Death Wobble!!!! - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-13-2009, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Death Wobble!!!!

Well it finally happened to me... driving to work today, going about 60 mph... going around a turn in the hi-way... bump in the road and $hit! Almost did that in my pants... as soon as I got slowed down to about 40 mph it went away. I can't understand this, why do so many people have a death wobble!! My Jeep is stock! No lift, factory tires, the only thing I changed in the last couple of weeks was I put a Rancho steering stabilizer in!

So WTF!!!

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-13-2009, 10:17 PM
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Start by checking to make sure everything is tight... Check everything! Also check your ball joints by shaking the wheels up on the jack to see if they have any play in them...
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-13-2009, 10:36 PM
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my frist time of death wobbs,it was a tire problem i checked them and found 1 coming apart.but some guys play with there aligment.if its stock rotate tires and drive it.i had to put on my new spare to fix my problem.

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post #4 of 25 Old 05-16-2009, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverkid View Post
Start by checking to make sure everything is tight... Check everything! Also check your ball joints by shaking the wheels up on the jack to see if they have any play in them...

Checked everything, all is tight.... no problem here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by so_calif_rubi View Post
my frist time of death wobbs,it was a tire problem i checked them and found 1 coming apart.but some guys play with there aligment.if its stock rotate tires and drive it.i had to put on my new spare to fix my problem.


Just did a tire rotation and have set an appointment to get an alignment next Friday...

Thanks for your help guys!

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-16-2009, 07:37 AM
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Did you do the tire rotation before or after the wobble?
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-17-2009, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biff Malibu View Post
Did you do the tire rotation before or after the wobble?
After the wobble...

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-17-2009, 06:27 PM
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I am not trying to talk to you like an idiot, but just to clarify, Did you check everything with a wrench or just by hand? A loose track bar will give you some nasty death wobble, and it will not move by hand. Check the track bar/stabilizer mount for cracks--we have them sheer off on occasion, and it starts with just one of the welds and a wobble.
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-18-2009, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jeep School View Post
I am not trying to talk to you like an idiot, but just to clarify, Did you check everything with a wrench or just by hand? A loose track bar will give you some nasty death wobble, and it will not move by hand. Check the track bar/stabilizer mount for cracks--we have them sheer off on occasion, and it starts with just one of the welds and a wobble.
So... I check the track bar, (checked it by hand last time... this time by wrench) steering stabilizer, checked the welds... everything was tight and looked good, I have noticed since it has happen at about 57 mph... get some shaking in the front... out of balance... over that none, under that none. So is it possible that I hit everything just right? Right speed, front end out of balance, to get the death wobble?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-18-2009, 09:02 PM
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If the alignment doesn't work, I would say to have your tires re-checked. Or, for fun, put the rear tires on the front and vice versa. Beyond that, if all of your control arms and bushings are good, track bar is tight, shocks are good (I know that's weird, but someone in our club had death wobble seem to emanate from a bad shock on one side)--the only thing I can think of is bent arms or C's, or worn ends, all of which should show up on the alignment. The stabilizer doesn't create death wobble at all--only helps mask it. Why did you replace it anyway?

Nena Barlow

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post #11 of 25 Old 05-18-2009, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Stock stabilizer was leaking...

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #12 of 25 Old 05-18-2009, 09:08 PM
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Sounds like it is not quite death wobble.

Can you define what exactly is going on?

Deathe wobble is usually set off by hitting a bump in the road, usually under 40ish, ant the tires begin wobbiling VERY bad. So bad you usually have to stop but most the time it will wobble real hard the go away. It has happened to me nad enoughthat the tires were chirping and I stopped me.


Sounds to me like you are getting either a vibration or a wobble in the steering wheel. Can you define it more? Does it start to vibrate when you hit a certain speed? do you feel the steering wheel moving back and forth or is it more of a vibration?
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-18-2009, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07unlimitedx View Post
Stock stabilizer was leaking...
well, that is notthe problem, but probably the reason you feel what is happening. I would figure out what the issue is before ou replace the SS
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-18-2009, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTF_LOL View Post
Sounds like it is not quite death wobble.

Can you define what exactly is going on?

Deathe wobble is usually set off by hitting a bump in the road, usually under 40ish, ant the tires begin wobbiling VERY bad. So bad you usually have to stop but most the time it will wobble real hard the go away. It has happened to me nad enoughthat the tires were chirping and I stopped me.


Sounds to me like you are getting either a vibration or a wobble in the steering wheel. Can you define it more? Does it start to vibrate when you hit a certain speed? do you feel the steering wheel moving back and forth or is it more of a vibration?

I was traveling about 60 mph when it happened the first time (05/13)... it was a good thing I had both hands on the wheel when it happened... I was on a part of a hiway that is quite rough... over a bridge... going around a gentle curve and it wobbled hard. My buddy was with me and he thought we were going to hit the vehicle next to us. Slowed down to about 40 and it went away... it hasn't done it again since then. I know my front end is out of balance and needs an alignment, I did feel it slightly before this happened and now you can tell at 57 mph... you get the shake in the steering... not a death wobble just the out of alignment feeling. Thinking it may just be that. I am going to replace the shocks too. Hopefully this helps the issue.

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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Last edited by 07unlimitedx; 05-18-2009 at 09:42 PM.
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-18-2009, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WTF_LOL View Post
well, that is notthe problem, but probably the reason you feel what is happening. I would figure out what the issue is before ou replace the SS
I put the steering stabilizer in about 2 weeks or so ago just because it was leaking... nothing else... other than that it looked kinda wimpy....

