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Unread 08-03-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
JHB625
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
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steering wheel wobble!

Ok so I was driving on the highway the other day. And I was making a turn, while turning I hit a big bump in the road and my steering wheel starting to shake back and forth. It wouldn't stop until I started to pull over and slow down to about 40. Any ideas on what I should do? Also it doesn't feel to safe and keeps happening.

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Unread 08-03-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
4ll4boutda4play
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Worn out tierod ends was my issue? Specs on jeep ? Look up deathwobble in the search function.
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Unread 08-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
CJ7-Tim
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With the engine off, have your helper crank on the steering wheel while you look, listen, and feel for any loose, damaged, or binding parts.


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. These 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.

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
-Needing an 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, control arms or track bar
-Steering box looseness
-Need drop pitman arm
-Driveshaft(s) not balanced
-Bad front hub assembly


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



Information provided by Jeeps Unlimited
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Unread 08-03-2011, 03:45 PM   #4
4ll4boutda4play
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^^^^ Listen to tim
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Unread 08-03-2011, 04:15 PM   #5
AtomicLabMonkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
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.
Not saying you shouldn't keep an eye on welds, but there is nothing about being loaded in shear in particular that makes a part susceptible to failure. Any piece of steel & associated welds will fatigue out after X number of cycles when they are cyclically stressed beyond their fatigue limit. Doesn't matter if the load is applied in tension, shear, bending, etc..

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHB625
Ok so I was driving on the highway the other day. And I was making a turn, while turning I hit a big bump in the road and my steering wheel starting to shake back and forth. It wouldn't stop until I started to pull over and slow down to about 40. Any ideas on what I should do? Also it doesn't feel to safe and keeps happening.
Some of these guys on here will swear up and down that it doesn't do anything, but I'd replace your steering stabilizer right off the bat. Push and tug and check everything else in the front end for wear & play as well though, as recommended.
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Unread 08-03-2011, 08:21 PM   #6
JHB625
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Ok thanks for all the help. But I do have to say it sounds like DW but I'm stock no lift at all. And the only way I can get it to stop shaking is by stopping or slowing down.
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Unread 08-03-2011, 10:12 PM   #7
Chelsea
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It definitely sounds like death wobble. Even stock rigs can get it due to worn out parts. As for the steering stabilizer, that is just going to band-aid the situation, not fix it. You need to go through the list that CJ7-Tim posted and find out specifically what is causing it. Good luck!
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Unread 08-03-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
CJ7-Tim
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With the engine off, have your helper crank on the steering wheel while you look, listen, and feel for any loose, damaged, or binding parts.
__________________
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Unread 08-04-2011, 12:28 AM   #9
AtomicLabMonkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsea View Post
As for the steering stabilizer, that is just going to band-aid the situation, not fix it. You need to go through the list that CJ7-Tim posted and find out specifically what is causing it.
You people crack me up.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #10
4ll4boutda4play
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What you mean "YOU PEOPLE"
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1997 Cherokee Sport, Rustys Intake with velocity stack and larger cone filter, Flowmaster 40 series, Junkyard Lift 3.5", Zone Nitro Shocks, Trimed fenders, 35x14.5x15 TSL Thornbirds (Looks HUGE) ... trail damage :) Future holds Aftermarket bumpers front and rear, exo cage, lockers/gears
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Unread 08-04-2011, 02:32 PM   #11
AtomicLabMonkey
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You never go full retard.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 04:29 PM   #12
foggybottombob
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If a steering stabilizer was a "band-aid" it would not have been designed into the steering by AMC engineers.
Carry on soldier.
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Unread 08-05-2011, 07:35 AM   #13
Chelsea
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Not saying it's a band-aid in general, obviously it serves a purpose. I'm saying that replacing it in attempt to solve DW is a band-aid.
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Unread 08-05-2011, 09:57 AM   #14
AtomicLabMonkey
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...calming down steering shimmy/wobble is its purpose.
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Unread 08-05-2011, 10:26 AM   #15
foggybottombob
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The steering and suspension can be thought of as a system in engineering terms.
DW amounts to an astable condition of the steering system.
All the components of the steering system can contribute to making the steering critically damped. (working as it should).
Stiffness of the track bar, trac bar links, control arm bushings steering component mount points tire sidewall stiffness, damping ability of the steering damper and caster all contribute to whether or not the steering is critically damped. By making any of these factors worse, you put the steering system closer to being able to enter an astable condition (DW) with external stimulus (usually hitting a bump with the passenger side tire).
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