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Unread 08-20-2006, 07:22 PM   #1
yellow81cj5
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The Real "Death Wobble" Fix

Ok, I've been really researching this whole "Death Wobble" thing since I have my 4.5 RE 6130 sitting in the garage ready to go on, with my sye, cv-drive shaft, and shims, hoping that I wont experience the true "DW". Of course this excludes bent wheels, out of balanced wheels, warped rotors, and possibly a bad stabalizer shock, because those are an easy fix, and an easy find. Now what im looking at his possible DW from larger coils, track bar issues, and alignment issues-the real"DW", I think you guys get my point.

Any way, finally today a fresh lifted XJ comes in for alignment conplaining of "DW" with some sorta, he states: "rancho lift" with some funky boxed lower control arms. I think it was skyjacker coils, with pro-comp shocks, not shure on the leafs.

Ok so I got my RE instructions out from my lift, and RE stated for trouble shooting with "DW" to align with max TOE IN, "within specs of course" and minimum factory caster, which it was actually already at, lucky bastard, obviosly not the toe of course. Steering wheel was cocked to the side a bit. long story short FIXED. So there we go i suppose. I will post another one of these, when I aling mine in a couple weeks. If this sounds like a re-post, oh well, I finally figured it out.

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Unread 08-20-2006, 07:28 PM   #2
Magic2979
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you figured what out? that getting an alignment will fix DW?
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Unread 08-20-2006, 07:31 PM   #3
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I don't truely beleive that.

Mine was aligned by the dealer, but I still had death wobble. As someone else mentioned, I think there just soooo many components that can cause this, that it's pretty much worthless saying that ONE thing will cure it.
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Unread 08-20-2006, 07:35 PM   #4
Magic2979
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a number of things can cause death wobble. you just have to get under there and look at every single steering component under there and go from there. even if one bolt is loose you can get DW

INFO TAKEN FROM TIM_MN ON NAXJA

I found a really good DW posting on J U -
.
Curing death wobble is defiantly a reality. Death wobble isn’t similar to a wobble from an unbalanced tire. It is by far worse. When death wobble hits you will know… it’s a violent shake from the front end that feels like the Jeep is about to fall apart. Usually when it happens the only thing you can do to stop it is to slow down.

The first steps to eliminate death wobble should be a visual inspection of each component, check the bushings, tire balance and an alignment. There are some common things you must check anytime you lift your Jeep. Death wobble is experienced mostly on lifter Jeeps, however it is not uncommon for someone without a lift to experience the dreaded DW. Listed below are a few things you can check.

Torque specs:

Item ........................................ Ft. lbs. ................... Nm

Lug nuts (1/2 X 20 w/ 60* cone) .... 85-115 .............. 115-150
All tie rod ends .....................…..... 55 ...................….. 74
Steering (both ends) ..............…..... 55 ................….... 74
Shock absorber upper nut .............. 16 ................….... 22
Shock absorber lower nuts ............. 17 ................….... 23
UCA frame end .....................…...... 66 ..............…..... 89
UCA axle end .........................….... 55 ................….... 74
LCA frame end ......................…..... 85 ...................... 115
LCA axle end .........................….... 85 ...................... 115
Track bar frame end ..............…..... 60 .................…... 81
Track bar axle end .................….... 40 ..................…... 54
Track bar bracket bolts ..........…..... 92 ...................... 125
Track bar bracket nut .............….... 74 ....................... 100
Track bar bracket support bolts ...... 31 ....................... 42
Hub bolts (3) ............................…. 75 ....................... 102
Hub- axle bolt ..........................….. 175 ..................... 237

Alingment specs (stock):

Angle ............. Preferred ........... Range ............. Max R/L diff.

