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Old May 21st, 2013, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default SEMI URGENT: xj death wobble woes

Fiancee's jeep, Herman.

Track bar was replaced

All steering was replaced. All tie rods and adjustment sleeves replaced.

New steering stabilizer.

Got sick of using the checkbook to fix it. Brought it to my mechanic, he came back this afternoon and said it is the lift and the track bar is worn out.

Want to figure out if she wants to continue to try to fix it, or just stay under 55 when she drives places...

Any other input? I wanted to check caster to see what kind of angle that is.

Alignment is good, ball joints I was told were good. Where'll bearings fine. Trying to mitigate the eventual beating of the dead horse.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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So what yr is Herman?
Motor, trans, stock, lift, tires, etc.
Kind of xj?
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:00 PM   #3
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DId you check both mounting points of the track bar, to make sure they are slop free? The holes in the axle bracket aren't egged out?

Is the steering box tight against the frame, and not loose? They sometimes crush the unibody, or the bolts break where they seize on the aluminum spacer.

The caster is good? Usually 4-6* or so.

The toe-in is good? Usually 1/8" toe in or so

No slop in the steering box?

Last edited by Haggar; May 21st, 2013 at 03:06 PM.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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My wife's lifted ZJ got the wobble and I replaced all the steering, wheel bearings, track bar, the extended LCA's were new already and it still shook. Replaced the UCAs and it was gone. LOL, after several hundred spent it was fixed by 60.00 UCAs.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
DId you check both mounting points of the track bar, to make sure they are slop free? The holes in the axle bracket aren't egged out?

Is the steering box tight against the frame, and not loose? They sometimes crush the unibody, or the bolts break where they seize on the aluminum spacer.

The caster is good? Usually 4-6* or so.

The toe-in is good? Usually 1/8" toe in or so

No slop in the steering box?
Not sure that the track bar would give you death wobble, but the rest is good to check. I am not a pro, but I am fairly certain the track bar just centers the axle and keeps it from letting your axle slide left or right too far. If it was womped out you would notice quite a bit of play in your steering I am pretty sure. Again I am not a professional mechanic, just my 2 cents
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choppergar View Post
So what yr is Herman?
Motor, trans, stock, lift, tires, etc.
Kind of xj?
00 4.0 aw4 3" lift, rusty's springs and socks, rubi front socks, Ford f150 rear shocks, stock bfg 29" at's (235/75/15)






Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
DId you check both mounting points of the track bar, to make sure they are slop free? The holes in the axle bracket aren't egged out?

Is the steering box tight against the frame, and not loose? They sometimes crush the unibody, or the bolts break where they seize on the aluminum spacer.

The caster is good? Usually 4-6* or so.

The toe-in is good? Usually 1/8" toe in or so

No slop in the steering box?

caster, need to verify myself. Buddy has caster camber gauge for racing.

They said the alignment was fine, but I have yet to see a print out.

Doesn't seem to be much slop if any in steering.

Toe in is good




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Originally Posted by RVest1 View Post
My wife's lifted ZJ got the wobble and I replaced all the steering, wheel bearings, track bar, the extended LCA's were new already and it still shook. Replaced the UCAs and it was gone. LOL, after several hundred spent it was fixed by 60.00 UCAs.
Looks like I might have to price out more stuff.

I have the feeling she'll just drive it the way it is. Once she gets down to kzoo in two weeks she'll be driving 13 miles round trip a day... just sucks for her if she wants to go home for the weekend.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RVest1 View Post
Not sure that the track bar would give you death wobble, but the rest is good to check. I am not a pro, but I am fairly certain the track bar just centers the axle and keeps it from letting your axle slide left or right too far. If it was womped out you would notice quite a bit of play in your steering I am pretty sure. Again I am not a professional mechanic, just my 2 cents
The track bar can definitely cause death wobble, if not one of the main causes. Had a big problem with death wobble when I lifted my XJ. Readjusted the track bar to re-center the axle and poof, death wobble gone.

I would also check and see if your tires a properly balanced. I have had that issue as well.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:42 PM   #8
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The track bar can definitely cause death wobble, if not one of the main causes. Had a big problem with death wobble when I lifted my XJ. Readjusted the track bar to re-center the axle and poof, death wobble gone.

