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Thread: 06 TJ w/ death wobble

  1. #1
    Jeep & Steeler Fan GP4Play's Avatar
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    Default 06 TJ w/ death wobble

    Had a prob. with a new ProComp 2" lift.My Buddy has a 06 TJ,4.0,6 sp trans,D30 Fr,D44 Rr,31x10.5x15 tires(soon to be 33s") ,and its his DD so heavy off roading just trails so far. Put the lift and shocks on and test drove it,had a vibration at 45-55 mph.So we dropped the pan 1",vibration gone but now it has a death wobble at 45 mph. Any ideas ?
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    Land Squid Jeffb_79's Avatar
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    Make sure everything's tight... track bars, control arms and get an alignment.

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    Jeep & Steeler Fan GP4Play's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffb_79 View Post
    Make sure everything's tight... track bars, control arms and get an alignment.
    Cool,Thanks.Ok I'm starting my list.Don't know shit about T-bars and C-arms,I'm a old CJ guy .Do these OEM bushings give up so soon?
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    Administrator miljeep's Avatar
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    Make sure everything is torqued to spec. Also, have the alignment checked. Let me dig up an old post about death wobble that is pretty good and i will post the link here.

  5. #5
    Administrator miljeep's Avatar
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    Here is the original post:

    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...t=death+wobble

    Here is one of the replies to that post:

    Read all about it....

    As you have already found out, Death Wobble, the horrible front end vibration that starts when one wheel (usually the right) hits a bump around
    40~50mph, is the worst possible downside to having a coil-sprung vehicle with a track bar setup such as the WJ, XJ, ZJ, and TJ use. Death Wobble is also extremely difficult to try to diagnose, because it is actually caused by slop in the entire steering system as a whole, not by one component. To diagnose correctly, one needs to look for "play" everywhere there is something that could have "play" in it. It's time consuming, and downright dangerous while you are in "test phase", trying to exorcise this demon from your Jeep.
    The thing I tell people to start with is a visual inspection. Spend 10 minutes under the front end and visually inspect each one of the steering
    components for shiny steel, which would be indicative of metal that's moving around when it's not supposed to be. Pay careful attention to the track bar, as it's usually the culprit in most cases. If any of your bolts are even the least bit loose, Death wobble can manifest itself and make your life a living hell.
    If everything looks to be "normal" and you've checked bolt tightness on the track bar, the next thing to do is to start with an alignment, making sure that caster is set correctly as well as toe-in. If you have been offroading and have bent your tie rod even slightly, it'll throw off the alignment. Plus, it's only $40 or so.

    If you are certain that it's set correctly and you've not replaced any other front end components recently that may have caused the oscillation to
    begin, I tell people the next most suspect thing is the factory front track bar. Over time, the tie rod end on the upper portion of the bar develops "play" in it, and the lower end has a rubber isolator bushing in it that allows the oscillation to occur. Aftermarket bars generally come with urethane bushings that allow much less "play" in the way of movement than the factory rubber bushings do.

    The problem with most aftermarket track bars for the Jeep is that they also come with either a heim joint, Johnny joint, or tie rod end on the upper end of the bar, which works fine for a while, but wears out over time, leaving you right back where you started, with a mess in your shorts, a temporarily deaf right ear from the wife screaming, and the frustration with your entire Jeep in general...NOT good. The reason why I created my Track Bar Conversion for XJs and ZJs is to eliminate that problematic (and expensive to have to replace when it wears out) joint as well as for the additional flex benefits. If you are running an XJ or ZJ with more than 3" of lift, I highly recommend you check it out. Another product we have found to work VERY well in getting rid of Death Wobble is our exclusive SuperDurometer Track Bar Bushings, which are also available for the Track Bar Conversion. They are about twice as hard as the typical polyurethane bushings that come in most aftermarket track bars, which are typically made by Daystar or Energy Suspension. They are also one of the least expensive replacement parts in the steering components, so they make sense to try first. Many aftermarket track bars as well as the stock track bar are completely ineffective in managing Death Wobble due to their "effective angle of operation" if you are above 3" of lift. Bear in mind that another alignment is necessary after replacing any front end components if Death Wobble still remains. Sometimes you get lucky and don't need one...but be wary.

