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  #1  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 12:13
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twoksl2 twoksl2 is offline
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Death Chatter.....not death wobble

first off...
90 xj, 4wd 4.0 aw4 all stock 270k ish miles
the car was sitting for over a year before i got it on the road again last fall/summer

i have what appears to be a classic case of death wobble except...
it doesn't happen all the time. the truck must be going faster then 55, it only starts after i hit a bump, or set of train tracks, or something like that. and even then i can pass over the same bump multiple times at the same speed and it doesn't do it al the time. when it does, all i have to do is slow down to 45ish and it goes away.

now i'm pretty darn sure that the shocks are shot, or nearly so. would that cause this???

this also sounds like a good time to do a suspension overhaul, bushings, shocks, springs. so maybe i'll go for a small lift at the same time. (2 or so inches, nothing that would require a transfer case drop or a sye)

i guess what i am asking is if my diagnosis is correct???

thanks

-chris
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  #2  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 12:15
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Yucca-Man Yucca-Man is offline
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

Sounds like a good diagnosis, and don't forget to align it as well.

Jim www.yuccaman.com
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  #3  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 12:19
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

also forgot to add that when it happens the car is NOT all over the road like the DW seems to do. it still tracks straight and true, it just feels like i'm driving over a ton of speed-bumps one after another.

thanks for the quick reply jim
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  #4  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 13:56
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

funny thing you just posted this, I was coming on here to post the exact same thing.

I have an 88 same set up bone stock.

my shocks are shot as well. I just bought mine and today was the first time i took it on the freeway and i had to exit very quickly. so lets keep the replies coming.
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  #5  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 14:03
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twoksl2 twoksl2 is offline
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

hmmm... ironic
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  #6  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 14:10
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

Shocks and tire pressure.

Sounds to me like the shocks are totally shot!!!

Good luck!
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  #7  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 14:21
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by twoksl2
hmmm... ironic

yeah mine was horriffic i thought body panels were going to start falling off.
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  #8  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 15:12
88 Wagonman 88 Wagonman is offline
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

I recommend starting off with a steering stabilizer, seems to fix it most of the time.
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  #9  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 15:41
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Harlee&Tahoe Harlee&Tahoe is offline
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88 Wagonman
I recommend starting off with a steering stabilizer, seems to fix it most of the time.
The Bandaid will help but you need to fix the cause of the problem, looseness in steering/suspension. I'd start with steering components, have friend turn steering wheel slightly side to side enough to engage steering gear with engine off. Use your hands and feel around on all linkages and connections starting with steering box, pitman arm, tie rod ends, track bar, ball joints, or even unit bearings, and control arm bushings.
Happy hunting, and good luck.
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  #10  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 16:20
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Matthew Currie Matthew Currie is offline
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

Whe-e-e-e-e-e-l Balance!

Other things mentioned often contribute to how sensitive it is to imbalance, but the imbalance is the most likely starting point.

Alignment is also a possibility.

The speed range in which this happens is typical for the XJ, I don't know why. All of mine have hit the sour spot at about 57 mph.
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  #11  
Old March 3rd, 2008, 19:21
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

thanks for the replies guys. just to keep things updated i went and had my tires balanced again today and all seems well. I took it up toaround 63 without a hint of vibrations or chatter. the shop said they were all off. they were new tires from the previous owner so i wasn't thinking it was the problem. well i was wrong.


thanks again everyone
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  #12  
Old March 3rd, 2008, 20:01
jefb jefb is offline
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

I used to have a van that did the same thing. Driving along no problem and then hit a cigarette butt and the front end would go nuts. Very much like what you described here.

The problem turned out to be, if I remember right, the idler arms on the steering linkage. So if I were you start to look at the steering componants for wear.
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  #13  
Old March 4th, 2008, 13:57
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by funvtec
thanks for the replies guys. just to keep things updated i went and had my tires balanced again today and all seems well. I took it up toaround 63 without a hint of vibrations or chatter. the shop said they were all off. they were new tires from the previous owner so i wasn't thinking it was the problem. well i was wrong.


thanks again everyone

well i retract my prior statement. i took it to work without problem but on the way home it acted up again. once i hit the right bump to get it going again it continued to do it even after i slowed down to smooth things out. As soon as i got near 55 again it would start chattering again.

my next step is going to be shocks and while i'm there i will inspect everything else. its winter so its a PITA to crawl under this thing rite now. i have already taken a quick look and grabbed the track bar and drag link and tried to budge them and they all seem tight.

i'll keep this updated as i go to make this a worth while thread for those searchiong later on.
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  #14  
Old March 5th, 2008, 12:16
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Harlee&Tahoe Harlee&Tahoe is offline
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

If you can grab it by hand and move it, you wouldn't be driving it.

My wife thinks it's funny, I had to change my alt. during a blizzard.
I put on my coveralls and grabbed my 6yr olds purple saucer, wife got upset thinking I'm going sledding. "Yeah in the driveway, wanna go?"
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  #15  
Old March 5th, 2008, 15:25
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Re: Death Chatter.....not death wobble

well haha this is turning into a bit bit of a headache. i walked around the jeep today and had a look at the wheel weights that were just put on. However 1 wheel was absent of any weights. i'm guessing that 1 flew off and it started to act up agian. i had the truck up to 73ish mph on the way to work that day without problems and now i cant take it above 55 seems like this is likely what happened.

i'm going tonight to have them rerebalanced and hopefully a new tight wheelweight put in place. i will mark each one with a sharpie when all is said and done so it this does happen again it will be obvious that 1 is missing.
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