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Unread 08-23-2013, 06:19 AM   #1
drewabril
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Time to change out the steering stabilizer?

Need a little advice. I recently had 3 very pronounced run-ins with full blown death wobble in my 06 TJ at about 89,000 mi.

I chased it down to the track bar. I replaced the passenger side bushing and I haven't run in to DW again since...(PHEW!) However I do have a very noticeable shake around 40mph. This shake didnt exist before the DW incedents. The shake stops if you turn the wheel to the right a little. I also discovered that my steering stabilizer is leaking oil/fluid.

I checked the BallJoints, Tie Rod Ends, Verified that the track bar was tight, swapped tires with a friend of mine to rule out balance as an issue (this test made my shake worse with his heavier tires) and finally had a shop do the alignment. Still shakes.

At this point I'm running out of ideas.

I know replacing the steering stabilizer can mask a more serious problem, but is it possible that my steering stabilizer is working against me?

Should I remove the steering stabilizer altogether and see if that helps?

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Unread 08-23-2013, 06:34 AM   #2
Imped
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Your problem is not at all related to the steering shock.
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Unread 08-23-2013, 07:37 AM   #3
drewabril
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What other things can I check or replace? new control arm bushings? Brake rotors?

I've been searching and my symptoms always lead back to one of the things i listed in my first post
I only notice the shake when accelerating or coasting...if I hit the brakes the shaking smooths out

I did visually inspect my brakes when I had the tires off, plenty of meat on the pads I know a warped rotor could be the cause, but the only time I dont feel the 40mph shake is when i step on the brakes
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Unread 08-23-2013, 07:59 AM   #4
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Rotors don't warp so you can throw that out.

Do you know how to properly diagnose TRE, track bar bushing, and control arm bushing play? What processes have you gone through?
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Unread 08-23-2013, 08:10 AM   #5
IslandHopper
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Hub/bearing unit(s)? (mine were beyond shot at 80k miles)
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Unread 08-23-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
drewabril
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imped View Post
Rotors don't warp so you can throw that out.

Do you know how to properly diagnose TRE, track bar bushing, and control arm bushing play? What processes have you gone through?
Rotors dont warp? Can you elaborate?

TRE diagnosis:
Jacked up the front of the jeep one wheel at a time
with my hands at 3 and 9 on the tire I shook it, and watched the tie rod end for any play

Track bar busing:
Key on, Engine off. Had a friend sit in the jeep and turn the wheel from 10 to 2 as fast as he could and watched both ends. When I diagnosed my DW I could see the passenger side bushing compressing. I replaced it with a poly bushing and a new nut/bolt

Control arm bushings:
laid under the jeep with all 4 wheels on the ground and tried to move the CAs by pushing and pulling up/down with all of my weight. Is there a better way to test the control arm bushings?

Ball Joints:
again jacked one tire off the ground, put a pry bar between the pavement and the bottom of my tire and pulled up on the pry bar, the wheel didnt budge

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandHopper View Post
Hub/bearing unit(s)? (mine were beyond shot at 80k miles)
I havent looked at those yet, Wouldn't there be a tell tale sound if it was a bearing though?
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Unread 08-23-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
dylan
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I know some ppl will probaly bash this comment but i'll say it anyway and yes i know replacing stearing stablizers arn't usally the fix and can mask the real problem.

If your stearing stablizer is leaking it definatly wouldnt hurt to replace it or atleast test it. Pull it off and see how easy it is to compress with your hands. If its easy to compress, purchase a new one (mine was $40 at autozone) and it will make a world of difference. I've seen a simple stearing stabilizer fix shakes and even bad DW. If it is completly shot, then it is most likly the correct fix and not just a cover up. If it seems like its still in decent shape (harder to compress) then your problem lies else where. hope this helps, it did for me.
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Unread 08-23-2013, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewabril View Post
Rotors dont warp? Can you elaborate?
What get's called "warping" is most often uneven transfer of pad material to the rotor creating uneven surface.
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Unread 08-23-2013, 08:44 AM   #9
Ironhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylan View Post
I know some ppl will probaly bash this comment but i'll say it anyway and yes i know replacing stearing stablizers arn't usally the fix and can mask the real problem.

