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I have a stock 2000 Jeep TJ with about 145,000 miles.

I have experienced some pretty severe death wobble and my mechanic said that everything tight, but that I needed a new steering stabilizer. I replaced that, but I still have issues. It was more of a band aid than a fix.

Another shop told me that I needed new upper and lower control arms and a new bushing in my track bar. He quoted $900.00 for the work.

My question is, can I replace those items myself? If so, what brand parts should I use? I am not going to lift it or do any other major modifications, and my off roading will be moderate at nest. Dirt roads on weekends type stuff. I don't need any crazy, trick parts, but I think I can do better than stock.

I am a decent backyard mechanic, but I don't want to get it apart, then be stuck (why is it always harder to put stuff back together). I have been told that I do have to press in a bushing for the upper control arm. how difficult is that?

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated....
 

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Getting bushings out is easy. You can use a bit of heat like this guy:

https://youtu.be/6T96JgZKzN0

And use a ball joint press to press it back in if you don't have a press. If you get creative you can probably use your floor jack to press it in place as well.

I've been planning on replacing mine with crown automotive brand. I believe the kit for all bushings on the 8 control arms and body mount bushings is $350 or so.
 

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You can buy stock replacement control arms for about$25/each.

One bolt on each end, replace them one at a time and you don't even need a jack etc, very simple.
Track bar is the same, for the price of a factory bar, not worth the hassle of dealing with the bushings.

I wouldn't be going back to that mechanic based on his quote.$$$
 

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You can buy stock replacement control arms for about$25/each.
I didn't believe this at first. Checked rock auto and they can be had even less, like $20 a piece. Couldn't be an easier replacement.

Agree that the mechanic is robbing you
 

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We had really bad death wobble on our TJ.

Replaced the 2 worn front KM2's death wobble gone.

Actually, I can still pick a very slight shimmy so feel some replacement parts are still needed
 

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Agree you can do all control arms easily just do one at a time and for stock easier to just get whole control arm with bushings rather than swap bushings

However if you have a lifted jeep with aftermarket control arms it will be more expensive
Finally although replacing loose components is important you may also have a tire balance issue

What size tires are you running on your stock jeep

And steering stabilizer is never solution for death wobble and anyone who suggests it as a solution is not going to be very helpful in finding your problem


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note the replacement track bars may vary in length :)

and they sell adjustable ones also.

thus, the front end geometry may change, and you may need to adjust the drag link a bit to get it right.

However the track bar is usually the source of death wobble for most jeepers.


hubs? are your hubs worn also? may have some play? are they talkin?



check all frontend components.... ball joints, tie rods.

remember the good ol check to shake the tire? do that.


and lastly control arm bushings....... I haven't done mine yet and I have 170k hmmmm. on the list.
 

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And steering stabilizer is never solution for death wobble and anyone who suggests it as a solution is not going to be very helpful in finding your problem
As stated above, do a dry steering test and watch the track bar ends.

My 2001 TJ had bad DW when I bought it. Didn't show up until I replaced the big, noisy tires with some more-factory ones to get it home. Bought it 1500 miles from home after car died (our tow vehicle).
Checked out front end and found loose tie rod end and drag link end. One nut was actually loose. Replaced them both. DW appeared to be fixed.

Towed it home.

DW reared it's ugly head again.

I did a dry steer test, with assistance, and saw no movement. I then did a (solo) dry steer test and took a video on my phone. Actually had to zoom in on the axle end to see the movement, very minute.

Replaced the bolt and torqued to specs. DW gone. That was over 5000 miles ago.

BTW, bad sway bar mounts don't create DW either.
 

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Death Wobble is NEVER (!) caused by a bad steering stabilizer. Never ever.

Some might believe installing a new steering stabilizer cured their DW after it stopped the symptoms but all it really did was just temporarily suppress the symptoms. As soon as the new stabilizer ages a bit, the DW will return since it wasn't a cure, it was just a temporary band-aid that only served to temporarily suppress the symptoms.

When the tires are properly/perfectly balanced and the steering system is in good condition, you can drive without a steering stabilizer and not have DW or notice any difference. The main purpose of a steering stabilizer is to isolate and protect the steering system from bumps and impacts while driving. That it seems to also 'stabilize' the steering a bit is strictly a secondary benefit.

In my personal opinion, the most common trigger and cause of DW is a bad or imperfectly balanced tire. Get something as big as a Jeep tire spinning and if it's not perfectly balanced, it will cause a shimmy. And if the tire balance is bad enough, that shimmy can develop into full-blown DW.

Even if the front-end is 'tight' or even brand-new, a bad enough tire balance can trigger DW on the type of front-end a TJ and many trucks have. And if the front-end isn't tight, it doesn't take the tire being much out of balance to cause DW. The worst case of DW I ever experienced was with my 1.5 year old TJ, when nothing was worn yet, and a front tire had lost its largest balancing weight.

A big problem with DW is that a Jeep owner may have just had his tires "balanced" without curing the DW so he then starts looking for other issues. The problem with that is the bigger the tire, the more it must be PERFECTLY balanced and not many tire shops allow their guys enough time to perfectly balance tires. They often only get them balanced to what they consider to be a "good enough" balance which is never good enough for big tire on a Wrangler. What may be a "good enough" balance for a small tire on a Kia won't be good enough for a big tire on a Wrangler.

So forget the steering stabilizer as a cause of or a cure for Death Wobble. It is neither and it never will be.

