Death Wobble and Extended Warranty - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-22-2014, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
Canyonlands
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Death Wobble and Extended Warranty

My 2012 Rubicon Unlimited has 92,000 miles and experienced severe death wobble when I hit a small bump at 55 mph a little over 2 weeks ago. When I purchased the jeep 3 years ago I bought the Maximum Care Unlimited Mileage Lifetime Warranty and way overpaid at $3,400.00, but that's another story.

I took the jeep to a local Austin dealership where I have oil changes and service work done and ask them to check for the origin of the death wobble. I got a call the following day saying nothing was wrong as far as they could see. I told them that I would be afraid to drive the jeep at highway speeds until the problem had been resolved and asked them to check again. The next day I called and was told that their techs couldn't find any problems.

I told them that something was obviously wrong and that I was going to pick up the jeep and take it to Just Jeeps here in Austin and have them diagnose the problem. I also sent them links to the videos relating to death wobble that planman had posted on this forum in 2010. I also sent them information on a letter written in March 2012 that Congressman Henry Waxman and Congresswoman Anna G Eshoo sent to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calling for an investigation into death wobble in Jeep vehicles. The letter, in part, states "The Jeep "death wobble" is a serious safety issue that must be evaluated by NHTSA. It is also representative of the problems involving lack of transparency and access to reliable repairs that are present in other safety and defect cases."

After the dealer got the above information, they suddenly decided that all 4 ball joints , the trac bar and 2 tie rods needed to be replaced. I was puzzled as to why the dealer originally told me that no repairs were needed when they would be paid for the work by Chrysler Warranty.

I related the story to my brother-in-law who manages a Ford dealership
and he had the answer to my question. When a Jeep dealership repairs a vehicle under warranty they have to send all the warranted parts back to Chrysler so they can be inspected. If Chrysler decides that, in their opinion, the work was not needed, they back-charge the dealer for all parts and labor. So Chrysler can make the dealer eat the entire cost of the repair.

All 4 ball joints , the trac bar and 2 tie rods needed to be replaced; however, they are not broken into pieces, they were simply worn to the point that they allow death wobble. Your dealer is so afraid that Chrysler will back-charge them for the repair that they are more than happy to send you back out in traffic with a dangerous vehicle.

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post #2 of 19 Old 12-22-2014, 08:01 PM
JohnRodriguez
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get back to use as soon as your DW returns, it should be soon. In my experience, I never had DW until I loosened my control arm bolts and trac arm bolts. after that I could not tighten the bolts enough to keep them from moving in the too large bolt holes. this was with 90,000+ miles on the odometer. I ended up installing 9/16 bolts in place of the 14mm bolts. Everything that you had replaced may contribute to DW, but in my option, it is the 14mm bolts installed in 9/16 holes.

89 Wrangler, 2.5L TBI, D30 Truetrac 4.56 gear front, Super 35 4.56 gears rear, 31" BFG Mud's, 15x9" weld racing pro-stars XP's, 2.5" rancho and 1.25" shackels, superior axles. rear wilwood disc brakes

2008 wrangler x unlimited. Stone white. Motech 5.3L LS Chevy
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-23-2014, 09:57 AM
jeepwrnglr92
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I cannot tell from your post. Is this on a stock setup Jeep or one that was lifted?

Do all/most stock Jeep experience this over time?

2015 Jeep Wrangler JKU "Tank" Sport S
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-23-2014, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
Canyonlands
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jeepwrnglr92 - It's 100% stock suspension and tires. I don't know if most jeeps have this problem with age and mileage.
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post #5 of 19 Old 12-23-2014, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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JohnRodriguez - Thanks for the information. I will probably just go ahead and replace the bolts.
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-29-2014, 06:48 AM
jeepwrnglr92
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Sorry if i missed it but what bolts do you replace and how hard is it?

my Jeep only has 1600 miles on it but after reading this I am considering replacing them now to avoid damage down the road.

Can you post pictures of what is needed and quantity.