Caster ............ +7.0* ........ +5.25* to +8.5* ......... 1.25*
Camber ........... -0.25* ....... -0.75* to +0.5 ........... 1.0*
Total Toe-in .... +0.25* ....... 0* to +0.45* ............. .05*
Thrust angle .... 0* to ± 0.15*



Check your Track Bar, play in this can cause the axle to shake.
1. Bushings - check to see that they are not worn. Looks for cracks, and excessive play)
2. Angles - this angle should be the same as your draglink. Use an angle finders you can get at sears to determine this, don’t just eye-ball it.
3. Bolts – Make sure all bolts are tightened down to spec (some lift components have a different torque spec then)

Check the Axle, your mounts may be worn
1. Check the axle mount. Here is a good write up on a wallowed out bolt hole
http://www.jeepin.com/features/trackbarfix/index.asp
2. Check your Universal joints, a binding or lose U-Joint can cause DW
3. On the frame end if you still use the conventional Tie Rod End or (TRE) make sure that there is no play in this, as play can cause DW.
4. Look/Check for worn/torn boots on ball joints/tie-rod ends.

Check your Tires
1. Out of balance tires can cause shaking in the front end, which can lead to death wobble.
2. Make sure all of your lug nuts are tight, (Sounds elementary but it happens to the best of us)

Check your Frame
1. Small cracks in the frame can cause the steering box to feel loose, Shaking from DW can only make this worse. 33’s and larger should have some form of Steering box brace, or frame brace in.
2. If you have upgraded your frame mount, make sure its cranked down nice and tight. (best to use an impact gun)
3. A busted Frame Mount can cause play in the front end causing DW (Keep a watchful eye on the welds as welds in sheer can break over time.

Make sure you have a good alignment
1. After you get an alignment done, have them print out the numbers for you. An XJ should have a 7* positive caster angle. A lifted XJ can’t always have that high of a number because the pinion would become out of alignment with the front driveshaft. Pinion angle takes precedence over caster.
2. Make you sure you go to a place that will adjust the caster if necessary (either by shims in the frame side of the LCAs, or adjustable LCAs).

The more adjustable parts the easier it is to tune in your suspension.
1. Adjustable Track Bar
2. Adjustable Upper and Lower Control Arms (upper ones above 4” of lift). Not only are they adjustable, but they are stronger.


Things to remember:
1. After any lift, get your Jeep professionally aligned, this is a REQUIREMENT, not a suggestion.
2. A Steering Stabilizer (SS) is not a quick fix for DW.
3. Make sure that the lift you purchase comes with all the required parts for a safe driving vehicle. (as long as its going to be a DD)
4. PLEASE ALWAYS DRIVE WITH YOUR FRONT SWAY BAR CONNECTED!

Entire list of everything that can cause death wobble:
-Front tires out of balance
-Front alignment out of spec
-Loose track bar
-Worn track bar bushings
-Worn track bar end
-Need adjustable track bar
-Bad bushings/joints in control arms
-Worn/damaged steering stabilizer
-Worn/damaged shocks
-Worn/damaged tie rod end
-Bad U Joint
-Bad ball joint
-Loose frame mount
-Steering box looseness
-Need drop pitman arm
-Driveshaft(s) not balanced
-Bad front hub assembly



Information provided by Jeeps Unlimited
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Unread 08-21-2006, 02:46 AM   #5
yellow81cj5
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Hey magic, thanks for info on that second post, it helps on the insight of this topic, as far as the first,-waste of time. All im sayin is i was able to fix this guys "DW" with not just "aligning" the xj but setting it in a manner which RE is suggesting. And aslo as far as half that list posted, im not shure where jeeps unlimeted got thier info, but Unless a part is about to fall off, I have never had complaints of a shimmy or shake, or "DEATH WOBBLE". I mean some of those are obvious, but take for example front hub ***. more of a noise then a shake, of course if there that loose, but thats obviose. Im srtictly taking about "DW from a lift, with no other factors.
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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:15 AM   #6
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huh? death wobble could be caused by anything. Its usually more than one or two things acting together that will cause it to happen and most often its worn out suspension parts that cause full blown death wobble. An out of balance tire or bad alignment can certainly cause a shimmy that will turninto death wobble if you have a worn out suspension parts.

