Scary situation last night - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Tech Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Like Tree13Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 09-12-2019, 12:06 PM
Thread Starter
  #1
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Scary situation last night

Wanted to share this one.. and also could use a little advice on how to proceed.

Been working to manage a death wobble situation for the last few months since my Jeep was stolen/recovered. I've replaced (myself) Ball Joints, wheel bearing assy's, all tie rod ends, OEM track bar, upper and lower front control arms, engine mount, trans mount, and a new cigarrette lighter for balance.

I'm no professional and knowing that, I decided to take the jeep in to 4 Wheel parts for a final axle/wheel allignment, especially on the control arms. I asked them to test drive up to 70mph once done because there is a wobble and I need to know where it's coming from. They called me yesterday for pick up, said everything was good to go except my steering stabelizer mount was incorrect size and was removed for safety, it was rubbing against the track bar after alignment. I trusted them, paid the invoice, and hit the freeway on the way home. Was running good up to 70mph, then eased on the brake a smidge to slow down and went full on Death Wobble at approx. 65mph in full traffic. Almost caused a huge accident while cutting off about 5 different cars. had zero control and could swear my axle left the ground a couple times. Pulled over on the side of the freeway and called the shop to let them know what happened. Guy said that the steering stabelizer was to blame. I dont like that answer.

I've since reach out to his shop via email to keep a written correspondence moving forward. I seriously almost died yesterday not 10 minutes after leaving their shop. Exact words were, she's all good. Even got a little fist bump.

I'm at a loss for what's causing the wobble, and extremely pissed at myself for even trusting someone else to work on the jeep now. I'm planning to demand a free inspection/diagnosis of the wobble. That seems fair especially since having the wobble, I may have damaged all or some of the new parts that werent cheap.

Any thoughts on how this is being handled? What else I could be missing up front that's causing the wobble.

appreciate the support guys.

cheers.

Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 12:35 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
jjandascog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 124
Are you saying that the shop removed the steering stabilizer and then gave you the vehicle? If so there lawyers will cringe if they hear about that.

There are lots and lots of arguments that about the stabilizer on why it is there and some say it is not needed, only masked the problem...etc while others state it needs to be there, but it seems in you case you need it. Have you reinstalled the stabilizer and taken it for a spin up to speed?

I would recheck with a dry steering test, check bolting, tire pressure etc on the front end, if it is all good then you have a combination in the front end that apparently can setup and continue to supply energy to a resonance frequency that NEEDS the stabilizer to dampen that energy.

__________________
04 TJ, 4.0 AT, 3.5" suspension lift, 1.25 BL, 33 x 12.5 BFG ATs on black Procomp stealies, winch thingy, front seats, rear seat, Tuffy center console, jack across the hood, A-pillar lights, extra LED fogs on bumper, thumping sub, SYE, doors, rear tail gate, oh and it is RED....
jjandascog is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 12:46 PM   #3
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leelan View Post
Wanted to share this one.. and also could use a little advice on how to proceed.

Been working to manage a death wobble situation for the last few months since my Jeep was stolen/recovered. I've replaced (myself) Ball Joints, wheel bearing assy's, all tie rod ends, OEM track bar, upper and lower front control arms, engine mount, trans mount, and a new cigarrette lighter for balance.

I'm no professional and knowing that, I decided to take the jeep in to 4 Wheel parts for a final axle/wheel allignment, especially on the control arms. I asked them to test drive up to 70mph once done because there is a wobble and I need to know where it's coming from. They called me yesterday for pick up, said everything was good to go except my steering stabelizer mount was incorrect size and was removed for safety, it was rubbing against the track bar after alignment. I trusted them, paid the invoice, and hit the freeway on the way home. Was running good up to 70mph, then eased on the brake a smidge to slow down and went full on Death Wobble at approx. 65mph in full traffic. Almost caused a huge accident while cutting off about 5 different cars. had zero control and could swear my axle left the ground a couple times. Pulled over on the side of the freeway and called the shop to let them know what happened. Guy said that the steering stabelizer was to blame. I dont like that answer.

I've since reach out to his shop via email to keep a written correspondence moving forward. I seriously almost died yesterday not 10 minutes after leaving their shop. Exact words were, she's all good. Even got a little fist bump.

