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Old 05-29-2018, 12:26 AM
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Steering stabilizer really optional?

My steering stabilizer is shot and I'm running without it. I've read it's not necessary if everything else is all good.

That being said, if I hit a decent bump going like 45-50 mph, I get almost like a death wobble until I slow down to like 25 mph. Is the steering stabilizer REALLY actually necessary? Or do I have some other problem? I've checked track bar holes and bolts and torque and found no issues.

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Old 05-29-2018, 03:07 AM   #2
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Depending on how "shot" the old one is, put it back on and see if it goes away.

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Old 05-29-2018, 07:28 AM
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Depending on how "shot" the old one is, put it back on and see if it goes away.
Definitely too shot, shaft was quite bent. My worry is that if it does go away it's just hiding a problem.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:54 AM   #4
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Definitely too shot, shaft was quite bent. My worry is that if it does go away it's just hiding a problem.
I haven't run a stabilizer on my JK for a year and I am a believer that if everything is in great shape you don't need one BUT... If I was running stock steering components I would definitely run one, even with stock tires. My front end is pretty beefy from high steer knuckles, all YETI steering components / trackbar and Dynatrac ball joints. A lot more rigid than a front end supported by factory components. If you watch any videos of what happens during death wobble there is a lot of flex in stock parts that allows that oscillation to really get going. The stabilizer controls that from becoming DW. But I still think something needs to be a little worn to get it started.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:12 AM
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I haven't run a stabilizer on my JK for a year and I am a believer that if everything is in great shape you don't need one BUT... If I was running stock steering components I would definitely run one, even with stock tires. My front end is pretty beefy from high steer knuckles, all YETI steering components / trackbar and Dynatrac ball joints. A lot more rigid than a front end supported by factory components. If you watch any videos of what happens during death wobble there is a lot of flex in stock parts that allows that oscillation to really get going. The stabilizer controls that from becoming DW. But I still think something needs to be a little worn to get it started.
I like your thought process. So if you were me, running stock components except for the track bar, would you just replace said steering stabilizer rather than try to chase down the source for weeks?
Edit: At least until you could afford to beef up the other stuff? Right now I have a budget of maybe 800 (but preferable less).
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by chitown35 View Post
My steering stabilizer is shot and I'm running without it. I've read it's not necessary if everything else is all good.

That being said, if I hit a decent bump going like 45-50 mph, I get almost like a death wobble until I slow down to like 25 mph. Is the steering stabilizer REALLY actually necessary? Or do I have some other problem? I've checked track bar holes and bolts and torque and found no issues.
Mine is brand new with stock steering components. I tried it without the stabilizer and it did the same thing as yours. So yes, until you do some other steering upgrades, you need it.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:26 AM
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Mine is brand new with stock steering components. I tried it without the stabilizer and it did the same thing as yours. So yes, until you do some other steering upgrades, you need it.
Wow thanks, that is like the perfect answer. What made you do that?
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:31 AM   #8
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Wow thanks, that is like the perfect answer. What made you do that?
I was adding the Teraflex stabilizer relocation bracket. When I took the stock stuff off I went out and tried it. The first big bump I hit at speed sent it into a wobble.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:33 AM
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Well, thanks for trying and sharing!
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:01 AM   #10
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I like your thought process. So if you were me, running stock components except for the track bar, would you just replace said steering stabilizer rather than try to chase down the source for weeks?
Edit: At least until you could afford to beef up the other stuff? Right now I have a budget of maybe 800 (but preferable less).
I would replace the stabilizer ASAP and just give the front end a good once over. If you don't find anything worn then I wouldn't be too worried about it yet. If something is starting to wear out it will make itself known shortly.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:25 AM   #11
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Definitely too shot, shaft was quite bent. My worry is that if it does go away it's just hiding a problem.
I would be worrying about what happened to bend the shaft in the first place. Did you bang it on some rocks or something? If so there there may be some collateral damage. Putting on a new one may then mask something. In short, I would take someplace to have an inspection done.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:43 AM   #12
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The stabilizer does serve a purpose actually. It protects the steering box from jolting impacts, like that pot hole you missed until it was too late. It does NOT cure death wobble or right a wrong front end - it's sole purpose is protecting the box from implosion.

What there is no use for are $500 stabilizers or dual stabilizers. Waste of money.

I don't run one - I have hydroassist.
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Old 05-29-2018, 01:35 PM   #13
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I always figured if it rolled off the assembly line with one on there, it's probably there for a reason
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:06 PM   #14
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would suggest just getting a cheap one, they dont do much, if its doing "alot" then its masking something else. jack it up and get underneath on a creeper and have someone turn the wheel while you look for whats loose or not moving smoothly.

If you wanna take a 3 hour ride south of you, I will help you figure it out in my shop.
I used to live in aurora and have seen your jeep on the road, i wouldnt mind checking out your shock setup.
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:11 PM   #15
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would suggest just getting a cheap one, they dont do much, if its doing "alot" then its masking something else. jack it up and get underneath on a creeper and have someone turn the wheel while you look for whats loose or not moving smoothly.

