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  1. #21
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    Thumbs up Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    This is probably the best article I have seen on the DW. Thanks for sharing it. I have a 99 TJ with a 4.5 inch lift and 35x12.50 tires. My DW happens at 37 mph, but it is not always constant. It can go away for weeks at a time. I took it to Midas and they said it was caused by the worn tie rod ends and would cost $1300 to replace with performance parts. I decided to do it myself and order a whole new heavy duty tie rod, drag link, tie rod ends, and steering stabilizer for $225 from Morris 4x4 (Great customer service btw!!!) I installed it and took it to another shop to get aligned.

    However, the DW still occurs and Midas was wrong! Granted, the tie rod ends were definitely loose but it was not the cause of my DW. Another local shop ruled out the trackbar, ball joints, and wheel balancing. They suggested a OEM stabilizer because they worked on another DW infected Wrangler and that fixed it. But everything I have seen says the stabilizer is only a bandaid and DW will re-surface. So, I'm not agreeing with the stabilizer especially since it is a new stabilizer.

    I will start with this article's recommendations and check most of it myself (if I can figure it out). I'm no mechanic, though, and far from it.

  2. #22
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Quote Originally Posted by mac806 View Post
    I will start with this article's recommendations and check most of it myself (if I can figure it out). I'm no mechanic, though, and far from it.
    I'd suggest laying on the ground in front of the Jeep while someone else turns the wheel back and forth. You'll likely find some play somewhere.
    Don't assume that they were right that the trackbar was good. That is a very common culprit of death wobble.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMason View Post

    I'd suggest laying on the ground in front of the Jeep while someone else turns the wheel back and forth. You'll likely find some play somewhere.
    Don't assume that they were right that the trackbar was good. That is a very common culprit of death wobble.
    X2 on the track bar. It might be fine, but if you aren't running an adjustable track bar (or if you are but it isn't set right) the axle won't be centered under the Jeep, and that can add to or cause a lot of fun. (ask me how I know...)
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  4. #24
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    This has all been very helpful. After lifting my 2005 tj 2", springs and shocks, I got the death wobble. Front end alignment and new tires seems to have solved it. But now the axle seems to be out of center. The passenger side tire rubs when I turn, but the driver's side is fine. Is there something I can do to fix this without messing up the alignment and starting over?

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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    I am also currently experiencing the death wobble in my 2000 TJ that is bone stock. Starts happening around 60mph and stops as soon as I touch the brakes and slow to 55. I'm starting with replacing all tie rod ends, front sway bar bushings(they're completely rotted ) and the steering stabilizer. I bought a rough country track bar but will be returning it since I fear the track bar is not the problem and a stock track bar is waaaay cheaper. Should have all the tie rods and bushings done by tomorrow night and the stabilizer by early next week. I'll get back here once those components have been replaced and what the next diagnosis will be if the problem persists.

  6. #26
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Are you positive it's death wobble and not just a slight vibration? DW generally requires slowing a lot more than 5mph to recover from, and much lower than 55mph. DW is a violent side to side oscillating of the steering wheel, almost to the point you think it will come out of your hands.

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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Yeah I'm fairly certain its the death wobble. The entire front end shakes violently, along with the steering wheel, kind of like when a wheel is out of balance but I just had all the wheels balanced. I replaced the pitman arm ball joint and it helped by about 5 mph. Have the other three to replace and the stabilizer as well. I'm replacing one part at a time and doing test drives in between so I can pin point the cause of my problem

  8. #28
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Jeep has 12,000 miles on it, when I run my 305/70/17 tires I didn't have the DW, when I put the factory wheels back on mine for road trips P255/75/17 I get the death wobble @ 65 when I would hit a patch of uneven pavement in just the right angle, I would slow it down to 40 and under and it would recover. The jeep has a 3" suspension lift, stock arms and all components have been checked for looseness. I took about 10 minutes watching under the front end while my assistant moved the steering wheel back and forth and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I decided to go ahead and retorque the LCA,UCA,TB, but they were all @ spec.

  9. #29
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    I have been experiencing this dead wobble lately. Good thing I read this thread, will check out all the components for further inspection. Thanks for sharing this article.

  10. #30
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Quote Originally Posted by ferni2570 View Post
    All this information is really good if I had any idea what all of this meant(((... I'm having the same problem with my Jeep Wrangler 07' and I've done the tire roatation and balance and the death wobble hasn't stopped. I can't go over is now g0mph because seconds later you'll see me pulling over to make a complete stop in order for this death wobble stop. Can anyone explain to me what I can do or where I can go to get it fixed I'm scared to get myself in am accident especially when I'm on the freeway which I use a lot andd dealership is just a joke they won't help at all.
    I have a 2008 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with 85000 miles stock. I killed the 50 to 55 mph death wabble by replacing the steering stabilizer original shock with a new Bilstien 5100 shock. Old shock was worn out. The death wabble was frightening, now its gone.

