Diagnosing Death Wobble and Fixing Non-DW Shimmies and Wobbles - Page 22 - JeepForum.com
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post #316 of 360 Old 10-30-2014, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
planman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taoshum
We had a "mild" case of this wobble/shimmy crap... changed the ball joints, strengthened the C-sections, sleeved the axle housings, put a super spin balance on the wheels, changed out all the bolts to grade 8-- 9/16's-- and used a air ratchet to tighten all the bolts to at least 250 ft-lb. Wobble gone and has not returned. Mileage did go up slightly but that could have been the warmer weather. Much better ride. I was ready to trade it in but now we are BFF again. Thanks for the guidance!!!!
154 ft lbs is the max you should ever torque a grade 8, 9/16" bolt.

You likely damaged your bolts at 250 ft lbs.

I suggest you consider swapping in new bolts and torque them to less than 150 ft lbs.



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post #317 of 360 Old 10-30-2014, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planman View Post
154 ft lbs is the max you should ever torque a grade 8, 9/16" bolt.

You likely damaged your bolts at 250 ft lbs.

I suggest you consider swapping in new bolts and torque them to less than 150 ft lbs.

I'll check them with a torque wrench. Have to get a new one since the one I have only goes to 120 ft lb. if it is really that high, I'll replace the bolts. I was going by the advertised specs on the air wrench. I had the pressure set at 90 psi with 50 ft of hose so now I'm not sure. At least the wobble is gone.

Thanks1

This thread needs to be a "sticky"

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post #318 of 360 Old 10-30-2014, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Just wanted to make sure you don't break a bolt.


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post #319 of 360 Old 11-02-2014, 05:26 AM
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I've been dealing with DW off and on since 07 on my JK. this last go around i replaced the drag link due to extensive wear at the pitman arm. This helped but it did not resolve the DW. So I did the following:
  • inspected the track bar and the bushings at the frame end was destroyed and so was the bolt. This cause me to inspect and replace all of the bolts with grade 8 bolts. doing so the upper control arm bolts were all bent and in really bad condition.
  • inspected the steering box and thought the select shaft had play and replaced with AGR HD box. after closer inspection of the factory box, it was fine and in great working order
  • replaced the gen1 poly track bar bracket with gen 2 and selector shaft bracket.
  • During inspection a crack of the inner-c weld was discovered on my dana 60. repaired and gusseted.
  • torqued, set caster, and Toe. test drove and still DW but only at high speed. reinspected and retorqued.
  • Balanced tire and DW all gone.
This last occurrence of DW made me really realize, i need to be better at maintenance of my steering. I was shocked how bad the condition of my bolts were and these bolts are not even 3 yrs old and i might drive 6k moves a yr at most. at this time i still do not know how the inner-c weld cracked and not bend the axle tube. i'm wondering id the DW caused this. finally, not one shop in my area can balance 40" tires
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post #320 of 360 Old 11-02-2014, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Tire shops that do semi trucks and larger box trucks should have a machine that would balance 40s.


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post #321 of 360 Old 11-03-2014, 10:03 PM
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Goin nuts... So with the limited access I have to help here is my order of events.

Had minor high speed bump steer no DW.

Installed 3" Zone lift with cam locks.

DW Materializes.

Check trac bar bushings look ok to me did not appear ovaled. Replaced with Grade 8 bolts. Tightened down dunno if to spec didnt have torque wrench available. But couldnt move them anymore. Seemed to help but DW came back.

Take to shop for an alignment, they tell me they cannot align all 4 BJs were bad and TREs as well... A mechanic buddy confirmed this. So order 4 Alloy BJs and 3 Moog TREs and one Napa TRE. Install the BJs since I only had limited time. Seemed a bit better but DW came back.

Today bought torque wrench and installed the TREs and torque to spec as well as make sure the trac bar is torqued to spec. DW still there...

Going outta my mind...

Of course when i went to take the driver's side wheel off to get to the grease fitting to grease one of the TREs i strip a lug nut... WTF...

So I have the one BJ that doesnt have an grease in it. But I dont think this would contribute to DW would it?

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post #322 of 360 Old 11-03-2014, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicbear View Post
Goin nuts... So with the limited access I have to help here is my order of events.

Had minor high speed bump steer no DW.

Installed 3" Zone lift with cam locks.

DW Materializes.

Check trac bar bushings look ok to me did not appear ovaled. Replaced with Grade 8 bolts. Tightened down dunno if to spec didnt have torque wrench available. But couldnt move them anymore. Seemed to help but DW came back.

Take to shop for an alignment, they tell me they cannot align all 4 BJs were bad and TREs as well... A mechanic buddy confirmed this. So order 4 Alloy BJs and 3 Moog TREs and one Napa TRE. Install the BJs since I only had limited time. Seemed a bit better but DW came back.

