Death Wobble – How To Fix Your Own Case of Death Wobble

in Death Wobble Cures

 Death Wobble: How To Fix Your Own Case Of Dreaded Death Wobble

(If you have questions or a comment… post it below, and we’ll answer you ASAP!)

As you have already found out, ” Death Wobble ” is the horrible front end vibration that starts when one tire (usually the right tire first) hits a groove or bump in the pavement somewhere around 40~50mph.  Death Wobble is quite possibly the worst possible downside to having a coil-sprung front suspension on a vehicle with a track bar or panhard bar.  Vehicles affected by this design are the Jeep Cherokee XJ, the Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ and WJ, TJ and JK Jeep Wrangler, and also include trucks like Toyota, Ford, and Dodge Ram (a page written specifically for the Dodge Wobble is located HERE), as well as early Ford Broncos.  Death Wobble is also extremely difficult to try to diagnose and fix, because it is actually caused by slop in the entire steering system as a whole, not by one component.  To diagnose and fix Death Wobble correctly, your mechanic needs to look for “play” everywhere in the steering and front suspension system, searching for anything that could have “play” in it.  It’s very time consuming to find a Death Wobble fix, and can be downright dangerous while you are in “testing phase”, trying to exorcise this demon from your Jeep or Truck.  This page is specific to the Jeep Death Wobble Problem and discusses Jeep Death Wobble Causes and Cures

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For a more in-depth discussion and tutorial, I’ve written my first book on Death Wobble, entitled “Death Wobble: Causes and Cures“, which is available here:

http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/

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The place I tell people to start, is with an overall visual inspection.  Spend 10 solid minutes under the

Death Wobble Alignment Death Wobble – Front End Suspension Components – 4x4Xplor.com

front end, visually inspecting each one of the steering components for shiny spots on steel, rubber, or polyeurthane, which is typically indicative of suspension components that are moving around when they are not supposed to be.  Pay CAREFUL attention to the track bar (also called a Panhard Bar inside and ouside the USA, as well as variant spellings (misspellings?) of  trackbar, tracbar, and trak-bar ).  The Track Bar is  often the culprit in many cases.  And, if any of your bolts are even the least bit loose, Death Wobble also can manifest itself and make your life a living hell, so check for looseness everywhere. 

If everything appears to be “normal” on the underside of your Jeep or Truck, and you’ve verified the bolt tightness on both ends of the track bar, the next thing to do is to start with a front end alignment, making sure that caster (frequently misspelled as ” castor “) is set correctly as well as toe-in.  If you have been offroading and have bent your tie rod even slightly, that, also, will throw off your alignment.  Plus, it’s only $40 or so at your local alignment shop.  By the way, DO NOT let the alignment shop talk you into a four-wheel alignment, as this is only useful on vehicles with independent rear suspension in my experience, and since there are no adjustment points in the rear of a live-axle vehicle ANYWAY, you’re merely paying for a service that you won’t get by the time you leave the alignment shop.  Furthermore, if you have a lifted vehicle, make sure that the alignment shop you choose knows the variant specifications for lifted vehicles, and that they do NOT set it to the “default/stock” settings.  A good quality alignment shop familiar with lifted 4×4 vehicles will know these settings, and a poor quality shop will likely tell you that it doesn’t matter whether it’s lifted or not…and that they use the stock specs.  Walk away immediately, or hang up the phone and call the next shop, if they do.

If you are now *certain* that the front end alignment that it’s set correctly, and that you have not replaced ANY other front end components recently (including tires or wheels) that may have caused the oscillation to begin, I tell people the next most suspect thing is the factory front track bar.  Over time, the tie rod end on the upper portion of the Panhard or track bar (some applications like the WJ Grand Cherokee, the Ford Truck and the Dodge Ram have a rubber bushing configuration instead, which also wears out) develops “play” in it due to wear and miles on the vehicle.  The same findings often goes for the lower end bushing, which has a rubber or polyurethane isolator bushing in it, and this “slop” will allow the Dreaded Death Wobble oscillation to occur. Aftermarket trackbars generally come with urethane bushings that allow a LOT less “play” (with respect to movement / crush) than the factory rubber bushings do.  The problem with most aftermarket track bars for the Jeep is that they also come with either a Heim joint, Johnny Joint, or tie rod end on the upper end of the Track Bar, which works fine for a while, but wears out over time, leaving you right back where you started, with a large mess in your shorts, a temporarily deafened right ear (from the wife screaming for dear life, or, quite possibly at YOU, for buying the Jeep to begin with, lol), and an overall high level of frustration with your entire rig in general…which doesn’t often lead into a smooth, stress-free trip. The reason why I developed our Track Bar Conversion for XJ Cherokees and ZJ Grand Cherokees is to eliminate that problematic (and expensive to have to replace when it wears out) previously mentioned joint, as well as for the additional flex benefits you get out of it.  If you are running an Cherokee XJ or Grand Cherokee ZJ with or without Death Wobble, and it has more than 1.5″ of lift, I highly recommend you check it out. Many aftermarket track bars as well as the stock track bar are completely ineffective in managing Death Wobble due to their “effective angle of operation” particularly if you are above say 2 or 3 inches of lift.  Keep the thought in the back of your mind, that another alignment is necessary after replacing ANY front end components, especially if Death Wobble still remains.  Sometimes you might get lucky and don’t need one…but be forewarned.

A complementary product we have found to work VERY well in getting rid of Death Wobble is our exclusive Hard-KOR brand SuperDurometer Track Bar Bushings, which are also available for the Track Bar Conversion, and fit most “normal” sized 1.6″ ID by 1.25″ deep aftermarket and factory track bar end loops, which would originally take a 1.6″ OD rubber cartridge bushing.  Our SuperDurometer Track Bar Bushings are about TWO TIMES as hard as the typical polyurethane bushings that come in most aftermarket track bars, (which typically are made by Daystar or Energy Suspension for most of the various aftermarket manufacturers).  Polyurethane bushings are also one of the least expensive replacement parts in the steering components, so they make sense to try first.

The next thing to check is your steering stabilizer.  I recommend AT THE MINIMUM, replacing the stabilizer (or dampener, as it’s sometimes called) at the same time as whatever worn components that you find under the front end, as this “combination punch” is very often more effective than the change caused by each of the parts alone.  Death Wobble shakes EVERYTHING, and loosens up OTHER components at the same time.  I’ve found that replacing the stabilizer by itself often times doesn’t eliminate death wobble directly, but that it often helps with some other poor handling characteristics, which cause the onset of Death Wobble (such as wandering, for instance) and a new one seems to tighten up the entire steering system.  I ONLY recommend our Hard-KOR Steering Stabilizer or the OME SD40 stabilizer , because either one seems to be tighter and work better for stopping Death Wobble than the other manufacturers of steering dampeners and stabilizers on the market (and I’ve tried them all, trying like hell to get rid of a WJ Death Wobble problem years ago).  They are also the most heavy duty that I’m aware of.  These two stabilizers are the ONLY two that I recommend to ANYONE who is having trouble with Death Wobble, and it’s also one of the least expensive parts to replace in your steering system to attempt to remedy the problem.

Here are some other steering components to check over for looseness or improper movement:

  • Tie Rod Ends (all four, plus the upper track bar end)

  • Upper and Lower Ball Joints

  • Track Bar Mounting Bracket Bolts

  • Steering Box Bolts

  • Track Bar Ends

Another product that we’ve developed to assist with Death Wobble, is our XJ Cherokee Steering Box Brace for the Jeep Cherokee XJ, and our ZJ Grand Cherokee Steering Box Brace for the V8 and 6 Cyl Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ, which holds the steering gear box tightly on those two models, allowing the additional stresses of running larger-than-stock tires be directed to BOTH frame rails, rather than depending on the three little bolts that hold the gear to the frame, which get loose and if they do, will snap the gear box ears off the box, and leave you stranded somewhere you don’t want to be. Another source of Death Wobble is over-inflated tires (you should have somewhere around 30psi or so in stock sized tires, and far less pressure the larger your tires are.  See Boyle’s Law and consider how much more volume of air is inside your 33″ tires compared to stock-sized tires.  As an example, I run around 18psi in my 37″ tires).

The last thing that I can mention that has caused Death Wobble in the past is hub bearings.  If there is a little slop in them over the years and miles, they MAY indeed help to cause the oscillation as well.  I mentioned them last because they are the most expensive to replace, and probably least likely to be the ROOT of the problem (though they might be a component adding to the problem). While you have the front end apart, you should consider adding some offset upper ball joints to your Jeep if you’re running a lift kit, in order to return the caster back to what a stock Jeep would be if you are running say 4″ of lift or more.  Be aware that on 4×4 models (especially full-time 4×4 models), by NOT changing the ball joints to the offset type, you add more vibration to the front drive shaft since you are also turning your pinion angle downward in conjunction with every caster angle increase.  In other words, you can’t have one without the other, and on the full-time 4×4 models, you’ll get a little vibration at highway speeds by NOT doing so.  Compared to Dreaded Death Wobble, however, this is a VERY small price to pay, lol.

Hopefully this short checklist gets you started on the right foot and helps to cure your Death Wobble problems, and gives you a permanent Death Wobble Fix.

Very Sincerely,

-=Kevin=-

 

Additional Resources:

  • KGO-TV San Francisco: Chrysler Acknowledges “Death Wobble”

{ 978 comments… read them below or add one }

Don Szczodrowski October 29, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Hi Kevin,
I purchased a new Grand Cherokee ZJ way back in 1995. It now has 130,000 miles and has just recently started the death wobble. I was on my way to Florida from Indiana last fall and it struck! I was traveling around 70 mph and was slowing to exit a freeway, as I slowed to around 60 the wobble started and would not quit until I had slowed to around 40. As I was almost to my destination I continued and did not notice any more major wobble.
Then in spring I returned back to Indiana and only noticed a few minor wobbles until I had taken a trip to Chicago. While there it struck again, worse than before – this time I was traveling around 50 when it happened and I had to come almost to a full stop to stop wobbling (part of that may have been me shaking due to the initial problem!). I was close to a Goodyear tire store and stopped to find what was happening.
At the time I stopped I noticed both front wheel centers were so hot I could not touch them. They went over the front end and checked the alignment and found nothing wrong (?).
Someone told me to replace the hubs/bearings and since I had a noisy CV, I replaced front hubs and CVs but the wobble still persisted.
This wobble seams to happen more when the weather is hot, never noticed it in winter. My jeep is completely stock with 225-75R 15 tires and air shocks in the rear as I used this jeep to pull a car trailer for years.
After reading the info on this site, I hope I can correct the problem as I love my jeeps. I also have an 02 TJ X with 88,000 miles stock with 31 in. tires, no problems with it at all!
Thanks for the information!
Don

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Kevin October 30, 2014 at 10:18 am

Our pleasure, Don! Hope you can get it solved easily.

The reason why it does it when the tires are hotter, is that the sidewalls are more pliable when the tires are warm, meaning more looseness in the overall configuration, and the fact that the oil in the steering stabilizer is more thick when it’s cold, meaning it allows less quick movement.

K

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Art October 29, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Hello there!
I have a 1992 Silverado 3500 Dually. for the past couple of months I have been experiencing the DEATH WOBBLE….. I have replaced many components such as upper and lower control arms, outer tie rods, and steering box. everything else is fine (idler, pitman arm, and steering links. This coming weekend I will change the swaybar bushings and front shocks. Someone told me that the front tires may be the problem…. I am thinking of rotating the tires also….. I continue to have the Damn Death Wobble. I am tired of spending money on things that are NOT solving the problem…. PLEASE HELP

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Kevin October 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Art, your tires need to be perfectly round, dynamically balanced, and not “cupped”. If rotating them will solve that, great. If not, consider purchasing some new tires for the front (at least!).

Rotating tires on a simple X pattern, is the only way I’ve found to keep a 4×4′s tires round through their lives. On a dually, you’d have to modify that X slightly by rotating the rears out at the same time, but that’s my suggestion, once you have new tires.

What shape is your steering stabilizer in? Inner tie rod ends? Do you have a steering box brace on there? I’ve also seen a bad idler arm cause DW before on the Chevy IFS system.

K

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Stephanie Stevens October 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Hey there…came across your page in Bing search.
My husband & I have a 2004 Wangler with lift. The DW has been happening for years. We had it looked at many different places, 4 wheel shops & dealer, nothing. Now this issues seems more frequent with owners. We live in the Sacramento area & we are not handy car folk ;) so do you where we can take it to get it fixed? Also an ball park on cost to fix?
Thanks

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Stephanie Stevens October 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm

PS. We had the tires balanced several times, which helped for a short period but you could still feel something not right.

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Kevin October 24, 2014 at 10:54 am

Hi there, Stephanie. Sorry to hear that you’re struggling with Death Wobble issues. It’s really an awful thing to have to deal with…however, thankfully, it’s about 99.9% curable with the right knowledge and the right replacement parts.

I’d suggest you purchase our book on Curing Death Wobble ( http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/ ) and drop that off at a mechanic you already trust, and have them go through the entire thing, so that they have a deep level of understanding on how to fix the problem. I’d recommend you also purchase the entire Death Wobble Cure Kit for your Wrangler ( http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/tj-death-wobble-package-for-1-to-35-of-suspension-lift-p-1080/ ) and have that delivered to them, so that they have all the upgraded new parts at their fingertips when they have your Jeep on the rack. Either have them replace everything that needs to be replaced after they troubleshoot and ship the “leftover” items back to us for a full refund, or my suggestion is just have them replace EVERYTHING that comes in the kit, to freshen up the entire suspension and steering, and solve the problem without having to mess with it any time in the near future. With as many years/miles as you have, the latter is the best solution, in my opinion, but a few bucks might be saved by the first solution, if you’re concerned mainly about overall cost.

Hope that helps!
K

K

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Gary Liedorff October 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Hey Kevin, Thought I would give you an FYI. The DW is 100% caused by improper wheel balance. In a perfectly tight front suspension the symptoms of wheel imbalance may not be noticed and more pronounced in a loose one. I have been fixing this problem for 40+ years and it has always been wheel balance. What happens is when technicians mount the wheel on the balancing machine they do not get the wheel properly centered as it is when its bolted to the hub. You can’t balance an improperly centered wheel! That’s why the DW only happens at certain speeds. Its because of balance and balance alone. Hope this helps some.

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Kevin October 20, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Thanks for your input and your post, Gary.

And, I totally disagree.

Death Wobble is definitely *NOT* caused solely by out of balance tires. Death Wobble actually needs three different things, in order to happen:

1) Loose/worn/weak** steering and/or suspension components
2) A “trigger incident” (something like a pothole, an expansion joint, or an out of balance wheel, like you mentioned)
3) The correct resonance/speed (almost always the 15mph range between 42-57mph).

You have to have *all three* to get Death Wobble. I agree that out of balance tires could certainly be ONE of the triggers, but if all the steering and suspension components are totally up to par, even a badly unbalanced wheel won’t trigger Death Wobble.

K

**NOTE: I mentioned “weak” suspension/steering components, because they might indeed be new and seem tight, but, at the same time, they simply may not up to the job of fending off the “trigger incident” once you add heavier tires/wheels (which are more difficult to keep balanced) and/or modify the suspension height with lift kits (which change the factory geometry). Frankly, it’s my opinion that stock components were not up to the task (from the factory) in keeping Death Wobble from happening…or we wouldn’t have factory-height vehicles with factory-sized tires having DW problems. You’ve GOT to upgrade those weaker components under there with stronger components if you want to cure the problem…and not get caught in the cycle of replacing them with the same OE-style parts!!

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Dennis Doherty October 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I got the DW after replacing rims / tires on my XJ, had the tires looked at and rebalanced, they were all fine… The tires and rims had maybe 400 miles on them when the DW reared its ugly head, 40 to 45 MPH..

I already had an adjustable trac-bar, but read the KOR blogs, and started replacing bushings, added a steering stabilizer ( did that because I added a new bumper and winch… The 3 bolts for the steering box, a joke ) I followed KOR’s advice and I no longer have the death wobble, I have to swap bushings on the end links, I get a clunk now… But will order from KOR to get those…

Many thanks Kevin and team…

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Kevin October 27, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Yay!!! That’s great, Dennis…glad to hear you got it whipped!!!

K

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DC October 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Ok, here’s my ’07 Wrangle DW story and fix.

Bought used w/ mud terrain tires w/ teraflex 2.5 kit w/ 48K ish miles. No problemo for about 20K miles (1.5 yrs). Changed out tires to 255 / 75R/ 17 GY Wranglers. DW arrives at 45-60 mph on freeway. WHOA!!! Didn’t bother me much since I use by bike most of the time (it’s Southern California. 26K miles in 18 months). Had tires balanced 4 times at 2 different shops, and my stabilizer / damper arm was leaking, so had it replaced. Rode excellent for about a month – then boom. It’s back. That’s the reason 4 x’s for tire balancing. And, my main mechanic says everything is tight underneath, and can’t figure it out. Ok, had enuf.

Ventured south to Redondo Beach to Lee’s. Family owned biz for about 50 yrs. They do a lot of the local shops lift alignments….most importantly, very familiar w/ DW.

One look at it, at the guy says way to much play in the outer / inner tie rods. Heavy duty parts arrive the following day. They install, re-align it taking into consideration the 2.5 lift, and do dynamic balancing. Some of my tires were 1.5 oz off. End result?

On the fwy up to 80 mphs, extremely smooth. DW cured. If it comes back, I’ll let you know.

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Kevin October 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Sweet!! That’s outstanding…thank you for the “shout out” for Lee’s. I actually grew up in Torrance, and spent most weekends at Redondo and the Pier. Fun times! Glad you were able to get it whipped!!

K

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Greg October 13, 2014 at 10:30 am

Hello, I own a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unilimited 52,xxx miles. The death wobble has occurred 2x since i owned this jeep. The jeep is stock suspension with new tires and shocks. I am just trying to begin the diagnosis, but am scared to take it to the jeep dealer here in town for fear of getting screwed around. It occurred while i was slowing down on the highway to 45mph.
The driver behind me also pulled over and said both of my front tires were shaking violently as i confirmed with a holysh*t inside the car as i pulled over. any help would be awesome! thanks :)

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Kevin October 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Hey there, Greg. Sorry to hear you’re dealing with it too. The JK Wrangler you own has a bit less of a propensity to get Death Wobble, however, the good news is that it’s almost always completely fixable.

Here’s a set of components to replace the entire front end setup at once, which we’ve had about a 95% effective rate of a first-time cure, over the years:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/jk-death-wobble-package-for-10-to-60-of-lift-p-1086/

If you’re mechanically inclined, have extra time, and are a bit more price sensitive, then the list of components included in that kit can also be purchased onesie-twosie, but each part will need to be diagnosed individually that way.

Kevin

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Adam October 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I saw in one of your comments that you have never had a case of death wobble y’all haven’t been able to fix.
Try this one on for size.
88 jeep xj 4×4 death wobble no matter what over 40 mph
Here’s the things I have done to try to fix it, all brand new parts keep in mind
Got a hp 99 dana 30 on it with brand new spicer ball joints, ujoints, sfk unit hubs, 1.5 .25″ wall dom over the knucke 1 ton steering, over the axle trackbar built with the same dom and ruff stuff 7/8″ Heims, welded over the axle bracket and welded frame side bracket. Perfect angles(drag link matches trackbar) new Durango steering box, frame side steering brace, tighter grade 8 hardware in all uca, lca bushings, adjustable uppers, polyurethane control arm bushings all around, brand new BFG km2s balanced 3 times, aligned, tried the caster at 10 degrees, 8 degrees, 5 degrees, now 6 degrees. No matter what it full blown death wobbles( can’t control the jeep and it doesn’t stop until I slow to 2mph)
Jeep is parked and I’m not spending another dime on it after all this lol

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Kevin October 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm

What tire pressure are you running? Steering stabilizer setup? Toe-in setting? Has the axle been tested for true-ness?

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Adam October 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm

24psi, tried 30 tried 40. 40 was way too much but death wobble seemed to be better.
I’ve gone from toed in 1/4 ” to toe out 1/4″ and it still does it. And not sure what you mean for trueness of the axle.
NO steering stabilizer. I don’t put band aids on broken bones lol

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Kevin October 7, 2014 at 7:12 pm

24psi might still be a shade too much depending on your tire’s volume…might want to experiment with a few psi less and see what happens. Toe-in should be really close to zero. “True-ness of axle”: have it checked to see if it’s bent, perhaps from a curb, rock, tree, etc…because that will create non-curable alignment and tire balancing issues, which then causes Death Wobble. Regarding Steering Stabilizers…it sounds as if you’ve been the recipient of BS. The “Internet Gurus” would bet their first-born kid, that steering stabilizers are truly unnecessary, and a band-aid, eh? Totally incorrect info, regurgitated over and again, makes it seem like a true story. Unfortunately, that info comes from folks who are not Physics majors…

Steering Dampeners change the inherent harmonic resonation speed of the Jeep/Dodge/Ford coil-sprung front suspension, designed to dampen enough “natural and normal” oscillation, such that Death Wobble is never triggered. Steering Stabilizers are installed on every coil-sprung vehicle, from the factory…yet these guys would have you believe that removing them is going to make things better, not worse, lol. The larger the rotating mass (read: heavy tires/wheels), the more dampening from the steering stabilizer you need, my friend.

“When the wheel rotates, asymmetries of mass may cause it to hop or wobble, which can cause ride disturbances, usually vertical and lateral vibrations. It can also result in a wobbling of the steering wheel or of the entire vehicle. The ride disturbance, due to unbalance, usually increases with speed. Vehicle suspensions can become excited by unbalance forces when the speed of the wheel reaches a point that its rotating frequency equals the suspension’s resonant frequency.” ( From here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_balance ). This is why Death Wobble starts at various speeds on different vehicles…the greater the mass of the tire, the slower a speed it is triggered.

I ain’t makin’ it up…and it’s a real pain in the ass to have to go against years of incorrect info and false paradigms regurgitated over and over, which floats around the web. However, even if I am wrong (which I’m not…ask your Physics professor…) wouldn’t a $50-ish dollar fix be a good solution for a currently undrivable rig?

And, just to put my money where my mouth is, if you purchase one of our stabilizers, and it doesn’t help, I’ll GLADLY cover the shipping BOTH directions, and give you 100% of your money back! (That’s how sure I am about this!!)

Kevin

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Adam October 7, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Yeah the edges of my 35s still don’t touch the concrete at 24. I’ll play around with that and I have a stock steering stabilizer laying around my garage so I may try to throw that on…however, I’ve seen rigs run larger than 35s with no stabilizer and they don’t wobble. I here what your saying about the resonance, I figured the same thing but my view is with a perfect suspension the resonance can’t get going enough to cause a death wobble, that’s why putting a stabilizer on there now makes me think I’m covering up an issue. Don’t know what that would be because I’ve gone through absolutely everything.

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Steven September 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Having problems with the wobble also. Had a new set of tires and had them rebalanced 4 times and still having same problem. Going to put another new set again tomorrow.

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Kevin October 7, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Ok, let us know how it works for you, Steven.

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Linda September 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Help! I have a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee Loredo. I have a pop that happens when I turn corners hard. If I take a soft corner, nothing happens. While driving down the road today, at about 45, it started to wobble. The whole steering wheel shook. Scared me half to death. Suggestions? How bad is this gonna kill my bank account

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Kevin September 29, 2014 at 11:30 am

Hi there, Linda. Sounds to me like you have a bad bushing in your track bar, based on your description. If you have a factory track bar, you’ll need to upgrade it to a stronger one, and I recommend running our SuperDurometer bushings in it, to tighten your steering up substantially from the stock setup.

Track Bar – http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/wj-front-adjustable-jks-track-bar-16-lift-free-48state-shipping-p-492/
Bushings – http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-superhard-rockwell-durometer-75d-bushings-for-track-p-290/

If your Jeep has more than 100k on it, and/or you haven’t replaced the factory steering stabilizer ( http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-replacement-steering-stabilizers-fits-wj-grand-cherokee-outstanding-death-wobble-resistance-p-1047/ ), you may do well with just replacing ALL of the normal “wear items” in the front end, all at once, with one of our kits. Thankfully, it’s only about $400. Here’s the URL for that: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/wj-death-wobble-package-for-16-of-lift-p-1063/

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K.J. October 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

What if the 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee is not lifted? All the links say that they are for 1″-6″ lift.

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Lucas September 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Hey everyone please help me solve my DW problem! I have only had my jeep about a month and my parents are about to force me to sell it because of problems. I have a 2004 TJ with a 2 inch spacer lift sitting on metric tires that equal about 33s i just got my jeep aligned, rotated, and balanced, still have the DW i replaced my steering stabilizer and still have it! My DW starts at what says 47 mph but really is about 50-55 due to the tires throwing it off. i have checked for loose and warn parts as well as the 2 mechanics I’ve had do work on it and we haven’t found anything showing wear tear or anything like that. I was told getting a dropped pitman arm could fix the problem but i would love to stop spending money on things that rant completely needed, i would only like to spend the money to fix the DW, key word being fix not patch! Thank you everyone.

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Kevin September 16, 2014 at 10:33 am

Hey there, Lucas. Spending money on a drop pitman arm is NOT the right way to go about tightening up stuff in the steering and front suspension…do don’t waste money on that!

Did you already read through the Death Wobble article above, and do all of those things? If you need more specific repair info, you can also get a copy of our eBook, which gives specific things to test on a checklist format, with a good graphic and text explaination of each one. Or, if you prefer to have a mechanic handle it, we sell Death Wobble Cure packages which are around 95% effective…VERY few folks get back to us and say that it DIDN’T work once they install it, and get the Jeep aligned by a center who knows how to do a proper alignment on a lifted 4×4.

Here’s the Death Wobble Package and it’s components for your TJ: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-cures-tj-wrangler-death-wobble-19972006-c-42_65/

Here’s the eBook: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/

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Sam Carver September 10, 2014 at 10:33 am

Is it best to start by replacing the track bar bushings and see where that leaves you if the problem is fixed? Only after I make sure that nothing is loose would I do this. Just has tires rotated and balanced and wobble (or wheel hop) is still there and localized to the front left tire. This by the way is on a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport.

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Kevin September 10, 2014 at 10:45 am

Hey there, Sam. You’re 100% on the right track. Just as you said…eliminate looseness wherever you can find it.

K

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Vince September 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Hi. I own a 99 Grand Cherokee Laredo 2wd with all stock suspension. Here’s the problem. Ever since I bought this regrettable mistake, I have dealt with DW. First off, the rotors on the Jeep keep getting warped. Its never ending and no matter what I do, the rotors keep warping. Due to the warping AND OR hitting any type of pothole or bump at anything over 50mph, my jeep wobbles. My issue with DW is magnified because I have these 2 issues that cause the wobble. I have replaced the steering box already to no avail. Any suggestions?

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Kevin September 8, 2014 at 8:28 am

Hi there, Vince. First, the rotors have NOTHING to do with Death Wobble…however there is a TSB on the rotor situation, if you’ve not already upgraded your calipers. Here’s some info: http://www.wjjeeps.com/brakes.htm

If the Death Wobble article didn’t get you the info you needed to start in on fixing it, we also have a book with deeper detail. Here’s a link:

http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/ . We’ve never had a Death Wobble instance we couldn’t fix…so you’re in the right place to get it handled, Vince!

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Jared Roderick September 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm

I was wondering if these track bar bushings will fit a zone adjustable for a wj. Lifted 6.5 on 33s I’ve done upper and lower ball joints all tie rod end wheel bearing and this thing loves death wobble. Was also wondering opinions on iros steering equalizer track bar bracket drop.. Also does a drop pitman arm make a good difference on death wobble? I don’t have one and was told it might add to it

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Kevin September 8, 2014 at 7:33 am

Hey there, Jared. If the Zone bar accepts the normal 1.60″ OD bushings, then yes, they will work perfectly. Make sure to get the upgraded hardware kit too, though…just in case the OD of the Zone sleeve is different from ours…and also so that you can increase the OD of the bolt to 9/16″, and get it tighter with the fine-thread 9/16″ Grade 8 bolt we include.

Here’s a link: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-superhard-rockwell-durometer-75d-bushings-with-sleeves-p-1079/

You definately do NOT want to run a drop pitman arm if you can avoid it. It adds leverage to your thin frame rail, creating frame flex, and loose steering as a result.

I think the IRO Steering Equalizer is a good product, and we can get you one slightly discounted from their website price if you wanted to order everything together at the same time. Just e-mail Rob and we can get you taken care of!

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morgan August 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm

I was just wondering if you had a military discount if not its okay but it doesn’t hurt to ask

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Kevin September 2, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Absolutely we do, Morgan! 10%…and thank you for your service, my friend!
Kevin

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Mark Baker August 27, 2014 at 6:07 pm

I first bought a ’98 Cherokee/Limited from a guy who bought it for his wife…….new….had a driveway about 300yds. long…..winding up a hillside….in the snowy Northeast….wife loved to plow snow so he put a small plow assembly on jeep….was only 11,000 mi. when I bought it….was immaculate….guy said it just wasn;t enough truck to do the job….shortly thereafter was going down the hwy……..Death Wobble…..whoa….scary shit…..figured the chap probably did something to the front end with the plow and all…….wife never drove on the hwy. anyhow and aside from DW vehicle was awesome……had it six yrs. or so…..sold it and informed the buyer about DW ……bought another ’01 Cherokee Sport….1 owner…Mobil 1..showroom condition….paid book value it was so clean……1 yr. in…..guess what….fucking DW!!!!!!……just like when the second plane hit the twin towers….everyone knew at that instant that it wasn’t a drunk pilot going off his flight plan……just as I knew at that moment that the ’98 wasn;t damaged by a plow assembly, but there had to be a design flaw in both my jeeps and thousands more!!!…..What’s the probability of 1 person buying 2 jeeps and having the identical problem caused by outside forces….you’ve got a better chance of being born with 3 nuts…..or titties!!!….I applaud the guys who come up with ways to fix this huge dangerous problem….but it seems to me there should be a recall of all these death-traps…..i’m certain there must have been a high speed catastrophic DW which resulted in just that…..DEATH…..if not…it’s only a matter of time….are you paying attn. Daim./Chrys.?

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Kevin September 2, 2014 at 7:01 pm

LOL. You’re right, Mark…not a coincidence…but thankfully there IS a cure available for it! We’ve never found a case of DW we couldn’t fix with careful replacement of the worn components, thankfully.

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anita mosley August 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm

I own two RHD mail jeeps…one an 08 and one 09…the 08 has been doing the “death wobble” for a while now, had it to a local shop which replaced steering damener, stabilizer, ujoints, etc. and did not fix the problem. Then, took it to local Chrysler dealer, who acknowledged it was shaking…decided it was wheels and tires and replaced them. Still not fixed! Hoping to find what is next best thing to do with this vehicle…

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Kevin August 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm

If you e-mail us, Rob can get you set up with a IRO-RHD track bar, and our SuperDurometer bushings, Anita…that should help immensely along with a heavy duty aftermarket stabilizer (the OME or the private-label one we sell are the only two we suggest…others have problems solving DW, even brand new, out of the box).

sales@ kevinsoffroad.com is our e-mail address.

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Brendan August 9, 2014 at 7:54 am

Hi Kevin -
I had the 2003 Dodge 2500 Diesel (SLT) and it had a terrible death wobble. The Dodge people didn’t believe me when I brought it in. I sold the truck (to buy a minivan when my first child was born – yes, I sold my manhood!!) to my buddy in Colorado, who eventually did a repair similar to what you describe here. I am about to go buy a 2005 Dodge 2500 Diesel (SLT), and it is great to see that there is a ready made repair for this. Quick question – what should I look at when buying it to try to assure that I’m not buying a problem?

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Kevin August 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Make sure to feel for any sort of steering wheel “zigging/zagging” around 45mph. If it’s smooth all the way to 60mph, chances are it doesn’t have the problem currently, but bookmark our page, because those front end components WILL wear out, and you’ll need good quality replacements.

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Marje August 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

My 2012 F-250 Super Duty diesel did the “Death Wobble” in November 2012 while gaining speed on an on-ramp bearing to the left onto the freeway in Phoenix. The shaking at 55 mph was so bad I could hardly hang onto the steering wheel. When I tried to slow using the brakes the shaking became worse. I managed to hold onto the steering wheel while “feathering” the brakes until the truck finally slowed to about 35mph and the shaking stopped. I had my sister, and youngest daughter in the vehicle at the time. To make matters worse there was heavy traffic and a red pick-up behind me on the ramp who I thought was going to rear-end me. This was truly a death defying experience. The mechanic at the Ford shop wrote on the paperwork, “death defying experience”. He must have taken it for a test run before it was repaired. Since then shimmies have gradually increased in the vehicle. The truck has also exhibited a kind of gentle bucking motion at 75 mph on the freeway.Then last night at 68 mph it got so bad that I had Ford tow it in to the Ford repair shop. The truck has 43,000 miles on it. I think I am now truly afraid to drive the truck. Apparently this is going to be an on-going problem due to the coil and single axle suspension. I don’t know what to do. I do know that I want to live and not be the dead person in a lawsuit.

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JD D'Arville August 1, 2014 at 10:40 am

Kevin,
I have 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4X4, 4.0. It has a 3 inch coil spring spacer lift. with 32″ tires and a bad case of Death Wobble, where should I start?

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Kevin August 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

You’d do well by purchasing the eBook (with included discount) that we have available if you’re starting at square one, JD. Here’s a link:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/

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thom remington July 30, 2014 at 10:08 am

Kevin ….i’m not too swift on a computer, but, that being said, here goes …thanks so much for this forum ,,!! ….it has helped to lessen the frustration just knowing, after reading so many of these posts, that this problem is , frankly built into the vehicles from the factory, and appears to be UN-fixable ….i have a 1998 grand cherokee laredo with 372 k miles on it, and this problem did not rear it’s head until after 300 k (+) miles …!! however …i have had replaced every jointed component except for the pitman arm, and the ball joints , and it is getting worse …!! your comment about the tire pressure intrigues me …i’m gonna try lowering the psi …hope it works, as i’m wanting to get at least 500 k miles on this old goat before retiring it …can’t seem to wear out the engine (4.0L) or the tranny …just keeps on kepin’ on …!!!

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Kevin August 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Wow, Thom…that’s pretty amazing that you’ve gotten that great of usage out of it! And, you’re welcome sharing our research!!

It’s not “un-fixable”…it’s just that it’ll cost you some time and some dollars to replace the component(s) that are currently causing the problem. I will warn you that even with “new” components that are not top-quality, you may be chasing your tail. AutoZone and O’Reilly parts are notorious for having problems new, out of the box. I hope you used NAPA or Mopar parts when you replaced it.

I’d recommend either our full Death Wobble kit, or the Track Bar Conversion with SuperDurometer bushings, as well as one of our steering stabilizers. Cap that with an alignment, and you should be able to cure the problem completely.

Wow…I’m still in awe of the 372k miles…just…wow! You must do an awesome job of maintenance!!

