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Old July 4th, 2014, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default Ugh Death Wobble Ugh

Been battling death wobble on the WJ for 5 or so years, about ready to attach some C4 to it and call it done.

Happens between 40 and 50 mph, either have to be stopping through that range and hit a bump, or normal driving through that range and hit a bump and then all hell breaks loose.


2001 WJ, OME 2" Lift

in the last two years, part of hoping to cure this, and part general maintenance I have replaced

All Ball joints
All steering Joints and adjusting sleeves
Front Shocks
Upper control arms and bushings
Lower control arms are aftermarket adjustable
Both side axle shafts/ CV Joints
Steering Gear
Rotated and re-balanced tires
Wheel bearings
adjustable track bar

Everything is tight, no slop anywhere, toe-in is 1/8", caster is back to about 6

Any other idea's?
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Old July 4th, 2014, 01:43 AM   #2
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In my store, I keep duct tape in aisle 4. But seriously.. You've covered all of the bases I can think of, unless it could be a pitman arm just on the verge of being too short.
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Old July 4th, 2014, 08:20 AM   #3
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I went through the same issue with my WJ when i put on a 4 inch lift i did aftermarket track bar I replaced all my tie rods my steering box my lower control arms my upper control armsI wheel bearings rotors and calipers come to find out what was causing it was I need an adjustable upper ball joints fixed

Last edited by newdodge; July 4th, 2014 at 08:24 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2014, 09:52 AM   #4
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How much did you adjust the ball joints? And which way?
If he's got adjustable lower control arms, setting caster should be easy enough...
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Old July 4th, 2014, 10:42 AM   #5
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Need to add upper adjustable ball joint lower control arm won't change it

Last edited by WACKO1; July 4th, 2014 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Speeling
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Old July 4th, 2014, 12:08 PM   #6
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Need to add upper adjustable ball joint lower control arm won't change it
Um, change what? Arm will change castor. Camber however shouldnt need adjusting unless the axle is bent and camber shouldnt be the cause of DW anyway.

What about tires? Balanced and evenly worn? Rims arent bent? Ultimately DW is a harmonics thing where the right application of force sets any looseness or imbalance out of wack. Hard parts have all been changed and presumably are set properly so that only really leaves the tires and rims.
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Old July 4th, 2014, 01:35 PM   #7
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Off camber ball joints. Chrysler actually had a t.s.b to replace the upper ball joints with .5 ,1.0 and 1.5 degrees to correct aliment.

Last edited by WACKO1; July 4th, 2014 at 01:39 PM. Reason: ...
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Old July 4th, 2014, 07:26 PM   #8
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Since this is Sandals thread and I luv him........
Make certain your drag link is perfectly parallel to your trac bar(pivot point to pivot point). If it is its because you likely have play in the brackets to the trac bar.
Either reinforced the brackets or replace with overkill heavy duty brackets.
I have zero experience with a WJ, but when my XJ with 12" of lift was on the road I had my drag link EXTREMELLY PARALLEL with my trac bar via heavy duty brackets. I flew over parking blocks at the 60 mph and my rig didn't flinch or skip a beat.
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Old July 4th, 2014, 08:19 PM   #9
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Its a WJ, its what they do. Had a buddy that had this problem. My guess is someone F'd the geometry during its design and that it only shows up when you lift it. He got around his by adding a double stabilizer, which muted the problem. He ended up in a bad accident with it so its no longer around. If I were you I'd look at steering and drag lengths and angles. I bet there is a mismatch somewhere.
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Old July 4th, 2014, 09:07 PM   #10
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What are your alignment specs. I have 2 WJ's one at 2.5" lift and the other at 6" and neither have Death wobble currently.

I had DW occasionally in my 2.5 lifted one so I toed it in 1/16th approx and haven't had a problem since. That was over a year ago.
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Old July 4th, 2014, 09:57 PM   #11
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Old July 6th, 2014, 10:20 PM   #12
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Sell


Want to trade in for something new, have other things going on currently preventing that.


To answer questions,

Tires and wheels have been roatated to see if problem went away, also had them checked for roundness and rebalanced this spring to no avail.

I'll doublecheck Draglink and trackbar alignment tomorrow.
There is no play anywhere, all fasteners nice and tight and happy

Toe-in is set to about 1/8"

I may get the offset ball joints and do that, it's a quick enough swap. But if i do that i should just get the max offset and add another inch of lift.
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Old July 6th, 2014, 10:23 PM   #13
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awesome, just checked my napa has 1/2, 1, 1.5, 1.75 and 2 offset balljoints

Might just get the 2 and throw them in, $100 each though, ouch
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Old July 6th, 2014, 11:10 PM   #14
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Ive had one bad shock allow the front wheel hop up and down and it felt like DW but wasn't actually death wobble. I replaced both front shocks and it cured the problem.

Its a long shot but worth checking. just take the shock off the axle and make sure it moves up and down smoothly and evenly on both sides.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 02:27 PM   #15
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Ive had one bad shock allow the front wheel hop up and down and it felt like DW but wasn't actually death wobble. I replaced both front shocks and it cured the problem.

Its a long shot but worth checking. just take the shock off the axle and make sure it moves up and down smoothly and evenly on both sides.
replaced shocks in december, they were worn, no change.

trust me, this is death wobble.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 02:42 PM   #16
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As immortal stated the trac bar brackets wear, the holes get egg shaped and worn and even with a tight bolt u will never know it until it's put to use. Also check the welds for cracks.

Last edited by BigBlockBlazer; July 7th, 2014 at 03:01 PM.
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Old July 25th, 2014, 10:38 PM   #17
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So today,

put in 2 offset ball joints,
Gas axed the pass side lower spring perch so i could rotate the JKS Adj trackbar a 1/2 turn so that it would be absolutely parallel to the tie rod.
it was like the stock on that end and looked like _/ now it is /- or so, but trackbar and tie rod dead even.

Took it on one bad section that always flares it up and shimmied twice and stopped instead of having to pull over. I'll see how it fairs in the AM.

I've also been doing all this without a steering stabilizer because the one on there was shot, have a KOR one coming hopefully tuesday that should take those first two shimmies out.

we shall wee how it goes.
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Old July 25th, 2014, 10:42 PM   #18
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Rotate your u joint caps
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Old July 25th, 2014, 10:43 PM   #19
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Rotate your u joint caps
On the driveshafts?

They are solid, but still stock on a 200,000+ mile vehicle. I should replace those.
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Old July 25th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #20
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On the driveshafts?

They are solid, but still stock on a 200,000+ mile vehicle. I should replace those.
It's a joke.

You should replace the joints, not rotate the caps
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