Thank you

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2002 Avalanche: To many mods to list
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-29-2014, 07:34 AM
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-29-2014, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark27 View Post
Thank you and wow that's really sad you have to replace so many factory bolts.

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post #9 of 19 Old 12-29-2014, 12:23 PM
Mark27
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There are a lot of write ups on this if you search. The general story is the trackbars and control arms have 5/8 inch holes, but the factory bolts are 14mm. (slightly smaller than 5/8)
As long as everything is torqued to spec, no problem. But if (when) the bolts loosen, the fully threaded 14mm bolts act as a rasp and oval out the holes.
The theory is that not only do the 5/8 bolt fit more snugly, they are not fully threaded, so they don't file away at the frame/track bar/control arm.

Here:
https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/d...bbles-1052221/
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-29-2014, 07:54 PM
JohnRodriguez
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it is 9/16 bolts, not 5/8. if you do them one at a time, it's no problem to change them. Loosen the 14mm bolt and use the 9/16 to push it out.

89 Wrangler, 2.5L TBI, D30 Truetrac 4.56 gear front, Super 35 4.56 gears rear, 31" BFG Mud's, 15x9" weld racing pro-stars XP's, 2.5" rancho and 1.25" shackels, superior axles. rear wilwood disc brakes

2008 wrangler x unlimited. Stone white. Motech 5.3L LS Chevy
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-30-2014, 07:36 AM
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Correct. 9/16. It's tough getting old.....
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post #12 of 19 Old 12-30-2014, 11:01 AM
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Chrysler has had issues with their ball joints for longtime now. It gets back to design of parts and these are about as bad as it gets. The ball joints slip on a plastic sleeve/cup once that wears it leaves a gap in the metal parts, it can't be serviced. So if you want real ball joints with metal on metal, heat treated and comes with a Zirk so it can be greased, by after market and a grease gun. Now your Bjs lasted well for you. The jeep must be more a car. I have know of people that had them wear out at 10K, mine went out at 20k and wear bad at 15k. The lowers were blown.

tie rod ends from jeep are the same cheap design with plastic lining, but tend to be under less load. on cars.

few things that might cause your issue with again stock parts that are made very cheap. Track bar is the leading issue. going with a shouldered larger bolts is great but that is not what failed, firstly. Upper trackbar bushing has a very, VERY thin metal sleeve that is what you bolts is trying torque down too. Now this sleeve can only take so much torque and its rather easy to give her a bit to much and then this sleeve crushes. like setting pinion crush sleeve just not at 250pounds. So it gets crushed now the rubber in side get crushed and as it flexes this wears out. people noting that it seems loose they tighten more it crushes more and you see where this ends. How to tell if my upper bushing is blown? Plan man steer test, youtube it. OR try to remove that bolt, if that bolt wont pull out of the bushing its been crushed. many people have to cut that bolt off to get it out.

If they just would have made that bushing out of 3/16 wall or shouldered it. but no its a cheap tiny piny 20cent ...fiat

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post #13 of 19 Old 02-05-2015, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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I was finally able to pick my Rubi up after 3+weeks at the dealer's shop. The repairs took 1 day...the rest of the time was required for the dealer to get brave enough to tell Chrysler that the repairs were needed and for Chrysler to approve the repairs. I have driven 5,000+ miles on the repaired suspension and everything seems fine now...no more death wobble.
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post #14 of 19 Old 02-06-2015, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark27 View Post
Has anyone checked to see if you could get these bolts and associated hardware cheaper at let's say Home Depot, Lowes, Ace.....etc.?

Mike
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-06-2015, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrigley
Has anyone checked to see if you could get these bolts and associated hardware cheaper at let's say Home Depot, Lowes, Ace.....etc.? Mike
You can get the equivalent at ACE, etc. but most likely they won't be less expensive. IIRC, the Synergy kit includes stock style flag nuts. You won't find them at ACE or the others.

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death wobble , death wobble diagnosis , extended warranty , wobble , wrangler

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