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Mike Griffin July 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I have a 2007 Rubicon with 2.5″ Rubicon Express Lift Kit with 35″ x 12.50″ x 15″ Mud Terrain Tires mounted on Rugged Ridge 17″ x 9″ Steel Wheels. I only get the Death Wobble when I hit a bump usually a bump that effects only one tire, ie, never happens on rail road tracks. It happens at slower speeds such as 20 to 30 miles on hour. Have never had it happen without hitting a bump, drove to work this morning at 65 miles an hour all the way just fine, but hit a bump at slower speeds and DW. Thinking about starting with the dampener Does hitting a bump as slower speeds cause you to think of what it might be?

Here’s a photo of it:
http://images.autotrader.com/scaler/544/408/images/2014/7/3/376/185/39395672275.376185175.IM1.MAIN.565x421_A.565×414.jpg

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Mike Griffin July 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm

You can remove that image if you like. By the way, it has never happened without hitting a bump, ever …

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Kevin July 24, 2014 at 7:54 am

Hey there, Mike. Great looking Jeep! Yeah, you could start death wobble as low as 25 MPH, I’ve found. It’s rare above 55mph. It’s totally typical to have this problem, and that’s why we created the kits…so people who loved their Jeeps but were ready to trade them in because of this problem, could start fresh and not have to chase the problem any longer, and get back to their love affair with the thing, lol.

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Kyle July 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Hey Kevin I have a 2012 Unlimited JK with the Rocky Ridge package on it, 35″ tires and supposed it have a 2″ lift. I noticed no problems till I got around 22,000 miles on it (currently 28,000). I started noticing a shake in my steering that would start around 40mph through to 60mph. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it gradually got worse. My uncle checked it and noticed my steering stabilizer looked worn out and said I needed to replace it as that probably was causing my shake. I did. The shaking did lessen for a while, but now it is back the same as before. Where should I go from here?

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Kevin July 24, 2014 at 7:50 am

Nah, that’s tire balance, or a tire that’s out of round, Kyle…not Death Wobble. You could also have a bent wheel. Poor quality tires are notorious for this problem, and top-quality tires RARELY have this issue. It may be time for a new set of quality tires if yours are not perfectly round.

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PReinie July 16, 2014 at 11:38 pm

I have a 2K Grand Cherokee “WJ” which I purchased used. (In Dec 2012, with 60K on it, for $8K, a deal.)
It has DW at 45/50+. Not a problem if the front left tire has air 37psi or above (hot) matching the other tires’ pressures.
Even at lower speeds over bumps/train tracks the front end feels loose. I will take a look at that soon.
However, I’d like to know how I would detect if any lift has been added to my Jeep. I got it used and it appears normal, but this is my 1st grand cherokee (laredo) so how do I know?
It does have brackets for additional front bars and side-rails. Might that indicate lift had been performed?
I ask so I can get the correct parts.

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Kevin July 24, 2014 at 7:49 am

Hi there! You can measure the center of the hub to the fender lip and if it’s around 18″ then it’s stock. you may have a model that came with side rails from the factory, but may not have had a factory lift on it. There is the UpCountry and Overland models which DID come with a 1″ or so lift. You got a great deal on the thing…so at least you started with a good lead on the project!! Our SuperDurometer bushings and heavy duty track bar should firm up the ride substantially, or you can refresh everything at once with the entire Death Wobble kit.

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Scott July 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Thanks for this page!!

I have 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited with stock suspension, goodyear wranglers all around from different years since the previous owner must have collected four and then had them mounted. They range from 03-05.

When I got the Jeep at 26,000 miles in 1/13, it was fine. About four months ago it had a DW that took me across a lane of traffic and almost into the divider; I downshifted and hit the brakes gently.

A local front end guy replaced the stabilizer and the track bar, Seemed to be ok for about 3000 miles and then it came back. Replaced the pittman arm at the same mechanic.

It’s BAACK. Now I hear that I need to replace the tires form some folks, others think there is more stuff happening in the front end.

Love my Jeep but this stuff is unbelievable. The amount of money spent and to be spent is in the thousands.

What is the cure for this that makes it work right?

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Kevin July 24, 2014 at 7:46 am

You’re welcome, Scott. Our customers are seeing around a 95% or better success rate when they install the entire Death Wobble package we offer. It has all the components that wear out, and some upgrades to the stuff that doesn’t wear out. Death Wobble is a HORRIBLE experience, to be certain. I’m not able to tell you exactly what components are bad under your Jeep, but refreshing ALL that stuff at once makes almost all of our customers happy with the end result (no more Death Wobble).

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Nick July 9, 2014 at 6:22 am

Hey Guys,

Since dealing with the death wobble, initially it was as easy to fix as tightening the bolt on the bearings where the trackbar connects to the frame. It came back, so a couple of weeks ago I replaced all the tie rod ends and had it aligned. Still there….so after taking another look, the dropdown from the frame where the trackbar connects is not only bending, that bad boy is cracked. There is a crescent shaped line where it is separating, causing it to give sway whenever the vehicle is in motion. I know you offer the Hard-Kor track bar conversion kit; with that as my back-up, are there any other remedies you can think of to work around the issue described?

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Kevin July 24, 2014 at 7:44 am

Hey there, Nick. Once those things crack, there is no fixing them. A replacement bracket is going to be your only way out…lest it’ll just crack again later, at the least opportune time.

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Rod July 4, 2014 at 8:18 am

Kevin,

I am looking at purchasing your kit for a 2006 TJ with DW. I have a four inch lift and plan on doing it right with your kit, a tire balance and alignment. I noticed that you recommend not going with the stock alignment settings for a lifted jeep, but I couldn’t find what range the alignment should be set?

Rod

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Kevin July 24, 2014 at 7:43 am

Hey there, Rod. A shop that’s familiar with alignment specs for a lifted vehicle will be able to help you out with that. There’s no “magic bullet”, but for sure the factory settings are not going to work with larger contact patches and stickier than stock tires! Rob in our Customer Service can also help you with that if you want to e-mail him!

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Martin July 4, 2014 at 5:27 am

Your site came up when I googled “tyre pressure wheel wobble”. I am in the UKI have a 1964 SWB Land Rover fitted with defender axles and coil spring suspension (and a 3.9 litre V8). I have just yesterday swapped all the wheels for standard defender steel rims & michelin tubeless tyres.. I did not have time to check pressures before using the vehicle, and twice experienced a violent DW at around 30mph. I have just checked the pressures, the two offside were at 49 lb, while the nearside were at 25lb. Do you think this could have caused the wobble?. I have now set all wheels at 30lb and it rides a whole lot better.
Regards
Martin

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Kevin July 24, 2014 at 7:40 am

Hi there, Martin. Yes, indeed varying tire pressures can trigger Death Wobble, but it’s only because there’s something else that’s loose (many something elses?) under there.

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Joe croatt June 24, 2014 at 2:37 am

i have a 1998 jeep GCL 4×4 5.2l v8 every thing is stock i havent upgraded any thing on this vehicle and when i go over those tar patches on the roads at 55-60 the front end shakes so bad it feels like the tires are square what could be causing this to happen

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Kevin June 24, 2014 at 9:19 am

Definately sounds like Death Wobble to me, Joe. If you’ve already read the above article, and need more info on how to solve it, we have a book available that gives you step by step proceedures to identify and solve the problem. Along with specific steps, you’ll also get a coupon off a purchase of replacement parts if you need them. Here’s the link:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/

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Marque Smith June 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Forgot to mention in other post. Jeep has a 3″ lift and 31×10.50×15 Mastercraft CT tires. Also I have read about adjusting the castor angle using the stock adjusting bolts. Please explain this in more detail. Thank again

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Marque Smith June 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm

I have a 1997 Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×4 with DW issues. To start let me list what I have done. I have replace upper and lower ball joints, installed a new track bar and eliminated any looseness with oversized grade 8 bolts, installed new bushings on sway bar as well as new bushings on sway bar links, installed new drag link and all tie rod ends. Inspected bushings in upper and lower control arms (found now worn bushings or loose bolts) and checked fit and tightness of all bolts that are mounting hardware for steering etc. I still have DW, the only common denominator at this point is my tires. Please respond with your thoughts. Thank you

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Kevin June 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Hey there, Marque. At 3″ of lift, you’re not going to have caster-related problems, so I wouldn’t worry TOO MUCH about that, however, the earlier models had cam bolts that you could adjust the camber. I believe those bolts were eliminated in 1995, but could still be purchased from the dealership if you ask them for a 1993 or 1994 model. Again, probably NOT your issue.

What track bar did you replace the old one with? A factory-style one? If so, that in itself MAY be your issue. What’s the pressure in your front tires? With 31″ tires, you should be around 26-28psi, probably. YOu didn’t mention steering stabilizer…has it been upgraded with a good quality one like our Hard-KOR or the OME one? What’s your toe-in setting?

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Daryl June 2, 2014 at 10:46 am

We have an 03 TJ w/67k miles. We just replaced front shocks, front brakes, and the stabilizer bar ends all with quality parts. We now have death wobble. is there any known reason for this? We are going to try rerotating tires back to front and see if that helps. The next thing is we are going to do rear brakes and shocks. I guess that guessing is the best answer??

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Kevin June 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Hey there, Daryl. When you say “stabilizer bar ends”, are you referring to the anti-sway bar endlinks? That shouldn’t at all affect the Jeep to make it go into Death Wobble. Sometimes tires can cause it, so re-rotating could at least put that to rest. Did you change the height of the Jeep? Did the tire pressure increase? Did the alignment get bumped somehow? How long has it been since it WAS aligned?

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Blake May 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Ive got a 2005 LJ and have played the Death Wobble game before. Last time I replaced the track bar with OEM style and all seemed well. That was about 45k miles ago and about 2 months ago I heard rumors of it coming back, mainly when braking hard from highway speeds. This afternoon I got the full all out shake! I sometimes feel hints of it when I hit a hard bump but again this was while braking. My tires are about ready to be replaced (265 75r16 Grabber AT2s) and I suspect that they are inducing the vibration under braking. Sure the rotors have ware, but familiar with warped rotors and they dont feel bad at all (no pulsation under normal braking or any of that usual stuff) I tried a urathane bushing in the lower track bar about a month ago but not much change. For fun and information I put an indicator on the track bar and static (just turning the wheel from side to side) I get about +/-.025″- .033″ movement at the axle end (where the urethane bushing is. I love my jeep but cussed it nearly profusely this afternoon. Again I believe the tires are inducing it but suspect the bushing isn’t handling the braking load and causing the oscillation. Does this seem a far conclusion? I’m a “family” man and not able to through the money at it (having to beg barrow and steel for new tires). I plan to replace the track bar and limp till I get the tires.
Thanks sharing all the info on this site.

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Kevin May 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Hey there, Blake. Sorry to hear about your Death Wobble woes.

First off, let’s get those tires replaced. That may solve a good portion of it right up front!

Secondly, off-the-shelf urethane bushings are not necessarily harder than the factory original rubber bushings they are replacing. The softer the bushing is, the more likely you’re going to get left/right movement when comparing the axle to the frame. The track bar’s sole purpose is to keep the axle and frame at a standard distance from each other, and when it doesn’t (due to soft or worn bushings, or from the bar itself flexing), then Death Wobble sets in.

We sell a kit which includes the hardest bushings on the market available, which will eliminate that sloppy left/right movement, and also tighten up your steering response substantially, at the same time. Here’s a link to our part number KOR-1199: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-superhard-rockwell-durometer-72d-bushings-for-track-p-290/

Your measurement of 1/4″ to 3/8″ of left/right movement is WAY too much, and that ALONE can cause Death Wobble problems.

How old is your steering stabilizer, and what brand? If it’s more than a year old, and not an Old Man Emu or Mopar brand, consider that as a high likelihood of problems as well. Here’s a link to the only two stabilizers we recommend for Jeep applications:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-replacement-steering-stabilizers-xjzjtjyjljjk-outstanding-death-wobble-resistance-p-417/
and
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/old-man-emu-ome-replacement-steering-stabilizers-zjxjtj-great-death-wobble-resistance-p-610/

Let us know what you find out, Blake!

After the tires, bushings (and high-quality steering stabilizer, if needed) are installed, getting an alignment from a reputable alignment shop who is familiar wtih how to align coil-sprung vehicles that have been lifted, is essential. Those four items together should eliminate your problem.

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Blake May 31, 2014 at 3:47 am

Kevin
Thanks for the reply. The movement is actually max of +/- .033 which is close to but no more than 1/16 total. (1/4 to 3/8 would have dictated parking the Jeep and driving the wife’s for a while) I agree about the softer urethane. I wasn’t happy how “easily” it pushed into the arm when I installed it either. As far as I know the stabilizer is original. As I said I have fought this a couple of times before, once on this Jeep and once on a ’79 Bronco. I ran the Bronco for years after with warn out factory shocks, 36″ mudders, stock suspension and no steering stabilizer and never had a problem again once I got a good set of bushings in the track bar.
I’m in the middle of a bathroom remodel and the tires got to make another few weeks anyway (silly kids just need to go potty in the yard), but I am sure you are right and am confident this will resolve it. It appears that the JKS bar used some sort of taper sleeve at the frame end, does this lock on the bolt or is it just to “convert” the tapered hole to a straight hole?
Thanks again!!!

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Kevin June 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Hey there, Blake. Yeah, you tell those kids to wait!! Jeep parts always trump indoor plumbing!! ;-)

The JKS bar has a “conversion” tapered sleeve…and it SHOULD be nice and tight. If not, you’ve got a problem right there.

Totally misread your measurement, lol…yeah, that’s what I was thinking!! LOL.

Let us know what you find out. And tell those kids to quit their belly-aching!! When I was a kid, we didn’t have this new-fangled running water crap…we had to put on our snow shoes, and walk two miles to the nearest outhouse…in the snow…uphill…both directions! ;-)

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Greg May 12, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Lifted my wj with a 2.5 spring lift. Had to install a JKS adj TB as the axle was over an inch difference to the drivers side. Bought the TB from KOR. The rig drives a million times better but I get a good deal of bump steer out of the right front tire. Have not had the DW yet but I feel like it could start soon with the wobble from the bump steer. I replaced the TRE’s with Moog Problem solvers. Getting an alignment soon before I trust it on the highway. I have been giving the DW a LOT of thought, and I believe the reason it rears up after a lift is that the toe-in will increase when you increase the control arm angles. Seems that too much toe will cause DW and too much toe is exactly what you will get when you lift. Think about it….where are the tires the closest? They are closer at the 90 degrees from the imaginary line between your ball joints. When you lift a Jeep, you are rotating that line downward toward the road, thereby inadvertantly increasing the effective toe. I am going to request that the toe be set at zero and see what happens. I want to avoid getting the DW at all and thereby causing damage to the components. I believe that one case of DW can cause permanent damage to components. One case of it will ruin your TB bushings and then you will have DW continually. That is why the Hard KOR bushings are effective at reducing it, but with too much toe, you may still have it. I am very interested in this and will report back with any results of the zero toe setting.

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Kevin May 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Ok, sounds great, Greg!
With regard to the toe-in change after a lift, yes…ever so slightly. However, this can be offset by having your caster set back to the factory setting, either by using cam bolts or adjustable control arms.
Let us know what you find out. Typically, a very small amount of toe-in is preferable for highway driving, more so than Zero.

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Tim June 6, 2014 at 8:36 am

Greg, Please tell us what you found. I have the same setup and am dying to find out your results. I am taking my WJ in for an alignment next week and want to know about the toe settings. Not sure I understand your theory about increasing toe when its lifted. Did you mean CASTER is increased? After your alignment did the bump steer go away? Any comments would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Dustin May 9, 2014 at 5:50 am

I have a 95 zj limited with dw it happens at low speed on uneven roads and over 65 mph when it happens at high speed I tap breaks and it goes away for a time i dont want to throw parts at it I did inspection and everything looks tight with exception of intermediate steering shaft which does have some play any help is appreciated

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Kevin May 9, 2014 at 8:28 am

Dustin, it wasn’t clear to me if you had already done all the items listed above in the article to check for obvious wear items. Have you done that? If so, what did you find?

If you need a more in-depth how-to guide, in order to diagnose exactly the problem, without spending money on parts you don’t specifically need, I recommend our book on Curing death wobble, located here:

http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/

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george taylor May 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I have a 1997 grand marquis in mint condition exept for my steering at speeds above 45 to 50 mph I have to fight to keep it on the road and from hitting other cars.I have replaced the complete front end including the gear box and nothing has helped.So I ask you sir do you know what can be causing me this problem I would like to go see my grand child this summer but the only way is to drive.CAN YOU HELP MEPLEASE

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Kevin May 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Hi there, George. I’m not AT ALL familiar with a Grand Marquis and it’s suspension, however, I’m going to suggest that it MIGHT be your A-arm or control arm (same thing, different name) bushings. I don’t have anything here that would fit, so you’d need to hit up an alignment shop, and see if they can check and/or replace the bad bushings. Sorry I wasn’t more help to you. :-(

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Gene May 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Kev & Family –
Got an 04 WJ here sitting on a 2.5″ coil spring lift and “fairly decent” shocks. And of course the reason I’m here in the first place, occasional DW. TRE’s are in good shape, replaced all 4 less than a year ago. I have your adj track bar and KOR bushings installed as well. Steering box in good shape, no play along with the steering shaft. Checked all ball joints and they are good and tight as well. LCAs are still in pretty good shape, but I did replace the UCAs with IRO adj arms Crown Bushings on the axle as well. Still, the occasional DW. I do have an “upgraded” SS that has been in for a little while now, a Rough Country 2.2 Performance SS. I haven’t pulled it off to check it. But it has been at least 2 yrs on so far and has taken the brunt of the DW. Not saying it is the culprit, but I’d love to get your feedback on my issues.

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Gene May 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Also wanted to add that my alignment was inspected by Desert Rat in Tempe. They too agreed that everything was snug. Since I’ve had the issue, I JUST recently also heard that it may be possible that the tie-rod sleeve could actually flex to a point where it’s no longer straight. Is that a true possibility? If it is, how do I get it inspected to to see if this is a possibility???

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Kevin May 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Hey there, Gene.sorry to hear about your death wobble problem. Did they give you the toe in specifications for the alignment? My suspicion is your Jeep has too much toe-in and perhaps too much pressure in the front tires as well. I highly doubt the problem could be your tie rod sleeves. Seemingly, it would either break and snap, or the rigid, one of the two. It’s not likely to be flexing under there.

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Jack May 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

Kevin,
I posted back in April about DW on my 2006 Rubicon. You pointed out that it was most likely the offset of my wheels causing the issue. That being said, what offset do you recommend for aftermarket wheels for my Jeep? I’d like to run 33′s, but on my stock rims, I think I’ll have a rubbing issue. Some basic steel wheels should work, but I don’t want to get an offset that will put me back in the same situation. Thanks for your input thus far!

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Kevin May 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Hey there, Jack. I’d begin with factory wheels. You have the ability to set your steering stops out a bit, which will keep the tires from rubbing at full lock. If that doesn’t resolve the rubbing issue, then either some minor trimming, or some 1″ wheel spacers is my next suggestion. :-)

The further the wheel sits outboard, the more likely Death Wobble is.

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Dave WI May 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Kevin,

I have an ’05 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that has a bad case of the Death Wobble. I have replaced the steering stabilizer and had both upper and lower ball joints replaced. I have no slop in my steering, but it does make a click/minor clunk sound when you move the steering wheel back and forth a few inches. I looked under the front end and can’t seem to find anything that is loose or shiny. Also my track bar is one solid piece and looks pretty heavy duty. What can you tell me? LoL I’m open to all ideas as this vehicle just rolled over 75.000 Miles. (not many in my opinion) My father had a ’91 cherokee that had the same issue so we are all too familiar with it, but just now recently stumbling upon your sight and are pretty excited to see if we can eliminate this problem. Thanks!! Dave

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Kevin May 2, 2014 at 9:28 am

Hey there, Dave. If you have ANYTHING clunking when the steering wheel is turned left/right, that needs to be identified. In my “Death Wobble: Causes and Cures” book in depth ( http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/ ), and in the description above as well simply, I describe how to do that, and having an assistant is going to be necessary, Also, the book describes checking the lash on the steering gear box, which MIGHT be a possible cause of your clunk. If you e-mail us a photo of your track bar with any identifying marks it may have, we may be able to tell you if a set of our SuperDurometer track bar bushings will fit it. ( http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-superhard-rockwell-durometer-72d-bushings-for-track-p-290/ )

You’re right, 75k is nothing. Putting 200k+ on these 4.0L engines and transmissions are completely normal, and suspension parts don’t wear out THAT quickly. It’s only 1/3 dead, lol. :-)

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Jeffrey Franklin Cochran April 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Kevin,
1st of all started out with an ’04 WJ added an ARB Bull Bar which squatted the stock springs.
The front upper control arm bushings were shot when bought the vehicle back in Dec. 2013.
I replaced all 8 spring isolators with with stock Crown isolators and added the ARB Old Man Emu 1.75″ Heavy Lift and replaced all control arms and bushings including the uppers…was getting a little occasional death wobble after the initial installation, Saturday the 26th of April installed a Rancho 5409 stabilizer thinking it would cure the DW, NOT ! While doing the lift and out and in with the upper bushings noticed the track bar has slack in it, and verified so with the wife turning the wheel slightly left to right at which I did witness the slack in the upper track bar bushing Saturday afternoon after realizing the steering damper did not cure DW
The ball joints seem to be nice and tight, tie rod ends are iffy, the local parts house has a stock track bar on the way be here Tuesday the 29th.
Have an appointment to get the vehicle aligned Saturday, it has always pulled slightly to the right and is increasing.
DW is occurring at low speeds and 45 and has become violent usually when hitting a bump all the new parts taking their toll on the old ones.
Open to suggestions.
Thanks,
Jeffrey

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Kevin April 28, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Hey there, Jeffrey. You’re going to be a LOT happier with a JKS-127 track bar and our KOR-1199 bushings than utilizing a regular replacement track bar. It’ll tighten up the steering considerably as well. That Rancho steering stabilizer is “Death Wobble in a Tube”…take it back and purchase an OME-SD40 or our KOR-9309 steering stabilizer with the correct hardware kit, and consider doing a secondary steering stabilizer at the same time. All these WJ DW products can be found here:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-cures-wj-grand-cherokee-death-wobble-19992004-c-42_62/

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Kelly April 27, 2014 at 6:42 am

I just purchased a used 07 unlimited rubicon it has 35″ ties and a lift installed. I felt the wobble once while driving it home but it only did it for a second. I drove it home at speeds up to 80 mph had not idea how bad this problem was sure glad it didn’t happen at those speeds. It did it once more but seemed to happen on surface streets 35-50 mph. It’s not that big of a deal the thing won’t flip over people make more of it then it really is. As soon as you brake it stops ill just fix it myself.

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Kevin April 28, 2014 at 7:49 am

Glad to hear it’s not bad in your case, Kelly. Death Wobble at speeds above 65mph is extremely rare…typically it’s in the 45mph-55mph range…and the heavier the tires, greater the rotational mass outside of the ball joint pivot point, and the more worn your components, the slower a speed it is triggered.

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Bruce April 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Hi Kevin,

I just purchased a 2009 Wrangler Unlimited with 47,000 miles on it. I had never heard of “death wobble” but my family and I experienced it twice today. Apparently, even if the vehicle can be repaired it comes back after the parts wear out a little more. It took a great deal of physical strength to maintain control of the vehicle and stop it safely on the side of the road. Had my wife been driving it, she may not have been so lucky.

Fortunately, the dealership where I bought it has a vehicle return policy. I’m taking it back Monday. My family’s safety is far to important to risk on a twitchy vehicle.

Just airing my disappointment in Chrysler for not fixing the problem. They are definitely off my list for cars EVER again.

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Scott April 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Hello. I recently started experiencing the Jeep death wobble. I have Dick Cepek 16″ rims and newer tires on my 2002 wrangler. It didnt happen for a long time with them on and it doesnt happen with the factory 15″ rims that I had on all winter long but since I’ve put the larger rims back on its been happening when I hit the 55mph mark. Im guessing it’s something with the larger tires but could it also be something else??

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Kevin April 28, 2014 at 7:46 am

I’m thinking it probably got loosened up underneath this Winter, which is what threw things out of balance, and when you put the summer wheels/tires on, it’s adding more weight/angle/stress to the system, which is not at all uncommon…there is certainly something small out of specification or adjustment to be causing it. To save time, you can replace everything, or to save money, you can also just do it component by component…assuming you and/or your mechanic are able to track down the offending component in less time than it takes to generate the income it takes for buying the entire Death Wobble kit…which is why we recommend doing the entire kit at once, so that you don’t have to mess with finding the one little thing that’s causing the problem.

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gina April 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm

I have a 2002 jeep grand Cherokee 4×4 and developed the dw after having 4 ball joints installed, since then I have replaced 2 shocks in the back, front and back sway bar links and bushings and the steering stabilizer. I have really gotten discouraged because the garage tells me they can’t seem to see anything wrong with it. What do you think it could possibly be, this is costing me a fortune? I had also had it aligned after the ball joints the first time.

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Kevin April 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

Gina, did you already do all the things listed above? If not, and you’re not wanting to do the work yourself, then another thing you could do, is purchase our book on Death Wobble, and print it out for the shop to go through, line item by line item. It’s tough to diagnose from afar, without seeing it, but I’m guessing it’s probably something fairly simple…perhaps toe-in setting, maybe tire pressure, maybe track bar bushings…and depending on the stabilizer that was installed, perhaps that as well. Take them the e-book, and let them have a go at it, or you can also go through the entire checklist yourself using the book as a guide. It’s extremely detailed, and gives very specific info on what to check, and how. -K

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mitchell April 15, 2014 at 1:18 am

hi there i was wondering if you might have an image available that has every specific part of the steering system for a 91 cherokee laredo im trying to find a replacement rod and unfortunately have very little mechanical experience and honestly have no idea what its called so i kinda call it “that rod thingy that i know aint supposed to be bent that is in fact bent” assistance would be greatly appreciated

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mitchell April 15, 2014 at 1:21 am

it seems to be causing this “death wobble” issue which is why i asked here seemed relevant

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Kevin April 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

Perhaps your browser blocked it, but there’s an image at the very top of this post for a TJ Wrangler which is very similar to your setup:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/death-wobble-alignment-01.jpg

If you print that photo out, and take it in to your mechanic or parts house, and they should be able to give you a hand, also. -K

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david April 13, 2014 at 10:29 am

Hello. I just replaced the drag link on a 2001 cherokee. While it was off the pitman arm, I noticed the pitman arm moves a little.Side to side . A little slop. Is this normal? coming from the gear box? I haven’t replaced the drag link yet and I’m not sure about how aligned the front is. I too can’t find a loose component.thanks

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Kevin April 14, 2014 at 10:48 am

No, David…there should be ZERO movement in the steering gear box. Sounds like you need to do a steering gear adjustment, as described in these videos: http://goo.gl/aY7a6x -K

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david April 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Thanks, I’ll try that.

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Trygve Østevik April 11, 2014 at 11:19 am

Hello, I’ve experienced the Death Wobble lately, it’s a 99 wj jeep and has 235’000km in Norwegian crappy roads, i’m thimking about at least changing upper and lower ball joints, maybe upgrade the track bar, and your death wobble ‘kit’ you have in your shop, is there more you would recommend for me? the car is lifted 2″

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Kevin April 14, 2014 at 9:54 am

Definately check over the rubber bushings in the control arms with that many kms on it, Trygve, while you’re in there. Also, check steering box for play in the gears internally. Other than the Death Wobble kit, that’s about all you’d need to do! -K

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Trent April 7, 2014 at 5:05 pm

^^^^^READ MY IMMEDIATE PREVIOUS POST^^^^^^
My DW is not constant, but usually hits around 40 mph. I have 110K miles.

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Kevin April 11, 2014 at 8:32 am

Trent, I went all the way back to January, and didn’t see your previous post…will you please re-post your question?

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paul henderson March 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm

I have afriend trying to help her out she has a 2008 wrangler no lift stock running michelin street tires 80000 miles it has developed Death wobble checked the suspension couln’t find any thing loose when vehicle is in park setting on level concrete while turning wheels left and right looks like body is shifting over differential any Ideas?

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Kevin April 11, 2014 at 8:28 am

Sounds like she needs a stronger track bar with SuperDurometer bushings, which should solve that problem completely.

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TD March 29, 2014 at 7:49 am

What do you recommend for my STOCK 2005 Unlimited Rubicon? Stock brand and size tires (60,000 miles). I see your “kit” starts at 1″ lift.
I guess I “get the Jeep thing” my ’84 Toyota has never had the issue from stock to 35′s and 4″ lift.
If I wouldn’t loose money selling a “it will KILL you” Jeep I’d sell my once dream Jeep in heart beat.

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Kevin April 11, 2014 at 8:27 am

The only reason why we suggest 1″ of lift, is because the front diff cover will rub the back side of the much thicker aftermarket JKS track bar we provide with the kit. Two solutions for this:
1) Shorten your control arms slightly, moving the axle rearward to give more clearance
2) Slightly “dent” the front cover of your diff inward (only at the top where it rubs, away from the gears on the opposite side)
With one of those two modifications, you’d be able to run the thicker track bar, which will eliminate a lot of left/right flex/movement that the factory track bar allows.

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Jack March 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm

I have a 2006 Rubicon with a 3.5 RE Express lift. I bought the Jeep new and put the lift on about 2 months after getting it. I have the RE track bars, front and back, as well as an OME steering stabilizer. When running my stock Rubi 16′ rims with 31′s, it drives solid with no shimmy or shake. However, if I put on my 33×10.5×15 BFG ATs with MT II classic rims, I get the shakes.

When I first got the lift, it shook like crazy, then I found the factory lug nut clips were not letting the MT’s sit right. I removed those and the Jeep instantly ran fine for about 6 months. Then the wobble came back and since then I had to run the stock rims and tires. I’ve been afraid to invest in new tires or rims since it ran fine for 6 months with those on the Jeep. I’d be out quite a bit of $ if I bought tires and rims for it not to be either.

Whats your thoughts? If I get no shake with the stock rims / tires, could it be the MT rims and BFG 33′s? Maybe the offset of the MT’s and the tires being 15′ instead of 16?

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Jack March 23, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Also, I have 5 of those MT rims and BFGs and I’ve rotated them around in all different configurations and it still shook like crazy. That added even more doubt in my mind about being a tire or rim problem if it happened with every rotation combo I did.

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Kevin April 11, 2014 at 8:04 am

Agreed!

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Kevin April 11, 2014 at 8:04 am

Jack, I think in your case it’s MOSTLY the offset variance of the aftermarket wheels. We’ve found that the more “inboard” the tires sit in relation to the ball joints, the better to solve Death Wobble problems. -K

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Jack April 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Kevin, what offset do you recommend for aftermarket wheels on a 2006 Rubi? I’d like to run 33′s, but on my stock rims, I think I’ll have a rubbing issue. Some basic steel wheels should work, but I don’t want to get an offset that will put me back in the same situation. Thanks for your input thus far!

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Finally Fixed March 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm

You might chase this problem forever if you don’t listen to Jed Clampets post here. Real fix is to make sure your setup does not have any toe in. These vehicles are prone to the death wobble/hop by nature even with good parts. Toe in turns the tie rods into a torsion spring of sorts and then your vehicle is primed and ready to go hopping mad with a hair trigger! Check for loose parts (trac bar, tie rods) and change as needed but try setting your toe to zero or out a bit (take tension off tie rods) before you go nuts chasing this problem. 2003 Ram 2500 Death Wobble Solved. Thanks Jed!

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Kevin April 11, 2014 at 8:02 am

Awesome…glad to hear that you were able to fix it. The thing is, there’s not any “one cure” for Death Wobble…it’s almost always something different on every rig.

With regard to toe-in…yes, being around zero will reduce the “pre-load” on the tie rod ends, however, it will also make the rig wander like crazy at highway speeds, which is just as unsafe, and requires a lot more “driving” to keep within the lanes, so be careful with that! I disagree that toe-out is a good idea, though.

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Landon February 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Hey Kevin, I bought my 1999 jeep xj lifted 6in and the past owner told me about the death wobble. The owner was describing it to me and i didn’t believe it, so i drove it my self and holy crap it is like feeling an earth quake and it feels like your axles are falling off your car. I did a lot of research and replaced the track-bar and put new tires on it. The death wobble was fixed instantly. About 7 months later, the death wobble is back around speeds of 40mph and i have replaced my steering stabilizer, all tie rod ends, installed an anti sway bar kit with drop brackets and new bushings, and both upper and lower ball joints. The jeep is in perfect alignment also, please help me i am out of all options and open to any opinions thanks.

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Kevin February 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Hi there, Landon, which track bar did you replace the factory one with? Our Hard-KOR one? If so, did you also purchase the SuperDurometer bushings we offer? If so, and those were worn out, I’m happy to send you a fresh set of them, for free. I’m thinking it’s track bar or track bar bushing related, in your case…

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Sandra February 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm

I have a 1999 Jeep Wrangler and have been dealing with the Death Wooble. However, it only happens when it gets cold outside and never happens during the summer time. Any ideas that could help me narrow down the cause would be greatly appreciated.

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Kevin February 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Sandra, did you already read through the entire article, and take those steps to check everything over? There is also the book we wrote on death wobble, which would be helpful to you as well. Essentially, something is loose, and needs to be tightened down.

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Kane January 30, 2014 at 11:05 am

Kevin,

I own a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport. I drove it stock for many years before getting the DW. Then I rotated my tires and it went away for a little while, but then came back within a year. Then I added a Rough Country 4″ body lift, Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ 33X12.50R15/6 Tires, and Pro Comp 15×10 alloy rims – had front brakes replaced and alignment done. The DW was gone for a couple of years but now it is back. I am hesitant to throw more money at the jeep and am considering just getting rid of it because I don’t want to deal with a reoccurring problem like this. However, I love the Jeep too and would consider ‘saving’ it if I can without breaking the bank. One other thing I vaguely remember was when I was having the lift kit installed, the guy showed me body the height measurements at all four tire locations and the right front side was slightly lower than the rest. Not sure what would cause that or if it has anything to do with the DW. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Kevin February 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Hey there, Kane. Definitely don’t sell the Jeep!! Have you already checked out the book on Death Wobble, as well as the kits we sell to solve the problem?

The right front side being lower shouldn’t have anything to do with it, though!

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Tommy Murphy January 23, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Hello, I have two jeeps, 2000 TJ and a 2013 JK, so I’m familiar with the wobble on the older one, working on it. But my question is from a friend who has a 2005 TJ, 3 inch lift, 33×12.50-15 on a 7 inch dia wheel, Mickey Ts with 1 1/2 spacers behind wheels. He took it to a jeep mechanic today and had it checked out for a real bad DW, mechanic told him he could not see anything wrong with steering components. the mechanic is trying to sell him new wheels with an offset to get rid of the spacers. What do you think, have you seen wheel spacers cause any of the jeep wobble? I was a little surprised at it, been a mechanic a long time, but in the military and haven’t really worked to much with jeep wobble.
thanks, tommy

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 11:55 am

Hey there, Tommy. If the wheel spacers are not “true”, then yes, they also could be a component in Death Wobble, however, that’s not the ONLY cause of it, to be certain.

