Can a bad steering stabilizer cause Death Wobble? Need help ! - 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 > Can a bad steering stabilizer cause Death Wobble? Need help !

The ULTIMATE "Selectable" Locker System! BroughRough Country Lift Kits and Parts!Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line

Reply
Unread 11-14-2011, 06:54 AM   #1
thegipper
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: grafton, wi
Posts: 83
Death Wobble? Leaking steering stabilizer w/pics......Need help !

Ok I've read up alot on the what causes death wobble and ive read mixed opinions.

I have a stock 95 4.0 ZJ with 290k miles. About a two weeks ago I was driving to my brothers house and hit a decent bump in the road and experienced the infamous "death wobble". This was not like unbalanced tire wobble, or snow in the rims wobble but full on DEATH wobble where the front end was shaking violently. I hit the brakes and it went away.

It happened again like a week later again after hitting a bump.

I started to read up on "death wobble" and have decided to garage it until I can fix it because I don't want to further damage any components.

I took it to a garage that a friend owns this weekend and put it on the lift. I had him start it up and turn back and forth while I looked with a flash light.

I'm no mechanic but nothing looked like it was moving excessively. I also grabbed onto all components and pulled back and forth and nothing was really moving.

What I did notice is the steering stabilizer is leaking oil out of it and is most likely shot.

My question is should I start by replacing the SS and re-balancing my tires and see if that fixes it?

Also I tried taking the SS out and got the bolt and nut out but couldn't get the other end off. I removed the nut with the cotter pin but could not figure out how to get the bolt out? I read somewhere that you have to use a tie rod remover or something to get it out? this true?

Here is a picture of what I cant get out on the SS: http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/...-29-39_492.jpg

Here's a picture of the leaky SS: http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/...-29-56_504.jpg

And I know this video kind of sucks but this is me trying to record and hold a flash light as my friend turns the wheels back and forth on the lift:http://s1127.photobucket.com/albums/...-19-13_890.mp4


Last edited by thegipper; 11-14-2011 at 07:54 AM..
thegipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 07:33 AM   #2
ratmonkey
R.I.P.
 
ratmonkey's Avatar
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: , Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,805
a steering stabilizer is not a cause of, or fix for, death wobble.

a test on a lift for loose front end components is worthless. you need the weight of the vehicle on the tires while turning things.
__________________
'97 zj 5.2, some stuff, some other suff, and some things that even work sometimes.

ratmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 07:42 AM   #3
thegipper
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: grafton, wi
Posts: 83
The weight of the vehicle was on the tires. Its a drive on style lift.

So SS cant be the cause of the death wobble?

Everything else appeared to be pretty solid. Nothing was obviously worn.
thegipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 07:52 AM   #4
thegipper
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: grafton, wi
Posts: 83
Since most people say that a worn track bar bushing or ovaled out holes is what usually cause the DW what should I be looking for when someone is turning it back and forth.

I watched for it and I didn't see it moving. How much movement is too much? maybe it was so slight I didn't notice? Should I take it off and inspect it?


Thanks for the help
thegipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 10:37 AM   #5
thegipper
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: grafton, wi
Posts: 83
I just had a friend at work say also that its most likely the track bar. He was a ASE Chrysler mechanic for 16 years. He said 90% of the time the DW occurs because the track bar is worn or lose.


Should I replace the bushing or the entire track bar?

He said the entire track bar. Your thoughts?
thegipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 11:16 AM   #6
Technohead
Old School
 
Technohead's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Exeter, RI
Posts: 6,564
Steering stablizers exist to help reduce steering shimmy (aka death wobble) but replacing it probably will not solve the problem. Loose track bar and too little caster are the most common causes. Severely worn control arm bushings can affect caster enough to create death wobble.
Technohead is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 11:41 AM   #7
thegipper
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: grafton, wi
Posts: 83
I just ordered a new steering stabilizer and new trac bar. Even though the SS is not causing the DW I figure its leaking oil and probably should be replaced anyways. Hopefully between replacing the trac bar, SS, and re-balancing the front tires it will fix my DW.

I'll post back with my results


Any other information or comments is greatly appreciated.
thegipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 01:43 PM   #8
Technohead
Old School
 
Technohead's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Exeter, RI
Posts: 6,564
Diagnose first. Order parts second.

Ordering a new stabilizer is a no-brainer because the original is leaking. Track bar not so much. Sometimes the mounting hole gets ovalled out and a new track bar will not fix that.
Technohead is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 01:51 PM   #9
thegipper
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: grafton, wi
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technohead View Post
Diagnose first. Order parts second.

