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Unread 06-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
audiedoggie
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Syracuse, NY
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1999 XJ wobble over bumps. Bad in a turn.

Ok, def having an odd issue with my 1999 XJ. I just got it on Monday and noticed something on my commute to work. When I go over a bump in the road at anything over 15 - 20 mph I will get a weird wobble in the steering wheel. It got really bad on my way home yesterday. I was on an interchange in a slight turn and hit a bump and it felt like the whole wheel system of my car was doing the equivalent of a death wobble on a motorcycle that just got worse and worse in a few seconds. I hit the brakes just a smidge and it stopped. I would love to know what is causing this.

Also, on a much smaller note, when accelerating from a light or coming to a complete stop I hear and feel a small clunk that sounds/feels like it's coming from just under the seats. I am fearing transmission. Am I on the right track?

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Unread 06-09-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
cactus_jack
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You've got a common problem. Search is your friend.

Check all of your suspension components underneath. Leave no stone unturned. Look for loose fitting components and change the steering stabilizer. There are a bazillion threads on this issue so you shouldn't have any trouble figuring it out. Like I said, try using the search feature...
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Unread 06-09-2012, 05:01 PM   #3
n5xl
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Cherokees do get "death wobble", so you'll want to research this on this forum using the search feature. Lots of reading to do on that subject, but almost always relate back to loose / worn out components with the steering / suspension system, particularly the track bar and its mount. You'll also want to check alignment to make sure toe in is set correctly. Regarding the clunk, its likely that its the slip yoke that needs to be greased, but it could be a u joint. Sounds like you need to get under your new rig and give it a good going over. Change out the fluids in the front and rear diffs and you'll get some quality time under the rig. Take time to grab onto things and twist and shake them for correct attachment. Look at everything while you're under there.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
audiedoggie
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Cool! Thanks guys! I was going to search but I was in the last 2 minutes of my lunch break and wanted to get it posted!
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Unread 06-09-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
tjwalker
It's the crank sensor!
 
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On my 99, the death wobble was caused by the track bar. Here's more. Good luck!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My understanding of “death wobble” is this. Somewhere in the vehicle, one or more components is worn beyond tolerances, and when oscillation initiates from a suspension “traumatic” event (hitting a bump or a pothole) or also when a vibration reaches a certain point and harmonic at a certain speed, it causes the other components to react. This is called the “multiplier effect”, where one component affects one or more other components as the event travels through the front end of the vehicle.

Death wobble is not uncommon with the XJ. It is even more common with a lifted XJ. Finding the worn component or components is not always easy. It can sometimes be downright difficult. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times everything appears to be okay when you perform an inspection on a hoist, but getting the vehicle up in the air and going over everything with a fine tough comb is always a good first step. It is very helpful if you know exactly how to perform a comprehensive inspection of every single front end part, looking for abnormal wear and or play in that hardware. If you do not know how to do this type of inspection, pay an experienced professional to do it. Be sure to ask them if they are familiar with “death wobble”, as not all technicians are versed in this…..

Check out the below link if you would like some extensive reading on “death wobble” causes and cures. From my research, Kevin (the author of this tutorial) is possibly the best in the business with tracking down root cause of death wobble. He does offer hardware for sale that can help resolve death wobble, but even if you don’t buy any parts from him, you can still get some excellent ideas on what to look at in resolving your death wobble.

http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/how-to-...-death-wobble/

Possible causes of death wobble are listed below. Isolating death wobble is a process of elimination and the root cause is not always obvious and it can often be caused by a combination of things! From my personal experience, I would first concentrate on the track bar and the control arms and associated bushings.
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-Front tires out of balance (try swapping fronts to rear; see if symptoms change)
-Tire pressure. Don’t laugh. It’s not a root cause but can exaggerate the problem. Experiment with lower tire pressure to see if it helps
-Improper lug nut torque on wheels
-Front alignment out of spec
-Loose track bar
-Worn track bar bushings
-Worn track bar (check for play!!)
-Bad control arms and associated bushings
-Worn/damaged steering stabilizer (not generally a cause in and by itself)
-Worn/damaged shocks
-Worn/damaged tie rod end
-Bad U Joint
-Bad ball joint
-Loose frame mount
-Steering box loose
-Bad front hub assembly
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Unread 06-09-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
Millermagic
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Almost sounds like you have a dead / lost shock. What you have describes exactly what happened when I ripped the barpin off of my RF shock.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
alexrule123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Millermagic View Post
Almost sounds like you have a dead / lost shock. What you have describes exactly what happened when I ripped the barpin off of my RF shock.
Mine did the same thing when I snapped the bar pin on one of my BDS shocks. I was pulling on to the road and turning right and while turning I hit a bump and then all hell broke loose. The tire was just bouncing for a few seconds until I slowed down. I thought it was death wobble at first but I remembered there was a clunking noise I kept hearing while I was driving in the dunes. That was the sound of the shock rattling around in the wheel well as I was driving.

Here's a picture to show what broke.

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Unread 06-09-2012, 08:27 PM   #8
tjwalker
It's the crank sensor!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiedoggie View Post
Also, on a much smaller note, when accelerating from a light or coming to a complete stop I hear and feel a small clunk that sounds/feels like it's coming from just under the seats. I am fearing transmission. Am I on the right track?
Probably not transmission. A dry slip yoke is not uncommon. Easily remedied. Check out this link.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/g...ite-up-357569/
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