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Tim Meroney January 23, 2014 at 11:02 am

I own a 2009 Ram 2500 Laramie 4WD. At 90,000 miles it went into wobble stage. I took it to my Dodge dealer and they installed the Big “D” Steering box stabilizer bar and twin steering dampener shocks….not fixed. Then new tie rods (all 4) and track bar…now worse! Next is gonna be new control arms (all 4) for an approximate total cost of $3,200 to date!!! If that doesn’t work I’m sueing someone!! The truck is not driveable at speeds above 50 mph!! Up until 90,000 there were no problems…so WTF changed??? Ball joints have been checked as well as wheel bearings…all tight….according to the dealer mechanic. Dodge is of no help…they just throw parts at it! I would NOT buy another Dodge ever and this is my 5th!!

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 11:59 am

Hey there, Tim. When they replaced the tie rod ends, they may have changed the alignment from where it used to be set, and in the process, making it worse. They PROBABLY set it to factory specs, which includes too much toe-in.
I’d back off the toe-in, and lower the tire pressure, and see if that reduces the problem. I know you already replaced a bunch of parts, however, our packages seem to work well together…and from here, I’m unable to diagnose the one or two components that are causing YOUR particular problem. Totally frustrating; I get it!! Let me know if there’s anything else I can do from here, Tim.

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patrick falaniko January 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I have a 02 jeep grand cherokee and just put 24 inch rims on but since my lug pattern didnt match I had to buy wheel adapters. But since ive installed everything now my steering wheel shakes. I thought I needed tires so I got 4 brand new tires and got the rims and tires rebalanced. But the shaking doesn’t shake as much . Only time it shakes when i get around 40 rpm even before I did everything. Idk what else to do I just got my jeep out the shop and got everything fixed or that needed to be replaced soon. Could it be my wheel adapters?

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Yes, I’ve seen wheel adapters (espcially ones NOT branded with a reputable company name on them) cause problems like what you’re explaining, Patrick. Either that, or you have a bent wheel or out-of round tire, perhaps.

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Brandy January 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hi, I have a 92 YJ that I just bought of a friend of mine. It is in dyer need of love and care. It has a 4 cylinder in it now and will be converting to the 350 with 8.8 rear. It has a 3″ body lift on it now and will get a 4″ suspension lift later this summer. We will be running 35′s on it when we are done. Right now we have 31′s on it and just had them balanced. I am noticing now what is the death wobble. I am having an issue finding the kit on your site to fix this for the YJ. Also, I don’t want to buy the kit twice so if I need to get the one for the lift and just keep it off the interstate till I get it all done that is easy to do as it is not a daily driver. Please advise, Thank you so much.

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Hi there, Brandy. We don’t currently offer a YJ Death Wobble kit, unfortunately. I’d check your leaf spring bushings, the length of the factory track bar, the factory track bar bushings, and the tie rod ends for play, wear, and looseness, and then get a good alignment on there.

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Charity January 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

Hello. I read the above to gain some knowledge on this “death wobble” stuff. Helpful for me to an extent. If anyone could give me any advice it would be much appreciated. I recently purchased a 2007 Jeep Wrangler X (it is only 2WD) it does not have a lift, it is not used for off roading or lifting or anything like that! I bought it because I needed a vehicle that wasn’t lifted to get my dog in and back and forth to the Vet easily and what not… anyhow, I have only had this Jeep for 4 months and I’m ready to burn it. This is first time I’ve experienced the “DW” and I’ve called everyone and they “act” like they know what to do but when I get online and read about it, some of the things I have read make me want to just get rid of the damn thing. Lol. Anyhow. My fear is slamming a ton of money into this 2007 and nothing work or it not be worth it!! Am I better off just getting a new vehicle?? :)

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm

No, every vehicle is fully capable of driving without Death Wobble, Charity…so don’t give up on it yet. Do you have a reputable mechanic in your area who can diagnose it for you?

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chad d December 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Hello,
i read these post. and i have had a different experience. 2008 1500 mega cab trx 4×4 5.7 hemi. relatively stock form. i have new ball joints and the oe stabilizer bar. new 285/75 tires.
after hitting a bad pothole at about 40 mph in traffic at night. power steering shut off. this has only happend once. but havent hit any pot holes this bad. my asumption. hit was so hard it jarred pwr fluid out of its function? hopeing this doesnt happen again. any ideas to avoid this again? thanks

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm

This is a page about Death Wobble, Chad…perhaps posting your question on a Dodge internet forum would get you the answer you’re looking for? I’ve never heard of this.

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Erin December 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I have a stock 1992 JEEP cherokee laredo that has developed DW. I have replaced, the steering gear box/pitman arm, track bar, tie rods, tie rod ends, drag link, sway bar links, lower control arm bushing, sway bar bushings, u joints(begining of summer)…everything is supposedly tight, however, DW present when mph past 45…could the final step to total repair be merely an alignment? Which i know is necessary, the front end suspension work was just done this past weekend… Or could it be the ridiculously overpriced steering knuckle…? Because it still shakes as much as ever…and i cannot hardly pay my house payment, let alone rebuild this vehicle, which I am unable to replace at this time…please advise

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Erin, a proper alignment is KEY to solving death wobble problems. Also, a good single or dual steering stabilizer will help a bunch, if you haven’t replaced that.

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Kamrien December 15, 2013 at 10:04 am

Kevin,

I have a1987 ford bronco with a 2.5″ lift with 35×12.5″ tires. I just bought the bronco from a man on Monday and I believe I have the death wobble.At first it started when ever I hit a bump at high speeds now it is no matter what. I have yet to take it off roading. I do how ever live on a dirt road which is actually sand but in Florida is a dirt road. I’m not sure where to start looking for the problem I knew when I bought the truck that there was play in the steering wheel also that the alignment was off.I was going to get that fixed til this wobble started then I became scared to drive it. Just from me talking to my friends back home about it they say tie rods it sounds like. others say my suspension. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks. fir any help!

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Sorry to hear about the problem, Kamrien. Since I’m not intimately familiar with your rig’s suspensions setup, I’d have to look at it myself…did you already do the items mentioned above?

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Garrett December 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I have a 2008 Sarah jk 4 door. It has a 4″ skyjacker lift with 18″ wheels an 36″ tall mud grips. Recently I’ve had the front end rebuilt besides the ball joints an it fixed the death wobble for a few weeks then it came back. So I took it to an alignment shop an the man told me that the castor needs to be set at a 6.5 to a 7.0 is that true it has 88,000 miles an just now started an I’ve not 4 wheeled it a lot.

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Kevin January 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Garrett, you can run as little as 4.5* of caster, even though I recommend 5.0-6.5 degrees.

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DB November 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm

So I have a 99 Wrangler Safari that I bought a few weeks ago and have driven a few hundred miles both on and off road with zero sign of a death wobble. Drove sweet and steady, even on the highway. Today I brought it in to have it evaluated by my local shop, just a basic check of fluids, brake pads etc. They said it checked out great, other than a small water pump leak. I got about 200 yards from the shop and had what I now know is called the “Death Wobble”. REALLY SEVERE. I can’t drive 1/4 mile without it happening. The shop claims they did nothing that could cause that, all they did was remove the wheels and check the brakes, put it up on the lift and so on. They did increase the tire pressure from 25psi to 30psi. They tried lowering that back down, and also changed the clock orientation on one of the tires in the front 180 degrees, but neither of those things helped. They say it’s an extremely common problem, and just a coincidence. I’m having a hard time buying that. Any ideas?

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RK November 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm

DB:
I had my tires rotate and the alignment done. Before. No problems. After man, oh man. Death Wobble. They worked with me and we have it vastly reduced but not gone. I’m satisfied they just triggered it and now it’s time for me to deal with the root cause.

I’d say just taking the tires off and putting them back on with higher pressure would be enough to trigger it if you were already on the cusp. They likely didn’t cause the death wobble because like the article says. That’s suspension wear. However they could have been the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. Or put another way. It’s like going on a jog with your buddy who has asthma and has an attack. The jog can trigger the attack but it didn’t cause the asthma. Good luck. Looks like we both are new members of the club and have some work to do.

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I agree completely with what you just said, RK.
Kevin

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Oh, man…that sucks! I suspect that it was the bump that you hit, which initiated the Death Wobble problem for the first time since you’ve had it. Once it rears it’s ugly head, it loosens up other parts that were NOT worn, and makes it happen more and more frequently.

I’m sorry to hear that it happened right after they worked on it. About the only thing they could have done to “trigger” the problem would be adding air pressure, or changing the alignment specs. If they ONLY added air pressure, then your Jeep has likely had the problem for some time, and you just haven’t had it “triggered” yet.

It’s completely solvable, though…so thankfully it’s not a irreparable problem. If you haven’t already seen it, I **JUST** released a book on the subject: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/

Let us know how we can assist, DB.
Kevin

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DB November 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for all the replies, terrific to find such a helpful forum!

The shop said they had checked all the things on this list including:
upper track bar bolt, bushings at the trackball ends, tie-rod ends, ball joints, & tire balance, and steering stabilizer.
They said everything looked great except the steering stabilizer, which they replaced. Good news is that I haven’t got the Death Wobble anymore, at any speed or with bumps. However, there is a slight but noticeable side-to-side shimmy at pretty much any speed that wasn’t there before. I can’t be sure I’m not hypersensitive to it because of the Death Wobble experience, but I really don’t think so. Anything you can recommend checking?

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JW November 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

DB:
I’ve experienced a very similar problem with my 2010 JK. I’ve had it back to the dealer more times than I care to remember. Finally, the dealer (the most reputable Jeep dealer in the area) made it mostly drivable and I spent a run with a lifted JK on 35s that was fairly stable. A few months ago, I personally changed the oil, rotated the tires, and whamo! The death wobble returned with a vengeance. All I did was rotate the flippin tires! After trying a number of tire rotation combinations that never helped, I decided to throw a string across the tires to check the toe. It was most decidedly toed in!?! Out of desperation, I adjusted the toe back to neutral as best I could with a piece of string (just one half turn) and the death wobble has completely vanished. I have no idea if the alignment is “proper” now. All I know is I can actually drive down the road between 40 and 50 mph without triggering the death wobble.

I explicitly trusted the dealer and know they did their very best to align the front-end. I’m at a total loss as to why it was set like that, but I don’t believe it was correct. I do have a theory as to why the tire rotation resulted in the death wobble coming back, you see, I finally added my spare to the tire rotation before my last visit to the dealer (the other tires had 25K on them). It just so happened that it came back with the new tire on the hyper-sensitive right-front. I think it was just different enough to keep the front-end from going into that horrible oscillation called death-wobble and It kept me out of the zone for a while. When I rotated two matched tires from the rear to the front, all hell broke lose again.

If the toe turns to be the cause of years of my front-end instability, I’m going to be very sorry that I didn’t get out that piece of string and check the dealer’s work much sooner. This really shouldn’t be that hard. If everything is tight, don’t trust your alignment. Find a way to verify it. Good luck!

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Jed Clampet November 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Make sure the steering stabilizer is good for stiffer steering but the real fix is to change the toe to a Toe-out condition and the problem will be solved. I do it all the time.

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John November 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I have a 2006 Rubicon that developed the wobble. I replaced the damper and it got worse. Then I found this website and followed the recommended repair and replaced the track bar and the wobble went away. I now just need an alignment to have my steering wheel centered.

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antonio November 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

i have a 1996 and i need to replace the front wheel bearings. i went to jiffy lube and they said they were pressed on bearing than i went to oreillys and they said i have to replace the hub and the beaeing is on that ik how to do the work i just need the information from somebpdy who knows what there talking about please email an awnser back at [email protected]

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Antonio, this is a discussion thread about Death Wobble…

I think you’re probably looking for a Factory Service Manual or a Chilton’s manual.

Thanks,
Kevin

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Graham Gibson November 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I have a 2008 3500 dodge ram with the dreaded death wobble. I have changed every part upgraded steringbox stabilizer bar. Can not fix the problem. Found this clip http://www.cbc.ca/news/dodge-ram-steering-under-investigation-1.1113040
So I am not the only one. Have been doing some research and some people are saying to use real good MOOG ball joints and weld them in. Has any one else herd of this fix?

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I don’t think a non-welded ball joint would solve the problem, Graham. Ball joints are typically pressed into place…it would surprise me if one “worked it’s way loose”…and even if it did, it would have a nearly catastrophical effect, as the steering knuckle and front wheel would come off, probably while you’re driving. I think you got bad advice…

Kevin

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Mark November 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Kevin
I have a 96 zj I just did the 5.2 to 5.9 swap and added a 3” lift . I have developed DW @about 45 mph and up if you turn left it will start . but if you are turning right you have roll on no prob . I have replaced the track new . when i did i noticed the hole was worn so i stepped it up and replaced with a grade 8 bolt with no slop . I have not replaced the steering stab I have read that that will just mask the problem . i have not got it aligned it yet they said to drive it for 100 miles to make sure all the lift parts are seated can you advise ? I am changing the wheel bearings tomorrow Thanx Mark

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

There’s a lot of bad info out there, Mark. No, replacing the stabilizer will NOT “mask the problem”…it will replace a factory-specified piece of equipment with another beefier one ( http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-replacement-steering-stabilizers-xjzjtjyjljjk-outstanding-death-wobble-resistance-p-417/ ) and will function the way the factory meant for it to. Jeep spends thousands of dollars figuring out how to save millions of dollars in production costs. They would have eliminated the steering stabilizer from the configuration if it was unneeded.
Kevin

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Frank E November 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

What about low speed death wobble? Running 34s in 2008 JK X . Only occurs when I hit pot holes. Have to come to a complete stop.

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Define “Low Speed”, Frank. Less than 30mph?
Kevin

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mark slane November 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Most common cause of death wobble is too much caster!
With larger tires caster needs to be changed closer to zero.
the lose parts are caused by the wobble.
I call it terminal shimmy as death wobble scares customer
Usually 2 degree reduction cures it

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

No, most common cause of Death Wobble is worn parts, Mark.

Caster needs to be set between 4.5* and 6.5*…though it has very little to do with solving a problem caused by worn parts…

Kevin

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Jed Clampet November 17, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Make sure the steering stabilizer is good for stiffer steering but the real fix is to change the toe to a Toe-out condition and the problem will be solved. I do it all the time. The steering link acts like a spring and helps to keep the wobble going when the wheels are at a toe-in condition. The toe-out condition takes the flex out of the link. Push up and down on it and you will see what I mean.

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59Skippy November 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

My daughter has a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 2WD. She this morning experienced this horrible wobble. Does this occur with the 2WD as well?

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Absolutely the 2wd gets it. Nearly everything is the same under the 2wd version, with regard to the suspension design.
Kevin

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Sam October 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I bave had the death wobble problem for a good few months now. I recently replaced the track bar and got a rancho steering stabilizer i took it down the road and the problem was fixed until a week later i got it again. I have a 97 jeep grand cherokee with a 4 inch lift. My front tires are different tires one is bald and one has good tread. I got a steering gear box and pittman arm but its off a rubicon jeep. Same year. Looks the same will it still work? And also going dowwn the road my steering wheelsits sideways going straight but parked my steering wheel sits correct with the tires straight. my truck is a daily driver i have no other rig to drive. Just worries me that its gonna start shaking and just the front in fall to pieces lol

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I’d replace those tires first, Sam. Also, the Rancho steering stabilizer has a HUGE dead spot in the center of it, which is why we recommend either our KOR-brand stabilizer http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-replacement-steering-stabilizers-xjzjtjyjljjk-outstanding-death-wobble-resistance-p-417/ or the OME one.
Kevin

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cody October 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm

i have a 3″ rough country lift of my xj and i have the dreaded death wobble and we rotated the tires just to eliminate an easy fix and that was not it. i have been told to replace the bushings because mine are wore pretty bad. so i was thinking to just start with tie rod ends. steering stabilizer bushings and drag link bushings do you think that would be a good start?

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Kevin November 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Cody:
The steering stabilizer doesn’t have replaceable bushings, but it probably needs to be completely replaced, if you haven’t done it recently. The drag link uses tie-rod ends, not bushings…but other than those two clarifications, yes, that’s a good place to begin.
Kevin

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Mark October 29, 2013 at 11:31 pm

By far the best write up I’ve found on death wobble. A++ Very extensive and accurate.

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Kevin October 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Thanks, Mark. I’m actually putting the final touches on a book about Death Wobble, which is going to be far more comprehensive than even this post, if you’re interested. Here’s a link:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/death-wobble-causes-and-cures-book-by-kevin-fell-p-1640/

Thanks very much for your kind words!
Kevin

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Jed Clampet November 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Make sure the steering stabilizer is good for stiffer steering but the real fix is to change the toe to a Toe-out condition and the problem will be solved. I do it all the time. The steering link acts like a spring and helps to keep the wobble going when the wheels are at a toe-in condition. The toe-out condition takes the flex out of the link. Push up and down on it and you will see what I mean. Can I write a book?

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Timmy October 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

I have a terrifying DW on my ’03 Wrangler after I lifted it 3 inches with a BDS suspension kit. Only occurs around 50-60 MPH after hitting bumps. I installed a HD Track Bar & HD Steering Stabilizer and have had the alignment checked and rechecked. I have gone through your checklist with no solution. I am thinking about upgrading my ball joints to fix the problem. I have heard good things about MOOG… any recommendations on this? Also, any recommendations for tie rods? or just go stock?
Thanks
Tim

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Kevin October 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm

What brand and model is the HD track bar and steering stabilizer, Timmy? What is the alignment settings currently? The tire pressure? Tire size?

Moog makes pretty good stuff, however, MOPAR replacement parts is the real deal, and will last a lot longer.

Kevin

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Timmy October 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Thanks for the quick response!
Stock tires are set @ 30 psi and the alignment is towed out 1/16 (upon recommendation of BDS tech). Adjustable track bar is JPS. (The model you recommend) I think the steering stabilizer is stock. I’m guessing I should upgrade that next. I’m having MOOG tie rods installed right now. I’ll look into the MOPAR ball joints. Hoping I can get this settled soon so I can back on the road.

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fredder October 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm

excellent overview
question: why does my wobble at 55 mph (and up) tend to diminish or go away completely when I pull up the 4 wheel drive lever on my 2002 wrangler?

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Kevin October 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Because the front axle is now under a (proactive) forward “pull”, which tends to reduce the “reactive” forces on the axle when you hit bumps.

Kevin

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fredder October 26, 2013 at 9:26 am

going to the garage today – knowing engaging four wheel drive makes the problem better do I focus on one component or should I still follow your sequence of checks the same.

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Chris October 19, 2013 at 11:23 am

Hi,
Would uneven tire wear cause death wobble? I’m currently trying to figure out where the death wobble is coming from. I replaced the track bar and steering stabilizer, had a front end alignment done, as well as the tires balanced and rotated. The front tires do have uneven wear, but would that create death wobble? There’s still some tread life on the tires, but I’m thinking about replacing them. I’ve had death wobble in the past, and I recall getting new tires installed, and the death wobble went away. I’m just curious if the tires are indeed the culprit.
Thanks!

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Kevin October 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Chris, anything that creates movement in the front suspension is suspect. A tire which doesn’t wear properly, has a flat spot, or is out of balance, could indeed contribute to the problem, but the underlying solution is replacing loose components with tight components, AFTER the tire problem is fixed.

Kevin

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Chris October 21, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Thanks, Kevin.
SInce I just replaced the track bar with a $40 one I purchased off of ebay, perhaps that’s where the problem is? I’m assuming that I should have used the one you offer. I have a 3″ suspension lift.

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Kevin October 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

Yeah, cheap components will give you a lot of steering slop, which will add to the propensity for Death Wobble. The parts we offer on our website, we’ve already tested and vetted, and KNOW work well, which is why we feel comfortable recommending them. There is a lot of cheap crap out there…we know, because we ordered it to test, and then ended up sending it back, lol!

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Thomas October 17, 2013 at 8:49 am

My jeep has the death wobble bought new putter tierods steering damper and rotated and balanced the tires along with an alignment. The shop said they can’t find anything wrong. How can I fix this. Can the tires cupping cause this because that’s the only thing found.
Thanks any advice would be appreciated please respond to crassmart@ aol . Com

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Kevin October 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

Thomas, it wasn’t clear from your post…did you read through the entire article, and already do all the things mentioned? It sounds like you may have done some of them so far, but not all of them? Is that correct?

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Grant October 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Hi there, I have a 2012 dodge Ram 1500 big horn. I just put a readylift leaving kit on 2.5″ front and 1.5″ in the back and also 35×12.5×20 general grabber at2 tires on stock rims. When i hit 90-100km/h my whole truck starts to vibrate. I had the tires balances twice and had an alignment done. What could be the problem? Where should I start?

Thanks!!

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Kevin October 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Sounds to me as if you have an off-center wheel (bent?) or wheel spacer (incorrectly machined). it’s possible that one of the tires is out of round, too, however, what you’re experiencing does NOT sound like Death Wobble to me, thankfully.

I’d take it back to the tire store, and have them check everything.

Kevin

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Morgan October 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I have an 86 Chevy m1008. It started wobbling at around 35 after I went over some train tracks. It has leaf springs in the front and rear. But it doesn’t wobble at every bump. I just read all these modern trucks having the same problem, but the parts are all different…was just gonna take it to a. 4×4 place a see what they say. Just wanted some advice first…

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Kevin October 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Hey there, Morgan. Yeah, you have some pretty loose/worn components, and probably a really badly set toe-in setting. We don’t really do leaf spring suspension systems, however, checking your leaf spring bushings, shackle bushings, and tie rod ends are going to net you some parts to replace, I’m quite sure.
Kevin

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Tara October 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Kevin
I have a 2009 stock Jeep Wrangler that is a work vehicle. It gets pretty abused driving off-road almost everyday in the mountains of Colorado. I have had the “death wobble” for about 3 years or so. In that time, I have had a new steering stabilizer, new front suspension, a new track bar, and two sets of new tires. The steering is very loose and squirrley. Most recently, I had the tires rotated, and began to have a severe wobble at around 50mph. a couple of weeks later, I blew the front drivers side tire and put my spare on to drive it the 40 miles to the shop. The wobble @ 50 mph was so terrible that i pulled over twice to make sure that i hadn’t blown a tire. The shop replaced the tires, and the wobble seemed to go away, which happens for a while every time I get new tires. Then it came back, and it was worse when I turned to the right, but generally occured between 45-50 mph. The shaking was really violent. While I was driving it to the shop, the drivers side wheel fell off the Jeep, ruining my rotors, rim, etc., and almost causing me to have an accident.
So, my question is, have you seen a case where the wobble has vibrated a wheel off of the car? The shop is telling me that there is nothing wrong with the fron end, and that the wheel must have been loose for some time to damage the rim the way it did. none of that makes any sense to me since the issue has always been on the front end, and the tires get rotated every 5,000 miles, and the jeep had three different wheel on the drivers side front end in a week. They were rotated a month ago, so this rim hasn’t been on this side of the car. Anyway, just looking for some advise on what to ask the mechanic to look for. things rattle and shake on the front end constantly. when i grab ahold of the studs (without rotating the rotor), the joint behind the hub (sorry don’t know the name of it) wiggles. Any advise would be great. thanks!!

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Howard October 10, 2013 at 4:32 am

Tires should only be rotated front to back and never side to side. Once they are worn into the one direction I have heard going to other way can cause the belts to seperate and the tire come apart.

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Kevin October 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hey there, Tara. Yeah, wow…that sucks. I had a wheel come off the rear at around 60mph once, and that was quite a thrill ride…I can only imagine what that must have been like in the front. Plain and simple, the reason why that wheel came off, is that someone didn’t torque down the lugs to the right torque…that’s the ONLY cause of a wheel coming off, aside from a wheel stud breaking…and you’d have to break two, at least, in order to have that happen. So, yeah, the person who put that tire on didn’t get the lugs all the way tight.

Secondly, regarding the “real” cause of the Death Wobble portion of the vibration…I’m guessing you have overinflated front tires (and perhaps rear, too…?) and that your toe-in setting is not correct. You can upgrade the “heft” of the track bar, however, with stock sized tires, that’s not likely to be your issue…it’s more likely what I mentioned above. Make sure that you’re around 32psi…and you MAY even want to back off slightly from that, experiment, and see if you still get the wobble. I would not go under 28psi with stock-sized tires, though.

Hope that helps,
Kevin

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tara October 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for your comments Kevin.
Regarding the overinflation, I had been running at 30 psi since July, due to repeated puncture flats. i drive 17 miles on a rough 4-wheel drive work to my job site everyday. dropping the pressure relieved my puncture flat issue. I replaced the tires right before the wheel fell off, and now I am running at 32psi again, now that i am done thrashing around to work.
I’ve had the jeep back for a couple of weeks now, and the wobble has started again around 50 mph.
so probably the track bar issue over the inflation issue?
thanks again!

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camron October 2, 2013 at 9:57 am

i have a 2000 wj with a 4 inch lift and 33s and i had death wobbles then i replaced all my tie rod ends and gear box and it whent away for a while then i got play in the steering wheel randomly after parking it during school then at 51mph it would get a wobble but 50 i was fine

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Trento September 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm

G’day kev I’ve read wright through your advice on how to fix the death wobble in my tj and it makes sense to me, a little bit of play here and a little bit of play there makes for lot of play, I’ll give your advice a go and let you know how I went, Thanks mate.

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Kevin October 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm

My pleasure, my friend!!

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Mike September 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I have a 95 ZJ, 4.5″ lift-3.5″ spring 1″ spacers. Spacers were added because stock isolators were worn out. I had a death wobble start at 40-45 mph in a right hand turn. Found passenger ball joints and a tie rod that needed replaced. So, I replaced all four ball joints, wheel hub, all tie rod ends and drag link have been replaced in last two months, new HD track bar, HD steering stabilizer. Had tires balanced, and an alignment done. The castor is a little past stock, meaning the pinion was rolled up a little, using the stock castor bolts on the lower control arms. Test drive and every time I hit 55 mph it goes into the death wobble. Any ideas??? I was thinking I need adjustable upper control arms to adjust the castor more? Not sure where to go from here?

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Kevin October 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Mike, best thing to do is to read through all the items we mention on the “checklist”. Have you already made all those adjustments and all those slop checks we mentioned?

Kevin

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Mike October 2, 2013 at 10:37 am

Yes, everything has been replaced and is tight. The only steering parts that have not been replaced are the steering box and pump. Where can I get the specs for my ZJ for an alignment?

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Mike October 2, 2013 at 10:44 am

Oh, and I can lock it in 4WD and it is as smooth as can be up to 65mph. Go back to 2wd and death wobble @ 50-55mph

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Robert Teed November 28, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I had a 94 4×4 Dodge Ram 3500. I experienced the Death Wobble many times over a period of several years. Nothing wrong could be found with the drive train or suspension. I mentioned what a POS Dodge was to a kid at an oil change place. Told him about the DW. He said he knew of that and to replace the electric switch on the transmission. It was a $25.00 part easy to get too right under drivers side door. Purchased at the dodge dealer and I replaced it myself in two minutes.
This switch rattles throwing the transmission into 4w/2w repeatedly very fast. This may help. I sold my Ram shortly after I did this repair so I cant be sure that it fixed it. I called the new owner about the DW and he never experienced it during the two years he owned it.

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Andrew September 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

I was wondering why my steering wheel turns a little before my tires start to actually turn? When I’m driving down the road I have to keep both hands on the steering wheel cause it seems to be kinda loose if that makes any sense!? Just was wondering what might be the problem and how could it be fixed?
Thanks, Andrew

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Kevin October 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Andrew, you’re describing a problem that’s typically a loose steering box, either internally (the gears have slop) or externally (the bolts holding it to the frame are loose, or the frame rail is flexing), or both. If you’re running a Jeep, you have a Saginaw steering box, and on top of that box, there is a fine-tuning adjustment to mesh the gears inside together more tightly, reducing slop. Check out this link on YouTube on how to tighten it up. It’s a very sensitive adjustment…too much or too little is easy to do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAD0ugRQNek‎

If you have bad tie rod ends, sometimes that can also cause the problem you’re describing.

Kevin

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Ben Peralta September 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Hi kevin
I purchased 2005 jeep wrangler tj last jan. I have had it in the subaru and jeep chrysler shop twice for dw. They replaced stabalizer bar still has not fixed the dw. Its getting really bad. Im no mechanic but I can do basic stuff on my own. Do you know of a shop here that can fix this dw. I have a 5 month old I drive to daycare in it everyday. Sat night I was on local freeway xchange curve and it started at 65 mph. It took everything I had in me to keep from hitting the wall. Im a new jeep owner and so ready to burn this thing and just call the insurance company. Problem is its a love hate relationship lol. I love my jeep but hate the dw.can you help. It has 31 inch tires,2 inch lift.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service September 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

Hi Ben,

Sorry to hear you are having issues. It’s hard to tell from here exactly what the issue is, but we do have a death wobble package for your vehicle: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/tj-death-wobble-package-for-1-to-35-of-suspension-lift-p-1080/

As far as a shop to diagnose the issue, I am not sure exactly where you are located.

Please let us know if we can further assist.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Ron September 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Hello I have a 2007 jeep wrangler x unlimited I have a tereflex leveling kit and 35″ goodyear wrangler mtr tires on black rock 17×8 wheels .. I recently changed the outer tie rods the inner tie rods and drag link and all the stock track bar and lower control arm bolts to 9/16 hardened bolts .. And added a skyjacker dual steering stabilizer .. I checked the ball joints and wheel bearings and they are fine but I still get a shaking in the steering wheel at certaint speeds .. I’m not sure where to go or look from here any help is greatly appreciated .. Thanks

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Rob - KOR Customer Service September 23, 2013 at 11:17 am

Hi Ron,

If you are just having shaking in the wheel, I would take the vehicle to a different shop and have the tires rotated and re-balanced. If it’s a more pronounced shaking, then I might start to worry about what’s going on with your alignment, and possibly your track bar.

Regards,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Chris Stone September 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I have a 1996 Jeep Cherokee stock Inline 6, 4.0 litre. I haven’t changed anything within the last year and the death wobble started when I went through some nasty construction. It only happens at high speed (70-80 mph), but has gotten much worse. Even keeping the Jeep at or below 65 I still feel the difference in the steering/suspension. Hopefully someone can help me to narrow the problem. I’m pretty sure it isn’t the trackbar. I haven’t had time to check the bushings and I know an alignment won’t help. The major tell-tale sign is at higher speeds (50-65), where slight movements of the steering wheel left or right makes some slight grinding go through the steering wheel.

Does this help pinpoint? If not where should I start? Thank you for any info you can give.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service September 23, 2013 at 11:22 am

Chris,

How much play do you have in the steering wheel at speed? Does the wheel float a bit to where you can move it an inch or so left or right without affecting the steering. If there is any kind of slop in there, you’ll want to check out your tie rod ends, as well as your steering box. Play in the steering box can cause death wobble.

Regards,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Heather September 10, 2013 at 5:40 am

I have a 2004 Jeep Wrangler with a 4 inch lift and I staredt having the death wobble after I had new rims put on, I kept the same tires. I needed to have some work done on the jeep and had new Shocks put on, replaced the lowers, track bar, and replaced the steering stabilizer. I hoped that my death wobble would be gone but no today it was worse than it has every been. Can rims cause all these problems? I don’t want to have to put my old rims back on but I don’t want to kill myself. My husband said he is ready to sell me Jeep and I can’t let him to that. I love my Jeep.

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kristi September 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

We are thinking of buying my daughter a 2007 2wd Jeep wrangler x unlimited and I would like to know if this is more prevalent in a 4×4 or 2wd?
Thanks

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Kevin September 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm

They are much more prevalent in the 4×4 version, Kristi. The 2wd version has a “blank/dummy” axle up front, but uses the same suspension components as the 4×4 version. :-)

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al curtis August 26, 2013 at 11:40 am

hey kevin, just installed your track bar bushings on my 01 wrangler to cure the death wobble that only happened twice in 2 yrs, here’s another prob i’m having. 01 wrangler 6 inch lift, 2 inch body lift. only running 33″s now cause anything taller wont fit in garage. having steering slop, turn corners and wheel is offset to the left then visa versa, there is nothing loose, i did notice when shaking the steering wheel the drag link and bar is lifting up like it wants to rise when turning right, alignment is done, 6″ drop pitman arm, adjustable drag link and trackbar, wits end. any clue? thanks al

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Kevin September 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Hey there, Al. There HAS to be something loose, if you’re experiencing a “re-centering” of the steering wheel once you turn. Now, it COULD be the drag link twisting a bit…which could be remedied by “binding” the Tie Rod Ends against each other…one rotated as far forward as possible, the other as far rearward as possible, and then tightening everything down again, with them “out of phase” from each other…that will reduce/eliminate that twisting you’re seeing, and MIGHT help. However, I doubt that’s your entire problem. Here’s some thoughts:

1) Drag link tie rod ends have slop
2) Steering Box sector shaft has play
3) Steering box is loose from frame
4) Steering box internals have slop
5) Track bar bolts and/or bushings are loose, and the track bar is allowing the axle to slip back and forth
6) Track bar bolt holes have been ovaled/wallowed out from a loose track bar bolt

Ummm…that’s all I can think of this second…test all that stuff, and see where you’re at, and then post back as to what you found, so that other readers can benefit from your experience, please?

Thanks,
Kevin

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dustin August 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

have a bad case on my hands running 4 inch rough country lift on my 04 wj and have since welded my trackbar bracket to the frame and done have play anywhere else in the steering components and still have dw. I have purchased the rough country adj track bar waiting on shipping to install. My question is can my drop pittman arm be causing all these problems?

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Varrell August 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

I have a 99 jeep cherokee sport with the same problem, usually around 55-60 mph, as well as about 72mph. Does it every time I cruise too long at those speeds, EXCEPT: Last week I went on a 12 hour round trip, took my sister with me. She is a BIG girl. Didn’t do it once. Then as soon as I drove home alone, it did it again several times. Now my right tire is worn out, all the others seem fine. Having the extra weight on the right side temporarily solved the problem. Could that indicate a possible cause of the problem? I am seriously considering buying several bags of concrete and keeping them on my passenger side!!

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johnny alonso August 22, 2013 at 6:31 am

i recently solved my death wobble after trial and error. i had the exact same thing happen to my wrangler. after months of DW one day i was moving heavy band equipment which weighed down my wrangler. and yup – no DW on that ride. but as soon as it was unloaded – DW once again. I too had one worn tire up front (left) – finding where your DW is coming from is a pain in the ass. but your situation sounds EXACTLY like mine. i lifted the jeep – started and pulled the right wheel off, yanked off the hub and found all of my issues were in the drag link and tie rods. they were all worn out from regular wear and tear. i replaced the parts and got a solid alignment by someone who knows what theyre doing. my jeep runs like it did when i bought it new in ’07. hope this helps.

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Steve August 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm

My Suburban had a death wobble nothing worked until I had the tires shaved and that fixed it.

