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Old April 6th, 2006, 08:53 AM   #1
mtnbikinbryno
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Default DW on '99 TJ... new description.. any ideas?

Alright, I was PMing Saharaboy about this and figured I might as well post in here too to see if anyone has a good idea about what it would be.

What's happening:
There's a weird "throbbing" when I turn at lower speeds, say around 15mph. It actually shakes the whole Jeep. Also, at these lower speeds, after a turn when I'm straightening out the wheel, there's some play in it. If I hit a bump the right way it jumps into horrible death wobble... I had to slow to a stop to get it to quit the other day. I was just thinking about it, and I think the bump/DW thing happens if I'm holding the steering wheel a little to the left.... if I steer slightly right over the bump I don't think it happens. Between about 45-50 there is a little hint of death wobble that I can feel in the steering wheel, and when I'm going 55-60 (say on the highway) around turns, the throbbing returns but at a much higher frequency. It sounds like something rotating is coming into contact with something it shouldn't be. It definitely speeds up when the Jeep does. All the ball joints and wheel bearings are fine.

I'm gonna get it checked out next week, but if anybody has an idea, shoot.

Thanks!
Brian
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Old April 6th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #2
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90%+ of deathwobble is the front track bar. The ends(whether stock style, or heims or whatever) can't have any wear. I had less than a 32rd of free play in the heim on my XJ and it was HORRIBLE, almost identical circumstances to yours.

All the bolts need to be cave-man tight, too.

If not that, then check all of the control arm bushings.

BTW, I'm sure you know, but you will need to get the front axle off the ground to see if there's slop. Best is to support the Jeep on the frame, and use a Jack to just lift the front a little. Keep as much pressure/tension off the joints while you check them.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #3
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What's the Jeep got done to it? Is it lifted with bigger tires? Are the control arms at a steep angle? How are the trac bar and draglink angles? Are the TREs in good shape? Are the trac bar bushings in good shape? Has it had an alignment since getting lifted(if it is lifted)? Are the tires balanced? Any small things or combinations of small things can set it off. My XJ had death wobble when the control arms were at too steep of an angle. I think we'll need to know more about your rig to know what to tell you to check out.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 09:38 AM   #4
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I have the exact same problem, and agree with Jesus . it doesn't do it all the time especially the DW and have tracked it down to the track bar or steering arrangement. really seen a nice setup at a club meeting called the U-turn. very beefy and durabull. I can't remember the name but I believe it was on BDR's rig(Big Daddy Rubicon) just my input.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 09:56 AM   #5
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It's a '99 TJ with (for now) a 2" BB, 1" MML/BL, and 33" tires. So it's not very big yet, and I think my control arms and all of those angles mentioned are fine.

My control arm bushings could probably use replacement... but I don't think wiggling control arms would cause the noise/throbbing I'm talking about, or the weird steering wheel feeling.

Tires are balanced, and it's been aligned.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 10:00 AM   #6
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Also, just want to reinforce the point that the noise/throbbing increases and decreases with changes in speed. When I'm going slow, it's a "vrrmp... vrmmp... vrmmmp.." and when I speed up, it's like the same thing but at a much higher frequency.

Fucking jeeps.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #7
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Well, the oise sounds more like your front double cardan joint on the front driveshaft is bad. Extremely common, crappy design (non greasable, constantly spinning, and near a hot engine/exhaust).

As for deathwobble, there isn't that many things that really cause it, not true deathwobble like that. The kind that you think something is going to break before you can stop the wobbling.

Track bar, bad wheel bearings, bad ball joints (and sometimes even though one is bad, you can't tell while the knucles are in place), or bad control arm bushings. Thats 99% of deathwobble right there.

Bad tires can make it worse, dead stabilizer can make it worse, caster wrong can make it worse. They rarely actually cause it, there's almost always one of those couple items allowing it to happen.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 12:05 PM   #8
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Thanks Jesus .
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