If you wanna take a 3 hour ride south of you, I will help you figure it out in my shop.
I used to live in aurora and have seen your jeep on the road, i wouldnt mind checking out your shock setup.
Awesome offer to help!
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:16 PM
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would suggest just getting a cheap one, they dont do much, if its doing "alot" then its masking something else. jack it up and get underneath on a creeper and have someone turn the wheel while you look for whats loose or not moving smoothly.

If you wanna take a 3 hour ride south of you, I will help you figure it out in my shop.
I used to live in aurora and have seen your jeep on the road, i wouldnt mind checking out your shock setup.
Yes, awesome offer, thank you. How smooth are the roads down to there lol? Seriously though I'm going to try to check a few more items out tonight and hopefully find something, otherwise I may take you up on that.
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:20 PM   #17
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If you're replacing it, you might want to relocate it above a little more out of harms way. There's a bunch of relocation kits out there.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:05 AM
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Well I finally got some more time to walk through a bunch of the famous planman guide to diagnosing death wobble. A video is worth a million words. I found some definite bad ends on my drag link, and one questionable one on my tie rod. Ball joints, track bar and holes looked good, luckily, since I had already paid for aftermarket stuff.

Anyway the jeep will be sitting in the garage until my new metalcloak steering system (drag link, tie rod, steering stabilizer and relocation brackets) comes in. I got lucky timing with an extended sale.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:09 AM
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I would be worrying about what happened to bend the shaft in the first place. Did you bang it on some rocks or something? If so there there may be some collateral damage. Putting on a new one may then mask something. In short, I would take someplace to have an inspection done.
Yeah, I banged it on a few rocks but I didn't realize the extent of the damage till I took it off and inspected it.
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:21 PM   #20
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Cool if you have any problems pm me i will send you my number, my street jeep has been up on jack stands last couple weeks , been teaching my son how to wrench on it. Im gonna go into the diffs this weekend and replace axle seals and put new pinion gaskets in, he just put on new ball joints and will be doing unit bearings and new brake pads and rotors,,, if you need any factory take off ends, track bars or tie rods we have a pile of them in the pole barn. We have paved roads, we also have some sweet gravel roads that are fun with coil overs. When I moved here the local local guys would find me at the grocery store or caseys and ask how i can go so fast in rutted gravel.... tru tracs and kings. How do those 6 pack shocks hold up, my little brother has a 2015 thats got gears and tires but has not really lifted it yet, hes been asking me about what i think of them for his jk as king coil overs are a bit more once you figure in the mounts. . make sure to check your unit bearings, i cant seem to get a set to last more than one summer , but i am hard on pretty much all steering components
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:10 AM
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Cool if you have any problems pm me i will send you my number, my street jeep has been up on jack stands last couple weeks , been teaching my son how to wrench on it. Im gonna go into the diffs this weekend and replace axle seals and put new pinion gaskets in, he just put on new ball joints and will be doing unit bearings and new brake pads and rotors,,, if you need any factory take off ends, track bars or tie rods we have a pile of them in the pole barn. We have paved roads, we also have some sweet gravel roads that are fun with coil overs. When I moved here the local local guys would find me at the grocery store or caseys and ask how i can go so fast in rutted gravel.... tru tracs and kings. How do those 6 pack shocks hold up, my little brother has a 2015 thats got gears and tires but has not really lifted it yet, hes been asking me about what i think of them for his jk as king coil overs are a bit more once you figure in the mounts. . make sure to check your unit bearings, i cant seem to get a set to last more than one summer , but i am hard on pretty much all steering components
I think my unit bearings seemed ok, but thanks for the heads up, I'll double check them. I'll PM you if I run into anything. Looks like my new drag link won't be here for a couple weeks.

As for the 6pak shocks, they've held up pretty well. The nitrogen charging every 6 months is easy, as long as you have the equipment. All the mounting/costs, and tuning of the coilovers is exactly why I didn't go that way, and I'm very happy to still get to have the ~14" of travel with the 6paks. This is me trying to use it all back in Arizona in March (I think I still had another inch to go):



The catch is that it's a lot of uptravel so you gotta be willing to trim stuff and/or be running no bigger than 37" tires for it to be worthwhile. The whole point of them is to keep a low cog while maintaining uptravel.

I haven't really done any fast stuff so I can't say how that goes, but I mean it's essentially 4 remote reservoir shocks in 1, so I'd expect it to do well. Probably amazing if you add some king bumpstops or something.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:07 AM
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Well in the end, it wasn't just the drag link and a tie rod end that was bad, but also a unit bearing on the driver's side. After I replaced that, completely fixed. I still need to take it for a test drive without the steering stabilizer to absolutely confirm, but I can already pretty much tell it's good now. Oddly the steering feels a bit tighter too since the unit bearing was replaced.

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