: Death wobble write up
06-30-2003, 02:07 AM
Hey guys, i have no life and decided to try and help some of the noobs out. Hopefully we can sticky this or put it in the NAGCA tech section. Enjoy and feel free to comment:
Death Wobble Ė a violent shaking at a certain speed or after hitting a bump which vibrates the entire front end viciously. Almost feels like the front end of the Jeep is going to fall off. The only way to stop the Death Wobble (from now on will be referred to as DW) is to slow down to a lower speed. Should not be confused with warped rotors causing a slight vibration in the brake pedal and steering wheel. DW is VERY apparent, and you will know you have it when it happens. It is important to slow down carefully when you have DW, pull to the shoulder carefully. DO NOT SLAM ON THE BRAKES!!
DW can be due to a number of things, lift height is not one of those. Here are a list of causes of DW:
1) Worn out tie-rod or draglink ends
2) Worn out steering stabilizer
3) Warped front rotors
4) Worn out lower control arm or trackbar bushings
5) Loose suspension bolts/components (LCA bolts, trackbar bolts, trackbar bracket)
6) Wheels out of balanced
7) Tire tread uneven
8) Alignment out of whack
9) Improper driveline angles due to improper caster
These arenít all the causes of DW, and there may be others, but these are the major contributors to DW itself. Important: Lift height does not cause DW, but improper parts or installation can cause DW to happen.
So here are some solutions, ranging from easiest/cheapest to hardest/most expensive:
1) Get an alignment, balance tires, check pressure in tires. Make sure toe (the difference of distance between the front two tires and the rear two tires) is at least 1/8Ē in, no more. Castor should be set close to stock, remember, most alignment shops donít even bother to add shims to lower control arms since it takes a lot of time and effort. Make sure you ask them to do a full and complete alignment to specs.
2) Replace stock steering stabilizer with an Old Man Emu steering stabilizer from Kolak@aol.com
3) Check if rotors are warped, replace if necessary
4) Make sure all suspension components (LCAís, trackbar, trackbar
bracket, shocks, swaybar) are all tightened to spec. Sometimes components get loose or out of whack after a couple hundred miles or a wheeling trip. The bolts that need to be checked most are the lower control arm bolts, the trackbar bolts, the jam nuts on the adjustable components, etc)
5) Check/Replace worn tie-rod/draglink/balljoints. Park next to a curb with the tires along the curb, turn the steering wheel towards the curb and have a friend watch and see if any steering parts have slop or play.
6) Replace stock suspension components with after-market products (adjustable lower and upper control arms [JKS, Rubicon Express, Teraflex, etc] and adjustable trackbar [JKS, ORGS, etc])
7) Dial in pinion angles by adjusting the lengths of the upper control arms
8) Get a new trackbar bracket from www.Kevinsoffroad.com
9) Check steering box for damage or stress, replace if necessary
10) Buy new tires/rims
11) GO LONGARMS!!! 90% it fixes DW. www.claytonoffroad.com
Death Wobble is not the easiest thing to get rid of, nor is it the easiest thing to find and cure. It can be an expensive venture, and is not the same for every Grand Cherokee. I personally spent fifty dollars on an alignment and it cured everything for me when I put on a Budget Boost. But when I went to 6Ē, I didnít have a single issue with DW. Other people have taken off lifts to try and get rid of DW to no avail, so it is not lift height that matters. It is important to be persistent with DW, but remember, itís not worth spending too much money on unless you definitely want a lift and know what you are doing.
If you do have a case of DW, it is important to check your steering components and suspension components. The violent shaking can sometimes ruin tie-rod ends, bushings, and loosen bolts.
Please contact me if this write-up contains any mistakes or you disagree with anything or if you just want to add or comment. This write-up is not a sure-fire way to cure DW, but it is a HUGE step towards finding the problem and fixing it. I would say around 95% of the time, the list above cures DW.
