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Unread 08-17-2009, 03:02 PM   #16
rdlmac
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I bought my Jeep about a year ago w/ a 2" BB and new 33x12.50's installed. I had the "death wiggle" you're talking about. Mine would happen as I was reaching 40-45mph and it recently turned into full blow death wobble a couple of times. I say a couple of times because I noticed that after I made a hard U-turn(to go home and p/u the bike) the wobble would go away and I could get up to normal speeds w/ no problem.

This past weekend I upgraded my steering stabilizer(Rough County 2.2) and topped off the air pressure in the tires and I no longer seem to have the wiggle in the steering wheel let alone the wobble. I'm going to have the alignment checked anyway as I do believe it is off just a bit.

I'm in the Austin area as well. Where did you take yours to get the tires balanced?

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Unread 08-17-2009, 03:12 PM   #17
Jkeith0004
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You should NOT have to pay to get the tires re-balanced...any decent shop will do it again just because you have a vibration... I have had to go back on several sets of tires over the years.
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Unread 08-17-2009, 03:20 PM   #18
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There are about a bajillion different things that can cause death wobble (DW) and I think I've damn near tried them all in my search to resolve my DW issues....which I've been fighting for nearly two years. Some helped, some not, and some helped only briefly.

The simplest and most common culprit? Loose track bar bolts. Tighten them at the axle and at the chassis mounts. Loose suspension bolts or worn components can cause it. Improperly balanced tires, bad alignment (too much/little toe, too much/little caster), worn ball joints, worn tie rod ends, worn shocks, etc. all can cause DW.

Keep in mind that while a heavier duty steering stabilizer can stop DW, it's just a band-aid. It's just masking the actual cause of the DW, it's not fixing it. I'm stubborn and when I decided to build a new steering setup for my Jeep I decided not to run a steering stabilizer at all. And for the last year, that's what I've done. For months it was great until January when DW returned again.

I've been trying desparately to fix it for the last several months and I believe I FINALLY resolved it. Our steering boxes get play in them over time. There is an adjustment on the top of the steering box and I tightened mine by a mere 1/4 turn. No DW since! It's been several hundred miles and I can't get it to DW no matter what I try.

Keep in mind the steering boxes up to 2002 are different from those used in 2003 and on. I'm referring to the older Saginaw box. I believe the newer one was made by Mercedes and was introduced in '03 with the intoduction of the Rubicon model. Apparently, it's actually an upgrade for those guys to install an older box to resolve DW issues.

If you're in Austin and want to bring it by sometime, I'd be happy to take a look at it for you. I can also suggest some good places to get work done....even if it's just getting your tires balanced really well.

Good luck!
Tommy
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Unread 08-17-2009, 03:31 PM   #19
AustinCJer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy R View Post
If you're in Austin and want to bring it by sometime, I'd be happy to take a look at it for you. I can also suggest some good places to get work done....even if it's just getting your tires balanced really well.
Id really appreciate that... ive researched and found that Jeep Masters seems to be well known and reliable...

To touch on some of the replies... no, it is not a death woddle, it is merely a slight shimmy in the steering wheel around 47 MPH... Im just concerned that it will cause issues down the line, I cant imagine "living with it" is good on any of the parts effected by the shaking.

Further info: I took my old tires up to the shop to show them some unusual tread wear on them and I was informed that I needed to replace my shocks soon, apparently it was causing the tread to wear poorly near the outside of the tires contact with the road... dont know if that helps any with my issue, if maybe having worn out shocks and springs is causing it?

thanks again guys!
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Unread 08-17-2009, 03:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkeith0004 View Post
You should NOT have to pay to get the tires re-balanced...any decent shop will do it again just because you have a vibration... I have had to go back on several sets of tires over the years.
No no, sorry, I didnt explain... the place I took it didnt originally balance them, I bought the wheels/tires completed already, they had already been balanced by the last owner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlmac View Post
I'm in the Austin area as well. Where did you take yours to get the tires balanced?
Ive been avoiding mentioning where I took them because im embarrassed... I took it to Pep Boys. I havent been in Austin long enough to find a good mechanic I can trust and I figured Pep Boys was a well known enough name to trust. Silly me...
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Unread 08-17-2009, 04:39 PM   #21
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theres a big diffrence in balanceing a tire and road force balancing a tire to me..with 33 inch tires and up its useually worth the road force balance to me.just my opinion...
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Unread 08-17-2009, 05:23 PM   #22
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinTJer View Post
To touch on some of the replies... no, it is not a death woddle, it is merely a slight shimmy in the steering wheel around 47 MPH...
There's a 99.9% chance you have nothing more than an imperfectly balanced front tire. I often have to make my local Discount Tire store re-balance my tires within an hour of them finishing the first job. If they don't get it perfect or if they don't use the Road Force machine, I get a shimmy so I take it back and make them get it right. I forewarn them now that I'll be back if they don't do it right the first time and they finally got the message after a few times of having to re-do the balancing.

