Diagnosing Death Wobble and Fixing Non-DW Shimmies and Wobbles - Page 14 - JeepForum.com
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post #196 of 360 Old 04-06-2012, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnnydenim
I also have the steering "clunk" issue going on. After doing the new TR end at pitman arm, the knock became worse. Gonna replace the steering box. Would the play in the steering box be causing the shimmy? Remember though...speed dependent shimmy, 55-65 mph.

I had the clunk in the steering in 09 JK. But never exp da wabble.

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post #197 of 360 Old 04-06-2012, 08:36 AM
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So my alignment specs look okay?
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post #198 of 360 Old 04-06-2012, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnnydenim View Post
I have an 08 JKUR and am experiencing some sort of wobble. Starts at about 40mph and stops at about 50. I had never experienced it until changed out my wheels. Went from stock 17 to 17x9 with 4.5 BS. Kept the same 285/70 that I was already running. Would the change in wheel now cause the problem to appear?...

...I guess it is possible for all of this to be bad but why wouldn't I have seen any symptoms until the wheel change??
While the wheels themselves might, or might not be able to create a new problem all by themselves, they can certainly aggravate an existing condition.
All else being equal, a wider wheel, especially one with less backspacing, is going to at the very least add leverage to anything going on there at the ends of the axles.

I'm guilty of not remembering what the stock wheel width and backspacing specs are, but I'm guessing that this could have led to your noticing the shimmy.

I'm not ruling out planman's mention of the stud clips, just adding another possibility.

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post #199 of 360 Old 04-06-2012, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dagny73 View Post
anyone know why there hasn't been a class action lawsuit filed against Chrysler for the death wobble?
Maybe there has. But why would there be? While it seems that a lot of Jeep-specific things can contribute, in my experience it is definitely NOT exclusive to Chrysler products.
Most assuredly not just a "Jeep Thing" in this case.

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post #200 of 360 Old 04-06-2012, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by planman View Post
None of this is DW. DW is random and not easily replicatable by simply driving at a given speed.
One of the few areas where I completely disagree with you.
Every Death Wobble I've ever had or known of was easily repeatable down to the mile per hour and, in the most extreme cases, the exact bump in the road.
I realize that not all are, and that not everyone's experiences have been the same. But every one that I've been involved with personally would easily fit into this category and was the origin (in my area anyway) of the term Death Wobble.

It was still a Death Wobble that shook the wheel right out of your hands until you slowed to almost a crawl, and it's what I first started calling a death wobble way back when. It was still caused by tires almsot every time (on the non-Jeep vehicles at least), and tires only where what fixed the issue. And it was most definitely a repeatable occurence.
Even the previously mentioned Channel 7 News (KGO SF) story showcasing the wobble had some vehicles repeating the wobble at the exact same place at near the same speed on the bridge.

Not sure where the separation in definitions started, but to me, a DW is a DW, no matter what it's origin or level of repeatability. The defining characteristic is the wobble itself. Not the cause.

I agree with the rest of your post of course, but wanted to bring up that one aspect and give my 4 cents.
If it's a shimmy, it's not a DW. Even if it's a decently severe wobble, it's not automatically a DW. One bent wheel might cause a wobble and still not degenerate into a DW.
If it shakes the whole car with the front steering links whipping back and forth (solid axle or not) and pulling the steering wheel back and forth with it, it's a Death Wobble in my book.

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post #201 of 360 Old 04-06-2012, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by planman View Post
Tires can be a trigger for DW, but they aren't the source of DW.

If you have bad ball joints, a loose trackbar, bad tie-rod and drag link ends, etc., bad tires will cause vibrations that trigger these actual sources of DW.

If you simply fix the tire balance problem but still have the other parts worn or loose, the DW will come back once another trigger comes up--i.e. driving across railroad tracks, bridge seams, etc.
Sorry, but I just have to add another few cents to the fire.
I'm not sure what you're saying here is not somewhat, well, I'm not sure what the proper term is. "Self-cancelling" maybe? If they aren't the source, how can they be the trigger?
Basically, why can't a "trigger" also be the "source"? At least in some cases?
My answer? It can. And often is.
Otherwise, why doesn't a loose trackbar ALWAYS cause a DW? Why don't bad ball-joints ALWAYS cause a DW? Because, by themselves, they can't. They need that oscillating trigger from the tires. Therefore, the other components are not actually the cause. Just a contributing factor.

