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Unread 07-03-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
swany6mm
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'06 steering stablizer

Anyone else have issue with the steering dampner/stabilizer? Mine's an '06 Wrangler TJ Sport. At about 55mph I get the "Death Wobble" if I hit a bump. When I was in Hawaii, they rotated and balanced my tires for free and replaced the strut once. That was about a year and half, maybe two years ago. Now that I'm in Colorado, no where near the dealer that did the work, the 55MPH death wobble is back. While I was under there doing the fuilds for the dif's/trans/etc, I noticed there was oil all over it, indicating that it was blown AGAIN

My question (besides if anyone else is having an issue with the MOPAR one) is- Is it worth it to try and talk to them about replacing it again under a warranty issue (which I am out of, both time and millege wise (wife is double checking on that with them today as she is going to be running errands down that way))? Or should I just replace it after market wise? If after market, I realize that prefrence is subject to opinion, but who has used what with a stock suspension and been happy with it?

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Unread 07-03-2010, 09:38 AM   #2
Jerry Bransford
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First, a bad steering stabilizer is never (!) the cause of Death Wobble. A heavy-duty steering stabilizer can help mask the symptoms of DW but it's never the cause or the real cure for the true underlying cause DW. And just replace it with an aftermarket steering stablizer if it's blown. Aftermarket steering stabilizers are bigger, less $$$ to buy, and will outlast the OE stabilzer which is downright puny.

DW Is most commonly caused by an imperfectly balanced tire and/or a track bar that is too loose and moving around. There can be other causes too but those two reasons... one, the other, or both in combination are a very common cause of DW. And I don't care if your tires were recently balanced, the TJ is far more suceptible to tire balance issues and the tire shops often only get them balanced to "good enough" which is never good enough for the TJ. Or perhaps one of the tires lost one of the tire balancing weights.

And when examining the track bar for looseness, grabbing it with your hands and trying to move it to see if it's loose is not going to be enough. It can be tight enough that you can't move it with your hands but still loose enough to allow DW to develop. The passenger-side mounting bolt needs to be tight (!) and the bushing must be in good condition to prevent movement. One way to see if it can move is to have a friend turn your steering back & forth while you watch the track bar and other front-end components to see if they are moving where they should not be moving. The trackbar should not be able to move even .0001 inch as the steering is turned back & forth.
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Unread 07-03-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
swany6mm
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I just thought about something (as in, I forgot about this part). This only happens with the set of tires that are on the front now. When I do a tire rotation, when these tires end up in the rear, it goes away. So it must be limited to one of those. I'll talk with some of my buddies that have been in this area longer than me and see if they have a shop they recommend that will actually do a better than "close enough" on the balancing.

There's actuall a 4Wheel Parts here. Maybe I'll swing through there and see. They aren't far from the house.
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Unread 07-03-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swany6mm View Post
There's actuall a 4Wheel Parts here. Maybe I'll swing through there and see. They aren't far from the house.
Tell them to take their time & because you're troubleshooting a Death Wobble problem that they need to get the tires perfectly balanced. Don't let them think it's just a normal tire balance or they might not take as much time on them as they need to get balanced perfectly.

By the way, you may try switching from clip-on weights to stick-on weights that go inside the wheel near where the brakes are. They are less prone to falling off and are better protected from being knocked off.
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Unread 07-03-2010, 10:07 AM   #5
swany6mm
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Thanks for the stick on tip I'll ask them about it. Probably going to be a few before I can get it done (after this weekends All Fluid Change and the Goldwing I'm working on, wife is telling me unless I want to start tapping into savings, we're done for a bit lol)

I'll post up as soon as I get it figured out
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Unread 07-03-2010, 10:24 AM   #6
MJBinNM
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You should still check the trackbar and control arm bushings. A true DW can be started by unbalanced tires or bent wheels, but I think that in of itself is only enough to cause a shimmy.

DW is when it goes beyond a shimmy into a violent harmonic movement of the axle. There should be very little, if any at all, movement in your axle mounting points. Loose or worn tie rod ends can also amplify the shimmy allowing it to put more stress on the mounting points.

If everything is tight and not worn, then tires and wheels should only cause a shimmy. Of course, depending on the severity of the shimmy, if it continues uncorrected, it can cause premature wear of the other components.
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