Steering wheel wobble?

plex

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Hey plex....My damper is too date coded X208 and Jeep was built on Sept 1st with 3300 highway miles on it currently. I get steering wobble after hitting bridge expansion joints at 55mph+. Especially after 1 wheel hits it, like on a curve. Dampens out after a few seconds. I am going to continue to monitor and see if it gets worse. If so, I am taking to dealer with STAR case to have replaced. I may remove it myself and check proper function too.

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Hi Brewtus8, I am sorry to hear your wobble situation. So far I only have about 600 miles on a bone stock Rubicon, so I have to wait for my turn. My couple of thoughts to share with you.

(1) I think the date codes reset after they reach certain number, so the original 257 came from X257L, while you and mine are X208M. I think the last character is also part of the date code. That is why many people said their Jeep built much earlier but have numbers larger than 257, maybe their last character is K or something prior to L. Still, your steering damper can be worn out despite the batch. Did you lift your jeep or make any changes to the suspension?

(2) I would suggest you go to dealer as earlier as possible, rather than wait for more serious wobble. Because every time you have wobble, the damper cannot effectively offset the impact on other steering components, it may bring down (or at least reduce the life) of your track bar, ball joint, etc. Or you can spend $100~$200 to get those aftermarket dampers. They are readily available and do not need to wait for in stock.

My 2 cents but keep me posted, buddy.
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brewtus98

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Is that the track bar weld?
Went home & checked and it was just a paint/ coating drip that pulled away from bottom of axle tube bracket. But yes it was on track bar bracket at axle tube. Picked it away with a dental pick and now you clearly see edge of bracket. Whew!!! Instantly nervous about welds on JLs but this one would have been a Dana issue & not frame plant.

Thanks for info on damper date codes- makes more sense now- thought it was odd being lower number & much later builds!

Stock ride height - no lift........YET......

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jeremyjeep

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I just went most part numbers related to the steering components and compared 2018 vs 2019, such as the track bar, upper and lower control arms, stabilizer bar, link rod, power steering pump, pitman arm, stabilizer bar bushing, left knuckle, right knuckle, ball joints, stabilizer link, etc. This is what I found:

All steering related part numbers that I checked (I didn't check any steering related circuit boards or wiring) are the same comparing 2018 vs 2019, except:

1. Steering Box: The 2019 JL has the -AD version, and people who had their steering boxes replaced on their 2018 JL now have the -AD version. I don't know if/when any of the late production 2018s have the -AD version or not.

2. Steering Damper / Stabilizer: The 2019 JL has the -AD version, and people who had the bad date codes replaced now have the -AD versions. I don't know if/when any of the late production 2018s have the -AD version or not.

3. All of the above steering related parts are also showing good for 2018 - 2020, except the following parts are n/a for 2020, which means there will probably be different part numbers for these 3 steering related components in 2020:
a. Left knuckle
b. Right knuckle
c. Ball Joints

Now I'm wondering if the software and / or steering component related circuit boards are same/different for 2018 vs 2019. And I'm very curious if there will be any 2019 steering related complaints (light wobble, death wobble, drifting, loose steering, steering locking up, etc.). Of course, some of the 2018 JL steering related problems might include welding related geometry issues that might be fixed for 2019 JLs. If the 2019s do have steering problems, then the common steering components are suspect. If that is the case maybe putting 2020 ball joints and knuckles (if compatible) on 2018/2019 JLs will fix it. If the 2019s don't have steering issues, Jeep may not address the 2018 JL steering issues that some are still having.
 

brewtus98

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Build date of 9/1 for my 2018 and I have -AD Box in mine

Damper is -AB version.
 

2k2wranglerx

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I made this video randomly the other night in 1 take with no editing lol just to go through some of the things to check. There's more i've thought of since i made this video. BUT, this video is still good reference on HOW to check various failure points on the jeep. It's really easy but even the dealer won't do this. They usually only give a visual.

A couple things to check that i forgot about:

For modified rigs making sure your drag link (from pitman arm to knuckle) is as close to parallel as possible to the track bar

Check your tire pressure! too much CAN cause DW. Especially if you're trying to get max MPG and running 40 psi or more.

For tie rod ends. When i was talking about the tapered holes being worn, i had a specific jeep in mind. You're more likely to have a click or feel movement in the tie rod itself than the tapered hole.

I'll probably add more as i think of it lol
 

jeepnoob

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Yes, I had the Mopar lift installed at 500 miles with 37” KO2s. The death wobble started small at 7,500 miles and got bad quick. I had everything checked for wear and torque, an alignment, and the tires balanced/rotated twice with no improvement. So we replaced the control arms and track bar with Metalcloak so we could adjust the caster. This improved the drive a lot but DW was not entirely gone. Finally replaced the SS with the Falcon 2.2 and it drives great and all DW gone. I know everyone says the SS is just a bandaid and not the real problem, but I have had everything checked over multiple times and replaced parts for $$$$ and can’t find anything else. So until Jeep finds more than a bad SS, I am not sure what else I can do.
About to replace my LCA and track bar as well. What did you have the caster set to? From everything I've been reading somewhere between 6 and 6.5 degrees of positive caster seems to be the magic number. As an aside, my dealer called me and said the problem was the steering stabilizer and they were ordering an aftermarket SS. I politely asked if anyone had actually looked under the Jeep because I already installed the Rough Country SS. Dealers are NO help on this issue. I've had two people tell me its my tires, 35" BFG A02's. Anyone else having trouble with these tires?
 