Today bought torque wrench and installed the TREs and torque to spec as well as make sure the trac bar is torqued to spec. DW still there...

Going outta my mind...

Of course when i went to take the driver's side wheel off to get to the grease fitting to grease one of the TREs i strip a lug nut... WTF...

So I have the one BJ that doesnt have an grease in it. But I dont think this would contribute to DW would it?
You need to replace the stripped stud.

You need to go back to posts #1 and #2 of this thread, and re-do the entire inspection checklist found in post #2 in one sitting.

Yes, you will need to recheck even the new components that were recently installed if you have experienced DW since the installs.

You'll find the sources of your problem.


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post #323 of 360 Old 11-05-2014, 07:25 PM
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May have found the culprit. Took it to a shop today for an alignment at the request of my wife.. Even though I told her all they can do is toe, which they confirmed and said my toe wasnt far off... They said they did notice my lower BJ's were a hair out, I guess I didnt press em all the way. But they did say they noticed some flex and a little play in the trac bar bushing frame side. Which I may have skipped looking at that side when I was checking em out. I think I just swapped the bolt and forgot to check it. they did say the axle side one is good, which is the one I know I checked. So tomorrow gonna go pick up an OE trac bar which is only a hair more than the cost of replacing the bushings themselves. He did recommend a JKS adjustable trac bar but that is not in my budget right now... And from what I read any kind of play no matter how small in the trac bar can set off DW... so tomorrow on my way to get that... crossing fingers.

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post #324 of 360 Old 11-06-2014, 03:27 PM
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And we fail again.. Had a offroad shop swap in a used OE track bar that had a hundred or so miles on it, let them do it so it I knew it was good and torqued to spec... Sadly DW came back. However, it was significantly less severe, and did not manifest as easily... So all 4 BJs replace, all 4 TREs replaced, trac bar and bolts replaced... Gonna double check the LCA bushings and torque today. I do remember snugging them down pretty sure the suspension was unloaded... Then I set it down and lifted it again. Either after setting down or lifting it back up to help settle things, heard a loud pop... Couldnt tell where it came from. Thinking maybe that could be part of the issue as well. might have damaged the bushings or they are not torqued to spec. Otherwise not sure what else it could be.

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post #325 of 360 Old 11-07-2014, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicbear View Post
And we fail again.. Had a offroad shop swap in a used OE track bar that had a hundred or so miles on it, let them do it so it I knew it was good and torqued to spec... Sadly DW came back. However, it was significantly less severe, and did not manifest as easily... So all 4 BJs replace, all 4 TREs replaced, trac bar and bolts replaced... Gonna double check the LCA bushings and torque today. I do remember snugging them down pretty sure the suspension was unloaded... Then I set it down and lifted it again. Either after setting down or lifting it back up to help settle things, heard a loud pop... Couldnt tell where it came from. Thinking maybe that could be part of the issue as well. might have damaged the bushings or they are not torqued to spec. Otherwise not sure what else it could be.
I think you are in the same boat as I am......my 2007 JKUR has suffered from DW for quite a while now.

I don't think there is any smoking gun, single fix that is the cause or that will make it go away when you replace this "one component." I do, however, think they are all related and contribute to, or are a casualty of, the death wobble.

My Unlimited has just over 40,000 miles on it. But has been experiencing DW with much less on the clock, so one would think that it is a bit premature to have worn out components causing the problem.

Others are quick to blame poor maintenance by the owner......I never had to perform "proper routine suspension maintenance" on any other vehicle that had so few miles on it before....and there isn't much you can do since most of the factory joints can't be greased.

My ride is a daily driver and never "wheeled." But it does make several trips daily up and down my long, gravel, bumpy driveway. So, this could be a contributing factor in premature wear and tear. It is like taking it to the proving grounds and driving over the rumble strips over and over each day.

I have noticed and remedied track-bar mounts wallowing out (drilled to bigger bolts that weren't all-thread). I have replaced the drag link due to sloppy ball joints at each end. And I've noticed even new, less aggressive tires have helped. But I have only minimized the occurrences and can still feel the wiggle and jiggle of the whole axel when hitting rough patches in the road or running over railroad crossings. I know its only a matter of time that I will find myself slamming on the brakes in the middle of highway traffic to bring my front wheels back under control.

I'm betting that most of my worn parts are more of a casualty then a cause. But after you start wearing out mounts and joints, it just makes the condition easier to manifest itself.

