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Yooper
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I just put bigger tires on my 89 Cherokee(210,xxx miles), i went from 215's up to 265's. I had the tires on one day and on the way in to work I got some nasty death Wobble just once doing 35mph. Then again the next day same spot of the road it does the same thing. At highway speeds it runs fine no wobble stays straight no pulling. Noticed my steering box leaking on the way home. I f I had a worn steering box could this be the cause? I have all new tie rods and ends, new track bar, new hub assembly on passenger side. The ball joints seem fine, no play that I or my neighbor could see. I have no steering stabilizer, it was shot and is disconnected on the tie rod end. So what do you think new steering box??
 

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NO RELIGION WAT!
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28,166 Posts
I doubt it. I have had my SGB loose on all attachment bolts and no DW.

Things that cause DW

crappy trac-bar joints/bushings
crappy control arm joints/bushings
bad wheelbearings
bad ball joints
 

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Small, but talented
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2,750 Posts
I would look at your front end components and then get an alignment.


Well......... I wouldn't, you're too far away, but you should look at them.
 

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Recovering XJ owner
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5,620 Posts
So I just put bigger tires on my 89 Cherokee(210,xxx miles), i went from 215's up to 265's. I had the tires on one day and on the way in to work I got some nasty death Wobble just once doing 35mph. Then again the next day same spot of the road it does the same thing. At highway speeds it runs fine no wobble stays straight no pulling. Noticed my steering box leaking on the way home. I f I had a worn steering box could this be the cause? I have all new tie rods and ends, new track bar, new hub assembly on passenger side. The ball joints seem fine, no play that I or my neighbor could see. I have no steering stabilizer, it was shot and is disconnected on the tie rod end. So what do you think new steering box??
You answered your own question ... start there. It's the least expensive out of all the other causes of wobble.
 

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Playing Possum
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6,751 Posts
I doubt it. I have had my SGB loose on all attachment bolts and no DW.

Things that cause DW

crappy trac-bar joints/bushings
crappy control arm joints/bushings
bad wheelbearings
bad ball joints
and crappy alignment.

You went from around a 29" tire to about a 32" tire, that will change your alignment slightly. Bad front end parts plus the alignment change may be causing the wobble.
 

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Support the Sport!
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2,015 Posts
Steering Stabilizer is just a band aid and will only mask the problem. More than likelu, it's not the real problem. It could be any of the following

Wollowed (egg shaped) mounting holes for control arms.
Bad ball joints
bad wheel bearings
bad track bar mounts

Try these searches on google and see what comes up

"death wobble site:pirate4x4.com"
"death wobble site:greatlakes4x4.com"
 

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I am the law.
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29,823 Posts
if the bearing on the selector shaft is shot and the shaft has side to side movement it could couse dw.
Yes. Steering boxes can certainly cause it, as they will let the steering go back and forth like any other worn steering component.


I also agree with the stabilizer comment. A failed or missing stabilizer has nothing to do with the cause of deathwobble. However, what it may allow is your steering to cycle a lot faster. You said that it happened on the same stretch of road each time. That road may be pushing your steering back and forth hard and fast, making the Jeep wobble around. If the steering wheel moves along with the road input from the tires, that's not deathwobble. Deathwobble is slack in the system somewhere that would make the Jeep wobble, but you don't feel it in the wheel until the slack in the system is taken up as it cycles in each direction.


So was the wheel pulling in your hands right along with the contours in the road or not?
 

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Yooper
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833 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well I'm thinking it is a combo of the worn steering box and the stabilizer. Not a whole lot of movement in the steering wheel when it did the DW, and I did notice the box leaking shortly after the second time it happened. The alignment shouldn't be that far out I just had one done less than a month ago. So I'll swap out the steering box and get a stabilizer to see if that helps.
 

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Registered
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5,080 Posts
I actually disagree with the stabilizer comment as well.

My XJ has a pretty shot steering box(it works, but has 1-2" of slack in either direction) and I've got JCR 1-ton steering with no stabilizer at all and I've never had death wobble with this Jeep.

As said above, a steering stabilizer only masks a deeper problem. When the stabilizer begins to wear down again, your problem will resurface and you'll be chasing it again.

Figure out what it is for real the first time, the stabilizer being worn or inexistant is not causing death wobble.
 

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Premium Member
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9,000 Posts
The first thing you do when you have DW is have someone in the cab shake the wheel back and forth while you check with your eyes and feel with your hands for something worn or loose. Your looking at everything that attaches your axle to the jeep, everything that attaches your tires to the axle, and everything that attaches your steering to the axle. Not the stabilizer.

Then jack up the axle and grab your wheel at 12 and 6 and check your balljoints/wheel bearings.

Then check your alignment.

Then check your tire/wheel balance.

If everything is OK you missed something.

DW is not magic voodo.
 

