Another "Death Wobble" thread - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-07-2016, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Another "Death Wobble" thread

2012 JKU 3.5" Rock Krawler mid arm pro lift. Dont recall what model, but a good Fox steering stabilizer. 37X13.50R18 Mickey ATZ's (originals)

This was installed with about 500 miles on the odometer back in late 2011. Drove perfect. About a year ago I started to get a little wobble, nothing too crazy, and I could easily drive through as speed increased. However I finally took it to 4 Wheel Parts in Texas, and asked them to go through everything make sure it was all tight etc. They said no issues, but the tires were warped. I figured that might be the catalyst, and figured I would replace them at some point, problem solved. Over the last year it comes and goes, no rhyme or reason as to why.

30K miles now, and the tires were getting noisy so I replaced them this week. I found the exact same tires. These are original ATZ's that are now discontinued for whatever that might be worth.

The wobble is now pretty bad, and even continues minimally at 70MPH.

I read some threads, and watched some video's. The track bar is still torqued to at least 125lbs, and I don't see any movement where it attaches when the wheel is turned back and forth. I do believe they are the factory bolts though as they have a paint mark, and a part number on the head. The bushings that I read about do not have any "visible" wear.

I am getting ready to relocate and have to drive this Jeep about 1500 miles. I wish I had done this a month ago as now I am under the gun so to speak. I am in a small FL town with limited places to have this fixed professionally.

Can anyone throw a few experienced thoughts on this? I was thinking about getting the Rugged Ridge Bolt Kit ordered today as its cheap and thought worth a try. Thank you
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-07-2016, 07:40 AM
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Are you still running the factory track bar? If so, the bushings might have degraded to the point where they are no longer able to hold things in check.

Someone posted in a recent DW thread......."track bar, track bar, track bar".

I would add "tire balance, tire balance, tire balance" . Dynamic balance on a road force balancer by someone willing to take the time to do it right.

between those 2, you will probably find your problem.
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-07-2016, 08:02 AM
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You don't have death wobble, sounds like a tire issue or alignment. Death wobble happens around 40-55 and you don't drive thru it up to 70 mph. The front end will shake so hard you will have to stop.

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post #4 of 19 Old 10-07-2016, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
You don't have death wobble, sounds like a tire issue or alignment. Death wobble happens around 40-55 and you don't drive thru it up to 70 mph. The front end will shake so hard you will have to stop.
Exactly.


If your tires are wearing unevenly, you have an alignment issue. If the whole Jeep shakes at higher speeds, you have a tire balance issue. Sounds like you have both. Find a quality tire shop to perform an alignment and will spend the time to balance the tires correctly. If they say it cannot be done, find a new shop. My Rubicon with 4.5" lift and 37s drives straight as an arrow and zero vibrations on the freeway.


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post #5 of 19 Old 10-07-2016, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. The track bar is a Rock Krawler. I just heard about the Dynamic Balancer if we're talking about the same thing...it places a load on the tires/jeep? That was not done the first time, but I do believe there is a shop somewhat close by that can do it.

As far as the track bar- can I pull that off without the jeep being lifted off the ground, and then it will slip right back into the place provided the steering wheel does not get moved?
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-07-2016, 09:18 AM
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Yes but if the holes become misaligned have a helper turn the steering wheel.

Fwiw my tires are shit and nobody around here wants to take the time on a 37. Ive never had Dw. Just make sure everything up front is tight and nothing is worn.


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post #7 of 19 Old 10-07-2016, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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What I am going to do is loosen the trackbar bolts to make sure there is not any play in them, pull the track bar off to inspect it, and if that looks good take it over to the 4 Wheel Drive shop and have them re-balance the tires.

The place that balanced them this go-around went on and on about how he had to keep adding weight here and there and how long it took him to get them balanced, but perhaps his machine is simply not accurate with a wheel tire combo that weighs what 125lbs?

Thanks for all the input.
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-07-2016, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpyGame View Post
Thank you. The track bar is a Rock Krawler. I just heard about the Dynamic Balancer if we're talking about the same thing...it places a load on the tires/jeep? That was not done the first time, but I do believe there is a shop somewhat close by that can do it.

