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Old 08-08-2018, 01:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry WJ Mystery Death Wobble

Alright, posting where it belongs this time. I'm blaming fat fingers.

Short version: I've got an 01 WJ with death wobble. 2" lift, I've replaced everything except for the steering box. Still DW's, looking for help.

Long version:

2001 WJ, 4.0, 2" BDS spring lift, all that jazz. Death wobble won't go away.

March 2018-slight wobbly & clunky, tore an axle boot so I threw in:
-Poly sway bar bushings center & links
-Drilled & reamed swaybar mounts to accept 1/2" & 3/4" grade 8 hardware.
-Welded in a grade 8 washer on the trackbar mount
-drill/reamed/tapped trackbar mounts for 1/2-13 grade 8 hardware
-JKS adjustable track bar with poly bushings.
-MOOG HD stabilizer
-Kolak axle shafts
-MOOG tie rod and drag link
-Spicer ball joints
-MOOG hubs
-EBC Rotors & pads
-NAPA akebono calipers

Seemed better after that. Slid it in a ditch in April, hard enough to slide one of the rear axle shafts out 3/8" of the retainer. Got new rear axle bearings, rotors/pads/etc. yay.

April the DW came back so I said fuck it and went to town:
-Welded in East Coast Gear Supply front spring perch repair plates
-New spring pads in front
-New Bilstein 5100's in the front
-New Dorman UCA's, reamed for 7/16 and grade 8 hardware installed.
-Poly control arm bushings on the axle side.
-Ironman 4x4 adjustable lower control arms, reamed for 9/16 and grade 8 hardware installed.
-NAPA tie rod ends in case the ditch slide loosened up my MOOGs.
-Adjusted the steering box just a little bit, following the writeup. Steering self centers, is responsive, and feels great.
-Got my half worn 29.5" Pirelli Scorpion ATRs checked for balance. Checked out OK.
-Trackbar set by alignment shop (I was only off by a smidge)
-Caster confirmed at 6° (I got that right, at least)
-Toe-in set at "spec" (1/4"? I trust the shop, I've gone there for years)
-Drove slow for a week, and re-checked my bolts. Everything tight.

Death wobble still hits on MD795. That's a lot of fun.


So I'm stumped, and stuck driving around at like 50mph. Any ideas?
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not sure if your tires are bias or radial. I had DW with my old bias tires, went away with new radials. Can you borrow a set from a friend and give it a test drive?
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup, they're radials. Tried rotating, wire wheeling and scraping the contact faces, had the balance checked by a shop.

https://www.pirelli.com/tires/en-us/...t/scorpion-atr

They're only a smidge over stock size- 29.5" diameter
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Find a friend, borrow his tires for a week, and re-drive.

Did you replace the upper and lower ball joints?
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeclimber View Post
Find a friend, borrow his tires for a week, and re-drive.

Did you replace the upper and lower ball joints?
Yarp. Spicer ball joints from Kolak. When I had it in the air last time I shook the wheels hard and didn't feel any movement.

I'll scare up a set of 5x5s and give it a try. The tires have even wear, and no vibration, but screw it I'm at the end of my rope.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jack it up and run it to 20ish mph and see if the tires are still round. They can balnce out but still wont ride right
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by total newb View Post
Jack it up and run it to 20ish mph and see if the tires are still round. They can balnce out but still wont ride right


This^^^
Check for bent shaft flange???
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Torque everything to spec, grab a prybar and pry on every ball joint. Shake front tires from 12 and 6 position. Have a friend steer left and right while feeling joints for movement.

What is your caster set at? My TJ hated to be above 4-5degrees.

Toe?

Tighten everything with a torque wrench!
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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IMO. Avoid polyurethane link arm bushings as much as you can, they don’t last. They compression set and get sloppy easily.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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First of all, thank you all for your help. I was tearing my hair out on this one, after spending $$$ and a ton of time to not fix it.

So here's my ancient slow reply:

I threw a set of NAPA basic ball joints on the front left (which was the corner most likely to be damaged). When I was replacing the old ones, they had 0 slop, but the knuckle definitely turned easier than the old ones. dunno.

Also threw on a set of 30" BFG KO2's since it was getting close to a trip up north.

I don't know which fixed it, but hitting absolutely awful highway joints at "65mph" and it was rock solid.

Maybe the ball joints had just enough wobble in them? Maybe the almost-worn-out pirellis were messed up. Either way it rides great now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beat95YJ View Post
IMO. Avoid polyurethane link arm bushings as much as you can, they don’t last. They compression set and get sloppy easily.
When I was under there the poly bushings looked OK still, but I'll keep that in mind. Probably slap currie joints in there in the spring to be safe.

EDIT: Caster's still at 6°, with the TC dropped 1" on the driver's side (stacked washers and longer bolts). I'm not lying to myself, this thing is 95% kid hauler, 5% tow parts cars in and out of the field. Highway stability is #1.
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Last edited by Simpler=Better; 02-22-2019 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Where you on factory wheels originally and the BFGs on aftermarket?

I ask because I did a 2” JK at work awhile ago, brand new. It would DW with the factory wheels. 1 1/2” spacers fixed it somehow.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Where you on factory wheels originally and the BFGs on aftermarket?

I ask because I did a 2” JK at work awhile ago, brand new. It would DW with the factory wheels. 1 1/2” spacers fixed it somehow.
Good call - scrub radius change. I found better tracking and steering feel on the gf's Jeep with less wheel backspacing.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sorry I forgot to mention:

Factory 17" alloys, although I did add 2" hubcentric spacers to just the rear (This was the night I was leaving as a rushed afterthought). Front is still the factory offset, no spacers (I didn't have time/ a helper to hold the brakes/ it was already late)
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