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Reaching my breaking point... may consider trading my JLUR

MCJA

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My wife has a 2016 Grand Cherokee Altitude ecodiesel. It’s been a trouble-free performer for just under 50,000 miles. It used to get 31 mpg on the highway until FCA was forced to reflash it. Now it has less grunt and fuel economy has dropped to about 28 on the highway, 24 mpg overall, but she still loves it.
My wife and I are in the exact same situation. To the letter. 2016 GC Altitude EcoDiesel, great mileage, great ownership experience. New emissions programming has sucked some of the performance out of it, but we still love it. It's been a great vehicle.

It's a little bit off-topic for the OP in terms of fixing the DW issue. But, in reference to "I might just get something else" part - the GC is a great option.
 
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Halstem1

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My wife and I are in the exact same situation. To the letter. 2016 GC Altitude EcoDiesel, great mileage, great ownership experience. New emissions programming has sucked some of the performance out of it, but we still love it. It's been a great vehicle.

It's a little bit off-topic for the OP in terms of fixing the DW issue. But, in reference to "I might just get something else" part - the GC is a great option.
So... our other vehicle is a 2020 Grand Cherokee Limited X. I actually really like it. It has all the things I like of my JL like the creature comforts and the uconnect system. Obviously drives so much better. Tows more when we pull our travel trailer. It is part of what has me wanting to give up. I find myself driving her GC more and more. I semi seriously wanted to buy the exact same Limited X with a Hemi. haha. We actually had matching camerys 10 years ago when we were saving for a new house.

Totally agree the GC is a contender.

I've also looked at some 4runner TRD Pros. surprised they're only $50K. Like i've said, the engine, tranny, and interior are just old. But sharp looking. Likely will be outdated when they eventually redo.

Also looked at a Silverado Trail Boss. HUGE vehicle compared to my JL. Inside sucks and looks strait out of 2006. But can still take offroad. Not doing the rubicon with it, but we were passed by several full-size trucks in Ouray last week. Also, I can lease one for about 300$ less per month than my Jeep and throw the equity from the JL in savings.

Also looked at the entry level defender. $65K gets you the V6 model and they're pretty sweet. First year production issues for sure.

If I do something else, I'm thinking whatever I do might be a lease. That way I can turn back in after 3 years. Maybe the Bronco will finally be out by then. haha.

From everyones feedback.... Best case, the issue is in my ball joints or a bushing. Or possibly something I already replaced a couple thousand miles ago. Minimum cost is lets say $1000 with no guarantee it resolves issue. Issue could also show back up in 20K miles when something wears out again. Other options include axle swap at a net cost of $3000-$4000. Or PSC for about $3000 without labor. Or a combination of that. I currently have probably $70K in the JL... Ugh. I know i'm gonna miss the JL but daaaaang. Not to mention the stuff I might deal with still like paint and locker issues others are dealing with.

I keep going back and forth.
 

MCJA

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So... our other vehicle is a 2020 Grand Cherokee Limited X. I actually really like it. It has all the things I like of my JL like the creature comforts and the uconnect system. Obviously drives so much better. Tows more when we pull our travel trailer. It is part of what has me wanting to give up. I find myself driving her GC more and more. I semi seriously wanted to buy the exact same Limited X with a Hemi. haha. We actually had matching camerys 10 years ago when we were saving for a new house.

Totally agree the GC is a contender.

I've also looked at some 4runner TRD Pros. surprised they're only $50K. Like i've said, the engine, tranny, and interior are just old. But sharp looking. Likely will be outdated when they eventually redo.

Also looked at a Silverado Trail Boss. HUGE vehicle compared to my JL. Inside sucks and looks strait out of 2006. But can still take offroad. Not doing the rubicon with it, but we were passed by several full-size trucks in Ouray last week. Also, I can lease one for about 300$ less per month than my Jeep and throw the equity from the JL in savings.

Also looked at the entry level defender. $65K gets you the V6 model and they're pretty sweet. First year production issues for sure.

If I do something else, I'm thinking whatever I do might be a lease. That way I can turn back in after 3 years. Maybe the Bronco will finally be out by then. haha.

