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manmountain8 manmountain8
New User | Posts: 5 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 06/16/08
06:52 PM

My buddy also saw what was happening when he was following me and he said he could see the wheels moving from side to side.  Does that mean it's the tracking bar?

Here's the possible causes that I've found so far.

-Tracking bar
-mud in rims
-brake sticking caliper/cylinder
-damper steering linkage
-tire damage  

manmountain8 manmountain8
New User | Posts: 5 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 06/16/08
07:09 PM

All right I found a page on the death wobble phenomenon. These are the main causes that it showed.

2.Balance of the tires
3.Track bar
4.Warped Brake Rotor

What is the best way to figure out what's causing it?  

Johnny35 Johnny35
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 06/18/08
12:16 PM

have the same problem with my 98 grand cherokee limited ed. Getting work done on it now hopefully gets it fixed because front end had just been replaced not too long ago. Garage said it was tire damage mostly throwing off my alignment when driving usually at higher speeds 55-70ish. Hoping this works...  

ddgoll ddgoll
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 03/09
Posted: 03/23/09
06:25 AM

i had the same problem and just had an alignment and tire rotation and have not had a problem since.  

95jeep 95jeep
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 05/07/09
08:36 PM

Hey fellow jeep owners, I know excactly what you guys are going through. I have a '95 Jeep "Rio Grande" Wrangler, and I had the same problem about 3 years ago, I bought some used BF Goodrich Mud Terrain tires and about 30 min after I had them put on I got on the freeway and when I hit about 35 mph my jeep shook violently, I had no clue what caused it but it always happened around 35 mph then about a year later I had put some new mud tires on, they were the same size but they were brand new and a different brand and needless to say I've never had that problem again. I did find out that if your tires are "out of round" that can cause your jeep to shake violently, so definatly check your tires. It solved my problem. Good luck everbody.  

New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 05/31/09
08:13 AM

I have an 98 JEEP TJ and have started to get the DEATH WOBBLE (twice this month). It felt like the entire engine (which has just been replaced)was going to shake loose! The tires need replacing and my hubby thinks that's what is causing it, but reading all the postings here, I am now beginning to wonder if that's the only issue.  This Jeep was in a major car accident last year.  It was smoked from behind at a traffic standstill on the freeway.  I wonder if something was overlooked when it was repaired and whether I should go the route of trying to re-open this ICBC claim???  (insert swear word here!)  

waynep712 waynep712
Enthusiast | Posts: 651 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 05/31/09
10:02 AM

first.... check a few things....

with the window open.. reach through with the parking brake on.. the engine running and move the steering wheel back and forth a bit ... see if the front tires respond instantly. or is there some slack there...
the steering box may need adjustment...   please take it to a professional wheel alignment guy...  they are usually the best at it.. and can do the adjustment in minutes...

how do you tell....  

if you move the steering wheel... and the tires do not turn...  figure out how much movement it takes before the tires react..

have someone sit in the jeep and work the wheel back and forth just that much.. while you look straight down over the top of the steering box... see the pitman arm... is it moving as soon as the wheel is turned... if not the pitman shaft adjustment need to be adjusted...   this can only be tested with the front wheels pointing straight  ahead...

two tools are needed to make the adjustment...  an allen socket... and i use a crow foot tubing wrench... to loosen the lock nut and hold it in place while i adjust the center screw while someone works the wheel back and forth lightly... just to the ends of the play... with the engine off ....    overtightening the adjustment screw will totally ruin the steering box...  you also have to hold the adjustment screw when you tighten the lock nut...   i do this with long extensions... wobble end  adaptors... a tee handle on the extension with the allen socket on it..  and a ratchet on the other.. ( a normal wrench can be used on the lock nut if you can reach it.. you cannot use a socket. as when you tighten the jam nut.. it will change the adjustment.)

watch also for side to side movement of the body over the front wheels...  that would indicate the track bar is worn or the bracket is loose...  i have found both on some jeeps.... (the track bar keeps the front end centered while the steering linkage trys to turn the wheels..)

if the pitman arm reacts instantly to input... continue the movement of the steering wheel... put a hand on each tie rod end... see if you can feel the tie rod end move without moving the part it is attached too... they do wear.. i also use a large pair of channel lock pliers to squeeze the tie rod ends... if they compress... they are worn out.. and will need to be checked for side to side play... if they have play side to side... with input from the steering wheel.. time to change them...

some jeeps are also equipped with steering dampers...  a shock absorber mounted on the steering linkage...  if these are worn... the harmonics in the steering can make the tires shake...   many cars have this problem...   one of the reasons they went to rack and pinion steering on many cars and trucks...  

james_c james_c
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 07/29/09
05:15 PM

I am having the " death wobble with my 2008 wrangler.  The dealer says they have no idea what is happening and cannot fix it unless they can get the same wobble.  Should I have them check the wheels even though they are virtually new?  

Cherokee96 Cherokee96
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/15/09
01:57 PM

Hey I just bought a 1996 Jeep Cherokee used,It is a manual transmission, 3" lift, 31" tires, the guy I bought it from said it wobbled a little at 50-55 which it did but ive had it for less than a week, went mudding only once and I am getting the death woble, it is much bigger wobble than the 50-55 mph speed, the wobble only lasts a few seconds but it feels like my car is just going to get ripped apart, right when i feel it i slow down and it goes away, increasing the speed and its not there again. Anyone got input? It still wobbles in Neutral seems like if you just decrease your speed it will vanish. Its wobbled for me 3-4 times within a week.

