Dang Death Wobble!!!

Explorer 1

Explorer
Now that the "Murfmobile" is gone I thought I would be able to get back to my Cherokee wheel well modifications but no such luck......seems I've been blessed with the infamous death wobble, done the balance and alignment route now I'm replacing and taking apart the whole front end piece by piece.....by the time I'm done I should know the front end pretty well!

Wish it was summer when the sun stayed out late............

Thanks,
Fred
Explorer 1
 

Maximus Ram

Expedition Leader
Fred, I know your pain. I chased DW for a year. I had my tires balanced and
rotated a few times. I replaced everything in the front.. My daughter bought some new tires, so just for kicks, I put 2 on the front....DW was gone. OK, new tires , I guess. Then a couple of weeks later , I got bored and switched the fronts to the back and versa visa.....DW not there. Very strange, but it seems to be the tires causing my problem. Apparently they can become out of round and cause DW. This was never noticed when being balanced , either.
May be something to look into.

good luck..DW is frustrating.
 

OS-Aussie

Adventurer
check the drag link if you have lifted the Jeep it is often the cause. If the Jeep also gets unsettled after good bumps it is also a sign. Some tires suffer more than others and pressure can also cause it, as can a particular speed range.
 

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Explorer 1

Explorer
Thanks "Max"

I've tried three different sets of tires thinking the same, brand new 35's on new rims, my current 33's and then I even put on the stock tires and rims from the Murfmobile just to see if that made any difference. I did notice that the wobble was tighter and faster on the smaller tires.....

Thanks again, I guess there is some comfort knowing that so many have been there before.

Thanks,
Fred
Explorer 1
 

juicexj24

Observer
Having built several XJ's over the last 10 years and tracking down DW.

1) control arm angles
2) tie rod ends
3) track bar (lower bolt hole can wallow out causing play)(upper end-TRE if if you have one)
4) Unit Bearing (pull the tire & rotor and check for play-just fixed this on my WJ)
5) Tire pressure (worth a shot)
6) Wheel mounting (make sure they are sitting square with the rotor/hub)
7) Steering Stabilizer (OME's make great ones-does mask the problem or diminish it)
8) Get a good alignment (google lifted XJ's specs if your lifted and take those numbers with you to the shop)
9) Tighten overy bolt and nut, grease everything.

Hope that helps. Juice
 

gasman

Adventurer
'' dang ''

i could use a few more words to descibe it , like f$% %^%$^%$^ !!!!!(*&$TY%###@ !!!!

i have had this frustrating issue as well my trac bar bushing some how " wallowed out '' on the inside causing a little play, BDS 6.5'' lift, anyway wrong part was sent,, waited again got the new bushing, i also replaced tie rod ends .u joints and wheel bearings were done a year ago. now 3 days ago while driving around the corner the trac bar snapped right off.. i narrowly missed puttin the jeep in the snow bank.. very lucky nobody was commin the other way.. and i wasnt very far from home, i was able to nurse it back to the house i shoulda took pics. the jeep is now sitting waiting for the new upgraded trac bar.. i guess they have had a problem with them.. the only thing .. that has kept me from going completely postal, is BDS has a life time warranty..no questions asked , so im stuck walkin to work for a bit cuz i am NOT diggin my car outta storage its never seen snow and salt and it never will

good luck tracing your wobble i feel your pain brother......... if i dint love my jeep so much i woulda blown it up real good along time ago
 

scarysharkface

Explorer
I had it again last night on my way to a gig in the rain. Crossed some relatively smooth railroad tracks at 55 and had to pull off the highway. DW is the only thing I do not love about my JKU. I've got a ~2.5" lift and the trackbar relocations. It feels like the knuckles are shot, at 23,000 miles (it literally turned over 23,000 miles as I crossed those tracks!). I think I might just return it to the unlifted state and see it that helps or not. With the longer wheelbase of the Unlimited, though, I do really like the extra clearance.

John
 

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
I had it again last night on my way to a gig in the rain. Crossed some relatively smooth railroad tracks at 55 and had to pull off the highway. DW is the only thing I do not love about my JKU. I've got a ~2.5" lift and the trackbar relocations. It feels like the knuckles are shot, at 23,000 miles (it literally turned over 23,000 miles as I crossed those tracks!). I think I might just return it to the unlifted state and see it that helps or not. With the longer wheelbase of the Unlimited, though, I do really like the extra clearance.