On many vehicles that see DW's happen, a loose steering component just can't create the proper conditions, all by itself, for the full-blown DW's to occur, until a tire gives it that extra push.
Ergo, the TIRE is the actual problem. Cause, trigger, whatever you want to call it.

By the same token, a tire alone can cause the DW's all by itself. Even if every single component in the steering and suspension is brand new and properly sized and torqued, a bad tire (internal damage mostly) can and will overcome all the other components, even the power steering gearbox, and whip that steering wheel almost right out of your hands.

Been there, experienced that.
And, so it seems, did johnnydenim. Everything on his, except for the ball joints, was brand new or checked. And it still wobbled or shimmied, or whatever his symptoms were, until the new tires were installed.
Even after most of the other components were changed/fixed.

Not saying he didn't need those pieces, as they could have been worn by age and mileage and use already. And, like you've mentioned, a good wobble can take out an otherwise perfectly good component like a wheel bearing or ball-joint. But those other things aside, it seems that the tire was the actual root cause in his case too.

Sorry if I come across all smart-alecky or preachy (I know I can, but it's well meant(?)), but in spite of appearances I do welcome new knowledge and value other's experiences too. I like to add them to my own memory bank, so blaze away please at what I've said if you don't agree. Because I know as well as anyone that esch vehicle and set of circumstances can be completely different. And more of my experiences with it really have been with non-Jeep vehicles. Seen enough with Jeeps too of course, but my first few, and many since then, have been with other cars and trucks.
I'm just seeing a trend here that more and more often, whether in the case of TJ's, or JK's, or even YJ's, that the tires are still playing a key role in a case of Death Wobble as often as not. So for the sake of saving time, money and aggravation by someone who's just experiencing a DW for the first time, I don't want to ignore them as a key player, if that's what they are.

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post #202 of 360 Old 04-07-2012, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by dagny73 View Post
anyone know why there hasn't been a class action lawsuit filed against Chrysler for the death wobble? Everyone I have spoken to from customer care to warranty to service departments are well aware of it. If you're interested in organizing or getting a class action lawsuit going, email me at [email protected]

Wow. I hope no one else is interested in doing away with the solid front axle.

IMHO the only way to totally do away with ever having death wobble would be for Chrysler to stop putting solid front axles in Jeeps.

I have had an old Chevy truck and a Ford truck that had DW. Same fix as Jeep. So, they did away with solid front axles in lighter vehicles. We don't want Chrysler to do that.

I hope this poster is just a troll and no one will take them up on this idea.

One foot in the grave & one foot on the gas pedal!!
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post #203 of 360 Old 04-08-2012, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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From post #2:

Assuming your tire psi is 28-30, your tires/wheels have been balanced and rotated to make sure the wobble doesn't move with the rotation, here would be my order:

It is a waste of time to argue semantics and not helpful to anyone.

Focus on providing solutions to people.

The mistake of claiming that DW is tire/wheel related is that people fail to do a complete an thorough inspection of all the front end components.

There is a distinct difference between violent wobbles that will crack welds on brackets, oval bracket holes, destroy tie-rod and drag link ends, tear rubber bushings from bolt sleeves, destroy lower ball joints, destroy unit-bearings, etc.; and speed dependent wobbles that are tire/wheel related.

I call the more violent and non-speed dependent wobble, Death Wobble.

Call it what you want, it still requires a thorough inspection to properly diagnose and fix.

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post #204 of 360 Old 04-08-2012, 01:29 PM
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Class action lawsuits only monetarily benefit the law-vultures. Don't fall for it unless you REALLY need that $2 that you MIGHT get.
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post #205 of 360 Old 04-09-2012, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by planman

Speed dependent, easily repeatable wobbles or shimmies are tire/wheel related.

If your tires are feathered or cupped from running them with bad ball joints or other issues, this would cause a speed dependent shimmy/wobble.

Borrow a set of wheels/tires from a friend to see if it goes away. Then, you will have your answer.

