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Unread 09-20-2004, 08:11 PM   #1
OrvisOwner
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Crazy Vibration, Help!

I own a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition. I was on a roadtrip and was going around 70-75 MPH when I hit a rough part of the road. When I hit this pot-hole or bump my Jeep just started shaking like I blew a flat tire. I thought I had blown one, so I immediately pulled over. Right as I was starting to stop the shaking stopped, but I thought nothing of it at the time. I checked my tires, and they were all fine. I checked the belts and that looked fine too. I started it right back up and there was no vibration or shake at all. However, about 30 minutes later I hit another bump of some sort and the same thing happened. I pulled over again and looked over the wheel wells as best I could, but I can't seem to find anything.

I avoided all rough parts of the road on the way back home and everything was fine. However, I'm a little worried as to what it could possibly be. It seriously feels like a tire blows out when I hit a big pot hole. It just starts shaking and won't stop until I slow down to under 10 MPH. This vibrating sensastion has never happened in the city. It obviously must have something to do with driving 70 MPH and hitting a rough part of the road.

Does anybody have any ideas?

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Unread 09-20-2004, 08:29 PM   #2
Meerkat
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You are experiencing what many people call "Death Wobble". Do a search on death or wobble, you will have a lot of posts to wade through.
As far as I know, there are basically two causes for DW. Either lifting your Jeep and changing the suspension/steering geometry, or (in your case) wear of the bushings in the suspension/steering components that allow the wheels to shake uncontrollably. For some people simply changing the steering stabilizer has cured their problems, others have replaced pretty much every component before finally fixing it. So it is fairly impossible to point to one thing and tell you to replace it. You are going to have to carefully inspect every component and replace anything that is suspect. Tie rods and control arm links are the most common culprits. Check for worn bushings and play. To check for play, you are going to have to raise the body of the Jeep until the front wheels are off the ground. Also, check your shocks for oil leaks. If your shocks and front end alignment are old, you should consider an update in that area as well.

HTH
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Unread 09-20-2004, 08:57 PM   #3
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Rford

I smell class action lawsuit....why doesn't someone start collecting all of the death wobble complaints. I am sure some energetic lawyer will sue Chrysler for us. I am running a thread on this very death wobble issue....so far, my best guess would be to replace the track bar....that's the "common wisdom" but like the man said, it could be caused by just about anything that is hooked to the front axle. I'll say it again...its a shame that Jeep hasn't taken care of this...it has to be as dangerous as a Pinto with an exploding gas tank.
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Unread 09-20-2004, 09:43 PM   #4
OrvisOwner
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This sounds like a real pain in the ***. I'm not the smartest guy in the world when it comes to the mechanics of my Jeep. I don't exactly have the means to lift the sucker into the air 6 feet. I'm not sure what I'll do. I hate to take it into the stealership to get things done, but I'm not into pissing away a day looking for something wrong that I'll probably never find.
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Unread 09-20-2004, 09:56 PM   #5
Meerkat
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Well, to get right down to it, I would have to say they have taken care of it... By doing the very thing most everybody here is complaining about. That is, the introduction of IFS on the '05 model. I seriously doubt we'll be hearing about DW on any of those Jeeps.
There are way too many possible causes for DW on Jeeps. From user modifications to wear and tear of suspension/steering components. I seriously doubt any attorney is going to take on, let alone win, a case built on the premise the manufacturer is responsible for long term maintenance of rubber bushings, etc. In a very unofficial way, I have observed another source of the DW, that being the automotive wheel alignment shop. Places like Firestone all too often hire people that are not trained to work on all the vehicles they are called upon to work on. It doesn't take much to see that the suspension set of of the Grand Cherokee is unique, and it is all too easy to throw the whole thing out of whack.

Just my $0.02 USD

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Unread 09-20-2004, 10:02 PM   #6
Meerkat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrvisOwner
This sounds like a real pain in the ***. I'm not the smartest guy in the world when it comes to the mechanics of my Jeep. I don't exactly have the means to lift the sucker into the air 6 feet. I'm not sure what I'll do. I hate to take it into the stealership to get things done, but I'm not into pissing away a day looking for something wrong that I'll probably never find.

That's about all you can do, really. If you know you don't have the time/facilities/equipment/knowledge to do it yourself, you'll at least want to be educated about what is going on under there so that you can keep the shop from wasting your time/money. The more groundwork you can lay by inspecting the system yourself the more time and money you may save yourself. The amount of groundwork you lay is dependant on the aforementioned time/facilities/equipment/knowledge.

HTH
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Unread 09-23-2004, 06:58 PM   #7
Rford
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Just kidding about the lawsuit

Warren, I am a lawyer and would like to figure out how make jeep pay for a problem that seems to occur across the board on all their jeeps and for which there is no solution but you are probably right about the likelihood of success.
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Unread 09-23-2004, 07:17 PM   #8
Meerkat
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So would you say I am a pessimist, or a realist?



I take it you had the suspension arms checked out with negative results...
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Unread 09-24-2004, 07:40 AM   #9
Rford
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Astute Realist

I "checked" the suspension arms but don't know what I was checking....no obvious damage or looseness or torn rubber, etc. but I know it is hard to tell when one of these encased rubber bushings has gone bad. I may be trying to track down some new bushings or even arms today...seems like that is now the most likely culprit. I suspect that my alignment shop may not have checked these ... but I did ask them to do a thorough check and it is a good shop.

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Unread 09-24-2004, 12:03 PM   #10
GC4x4
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this DW. does it occur on stock grands? or even with very mild lift such as 2-3"?
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Unread 09-24-2004, 12:39 PM   #11
Rford
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Stock DW--bad as it gets

My 94 is 100% stock and the DW is horrible....
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Unread 09-24-2004, 01:04 PM   #12
PlatinumZJ
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here is another write up regarding DW ... Very interesting http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...hreadid=407686
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