John
Track bar. My buddy has a lifted XJ and had problems with the track bar regularly. The drop bracket with the lift kit kept getting lose. Broke the mounts clean off once. He has also had problems with the wheel bearing and oversize tires.
 

scarysharkface

Explorer
Track bar. My buddy has a lifted XJ and had problems with the track bar regularly. The drop bracket with the lift kit kept getting lose. Broke the mounts clean off once. He has also had problems with the wheel bearing and oversize tires.
I'm using the stock 31" tires, and have the beefiest trackbar relocator bits I could find. I guess that the bushing(s) in the trackbar ends themselves may be shot, as well as possibly other steering components?

John
 

Jeffb79

Observer
don't rule out ball joints either.
I chased down dw for almost a year... replaced 2 bad tre's in the steering, several balance and alignments, rebuilt the jj's in my control arms, tried different tires, finally decided to replace my units bearings, ball joints and axle u joints. Both lower ball joints were shot and 1 unit bearing was shot. DW fixed.
 

Explorer 1

Explorer
Thanks to all for the good advise!

Thanks to all you guys that have given me many points to work on. The easy way out would be to just dump the vehicle but I guess we have too many adventures and miles together to do that, not to mention all the $$$ alreday invested.

I've already gone the route of different tires, alignment and balance.

I also checked the shop manuel and the Jeep Cherokee XJ Builders Guide as they both have a check list. One problem I'm having is the check lists state to "check this or that part for wear" what exactly am I looking for and how do I "check" it. Are there tolerances listed somewhere or do I just use a pry bar and see if some of the joints are lose. I've moved the steering back and forth both on the ground, with one side on jacks and both sides raised and all appears tight.

To date I've had two off-road shops, one stating that they couldn't see any thing at first check (they admitted that had limited experience with Death Wobble) the other shop which is quite well know here in So. Cal said it was one of the parts listed below and proceeded to replace it. (if didn't work)

So to date I have replaced:

1. Tie Rod end - Drag Link to Tie Rod
2. Drag Link End

Both shown in the lower portion of the picture as an insert.



Tomorrow early I'm driving over to Currie Enterprises and ask them to check it out and see what parts would be next.

By the time this is done I should be qualified to tell other how to do it.

Thanks again for all the good input,

Fred
Explorer 1 (partially disabled)
 

Maximus Ram

Expedition Leader
Fred, is the jam nut omn the RE track bar suppose to tighten against the short section of the bar ? On my rusty's(crap) it is against the long section.
Just wondering.. looks funny to me.
 

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lamontagne

Adventurer
How old are is the RE trackbar? The frame bushing is rebuildable.

Try this, get a friend to to sit in the truck, with the engine running and in PARK, have them turn the steering wheel back and forth quickly (only about 4in or so in each direction).

While they're doing this, you get under the front end and (VERY CAREFULLY) put your hand on every piece that moves. What you are feeling for is a popping sensation.

If this doesn't produce results, borrow some tires from a friend and try that. I had a set of BFG muds one time that caused DW even though they only had 20,000 miles on them.
 

Explorer 1

Explorer
Update

"Max" the RE track bar nut holds the threads tight which are a part of the longer section which screws into the shorter section ( make sense?)

"Lamontague" the RE reack bar has less than 5000 miles on it and we have checked out the bushing and it seems to be tight and not the cause of the problem.

This morning I drove the ailing vehicle to Currie Enterprises and with reviewed the parts that had been replaced and the tests I had done including the one where the steering wheel is moved back and forth. They were without any further recommendations other then checking out the alignment again.

I drove over to Rock-Tec and we discussed the problem again, one thing we did notice was that there was a bit of slop in the linkage from the steering wheel to the steering box ( by the way I have replaced and upgraded the steering box and also added the C-Rok box reinforcement). Seems strange that the linkage on the up side of the steering box would cause the problem but I'm running out of options.

We ordered the upgraded linkage and will have it installed Wednesday, then we will try the alignment one more time, making sure it is as close to "0" as possible, after that I've ran out of tests and options.........

Thanks,
Fred
Explorer 1
 
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