07-01-2003, 09:22 AM
btt for anyone who still needs it
07-01-2003, 09:52 AM
looks good, I like the support of the little guys with great products
07-01-2003, 12:19 PM
that is a great write up man.
i would like to add that the steering stablizer is not a cause of DW even if it is worn out. a good, strong ss will help hide DW or make it tolerable. it is there to be an aid.
also, going to long arms seems to fix DW b/c you replace so much stuff.
i would say 9 out of 10 times, DW is due to something loose, worn, or out of wack.
just my experience.
08-28-2004, 05:20 PM
also, going to long arms seems to fix DW b/c you replace so much stuff.
Actually, there are MANY reasons why LA systems fixes DW. Heavier duty control arms, better control arm angularity, stiffer track bars, and new componentry, just like you mentioned. DW is a multi-faceted problem. No ONE THING that we've found ever seems to fix most rigs except for the Track Bar Conversion we make. Other than that, you just have to find the offending several pieces that have worn enough to no longer be within tolerance.
08-30-2004, 01:08 PM
This is a very good write-up. It covers all the bases that everyone else has covered in the various forums and websights.
HOWEVER, there is one key task that is not mentioned.
INSPECT EVERYTHING FIRST BEFORE ANY REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE USED.
Don't just willy-nilly start slappin on new parts cuz someone says to. Start at the top of the list and work your way down inspecting everything. If you are unsure then ask questions.
Also, if you have to replace parts make sure to re-torque everything after the install. Go over EVERYTHING and make sure it is properly tightened.
You say yeah, I installed it properly and torqued it properly. Still double check things. You have no idea how many times the professionals have gotten ahead of themselves and missed something.
Jeep does not have to mean Just Empty Every Pocket.
09-05-2004, 02:35 PM
Yea I just picked up my second case of DW... I got it driving home after finishing my 1 ton steering. I'll be sure to add some pics and what the fix was after I get it solved.
09-08-2004, 08:12 PM
Yeah, great job! I'd like to add "tread separation". While this seems redundant to "out of balance", "uneven tread wear", & etc., to the noobs the other descriptions may not compute. I got real bad DW after adding a 2" spacer lift. I added adjustable lower control arms to no avail. Took my toy to a tire shop for balancing and found a separated tread on the left front. Four new Goodyears later, smooth smooth! :cool:
09-19-2004, 10:45 PM
Fixxed my DW... it was bad track bar bushings... HUGE thankyou to Kevin and Mike at KevinsOffRoad.com for sending those bushings out.
11-04-2004, 11:31 PM
My DW fix: Jacked up the ZJ, removed wheels to check #s for BFG recall, put wheels back on and finger tightened slowly all the lug nuts two times around. Then wrench tightened a little at a time going round and round until ~100ftlbs.
I had the tires balanced twice, the last time by someone trustworthy while I watched; the tire jockies at Sears suck, won't do that again no matter what kind of discount I can get. 2" BB, 235x75x15, nothing major as far mods go.
11-07-2004, 05:31 AM
Of the 3 separate times that I had DW, TWO of them were directly resolved by adjusting the caster. The third was because a hastily fabbed (read: sorry-***) steering damper mount broke. This has been through several progressions and changes with the lift. When I put XJ drop brackets on the front, going back to stock arms, there were no issues, and my ride smoothed out alot.
11-12-2004, 09:11 PM
Bone stock 95 ZJ with UpCountry
On my Mom's 95, they replaced:
1: New BFG AT KO's
2: Replacement tie rod and draglink-stock replacement
3: Replacement track bar-stock replacement
4: New lower control arms-stock replacement
5: New shocks
6: New swaybar bushings
These were done 1 item at a time and alignment was done with the new tires and steering linkage.
It still had DW, no big deal if you or I were driving it, but this is my Mom's.
Next on the list was a replacement motor mount, just because it was worn, I of course let them know that it would not have any effect on the DW.
I was wrong, new motor mount and it is fixed. Same road used for testing before, now it drives over it without a problem.
Maybe the weight of the engine bouncing started the front end oscillating....
