Death Wobble with a twist - JeepForum.com
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 04-04-2018, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
dwarren05
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 5
Death Wobble with a twist

I have researched countless hours the topic of "Death Wobble" and have come to the conclusion I am still confused. Anyone please help, I am quite frustrated. Here are the facts: I had a stock 04 WJ Laredo 4x4 4.0L with 210,000 miles. When I acquired it, the dreaded "Death Wobble" was present. Since I planned on lifting it, I parked it until the lift kit was ordered. Here is what has been done:

1. 4" Rough Country lift with adjustable track bar, adjustable lower control arms and new steering stabilizer installed. I am somewhat mechanically inclined so I tackled the project.
2. New Tie rod ends and drag link ends installed
3. Used larger tires 255 70r 18, that were balanced by a tire shop, installed.(Rubicon rims and tires, it was cheap)

After those three items were done, I had the vehicle aligned at a local shop. "Death Wobble" was still present.

4. Installed new Moog upper and lower ball joints, new Moog hub assemblies, new rotors and new brakes.
Garage mechanic the alignment myself to within a 1/4 toe in. "Death Wooble" is still present. I have checked the tire pressure and any loose bolts and find nothing wrong.

I thought by replacing everything mentioned, with the ball joints being last, the" Death Wooble" would disappear. With what little hair I have, I am about to pull the rest out. I have read the upper control arm bushings could cause the "Death Wooble" but, have not checked them yet. My lower control arms are at 16 1/8" which is a bit longer than the 16" per instructed. The track bar bolts have been torqued to 125 lbs. The bolts to the control arm probably the same.

With the information I have written, does anyone know a solution to this problem. I really do not want to take it to a shop and be charged hundreds of dollars. I started this and want to finish it on my own. Please Please help!!!!

dwarren05 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 04-04-2018, 10:17 PM
grayWJ4x4
Senior Member
1936 CJ2A 
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 746
You said in the post. Upper control arm bushings in the axle needs to be replaced. I did the exact same thing in my previous WJ and had dw until I replaced the upper control arm bushings.
grayWJ4x4 is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 04-04-2018, 11:04 PM
GmanWJ
Registered User
 
GmanWJ's Avatar
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Santa Maria, California
Posts: 504
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by grayWJ4x4 View Post
You said in the post. Upper control arm bushings in the axle needs to be replaced. I did the exact same thing in my previous WJ and had dw until I replaced the upper control arm bushings.
Having never experienced DW, I cannot really say, but yeah you have not exhausted all options yet. Do all control arms, all bushings, everything squishy. I would not be surprised if the back end suspension contributed to this condition as well.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

ok mostly just repairs, but we are closing in on a lift
GmanWJ is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 Old 04-05-2018, 09:08 AM
Jeeples
Harsh, but fair
 
Jeeples's Avatar
2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: West Jordan
Posts: 7,903
Did your RC lift come with a drop pitman arm? If so, is that installed? If it is, it shouldn't be since you're using an adjustable track bar.

You mentioned that you set your lower control arms a bit longer than specified by RC, presumably to dial in a bit more caster, correct? Often times those lengths are starting points. You may need to play with that a bit more in order to find the 'sweet spot' of pinion angle and caster.

Lastly, when do you experience DW? Is it hitting imperfections in the road surface above a certain speed?

His: '00 WJ 4.7 Limited- Some stuff

Hers: '03 WJ 4.7 Laredo- Some more stuff


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeples
This is easily the worst post, and thread, I have ever seen in 7 years of being on JF.
Jeeples is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 04-05-2018, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
dwarren05
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 5
I had the DW prior to doing anything to the WJ. I am reluctantly agreeing that upper control arm bushing might need to be replaced to stop the DW.
Jeeples I am intrigued by your sweet spot comment on the lower control arm length. I have been told to lengthen the control arms out about 5 turns and that would stop the DW. But I am arguing that the DW was there prior to the lift and is still present, so I havenít replaced the culprit yet. Is there somewhere I can research as to the proper length of the lower control arms max length etc? I truly appreciate the advice. I made a mistake saying I enjoy puzzles and this one is about to do me in!!
dwarren05 is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 04-05-2018, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
dwarren05
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 5
I failed to answer a couple of question....I did not install a drop pitman arm, I made sure I did not need one to be sure. DW occurs when I travel above 45mph. Doesn't matter the condition of the pavement rough or smooth...happens every time.
dwarren05 is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 04-06-2018, 10:02 AM
Jeeples
Harsh, but fair
 
Jeeples's Avatar
2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: West Jordan
Posts: 7,903
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwarren05 View Post
I had the DW prior to doing anything to the WJ. I am reluctantly agreeing that upper control arm bushing might need to be replaced to stop the DW.
Jeeples I am intrigued by your sweet spot comment on the lower control arm length. I have been told to lengthen the control arms out about 5 turns and that would stop the DW. But I am arguing that the DW was there prior to the lift and is still present, so I havenít replaced the culprit yet. Is there somewhere I can research as to the proper length of the lower control arms max length etc? I truly appreciate the advice. I made a mistake saying I enjoy puzzles and this one is about to do me in!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwarren05 View Post
I failed to answer a couple of question....I did not install a drop pitman arm, I made sure I did not need one to be sure. DW occurs when I travel above 45mph. Doesn't matter the condition of the pavement rough or smooth...happens every time.

