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350chevrolet 09-04-2009 09:35 PM

death wobble... ready to run this thing off a cliff
2000 4.0 5-speed d30 front d44 rear.
RE 4.5" super flex system
RE front and rear track bars- RE1600 front, RE1620 rear with RE1602 CV bracket
teraflex sye kit with tw shaft


I put the lift on about a month ago and was running 30" tires. had very bad dw if i hit a bump over ~45mph, aligned and no more dw even tho it still felt like it wanted to at times. put 35" tires balanced on american racing outlaw 2 rims about 3 weeks ago. now i get dw if i even just drive over 40 without hitting a bump, and its BAD. if i drive it in 4x4 i dont get dw but engaging when going straight and disengaging when taking turns is getting old fast. toe is set FOR 35" TIRES at -1/16" in the front and as far as i know thats really all you can set other than the steering wheel. jeep DOES NOT have a steering stabilizer on it rite now, i wanted to correct the dw before i put it on and masked anything that was going on. i replaced all the ball joints and am doing axle u-joints this weekend. i do not have a drop pitman arm on it and dont know if i need one or not. if i grab the roll bar with the jeep parked and shake it it makes the steering wheel turn, i have no idea if all jeeps do that but it is something that i noticed. all the bolts are torqued correctly, including the axle end of the track bar. steering is stock. i have no idea what else i can do to this thing to make it stop. any suggestions are appreciated. i will put pics up tomorrow when its light, maybe someone can help if they can see the thing.

this will be a dd/weekend trail rider for me when its done but its very hard to drive it when i cant keep it from shaking violently.

jpdocdave 09-04-2009 09:47 PM

do you have a different set of tires to try, you gotta look at what changed, and you said it came back w/ the 35's.

when you got your alignment do you have a print out, what is the caster in the front, most common dw problems are caster, and trac bar.

catITguy 09-04-2009 09:50 PM

I feel your pain. Unfortunately it sounds like you have already tried everything that comes to my mind. Im in the same boat.....every time I think I have it beat, it comes back in a month or two. Replacing the stabilizer helps it for a while, but then I shoot through it and its back....I have been about ready to sell my jeep on a few occasions as it is extremely frustrating, especially when you take it to a dealer and they either (a) wont touch it because its not stock or (b) recommend that you replace the stabilizer.

sonofabeach 09-04-2009 09:58 PM

how about replacing the track bar rather than torqueing it? Maybe it's bent?
I had the death wabble bad and the dealership replaced the stabilizer, shocks and finally the track bar which turned out to be the problem.
I know there are a number of things that cause it but that's what is was with mine.

BARKDOG67 09-04-2009 10:37 PM

I would brake out a tape measure and make sure your axle is centered in the front. I had major death wobble problems for months I have an adjustable track bar on the front of my jeep and it was not centered perfect enough. I centered my axle good and reset the toe and she drives better than she has in a long time 1000 miles and no death wobble at all.

PT4WDL 09-05-2009 07:22 AM

What about mut in the rims? I I looked at mine and could not for the life of me figure out the situation. Cleaned the mudd outfrom my rims and was golden.

rabunjeeper 09-05-2009 08:37 AM

If your gonna set it for the 35s then i would set it at 1/8th. Then your steering will be just like youd set it with stock ones at 1/16th. 35s @1/16th is a different toe setting than 30s @1/16th. If you put 30s on and set @1/16th then bolt on 35s and measure it again its not 1/16th any more, its like 1/8th or 3/16th now. So what im gettn at is if your setting them for 35s it needs 2 be more than 1/16th.

4Jeepn 09-05-2009 08:40 AM

I ran the same lift on my TJ. Few other things to check:

1. what kind/make of tires are the 35's you put on?
2. How are your tie rod ends? as well as othe steering linkage?
3. If you put the 30s back on would you still have the dw?
4. as stated is the axle centered?

cheap_jeep 09-05-2009 09:40 AM

just throwing another option in here.
What type of balancing did they do on the tires? if there is only weights one side, it could be they didn't do a dynamic balance( road force).
Had this with my old truck, beat my head against the wall for months before I had them road forced, and walla problem gone.

Sb5551 09-05-2009 09:59 AM

Check your hub bearings also. That is what was causing mine for so long.

