Death Wobble Help!! - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-09-2010, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
ljhopp
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Death Wobble Help!!

I have 99 wj. I have done a lot of research on death wobble and I can't find another situation that is similar to mine. I first experienced death wobble when I had the old longblock in the back of my jeep and I was going about 55mph and coming to stop, the death wobble happened when I pushed on the breaks going about 55 mph and shock the whole jeep scared the ***** on of me. So I thought the weight of the longblock was causeing the death wobble so I took the LB out of the back and I still had the DW but was not as bad.

So i read up on the internet that loose steering parts cause DW. So crawled under the jeep to find that I had play in the inner right side of the tie rod, but I could also take both the drag link and tie rod bar turn them clockwise and counter clock wise and I could turn them enough to make make them clunk. But some people say that is normal and some say replace them. I also found that my rear upper suspension arm bushing is bad. I replaced the inner right tie rod end, I have not replace the bushing yet because I read the dw only deals with the front of the vehicle. When I had the tie off I checked to see if the there was play in the rotor at the 6 and 12 position no movement so I checked the 3 and 9 position no movement I shook the jeep hard enough to move the whole jeep and I checked both sides no movement.

Went for a drive and I still have death wobble but the dw is alot less now. I still only get dw when I am breaking at about 55 mph. Now people also say to check your toe since I have installed a new tie rod end, I check it and the toe was at about +1/8 or less I have to adjust the tie rod end down some more to about -1/8 as that is what people say is the best toe in setting. Would a toe of +1/8 still becausing the dw. I have also noticed that SS looks like it is leaking oil very slow, but I thought the ss is just a band aid and that you can drive with out one, so I didn't think the ss is the problem. The track bar is another thing to check, so I did and I can barely get the track bar to move. All the bushing on the control arms look to be ok except the lower control arm bushing that is on the passenger side that bushing has a crack in it. Put none of the control arms have movement.

But if I start to slow down before hand and get below 50 mph I can slam on the breaks and won't experience the dw. So I thought I might have warped rotors that is trigging the dw, but If i had warped rotors wouldn't I have shaking when i break at any speed. When i press the breaks at slower speed the wheel doesn't shake. So i thought that ruled out having wrapped rotors.


So what do you think is the problem? The dw still only happens at about 55mph and when I am breaking hard and when I let off the breaks the dw still occurs until I slow down to about 35mpg then.

Thanks

My jeep is completely stock.


Last edited by ljhopp; 06-09-2010 at 03:11 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-09-2010, 02:29 PM
WillMcD
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If you can move your track bar at all that is the problem. the trackbar is not supposed to have play at all

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post #3 of 17 Old 06-09-2010, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
ljhopp
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The track bars movement is very small, almost not moving at all. I can get it to move if I try hard enough, the move is by rotating it cw or ccw no side to side movement.
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-09-2010, 02:52 PM
ezflip
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x2 on the track bar. Any movement = bad movement. Also, I have never experienced varying degrees of death wobble. Death Wobble is your front axle moving side to side under the jeep. Its all or nothing. What you are describing sounds more like bump steer to me. That can range from the steering wheel full on jerking you around to just a little shimmy when you hit a bump.

You said your a-arm bushing is shot? That can certainly cause bump steer. Fix it. Also, up/down left/right play in the drag link or tie rod is bad. Rotational play is okay.

Another thing to consider is ball joints. Those can also cause some massive amounts of bump steer.

Also, fill out your jeep profile. All of this is assuming you are still at stock height.

~James

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post #5 of 17 Old 06-09-2010, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezflip View Post
x2 on the track bar. Any movement = bad movement. Also, I have never experienced varying degrees of death wobble. Death Wobble is your front axle moving side to side under the jeep. Its all or nothing. What you are describing sounds more like bump steer to me. That can range from the steering wheel full on jerking you around to just a little shimmy when you hit a bump.

You said your a-arm bushing is shot? That can certainly cause bump steer. Fix it. Also, up/down left/right play in the drag link or tie rod is bad. Rotational play is okay.

Another thing to consider is ball joints. Those can also cause some massive amounts of bump steer.

Also, fill out your jeep profile. All of this is assuming you are still at stock height.
I don't have bump steer I can go over bumps all day long and not have my steering wheel shake from the 3 oclock position to the 9 oclock position. The shake was alot worse when the old longblock was in the back. When I took the longblock out and replaced the tie rod end the the shake is not has bad. I even stuck my head out the window and could see the wheels shaking so it's not caused by bumps it caused by breaking hard.

Yes, my rear upper suspension arm bushing is shot, I have the bushing I have just not put the bushing in yet because I have to get a pickle fork to seperate the ball joint from the upper suspension arm.

The ball joints are fine, I checking them when I took the wheel off.

I will order some new track bar bushings and see if that solves the dw shake. Where is a good place to get the bushings from?