From everyones feedback.... Best case, the issue is in my ball joints or a bushing. Or possibly something I already replaced a couple thousand miles ago. Minimum cost is lets say $1000 with no guarantee it resolves issue. Issue could also show back up in 20K miles when something wears out again. Other options include axle swap at a net cost of $3000-$4000. Or PSC for about $3000 without labor. Or a combination of that. I currently have probably $70K in the JL... Ugh. I know i'm gonna miss the JL but daaaaang. Not to mention the stuff I might deal with still like paint and locker issues others are dealing with.

I keep going back and forth.
Interesting that you say that... I had a '16 JKUR and we bought the '16 GC EcoDiesel for my wife about 6 months later. I loved the EcoDiesel so much that I greatly preferred driving it over my JK. The performance was just so much better than the Pentastar. I was so fond of it that I considered trading my JKU for my own EcoDiesel GC and making it an overlander.

When FCA announced they were going to include the EcoDiesel in the new Wrangler, I dropped my JKUR like a newborn giraffe. Sold it outright and started planning for a diesel JL.

All of that to say: You already know you'd enjoy the GC, so you could cut your losses now.

BUT... You already have a GC in your stable. And it really doesn't scratch the Wrangler itch, does it? The mood of your original post was "I'm on the fence. Do I persist? Or do I move on?" If I were in your shoes, I would make myself a $750 ultimatum. Replace the ball joints with some beefy aftermarket versions. If it fixes the problem, great - keep the JL and keep on keepin' on. If it doesn't fix the problem, that's it. Trade it in (with full disclosure) and let a dealership deal with it on their nickel instead of yours.

Regardless of what you do, I hope it works out for you!
 
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yes, I have. they were helpful. However, the outcome was to "return vehicle to stock" and they would inspect with no guarantee of resolution or diagnosis. I explained a few posts back why reinstalling the stock drag link and tie rod is not ideal. At the time, those were the only "aftermarket" parts installed except for the lift and tires that came on the vehicle.

Could I return to stock? yes. I need to source some parts. I need a stock stabilizer and the axle side stabilizer mount for a Dana M210 axle. I need a pitman arm side end for a factory drag link. I would need to remount my tires on the factory wheels. I would need to remove all 8 aftermarket control arms and re-install the factory arms. All possible. Its about 250$ in parts and 200$ to remount tires. Would take me a long weekend of re-installing parts.

Then they would need to drive and re-create death wobble. Likely would have to pay them for alignment if they determine not warranty. Based on conversation with dealer, their first course of action to replace the steering stabilizer (which was already done previously). Likely leave and wait for it to occur again. Make return appointment. They would then need to recreate the issue again. Told me their "updated" track bar is the next replacement item. Likely sent home again. Wait for it to happen.... Rinse and repeat.
Have you tried another Dealer ?
 
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Halstem1

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Have you tried another Dealer ?
Yeah, good question. The first, where I bought it, basically said "sorry". Wouldn't look or investigate further. Said "remaining factory parts were tight and in good working order". The second dealer was the one that did my steering TSB. They were more helpful but said he was unable to diagnose. After checking alignment, they agreed the factory spec toe spec was no good and referred me to consult with an "off-road shop" but was unable to recommend one. .
 

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Ok.. I tried reading everyone's replies so I apologize if I mention something that may have been covered.

I agree with everyone that says ball joint replacement. I agree with everyone saying don't focus on any type on bandaid like a SS. SO... while I agree, and you are getting some solid advice on this forum from members, you keep stating what would we do if it were our JLUR? Here is exactly what I'd do as I've had this issue on 3 JKs, and while the JL is actually a different beast they still share the same design concepts.

1) Replace the entire front axle. Period.
Why? New factory axles will come with new ball joints, saves you a $600-$800 bill. You will also get new C's. You will also get a new axle that has possibly correct bracket alignment... think trackbar, LCAs, UCAs, etc.
You already have upgraded everything else in steering and longer LCAs with the Mopar lift.
2) Make sure you have the Mopar springs installed on the correct side, L-R.
3) Make sure you have the latest spring pad for those springs.
4) Have an extra set of front shocks available, stock will do if you have them.
5) Make sure every bolt that connects to the axle is TQ'd with a VERIFIED wrench. Hate when techs get this wrong. Also test each bolt to ensure the holes haven't wallowed out some. I dont like play even if it seems TQd tight.

