Front End Wobble...Again...Need the boards help...PLEASE! - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-07-2008, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Front End Wobble...Again...Need the boards help...PLEASE!

Okay, I had posted this back a few months ago but I wanted to repost with the up-dates...

First, I bought a 07' JK Unlimited "X" with a 6spd back on 6/12/2008...It had 27,204 miles on it when I drove it off the lot...I drove 2 days and experienced the "Death Wobble" while driving to work...I spoke to the dealer and they said they would take care of it so all I had to do is drop it off (6/16/2008) 27,536 miles...Okay, they called me and told me they had to order a "HD" steering stabilizer for it since the 07's had a known issue that they resolved on the 08's...Come to find out they already worked on it for this exact thing when they first got on consignment...They didn't tell me what they did but they said they had their mechanic drive for a week (500 miles) and he couldn't get it to do anything like it did before they did the work.

I have bought 4 cars/trucks from them in the last 4 years and about 7 from them in the last 11 years, they are somewhat friends of the family and my father-in-law has bought from them for 25+ years...

Last week on 10/1/2008 I had to stop at the dealers to get my spare key and while driving there I had the same wobble that I had experienced back in June...I told them about it and they drop it off on Friday (10/3/2008) 32,618 miles...They said that there was a replacement steering stabilizer for the replacement that they did back in June...My wife dropped it off on Friday @8:30am and they called and said it was done at 10:00am...I drove it to work Saturday, Sunday, & Monday without a problem...This morning I was traveling at a speed of 50mph around a slight curve at an interesection and the whole front end just started shaking and I ended up in the north bound passing lane when I was heading south...I called the dealer and spoke to one of the brothers (Financing guy since his brother, head of sales, was off today) and he told me that they will take it tomorrow and keep it until it is right...

I have checked the torque specs on the nuts & bolts on the front end myself and found nothing wrong...I have told them to check them and they found nothing wrong...I have had this jeep for just about 4 months and it will be on it's third steering stabilizer since I have owned it and it will be it's fourth steering stabilzer that I know of...

In my eyes this is a SAFETY issue now...I almost hit a school bus this morning!!!...I have searched other websites along with this one and the steering stabilzer "fix" sounds like a band-aid and what happens when the warranty runs out?...I have yet to hear of this happening on a Rubicon model...Is it because the suspension is a HD suspension?...I priced the compoents from Q-Tec which would be the following...

MOPAR Rubicon D44 Front Axle #P5153825 $1599.99
MOPAR Rubicon D44 Rear Axle #P5153826 $1399.99
MOPAR Rubicon Switch Pod #4602508AE $39.99
MOPAR Rubicon Locker/Swaybar Disconnect Harness #56055357AF $74.99
MOPAR Rubicon Swaybar Disconnect #82210218 $1324.99

This is a total of $4439.95...I know for a fact that a dealer does not pay close to this...I am thinking that I have three options right now...

Option #1 -- Tell them that if they cannot fix this time that I am requesting that they trade vehicles to an 08' model or a used Rubicon model...

Option #2 -- Request that they swap out the "X" axles and swap in the MOPAR Rubicon parts listed above...

Option #3 -- Tell them that I am calling Chrysler and filing a safety claim with them that I have had ownership of this Jeep for 4 months and this is the thrid time since I have owned that it is in the shop for the same problem and it is the fourth time since this particular dealership has had it...

I don't know what else to do...I bought the extended powertrain warranty but I think at 36,000 miles they will stop covering this issue even though this has been an on-going issue since I bought it...What do you guys think I should do?...I would REALLY appreciate your input on this...I am going to the dealer tomorrow at 10:30am...I may print off this thread and take it with me depending on how many responses I get...Thanks for the help!



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post #2 of 19 Old 10-07-2008, 01:57 PM
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Why would you try to have them swap all of the Dana 44 stuff over. It wont fix the problem unless there is an issue with the balljoints of the dana 30. Also there's no need to swap in the electric swaybar unit. If it had to go this route, you would be the likely one paying for it, as it's an upgrade, not a swap

The HD suspension parts have nothing to do with the axles. It has to do with the springs and shocks (doubt it would fix your problem either)

I think your option would be to contact chrysler and going that route.

