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Unread 06-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
Prot
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Death Wobble cured after 4 years and 49,000 miles

My Jeep is fixed and is awesome. It rides better than ever and NO DEATH WOBBLE NO SHIMMYING NO SLOPPY STEERING.

The root cause was not anything documented on this forum. Turns out my black diamond springs are unusually soft and as a result place increased demands on the shocks. Keep in mind I started with black diamond shocks that failed then went to bilstein 5100's that also failed. I was on my second set of Bilsteins. These Bilsteins were still holding up but they found that even though the compression was stiff, their rebound was soft. This combined with the soft springs made the rebound of my suspension uncontrollable hence the severity if the death wobble. The severe death wobble is what kept trashing steering dampers.

The fix was to install Rancho 9000 shocks and set them to 7. They tested this without a steering stabilizer installed and the problem was gone. Then a new stabilizer was installed so that it would stop bump steer of large tires instead of trying to stop death wobble. Track bar and the rest was fine. Tires rebalanced for the hell of it. One bolt was found loose on upper rear passenger control arm. It was not bad, but was the cause of the squeaking and popping. The rest were checked and were fine.

The Jeep rides like an Escalade and has offroad prowess worthy of military service. The steering feels great.

In summary, it does not feel like my Jeep.

Cajun Offroad is awesome. All work including parts and labor four shocks and a stabilizer totaled $408. Money well spent and quite a bargain. They admitted this one was a challenge to figure out.

They have earned my business for life.

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Unread 06-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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I love it when things work out!
Have you thought about changing the coils for something a little firmer?
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Unread 06-03-2011, 07:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLC08JK View Post
I love it when things work out!
Have you thought about changing the coils for something a little firmer?
If the problem returns I will switch them out for Polyperformance . Right now, the ride is so sweet I would dare say perfect. It seems like it sits slightly higher than before.

Before this fix, I was seriously looking for a vehicle to trade it in on because I was so fed up.

No death wobble thread pointed to this as being the culprit because the problem is usually related to the track bar.
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Unread 06-03-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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Good to hear. Proof that some aftermarket parts are designed more for look than function.
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Unread 06-03-2011, 09:46 PM   #5
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Wooohooo! Bookmark this one folks. Another thorough explanation of common issues.



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Unread 06-03-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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I just added this thread to the F.A.Q. as "Another Possible Cause Of Death Wobble and Steering Problems" directly under planman's thread
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Unread 06-03-2011, 10:18 PM   #7
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Glad the problem is fixed! I wasnt aware you were on the 2nd pair of bilsteinsshocks....that should of been a dead give away that something wasnt right. Just watch out those Rancho shocks dont do the same thing, almost always best to keep the jeep on the springs unless the shocks are valved/tuned to handle the weight.
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Unread 06-03-2011, 10:19 PM   #8
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That’s great news. I can just imagine how you feel. Now you can finally relax and enjoy your Jeep like it was meant to be.
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Unread 06-03-2011, 11:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Glad the problem is fixed! I wasnt aware you were on the 2nd pair of bilsteinsshocks....that should of been a dead give away that something wasnt right. Just watch out those Rancho shocks dont do the same thing, almost always best to keep the jeep on the springs unless the shocks are valved/tuned to handle the weight.
Throughout all of this, even when the shocks were new, my JK has always been plagued with death wobble, and I kept chasing the usual expected culprits.

It's not that it is sitting on the shocks instead of springs. It's after compression, the rebound was uncontrolled. The way this induced death wobble by starting with an up and down motion that would shift to side to side action made the event much worse than normal death wobble, which is already a bad enough experience.

My poor health made it difficult because I could not do very much myself. I made some big improvements in my lung function a couple of days ago so overall things are getting better for both the Jeep and me. Two months ago I removed one tire to check something out but could not get enough air in my lungs and ended up flat on my back in my garage by the time the tire came off. I almost did not get the tire back on and had to stop and rest several times trying to put it on because of lung infections. I am a lot better now and took my Harley out for a ride Thursday for the first time in a long time.

