Got my first taste of death wobble. That sucked. - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 80 Old 11-22-2014, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Got my first taste of death wobble. That sucked.

In all the years I spent on street bikes both on and off the track, I managed to completely avoid tank slappers. That's death wobble with half the wheels on the ground,and I never ran a damper.

Well, I was having minor trouble with my steering stabilizer and pulled it to replace the stabilizer itself or just the bushings. Then I made the mistake of driving the jeep without the SS. There I was driving along thinking how well the jeep was driving and recalling the threads I had read about folks being just fine without the stabalier. And then bam! The moment I hit 50 and a minor road irregularity it came on instantly and fully.

Anyway, I of course condemned the jeep to the driveway pending investigation and remediation then read up on the issue and found planman's thread. Good stuff.

Already on the way are a synergy track bar brace and a sector shaft brace. Already have the tie rod and drag link with their tie rod ends. Not convinced that I need something other than the stock track bar. When I do the braces, I am going to go through the front end again. Hopefully no additional damage was incurred as a result of the DW.. Going to look at those track bar bushings pretty closely and the ball joints could be up for renewal. My eyeball alignment guage shows a slight toe out so a trip to the rack is in plan as well to check the eyeball guage and get an accurate caster measurement etc.

Definitely not driving without the damper again, though I might try once the upgrades are done.

Last edited by White13JKUR; 11-22-2014 at 01:17 AM. Reason: Typos
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post #2 of 80 Old 11-24-2014, 10:17 AM
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On my 02 GC it was 1 bad TRE that caused DW. I replaced it and 6 years later still good.

2009 JKUX, OE rear locker, RK 1.5" Max Travel, Bilsein 5100, JCR Rock sliders and Armor, Barricade HD Trail Force front bumper and front skid.
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post #3 of 80 Old 11-24-2014, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't torn into mine yet to find the culprit. In my case, I'm running 37s and plan to keep it that way so replacing some of these pieces is inevitable anyway.

Just ordered the synergy track bar as well, even though my axle seems to be centered.

Could be ball joints since mine are still stock and I've had 35"+ tires for 25k miles.
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post #4 of 80 Old 11-24-2014, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by White13JKUR View Post
I haven't torn into mine yet to find the culprit. In my case, I'm running 37s and plan to keep it that way so replacing some of these pieces is inevitable anyway.

Just ordered the synergy track bar as well, even though my axle seems to be centered.

Could be ball joints since mine are still stock and I've had 35"+ tires for 25k miles.
My balljoints were garbage after 12k miles on stock tires and 3k on 37s.

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post #5 of 80 Old 11-24-2014, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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My balljoints were garbage after 12k miles on stock tires and 3k on 37s.
that's the only thing I didn't order that I knew would be trash soon.

did you do steering knuckles too? I was hoping to hold off on the whole thing until the brakes wore out as well - then knuckles, ball joints, brakes, etc.
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post #6 of 80 Old 11-24-2014, 09:31 PM
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that's the only thing I didn't order that I knew would be trash soon.

did you do steering knuckles too? I was hoping to hold off on the whole thing until the brakes wore out as well - then knuckles, ball joints, brakes, etc.
nah...just synergy ball joints. reid knuckles are a waste of money in my opinion.

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post #7 of 80 Old 11-25-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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That's just what I did. Ball joints on the way. My whole front end will be synergy now. Sector shaft brace and track bar brace arrived today. Nice pieces. The rest due very shortly from northridge.
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post #8 of 80 Old 11-30-2014, 10:44 PM
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That sucks about the DW. Check for wallowed holes while you've got things apart, that's definitely a symptom and a cause.

Interested to hear if the sector shaft brace fits properly. I've heard of a few fitment issues on the 12+, but it's a very small number. Mine is sitting in the garage still....
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post #9 of 80 Old 12-01-2014, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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That sucks about the DW. Check for wallowed holes while you've got things apart, that's definitely a symptom and a cause.

Interested to hear if the sector shaft brace fits properly. I've heard of a few fitment issues on the 12+, but it's a very small number. Mine is sitting in the garage still....
The synergy parts (sector shaft brace, track bar brace and track bar, as well as the steering damper mounts) all installed quickly and easily, though it was indeed a snug fit. no issues really. Excellent build quality on the parts. I think that I read the sector shaft brace and track bar brace have had several production changes due to one thing or another and believe that I have the latest iteration.

