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post #1 of 13 Old 03-26-2009, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Need a mind check

Hey Everyone! I got my Poly stage II lift the other day and got word my tires and wheels were ready for me to pick up today. Everything sounding good for an install this weekend. So I go get my 5 35s and stuff get em in my unlimited and start home. Then something bad happens... death wobble... twice. Was going between 65 and 70 both times when I hit a bump and starting shaking uncontrollably and had to almost come to a complete stop to recover. After the second time, I finally got smart and slowed it to between 55 and 60, no more issues.

Got home and thought about it and remembered this happened once before about 6 months ago when my family and I were on a trip, i.e. we had the back loaded up. I don't know if I've had an issue and weight triggers it or what, but I took it back on the highway unloaded to see if anything happened, and I had no issue.

My thinking is to go ahead with the lift install since I'll be replacing so much anyway and checking and torqueing everything as I go, but I'm a little worried my excitement is clouding my judgment. Since my jeep is still stock tonight, I suppose I could take it in to get looked at and not worry about warranty. I don't know, got any opinions?
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-26-2009, 06:24 PM
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Just an opinion you understand.
Since it's still stock right now you may want to take it in for a look. If you have a problem after the mods, the dealer may blame them... in case it's a problem with something you don't happen to be replacing, you will want them to fix it before you do the mods.

Keep us posted. This D.W. thing is starting to concern me.

Good luck.

Duffy
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-26-2009, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
Just an opinion you understand.
Since it's still stock right now you may want to take it in for a look. If you have a problem after the mods, the dealer may blame them... in case it's a problem with something you don't happen to be replacing, you will want them to fix it before you do the mods.

Keep us posted. This D.W. thing is starting to concern me.

Good luck.

Duffy

Agree 100% Make sure they document everything so you have proof of an existing condition before any mods. Most dealers void the warranty after modifications, generally speaking. My dealership doesn't like to document my concerns.
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-26-2009, 07:27 PM
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Definitely take it back now. The more stock Jeeps that have this problem at the dealer, the quicker Jeep will design a fix. Maybe at least figure out what the problem is.

I heard toe and caster settings can effect this. With your back fully loaded it will raise your front suspension, but I don't see how that effects toe, Just caster and to a much lesser degree camber. The change in caster may have been enough to do it.

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post #5 of 13 Old 03-27-2009, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to take it in first and if nothing else get it on record, thanks!

-Brian
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-27-2009, 04:10 AM
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Is caster adjustable on a Jeep? I'd like a little more self centering of the steering wheel when coming out of a turn. You know what I mean? I like to just let go of the wheel and have it center itself after turning like driving without power steering. I believe adding caster helps this and should really have a positive effect on the death wobble issue.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-27-2009, 07:56 AM
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DW on a bone stocker This is not good at all.Stay on your dealers a$$ about this,you want answers.

Somethin's happenin' here,what it is ain't exactly clear,there's a man with a gun over there,a tellin' me,I have to beware.....
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-28-2009, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Dealer can't see it until Monday. I went and checked all my control arm and track bar bolts. Found all to be fine except one. The one on the front track bar frame mount took about a turn and a half to get to torque. I also found I had the front tires slightly over inflated and that a few lug nuts were not tightened to spec. I fixed all of that and will take it out later to see if I notice any difference.

When I take it in, I'm going to tell them what I found and have them look at that track bar closely. I didn't take it off to checking the mounting holes. I'll also have them check the alignment as well. The caster was fine with the angle finder, but I couldn't get a read on the toe in.

-Brian
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-28-2009, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berlin View Post
The one on the front track bar frame mount took about a turn and a half to get to torque. I also found I had the front tires slightly over inflated and that a few lug nuts were not tightened to spec.
Track bar is the likely cause, loose lug notes may well contribute. With the rear end loaded up the front end will become lighter and loose bolts, especially on the track bar, will have more impact.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-28-2009, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
Keep us posted. This D.W. thing is starting to concern me.
It shouldn't. I've put on 60k miles with between 4 and 5.5" of lift at different times, various different lift components, running 37's, etc, etc, and never had DW. Same applies to the vast majority of lifted JK's.

99% of cases of DW are related to either badly set up suspension/steering geometry and/or loose bolts or worn parts.

If you set up everything correctly and maintain your vehicle it should not be a concern.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-28-2009, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
The change in caster may have been enough to do it.
I've ran everything from -1 to +6 caster and never had DW. A low caster will make the steering light and more prone to wandering, and will allow DW to be more noticeable, but it's usually caused by something else.

Like using a stiffer steering stabilizer, by increasing caster you are usually just masking the real cause of DW.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-28-2009, 06:31 PM
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What about worn or bad control arm bushings ? Could that lead to bump steer / death wobble ?
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-30-2009, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilD View Post
Track bar is the likely cause, loose lug notes may well contribute. With the rear end loaded up the front end will become lighter and loose bolts, especially on the track bar, will have more impact.
I took it out yesterday and I could tell a definite difference. It felt more "solid" for lack of a better word. No sign of wobble or shimmy.

Today I took it to the dealer and told them what I found. They looked at it and said the steering stabilizer was blown and replaced it under warranty. I could tell no difference in how it rode after they did that. At any rate, I'm feeling a lot better about it and am planning on going on with my install this weekend. Thanks everybody!

-Brian
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