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Dwayne July 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Hey guys,
I have a 2007 dodge ram 2500 4×4 with that dreaded death wobble, just had front end checked out by two garages they both said everything looks good, other than the rotors are beyond specs, but I find it hard to believe that would be the cause of the problem. I have within the last year done all the tie rods, axle joints, shocks and steering stabilizer. the only parts I have yet to replace is the track bar, which appears quite tight, the hubs/bgs. which seem to turn free and the ball joints which both garages agree seem tight. Any ideas guys would be appreciated.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service August 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Dwayne,

A lot of times with the big trucks (and even Jeeps), the issue with the track bar isn’t how tight it is, but how much it flexes, both the bar and the bushings. Trucks with lifts and/or big tires put different stress on the bar than it was designed for, and sometimes the bars are just not as strong as they could be to begin with. As the truck ages, the track bar bushings break down, and they begin to flex more allowing more movement than the did when they were new, which allows the axle to move more laterally and the truck feels more loosey-goosey (careful, that’s a technical term right there).

If the bushings are shot, you may be able to tell by having someone turn the steering wheel for you while you watch the ends of the track bar. You should see some stretching of the bushings. If you can see that sitting in the driveway, imagine the full weight of the truck battering that thing while driving down the road. Hubs/bearings would be the least of my concern. Generally we see the most improvement from focusing on the track bar, steering box, and tires/alignment.

Rob
KOR

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johnny alonso August 22, 2013 at 6:40 am

hey bro – i have a 2007 jeep wrangler. after months of trial and error i finally got rid of my death wobble. check if one of your tires up front are starting to wear or go bald. i noticed my left front was wearing down but i also noticed whenever the DW would happen the RIGHT side of my front end made most of the noise. so after spending money of a heavy duty track bar and steering stabilizer (which apparently didnt need replacing) i lifted the jeep pulled the wheels off and the hub and found that the drag link was shot as well as the tie rods all. they didnt look bad when the jeep was on the ground but lifted you can see where it was worn out. unreal. so i replaced the the drag link at the tie rods – got a solid wheel alignment by someone who specializes in jeep (dont goto some generic place) now my jeep runs like it did when i bought it in 2007. i hope this helps bro

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Michael July 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

I have a 1984 Chevy suburban, not real original. Half ton on a three quarter ton frame with Dana 60 front and rear. Frame of restoration and build. Small lift with springs only. Not real big tires, a set of bf Goodrich. All components new on front end, magic, I have a dreaded case of death wobble. Any ideas?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service August 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Michael,

Have you had an alignment done on it recently, or after the new front end components were installed? Do you have an idea what the settings are, if so?

Rob
KOR

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robert July 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

hello my name is Robert and ive been dealing with the death wobble for some time now in my 1999 jeep tj I started by replacing the hubs then moved to a high steer kit then replaced the track bar and stabilizer then got new tires in total I have spent about 2000 dollars on this problem the shop that did my tires said their was play in the steering box and needs a new arm that goes from the steering wheel to that box besides that everything is tight and I checked it again what else could it be?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service August 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Robert,

Is the play gone in your steering box since the part was replaced? Can you turn the steering wheel considerably without any movement in the pitman arm? Any idea what your alignment settings are at currently as far as toe and caster? WHat size tires, and what PSI are you running in them?

Regards,

Rob
KOR

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Todd July 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

I have a 1997 jeep grand cherokee v8 all wheel drive with this death wobble. I keep getting told to sell it. I can tell you there is play in The Rod and the Track bar. I can reach underneath and rotate all the bars(Could It be just replacing the rubber bushings?)

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Todd July 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

Oh and it is all stock…

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Rob - KOR Customer Service August 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Todd,

If you have play enough to where you can rotate all of those parts by hand, then you need to replace some parts. If all is well, you should not be able to rotate the track bar and tie rods. That indicates that the tie rod end bearings are worn, and that slop will allow the steering system to oscillate. I would start with replacing your tie rod ends with Moog components, and the track bar, and getting the vehicle aligned. All death wobble is fixable.

Regards,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Patty Snow July 22, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Kevin,
Is it at all possible for a death wobble to be the result of a front end accident?
My Jeep Wrangler was struck in a parking lot from the front, slow impact but the driver wedged her car under my bumper (it’s got a 2 inch lift) and drilled the gas pedal through the floor long enough to push my Jeep backwards at least 4 feet with my Jeep in gear and the parking brake on! The repair shop just did an alignment and checked the tires. They also laser measured my frame and they can’t find anything wrong. Now a week later the wobble is back with a vengeance! They don’t seem to understand that my Jeep never did this before the accident. Now they say that it will stop after I replace the steering stabilizer.
This “death wobble” had to be caused by the accident because it NEVER did this before. I have never even engaged my 4 wheel drive.
Please let me know what you think.
Thank you,
Patty

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johnny alonso August 22, 2013 at 6:51 am

i recently got rid of my death wobble after months of trial and error. get someone to lift your jeep and pull the hubs and check your tie rods and drag link. every time DW occured i had serious noise on the right passenger side of the jeep. i also noticed my left driver’s side wheel was wearing down. once my jeep was lifted and they pulled the wheels and hubs, they found that my drag link and tie rods were completely worn out and slightly bent. i got the drag link and tie rods replaced, then had an alignment done by a jeep off road place (dont go to some random place, go to someone who specializes in jeep) and now my 2007 wrangler runs, handles and feels like it did when i bought it new. i hope this helps

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Mike July 16, 2013 at 2:57 am

My 2009 Wrangler has a chronic problem with DW. Everything under the sun has been replaced: track bar, bushings, ball joints, front axle, all 4 tires, tie rod ends, dampener — you name it. Problem always comes back. Recently I was advised (by an Air Force mechanic who specializes in Jeeps) to replace the sway bar, which is about the only thing that hasn’t been replaced yet. I notice Kevin didn’t mention sway bars as a possible culprit in the article. Is there any chance replacing the sway bar will do any good? Thanks, Mike.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 22, 2013 at 10:46 am

Mike,

We have found little to do with the sway bar being a major contributor to death wobble or it’s resolution. The parts that you mentioned replacing, were those all factory replacements?

Regards,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Mike July 24, 2013 at 9:33 am

Yes, Rob, I believe so. All repairs were done by the dealer under warranty (except the tires, of course.) I’ve only ever been charged a $100 deductible for the rental. I did put in a Rancho after-market steering stabilizer once, out of sheer desperation, but it was taken out by the dealer when they replaced the bushings. It was replaced with a factory part.

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johnny alonso August 22, 2013 at 6:54 am

check your drag link. my tie rods and drag link were bad. replaced them then had the dealer do an alignment . i finally got the jeep under control, no more death wobble thank God. def check your drag link. hope this helps.

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Nick Sanders July 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Thank you very much for the write up and all the explanation into the possible causes for my death wobble.. I have a 1991 Cherokee with (im guessing) a 4 inch lift on 33′s.. alot of steering issues including the death wobble.. I have purchased a HD adjustable Track Bar, HD adjustable Tie rod/ends, and a HD drag link.

My question is.. Is there anything else you can think of that I should replace to make the front end as a whole work and do you know of any videos that might assist me in changing all of these parts by myself in my garage… I have some mechanical experience but really want to learn how to work on my new jeep on my own…
Sorry if this seems like a dumb question or if the process of changing these things is easy but I really have very little idea of what is necessary for changing everything out..

Thank you!

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Pudgefish July 22, 2013 at 7:05 am

BIGLOU and the rest:

I’m just adding my 2 cents with my all STOCK 2006 Wrangler. It’s been shaking itself for the past 20k but it’s only gotten worse as I’ve replaced the steering dampener and track bar. Back when I used to take it to Chrysler for service (before they gouged a sidewall of a tire and told me it was like that when I showed up AND were unable to fix it after 4 mulit-day attempts), an alignment and fresh tire would work for a while but it seems like it’s getting worse with every shake and attempted repair. It’s spent time with every mechanic in my town and nobody can fix it. Jeep has done something terrible and persists by not fixing this issue with a recall. Because so many people mod jeeps, it’s commonly assumed that THIS is the issue. Well, I’m all stock (except the aftermarket stabilizer which was done in hopes of a remedy.) How is it a problem can be so severe and yet so unidentifiable? I would say leave Coon Rapids out of it and go class action on Jeep. Lots of stock jeeps are shaking and it’s clearly a manufacturer problem.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 22, 2013 at 10:43 am

Pudge,

Sorry to hear that no one has been able to fix your issue. We, however, have been dealing with this issue specifically for many years with Kevin running a shop devoted to Jeeps and fixing this problem. The fix may be slightly different from vehicle to vehicle within the Jeep family, but the causes are usually the same. While an alignment and balanced tires may have solved your issues in the past, as the components in your steering system age and wear, the overall system develops slop. This can occur in control arm bushings, tie rod ends, track bar bushings and hardware, ball joints- any wear part really. This is not exclusive to Jeeps. This also happens on solid axle Ford, Dodge, and Chevy trucks with age. Dealing with Jeeps day in, and day out, there is pretty much a formula. We can help you narrow down your issue if you want to shoot us an email for ease of communication.

If you choose not to, we wish you the best of luck in resolving your issue.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 22, 2013 at 10:53 am

Nick,

We really recommend the steering box brace along with what you have already spec’d out for your vehicle. This helps tie your steering box in to both of your unibody rails, and keeps it from moving side to side laterally, which can help a lot with firming up your steering. It’s a really easy install, and only about a $80 part with the optional powdercoating: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-steering-box-brace-for-8401-xjs-powdercoated-p-839/

Regards,

Rob
KOR

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Biglou1964 July 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Have an 07 Wrangler. Started getting the wobble around 60K. Started at the dealer with the only thing they will do, they changed the dampener. That lasted for 5k or so. Next step, replace all the major components in the front end, spindles, bearings, tie rods, ball joints….. Still not fixed, left hand turns with bumps cause extreme shaking. Last attempt was with an off road shop. Suppose to be experts in all 4 wheel drive problems. They have the jeep for a wheel and couldn’t figure out why it was happening. These were all former Jeep repair mechanics by the way. The only thing they could find was an 1/8th inch of movement in the track bar. They drilled out the bolt and replaced it with a larger one. Then welded washers on each side to completely remove all movement. This seemed to do it for a short time, but taking a left curve we hit a pothole and off we went. Right in the ditch and there was no way to stop it. This design is flawed and needs redesigning. Our jeep is completely stock, no aftermarket parts except for the new heavy duty dampener. I’m collecting all my bills so far and I’m off to the dealer to make them wish they had never been born. I will continue until someone makes this right. This jeep can’t be fixed, so what the hell am I suppose to do with it? So take your pain killers Coon Rapids Jeep, I’m on my way to be the biggest pain in the azz you have ever known.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 22, 2013 at 11:02 am

Ah, Coon Rapids! I lived there for a brief winter in 1997, and as soon as the snow broke, drove my butt back to Southern California.

Back to your Jeep. You can, if you so decide, get rid of the track bar movement that is plaguing your JK. If you hit a brick wall and decide to try to stick it out with the Jeep, we have a very successful kit to replace the stock track bar with a heavy duty track bar, and super hard track bar bushings, that pretty much eliminates this issue.

The track bar itself, as well as the soft OEM bushings are very pliable on the JK, and allow a lot of flex, even on stock vehicles. A huge number of the vehicles that install our kits are stock height, with stock tires and are having death wobble issues. This kit does not negatively impact drivability, comfort, or road noise in the cabin.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please shoot us an email at [email protected], and we’ll be more than happy to assist.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Danny July 7, 2013 at 4:43 am

I get the Death wobble when Braking Around 25-45 Thats it,I can go speed limit and know prob.Help me find cure .Thanks Danny Tucson.O by the way,Have 33×12.50×15 .Im 49 .My first truck was 1981 toyota 4×4 ,2 inch Ada leaf,3 inch body lift .It had 35×12.50×15 was the best truck I ever had.Please help…..Thanks Danny

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 22, 2013 at 11:06 am

Danny,

If you only get a wobbling sensation when braking, that sounds an awful lot like warped brake rotors. I would suggest a brake inspection, or at least having the front rotors turned. It’s usually around $15-20 at your local auto parts store.

Rob
KOR

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Heidi July 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

Thank you for this info, Kevin.
This happened to us today on the highway.
It was terrifying and now I’m scared to even drive my jeep. I had never heard of this issue but am glad I now know.
Now to get this issue fixed! :-/

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Privy Digger June 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm

U should add that most of these vehicals have a factory installed steering dampner (mono shock) in the front. This is to the help reduce the shake in these poorly designed front
ends. So keep in mined this may be wore out making the shake worse or exist…

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Brian Stack June 18, 2013 at 6:09 am

Thanks for making sense out of this. My Wrangler has been shaking since new and we have changed shocks and tires to no avail. Should the diagnostics you recommend be the same for an unmodified Jeep with the problem since it was new?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 1, 2013 at 1:25 am

Brian,

Yes, the diagnostics will be the same, stock or lifted.

Rob
KOR

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Rod June 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Just rotated my tires on my 2006 rubicon unlimited, stock, no lift, 80,000 miles. Getting death wobble at 45 to 50 mph. What are your thoughts?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 1, 2013 at 1:30 am

Rod,

I would look into your track bar. These are prone to wearing out well before this mileage at either end or both even at stock height with stock tires. In our opinion, all solid axle Jeeps benefit from a beefier track bar, as the one that comes on it from the factory is a compromise of weight and rigidity for fuel savings. Often, the track bar joints wear out, which taxes the steering stabilizer until it too wears out. People will replace the steering stabilizer which will clear up symptoms for a few thousand miles, but will not truly clear up the issue.

Rob
KOR Staff

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william barbour June 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm

We recently bought a used 2000grand Jeep Cherokee and now have been experience the death wobble tires were wore out pretty bad just replaced them and it made it worse and also a bad clicking sound and just found a bad leak from powersteering pump we really need help with this issue

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stephen June 13, 2013 at 11:04 am

i have a 01 jeep grand cheri i would like to no were i can fine a kit for my death wobble if u no were i can get one can u please let me no thanks

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 1, 2013 at 1:48 am

Stephen,

The package for your vehicle would be located at the following link: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/wj-death-wobble-package-for-16-of-lift-p-1063/

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Rob
KOR Staff

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tosha June 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm

i have a 95 jeep Cherokee sport, It is fine until you hit about 40 to 60 and then the death rattle starts. My dad is a mechanic and owns a jeep also. He drove it today and told me it was a bad death rattle. i dont know much ab the jeep other than I just bought it a few days ago from the original owner. it is no modification on it and when you turn it to left it pops really loud. I really dont have the money to fix something major so any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

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Nolan kirk June 10, 2013 at 8:39 am

This describes my problem perfectly, I have a 2000 jeep cherokee with 33″ tires and a 3″ lift, I got the “Death Wobble” last week and I thought that it would be a simple fix, I took it to a shop and they tightened some bolts which fixed the clunck in the steering wheel which occurred when turned either to the left or right. However I was driving today and it happened again, which sucks. I am not THAT familiar with the underside of a jeep, it is my first car and I’m not too sure what I’m lookig for on each of the parts that you listed. I don’t see and metallic showing so I assume that it isn’t wearing down a price where it shouldn’t be, is there and easy way you can explain what I can look for in accordance with the helpful color oriented picture?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 1, 2013 at 1:46 am

Nolan,

If you search on Google, there are a few color diagrams of Jeep steering components, such as the one herre: http://www.quadratec.com/jeep_knowledgebase/article-68.htm

Please let us know if you need any further assistance.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Chris June 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.It has a 4 inch lift with stock rims and tires and has just over 124k miles. I have the death wobble BAD!!! I cannot go over 45 mph with her. I replaced the steering stabilizer and still has the wobble. I checked the sway bar links, pitman arm, drag link, track bar, tie rod, upper and lower control arms and they are all fine and all bolts are tight. What could be causing this?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 1, 2013 at 1:41 am

Chris,

Aside from your alignment and tires, it sounds like you have gone through everything. It is still possible that there is a problem in one of those components that has been missed. How were these components tested, under stress while the steering wheel was being turned, or static. There has to be a problem somewhere in these components. Most commonly in the track bar and tie rod ends. Have you had it running with the lift without the wobble, or has the wobble existed ever since the lift was installed?

Rob
KOR Staff

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Denise June 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Thanks for this comprehensive info and news clip on Jeep Death Wooble. I recently purchased 6 weeks ago a used 2010 Jeep Wrangler with 27,000km on the clock and no modifcations to the suspension. It has a serious death wobble at 80km (50mph) on the same stretch of road. This is the only road in/out of where I live in Qld, Australia. Wheel alignment, balance and tyre pressure have been checked and corrected however this has made no difference. I took it to a suspension specialist who advised that the Panhard Rod (track bar) bushes are are in good condition and not worn, however they are of poor quality and soft. The vehicle is still under warranty and is about to be delivered by tow truck to the dealer for inspection. I am hoping for a cooperative outcome.

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Milton June 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

Started have the death wabble found it’s cause was the bolt in the track bar had worn about 1/8 in.

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johnnyalonso May 31, 2013 at 9:10 am

i too am a proud owner of a 2007 JK Jeep Wrangler. I bought my jeep brand new – never had a problem w “death wobble” until i hit 120,000. At first I thought my tires just needed serious balancing. So i got that plus rotation and front end alignment. It seemed to “cure” the problem. the DW came back – I replaced the steering dampener. DW came back. i had my girlfriend turn the wheel (9 to 3) while i was under the jeep – i noticed the track bar bending up. im serious, the stock track bar was bending. I decided to replace the original mopar piece of shit track bar with a heavy duty forged adjustable track bar. this fix, with probably the alignment, balancing and possibly the steering dampener solved my issue. FINALLY.
I hope my fix will shed some light and give hope to some of you jeep riders on this thread. There are so many of us that have experienced this horrific safety hazzard – all we want is our jeep to run like everyone else s ride.
I like yourself, have read countless reports on this issue. It really does suck that Jeep won’t acknowledge this issue as a recall. What’s it going to take, someone to get seriously hurt or die in order for them to admit there’s an issue with our jeeps??
i hope this helps, man.

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Pete scully May 30, 2013 at 6:00 am

I have experienced the Death wobble at different speeds. I have replaced the steering Stab bar and the trac Bar it did away with it but now its doing it some and quitting Now I have a clunk when I turn to the left or right Help

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andrew sneed June 8, 2013 at 5:52 am

I replaced my track bar when I had that popping noise. I suspected it was the ball joint connection popping under stress. When i switched to the KOR bar it went away.

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shawna May 30, 2013 at 5:54 am

should you be able to move the drag link front to back. it pivot just a little if you twist it forward and backwards. im having a very hard time figuring out what going on and i can’t afford to keep buying different parts to narrow it down.

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Tony May 30, 2013 at 4:39 am

2002 Grand Cherokee with a 2.5″ coil spring and lift. Lift was installed by my local shop who I have gone to for years. Death wobble between 35-40mph when hitting a bump usually the right tire. Runnin g stock size BFG all terrains with about 5000 miles on them. Shop checked tire for “run” and put the two best up front. They installed new track bar, all four ball joints, all four tie rod ends, it has been toed in, and out, adjusted caster as much as possible. Adjusted tire pressure, currently running about 40 psi. Well bearings have been checked. At wits end. Wife is ready to kill me, I can drive my job, and this is slowly ruining me. The lift manufacture has been very little help. Tired of dumping money at this thing and I am ready to run it off a cliff. I was a jeep lover……not so much now. Help!

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Dan May 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Would wider wheels make a ZJ more susceptible to death wobble? When my 33″ swampers were mounted on the stock rims, I had a little shimmy for a second when hitting bumps, but no death wobble. I had the same tires remounted on wider wheels and immediately had death wobble. The guy that mounted and balanced them had a hard time getting them all to balance to zero. There are 2 or 3 of them that are about .25 out of balance, but he said that you can’t feel anything less than .50 out of balance.
I had previously replaced the upper end of the track bar so its good. I had worn ball joints on the driver side so I replaced those after the tire were remounted on the wider wheels and that did not fix the problem. I have sat and watched all steering components while having someone turn the steering wheel back and forth, they only play I can see is in the steering stabilizer bushing. It has a lot of slop. I am planning on replacing it but I have read that this may or may not cause death wobble. I don’t think that it is the cause because that bushing was just as bad before I remounted the tires, and I didn’t have DW then. So it seems to me that the only explanation is the tires that may be slightly less than perfectly balanced, or the wider wheels. Would either of these be the problem?

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Bradley May 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I am almost at wits end. I have a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I have a 2 1/2″ lift with 33″ tires. I have replaced the upper and lower ball joints, complete tie rod and ends, drop link and ends, JKS trac bar, a new aftermarket steering stabilizer and a camber kit to adjust the camber. I have had it aligned after all the parts have been installed. I still have the shudder at around 45-50 MPH. The death wobble is gone, but the shudder won’t go away. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Bradley,

How recently have you had the tires balanced, and at what PSI are you currently running them at? Are they factory rims, or aftermarket?

Rob
KOR Staff

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Bradley May 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I have Pro Comp Steel Rims with Pro Comp AT tires. I had them balanced about 6 months ago and I run around 32 PSI all the way around.

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Jessica May 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Kevin
I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler went to FLY-N-HI total performance centers in febuary and had a track bar, tie rod, lift kit and shocks, and also a steering stabilizer put in my jeep got it back the same day not even a mile away from their shop death wobble. I took it to the jeep dealer and they had it for 2 days to diagnose it they think they fixed the problem they tightened everything that the performance center put on it was all loose same thing not even mile out death wobble. I am running out of ideas i drive 50 miles from home and back every weekend and just want something to help. Any ideas??

Jessica

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Jessica,

Can you provide any details about the lift, height brand, etc? What type of track bar was installed? Was an alignment done by the shop after the lift was installed? What speeds does the wobble happen at? Does it only happen when you hit bumps, or does it happen when you reach a certain speed?

Rob
KOR Staff

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David May 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

My 97 Wrangler has the dreaded wobble. Sometimes it is just fine. Confusing. Yesterday I was at it again, under the jeep trying to figure it out when I noticed that the passenger side shock was so loose that I could easily move it by hand. I tightened it and I am hoping that this was the problem. Any thoughts on shocks being the problem?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm

David,

Shocks can definitely be a contributor to the problem. Anything that is loose that is controlling movement of the axle can allow everything to go into chaos. Has tightening this shock relieved all of your issues?

Rob
KOR Staff

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David May 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Thanks for your help Rob. The issue remains. I tightened the track bar by loading all I had on it. I would say that the nut turned about one revolution. I have my fingers crossed.

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Lainyg May 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Hi, thanks for the info…I had no idea what I was experiencing in my 2004 Wrangler had a name. We purchased it from a dealer in 2008 with low kms. It hasn’t been lifted or modified and as far as we know it wasn’t used off road.

We first noticed the wobble a few years ago…bad wobble at about 95kmh. Scared the crap outta me the first time it happened! We put new tires on it (just stock size) and it seemed to go away…for a while.

Now it’s back. At first I thought it might be because we threw a weight and it was out of balance but that’s not the case. When travelling on the freeway it starts shaking at around 95k without hitting a bump or anything, Easing off the accelerator settles it down. We have found that if we can accelerate fairly quickly from 90kmh to 100kmh, that we can get past the wobble and travel along at higher speeds with no problem. Again, when we slow down we try to slow past that 100 – 90 range fairly quickly to avoid the shake. It works most of the time.

Most people comment that it starts after hitting a bump, but this isn’t the case with my Jeep, Does that give any clue as to what the problem could be?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Lainy,

If your issue happens at speed without hitting any bumps or cracks in the road, it still could be an issue with your tires being out of balance or possibly slightly overinflated. Especially if it is completely absent when hitting those imperfections in the road. It would seem to be more of a harmonic imbalance with your wheels/tires, or even a very slight misalignment.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Dvoso May 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I have a 2007 jeep wrangler Sarah unlimited 80k miles. Replaced all four ball joints, track bar, and steering stabilizer still have the death wobble… Please help

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randy May 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

i have a1994 xj cherokee,has a vibration and shake at 60.the death wobble no doubt,it is stock,i have brand new tires on it,new ball joint ,right side ,moog track bar,rancho heavy duty sterring damper,new rotors and pads,have had tie rods checked all good,what the hell is left,it would be a good jeep if it was not 4 that.113,000,on it in good shape,please help………………….

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Sally May 10, 2013 at 3:19 am

Our farm truck, an ’88 Chevy 1500 4WD that is lifted has bad death wobble. Never happens on gravel, but a lot on asphalt. Would the fix steps be the same for a Chevy as you list in your article? We only use the 4WD in the pasture if we get stuck, and all driving is local, within 30 miles or so.

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Jamie May 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

This is not going to help but If it happens on asphalt it also is happening on gravel. However, since gravel is loose by nature you do not feel it. In other words because asphalt “grips” the tires you feel the wobble versus the looseness inherent gravel.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Jamie,

Well said. This is why it is also good to test out your steering for worn components on rough asphalt, as opposed to your smooth concrete garage floor. The asphalt will provide ‘bite’ on your tires while someone is turning the steering wheel for you, creating some tension or bind in your steering components instead of allowing the tires to slip on the concrete.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Dan felts May 8, 2013 at 7:09 am

The only other thing I have to add to this forum is the fact that I dont see anyone on here who has taken the vehicle (Jeep) to a Jeep Dealer.. Everyone is trying to fix it themselves and no one knows what the F%$& they are doing!!!!!!

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TJ May 9, 2013 at 9:28 am

Why would you need to take it to the dealer. The stock parts are the problem ( there junk). The aftermarket parts fix the death wobble and last alot longer. Not a jeep dealer and have fixed hundreds of them.

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marty May 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

I have a 99 Jeep cherokee sport with death wobble I need help I replaced upper and lower ball joints bearings on both sides shock on stabilizer and sway bar links and bushings this process is killing my wallet so should I go with new track bar and bushings 1st or just bushings

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Dan,

Unfortunately a lot of people have been to the dealer before looking here. The standard answer is to replace the steering stabilizer (if under warranty), or say the vehicle hasn’t been maintained properly (if out of warranty). And you are right, a lot of people do not know where to start, though I wouldn’t quite state it as bluntly, LOL. Fortunately, there are quite a few people here who deal with this daily, and kind of do know what we are doing.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Dan felts May 8, 2013 at 7:01 am

2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee, thing has driven like dream since I bought it. Did a paper route for 2 yrs, which put a beating on the vehicle, in and out of 300 + driveways everyday. Most people wouldnt be in and out of a driveway 300 times in year. Any way heard a noise in the rear end (sounded like when you were a kid & u put a closepin and a card on your spokes, the bppppp sound). Well one day I went over a liitle bump and BANG no gears. So we pulled the cover off & low & behold the gears were shot they busted, missing teeth. So instead of replacing, I ordered the whole Rear Axle Assembly from Automotix ($350.00), took 14 days to get it. I had my mechanic put it in, no problem. After fixing he took it for a test ride and told me the front was shot also. (who knows whether I can believe that or not) So I ordered a Front Axle Assembly from a reputable used parts dealer (still a junk yard) for $250.00. We put it in, no problem, eberything seems to be OK except the steering wheel is now out of alignment. So Im told no problem, just get a front end alignment that will will straighten evrything out. OK, I go to MAVIS, the guy spends 2 hours on it & tells me he cant align it something else is wrong, he doesnt know what. (No charge, by the way). Maybe its from another jeep not a 2004. mechanic says everything OK. jeep runs smooth and nice until you hit that one bump and here it comes “DEATH WOBBLE”!! No one can figure it out.
I think its just time to get rid of it. You’ll never even be able to sell it unless they never take it for a test drive. Only thing to do is trade it to a dealer and be done with it. Its like a broken bone it’ll never be right again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Dan,

We deal with a lot of WJ’s. I myself have a 2003, and had the same thoughts of throwing the baby out with the bathwater when I and the family got death wobble at 85 on the freeway one day. Every case of death wobble is fixable and it’s not a terribly expensive venture, though it may take some investigating to see what is going on with yours since the axle is swapped. Luckily, if it’s a WJ front axle, it shouldn’t matter if it’s from a 99 or a 2004, it’s all the same setup.

If you want to email us at [email protected] for fastest response, we would be happy to talk to you about what you have going on, and help you get it figured out. Kevin started figuring out death wobble on Jeeps because of WJ’s, and we’re pretty good at getting them sorted out.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Juan July 7, 2013 at 11:37 am

Wilmington, NC here, I have an 01 wj with a 4 inch zone lift on her. Running 31′s and have the worst D.W. ever, ive taken it to several shops w. no answer or solution. LOW Range didn’t help any, an alignment shop put a dampner on it and it patched it but its returning. It has been looked at the u joints bearings etc. etc. and all was good, the alignment shop said I needed adjustable control arms that the caster was thrown off but the lift kit came w. them so I would “assume” that the company thought about the caster angle when mass producing this kit. I have an adjustable track bar, all which has been tightened up etc. etc. its been looked over several times and still D.W. I am a newbie to the jeep world learning as I go, mechanically dumb for the most part and I am at my WHITTS END, anyone have suggestions?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service July 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

Juan,

I would ask what measurement they are getting for your caster, should be around -4.5 to -6 degrees. If it is outside this, then yes you will have issues. If the caster is not right, the lower arms could be the right length, but you may have issues with your upper control arm bushings wearing out. This will allow variances in your upper arm length, and thus your caster. If you can take and twist your upper control arms by hand, then you have a problem, if not you will still want to unbolt the arms and take a look. I usually unbolt the arm at the differential end and then try to swing the arm upward gently. If it swings upward easily, the rear bushing is shot. You should be able to inspect the front ones from there for cracking or tears.

Regards,

Rob
KOR

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Juan. July 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Rob, thank you sir for your reply, I will check it out. I am a novice and don’t know much but I plan on replacing uppers that didn’t come w. the lift. It was pointed out to me that they had been cut maybe from a previous lift or something to maybe fit in the jeep idk. I am going to spend a lot of time at the local pick and pull any more advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! thank you again sir!

Juan.

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brandon May 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm

HI i have a 2000 xj have 3 inch coils and new shocks i have bad death wobble if i hit a bump anywhere from 40-60 mph wobbles a bit no matter what at 45-50 ish but i if i hit a bump i have to slow to almost a stop to get it to stop. just installed a new track bar hoping that would fix it and it did not. got a mechanic telling me my lower control arm bushings are shot and that those must be the problem do you agree or should i replace something else ?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Brandon,

If your control arm bushings are shot, that is something that will need to be repaired. You can verify this by grabbing the control arm and trying to twist it. You should not be able to very easily. The control arm keeps the axle in control, and if those bushings are gone, the axle is allowed to wiggle. If he’s grabbing at straws and is just giving you something to fix, that’s another thing, but if they are truly bad, then yes they will need to be addressed.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Blake April 30, 2013 at 9:27 am

I have death wobble also on my cherokee starts going 50-60. i just checked my track bar seems pretty tight but my drag link bar is loose. u can twist it lots of play. could that be the death wobble???

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Blake,

This could be an indication that your tie rod ends on your drag link are bad, which can indeed cause death wobble. You can check for slop in these joints by having someone turn your steering wheel for you while you inspect the steering linkage. Look for any slop in the joints, specifically tie rod ends, and track bar ends. This is best accomplished on a rough surface that will help bind the steering system by gripping the tires (slick concrete is less effective to diagnose on).

Rob
KOR Staff

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Shawn April 29, 2013 at 8:28 am

I have a 2010 Jeep Wrangler “Islander” with a 3″ coil lift, 2″ bodylift , & 37″ tires.
I’ve owned the Jeep for about 6 months, & bought it with the lift on it. Now, this weekend when turning at low speeds it has a “wobble”. Any ideas?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Shawn,

Can you be more specific as to the speed that you are referencing? Is this a 5 mph slow speed or 25 mph slow speed? Does it happen turning either direction? Any other specifics about when it occurs?

Rob
KOR Staff

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Samuel April 26, 2013 at 11:14 am

Hey, I’ve been chasing this problem in a 93 cherokee, and so far I haven’t had any luck after replacing the tracbar and dampener. But I’m being told it might be a pinion in the rear diferential, can’t remember what the pinions full name was, but have you seen that ever be the cause of the wobble? Thanks.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Samuel,

A problem with the pinion may cause a vibration, but would not cause death wobble. Death wobble occurs when the front axle violently oscillates, or shakes at speed, necessitating the vehicle to be slowed nearly to a stop for the issue to subside. This does not sound like the issue you would be having if the rear pinion is a suspect.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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t April 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm

had 97 wrangler tj that had death wobble. replaced the shocks (all 5). Also found the bushings worn on the track bar. Installed the urethane ones and it is fine now. but before I had a 95 cherokee xj that did not like caster. had to get it down to around 2 degrees to make it go away using adjustable control arms.

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Robert April 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Having issues with my 1999 tj wrangler that you don’t seem to have a conversion kit for please need help getting rid of the death wobble

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 6, 2013 at 12:00 am
Brad April 23, 2013 at 6:55 am

Hi, I have a totally stock 2007 jeep wrangler unlimited x and have experienced the death wobble…I was wondering which bushing kit you recommend for my vehicle for the tracbar?
It has 113000 miles on it so I am sure they are bad. Surprisingly I just had Jeep to a shop and they said all front end parts were good.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Brad,

Surprisingly enough, Jeep decided to use two different sized bushings on the JK track bar, and we do not have a buhsing kit to replace both sides of the bar. Due to the inherent flexibility of the stock track bar, we usually recommend replacing the stock bar with a Heavy Duty JKS Bar, and also upgrading the included rubber bushings to our Super Hard Durometer poly bushings for maximum benefit.

Please email us at [email protected] if you have further questions regarding any of the above mentioned parts.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Craig April 22, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Hello,

Been fighting the DW for the past month or so now, have read many post and searched everywhere but am at my wit’s end with this thing. PLEASE HELP ME, I am desperate to get this solved and it only seems to be getting worse..

So, ’97 XJ Sport on 2.5″ spacers in front and blocks in back. Have checked everything in the front end for “play,” nothing is loose/wobbily/etc. Had my front tires remounted and balanced just the other day, then the front end aligned. Shop checked all my ball joints and said we’re good.

Right before I had all this done, installed a the adjustable track bar per my post below and centered the front axle as it was 2 inch out towards the driver side with the stock track bar. The alignment confirmed that it is exactly centered and I am on new wheels in the front that are perfectly balanced.

However, after each of these attempts to “fix” it the problem is only getting worse. Guess because I am taking out all the play and isolating the problem, now if I could only figure out what that is.

Used to only happen on certain bumps on the highway at 60+ mph and there was no wobble in the steering at 55. After track bar, more and more bumps set it off. Now after alignment can’t even go above 50mph or it will start wobbling. Even if it doesn’t right at 55 you can feel it starting in the steering wheel with some left to right bouncing.

Have checked the steering box and mount and it seems solid, can yank/jerk/wiggle the pitman arm and there is NO PLAY. Could it be the caster angle since I am on the stock control arms? But really, with 2.5″ of lift that many things should not need to be replaced..? Also, one of the U-joints right behind tranny into driveshaft is slightly shaky/bad could that really be causing all this?