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as some have mentioned, a steering stabilizer IS NOT THE PROBLEM.

when a customer tells me they have front end vibs and they want a new steering stabilizer, i usually tell them that i'm going to take the steering stabilizer off until the problem is fixed. once they the problem is fixed and the steering is tight WITHOUT using a steering stabilizer, then i'll put on back on. works every time. people who install stabilizers and "fix" their problem are just hidding the beging signs of a failing part.

and yes a steering box could cause it.


question............when it happens, so you shit your pants??? if you do, then it's death wobble. if you don't, then your only having front end vibrations.........which can/will lead to death wobble.
 

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Can't lose with 42s
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as some have mentioned, a steering stabilizer IS NOT THE PROBLEM.

when a customer tells me they have front end vibs and they want a new steering stabilizer, i usually tell them that i'm going to take the steering stabilizer off until the problem is fixed. once they the problem is fixed and the steering is tight WITHOUT using a steering stabilizer, then i'll put on back on. works every time. people who install stabilizers and "fix" their problem are just hidding the beging signs of a failing part.

and yes a steering box could cause it.


question............when it happens, so you shit your pants??? if you do, then it's death wobble. if you don't, then your only having front end vibrations.........which can/will lead to death wobble.
X2....Everybody and their brother wants to slap on a new steering stabilizer...they actually mask the real problem!
On the XJ, I'd suggest checking all of the control arm bushings, track bar, and steering box.
 

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Formerly "Gr8archer"
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2,742 Posts
what I did to get rid of my DW. In order from first to last.

  1. Wheel Bearings - Helped a little but they were completely shot
  2. Junk Yard Tie Rod - Mine was bent
  3. Tie Rod End - The ends were shot, it helped a ton but there was still a very slight DW and a heavy pull to the right
  4. Steering Stabilizer - It was gone... or was it just masked?
  5. Alignment - The guy said it was "way out of wack" and now my DW is gone and no more pull!!! w00t
 

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Recovering XJ owner
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5,620 Posts
Steering stabilizers are essentially a shock absorber for your steering system. They are highly recommended for all vehicles with over-sized tires, a winch or snow plow to increase control and handling. Stabilizers dampen out wheel shimmy and help prevent the steering wheel from being jerked out of your hands in rough terrain or when a road hazard is struck by the front wheels. A steering stabilizer is a proven safety device in the event of a blow out. Steering stabilizers are engineered to restrain "bump steer" and front end vibration, giving added life to tires, ball joints and other steering components. A lot of vehicles now come from the factory with a steering stabilizer. After market stabilizers are far superior in performance being specifically designed to handle off-road conditions with lifted vehicles.


Bump steer = slight shimmy

Death Wobble = the steering wheel and front tires will violently shake left to right uncontrollably. <- Is this what's it doing? If so, yes, there may be more than one thing wrong, but the stabilizer should still be there ... do I run one on my Jeep. No. I don't drive it on the road all the time.

Oh ... and just changing tire size will not affect an alignment unless you modified the suspension in order to fit a larger tire.
 

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I replaced every componet on my xj but the worn steering box ,slowed my dw but it didnt fix ,it till I replaced the steering box, the xj seems to be infamis for this because I have fixed two of my owen and some friends this way also
 

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Yooper
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833 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Well I've put a new steering stailizer on, have checked everything in the front end, no play. Haven't road tested it yet, cuz I found out I blew my High pressure line on the power steering. Picking that up in the morning. Then we'll take her out and see how it is. I think the bigger tires caught the ridges on the blacktop just right to give me a fun ride without the stabilizer on there. Had no problems at highway speeds.
 

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Support the Sport!
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Well I've put a new steering stailizer on, have checked everything in the front end, no play. Haven't road tested it yet, cuz I found out I blew my High pressure line on the power steering. Picking that up in the morning. Then we'll take her out and see how it is. I think the bigger tires caught the ridges on the blacktop just right to give me a fun ride without the stabilizer on there. Had no problems at highway speeds.
I hope it works for you but as many have said, the stabilizer will not stop deathwobble. it's more than that. Sure it might slow it down and make it less noticeable but it's not the solution. Deathwobble is caused by loose and worn out components creating slack in your system. A stabilizer has nothing to do with slack in the system. The slack is still going to be there, you just haven't found it yet. All the stabilizer will do is slow things a bit and smooth them out and cover the problem up until it resurfaces.

I've been down this road before, I tried the stabilizer cuz it was an inexpensive fix. it didn't solve the problem. Immediately after installing it, I had deathwobble again. I've changed axles now (upgraded from a 30 to a 44) and now I don't even run a stabilizer at all and I have no deathwobble. What I do have is a tight axle/steering system that all the components are new and in good condition. And yes, I do drive it on the road up to 60-65, no freeway but that's for other reasons.

I'm not trying to bag on you here, just telling you my opinion, my knowledge from research, and my personal experience. Take it if you want or don't.:beer:
 
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