By the way he bought the tires used 31" Pro Comp's and a 3" Rough Country lift  

waynep712 waynep712
Enthusiast | Posts: 651 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 08/15/09
02:04 PM


have the steering box adjusted...

check the steering linkage for free play..

have somebody drive beside it... if it wobbles... its steering damper or linkage... if the tires go up and down.. its shocks or wheel balance...

steering dampers start at 35 bucks and can be replaced with a minimum of tools...   i have seen people do it with a pair of channel lock pliers...  

Jeepboi Jeepboi
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/09
Posted: 10/12/09
06:04 PM

Hey all i am also so glad i found some fellow jeepers having same problem Now i came across this problem after i rotated my rear tires to the front if i am going 50-55 and hit a hard bump on the road i get what you guys are calling the death wobble and it is for good reason it is absolutley horrible i wandered if i should just replace the track  bar and see if that helps my situation at all and shame on me could only afford two new tires so i rotated the rear to the front and put the new on the back i wander if that has anything to do with it also. i put a new steering dampener on it a black diamond after market and it hasnt helped next step would be to rotate tires or just put a track bar on cause i also changed the shocks and did not fix it but did make a diff cause they needed changed and tires are BFG all terrain Ta's had them on the whole jeeps life and not any problems until thanks all  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4545 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 10/12/09
11:11 PM

did you read my post several spots up the thread.. about how to check for play in the front suspension..

working the steering wheel back and forth a few inches.. just past the limit of free play will let you see any movement in the steering linkage.. drag links, track bar or bracket..  i have done this inspection dozens of times..  and it takes about 2 minutes..  with a helper to work the steering wheel...  

BekahO BekahO
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/09
Posted: 10/19/09
03:47 PM

I just experienced this problem.  I have a 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE and occasionally I felt my jeep starting to shake so badly that I had to pull to the side of the road to make it quit.  Then last week it continued to shake violently when I hit highway speeds.  I took it into a jeep dealership and made the shop foreman go on a test drive with me (him driving) so he could experience what I felt because I had just taken it in before and they apparently couldn't duplicate the shimmy.  They stated my steering dampner was bad and replaced that along with my tie rods and trac bar.  They also found I was missing 3 of my 4 wheel weights, so they balanced my tires and also fixed my alignment.  Afterwards I still felt a slight shimmy on the highway.  A coworker pointed out that my tires were pretty worn in the centers, so I took it to Les Schwab and they found one of my front tires was worn beyond the other 3.  They suspected a belt separation in that tire.  I got all 4 tires replaced and that got rid of the remaining shimmy.  Seems to have fixed the problem... after paying an arm and a leg in one week!  

amber0312 amber0312
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 03/10
Posted: 03/31/10
08:28 AM

Hi everyone

I sent this letter to Jeep and they denied my claim. If you don't take it to an official Jeep dealership to repair (which will cost you $1000's) they don't care about the problem.

Three years ago I bought a new 2007 stock Jeep Wrangler Four Door Hard Top. For the most part, I have been extremely happy with my choice. My husband and I were even thinking about purchasing another one within the next year. However, that thought has quickly changed!

About a month ago, as we were traveling on the highway, my Jeep started to violently shake as we hit a bump going about 60 miles per hour. It felt like we had a flat tire so we quickly pulled over. We checked the vehicle and couldn’t find anything wrong. Since it continued to drive fine, we didn’t think too much about it. Three weeks later, driving again on the highway, the same thing happened, this time much worse. The vehicles shook so violently I had a hard time controlling it. This was especially scary because the roads were wet. Luckily, we were seat belted in, but my poor dog got tossed around like a salad. Shaking, and very upset, we pulled over to the side of the road. It continued to happen two more times.

The next day we immediately took the car to our mechanic. Although he couldn’t find anything at first, we did some research. We went to the Internet and typed in the search “Jeep violently shakes.” We were quite surprised and shocked with what we found. Apparently, this is a problem that has been occurring for years with Jeep. It has even been termed the “death wobble” because of all the problems. We found thousands upon thousands of people with this similar problem dating all the way back to the early 90’s. With all these problems, Jeep has not issued a recall on 2007 models but apparently will gladly charge their customers hundreds of dollars to fix parts that may not fix the problem. The main problem appears to be with the steering damper. The damper is too small. Although Jeep won’t officially recognize this as a problem, you have fixed it with your 2010 models by putting in a larger damper.

When I called a few dealerships to find the part, I was told the damper doesn’t exist in my model. Seriously?  I was able to find a 2010 damper and had my mechanic put it in my vehicle. The one that he replaced was not only twice the size of the existing one, but the existing one was leaking fluid.

With all these problems, Jeep has yet to issue a recall on this problem. Shame on you Jeep! Have you learned nothing from Toyota? Have not enough people been seriously injured or killed for you to recognize a problem?

I am enclosing a copy of my invoice. If you do not believe this to be a problem, simply type in “Jeep Death Wobble” on the Internet. If you are not as shocked as I was you should be ashamed of yourselves.

No wonder America has lost faith in the car industry. The car industry apparently does not care about the people buying their cars. I hope something can be done to change my opinion of Jeep.  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4545 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 03/31/10
01:33 PM

jeep is not the only car that when some parts wear has what is known as the death wobble... other cars and trucks have it...

60 and 70 volkswagen bugs and busses have the same problem...

many brands of pick up trucks also...

when things wear.. they will allow more wobble..

steering dampers...  track bars.. steering box adjustments are the usual cure...

read some of the above posts...  

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