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Unread 06-22-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
tecca
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Death Wobble - estimated repair costs?

Hi everyone,
I've got a standard 1993 Grand Cherokee. At speeds in the 50s (or on insanely rough roads) it tends to automatically go into a death wobble - that really violent shaking of the entire vehicle. I've looked through some of the other forums on this site, and the most common cause of this problem seems to stem from a loose track bar. If this is the case, I was just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and could tell me, in general, how much it'd cost to repair, including labor.
Any info would be appreciated, thanks!

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Unread 06-22-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
TallyZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecca View Post
Hi everyone,
I've got a standard 1993 Grand Cherokee. At speeds in the 50s (or on insanely rough roads) it tends to automatically go into a death wobble - that really violent shaking of the entire vehicle. I've looked through some of the other forums on this site, and the most common cause of this problem seems to stem from a loose track bar. If this is the case, I was just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and could tell me, in general, how much it'd cost to repair, including labor.
Any info would be appreciated, thanks!
Ok, so you have read about the causes of death wobble and you wonder if anyone else has had this problem? If no one else had ever had this problem then why would there be 400 threads on death wobble?

The cost of a track bar entirely depends on which track bar you choose to buy. Cost would be anywhere between $80 and $300 for the track bar and about an hour labor charge at whatever the shops labor rate is.
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Unread 06-22-2011, 05:16 PM   #3
sebian
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I replaced my OEM trackbar with a Spicer unit. I spent about $130 for it at Napa, and installed it myself. If you have a shop install it, you are probably looking at an hour of labor. If they quote anything more than an hour, they are trying to screw you.

FYI, don't go on the cheap with the trackbar. I tried a Duralast one before I bought the Spicer trackbar, and hated it. The Duralast one had noisy bushings, and did not seem as heavy duty and stable as the Spicer unit.
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Unread 06-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #4
Oldfrog
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Replace the steering damper first. It's bad too. ( about $35)
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Unread 06-22-2011, 05:35 PM   #5
Technohead
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The answer to your question is that the cost is not predictable. At standard shop rates you could be looking at anywhere from $50 to tighten a loose bolt to $1,000+ if ball joints, track bar, etc, etc, need to be replaced.

If you want to own an old Jeep then you need to learn to do the work yourself. Period.
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Unread 06-22-2011, 07:23 PM   #6
blackjack12982
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Originally Posted by Technohead View Post
The answer to your question is that the cost is not predictable. At standard shop rates you could be looking at anywhere from $50 to tighten a loose bolt to $1,000+ if ball joints, track bar, etc, etc, need to be replaced.

If you want to own an old Jeep then you need to learn to do the work yourself. Period.
This x 1000. I can't even tell you how much money I would've dumped into my 94 ZJ if I didn't know how to do it myself.

OP, if you have basic hand tools and a few mechanically savvy friends you can do most repairs yourself. In each of the death wobble threads there's a list of the common causes of DW, check these, and you'll soon find your problems...Could be as simple as re-balancing your tires or making sure your trackbar bolts are tight.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 09:37 PM   #7
rooster51
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Replace the steering damper ALSO. It's bad too. ( about $35)
Fixed it for you.
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Unread 06-24-2011, 11:34 AM   #8
nickm_03
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Well if you're like me, i took mine to the shop for the 'death wobble' and it turns out im just horrible at washing my jeep after mudding. It would shake at about 60mph so i took it in and they lifted it up took off all tires and dumped about 5lbs of dirt from each wheel. cost me $40 dollars for them to show me how ignorant i am lol i can honestly say that will be the last time that happens
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Unread 06-24-2011, 12:15 PM   #9
sdowney717
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the tires could be bad even if they look ok.
see if any shops have a road force balance machine.
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Unread 06-25-2011, 01:46 PM   #10
Oldfrog
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Originally Posted by rooster51 View Post
Fixed it for you.

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Unread 06-25-2011, 06:21 PM   #11
bigzj
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Kevin's Off Road did the trick for my death wobble. The guys got a whole section of his site dedicated to death wobbe cures. I slapped a few parts on there and the bad party guest has gone away.
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Unread 06-25-2011, 06:43 PM   #12
tecca
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All excellent advice everyone, thanks! As much as I'd love to do the work myself, I'm an 18 year old college student with virtually no knowledge of cars, so at this point in time it's not entirely realistic. So I'll probably end up taking it to the local shop (not the dealer, mind you), maybe ask them to start off with some simple fixes and work my way up as needed. Bigzj - checked out that site you mentioned...lots of great information, thanks!
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Unread 06-25-2011, 07:35 PM   #13
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My Grand Cherokee 2000, had the death wobble around 65 mph, with new tires and new steering damper, then I changed all 4 front ball joints, all 4 tie rod ends and finally aligned the front wheels myself. Now it rides like new.

I also have a 1988 Cherokee Chief 4x4 with the same problem but a much lower speeds; I will install new ball joints and tie rod ends this month. You will notice that the tires are worn on the outside border, etc.

In a small car wheels you can shake the wheels and notice when the ball joints are bad, but in a jeep you can’t notice any play on the wheel and have worn ball joints, if you can move the end tie rods with no effort they need to be changed. If you change the ball joints I recomend to install also new tie rod ends.

I purchased the ball joint service tool set on amazon, with free shipping and saved a lot of money doing all the work. If you want don’t have an idea of the work you can find videos on YouTube.

You will need more tools and if you don't have them this can be more expensive, for some people this can be challenging work. If you know what you are doing and have the correct tools this is not difficult to do, without the correct tools can be very dangerous.
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