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-   -   Steering Stabilizer and Death Wobble (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/steering-stabilizer-and-death-wobble-158062.html)

The_Jode 05-04-2012 05:45 PM

Steering Stabilizer and Death Wobble
 
2 Attachment(s)
Okay everyone, now before I get blasted for, go read the DW sticky and this and that, let me say that I have researched pretty extensively for a couple months now. Done all of the self-diagnoses checklists and even had a buddy (who was a mechanic for 10 years) do them with me... Conclusion, nothing in my front end is worn out, or out of specs.

So next step, buddy told me to go try and get alignment, tires re-balanced and possibly rotated. When I went to the shop (family business of 3 going on 4 generations of mechanics, and pretty knowledgable about straight axle 4x4) they confirmed everything in my front end that is normally worn out in a Wrangler is fine. They said that they did not want to re-balance and rotate my tires and do an alignment because that is not the problem. They then went on to show me my steering stabilizer (which I know everyone says is not the cause or the fix) was busted and that is what the cause is.

Anyway, why would they not want to do the other things, which they could have made almost $150 on me, just to tell me about the steering stabilizer, and agreed with me that I could probably do it myself (which they now would make $0 on me, if it wasn't what they truly thought?) So can someone tell me why if a steering stabilizer is busted, could that not be cause for front end wobble?

Again, just looking for some advice and knowledge, not belittling.

Ps. heres a pic of the steering stabilizer from the front, and the bottom.

nick50471 05-04-2012 05:51 PM

As you already know. Get an alignment, BALANCE the tires, rotate them and make ABSOLUTELY sure all CA's and trackbars are properly torqued. Find the cause of the DW before you replace the broken stabilizer.

Also are you sure it is DW and not bump steer?

jgorm 05-04-2012 06:12 PM

You need a working steering stabilizer either way so start there. It might not be the cause, but it might stop a wobble before it becomes a DW.

BLK00TJ 05-04-2012 06:22 PM

The steering stabilizers (correct term should be "steering damper") main job is to lessen shock from bumps or uneven terrain and keep your steering wheel from being jerked out of your hands. They will only mask the bigger problem by lessening their impact that can get DW started (potholes are common triggers). If your front end is setup properly it is even possible to drive without one but it wouldn't be an enjoyable ride. I'd reckon something is loose or out of whack (alignment, balanced tires, bent stuff). Since you have a lift I'd take your Jeep to a 4x4 shop that knows their way around lifted vehicles and how they are setup.

terminator012 05-04-2012 06:23 PM

I fought this on my TJ for nearly a year. Had everything checked under the front by several mechanics and myself. Installed a new SS .Still had it. Tires had been checked by two local shops and both said they were fine. Finally at the point of giving up, I drove 45 miles away to have my tires road force balanced. I had two tires out of round. They were new GY Duratracs. I contacted Discount Tire about this. They quickly sent me two replacements. Had all four balanced that way and my shimmies and full DW went away. That was three months ago and it hasn't came back. My point is, make darn sure those tires are round and well balanced.

The_Jode 05-04-2012 06:27 PM

To be completely honest with you, I wouldn't even know the difference... So I'll tell you the problem and you tell me what you think.

1st my rig:

2004 Rubicon
6" Fabtech LA suspension (which came with all front end adjustable componants)
BDS Shocks and Steering Stab.
35x1250x15 BFGoodrich AT on Pacer wheels with about 50% tread left
Everything else Stock

2nd My Problem:

Between 53-58 mph (never more, never less) about 10%, and that might be a generous estimate, bad front end wobble occurs. It is not brought on by any bumps or anything of that nature (which is why i believe it is just a wobble and not DW at this point). I do have to slow down to stop it, but not all the way. Also I can "feel it coming" and either slow down before it happens, or immediately floor it and it pushes to 60 with no wobble.

Anyway hope that helps?

nick50471 05-04-2012 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Jode
To be completely honest with you, I wouldn't even know the difference... So I'll tell you the problem and you tell me what you think.

1st my rig:

2004 Rubicon
6" Fabtech LA suspension (which came with all front end adjustable componants)
BDS Shocks and Steering Stab.
35x1250x15 BFGoodrich AT on Pacer wheels with about 50% tread left
Everything else Stock

2nd My Problem:

Between 53-58 mph (never more, never less) about 10%, and that might be a generous estimate, bad front end wobble occurs. It is not brought on by any bumps or anything of that nature (which is why i believe it is just a wobble and not DW at this point). I do have to slow down to stop it, but not all the way. Also I can "feel it coming" and either slow down before it happens, or immediately floor it and it pushes to 60 with no wobble.

Anyway hope that helps?

Tires not balanced. Yes it is that simple.

The_Jode 05-04-2012 06:39 PM

Okay, well then looks like im goign to have to find a new shop...

The only 4x4 specific shop around here doesnt want my business because they've told me twice they'll call me back in 5 mins to set up an appt, and no return call.


The only other two are 30-50 miles away, and only open 9-5 during the week.

:banghead::banghead::banghead:

Jerry Bransford 05-04-2012 06:52 PM

Yep, that's a tire balance issue. :)

terminator012 05-04-2012 07:12 PM

Is your speedometer off because of 35's. Mine is on the 33s. Mine did it between 46 to 52 on the OD but I'm five miles off. That would be around 50 to 55 if it was accurate. I was shocked to when I discovered bad tires after 2 shops took my money balanced them until they said 0. Apparently you can balance an out of round tire until it shows perfectly balanced.

The_Jode 05-05-2012 07:28 AM

Yes my speedo is off because of the 35's, but I use my gps for speedo purposes.

Also, one of the front tires has been plugged, could this be an issue?

Lastly, what are some questions I can ask the shop to make sure they look for a bad tire?

By the way, thanks for all the help guys, this forum is truly a cache of knowledge. I appreciate the respectful, and informative responses you all have given me on this issue specifically.

UnlimitedLJ04 05-05-2012 07:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Jode (Post 2335695)
Okay, well then looks like im goign to have to find a new shop...

The only 4x4 specific shop around here doesnt want my business because they've told me twice they'll call me back in 5 mins to set up an appt, and no return call.


The only other two are 30-50 miles away, and only open 9-5 during the week.

:banghead::banghead::banghead:

you don't need a 4x4 specific shop, you need a tire shop that has a road force tire balance machine. most Discount Tire shops have one.

The_Jode 05-05-2012 08:59 AM

Okay awesome, Road force tire balance are the key words I'm looking for.


Ironic thing is the shop I went to IS a tire shop. They must not really know tires that well.


Now off to find a shop thats open on the weekend, AND has a road force tire balance machine. :doh:

Jerry Bransford 05-05-2012 10:38 AM

Bigger Jeep size tires are harder to balance, some shops just won't take the time to get them perfectly balanced like the TJ needs them to be.

You may find that a Road Force machine is hard to find... and that there are shops without a Road Force machine that have the expertise and will spend the time to get your tires perfectly balanced. :)


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