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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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.
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.
 

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Death wobble comes from the tires and os allowed to get worse by worn front end parts...

Your tires 99.5% are causing it
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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.
 

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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"
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
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.
 
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