I would also check and see if your tires a properly balanced. I have had that issue as well.
Interesting that your track bar caused the death wobble, but makes sense now that I think about it. Mine had about an inch of play from womped out bolt hole and bad bushing for about a year and I never got DW from it, just really bad steering play, which when mixed with a bad stabilizer, or any other bad steering component could easily cause the wobble.

Tires definitely.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:48 PM   #9
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worn track bars and ball joints have been the issues with my XJ's over the years
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Old May 21st, 2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Check wheel bearings?
How are the tires worn?
Track bar is imo one of the biggest factors in death wobble.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 04:15 PM   #11
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Track bar is most likely the cause but something has to start the shake and once it transfers enough energy to the track bar it gets the dw.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 04:21 PM   #12
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Track bar is most likely the cause but something has to start the shake and once it transfers enough energy to the track bar it gets the dw.
He said the track bar was replaced though. I know a lot of the local auto parts stores sell track bars that come with tons of play from using crap bushings, maybe the track bar he got has that kinda play. The question is, what is starting the wobble. Like I said, mine was caused by bad UCAs letting the axle shift when I hit bumps or let off the gas after acceleration.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 04:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVest1 View Post
Not sure that the track bar would give you death wobble, but the rest is good to check. I am not a pro, but I am fairly certain the track bar just centers the axle and keeps it from letting your axle slide left or right too far. If it was womped out you would notice quite a bit of play in your steering I am pretty sure. Again I am not a professional mechanic, just my 2 cents
A bad track bar is one of the main culprits of death wobble and one of the first things for u to check. I upgraded mine to a double sheer with heim ends on both sides. Got the new drop down bracket from iron rock offroad and heim end to replace steering moveable end with cotter pin. My 98' 5.9L rides very well now with 5" ling arm lift.

Also get a heavy duty steering stabilizer like a Monroe on it and it should eliminate the death wobble altogether in most cases.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 04:36 PM   #14
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The death wobble only happens over 55 if she hits the right bumps. Then it won't go away until she gets back below 50 or so.

I relocated the tb, AutoZone part because I was in a pinch.

Mechanic said that there is play at the frame end now. So I'll check that and get a new weld in bushing if that is the case... unless someone has a better idea?
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Old May 21st, 2013, 05:06 PM   #15
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That's pretty minor from the sounds of it. A heavy duty steering stabilizer could probably solve that
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Old May 21st, 2013, 05:42 PM   #16
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The vibrations are very serious. It is not something I want to just throw more dampening on
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Old May 21st, 2013, 05:53 PM   #17
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The vibrations are very serious. It is not something I want to just throw more dampening on
I have known people to just weld in some thick washers and/or thick plate steel that had been drilled to the correct size onto the location that gets oval shaped to stop that play.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 08:23 PM   #18
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Interesting that your track bar caused the death wobble, but makes sense now that I think about it. Mine had about an inch of play from womped out bolt hole and bad bushing for about a year and I never got DW from it, just really bad steering play, which when mixed with a bad stabilizer, or any other bad steering component could easily cause the wobble.

Tires definitely.
As little as 1/16th of an inch, with the right other conditions, can cause bad death wobble on an XJ. I've had 4 of them, and have fought the wobble on 2. Worn heims on aftermarket bars are one of the most common causes on XJs...
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Old May 21st, 2013, 08:27 PM   #19
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The death wobble only happens over 55 if she hits the right bumps. Then it won't go away until she gets back below 50 or so.

I relocated the tb, AutoZone part because I was in a pinch.

Mechanic said that there is play at the frame end now. So I'll check that and get a new weld in bushing if that is the case... unless someone has a better idea?
Yeah, mine was almost always going around a long sweeping left hand turn, around 45-50mph, and then hit a big bump, which got it started. Then you just hope you can slow down before you kit someone or roll the Jeep.

I would double check the track bar. Play at the frame end was my scenario. Identical wobble to what you are describing. I had a rubicon express bar, with a hemi joint there. Very little slop is needed to cause that wobble. I replaced the heim joint and all was better, on that one.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 08:47 AM   #20
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Yeah, mine was almost always going around a long sweeping left hand turn, around 45-50mph, and then hit a big bump, which got it started. Then you just hope you can slow down before you kit someone or roll the Jeep.

I would double check the track bar. Play at the frame end was my scenario. Identical wobble to what you are describing. I had a rubicon express bar, with a hemi joint there. Very little slop is needed to cause that wobble. I replaced the heim joint and all was better, on that one.
I'd like to try to stay with the oem track bar if possible...
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