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Unread 07-16-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
Corvo838
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YJ death wobble after bump

Hello people. So I have experienced death wobble after hitting a large bump and it scared the hell out of me. It didn't do this for a while after and now has been happening more regularly. Its a 95 yj, 2.5, 4 inch RC lift. It only happens at slower speeds when I hit a good bump and starts with a slight wobble and progresses into a violent wobble until I slow down to where I am almost stopped. I am thinking about taking it to go get aligned because my steering wheel is like upside down to drive straight. It has always been like that even before the wobble episodes started. I have heard of removing the trac bar which I plan to do for ride quality but could that be something causing death wobble? A little help here guys. Thanks!

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Unread 07-16-2013, 03:55 PM   #2
superj
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Check the steering stbilizer. I ha the same issue on a commanche, would only start after hitting a bump and I would have to slow below 25 or so for it to stop. For me, a new steering stabilizer and I never had the issue again.

My dad had the exact same issue and his went away with a new steering stabilizer, also
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Unread 07-16-2013, 04:38 PM   #3
jokerchief462
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The steering stabilizer is part of the solution but will mask other bad parts. Take it to a shop and have it inspected for bad steering parts as in ball joints, tie rod ends, wheel hub unit bearings, bad tires, wheel balance, steering gear box play, steering column lower bearing loose etc. Get a written estimate and decide who is going to do the work. It could be the very simple to the very expensive and this is not something you want to ignore or delay fixing it will only get worse.

Good luck!!
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Unread 07-16-2013, 05:32 PM   #4
Corvo838
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Of course I can bring it to a shop but I don't want to spend all this money to get something fixed that is something I can do myself...jeeps kill the bank account
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Unread 07-16-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
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Use their expertise get a written estimate. Then you know what pats are bad and then go home make a plan and replace them as the budget allows.

It could be something simple or a long list you don't know so leg them figure it out and you fix it.

I did my entire front end for less than$300. eBay is your friend and only buy free shipping parts. If you shop wisely you can save a lot.

Special tools are free if you return them at most parts stores. Ball joint press tie rod puller etc.

Once you know what parts you have to replace use YouTube to learn the how there are some great videos.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
102joe
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I am struggling with a very similar issue !

You can align it your self . It should have 1/8" - 1/4" toe in . You can jack up your front end , use a nail or screw sharp end sticking out of a board to scribe a straight line around your tire as someone spins it for you . Compare the distance from line to line front to back with a tape measure . Adjust with the tie rod . the front should be 1/8" - 1/4" narrower . Camber can't really be adjusted . Caster can be adjusted with degree shims . As for your steering wheel you can center it by adjusting your drag link .


Some possible Death wobble causes

Bad spring bushings
Broken Spring center pin
loose Shackle bolts
worn Unit bearings
worn ball Joints
worn tie rod ends
bad shocks
bad steering stabilizer
bad wheel balance
Loose or worn steering components
Loose U bolts

Sounds like I would look at your suspension first by your symptoms .

That said I still can't nail the cause of mine down .
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Unread 07-16-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
Corvo838
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OK I think I will take it to the shop for a little inspection. I was just underneath and noticed that my sway bar bushings were bad..like torn bad. Im not entirely sure if this can cause this terrifying death wobble. So many places say how rare death wobble is in a yj and I'm just a lucky owner :/
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Unread 07-16-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
Old4X
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Is your drag link parallel to your tie rod, or are they at an angle?
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Unread 07-16-2013, 09:53 PM   #9
rambo3489
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I don't get it. I am without shocks. My drag link is no where near the same angle that my tie rod is. I run 35s with no steering stabilizer. And I have no steering issues on the freeway.

Is there something wrong with me?

Sent from my phone because I'm doing something "more important"
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Unread 07-17-2013, 04:48 AM   #10
superj
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my current yj has never had the issue but those previous jeeps had it. i am glad this one doesn;t have it but i feel like my wife's 07 jku is going to get it soon. i can feel it trying to start sometimes.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 05:47 AM   #11
Rproject
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I experienced death wobble once. Scared the ever living daylights out of me. Happened at 70mph on the Indiana Toll Road. I thought I was going to die - literally. Thankfully my daughter was asleep and didn't see it or she would have been screaming in fear.

For me, death wobble was a combination of dead springs and a blown steering stabilizer. So many things go into the front end system of a vehicle that a single item, or a perfect storm of items, can create death wobble and it may never be exactly the same from vehicle to vehicle. If you can't figure it out for yourself, talk to several shops in your area, start the conversation with "I was going down the road and experienced Death Wobble", if they look at you funny - move on. If they jump in on the conversation and start talking about potential causes and solutions, let them see your vehicle. Do it face-face, that way you can see their reaction and be able to read if they're blowing smoke or actually know what they're talking about.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 06:51 AM   #12
102joe
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Of all the things I have read the above statement is true Death Wobble in a leaf spring vehicle is usually caused by more than 1 component failing . Making it very difficult to diagnose , especially in a 20 year old vehicle that is taken off road & UB-USED . I agree with the other posters that getting as many opinions is very helpful . Also consider any recant component changes that could affect the condition . Steering is such a safety concern any questionable components should be replaced .
I pulled my shocks & stabilizer they have resistance, But not sure exactly how much they should have . I have RS 9000 how stiff should they be ?
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Unread 07-17-2013, 07:30 AM   #13
czjeeper
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I never had it until I installed the narrowed HP dana 44 up front.
I can't figure out what's going on.
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Unread 07-22-2013, 03:05 PM   #14
Corvo838
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I just drove her down the street and hit a bump and immediately got DW. Was kinda classic because of the lady walking down the street saw this happen I thought she was gonna **** her pants. But I took it home and went under and started shaking and yanking at parts to look for play. I noticed that on the steering shaft it was lose at both ends where I can wiggle it around. My trac bar seems a little loose if I am talking about the right thing. I might just take that sucker out. But would bad ends of the steering shaft at the steering box be able to cause my DW?
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Unread 07-22-2013, 03:24 PM   #15
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The steering shaft being loose could give you a very loose wheel, but you would feel that at speed, regardless of a bump or not. Do you have a lot of wheel play to begin with? As for the "trac bar", it should not contribute to death wobble. Lots of people with YJ's run without them, me included, and have no death wobble.

jaycal3 posted this pic up a while back. Granted, it's from a TJ, but the only real difference is the upper/lower control arms and coil springs versus our leaf springs Please identify, from the pic below, which part seems a little loose.
32556-jeep-steering.jpg

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