BIMBY 09-05-2009 11:15 AM

Had the same problem, read everything I could, kept going out to the garage at all hours of the night to try different things. Put new front track bar on, new shocks and stabilizer(s). New tires,............rotated tires. re-tightened everything.Reamed out track bar inner bushing and put oversized bolt in to remove all of the slop............THEN......... I went back to Costco where I bought the 31 x 10.50 BFG A/T's and said re-balance them. The tech was like you only have 600 miles on them. I said re-do them anyway. Mind you I put on American Racing Outlaws on also.My tire did not have the weights on the outside.This time I said do it RIGHT I dont care how it looks. The difference in the weights it took to balance them correctly was by OUNCES some took 3 some took 4oz. So the moral of my D.W. horror was improper wheel balance.Jeep rides like it is on glass. There are some really bastards on this forum. Listen to some of the tips.

350chevrolet 09-05-2009 01:31 PM

just took a look at it and for some reason the front sway bar is moved at least an inch to the drivers side... dont know how that happened but looks like i can start with that and then see if the axle is centered. any good way to check the hub bearings? whats the best way to check axle center? also looks like the pinion angle is a few degrees to low so i will correct that. i will put pics up in a few, left my camera at work so im off to go get it.

350chevrolet 09-05-2009 02:23 PM

heres the pics

the heep

front end

drivers side- note the distance between the frame and sway bar end link

passengers side- note the distance between the frame and sway bar end link

another shot of the front

rabunjeeper 09-06-2009 12:21 AM

If you grab your sway bar you can give it shove towards the pass side and will go back to where its suppose to be. I have the same home made disconnects on the sway bar and after I go wheeln, I leave it disco'd for the drive back home and the only difference in driving is you dont want to give the steering wheel a hard snatch at 55mph or things could get ugly. The sway bar wont effect your wobble.

rabunjeeper 09-06-2009 12:26 AM

Also an incorrect pinion angle throws the caster and camber angles off so id definately get that where its suppose to be, and i will bet thats where your problem is. Do you have a drop pitman arm on there? If not get one and it will fix your bump steer and keep the steering wheel from moving when the body rocks side to side.

rrich 09-06-2009 03:18 AM

It may not be "it" - but the 15 or so Jeeps that have been brought to me that were supposedly "incurable" had the same DW cause. They'd all been balanced, loose parts replaced etc - but still had DW.

When driving, especially at speed, there's an awful lot of pressure on the front end parts. Far more pressure than sitting still.

You have to do this on the floor - not on a hoist, not with the wheels off the ground. Wheels flat on the ground - preferably on a "grippy" surface, like asphalt, not smooth cement.

Go under it - have a buddy wiggle the steering wheel back and forth. I know you already have a dozen times - this time close your eyes! Put your fingers on the TRE's and the track bar ends. Put your fingers so they are on BOTH sides of the joint itself. You can FEEL looseness that you cannot see.

If it's been like those I've done, the source is the trackbar BOLT HOLES on the axle end. Torquing Gorilla tight may help occasionally, but if the hole is elongated or warbled out it'll still move. It just won't do it standing still. You can loosen the trackbar bolt slightly and do the feel test, but it's best just to do the following:

Remove the bolt, swing the trackbar down out of the way. Put the bolt back in the hole - IT MUST FIT IN TIGHT - ALMOST A FORCE FIT!
The bolt wears a slight notch around it, plus the holes - front and back, get worn. The result is the trackbar is allowed to move back and forth. Even if it's torqued tight, it will still move from the pressure at speed!
Feeling it while stopped you won't notice it move.

It doesn't take much movement to cause all hell to break loose.

That bolt has a shoulder that goes through the hole - a standard bolt will NOT work - the shoulder isn't long enough, or the threads contact the hole. GET A NEW BOLT FROM THE DEALER! $8?

Look very closely at the holes the new bolt goes through. They are elongated - no longer round. If you drill it out you won't be able to find a bolt with the shoulder the right length.
Ya gotta fix the holes.

Some say use a washer - but a washer will be too loose and will be too thin, wearing fast.

Use a 3/16 hunk of steel, cut it to the shape of the bracket in front.
Drill an exact sized metric hole in the piece.
Use the old bolt to hold it in position while you weld it on the bracket.

Do a search on the net - somewhere I saw pictures of how to do it.

After it cools, use a torch to heat the new piece right around the new hole - heat to cherry red but do not melt it. Spray a garden hose with cold water (you want a big stream, not a garden sprayer) directly on the cherry red hole and surrounding area. That will harden the steel around the hole so it doesn't wear so fast (poor man's heat treating.)

After it's done you may have to grind a little off the front to clear the tie rod. Just don't overheat it with the grinder and remove the heat treatment. Tip: When the metal you are grinding turns blue or black you are overheating it. Let it cool.

Install with the new bolt, torque it tight, enjoy.

I just bought a Cherokee with that problem (supposedly "incurable,") because of it I got it super cheap.

