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Old 09-04-2005, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Death Wobble - 42ish to 45ish MPH

I'm getting some death wobble on my 97 TJ for those specific miles per hour. It started a while back (it's been parked for several months), and originally was a bad axle end trackbar bushing. Replaced that, still had it. Attributed to bad frame end bushing on trackbar. Replaced whole trackbar with brand new trackbar from 05 rubicon.

Possible things it may or may not be (that I'm thinking and don't know for certain):

1. Bad tie rods
2. Bad ball joints
3. Bad alignment (already has this, maybe it's off enough now because of horrible DW that it causes problems).
4. Wheel weights fell of tires and they are not balanced now (33 inch BFG Long Trails ATM).
5. Combo of the above.

I took out the major players, and now only get it slightly during those MPH (give or take a little also). It's severe enough that it's noticeable, but nowhere near like it was when I had the bad bushing.
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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a new steering stabilizer will cover up any minor problems//allthough you might want to figure out exactly what it is so it doesnt get worse//same thing happened on my old 80 chev/new stab & it was good for at least the next year(sold it) everything on the front of my jeep is worn out some/new stab & at least i can drive it for now! will do rebuild when i replace axleshaft,swap gears, & maybe a locker/
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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more caster
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Old 09-04-2005, 08:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Speed sensitive? doesn't sound like death wobble. Sounds more like bad alignment or tires not balanced propperly.
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Old 09-04-2005, 08:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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if your alignment is off it will accentuate any minor problems. 45-55 is usually 90% tire balance. Rotate your tires first to see if the wobble moves around. Then go have them balanced.
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Old 12-30-2005, 08:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Same here...

I have more or less the same problem and in my opinion it is all about caster. Did you solve your problem anyway? If you did, what did you do? Please let me know. Thank you.

Last edited by WranglerGM; 12-30-2005 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 12-31-2005, 01:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a similar wobble on my 98 TJ. I had the toe aligned and the stabalizer replaced, but it was still there. I had to get a 2nd stabalizer put on and that did the trick. If you don`t want a 2nd stabalizer, try getting your tires balanced.
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Old 12-31-2005, 03:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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balance your tires. try rotating as well as that's free and you won't notice unbalanced tires in the rear as much. This has happened to me in the past and thats how i fixed it.

simple

oh, and definitley not 'hardcore tech'
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Another vote for caster.
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Old 12-31-2005, 07:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Sounds more like bad alignment or tires not balanced propperly.
I agree with this. I had same problem, alignment and tire balance fixed it.

Last edited by prototype; 12-31-2005 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 12-31-2005, 07:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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caster

if you changed the shackles, you changed the caster

if put a shim/wedge for "better pinion angle" on the front you caster is either gone or negative
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Old 01-01-2006, 02:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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too much toe out try toe in
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If it's a 97 should have cam bolts on the lower control arms. You could check and see if they have loosened up (or perhaps you lossened em up for some reason and moved em). They do allow you to change the caster to a certain degree. Usually caster is the culprit although other things can contribute to the problem..
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by root beer cj
too much toe out try toe in

That wouldn't cause it to wobble though; That's for tire wear. It would have to be horribly off to cause a wobble at a certain MPH. If, for example, it started wobbling at 30 and never stopped after that, then toe adjustments would have to be considered
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Old 01-01-2006, 09:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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is this a stock D30??? also check your wheel bearings.....
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Old 01-01-2006, 11:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Does it have a aftermarket pitman arm? I have seen if the arm is aftermarket (dropped) but the track bar is in the factory local (or vice versa) it could cause DW.

lagrange151 - TJs don't have shackles or shims. They are five linked front and rear.
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Exclamation Suspension Problems

The death wobble can also be caused by problems in your suspension. My 2003 tj had death wobble problems at the same MPH range you said. I tried steering stabilizers and balancing rotating tires with no change in DW. I replaced all ball joints in the steering and nothing changed. If you are running the stock suspension and wheel it hard then you might wear out your bushings which was the cause to my death wobble. I replaced all the front end bushings with the rubicon superflex joints (except upper link bushings on axle) and wobble was gone (not to mention increased flex) and has never come back and i dont even use steering stabilizers now and im sure my tires are off balance since ive lost a couple beads and havnt had them balanced since i bought them 20k miles ago i just rotate them. Another thing to change (which is alot cheaper than the new joints) is get a new front trac-bar that does not use a poly bushing and used a heim setup. Check your trac-bar bracket on the frame and ensure it has no chacks. Most rigs ive seen that drove with a death wobble developed cracks on that bracket which eventually failed. The casting left little grooves and lines on the sides of the cast bracket and they make it easy for cracks to develop there. Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The problem with a death wobble is everything mentioned so far can cause one. I suggest you make sure your trackbar is as tight as you can get it at the axle. Have someone quickly steer the steering wheel back and forth while you watch the componets for slop or looseness. I once found a loose trackbar on the axle end of my XJ like this. I had a slight shimmy at 45 to 50 on my XJ and soon it was a DW! Believe me thats scary! I eventually cured it by replacing the complete tierod-draglink-steering stabilizer setup with a ZJ setup I had laying around. Worn TREs, draglink bushings and trackbar bushings or loose, worn componets, bad alignment, and out of balance tires can cause or contribute to a DW. Its a matter of finding the cause or causes of your particular DW that can be a b*tch!
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:52 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacker'
balance your tires. try rotating as well as that's free and you won't notice unbalanced tires in the rear as much. This has happened to me in the past and thats how i fixed it.

simple

oh, and definitley not 'hardcore tech'
Another vote for ballancing. More so because you specifically said that the rig had been sitting. Swapping the left tires front-to-back is a fast and free way to confirm. If the speed changes, or the wabble goes away, it is the tires.
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If your front is tight, and alignment is right, tires shouldnt throw you into DW. Shimmy a bit, yeah, DW no.

Track bars biggest/simplist culprit on tj 5 links, then wheel bearings, then alignment.

If you have it tuned down to just a shimmy, should be alignment. If not

1. Tighten check both ends of track bar

2. Remove wheel an brakes, test unit bearings for play

3. Check balljoints

4. Go for an alignment

This process usually works for me. Gone through and tuned out a lot DW on tj's in the last few years

HTH
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Adding a stabalizer will only cover up the problem, if it does anything at all.
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