Ordering a new stabilizer is a no-brainer because the original is leaking. Track bar not so much. Sometimes the mounting hole gets ovalled out and a new track bar will not fix that.
Thanks for the help. The mechanic at where I work just ordered it because I want to get it fixed before I go up deer hunting this weekend. He said he can just return the parts if he doesn't need them. I let him order the parts because he gets them cheaper then I can.

Oh and by mounting hole might be ovalled out do you mean the end that has the ball joint or the other end with the bushing?
thegipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 01:55 PM   #10
HighLonesome
Belief In All Things Jeep
 
HighLonesome's Avatar
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 5,479
Trackbar and SS are the first things to replace. What I would do after verifying tire/wheel roundness, balance, trueness and alignment.
HighLonesome is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 01:59 PM   #11
Scoobicon
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New Windsor, MD
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratmonkey View Post
a steering stabilizer is not a cause of, or fix for, death wobble.

a test on a lift for loose front end components is worthless. you need the weight of the vehicle on the tires while turning things.
Steering stablizers, though not the most likely cause, can most definitely cause death wobble if defective. Been there, experienced that. All else well on the front of my tj was in good working order and properly secured. Replaced steering stabilizer, problem eliminated. Upon removal, it was, indeed, toasty. Check everything, but do not rule out the steering stabilizer.
Scoobicon is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 02:34 PM   #12
neonhomer
Registered User
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Edgewater, FL, Florida
Posts: 447
Steering stabilizers usually just mask the cause.

I have found that slightly toeing out the front tires helps eliminate DW. I run 31's on a 3.5" lift, and I have been through new track bars, new stabilizers, new tie rod ends, ball joints, etc etc, and they all don't cure the problem. Had the front end aligned to factory spec. No good...

Finally had a 4wd shop align it, and they set the toe just slightly out, and my DW has disappeared.

This tells me there is slack somewhere, but for right now, I am running it as is. No abnormal wear on the tires, and no noticeable drop in mileage (based on running a 226k mile motor!).
__________________
---------------
[COLOR="Lime"][SIZE="5"]NeonHomer[/SIZE][/COLOR]
Mid-Florida Jeep Club - Member
1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 4.0L/42RE/242 - Rebuilt motor w/ Comp cam (4/12), 3.5" Junkyard F>R lift, 31x10.5.x15 M/T's, Spartan Locked D44a, TC & tank skids, F&R adj trackbars, V8 steering arms
Galaxy DX99V CB, 102" SS Whip, Yaesu FT-2900R 2m, Larsen 1/4w mag mount, Sony HU, Massive 3way - F Door, Pioneer 3way - R Doors, MB Quart ONX304 Subs (x2), Lanzar 1600w amp.

"No Matter Where You Go... There You Are."
"Oh me oh my a lovely day is dawning. Oh what a joy I didn't wake up dead. So I can go to work and then resume my yawning, and get my sleep on site instead of in my bed" - Daria Morgendorffer (with my twist)
neonhomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 06:21 PM   #13
WhiteOut
Web Wheeler
 
WhiteOut's Avatar
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 8,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoobicon View Post
Steering stablizers, though not the most likely cause, can most definitely cause death wobble if defective. Been there, experienced that. All else well on the front of my tj was in good working order and properly secured. Replaced steering stabilizer, problem eliminated. Upon removal, it was, indeed, toasty. Check everything, but do not rule out the steering stabilizer.
No they can't. If it was the case, the people on here who don't have a steering stabilizer would have vehicles that are undriveable. All it does is dampen feedback, hence the correct term "steering damper", it does nothing to help locate the axle or keep it in place.
WhiteOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 06:23 PM   #14
ytowntj
Registered User
1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Norfolk - Old Dominion, Va
Posts: 2,745
Nope. I dont run one and my rig drives near perfect. Had a few people question it and let them drive and they were impressed with the drivablilty.
__________________
Parting my TJ:

http://norfolk.craigslist.org/pts/4338209219.html

My build - Odd approach to 33's
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/o...h-33s-1307968/
ytowntj is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2011, 09:09 PM   #15
ratmonkey
R.I.P.
 
ratmonkey's Avatar
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: , Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoobicon View Post
Steering stablizers, though not the most likely cause, can most definitely cause death wobble if defective. Been there, experienced that. All else well on the front of my tj was in good working order and properly secured. Replaced steering stabilizer, problem eliminated. Upon removal, it was, indeed, toasty. Check everything, but do not rule out the steering stabilizer.
Like the other guys,i dont have a steering stabilizer.
I got death wobble once, on purpose just to experience it. Let my ovaled out track bar mount go till it wobbled on me.

Drilled it out and installed a 1/2x13 bolt.
__________________
'97 zj 5.2, some stuff, some other suff, and some things that even work sometimes.

ratmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
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.