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post #1 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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bad control arm bushing cause DW?

Would a lower control arm axle side bad rubber bushing be enough to cause Death wobble? In another thread on another forumI have been trying to diagnose DW that I got after I installed Skid row lower control arm skids. Today I decided to pull the skid plates to see if they were causing a problem. I noticed that the lower control arm axle side bushing looks messed up and some rubber has peeled off. The control arm bracket looks a little bent too. Where the metal control arm meets the bracket on one side it is touchingmetal instead of the bushing. Is this enough to cause DW? I didny know any better and drove for 4-5 thousand miles after my 3 inch lift without loosening my lower Control arms and shaking when loose while on ground. Could this have caused the bushings to go bad?
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 02:03 PM
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What lift do you have on your jeep?

Control-arm bushings are critical to torque to spec. You don't want to simply tighten control arm bolts- especially the lowers. Did you torque the bolts to spec when you installed the LCA skids?

IMO- the bushings would have to be worn down or damaged pretty severely to cause DW symptoms. How badly damaged are they? A really badly damaged bushing could certainly play into shaking or wobbling- especially while turning or braking.

I would also check torque on other suspension components at this time- front and rear track-bars, drag-link, etc. There could certainly be something else causing the issue- alignment, pinion angle, driveshaft balance, hub bearings, etc.

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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I had DW two times in the past two days right after installing these lower control arms skids. I pulled them to see if maybe they were causing the problem. I did have them torqued to 125 pounds when I installed them. I have a RC 3.25 lift. the control arms are stock. I did not loosen the control arms when I installed the lift and retorque at the new ride hide so I think I screwed up the bushings. I didnt know to do that at the time so I drove like that for a while. Anyway I will take a ride with them off and see how things go. I already checked the track bar and that is torqued to 125 frame and axle side. My jeep has only 12,000 miles on it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 02:19 PM
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UH, DO NOT TAKE A RIDE WITH THEM OFF!

I think you will have SUPER DEATH WOBBLE!
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsherm01 View Post
UH, DO NOT TAKE A RIDE WITH THEM OFF!

I think you will have SUPER DEATH WOBBLE!
He means the skids........i HOPE!

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
He means the skids........i HOPE!
yea I am talking about the skids. I took a ride and got DW again when I hit a large pothole. I was going around hitting potholes intentionally at 30 mph to see what happend and it did on a large one. Smaller ones didnt do anything. I think I was turning when I hit the large one. So any ideas now that I know it is not the skids causing this. As I already said, the control arm axle mount is bent a little inwards and the bushing appears bad. Is this my problem or could it be something else? My track bar looks fine. Should I order new lower control arms? Mine are stock. My stabilizer is blown but most people I have talked to say that should not cause DW.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 02:51 PM
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Yes- the stabilizer is not the issue. I would leave it off entirely until you get this resolved. The bracket would have to be bent pretty bad to cause a DW feeling. Can you post any pics- of the control arm, the bracket, and more importantly the bushing(s)? If the control arm(s) is not bent, then you should be able to replace the bushings.

If the bushings are worn, cracked, some small chunks missing- then I doubt that is the problem. If the bushings are completely split, lots of bushing material missing, gaps, etc....then it could be a problem.

This could be anything from a bad pinion angle- meaning that you need to adjust (or upgrade to adjustable) control arms, to an unbalanced wheel. I would look at getting a re-balance, and possible alignment....after checking the other suspension components for any lose bolts (if you haven't checked everything already). Not as likely to be a hub bearing or ball joint issue- with only 12,000 miles- but you may want to check those too.

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post #8 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
Yes- the stabilizer is not the issue. I would leave it off entirely until you get this resolved. The bracket would have to be bent pretty bad to cause a DW feeling. Can you post any pics- of the control arm, the bracket, and more importantly the bushing(s)? If the control arm(s) is not bent, then you should be able to replace the bushings.

If the bushings are worn, cracked, some small chunks missing- then I doubt that is the problem. If the bushings are completely split, lots of bushing material missing, gaps, etc....then it could be a problem.

This could be anything from a bad pinion angle- meaning that you need to adjust (or upgrade to adjustable) control arms, to an unbalanced wheel. I would look at getting a re-balance, and possible alignment....after checking the other suspension components for any lose bolts (if you haven't checked everything already). Not as likely to be a hub bearing or ball joint issue- with only 12,000 miles- but you may want to check those too.
I doubt very much this is an alignment issue since I have had the lift on for 8000 miles and never had a problem. I also dont think a tire out of balance would cause DW, it may cause a bad shimmy but this was DW, the jeep was violently shaking. Here r some pics (u can see in the first couple of pics that the bushing seems damaged and the control arm is touching metal:








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post #9 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olean NY Jeeper View Post
I doubt very much this is an alignment issue since I have had the lift on for 8000 miles and never had a problem. I also dont think a tire out of balance would cause DW, it may cause a bad shimmy but this was DW, the jeep was violently shaking. Here r some pics (u can see in the first couple of pics that the bushing seems damaged and the control arm is touching metal:
A tire out of balance can def produce a pretty bad shake/ wobble- but yea, not full blown DW. The alignment- hitting a bad pot-hole can justify a realignment as I'm sure you know- so just threw it out there. The other thing with the alignment, is that they can give you a print out on the specs- toe/ camber/ caster. Sure you know that though.

IDK- The control arm looks pretty bent or twisted from the pics. I would pull the control arms and inspect the bolts and bushings.....assuming that your pinion angle is correct and that everything else is torqued.

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered new bushings to install in the stock control arms. Hopefully these work in JKs Quadtratec says they do.



http://www.quadratec.com/products/16301_4410.htm

While I was at it I ordered a JKS adjustable track bar and Poly performance frame side trackbar brace. I think it is the control arm but I want to make sure this gets fixed before my trip in a week. I looked at track bar and didnt see any problems but I am not real sure what I looking at. Both were on my list anyway.


I will eventully order new lower control arms but dont want to spend the money now if I dont have too since the handelng of my jeep (other than DW) has been fine even without fixing the caster.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-15-2010, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for all ur help and bearing with me.

I pulled my track bar bolt at the axle to check it out. Here r some pics. Does this look normal or is the hole enlarged? I dont know how tight it is supposed to be. the bushing appears visually fine. not sure how else to check.



Here is it with the bolt pushed through both sides with track bar out.





What do you guys think?
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-18-2010, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Wanted to do an update on progress. Lower control arms replaced with new stock arms, front track bar frame side fixed with bolt on polyperformance brace, new JKS adjustable front trckbar installed, axle is now centered within 1/16 of an inch/close enough. No more DW or at least after a 30 minute test ride including hitting same potholes that gave me DW. I think its fixed. Just to be safe I am still installeing JKS front track bar bracket brace, may have welder weld on washer on rear side of front axle side trackbar bracket. After I install the JKS brace, I am going to throw on the teraflex stabilizer and woods relocation bracket and hopefully never have this problem again.
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