How To Determine If A REMOVED Steering Stabilizer Is Defective? (2003 Rubicon) - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 22 Old 08-25-2010, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
TJorDie
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How To Determine If A REMOVED Steering Stabilizer Is Defective? (2003 Rubicon)

I am getting some intermittent death wobble. It usually appears @ 50 mph or when I hit some uneven pavement/bumps. It seems to be getting progressively worse. Stock Rubi, no mods. I search the intraweb and cant find any info about how you determine if a Steering Stabilizer is bad once it's removed ( I just took it off 1/2 hour ago). I can push it in & out without a lot of effort but it still has resistance. Should I have to use maximum force if it were good?

What say you Jeep experts??


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post #2 of 22 Old 08-25-2010, 06:18 PM
Jerry Bransford
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First, a bad steering stabilizer... even if completely blown out... is never the cause of Death Wobble.

Push-pull on your steering stabilizer, it should present an equal amount of very firm resistance in both directions. Being as it is hydraulic, it will stay put at whatever position you leave it at. It will not expand out on its own as gas-charged shocks do.

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post #3 of 22 Old 08-25-2010, 07:19 PM
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is it leaking oil?
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post #4 of 22 Old 08-25-2010, 08:33 PM
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You should have a fairly good amount of pressure in both directions. If you have over 50k or 60k on the rubi. then just replace it but that is not your death wabble issue.
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post #5 of 22 Old 08-25-2010, 08:42 PM
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the guy who runs the auto shop at my college said it is likely the stabilzer causing my issue, but since the tires are bad he told me make sure goodyear checks everything when they balance it and that should tell me what is bad if anything.
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post #6 of 22 Old 08-25-2010, 08:59 PM
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You may want to check other items like a front end alignment, ball jointsm tie rod ends and anything that may be loose on the front end.
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post #7 of 22 Old 08-25-2010, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtim6656 View Post
the guy who runs the auto shop at my college said it is likely the stabilzer causing my issue.
He is wrong about that. A stronger steering stabilizer can only temporarily mask Death Wobble symptoms but it is never the cure for the underlying root cause of the DW which is always caused by something else or a combination of problems.

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post #8 of 22 Old 08-25-2010, 09:33 PM
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I figured as much, I do not think they deal with jeeps much, his thoughts where the stabilizer, tierod ends, trac bar but seem to think it was the stabilizer.

Hopefully when I have my new tires put on and it aligned they will know for sure, then if anything is wrong or busted the school can fix it for the cost of the parts
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
He is wrong about that. A stronger steering stabilizer can only temporarily mask Death Wobble symptoms but it is never the cure for the underlying root cause of the DW which is always caused by something else or a combination of problems.
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post #9 of 22 Old 08-26-2010, 05:51 PM
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Just a FYI before you go throwing lots of money at parts, go get the front end aligned. That's what cured my death wobble. If you still have it after that, then you can start looking elsewhere. Good luck.
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post #10 of 22 Old 08-26-2010, 05:53 PM
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get the front end aligned, look for loose bolts, and get your wheels balanced. 99% of DW falls into that area.

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post #11 of 22 Old 08-26-2010, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtim6656 View Post
the guy who runs the auto shop at my college said it is likely the stabilzer causing my issue, but since the tires are bad he told me make sure goodyear checks everything when they balance it and that should tell me what is bad if anything.
Completely ignoring its at a college

You really have to drill your auto mechanics on their jeep intelligence. I had one tell me those "crossed bars" (Steering) were bent and needed replacing..... and i know otehrwise from greasing joints every so often

The fact he said the tires are bad but its the steering stabilizer, should make me think he has only a bare basic idea. You could technically run without a stabilizer but you might have to really fight those bumps.
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post #12 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 12:07 AM
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It's not your steering stabilizer, I cracked mine and it didn't cause any death wobble. I have since replaced and like the new one better than stock, just does a better job, and the steering feels better. I would start looking for play in you steering set-up also make sure the alignment is good.

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post #13 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJorDie View Post
I am getting some intermittent death wobble. It usually appears @ 50 mph or when I hit some uneven pavement/bumps. It seems to be getting progressively worse. Stock Rubi, no mods. I search the intraweb and cant find any info about how you determine if a Steering Stabilizer is bad once it's removed ( I just took it off 1/2 hour ago). I can push it in & out without a lot of effort but it still has resistance. Should I have to use maximum force if it were good?

What say you Jeep experts??
OP - I just replaced the SS on my Rubi that has about 90k on it. Had the original stabilizer. I replaced it with a Monroe that looked exactly like the stock one.

The new stabilizer was very stiff to extend or compress. Really had to mean it. The old one has fairly easy to push or pull. Also, the stud that goes in the draglink was the same, so there was no need to remove the old one. Cut down on the time a bit.

Not going to dive to far into the DW comments (take most all of them with large grains of salt), but it is true that a SS cannot cause DW. But having a good, fresh one on there doesn't hurt anything either! With the exception that it might could inhibit the diagnosis of death wobble.
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post #14 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 07:54 AM
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When I had a death wobble problem, it was my ball joints. You can check that without spending any money. Jack up one side of the front end and see if there's any play in the wheel by trying to move it back and forth, pushing at the top and bottom. If there's play there, it's most likely your ball joints.

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post #15 of 22 Old 08-29-2010, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmccoy9876 View Post
When I had a death wobble problem, it was my ball joints. You can check that without spending any money. Jack up one side of the front end and see if there's any play in the wheel by trying to move it back and forth, pushing at the top and bottom. If there's play there, it's most likely your ball joints.
X2! I just cured my mini-DW (more of a shake/wobble really) problem with new ball joints. The push/pull trick on the tire was no help at all though. What finally showed where the play was, was sticking a pry bar inside the steering knuckle under the axle shaft and giving it a good downward push. this showed a good 1/16" of play in both ball joints the couldn't be felt in the push/pull tire test.

I know how much a pain tracking down DW can be, so, good luck


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