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Unread 01-16-2002, 10:01 PM   #1
Nytmer
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CJ7 "Death Wobble"

A few weeks ago my CJ went into what my friend calls a "Death Wobble". Basically the whole thing just started to shake and wobble back and fourth. It took all I could to slow down, remain in control and keep it from flipping itself. Does anyone know what happened? Could it be from the ball joints or anything in the front end? It hasn't happened since. (just added) My ballance and allignment is perfect as well as the air pressure in the tires. I'm almost afraid to drive her now.

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Unread 01-16-2002, 10:07 PM   #2
bigbovine
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I havent experienced that in my jeep but have in my delivery truck. Believe it or not the tires were out of balance really bad. You also might want to have alignment checked. Thats all I know to do.
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Unread 01-16-2002, 10:09 PM   #3
clint_black_jeep
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Mine does similar jig if the tires are too low and the pavement's kinda wavy. It has something to do with the shackles and hydraulic shocks instead of nitrogen-filled. Usually checking the air in the tires reveals they are too low and airing them up remedies the situation. Good luck!
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Unread 01-16-2002, 11:18 PM   #4
SW CJ-5
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First, were you on dry pavement? If you run in 4x on a hard, dry surface, you'll inevitably get some funk and groove. It's also hard on the transfer case/drivetrain. Could be the tire pressure, too. Best way to diagnose the problem is to recreate the conditions. Drive the same road, same speed, etc.
And keep the shiny side up!!!
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Unread 01-16-2002, 11:23 PM   #5
jeepster18_88
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I'm almost certain that it is your steering stabilizer. Mine went bad once and it is a very scary experience. It would only happen occasionally but after I replaced it, the problem was solved. Change this immediately before you get yourself and others hurt. Take it eazy!
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Unread 01-17-2002, 05:47 PM   #6
401cj5
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My thought is that this is what I call "Wheel Hop". Most of the time this is associated with a lifted Jeep. Adding a steering stabilizer and a drop pitman arm, if your Jeep is lifted can minimize “Wheel Hop”. Also, if you have removed the drag link for off-road articulation then that can also increase the occurrence of "wheel hop". I can remember running my Jeep with out a drag link, no drop pitman arm, and a dead steering stabilizer; when accelerating through a curve I could make it "wheel hop", shake, or go out of control any time I wanted.

scary feeling that I quickly corrected

Good Luck,
Jason
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Unread 01-18-2002, 05:49 PM   #7
Darko
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Quote:
if you have removed the drag link for off-road articulation then that can also increase the
occurrence of "wheel hop".
do you mean the swaybar? If you didn't have a draglink you couldnt steer
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Unread 01-18-2002, 06:37 PM   #8
Jami
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I am almost positive this is your steering stabilizer. Some body else also posted this. My old 88 wrangler would get this symptom at highway speeds after bumps or ruts and it way only stop if you slowed down. I replaced the steering stabilizer and it never happened again.
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Unread 01-18-2002, 06:53 PM   #9
OldJeepguy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jami:
I am almost positive this is your steering stabilizer. Some body else also posted this. My old 88 wrangler would get this symptom at highway speeds after bumps or ruts and it way only stop if you slowed down. I replaced the steering stabilizer and it never happened again.
All a steering stabilizer does is mask problems with your steering. Several folks I know run just fine without a steering stabilizer.
"Death wobble" is generally caused by either bad ball joints which in turn cause your caster to be bad or perhaps due to lifting the vehicle, the caster is bad. Optimum caster is about 5 degrees. Installing lift shackles can cause caster to be incorrect and cause the problem you are having. The situation can be corrected by installing degree wedges (called shims by some) to get the bottom ball joint to lead the top by about 5 degrees. Most any 4 wheel drive shop will carry degree wedges.
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Unread 05-07-2014, 09:57 AM   #10
adfabus
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These Jeeps are not for highway use. Both of my grandmothers were killed in a CJ. All we know from witnesses is that they were driving on a straight highway and the jeep lost control and flipped 6 times killing them both. Jeep needs to inform folks of this and the "Death Wobble". I feel they should all be recalled!! They are unsafe for you and your loved ones. Did you know so many people have died from them rolling over that there is even a support group for family members? Chrysler had settled out of court in our case and my guess they did so because they do not want the public to be aware of the dangers.
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Unread 05-07-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
capt205
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^^^^^^^^^^^^

troll alert
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Unread 05-07-2014, 10:21 AM   #12
mastercraftka
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Search JF also because this has been discussed.

The first thing that every says when this happens is the stabilizer and the steering box. I am one of those people and went through it all, and it could be part of the problem not saying its not but start cheap and easy.
Make sure that all the tie rods are in place and in good shape. Then go to the stabilizer. Then go to the steering Shaft not box. (this is what made the most difference for me) I had lots of play in the u joints of the shaft. This is an easy fix, I just took one off an old jeep I had and it drove straight as fast as I could stand it. Lastly check the steering box and the wheel bearing on the front end.

You should be able to stand outside of the jeep with the hood up and wiggle the steering wheel and see the play in the shaft also just grab each end of the shaft with two pair of vice grips and try to see if there is play in the u joints.

Good luck.
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Unread 05-07-2014, 10:23 AM   #13
adfabus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt205 View Post
^^^^^^^^^^^^

troll alert
No troll here...Just wanted to see if there is still an issue with this. And I found my answer. Be safe while in the CJs because we all know they are not safe vehicles.
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Unread 05-07-2014, 11:22 AM   #14
capt205
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I disagree with your broad statement. Vehicles just don't turn over by them selves...just like guns don't accidently go off. Jeeps, like all vehicles, have a design parameter...exceed that parameter, and things could happen. Could.

I've been driving CJ's (5 different ones) for over 30 years, and I've never even come close to flipping one. I also don't drive them down the interstate at 70mph, and make sure that they are maintained PROPERLY. Mine have ALL been lifted and big tires.
.
I'm very sorry for you loss...but your statement is broad, and inflammatory. I'm pretty certain everyone on this board is aware of the handling characteristics of CJ's.
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Unread 05-07-2014, 11:28 AM   #15
Billy
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My YJ ran into a bit of a death wobble and I found it was a compound issue that caused it. I replaced the steering stabilizer and found my front bushings on the shackles were shot to hell. replaced those as well. no more death wobble. good luck.
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