I'm at a loss for what's causing the wobble, and extremely pissed at myself for even trusting someone else to work on the jeep now. I'm planning to demand a free inspection/diagnosis of the wobble. That seems fair especially since having the wobble, I may have damaged all or some of the new parts that werent cheap.

Any thoughts on how this is being handled? What else I could be missing up front that's causing the wobble.

appreciate the support guys.

cheers.
Wobble could be many other things or a multitude of little things.

Get tires road force balanced to start. at very least swap them front to rear.

Ive fought with a particular jeep that had a wobble and last thing we checked was the tires and one of them ended up with a high road force and when removed found a bubble on the interior. Everything on this jeep was newly installed suspension and steering wise by the customer. We retorqued everything. alignment was perfect. He wasnt happy when we told him the used tires he put on that looked new were the problem.

Is the jeep lifted at all? did you also do UCA bushings?
XJ4PLAY is offline   Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-12-2019, 12:51 PM
Thread Starter
  #4
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ4PLAY View Post
Wobble could be many other things or a multitude of little things.

Get tires road force balanced to start. at very least swap them front to rear.

Ive fought with a particular jeep that had a wobble and last thing we checked was the tires and one of them ended up with a high road force and when removed found a bubble on the interior. Everything on this jeep was newly installed suspension and steering wise by the customer. We retorqued everything. alignment was perfect. He wasnt happy when we told him the used tires he put on that looked new were the problem.

Is the jeep lifted at all? did you also do UCA bushings?
Tires were balanced but I will have them rechecked this weekend and rotated front to rear just to eliminate that possibility. And I did replace both upper control arm bushings with standard rubber ones from Autozone.

thank you for chiming in.
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 01:07 PM
Thread Starter
  #5
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leelan View Post
Tires were balanced but I will have them rechecked this weekend and rotated front to rear just to eliminate that possibility. And I did replace both upper control arm bushings with standard rubber ones from Autozone.

thank you for chiming in.
Note: I have not had the tires Road Force Balanced but am calling around now to find a shop who can do that.
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 01:35 PM   #6
Jeeper
 
Gottagofast's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 7,442
Death wobble comes from the tires and os allowed to get worse by worn front end parts...

Your tires 99.5% are causing it
__________________
I come in peace.... I mean you no harm
Currently in the stable: .....97 tj 2.5 5 speed stock... 97 tj 4.0 5 speed stock....04 tj 4.0 auto 4" and 33's... 98 tj roller for future build... 94 yj sahara 4.5" RE and 33's... 92 yj sbc 3/4 ton axles and 38's... Cj5,7,yj,xj,ex mud dragster project

TJ dash speakers that actually rock! Kicker sub and amp in center console
Gottagofast is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 01:41 PM   #7
Jeeper
 
pvansch1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Canton
Posts: 1,370
You got worn something in the front end and I would say a warped rotor or two in the brakes if the wobble started from applying the brakes.
__________________
2002 Wrangler X
pvansch1 is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 02:07 PM   #8
Commercial Member

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
Shark_13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,743
How old are the tires?


Discount tire always seems to do the best job on the balancing. Evrytime I take my work truck in to the dealership for winter tire swap, it leaves with a tire balance vibration.


I take it to Discount tire, ad they are always perfect after.
__________________
One-of-a-kind wood shift knobs for sale

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f37/han...s-1175625.html
Shark_13 is online now   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 02:47 PM   #9
DWT
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 17
Steering stabilizers aren't optional on a Jeep. TJs are not engineered for speed. Even a small amount of wear or play in the front end can set you up for a death wobble. Throw in over sized tires with a ton of angular momentum and soft sidewalls and it's a disaster waiting to happen. I see stabilizers as safety equipment.
jjandascog likes this.
DWT is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 04:03 PM
Thread Starter
  #10
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWT View Post
Steering stabilizers aren't optional on a Jeep. TJs are not engineered for speed. Even a small amount of wear or play in the front end can set you up for a death wobble. Throw in over sized tires with a ton of angular momentum and soft sidewalls and it's a disaster waiting to happen. I see stabilizers as safety equipment.
I like your take on this one.. it's always been a topic of discussion regarding the absolute need for a stabilizer and I had the impression that they were optional; more of a band-aid for wobbly front ends but not an actual cause of DW. Still, it is a safety part for sure and I will certainly be putting mine back on asap. Bracket is jacked and it's difficult to find one right now. Hunting it down.