Are you still running everything bone stock on this? It's hard to tell from your sig
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-07-2008, 02:56 PM
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Don't know if any of this will help-

First of all- At this point you need to stop treating them like friends because they obviously aren't concerned for your safety or are too clueless as to what the problem is, and how to fix it. You can certainly take it to another dealership for a 2nd (3rd?) opinion. And I definately would at this point.

I have no idea why they continue to replace the steering stabilizer. THIS is not the issue. And so help me (I have an 08' Rubicon)...If the 08' has a heavy duty updated stabilizer, than I would love to see the 07'. There may have been some defective stabilizers on the 07's, but the 08', definately are no stronger. Not the problem anyway.

Option #2 will not "fly" with any dealership. They will NOT do that. I don't think I would want that service dept to do an axle swap anyway. It sounds as if they are COMPLETLY overlooking the real issue.

I would no matter what, get crazy mad with these people (unless you have done some kind of mod to driveshafts, wheels, lift, trackbars, tierod...). This is a safety issue that should NOT be acceptable.

Last- Why in the [email protected]#$%^& did someone feel the need to rack up 500 miles on the jeep??? and then say here are the keys- Nothing's wrong.

Educate yourself regarding your rights as a consumer, your safety, the contract, etc and insist that they not only take care of the problem (or take it to a qualified service dept) but that they also explain to your satisfaction, what caused the problem.

Totally JMO
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-07-2008, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imkunfused View Post
Why would you try to have them swap all of the Dana 44 stuff over. It wont fix the problem unless there is an issue with the balljoints of the dana 30. Also there's no need to swap in the electric swaybar unit. If it had to go this route, you would be the likely one paying for it, as it's an upgrade, not a swap

The HD suspension parts have nothing to do with the axles. It has to do with the springs and shocks (doubt it would fix your problem either)

I think your option would be to contact chrysler and going that route.

Are you still running everything bone stock on this? It's hard to tell from your sig
I don't really want them to do anything but fix the damn thing...Just like everyone on this site, I spent alot of money on this and I expect it to stay on the road if that is where I want it...It is stock right now...I was going to buy the stuff in my sig this fall and put it on but I have been dealing with this headache for 4 months now...I want the problem fixed and then I can move on with the lift...This IS a safety issue in my eyes...Thanks for the input...I was just looking over all the threads and I had found one Rubicon that had this problem that was still running a stock set-up...


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Don't know if any of this will help-

First of all- At this point you need to stop treating them like friends because they obviously aren't concerned for your safety or are too clueless as to what the problem is, and how to fix it. You can certainly take it to another dealership for a 2nd (3rd?) opinion. And I definately would at this point.

I have no idea why they continue to replace the steering stabilizer. THIS is not the issue. And so help me (I have an 08' Rubicon)...If the 08' has a heavy duty updated stabilizer, than I would love to see the 07'. There may have been some defective stabilizers on the 07's, but the 08', definately are no stronger. Not the problem anyway.

Option #2 will not "fly" with any dealership. They will NOT do that. I don't think I would want that service dept to do an axle swap anyway. It sounds as if they are COMPLETLY overlooking the real issue.

I would no matter what, get crazy mad with these people (unless you have done some kind of mod to driveshafts, wheels, lift, trackbars, tierod...). This is a safety issue that should NOT be acceptable.

Last- Why in the [email protected]#$%^& did someone feel the need to rack up 500 miles on the jeep??? and then say here are the keys- Nothing's wrong.NO IDEA!

Educate yourself regarding your rights as a consumer, your safety, the contract, etc and insist that they not only take care of the problem (or take it to a qualified service dept) but that they also explain to your satisfaction, what caused the problem.

Totally JMO
I want it fixed but I want them to somehow compensate me for all of this crap that I have been dealing with...That is really the only reason I suggested the Rubi axle swap...Funny thing is, I did a CarFax on it and it shows no problems at all for the first 27,000+ miles and then you can see where I bought it 4 months ago and then nothing...It is like it dropped right off the face of the earth...I have read that contacting Chrysler is a waste of time because they will back their dealers but WTF do you do...If I didn't care about them compensating me I would just go ahead and do the lift and make the proper adjustments like everyone has stated on here when you experience it with a lift...IDK!!!!

