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HeaveToo 05-02-2010 01:59 PM

Violent Shake in my 05 Jeep randomly
I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler with a straight 6 in it. I have noticed that it has a violent shake in it sometimes. I think that it may depend on the road and the roads in my area are rough due to the harsh winter.

WHen I did my VA state inspection I had my front rotators replaced but no other problems were found with it. I have about 68K on it and my tires are also in descent shape.

I had thought that the rotators were the problem because most of the time the violent shake occurred was when I braked. Now I don't get the shake when I break but I will get it at random times going down the road. It did this twice in the same place the other day (same place in the road when I went by it). When it happened the second time the violent shake occurred I had to slow down to 20 mph from 55 mph to get the shake to stop and it was violent to the point where I could barely control it.

Anyone have any ideas on what this could be? Anyone have any suggestions to fix this?

JDsDream 05-02-2010 03:21 PM

"55 mph"

Is that the speed range 50-60 consistant with the shaking? If so, sounds like DW (Death Wobble). It is caused by one tire hitting an uneven surface causing it to bounce. The only way to stop the shaking is to slow it down and let it balance out. There are a number of reasons for it and there is a sticky on it. Go to the forum home page and you will see the sticky there.

HeaveToo 05-02-2010 03:29 PM

Whew!!!!! Thanks for the information. I feel a lot better. This Jeep is my first wranger and it has been through the riggors already! One week after I got it I hit a deer (minor damage thank God), I have done an O2 sensor, new front rotators, and a few other things. I love it though and it proved itself a strong one during the bad winter that we had!

JDsDream 05-02-2010 03:37 PM

I only have one piece of advice when trying to figure out what is causing it :
If you can't visually find the problem, start with the cheapest ideas first. Mine turned out to be bad tires but it took trial and error to figure that out.

HeaveToo 05-02-2010 04:57 PM

I haven't been able to find the sticky....where is it?

KBR97 05-02-2010 05:35 PM

could be a number of things...bad tire..bad alignment, ball joint, loose or bent track bar, bent tie rod or worn out tie rod ends.
Like JDsDream said its trial and error..start with the easier cheaper fixes until you have fixed the problem.

heres the sticky link...


Yucca-Man: Death Wobble

Jerry Bransford 05-02-2010 06:47 PM

Your Jeep is definitely suffering from "Death Wobble"... thoroughly (!) read that sticky KBR97 provided, it'll let you know what's going on and most likely, how to fix it.

Bottom line, DW is most commonly caused by a combination of two or more problems and the two most common reasons are imperfectly balanced tires coupled with a loose track bar. And it doesn't matter if the tires were recently balanced... the tire store may not have gotten them perfectly balanced or perhaps the wheel could have thrown a weight. The track bar will not feel loose if you try to test for looseness by hand, even if it is loose enough to cause DW.

MyWrangler 05-02-2010 08:14 PM

I have the same problem. I have a 2004 Jeep Wrangler and I notice at high 4th gear (around 45 mph) that I get this "death wobble." I have new All-terrain Toyos and when i start getting the shakes, I slow down and the problem works itself out.

Jerry Bransford 05-02-2010 08:32 PM


Originally Posted by MyWrangler (Post 614679)
I have the same problem. I have a 2004 Jeep Wrangler and I notice at high 4th gear (around 45 mph) that I get this "death wobble." I have new All-terrain Toyos and when i start getting the shakes, I slow down and the problem works itself out.

From how you're describing it, it really sounds more like a shimmy than true Death Wobble. DW is unbelievably violent, so much so that you have to come to a stop to stop it. It is SO VIOLENT that other cars will get out of your way as it looks like your Jeep is about to flip over or go out of control. Simply slowing down won't normally stop DW, you have to pretty much come to a stop. After experiencing true DW, you often have to change your shorts afterwards. :eek:

lancetkenyon 05-03-2010 08:14 AM

What is a "front rotator"? Do you mean brake "rotor"? As in disc? That should have nothing to do with DW.

mrcarcrazy 05-03-2010 08:52 AM

90 Attachment(s)
since you've gotten the help, I'm going to point out a few things in your post that seem worth noting, as an educational point. (I promise I'm not being sarcastic).