To many tire balance jocks in the tire stores, "good enough" tire balance is what they go for but with the type of front-end a TJ has, that isn't good enough to prevent shimmy or Death Wobble.

Generaly speaking, a speed sensitive shimmy is nearly always nothing more than a tire or two that needs to be balanced better/perfectly. I don't care if those guys don't want to balance them again, you have the right to demand they do if you're getting a speed sensitive front-end shimmy. And while a bad front-end aligment can cause uneven tire wear that can cause a shimmy, a bad front-end alignment by itself typically won't cause a front-end shimmy.
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Unread 08-17-2009, 08:21 PM   #23
AustinCJer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
There's a 99.9% chance you have nothing more than an imperfectly balanced front tire. I often have to make my local Discount Tire store re-balance my tires within an hour of them finishing the first job. If they don't get it perfect or if they don't use the Road Force machine, I get a shimmy so I take it back and make them get it right. I forewarn them now that I'll be back if they don't do it right the first time and they finally got the message after a few times of having to re-do the balancing.

To many tire balance jocks in the tire stores, "good enough" tire balance is what they go for but with the type of front-end a TJ has, that isn't good enough to prevent shimmy or Death Wobble.

Generaly speaking, a speed sensitive shimmy is nearly always nothing more than a tire or two that needs to be balanced better/perfectly. I don't care if those guys don't want to balance them again, you have the right to demand they do if you're getting a speed sensitive front-end shimmy. And while a bad front-end aligment can cause uneven tire wear that can cause a shimmy, a bad front-end alignment by itself typically won't cause a front-end shimmy.
Thanks Jerry! Thank you to everyone... this was a tricky one bc it didnt involve a lift, which is normally when I see someone talking about DW... Ill take it back to Pep Boys and have them rebalance and mention the road force machine.
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Unread 08-17-2009, 08:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmasin View Post
DW is basically a tank-slapper!
Only on a Ricer.

Death wiggle/wobble in my case was caused by a bad tired. The tire was properly balance but it had to be dismounted and spun 180 before it would balance. Still had the wibble/wobble so I moved only that one to the rear and it went away. I bought this set of tires used so I got what I paid for. "I just ordered a new set of tires because my wife told me to." You can quote me on that.
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Unread 08-17-2009, 08:30 PM   #25
Jerry Bransford
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Originally Posted by AustinTJer View Post
Ill take it back to Pep Boys and have them rebalance and mention the road force machine.
They'll likely say 'Huh?' when you mention Road Force. Only higher end tire shops carry any tire balancing machine the caliber of a Road Force and Pep Boys isn't exactly a hotbed of experts at anything.
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Unread 08-17-2009, 09:28 PM   #26
AustinCJer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
They'll likely say 'Huh?' when you mention Road Force. Only higher end tire shops carry any tire balancing machine the caliber of a Road Force and Pep Boys isn't exactly a hotbed of experts at anything.
Ill do some calling around thx
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Unread 08-17-2009, 10:10 PM   #27
Tommy R
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Discount Tire on 183 near Lamar. Ask for Francisco. He's a member of Austin Jeep Exclusive and will be happy to take care of you. He's got a pretty nice yellow TJ. Feel free to tell him I referred you.

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Unread 08-18-2009, 01:59 AM   #28
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I agree with anyone that says unbalanced tire... I had the exact problem you are mentioning only alot more violent (it ate 3 tie rod ends) and it turns out a tire had the weights knocked off somehow
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Unread 08-18-2009, 06:02 AM   #29
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If any of your tires are out of round, as are mine, you can balance them till the cows come home,it won't stop the wiggle.
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