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post #5 of 19 Old 10-07-2008, 03:26 PM
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Carfax wouldnt show anything about an ongoing driveablity issue that the previous owner might of had.

My guess is something in the system is worn out. It could be anywhere from the trackbars not being tight, worn out, control arm bushings worn out (would be more a clunk than a side to side issue), steering box worn out causing play in the shaft, tierods could be bad, balljoints could be toast.

They are tossing stablizers at it since the fact there is probably an ongoing issue with these vehicles that show similar symptoms and that's the fix. It's also probably not an easily reproduceable problem which is why they thought the stablizer fixed the problem as over the course of the 500 miles they did not have any issues.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-07-2008, 03:31 PM
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A steering stabilizer merely damps the motion of the steering system...a properly set-up rig doesn't even NEED one...they COVER UP, not fix, problems.

The rig is either out of alignment, or has damage that is not noted.

I think you should bring it to a collision repair facility and or an independent alignment shop that works on trucks.

You could also post pics here to show the tires, knuckles, links, shocks, etc...and give a us a virtual tour.


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post #7 of 19 Old 10-07-2008, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Imkunfused View Post
Carfax wouldnt show anything about an ongoing driveablity issue that the previous owner might of had.

My guess is something in the system is worn out. It could be anywhere from the trackbars not being tight, worn out, control arm bushings worn out (would be more a clunk than a side to side issue), steering box worn out causing play in the shaft, tierods could be bad, balljoints could be toast.

They are tossing stablizers at it since the fact there is probably an ongoing issue with these vehicles that show similar symptoms and that's the fix. It's also probably not an easily reproduceable problem which is why they thought the stablizer fixed the problem as over the course of the 500 miles they did not have any issues.
I guess I will see what they say one more time and then I will take it somewhere else...I am planning on call Chrysler on tomorrow or Thursday...

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A steering stabilizer merely damps the motion of the steering system...a properly set-up rig doesn't even NEED one...they COVER UP, not fix, problems.

The rig is either out of alignment, or has damage that is not noted.

I think you should bring it to a collision repair facility and or an independent alignment shop that works on trucks.

You could also post pics here to show the tires, knuckles, links, shocks, etc...and give a us a virtual tour.

I will try and get pic before I take it in tomorrow...Not going to promise but I will try...I probably will take it to an alignment shop that works on trucks just to see what they say...I just want them to compensate for the hassle though...I will call Chrysler and file a complaint saying that this is a safety issue and it needs to be address NOW since this has happened 4 times now in 4-5 months...

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post #8 of 19 Old 10-08-2008, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
A steering stabilizer merely damps the motion of the steering system...a properly set-up rig doesn't even NEED one...they COVER UP, not fix, problems.

The rig is either out of alignment, or has damage that is not noted.
X2 They are not addressing the problem at all. They need to stop focusing on the stabilizer and find the problem. Ball joints, track bar, rod ends, etc are all things they should be looking at.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-08-2008, 03:09 PM
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I have been having the same problem for the last 4-5 month. I have many post here on it. The dealer’s last attempt was “power balance” my tires and put on a new stabilizer. Please keep us up to date on this issue.

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post #10 of 19 Old 10-08-2008, 04:20 PM
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Happened to mine too... Took it to a really good buggy shop that deals with 4x4's a lot and they laser calibrated it and adjusted the alignment when I put on 35's... Problem gone.. Still using the stock stabilizer.. forget the dealer they align to stock and it is crap... Take it to a prof. shop and pay the cash to get it done right... explain the problem and tell them you don't want it back till they tell what's wrong..

done...