Breaking means something is being broken. (like a bone)

Braking means slowing down (ie applying the brakes in a car)

Brakes come in two variants - Disc brakes, and Drum brakes.
Disc brakes have a ROTOR, and a caliper.

sevenservices 05-03-2010 09:19 AM

as for the simple things first, make sure there is not mud/dirt/gravel build up on the inside of your rims. Its a hard spot to clean, car washes won't hit back inside there and even a couple ounces can throw your tires out of balance.

otton64 05-03-2010 10:59 AM

Hi, i had the same exact problem when i bought my wrangler 2 years ago. I replaced the Stabilizer (Steering Damper) with a better one and my problem is solved. You can even do it's easy. good luck

texasredneck 05-03-2010 12:32 PM

tire problems?
i've got an 05 also and mine was doing the same thing exactly it sounds like. when i went and got new tires due to the old ones being wore out, i relized that one of my tires had a hump in it that i couldn't see, once i did that it stopped.

HeaveToo 05-03-2010 06:25 PM

It is definitely caused by hitting an uneven place in the road. I got it once today and saw the place in the road and when I hit it...BINGO!

I looked at the front end of my Jeep and I don't really know what I am looking for at this point. I hate going to dealerships but I wonder if that isn't the best thing to do since they may have experience with this. Show me something on a boat and I can probably fix it, show me something on a motor vehicle and I am trying to learn a new language.

As far as my grammar.....I had just gotten home after sailing my boat over 20 miles in 20-25 knot winds single handed so I was a bit tired and I didn't bother to read or edit the post.

HeaveToo 05-03-2010 06:28 PM

How concerned should I be about this? I have had this happen frequently until I had the work done at my Virginia State Inspection and now it is kind of random.

The DW that I experience shakes but stops when I get the Jeep to around 40 mph. I have tired of spending money on my vehicles right now as I have put 1500 into my F350 Diesel in the last few months and over $400 into my Jeep. It kind of sucks when you are trying to save money!

Joannavr 05-03-2010 06:39 PM

I fixed the exact same problem by replacing the tires, despite being told by multiple mechanics that they were fine.

Jerry Bransford 05-03-2010 07:29 PM


Originally Posted by otton64 (Post 615017)
Hi, i had the same exact problem when i bought my wrangler 2 years ago. I replaced the Stabilizer (Steering Damper) with a better one and my problem is solved. You can even do it's easy. good luck

All that replacing the stabilizer did was mask/suppress the symptoms of DW. The underlying root cause of your DW is still there. Replacing a steering stabilizer to cure DW is like placing a band-aid over a skin cancer... you don't notice it any more but it is still there and waiting to show up again.

HeaveToo 05-04-2010 05:27 AM

The really odd thing is that on my 30 mile ride into work today I didn't experience the DW at all even though I drove through some really rough patches of road that were uneven at the correct speeds to get it. I went under the jeep last night and looked around to see if anything was loose or looked bent. I shook a few things and all seemed well.

This is really an odd problem because it is almost like it appears randomly.

Jerry Bransford 05-04-2010 09:40 AM


Originally Posted by HeaveToo (Post 615758)
I shook a few things and all seemed well.

When something like the track bar is loose enough to allow DW to develop, you can be a muscle-bound gorilla and still not be able to move it by hand enough to notice that it is loose enough to cause DW. :)

HeaveToo 05-04-2010 12:27 PM

Why is this happening once in a while, if that much, and there seems to be no pattern to it? It is a strange thing. I have to admit that it has gotten a lot better since I replaced the front rotors on my Jeep. It is happening less frequently now and it seems to randomly happen with less of a frequency now. Only one time has it been extremely violent.

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