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Unread 01-04-2013, 07:44 AM   #1
skizman
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**Death Wobble=loose steering box?**

Hey Gents. 03 Wrangler, 6" Superlift, 33" tires. My first Death Wobble experience happened twice. I was towing a small riding mower behind...doing 60...hit bunch of bumps and the shaking began. My steering gear dox is loose and can't get it adjusted right anymore. Will that cause Death Wobble? I've checked the front end a few times and just can't find anything loose.
Any info is appreciated!

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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:23 AM   #2
TroubleNEO
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Post good pictures of your front end/steering and we'll go from there.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
skizman
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My front end pics>

Here's a few angles of the front end. I also threw in a pic of my rear drive shaft. With this 6" lift and 33" tires, does the drive shaft look like it's what I should have now, or is it inadequate?
Also to mention the front end has been aligned(3mos. ago)...new shocks and steering damper, and new hub bearing and ball joints on rt. side. Steering wheel is shaking a little back and forth all of the time now.
Thanks.
sam_0366.jpg   sam_0368.jpg   sam_0369.jpg   sam_0370.jpg   sam_0371.jpg  

sam_0372.jpg  
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Unread 01-04-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
Tblack
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Holy Sheet! that has stock everything on 6" of lift? Stock track bar, stock tie rod and drag link, stock front upper and rear control arms, stock drive shaft........ Are you sure this is a 6" lift???

If it is 6" of lift, then your caster angle is probably something crazy.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 04:03 PM   #5
skizman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tblack View Post
Holy Sheet! that has stock everything on 6" of lift? Stock track bar, stock tie rod and drag link, stock front upper and rear control arms, stock drive shaft........ Are you sure this is a 6" lift???

If it is 6" of lift, then your caster angle is probably something crazy.
Cripes man...you got me nervous now. I bought this jeep on a lot, and they think it has a 6" lift. It's just all guesstimates. But you think my front end is lacking some major parts???
It's time for me to slug some wine down and relax for the evening...and wonder about my jeep.
Thankyou!
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Unread 01-04-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
tjsean0308
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well based on the amount of t-case drop and no motor mount lift and what appear to be the stock motor mounts. I am saying 4" lift. Doesn't look like any body lift either but can't quite be sure.
seems like the car lot had no clue.

As far as your DW I would really check out the track bar. By these pictures it looks like there is some movement at the ball joint on the frame side of the trac bar. Also the trac bar mount on the axle has been drilled and relocated. That is known to cause issues and cracking on the axle mount. Do a dry steering test and report back. If the only movement is in the steering box than that's likely the cause and you probably had a mild case of DW, not full on, holy crap your drawers DW.

Also we need more pictures of that highly custom step on the driverside. that is undoubtedly causing your issues.

Edit: I see new ball joints on the R.H. side.What condition are the Driverside in? That could also be causing issues.
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Last edited by tjsean0308; 01-04-2013 at 04:19 PM.. Reason: Noticed ball joints, and my bad spelling.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
durango-bob
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Is there a missing rubber cover on the drivers side upper ball joint?
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Unread 01-04-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
bradentaala
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When i had a 4" set up on mine, the track bar ball joint ended up sheering off when i was on the freeway. worst dw i've ever had! scary!!!! I'd check that first. Make sure it is tight, if that moves, your axle can move left to right.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
skizman
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Death Wobble>

Quote:
Originally Posted by durango-bob View Post
Is there a missing rubber cover on the drivers side upper ball joint?
I've never seen any rubber covers on either side.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:42 AM   #10
skizman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjsean0308 View Post
well based on the amount of t-case drop and no motor mount lift and what appear to be the stock motor mounts. I am saying 4" lift. Doesn't look like any body lift either but can't quite be sure.
seems like the car lot had no clue.

As far as your DW I would really check out the track bar. By these pictures it looks like there is some movement at the ball joint on the frame side of the trac bar. Also the trac bar mount on the axle has been drilled and relocated. That is known to cause issues and cracking on the axle mount. Do a dry steering test and report back. If the only movement is in the steering box than that's likely the cause and you probably had a mild case of DW, not full on, holy crap your drawers DW.

Also we need more pictures of that highly custom step on the driverside. that is undoubtedly causing your issues.

Edit: I see new ball joints on the R.H. side.What condition are the Driverside in? That could also be causing issues.
Well...I figured someone out there would spot my custom side step. If I can't make something...then I'll break down and buy it. But if I can make it....damn sure I will make it.
I've checked the drivers side ball joints a couple times moving it with a crow bar and could never see any movement. I will replace the ball joint on the track bar first, then I'll have to break down and buy a rebuilt steering box. They're so damn expensive!
Thankyou Sir!!!!!
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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:48 AM   #11
skizman
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Can someone take a look above of my rear drive shaft pic and tell me if it is adequate for my I guess 4"lift. Do I need one with a double U-joint...or a Cardigan type? Whenever I take off in first gear, the shifter shakes....only in first gear.
Thanks.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:55 AM   #12
c69ss396
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I like the 3 hose clamps on the lower radiator hose. That's a true custom touch.... As for your DW I'd start with upgraded steering currie preferred but crown is ok, then a quality trac bar.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:24 AM   #13
77351wcj5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skizman View Post
Steering wheel is shaking a little back and forth all of the time now.
Thanks.
I would check tire balance and make sure to check for a bent wheel. Also make sure and check for slack in those aftermarket front lower control arms, upper control arms and ball joints - along with checking for absolutely NO slack in the trackbar (dry steering test mentioned above). You should be able to remove the steering stabilizer and have no shaking.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:28 AM   #14
77351wcj5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skizman View Post
Can someone take a look above of my rear drive shaft pic and tell me if it is adequate for my I guess 4"lift. Do I need one with a double U-joint...or a Cardigan type? Whenever I take off in first gear, the shifter shakes....only in first gear.
Thanks.
Your driveshaft angle is wrong for the non-cardan shaft. About the only way you will get this corrected is a SYE and a new cv-type (cardan) driveshaft.

The cardigan type is ok for winter but will be too hot in the summer.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:29 AM   #15
TroubleNEO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skizman View Post
Can someone take a look above of my rear drive shaft pic and tell me if it is adequate for my I guess 4"lift. Do I need one with a double U-joint...or a Cardigan type? Whenever I take off in first gear, the shifter shakes....only in first gear.
Thanks.
Your drive shaft angle basically could not get any worse. You're running a CV angle on a non-CV shaft.

This is the proper geometry for your current drive shaft:



This is how yours currently is, and your rear shaft is not a CV:



Most if not all of your vibrations are due to that drive shaft, nearly guaranteed.

However, this would not cause your death wobble.

I doubt you have a 6" lift because a drop pitman, drop trackbar mount, and replacement trackbar usually come with the territory of lifts that high.

Like others have said, re-drilling the track bar axle mount hole and moving it over is a bad idea. First things first I would get the front end on jack stands and do a dry steering test. Have someone steer the wheel back and forth lock to lock slowly, back and forth really quick, etc. Watch everything for play, your track bar, all the ends on your steering, your ball joints, etc. That should hunt it down quick.

You can also remove the track bar and check that the axle side hole is not wallowed out or the bracket is starting to crack/bend/break. Just stick the bolt back in the hole without the track bar and see if there is play, that will cause DW. My personal experience with DW was the joint where the drag link meets the pitman arm was toasted, and along with the jam nut on my track bar being loose was causing some serious DW.

Anyways, start with the steering test and go from there.

As far as parts, I would start with a front adjustable track bar moved back to the factory hole. Also a rear CB drive shaft and SYE.

Good luck.
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