'97 Stock ZJ Death Wobble - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > ZJ Grand Cherokee Forum > '97 Stock ZJ Death Wobble

Savvy Aluminum BumpersIntroducing MONSTALINERô UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineThe RuffStuff "I can't go to EJS" Sale!

Reply
Unread 07-25-2010, 06:40 PM   #1
jwilliamson1987
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 13
'97 Stock ZJ Death Wobble

Ok, I know the Death Wobble has been discussed almost to death, and I know there are tons of posts... but there isn't too much info about stock jeeps, especially stock zj's...

I have a 1997, Jeep Grand Cherokee, no modifications, at all!!! and I my DW is getting worse! I know it is a DW because it likes to almost throw me off the road above 50 mph, the only way to stop it is to stop, COMPLETELY, and it is usually caused by a small bump that starts a mild shaking and continues to get worse.

I have been underneath, and have done some basic examinations...

1) my tires are all worn EVENLY, no major issues besides normal wear and tear
2) the alignment is fine. I can let go of the steering wheel, and she glides right down the road, straight as an arrow.
3) I have some play in the tires... The driver's side wheel is loose side to side, and up and down (tie-rod ends, and ball joints, respectively). The passenger side is only giving some play side to side (tie rod ends).
4) I haven't checked the track bar yet...
5) I haven't messed with the steering stabilizer
6) when I brake, I feel the beginnings of a DW, but it never pans out... I think this is related to my DW, because my rotors are not warped. But, this could still be a brake issue.
7) I am around 180k miles, and it runs great!

I am going to go to my local shop that offers free estimates tomorrow hopefully, and see what they say. Most likely I might have to go to an off-road shop, because the local shop might not know what a DW is.

If anyone has any info on ZJ DW's with no LIFT, I would greatly appreciate the comments!!!!!!! Thank you!!!

__________________
JW
2004 WJ- Grand Cherokee, Limited, 4.7L V8, Quadra-Trac II, Pewter
Mount Prospect, IL
jwilliamson1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 12:40 PM   #2
MoSutty
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 10
I recently had DW issues only when braking at 50 mph with my stock ZJ. I had just replaced rotors and pads less than a year ago so I was certain it couldn’t be warped rotors already. Took it to a shop and they checked steering stabilizer, track bar, shocks, alignment and recommended turning the front rotors. After some stubborn arguing on my part I went home, took the rotors off and had them turned. Problem solved. The mechanic said that he had to turn/replace rotors every 6 to 10 months on his ZJ.
MoSutty is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
tody009
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Orange County
Posts: 115
my buddy had what was very close to deathwobble with his stock zj. when we did his lift we found a crack in his trackbar mount. i also had deathwobble from a broken trackbar mount as well so go check and see if you can find a crack on there. thats where i would put my money. and its the mount on the driver side frame rail
__________________
1994 ZJ 4x4 with 5.2 and 46rh, 249, k&n cold air, mike leach headers, msd iginition, flowmaster 50, taurus e-fan, rancho 3" lift, bfg 31", ARB bumper, warn m8000, ipf lights, custom sliders, don-a-vee tire carrier, custom drawers in the back
tody009 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 01:17 PM   #4
sebian
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,241
I would also start with the track bar. I did not have any DW on my stock ZJ until I removed the track bar. But your issue is likely within the track bar bushings, or the mounts (as mentioned above).

And yes, I replaced the track bar the next day. Had to remove it due to a busted bolt head. I didn't want something to come flying off while driving and hit another car. I felt it better to deal with the DW and pull over as necessary.
__________________
1995 ZJ 5.2L V8 318. 220,000 miles and still rollin.

List of parts not replaced yet:
...
sebian is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
richman10302
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New York, NYC
Posts: 67
Not to hijack but i have similar issues.

All stock 94 ZJ 118K

i took hard visual at every joint rubber bushing possible..i see alot of suspects lol aside from all the rusty nuts and bolts..my biggest culprit i think is a blown grease bushing on my drag link connecting to my pitman
richman10302 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 03:09 PM   #6
PktoBk
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 10
I had exact same symptoms with mine. Replaced the steering stabilizer.....smooth as glass now. I've actually had this problem, the DW, with two ZJs and both times replacing the stabilizer fixed it.
PktoBk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 03:31 PM   #7
WhiteOut
Web Wheeler
 
WhiteOut's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,836
Have a friend turn the wheel back and forth while you look for play in all the components int he front. Look at the frame and axle ends of the track bar especially. Don't pay attention to the poster above you tells you to change the SS, it will only mask symptoms and not solve them. It is entirely possible to run without one so thaat would not be the cause.
WhiteOut is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 05:00 PM   #8
corndogduff
Registered User
1992  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Mormonville, UT
Posts: 3,330
Check your lugnuts, make sure they are torqued down, then every bolt in your steering/suspension and make sure they are torqued to spec, then if its not that check the physical mounts, and if not that... Well, it's a Jeep. DW can be caused by any number/combination of things with solid axle vehicles.
__________________
Duff.
(broken)98 ZJ 5.9
UT Jeepcrew #13
NIGHTCREW
corndogduff is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 06:46 PM   #9
Cutlass
Registered User
1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , New York
Posts: 282
upper/lower ball joints, wheel hub assembly any play in that can cause DW, and check your front lower control arm bushings, you have to take em out to see if theres any issues but at 180k i bet there pretty worn out, and definately check the axle side track bar bolt
__________________
1994 Grand Cherokee V8.... R.I.P Black ZJ
IRO/RC 4.5"
33" Dunlop A/T's
Built Not Bought #520
Cutlass is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-11-2011, 07:19 PM   #10
19YJ91
Registered User
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Martinsville, Indiana
Posts: 248
I would for sure check the trac bar. I lost the bolt that holds it on and thought I was going to die...
19YJ91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-23-2014, 01:48 PM   #11
ajm3377
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: stockton, Missouri (MO)
Posts: 5
I changed out the ball joints and wheel hubs on my stock 95 zj. (245xxx on the stock parts) it took care of my wobble and drove like a dream
ajm3377 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-23-2014, 05:09 PM   #12
Oldfrog
Web Wheeler
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Louisiana/Texas
Posts: 2,936
My stock ( with U/C only) ZJ's DW has been caused by a couple of different things over the years.
The #1 cause was a bad track bar, followed by a loose frame side track bar mounting bracket. Then I had a loose steering box once..but suspected that an earlier DW incident(s) caused it.
__________________
Cajun Recipes and Fishing tips

Words of wisdom, Posted by Zeejay:
"..it's not air, it is the opposite of air... suckage so to speak."
Oldfrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1997 zj , death wobble , death wobble diagnosis , stock
Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.