PLEASE, I cannot deal with this as this is my DD and everything I try stiffens things up but only makes the problem worse. Tired of throwing parts and money at it just to make things worse, I have checked all the common things and NOTHING HAS HELPED!!!

Also, has new steering stabilizer (I know doesn’t cause or cure DW), all 4 shocks are new, Shop went through steering components when aligning and everything was “good”??????????

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Rob - KOR Customer Service May 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Craig,

It may in fact be the caster angle. Without knowing what you are at, it is impossible to say, but based on everything else you are stating, you have to start looking at things like alignment, control arm bushings, etc. If your control arm bushings are worn, they could be allowing you caster to be out of whack (don’t forget the bushings on the axle). Also look at the tire pressure in your tires. Most people run way overinflated oversize tires. If you are at a 32″ tire and running 35 PSI in those suckers, they are not absorbing impact as they should, and that shock gets transmitted to your suspension and steering.

Feel free to comment back with more info about your setup, and we’ll try to help where we can.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Jase April 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Hey there, I have a 94 cherokee on rustle 4.5 lift with upgraded track, steering stabilizer, jks quicker disconnects, brand new 33″ BFF Mtr on brand new pro comp wheels. I got an alignment right after i got new tires put in. But I get a bit of a thumping at 30mph and goes right away and when I hit 65 and up the thumping/wobble come back.. It’s not a crazy wobble but only slightly.. Everything steers fine and drjves perfectly but its almost as if jt just thumping upmand down skightly.. Also I can feel a weak vibration while going uphill @55mph in low rpm in OD.. Any idea on what the problem or fix could be?

I noticed the thumping before I got the tires thinking the tire was out of balance. mind you it was fine when I had 32″ super swamps went back to stock tires for my road trip and that’s when I noticed it..

Any help or advice would be appreciated!!

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Craig March 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Hello Kevin, I have a ’97 XJ Sport on 2.5 inch spacers. Recently, I have been getting the death wobble when I hit a good series of bumps at any type of highway speeds (55+). Everything is very tight as I checked when I first read your article; broke out the tape measure today and I can tell the front axle is about 2″+ to the right (drivers side) as I still have the stock track bar. Am thinking of purchasing the “ZJ (all) & ’87>’01 XJ/MJ Hard-KOR Track Bar Conversion: Cures Death Wobble” from you as I am almost positive this is the culprit. I am on a serious budget but want to do this right, so are there instructions as to mount and properly center the front axle myself? Wouldn’t I also need to extend the drag link as the axle is moving to the left and the pitman arm is on a stationary point? If I don’t adjust it won’t the steering seriously be off-center? Or can I more easily adjust the steering while leaving the drag link alone? Are there instructions/advice to do this? Also, are the “Hard-KOR SUPER-hard Rockwell Durometer (72d) bushings for Track” bushings REALLY WORTH IT, as I said I AM ON A SERIOUS BUDGET but believe if I do it I am going to do it right? Thank you in advance for your advice….Regards!

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Rob - KOR Customer Service April 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Craig,

Yes, when you move the axle over to the passenger’s side, you will also need to adjust out the drag link. There are full instructions on the install of the Track Bar Conversion on our website at: http://kevinsoffroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/01/Track-Bar-Conversion.pdf

We highly recommend the Super Durometer bushings, but they are by no means a necessity. If you can’t afford them now, you can always use the KOR Bucks you earn on the Track Bar conversion purchase towards your next purchase. They certainly do firm up the track bar, and improve what is already a vastly better than stock setup.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Kaylin March 30, 2013 at 5:45 am

I just bought a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, which is not lifted and to my knowledge is pretty much stock everything, 4WD 4.0m MFI 6cyl. I went to drive it to work the other day and was shocked by the most violent shaking I’ve ever experienced in my life. Needless to say I was concerned. I immediately turned around to drive it back home, and was rewarded with three more occurrences of what I’ve just found out has been lovingly called the Death Wobble. My stepfather went ahead and looked it over while I was at work and found that the front driver’s side CV axle was horribly worn and the rotor on that same side had a pencil deep grove in it. So the next day I bought all the parts I was told to, Duralast CV axle, shiny new rotor, and some new brake pads. These were all adequately replaced, and so I started her up again yesterday to go to work again and not two miles down the road did the cursed death wobble reoccur! I had thought we fixed the problem, but I had no idea what I was really up against until this very morning. With this new knowledge in tow I plan to go outside, and with the help of my currently sleeping boyfriend, check for play in the front of my jeep. Other things worth mentioning/asking about, when we checked my tires (15″) the rear and passenger sides were at 80 psi, and the driver’s was at 16 psi. We rectified that, but the dreaded DW persists. Other than what is explained above is there anything specific to my case you might mention/recommend/forewarn? Thanks for any help or advice!

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Rob - KOR Customer Service April 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Kaylin,

Definitely read through the article and do the inspection suggestion, with having someone turn the steering wheel while someone else inspects the steering system joints. Any play in the tie rod ends, or track bar ends needs to be addressed, or you will continue to face this issue, I’m afraid. If there’s anything you come up against that you’re unsure of, post here, or shoot us an email at [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Rob March 27, 2013 at 9:56 am

Just bought my ’04 TJ RME, all stock, about a year ago, after driving it for about 4 months, I started getting the DW. The tie rod end on the passenger side of the tie rod looked pretty worn, so i replaced that…no more DW, that is until a few weeks ago, it’s rearing its ugly head again…argh. My inspection the first time, I didn’t see anything other than that tie rod end that looked worn. Haven’t had a chance to get back under, but is it possible that my worn tie rod end was not the culprit, but a victim of the DW? Guess I’ll be crawling back under this weekend

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Eric March 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

My 94 Grand Cherokee has a 3″ Rough Country lift and I just mounted 31″ tires. Alignment and balance was performed but eventually the DW occurred at 45mph occurred. Took it back to the shop and they said all 4 wheels were out of balance so that was resolved but the DW returned. Best description is the front end seems to shimmy side to side from start to 10mph which resolves to a mild vibration at 30mph and occasionally DW at 45-50 (more often when I have two passengers). It sometimes resolves at 55 and smooths out at 65mph.
I have the Rock Country stabilizer to install after I inspect the suspension as you indicated. Will the track bar resolve the issue if everything else is tight?
Eric

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Rob - KOR Customer Service March 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Eric,

It’s really hard to say that the track bar will fix it if everything else is okay. Either the track bar is bad, or it isn’t, and it will be evident when you do the inspection on the suspension as outlined on the page here. Have someone work the steering wheel for you back and forth between 10 and 2 while you watch the steering components and look for play. If there is anything (especially the track bar) that is worn, it will show up in movement during this inspection. Please get back to us with your findings after this inspections.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Eric March 29, 2013 at 9:03 am

Rob,
Replaced the stabilizer which (leaking badly) which resolved the DW but there still is some vibration starting at 45, resolving at 55. A quick inspection didn’t reveal any play but I didn’t have assistance to turn the wheel. Once the weather clears I’ll inspect and most likely replace the track bar considering the list has pushed the axel to the left by about 2″.
Thanks for the resource,
Eric

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Rob - KOR Customer Service April 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Eric,

Yes, seeing the system under load helps tremendously. Let us know if we can help out at all once it warms up.

Rob
KOR

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Tim March 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I have a 1990 jeep cherokee limited with extreme death wobble 55-60mph all steering components, track bar and bushings are stock. It has a 5 inch lift on it sitting on 31s. it constantly pulls right. what all parts should i purchase to solve this problem ?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service March 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Tim,

It definitely sounds like the first thing on order should be a new adjustable track bar. That stock track bar is no good after about 2 inches of lift, and at 5″, your axle is either way off towards the driver’s side or there’s a relocation bracket, or something else nasty under there that’s jacking up your steering geometry.

We offer our Track Bar Conversion kit, which swaps out the tie rod end style track bar for a much more stable and flexible poly bushing and double shear mount: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/zj-all-8701-xjmj-hardkor-track-bar-conversion-cures-death-wobble-also-fits-8486-with-minor-modification-p-1017/

This will also get your steering geometry back in line, and the axle where it should be. Try that out first, and then trouble shoot any lingering issues. That should resolve quite a bit.

Rob
KOR

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tino March 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Got a death wobble on 83 cj 7 cant figure out any thoughts running 35 s n about 6 to 7 inches of lift bought it like that

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Rob - KOR Customer Service March 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Tino,

I would start with looking at your tire pressure (start in the low 20′s and work from there), and maybe having your tires balanced first. Unless you have had some modifications, I assume you have a leaf sprung front suspension still, so you should have fewer issues with death wobble than the coil sprung Jeeps.

If you have a heavily modified CJ, send us the details and some pics to [email protected], and we’ll try to help decipher what is going on with it.

Regards,

Rob
KOR

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juan March 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm

hi.
i bought a 2002 Jeep grand Cherokee w 166k miles. It has 2.5 inch lift w rubicon rims and firestone road tires. i experienced death wobble today so i will have all the suspension checked out for any play. is there anything else you recommend i do that you didnt already mention here? thanks for your time.
juan

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Rob - KOR Customer Service March 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Juan,

Once you have it checked out, let us know what was found. We’ll need to know some details about the track bar, and how it is lifted (coils, spacers, coils and spacers?).

We’ll gladly help you get it worked out. Lots of WJ sweat and tears around here, but we are all now happily driving ours with no wobble issues.

Thanks,

Rob
KOR

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kyle March 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm

HI I have a jeep wrangler sharia with a four inch lift kit. It has the shake at 55mph and you have to slow down to 40 mph to get it to quit. Its been at a shop getting work done on it for a month now they replace the stablizzer and the track bar. I dont know If you would have anymore subjugation on getting it fix.

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Charles Mitchell February 24, 2013 at 8:00 am

I am experiencing death wobble in my 2012 4-door Jeep Wrangler. I have a 4″ lift kit that was installed at the dealership. I am running 35 PSI in Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ, the size is M+S LT 315/70 R17. What would you suggest the tire pressure to be in these tires to help with Death Wobble.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service February 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Charles,

You will want to verify even tread wear to make sure these settings are appropriate for your tires, but you should really be down around 25-26 psi, as a starting point, and most likely need to go down from there a bit. It seems crazy, but we always suggest you at least try dropping the pressure. It’s pretty cheap to reverse the process and put air back in. Our hunch is that you’ll notice a huge difference in how the vehicle drives, and your tires will probably last a lot longer. The tire shops set it to what is on the glove box because that turns off the idiot light, but it’s not really appropriate for the tire. I’ve been maintaining 26 psi in my 285 70 17′s for road use for about a year, and the ride and tire wear are great.

Rob
KOR Staff

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stacey March 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm

i had the “death wobble” in my 2001 wrangler sport..we checked the entire front end…and finally found it was the steering box…it was bad which i found out was a common thing. so once it was replaced not only was the power steering even better than new the wobble was no longer there…i tested it on every bump i could find and finally no shake.wobble, scare!!!! hope this help others

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Rob - KOR Customer Service March 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Stacey,

Glad you found your issue and got the wobble exorcised! Thanks for posting.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Kevin Psutka February 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Hi Kevin.
Im at my wits end here. I am the proud owner of a 2012 JKU with 14000 km on my vehicle. I purchased a Rough Country Series 2 3.5″ lift kit and installed it 2 weeks back. My first ride home on the expressway was terrible. First bump I hit doing 100km’s and death wobble galore. Scared me. Everything is new and tight. My question is does Castor angle effect the death wobble? I understand excessive positive will destroy ujoints so I dont want too much. I believe im running 4.5 degrees on one side and 5 on the other. Knowing this kit, is there a common fix for this? I just want to get to the source of the issue.
Your help is greatly appreciated.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service February 28, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Kevin,

We don’t have a lot of experience with that kit, but do have a lot of experience with sorting out Wranglers. Lifted JK’s or even stock JK’s on stock wheels and tires have been having issues for years with the track bar. We have been able to successfully resolve a very high rate of death wobble issues on JK’s with a new track bar, harder bushings, and a steering stabilizer. Our success rate with JK’s is very high, because there is not a lot of issues with other worn out components like on older vehicles.

Caster does indeed affect the occurrence of death wobble, but yours appears to be roughly where it should be if those numbers are accurate. If the vehicle was not aligned after the lift install, this needs to be done. The lift rotates your axle a smidge, which throws your toe-in values off.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Bill S. February 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Wobble at 55 mph: Great information on your website and Forums on wobble problems. I just installed a 3.5″ RE lift w/ adjustable upper arms in my ’06 Rubicon with 16.5k original miles. When I got it all done (and torqued properly on the ground) I ended up with a wobble at around 55 mph that goes away at higher and lower speeds. I’ve rotated the tires (original w/ good tread), re-set alignment to your recommended specs, and went through your check list with no luck. I’m ordering your steering stabilizer and will get my tires balanced. The RE track bar appears heavy and solid to me. I did not receive a drop pitman arm with the kit and was wondering if you think putting one on would help solve the problem by lowering the drag link closer to the original geometry. Any suggestions?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service February 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Bill,

We would recommend against the drop pitman arm in most situations. Your RE adjustable arm SHOULD put the drag link and track bar about parallel with each other, if not it may be time to consider a different track bar.

The concern with most TJ track bars, that we are able to alleviate, is that the bushing on the axle end has too much movement with standard rubber and poly bushings. Our bushing kit puts a much harder bushing, and much better, locking, hardware in place of the stock stuff. You may not be able to see movement on that axle end, but when you are at freeway speeds, there is a lot of force exerted on that bushing, and it WILL crush and allow the track bar (and thus axle) to oscillate.

I’m not 100% sure that our kit is compatible with the RE track bar, but if the inside of the eyelet measures out to 1.5″, it should work.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Billy Miller February 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Do you guys have a kit for a 2004 Jeep Unlimited?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service February 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Billy,

We certainly do. We actually have two versions, depending on the amount of lift (if any) on the vehicle. They are located at the following links:
TJ’s with 1″-3.5″ of lift: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/tj-jeep-wrangler-hardkor-death-wobble-package-for-1-to-35-of-suspension-lift-p-1080/
TJ’s with 4″+ of lift: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/tj-jeep-wrangler-hardkor-death-wobble-package-for-wranglers-with-4-or-more-of-suspension-lift-p-1081/

Please let us know if you have any further questions regarding these kits.

Sincerely,

Rob
KOR Staff

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Jonathan February 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Just bought your HARD-KOR SUPER-HARD ROCKWELL DUROMETER (72D) BUSHINGS WITH SLEEVES and installed it on a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a JKS adjustable track bar…everything went well except the larger bolt and nut that came with the kit prevents from getting a tool to hold the nut in the back from spinning so i am unable to torque it. Any ideas?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service February 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Jonathan,

The method I usually use when dealing with that nut is to take a 22mm wrench and place some duct tape over one side of the closed end, leaving one side open to place the nut. The duct tape will hold it in place enough to keep it from falling out while you guide it up into the axle side bracket, and the wrench will keep the nut in place so you can torque it down. Once the nut is tightened, you should have enough clearance to remove the wrench (it may take a little wiggling but it will come out, unless you have a crazy-thick wrench). That should do the trick.

Rob
KOR Staff

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clinton (cj) jacques January 28, 2013 at 9:31 pm

i have a 2007 jk. 4in susp. lift (tj rock crawler spring), procomp shocks, stock everything else..i have sever SEVER!!! DW. everything is tight, no wallowed brackets and its only my drivers side tire that shakes VIOLENTLY. could my problem simply be an ali? or should i replace the track bar with AM parts to get my angles back?? if i have stock track bar,pitman arm,sway bar,drag link ect. would my problem be resolved if they were converted to aftermarket parts meaning (my stock parts arnt compatiable with the 4in lift even though it all bolted back together…)

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 29, 2013 at 10:53 am

Clinton,

Even on bone-stock JK’s, we have people contacting us every day with death wobble with only 20K miles on their vehicle. Our recommendation will be the same starting point for you. You need to get rid of the stock track bar and bushings. Our Death Wobble Package for the JK is highly effective at getting rid of Death Wobble. The track bar and it’s bushings are VERY flexible and will ‘accordion’, allowing the front axle to oscillate. Also, with a 4″ lift, and your stock track bar, your axle is pulled over towards your driver’s side ever so slightly. We suggest doing the package as a whole, as your steering stabilizer is most likely shot by the time you experience death wobble. The link to the package follows, which explains the features and what is included: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/jk-jeep-wrangler-hardkor-death-wobble-package-for-10-to-60-of-suspension-lift-p-1086/

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Rob
KOR

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Ed Haavisto January 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I have a 1997 wrangler with a 4in lift and 33s and get DW im ok from 0-30 MPH and 50-75 it only happens between 35-45 MPH and only if i hit a bump on the right hand side at those speeds.. ive replaced the track bar with one thats supposed to be correct for the lift. after reading your article im gunna try and replace every thing that could have any play in it plus the stabilizers would dual stabilizers help more? .

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

Ed,

Generally, a dual stabilizer setup is not needed. The only system where we recommend a ‘dual’ setup is in the WJ, and that is just because we have found it effective to have a dampener on the track bar. Many people get rid of the stabilizer in the stock location to eliminate crushing it on rocks, as it becomes unnecessary to have two.

Usually eliminating the play in the steering system due to worn parts, getting a proper alignment, and tire balancing/pressure change will clear up the issue.

Rob
KOR

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Mac January 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Severe death wobble cured on my 94 zj thanks to KOR article!!!Thank you. During the alignment process test driving,i had to take back to align shop. After experiencing a couple of dw that stalled my vehicle. Jeep would not start unless i reset alarm at door locks and it would fire right up. Currently have a no spark conditon & the key reset doesn’t work. I have tested, replaced or repaired everything i have found on many forums. Have you ever heard of dw knocking out the Obd1 pcm causing the no spark condition? I do have 12 v to the coil, but no trigger pulse to fire it.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

Mac,

Very sorry to hear about the electrical issue you are having, but I suppose violent shaking could cause a whole host of electrical issues depending on the age and condition of the wiring. I wish I had an easy answer for you on this one, but this is not a common issue that we come across. Best of luck, the forums are an awesome asset to have in troubleshooting issues like this.

Rob
KOR

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sky monkey January 20, 2013 at 6:12 am

i have replaced every part for steering after market trac bar, upper ,lower ball joints the only thing i have left to change is the pitman arm. i am still getting the death wobble . cherokee xj,1998, 4 inch lift 33 inch tires. any imput?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm

“Sky”,

The answers lie somewhere in the paragraphs above. We honestly have never come across a case that could not be cured. Being that we cannot see all of the parts, or know what exactly was used to fix the issue, you will have to do some more legwork. Do you have any drop brackets (drop pitman arm, drop track bar bracket)? What PSI are you running on your 33′s? Can you verify if there is any movement at your steering box under load?

Let us know some of these answers, and feel free to drop us some more questions. We need to get as much info as possible to be able to help out.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Aj McCreary January 20, 2013 at 1:56 am

Thank you do much for all of this info! I was just about ready to give up on it man.. But when I get home from work I’m gonna check on all of that stuff in that order! You can email me an ill leg you know how it goes! Thanks again man!

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

AJ,

Sounds good! Let us know how it goes, and if you find a culprit, or need some more ideas. Every case of death wobble is solveable!

The KOR Krew

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CJ January 18, 2013 at 11:36 pm

2006 JEEP WRANGLER. When I curve to the right 40mph or more the front end starts to shake. Any ideas on what I need to do to fix this. Everyone tells me its my tires. I replaced and the problems is ongoing. URGENT HELP NEEDED

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm

CJ,

Check out your steering linkage, tie rods and ball joints for wear. I would also check the wheel bearing (unit bearing) for play on the right wheel for play. Jack it up off the ground and try to shake the tire left to right and top to bottom. You can also check the ball joints by following the steps outlined in the article above (basically prying up on the wheel with a lever to see if there is movement in the ball joints).

Rob
KOR

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ramon enriquez January 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Kevin,
I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler with a death wobble. I’ve replaced the whole suspension system except for damper shock but it has not fixed the problem. Once I hit approximately 50mph I still get the death wobble. What else may be causing it?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Ramon,

Without knowing the full details of what was replaced, it’s hard to say. I would suggest changing the stabilizer, as it may be worn out and ineffective especially if it has been fighting against the forces of death wobble for a while. It has probably developed a dead spot.

When was the last time you had it aligned, and do you know what you alignment specs are (i.e. caster and toe-in)?

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ramon enriquez January 18, 2013 at 5:24 pm

hi rob

well i have replaced the adjustable track bar, tie rod end (R), tie rod end (L), tie rod end @ the pitman arm, & the steering tie rod end (all parts r moog parts)

yes went i change those parts i did do the alignment, but i think they only adjust the tie! not the caster & balance the front tires

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Ramon,

Depending on your setup, the caster may be off, but not be adjustable. I’m not sure if you are lifted, or what modifications you have. Again, we are missing a lot of info, and just providing possibilities. You can certainly check stuff out and bounce the results off of us, and we’ll be happy to help.

Rob
KOR

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ramon enriquez January 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm

yes i’m on a 4” lift from 4 wheel drive part bought back in 2003, also running 33×10.5xr15 tires Bf Goodrich Mud Terrain

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 29, 2013 at 9:33 am

Ramon,

We would still advise to have the caster checked out to make sure what your current settings are and get the tires balanced. The alignment shop can usually only make toe adjustments on our Jeeps unless you have adjustable ball joints, or adjustable control arms. Also, with those Mud Terrains it is critical that they are balanced properly and rotated often (Let them put weights on the outside of the wheels if they accept it).

Rob
KOR

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Edward December 8, 2013 at 7:18 am

I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee that buckles very badly on slow full lock turns. The death wobble is minimal and does not feel much worse that an out of balance tire. Is there such thing as death wobble at slow turns? It is 18 degrees out for the next few weeks and I need to pre-identify the potential causes prior to investigation.

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Carson Jockell January 13, 2013 at 11:47 am

I sure hope you can point me in the right direction.
I have the dreaded DWs in my 1997 Cherokee Sport.
Everything is stock, stock, stock. As far as I know, nothing except shocks all around has been replaced or serviced.
Would it be a good guess for me to just bite the bullet and replace all front suspension works to get rid of the beast?
And while I’m at it, My Sport has a shock on each front wheel and beside it is a coil spring with something that looks like the top part of another shock just dangling from the top inside the coil.
Now, is that a shock or what is it? If so, why wouldnt the shop have replaced them as well when I had it in and asked them to replace all shocks?
Thanks for your time in reading my note !
Carson Jockell
Marengo,IN

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Carson,

The part inside your front coil that you are describing sounds to be your bumpstop, which is a piece of rubber that limits the uptravel of your front axle to keep it from bottoming out. Unless these are in terrible shape, or the vehicle is lifted, and you need extended bumpstops, there should be no need to replace these.

As far as what in particular is causing your death wobble, it is very hard to say. Very often the original track bar will be the culprit, so we usually have people at least check that out first. Check all of your tie rod ends, for shiny spots, torn rubber, or other wear. It helps to have someone turn the steering wheel for you, while you look for any popping or loose joints in your steering system. Again, pay special attention to the track bar at both ends for any movement, as this is a very common culprit.

Our Death Wobble Packages take a lot of the guesswork out of fixing a problematic, or you can purchase the pieces individually if you are able to identify the part you think is giving you trouble: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/xj-jeep-cherokee-1987-hardkor-death-wobble-package-p-1065/

Please feel free to contact us with any other questions you may have.

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Van Free January 10, 2013 at 9:36 am

Hello from Alabama,

I bought a 2004 Tacoma PreRunner RWD with a 3 inch lift. The upper arms were almost touching the front tires. I added 2 inch spacers and immediately go the wobbles. Do you think the 2 inch spacer was a bit much? could I get by with 1 inch instead without causing the front end to continue to wobble? I wanted the wide look. Thanks for any consideration given.

Van

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 11, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hi Van,

You may have better luck going to a smaller spacer. Putting on a large wheel spacer can overload the factory steering components and unit bearings that are only engineered to handle the stress of the factory wheel offset. You may want to go with a spacer that will give you just enough clearance to work with your lift.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Bre January 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I’ve also been having this “death wobble” more and more recently. Up until about 3 weeks ago, i didn’t have a problem. When it first happened i couldn’t quite control my car because it was shaking that bad. Ever since that first time it “wobbled” it’s done it almost every time I drive my car. I have a 2007 Wrangler with a 1.5in lift and 33in tires. I’ve already replaced the stabilizer twice & bought all new tires, plus multiple alignments and this problem still occurs. It will even happen if i drive half a mile. I picked up a friend down the road and it happened on the way there as well as on the way back. It’s getting to the point where I want to sell my car because it’s so frustrating not being able to fix it or know how to.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 11, 2013 at 9:54 am

Bre,

If you have replaced the steering stabilizer with stock units, they will keep failing. We have developed a kit of parts that will take the guesswork out of getting rid of the death wobble, and it has been very successful with our customers in solving it the first time. It can be found here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/jk-jeep-wrangler-hardkor-death-wobble-package-for-10-to-60-of-suspension-lift-p-1086/ . Please let us know if we can answer any other questions.

Rob
KOR Staff

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Brandon December 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I have this problem in my 2002 F 150 FX4 it shakes violently at 45 miles per hour where can I go to get this fixed and how much will it cost

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Brandon,

If you have an F150, you will have independent suspension, and I would suggest heading first to a tire shop to get your tires inspected and balanced. Once that’s checked out, if you are still having a problem, you would want to take it in to a local mechanic if you are not comfortable troubleshooting it yourself. You can follow some of the advice above for worn ball joints and shocks, although the Jeeps mentioned above have solid axle front ends and are a little bit of a different beast. I can’t advise on a price for fixing your specific issue, unfortunately.

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james December 25, 2012 at 12:45 am

kevin,

I own a 96 jeep cherokee classic 4×4. its liftedon a r.c 4.5” lift on 33” mt tires. ive read your page and am hoping you can help because im running out of ideas. to keep it short i bought the tires on rims from a friend. the rims were slightly bent or off i learned later, which caused the origianonal death wobble(dw). so i bought a dual steering stabalizer. which helped. after blowing countless bushing and tie rod ends i bought an upgraded track bar setup with a new drop bracket and heims joint. i got an allignment and made sure although the rims were off cilter, that i had them put in the correct place to eliminate as much vibration as possible. ive probably spent close to 800-900 bucks on my front end problems. thing is after the new bracket/trackbar and stabilizer were installed it rode fine for about 3 months. i was making a 2-3 hours drive home the other day and out of nowhere it started happening again. when i sped up or go to slow down. ive talked to two shops who always tell me different things. im running mostly rough country products, and was told from shop A, that no matter what i do elimating the wobble will be nearly impossible due to the rims and tires. shop B told me when i had them look at it that the heimsjoint/trackbar setup i had bought and installed was too big for my 4.5 inch lift and that he uses a silimar one on his truck with 12 inches of lift. he then told me that the drop bracked for the trackbar needed reinforcing and that that and a new heims joint on the lower end of the trakcbar would solve my problems. two major things i want to include are that before i put the 33′s and rims on my jeep there was no wobble problems even with the lift and no new stabilizer. im honestly tired of wasting money for only a few months fix and would like to know if from this info you can diagnose my problem. its not my beings or knuckles. though i havnt thought of a steering box upgrade. so please any help would be grealty appeciated. if any more information is needed to help il be glad to give you. im not very mechanically inclined but an slowly learning. thanks for the help and i hope you have a merry christmas, if that is your holliday of choice. hope to hear form you soon.

ps. if you email me please put “death wobble problems” or something similar as the subject as i get alot of junk in my inbox….

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Rob - KOR Customer Service January 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

James,

It’s really hard to definitively answer what the end-all cause of your wobble is, but it honestly sounds like you could be getting a little bit of sound advice from both shops.

It is possible, that the rims and tires (whatever the problem may be) will prevent you from permanently fixing the problem. A bent rim, or rims can be impossible to properly balance. It could be that your dual steering stabilizer masked the vibration enough until the shocks just wore out, and your symptoms started up again.

We generally recommend not using a track bar drop bracket in most cases, especially at around 4-4.5″. They generally flex too much for their own good, and cause more trouble than they are worth. At 4.5″ you should be able to use a good quality adjustable track bar, a stock pitman arm and call it a day. The steering angles are just not severe enough to warrant a drop bracket.

To summarize, I would suspect the tires and drop bracket first, like the other shops said. If you have a known good set of tires you can try out, I would give that a go first. Then see if you can get rid of the drop bracket. We have lots of excellent options for XJ track bars: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_6_33&products_id=1017

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Angie December 20, 2012 at 8:19 am

I bought a 2000 Wrangler in June with a 3 inch BDS lift, that does have some age on it. I recently bought new wheels from Discount Tire. Up until 2 weeks ago I had never experienced the “Death Wobble”, but after I put new wheels on it from Discount Tire it has now happened twice. Once when I was going up a ramp to merge onto a highway, and once when I was on a bumpy road. Could the new wheels and tire rotation have something to do with this. Where should I start to get this figured out?

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Rob - KOR Customer Service December 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Angie,

When something like this starts, it’s pretty safe to suspect the most recent change (in this case your wheels). It’s very possible that you got a tech that may have either overinflated your tires, or balanced the tires poorly. Or it could be that you had a tire that was way out of balance in the rear which didn’t cause a problem until it made it’s way up to the front of the Jeep and the steering system.

Also, if you have a large aggressive tread tire, and went from a factory wheel which often gets balancing weights on the face of the wheel, to a wheel where you don’t want to see the weights on the outside of the wheel (or they’re not feasible), it can be very hard to properly balance the tires.

I would bring the Jeep back by Discount, and have them rebalance the tires for you. If you can also find out what PSI they are inflated to, and what size tire we can make some recommendations from there.

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Angie December 21, 2012 at 10:28 am

Thanks for getting back to me. I have BFG’s 33×12.50 MT’s on there that were previously on American Racing Outlaw 1′s. I replaced them with the MB TKO wheels from discount tire. I took it to another place and it’s getting rebalanced right now. I also told them to check for anything loose underneath.

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Dale December 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I replaced the track bar on my 199 jeep cherokee. I still have the wobble. Is the bolt that holds the right end in place supposed to have so much play in it? Seems to me that the bolt should be a bigger diameter to fit more snuggly.

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Rob - KOR Customer Service December 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

Dale,
The wobble will cause the Track Bar hardware to actually enlarge the hole that the bolts go into. We have developed a hardware kit for our bushings that allows you to use larger hardware, and eliminate the slop you are dealing with. The kit is available here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_6_31&products_id=1079, but that hardware is only compatible with the axle (passenger side) connection if you have a standard style track bar with a tie rod end at the driver’s side. If you later upgrade to a track bar conversion (), you will have the bushings and hardware for both sides.

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Kevin W December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Hey there, I just lifted my 93 YJ from 2 to 4 inches, It had 1.5″ shackles on it and I added 2.5″ leaf springs. I have purchased a new skyjacker m95 stabilizer, Rubicon express axle side track bar relocator bracket, and brand new bushings from daystar for both the axle and frame side of my track bar. I have been getting DW at 40 mph since I installed the lift, however the intensity has reduced some since the installation of the stabilizer, but its still there. any suggestions? + do you know where I can find a torque spec chart at?

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Kevin December 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Keith:
Will our SuperDurometer bushings fit your track bar? If it’s a stocker, then they should. If so, you may well want to pick up a set of the KOR-1189-s bushings and hardware kit. There are none on the market stiffer that I’m aware of. Our bushings fit bars with a 1.6″ ID loop. Here is a link: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_41&products_id=1079

Second, check the relocating bracket, and make sure it’s not moving around under there. Frequently, drop brackets will flex, due to the added stress of the leverage you just added. You may want to have it stich-welded in position, if so, or remove it completely, to see if that resolves the issue.

Lastly, check the stabilizer to see if it’s got an air bubble in it. Move it quickly in and outward, while its’ at the center of it’s stroke, simulating the frequency you feel in the steering wheel when your Jeep goes into Death Wobble. Some stabilizers, including some major name brands, do a crappy job of stopping that oscillation, and people spend hundreds/thousands of dollars tracking down OTHER problems, thinking that the stabilizer is in good shape since it’s new.

Assuming your alignment is set correctly, that should resolve your entire issue, my friend. Oh, and your shop manual will give you torque specs for each bolt.

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keith December 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I have a 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE, no lift, all factory, five speed manual, 4 cylinder. I have had the shocks, ball joints, U joints, rotors, steering dampener, track bar and new tires. Still have the DW, any ideas?

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Kevin December 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

Double check these three things, Keith:
1) Steering Stabilizer is dampening properly
2) Alignment is within specs
3) Track Bar faulty / allowing movement

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Robin December 10, 2012 at 6:43 am

My son recently purchased a 2013 Wrangler unlimited sahara 4wd. It has a 3.5 Rubicon Express Lift. 20 Fuel Kranks with 35 Toyo Open Country Tires. Lift package was installed at the dealership in Atlanta. My son came down with the flu and I ended up driving the jeep home. A 7 hour interstate trip. A nightmare! I’m certain I experienced the death wobble.
I was traveling 68mph the first time. The jeep started wobbling and I felt like I was losing control of the vehicle..extremely hard to stay in my lane and I actually veered into the left lane before I could slow down. I had to drive with both hands on the wheel the entire trip..there seemed to be too much play in the steering, but maybe I’m just not used to driving a jeep! I’m wondering if they installed the lift pkg and set it to default/stock setting?

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Kevin December 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Hey there, Robin. Sorry to hear about the trouble you’re having. There are two things are affecting the steering problem play you’re explaining:

First, the steering rod (called a drag link) pushes the passenger tire inward and outward, making the Jeep turn. When the Jeep is lifted, the angle is a bit more up/down and a little less 1:1 ratio, like it would have been from the factory, so the steering feels a bit looser, because the movement on the steering wheel has been lessened, and the ratio has changed to maybe .95:1, due to the up/down motion that the drag link has to go through.

Second reason, is that you’re probably used to driving a vehicle with rack and pinion steering. The gear box style of steering is never going to feel as precise, even at stock height, as a rack and pinion style is going to feel.

Those two reasons, however, do NOT have anything to do with Death Wobble, so yeah, it’s entirely possible that the dealership didn’t get something right! Take it back to them and get them to resolve the issue. It’s still under warranty (even with the lift kit installed, since THEY installed it!) and make them get it adjusted properly so that your son doesn’t have to deal with it.

Death Wobble is extremely unnerving…I feel for you…especially on that long of a trip. Hang in there, Robin…Death Wobble is definitely curable.

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Brian December 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I have a 2007 Sahara with a terrible Death Wobble. Going to get your complete kit and am wondering if it is something that a shade tree mechanic can install with above average mechanic skills or is this something that needs to be taken to a shop. Does the kit include installation instructions.

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Kevin December 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Definately a job that an experienced shadetree mechanic could handle, Brian. If you’re a TOTAL beginner, then you may elect to take it to a shop experienced with Death Wobble to install for you.

All the instructions are located here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/category/installation-guides/

There isn’t one for the kit as a whole, however, there is one for each component.

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Andy November 21, 2012 at 7:42 am

Has anybody purchased and installed Kevin’s death wobble kit? If so what has your success been? I don’t see any reviews on the site where success is discussed.

