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patman80919 07-06-2008 01:39 AM

"death wobble"?
I'm sure this gets asked a couple of times a week, but a quick search showed the death wobble being started by certain speeds or something. That's not what starts it for me.

I have a 98 Wrangler Sahara. It's my son's, but we traded about a year ago. It's been my daily driver most of that time.

It has a 3"lift and 33" BFG TAKO's. This is important: the death wobble only recently started. It has NOT HAPPENED before. I put new tires on it, the old ones were pretty worn. It got a little better for a week or 2 , but today I had to pull over for a second to stop it.

It's usually started by hitting a pothole or something on the right front wheel. Sometimes just a bad patch of road. I don't dare take it on even non-paved roads right now.

I've had young guys tell me that all lifted Jeeps do that. Not true. This one has not done this for the first year I drove it. I had a 97 Cherokee with a 3" lift and 31" BFG TAKO's and it NEVER did it.

I would appreciate any suggestions on what to do with this. I don't want to just drive into a 4wd place and pay them a grand or two to fix it.

Thanks in advance,


Jerry Bransford 07-06-2008 12:25 PM

First, perfect tire balance is important to avoiding Death Wobble. Second, the trackbar is very often a cause if it's not on tightly enough. For your '97, that means its passenger-side needs to be tightened to 55 ft-lbs. When that is too loose, a bump in the road or an out of balance tire can trigger Death Wobble and the loose trackbar can let what is normally canceled out develop into full-blown Death Wobble.

DW can also be encouraged by improper toe-in, loose control arms, bad ball joints, etc. but I would first get the tires taken care of an insure the trackbar is TIGHT and not moving around.

One last suggestion... have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth (with the engine running) while you watch the front-end for improper movement like at the trackbar. Death Wobble is often caused by something being loose and this is an excellent way to spot it.

RatherBNarizona 07-06-2008 02:48 PM

I had the same problem as you, I recently just got my DW fixed.
Sorry to say but it could be a number of things
wheel alignment, balancing the tires, steering stablizer, track bar, tightening the whole lift kit
after all that mine went away lol. Don't give up, find the problem before it gets bad! I drove off the road it was so bad, I then decided it was time to fix it.

patman80919 07-19-2008 01:55 PM

tie-rod ends and traction bar
I had my nearest 4WD custom place to take a look at it. They decided what was the most in need of work immediately was the tie-rod ends and traction bar.

I had them do the work, and the death wobble is gone.

more later.


physhstyx 07-19-2008 06:55 PM

I just posted for the frst time about another problem I am having then started reading some of the other posts.

My Jeep has just started doing this very thing. It gets so bad that I have to pull over some times. I put new tires on and that made it go away for a short time but it is coming back with a vengence now. I guess it is time to start replacing front end parts.

Never had this problem with my old CJ's

skyking49 09-07-2008 11:45 AM

Warped rotors was my problem..had them replaced two times and only have 16,000 mi. on my jeep. It felt like my Jeep was going to fall apart

Atthehop 09-07-2008 12:48 PM

I have started to experience the same thing on my 04tj. It only has 60k and my yj never did it and it had 200k. I think my track bar is the problem beacuse I just realized I was not greasing it every 3k like the other joints.

It does not appear loose or worn but I don't think they cost a whole lot and I can do it my self. I saw a TSB on this and Jeep has a new damper but that is not my problem.

Should I go to a local auto parts store for a new track bar, Advance has them, or get OEM. I get OEM parts at a few % over dealer costs.

world917 09-07-2008 02:48 PM

deffinately start with the cheapest solution, balancing of the tires. Perhaps you ran something over that could have damaged the rims outside lip to throw off the balance.

Atthehop 09-07-2008 04:44 PM

Just had the tires rebalanced and rotated yesterday. Hence the reason to start replacing parts.

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