That being said, I'm taking all advise from this thread.. Road balancing the tires tomorrow, stabilizer going back on, going to replace both rotors even though they're only a year old but cheap enough to rule out by throwing parts at it. I rarely drive my TJ over 65mph but do feel that with all the good beefy parts on there, I should be able to expect reasonable safety driving at that speed. I'm planning to drive from Cali back home to Michigan before Thanksgiving and really need to figure this thing out before then. Already crashing my budget but I'll manage.

Thanks again everyone for the input, keep you all posted as we go.

Oh I forgot a couple questions from above.. The jeep is lifted two inches, springs, with Core 4x4 Control arms, RE Shocks. Tires are 4 years old with about half tread. BFG All terrains 33's on 15" rims.
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 04:25 PM
Thread Starter
  #11
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Click image for larger version

Name:	JEEP.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	102.7 KB
ID:	4174677
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 04:36 PM   #12
Jeeper
 
jjandascog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 124
Quote:
Steering stabilizers aren't optional on a Jeep.
Agree, if they were optional, the accountants at Jeep would have been able to override the Engineers and save a few bucks cost per Wrangler over the past years.

"Follow the Money"
__________________
04 TJ, 4.0 AT, 3.5" suspension lift, 1.25 BL, 33 x 12.5 BFG ATs on black Procomp stealies, winch thingy, front seats, rear seat, Tuffy center console, jack across the hood, A-pillar lights, extra LED fogs on bumper, thumping sub, SYE, doors, rear tail gate, oh and it is RED....
jjandascog is offline   Quote
Old 09-13-2019, 09:55 AM   #13
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 476
I would lean toward your tires being the issue. If everything you have changed in the front end was done correctly. I have chased and fixed many Death Wobble issues on Ram Pickups and worn BFG AT tires was a huge problem for this suspension design. It is a popular tire and was on 6 of the 10 trucks we fixed. For some reason when owners did not rotate the tires on a regular basis and they cupped or chopped the tread it cause issues at speed. Now this in addition to worn components was a disaster waiting to happen. I run BFG AT's on my daily driver LJ and keep them rotated with no issues.....knock on wood.
Leelan likes this.
338Lapua is offline   Quote
Old 09-13-2019, 10:24 AM
Thread Starter
  #14
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by 338Lapua View Post
I would lean toward your tires being the issue. If everything you have changed in the front end was done correctly. I have chased and fixed many Death Wobble issues on Ram Pickups and worn BFG AT tires was a huge problem for this suspension design. It is a popular tire and was on 6 of the 10 trucks we fixed. For some reason when owners did not rotate the tires on a regular basis and they cupped or chopped the tread it cause issues at speed. Now this in addition to worn components was a disaster waiting to happen. I run BFG AT's on my daily driver LJ and keep them rotated with no issues.....knock on wood.
Right on.. yea I just dropped off at the tire shop.. he's gonna road force the first two and see how bad they are before doing the other two.. 35 bucks a tire and they're dated at 2012 soooo.. might be forking out for new tires before the weekend is over. They're also going to run their own inspection on all the front end parts, even though 4 Wheel parts said everything was good. They lost my trust the other day, I'd like the 2nd opinion.

should hear back in a few hours.. keep you all posted.

happy friday!
OlYellerTJ likes this.
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-13-2019, 12:46 PM
Thread Starter
  #15
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
UPDATE:

