Sponsored

Another Death Wobble Thread, I think... I'm sorry

AVGeek99

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Threads
25
Messages
483
Reaction score
635
Location
Delano, MN
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLUR, 2021 Sahara 4xe (wife's)
I have a 2021 JLUR. Bought it brand new, now has 40k miles. Also I just had a full MC 3.5 GC lift with all control arms and both track bars installed 2 weeks ago.

Until the past couple days I thought Death Wobble was the constant front end shakiness caused by looseness in front end suspension. This type of shaking is constant and typically gets worse with more speed. This shake isn't scary, as long as you don't go too fast. I had this in my old JK, completely went away when a whole slew of suspension parts (ball joints, track bar, tie rod, etc...) were replaced.

On Tuesday I experienced something I've never experienced before. I was on the freeway on my morning commute doing about 70. I hit a larger than normal, but not enormous bump. The front end started to shutter pretty badly until I slowed to about 60, then it went away and was perfectly fine the rest of the way to work. The shuttering I felt was significantly worse than worn ball joints or other suspension parts. I drove 65 to 72 the rest of the way hitting several bumps similar in size and some larger than the one that caused the shutter and it was fine. It was fine all the way home that evening.

Driving into work this morning I hit a different bump but similar bump doing about 50-55 and it shuttered again for several seconds. I slowed down to 45 and it went away. I slowly sped to 65 and then drove 65-72 all the way to work without issue. The commute home was fine as well. And to be clear, the road on the commute home is just as bumpy as the commute to work.

Now I think I know what DW really feels like. Is what I described DW? What's weird is it doesn't feels like there's any looseness in the suspension. Aside from the episodes I described my there's no shakiness in the suspension or steering wheel. My suspension and steering have always felt very tight.

Thinking I need to take it back to the shop that did the lift and have them do a once over. But I wonder if they'll really find anything loose. 99+% of the time the steering is very tight.

Any thoughts or ideas?
Sponsored

 

limeade

Well-Known Member
First Name
Guy
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Threads
30
Messages
1,476
Reaction score
2,772
Location
Reno, NV
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLUR
Vehicle Showcase
1
No, what you're describing isn't death wobble. DW generally occurs at lower speeds and shakes the front end so badly you believe the Jeep is about to flip over. DW is the uncontrolled oscillation of the front axle and is more prone to occur with coil spring suspension versus leaf spring suspension.

What you're describing is a front-end shimmy/shake/wobble due to something worn out or loose. Seems like all of your suspension and steering was swapped out with quality parts recently. If it were me, I would check the following:

Ensure everything is torqued to spec and there is no unwanted bushing/TRE movement. It's possible something wasn't torqued correctly and/or has loosened up since installation.

Have tires rebalanced, preferably using a Road Force balancer.

Inspect ball joints - you did not state if you've had new ball joints installed. If you're still using stock ball joints and everything else is good, then it's a good bet they are the source of your wobble. If you do install new ball joints, don't waster your money on stock ball joints. There are plenty of good options which are stronger and will last longer.
 

Tpsillos

Well-Known Member
First Name
Trey
Joined
Mar 18, 2021
Threads
3
Messages
137
Reaction score
140
Location
South Carolina
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLUD
Occupation
Welding Inspector
Clubs
 
Pretty scary huh! First time I encountered it was on a dodge ram 2500 pulling a camper going 75mph. Hit a bump with the right front tire while steering left...That was a fun ride, happened twice on that 1500 miles trip. Then every time I went across this one bridge around a left hand curve otw home from work it would make it happen until I fixed it. I would have to slow down to around 35mph to get it to stop. pressing the brakes made it intensify so letting off the gas patiently waiting for it to stop is the only way out. It takes the right amount of bump to only on one side or while steering to make it happen but ones it syncs up perfectly it is on!
In my case the trac bar was worn out. Check that all your bolts are tight.
 

Davidmcarr4

New Member
First Name
David
Joined
Nov 17, 2023
Threads
0
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Wisconsin
Vehicle(s)
2021 Wrangler Unlimited
I’ve got the same issue but in a stock 2021 JL with 25K miles. Been to the dealer once and am waiting on the damper to be replaced (part on back order). I have my doubt it will “fix” the issue. I’m going back today to the dealer to see if they can check all of the ball bearings and the other front suspension joints. I’ve dealt with Jeepcares who are offering rental reimbursement since no loaner is available.
Not sure what to do if neither fix the issue. Probably just trade the jeep in.
 

