Hi guys, this is my first post here and the only reason I am making this thread is because it is kind of an emergency and I'm at wits end.
So, for a little background information: I bought my 1999 Jeep Cherokee 2 years ago in September for like $1k with only ~74k miles on it. It was a good deal at the time because I had just totaled my other car after falling asleep at the wheel and I needed something cheap and I needed it fast. My father's friend sold me the car who previously belonged to some old man who barely drove it anymore.
The first day I drive the car, I get on the high-way and get up to speed (around 55 mph) and all of a sudden the steering wheel and front end start shaking uncontrollably. I slow down (to about 40 mph) and the shaking goes away. My first experience with what I'm assuming is death wobble, correct?
Well, fast forward to today, two years later, and after a couple of brief periods being wobble free (I think the longest was like 4 months) after various fixes that I guess weren't REAL fixes, the problem obviously still persists. I have a friend who owns/runs a meineke and is a good guy who seems like he knows his stuff take a look at it multiple times. He doesn't have much experience with this problem thought, and he said he had another guy come in with the same problem and they never could get it fixed
. At one point I went online and researched the problem myself and gave him a list of things to check like the "trac-bar", tie-rod, and I told him to make sure everything was "tight" in the front end. None of this fixed the problem.
As you can tell, I know next to nothing about automobiles, so I figured I'd join a forum and see what you guys think. To detail the problem again: The death-wobble occurs in 2 different scenarios. It either happens when I'm going over 50 mph and I hit a pot-hole or even just a slight bump in the road, or it will happen randomly once I get over the same speed without hitting a bump. The entire car feels like it's shaking (especially the steering wheel) and the only way to stop the shaking is to slow down to ~40 mph (super embarrassing when you were previously going 60 mph on a high-way lol).
The reason why this is an emergency is because I'm about to drive my Jeep across the country from NY to Cali (I'm moving there with my GF). Having to endure the death-wobble on such a long trip would be unbearable due to the fact that I'd rarely be able to go over 50 mph.
Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm sorry if there is a sticky on this issue somewhere, I really just wanted to give y'all my version of the story. Thanks!
TL;DR version: Death wobble in a 1999 Jeep Cherokee. Not lifted or modified in any way. About 90k miles on the car. Wobble occurs when I reach speeds over 50 mph, either randomly or after hitting a slight or significant bump in the road.