Thanks!

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Leigh Bruce November 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Kevin,
I have a 09 Jeep Rubicon Wrangler 4-door. I’ve had it for about 2 years. The “DW” started awhile back at about 40-50 mph. If I slowed down or sped up it went away. Now it’s at 32-35 mph and I have to come to a complete stop. I bought it from a dealership already lifted with 35’s on it, not sure exactly what’s on it! Could you please send me a link to your full package that will help fix the problem? I know that an alignment might be necessary also… But is there anything else that’s not included in the package that I’ll need to buy as well?
Thank you Leigh

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Kevin November 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Yeah, sounds like it’s getting worse, Leigh. Here’s a link to all of our Death Wobble solutions for the JK Wrangler, including the full package you were asking about:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_66

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Jim November 7, 2012 at 5:51 am

Hi Kevin,
I have a 2008 jeep wrangler 3 inch lift with 35′s. Not sure if I have DW or not. The steering wheel would shake terribly around 35 mph, where I would have to slow down and almost stop. I had the wheels balanced and then a front alignment. Does not do it driving anymore but does it when I am driving and hit a pothole or bad bump. Any ideas? Possibly put your steering stabilizer on? What else would you check? The track bar seem fine, no movement. It has never had DW at higher speeds (Thank God!)

Thanks,
Jim

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Kevin November 7, 2012 at 11:27 am

Sounds like you do have Death Wobble, Jim. I’d install the entire package, and hopefully be done with it once and for all. You are always welcome to return any unused parts from the package, if you find that you don’t need them…but replacing everything at once gives you a “fresh start”, and that way you’re not chasing the problem around. Here’s a link:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_66

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Christy November 5, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Have 2010 Jeep Wrangler and have the death wobble about 6 times. Had the jeep in shop 4 times. Only has 11,000 miles on it. This last time driving almost went in the woods and broke the front end housing bracket. Come on only has 11,000 miles on it.

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Kevin November 7, 2012 at 11:25 am

Do you have a lift kit installed, Christy, or is it factory-height still? Press Jeep to fix it for you since it’s still under warranty.

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tyler October 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

Can worn lower control arm bushings cause death wobble?? Replaced all tie rod ends not too long ago then put poly bushing on all the ends paired with your hard kor stabilizer still no result. I have a steering box brace and ball joints feel good. Control arm bushings and chewed up tires from rubbing on pinch welds is the only thing I could see loose or defective. No movement in track bar used poly bushings as well. 94 Cherokee xj 6in life 33×12.50

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Kevin November 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

Tyler:
Worn lower control arm bushings definitely can be a source of movement, which then causes death wobble when you hit a pothole or something. EVERYTHING needs to be tight under there. I recommend heavy duty JKS adjustable control arms, which have RUBBER factory-style bushings in them, rather than the cheap poly bushings that some of the control arm manufacturers use. Or, you can press the factory bushings out of your factory arms, and press new ones in…but that’s a real pain. ONLY use Moog or better bushings, if you’re going to replace them…the cheapie AutoZone and O’Reilly ones are going to go out on you, and you’ll be right back where you started in a few months or year…depending on how you drive.
JKS arms are available with free shipping right now, on our site…here’s a link:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=19_38

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Robert Benton September 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Note, I have replaced 11 rancho steering stablizers in the past three years now.

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Kevin November 7, 2012 at 11:21 am

Rancho stabilizers are notorious for having a “dead-spot” right in the center of the stroke, which develops pretty early on in their life…so I’m not surprised.

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Robert Benton September 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Hey, my 2006 wrangler is still havig the death wobble problem. So far I have replaced the track bar with a good one, tires, shocks, check front end alignment and those that check the suspension system before alinment say everything loks good, tight and nothing shows to be warn out. So what next, I have now about 1500 dollars sunk into trying to slove this onging problem. NHTSA has even loked into the complaints from hundreds of jeep owners. Chry; says it common and no need for recall.

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Kevin November 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

Yeah, Chrysler would say that, lol. I’d suggest one of our entire TJ kits, Robert. In about 90% of the cases, it solves the problem completely.

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Ed Paoletta September 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Kevin,

Just picked up an 02 WJ. Went to have it aligned at a local shop and they gave me a print out of the current specs.

Left Front: Right Front:
-0.9* camber -1.4* camber
4.4* caster 4.3* caster
0.48in toe -0.39in toe

The front tires are extremely feathered and there are harsh/violent vibrations/shakes from 55mph-65mph. I’ve done some research that’s leading me towards offset ball joints to correct the problem but I’m not quite sure. I looked at the carfax and no accidents we’re reported. The jeep was stock when I bought it and still is. Just trying to get it straight for the (Cleveland) winter, and not kill the tires.

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Robert Benton September 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Kevin, I have had death wobble since I got my 2006 jeep wrangler new. I have put on three sets of tires, changed the track bar with a good moog track bar and replaced the steering stablizer 11 times in the last three years. I was going to replace the upper control arms and the lower bushings to the lower control arms. But I was told mine were fine. What else can i do to red me of this problem. Tire size is 31 by 11:50 bf goodrich.

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Kevin September 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

Robert:
It’s likely the connection between the axle and the frame is not stiff enough with the Moog track bar and rubber bushings. And, if you’re replacing the Mopar steering stabilizer with a Mopar stabilizer, no wonder you’ve gone through so many. The Mopar stabilizer is not up to the task of anything larger than factory sized wheels/tires…and most of the time, not even that.
Pick up one of our JKS track bars with SuperDurometer bushing kits, and one of our heavy duty stabilizers if the Mopar/Moog one is what you’ve been using…and make certain your alignment is set properly…that should cure the issue for you. http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_65

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Erika September 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hi,

In November in 2011, I purchased an ’08 Jeep Wrangler Sport. About a month after I had it, I hit a bump on the freeway and it started to shake violently. Since then, it has happened (not even a year yet) about 8 times. At first, I took it too a dealership and they had no idea what I was talking about when I said “death wobble.” Then I took it to 2 places that only specialize in Jeeps. All 3 places said my car looks fine. The 3rd Jeep place replaced my steering dampner (it was dented) and put on all new shocks. I thought that helped unitl last night when i hit a bump on the freeway doing about 65 and it started to shake violently. Again, all the places I took my car to said everything looked fine. What to do?

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Kevin September 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Erica:
First off, the Jeep dealership who says, “I’ve never heard of Death Wobble” is full of it, so I HOPE it wasn’t a Jeep dealer, lol.

Secondly, print out my post, and work your way down through that list…you’re probably going to end up with one of our Death Wobble packages before it’s all over with, because it usually just adds frustration attempting to buy one component at a time. What steering dampener did they install? All dampeners are NOT created equal…you need a nice beefy one!

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DJ McCLARIN September 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Heres one: 2006 wrangler. I acquired this vehicle (completely stock with 205′s) in feb 2011 when my father passed away. This vehicle had 2000 miles on it. I drove it over the last year in stock form with no problems. This vehicle has never left paved road. At 7,000 miles I put a set of 265/70/r16 tires and Mickey Thompson aluminum wheels with @ 70% tread. I immediately experianced extreme DW between @ 45mph. I had the tires balanced, but to no avail. So I will go through the list ( excellent and through breakdown) and post as I find so as to help people with any findings I encounter. There are two reasons I am doing this: I have already purchased a SkyJacker 4″ kit which I have yet to install and I want to fix this before I install kit and I want to be able to assist anyone I can, with what is as close to a brand new 7 year old jeep as most people will ever see, with these issues. I will post back as I go.

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Kevin September 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Sounds great, DJ. Swapping wheels that have different offsets is a known cause of Death Wobble…which is probably what happened. Just “exorcise” the looseness, and get the alignment set properly, and definitely get rid of the Death Wobble before you install the lift kit!!!

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Len September 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

Kevin,

Excellent post on how to cure DW. My son’s Cherokee started the wobble after hitting small bumps at around 45 mph. We checked everything with the front end up on stands and couldn’d find any worn tie rod ends or ball joints. The stabilizer had been recently replaced and was working correctly. After taking it off the stands we discovered the track bar mount was completely loose and the bolts had backed off about 1 turn. I pulled the mounting bolts, cleaned them up and then reinstalled with locktite. Problem solved, no more death wobble. Great source for trouble shooting, I’ve added this tread to my favorites for the next occurance of DW.

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Kevin September 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Yeah, on the stands/rack/whatever, you won’t get the resistance which you will if it’s parked on pavement, when doing the 10-to-2 steering wheel twist. Awesome, Len…great to hear you were able to get it cured.

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Eric Lasich September 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I have a 1997 Jeep Cherokee, 2 door, 4 cylinder, 5 speed, stock, 215 75r15′s. I’m not sure if the death wobble is what I’m experiencing. While driving any speed, if you take the steering while and just wiggle it back and forth quickly, it feels as if the rear end is moving more than the movements made at the steering wheel. Just wanted to know what you think. Thanks for the help.

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Kevin September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Eric:
Could be several different things you’re explaining…but thankfully, none of them qualifies as Death Wobble:

1) Low rear tire pressure
2) Bad rear shocks
3) Missing rear sway bar, or sway bar hardware/links
4) Missing bolt in leaf spring shackle assembly
5) Loose U-bolts around axle tube

There’s probably other things it could be too…however, check those first.

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Jack September 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Hey Kevin,

Appreciate the article good stuff to read regardless if you have DW or not. To make a long story short I have 1996 XJ cherokee. I installed a Rough Country 3” lift and never noticed any issues until I mounted some 31” BF goodrich mud terrains on 15″ aftermarket rims. That day I drove home I got the death wobble. Starts at exactly 45 mph. Swapped for a heavy duty steering stabliizer and adjustable track bar. Its like I wasted my money cuz the problem isnt any better. I cant see it being a tie rod or pittman arm. My next plan is Tires and an alignment (my tires now are pretty worn I have them set at 25psi) I never off road so I dont see this fixing the problem. For the most part goes away after 55mph too. Its odd. Any advice would help thanks again!

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Kevin September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Jack:
Offset of the wheel, and the tire itself can and do have an affect on Death Wobble. Can you put your old tires and wheels back on, to test to see if you still have the problem?

If not, start hunting for things that seem like they might be loose. What track bar and stabilizer did you purchase? Can you reply with a link to the manufacturer’s website?

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Jeff September 5, 2012 at 7:44 am

I live in California and take the freeway every day to work with my 07′ Dodge Ram 1500. I believe I am starting to get the death wobble and my steering wheel shakes violently around 70mph. Being that this is a tricky issue and my first truck I just wanted to get steered in a direction so I can clear up this issue. I’ve seen alot of articles about diesel trucks having this issue but my truck could have it too even though it is gas? Also, would it require different parts to fix it? Thank you!

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Kevin September 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Jeff:
if it’s vibrating constantly at 70mph, that may be tire balance, or a hub bearing.

If it starts wobbling after hitting a bump, then that’s Death Wobble. We’ll have some Dodge Death Wobble repair products coming up in the next few weeks, so if you need some of that stuff, e-mail us, and we’ll get you info.

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BIll September 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I had the same issue with my Dodge Ram. I called the dealer and found out there was a recall and they fixed this problem free of charge. Its been a few years but there was an issue with one of the steering components. My truck was a couple years older but doesnt hurt to check with Dodge dealer/shop

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Bill Snyder September 4, 2012 at 8:31 am

I have a 02 TJ with 4.5 lift and 09 JK axles I had for 3 years worked good had a longer track bar and tie rod installed back then no Problems , I few months ago I developed death wobble , then I replaced the steering stabilizer with lifetime warranty from Midas , that fixed , for a while , now I have wondering steering instead of DW ? goes from passenger side then I start to correct then goes to other D rivers side . on a curve it seems to hold steady ? crazy . what was lose Bushing at Drag link to pit man arm stock rubber but it tight I have changed and lower controllers arms both r tight now . Still wondering from side to side ( Tried the String alignment trick ) it appears that one drivers side front wheel is a 1/4 of an inch out , could this be the problem ? and is the alignment supposed to be 1/8 toe in ? herd that a couple of times ?

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Bill Snyder September 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I have 35 inch tires and also I have a 3 link on 4 inch stretch kit for rear axle

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Kevin September 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Yeah, sounds like your toe-in got kicked out of position. How long has it been since you had a proper alignment? If it’s been a while, have them put it on a rack and get it aligned to a lifted Jeep’s specs.

Also, those steering stabilizers are not great…

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Matt September 2, 2012 at 7:49 am

This only happens to me when I am going around a corner around 55-60 mph. If I hit a pot hole going straight at any speed I cannot replicate the death wobble. It is also pretty frustrating when I have taken it to a shop and they say “there is nothing wrong with it”

I am going to tighten every last bolt under the thing to see if that helps today. Is there anything else I can look for? Its a 1997 with 226k on the clock and it runs and looks pretty close to new. I just cannot justify putting my 3 month old baby in this until I get this figured out. I do not want to crash this thing with her in it.

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Kevin September 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Matt:
Again, just make sure everything is tight. You’d probably benefit from one of our KOR-9001 track bar conversions with the optional KOR-1199 bushings kit…that will tighten things up substantially.

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Todd Olson August 31, 2012 at 6:43 am

my wife has a 04 wrangler with 270000mi it is a right hand drive that she delivers mail with. i am a senor master ford mechanic and have meticulusly maintained this vehicle, nothing is loose in the front end.. infact most parts are new, ball joints, u joints, tie rod ends. ive been using monroe dampners but they only last about a month or so. it never does it with new tires but when they get to 1/2 tread it is severe no matter how much i balance them. it is completely stock with 235/75/15 tires. she drives 150mi a day mostly on gravel roads, it does not do it on gravel only hard serface roads. i need to get this fixed for her safty. i am open to any and all sugestions or parts to try. thanks in advance

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Kevin August 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Todd:
A *VERY* tight connection between the axle and frame is ESSENTIAL, so I recommend one of our track bars with the optional SuperDurometer bushings. It’ll tighten up the steering substantially, even with stock tires on there. The factory track bar slightly less than 1.00″ OD, and not enough to give as rigid-as-needed resistance to “accordion-ing”…meaning the bar will flex in/out, due to the bend in it, to clear the area around the differential housing. If you have her park on pavement, and turn the steering wheel left/right from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock, you can actually feel the “accordion” effect of the track bar during tension and compression! The bar we use is 1.25″, and hollow thick-wall, to reduce that problem.

If she’s running more than 30psi in the tires, there’s a distinct possibility that running less would benefit the situation profusely, and make her ride a lot softer on the washboard roads, too.

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Kevin August 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Oh, and here’s a link to all of our Death Wobble products that will fit her Jeep:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_65

Except for the fact that she has a RHD…which means that our track bar will NOT work, unfortunately, and I don’t know of a nice, beefy track bar which is bent for RHD. Everything else will work, though.

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Cole Quinn August 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I have a 2004 jeep grand Cherokee on a 2.5″ OME lift with 31s. It drives just fine but when I hit 45 or 50 and I touch my brakes at all the whole front end goes insane. Enough to send me into the ditch. Could it be bushings or track bar?

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Kevin August 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Sounds like you have multiple problems, Cole. Are the rotors in good shape? Even Death Wobble won’t typically “trigger” when you hit the brakes on a crossover steering setup like yours, and particularly at your height of lift.

If the track bar and the track bar bushings are not VERY tight, then replace them with a set of KOR-1199 SuperDurometer bushings and a JKS-127 track bar, and new heavy-duty steering stabilizer, and then get a quality front end alignment after the install…should cure almost all problems.

Here’s a link: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_62

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josh August 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

2001 jeep wrangler TJ sport. i had the front end done new u-joints, a stabalizer bar, and i had the front end balanced, all re-built driveshafts, and its sitting on 35 thornbirds. what else could be the problem for a shake that occurs when i give it gas. The shake starts at about 50 km, n continues until i get into 4th gear, then the shake decreases at about 90 km plus. could it just be the tires? or maybe the lift? im going to try n drive it in 4 high without the rear driveshaft n see what happens. any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Kevin August 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Thornbirds are NOTORIOUS for being HORRIBLE highway tires, so yeah, my guess is that it’s tire-related, my friend. They don’t wear well, they are nasty at speed, the follow grooves in the pavement, they are hard to balance, and difficult to keep from flat-spotting. As a “control”, borrow a set of tires, and see if your problems get better or worse.

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adrian perez August 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

i have a 98 jeep wrangler tj sport and let me tell you my death wobble suck i cant even go over 20 mph it wobble like crazy idk were to start my freinds tell me is the wheel bearings or the tire’s are no good but i did notice on my tires in the middle it looks like a wave it goes in and out ..but i need help i miss rideing in my jeep do u think i need a good alinement

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Kevin August 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Better have a good mechanic look it over, Adrian. If you’ve done all the steps in the article and you still have this issue, you’ve got something really wrong under there. Start with the steps in the article, if you haven’t already.

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Tyler Lee August 27, 2012 at 2:01 am

@JOSEAUGUSTO_15 @jeep__problems death wobble diagnosis and causes http://t.co/L4D7FPn0

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MichaelRickSteiner August 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm

@JOSEAUGUSTO_15 @jeep__problems death wobble diagnosis and causes http://t.co/L4D7FPn0

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Shane Colton August 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hi Kevin,

I have a 2008 Jeep JK with a 2.5″ lift, running 35″ x 17 with spydertracks (1 1/2″).
I experienced the death wobble freakuently until a I replaced the steering stabalizer with an aftermarket performance shock…that lasted for 5 months…now I am getting the wobble back at braking and the occasional bump in the road… very frustrating ….Front end is tight..no loose trak bar bolts ext…..
I’m wondering if one of your products could help me out once and for all…

cheers

Shane

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Kevin August 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I’m pretty sure of it, Shane. Check out this link for the JK offerings, and kits:

http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_66

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Don August 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

Kevin,

I have a 2002 TJ on 35s. I have had intermittent but violent “Death Wobble” in my Jeep after it has been setting a while. It started after I had my 35” Swappers replaced with 35” MTRs and replaced the Currie Steering with the Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Tie Rod Kit that puts the Drag Link at the wheel and eliminates the “Y” steer. I also replaced the Steering Stabilizer with the Rugged Ridge as well. After all that, I had the tires Road force balanced and the front end aligned by a trusted mechanic. (Note: the new steering was in place a month before the tires went on and there was not the wobble.)
It has happened twice in a week. Once after sitting for a few days and it wobbled right after making a right hand turn, and then wobbled when I straightened the wheel out. After I stopped and drove off again it didn’t reoccur. The next time I hit a small bump at about 25 MPH and it wobbled until I stopped and started again. It didn’t occur after driving off again this time either.
Thank You in advance,
Don

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Kevin August 22, 2012 at 10:29 am

Don:
If you’re getting it at 25mph, then your case is pretty severe! If it ONLY happens when it’s been sitting a while, the only thing I can think of is the sidewalls are not “warm” and are less flexible when cold. No other parts (aside from rubber) would behave in this way. Have you considered a dual steering stabilizer? We don’t have one for the TJ, however, others do.

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Christina August 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Hi Kevin,

I stumbled upon your website and am wondering if you could help. My parents just purchased a 2012 Diesel Cummins Dodge Ram 3500 ST (4×4 Crew Cab 8 foot box). They will be using it to tow a 12000 lb fifth wheel trailer. I have since read in Lemon-Aid and all over the internet about the dangerous “death wobble” issue with Dodge Rams and am very concerned. Do you know if this issue has been resolved in the 2012 models? My parents were looking forward to taking my kids out camping but now my mom (and I!) are worried about everyone’s safety. (Dealership of course says no need to worry). Thanks for your help.

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Kevin August 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Christina:
If they have a problem, they should immediately take it back to the dealer. I think the 3500 has a leaf sprung front end, and not coils…so no, they should not be “prone” to the problem…though I’m going from memory on the configuration. Leafs: no problem. Coils: Maybe

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Christina August 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

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Shawn Thurman August 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I have an 07 Sahara I’ve changed steering dampener shock and front shocks,it is better but not fixed now rather than at 45 mph it’s at 65mph.Is tire pressure better at max pressure or minimum?

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Kevin August 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

If you have larger-than stock tires, then you can reduce pressure, since you have more air volume (look up Boyle’s Law). Even if you have stock tires, you can reduce it a little bit and still be “safe” as long as you don’t go enough to generate heat on the tire at freeway speeds.

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Steve C August 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Hey, I don’t have a Jeep, but was hoping you could help me diagnose my problem. I have an ’05 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab Z71 4WD with a 5″ Pro Comp lift. The truck has 49K miles and I am currently running BFG 315/70/17 A/T’s w/30 psi. I had never experienced death wobble or any other suspension problems until last week when I was on a road trip to Yellowstone. I was on a 10 degree downgrade and was braking and decelerating from approx. 45 mph when my front end went nuts and I thought for sure I was going to lose my entire front end. This occurred until I was able to slow down to below 10 mph, but started again slightly once I gained speed and decelerated again, but to a far less extint. I had no problems the rest of the trip, but never climbed or descended grades greater than 7 degrees. I was planning on replacing the tires soon due to them beginning to wear more than I like, but I was wondering if new tires and alignment would be your first suggestion, or would you suggest some other troubleshooting first (as the tires don’t absolutely need replacement..I’m just kinda picky about the wear/tread depth that I run). Also, I was wondering if you thought the 10 degree descending angle had something to do with this or do you think that was just coincidence. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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Kevin August 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Steve:
Check your bushings, bolts on the lift kit cradle, and especially the idler-arm bushings.

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Amanda August 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Hubby has a 2006 Dodge Ram MegaCab pick-up. Nothing scarier than the DW with three young children in vehicle! We’ve had just about whole front end replaced to “cure” it as well as new tires. Seemed “cured” for months until he let tire pressure get 15-20 psi BELOW specs. Hopefully maintaining proper tire pressure will keep it “cured”

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Otto Vondrak August 14, 2012 at 6:23 am

I have a stock ’99 XJ with 333876 miles on it, and it has never had any handling issues until just two months ago. If I hit a bump or a dip or a hole at just the right angle over 55 mph, I get serious front end shake that increases in intensity until I come to a full stop. No lift, no aftermarket add ons, no nothing. About the only thing that has changed is I got four new regular road tread tires in January. I checked the front end for play in the tie rod and trackbar and everything seems tight. We’ve got a lot of rough road in New York…

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Kevin August 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Yeah, sounds like Death Wobble to me, Otto. I’m surprised you have 333k miles and have never had it…that in itself is pretty amazing!

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keith anderson August 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

i have 99 TJ and 04 WJ both have had death wobble off and on since new. what do you use for toe specs on each
i have found that warped rotors are also one more part of the cause
found your death wobble info very usefull
thanks keith

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keith anderson August 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

sorry for leaving out very important info
99 Tj 3 inch lift
04 WJ 2 inch lift
thanks keith

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Kevin August 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Just e-mailed you some info, Keith, on how to figure it.

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Chris August 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Hey Kevin,

I have a question I wanted to throw out there. I have an 03 WJ(2″ BB JKS TB) and dealt with DW for a bit. I installed your anti DW kit which helped a LARGE amount. A set of new and larger tires(31′s) were helpful as well. My question is about how Upper Control arms work and if they can be a factor in DW. Is it at all possible that Upper Control arms with slop on a WJ can be a factor? I have seen people mention this in WJ DW forums before and wanted to get your thoughts. I am working on a write up on WJ DW and feel that the I don’t fully under stand the effect of loose Upper Control Arms on the suspension of a WJ. Thanks!

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Kevin August 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Essentially, ANYTHING underneath that has even a LITTLE bit of slop in it can be the “trigger” for Death Wobble, so if you have bad bushings in your upper or lower control arms, yes, those should be replaced as well, Chris. Allowing the axle to twist one direction, then “spring back” in the opposite direction is the trigger mechanism which begins that oscillation we know and love, which we call “Death Wobble”.

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Chris August 13, 2012 at 6:30 am

Understood. Thanks for the information!

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David Feery-Richards August 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Hello Kevin,

Congratulations on your web site and the information you’ve made available to us that haven’t many clues on this serious problem.

I’ve just finished reading the entire contents of your web pages with the aim of trying to come up with a solution to my own version of the “Death Wobble”.

I drive a totally unmodified ’96 ZG 4 litre Grand Cherokee Laredo with just over 303,000 kilometres (188.,205 miles), except for the addition of alloy wheel spacers (PCD 114.3) that are the maximum width without causing the Cooper tyres to rub on any of the guards. They are a perfect fit.

The vehicle is always serviced and treated like it was new. It has to get me to the office each day, which is a return trip of 80km (50 miles) on roads that vary from tarmac to dirt and gravel.

The spacers were installed in March 2012, but in the last six weeks, I’ve experienced two instances of DW, both at approximately the same speed of 100kms (62 miles per hour). On both occasions, the steering wheel shook dreadfully left to right to left until I slowed down to almost zero. When the DW occurred, there was no braking involved.

The country Australian road, which I use everyday, is a pretty ordinary stretch with very slight humps and bumps. However, most of these are on the left-hand side of the road.

I’ve also noticed during the last few days, that the right CV joint is clicking away merrily when I slowly turn right and this problem is being addressed this week.

Is it possible that one, or both, of these issues could cause the DW problem? When the Jeep has the new CV installed, my mechanic will be asked to check EVERYTHING under the front for loose or worn components.

Once again, thank you for the fantastic information shown here.

Best regards,

David F-R

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Kevin August 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Hey there, David. Great to hear from you! For a right-hand drive Jeep like you have, bumps on the left-hand side of the Jeep (which is the passenger side in your case), are the ones that are going to trigger it.

The bad news is that I highly doubt that the CV joint has anything to do with it, however that is important to get repaired right away. While your mechanic is underneath, have him check the toe in alignment.

Wheel spacer offset changes the geometry under the Jeep, and can cause issues, however, I don’t think your wheel spacers are the only thing causing the problem right now. My guess is you probably get something in the road, and tweaked the alignment a little bit.

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Robert Durham August 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Hey Kevin….I have a 97 TJ and I just installed a Rubicon Express 3.5″ Stamdard Coil System….The only other component I added was the Rubicon Express adjustable front track bar with a heim joint at the frame mount….I have death wobble that seems to only be initiated when I hit a signiifcant bump on the right side….Did not have it before the lift…..I have done the under the front end inspection and have loosend and retorqued all of the bolts…..When the steering wheel is turned side to side, everything seems fine…..There is maybe 1/16″ of movement in the track bar at the axle mount. This seems to be from the bushing compressing….Is that little bit of movement acceptable or should there be no movement at all…. Also, the RE track bar required drilling out the frame mount to 5/8″ to install the heim joint….Can I still switch to the JKS trackbar if I need to?…..And. If I keep the RE track bar, can I replaced the axle end bushing with your HardKor bushings?….Thanks for your help…..Oh, one more thing…If I purchased one of your death wobble kits, would I need the one for 1 to 3.5″ of lift or the one for 4″ or more…I am told the RE 3.5″ lift actually gives you 4″…and again, thanks……Rob D.

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Kevin August 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Rob: I think installing our KOR-1189 SuperDurometer bushing kit in the RE track bar makes sense, since everything is installed. The JKS bar also requires drilling, however, IIRC, it’s 9/16″, not 5/8″…so it would fit loosely unless welded up and re-drilled. Even our SuperDurometer bushings flex a LITTLE bit…so I am not able to tell you if 1/16″ is “good” or “bad”…however, getting rid of every bit of flex possible is key to getting rid of Death Wobble. I’d go with the 4″ JKS bar, if you needed to swap.

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Blake August 2, 2012 at 8:25 am

Trying to change the stabilizer shock in a 2000 cherokee, I can’t get the tapered bolt out of the linkage. I’ve tried BFH and that seems to be the remedy that most suggest but it’s not budging. Would drilling it out be effective or would that allow too much play for the new shock? Any suggestions would be appreciated

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Kevin August 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

A loaner Tie Rod Tool from O’Reilly Auto (or Autozone) works really well. Some of those buggers are rusted in…takes some effort to get it out. I would not drill out the hole…you want to keep the taper, if possible. You could cut off the bolt on both ends with a grinder, and then drill out the center of the taper, relieving the stress, and popping it out, I suppose, if the TRE tool won’t work for you.

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John Zehrbach August 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

I used a mapp torch for 5 minote glowing deep red, then a puller and an air wrench

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Lynn September 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

I did the same thing. The bolt from the stabalizer is threaded into the linkage. It’s not a tapered bolt.

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Jade Morrigan July 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm

@Nomad_Scry Hey, do you think you could do this? http://t.co/45K0LEJZ

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Wade July 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Ok I’ll start with what I have 98 tj 3.5 Rubicon exp lift 33×12.50-15 tires I have had this set up for nearly 4 years with no death wobble. I recently replaced the steering gear and put a drop pitman arm on it. I also replaced all the steering linkage with new from grand Cherokee, drag link rod ends everything except for the steering stabalizer and the track bar. I also rebuilt all 4 lower control arms. I still had the stock uppers. Itook it in to get an alignment and I got it back with death wobble. They said they could not get any more caster with the stock adjustment. They convinced me I needed adjustable upper control arms on the front so I had them do it trying to fix the DW that I never had before. They went from 6 to 8 Degrees of caster in and I still had the wobble. They said the more caster the less likelyhood of the DW. Well it didnt work. So we decided to go the other way and dropped it to 5 degrees, No DW go figure although it still feels like its trying to. Can you help explain what happened here. Again the only chang I made before the alignment was go from a stock pitman arm to a drop pitman arm.

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wade July 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm

OK I just drove my Jeep 800 miles into canada no death wobble but you could feel it wanting to regardless of speed then it happened at 30mph the next day it happened at about 40mph it seems to do ok untill I hit a pot hole or a bump but I have to drive this thing back to the states and its really starting to wear on me

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Todd VanScyoc July 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm

my 05 wrangler is starting the death wobble. i checked the trac bar and there seems to be a small amount of play on the upper side (drivers side). are there bushings in there that i can replace or do i need to buy a whole new trac bar?

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Kevin July 25, 2012 at 11:51 am

If it’s the stock track bar, Todd, there is no serviceable parts at the top of the track bar…you’re going to need to purchase a good quality JKS bar, with increased DW resistance for $200-ish, or the other option is the thin factory Mopar replacement track bar for $150-ish from the dealer…which makes the JKS bar seem like a steal, due to the add’l beef.

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Robert July 24, 2012 at 7:23 am

Kevin,
Do you need a front end alignment after replacing the trackbar on 2001 jeep cherokee XJ? Get confusing opinions.
Thanks

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Kevin July 25, 2012 at 11:48 am

Any time front end work is done, I recommend having it re-aligned. Unless you were able to adjust the track bar to the EXACT same length, your steering wheel is going to be slightly to substantially off-center, which is not directly related to the alignment of the suspension, however, it will affect your turn signal cancelling if the steering wheel is off center. An alignment shop would fix that as part of their service.

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Chris D. July 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Hey Kevin. We’ve got a 1991 Wrangler and we experience the DW when we hit a bump at 45 mph. You didn’t mention the YJ’s in your Instructions. Are the steps pretty much the same for the YJ’s as for the newer Jeeps?

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Kevin July 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

Yes, same process, Chris.

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Larry July 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Ok fixed the problem. We pulled off the standard replacement stabilizer shock and used a rancho one which got rid of the problem all together. Thanks!

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Kevin July 19, 2012 at 7:49 am

Larry:
Just FYI, we’ve found that the Rancho stabilizers develop a “dead spot” in the center of the stroke, after just a few weeks/months of being installed. If the customer comes back, don’t assume that it must NOT be the stabilizer, since it’s new…pull one end of it off, and push it in/out quickly. If it has play in it, before the fluid begins to dampen the stroke, pull it off, throw it away, and purchase a better quality one…either an OME or the Hard-KOR ones on our site are very solid options…I don’t know any better.

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mike deurloo July 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

hey kev- thanx for the answer to my earlier e-mail but i’m still having death wobble.. i thought i had a little play in the outer tie rods so i replaced that with the adjustment sleeve, and put in a jks adjustable track bar. seemed fine with a little shake till a bump about 55 mph got it wobbling to make me stop the vehicle and a few times after that. i am beginning to regret buying a wj and lifting it!!! what would be my next option?? i did recheck the alignment and all was in spec but i think to factory specs.. what should i align it at?? i have the most possible toe in staying in the green. so, track bar done (jks adjustable), steering stabilizer done (rough country), and tie rods done (moog).. i’m lost, please help!!!!

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mike deurloo July 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

kev- also, forgot one thing. in the front mount of the lower control arm. the sleeve fits snug between the mounting holes but the arm and bushings have some play side to side. is this normal?? thanx again mike

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Kevin July 19, 2012 at 7:56 am

Mike:
I HIGHLY recommend our SuperDurometer bushing set, which will reduce the left/right slop which may be causing the problem:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_41&products_id=1079

And, you should have ZERO slop in ANY bushing! I’d recommend replacing it!!

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Larry July 17, 2012 at 8:33 am

We have one in the shop now trying to trac down. Panhard bar was shot so was the stabilizer shock. Upon removal we discovered it had a huge amount of tension on the front end. The panhard bar was actually pinning the suspension toward the drivers side. So removed suspension fell into a more natural position. We had to redrill a new hole to mount it as we would have had to repin the suspension to install in factory position. Still has wobble. We tried toe in at factory setting and a little more. Caster is around 4.9 so we dropped it back as far as we could to 4.0. I would like to see it around 3.0-3.5 just not enough adjustment. all other parts look great not sure where to go next any ideas?