I would, and have done exactly this in the past with success on all of them. Dont chase or guess after all you have done already. It started prior to mods which means it is an OE issue. Proving it to FCA is difficult but not impossible. Personally not worth the fight since you have part options.
Why the extra shocks? Because if all else fails the only thing left is a bad shock or spring unloading when hitting a bump. Price is not bad for some basic shocks if need be, and springs are a couple hundred at most. But... the new axle with all the new brackets, ball joints, C's, etc. Will enure a peice of mind regardless and isn't a waste. 37s? Lift? Off reading in Colorado... those ball joints will die in 25k regardless. But at least new axle and parts that come on it will get you at least a min 25k miles further before upgrading them. Why another factory axle? Because if push came to shove you can't be denied warranty on stock parts replacement. The proof in repair might just land you a trip to lawville and get the axle reimbursed.

Don't give up yet as you are literally so close to resolve. Sorry you are experiencing DW as it really sucks. But, get it resolved and not only do you now know your Jeep better than your spouse, but you know what to do when it happens again. Again???? Yup it can happen again on any solid axle vehicle but the trick is finding it, fixing it, and maintaining it for worry free fun! Good luck and everyone is here for you.
I'm curious...in this situation, why spend $3k ish+ labor on another stock front axle with stock ball joints running 37s? The dealer simply confirmed bolt torque and referred him to a 4x4 shop...they didn't warranty anything or fix the problem with his current stock axles bc he's on 37s. If the stock ball joints are the culprit, he'll likely be in the same position with a new stock axle with stock ball joints in another 25k ish miles. That's alot of $ to spend to not upgrade anything...if going that route, why not spend $1k more for an ultimate d44 axle with stronger: housing, arm mounts, axle shafts and ball joints?
 

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I read this entire thread and am shocked that you haven’t replaced the ball joints.

I’m betting a set of ball joints fixes this issue. It’s amazing how a ball joint that doesn’t feel worn will “allow“ DW. I’ve seen this fixed many times with new BJs even when other parts are questionable.

I personally had this on a Ram 2500 3 were unmovable by hand and one could barely be moved. it was my last straw with that truck and that’s what it was. I resisted too thinking they didn't need replaced, but I gave it a try anyway and boom. No more DW for the next 40k.

A tiny amount of slop in one joint doesn’t give us too much trouble, but a tiny, even possibly imperceptible slop/play in a BJ plus multiple other places can be a big problem. Fixing that ”slop” in some places, but not all of them is often the source of this kind of frustration.

I hope you replace them for “scientific research“ and report back to us.

Ive been driving and working on big rigs since 1982 and they all have straight axles, so I do have some experience in the field.
 

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I keep thinking the same. I’ve actually removed and replaced new parts. I originally had a synergy steering system and replaced with steer smarts because I was insistent I had a bad part. I’ve been through everything multiple times. Every steering and suspension component has less than 5k miles on it.
It might sound crazy but maybe try to increase the caster more. I know guys that have ran up to 8 degrees to fix this issue. Might be worth trying. I am also experiencing death wobble also.
 

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Also looked at a Silverado Trail Boss. HUGE vehicle compared to my JL. Inside sucks and looks strait out of 2006. But can still take offroad. Not doing the rubicon with it, but we were passed by several full-size trucks in Ouray last week. Also, I can lease one for about 300$ less per month than my Jeep and throw the equity from the JL in savings.
You don't want a trail boss.. there's a guy here in central CO who gets stuck as soon as he hits snow on a dirt road in it. G80 mechanical rear and open front.

This is a pretty cool thread.. seems like all the folks that know what they're talking about have chimed in so no need for me to try to add anything.

I will say I have a buddy who had these type issues in his powerwagon. They replaced the entire steering, balljoints, radius arms, every part. He had a bent axle (or factory defect)..once that was replaced he's been fine since.
 