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #16 of 25 Old 05-20-2009, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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I will get to look at everything this Friday... hopefully finding the problem. I would like to thank everyone for all of the suggestions!

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #17 of 25 Old 05-20-2009, 07:43 AM
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That shaking at a certain speed should be wheel balance, not alignment. I see that you are having both checked though so that's good.

Another one from left field. At about 30k miles I followed Phil's suggestion to grease the ball joints and all other booted connections with a grease needle. I did it just for added protection because I don't like lubed-for-life joints. I also greased the intermediate shaft spline through the boot to stop the steering clunk.

Anyway I had been noticing what I describe as the tires bouncing like a basketball dribble when on rough uneven pavement. Not anything big, just enough to be annoying. Once I greased everything, much to my surprise, the steering felt tighter and the dribble went away completely.

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post #18 of 25 Old 05-20-2009, 08:42 AM
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That shaking at a certain speed should be wheel balance, not alignment. I see that you are having both checked though so that's good.
X2 It it does consistently at the same speed it is likely that the dynamic balance is off on one or more tires. A quick way to check is to rotate the tires and see if it happens at the same speed. It is unusual to have different tires with the same amount of out of balance, so will usually give you a good idea if it is a balance issue.
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post #19 of 25 Old 05-20-2009, 08:46 AM
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Check the ball joints too. Jack the front wheels off the ground and grab them top and bottom and wiggle them about, see if there is any clunking or free play. At least eyeball the ball joints nuts too to make they are not loose.

If you have anything loose at the front end or any worn joints; track bar, drag link, tie rod, control arms, ball joints, etc, then it may well amplify any tire out of balance you are experiencing.
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post #20 of 25 Old 05-20-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gold knight View Post
That shaking at a certain speed should be wheel balance, not alignment. I see that you are having both checked though so that's good.
I agree, after I mounted my tires on my beadlocks I took them and had them balanced. On the way home I could feel a slight wobble in the steering wheel between 50 and 55. I went back and asked them to re check. 1 tire was 1/2 ounce out of balance. Re balanced and the wobble is completely gone.
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post #21 of 25 Old 05-20-2009, 10:02 PM
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I bent the stock stabilizer right after getting the JK. I got hold of an aftermarket one and didn't notice but the bushing on the rod end of the stabilizer was a larger diamater than bolt that holds it to the axel mount. I had death wobble at about 50 if I was in a slight turn.

Checked the only thing that I changes and saw the issue was the fact that the stabilizer wasn't doing its job due the the play from its bushing being too large.

It came with an insert to make it fit on the retaining bold nice and tight but I couldn't get it on so I didn't use it so this was totally my fault. To fix the issue I spent a little more time and made the bushing insert fit (16oz hammer) and never had the issue again.

Don't know if this is your issue but food for thought in case the other things above don't turn out to be the isse. Just hope its not a Twinki

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Last edited by TEXASKEV; 05-20-2009 at 10:10 PM.
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post #22 of 25 Old 05-21-2009, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gold knight View Post
That shaking at a certain speed should be wheel balance, not alignment. I see that you are having both checked though so that's good.

getting it in tomorrow...

Another one from left field. At about 30k miles I followed Phil's suggestion to grease the ball joints and all other booted connections with a grease needle. I did it just for added protection because I don't like lubed-for-life joints. I also greased the intermediate shaft spline through the boot to stop the steering clunk.

Yup... saw a link that Phil put in about adding grease to the dry boots... added lots and do it every 5000 kms...

Anyway I had been noticing what I describe as the tires bouncing like a basketball dribble when on rough uneven pavement. Not anything big, just enough to be annoying. Once I greased everything, much to my surprise, the steering felt tighter and the dribble went away completely.
Quote:
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X2 It it does consistently at the same speed it is likely that the dynamic balance is off on one or more tires. A quick way to check is to rotate the tires and see if it happens at the same speed. It is unusual to have different tires with the same amount of out of balance, so will usually give you a good idea if it is a balance issue.
I just rotated the tires... I'll try it again and see if that works taking the jeep in to get the wheels balanced...

Quote:
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Check the ball joints too. Jack the front wheels off the ground and grab them top and bottom and wiggle them about, see if there is any clunking or free play. At least eyeball the ball joints nuts too to make they are not loose.


Ya, checked this, all is good, no play what so ever

If you have anything loose at the front end or any worn joints; track bar, drag link, tie rod, control arms, ball joints, etc, then it may well amplify any tire out of balance you are experiencing.

taking it in tomorrow to a buddies garage....

Thanks everyone hopfully to get this resolved very soon... I'll let you know how I make out.

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #23 of 25 Old 05-21-2009, 08:25 AM
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Had this problem for a few weeks. Always happen on a over pass with a slight curve. Hit a bump and all hell broke loose. After checking everything over and over I took it to the dealship and they gave it back saying they couldn’t find anything wrong. Funny that it has never happened since. So good luck I know how it feels that every time you are in a curve and you see a bump coming up and the pucker factor is so bad you have to pull your wallet out of you A$$
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post #24 of 25 Old 05-23-2009, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Well the verdict is in...... Shocks, so I have some shocks on order right now, nobody in Calgary has shocks in stock for a stock unlimited X go figure.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions,

Steve

2014 JKU, Tera44, 4.56 gears, ARB lockers, RK 3.5" flex lift, ARB front & rear bumper, dual Viair 400C w/2 gallon tank, Zeon 10S, Nitto Tires, Genesis Dual battery kit, TeraFlex tie rod & flipped drag link, ARB Intensities and TeraFlex dual rate ST sway bar.
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-23-2009, 12:10 PM
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After the wobble...
make sure they re-balanced the tires too

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