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bruno July 16, 2012 at 9:22 am

kevin,
i sent an e-mail saturday before i found this page. so to save your time here is te whole story on this Cherokee.. I’ve known it since it was new. the orig owner, female mid fifties bought it and seldom left the city limits of her small town. Said she was afraid to drive on freeways. I thought she was afraid of the highway. I didn’t know then what I know now! She had it to the dealer many times, to no avail.. Even though we were friends since high school she never really brought it to me. I live a couple of small towns away and she wouldn’t drive on highway. I occasionally crawled under and checked things out as best I could on a city street with limited tools. Never being prepared for anything but dinner or whatever. She just surprised me with “it wiggles, or I think something is loose”!! I would look and not see anything. It was box stock. She died in 2010 and it had 12,000 miles. I drove it for the first time when I took it to my house six months later, on the highway with no problems. It sat probably a year before I started letting a friend drive it, another female same age group. It slowly became her primary transportation. Driven mostly in city 2 to 5 mile trips at a time. This driver is at lot bolder and more active and has racked up the mileage to 55k, including at least one or two thousand highway miles towing a pair of jet skis weighing aprox. 3,500 pounds. I’ve driven most of the jet ski miles with no problems till this year. Digressing a little. I drove it when it had about 13,000 miles on it. I was on the freeway and ran over a spot where the pavement was broken up and missing (a giant pothole or series of them) not bad enough to damage anything really just and bad spot.. And wow,, it set up a wobble. A bad one that did not stop till I had slowed to 25mph. Swerving, gassing it, tapping the brakes all the tricks I know (I own 6 CJ’s, all 78, 79″s) did NOTHING to stop the wobble except nearly stopping in the middle of, of course a major interstate interchange at rush hour!! When I got home, (no symptoms showing the rest of the trip what so ever?? ), I put it up in the air and could find nothing than even remotely looked loose!! After inquiring at the dealership and a few Jeep buddies I made the assumption that the 10 year old neglected tires in combination with sagging rear springs and many potholes was to blame. After 4 new Goodyear Wranglers (same as OEM) and an alignment I went back and drove over the same bumps a dozen times at different speeds, no problems. So I gave it back to my girl. I never drive it but did inspect it carefully every oil change (3k) and have not seen much play in one spot. No problems however she would tell me it shakes at times getting on the highway. So I would check the free play, rotate the tires check the alignment, give it back. Then the other day I drove it,,, Ooopsi!!! What A WOBBLE.. Even on a perfectly smooth brand new road it will start without hitting anything. At this point it could be tire out-of-balance starting the shimmy. I don’t want to change anything that would mask it, I want to fix it!!! There is a little play, it is pretty much even everywhere and not enough that I would normally even alert a customer if it weren’t for the wobble!! There are no stress cracks or even paint chipped from around the steering box(I’m looking for movement) However I’m too tall for it and (have my turbo Cummins) want to sell it while it’s still nice. But I won’t pass a problem on to someone else. My thought is I want to change all the parts with aftermarket but I have not kept up with the market. I’ve looked at several sites and you seem to be the only one who actually takes time for their customers. So I’ve chosen you. I have a brand new set of mickey Thompson 12×34.5 baja’s that would look real nice under it. What would be the smallest lift kit you sell/recommend that would have new springs bushings etc? I would hope to recoup some of my $$ by the lift and a few accessories over just a stock repair. I really is a mint Jeep that will work out nicely for someone who wants it. I just have no use/room for it and don’t want to see it sit like my other toys are. But don’t want to just put a band aid on it either. It has a little over 52,000 miles no scratches, faded paint, or problems (accept DW). Never smoked in and not driven in winter, Never been off road except to launch the jet skis and our local State Park. It’s Too nice to not repair correctly.
Thanks
Bruno
937-369-8654
[email protected]

It’s Bruno again
I forgot to mention that I did go online and look for cures. I found the one that pointed to the track locator bolt being to small. I reamed out the hardened bushing in the track locator (lower end at the axle) to accommodate a bolt that fit snugly in the axle housing (I think it was 7/16″) . This made it ‘feel’ differently but only kept the DW away for a short time. I(DW) seems to have come back with a vengeance. It does it all the time unless you are turning slightly to the left and accelerating steadily.
thanks again
Bruno

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Chris July 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I have a 96 gran Cherokee limited. Death wobble is something i was not ready for. Just changed the tie rod ends and it made it worse. going to get a new stabilizer and see if that fixes the problem. This is by far the worst experience I can imagine while driving a vehicle. To anyone who is dealing with this as well. be safe and drive very slow. death wobble seems to lay dormant at low speeds…very low speeds.

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Kevin July 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Yeah, it’s a bit of a nightmare, to be certain, Chris. Hang in there…we’ll get it resolved!

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Andrew July 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Hey Kevin,

I recently purchased a 2004 rubicon with 40,000 and the guy never took it off road however, I have not had any cases of death wabble as of yet. I did experience it in my dad’s 96 grand cherokee and I never want to go through that again. Is there anything I can do now to sure up that the death wabble does not come in my wrangler or is it just something you have to deal with by owning a jeep?

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Kevin July 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm

It’s part of the price to play, Andrew…no real magical way to keep it from happening, since there are so many different things that can create enough slop for Death Wobble to start up. That said, most Jeeps never develop the wobble, so you’re probably fine. Breath deeply, keep your fingers crossed, and Jeep on! :-)

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Mike Gardner July 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Bought a 97 ZJ with death wobble, replaced track bar and steering stabilizer which didn’t work. Put on new tires and that stopped the death wobble. So add new tires to the list of cures.

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Kevin July 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Right on…glad you cured it, Mike. Sometimes bad tires are JUST ENOUGH to put you over the edge, and allow the vibration to start. However, bear in mind that new tires doesn’t resolve the worn and loose parts underneath, which are the root of the problem. Just keep your eye on it!! :-)

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Rocky Karantz July 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

04 Rubicon ,2 inch lift, 32k miles is it possible to get rid of all shake and have as smooth a ride as OE? My front end was off the charts with toe in and ruined the front tires, then DW began. Big O aligned it to factory specs and put the back tires on the front, no DW yet but still some shake when a bump is hit. I would like to buy your 3 part kit but would like your best guess if it will clean up all wobble/shake or am I stuck with it for as long as I keep the vehicle? Thx

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Kevin July 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm

No, Rocky…you should expect a ride VERY similar to OE…(or BETTER, if you replace the shocks with some better quality ones!! ). There is nothing about a lift kit that makes it impossible for the Jeep to ride at the same quality as OE or better, assuming you keep it under 3″ on short arms, and under 7″ on long arms.

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Rocky Karantz July 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Thx Kevin , the shocks are Teraflex and came with the kit however I’ll look into the possibility. Mileage since the lift is only 6k so it will be very disappointing to need new shocks. I’ll be ordering the kit this week from you and we’ll see if further remedies are necessary. Thx again, Rocky

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Jackie July 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Hey Kevin,
I own a 99 WJ and this Death Wobble is awful on my Jeep. The steering stabilizer is brand new on it. Should I upgrade to a dual stabilizer along with the other components you sell in the WJ kit, or do you think the single will suffice for now?

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Kevin July 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Very hard to say, Jackie. I suggest purchasing the entire kit, and if you have parts you ended up not needing, sending them back for a refund, or credit…since I’m unable to tell you what you do and don’t need.

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Dave July 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

I have a 2000 Jeep Wrangler Sport and in the past thought this was due to my tires being out of balance and needing a front end alignment. I recently did both and still have experienced the wobble around 50 mph. Everything mentioned has been about 2004 or newer modeles. What do you know about the 2000 models? I have the standard oversized tires, but no lift kit or any change to my suspension (factory stock). How should I go about checking the suspension and what can I do to make corrections.

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Kevin July 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Dave: Death Wobble affects Jeeps from 1984 and up. Just print out that article and hand it to your mechanic, if you’re not doing the work yourself, and go through it part by part. Laborious, yes, but no other way to cure it that I’m aware of.

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Cory July 10, 2012 at 9:28 am

I have a stock 2006 unlimited with about 60,000 miles and I have had some problems over the past 6 months with this wobble at around 40-50 mph. It has been progressivly getting worse. Looks like I am about to get underneath it and start lookiing for wearing. I am about in need for some tires soon but i am thinking it is bushings or track bar perhaps? I have spoken with others about this as well and they have said similar things that I ahve read here. Glad I found this page as it has been driving me crazy!

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Kevin July 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Let us know if you need any replacement parts once you get under there…we have the best on the market that I’m aware of.

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Eric July 10, 2012 at 8:09 am

Hello fellow ‘Death Wobble’ survivors. I have an ’06 Wrangler with a simple two inch body lift and 32 inch tires. I have had it for about 4 years, bought it used…no problems even after lifting it. After the first 1,000 or so miles on the new tires I rotated them just to get my fifth tire some ware on it as well. This is when I first experienced the ‘wobble’ After some time it just went away and about 25,000 miles later I decided to rotate again since my front tires were going bald especially my front left. I just took my spare and put it in place of the and decided to leave the rest where they were since I wanted to have some tread on the rear so I could actually drive. I digress, the point is once I put on the new tire I have had the worst issues. Not to mention just looking at my old front left, now spare, there seems to be ware on it that moves in a spiraling motion as if it had a slight wobble for the last 25,000 miles. I am not sure if it is the infamous ‘death wobble’ or if I just need to get a balance and an alignment. I am also getting new tires soon anyways since my TOYOs have nearly ran into the ground in about 30,000 miles.

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Kevin July 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Eric: Is your steering wheel violently shaking back and forth after hitting a bump around 45mph? If that’s NOT what you’re describing, you may have a tire balance issue.

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nick palo July 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I have a question? My front end shakes all to hell but never did it until I hit a curb at about 25 to 30 MPH. And now a big bump in the road on my driver side shakes I do need tires and a aliments. Do you think I bent my steering shock

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Kevin July 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Definitely sounds like you bent something, Nick.

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Amber July 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Hi Kevin,
Glad to have found your site, we have DW in our 04 Wrangler, and I’m going to put the hubby on the hunt for loose fittings. One other question, we live in Minnesota, and our jeep constantly overheats, even on cool days. We’ve replaced the thermostat several times to no avail. I had it to the Jeep dealer once and they told me there was nothing to do for it, Jeeps just run hot. Have you ever heard of this problem, or do we just need to find a new mechanic?

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Kevin July 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

No way….not accurate at all. It was 114 degrees here today, and I was running the AC all day long in traffic, running errands, and my WJ Grand Cherokee (same engine you have, but with a smaller grill to let the air in) didn’t step above 210 F on the gauge. So, no…neither that particular engine, nor your Wrangler, are notorious for overheating. Might have a head gasket problem or water pump problem…but consider taking it to Dan at Burnsville Offroad…he’s an expert and then some!

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Chris July 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

You may have a small head gasket leaking or a small leak in your cooling/heating system. I’ve had leaks that would not start leaking until the engine was at normal operating temps. Also you can take one of the old thermostats and take the “guts” (inner working parts of the thermostats) out of it so the cooling system will free flow but still have sum restriction (This is for trouble shooting only and I dont recommend this as a long term FIX).

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Jo Ann July 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Hi Kevin…
I just bought a 2005 jeep wrangler rubicon I pick it up from the dealer tomorrow Its my first jeep and I,m so excited……Its all stock
Is it just the ones that get lifted that get the death wobble
Or is this something that I might have to worry about ?

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Kevin July 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Well, I think it’s actually something that the dealer will need to worry about, if you have any trouble for the first 6 months, or so. Stock Wranglers have problems too…but most often, it’s lifted ones that have MORE of an issue with Death Wobble. As bushings wear out, however, stock ones are absolutely able to have the same problem. We can fix it, if it’s a problem on yours, though.

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mike deurloo July 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I am looking for help with my 2001 grand cherokee laredo 4v4. i just installed a rough country 4 inch lift and now have the “death wobble” i think. when over 50 mph i get violent shaking of the steering wheel like wheel studs were broken and then when i slow down to stop it stops. the truck was aligned, i did switch to 17 inch commander rims and new 265/70-17 kumhos.. i first thought it would be the steering stabilizer so i just upgraded it but no fix.. it does this every time on the highway so my one vehicle cannot be driven over 30, as it continually happens.. i will check the front end more for tie rods, etc.. i also turned the wheel back and forth and the track bar seemed fine but i will check again.. please any help in the right direction and/or where to start first and go from there.. thanx mike

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Kevin July 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Mike:
Do those things in the checklist, and then let us know if you need help ordering new (or additional) parts. If new parts doesn’t solve the problem, we can do a phone consult as well, but we are 100% confident that we can help you get your death wobble problem solved completely. :-) No worries…it can be fixed!

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Jake July 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

{2005 Jeep Wrangler X. 100,000 miles. 4in. skyjacker lift. upgraded heavy duty draglink, tracbar, and tierod. swaybar currently disconnected (because death wobble bent disconnects). ECTED rear diff. lock with limited slip. tom woods driveshaft with yoke eliminator. 33″ bfg tires with 16″ rims}

I have recently installed a trackbar/draglink (both heavy duty and adjustable) and a heavy duty adjustable tracbar. I had deathwobble on occasion before this install, but now that these new parts are installed, i can’t drive over 30mph without getting horrible death wobble? so bad that my front tires shake so violently, it sounds like someone is doing a brakestand in front of me and i can barely hold the wheel. complete loss of control. im still trying adjustments and tire size changes to remedy this problem. the odd thing is that the problem was not as bad with the stock, worn out, tierod ends as it is now with all new parts?? anyway… i just wanted to comment on your quote about lower tire pressure causing less death wobble. in my case (before installation of new front end parts) the lower my tire pressure is, the better my chance of experiencing death wobble. when i inflate my tires to 33psi. or more, no deathwobble. 32psi., once in a while. less than 32psi., unpredictable and more occuring death wobble. maybe its only in my case, but since i have had my 33″ tires, i have to run over 32pi. of pressure to rid my jeep of the death wobble. actaully… none of it makes sense to me anymore. I am at the point that i am gonna just keep making payments toward the $8,000 i still owe ($15,000 retail), and buy a cheap car to get back and forth to work. i will only use my wrangler to offroad or when i dont mind driving 30mph to get where i am going. —-> by the way… today i switched back to my stock size 30” tires with 15” rims and the death wobble still exsists at speeds over about 35mph. go figure?? Peace :-)

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Kevin July 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Jake:
I supposed it’s possible that your alignment is SO FAR off, that actually adding pressure allows the tire to “skip” over impurities in the pavement, rather than “grabbing”, like it might with more inflation. What brand track bar did you install? Was it also Skyjacker? Do you happen to know if our SuperDurometer bushings will fit inside it? If so, that may be a way to tighten down the slop. Sounds to me like the bushings that were included in the new track bar (or the relocation mount?) is allowing MORE play than the factory setup did. We have a KOR-1189-S kit which includes sleeves and new 9/16″ Grade 8 bolts, located on our site here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_41&products_id=1079

Get that front end alignment checked. If you eye-balled it after replacing the tie rod, drag link, and tie rod ends, and didn’t get it properly dialed in, that COULD be the root of the problem. And, consider getting a secondary stabilizer on there…which would help a lot. (I think Rancho sells one?)

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Kevin June 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I have 99 tj with a 2 inch lift. I got new tires for the front and a alinement done then I had the wobbles. I had to replace the steering stabilizer and did a alinement. And still had it but worse now. Also the right front tire the top is leaning in and not straight up and down. How could I fix the wobbles and the tire leaning in?

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Kevin June 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Kevin:
If you’ve done everything in the article already, and still have the wobbles, let me know, and we’ll figure out a solution for you. Following that step by step normally cures the problem.

Regarding the tire leaning in…you may have a bent axle tube. If it’s enough to notice with your raw eyeball, it’s possible that it was damaged on a curb, rock, or something else. What did the alignment guys say? Offset balljoints are available for problems like this…however, if it’s more than a few degrees off, you’re going to have to pay someone to heat it and bend it back into shape…probably an old-school alignment shop with a torch…perhaps a hot-rod shop could accommodate you.

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kevin June 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I have done everything step by step amd it still happens bout now it is from about 45 to 52 or so mph it still wobbles. The tire leaning in I will have a body shop work on it. I want to get new ball joints but the ones on it are still good and so are the tie rod ends and track bar.

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Bob Andrew June 26, 2012 at 3:50 am

Kevin,
At 50+ mph and the right combination of bump and I’m into “death wobble”. I have all new tie rods (4), new steering damper and I’ve replaced the bushing in the track bar with a urethane bushing (track bar is 2 years old). I’ve tested the wheels for slop in the ball joints and wheel bearings and haven’t detected anything significant?? You didn’t mention the steering box itself…too much play?? Or front shocks?? Can either of these be ruled out? There are 4 (2 upper and 2 lower) stabilizers to the front end, are they a part of puzzle??
Thanks Bob

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Kevin June 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Bob:
Shocks are rarely the root of the problem…however, if bad, they may not stop the oscillation from beginning. If shocks are old, just replace them…doing so will certainly help with handling, if nothing else. Did you upgrade to our KOR-1199 or KOR-1189-S SuperDurometer urethane bushings? If not, I highly recommend doing so, if your track bar will accommodate them. A bad steering box could indeed be problematic on Death Wobble…particularly on the WJ Grand Cherokee. Make sure to mark off EVERYTHING mentioned in the article, and then post up again if you’re still having trouble.

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Robert June 22, 2012 at 8:40 am

Hi Kevin,

I have a 99 WJ which I converted from 2wd to 4wd. I purchased a 2000 Vari-Loc front axle and swapped it in, keeping my hubs. I also changed the coil springs to 2″ lifted ones (rear also), installed new, really stiff shocks and a good front stabilizer. It’s been driving fairly well, but tends to wobble, and recently is making clunky sounds over small potholes, uneven alleys and such. So… I have just ordered every front end component, except ball joints and plan on replacing them all next week. Well, this morning, braking for an idiot on a motorcycle while I was doing about 70, I got a death wobble which rattled the rig like a shark cage being shaken by six 800 pound gorillas! It didn’t last long, but was compeltely triggered by my braking. Now the rotors and calipers/shoes are all new also. I have 20″ rims with Yokohama tires and have no vibration at any speed normally. So… I don’t really have a question – replacing the front control arms, trackbar, sway bar linkage & main bushings, tie-rod ends and just to do it, all the coil spring isolators. The ball joints look fine, and off the ground, there doesn’t seem to be any play. After the wobble during this morning’s commute, I guess I should check them again! Thank you for all your excellent information. I feel very confident that I can now cure any death wobble should it occur after replacing all the parts I’m already planning to replace. Many thanks and kind regards to you. -Robert.

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Kevin June 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Thanks, Robert. I’m going way out on a limb here, however, it’s possible that the panic stop compressed the suspension so much, that you got to the point in which the front end was no longer perfectly aligned, and that *MAY* have caused the problem if a groove in the pavement was hit at the same time. (again, WAY out on a limb…a pretty long-shot, admittedly). I would definitely check the front end alignment specs after all the new components are installed. Thank you very much, Robert.

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Eugene June 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Kevin I recently bought a 98 grand cherokee laredo and after 45 mph it shakes. Now it is not violent but shakes. I am curently having a right front wheel bearing replaced because the tire wouldnt roll while jacked up. I noticed that when me and my father was checking for play in the joints on the suspension. We do not notice play or anything loose. Nothing is bent or damaged. I believe after reading about this that it is going to be more than just the bearing. Our friend at carquest says that a lot of these jeeps have this problem. The jeep has a lift on it im not sure what size. Not to tall. I dont see shiny metal or rubber in the joints. Just asking for your thoughts. I will let you know when it still shakes after the bearing is replaced.

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Kevin June 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Eugene:
It’s extremely difficult to tell from here, unfortunately. If I was laying under it, I may be able to tell you something specific. Just have someone move the steering wheel from side to side, and see if you get any movement from anywhere. Also, a good alignment at a shop who knows how to align lifted Jeeps would be helpful. Hub bearings have been known to cause death wobble problems in the past.

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Sherice June 21, 2012 at 8:20 am

Hey Kevin,
I am realy glad I came across your site, I have a 98 Jeep Wrangler 6cyl. I bought it about 4 years ago and was told oh, no, no, nothings wrong with her, she runs great! Well I take it to the closest car wash place and as I’m washing the tires the damn valve stem breaks off giving me a flat. I think at this point I should have realized I was in for a ride from hell! So After numerous problems with this Jeep, changing the entire exhaust to the water pump, air conditioning, hood locks constantly malfunctioning, to the shocks just recently getting replaced. This is the most recent I have done until this last weekend. I was driving in town when I noticed I lost break pressure so I decided to take it to Firestone and have them diagnose my issue. They came back to me and told me that I had a leak in the wheel cylinders and that if any break fluid got onto the pads that I would need to replace those as well. Well they quoted me a bill of $350, $188 of that was for labor. I quickly realized that they were trying to take advantage of me because I am a female but little did they know my dad has been an ASE certified mechanic most, if not all my life so I know a thing or two about cars. So I go to the part store and get the necessary parts, change whe cylinders and pads just because I figured it was time. Well while I was changing them I realized that I had a bracket that had broke at the weld, this bracket is where my break lines run so I realize that all the off road driving and violet bouncing has caused the break problem. Now to top this all off I have another issue, yes the dreaded death wobble. I noticed it after I got off of a bumpy dirt road and began traveling onto the pavement. I thought at first I had a flat or something and just about crapped myself. But after slowing down the wobble went away. It doesn’t happen all the time but as you stated in your article I guess it happens when I hit a grove in the road. I have been looking desperatly on line for any help in determining the cause. I checked the track bars and most of the front end for any loose components but everything seems to be fine. I have had about 4 sharp objects in the rear passenger tire and have had it fixed and was told that all my tires were checked as well but I don’t know if they were all balanced. I was wondering if this may be a cause to the shocks I replaced? Could it be because they didnt realign the front after fixing the rear? I am a bit puzzled, I ahve a 4″ lift kit but I am very new to the whole 4X4 lifestyle. I have always owned cars. I have been learning what I can when I get the chance but this death wobble has me afraid that it could be something dangerous if I don’t figure it out quick. I have a 18 month old baby I take around so I am more interested in getting this issue fixed for her safety. What can happen, I’m sure they call it the death wobble for a reason. Help me!

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Kevin June 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Sherice:
I would suggest finding a local Jeep forum, and posting a question on there if there’s anybody who has had the same problem…because perhaps they can recommend a shop. Does your dad have the experience to do the repairs? If so, just print out the article, take it to him, and he can do all repairs for you, I’m guessing. there was nothing in your post that would allow me to immediately point out one thing, or something else. It really just needs to be fully inspected. :-(

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Doug June 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Great site, wish i found it a month ago. Here is my tale of woe, have a 2000 Cherokee Freedom (not Grand Cherokee) that developed a DW between 50-60 mph. Accelerating above 60 would make it go away but between those speeds it was pretty severe. First trip to my mechanic they couldn’t find anything wrong so they balanced and rotated the tires. No change. Second visit they found play in the track bar and drag link end where it attaches to the Pitman arm. Replaced both, no change. Mechanic found a service bulletin from Jeep to replace upper and lower control arms when no other issues can be found. Replaced those and the DW went away between 50-60 but now shakes at any speed above 70. Not as bad as a full on DW but unsafe nonetheless. Mechanic says I should replace tires and shocks. Although the tires still have a lot of tread left they are about 5 years old and getting dried out and hard (I’m in Arizona) and I planned on replacing them soon anyway. Your article makes no mention of shocks, is my mechanic just grasping at straws at this point?

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Kevin June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Shocks COULD have a part in Death Wobble, but they would be allowing it to happen, not CAUSING it to happen. Have a good alignment shop look at it, and align it properly, and that MAY cure the problem completely!

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Shellie July 16, 2012 at 6:06 am

Hello to all. I have had the DW for years 7 mechanics and 5k+/- and still have it. I love my jeep. But im so tired of the mechanics telling me what they think. I dont care I have already had it fixed, form tires to stabilizers to alignmnets. If I heafr I need new tires or my rims one more time Ill fo crazy. I have had my front end tightened taken apart and put back,, guess what I still have DW yes you can change tires, alignment stabilizer but all your doing is masking the problem for a bit and then the DW is back.
Did new shocks too,,,, everything …,.. with exception to the Track bar thing. although when going to a me mechanic they thing its something else and my problem still there.
Does anyone know a mechanic who knows about the DW has heard of DW and can fix it int the Otlando, FL area. Most mechianics nto one I have been too has ever heard of the DW. Any ideas .. I just want to go in and tell them to fix trac bar but they always argue its something else.. now this mech states I prob have air in my power steering they werent bleed right so thats my problem really??? I think not….. HELP need someone in the Orlando Are, would be awesome…… anyone???

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Dain August 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm

for anyone in the florida area owning four wheel drives I suggest looking into mudspace.com. only for the fact that it was started in florida and I’m sure the enthusiasts there could point you towards a good shop who knows what they’re doing with 4×4 vehicles.

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DAVID BATES June 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm

hi KEVIN
can you help me please? I have a 2007 dodge ram 2500 4×4. Im located in Venezuela. Im a aware now of the recall on this trucks. I entered my last vin number in the chrysler website which it tell the problem. MOPAR STEERING LINKAGE http://www.dodge.com/universal/webselfservice/pdf/H46.pdf

anyways, here in this country doesnt give a damn. I have gone to dealers and they tell me any stories. My end link bar broke of the passenger side. I have put 2 ranchos steering shocks. Still shakes. The sway bars links were bend and there were no bushes. I put some new bushes but good quality. what can i do bud?

Im scared of driving this truck. =(

DAVID BATES

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Kevin June 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

David:
I’m not sure exactly what I can do from here, but if you e-mail us, we may be able to work out shipping you some parts or something.

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Gracie May June 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm

KEVIN

Hi- I am recently terrified of my recently just bought 2000 Jeep wrangler. at 35mph it shook so bad I had to shift down and hold on literally for dear life. We replaced the pitman rod with a stock rod- Go through everything I need to do it shook sooooo bad when we got the new rod on we thought that was all we needed so we got it up to 50mph shaking began then really began then we were swerving trying to avoid telephone poles.
I have always wanted a jeep I saved all my money to get one Im about to take it back down to the dealer in Utah and demand my money back.
Is this truly fixable and how much out of my pockets?

thankyou
Gracie

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Kevin June 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Gracie:
Unfortunately, without my looking at it and working on it myself, it’s tough to give you a price, other than “a range of $40-$400″ is typical. Have the dealership fix it, and give you a warranty on it, or have them give you your money back and start looking for another one. No reason why you’d have to put money into a vehicle purchased from a dealership!!

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Susan Loving June 5, 2012 at 11:10 am

Could this Death Wobble cause the Jeep to flip? We have a 2000 cherokee and it flipped five times. thank God my daughter was not hurt. We had been noticing that when you applied the brakes at 50 or 60 mph it shook horrible.

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Kevin June 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Sorry to hear about your daughter, Susan. Death Wobble is not known to make a Jeep flip over, however, a driver’s reaction to Death Wobble starting in may result in rolling if the Jeep were not kept on the roadway due to obstacles, or loss of control, or whatever. What you describe sounds like warped rotors, not Death Wobble, though…

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Frank June 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

I had a similar problem with my 2004 Dodge 2500. It began to shake and the steering became so loose that I thought I would lose control at any time on the road. I was able to fix this problem by purchasing a steering stabilizer from Custom Diesel. Once installed, which was an extremely easy install, the vehicle handled better than new. This was a great product and a wonderful fix for someone with a small budget!

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Andrew May 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Hello Kevin,

I have a ’99 Wrangler Sport that was in an accident that messed up quite a bit of the suspension. After having it all replaced with a 2″ Teraflex suspension, I have not been happy. I have some serious DW. I can’t go over 45 and am very limited to around town driving. I have had tie rods replaced, had it aligned more than once, put spacers on/took them off, put different wheels and tires on, checked and rechecked every bolt and joint under there, and still have had no luck with fixing my DW. I have been looking at your posts about your DW cure kit and it seems to me like that would be the way to go….My main issue now is that I’m in a smaller town in Southern Utah and don’t really trust the shops around here to know what the specs need to be for an alignment with my 2″ lift. Would you happen to know what they should be? I want to make sure that if I’m putting money in to this that I fix it. Thank you for any help you can send my way!

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Sean May 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

So I broke my cv shaft and after I changed it out I got the worst death wobel I changed my stabilizer shock got my front end realigned and balanced…. It still is shaking my tie rodes are still good what else would be causing this all

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Ryan May 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Kevin,
I have replaced tie rods,ball joints, hub assemblies,replaced ss with the KOR SS and have welded washers to the track bar holes. I still have a minor wobble and can only afford either the HARD KOR track bar bushing or secondary SS kit. Which one in your opinion should I buy first? Thank you as your knowledge and staff have helped me in many ways already.

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Kevin May 24, 2012 at 8:32 am

Ryan:
Well, you need BOTH, really, however, if you had to do one at a time, you’re likely to get slightly more value out of the secondary stabilizer system *IF* your current bushings are in excellent condition. If they are in ANY condition other than excellent, then I’d pick up the SuperDurometer bushing kit.

Glad to assist, my friend! :-)

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John S May 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Hi Kevin

Great article, even a non-gearhead can understand!

We bought two Cherokees recently (for the teens), both higher mileage cars but also both very well maintained (state owned cars, great records). Both got the wobble after 500 miles of driving. We are taking one to the local Jeep dealer, hoping for the best.

But – if anyone knows of the best Jeep repair shop in or around Portland, Oregon – we would appreciate the lead! After reading the article, I’m slightly concerned as to the cost to debug and repair. Would prefer to go somewhere I could trust was really on top of this kind of issue.

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Desiree May 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm

We have a 1992 Jeep Cherokee we purchased on Craig’s List. The right front control arm mount has been severely bent in on itself AND has completely sheared off the vehicle. Thank goodness this happened in the garage and not while driving! Any thoughts on how to straighten this out and possibly have rewelded back on? Thanks! We THOUGHT we were getting a great truck. Turns out the guy’s 16 year old kid drove this thing in the mountains and must have jumped it! The damage to the steel is amazing. Please advise!

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Kevin May 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I’d completely replace the control arm, Desiree…it’s not safe to attempt to fix that one. The dealer has them available, as does many auto wrecking yards. If you do the latter, make sure to get one that was wrecked from the side or rear…not the front, as the arm you pull out may be as bad as the one you’re trying to replace.

After replacement of the arm, make sure to get a good alignment. You may find that when you do, you have more damage than ONLY a control arm. Normally, control arms don’t bend by themselves, and when they DO bend, it’s from a very large force, which may have created other problems at the same time.

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Adam May 23, 2012 at 7:04 am

Kevin, I would recommend purchasing all new control arms from a local auto parts store. I just completed replacing all four of my control arms on my 96 Cherokee classic 4×4 as well as the bushings for the top part of the axle where the arms connect. The reason I went with new was because they weren’t too terribly expensive AND the bushings were already installed on them so for me, piece of mind of having brand new control arms with new bushings all the way around sure made me feel a lot better and obviously my Jeep drives much better. Also, with a vehicle as old as mine it was deffinately time to change the bushings as two of them (upper rear, which you can’t see) were wasted, I mean destroyed, so lucky me.

Just an added FYI

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Kevin May 24, 2012 at 8:30 am

Yeah, often, if the control arm bushings are shot, replacing the entire arm from a good quality aftermarket OE replacement part is a good choice. Beware of the bushings in some of these arms, however…often the bushings are cheap quality, and only last a few thousand miles.

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Mr. May 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm

RT @KevinsOffRoad: How To Fix Your Own Death Wobble #KOR http://t.co/gIqoVhjO

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Jeremy May 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm

95 Chevy Silverado, 6″ rcd Lift 35″ 12.50 bfg Tires. shakes horrible at 35 55 and when i slightly brake. Death wobble is killing me!! Replaced The front end ball joints pitman arm idler arm. sway bars looked to be cracked at the rubber top. Ive Dumped ALOT of money trying to fix the problem!! Any Help Will Be Much APPRECIATED!! Thank You

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Larry West May 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

If This Only Occurs When You Brake I Would Have The Rotors Checked For Tru or Replace Them , Sounds Like Rotors Are not Seated Firmly To The Hubs Or They Are Warped ,

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Kevin May 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Jeremy:
I’d check your toe-in settings, and the idler arm assembly AGAIN…on IFS Chevys, it’s frequently the drop bracketry, or the idler arm, we’ve found.

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Susan May 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

After 3 Wranglers (92-01) I finally got “death wobble”. Fix was the steering stabilizer, which I had to show/google for my mechanic. Trac bars and tie rods all good to go. Replaced stabilizer and no more crazy death wobble. Actually stopped the annoying 60 mph shimmy as well. Amazing how many people don’t know about this……some told me they traded or sold their wrangler because of it. Cost of part? $44.00 plus labor. Sweet fix and I love my wrangler again.

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Kevin May 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Glad you were able to get it cured, Susan!

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Jace May 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm

ive had the wobble for over a yr now. i have a 2000 jeep grand grand cheroke laredo. it has a buget 2″ lift, rancho 5000 series shocks and a ranch steering stabilizer that was put on last year. one thing ive noticed in this dw case is, it doesnt do it in winter, and vibrates a little bit when it cool out. the warmer the weather the more often it does it. im thinking bushings or tires. goodyear suggests control arm bushings, said they were distorted. dont know how they can tell. lol anyway, any ideas? i was told trackbar was a major culprit,so i bought a new zone adjustable trackbar, which sadly clunks the dfferential cover on a sharp bump. most mechanics here have heard of dw but dont know how to fix it without spending a couple grand. if it helps ive had my head out the window watching it, looks like tires are going side to side. thanks.

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kevin May 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Sounds like exactly the same thing that Erin is having trouble with, Jace. Yeah, you need some new parts under there! I’m guessing the reason why you have more of a problem when it’s warm, is that the sidewalls of the tires may be more pliable, and allowing more movement. Same could be said for the bushings, I suppose. The bushings start to “mushroom” out a bit when they are old…or you’ll see cracking…depending. Control arm bushings are almost never the cure for DW, however, so don’t spend a bunch of money doing that first! Give this kit a shot first: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_64&products_id=1065
As I mentioned to Erin, if you have trouble with it after installing that kit, we can talk you through the fine tuning until you have it set just right, where you don’t have a problem with the wobble any longer!

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Erin May 3, 2012 at 8:53 am

Hi, I have been researching this topic for 2 years now and not sure if it is what I am dealing with. I have a 1990 Jeep Cherokee Laredo (NOT a grand Cherokee!!!) It started 2+ years ago when had just under 200,000 miles and only when I hit 60 mph and smoothed out around 68+. Started simple- alignment, balance, air pressure, etc….all fine no mechanic found a ‘fix’. Now with 230,000 miles it starts around 50mph and well I dont feel safe going over the 75+ that seems to feel smoother. Now is when I need to know if it is worth the ‘fix’ you are talking about or start looking for a new ride…. I commute 40 miles each way on bumpy hwy 101 and up and down the semi-famous Cuesta Grade and have my 4 yr old with me! So safety is #1 priority for this fix!!! I have learned to understand my Jeep and how to drive with the shake but dont want to soon be faced with something breaking and leaving my son and I stranded on the freeway…or worse. Thanx for your time, I have been to over a dozen mechanics and Jeep specialist up and down California and Arizona!! I also belong to a Jeep club and will send everyone to your business this that brings up this topic :)

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Kevin May 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Hey there, Erin. Yeah, what you’re describing definitely sounds like Death Wobble to me…no variations. Let me know if the kit doesn’t solve the problem completely, and we can talk through it over the phone. The kit alone ends up solving the problem about 95% of the time. Here’s a link to the Cherokee kit:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_64&products_id=1065

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Jacquie Mahon May 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Kevin-
Please excuse if you have covered this in posts previously. I have read a boatload but haven’t come across my husband’s (also named Kevin) model. He has a 2008 jeep unltd x that we bought used and about a year and a half later death wobble began. I for one will not get in the car again unless it’s local… VERY LOCAL. We have an excellent, reliable mechanic here in westchester county ny who has not had much experience with this (tho lord knows it is prevalent enuff). He has replaced the steering damper twice but my feeling is, as you say, the violent shaking causes problems all over the front end and the tires, tho new at the time of purchase are oddly worn from these episodes. When i say oddly i dont mean surprisingly i mean the pattern of the wear is odd. Aside from your “how to fix your own” page, are there any particular or additional instrux you might provide for this particular model (all stock). Also, if you could let me know if your “fix-it kit” would work on this model/year or what if any additions substitutions might need to be made I would greatly appreciate it. I will need to see if the car is worth fixing or if I am better off driving it through th hopefully glass windows of Chrysler/jeep’s headquarters :-)

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kevin May 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Jacquie: The info above is sufficient enough, along with the Death Wobble kit, to cure most every case of Death Wobble. It doesn’t sound like you have a bad case of it, so it should work well for you. Here’s a link to it: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_66&products_id=1086

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Jacquie Mahon May 6, 2012 at 6:38 am

Thanks so much for the reply Kevin. Your pretty amazing answering all these posts and its much appreciated by some very frustrated folks.

