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  #1  
Old November 20th, 2007, 20:36
sgt_why sgt_why is offline
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Unhappy Death Wobble or something else ?

Hello everyone!

I have a 1992 Jeep Cherokee with a Rubicon Express 3.5" lift. Have had the lift on it for about a year now, w/ no complaints.

Just a couple weeks ago, I replaced the stock (29x8.5) tires with a set of (4) Green Diamond Icelander M/Ts ... 31x10.5r15

For the first (4) days, everything was great! Had the tires mounted, balanced and my alignment done all at once.

Then I took it off-road through some mud and dirt trails -- to test out the new traction. (which I had already done a couple times since installing the tires)

When heading home, it started getting some serious vibration which at first seemed to come from the drive line ... then it "moved" to the center of the Jeep and the front end. And stayed in the front-end from then on-ward.

I had the tires re-balanced and the alignment checked, but they were OK.

It seemed to happen everytime now when I hit about 35mph, the front end starts vibrating and increases in pitch to the extent I have to pull over for fear of loosing control. Feels like the front tires are going to come flying off!

At first, thought maybe it was my brakes sticking causing the vibration -- because I had problems a few months back and had replaced the calipers and rotors on the front. No problems from the back end. However, I bled the front brakes on both sides and other than a little dirt in the oil everything seemed ok.

I went to Olympic 4x4 in Snohomish thinking I'd buy a new power brake booster/master cylinder and see if that helped. When I explained the problem, they said right away it was "DEATH WOBBLE" ... and that it was likely front worn tire rod ends, track bar and/or the steering stabilizer.

They talked me into buying a new heavy duty "Carrie" front suspension, including new adjustable tie rods and adj. track bar. Also picked up a new steering stabilizer as well.

After a weekend tearing out the old tie rods and drilling a 5/8" hole for the new track bar ... I thought the problem was solved.

But when test driving it, the "wobble" was only very slightly diminished. Still happens at ~35 MPH and feels like the wheels are going to rip off the Jeep.

So, I brought it back in to Les Schwab and had them check the front-end alignment and adjust the tie rods if necessary (since I had only eye-balled the adjustments when I put the new ones in). 2 hours later, they took my $55 and said that it was OK and that the tie rods hadn't needed adjusting.

I did some searching around and can't decide what to do next ...

- balanced the tires
- aligned front end
- replaced steering stabilizer (w/ Rancho)
- replaced tie rod ends
- installed new, adjustable track bar (Rubicon Express one)

Everything else under the Jeep looks like brand new -- so Im at a loss what could be causing all this and why its so extreme.

Most others that complain of DW make it sound like it only happens after they hit a bump or something ... but the DW happens to me ONLY when accelerating towards 35 MPH -- if I push in the clutch, NO vibration.

Any suggestions out there ?
Will I end up having to replace part by part until the problem just goes away ??

Is there any hope ???
*sigh*
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  #2  
Old November 20th, 2007, 20:38
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ZacSquatch ZacSquatch is offline
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Re: Death Wobble or something else ?

Ball joints perhaps..
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  #3  
Old November 20th, 2007, 21:09
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philagony94xj philagony94xj is offline
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Re: Death Wobble or something else ?

i had a similar vib. in my 94 cherokee w/ budget 2inch lift. i thought maybe alignment or other out of balance tire problems. but just for sh*ts and giggles i took out the front driveshaft and ta da no vibs. at all ! so why not try that?! its easy.....8 little 8mm bolts that hold it in and its cheap to do to. if it doesnt work then oh well, its better then replacing all those expensive parts. i'm interested to see if it works for you as well. so let us know what happens.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 21:28
sgt_why sgt_why is offline
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Question Re: Death Wobble or something else ?

Not sure if it helps any, but someone suggested measuring the distance between the tires 6" in front / behind the axles and compare front to rear.

The rear was about 4'2.75" on both front/back
and front was about 4'2.75" in front of axle and 4'3.25" in back of axle

Im not an alignment expert, but it seems off to me ... anyone who knows alignment help confirm if this is expected or not?
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  #5  
Old November 21st, 2007, 00:15
sgt_why sgt_why is offline
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Re: Death Wobble or something else ?

yeah, that was a start ... the toe was off 1/2" front to back so adjusted it to only about 1/8"

Now its much better, but still not very driveable ... Im going to try to get it a bit closer in daylight and have the tires balance checked.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 00:36
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IslanderOffRoad IslanderOffRoad is offline
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Re: Death Wobble or something else ?

check your trackbar mount
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01 XJ Sport 2 door 5spd/4WD- 4" lift, 35" BFG ATs, JCR bumpers, Rubi 44, Ford 8.8, 4.56's, ARBs
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  #7  
Old November 21st, 2007, 00:36
cherokeered cherokeered is offline
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Re: Death Wobble or something else ?

I would say check your ball joints for play, then check your wheel bearings for play, if those are good you could also check your throw out bearing as you say it goes away when you push the clutch in.
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  #8  
Old November 22nd, 2007, 10:50
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mudslinger4x4 mudslinger4x4 is offline
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Re: Death Wobble or something else ?

go around to every part of the suspension you just installed and retighten all the bolts that you took off. i had the same problem with mine and come to find out my nechanic told me that my LCA's bolts had loosened after i took it offroad and now it doesn't happen anymore. i still check them every time i get back from off-roading but now i have one less problem to worry about.
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  #9  
Old November 22nd, 2007, 11:13
sgt_why sgt_why is offline
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Exclamation Re: Death Wobble or something else ?

After adjusting the toe in by turning the tie-rod ends, I test drove it and the huge vibration in the front is about 70% better now.

But I noticed vibration in the drive line / rear end as well ... took another look today in day light and found that the vibration had caused the bottom (2) leafs on the rear to "shift" diagonally ... ie. the front of them went to the passenger side and the back ends towards the drivers side.

Wierd. It wasnt like this a day or so ago, so Im assuming its a result of the vibration. Im running the RE 4.5" rear leaf pack ... which I had assumed was "heavy duty" ... I'll have to make/find something to hold them in place.
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