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Chasing Death Wobble--HELP

spinxt

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My wife's Jeep has recently started death wobbling. When we first got it, I upgraded the tires to BFG KO2 (33""), put in a 2" puck lift with FOX Shocks as well as a FOX through shaft steering stabilizer. We've driven about 9,500 miles on it with no issues at all. All of sudden it started to death wobble over expansion joints/ certain bumps. I recently put a Rancho aftermarket track bar in. It really improved the ride, however I think it made the death wobble worse.

I can't find anything obviously loose and the steering box is the updated steel one (not the aluminum one that was recalled). I'm perplexed. It's not modified enough to have this issue with only 10,500 miles on the clock.
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spinxt

spinxt

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If I wanted to do that, I would have done it. It’s not the lift (at least directly) been driving on it for 8000+ miles with no issues. Some else happened more recently.
 

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From your brief description, it's not death wobble. Death Wobble is when the front axle is oscillating so much you have to bring the Jeep to a near stop in order to get it to stop shaking. If what you're experiencing is a front end shake, without the need to clean out your shorts, then you're not quite at death wobble yet.

I see two issues with your current setup. While it's a very good thing to put in an aftermarket front track bar (I'm assuming it's adjusted correctly), you should also address the rear track bar so both axles are tracking correctly. With only 2" of lift, you can get either an adjustable track bar or track bar relocation bracket (Rock Krawler makes a great one).

Secondly, your front caster is way too low if you didn't install either front lower or upper adjustable control arms.

For the wobble/shake/etc., I'd first ensure the front track bar is properly torqued (110 ft lbs. for each fastener). Then, I'd look at the condition of the ball joints. Even though you don't have a lot of miles, the stock ball joints are junk when new.

The larger tires are putting more pressure and stress on your front end components and will wear out the stock items fast. Keeping up on maintenance and even upgrading your steering components will pay dividends down the road.
 
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spinxt

spinxt

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Thanks for the reply. First, I assure you it was death wobble. Had to pull over and come to a complete stop to get it to stop. I confirmed the torque on the track bar bolts is at the proper torque. There is no way my castor is out whack THAT much. Plus it's been find for 8,000+ miles. Something has to be loose or failing. Otherwise it would have never come on this fast out of nowhere.
 

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Thanks for the reply. First, I assure you it was death wobble. Had to pull over and come to a complete stop to get it to stop. I confirmed the torque on the track bar bolts is at the proper torque. There is no way my castor is out whack THAT much. Plus it's been find for 8,000+ miles. Something has to be loose or failing. Otherwise it would have never come on this fast out of nowhere.
Lay under and watch each end of the drag link and tie rod while the wife turns the wheel back and forth….. also watch the frame side track bar bracket for any deflection. If that all checks out, jack up tire a couple inches and put a pry bar under, see if there’s any vertical movement….. keep in mind the smallest amount of movement is significant…….. I’ve replaced ball joints as early as 8-10K and see some go 60K. The JL ball joints are a crap shoot……
 

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Thanks for the reply. First, I assure you it was death wobble. Had to pull over and come to a complete stop to get it to stop. I confirmed the torque on the track bar bolts is at the proper torque. There is no way my castor is out whack THAT much. Plus it's been find for 8,000+ miles. Something has to be loose or failing. Otherwise it would have never come on this fast out of nowhere.
Concur - Jointed Balls ^^
 

Tank the Jeep

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Balljoints likely. But I will add to rotate your tires. If a front tire is out of balance/round it will exacerbate the problem.
 
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spinxt

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UPDATE: I found a significant amount of play in the knuckle end of the drag link. Could this be causing my issue? I can physically grab the drag link and feel and hear play in the joint.
 

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spinxt

spinxt

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No not yet. I got an alignment, tire rotation and road force balancing that seems to have helped.

I also checked several other JLs down at the local dealer (10+) and every single one of them had the same exact play (as in the video I posted above)in the knuckle side of the drag link. I assume that’s “normal”.
 

XX4XEXX

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Just as advice that play is not normal. No way every JL at the dealer had this issue. My stock JT didn't have that play at all.


No not yet. I got an alignment, tire rotation and road force balancing that seems to have helped.

I also checked several other JLs down at the local dealer (10+) and every single one of them had the same exact play (as in the video I posted above)in the knuckle side of the drag link. I assume that’s “normal”.
 
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spinxt

spinxt

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Just as advice that play is not normal. No way every JL at the dealer had this issue. My stock JT didn't have that play at all.
Honest to god. I checked 5 of my neighbors low mileage JLs and at least 5 down at the lot 1/4 mile from my house. ALL sounded exactly like the video posted above.
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