Last post on Sep 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM
You are in the Jeep Wrangler
What is this discussion about?
Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep Scrambler, Jeep CJ-5, Jeep CJ-7, Tires, Wheels, SUV
#131 of 226 Re: death wobble [erickpl]
Nov 18, 2008 (8:54 pm)
I've read way to much about the Deat Wobble the past couple of days. This is my first Jeep. It's a 2007 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. I haven't done a single thing (alteration wise) to it since I bought it brand new from the dealer. I've had it since Jan. 07 and the "wobble" has started. Of course, I'm still under warranty and the dealer has ordered me a new damper to "repair" the problem. I'm only 8K miles away from the warranty expiring so I want to make sure everything is taken care of. What do you suggest I do if the damper will only mask the problem for a short while?
#132 of 226 Re: death wobble [cbrandtw]
Nov 18, 2008 (9:29 pm)
I had this problem after only 13,000 miles on my 2003. Jeep service said the steering damper was bad and I replaced it. Although this helped, the problem was still there. I went to buy new tires since they always seemed like they were out of balance but asked the tire dealer to check the track bar first. Quite a few people have commented on this site about it being the problem. The dealer found a small amount of movement in the track bar which shouldn't be there, replaced it, and the car drives like a new one. It doesn't shimmy, the car now feels solid, and so far the wobble has not returned. I suggest having this checked which is easy to do for a technician. The dealer did tell me that there is a new steering damper out for the 2003 which was over double the price of the original which makes me suspect it might have caused the track bar wear. Anyway, good luck in finding the problem.
#133 of 226 Re: death wobble [jim225]
Nov 19, 2008 (9:19 pm)
Jim, Thanks for the input. I'm taking the Jeep in tomorrow to check out the track bar.
#134 of 226 Re: death wobble [cbrandtw]
Nov 20, 2008 (6:54 am)
It isn't just the track bar you should check out. Any joints or steering components should be considered.
1. Control arm bushings - if they are worn, you may get play in the axle.
2. Tie rod ends - ensure greased, intact, and no lateral movement (may have some rotation due to the joint type).
3. Track bar - check BOTH ends (frame and axle)
4. CV joints - jack tire up and check for motion top to bottom /\ kinda thing.
5. Draglink/tie rod. make sure that connection is secure as well.
If the problem has cropped up, you should also ensure your tires are properly balanced and have even wear.
IF you replace the steering stabilizer/dampener, I'd suggest at least getting a good aftermarket one, like Old Man Emu or something. That stock unit is so so. That will be my next acquisition.
As an FYI, I'm on 33" tires with NO death wobble at all. Aftermarket track bar (JKS), and a Grand Cherokee tie rod (stronger). I did swap out my control arms back in August to newer, unbent ones. I did notice my trackbar loose at one point, but the only issue I had from it was loose/sloppy steering.
If you look at this pic, you can see the primary components for the front suspension. Any of those points being loose can create havoc.
#135 of 226 Re: death wobble [erickpl]
Nov 20, 2008 (11:26 am)
What is this death wobble your are refering to?
I have a 98 Jeep and i think I might have it. It wobbles violently every once in a while when going 40-50 mph until I reduce speed to about 20mph. There is no indication when it is going to happen.
Also, I just bought rims off an '08 Jeep X Unlimited and I want to make sure that the bolt pattern on the new jeeps are 5 x 5. I want to get the right wheel adapters to make them fit on my '98.
#136 of 226 will my new rims fit?
Nov 20, 2008 (5:18 pm)
I just bought 17" rims with Goodyear Wrangler 255/17R tires. will they fit under my 98 Jeep with out a lift? I know I will have to get wheel adapters for the 5X5 bolt pattern but I am afraid it will rub the flares.
Any help would be appreciated
#137 of 226 Re: will my new rims fit? [tomnlaurel]
Nov 21, 2008 (5:57 am)
Not certain, but the larger wheels should clear the brake calipers and such. I haven't tried it, so no clue as to whether it will clear. You may have issues with turning but I don't know the backspacing on the new wheels. With wheel spacers, you should be okay. Just do NOT use the shim kind of adapters. SpiderTrax is all I'd really recommend.
And it sounds like you have Death Wobble too. I'd fix THAT before changing your wheel configuration.
#138 of 226 Re: death wobble [tomnlaurel]
Nov 21, 2008 (6:28 am)
What is this death wobble your are refering to?
It's an uncontrollable shaking of the whole vehicle which originates from the front end.
You are unable to stop the vehicle from changing lanes and you'll invariably end up in the median or the ditch (or even the E.R. ).
It's scary, your life flashes before your eyes, and it carries a very real threat of an accident, hence the term 'death wobble'.
It's not just a bad vibration or shake, and accelerating, braking, or decelerating won't make it go away.
Thankfully it's also very rare, though it happens enough to be a recognized phenomenon, and most commonly occurs in Wranglers and Dodge Rams.
If you were to experience it or observe it happen to another vehicle I doubt you'd ever forget it!
#139 of 226 Re: death wobble [mac24]
Nov 24, 2008 (9:13 pm)
i have built a few jeeps for off road and from experence the death wobble is caused by bearing assembles going bad.or bad tires. and it happens at about the same speed each time and sometimes it could be from the frame being bent on the jeep
but i would spend the 300 dollars and replace the front bearings a front stabilizer shock wont help you it is for off road and to keep the stering from breaking your arm when you put the front tire in a bind or hit something.
#140 of 226 Re: death wobble [rself]
Nov 25, 2008 (1:12 am)
I have an appointment with Domonick at Xtreme Jeeps in Tampa (FL) next Monday. I checked with the dealership and found out my Jeep was put in service on April 25, 06, so I'm hoping if anything the warranty covers, I can get it now without having to shell out big bucks now or later.