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Unread 12-23-2012, 07:09 PM   #1
Snu_cj7
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nu player in town HELP!!

I recently purchased my first 1977 cj7 and I want to start fixing it up I have started on small items such as seals seats etc. but now I have to get into the main assembly the day I purchased it I was driving home I went above 70 mph and the jeep started shaking badly it started going side to side horrible feeling. I got home looked up what the reasons could be and came up with the DEATH WOBBLE so my question is "what causes that and how do I fix it?? "Please help!!!!

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Unread 12-23-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
MoC
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What size tires and lift do you have? Have you checked ball joints or tie rod ends?
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Unread 12-23-2012, 07:18 PM   #3
Snu_cj7
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32 and a 4 in lift
To be honest I have no idea about jeep parts yet like I said its my first jeep
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Unread 12-23-2012, 09:49 PM   #4
Ken4444
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You might take a look at the following document, in .pdf format. It discusses Jeep CJ suspension basics and common problems:

Steering, Suspension, and Driveline Basics (with How Lift Kits Change It)

My only advise is that you will likely not find one magic quick fix. Instead, you're going to need to check a number of different things. It's likely that your Jeep has multiple problems.

Like MoC said, have you checked ball joints or tie rod ends? Is there a large clump of mud on the inside of one the wheels? Does the steering box have a dropped pitman arm? That would be needed for a 4" lift. Does it have long shackles? What length?
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Unread 12-24-2012, 06:53 AM   #5
hotrod351
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check your steering stabilizer, if you have one, if you dont have one then get one.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 08:37 AM   #6
WindKnot
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Welcome to the Monkey House!

In all likelyhood if your Jeep is still mostly stock, you have a 258CID inline six with a T150 3 speed transmission with a Dana20 transfer case and a 3.54 rear end. That was kind of the starting point. That's what I've got also. 70MPH is kind of pushing it. Factory says it's not rated for above 55MPH, but mostly that was because of the national speed limit at the time. But still, AMC wasn't contemplating you driving 70.

Deathwobble. That word, I don't think it means what you think it means! You undoubtedly have wander, but unless some serious work has been done, your problem is probably due to age and worn parts instead of geometry. Your Jeep is almost old enough to have brought you home from the hospital. Look for worn ball joints, loose steering column parts, a lack of a sway bar, alignment, etc.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 08:50 AM   #7
walkerhoundvm
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I agree with the above. 70mph is really fast for the typical death wobble related to lift and caster, it's more likely due to bearings, ball joints, alignment, wheel imbalance.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 09:02 AM   #8
Ken4444
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One thing that I think trips up many folks who are new to Jeeps (or new to old vehicles in general) is that beacuse an old vehicle runs and drives, they assume that all of the hidden parts (bearings, ball joints, etc) are in good shape. Remember that no vehicle was designed to have a 30+ usesable life because that is just not practical. So just because your old vehicle runs and drives doesn't mean that all of the parts are in good working order. Like Walker pointed out, and as I pointed out in an earlier post, you will likely need to hit several different areas in order to bring things back to a solid and wobble-free condition. You might get lucky and find the one thing that's causing the problem, but maybe not.

If it was my Jeep, I would compile a list of all of the things that people have listed here so far. Then I'd try to figure out the most logical order to start checking/fixing things. Obviously getting the wheels and tires balanced is pretty easy to do, so that might be toward the top of the list. Getting the alignment checked and set is probably also something that could be done at the same time. Replacing something like the front wheel bearings is more complicated but not expensive if you do it yourself. Of course if you're going to do that, you might also consider installing new brake parts since you have everything apart. A good shop should also be able to tell you if the ball joints and tie rod ends are OK or not. A new generic steering stablizer is low cost ($30) and easy to install yourself in under an hour. I wouldn't let this be a substitute for checking/fixing all of the other areas though.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 11:51 AM   #9
Snu_cj7
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I really appreciate the help guys i just learned alot and my jeep is a manual 4 speed. I've tried locating where it mentions the transmissions size and well all the specs but the sticker on top of the grill is faded away and i don't know where else id be able to look for this info.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
Snu_cj7
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It does have a Rancho rs5000 lift.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 06:09 PM   #11
dslywalker
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I've read part of this thread but it has some good info.Might not help but from what i've read so far its a good read
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/wh...-loose-445430/
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Unread 12-25-2012, 12:32 AM   #12
vinnyabs
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Welcome to life in a CJ!!!! Most people can't go 70 mph and that is a blessing and keeps you alive!!! The death wobble is just the beginning and I wish you luck!
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Unread 12-27-2012, 12:54 AM   #13
Snu_cj7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dslywalker View Post
I've read part of this thread but it has some good info.Might not help but from what i've read so far its a good read
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/wh...-loose-445430/
Okay ill check this out and get back to you guys later
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Unread 12-27-2012, 12:55 AM   #14
Snu_cj7
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So whats the average speed limit on CJs?
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Unread 12-27-2012, 01:51 AM   #15
mHayes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snu_cj7 View Post
So whats the average speed limit on CJs?
Seemingly depends on the season. Winter? Garage-speed.
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