Bulletbill

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tom
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Threads
21
Messages
868
Reaction score
2,158
Location
Central PA
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLUR
My 21 JLUR is currently at the dealer for almost the exact same experience you had. They said the steering dampener needs to be replaced. When I checked underneath before I took it in it felt like the bushings in the track bar were worn, but I figured I’d let try their fix first.
 

Sponsored

DanFelix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Threads
25
Messages
272
Reaction score
123
Location
Riverside, CA
Vehicle(s)
2018 Wrangler JL Sport S
No, what you're describing isn't death wobble. DW generally occurs at lower speeds and shakes the front end so badly you believe the Jeep is about to flip over. DW is the uncontrolled oscillation of the front axle and is more prone to occur with coil spring suspension versus leaf spring suspension.

What you're describing is a front-end shimmy/shake/wobble due to something worn out or loose. Seems like all of your suspension and steering was swapped out with quality parts recently. If it were me, I would check the following:

Ensure everything is torqued to spec and there is no unwanted bushing/TRE movement. It's possible something wasn't torqued correctly and/or has loosened up since installation.

Have tires rebalanced, preferably using a Road Force balancer.

Inspect ball joints - you did not state if you've had new ball joints installed. If you're still using stock ball joints and everything else is good, then it's a good bet they are the source of your wobble. If you do install new ball joints, don't waster your money on stock ball joints. There are plenty of good options which are stronger and will last longer.
When checking torque, are the wheels on the ground and, if not, does it matter where the jack stands are placed? Thanks.
 

limeade

Well-Known Member
First Name
Guy
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Threads
30
Messages
1,476
Reaction score
2,772
Location
Reno, NV
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLUR
Vehicle Showcase
1
When checking torque, are the wheels on the ground and, if not, does it matter where the jack stands are placed? Thanks.
You want the weight of the suspension on the axles. A lot of people prefer to have the tires on the ground. This can inhibit the arc of a torque wrench though. When I torque suspension bolts, I have the weight of the jeep supported on 4 jack stands under the front and rear axles. This is no different than having the tires on the ground. I put a jack stand to each side of the rear diff. For the front, I put the jack stands under the lca mounts. I've been doing it this way for all of the Jeeps I've had and never had an issue or a fastener which was too loose.

This gives me enough room to get under the jeep and torque everything. I have a 250 ft. lb. torque wrench and it has a fairly long handle, which makes torquing the front LCA bolts to 190 ft. lb. not too much of a hassle.

It's very important that you are not supporting the weight of the Jeep from the frame rails. This unloads the suspension. The weight must be supported by the axles.
 

dstevens

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2023
Threads
0
Messages
325
Reaction score
478
Location
CA
Vehicle(s)
2024 JLURX
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...ble-an-algorithm-to-diagnose-the-issue.62313/

I never get past step #1 without finding a problem - with the engine off get someone (outside the Jeep is best) to fairly vigorously move the steering wheel back and forward about 40 degrees. Often you can both see and hear the bad part immediately. Usually it is something to do with the front track bar. Replacing the steering stabilizer or balancing tires just masks the problem for a little while.

The jam nuts on the arms and track bar need to be tight since they are stretching a large diameter thread. It is hard to get them tight without a decent crow foot wrench - typical torque is over 200 lb ft which you cannot achieve with a crescent wrench. Check with MC as I don't know what their torque is.
 

mwilk012

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Threads
14
Messages
8,810
Reaction score
8,657
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle(s)
2018 Ocean Blue JLU Rubicon
Occupation
Service
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...ble-an-algorithm-to-diagnose-the-issue.62313/

I never get past step #1 without finding a problem - with the engine off get someone (outside the Jeep is best) to fairly vigorously move the steering wheel back and forward about 40 degrees. Often you can both see and hear the bad part immediately. Usually it is something to do with the front track bar. Replacing the steering stabilizer or balancing tires just masks the problem for a little while.
The stabilizer shock can absolutely cause this problem in its entirety.
 