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post #11 of 19 Old 10-08-2008, 04:55 PM
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I just bought my JKU a couple of months ago and don't have any problems; but I do own a 1966 Bronco. The old straight axle Bronco's are probably the first truck to experience the "Death Wobble". It is ALWAYS a combination of worn out trackbar bushings (on the JK it is rod ends I believe) and a difference in the draglink angle compared to the trackbar(what causes bump steer). Slightly lifted trucks have it worse because no one drops the pitman arm to correct the angles for a 2" lift. The "death wobble" usually starts on a slight turn when the steering angles a just enough to cause bump steer and then the cycle begins till you slow down(or stop) or in my first experience drive off into a ditch. Until I corrected the problem I found the best way to handle the shaking is hold the steering wheel straight and let off the gas. On a highway with turns it won't help you have to suck it up till you can get it shut down. I alway had it happen to me when changing lanes or on long curve and hit a slight bump. After years of dealing with it someone told me to check out the track bar, and match my drag link and trackbar angles. Low and behold my upper trackbar bushing had about 1/8 inch of play and I dropped the track-bar mount. Now, 10years later, no more problems and I don't run a steering stabilizer. From what I've been told it doesn't take much play in the components to set off the wobble. Hope this may help. I noticed some of the other answers are in line with mine.

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post #12 of 19 Old 10-08-2008, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the info...

I took it back to the dealer this morning and had a 2 hour "talk" with one of the owners and basically gave them the list of possibilities that you ALL have said and they said that they will take care of it and/or make it right...Right now they are also going to put a NEW set of tires on which it will need by May for inspection...They said if they have to they will replace all of the "steering" compoents, track bar, drag link, tie rods, bushings, whatever...If it does it again they will trade out the jeep with a new one...I have this in writting so I am sure they will fix it right now...

They gave me a loaner, another 07' "X" Unlimited, and I took it on a little road trip this afternoon and I would have to say that "mine" has all sorts of vibration in the steering compared to this one...Here I thought it was just the "jeep thing" but man it is night and day between the two...I am going to call them in the morning and tell them my findings and take this loaner back so they can see for themselves...I know that the soft top on mine is better then this one, it leaks at the top of the windshield...Anyways, this is where I am at anything changes I will post here...

Thanks again to ALL for the help/info.

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post #13 of 19 Old 10-08-2008, 08:47 PM
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Can you keep it for the weekend and take it on a 500 mile hardcore off road adventure? Wish they sounded more reassuring about what they think the problem is, but at least they're attempting to make it right. Please don't let your guard down with these guys. Keep us all posted with the results. Good luck Tank.
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-08-2008, 09:06 PM
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Is your jeep lifted at all? If it is lifted with stock control arms it may not have enough caster. Too much caster can also contribute to death wobble.

I worked on a JK with a lift and the dealer skipped the eccentric install. Lame!

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post #15 of 19 Old 10-09-2008, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Can you keep it for the weekend and take it on a 500 mile hardcore off road adventure? Wish they sounded more reassuring about what they think the problem is, but at least they're attempting to make it right. Please don't let your guard down with these guys. Keep us all posted with the results. Good luck Tank.
I thought about it!!!!...I will keep this thread up to date...I am going to call them in a little while...I have some reassuarnce with the signed papers stating that they will replace the jeep if I experience this one more time...

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Is your jeep lifted at all? If it is lifted with stock control arms it may not have enough caster. Too much caster can also contribute to death wobble.

I worked on a JK with a lift and the dealer skipped the eccentric install. Lame!
It is stock....I wanted to lift it this fall but I have been experiencing this problem off and on so I was going to wait until the spring when I would need to get new tires for inspection...Right now, since they are replacing the tires I may wait awile before I do anything just to see if the problem is "fixed" before I basically void the "signed" paperwork by lifting the jeep...I told them to check the control arms along with everything else that you guys said...We will see...


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post #16 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Up-Date!

Just a quick up-date...

Spoke to the Service Manager this morning and they have had 3 different service guys drive it and look over it they STILL cannot find anything...He said they were going to check a couple of things yet this morning and then they were going to put a new set of tires on it...The Service Manager drove it home Friday night and said that he could feel a "slight" vibration in the steering but nothing "abnormal"...

When I hear more I will post up...

