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Unread 01-24-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
GenesisGirl
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VIOLENT shake, but doesn't sound like death wobble... Please help!

SO, after 4 months with no jeep due to a jerk with no insurance rear ending me... I finally bought another ZJ. This one is a 96 Laredo with a v6 and 4x4, 116000 miles ... bought it for $950 half blind.

First, I fixed the hoses to the radiator, which were leaking at the seals, changed the battery and connections, had tires checked and an alignment from Firestone... changed the oil, and added Lucius trans stop slip to the clean transmission fluid.

Now, She starts and runs great. the exhaust sounds loud and the RPM's go to about 26 between 1st and 2nd. The shifts feel smooth, but late. Also seams to run a 20 RPMs on the hwy at all times, like it needs the throttle pressed more than normal.

People keep telling me I need a trans rebuild, but I think it's bulls***. This jeep only has 116000 miles on her. My first thought was something with the idle, but people looked at me crazy for that. Then after some research I decided maybe the throttle valve cable needs adjustment, or possibly some sort of intake manifold leak???

So, here's what happened...
I drove around all day, mostly on side streets under 40mph. When I went to get on the highway... I was on an elevated ramp... I hear a "clunk" and everything violently shakes. I fight to keep control of the car and have to come to a complete stop on the entrance ramp. I was sure something snapped and broke, or tires were flat, or something... but no. Everything was fine, the truck started right back up and drove home fine.

I took it by the closest mechanic shop just to inquire. The guy (without driving it) tells me that the transmission is slipping and it's causing pressure to build up in the torque converter... and what happened was the torque converter was releasing pressure (I can't find anything online to support this idea).

I continued to drive the truck and had the same experience 2x more that day. every time after hwy driving, and on a ramp or something where I'm turning and breaking.

I don't think it's death wobble or transmission. I don't know much, but the shifting seams too smooth for a bad trans... any ideas???

Thanks so much for your time and ideas. This is a dangerous issue, and I can't sell the truck to someone else in this condition, so I would like to fix it.

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Unread 01-24-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
GenesisGirl
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oh, and I am still driving the truck. I have not taken it on the highway, and have not have any issues with the violent shake. The RPMs still seam too high before shifting though. I'm sure if I drove 30 miles down the highway it would do it again.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
Mickey_D
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I believe there's a write-up in the stickies about adjusting the shift down cable. It's fairly easy to do and is the first thing the FSM says to do for almost any shifting problem. Something like just undoing a clip, ensuring both the transmission horn and the throttle horn are at idle position and putting the clip back.

I'll see if I can find the page in my FSM and get you the directions.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
Mickey_D
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Here's the instructions. Sorry if the text is so small. It was either this or two separate pics.
throttlecable.jpg  
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Unread 01-24-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
GenesisGirl
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Thanks Mickey!
I know where it is and I have seen info, to be honest I am a girl who's 120lbs at best, and I can't open the clip on the cable to make the adjustment by myself (maybe can do it w a small c-clamp). This was my first guess too. I beleive i need to adjust one notch at a time towards the firewall to make the shifting sooner???

Do you think this could cause that crazy shake I experienced?
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Unread 01-24-2012, 10:37 PM   #6
Mickey_D
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Normally if a transmission shakes, it will only do it for a second or so. It's the clutches "chattering" as they engage. Kind of like a stickshift that got oil on the clutch plate. As soon as the clutches fully engage, they'll stop chattering. If the shuddering continues non-stop, I would (IMO) look elsewhere. Like passenger's side engine mount, U-joints, CV joints.

Did the shuddering feel like it was coming through your butt or your hands? Butt I would say driveline, hands I would say steering/suspension.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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The first pic you can see the tv cable, totally different clip though.

the second pic shows where the cables are mounted to the engine. On mine, the mount is missing nuts, and it it bent. my friends is missing nuts but not bent. should i worry about this? does it affect the cable adjustments?
jeeptvcable1.jpg   jeeptvcable.jpg  
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Unread 01-24-2012, 10:58 PM   #8
GenesisGirl
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EXTREMELY violent shake, like i thought the wheels fell off, like under the engine maybe. it's not all the time, it happens randomly for a few seconds. It's like an earthquake in the car. I have to try to keep the steering controlled and break to get off the road. but i can drive at 65 for an hour plus before this happens... then it happens, then everything is good and the car feels better than it did b4...???
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Unread 01-24-2012, 11:54 PM   #9
ratmonkey
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Sounds death wobble time to me.
It clunks every time before going into the wobble?
I would start by checking the track bar ball joint and the control arm bushings.
Then move on to ball joints, then motor and trans mounts.

Also, these trannies hate lucas, it actually makes them slip.
2000rpm at 55mph sounds like the torque converter is not locking up, culprits are usually the throttle position sensor or brake switch at the pedal.

The loud exhaust could be cracked because if the motor jumping around due to bad mounts.

That second pic you posted is just a cable guide, only keeps the cables orderly under the hood.
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Unread 01-25-2012, 12:02 AM   #10
GenesisGirl
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Ratmonkey... I agree w you. just curious, for the work you listed, what's a fair price to pay? just for an idea. I don't like using shops, but this death wobble thing is a serious problem.
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Unread 01-25-2012, 12:11 AM   #11
GenesisGirl
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this jeep has been rolled and repaired or something, so Death wobble would make a lot of sense.
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Unread 01-25-2012, 12:41 AM   #12
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If it was rolled a lot could be wrong. Sucks buying a vehicle where you didnt get full disclosure. Not like knowing every issue would knock that price down any more.


Get a helper and do a dry steering test. With the engine off, but key in the steering wheel unlock position, have a helper turn the wheel at a moderate speed a few degrees back and forth while watching the front end components for movement before the wheels start turning.
To check ball joints, jack one corner up under the axle, use a long lever like a 2x4 up pry up under the wheel. Watch ball joints closely for any up/down movement.
For motor/trans mounts. Start the vehicle with a helper. Have the helper put it in gear while you watch the motor. Have them give a little gas while on the brake too. You're watching for excessive rocking of the motor. Just putting in drive it should rock over only an inch or two at most.

The throttle position sensor is easy to replace, as is the brake switch if that is the problem with the shifting and high highway rpm.

We're still on the free checking part of things.
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Unread 01-25-2012, 12:56 AM   #13
GenesisGirl
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Thanks so much! I'll work on these things in the next few days and let you know what I accomplish. If that's all it is I got a steal on the car... Let's hope so!
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Unread 01-25-2012, 01:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenesisGirl View Post
Thanks Mickey!
I know where it is and I have seen info, to be honest I am a girl who's 120lbs at best, and I can't open the clip on the cable to make the adjustment by myself (maybe can do it w a small c-clamp). This was my first guess too. I beleive i need to adjust one notch at a time towards the firewall to make the shifting sooner???

Do you think this could cause that crazy shake I experienced?
The cable end slides off toward the driver's side with some pressure, but NOT off the "end" of the stud. Rotate the cable end slightly while applying pressure away from the bracket.

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Unread 01-25-2012, 01:18 AM   #15
GenesisGirl
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Awesome! I feel much more competent to try this at home now. I knew the adjustment needed to be made, but I'm learning for the first time, so now I think I'm ready to give it a try... I'll keep ya posted
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death wobble , idle too high , intake manifold , shake , throttle valve cable
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