Sponsored

dstevens

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2023
Threads
0
Messages
325
Reaction score
478
Location
CA
Vehicle(s)
2024 JLURX
The stabilizer shock can absolutely cause this problem in its entirety.
Apologies if my advice was incorrect. I've run without the steering stabilizer and it drove exactly the same as with it, but it was a sample size of one.
 
OP
OP
AVGeek99

AVGeek99

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Threads
25
Messages
483
Reaction score
635
Location
Delano, MN
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLUR, 2021 Sahara 4xe (wife's)
I think I may have found the problem. There is some play where the drag link connects to the steering knuckle. It's kind of tough to see in the video, but if you turn up the volume you can hear the sound it makes when I move it back and forth. I would say there is about 1/16" of play. I checked the nut and there was no moving it with a hand wrench so it is definitely tight.

All other fittings seem tight. This is the only one that has some obvious play. The play in the drag link connection almost feels like the play in worn ball joints when you have the wheel jacked up and you can shake the tire a little.

I've been paying a lot closer to the steering and suspension feel since my first episode occurred. The full blown wobble has only happend the two times I described in my OP. But I have noticed there is some looseness in the suspension when I hit larger bumps, normally at hwy speeds, but it normally goes away quickly.

I'm pretty sure my ball joints are fine and tires are balanced fine. The shimmy from those will typically occur at any time and get better or worse depending on your speed, and will normally limit your speed due to front end shake even on a smooth road. My looseness only occurs when I hit bigger bumps. Otherwise the steering is tight and there is no shimmy, even at 80 mph.
 

dragoneggs

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mark
Joined
Dec 14, 2021
Threads
61
Messages
4,050
Reaction score
12,981
Location
Seabeck, WA
Vehicle(s)
'22 Snazzberry Pearl JLR 2dr
Build Thread
Link
Clubs
 
The stabilizer shock can absolutely cause this problem in its entirety.
I can attest to this… my aftermarket SS came loose (discovered after the DW). Tightened it up and knock on wood… not to say there are other culprits or even this was the only cause… but definitely. Loose anything in your suspension is asking for problems when you hit a rut/bump and find resonant frequency.
 

mwilk012

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Threads
14
Messages
8,810
Reaction score
8,657
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle(s)
2018 Ocean Blue JLU Rubicon
Occupation
Service
I think I may have found the problem. There is some play where the drag link connects to the steering knuckle. It's kind of tough to see in the video, but if you turn up the volume you can hear the sound it makes when I move it back and forth. I would say there is about 1/16" of play. I checked the nut and there was no moving it with a hand wrench so it is definitely tight.

All other fittings seem tight. This is the only one that has some obvious play. The play in the drag link connection almost feels like the play in worn ball joints when you have the wheel jacked up and you can shake the tire a little.

I've been paying a lot closer to the steering and suspension feel since my first episode occurred. The full blown wobble has only happend the two times I described in my OP. But I have noticed there is some looseness in the suspension when I hit larger bumps, normally at hwy speeds, but it normally goes away quickly.

I'm pretty sure my ball joints are fine and tires are balanced fine. The shimmy from those will typically occur at any time and get better or worse depending on your speed, and will normally limit your speed due to front end shake even on a smooth road. My looseness only occurs when I hit bigger bumps. Otherwise the steering is tight and there is no shimmy, even at 80 mph.
Looks like it is time for the whole steering linkage to go. Factory parts are incredibly weak.
 
OP
OP
AVGeek99

AVGeek99

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Threads
25
Messages
483
Reaction score
635
Location
Delano, MN
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLUR, 2021 Sahara 4xe (wife's)
Looks like it is time for the whole steering linkage to go. Factory parts are incredibly weak.
My plan was to do tie rod, drag link, and steering stabilizer, probably the MC Fox kit, when I go to 37s in Jan or Feb. Now I just hope I can wait until then. Will do it earlier if necessary, but would like to wait. It hasn't done the DW again since the second time I reported last week. I definitely can notice some play and a little shimmy when I hit most bigger bumps. Still solid on smoothish surfaces.

I don't have any road trips plan between now and when I'm getting tires, so just around town and commuting to work.

Is there any danger to damaging other parts by just living with it for a couple more months? Assuming it doesn't get worse of course.
Sponsored

 
 



Top