Advice needed on the dreaded "Death Wobbles"
I have a 2010 JKU sport, diesel with an ARB Bullbar and 1200lb Ironman winch with Dynema rope (has other accessories, but not revelant to problem).
This Jeep was purchased new by me in July 2010. It has never been "snatched or winched" nor has it "snatched or winched" any other vehicle and to my knowledge it has never had the underneath strike an object, or has it ever been involved in an accident. It has been serviced by the Jeep dealer as per the service requirements at or before the required intervals. It currently has 36,000 on the odometer. It has been driven off-road, but only ever on, at the most, a high class "C" track, and hasnt been through any water crossings deeper than about 3/4 wheel height.
OK.... that's enough background info, so onto the problem.
Since new my Jeep, as off the showroom floor, (ie stock standard) has had a slight "wobble" after hitting a bump in the road at higher speeds. While this was a concern to me, when I bought it to the attention of the salesman, was told that this is normal for a "Live axle, coil sprung vehicle"........ ok, no worries I thought (silly me!).
In August the following year (2011) I had the ARB Bullbar, Ironman winch, and Ironman 2" lift fitted. The following day..... Full on "butt clenched to the seat,white knuckles" type DEATH WOBBLES. Took vehicle to Jeep dealer who stated that as it wasnt a genuine Jeep lift there was nothing they could do. Long story short, out with the Ironman Lift, in with the genuine Morpar 2" lift (at twice the price). Next day, DEATH WOBBLES.....even with the senior Jeep serviceman driving.
They stopped the "DEATH WOBBLES" after a 2 day sleepover at the dealership, but the minor "shimmy" still remained. I put up with this minor "Shimmy" untill it returned as the dreaded "DEATH WOBBLES" in mid September this year (2012).
Since then, they (the Jeep dealership) has so called "fixed" the problem (10 times to date) with me returning the vehicle the next day (with video evidence of yet another DEATH WOBBLE experience) saying NO YOU HAV'NT.
They say they have replaced:
Steering dampner (4 times)
Both Tie Rod Ends
All Bushes, Brushes etc in front end
Both Ball Joints
Front Trak Bar
Basically everthing steering/suspension wise has been replaced.
They also say the Trakbar bolt holes are not "walloed" out.
They have also tried replacing all the wheels and tyres and test drove to rule out a suspect tyre or wheel.
They also replaced the entire lift kit with another to rule out a suspect coil or shock.
The latest word from the dealer is "This lift kit may not be suitable for your vehicle".
WTF is going on?????
I'm sorry for such a long winded post, but I just wanted to show that not all cases of "DEATH WOBBLES" are caused by trail or maintenance abuse and that their is not a "one cure fixes all" to this problem.
Thank you all for letting me vent my frustration.
Thanks aelwero, for your quick reply. Nearest other Jeep dealer is 100 kms away. My dealer has been taking directions from their head office (Melbourne) re this problem for the last 4 weeks.
Not sure if you've had a chance to read this thread, good stuff there. :thumb:
Which state are you in? There are a number of jeep/JK specialists that have dealt/fixed DW On many occasions.
Maybe one of them can take a look and sort your problem out for good.
Thanks Paul. Its a 6 1/2 hour drive to Wooders in Sydney. They will be first on the list, as I spoke to them when it first happened, and they seem very knowledgeable. At the moment the dealership is paying for everything as its under warranty. That would change if non genuine parts were used (which is probably the cause anyway). The thread from Planman was printed out and given to them by me on the 2nd visit there. Apparently they have there own version they have to follow. At the moment its still not fixed and awaiting a " heavy duty" steering dampner. They say this should fix the problem. I, along with every other reader of this forum know different.
That's utter BS If you constantly have leave your vehicle while they "fix" the problem unsuccessfully each time.
I'm not a mechanic but I have read hundreds of threads on various jeep forums about DW and what you have should have been sorted easily or you have a serious problem that originates all the way back to its manufacture.
I've got a 3" lift with aftermarket shocks,springs, bars front and back, winch and 35" rubber etc etc and no issues at all because it was done by a company that knows JK's. unfortunately too many Aussie jeep dealers are lacking that kind of knowledge.
I hope you can get it sorted and then be able to get out and really have some fun with your JK.
Have you watched my 2 videos?
Your video and step by step guide are fantastic. If only the local Jeep dealers would take the time to look at them (they should be part of the induction to being a Jeep service technician).
The main problem I have at the moment is that my Jeep is still under waranty, and as such, whilst non genuine parts will not necessary void my waranty, will no doubt be the "cause" of the problem in their eyes if they are replaced and the problem persists.
That is why I went with the genuine mopar gear and have persisted in them fixing the problem. I have no doubts that if I took my Jeep to someone that has had experience with this very common problem (or at the very least follow your advice) I wouldn't be still experiencing the "DEATH WOBBLES".
I originally posted my story in response to several comments that "DEATH WOBBLES" are caused by trail or service abuse. As can be seen from my earlier posts, neither of those are applicable in my case.
One thing I didn't mention earlier is that it has the original tyres on the original rims.
The problem I seem to be having is that they keep replacing suspect parts with OEM parts, which are not (IMO) as suitable as aftermarket parts.
The local dealer over here has been fantastic and seem to want to get to the bottom of my problems, but have to go by the states head office advice on how to solve it. The latest, as I mentioned, is replacing the steering dampner and bracket with a heavy duty one. You and I both know this will only "mask" the problem.
I have (once again) printed off you check list, and will "request" that this is followed by them when the Jeep goes in again on Thursday. As this is about the 12th time I have given them to fix this issue, if it still persists, will take it elsewhere and forward the bill to them.
I have the DW's in my 04 TJ, gave up trying to find out what it was after everything was checked.
It has an Old Emu 2" lift & thought it might be something wrong there, but alas all good.
Ended up calling a suspension guru WA that works on cars for the Dakar & the Safari, he had a look & said it's the tyres.
Replaced the said GYear Wranglet MT's & the wobbles went straight away.
My new tyres are now 2/3 done & the wobbles are just starting to show again, but it's time to put them on the back & new ones on the front.
Hi quote was that most people don't realize how much suspension goes through the side walls of a tyre.
Just my experience.
Hey, I'm having the same problems as you. Scary as hell. You seem to be in the same area as me based on how far away other yards and sydney is. Ypi still having problems?
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