If your stearing stablizer is leaking it definatly wouldnt hurt to replace it or atleast test it. Pull it off and see how easy it is to compress with your hands. If its easy to compress, purchase a new one (mine was $40 at autozone) and it will make a world of difference. I've seen a simple stearing stabilizer fix shakes and even bad DW. If it is completly shot, then it is most likly the correct fix and not just a cover up. If it seems like its still in decent shape (harder to compress) then your problem lies else where. hope this helps, it did for me.
if the steering stabilizer is the problem, removing it and taking a drive would prove it.

I have a 150k miles on my oem stabilizer and have no plans to change it
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Unread 08-23-2013, 09:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
What get's called "warping" is most often uneven transfer of pad material to the rotor creating uneven surface.
Yep, like after a nice easy brake down a long hill building up a lot of heat in the rotors then you sit at a red light for a minute while the pads cook themselves to the rotors.
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Unread 08-23-2013, 09:24 AM   #11
Sixbanga
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One of the first things I do on any xj or tj with a frontend problem is throw away the steering stabilizer so you can get to the heart of the problem. No need for a stabilizer on a tj with decent tires imo. If your tires shake without a stabilizer you need new tires or have other issues a stabilizer wont fix.
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Unread 08-23-2013, 09:25 AM   #12
drewabril
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylan View Post
I know some ppl will probaly bash this comment but i'll say it anyway and yes i know replacing stearing stablizers arn't usally the fix and can mask the real problem.

If your stearing stablizer is leaking it definatly wouldnt hurt to replace it or atleast test it. Pull it off and see how easy it is to compress with your hands. If its easy to compress, purchase a new one (mine was $40 at autozone) and it will make a world of difference. I've seen a simple stearing stabilizer fix shakes and even bad DW. If it is completly shot, then it is most likly the correct fix and not just a cover up. If it seems like its still in decent shape (harder to compress) then your problem lies else where. hope this helps, it did for me.
Thanks for the perspective.
How long has it been since you changed your stabilizer? Was yours leaking when you changed it?

I know mine is leaking, but I'm purposely waiting to do that until after I have every thing else working properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
What get's called "warping" is most often uneven transfer of pad material to the rotor creating uneven surface.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombi View Post
Yep, like after a nice easy brake down a long hill building up a lot of heat in the rotors then you sit at a red light for a minute while the pads cook themselves to the rotors.
Thanks for the clarification.

This phenomenon would cause the opposite of my experience. So i will rule brakes out

my next step is remove the steering stab. and test drive.

Any tips on checking the unit bearings and or the u-joints in the front axle? i dont hear any noise or feel any play when I spin the front wheels.
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Unread 08-23-2013, 09:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
if the steering stabilizer is the problem, removing it and taking a drive would prove it.

I have a 150k miles on my oem stabilizer and have no plans to change it
A stabilizer's job isn't to prevent wobbles so removing it will do nothing. Whether it's there or not doesn't really matter. What matters is finding the root cause and it has nothing to do with the SS at all.

OP, leave the wheels on the ground and engine off. Otherwise, you aren't loading joints enough to expose any play (in most cases). For the control arms, put the Jeep in gear (again, tires on the ground and engine off), grab a tire and rock it back and forth. That will load the control arm bushings more than you grabbing them will.
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Unread 08-23-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
if the steering stabilizer is the problem, removing it and taking a drive would prove it.

I have a 150k miles on my oem stabilizer and have no plans to change it
If the stabilizer has leaked out its hydraulic fluid then it is an empty tube installed in your steering components that has no ability to impart force on them one way or another.

Driving without one or driving with one that is shot should result in the same overall effect, should it not?
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Unread 08-23-2013, 09:46 AM   #15
eduardostewart
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a little off topic, but i've seen a few people recommend just removing the SS for good anyway. i think i'm on the verge of it. i got my hands on a durango box, rebuilt/replaced all the seals, added a cooler/radiator, and even an in-line filter. why? mostly because i could i suppose, but had me thinking of removing the SS as it would make life a little easier for the box that's already moving hunks of rubber around.
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