Other issues in the checklist might be looked at--maybe the front upper control arm axle side bushings.
Got new tires and the DW os gone thank god!
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post #206 of 360 Old 04-09-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by LIJeepJC View Post
I had the clunk in the steering in 09 JK. But never exp da wabble.
Partial threadjack:

For you guys with the steering wheel clunk, there's a lifetime < $15 solution including shipping.

What you need:
  • 5th wheel lube (I used Lucas Oil) http://www.amazon.com/Lucas-Oil-10030-Wheel-Lube/dp/B000ALMH9Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333991141&sr=8-1
  • 1-2 Hose clamps (.5'-1.5')
  • 10 minutes
The intermediate steering shaft has a black rubber boot on there. Pop off the clamp on the wheel side (I did both to make it easier and more generously apply lube). Throw away the existing clamp, it's not reusable.

Slide the boot back, apply your 5th wheel lube on the shaft underneath the boot. Reapply clamp, voila.

Some say to reapply the oil every 15K or so, I haven't gotten to that mark yet to verify if it's necessary.
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post #207 of 360 Old 04-09-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by amis8944 View Post
Got new tires and the DW os gone thank god!
Once again, speed ependent wobble is NOT death wobble. If speed sets it off, it's a tre or balance problem. If hitting bumps, turning quickly or some other shock to the suspension sets the wobble off, it may be death wobble.

You cannot fix death wobble by replacing tires. It WILL be back and it can get you badly hurt or killed. Please, PLEASE if you have death wobble, do NOT replace your tires and stop looking!
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post #208 of 360 Old 04-23-2012, 08:53 AM
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So I have been dealing with a wobble/ shimmy in my Jeep. Started out very slightly after the new (used) tires. So I pulled them back off, checked my wheel adapters, and started to rotated the tires around to track down which tire was causing it.

Found one of the tires on the front was bad so I went to a friends tire shop to have them re balanced. In doing so I found out 2 of the tires are slightly out of round. Those 2 are now on the back. The shimmy was 10 times better, but still there. Only happened at about 40-47 mph. Anything higher or lower and it was gone.

So I added balancing BB's to the tires. They made the ride a lot smoother and even made the shimmy better, but didn't completely cure it. (Keep in mind I've been checking all the steering components through each step, no play in tie rod ends, drag link ends, or track bar ends).

The yesterday on a long drive towards the beach I made a left turn and started to speed up and the shimmy/ wobble got 10000% worse. At about 30 mph I couldn't drive it. As soon as I would drop below 30 it would stop. I knew it wasn't death wobble. After making it home I tried to find a loose component and couldn't find anything. So I bought new ball joints.

After removing the old ball joints, the lowers where bad, and the uppers where fine. I changed all 4 anyways. And again checked for play in all the steering and suspension. Everything is tight, no play, and torqued. I am now back to a very slight shimmy at 40-47 mph that sometimes isn't there at all. Could this be a toe issue? Last time I checked it with the tape measure I was at 3/8" toe in.

Just want to ask if this will trash my new ball joints or if the slight shimmy is something I can drive with for the next 10,000 miles until the used 40's wear out and I can get some new ones.

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post #209 of 360 Old 05-02-2012, 12:08 PM
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Ok I was fine up till 2 weeks ago. I was wheeling and smashed my passenger front tire hard enough o bend my rim and bend my track bar. Replaced the track bar and moved the bent tire to the spare. Since this I have a speed dependent wobble at 50 MPH. Prior to this it was fine. So I am thinking something is up with my spare that I put in the front. All my tires are very worn.

But here is my question. If an unbalanced tire will not cause the DW why in the first step are you advised to rotate your tires? If this cures it it is only a band aid fix, gathering what I read, there is still an underling problem which will come back.
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post #210 of 360 Old 05-02-2012, 12:37 PM
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Again, speed dependent wobble is NOT death wobble. That's not what we are talking about here. If your wobble comes and goes with speed change, something is out of round or out of balance. If you hit a bump in the road and your Jeep tries to shake the front end to pieces and you cannot control the vehicle without pulling off the road, THAT'S death wobble.
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death wobble , JK Wrangler , shake , shaking , steering shimmy , wheel shimmy , wrangler

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