  11. #31
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Quote Originally Posted by rmelcheru View Post
    I have a 2008 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with 85000 miles stock. I killed the 50 to 55 mph death wabble by replacing the steering stabilizer original shock with a new Bilstien 5100 shock. Old shock was worn out. The death wabble was frightening, now its gone.
    A worn steering stabilizer will not cause death wobble. A vehicle in perfect working order should be able to be driven without a stabilizer. Whatever causes your death wobble (sounds like a tire imbalance as it happens at a constant speed) is still there, only covered up by the bandaid fix that is a steering stabilizer.

  12. #32
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Terry, This is a GREAT article.

    I have fought...and thought I beat DW. This is what I have replaced:
    -front & rear trackbar (adjustable JKS)
    -rear JKS trackbar mounting bracket (welded to spec)
    -front & rear sway bar linkages
    -front & rear rotors and brakes
    -front tie rods (all)
    -drag link
    -front upper ad lower ball joints (both sides)
    -New (less than 10K) wheels & tires

    While replacing nearly the entire front end I removed my dual stabilizers, and have yet to replace them. I didn't want anything to be hidden while I determined if the problem was fixed.

    Needless to say, the DW is back. Upon it's return I rotated the tires, thinking it may help...but it didn't.

    All bolts are torqued to spec, all of my work has been checked by a mechanic.

    I am thinking about having the tires rebalanced. Other than that...I am out of ideas. Please get me on the right track.

    My Jeep: 2007 Unlimited X with 41/2 inch Skyjacker with 35's.

    Also: The DW regularly happens under 50mph, it seems any imperfection in the road starts the tremors....then the DW.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by JeepinWV79; 07-13-2015 at 03:22 PM.

  13. #33
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Quote Originally Posted by JeepinWV79 View Post
    Terry, This is a GREAT article.

    I have fought...and thought I beat DW. This is what I have replaced:
    -front & rear trackbar (adjustable JKS)
    -rear JKS trackbar mounting bracket (welded to spec)
    ...

    Mine has come back over the years, and in my case it's more worn parts. I would suggest getting a helper to turn the wheel while you inspect the front end. If you don't have a helper, then use a camera like I did. Here's my super worn track bar bushing




    Re-balancing the tire's isn't a bad idea, but if putting the front tires on the back didn't help then that likely isn't the problem. If you do get them balanced, check out Firestone's lifetime balance. I use their lifetime alignment every year.

  14. #34
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    I would check for a loose steering box and a worn sector shaft in the steering box. Watch for the pitman arm to walk around when someone bounces the steering back and forth against full-lock.

    Might also be the wheel bearings, especially with large meats like 35" taking a beating on them.

    I don't suspect a tire balance issue as yours happens when hitting road imperfections.

  15. #35
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Here is a few more pieces of information about my situation.


    My Jeep only has 55K miles on it, all of the work has been completed in the last 18 months. I thought it was fixed 10 months ago.


    All of the parts are still pretty new, I wouldn't expect anything that I have replaced to be bad all ready.


    This is the kicker, and what makes me think it is the tires. The DW is worse in the morning, so I am thinking it could be the temperature or the length of time it sets, almost like the tires take a little while to go back normal (round)...at least that's what it feels like. If this a crazy stupid thought? It seems that way. All I know is if the Jeep sets more than 8 hours its worse.

    The steering box and wheel bearings seem possible. How should I go about testing this? What are the typical signs of bad wheel bearings?
    Thanks for all of your input so far guys, much appreciated.

  16. #36
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth while you inspect the front end closely. It often helps to bounce the steering against full-lock. Inspect every tierod end, both ends of the track bar, the pitman arm where it bolts to the steering box, and the steering box/frame contact.

    Support the front end on jackstands and grab the tires at 12 and 6. Try to wobble the wheel. Wobble would be either in the balljoints or wheel bearings.

  17. #37
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Hello, I know its an older thread but Im hoping you can help me with a question. I attached a video showing the movement in my trackbar. Is this normal or could this be causing my death wobble?

    Thanks in Advance
    Curt


  18. #38
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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    That's too loose. Try replacing the bolt with a slightly larger SAE bolt.

    A loose trackbar doesn't 'cause' DW but it will certainly allow it to happen. Causes of DW are generally a tire imbalance or a road imperfection. Loose parts like the trackbar allows that slight imbalance to escalate into full-blown DW.

  19. #39
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    This should be snug within the mount although that movement is less an issue than the movement into and away from the bolt. As mentioned getting the largest bolt to fit through the sleeve will reduce the motion allowing the movement during DW.

    Do a dry steering test and video each connector, the rod end, control arm, track bar... Any movement is bad.
    "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up" - Jesse Jackson

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    Re: Wrangler death wobble - What causes it and how to fix it

    Thanks for all the replies. I installed a new trackbar and at first thought I was ok. Usually any rough road I hit a speeds over 25 caused the wobble. I got on the Highway and all was well until I hit a small bump Doing about 55. Back to the drawing board lol. I don't know what I would do without this forum.

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