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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-31-2016 08:30 AM
dzywicki I just finished completely rebuilding the front end of my '99 since it was also exhibiting DW. If you are doing it yourself, it's not that bad, except for the upper control arm bushings on the axle. Those are a major pain in the ***. I replaced all rubber with poly. An air chisel makes it pretty easy work to get the old bushings out. an easier option for the control arms is the buy new ones with the bushings already put in. I did the upper control arm/axle side with the axle still in. If I had to do it again, I would probably drop the axle. Another option would be to do everything except the UCA/axle side and take it to a shop for that piece. If you don't use poly, you will have to get a ball joint press to get the old ones out/new ones in. With poly, you reuse the metal sleeves and most people push the metal pin out and burn the bushing out. That's what I did. For me, complete list was:
Lower control arm bushing: repalced with poly
Upper control arm bushings: replaced with poly.
replaced all other front linkages: tie rods and track bar
replaced steering damper
Replaced axle ujoints: mine were toast. did the driveshaft at the same time
replaced ball joints: mine were toast
repalced shocks all around.

torquing the lower control arm bolts is a pain. they are spec'd to 133 ft/lbs. Had to use a ratchet strap to get a few of them since you want the vehicle on the ground with the full weight before you tighten those guys.

If I did it agin, I owuld just go stock rubber and skip the poly. The thrust washers on the upper control arms just don't seem to fit correctly. All others were very easy once the old bushings came out.

Front end is solid now.
05-27-2016 05:11 PM
jordan96xj I replaced my steering damper with the basic monroe damper that you can get at any parts store for about $25. Even that one is about 3x beefier than the stock one i pulled out.
05-26-2016 07:15 PM
TDougsxj Also stearing stabilizer alone will not fix death wobble, and they seldom ever wear out, so don't waste your money there. If you must there is a RC one on Amazon that is beefier than the stock..
05-26-2016 07:12 PM
TDougsxj I have a 99 with the same issue. I also have a 2001 that used to have it, but no longer does. The reasoning behind this? The 2001 has a rebuilt front end... Get under there and pull on your front end parts. Look for slip and warn out bushings. Trac bar, tie rods inner and outer, bad shocks. Anyone saying it will cost 1k to rebuild an xj front end has obviously never done it. I've only done 1, but the trac bar is 50 bucks, stock tie rod ends are about $250. After that the only thing left is your shocks. 100 bucks for both if you're a stocker. All this is way cheaper than an insurance claim, or a hospital bill...
05-26-2016 11:37 AM
MantisToboggan I had a reeeeaaally bad death wobble with my stock 99 xj with 185k. I originally installed a new steering stabilizer and it covered up the problem but there was still some play in the front. I didn't completely solve the problem until I installed new wheel joints and track bar.....I also put new Michelins on it. But now it drives great. If I were you I would get down and start wiggling parts to find play. If you don't identify anything obvious you can start shotgun replacing parts. I would start with track bar.
05-26-2016 09:29 AM
wizardPC new tires may have fixed mine as well.
05-26-2016 05:57 AM
SemperFiGuy Well since we're talking 96, my apologies for the hijack, here's mine:



Though back on topic these are the tires, balanced correctly that ended my death wobble.

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05-25-2016 08:55 PM
Domengo
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordan96xj View Post

I keep an eye on craigslist for 96 XJs almost everyday. And I would say over 80% of them are being parted out or sold as parts vehicles because they have rotted to the point that they won't pass inspection and the owner is not willing to go any further with it. Clean body, good motor, good tranny/tcase, XJs are being brought up here by flippers and sold in the $5000-7000 range with nothing more than a cleanup/detail. They often have 150-200k miles on them.
Yeah, I have seen a lot of that in the NY Capital region. You can't find them locally without rust, but dealers have gems selling for 2x KBB, "FLORIDA CAR" written prominently in the ad. Makes me wonder if it would cost as much to just drive to Florida and find one cheap.
05-25-2016 07:05 PM
jordan96xj I think that is already starting to happen. At least regionally, around here. I am seeing the general prices creep up, and the supply of decent ones is dropping pretty fast (because of the rust here, good Cherokees are rarely seen on the road, and mine stands out so much that it gets waves from Jeep people but also just from strangers sometimes). Also the kind of reactions I get from strangers isn't usually the run of the mill "hey, how do you like the old cherokee, i'm thinking of picking one up myself"...its more like "wow, I have ALWAYS wanted one of those and then a ton of questions", both from older folks and younger. Which is more similar to the way people react to restored cars at the flea market. I think younger folks are nostalgic because their parents or family members had one, and older folks are getting nostalgic because they at one time had one and let it go.