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Fyi....for the last 3 weeks, my jeep had VERY similiar symptoms as @Halstem1 (including scary death wobble 6 times where I had to come to a complete stop)on my jlu with 29k miles. I spent 2 weeks determined to solve it beginning with retorquing, rebalancing, alignment. My friend and I tried the ball joint test that everyone does where you raise a tire and pull hard on it at 12 & 6 o'clock to check for lateral movement...zero movement. I had the tires roadforce balanced and had it alligned again....still wobbled. I then took it to 2 offroad shops...first one was lame and only retorqued and used a pry bar to check ball joints and said they looked fine and essentially gave up.... Second shop was much better and methodical.....they swapped in different:

trackbar, draglink, tie rod,
wheels/tires
Inspect arm bushings

Narrowed it down to ball joints or steering box.
Disassembled brakes and found no preload with ball joints in knuckles
Replaced ball joints today with Dana Spicer and Jeep drives like a dream! Did I mention I hate the stock ball joints?? :headbang:
 
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Fyi....for the last 3 weeks, my jeep had VERY similiar symptoms as @Halstem1 (including scary death wobble 6 times where I had to come to a complete stop)on my jlu with 29k miles. I spent 2 weeks determined to solve it beginning with retorquing, rebalancing, alignment. My friend and I tried the ball joint test that everyone does where you raise a tire and pull hard on it at 12 & 6 o'clock to check for lateral movement...zero movement. I then took it to 2 offroad shops...first one was lame and only retorqued and used a pry bar to check ball joints and said they looked fine and essentially gave up.... Second shop was much better and calculated.....they swapped in different:

trackbar, draglink, tie rod,
wheels/tires
Inspect arm bushings

Narrowed it down to ball joints or steering box.
Disassembled brakes and found no preload with ball joints in knuckles
Replaced ball joints today with Dana Spicer and Jeep drives like a dream! Did I mention I hate the stock ball joints?? :headbang:
Damn you have more patients then I do !
 

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@Halstem1, just curious since you are running KO2’s and you said they were road force balanced, do you know what the road force number was? I have started chasing a very similar issue. I did a Dynatrac lift and it was good for several weeks, then I was getting a slight shimmy in the back of the Jeep. I felt it was tire balance related so I had the tires balanced again. That’s when the wobble in the front started. Since then I have had them balanced 3 times and they have actually replaced 3 out of the 5 because they had 30+ road force. Since then it was better but still not right, I have been throwing parts at it for the last few weeks and not making any significant changes. I started ruling the tires out but now I am somewhat going back to them as a possible cause.

Funny thing is the tires were in the Jeep for 5-7k prior to this, they all balanced out with minimal weight when they first were installed. I have had two different places try to balance them over the last month, every time my wobble has been somewhat different, sometimes better and sometimes worse. Right now the two front tires are the only two original tires from when I bought them, and they still have the original weights from the first balance, they are the only two that have not been out of balance every time they have been checked. With these two in front the Jeep drives the best and the wobble is the least noticeable.
 
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@Halstem1, just curious since you are running KO2’s and you said they were road force balanced, do you know what the road force number was? I have started chasing a very similar issue. I did a Dynatrac lift and it was good for several weeks, then I was getting a slight shimmy in the back of the Jeep. I felt it was tire balance related so I had the tires balanced again. That’s when the wobble in the front started. Since then I have had them balanced 3 times and they have actually replaced 3 out of the 5 because they had 30+ road force. Since then it was better but still not right, I have been throwing parts at it for the last few weeks and not making any significant changes. I started ruling the tires out but now I am somewhat going back to them as a possible cause.

Funny thing is the tires were in the Jeep for 5-7k prior to this, they all balanced out with minimal weight when they first were installed. I have had two different places try to balance them over the last month, every time my wobble has been somewhat different, sometimes better and sometimes worse. Right now the two front tires are the only two original tires from when I bought them, and they still have the original weights from the first balance, they are the only two that have not been out of balance every time they have been checked. With these two in front the Jeep drives the best and the wobble is the least noticeable.
I don’t remember the exact numbers. I think he told me 50 was the threshold that they de-bead and re-seat the tire. All were under 30 and I think half were actually something like 15. The shop seemed really experienced and didn’t think the tires were the cause. One or 2 wheels did need an extra once of weight and they put the best balanced ones on the front. I honestly couldn’t say I noticed a difference though. Tire shop was more concerned with the 12.5 tire on the factory wheel. I needed up getting new wheels but regretted it after because I preferred my stock ones and it wasn’t a factor.
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