12-23-2004, 07:36 PM
the only thing i found is that the definition of the "toe" alignment setting is slightly misworded. Toe is the difference in distance between the front of a given set of tires, and the rear of the same set of tires.
03-01-2005, 06:00 PM
I think it would be great for people to describe what steps they took to solve their Death Wobble, and then what actually solved the Death wooble. Thanks for any responses. Ive done the easy stuff now I'm on to bushings.
03-01-2005, 08:25 PM
Problem: The bushings in my KOR trackbar conversion kept going out and causing major DW .... I replaced them like 4 times in 10 months. Solution... RE extreme duty bracket and trackbar
03-05-2005, 11:14 PM
I just replaced my track bar bushing, it didn't cure my death wobble. Now I'm onto replacing the control arm bushings. Errrr this is getting annoying with only a BB.
03-06-2005, 09:33 AM
When was the last time you got your tires balanced and the alighnment done? That and how old are your tires? The first time I had DW, it was because my front tires had very little tread (if that makes sence) and were completelly out of alignment. 31x10.5s and an alighnment later, no DW.
Another thing you might want to consider after you replace the control arm bushings is going with an aftermarket trackbar setup like Kevin's trackbar conversion or the Rubicon Express extreme duty trackbar setup. Both kids lower the trackbar mounting point by a little bit (which will help quite a bit).
03-16-2005, 04:47 PM
If I'm experiencing mild DW at highway speeds with a BB could a SYE solve the problem? Would a driveshaft overextended cause a vibration similar to DW?
03-24-2005, 05:16 PM
If I'm experiencing mild DW at highway speeds with a BB could a SYE solve the problem? Would a driveshaft overextended cause a vibration similar to DW?
No. I don't think you're experiencing deathwobble. DW will make you **** out your gall bladder the first time you experience it. DW doesn't happen at highway speeds either, it tends to linger about 10mph+/- the 45mph range. It sounds like you have a slight steering shimmy, which is more or less normal and may be related to bumpsteer from the stock inverted y steering and running a little lift. In combination with this, you likely have at least a little driveline vibration that could be solved by running a CV driveshaft and an SYE.
If you do start to experience actual DW, I would recommend checking your alignment, all bushings, and trackbar bracket tightness. If that doesn't help, I would then throw on a more beefy aftermarket steering stabilizer to mask the problem until you can find out its actual source and fix it for good.
03-25-2005, 12:50 PM
i just replaced both UCA bushings in the front and my DW has left me.....at least for now
04-04-2005, 06:02 PM
I think I may have DW. It doesn't happen all the time, usually if I drive for distances over 10 miles, driving highway speeds. I will notice the vibration, and if I let off of the gas, my speed will dramaticaly decrease. After I finish driving, usually my front passanger rim will be scorching hot. Sometime it's the drivers side, but usually not both at the same time. This has happened sometimes at lower speeds, but not as often.
I replaced both of my front rotors last week, but it still does it. In fact, last week, I think my front passenger side locked up (assuming calipers), causing my entire rotor to glow red hot. My friend lite a cigarette on it after it cooled for five minutes.
SO, I'm basiclly asking if this does sound like DW or not. I just purchased a new wheel bearing hub unit for the passenger but have not installed it. I do have a little bit of wobble on the passenger side so, regardless is probably should be replaced.
Thanks in advance.
04-04-2005, 07:38 PM
Forgot something... I have a 99 GC Limited, if that matters.
04-09-2005, 05:59 AM
Neofreek. When is the last time you aligned it?
Check over the entire front end, if you are planning on changing the unit bearing then you should know how to check everything.
Do a quick toe in/out check on the front end. If this is out of spec then you need to get it aligned ASAP.
I have never had DW yet so I can't tell you what it feels like. From what I have heard, "If you don't poop your pants then it is not DW"
04-09-2005, 12:35 PM
I just got it aligned yesterday, as well as change out the wheel bearing hub on my front passenger side. I drove it to the movies yesterday with no problem. I'm going to drive further today to see if it acts up again or not. Hopefully the alignment fixed it.
