Originally Posted by tckenney
Adj. Upper Control arms to set caster. Stiffer track bar bushings from KOR. Would be a start. Proper alignment by 4WD shop who specializes in lifted vehicles.
Dealership completely messed my alignment bad. I did 3" lift, i set my track bar to stock just as a reference. They didn't adjust it at all. It was something like an inch and a half off on the loose side. Allowing DW to occur.
To the OP and anyone who has this same question. Ill sum it up for you in one post. hopefully future members use the search and find this post.
Death wobble sucks.... all who have had it hate it, and all who have yet to experience it pray they don't ever experience it.
you make a list of everything that could possibly give you death wobble on a scale 1-10. 1 being greatest dw factor 10 being a less dw factor.
start by looking at your rig on what is lose what is tight. if you have a second person/helper to turn the wheel left and right while your under your jeep that's a help. you get to see the whole axle shift left to right under stress/load if the track bar bushings are bad, or worse if the bolt hole on the axle where the track bar mounts is oblong'd/oval'd out a bit. my helper (the wife, although a 12 year old might have been more help with a lil less *****ing) was able to do this for me and i was able to notice real quick that during my last alignment (or maybe me, but I'm blaming the alignment people) the had the outer tie rod on the drag link threaded to far out and the pitman arm side in way to far. causing too little of threads on the knuckle/tire side so under stress/load when turning i could watch the tie rod buckle because it wasn't threaded into the sleeve enough. the alignment guys just adjusted the drag link until the wheel was straight again, not really caring or thinking that there wasn't enough rod in the sleeve.
1. tie rod ends
. I have had the nastiest dw known to man... (maybe, but at 20mph an expansion joint on a concrete bridge on a backroad in Maine...dw till i was under 10mph.) it takes awhile to go 30 mile commute at 20mph.
just by switching out to new tie rods i got a couple weeks/month of dw free driving as long as i was 35mph and under.
2. track bar/track bar bushings
if your track bar isn't tightened up its going to allow shimmy of the whole front axle left to right all while the vehicle stays straight. same with the bushings. How old is the lift... track bar...bushings?
it might only allow 1/2" of play but with the force multiplier of 4200lbs moving at 40mph and 70lbs of rotating tire on either side... thats when you feel the dw start and then just goes faster and faster till its to late.
3. castor angle/alignment
. i feel that castor angle is less important than the other 2 listed above due to i had installed my lift (terraflex coils 4", but netted me 5.5" oddly enough, bilsteins 5100 rusty track bar factory uca and factory lca) had it aligned and was at 3.75 castor angle. never knew what dw felt like. installed iro adj uca/lca was at 4.25 castor. still no dw. just lucky i guess. did my varilok axle swap. DW LIKE A MOFO. still at 4.25 castor. same tie rods and track bar as with the factory open d30? still dont know what happened. from that point on ive been on the search for the "ultimate dw cure" now i'am at 6* positive castor on short arms. an i do have front driveline vibes..however that's also because I need a front pinion bearing and front drive shaft balanced. but that's in the spring when my open diff goes back in with an aussie and a new TW drive shaft)
. look at any and all your bushings/bolts. maybe also while your helper is cranking the steering wheel left to right. the upper control arm mount on the axle. that ear in which the control arm bolts to. that is one common place that people overlook as well. those bushings do break down. not as common enough to be more important than tire ( as covered below) but still bushings should never be overlooked and are more important than tire size/pressure/balance
5. Ball joints/wheel bearings
. just like tie rods ball joints are up there as well. if they are worn or loose they will allow tires to flop/wobble individually of each other. wheel bearings as well.
6. Properly balanced tires
. unbalanced tires is hard to figure out if that is more or less important than tie rods or alignment when a set of unbalanced tires can def set off dw at just the right speeds, not even a bump steer to help. just an all out straight shot 50mph cruise ...then it happens. i get your tires re-balanced. then look at each one. look to see which 2 have the least amount of weight on them. those should be your #1 choice to go upfront. hopefully you have two that have the exact same size weight on them. those go on the front. tires with less weight/weights means that they are more naturally perfect. some tires do not even need weight to balance. had a set one hankook dynopro atm, loved those tires (for an All terrain tire) 3 of the 4 did not need any weight to balance them. now it didn't mean they were dead nuts balanced. just too little of weight to matter.
7. Tire pressure.
yeah believe it or not tire pressure does play a role. if your tires are pumped rock hard to 50psi so you can get that extra mpg out of your wj... air them down a bit to help absorb some of the wobble/ bump steer that starts the dw. i was "that guy" with 50psi in my 255/75/17 rubi take off BFG MT trying to maximize my mpgs. (btw 20 hwy by my calc not the computer evic thing) im now down to 28 psi on all four
I guess this list really might not need an 8, 9 an 10 to it but you get the idea. also look at what kit you bought?? did you get the rough country 4" kit that includes a track bar drop bracket and drop pitman arm? or piece together your lift like i did?
it is also important that your drag link (linkage from pitman arm to pass. knuckle) and trackbar remain somewhat parallel and somewhat level. not a huge 45* angle. I recently purchased IRO steering equlizer kit. that dropped my adj trackbar down 2 or 3 inches. i forget i didnt measure really. and also a drop pitman arm which is the biggest offered for a WJ i think its a 4" drop on that bad boy. between that product, a rough country dual steering stabilizer a new alignment with my castor as close to stock (6 degrees now) all new moog tie rods moog ball joints and also just like TCKENNY said Kevins off road new trackbar bushings super durometer like 90 durometer bushings... def recomended IF yours are worn. if not then dont bother yet. unless your like me and just going to dump your wallet out to fix the dw. but heres a youtube vid to def check out
I know this post is super long but ALOT of good info honestly from someone who has used this forum to chase down my dw. from someone who used the search and said all the same things your saying " tie rods ball joints bushings...its all tight" i kept asking the forum to solve my problem. i still cant quite pinpoint what fixed my dw but i spent almost $1k tracking it down. from everything on that list above i started with brand new.
Edit: wow i just read the whole post. should have did that before posting. but i just had alot of thought going on that i felt needed to be put down for others to think about as well as others in the future THAT DO use the search function.
funny how everything i covered has been mentioned. yeah sorry i didn't find this thread earlier. could saved some time for others as well. no im not saying im an expert but.. i did just finally cure my dw.
and all the other posts on this thread are all things i have had to do myself.
Also that list someone posted from iron rock is a good list. pdf format... print it and grab a beer and go over it while your under the wj
GOOD LUCK and thats what the forum is for. let us know when your good to go, dont just let this thread die out like 90% of them do