I know i need an alignment and my tires balanced, i have a pretty bad shimmy on the highway. The shimmy turned into death wobble a few times, i replaced the track bar. I still have a shimmy but I havnt had DW since, i feel that if im not carefull it will happen but its no where near as bad as when i had the old trackbar. I still need to replace my ball joints and probably a few other things down there befor i dont have to worry about DW any more
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Unread 08-21-2006, 01:24 PM   #7
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FWIW, assuming there are no worn out parts, if you get the front end aligned and get the toe set properly after installing a lift, that will fix or prevent DW probably 95+% of the time. When you install a lift on an XJ, ZJ, or TJ, it causes the front end to become toe-in, which will cause DW. The number one reason I've seen on forums for people to get DW is installing a lift and not getting an alignment done.
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Unread 08-21-2006, 08:59 PM   #8
yellow81cj5
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Thanks, Jason for the feedback. That is whatI wasi trying to get across. DW coming from lift modification, and not DW coming from other factors. But anyway, yes Usually I would alighn the car/truck right down the middle, zero toe and cater/camber strate down the middle of the specs. But I took RE's advice and it worked. Toe in,(within specs) is what really made the difference I beileve.
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Unread 08-21-2006, 10:02 PM   #9
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After I got my wheels rotated and balanced my DW went away, but I still felt a slight shimmy.

After I got in alignment the jeep's been great, although I think I might feel a slight shimmy, but also I might just be paranoid.


Maybe someone can answer w/o me having to start another thread though:

Although I've gotten an alignment, the jeep still pulls to the right a good bit. Also I'm hearing a "pop" and "clunk" at low speeds, and slow turns, which indicate ujoints or wheel bearings, (everything else I've checked is all nice and tight) I included that in just in case it had something to do w/ the jeep still pulling to the right. Can anyone help me on diagnosiing this problem?
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Unread 08-21-2006, 10:49 PM   #10
yellow81cj5
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Well here is the deal. Solid Axle=no camber adjustments which=no fix for pull. Aslo it does not help that we are some what limited on are caster adjustmen as well. Youre main concern is that if camber is out or has a larger camber split of .5 degrees or higher that it is not whearing the tires uneven. I mean I can live with a pull, but when tires start wearing all *** up, thats a hassle. Aslo make shure it is a pull and not just the steering head being a little off, because that is adjustable.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 10:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow81cj5
Well here is the deal. Solid Axle=no camber adjustments which=no fix for pull.
NOT COMPLETELY TRUE. There are special offset/adjustable ball joints that can be installed to restore camber that is out of spec.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 12:33 PM   #12
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DW to an XJ is like Feelings to a Woman.

No matter how hard you try to understand and think you know....it can all change in the blink of an eye by an unforseen event.

And both are a B!TCH


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Unread 08-22-2006, 12:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
DW to an XJ is like Feelings to a Woman.

No matter how hard you try to understand and think you know....it can all change in the blink of an eye by an unforseen event.

And both are a B!TCH
Yes how true......we fought Death Wobble and won Dammit!!!! After tightening over and over and over every component under the front end my husband finally broke down and replaced the ball joints. I think thats one of those things that often goes under appreciated in death wobble. Haven't had it since, well over a year now and several hundred miles.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 02:55 PM   #14
yellow81cj5
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thats kinda wierd. Ball joints never go on jeeps. of course thats what ive seen, and aslo my opinion. Ford is a whole nother story.
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98 XJ LIMITED-RE 4.5"-RE H.D. Track Bar-JKS Disco's-RE Monotube Shocks-Front bumpstops, Adj. Rear bumpstops-33x12.50's Kumho Ventures on 15x8 Crager Soft 8's-C 4x4 front Bumper-IPF Lights-Surco Roof Rack-Trimmed Front/Rear
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Unread 08-22-2006, 03:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow81cj5
thats kinda wierd. Ball joints never go on jeeps. of course thats what ive seen, and aslo my opinion. Ford is a whole nother story.

I'm on my 2nd set driverside and 3rd upper passenger.

I've found out there is a difference in $40 pairs on Ebay and $50 PER BJ at a reputable shop.

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