04-11-2005, 12:22 PM
neofreek, that does not sound like dw. do you still have the drive line vibes when you let off the gas? if your getting a vibes when you let off the gass sounds like your pinion angle is off.
04-30-2005, 12:04 AM
I've now installed kevins track bar conversion. I've also got another alignment and balanced the tires mutiple times. I still have not figured out what is causing my death wooble. Me and my mechanic did the turn the steering wheel and look for play, and neither of use saw anything. He thinks its the tires since in the past thats what caused it with other none lifted vehicles. Im not sure its the tires since it first did it with my old firestones and now with my BFG ATs. Im totally at a lose of what to do. I'm about the remove the BB and trim the fenders for the 31s if it fixes my DW. Please help if you can. I'm willing to drive to meet anyone that could look at it and help me. I'm at Castle Rock, Colorado. Thanks.
05-05-2005, 12:37 PM
Just as a heads up from a death wobble survivor... death wobble may start because of one thing, but it effects all of them... if you ride the wobble too long, it will never stop. I rplaced everything and it ended up being my caster, but since then i have had to replace it all over again because it took such a beating. If you want to save some $$ in the long run, get it done fast. Your wheel bearings will thank you :)
05-20-2005, 01:25 PM
Well, it looks like replacing the wheel bearing hub on the passenger side, getting a balance, rotation and alignment have fixed it. I haven't noticed any porblems in the past month, so hopefully these fixed it.
05-26-2005, 12:17 AM
Okay so heres the deal. It's a '97 ZJ with a 2" BB and 31" BFG A/T's, on AR black steelies. I've been having death wobble for awhile now. I've replaced the lower control arm bushings, tie rod ends, and upgraded my track bar to KOR's track bar conversion. I took it into a local 4x4 shop to check the suspension. They found noting wrong, and later swapped my wheels and tires with a stock TJ they had in. Once they swiched them the wobble went away. So both my local mechanic and the 4x4 shop narrowed it down to the tires. Today I got Discount to give me 4 new BFGs. It cured the true death wobble full on. It fixed it over almost all bumps but one. It still causes it to start to wobble but never will develope into full on DW. Is it maybe something with the steering box? When I go around a turn and keep the wheel at a 45 angle I get some feedback and a little like out of balance tires. Me and my mechanic have used a 3' pry bar to check the hub bearings and ball joints. Sorry, it's so long. Thanks for any advice.
05-26-2005, 12:19 AM
Sorry. Crappy dial up.
05-28-2005, 03:42 PM
I once had the dredded DW, but I successfully released the beast. I was told to replace the track bar and would it disapear, so I did and the DW was still present but not as bad. So after much frustration and cussing I decided that since my '97 ZJ had just over 100K on it, it would be a good idea to just replace everything and get an alignment, I changed upper and lower ball joints, (which I believe was the problem as I took off the right side the top ball joint shaft fell out of the socket), replaced inner and outer tie rods, track bar, swaybar end links, and steering damper. When I was done I got an alignment and the dredded DW was gone. Now Im sure I did not have to replace every thing but for as long as I had the DW I figured it was a good idea, and it drove like new again :D . Now recently I put on a 2" BB and some Jeep Rubicon wheels and tires, looks great and drives great, the only thing I wish I would have done is change out all the bushings, but live and learn, Ill get to them this summer, along with another alignment. This kinda hurt the pocket book abit but drivability is worth it. :read:
05-28-2005, 09:39 PM
Pull every bolt in the front suspension... I know it sucks, but it'll be worth it.. Look at all the bolt holes and make sure none are ovaled out. If they are, weld a washer to the ovaled side or both sides to correct the sixe difference.
If none are ovaled, proceed to checking your trackbar mount, which should be really damn tight and then go on to your balljoints, tire balancing, etc.
