Steering wheel shimmy - quite noticable at times-diagnostic help - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 4 Unread Today, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
three_jeeps
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2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 504
Steering wheel shimmy - quite noticable at times-diagnostic help

2004 WJ Limited – all stock.
Over last 2-3 months, would feel steering wheel shimmy around 45-50 mph. It just starts to do this ‘out of the blue’ and goes away when I stop the jeep moving and restart it. Lately, the shimmy is quite noticeable.
I guess this is what you all refer to as the 'death wobble'....??
I haven’t gotten under the jeep to check it out but am suspecting TREnds.

Jeep has 125K miles, all steering linkages are original, cept foro damper I replaced in the fall.
Tires are relatively new, correct air pressure, alignment done in fall, lugnuts torqued to spec.

My question is, what component is the most likely problem?

Is the typical ball joint check applicable on the jeep? (e.g. grab wheel at 12 and 6 oclock and check for play?)
Thanks
J

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post #2 of 4 Unread Today, 08:54 AM
Mattyjm
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2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Butler, PA
Posts: 1,682
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three_jeeps View Post
2004 WJ Limited – all stock.
Over last 2-3 months, would feel steering wheel shimmy around 45-50 mph. It just starts to do this ‘out of the blue’ and goes away when I stop the jeep moving and restart it. Lately, the shimmy is quite noticeable.
I guess this is what you all refer to as the 'death wobble'....??
I haven’t gotten under the jeep to check it out but am suspecting TREnds.

Jeep has 125K miles, all steering linkages are original, cept foro damper I replaced in the fall.
Tires are relatively new, correct air pressure, alignment done in fall, lugnuts torqued to spec.

My question is, what component is the most likely problem?

Is the typical ball joint check applicable on the jeep? (e.g. grab wheel at 12 and 6 oclock and check for play?)
Thanks
J
You are experiencing death wobble. I'd have someone start the Jeep and turn the steering wheel back and forth while it's on the ground. You want to be looking at all the steering components up front. Tie rod ends are a great place to start. Also, you want to look for movement at the trac bar mounts. The trac bar is often the culprit and another great place to start looking.

You can check for ball joint play with the method you described. Also, while you have the front up in the air, check for wheel hub play by grabbing the tire at 3 and 9 o'clock and rock it back and forth for play that way. Just be careful that you're not mistaking play for turning the whole front steering system.

2000 Laredo. Now a donor vehicle to my
2002 Laredo. Baloo. Currently a work in progress.
2004 Rocky Mountain Edition. Froggy Bandit. Wife's Daily Driver. PRISTINE! Stock height and may stay that way.....
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post #3 of 4 Unread Today, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
three_jeeps
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2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattyjm View Post
You are experiencing death wobble.
Thanks for the clarification, and the diagnostic approach. Seems like a good way to check it out.

I don't think Jeeps are any different from other vehicles in that there should be NO play on any of the components?

If TREnd is bad, is it better to replace both of them at the same time (I've usually only done the bad one)

Recommended aftermarket components for TRE or track bar?
Thanks again....
J
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post #4 of 4 Unread Today, 09:46 AM
2oldjeeps
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 804
at 144000, i ordered a set of 4. did three. one ca,me apart at pitman while i worked at the other end!! dont hesitate.
also chek for grease at hidden upper ball joints.one is dried out,wont take grease. the're next..
i got moog,look great, made in usa...


mine were a workout with 2 pipe wrenches and 3 foot pipe extensions. about 10 hours!!

99wj,143,000 miles
00xj,177,000 miles
10hummer3,74,000 miles
98xj,130,000 miles
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