My jeep is completetly stock.
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-09-2010, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Where is a good place to get the track bar bushings along with the control arm bushings.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 08:03 AM
RedlegWJ
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Bump steer is side to side slop in your steering. Happens with bad parts, wore out steering gear or misaligned track bar/drag link geometry. If you have a split control arm bushing, yes that can hurt ya. The bushings are already thin. They are cavitated to help smooth the ride and let them flex more.
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljhopp View Post
I don't have bump steer I can go over bumps all day long and not have my steering wheel shake from the 3 oclock position to the 9 oclock position. The shake was alot worse when the old longblock was in the back. When I took the longblock out and replaced the tie rod end the the shake is not has bad. I even stuck my head out the window and could see the wheels shaking so it's not caused by bumps it caused by breaking hard.

Yes, my rear upper suspension arm bushing is shot, I have the bushing I have just not put the bushing in yet because I have to get a pickle fork to seperate the ball joint from the upper suspension arm.

The ball joints are fine, I checking them when I took the wheel off.

I will order some new track bar bushings and see if that solves the dw shake. Where is a good place to get the bushings from?

My jeep is completetly stock.
Still doesnt mean its not bump steer. Bump steer is much less predictable than DW in terms of severity. Have you had your tires balanced? That can cause higher speed bump steer while not having any affect at all at lower speeds. (such as it happing right at 55mph, but at 54mph there is nothing)

I had this exact problem when I put my stock rims and tires back on to save some gas mileage. All was good until I hit about 45mph. Then every bump I hit, the steering wheel shook like crazy and it felt like the wheels were going to fall off. But it was NOT DW. Once you actually experience DW, you will know exactly what I mean. Which is why I dont think what you have is actually DW. Anyhoo, I tried everything to get rid of it. Put my 31's back on and the problem was gone. So I went and had my stockers balanced, and sure enough, no more shaking.

~James

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post #9 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezflip View Post
Still doesnt mean its not bump steer. Bump steer is much less predictable than DW in terms of severity. Have you had your tires balanced? That can cause higher speed bump steer while not having any affect at all at lower speeds. (such as it happing right at 55mph, but at 54mph there is nothing)

I had this exact problem when I put my stock rims and tires back on to save some gas mileage. All was good until I hit about 45mph. Then every bump I hit, the steering wheel shook like crazy and it felt like the wheels were going to fall off. But it was NOT DW. Once you actually experience DW, you will know exactly what I mean. Which is why I dont think what you have is actually DW. Anyhoo, I tried everything to get rid of it. Put my 31's back on and the problem was gone. So I went and had my stockers balanced, and sure enough, no more shaking.
my girlfriend was behind me and she said it looked like the tires were going to fly off. The wobble was the same until I slowed down enough to allow the jeep to recover. But maybe it is bumb steer wobble but happens without hitting bumbs. The whole jeep felt like it was going to fly apart. I don't think it is bump steer because bump steer happens when you hit a bump and then jeep does in to a wobble. When mine happens when I am drive around 55mph and I have to come to stop quickly so I have to push the breaks in harder then my wheel will start shaking back and forth until I slow down enough to allow the jeep the recover. I can also break lightly around 55mph and it won't happen.

I don't know if the tires are balanced, I will check that out they don't look any different from when they were balanced. I will research bump steer and see if that is what it sounds like my jeep is going.

Thanks everyone for your help.

Last edited by ljhopp; 06-10-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Well after reading seveal post on bump steer I don't think I have bump steer. Bump steer is when the drag link and track bar are not close to parallel, my jeep is stock so this should not be the issue. Also another sign of bump steer is when you go over bumps your steering wheel will turn to the left or right, my doesn't do this. I can go over a bump at any speed and my steering wheel doesn't change, so I don't think I have bump steer.
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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When I get back from vacation I am gonna get a new track bar and see if that fixs the dw and if that does not I am then gonna get 3 new tie rod ends and if that doesn't fix the problem I am gonna get new control arm bushings. Finally if that doesn't fix the problem I am gonna sell the jeep. LOL
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 11:51 AM
jclaudii
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are you going to get a stock replacement from dealer a replacement for a parts house, or a adjustable one from one of the online vendors?

did you try tightening the trackbar bolt...mine will work it's way loose every few months and I will get the wobbles. I just crawl under and tighten it back.
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
ljhopp
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I am gonna get one from online, that is non adjustable because I don't plan on lifting the jeep.
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-17-2010, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
ljhopp
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Today I corrected the tie rod end that I replaced. This time there is only a slight steering wheel shake at around 55mph. It is barely there, will only move the steering wheel a little then stop quickly. I also tighten up the upper control arm just a little, I didn't have a big enough torque drive so I couldn't get it really tight. Do think this could be warped rotor? This what I am leaning to at this time.
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-18-2010, 09:28 AM
jclaudii
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no...warp rotor would only do it while you were braking.

Here would be my next suggestions:
1. make sure the bolt to the track bar is tight on both ends...especially up on the frame side!
2. remove your steering stabilizer (the shock looking thing) and see if it is still hard to move up and down or if it goes up and down with little effort. If it is easy...then replacing that should remove what little vibrations you have left.
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