06-11-2005, 03:46 PM
This DW description sounds like what I'm experiencing with my '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. A year and a half ago, a young girl pulled out in front of me and I broadsided her. The local dealership repaired the damage. A few months later, the steering wheel began to jerk around while driving on the freeway. When I slowed down, it stopped. This began to occur frequently, so I took it to my mechanic. He replaced the steering dampener, and had the front end aligned twice. No luck. I took it to the dealer. They said that even though its a 2WD, it needed a 'heavy duty' steering dampener and replaced it. After that, I would feel a slight wobble in the steering wheel at around 45-50 mph, but it didn't go crazy on me. However, 3 months later, the DW was back. I thought maybe the Michelin tires needed to be replaced, so I bought new tires. Again, the DW didn't occur for 3 or 4 months, just the slight wobble. When the DW began occurring again, I took it back to the dealer. They told me I'd bought cheap tires (Yokohama), but eventually backed off that. They took all day to find a loose screw that they tightened and charged me $40 for. Next, I went back to the tire store to see if the tires needed to be rebalanced. I've now been back 3 tires for tire rotation and rebalancing. I need to decide if this is worth investing more time and money in, or if I should get rid of the Jeep now. It has 164,000 miles and runs great, except for the DW. Does this sound like DW, and what should I check next? If possible, don't use abbreviations in your reply. I don't know what most of them mean. Thanks!
06-12-2005, 03:00 PM
Most definitly sounds like it to me you have experianced everything I have, allthough mine is a 4X4, good luck at fixing it.
06-21-2005, 01:53 PM
Got my 1st case of DW today, scared the sh*t out of me, but from reading the posts here I knew what it was. Checked everything out when I got home and found the rear track bar was loose.
06-25-2005, 03:58 PM
I installed a rancho dual steering stabilizer (universal- order one for 79 K5 Blazer) on my 98 5.9 Limited and Kevin's track bar.
It stopped the DW or at least covered it up.
I had tried OLD Man Emu and found it was weaker than stock.
I replaced the Old Man with a TrailMaster Coil over that is also still in the stock location with the dual rancho bolted to axel and steering.
I also have in garage but not installed a drop steering kit.
I believe the real problem is the change in steering geometry (maybe just in my case).
08-13-2005, 10:08 AM
I would like to add one thing. If you have a bad bushing on one of the shocks it will also cause DW. It did for me. I replaced with a mopar today and a new nut as the one that was on it was not for the shock and it has taken away my DW, for now.
I had DW bad right after I put a 3.5" lift on my 95 ZJ. A Heckethorn steering stabilizer almost eliminated the DW completely. I have recently swapped-out my NP249 with an NV242, and the DW is back with a vengence while in 2WD. Does anybody know where I can get a dual stabilizer? Skyjacker stopped offering their dual steering stabilizer. :cry:
08-24-2005, 11:11 AM
I think that if you read this thread close enough it will tell you that stabilizers will only mask the problem. they are not an answer. You could "essentially" run without a stabilizer. You need to find what is causing the DW and quit trying to mask it.
10-08-2005, 10:23 AM
well 6 months later i figured out what my dw was caused by. rustys cross over steering! took it out yesterday, put my bent stock tie rod and drag link back in and no more dw.
10-08-2005, 07:36 PM
the zj has got over 200000 miles, and whats been replaced is the driverside motor mount, track bar and the drag link assembly (bar and ball joint), and ive put on a skyjacker ss. when i hit a bump in the road there it a thump that i think is coming from the control arms. ive looked under it, and nothing is broken. my best guess is that ive got worn control arm bushings. in the not so distant future im gonna add the RE superflex kit that should fix the dw for good.
