Jeep shakes when accelerating -

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post #1 of 5 Old 07-27-2013, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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1994 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Angola
Posts: 2
Jeep shakes when accelerating

My jeep cherokee shakes when I'm accelerating between 55-70 and then calms down when I get to 70. You feel it first in the pedal but quickly goes to a full car shake and its bad enough that it pops my car out of gear since its a manual. I don't know what could be causing this and I want to fix it but don't know where to start... Any advice?

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post #2 of 5 Old 07-27-2013, 01:00 PM
Paradise XJ
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1988 MJ Comanche 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Paradise, CA
Posts: 2,424
shaking when accelerating?

pops out of gear?

Sounds like a tranny and/or motor mount problem. If you have never changed any of the 3 mounts, have stock mounts...I'll bet you a nickel that's your problem. Is your Jeep lifted? tire size?

Stock mounts are inexpensive. If you do any wheeling, upgrade the motor mounts.

One mount for the tranny, two for the engine.

1990 XJ Laredo - White & Chrome
1988 MJ Pioneer - Metallic Green and Black
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-27-2013, 02:58 PM
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles / SFV
Posts: 3,305
Wheel and drive shaft balance can cause this symptom as well.
Did you make any recent changes to the Jeep?
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-27-2013, 05:27 PM
It's the crank sensor!
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Central Minnesota
Posts: 8,755
This could be "death wobble" which is not that uncommon on the XJ.

55 to 70 mph is a very common range for this problem. Mine did it from 58-63 mph. Do a search and you'll discover lots of information on this condition. Scares the bejesus out of you if it truly is death wobble as the whole front end shakes VIOLENTLY. I've fixed many XJs with this issue. Some I could drive through and the DW would subside at a higher speed. Others would shake so violently that I had to brake if I wanted to see my next birthday.

As death wobble is quite common, I have a "cut and paste" of information on it. Good luck and be sure to keep us updated.
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. Have a friend turn the steering wheel back and forth full travel as you perform the inspection. 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.

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.
-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

99 Cherokee, 4.0 AW4, NP242
Past Jeeps: 49 Willys, 81 Scrambler, 88 Comanche
Without "data", all you have is an opinion!
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-27-2013, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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1994 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Angola
Posts: 2
Hey thanks for the replies! My cherokee is completely stock. It does have front end damage where it struck a guardrail. Only the fender and grill surround was dented. But the shaking happened before this. I'm going to look more into what you guys suggested.
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