Tire guy just called me up, get this.. There's a significant amount of, hahah. SAND in the [email protected]! umm.. no clue why/how/when.. how???
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-13-2019, 01:27 PM   #16
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 38
I have seen tire shops put sand in tires down in FL to help balance big mud tires for highway speeds. I bought a 78 Bronco with 44 swampers on it. When we replaced them they had sand in them. Old man at the tire shop said it helped with balancing issues. Turned out 3 if the 4 rims were bent. Replaced tires and rims no issues after that. Back then we ran 44’s on 15” rims so balancing was a must.
Leelan likes this.
Spankie31 is offline   Quote
Old 09-13-2019, 04:18 PM
Thread Starter
  #17
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
UPDATE:

picked up from the tire shop.. they cleaned, mounted, road force balanced all four tires then brotated front to rear just for good measure. balancing went well they said. Still gotta track down a new bracket to mount my stabilizer back on then I'll work my way up to speed on a test drive again. keep ya posted.
jjandascog likes this.
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-13-2019, 08:17 PM   #18
Jeeper
 
Lost in the woods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 232
Sweet! But in the long run, a good rock crawler does not a good highway fighter make.
Leelan likes this.
__________________
Hills and trees.
Lost in the woods is offline   Quote
Old 09-13-2019, 11:30 PM   #19
Jeeper
 
TheDesertOutlaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 2,346
I would bet the pitman arm might need tightening. The tie rod ends need to be double bolted in place. The track bar needs to be retightened. Are the ball joints lubed and in otherwise good condition? Fox makes a superior steering stabilizer.
__________________
Tomb Raider #815 RUBICON with 35s
https://scontent-b-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/t1.0-9/1517457_10203416408666416_5192773015714389607_n.jp  g
My Soundcloud page
TheDesertOutlaw is offline   Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 11:27 AM
Thread Starter
  #20
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDesertOutlaw View Post
I would bet the pitman arm might need tightening. The tie rod ends need to be double bolted in place. The track bar needs to be retightened. Are the ball joints lubed and in otherwise good condition? Fox makes a superior steering stabilizer.
So I'm up to 60mph which is fine for a 20yr old TJ but would like to still get that up another 5mph by fine tuning and double checking everything. Something just doesnt feel right still up there. Even though it was aligned twice in the last month, I'm wandering around the road at average speeds. Not terribly but definitely not "Aligned." The ball joints are brand new and appear to be installed correctly but when hitting hard edge bumps I get a lot of metal on metal noises down there, wondering if the knuckles are moving up and down. Planning to put my jack under the knuckle to see if there's vertical movement, if so, I'll readjust. Also going to look into double bolting tie rod ends.. not exactly sure how that supposed to go, all my TRE's are screw in inserts to the tie rods themselves, then they all have a retaining nut to keep them from moving around.. is there another way to add more security here? Track bar is new, not pitted out, and was just re-torqued to 55lbs and 110lbs. Will double check again since the latest DW experience.

new symptom I just noticed, fairly certain it wasnt there before the last alignment but my steering wheel has a gap between 10-2 o'clock where the wheel hits a little soft soft spot and moves freely right around 1 oclock. thinking something to do with the steering column ujoint maybe? never really noticed it before and when I feel it hit that little gap, I dont notice it in the pitman arm, it's like it's in the steering wheel only but during that gap, it's definitely not turning the wheel for that split second. So when banking right especially, it throws my judgement off on the turn. Annoying more than anything. No clue, never had it before. open for suggestions.

so yea.. fine tuning from here forward.


thanks again everyone for the input, this has been a great thread for me to bounce back and forth to.. lot of good info in here.
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 11:58 AM   #21
Supporting Member

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
Evpjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Bakersfield
Posts: 1,734
There should be NO "Dead Space" in the steering Wheel! It is designed to be constantly under load, either left or right. Possible steering gear problems resulting from your Death Wobble!
87_WhyJay and Leelan like this.
Evpjr is offline   Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 12:01 PM
Thread Starter
  #22
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evpjr View Post
There should be NO "Dead Space" in the steering Wheel! It is designed to be constantly under load, either left or right. Possible steering gear problems resulting from your Death Wobble!
yep.. doing research online and thinking steering gear might be my next big investment. but dang those things are expensive.

also, researching the extra metal on metal noises.. I got new everything under there including johnny joint control arms upper and lower, tie rod ends, sway bar disconected still get lots of metal on metal clunks when hitting even small hard edge bumps. just doesnt sound like new parts under there ya know?
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 12:20 PM   #23
Supporting Member

