The Death Wobble - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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The Death Wobble

I'm brand new here. I have a 2011 Rubicon (36,000 miles) with the "death wobble". I've researched it plenty and what the causes are. As my car is in Southern Belize with no jeep support here, I'm going to go for the fix myself.
I've ordered 4 tie rod ends (all) sloppy loose at joints, track bar, and steering damper.
I had a broken drag link on the stabilizer bar and fixed it temporarily. My question so far is: New drag links ordered from Rock Auto (Moog), are 4 inches shorter than the originals. These will lower the rear of the stabilizer bar...comments if this is ok or should I go with original? My dilemma: they were about 20 bucks, but shipping and duties to Central America was over a hundred bucks. Ahhh, the retired life!
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 08:06 AM
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I torqued everything up front but when all was said and done...Synergy ball joints cured my death wobble.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 08:18 AM
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Planman created a thread that is considered the bible on here regarding Death Wobble. Follow his step by step diagnosis and you will figure it out.

Planman's Death wobble thread
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbobslocum View Post
I'm brand new here. I have a 2011 Rubicon (36,000 miles) with the "death wobble". I've researched it plenty and what the causes are. As my car is in Southern Belize with no jeep support here, I'm going to go for the fix myself.
I've ordered 4 tie rod ends (all) sloppy loose at joints, track bar, and steering damper.
I had a broken drag link on the stabilizer bar and fixed it temporarily. My question so far is: New drag links ordered from Rock Auto (Moog), are 4 inches shorter than the originals. These will lower the rear of the stabilizer bar...comments if this is ok or should I go with original? My dilemma: they were about 20 bucks, but shipping and duties to Central America was over a hundred bucks. Ahhh, the retired life!
Let's take things one at a time:

1. 4 tie rod ends? Are you running the stock tie rod or an aftermarket? And why 4??

2. Its unlikely the track bar was worn out, but possible. More important, IMO is the ovaling of the hole in the frame side bracket. Synergy makes a bracket that goes over the stock bracket that resolves any current issues and prevents future ones. (Its a very common source of DW.)

3. The steering damper has little to no bearing in resolving this issue.

4. You had a broken END link on the stabilizer bar. How are the originals 4" too short? Are you running a lift kit?? And no, you can't use end links that are 4" too short.

5. Don't overlook the possibility of tire issues causing DW. If you tires are out of balance, balanced but out of round, have internal cord separation - any of those can easily cause DW. You should have your tires road force balanced with weights on both the inside of the wheel and tape on weights as far out as possible. This is what is know as a dynamic balance and will minimize balance issues. Many a DW problem has been solved with proper tire balancing.

6. Retired in Belize..............how sorry are we supposed to feel for you??
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ha..no need to feel sorry. Shops here are next to nonexistent. I have new tires, and balanced..but previous note on the shops. The originals are not too short, the internet ordered ones are. Can't send back..I'm in the middle of Central America. 4 tie rodends. Two are the Tie rod, and two are the drag link. I'm new at this you know..working with nomenclature from rock Auto. Thank you for the input. I'll look at Planman's words. Other sites indicated 90% of DW came from track bar problems. I only ordered and am going to replace the tie rod ends and drag link ends because they are sloppy...cant just order things one at a time cuz I'm in the middle of bumflock. I inherited this problem, and with all your good advice, I will prevail. Thank you all
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 06:24 PM
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I have very little experience with the factory tie rod as I take it off and give it away shortly after buying a new Jeep. But I didn't think the ends were replaceable on the stock tie rod. Same for the drag link. And in fact I just sold my old take off drag link to a member here that needed one. The end is not a serviceable part......

When people say the track bar was the source of the DW, it usually means the mounting hole in the frame side bracket is wallowed out. The early track bar bushings did have some issues, but Chrysler made several improvements over the years and by the 2011 model, the track bar was much improved. I really don't think the bushings shit the bed in the miles you have on that Jeep.

Is there a big ex-pat community in Belize? How do you like living down there, other than ordering Jeep parts??
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 06:34 PM
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Ha, from what I remember from my trips to Belize is that the roads, even though some are blacktopped still make you feel like your driving the Baja but slower. Look in the Write up section. Good resource with pictures, videos and step by step instructions. Planman's write up is in there. Have you been up to Pine Mountain Ridge? Blew me away with all the red dirt roads and pine trees and pure jungle plants and trees in the "bottoms". Almost moved there back in 2001. No Jeep dealer in Belize? No shit! Hmmmm? Oh yeah, if you live on the beach or near it you'd be doing yourself a great deal of good by undercoating the crap out of you jeep and washing it with fresh water often. If you have to buy anything from the states PM Marcus with River City Offroad. He's a vendor here on JKO. He'll def tighten you up. I you ever get up to Pine Mountain Ridge check into the 5 Sisters Fall's Resort and tell Carlos Popper, the owner I said hello. OH yeah there are two jeep dealers in belize. Look em up on the net.

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Last edited by RubiCajun; 01-31-2016 at 06:45 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 06:53 PM
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I changed the ball joints on my 2012 with 59,000 miles and my death wobble went away. At the same time I noticed my frame side trackbar bushing was bad and the hole was ovalized. Interestingly it did not death wobble the week and a half I had new ball joints and a bad trackbar. Retorquing everything might have helped also...

Mine deathwobbled shortly after I bought it with 36,000 miles but only once in a while. It got worse with mileage.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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There's a fair amount of expats here, though I haven't met up a lot yet as I'm a recent transplant. Just watched Planman's video..Very informative, I've got some troubleshooting to do mañana. Gotta head to the hardware store and get a floor jack. My shop in TN is awesome..going to be moving my tools down in a year. Unfortunately, my death wobble is bad enough that it can't be put off.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-31-2016, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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I still haven't figured out how to respond individually. to RubiCajun, the roads here are epic.
All speed control near communities are speed bumps. Big, killer speed bumps. And there's gnarly pot holes everywhere. My Rubicon with 36000 miles has had a hard life so far. Thanks for the gouge on River City offroad. Don't know about Pine Mountin ridge yet. I'm in South Central Belize, just South of Hopkins.
Thank you Nucleophile and Ronson, good words
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