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Unread 09-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
bmacd
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What to do if Death Wobble hits, safty question?

I've read a bunch about Death Wobble, and I'm wondering what to do when it hits.
I've added 35s and a 2.5" lift and I am going to check the torque on all suspension components and replace the track bar bolts.

But if I'm traveling at a high rate of speed (I know, I know) and the dreaded Death Wobble hits, whats my best course of action? Breaks, gas, turn L or R or a hail Mary?

Thanks,

BMacD

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Unread 09-16-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
JBWood05TJ
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Start slowing down immediately by controlled braking. I know it's risky at highway speeds with other traffic, but slowing down is the only way to stop it. Also, it will be VERY hard (nearly impossible) to fight it into staying in your lane, but it's a fight worth fighting.
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Unread 09-16-2012, 01:20 PM   #3
SubAtomicGenius
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Slow down and stop ASAP.

Routinely check or have your front end checked by a competent mechanic will prevent it it the first place. As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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Unread 09-16-2012, 01:31 PM   #4
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Stop as quickly as you can safely, and pull over on the shoulder if you can.

45 mph tends to be the magic number for death wobble, usually initiated by bumps in the road, pot holes, bad railroad track crossings, etc.
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Unread 09-16-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
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It's not a given that the DW is inevitable. It's a very small number of people that experience it. If you abuse your Jeep and never maintain it, it's more likely though.
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Unread 09-16-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
Tyson0717
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For some reason I was under the impression it was more common then that. Is checking the torque once a year "routinely" enough?
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Unread 09-16-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson0717
For some reason I was under the impression it was more common then that. Is checking the torque once a year "routinely" enough?
I drive approx. 20k mi a year and change my oil every 5k no matter the driving. I creep underneath with a wrench every other time I change my oil. I would like to say I torque everything appropriately but I really just make sure they're tight. Never had DW, I like to think it has something to do with the maintenance. I've also never found anything loose enough to raise an eyebrow so who knows.
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Unread 09-16-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
paul84043
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Originally Posted by Tyson0717 View Post
For some reason I was under the impression it was more common then that. Is checking the torque once a year "routinely" enough?
That all depends on your driving conditions and mods. There are literally tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of Wranglers out there that have never exhibited DW. There are also lots of other solid axle vehicles that are not Wranglers that Do get it. It's very commonly associated with worn front end parts. The problem with the Wrangler is that it's also a coil spring suspension which makes it worse. Leaf spring solid axles CAN get an front end oscillation, but it's less likely.
The other three things that lend themselves to DW with the wrangler are that its a highly modified vehicle, probably THE most modded vehicle on the planet right now, the application or the type of driving that they have become associated with tends to beat suspensions to death, and the way Chrysler takes shotcuts and cheaps out on certain suspension items. Those three things all come together to create problems and one potential problem is the front end oscillation.
It's really not even worth worrying about. If you do any wheeling then you should take the time to check out your rig and make sure you haven't damaged it occasionally. It's easy enough to get a torque wrench and hit the half dozen mounting points. It literally only takes about 5 minutes and I actually like getting up under the jeep and checking things out... You never know, you might learn something while you're under there.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
bmacd
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Great info folks.

I hope I never the to experience it, but if I do I'll know hit the breaks and pull over. Then I bust out the torque wrench and make sure we're within spec.

Speaking of torque specifications, can anyone point me to a resource that tell the specs for each bolt?

Thanks,

BMac
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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:10 AM   #10
aristobrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmacd View Post
Speaking of torque specifications, can anyone point me to a resource that tell the specs for each bolt?
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/j...9/#post9961090
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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:24 AM   #11
Tyranus73
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Experienced DW for the first time a few weeks ago in my '01 TJ. Checked every knuckle nut and bolt because it freaked me out. In the end it was as simple as changing a worn steering damper.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 10:30 AM   #12
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45 is the "magic number". The only way to "stop" it is to slow down or come to a comlete stop. Tyranus 73... it will be back. A worn out steering stabilizer cannot cause DW. It can however "fix" the issue for a short period of time but the shock will soon wear out and your problem will be back. Check your track bar bolts, bushings and bracket holes. 90% of DW is caused by Track Bar issues.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 12:15 PM   #13
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My Jeep was 8 months new when I found that my trackbar mounts were wallowed out. I'd say that it depends on use and modifications (ie. bigger meats).
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Unread 09-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #14
Tyranus73
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I will definitely check the track bar. If anything it's a great excuse to upgrade. Thanks for the advice.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 02:47 PM   #15
Cutch
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How can I make death wobble occur in my mother in law's car

Last edited by Cutch; 09-17-2012 at 02:48 PM.. Reason: .
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