all. I just hoped my jeep would come to a stop before it broke up. I mean..the whole Jeep vibrated and it was hard to hold on to the steering wheel. My Jeep is completely stock and I have not had it off-road at all. This happened when my wife was driving it too. Its similar to a problem I had when I first purchased my Jeep. When I hit the brakes it would shake. The dealer ended up replacing the rotors then and told me this problem was due to a "bad batch of Jeeps." Some have suggested its something to do with the steering damper when it comes to the wobble issue. This is not just a little is violent shaking. I was ready for a wheel to fall off. I will let you know what the dealer tells me.
02-19-2007 02:25 PM
Originally Posted by MouthfulOfGrass View Post
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.
I went through the exact same thing with my 99' TJ 4" with 33-12.50s. This suddenly began after hitting some rocky trails. When going about 45-50mph it woud shake side to side. It lasted until the next time i flexed the suspension out on the trials. It's driving like it used to before the shudder. I cant explain it.
02-13-2007 04:06 PM
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
02-12-2007 06:50 PM
MouthfulOfGrass 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 !
02-12-2007 06:33 PM
Rawkon got it, and replied. did you get teh DW fixed???
02-12-2007 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by Rawkon View Post
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 ?
02-09-2007 05:38 PM
Rawkon Mouthfulofgrass where are you located??? besides the wind
02-09-2007 04:00 PM
MouthfulOfGrass 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.
02-09-2007 02:26 PM
Originally Posted by Rawkon View Post
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.
02-09-2007 11:48 AM
Rawkon 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
02-09-2007 10:33 AM
Jerry Bransford 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.
02-09-2007 12:39 AM
Rawkon 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.
02-08-2007 07:48 PM
rich1014 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.
02-08-2007 05:03 PM
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.
02-08-2007 11:15 AM
Originally Posted by Rawkon View Post
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.
02-07-2007 10:03 PM
Rawkon 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
02-07-2007 07:06 PM
Originally Posted by Rawkon View Post
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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