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Unread 05-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
Masters48
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1988 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Port St.Lucie, Florida
Posts: 7
Violent shaking

I have a 88 wagoneer with the 4.0 , and randomly while cruising at interstate speeds the jeep went into a violent shake. I pulled over to jus check it out , nothing apparent , tried driving it again and it was back to normal. Any ideas

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Unread 05-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #2
CJ7-Tim
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 21,653
Might be Death Wobble.

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 Bolts – Make sure all bolts both at the axle end, and at the frame bracket, 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!

DW is not usually caused by one single item on the list below, it occurs when a combination of weak, damaged, failed, or out of specification items on the list are present. Tire issues will only initiate DW, and are not the sole cause of DW.

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 side control arm or track bar mount
-Worn or damaged axle side mounting bracket
-Steering box looseness
-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
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Unread 05-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #3
buildin1XJ
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Knoxville, Tn.
Posts: 1,569
Read an follow all of CJ7 Tim's post that will be all the info you need. If you are not familiar with such work I would suggest taking it to an alignment shop that does 4WD work. In my area frame alignment shops are the best to deal with.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 07:39 AM   #4
Masters48
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1988 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Port St.Lucie, Florida
Posts: 7
I appreciate the help guys! In a few weeks I'm going to be putting a lift on and I'll carefully check over it all while its up in the air
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Unread 05-17-2013, 02:59 AM   #5
yamazinger
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1993 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: allentown, pa
Posts: 26
when i first bought my 93xj i would get death wobble at exactly 45mph. for an entire year i never drove faster than 44 haha. i only bought it to offroad with so wasnt really concerned, but i put a lift on and it made it worse. eventually i got an adj track bar and it solved the problem. i would check your track bar first since that is usually the problem.
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Unread 05-17-2013, 09:16 PM   #6
BigBadWuf
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1992 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Greenville, Virginia
Posts: 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by yamazinger View Post
when i first bought my 93xj i would get death wobble at exactly 45mph. for an entire year i never drove faster than 44 haha. i only bought it to offroad with so wasnt really concerned, but i put a lift on and it made it worse. eventually i got an adj track bar and it solved the problem. i would check your track bar first since that is usually the problem.
This, mine was a loose adjustable trackbar that my dad had installed at a shop, torque specs are very important on this, and on this factory torque spec is a little to low. Also get your tires balanced, from what i understand dw is a loose part that shakes at a certain speed, and unbalanced tires will magnify the shake.
Also check the frame side of the trackbar mount for loose bolts.
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