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Forum Home > Other > TJ Death Wobble

Peanut
Limited Member
Posts: 45

Would like to here someone else's experience with the death wobble. I have recently started having problems at highway speeds over 45 mph when I incur a bump or rough spot in the highway (namely rough expansion joints). The Jeep was lifted 6 years ago with a 2 inch lift. Tires are 31 X 10.50 X 15. Not ready to take it to a repair shop yet. I can't see anything amiss when I look under the front end.

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October 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

La. Farmer
Limited Member
Posts: 4

Peanut at October 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Would like to here someone else's experience with the death wobble. I have recently started having problems at highway speeds over 45 mph when I incur a bump or rough spot in the highway (namely rough expansion joints). The Jeep was lifted 6 years ago with a 2 inch lift. Tires are 31 X 10.50 X 15. Not ready to take it to a repair shop yet. I can't see anything amiss when I look under the front end.

I had the same thing happen with a 05 dodge truck. It got very dangerous to drive. Ended up being the shocks were worn out but the main problem was there was lots of slack in the steering cross bar.  Hope this helps. 

October 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Discombobulated
Member
Posts: 288
I had this happen on my JK. It was the ball joints and weak steering stabilizer.
October 24, 2012 at 6:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Peanut
Limited Member
Posts: 45

Thanks, Guys for the come back. I was suspecting the steering stabliizer. So I'll start there , then new shocks. I'll let you know when I get to the point that the wobble is eliminated.

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October 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM Flag Quote & Reply

muddyredneck
Limited Member
Posts: 236

track bar problem can also be a good cause of death wobble

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servants of the most high ...not rockstars

October 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM Flag Quote & Reply

NWA_WJ
Member
Posts: 214
I had a similar issue on my '01 Grand Cherokee. The frame side track bar bolt was loose less than a 1/4 of a turn & both tie rod ends on the drag link were shot. I got under my jeep on a creeper and had a buddy start my jeep and move the steering wheel back & forth while I checked for play in the steering components & track bar.
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2001 WJ, 4.7L V8, 3" Iron Rock Offroad lift, 17" JK Moab wheels, 32" BFG M/T KM's, Detroit TrueTrac LSD front, Spartan locker rear

October 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

arveetek
Member
Posts: 947

I agree... I would look at the track bar bushings.  If the track bar does not hold the axle in place perfectly, the axle will shift back and forth slightly, which will push on the steering linkage, which will cause the front wheels to go back and forth violently. 


Also, really look at the tie rod ends and ball joints.  It doesn't take much slack to cause major problems.

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95 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L turbodiesel, 285/75R16 Kenda Klever M/T's on Toyota steelies, some other goodies.  Overlanding Fun

October 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Forward
Member
Posts: 194

You are all on the right track, Death wobble is normally due to worn out bushings or other steering components. Get a friend to crank your truck and move the steering wheel in a back and forth manner and see if the frame moves before the axel. Sometimes it can be a combination of several components that are a little worn. If you have a slightly loose track bar end combined with some control arm bushings that are a little worn, when you hit that bump it just compounds the movement. I would start with the track bar, mine was just a little loose and was causing some issues. ¼ turn on the top frame side and everything is good now. This week I am replacing the control arms front and rear with some adjustable ones, simply because the bushings are shot in the front lower control arms and my front axle rotates about a ¼ inch when you hit the brakes in reverse. Now I am not recommending you run out and replace your control arms, but you may need some $12 bushings. I just chose to upgrade instead of just replace the bushings. If it has been a while since you replaced you tie rod ends, it would not hurt to replace them or even upgrade them. Same with any bushing or rod end that may be original or several years old. I consider that kind of stuff to be normal maintenance items like brake pads and rotors would be. You may be surprised at how well the truck rides after you get it resolved. :)

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October 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Peanut
Limited Member
Posts: 45

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. Yes, this 2000 model has 144 K and nothing on the front end has been replaced except for the shocks when the lift was installed 6 or 7 years ago. I think I'll start with the less expensive items and work up over the next few week so I want break the bank.

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October 24, 2012 at 8:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

NWA_WJ
Member
Posts: 214
Rockauto.com is a great place to buy factory replacement parts. I bought MOOG tie rod ends for my WJ from them for $27 a piece. They were $50 a piece from O'reilly's. Rockauto's shipping is reasonable and fairly quick also. They have saved me a lot of $$$ and you have a lot of different choices in brand & quality at a low price.
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2001 WJ, 4.7L V8, 3" Iron Rock Offroad lift, 17" JK Moab wheels, 32" BFG M/T KM's, Detroit TrueTrac LSD front, Spartan locker rear

October 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Flexer
Member
Posts: 265

I'd second what Forward said... before I spent a penny I'd make sure all the suspension bolts are snugged up tight.  With some bushings wearing over the 100k+ miles they are going to get a little slop in them.  If tightening a bolt takes out the slack you may avoid ANY purchase....(I doubt it...but it only costs washing grease out of work clothes to do that first step)... and there ain't nothing wrong with a little grease under your fingernails if you own a Jeep.... or a lot...8)


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'94 Jeep YJ 4.0L, 35" BFGs, Atlas 2 tcase, D44 front, 14b rear, detroit front, ARB rear, 4.56 gears, Warn winch, Onboard air, some rock rash. 

WrenchingSeasonBlog

October 26, 2012 at 7:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Peanut
Limited Member
Posts: 45

Peanut at October 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Thanks, Guys for the come back. I was suspecting the steering stabliizer. So I'll start there , then new shocks. I'll let you know when I get to the point that the wobble is eliminated.

Replaced the steering dampner yesterday. Put about 75 highway miles on the rig today and not a wobble. Everything else checked out fine. Hope to link up with you all some time this winter on a trail.

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October 30, 2012 at 6:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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