Ok, so you had it prior to the lift. I think you're on the right track in the sense that you've yet to address the root cause.

That being said, DW generally refers to when you hit a road surface imperfection (such as a pothole, expansion joint, manhole cover, etc.) and the steering wheel starts to shake side to side rapidly. Often times the only way to stop it is to come to a complete stop.

I think what you're experiencing may be a bit different. I would recommend looking at the upper control arms and bushings as previously mentioned. You might not be able to find them listed under a WJ at most parts stores, but the bushings are the same used in ZJ's. I generally have them look up the upper control arm bushings for a '96 ZJ. In my area AutoZone is the cheapest, coming in at about $5 per bushing. While I'm not generally a huge fan of Duralast branded parts, they literally just toss a Clevite brand bushing in their box.

The past 3 sets I've bought from them have 'Clevite' molded right into the face of the bushing and I've yet to have an issue. If you're doing the axle bushings you may as well just buy 4 of them and replace the upper control arm bushings as well.

His: '00 WJ 4.7 Limited- Some stuff

Hers: '03 WJ 4.7 Laredo- Some more stuff


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeples
This is easily the worst post, and thread, I have ever seen in 7 years of being on JF.
Jeeples is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 04-07-2018, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
dwarren05
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 5
If it isn't DW then whatever shakes the Jeep s violently the mud underneath flies off, I want it to stop. Venturing into the upper control arm bushing brings me to another question. Since I have looked high and low as to the root cause, I looked at the pinion angle of the front yoke. It appears a little lower than level and not pointing at the transfer case as I suspect it should. If I am going to replace the control arm bushings, would it not be a wiser investment to change to adjustable uppers? Trying to not empty every pocket!!
dwarren05 is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 04-07-2018, 12:16 PM
HarryH3
Registered User
2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Planet Houston
Posts: 2,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwarren05 View Post
... Since I have looked high and low as to the root cause, I looked at the pinion angle of the front yoke. It appears a little lower than level and not pointing at the transfer case as I suspect it should.
And therein lies the problem. If you adjust the pinion angle to be perfect, then you're pretty much guaranteed to get death wobble, even with good parts, because the caster is now around zero degrees. The only way to fix one without messing up the other is to cut the outer C's from from the axle tubes. Then you can set the pinion angle via adjustable arms, then adjust the caster by rotating the C's, and then weld the C's back to the tube in their new orientation. So you can probably guess why most choose to just find a happy medium between the perfect caster angle and the perfect pinion angle.
HarryH3 is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 04-07-2018, 12:26 PM
4WDlifeform
Registered User
 
4WDlifeform's Avatar
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 643
What is the condition of your tires? And how much air are you putting in them? Consider lowering the pressure. As @Jeeples suggested, usually DW is triggered by a bump or going around a turn. Being that your situation is occurring at a certain speed regardless of road condition, you've probably got a bad tire, or over-inflated tires. Even a balanced tire can be out of round or have some imperfection that can initiate DW. Maybe try a simple rotate, if you happen to have a bad tire in the front.

Once the wobble starts, something else in the system must be failed. I say that because if everything else was good, your result would be a shimmy to the steering. Once the shimmy starts, "something" else is not doing its job to support the axle properly and dampening the vibration.

Sounds like you replaced all your rod ends and ball joints, and a new stabilizer, and you still feel sloppy handling? Have you tried tightening the steering box? BE CAREFUL with this one!! There is a way to tighten up the steering box, but you have to be patient and make adjustments ever so slightly. I have adjusted mine and got improved handling, but I ended up replacing anyway. Once a box is to that point, it is probably toast anyway. Search for that one, and explore at your own wishes... I only marginally recommend, as it helped me realize a new box was going to be worth it.

Regarding caster, I too ran adjustable lowers and kicked them out a bit beyond stock mostly because I wanted to keep the wheel centered in the wheel housing. BAD MOVE. I ended up installing adjustable uppers to get caster back to near stock and keep axle centered. Handling then improved and DW was *reduced*. I ended up having bad tires and too soft of track bar bushing. Once I did all that, DW is a very rare occurrence.

Good luck. Post back with any results.

'04 WJ 4.0, 325k miles! 2" Coils 255/70 AT on JK take-offs
-sold- '14 KL Trailhawk
-sold- '97 XJ AX-15, 3" lift


Any tool dropped while working on your Jeep will roll underneath to the exact center.
4WDlifeform is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 04-08-2018, 09:41 AM
wranglertec
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 235
I just installed Core 4x4 Lower control arms on my WJ Friday night along with a 3/4 spacer to level my 3 inch. The Core arms come with no instructions. I found Rustyís Offroad recommends 16 1/4 inch starting point. Stock are 15 3/4. I took it out on the freeway. From 50 up it would wobble almost like out off balance tires. I got it to 65 . Then I let off to get off the freeway thatís when D wobble started. I went back and read some information on my IRO lift. More caster helps with stability. Less caster will help reduce steering shimmy. I reset the arm from 16 1/4 to 16 inches. Took it up on the freeway. No more steering wobble.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
wranglertec is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome