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2012 JK Rubicon 4dr
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I lifted my 2012 JK about this time last year. A Rubicon Express 2.5 lift with 35's with Fox 2.0 shocks and a Teraflex steering dampener. Love it. But the stress of some wheeling and just the lift and tires I assume is wearing on various parts. I had the JK in to 4WheelParts for a wheel rotation and they recommended changing the parts listed below. This was before the death wobble had become apparent, and they did tell me I didnt have long before it started. Of course it was going to cost an arm and a leg to have them do it, and I would rather do it anyway. I have ordered and plan on installing:
  • TeraFlex 3442002 Ball Joints
  • Rubicon Express RE1689 Track Bar
  • Rubicon Express RE2610 Drag Link
I am thinking of also doing the Rubicon Express Complete RE3820 Adjustable Control Arm Kit at the same time. But may wait due to the expense.

It's an involved job, but seems simple enough with the right tools. I have found numerous videos on the ball joints, including from TeraFlex, gotta love youtube.

Questions:
I would love some opinions on whether to do/or not do the Control Arms, and any other advice on this upcoming project.

Also, and more importantly. How long can I drive with "the wobble". Its not bad, yet. I have felt it coming, and actually had the "wobble" happen in its classic sense today. Driving about 30MPH, just slowed down and it went away. How "safe" is it to drive with this? I may not be able to get it in the garage with all the parts for a few weeks. I dont do a lot of daily driving(work out of the house), mostly short distances, and can avoid highway speeds if need be for the time being. We live in a place where we can stay off the highway and be on paved and dirt roads.
 

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2009 rubicon 2dr
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27 Posts
I have had death wobble quite a bit in the past on my 09 rubicon. Trust me, it is not safe to drive around with it. I was able to handle it be slowing down, as you stated. My wife not so much. So, after stabilizers, alignments,etc. I researched the steering geometry on the JKs, in particular death wobble. The following is a list of the stuff I did to correct it. Note, pay particular attention to the track bar. This is probably the number one cause of death wobble. Usually the frame side bushing. Axle side will get definitely cause it to. Track bar alone may fix it. I used to be a rubicon express fan. Like I say, used to be. After they got bought out, a lot of their stuff is now made in China.
JKS track bar
JKS rear track bar
Steer smarts tie rod
Steer smarts drag link
Fox 2.0 stabilizer
JKS steering and sector shaft reinforcement ( note; JKS track bar must be used with reinforcement system, for proper clearance with sector shaft. I tried a rancho. Was shaped like OEM. Did not have addicuit clearance.)
OEM control arms.
Thi eliminated all death wobble and other handeling quirks. I do not have the words, for how pleased I am with the way it handles now! Maybe next year If I have the cash 💰, I may get JKS control arms. The control arms will give it addive strength.
I had Rubicon Express control arm on it. But,took them off, cause the joint’s would get filled with rock/dirt. And I could not keep enough grease in them. Between ❄ snow, water washing grease out. I “said the Hell With It”. I am sticking with rubber bushings. Maintenance free.
 

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Rubicon express is junk, don't waste your money on it as there are better companies out there for suspension. About 90% of the time death wobble is associated with the track bar in either the bushings or a loose bolt. Ball joints, tires, worn lower control arm brackets, unit bearings call also cause it. Fix it as running with it just makes it worse on all your componets over time. Find a decent shop and stay away from 4wd parts as they tend to f up more stuff than they fix.
 

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2012 JK Rubicon 4dr
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks All. For the amount of wheeling I do, RubiExpress is just fine. I think Ill hold off control arms for now. All other parts should get here soon and will undoubtedly help remedy the situation. But I do agree, 4WheelParts is not so hot.
 

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Actually they are a 4wd parts brand, they bought them after the company went bankrupt. Always been low quality. Don't support copanies like this. Here is a set of control arms that I removed and replaced for a customer with a JKU that didn't really wheel.
Automotive tire Gas Wood Auto part Plumbing fitting
 

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2012 JK Rubicon 4dr
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey All,

OK... trackbar & draglink were a piece of cake.

I am having a hell of a time getting the old getting the old ball joints out. I am using a balljoint press, and have a Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless High Torque 1/2 in. 3-Speed Drive Impact Wrench, but it just doesn't seem to be doing the job. Not sure, but maybe the Makita isnt strong enough?

Would LOVE some help/feedback.

Thanks!
 

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2012 JK Rubicon 4dr
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Get some high pressure grease on the press threads and try using a 2ft breaker bar first.

Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk
Thanks, Ill give it a go. I also saw this thread after doing a search. I figured I cant be the only one with this issue...
 

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Try this before anything else! I have the same setup as yours almost and found that the lift causes your caster to go almost zero which causes that floaty feeling on the road. This alone is enough to induce death wobble. Get that lower control arm bracket or adjustable one set to positive caster. This enables the tires to have more normal force to the ground and want to re center themselves and thus eliminating the wobble
 

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2012 JK Rubicon 4dr
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Try this before anything else! I have the same setup as yours almost and found that the lift causes your caster to go almost zero which causes that floaty feeling on the road. This alone is enough to induce death wobble. Get that lower control arm bracket or adjustable one set to positive caster. This enables the tires to have more normal force to the ground and want to re center themselves and thus eliminating the wobble
Thanks, I assume to do this properly, you need new adjustable control arms

I did manage to get the old stubborn ball joints out. It seems i chose the most difficult one first, the rest went easy peasy. BFH and the Press combo did the trick.
 
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