11-20-2006, 03:42 PM
after reading this I have some input...I worked in a tire express for about 4 years and have done alot of suspension work on lifted trucks.
when installing a lift or doing a axle swap I always recomend that people don't worry as much about pinion angle but to worry about caster. the reason being if you run on the street and the caster is off then you truck will ride bad all the time...while if the pinion angle is off a little it is only affected when off road when you are at lower speeds anyway. also you can be off on your pinion angle by around 10* before you notice any vibration problems. the only thing by being off that 10* is you will notice more wear on the u joints.
the first thing you should do when getting "death wobble" is to shake down ALL stearing components. the way to do this is to have someone turn your stearing wheel just enough to turn the tires and watch all the TRE's and links. also watch your track bar ends while doing this. if you have ever removed the track bar then you will know that when you turn your wheels with out it your front end will want to move out from under it with out the control.
next jack up the front and un load the front end.
then check the ball joint by grabing the top and bottom of the tire and seeing if the is any motion when pushing and pulling on the top and bottom. while it is up check all the suspension link bushings. also while it is up run you hand around the tread of the tire CAREFULY. if you have a busted or shifted belt it is possible that the trie will have steel sticking out around a bubble shaped lump. if this is there replace the tire. if still nothing then take it to the alignment shop and have you tires balanced rotated and put your front end in line.
alot of problems I have seen is poor steering geometry(drag link should match the track bar angle), alighnment issues, tires out of balance, or just plan wore out steering components.
hope this helps!
00' TRLRATED WJ
12-25-2006, 06:57 PM
I think what all of you said was pretty much right on target, but as all of you know, every Grand is different. With mine I've got a 00' Grand w/ a 4" tera. and 32" gd yr mtr/s thats been on for a year. About a month after the lift, it started to WOBBLE therefore I replaced the tie rod ends b/c they were worn. Then about 6 months later when it started to WOBBLE again me (and the local off-road shop) decided to take thelogical coarse of action and replace the track-bar(ROKRAWLER) and bushings(KOR), then still WOBBLED. Therefore, we decided to run the dual steering stablizer setup that KOR recomends(one- runs in the factory location; two- runs fr om the drag-link to the chassy). So, to make a long story short, im lost once again and don't know where to go from here. Think im just going to start from square one b/c the jeeps got 155k but runs flawlessly besides the DW. And as all you know as well it definately will scare the **** outta you and is just flat out annoying. Any more insight would be nice. Thanks
12-26-2006, 04:43 AM
you get your tires balanced?
00' TRLRATED WJ
12-26-2006, 09:18 AM
I had them balanced about 3 months ago, havent been off the pavement sense then. What Im thinking is with the aftermarket tire/wheel combo and considering that the WJ's have a high positive offset, thesese wheels just dont stay balanced that long and I just need to find a reliable shop to correctly balance them in my area.
12-27-2006, 06:53 PM
even though you had your tires balanced they could have thrown a weight. I have seen that happen before. this usualy happens when someone puts on the wrong weights for your rim. usualy when you buy tires they give you free life time balances. so I would go back and have them spin them again to rule it out.
also have them check to make sure they are not out of round or have any shifted belts while they are spinning on the balancer.
00' TRLRATED WJ
12-28-2006, 08:02 PM
Will do that, thanks for the tip
00' TRLRATED WJ
12-28-2006, 08:04 PM
See that your located in Bowling Green, I am in school at Western, do you know of any shop that does good work, espically for balancing?
01-01-2007, 03:22 PM
go to the wal-mart on scottsville rd. and ask for a guy name Jr. Mills. he is one of the only people I have ever trusted to do tire work on my stuff. that is where I worked at and he will do it right. tell him Daniel Brown set you [smilie=bal_cool.gif]
if you explain what is going on he might even look around and see if he can see anything out of the ordinary. he is ASE certified in suspension so he realy knows what he is talking about
00' TRLRATED WJ
01-01-2007, 04:51 PM
Awsome, I'am definately going to do that once I head back up to bowling green, thanks for the help.
The mud Zebra
01-27-2007, 04:13 PM
:mrgreen: I'm new to this forum, but I too have experienced the devil known as "death wobble". Scared the jeepers out of me. The vehicle behind even slowed down because I was rocking so violently from side to side. I checked all my reg. things to check, then I put 2" coilspacers in and it has never happened again. When it hits, it will surprise the heck out of you, and you will have seconds to react.