Pristine holes and track bar bushings on the OEM bar that came out. Ball joints are toast.

DW persists. Jeep parked. Ball joints hit my doorstep on Monday and forged press from amazon hits later in the week.

with the new parts, it took more speed and more of a jolt to get the death wobble to come back but it did. I'm still sans-damper, which was obviously masking the issue. The DW also seemed a degree less violent and easier to get back under control.
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post #10 of 80 Old 12-02-2014, 02:51 PM
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I suspect I'm going to get a ration of shit for this, but . . .

If you need to drive your JK before killing the DW demon, set your toe ~1/8" to 1/4" OUT - works like a charm.

I'm going to go now before the kicks up.

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post #11 of 80 Old 12-02-2014, 02:55 PM
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Why.. Shit ? ^^ not the first time hearing this.

2007 JKR | PSC Big bore box | Rock Krawler 3.5" x-factor arms l SteerSmarts YETI track bar, tie rod, no drill flipped drag link, Griffin | Synergy frame brace | 37x12.5x17 Nitto RG's | Dana front DS | Fox IFP shocks | Artec front armor kit/Currie JJ's | Teraflex rear axle bracket | EVO Rockstars | Ridged D's, A pillar mounts | VKS sliders l Trek Armor seat covers | Superchips/Sprint booster | Savvy half doors w/ Bestop uppers
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post #12 of 80 Old 12-02-2014, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
I suspect I'm going to get a ration of shit for this, but . . .

If you need to drive your JK before killing the DW demon, set your toe ~1/8" to 1/4" OUT - works like a charm.

I'm going to go now before the kicks up.
It does scrub it off to be towed out! Not a proper fix, but a valid Oh shit option...

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post #13 of 80 Old 12-02-2014, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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actually, it was toed out to start with, according to my highly accurate eyeball alignment rack. I toed it back in by eye and then measured it to check my work.

I'm in Houston this week and the ball joints landed on my doorstep yesterday so toeing it back out probably won't be necessary.
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post #14 of 80 Old 12-03-2014, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
I suspect I'm going to get a ration of shit for this, but . . .

If you need to drive your JK before killing the DW demon, set your toe ~1/8" to 1/4" OUT - works like a charm.

.

do we truely kill it, or just put it in a deep slumber?

that seems to be the question

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post #15 of 80 Old 12-10-2014, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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okay, I'm old, bald and need a joint....

http://youtu.be/sQcIo9yAhZo

oops. I mean that my ball joints are old and need to be replaced.
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post #16 of 80 Old 12-16-2014, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Replaced all 4 ball joints with Synergy parts.

Installed Synergy sector shaft brace, track bar brace and tack bar.

Track bar holes not ovaled out and bolts the grade 8 bolts are in great shape. track bar was set to stock length and the axle is centered with no further adjustment needed.

Rotated tires.

Went in for an alignment and found it to be in good shape.

I always set my toe by eye and the alignment confirmed that I was dead on at .19" and no toe adjustment was required.

I set up my MetalCloak control arm lengths according to the installation guide and ditched the AEV drop brackets. Caster angle was/is 5.3*L and 5.5*R so no adjustment needed there either.

I was too lazy to center the steering wheel before the alignment so they did it on the rack and charged me the $80 alignment fee. I normally do it myself so I just cost myself $80 and could have had them just check my alignment by eyeball for free and they didn't get the steering wheel centered.

AAAAAAnnnnnyyway..... Death wobble persists unless the steering stabilizer is back on.

Each upgrade made the steering feel progressively more stable and controlled. Just the right twitch, however, will throw the jeep into a fit of rage where the only cure is coming to a near stop. The new parts do make it more controllable and somewhat subdued compared to before.

Only thing left to do is pull the control arms one by one and inspect more closely and carefully. No signs of movement or loose bolts so far, though.

Have read planman's stuff as well as black lady's thread. I don't see steering assist as a viable cure in my case.

