Jeep Wrangler Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I see so many posts regarding the death wobble, that I am thinking it would be foolish to put on a mild lift unless you have the inclination to chase down a pesky problem. Between the DW headache and the possibility of losing the dealer warranty I am thinking I should leave the suspension stock... Then it occurs to me that complaints of an issue on the internet don't always indicate a relative percentage of people who have a problem. So... Death wobble. 1 in 2, 1 in 1000? Any ideas of the percent of lifted wranglers that experience DW?

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
Make it a poll. I vote "haven't had DW".
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
53,758 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,765 Posts
DW happens to many 4wd's it isn't limited to a Jeep. It isn't common at all. Not sure what the ratio is but isn't common especially if your Jeep is maintained and mods are done correctly. Not that a Jeep done correctly can't have problems but worn parts can be the problem alone with improper suspension work. Also many call alignment wobble and some other wobbles as death wobble. You will know you have death wobble because you can't drive at all and will lose total control. If death wobble starts, slowing down won't stop it. You have to come to a complete stop and continue driving will cause severe damage. I had a Chevy Truck 4wd experience it years ago and it wasn't a fun experience to say the least.

But saying that, I would say it is very rare. I would doubt its 1 in 10 thousand. Definitely not near 1 in 1000 or lower. There was 100K JKs sold in 2010 and over 400K sold between 2007-10 and you here just a few cases of DW. The thing about problems is if you have them you seek out forums to find out about it so it can look worse then it actually is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
My JK U was bought new July last year an had no problems. 2 weeks ago I had an Ironman 2 inch lift installed and within 24 hours experienced the first of several cases of severe death wobbles. After doing some internet searches, and ringing jeep mechanics around the country it seemed their is not "one common fix" for all cases. I decided to go to the local dealership to source an extendable track rod as this seemed to be the most likely cause. Dealership said it was a pitty that I hadn't used the genuine Mopar lift kit as they are relatively trouble free. A quick calculation of the possible cost of getting the Ironman lift to work was made in my head, and I said to him "if I get you to put the Mopar kit in, and it still has the wobbles, then what?". He said "if it does then we will fix it"...... to cut a long story short, Ironman 2" out Mopar 2" in (Ironman kit returned for refund). Death wobble still occurred and dealership true to their word tried several things then replaced the steering damper and that seems to have fixed the problem. The difference in price between the 2 lifts was about $400 (and personally I think the Mopar rides heaps better). It's a good feeling knowing that if they return within a year, its not going to cost me more$$$$$.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,540 Posts
Great data 7hens. I didn't know Mopar even had a lift; I haven't been in the market for one. Yet.

Re OP question: I can't answer directly, but my own "test drive the Jeep" period during the year before finally buying one, I drove well over a dozen of various configurations, all of the TJ or JK model.

Several that I favored and one Rubi that I really wanted, had really unacceptable (to me) steering issues. The Rubi was lifted 4" and had the neurotic twitch requiring constant correction on the freeway. Don't know if it was headed for the DW but it did make me avoid purchase.

All of the lifted rigs I drove were a bit odd IMHO, relating to neutral steering response to my input, as well as handling potholes.

Driving the non-lifted or new Jeeps was always more pleasurable in my pre-purchase search.
 

·
I do my own stunts.
Joined
·
3,009 Posts
Over two years since I put my lift on my JK, and no DW. But I retorque my trackbar bolts frequently, because once the factory trackbar bolts have been loosened, they are notorious for loosening up again on their own. And it's a loose front trackbar axle-mount bolt that's the root cause of the vast majority of DW cases.

Regarding a lift (or any modification) voiding your warranty, it shouldn't, unless the dealer can prove that the modification caused the failure. Unfortunately in reality it seems that warranty coverage on modified Jeeps or even stock Jeeps that are known to be taken offroad varies from dealer to dealer. Escalating to Chrysler Corp. finds that they tend to stand behind the dealer's decision not to honor the warranty. But if one dealer doesn't honor your warranty, try another. The other one might. I say this from personal experience, and from hearing from others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
I'm doing a lift this weekend, this might be considered an insane question but, locktight on the trackbar bolt? would that help with preventative maintenance?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
yomondo said:
Regarding a lift (or any modification) voiding your warranty, it shouldn't, unless the dealer can prove that the modification caused the failure. Unfortunately in reality it seems that warranty coverage on modified Jeeps or even stock Jeeps that are known to be taken offroad varies from dealer to dealer. Escalating to Chrysler Corp. finds that they tend to stand behind the dealer's decision not to honor the warranty. But if one dealer doesn't honor your warranty, try another. The other one might. I say this from personal experience, and from hearing from others.