03-17-2007, 02:46 PM
I had severe dw after replacing everything in my front suspension.....until i found out the trackbar bracket on the differential itself was cracked........what a major cluster you know what. I still havent found a new bracket for the diff......i've welded it over and over again and even added 1/4 inch plate to help it. Anyone know where to get a new trackbar bracket for the diff?
07-09-2008, 09:41 AM
I dont know if it has been said; but a bent rim causes the death wobble. I spent weeks in and out of the shop, but they couldnt find out what was wrong until I took it down to the tire shop.
07-09-2008, 12:08 PM
i have read pretty much every post in this ever growing sticky...
one question though. can worn out REAR CA bushings cause the death wobble?? some one said something about the rear TB being loose and after tightening it up they cured DW. i was under the impression that the DW only had to do with component/s in the front end
07-09-2008, 12:30 PM
DW as far as I know only has to do with the front end.
They might have had problems with the rear because their TB was loose, but it shouldnt have caused DW.
09-03-2009, 06:30 AM
I can see rear components effecting DW, to a lesser degree. The rear suspension has a direct effect on the front suspension.
After years of on and off DW, I finally have the time/money to fix it. Which kind of sucks, beacuse DW can really wear out components rather quickly.
1 Unit bearing (DS)
2 TRE's (DI & PI)
1 Axleshaft u-joint (P)
3 Ball joints (replaced all four)
1 Heim at TB Frameside
1 Bushing at TB Axle side (replaced with harder bushing & larger bolt)
3 CA bushings (2 lowers 1 upper, axle side)
Wallowed hole at TB Frame side (fabbed double shear mount)
Wallowed out hole at TB axle side
Out of balance tires (4 new 33 x 10.5 KM2's)
And I still need an alignment! (current suspension setup puts caster at 8* pos. Really need to stop being so lazy and build my LA sys.)
Finally after years of on and off DW I feel confident it is gone. Well over $1k, granted I needed the tires either way. Point is catch it early and save yourself some time and money!
02-22-2010, 07:18 PM
I recently changed my lower control arms and it fixed my pretty severe case of DW. After the lift it got way bad so I got to investigating with some help from my pops to figure out the clunking noise i was having up front. i narrowed my issues to be the lca bushings being shot. i quick order for new lcas and its all good now. thanks the info in this site.
02-22-2010, 09:57 PM
Did you replace them with factory style arms and bushings, or did you use aftermarket arms?
02-23-2010, 06:55 AM
Iroc, I went with aftermarket ones since the price was only alittle higher and the quality was ten fold over stock. the ones i used are from RUK industries and are 5/8s longer than the stockers. There wasnt much information on them from my searches so i figured id be the tester. I am very satisfied with them so far, heavy duty for my DD.
10-06-2010, 02:32 PM
I have a pretty bad DW on my 97 grand, I lifted it 3.5, just got new 31x10.5 and replaced both front hub bearing assmeblies in addition to going through and re-torquing all the steering components, everything seems solid. Im thinking the problem is the control arm bushings. Im not sure if its upper or lower but they are stock all around, so Im thinking of just replacing the control arms themselves. First should i replace just the upper or lower or both? Second, if i was to replace both upper and lower would you recommend getting adjustable upper and lower, adjustable upper fixed lower or fixed upper and lower?
10-07-2010, 11:34 PM
When I lifted my 93 I had rotated the wheels at the same time. Well come to find out most of my problem with DW was the week before I went wheelin and some how bent the rim in the back driverside. I rotated them back to the rear and what a difference. No DW at all. The rim does look bent when I had a tire shop ballance them. Just a thought. Some times its that simple. Good luck.