I keep an eye on craigslist for 96 XJs almost everyday. And I would say over 80% of them are being parted out or sold as parts vehicles because they have rotted to the point that they won't pass inspection and the owner is not willing to go any further with it. Clean body, good motor, good tranny/tcase, XJs are being brought up here by flippers and sold in the $5000-7000 range with nothing more than a cleanup/detail. They often have 150-200k miles on them.

If you have ever seen "Regular Car Reviews" on youtube, they cover everyday crappy cars from various eras and dig into whey they succeeded or failed in the market, what people saw in them, and generally add some humor in along the way. They typically feature everything that was "wrong" with a design, or product marketing, etc. But interestingly, when they did the Cherokee they really covered it warmly, and I thought really captured why the timing of the Cherokee was right, and why so many people are fond of them.

05-25-2016 02:59 PM
wizardPC
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordan96xj View Post
That makes a lot of sense. I also sometimes forget that XJs are really popular with younger folks because they are cheap to acquire, but not really having the play money to do a big job like that all at once (and depending on the vehicle as a daily at the same time). So I guess what we are seeing is just wishful thinking (I don't mean that in a bad way). Hoping that just fixing one item could correct a systemic problem.
I think we're only a couple of years away from seeing a shift to people who want to restomod XJs, much like the early broncos starting in the mid-90s. You could get them cheap and they were plentiful, and then all of a sudden they got very popular and they were neither cheap nor plentiful ever again.
05-25-2016 06:14 AM
SemperFiGuy Cheap and easy would be to check the tire balance, from my own personal experience, when I got new tires mounted and balanced mine went away.

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05-24-2016 08:42 PM
jordan96xj That makes a lot of sense. I also sometimes forget that XJs are really popular with younger folks because they are cheap to acquire, but not really having the play money to do a big job like that all at once (and depending on the vehicle as a daily at the same time). So I guess what we are seeing is just wishful thinking (I don't mean that in a bad way). Hoping that just fixing one item could correct a systemic problem.

I watched a couple under-car slow motion videos of death wobble, and if it ever occurs on my Jeep, I would want to rebuild the front-end after just seeing what ONE occurrence of it did to those components. Man, they were being vibrated, pushed, and pulled all over the place, way beyond what they were designed for. So any bushing or link that was ok before the first DW, certainly wouldn't be very healthy after (even just once). After what I saw, I was surprised it didn't literally rip the front end apart, and into pieces. Kind of a testament to system's overall ability to withstand forces.
05-24-2016 05:54 PM
wizardPC You are right all around, Jordan. The problem is that rebuilding the front end does cost $500-$1000 if you do it yourself, and you're doing it to a vehicle that's likely worth $1500-4000
05-24-2016 05:43 PM
jordan96xj When I was a kid it was common to hear my dad or uncles say that they had "rebuilt the front end" of their vehicle. By this, they normally meant they had done all the ball joints, tire-rod ends, and various links and bushings. It wasn't meant to sound like a big deal, and it seemed pretty common when a vehicle was over 150K miles and was just generally pretty loose up front. After reading about 1K death wobble posts, and analysis about causes, and conditions, including articles written by the original engineer who designed the front end of the XJ (who said that DW was inherent in the design, and could never totally be removed, only pushed around to avoid the normal driving envelope)....they all seem to come back to one simple theme. That the front end is worn out and needs to be refreshed. But then I see a lot of follow-on posts trying to identify the single tierod end, or bushing, ball joint, or alignment condition, or bracket that is causing the over-all condition.

Why isn't the answer just a simple "rebuild your front end" like my dad and uncle's used to talk about? Is that rebuilding the front end is a lot more expensive these days than it was then? More complex? I've been under mine a bunch, and although I wouldn't love the job, I could imagine redoing the -entire- front end in a weekend, and then getting it aligned professionally the next day. Parts would probably run in the $500-1000 range (depending on choices and brands and budget).

I don't ask as a trick question, or to be provocative, I am just curious why the discussion never seems to be as simple as that. Is it not that simple? (I mean that sincerely, is it not as simple as it sounds?)
05-23-2016 06:56 AM
blackhullpirate This is something you want to dive into, both feet, IMMEDIATELY. You're one pothole away from a condition where you cannot control the vehicle and you're putting yourself and other drivers around you in danger. As mentioned above, start replacing all rubber parts in your front suspension ASAP. Also, inspect all joints and connections in your steering and suspension geometry for excessive play. Parts are cheap. Hospital bills and funerals aren't. There are tons on posts here to help you find what you need to look for and replace. Good luck!
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