Make sure your tires are PERFECTLY balanced. Not all tire shops will take the time to do that, especially on big Jeep size tires. I have had to return to my Discount Tire shop three times in one day before they finally figured out they needed to spend more time to get them perfect.

Also perform what is known as a "dry steering test". With the tires on the ground, have a helper repeatedly turn the steering wheel back & forth while you watch the steering system and front suspension for any unwanted movement. Any unwanted movement, coupled with an imperfectly balanced tire (which provides the 'energy' for the DW oscillations), is a recipe for DW.

My personal opinion is that an imperfectly balanced tire is the most common root cause of DW. The second most common cause of DW, again in my personal opinion, is an imperfectly balanced tire coupled with a loose or worn component somewhere in the front end.
 

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Be careful when trying to buy OE control arms, A LOT of the cheaper ones for $20 don't have the bushings in them!

All my CA bushings are shot and I don't have DW(I know I need to fix them, finances are too tight right now).

As jerry stated, check your wheels, if those are good then dry turn test, check for TRE moving up and down(or in and out of where they are fitted), check track bar bolt for movement. Then check your control arm bushings. It's most likely going to be wheels and or something up front worn out. Try to find the problem first then get the parts and fix it yourself. As long as you got some PB blaster and rent the right tools you can do it yourself no problem.
 

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Death Wobble is NEVER (!) caused by a bad steering stabilizer. Never ever.

Some might believe installing a new steering stabilizer cured their DW after it stopped the symptoms but all it really did was just temporarily suppress the symptoms. As soon as the new stabilizer ages a bit, the DW will return since it wasn't a cure, it was just a temporary band-aid that only served to temporarily suppress the symptoms.

When the tires are properly/perfectly balanced and the steering system is in good condition, you can drive without a steering stabilizer and not have DW or notice any difference. The main purpose of a steering stabilizer is to isolate and protect the steering system from bumps and impacts while driving. That it seems to also 'stabilize' the steering a bit is strictly a secondary benefit.

In my personal opinion, the most common trigger and cause of DW is a bad or imperfectly balanced tire. Get something as big as a Jeep tire spinning and if it's not perfectly balanced, it will cause a shimmy. And if the tire balance is bad enough, that shimmy can develop into full-blown DW.

Even if the front-end is 'tight' or even brand-new, a bad enough tire balance can trigger DW on the type of front-end a TJ and many trucks have. And if the front-end isn't tight, it doesn't take the tire being much out of balance to cause DW. The worst case of DW I ever experienced was with my 1.5 year old TJ, when nothing was worn yet, and a front tire had lost its largest balancing weight.

A big problem with DW is that a Jeep owner may have just had his tires "balanced" without curing the DW so he then starts looking for other issues. The problem with that is the bigger the tire, the more it must be PERFECTLY balanced and not many tire shops allow their guys enough time to perfectly balance tires. They often only get them balanced to what they consider to be a "good enough" balance which is never good enough for big tire on a Wrangler. What may be a "good enough" balance for a small tire on a Kia won't be good enough for a big tire on a Wrangler.

So forget the steering stabilizer as a cause of or a cure for Death Wobble. It is neither and it never will be.

Make sure your tires are PERFECTLY balanced. Not all tire shops will take the time to do that, especially on big Jeep size tires. I have had to return to my Discount Tire shop three times in one day before they finally figured out they needed to spend more time to get them perfect.

Also perform what is known as a "dry steering test". With the tires on the ground, have a helper repeatedly turn the steering wheel back & forth while you watch the steering system and front suspension for any unwanted movement. Any unwanted movement, coupled with an imperfectly balanced tire (which provides the 'energy' for the DW oscillations), is a recipe for DW.

My personal opinion is that an imperfectly balanced tire is the most common root cause of DW. The second most common cause of DW, again in my personal opinion, is an imperfectly balanced tire coupled with a loose or worn component somewhere in the front end.
I'm not an expert in Death Wobble with Jeeps, but this theory makes total sense from a physics perspective.

I deal with a different technology (mission critical piping systems) whereas harmonics that are not constant can progress to the point that they become out of control and sometimes break from their mountings.

Apply the same theory to a large wheel or disk that is out of circumferential and/or lateral balance, but is vertically sound. In contrast, the weight of the Jeep and its large, heavy tire might squelch the out of balance in a vertical axis, but once there is any lateral force at one or more points in the circle, the "out of balance" will be increasingly pronounced side to side to the point that it is uncontrollable, often with catastrophic results.
 
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Death Wobble is NEVER (!) caused by a bad steering stabilizer. Never ever.
When the tires are properly/perfectly balanced and the steering system is in good condition, you can drive without a steering stabilizer and not have DW or notice any difference. The main purpose of a steering stabilizer is to isolate and protect the steering system from bumps and impacts while driving. That it seems to also 'stabilize' the steering a bit is strictly a secondary benefit.
At the risk of kicking off a holy war, I would like to posit that a lose/worn trackbar is also not a cause of DW. Tightening the trackbar bolt might resolve DW through "brute force", but the actual source of DW is still present.

Backstory:
Unbeknownst to me, I once drove home from a wheeling trip with a loose trackbar bolt. My power steering pump is on its last legs and I thought the steering wheel play I felt was because of that. I never suspected that my trackbar bolt had come loose. During the drive home, I had no DW. (another reason I never suspected a loose bolt)
 

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If a loose track bar allows osculations left to right that would count as a source to me

Try driving slowly is a deserted field with track bar removed and see how that feels

As for mass vs harmonics this bridge had plenty of mass but 40 mph wind and harmonics killed it

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nFzu6CNtqec


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