Last edited by White13JKUR; 12-16-2014 at 04:13 PM. Reason: typos
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post #17 of 80 Old 12-16-2014, 05:36 PM
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i've noticed if my heaviest balance weight and lightest balance weight are paired up at the front, it will kickstart one hell of a ride. just a thought

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post #18 of 80 Old 12-16-2014, 08:03 PM
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Not saying this is you issue but 5.5 Is a bit high on caster. How much lift you have ?
How the steering box ... ? Time for hydro.

2007 JKR | PSC Big bore box | Rock Krawler 3.5" x-factor arms l SteerSmarts YETI track bar, tie rod, no drill flipped drag link, Griffin | Synergy frame brace | 37x12.5x17 Nitto RG's | Dana front DS | Fox IFP shocks | Artec front armor kit/Currie JJ's | Teraflex rear axle bracket | EVO Rockstars | Ridged D's, A pillar mounts | VKS sliders l Trek Armor seat covers | Superchips/Sprint booster | Savvy half doors w/ Bestop uppers
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post #19 of 80 Old 12-16-2014, 08:30 PM
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Do you have MTRs?


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post #20 of 80 Old 12-16-2014, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LoneJK View Post
i've noticed if my heaviest balance weight and lightest balance weight are paired up at the front, it will kickstart one hell of a ride. just a thought
The tech was saying that too and suggested balancing beads.

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Not saying this is you issue but 5.5 Is a bit high on caster. How much lift you have ?
How the steering box ... ? Time for hydro.
3.5" lift. One of the other techs ither was also a jeeper and suggested going to 6 on the caster. Steering box seems

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Do you have MTRs?
Yes, 37s.
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post #21 of 80 Old 12-16-2014, 08:54 PM
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They could be out of round. I had some that were and caused death wobble and have seen others with the same issue. How much weight do they need to balance?


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post #22 of 80 Old 12-16-2014, 10:12 PM
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Ive had death wobble with the stabilizer off. I was in the camp of "properly set up suspension/steering doesnt require a steering stabilizer". My shit was damn near new with very few miles on it and i pulled the stabilizer...and it didnt take much to get it shaking. Put the factory stabilzer back on and havent had it since.

I also have a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 that has been stock for 175k miles. Zero issues. I went through the front end and replaced EVERYTHING not long ago. New ball joints, converted the steering to the 2008+ shit, freespin hubs, new rotors, pads, calipers....yada yada yada. The steering was much tighter. Due to the new drag link and tie rod from a newer truck, the stabilizer didnt have a mounting location. No biggie, i figured i didnt need it. Death wobble almost immediately.

I just threw a $29 monroe stabilzer on there and i cannot make death wobble happen. Crazy. It must be a Chrysler thing...

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post #23 of 80 Old 12-17-2014, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I'm in that camp too. The factory stabalier was probably the first part sacrificed on the first off road trip. It was that or the front lower splash shield that was cover LOL. The only reason I pulled the replacement OME stabalizer was to upgrade the flimsy bolt at the axle side with the synergy bracket and to replace the hammered rubber bushings. That's when I apparently installed the death wobble.

That Monroe stabalizer is actually great. Think it was $25 on Amazon prime. It's plain black and fits perfectly with the synergy axle side bracket and synergy tie rod clamp.

I never could find just the right bushings for one end of the OME.

The jeep at this point is undrivable without the SS. Putting a new one back on took away the DW.
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post #24 of 80 Old 12-17-2014, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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They could be out of round. I had some that were and caused death wobble and have seen others with the same issue. How much weight do they need to balance?
Two tires required amazingly little weight and the rest took a fair amount. They may be due for a rebalance at this point. Nothing like bad belt, causing an out of round tire, though.
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post #25 of 80 Old 12-17-2014, 02:34 AM
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Even with the stock DS, 6 degrees will almost guarantee a short life. With a double carden at 3.5 (4"
Front) it's not possible.

2007 JKR | PSC Big bore box | Rock Krawler 3.5" x-factor arms l SteerSmarts YETI track bar, tie rod, no drill flipped drag link, Griffin | Synergy frame brace | 37x12.5x17 Nitto RG's | Dana front DS | Fox IFP shocks | Artec front armor kit/Currie JJ's | Teraflex rear axle bracket | EVO Rockstars | Ridged D's, A pillar mounts | VKS sliders l Trek Armor seat covers | Superchips/Sprint booster | Savvy half doors w/ Bestop uppers
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