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post #17 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 04:41 PM
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Sorry, Totally jmo and not trying to offend you- but...."THIS DEALERSHIP SUCKS!!!" I cannot believe that they keep deciding to drive it. If they are taking it home on Friday nite than, they are REALLY douchebags. So i'm guessing (depending on if you have been keeping track of the mileage) that the SOB drove it around Friday night- all Saturday- and all of Sunday. This seems absolutely unnecessary and self serving. Wonder about your before & after gas and mileage readings. To top it all off- they are telling you that they are still at square one. Oh, and with a stock vehicle- a "slight vibration" IS ABNORMAL! These asshats are not doing their jobs and are allowing you (from what you've described) to continue putting your safety in jeopardy. You need to take the advice offered here and- as stated... find a qualified dealership or independent service shop to take care of the issue. I would not trust the current dealership to replace a sticker on my nephews Tonka truck. As stated this could be: driveshaft(s) out of balance/ front wheel(s) out of balance/ loose control arm(s) or worn out bushing(s)/ f or r track bar loose/ tie rod loose/ alignment issue/ bad or loose ball joints...

So help me, I would never take a vehicle back to those guys. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING...End of story.

Please take it somewhere qualified and have this simple problem fixed...Hopefully it won't be out of your pocket. These nutbags have already proven to you that they are not competent. Good luck.
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post #18 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 05:32 PM
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I think it’s already mentioned but you may want to take it to a tire place and have the wheels balanced. I swapped a spare on mine and forgot that it was never balanced and had a wobble at speeds > 70 MPH. It took me a while to figure it out what it was and that one unbalanced wheel was enough. At least check the inside rim for weights missing on all the wheels.
post #19 of 19 Old 10-14-2008, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry, Totally jmo and not trying to offend you- but...."THIS DEALERSHIP SUCKS!!!" I cannot believe that they keep deciding to drive it. If they are taking it home on Friday nite than, they are REALLY douchebags. So i'm guessing (depending on if you have been keeping track of the mileage) that the SOB drove it around Friday night- all Saturday- and all of Sunday. This seems absolutely unnecessary and self serving. Wonder about your before & after gas and mileage readings. To top it all off- they are telling you that they are still at square one. Oh, and with a stock vehicle- a "slight vibration" IS ABNORMAL! These asshats are not doing their jobs and are allowing you (from what you've described) to continue putting your safety in jeopardy. You need to take the advice offered here and- as stated... find a qualified dealership or independent service shop to take care of the issue. I would not trust the current dealership to replace a sticker on my nephews Tonka truck. As stated this could be: driveshaft(s) out of balance/ front wheel(s) out of balance/ loose control arm(s) or worn out bushing(s)/ f or r track bar loose/ tie rod loose/ alignment issue/ bad or loose ball joints...

So help me, I would never take a vehicle back to those guys. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING...End of story.

Please take it somewhere qualified and have this simple problem fixed...Hopefully it won't be out of your pocket. These nutbags have already proven to you that they are not competent. Good luck.
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Originally Posted by Alec W View Post
I think it’s already mentioned but you may want to take it to a tire place and have the wheels balanced. I swapped a spare on mine and forgot that it was never balanced and had a wobble at speeds > 70 MPH. It took me a while to figure it out what it was and that one unbalanced wheel was enough. At least check the inside rim for weights missing on all the wheels.
Yeah, I know...I want to just tell them to f-themselves but I am looking at it this way, I will get a new set of tires and then if it does it again I have already spoke to another dealer that has had a few jeeps in with issues like I am having and they have been corrected (not just steering stabilizers) and no returns so this will be my next step...

2007 JK Unlimited "X"

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TF 3" Kit w/4 Arm Flex Kit, TF HD F & R Adj. Track Bars, TF HD Steering Stabilizer, Yukon 5.13 gears, CenterForce II Clutch, Black Rock Soft 8's 16x8, Cooper Discoverer STT 315/75/16, RR XHD Front w/Stinger, SB XRC Rear w/Carrier, KC 130W Slim Lights w/Windshield Mounts, Xenon Flat Fenders, SB XRC8 Winch

Last edited by Tank29; 10-14-2008 at 06:57 AM.
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