TheJoyceIsYours

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Yikes. Sorry to hear that. Just wondering if there was a slightly different setup in Rubicons, but sounds like it's similar!


I have a Rubicon and it was so bad one day last week it almost threw me into the next lane.
 

baggio16

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I had my stabilizer replaced by the dealer with the FCA part, and it did not fix it. Made it much better. Took it back in and it sat for 2 weeks. No work done and chrysler's engineering said "released and unresolved". Going to pick it up today :/
This is what happened to me. I can actually drive it, but it still gets bad at 60+. I had mine replaced with an AD stabilizer.

I've been working with Jeep and my case manager said it might be the dampener. They're going to get that part expedited to the dealer. Hopefully. Jeep Corporate has been really good to work with so far.

You might want to send a message to Jeep through their web site if you haven't already.
 

Midwest22

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I dont have death wobble but Ive had a shimmy for quite some time at highway speeds AND I have a good excuse to swap out my SS. Apparently during one of my off roading trips I must have hit my stabilizer and put a nice dent in it. I ordered a Falcon 2.2 that Im going to install this weekend. I also feel that I need to increase my castor so Im looking for adjustable LCA's that can TRUELY be adjusted while on the vehicle (as opposed to removing one end and turning the knuckle). If anyone has any suggestions, please post.
 

Leights7

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This is what happened to me. I can actually drive it, but it still gets bad at 60+. I had mine replaced with an AD stabilizer.

I've been working with Jeep and my case manager said it might be the dampener. They're going to get that part expedited to the dealer. Hopefully. Jeep Corporate has been really good to work with so far.

You might want to send a message to Jeep through their web site if you haven't already.
Hi. So just to confirm, your first stabilizer was identified as faulty (number below 257 as mentioned in the STAR case). So, they replaced the stabilizer with a new one......and now the new one is still considered faulty as well?
 

Lithograph

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Just got back from the dealership. they said everything looks good, which is true because it does lol, but they DID get the Jeep to replicate the problem while driving. They started a STAR case and whatnot. Sent me on my way (my wobble/shimmy is getting worse but I'm not fearing for my life just yet), and my service rep is going to contact me soon. I told them about the date code and whatnot (mine is 183), and to their credit, they wrote everything down I said including the Issue Bulletin case number. We'll go from here!
 

warc1

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I experienced a low speed death wobble for the first time last Friday on my stock 2dr JLR with 7k miles. When making a right turn from a side street, I hit a mild bump at 20 mph with the front wheels near but not fully straight. That induced a wobble that lasted at least 5 seconds until just before I came to a full stop.

It did not recur over the next few days, but I nonetheless took it into the dealer for a checkup on Wednesday. They found nothing. The said the alignment, tire pressure and tire wear were good and that they checked the torque on all steering components and found no issues.

As of today, I've only experienced the wobble that one time. However, in the days before that incident, I perceived that bumps on curves were sometimes inducing a shimmy in the steering wheel. It never progressed to a full wobble, but seemed like it was wanting to let go. That still happens, but it is limited. The shimmy doesn't occur when hitting bumps on straight travel and only occurs intermittently when hitting bumps on curves.

Could my encounter with mild death wobble be a freak circumstance since I'm not encountering the same experiences as most reporting in this thread? My wobble occurred at low speed where just about everyone else reports it at highway speeds. I do not experience loose steering like most other posters here. I don't perceive any play in the steering wheel and the vehicle tracks straight and true on the highway unless there is a crosswind.

Conversely, could it be that I'm experiencing the same issue as others in this thread, only mine hasn't yet developed into as severe a problem? Any advice on where to go from here would be appreciated.
Above is the original issue with my May/18 build JL from three weeks ago. It went the back to the dealer immediately after I found out about the unofficial bulletin to replace defective steering dampers. They discovered that my damper had a date stamp that was well within the range of defective production. A new damper was backordered and finally showed up last week when it was installed.

I've now had seven days of driving to test whether this solved the problem and my conclusion is that it has. I've had no encounters with steering shimmy or actual wobble since the replacement.

Note that in the two weeks after I wrote up my issue here, the condition progressively worsened. While a low speed wobble only developed once more, steering shimmy became more and more prevalent over time. The damper defect purportedly regards a deterioration of the damper's seals resulting in a gradual loss of gas pressure. That seems consistent with this continued deterioration of steering control.
 
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wbee

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Does anybody have these death wobble issues that have change the track bar and replaced the upper and lower control arms. I’ve replaced the track bar but I’m willing to replace the upper and lower control arms if it will fix the problems.
 
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