I guess, next on my list is to do the tie rod ends and ball joints. Then upper and lower control arms......might as well start looking into a lift with new arms if I'm going to this extent. Also, I'm probably going to shop for new rotors, because even the vibration from my warped rotors send this thing hopping all over the place. New rims probably, too because shops are always having a tough time balancing my stock Moabs. Maybe someday I feel comfortable again to take it on a long highway trip.....just not tomorrow.
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post #326 of 360 Old 11-07-2014, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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When you guys fix things piecemeal, you risk damaging newly installed parts and "chasing your tail" and damaging the new parts.

Read the beginning of this thread.

Do a thorough inspection in one sitting.

Only fix what needs to be fixed. There is no point in spending time or money swapping in new parts that aren't needed.

Don't rely on the thoroughness of your local shop or dealer to do the inspection and diagnosis.

The JK in the 2 part video inspection and diagnosis at the beginning of this thread didn't have full on DW, but it did have periodic clunks and wobbles that we're getting worse.

The owner had taken his jeep to the dealership and to his local 4x4 shop multiple times. The result was a HD steering stabilizer, an alignment, and tire rebalancing.

In less than an hour, including taking time to shoot the video, I found a bad drag link end and bad ball joints. I show in the video how easy it is to do a basic inspection where I found the problems.

Then, my friend took his jeep back to his local 4x4 shop and told them what I had found and that he needed ball joints and a drag link end. They did the installs for him, and he has had no problems since.

Do the diagnosis yourself. You don't have to do the repairs yourself. Although, you should have a torque wrench for periodic maintenance where you re-torque the front trackbar bolts.


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post #327 of 360 Old 11-07-2014, 03:27 PM
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The only down part for me is when I do have the time to do the inspection, I do not have the eyes or hands to help with it. Wife wants me to take it to a shop in the AM with your checklist on what to look for.

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post #328 of 360 Old 12-13-2014, 04:14 PM
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Planman, thanks soooo much for the videos. Hope you don't mind yet another question.
2013 JKU, modified by Rugged Ridge and I won it last year arrived with only 300 miles on it. Last fall experienced DW for the first time. We stored it through the winter and put a 1000 miles on it this spring/summer/fall, just doing errands, during my last trip out in it I experienced a DW worse than the first time. Stopped it as I did before, when I took off again it only took a mile or two for it to start again. Parked it, gathered my wits then brought it home. DH and I watched both videos and just completed an hour or so long inspection and could only find one issue. The ball joint (?) at the top Pittman arm has about a 1/16" up and down play when DH used the adjustable pliers as you showed in the video and the "boot" or rubber covering is split.
To my knowledge this thing has never been off road.
The information that came with it from RR is ORV 4/5"lift kit with nitrogen shocks and frame brace with track bar drop bracket.
I'm also adding pix here.
We couldn't find anything with any "play" in it and are completely stuck.
Thanks for any advice you can give.
Terri
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post #329 of 360 Old 12-15-2014, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tweezybird
Planman, thanks soooo much for the videos. Hope you don't mind yet another question. 2013 JKU, modified by Rugged Ridge and I won it last year arrived with only 300 miles on it. Last fall experienced DW for the first time. We stored it through the winter and put a 1000 miles on it this spring/summer/fall, just doing errands, during my last trip out in it I experienced a DW worse than the first time. Stopped it as I did before, when I took off again it only took a mile or two for it to start again. Parked it, gathered my wits then brought it home. DH and I watched both videos and just completed an hour or so long inspection and could only find one issue. The ball joint (?) at the top Pittman arm has about a 1/16" up and down play when DH used the adjustable pliers as you showed in the video and the "boot" or rubber covering is split. To my knowledge this thing has never been off road. The information that came with it from RR is ORV 4/5"lift kit with nitrogen shocks and frame brace with track bar drop bracket. I'm also adding pix here. We couldn't find anything with any "play" in it and are completely stuck. Thanks for any advice you can give. Terri
The drag link end at the pitman arm with a little play/clunk definitely would contribute to the problem.

You may have a number of other things going on.

A trackbar relocation bracket at the frame side is generally a really bad idea. Yours looks like it is a Teraflex model, but it has multiple positioning holes.

From your pictures, it also looks like you have a drop pitman arm. This overleverages the steering box and is a poor design.

Take some wide angle pictures of your front end so that we can see the rest of the components.

You may want to upgrade to do a drag link flip kit, which includes an axle side trackbar relocation bracket, and swap back a factory pitman arm. You would need to remove the frame side trackbar relocation bracket.

My suspicion is that you have some sort of problem going on with that frame side trackbar relocation bracket being a little loose, that your trackbar bolts are not properly torqued, that the drop pitman arm and the loose or worn drag link end is contributing too it, and that some of your other bolts have worked themselves loose since the install.


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post #330 of 360 Old 12-16-2014, 09:15 AM
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Thanks planman, I'll get pix as soon as I can. I'm going to have to find someone to do this kind of work. I was also going to have the front end aligned.
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