5-Year WF Supporting Member
 
Evpjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Bakersfield
Posts: 1,734
Metal on metal "Clunks," means; some thing is loose! Check ALL bolts for torque. Check the axel shafts for bearings and U-Joints. Inspect ALL the control arm and trac bar bushings. Inspect the front drive line and connections, Check the front brake calipers, brackets and etc.
Evpjr is offline   Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 01:24 PM   #24
Jeeper
 
jjandascog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 124
Quote:
new symptom I just noticed, fairly certain it wasn't there before the last alignment but my steering wheel has a gap between 10-2 o'clock where the wheel hits a little soft soft spot and moves freely right around 1 oclock.
Steering box slop is easy to check, have someone move the steering wheel back and forth between the 10-2 o'clock position while you watch the input shaft and pitman arm, they should move together. If they do not then there is your slack, you can tighten up the steering box to see if that helps with the at speed issue but that is really a temporary fix.
Leelan likes this.
__________________
04 TJ, 4.0 AT, 3.5" suspension lift, 1.25 BL, 33 x 12.5 BFG ATs on black Procomp stealies, winch thingy, front seats, rear seat, Tuffy center console, jack across the hood, A-pillar lights, extra LED fogs on bumper, thumping sub, SYE, doors, rear tail gate, oh and it is RED....
jjandascog is offline   Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 06:59 PM
Thread Starter
  #25
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjandascog View Post
Steering box slop is easy to check, have someone move the steering wheel back and forth between the 10-2 o'clock position while you watch the input shaft and pitman arm, they should move together. If they do not then there is your slack, you can tighten up the steering box to see if that helps with the at speed issue but that is really a temporary fix.

Yea.. this is definitely an issue with my gearbox. Sourcing a new one already. any suggestions for prime beef?
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 07:22 PM   #26
Jeeper
 
jjandascog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 124
The NAPA one I installed a while back has held up so far, it was around 380.00 if I remember correctly.
__________________
04 TJ, 4.0 AT, 3.5" suspension lift, 1.25 BL, 33 x 12.5 BFG ATs on black Procomp stealies, winch thingy, front seats, rear seat, Tuffy center console, jack across the hood, A-pillar lights, extra LED fogs on bumper, thumping sub, SYE, doors, rear tail gate, oh and it is RED....
jjandascog is offline   Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 08:19 PM   #27
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 298
You mentioned a trackbar bracket - is it re-located ?


Which tie rod are you running ?
Muffin Top is offline   Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 12:53 PM
Thread Starter
  #28
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin Top View Post
You mentioned a trackbar bracket - is it re-located ?


Which tie rod are you running ?
No track bar relocation bracket.. I went full OEM stock on that part to avoid trouble knowing how important that piece of the puzzle is.

tie rods are from a 1-ton setup by rough country but the ends were sourced through Napa, Rough Country, and Autozone. All pretty beefy but standard ball and socket type.. kinda want to convert the TRE inserts over to Heim joints.. not sure if spelled that right. The metal on metal clunking I'm getting is going to be looked at this weekend. I'll be under there inspecting each joint and TRE and knuckle and control arms with a crowbar and my floor jack. there's gotta be some play in something down there causing the clunks.
oh and still sourcing a new steering gearbox.. that'll be my next purchase if I have enough quarters left in the piggy.
Leelan is offline   Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 06:00 PM   #29
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 164
Steering box can be adjusted a little tighter, but its just a band-aid. loosen the lock nut then give the set screw 1/4 turn. then tighten lock nut. it should help reduce the play since the gears get worn in the middle more than the outer limits.

also check steering shaft coupler to steering box. sometimes that bolt gets loose and youll check everything and replace everything in the world. only after you replace the box it gets tight.

PSC or redhead box gets my vote. I have the same issue on my ARG that has about 8k on it and a little slop up and down thru its travel and a small leak. its about 8 years out of warranty though.
XJ4PLAY is offline   Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 06:12 PM   #30
Jeeper
 
Mike13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New England
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjandascog View Post
The NAPA one I installed a while back has held up so far, it was around 380.00 if I remember correctly.
I think I got their remanufactured one for about $150 and it has been great so far. I originally tried another and it was BAD. Don't do the project twice, go for the NAPA.

Mike13 is offline   Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Jeepģ, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC