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post #1 of 15 Old 11-30-2008, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Rough day...

Had my first experience with "Death Wobble" today. Getting on the freeway over some rough asphalt and bam, feels like the front end is going to shake itself to pieces. Slow down to pull off the road and it stops as quick as it started. Since I was in Downtown L.A. on a Sunday night I decided to try for home carefully. Got home with no further trouble. Climbing under the jeep and having the wife turn the wheel I notice the track bar is loose on the frame end. I tightened it up good and will drive it to work tomorrow and see how it feels.

Here's the history... two weeks ago I bent the tie rod while on trail. I reset the toe-in from the bent 3/4" to 1/4". Last friday I'm on the same trail and hear a huge bang while working down the edge of a boulder. Heard it didn't feel it. I missed the loose track bar on that inspection! I discover I have a slight clunk in the steering (the track bar?) tomorrow will tell!

While under the Jeep I notice gear oil running down from the differential breather hose on the front driver side. I'm hoping it was just over filled by the goons at jiffy lube. (gotta remember to tell them not to mess with the diffs!)
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-30-2008, 10:29 PM
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My front diff breather still spews at hwy speed. I personally think it can come from not only overfilling, but from the reverse rotation as well. Be sure to check (not only the trackbar front), but also the rear, control arms, draglink, and tie-rod ends. If you have the vehicle turned off- have someone get in while you are underneath and [try to] turn the steering wheel back and forth. Look and listen for play [and a "clunking sound] while under it or looking at the steering box. Mine (sector shaft?) is loose or bad inside the box. Also check to see that the pitman arm nut is tightened down. Hope you get it worked out.
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-01-2008, 03:58 AM
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Im dealing with the same thing. Ordering the Poly track bar today. Hopefully that will solve that problem. Good luck with yours!
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-02-2008, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Seems to be good again. On the way to work (in the Jeep) I called Mel at Evolution. I told about the "Death Wobble" and the first thing he said was, Track bar! He said 95% of the time "death wobble" is track bar related. I told him that's what I had found and he reassured me that most likely that was the cause!
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-02-2008, 04:33 PM
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It seems the oil running from the vent tube is happening to a lot of us


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post #6 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 04:11 PM
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WOW! Had the death wobble several times today. This thing is going to kill me yet! I checked the track bar its tight. I straightend the bent tie rod so the only thing left has got to be the alignment? Unless the pinion angle is wrong. Im going to check it tomorrow. Any suggestions?
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooster View Post
WOW! Had the death wobble several times today. This thing is going to kill me yet! I checked the track bar its tight. I straightend the bent tie rod so the only thing left has got to be the alignment? Unless the pinion angle is wrong. Im going to check it tomorrow. Any suggestions?
The tow being off can cause the wobble


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post #8 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 04:46 PM
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New drives-haft(s)? could be out of balance. Make sure you check the rear track-bar as well as the front. Be sure the drag-link is tight too at pitman end and knuckle end. Tie-rod would have to be pretty loose to cause this. Like you said also- could be pinion angle.

Sure you know that "hand-tight" on things like track-bars, is not good enough. Torque to specs. You may also have someone jump in and turn the steering wheel [quickly] back and forth while you look and wrap your hand around the track-bars, drag-link, and tie-rod to see if you feel of see something loose. Make sure all your lugs are tight as well.

Sure you know all this...Jus sayin.
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 05:29 PM
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I appreciate the info. Its got to be the toe. Since I bent the tie rod at River Rock its been happening. The ESP light is now on too. Thats the first time Ive ever seen it and my Jeeps had 4 different lifts over the last 1 1/2 years. I straightend the tie rod today and thought I had the toe is close but maybe not.
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 05:33 PM
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just so we are on the same page, this is death wobble that you are experiencing (a violent back-and-forth jerking of the steering wheel that can only be stopped by gently cutting the throttle) and not just a vibration or flutter in the steering wheel, right?

make sure track bar is properly torqued.

make sure all lug nuts are properly torqued to 90 ft/lb.

check joints on control arm ends to make sure they aren't falling apart.

jack up the front wheels one at a time and grab the top of the tire and try to rock it back and forth (towards and away from you) to see if there is any play in the ball joints or hub/wheel bearings. you shouldn't be able to rock the tire back and forth.

lay under the jeep and have someone turn the steering wheel while you watch the tie rod and draglink to make sure they are moving in unison and one doesn't move before the other does - could show bad ball joints on tie rod or draglink.

death wobble is a phenomenon related to wheels/tires and/or steering components having too much play. it's not going to be a driveshaft and i've never known it to be related to caster/pinion angles.
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooster View Post
I appreciate the info. Its got to be the toe. Since I bent the tie rod at River Rock its been happening. The ESP light is now on too. Thats the first time Ive ever seen it and my Jeeps had 4 different lifts over the last 1 1/2 years. I straightend the tie rod today and thought I had the toe is close but maybe not.
i've never known it to be related to toe, but i guess it's possible. more than likely if it is related to toe, then there is some other compounding factor, i would expect.

toe can be measured easily enough with a long piece of string. i'll try to explain what i think is the more accurate way:

find something that you can tie the string too that is heavy enough it won't move (jack stands work great for this). make the string long enough to span the length of the jeep from bumper to bumper.

place a jack stand, behind the rear tire, just to the inside of it. then, grab the string and walk to the front of the jeep.

move the string in and out so that it just rests just against the rear tire (both halves of the tire - the half on the front of the wheel and the back of the wheel).

once the string is flat against he rear tire, compare the position of the front tire to where you are holding the string. that will tell you how you need to adjust the tie rod to adjust toe.

make sure the steering wheel is centered before you start. and the tires seem to be pointing straight ahead. set toe so that the front outer edge of the front tire is about 1/8" in further than the back, outer edge of the tire.

you will have to check both sides. when you are done, you will have to re-center the steering wheel. once the steering wheel is centered again, you need to re-check toe. repeat until toe is 1/8" in on both left and right tires, and steering wheel is also centered. it might take a few adjustments.

once this is done and you think everything is set, get in and drive a few miles. then re-check everything.

make sure you are on level ground when doing this.

--------------------------------

the other way (i think is less accurate) is to just take the string and run it under the vehicle.

again, make sure you are on level ground and the tires are pointing straight ahead, with the steering wheel centered.

measure the distance between the back edge of the front tire and compare it to the front edge. then adjust the toe so that the distance is 1/4" less on the front edge. then re-center the steering wheel.
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 06:17 PM
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Violent isnt the word for it. Its the scariest thing Ive ever done in a vehicle and Ive been in several wrecks and use to drag race with top end speeds in the 170's on 3" skinnies on the front and 10's in the back. This is for sure death wobble. I bent my tie rod a week or so ago. Straightend it today. My problem is I added 6" springs, a new drive shaft and shocks all within 2 days of going on my trip and the first chance of actually driving it was after the rock trip. So Im not sure what element has caused this. Everything is tight. Everytime I hit a bump its a violent shake left to right of the steering and the only way to make it stop is to compltely stop in the middle of the road. Only after a complete stop does it go away...at least until the next bump. It did it 7 times on the way home tonight. I know bump steer...this isnt bump steer.
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 06:20 PM
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not enough caster is a contributor to the wobble and if the toe is off it will cause the tires (even more so with larger tires) to wander. Narrower tires will just push but a wider tire with more contact will bite more causing the tires to fight each other to regain a straight path of travel.


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post #14 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 06:23 PM
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also, make sure your axles (both front and rear) are perfectly centered before re-setting toe and steering wheel center - especially since you went up in lift.
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-04-2008, 06:40 PM
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I do need to set my axle center. Ive got to order a new track bar. Since I went up in size my Full Traction bar isnt long enough and my axle is about a 1/2 further towards the drivers side. Mcnaught thanks for the help. When i make it back to Nashville I'll have to look you up. Maybe we can hit Turkey bay or something!
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