I still cannot get over how much better the suspension and steering is. It feels like a different vehicle. I no longer have to drive white knuckled, holding on for dear life.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 08:04 AM   #10
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Glad it's finally fixed Prot. Wish I had an offroad shop like that here. I am still curious how shocks could fix DW though. Something had to be shot in the suspension for DW to manifest, no?

Especially with 4 years if DW I would imagine there were many damaged components and wallowed holes.

At any rate, glad it's fixed and hope it holds for ya.

I'm starting to think I have a bad spring/shock combo now as well after reading this.

I have upgraded everything in the steering, tried three sets of tires, two sets of shocks, dynatrac ball joints, new steering gear, alignments and balances galore and still have harshness over every little bump.

Maybe the ranchos would work for me or I should take off these rubi springs with spacers and go back to the stock X springs my vehicle came with. At this point the only thing I haven't changed are the springs since putting in the Rubi springs two years ago.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 10:18 AM   #11
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Glad everything worked out!

Hellbound, I'd suggest either waiting for AEV's 2.5" spring kit which will come out this summer or their 3.5" premium kit. AEV's springs and shocks are designed to work together and their progressive springs with their shocks exhibit no the harshness.

My wife has a Rubicon JKU with the Teraflex 2.5" BB and shock extenders. It rides pretty well but there is just a bit of harshness over sharp seems and broken pavement, imo. Here's a thought, maybe just try a set of Rubicon shocks, cheap if you get them as take offs. If that doesn't work their is always the option of going with the AEV set up, which rides and handles better than stock.

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Unread 06-04-2011, 10:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPJ
Glad everything worked out!

Hellbound, I'd suggest either waiting for AEV's 2.5" spring kit which will come out this summer or their 3.5" premium kit. AEV's springs and shocks are designed to work together and their progressive springs with their shocks exhibit no the harshness.

My wife has a Rubicon JKU with the Teraflex 2.5" BB and shock extenders. It rides pretty well but there is just a bit of harshness over sharp seems and broken pavement, imo. Here's a thought, maybe just try a set of Rubicon shocks, cheap if you get them as take offs. If that doesn't work their is always the option of going with the AEV set up, which rides and handles better than stock.

JPK
I'm not looking to lift, I just want it to feel like I have some sort of suspension again. Everything is super harsh and transmitted to the steering wheel. I have upgraded and torqued EVERYTHING in the suspension and steering. Trackbar bushings are perfect and holes are welded perfect. I am running stock wheels and street tires at this point. There is ZERO reason my jeep should ride this harsh. At this point all that is left that could be causing this is the shock/spring combo. So I can try the Ranchos but I have already tried old man emu, Bilstein and now Edelbrock shocks with little to no change, or I can take the 3/4 spacers out of the front along with the springs from a Rubicon and put my stock X springs back in. I'm not sure which would make the ride smooth again or if either will at all. All I know is I have lived with this for two years and can't anymore. I need to be able to take the Jeep places and right now I don't take it far at all.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 02:06 PM   #13
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Anyone have any ideas on this before I trade in?
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Unread 06-04-2011, 02:35 PM   #14
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Here is a cost breakdown.

Two front shocks $86 each
Two hours labor $70/hour
There was something for $14
The rest was taxes and steering stabilizer

So I am still running bilstein 5100's in the rear, which I may replace since I have had such good results up front.

Hellbound, all of the shocks you have tried are set. The Rancho 9000's are adjustable. Non-adjustable shocks, if not correct, offer no opportunity to do something about.


My original lift was 3" black diamond and included black diamond shocks supposedly matched to the rest of the kit but they turned out to be the worst shocks of all.

Get the Rancho that way you can adjust as needed and it is not a gamble on if it will work or not.

I am still stunned that it is fixed because I fully expected to have to replace axles, reweld parts, and other extensive and expensive repairs and modifications.

Four years of vehicle misery for nothing.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 03:20 PM   #15
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Anyone have any ideas on this before I trade in?
What tires are you running? Size? And pressure? The Rubicon springs will ride a bit harsher. Shocks, for them to do their job they need to have some extension and retraction to the piston, or they are going to transmit everything to the steering on the front. Adjustable shocks, the correct length will make a difference.

Summer is here, so don't trade it just yet.

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