I find great humor in the fact that any dealer would dishonor a warranty on a Jeep because it is used offroad. Isn't that the point if buying a Jeep to begin with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,914 Posts
:whistling: There are so many different answers to DW-

One main incorrect answer, is replacing the steering stabilizer--thats just a horizontal shock absorber for the steering/tire/bump/rock turn inputs-it's not the problem, it just covers the problem-

I don't have DW--I have the 2.5" lift, big Hankook tires and I've corrected the front axle + castor with adj LCAs--

One difference is I DIDN'T LOOSEN/REPLACE the track bars, so there's no problem with their bolts/bushings-

After all the installations, I unbolted the stabilizer and drove on the highway from "0" to 70 mph---steering was/is smooth and responsive--but

You NEED the stabilizer because of the jeep on-road/off-road/solid axle inputs, so mine is hooked up !

Good luck

:dance::rofl: JIMBO
 

·
I do my own stunts.
Joined
·
3,009 Posts
I'm doing a lift this weekend, this might be considered an insane question but, locktight on the trackbar bolt? would that help with preventative maintenance?
I've heard others ask this before, but I've never heard of anyone doing it. I wouldn't want to just trust loctite, so I would end up retorquing anyway, and in doing so would break the loctite bond.

I find great humor in the fact that any dealer would dishonor a warranty on a Jeep because it is used offroad. Isn't that the point if buying a Jeep to begin with?
I know, it's insane. Brochures, pictures and videos from Jeep all show the Jeep offroad, but many dealers will penalize you for taking it offroad. I talked to Chrysler about this general problem, but only got unhelpful canned responses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
I bought my Wrangler used about a year ago (2006 TJ) had original tires, tread still looked good. Drove great for several months - then started having DW. Tried several things then finally got new tires and no more DW. Looked inside original tires and found that at least two had "belt seperation" which tire guy said was the cause of my DW all along.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
I experienced DW on a 2000 Ford Eddie Bauer Explorer which turned out to be a single bad shock absorber. What happened was the other shock and the sway bar helped keep the wheel with the bad shock "in check" until I hit a bump a certain way at speed then all Hell broke loose. For those with DW, check your shocks and don't assume that they're OK just because they aren't visibly leaking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
Melor said:
I see so many posts regarding the death wobble, that I am thinking it would be foolish to put on a mild lift unless you have the inclination to chase down a pesky problem. Between the DW headache and the possibility of losing the dealer warranty I am thinking I should leave the suspension stock... Then it occurs to me that complaints of an issue on the internet don't always indicate a relative percentage of people who have a problem. So... Death wobble. 1 in 2, 1 in 1000? Any ideas of the percent of lifted wranglers that experience DW?

Paul
Alot of theese people that get death wobble after a lift is because they get cheap kits that don't include all the links to put there suspension and steering back to proper geometry... Its not a jeep thing, its a cheap consumer thing.. If you buy the right componets they include everything for the proper setup, and you won't have to buy something else to fix the first thing you bought.
 

·
Get your Jeep dirty!!!
Joined
·
762 Posts
I had DW on my Jeeps too and most of the time loose bolts or worn bushings are the cause.Even stock vehicles would have DW if you have the stuff i mentioned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I see so many posts regarding the death wobble, that I am thinking it would be foolish to put on a mild lift unless you have the inclination to chase down a pesky problem. Between the DW headache and the possibility of losing the dealer warranty I am thinking I should leave the suspension stock... Then it occurs to me that complaints of an issue on the internet don't always indicate a relative percentage of people who have a problem. So... Death wobble. 1 in 2, 1 in 1000? Any ideas of the percent of lifted wranglers that experience DW?

Paul
You probably stand a far better chance of experiencing this if you modify the suspension. This dynamic isn't limited to Jeeps. When you have any suspension component get out of balance (or malfunction) it can cause a vehicle to wobble, shake, vibrate, etc. It could be as simple as a bushing. But my take on a lot of those over the years (non-Jeep) is when you start messing around with the suspension with lifts (trucks) or slamming it (sports cars).
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top