PT4WDL 09-06-2009 08:13 AM

Where is that wipe the sweat off your forehead symbol. That guy had alot to say. Hang on, while I put the last piston back in...... Ok I am good.

rabunjeeper 09-06-2009 08:59 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Here's some pics of mine to compare yours to. Try a drop pitman arm and install a new stabilizer.

rrich 09-06-2009 03:41 PM

pt4 - Are you saying taking off 1 bolt to find out if that's the problem is too much work? If the problem isn't found and repaired, then what will stop the DW? New STP stickers?

Rabun - Replacing the stabilizer is about like putting a paper towel over the mess when the cat sh-- on your pillow. It simply masked the problem. If that works for you ---.

The picture of yours - the drag link and trackbar should be as parallel as possible. That's not the rods/bars themselves, but a line drawn between the end points of both bars. The farther away from parallel the more bumpsteer. Easy way to tell - Print a picture of it, draw lines on it from point to point.

But then, some people like bumpsteer and DW.

rabunjeeper 09-06-2009 07:50 PM

All im sayin is my set up has never given any problems. I can do 70mph and text with one hand change gears with the other and then hit a pothole and not even have to touch the wheel. Never any wobble, shake, or pulling either direction. Im bettin on the fact that because he doesnt have a drop pitman arn, if there is a little slop on his steering linkage it makes it twice as bad. If the tie rod isnt as straight as possible between the two steering knuckles, then the drag link will move up and down, letting the front tires go inwards toward each other.

PT4WDL 09-07-2009 05:02 AM

I have had my boughts with the DW. I won... I have had my time under the jeep, trust me. I went a hell of alot further than one bolt and I don't like stickers. The only problem I had with it was mud stuck in my beadlocks and that took quite a while to figure out. After going threw all the componants of the front end. The problem with DW is that everybodies jeep is differant. People have lifted, modified, twisted, and done all kinds of crazy sh!t with there jeeps.
rich with two r's, your problem might not be my problem, and getting sh!tty with people is not going to solve anyones problem. Pull your own hair out not mine.

jerryj 09-07-2009 11:33 AM

Cut him some slack sounds like he started the day with cat sh.t on his pillow and thats enough to piss any one off, :eek:

Schmo 09-07-2009 11:51 AM

I'd definitely take a look at the track bar and steering if you've already gone thru and balanced the tires and checked for loose parts, etc. A buddy of mine was having DW and it was cured by replacing the tie rod . . . apparenlty the ends were bad, but it seems like the TB is also a common culprit. As mentioned, a stabilizer will only mask the issue, and from what I've heard, you should only have a drop pitman if you have a drop TB bracket...doesn't look like you do.

rrich 09-07-2009 11:57 AM

"""""I can do 70mph and text with one hand change gears with the other """""
I guess that shows something, doesn't it?

One would assume getting mud off the wheels would be one of the FIRST steps. You had the wheels balanced with the mud on them? Doesn't that show something too?

Putting one's finger on the bolt and joint while someone wiggles the steering wheel? Too much work? Costs too much?

Sometimes torquing it tighter helps temporarily. But in short order it moves again.

350 -- When you had it apart - did you actually check the fitment of the bolt in the axle end hole? 1/8" slop or elongation can cause all kinds of trouble.

And like I said, it may not be the problem, but it's EASY to check and costs nothing.

350chevrolet 09-07-2009 02:21 PM

wow. just went out and removed track bar axle bolt and all i can say is how did i not see that when i put the lift on?? that thing has at least an 1/8" of play in it. guess im heading out to cut and weld some steel.
might not be the only thing but its a darn good start and something i probably wouldnt have even thought about if rrich hadn't mentioned it.

rrich 09-07-2009 03:49 PM

It sure would be nice if someone was to make a shoulder washer that would fit in the hole really snug - and be thicker than the flimsy 1/8" bracket.

The holes could be drilled out - both holes on the bracket, then the shoulder washers and a new bolt - would be fitted in the drilled hole. All snug!
Torque it down tight with Locktite.
The trackbar ends usually have a hardened sleeve, no need to drill it - haven't seen one wear - - yet. Just check the rubber to make sure it's still good.

It would take a little machine work to make the hardened washers - but not much.

Then he could sell a "repair kit" - 2 washers, a new bolt, and the right sized drill.

There - someone can make some money.

It still would be much cheaper than new tires, new rod ends, new this and that's - and the cost of alignments.

Sure, it may not always be the cure - but sometimes. It's at least worth a look.

Like I said out of the 15 or so - Wranglers, Cherokees etc - all already had many of the other things done to it - tires, balancing etc, renewing that bolt and the hole did the trick. 100% of the time!

But I'm sure that won't be it 100% of the time. But it's a cheap good start - to look!

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