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Jeep Death wobble

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by RichG53, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

    Have they determined what causes the death wobble ??? I have heard of this with wrangler jeeps ..
  2. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,124

    There are a number of cause's, in my case the steering gear was bad. Out of balance tires can be another, worn front end parts will also do the trick. I can say this when it happens it scare's the hell out of you. You don't really want to do it more than once.

  3. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

    Okay..Thanks...So it is usually not one component ??? What is usually the main reason for it ??
    The steering gear ??? as in the steering box ??...What about suspension parts being the problem.?? I heard steering dampener(shock) was a good bet as the problem..
    Please give me all your most possibilities ..
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,514

    If you have lifted the jeep the caster can be too much ,that can give you the death wabbbbbbbbll
  5. bostiguy

    bostiguy Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Do you have about a day and a half to read this thread? http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/death-wobble-25090.html

    The one main thing I took from reading many pages is, there is no ONE cause of DW. A loose component will cause it, pretty much any loose component.
    There are many band-aids but the only cure is to have everything tight, not worn, and properly aligned and adjusted.
    A lift will seem to magnify the issue as it is way more common with lifted Jeeps but I just bought my stock 2000 Wrangler and experienced it for the first time the other day. The last owner told me he just replaced a tie rod end and I would need an alignment, it's going in on Saturday.
    Good luck and don't listen to anyone just tell you "its'______". They will not know until checking underneath. Almost all cases differ some.
  6. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

    Okay !!! Thanks...I did not know if there were just a few things to look for...So pretty much the whole front end can be the cause of this ?? Wow...Scary..
    The Jeep is all stock.. Jeep Wrangler...Family vehicle...Not off road..It belongs to a friend that knows very little..
    So i'm just trying to educate him..

    Maybe this is not DW ?? it just kinda wants to slide shimmy to one side when letting off the gas...Like the back end sliding side ways..
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  7. Hubjeep

    Hubjeep Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Many things could cause it, but if you had to pick one thing, the panhard bar or track bar may be the most common cause (mine went bad).

    The steering dampener only masks the symptoms.
  8. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

    Okay...Thanks...Are you referring to the drag link ?? Any thoughts would help..
    He need to fix this..it is very mysterious...So many possibilities..??
  9. P&M Landscaping

    P&M Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 786

    Climb underneath and have him turn the wheel back and fourth while you look for play in all steering components. I had a similar issue, and my culprit was a worn tie rod.
  10. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

    Thanks...Wow...I'm getting more responses..To different possibilities...I like that...It will help out a lot..As it seems this is a very trouble some problem to so many..Any other suggestions will be appreciated..
    Thanks..to all
  11. Hubjeep

    Hubjeep Senior Member
    Messages: 501

  12. bostiguy

    bostiguy Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    As Hubjeep said earlier, the most common is the trackbar. Another bandaid fix to help would be to replace the steering stabilizer. I just did mine last night, my stock one was completely useless. They're pretty inexpensive and simple to replace.
    Also, it doesn't sound like he has death wobble. DW can not be mistaken. It will shake/vibrate your Jeep until you slow way down or even need to stop. It's very violent.
  13. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,514

    I agree with bostiguy dont sound like DW. when you get DW you know you will DIE ... its a supprize when you dont DIE.
  14. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

    Thanks...After watching the video...I do not think it is DW..But more likely Worn front End parts..
    Thanks for all the answers and suggestions..
  15. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    Most common cause is steering dampener and track bar.

    Those are to parts that are easy to replace no special tools needed and don't change the alignment when replaced.

    Jeep has replaced the original light weight steering dampener with a heavy duty one on the TJ's. The hydraulic body and the piston rod both have much greater diameters.

    I replaced my SD at 45,000 mi and DW has started to come back at 82,000 mi. Counld not see any play so I went with a new SD again. This time it did not help. Going to replace the track bar next.

    I don't see any play now. I didn't see play when I tried a SD at 45,000 mi.

    Both times I tried rotating the tires and that did not help.

    Join jeepforum.com. It's free, great info.
  16. 1ATony

    1ATony Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Worn out ball joints could also cause a death wobble situation. If you have a lifted Jeep, it's a good idea to get an aftermaket adjustable track bar to help align the front end.

    You should also replace any worn bushings, as they could also contribute to this type of situation.
  17. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    With our last YJ ('89), we could always tell when a front u-joint was shot because it would DW. Definitely a 'can't believe we're not dead' moment.