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Suggestions on Shocks and Death Wobble

1957 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jerry Bransford
I recently started experiencing the death wobble. I had my 2010 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2 door(stock) looked at and I was told it was because my alignment was thrown off which was caused by my shocks being worn out. Therefore my death wobble was essentially caused by bad shocks in the end. I am having my alignment done and need to replace my front shocks(and steering stabilizer) soon.

My question is, what shocks would anyone recommend to a moderate off-roader that's on a bit of a budget? Also, I've been planning on lifting my jeep 2 inches or so in the near future. Does this make a big difference in what I should buy?

Although I don't have much knowledge on how to lift my Jeep, I am confident I can at least install the new shocks myself. If I bought new shocks to get me by for the next few months, would/should they be replaced when I eventually lift my Jeep anyways?
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· Real Jeeps have dents
30,069 Posts
First, find a well regarded 4x4 shop or a locally owned old school frame, suspension, and alignment shop and have them work on your stuff. Retail tire stores that also do alignments and install parts are usually helpless and clueless with diagnostics and especially with 4x4's.

Whoever told you that story is among the helpless and clueless.

Buy some low mileage used shocks from somebody who just lifted their Jeep Wrangler Rubicon until you do your own lift. Fix the Death Wobble according to the numerous postings you find here on JeepForum. DW can be triggered by tire issues, but the root cause of DW is always worn out, loose, or damaged suspension and steering parts.

· Retired Staff
2004 Jeep Wrangler
76,767 Posts
the root cause of DW is always worn out, loose, or damaged suspension and steering parts.
If the root cause of DW was worn out/loose/damaged suspension components, DW could occur while the Jeep is parked and not even moving if it had those problems.

Worn parts by themselves cannot/will not be the cause of DW. You can get DW on brand-new vehicles. It's even common on brand new JK Wranglers. DW is a violent oscillation and the usual root source of that is an imperfectly balanced tire to provide the energy that powers DW's massive vibrations. Loose/worn parts then make it easier for that imperfectly balanced tire or other triggering event like a bump/dip in the road to develop into full-blown DW.

And Death Wobble isn't fussy, it doesn't even require loose, worn, or damaged parts for it to fully develop. The first and only fully developed DW my first TJ ever developed was when it was about a year old and hadn't even had its first suspension lift installed yet. One of the front tires threw a balancing weight and it developed true fully-developed DW before I had ever heard of DW... the crap-in-your-pants type. Once that tire was rebalanced, the DW was cured from that point forward and it never occurred again.

I've had instances where I felt DW coming on but a quick trip to the tire shop to get the tires rebalanced always nipped that in the bud. I do make it a point to keep my suspension tight but you can still develop DW even if the suspension and front-end is tight.

The design of the type of front-end used on our Wranglers and many trucks makes it prone to DW, Jeeps are not alone in having it. But my main point is that loose or worn parts aren't required for fully developed DW to rear its ugly head.
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