As far as the track bar- can I pull that off without the jeep being lifted off the ground, and then it will slip right back into the place provided the steering wheel does not get moved?
You are mixing apples and oranges. It is a Road Force balancer, and a dynamic balance as opposed to a static balance. This link explains it.

Why I feel wheel vibration when my speed hit 60 mph on the car?

People think a balance is a balance and its not. The manager at my local Discount Tire balances my 37s for me. I drop them off and leave them with him. Over a couple of weeks he works on them when he has time. Its very time consuming to get it "perfect" or as close as possible. He tried to explain the process but it was pretty complicated and I could not do it justice here. I know in the end there is very little weight added, but where it is added it as close to perfect as possible.

Case in point. He was on vacation a few weeks ago. I had a nail in my front tire. I took it in and one of his techs repaired the tire, "balanced" it and put it back on. It shook like hell. He redid all 4 and they are smooth as silk.

PS when I say it shook like hell, most people would have been ok with it. But it did vibrate at speed. And to me, that is just unacceptable as it can easily lead to DW. DW starts in the tires.......
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-08-2016, 01:46 AM
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Why cant i find a tech like that ... Smh


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post #10 of 19 Old 10-08-2016, 04:04 AM
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Why cant i find a tech like that ... Smh


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Heard that... Wtf..
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-08-2016, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpyGame View Post
2012 JKU 3.5" Rock Krawler mid arm pro lift. Dont recall what model, but a good Fox steering stabilizer. 37X13.50R18 Mickey ATZ's (originals)

Can anyone throw a few experienced thoughts on this? I was thinking about getting the Rugged Ridge Bolt Kit ordered today as its cheap and thought worth a try. Thank you
Try this write up by Planman.

https://www.jkowners.com/forum/write-...s-wobbles.html

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post #12 of 19 Old 10-08-2016, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nucleophile View Post
You are mixing apples and oranges. It is a Road Force balancer, and a dynamic balance as opposed to a static balance. This link explains it.

Why I feel wheel vibration when my speed hit 60 mph on the car?

People think a balance is a balance and its not. The manager at my local Discount Tire balances my 37s for me. I drop them off and leave them with him. Over a couple of weeks he works on them when he has time. Its very time consuming to get it "perfect" or as close as possible. He tried to explain the process but it was pretty complicated and I could not do it justice here. I know in the end there is very little weight added, but where it is added it as close to perfect as possible.

Case in point. He was on vacation a few weeks ago. I had a nail in my front tire. I took it in and one of his techs repaired the tire, "balanced" it and put it back on. It shook like hell. He redid all 4 and they are smooth as silk.

PS when I say it shook like hell, most people would have been ok with it. But it did vibrate at speed. And to me, that is just unacceptable as it can easily lead to DW. DW starts in the tires.......

indeed,sounds like the dream-tech of Jeep tires but ,"...over a couple of weeks..." , as-in ," Keep the jeep for multiple weeks for the perfect road force balancing" ? what procedure detail could take such time even if they're silky smooth ?



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post #13 of 19 Old 10-08-2016, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by j3ff3ry_j33p View Post

indeed,sounds like the dream-tech of Jeep tires but ,"...over a couple of weeks..." , as-in ," Keep the jeep for multiple weeks for the perfect road force balancing" ? what procedure detail could take such time even if they're silky smooth ?

Keep the tires for a couple of weeks...........I run 2 sets of wheels and tires. (I got a set of AEV pintlers for free from someone giving them away and I bought a set of used 37s to throw on them.)

He tried to explain it to me and it was a lot of try this, then try that. Different settings for the Hunter Engineering machine. Moving the tire on the wheel, start all over, that sort of thing.
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-08-2016, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Nucleophile View Post
Keep the tires for a couple of weeks...........I run 2 sets of wheels and tires. (I got a set of AEV pintlers for free from someone giving them away and I bought a set of used 37s to throw on them.)