    The next thing to check is your steering stabilizer. I recommend replacing the stabilizer along with whatever worn components that you find under the front end, as the combination-punch is typically more effective than the parts alone, since DW shakes EVERYTHING, and loosens up other components at the same time.

    I've found that replacing the stabilizer alone often times doesn't eliminate death wobble directly, but that it usually helps with some additional poor
    handling characteristics that cause the onset of Death Wobble, such as wandering, and a new one seems to tighten up the entire steering system.
    I ONLY recommend the OME SD40 stabilizer because it seems to be tighter than the other models on the market. It's also the most heavy duty. This stabilizer is something that I recommend to everyone who is having trouble with DW because it's one of the least expensive parts to replace.
    Here are some other components to check over for looseness or improper movement:
    Tie Rod Ends, ball joints, Track bar mounting bracket bolts, steering box bolts, and track bar ends. Another product that we've made due to a need, is our ZJ Steering Box Brace, which holds the steering gear box tightly, allowing the additional stresses of running larger-than-stock tires be directed to the frame rails, rather than to the three little bolts that hold the gear to the frame, which get loose and if they do, will snap and leave you stranded. I don't currently make one for the 6cyl ZJ, but if you have an XJ, you can find one at www.barnettperformance.com.
    Another source of Death Wobble is over-inflated tires (you should have around 30psi in stock tires and far less the larger your tires are. See Boyle's Law and consider how much more volume of air you have in your 33" tires compared to stock. I run around 18psi in my 37" tires).
    The last thing that I can mention that has caused Death Wobble in the past is hub bearings. If there is a little slop in them over the years and miles, they MAY indeed help to cause the oscillation as well. I mentioned them last because they are the most expensive to replace and least likely to be the root of the problem. While you have the front end apart, you should consider adding some offset upper ball joints to your Jeep to return the caster back to what a stock Jeep would be if you are running say 4" of lift or more. I don't necessarily recommend this for the '93~'95 full-time 4x4 (NP249 transfer case) ZJ models, though, because it tends to add more vibration to the front drive shaft since you are also turning your pinion angle downward in conjunction with the caster angle improvement...you can't have one without the other.

    Hopefully this short checklist gets you started on the right foot and helps to cure your Death Wobble.
    Last edited by miljeep; 04-26-2009 at 23:25.

  6. #6
    Recovery Whore RescueJP's Avatar
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    alignment first. Then from there i would check the angles of your trac bars. you may need to get a new longer I prefer adjustable trac bar. Or the cheapest route would be drop brackets for the trac bar.
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    Junior Member razorback84's Avatar
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    I've had the death wobble twice. First time it was because I knocked off a wheel weight and the second time was because I had a much of mud on the inside of my wheel.... so both times it was because my tires weren't balanced.
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    Quote Originally Posted by razorback84 View Post
    I've had the death wobble twice. First time it was because I knocked off a wheel weight and the second time was because I had a much of mud on the inside of my wheel.... so both times it was because my tires weren't balanced.
    Thought about the wheel weight prob to, didn't see a missing one but rotated tires just the same no help.Not much mud here except after
    2-6 's so ruled that one out.
    Thanks
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    Ya'll ROCK ! I'm kill'n tall wood printing this up(almost said the "T" word).
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    Like had already been said; get an alignment and then check all of the fasteners. Also, check and make sure that the trackbar and your draglink are running at the same angle. They are both point of constraint on the passenger side of the front axle. They need to be running at the same angle, but not neccessarily in the same plane. With only a 2" lift, your buddy shouldn't need an adjustable trackbar, but it is possible. Also, check all of the tie rod ends. With the stock inverted Y design of the steering, any play in any of the tie rod ends will give you death wobble.
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