03-28-2011, 09:11 PM
I bought a 1993 Grand Cherokee test drove it and everything, but I guess I didn't test drive it enough. Because the next day after I bought it, I drove it then out of the blue I hit pothole and the Death wobble shook the Jeep so violently I thought I was gonna crash! I needed to put a band aid on it until I could get it fixed, so I changed the steering stabilizer and it cleared it up for now. I know this is not a fix, but it made the Jeep drivable. When I get the money for my lift I will go through the front suspension and replace every bushing, check every bracket and re-torq every nut and bolt and hope it's not there when I'm done.
10-25-2011, 03:38 PM
My .02, for what its worth... After being a counterman at the parts store for a few years, I've been able to gauge the most common cause of DW (in MY experience). That is: LCA bushings or caster mis-alignment. By far; though as others have said, the causes are many. But I have helped dozens of customers fix their DW by giving them LCA bushings (sometimes uppers, but usually the lowers at the caster eccentrics) and sending them for an alignment. And, I've had a few do BB's and have the same problem. But not one of them got longer LCAs or trackbar with the BB, and NONE of them went for an alignment after the install!!! 99.9% of the time, a good alignment solved their problem. Seems like everyone is happy to shell out $$$ for shiny new parts, but no-one wants to pay for a "boring" alignment...:rolleyes:
10-25-2011, 09:15 PM
Very good posts I learned a lot more that I didn't know. Thanks everybody!
02-23-2012, 06:16 PM
Installed my new 4" RC lift last night and now I have DW from hell. Going to get it aligned in the morning and then go from there I guess.
02-28-2012, 03:12 PM
The alignment didn't do much for the DW, so I installed a new stabilizer and added another bolt to the drop down track bar bracket, it was moving around a little, but that didn't help much either. How hard is it to replace the UCA bushings?
04-02-2012, 04:44 PM
and to think that i actually thought i knew what death wobble was. i think i have it and if i dont, death wobble has a much more evil twin. 98zj 456 gears dana 44 (not the aluminum one) rear and a solid 30 hp in the front (new rotors). custom 6" long arm lift with johnny joints at every end and running 33" hankooks (the gf has to wear longer skirts which is a major bummer). i have vibration and its tolerable. the vibration has been there since i bought it, but the wobble is new. after my last trail run (shameless plug for the cfwda) i noticed on the way down she was pulling hard right, and there was some carnage involved. found a bad joint and replaced it, problem is still there. its like driving a boat, or even better yet, its like it has a tail and its wagging. it feels like the rear end is fighting the front end (back and forth) and ive got some steering play. its hard to say how much but the steering feels like what im used to. given the wagging or wobble and my work schedule, i wont have a chance to climb underneith it until midweek. what i am starting to fear is the steering box. btw, this happens from about 20/25mph up to as far as im brave enough to drive it (which is about 45mph where i can hardly control it).
05-29-2012, 03:35 PM
I have a severe DW in my WJ. I got my lift from Rough Country. It came with an adjustable track bar. It has a steel heim joint. Shouldn't it be rubber?? The stock one is. All of my play is coming from that joint. It's as tight as it can get without shearing the bolt, as I have once already.
08-07-2012, 12:57 PM
My DW Fix for my 2001 WJ:
After have a BB lift for 3 years I finally ran into DW after hitting a moderate bump going 60MPH. Yep....60MPH. Having severe DW happen at that speed is nothing short of terrifying and I got a shot of adrenaline that should probably kill humans. Caused my hands to shake for 20 minutes. After that incident the brake pulsation I have would set it off if I tried to slow down. I had to baby it home going 35MPH and using down shift and the e-brake to do most of the slowing. I could use the brakes after I was under 25MPH.
Here's what fixed it:
Replaced all the drag-link and tie-rod ends (Turned out they were badly worn)
Replaced the steering dampener with the relocation kit from KevinsOffroad
Got an alignment, wheel balance, and tire rotation
After these procedures were done the DW was not only gone but the steering was MUCH tighter, more responsive, and my Jeep followed the road a lot better as well. I still have brake pulsation that almost feels like DW starting but its not, only bad rotors which will be replaced in a day or two.