He tried to explain it to me and it was a lot of try this, then try that. Different settings for the Hunter Engineering machine. Moving the tire on the wheel, start all over, that sort of thing.



i've probably heard you say you have multiple sets of wheels/tires in other posts but that makes sense; i wouldn't think taking the Jeep itself for that long would be viable even if not your DD. lol.


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post #15 of 19 Old 10-10-2016, 06:50 AM
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I don't miss death wobble issues.... Yet to have them in the new jeep. However I went through hell in my '07...

I will say that I always start with a good tire balance. I had the local midas do my balancing, it normally takes them about 2 business days to get my tires balanced. The tech says he takes each tire and runs it through his machine and then rolls it down the concrete hill behind his shop, if it wobbles (even a little) going down he brings the tire back and starts over. Every time I get my tires back they are perfect!

Second, check all the bolts and bushings on your track bar. Also now that your experiencing death wobble make sure it hasn't damaged your track bar bracket on the axle (mine got ripped off once when death wobbling).

Since you have RK suspension I am assuming you have adjustable control arms. Make sure that nothing has came out of adjustment on them. Your caster angle and the axle alignment is important. My worst case of Death wobble was after I bent a stock lower control arm and made the axle sit just a little crooked and cocked the caster angle on the passenger side (couldn't even tell it was bent just by looking, took a couple weeks to find it).

Make sure your wheel bearings and ball joints are in good shape. I had to do my first set of ball joints on my '07 when it hit 36-40k. Stock ball joints don't like rock crawling. Your jeep is a little too new to need wheel bearings and if it did it would be making some noise before it death wobbled, but it never hurts to check them out (especially if you drive in water/mud very much).

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post #16 of 19 Old 10-18-2016, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Figured I would follow up with this in the event others come across this thread with the same issue. I took the Jeep to the 4WD shop that installed the lift, they "Road Balanced" the tires and the problem was corrected.

It was mentioned 2 of the tires required a lot of weight, and I most likely would have the issue back were I to rotate the tires. So I will not get the life out of them I got on the first set, however I only drive about 5K miles a year, so its not an issue to get new tires 3-4 years down the road if I even still have it at that point.

Perhaps this is why they discontinued these tires. Thanks for all the replies!
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-24-2016, 11:59 PM
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Edit, see you got it fixed. I had a similar problem and it was ball joints.
Have you checked the ball joints?
I was getting a small wobble between 42-47mph.
Had the tires Re balanced once, then again and they said they were perfect.
Jacked up the jeep and did the tire lift to check the ball joints and there was noticeable movement.
Only 3k on the ball joints with 35s and they where shot.
It was also causing my tires to cup .
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post #18 of 19 Old 11-04-2016, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Death wobble happens around 40-55 and you don't drive thru it up to 70 mph. The front end will shake so hard you will have to stop.

you can drive through it. DW is based off of harmonics. the "sweet spot" is definitely in the 55mph range. I had DW set in on mine on a road trip with the back of the Jeep loaded down with luggage and stuff... didn't agree with the FINE OUTSTANDING Oklahoma road surfaces. I hit a road joint at 70 MPH and the shake got WORSE as I slowed. It had happened several times on our trip. Once in New Mexico... numerous times in OK. The next time it did it, I sped up. shimmy went away and just over 75 mph. I found it safer to speed up rather than slow down. Worked great like that the rest of the way home. Ofcourse I was riding interstate and that speed was no issue.

If you think of DW as a harmonic its easier to understand. Something loose or broken will usually be the cause, but the actual shake is related to harmonics. Harmonics work on frequency. Everyone knows theres that one bass freq that is louder in their car.... this is no different. If you change the frequency of the harmonic above or below that "sweet spot", the harmonic will go away.


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post #19 of 19 Old 11-05-2016, 06:35 AM
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Sounds more like speed wobble than death wobble. My bike does it whenever I go over 95, but I can drive through it up to 105. (pretty damn fast for a glorified dirt bike) 4WP is not a reliable 4x4 shop btw. Great for installing light bars and fenders, but I would go to an actual 4x4 shop to make sure the tires are balanced correctly. Steering joints or the dampener could also be a culprit. If it's only happening at high speed, 9 times out of 10 your track bar is fine
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