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Kevin May 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm

My pleasure, Jacquie! :-)

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James April 30, 2012 at 7:22 am

Kevin- I have a 2004 Cherokee with the classic DW symptom: steering wobble after hitting bump in road while driving over 55mph. Before getting parts and rods and stuff switched out I noticed that my tires are 215′s not 225′s. Could that be the main source of my distress? Why would someone put the smaller tires on? Also, it looks like your DW kit is for 2007 and newer models. What can be done for the older models, espicially if you do not want to lift it at all? Thanks!

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kevin April 30, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hey there, James. The smaller sized tires would not have any effect on whether or not you have DW. The PO may have swapped them out from larger tires, thinking that would solve his problem? Or, the PO picked them up used and got a good deal on that size.

If you have a 2004 model, you don’t have a Cherokee (if you live in the US, anyway, as the Cherokee was retired in 2001). You may have either a 2004 Grand Cherokee, or a 2004 Wrangler. Here is a link to each Death Wobble kit:
2004 Wrangler: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_65
2004 Grand Cherokee: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_62

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Jame May 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Kevin- Uhg! I was stuck on stupid when I wrote that. Yes, I have a 04 Wrangler! Ok, so I still have to lift it 1″ if I get your kit? If that is the case, what should the camber and toe be when I get alignment, or do I not need to do that on a 1″ lift?

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kevin May 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

At 1″ of lift, James, it should be the factory setting, unless you have wider/taller tires, which I know you don’t have.

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Beth Laurer April 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I have had the vibrating shake for over a year now. Car repair shop states there is nothing wrong with my car. Vibration gets worse when I go over 40 miles and hour. I noticed in your article you did not mention Chevy Blazers as one of the makes that has the oscillation problem. Are any of the comments made connected to Chevy Blazers? Mine was new in 2000 and has over 90,000 miles. Could it just be old age?

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kevin April 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Beth:
I don’t believe what you’re explaining is Death Wobble, so I’m not able to give you any helpful info. Keep taking it to different shops until one of them acknowledges the problem, and isolates it to one thing, is my suggestion.

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Daniel April 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Kevin,
So i received my dual stabilizer shocks thanks for the fast shipping but it didnt come with installation ininstructions and i dont know which one is the primary stabilizer or secondary stabilizer…. please help so i can install it and hopefully i get rid of DEATH WOBBLE… I also need to know where or how do i know where to mount the secondary stabilizer cause i know you need to mount it so that you can do full turns in both directions….

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kevin April 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Daniel:
All of our install instructions are on our website, located here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/installation-guides/

Both steering stabilizers are the same, so it won’t matter which one you put in what position.

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Daniel April 25, 2012 at 10:53 am

Kevin,
I forgot to mention that i also have a Rusty’s 1.25″ Trac Bar with new bushing on my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I maid sure it was tight already and dont have any play on it but still
have DEATH WOBBLE….

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Daniel April 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Kevin,
Hi i have a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 160,000 miles and installed a 4.5 Rusty’s lift kit
with some 265/70/17 Nitto Terra Grappers and got DEATH WOBBLE FROM DAY ONE after i got the lift kit installed. Death wobble triggers at 40 mph or at any speed above 40 mph even on a smooth road. Lately what i have been doing is that i start off slow and let off the gas when about to hit 40 then when i reach 50 i speed up but if i hit a bump or a ugly road i get death wobble like CRAZY. When iam lucky and going 65 mph and have to slow down for a red light evrything is fine but when i slow down to 40 it shakes my steering wheel but death wobble dont trigger.
I had already replaced my tie rod ends about 8 months before i installed the lift kit and they still looked good so i left the same ones, installed a new pair of bottom camber kit ball joint and new upper ball joints so that took care of all the joints in the front suspension. installed a new Pro Comp ES2000 stabilizer shock, done alighnment also 4 wheel balance and still have death wobble.
I already checked and made sure all suspension is tight.
also done a tire rotation…. it didnt help.
I droped tire pressure down to 30 psi and worked alote better but the next day back to the death wobble so i droped tire pressure to 28 psi and still death wobble.
I bought and installed the Rusty’s lift kit 3 months ago and am really FRUSTRATED already and am tired of spending money on things that dont work so can you please HELP ME KEVEN…. THANK YOU.

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Ian April 25, 2012 at 6:57 am

It sounds to me like maybe your stabalizer shocks may not be assembled correctly, or maybe theyre bad. If youve replaced the lift kit itself that shouldve fixed it. Im guessing it didnt. What it should do is flex a small bit when you are driving on a flat road. You may just have a bad suspension. Like it says up top check your track bar, not sure what youve done yourself. I dont really understand how it stops when you go over 40 mph it should stay consistent or atleast mine did. It does make sense that once you hit a bump though that your jeep shakes. Im not sure what it is.

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kevin April 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Daniel:
Sorry to hear. Sometimes lift manufacturers have “special suggestions” on how to cure DW after the install of their lift kit. Did you already discuss it with Rusty’s directly?

Diagnosing it from afar is tough, but I agree with Ian, in that the steering stabilizer may not be up to the task. I’d also add that a front end alignment needs to be done by a 4wd store, or an alignment shop that knows how to set the alignment properly on lifted Jeeps. It’s possible that the alignment guys set it to the factory specs, which will increase the propensity for Death Wobble. We don’t install ProComp stabilizers at all…we’ve found them very ineffective.

Our kits are about 95% effective in curing Death Wobble once installed. I know it’s an additional expense on top of what you already paid for the lift kit, but it may be money well spent to you, so that you don’t have to deal with it any longer…I dunno. Here’s a link: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_62

Our kit mentioned above, also comes with a Dual Steering Stabilizer configuration, which will dampen SUBSTANTIALLY better than the factory setup with one stabilizer does. Here’s a link to the secondary stabilizer kit separate from the DW kit: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=18_69&products_id=664

Our kit also includes our SuperDurometer bushings, which reduce movement a LOT, even compared to brand new “normal” poly bushings that your bar would have come with. Not sure if they will work with the Rusty’s bar, but here’s a link to them, which comes with Heavy Duty sleeves and hardware: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_41&products_id=1079

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kathy April 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hi Kevin
I have a 2007 mega cab dodge one ton with a fab co 5 in lift — Put on by the dealer when I bought the truck in 07.. Have 35 inch toyo tires (at this time I need to replace the tires)about 3 months ago Before I drove it down to the lower 48 from Alaska I had the tires rotated, new brakes and rotors , tied rod end and a ball joint replaced and a front alignment done. Got here to NV a month later I hit a bump and thought my whole front end was going to fall off — slowed it down to stop and it stop It happened twice in the last month… could this be a DW ??? and could these worn out tires cause this??? thank you kathy

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kevin April 23, 2012 at 10:20 am

Yes, definately sounds like Death Wobble to me!

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Daemian April 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

It is DW. My wrangler had a bad case of DW back in September/October. I got new tires and an alignment, it drove great after that. Well, until last week when it started again. Just so happens it was not long after I drove it from Phoenix up to Portland.

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Kathy April 21, 2012 at 7:29 am

We have a one owner 1992 Jeep Cherokee Sport that developed the Death Wobble about two years ago. We do not see any letters behind the name but need to know what type stabilizer/damper will help to alleviate this terrifying, sphincter-grabbing ride. Our mechanic was talking about a double damper with bracket(s).

Your advice is respected and always helpful.

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Kathy April 21, 2012 at 7:39 am

Dear Kevin,

So sorry for not reading all the posts first. Our 1992 Jeep Cherokee Sport is XJ series. I would still like advice about the choice of stabilizer that may help. Oh, tires are aligned and fairly new, so it isn’t the tires.

Thank you so much
Kathy

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Jr. Tirpak April 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

Hi Kevin,
I added a 2″ budget boost to my ’93 ZJ but the front diff still bangs the KOR panhard bar. Guess I’m going to customize the stock diff cover with a big hammer, per your suggestion. Any words of wisdom on how to do it properly? Pounding dents into the front diff cover is not something anyone I’ve talked to has ever done intentionally….
Thanks,
Jr.

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kevin April 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Easiest if you get it on a hoist, and let the axles hang, but you could do the same with long jack stands under the lower control arm mounts on the frame of the ZJ. Use a 3lb sledge, and ONLY tap the area where its’ shiny from rubbing, which will be to the right (driver’s side) of the ring gear “bulge”, which runs up/down on the passenger side of the differential cover. (If you take the cover off, you can see clearly what you’re working with, which is also helpful since your diff fluid may need to be changed anyway.) Don’t tap anywhere close to the “bulge”. Here’s a pretty good photo of what’s under the cover:
Dana 30 Differential Housing w/o cover installed

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TAG8208 April 17, 2012 at 9:16 am

I have a 97 XJ and I started experiencing the “death wobble”. It does not do it all the time but when it does I’m on a Highway in traffic and it doesn’t stop until i get back down to about 30ish mph then its fine. Ive had my jeep for about 1 month now (had 3 to this one) and drive it daily from NJ to DE. What can I do to help the problem when Im driving and it happens besides haven to drop my speed down or pull over (sometime i cant). Oh BYW nothing is changed on it, everything is still factory

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Mel April 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Kevin I have a 2001 wrangler 31*10.5*15 It started its DW while Breaking at High speed. Now is doing it when at 50 some of the time.. could it be something other than what you have mentioned Thanks Mel

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kevin April 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Sure, it could be a bent axle tube, a bent frame, a twisted axle tube, a mis-welded knuckle, and several other things, but it’s not LIKELY to be anything other than what’s detailed in the article, Mel.

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Bill mahony April 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I would like to know why a factory alignment on a solid axle front end would be a problem. I’ve
been a mechanic for over twenty five years and the only time we modify the alignment has been for racing and it usually destroys the tires under normal use.
Also own a 96 ZJ with a 2in. lift lately i’ve developed a bad death wobble. I have replaced every front end part but the steering box and have just bought one of those. the jeep has been fine the way it is for 3 plus years any input would be greatly appreciated.
thanks Bill Mahony

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kevin April 16, 2012 at 8:38 am

Bill, the greater the tire contact patch, the more necessary it is to properly set both the caster and the toe in. Factory tires have a much smaller contact patch, so there is a larger margin for error. Off-road tires have a much larger contact patch, have softer rubber compound which sticks to the pavement more so than factory tires, and the sidewalls flex much more. In addition, all of the items in the suspension are further away from the frame of the vehicle, adding more leverage to the entire system.

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Travis April 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I recently put a 4″ lift on my 2001 WJ and i insantly started experiencing the death wobble when i hit 40 to 50 mph. I installed a new steering stabalizer, adjustable track bar, 33″ tires, and had the front end realigned. Nothing i have done so far has cured the death wobble. Any suggestions?

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kevin April 16, 2012 at 8:35 am

Travis, did you already read through the checklist and take care of all the items on it? If so, let me know. If not, do those things, and you will likely be able to solve your problem. did the alignment shop you took it to know how to properly align a lifted vehicle?

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kurtis chamberlin April 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm

kevin
i have a 96 dodge with a twelve inch lift on it ive replaced everything on the front end tie rod ends to ball joints and hub an bearing assymballys track bar i replaced with one i built from two heim joints and 1.5 DOM tubing with .25 thick walls and and fabbed my own bracket and welded it on the frame to replace the crappy balljoint design that chrysler made for the track bars now i still after all that i have death wobble could u help me find a cure im about to pull my hair out finding the problem lol

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kevin April 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

Curtis, we don’t deal with Dodge trucks as frequently as Jeeps, however if you follow the guide for the Jeeps, everything is very similar, and you may be able to solve the problem you’re having.

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Kooper April 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

Hey Kevin,
6 months ago DW began on 03 stock sahara w/ 75k miles. Local mechanic sent me to a guy w/ knowledge of DW. Replaced upper/lower control arm bushings, traction bar, stabilizer, stabilizer bar links, balanced 31×10.5×15″… $K… DW went away for 5 months. Took to another referred front end shop, said all is tight, rebalanced/aligned and sent me out w/ 40lbs in tires. Oops… DW was worse. Found your site, read it all, printed a copy for him, he laughed… Said it must be the tires. I switched the rears to the front, and still have the problem.

Is it a tire issue or still something loose in the front end? I admit that the tires are 5 years old but have over 50% of tread depth. I don’t wan to invest in tires if I am still going to have the problem.

Any thots would be appreciated.

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kevin April 5, 2012 at 9:10 am

I’m guessing you hit a pot hole or curb or something that threw the front end out of alignment, more so than the new parts “wearing out” in 5 months. Make sure your alignment shop knows how to align a vehicle with larger tires, even though you have factory ones, and reduce the pressure down to maybe 28psi and give that a shot. Sounds like you have everything you need, aside from “massaging” the toe-in setting to what works for your vehicle.

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Kooper April 5, 2012 at 9:22 am

Thanks for the prompt reply Kevin, very much appreciated!
I have already reduced pressure to 28 and it reduced the wobble to the way it was before I took it in. Since he probably aligned it with 40lbs, should it be realigned at the 26lb?
Thanks again.

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kevin April 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Pressure should not affect the front end alignment settings at all, so probably not needed, unless it’s off due to an improper alignment.

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JeepProblems April 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm

@jeepproblems when your jeep has the death wobble..not fun on the highway http://t.co/FDNoz1bi

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Jamie Gulliver April 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm

@jeepproblems when your jeep has the death wobble..not fun on the highway http://t.co/FDNoz1bi

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justin April 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Hi kevin i have a 2001 jeep grand cherokee WJ with death wobble, it happens almost everyday now. Its almost certain whenever i hit a bump in the road it will start shaking violently to the point i have to pull over! Im running 245/65/17 with 25# PSI it also has a 2 inch budget boost lift. Your kit says it will cure it 85% or so… if it dont what else could it be?

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kevin April 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Without looking at it in person, I’d not be able to tell you, Justin. The kit resolves a lot more than MOST of the Death Wobble problems all by itself. If it doesn’t, for some reason, then you’ll need to have a mechanic go through it.

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justin April 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Thank you for the quick reply. I will purchase a kit and let you know how it does. Thank you.

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GEORGE HEBERT April 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm

DEATH WOBBLE with a 07 Grand Marquis with 68000 miles on the odometer. To say the least , it is not pleasant driving at 75 MPH in close traffic. Everything checked out 100% with the exception of new RF KYB 551600 strut shocks with only 15000 miles of use. Replaced that one shock and now, no more problem.
Let me tell you , DEATH WOBBLE is bad news!

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kevin April 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Sorry you’re having trouble, George, but I literally have ZERO experience with your chassis. If you had a Jeep or Dodge truck, I could help. :-(

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steve strong April 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I have a 2006 wranger. It is stock with 40000 miles and a death wobble. What kit do I need to fix it. thanks for any help.

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kevin April 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm

You need this kit here, Steve: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_65&products_id=1080

Bear in mind that kit requires 1″ of lift, so if you DON’T already have it, consider picking up some spacers here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_39&products_id=1112 …or doing the “clearance” method on the diff cover so that the beefier track bar doesn’t rub the diff cover. It’s really easy…no worries.

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Lou Provato April 1, 2012 at 7:48 am

2007 Unlimited 4 x, 66k. Just purchased. The standard transmission shakes a lot even with the slightest bump. Have you seen any issues with the engine or tran mount causing the whobble?

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kevin April 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm

No, Lou..have never seen engine or tranny mount causing Death Wobble.

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Josh May 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm

What about the death wobble causing the motor mounts to shake?

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Brian May 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

Hey Lou. You may want to check your rear drive line out. I had some crazy wobble in my standard transmission in my lifted TJ. I got underneath and the CV joint in the rear axle was worn (slip yoke elimination kit). After I replaced the rear shaft the wobble in the stick shift was cured.

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Howard March 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I have a 06 Rubicon. I had a “wobble”, I took it in to a tire shop and had the wheels balanced. They said
my tires should be 35#. Still had the wobble. I checked the tire pressure, they had them up to 40# !
I reduced the tire pressure to 32# and the wobble went away.

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kevin March 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Yeah, it’s amazing how many people are hell bent on a certain pressure in tires. They don’t take time to think about how the volume of air of a 35″ tire is like twice (approx) as much as a 31″, and requires half the pressure (approx) to hold the same weight. The mass of the extra rubber of the larger tires also plays a part. Glad to hear that reducing the pressure helped!

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RB March 1, 2012 at 11:02 am

Kevin,
Sorry. Im also running 31″ bfg mudterrains with 32 psi and it seems to only happen when the road is wavy if that makes and sense at all or like corregations.

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RB March 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

Kevin,
I have an 04 WJ, recently put on a 3″ IRO lift kit with bilsteins adjustable track bar and adjustable lower control arms for the front. Driving about 68 on freeway yesterday thoguth i was gonna die. got it realigned and check for tightness at shop. DW didnt start happening until after the lower control arms and the heavy duty SS IRO has on their site. were put on, i put them on after the rest just to terst drive for a few days. Started happening again today one day after alignment shop. Taking my WJ into my buddies shop who is reputable to check every thing. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Could DW be caused by upper control arm bushings??

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kevin March 6, 2012 at 9:53 am

RB: When you installed the lower control arms, it’s possible that you knocked the caster out of alignment. Though caster is not a HUGE possible trigger of death-wobble normally, in your case it may have been just enough. You may also want to lower the pressure in your BFGs as well…you may be as much as 6psi over the ‘optimal’ inflation.

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RB March 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Kevin,
Thanks for the reply. Turns out 3 out of 4 tie rod ends were blown out, so all of them were replaced. Fixed it and now i just get a half second wiggle if i hit a big bump. Should I switch out the Tenneco SS for a OME?

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kevin March 22, 2012 at 11:23 am

Didn’t see your question until now, RB…but yeah, the OME stabilizer is a beefier, stronger stabilizer with more dampening, that will last longer than the Tenneco SS will.

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BlueLineLady February 28, 2012 at 12:40 am

Kevin, I have a 2007 Wrangler X 4 door that has a horrible death wobble. I just want to verify that the correct kit is the JK kit shown here (http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1086) I really need to get my jeep back on the road but can’t drive it all right now! I’m ready to order as soon as I get the answer! Thanks!

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kevin February 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Yes, BLL…you’re absolutely correct…that’s the right kit!

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Ashley February 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Hey, I recently bought a 99 JGC limited with a 3″ lift and brand new 32′s on it. I had a 99 JGC laredo before this one with the dreaded death wobble when I hit a bump and ended up selling it because after hundereds spent trying to fix it and nothing worked I gave up. I bought this 99 limited and i’m not sure if it is still considered the death wobble or not but when I get going down the road and hit about 40 or so it starts shaking slightly and wont stop until 55 or so, it has a new steering stabilizer on it, the steering is also SO sloppy and has alot of play, it also started wobbling pretty bad when I hit the brakes…between these two JGC’s I have almost given up on them completely. I have not tried the adjustable track bar yet because i’m not sure if this sounds like death wobble or something else.

– I had a Dodge Ram 1500 on 37′s that had the same problem with the slight shake but when all was said and done and after about $1500 it turned out to be the tires, but on the jeep the tires are brand new and have been balanced and an alignment.

Please help, I need advice! =)

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kevin February 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Ashley:
Yes, does sound like a mild form of Death Wobble, which will eventually get worse without taking care of the worn/loose parts. Here’s a link to all the product we offer to help you get rid of it, depending on what’s loose: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_62

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mark February 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm

hey kevin my jeep is fine when i drive it at 50-55 but when im going 50 and i hit the railroad coming home it wobbles really bad and it did it for about 2miles and i want to try not to put alot of money into fixing it. i also just bought the jeep if u could help me that would be freaking awesome

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Pete February 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I just had a death wobble in my 2004 dodge ram 2500. I have a 6″ fab teck lift. 4 months ago I changed all my front rnd parts except the track bar and steering dapener. I didnt see track bar bushings for my truck. can you recomend to me the parts I need.
Thanks Pete

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kevin February 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Pete:
We don’t do Dodge pickups, but the parts for the Jeep are very similar, as should the technical article be…so read through that, follow the steps, and source replacement parts at a parts store with good quality replacement parts.

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jordan February 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I had the death wobble on my 2000 jeep cherokee sport, I needed ball joints but hadn’t had the money til yesterday a few months ago my hubby had to replace the bolt for some kind of arm, and he was in a front end wreck a month ago and since had a terrible sound in front end. yesterday it gave my control arm or support arm broke off the axle and I’m trying to find out what I’m needing to fix this, one person says I need just axle assembly another says I need entire front end differential. if someone knows please let me know asap I won’t have the money for this for long. btw she is 4 wheel drive and 6 cylinders not sure of any other info. thank you for your help in advance

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kevin February 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm
Chris February 4, 2012 at 6:29 am

Kevin,
I drive a 97 dodge 1500 ext. cab 2 wheel drive standard. Never had any problems, and one day out of the blue the front of the truck started to bounce uncontrollably. Had to pull over and come to a complete stop to make it go away. Some time had passed (6 months or more) and it happened again. Only now it seems to happen every time i leave the driveway in the truck. Before discovering your post about “Death Wobble” I’ve inspected pretty much all the front end suspension and steering components. Even non-stop find myself checking the tire pressure every time I drive it now. The only thing i haven’t done yet to cure the problem is try having the tires replaced. Is this something that could also cause this problem? Also before i end this post to you I should add that it mainly occurs after making slight turns to the right.

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kevin February 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Chris: Probably a combination of too much tire pressure, toe-in setting not set properly, and a bad steering stabilizer. I assume you already found the track bar bushings in good shape during your inspection? If not, they would be problematic as well.

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Todd February 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Kevin- I have a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I am 1 step away from writing a Death Certificate for it. I bought it at 84k and now has 120k. It came with a 2″ lift. I drove it for 25k w.o. any issues of DW. It then started DW and I have replaces all front components you have described.I have replaced with new tires, new brakes and rotors, all tie rods, steering damper(strong one), new track bar with heim joints. Wheels aligned. It has been to a local off road group that completely understands the DW. They can not find the issue. The 1st for them. We have concluded that the Uni-Body most likely is compromised and I have come to find out there is not fix for Uni-body failures. This car has only been in the snow(on-pavement) and down a few relatively smooth dirt roads. I have had DW occur during traffic on a bridge full of vehicles….fortunately no one was killed. I will also say this car is immaculate in appearance and underneath minus the DEATH WOBBLE. It is triggered at 50-60mph as the left front rolls over a 2-3ribbed bump or pothole.

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kevin February 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Todd:
Sell it to me if you’re going to get rid of it. Seriously, though…I have an extremely high level of confidence that there is no incurable case of Death Wobble…but it takes the right combination of work and the right parts. I know you purchased new parts…but did you purchase all the parts we recommend? I don’t want this to sound like a sales letter, but there is not one better part that I’m aware of to cure Death Wobble than the components in the kits we offer. When I find one that’s better, I’ll add it or replace it…seriously…it’s the absolute best stuff. Replacing stuff with lesser quality or lesser strength, even if the parts are new, is NOT enough to cure Death Wobble in many cases.

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The Grim Jeeper February 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I beat the heck out of my jeep and i am always replacing parts. This info on the thread is AWSOME, its all great advice. I do see alot of people not understanding the concept of Nothing Lasts Forever when you off road. Some parts will always twist or bend if its not your suspension reaching its limits it your body of your jeep tweeking and door jams not aligned. My advice is to read this thread, then try what the thread says and if that still doesnt work, try try try agian……..The better you get at off roading the less parts you may not have to replace in the long run if you have a good parts. Always check your rig out before you get back on the road after beating it up just for everyone elses saftey also not just yours…..Just a thought happy off roading.

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kevin February 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Amen and amen, Chris!! Awesome post!!

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Melonie Maldonado January 29, 2012 at 11:00 am

I have 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee LTD . 4X4 SPORT UTILITY 4-DR 50,175 miles. The truck is covered under an extended warranty (thank god). The truck has a bad wobble when I reach 60mph and above. I took it 3 jeep dealers they said they found nothing wrong with the front end. The 1st dealer fixed some other issues i had and gave me a brake job with rotors. I was told needed new tires and one of the struts were leaking. I got all new tires (firestone destination LE ) and a wheel alingnment. The wobble was still there. So I took it to another jeep dealer informed them of the wobble and had them change my struts. They told me they couldnt find anything wrong with the front end only that i needed new bushings. So they did the struts, bushings and wheel alignment. The truck shook even worse then before. I called them back they told me to get the tires balanced. So I took to firestone for a wheel balance and had them check brakes because I was getting a grinding sound when turning the wheel to make a turn. Firestone told me brakes were fine they did the wheel balance but that I needed new struts both of the front end struts were leaking. I said that cant be because I just had new struts put on last week. So not only do I have a wobble issue I have something that keeps damaging my struts or the dealership charged me for changing them and never did!! I am so frustrated so now tomorrow I have to take back to the jeep dealer to see what happened with the struts. Can you please give me some insight??

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kevin January 31, 2012 at 10:52 am

Melonie:
Your Jeep Grand Cherokee is an independent front suspension, and this is not a suspension type that typically develops Death Wobble. What you are describing sounds like a vibration…not Death Wobble. Without looking at it in person, I’m not sure that I can assist, because this is a completely different problem than what we’re dealing with on this website. Keep taking it in for diagnostics…some mechanic will be able to figure it out. BTW, BOTH struts leaking after being replaced??!! Either the new guys are attempting to wrestle some money out of your hands, or the dealership lied. It would be nearly impossible for two newly-replaced struts to both start leaking in a week.

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Chris January 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

Wow, and here I thought the horrid vibration I was getting was…well, I had no idea it was such a common problem, lol. My 96 Jeep Cherokee started doing it a while back; ironically, right before, I’d had to put 2 cans of Fix a Flat in the right front tire, so I thought the vibration was caused by that having dried on one side of the tire, making it go offbalance. I replaced the tire, the vibration was still there, though, frustratingly. I pulled into my driveway the other day and heard a snap. Looking underneath the front, I discovered the tie rod that attaches to the drivers side had kind of…fallen out.

Let me state here that I know nothing about working on cars at all. I only knew it was a tie rod after comparing pictures online, lol.

It seems like it could just be plugged back in, though again, I don’t confess to knowing jack about how they work. Would that work, though, or am I stuck having to get an entirely new one?

I know the above sounds pretty vague, btw, so if I can give anymore clarification, let me know, and I’ll give it a shot. And thanks, too; seems like this post has gotten a helluva lot of visits over the past couple years, judging by the comments :D

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kevin January 31, 2012 at 10:54 am

Chris: if the tie rod end nut was loose, then the tie rod end COULD have come loose from the knuckle, however, the threads are probably damaged enough that you don’t want to re-use it. Definitely replace it with a new one!!

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Greg Beshear January 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Kevin
I have an 05 2500 Dodge Ram with a Cummins Diesel in it and have an 6 inch lift kit
, I recently started having the death wobbles in it. I have replaced the stabilizer steering shock with heavier style,the tie rod ends had the front end aligned and still not helping. Was wondering if i needed to jack the truck off ground and put it on blocks take the tires off and start checking fro loose bolts? by doing this will it take the pressure off the front end and make it easier to find a loose bolt or nut?
Thanks
Greg

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kevin January 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Actually, Greg…it’s easier to find loose stuff by having the tension of the weight of the vehicle on the ground, so that it has a higher level of friction…showing off the weak links much more obviously.

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paul January 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

i have a 2002 Dodge 1500 four wheel drive with independant front suspension. i experienced a horrible wobble at exactly 65 miles an hour. i took it to an alignment shop, they said i needed lower ball joints. i replaced the lower ball joints, upper control arms and bushings, upper ball joints,and installed new Rancho rs 500 shocks. still wobbles at 65mph. I noticed some big “chinks” in all four rims( from 4 yrs of off road fun). got new rims, still wobbles. Bought new tires that were bigger than i usually run, still wobbles at 65mph. Your info was very helpful now i have a few more things to try. not sure if this is considered “death wobble” or not . i love my truck but cant keep dumping money into guesses. It sucks that i cant drive the freeway here where the speed limit is 75, i would need a ramp on the back for everyone else driving 80. lol.

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kevin January 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

From what I’m understanding, it sounds like it’s a consistent wobble, always at 65mph, and it always happens, right…NOT just after you hit a bump?

Here’s a few things that would cause the problem I’m hearing you describe:
1) Bent Wheel (you just replaced yours, so mark this one off the list)
2) Tire out-of-round (just replaced, but cheap tires could be the cause, and are often slightly out of round)
3) Tire out-of-balance (if you had them replaced, chances are they balanced them when you had the tires mounted)
4) Bent axle shaft (I had an Excursion with a tweak so small in the axle shaft, that I was never able to tell WHERE the “wobble” was coming from, but it kicked in around 60mph and went away slowly, as I approached 80mph.)

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paul January 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

thanks Kevin, your right about it happening all the time, not just after bumps. the tires i bought were new Falken wildpeak a/t’s. A guy had them on his suburban and he was bringing them back to the tire shop the day i was shopping. He said his wife didnt like them. So they sold them to me for about half price. Now i’m wondering why his wife didnt like them or if that was for real. Perhaps he knew something i didnt. i’ll be going to my 4 wheel drive guy this week i will definatly mention the axle shaft. did you say your shop was in Phoenix ? I live just north of you in the Verde Valley. Do you work on Dodge trucks? Maybe worth a trip PHX. to have you check it out for me.

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eddie January 18, 2012 at 6:56 am

i have a 1987 ford f-350 4×4 stright front axle had death wobble the fix was track bar bushings moog pt# k80034 but that was after changing all links & tie rod ends first they had play in all of them but make sure you buy qualty parts moog parts went the cheap route 1st waste of money parts failed very quick the only way i found the proublem was when i put the truck on a alliginement rack & turned wheels back & forth the rearend moved very little side to side couldn”t belive so little play could cause such a proublem hope this helps eddie

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kevin January 23, 2012 at 8:36 am

Thanks for your feedback on the Ford trucks, Eddie. Hope this will help Ford owners with Death Wobble.

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Will December 24, 2011 at 1:02 am

Kevin: I wrote you a couple weeks ago. I have the 06 tj. I’ve had a few different shops look at my jeep, they all say that everything looks fine and since the new stabilizer is still holding back the DW I can’t actually SHOW them the issue. I’ve isolated that “knock” I described to the steering box but the play doesn’t even reach the pitman arm, it’s somewhere inside the steering box and is only effecting the steering shaft. As for the DW my best guess at this point is the axel side track bar bushing on my stock track bar. It has a pretty noticeable amount of play and I’m sure it’s the original factory bushing, and after spending 5 years in Arizona summers it’s not surprising it would be worn out. Now, my question to you is, do you recommend I replace the bushing in the stock TB (if so with what kind?) or should I just replace the entire track bar? should be noted: I have no lift at this point so most heavy duty bars won’t fit.

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Darren December 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Eh Kevin,

As you probably guessed, I’m from Canada eh! Anyhow, I just recently purchased a 2003 TJ Rubicon, with a 6 1/2″ BDS Longarm kit, and 35″ tires on Mickey Thompson Sidebiter rims. When I bought it last week, I drove it home at 60 mph, and it was a 200 mile trip home, and noticed nothing wrong. Yesterday I was driving around town, about 30 mph and experienced the Death Wobble, and had to slow down to a stop. It only happened the one time, so my initial thought was to get the alignment checked, so when I talked to the shop, the mechanic told me not to get my heart set on fixing the problem, as I may never get rid of it. I checked everything in the front end for tightness, and all is good, so I am hoping the alignment fixes it, but my questions are, can this mechanic be right? Is it possible to have to live with it like this? Is the BDS kit ok, or could it have something to do with it?

One other thing that I noticed, is that when I first start out from a stop, or when I;m slowing down, and almost at a stop, I feel something that seems to be a bit of resistance, that I assumed was either a wheel bearing or ujoint issue, maybe you can help with that too, or maybe it is related to the DW issue as well.

Anyway, just wanted to say I’m very glad I ran across your site, as you have abviously helped a lot people out.

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kevin January 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Hey there, Darren. No way…every case of Death Wobble we’ve seen has been curable…but sometimes it takes a bit of effort and some new parts to get there. Check out the DW kits we offer for your TJ on our website ( http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_65 ) and follow along the article as best you can. We have NEVER come across an incurable case of Death Wobble.

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Anas December 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm

hi, i finally got my death wobble fixed i attached another damper and changed my track bar.
thanks thanks :)

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Linda Kitts December 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I have a 1995 Chevy step side and Michelin tires LXT M/S R15 LT and have the death wobble on my truck. It isn’t even a Jeep. Would it still have the same problems as the Jeep? Thanks, Linda

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kevin January 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm

It’s actually completely different underneath, Linda. I wish I had more info to offer you…as I don’t know Chevys. :-(

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Anas December 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for the reply, i think its nuts on the steering box, i put in new shocks and the front end control bushes have been replaced, i need to travel far and i dnt what to do? theguys in my area dnt dnt what to do also. .

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Michael Francis December 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I have a 2008 Wrangler, completely stock. I use the car mostly to comute on freeways and don’t do much off road, other than dirt tracks … nothing heavy duty that requires a lift. I just started getting some loosey goosey feel and an occaional wobble at 93,000 miles. Can the bushings be replaced in the factory trackbar? If not, is there any other way to get the stiffer bushings without lifting the jeep?

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kevin December 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Sure, Michael…the lower bushing can be swapped out with our KOR-1189-S kit ( http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_41&products_id=1079 ) , but beware of the upper joint, which is NOT replaceable. If that one’s bad, you have to replace the factory bar with another factory bar (a waste of money, frankly) or get a nice, beefy bar like the JKS bar here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_41&products_id=779

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Michael Francis December 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

OK … I can’t find anything else loose except for a small amount of give on the track bar bushings, so I ordered your JK kit. My son is a mechanic and because this car is my freeway commuter, he recommends not messing with the geometry of the suspension by lifting it unless and until I decide to make a dirt toy out of it. So we’re going to leave the ride height alone and “customize” the differential cover as mentioned a couple other places on this site. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for making this great site to deal with this ugly problem.

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Michael Francis January 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Kevin …
Here is how it all worked out. The JKS track bar with the Hard-KOR bushings worked great. Just installing the kit made it so that the Jeep would not get into a full blown death wobble, but I could tell that the conditions that triggered the wobble were still there. The shimmy and shake that used to lead up to the wobble were still there. So we put the Jeep on jacks again and did a more thorough check. There was actually a little over 1/16 inch of play in the ball joints and the knuckle end of the drag link was popping a bit, as well. The tie rod ends were not as snug as they were when they were new, so I figured they were not far behind. So we put in new ball joints, a new drag link, and new tie rod ends. For good measure, I removed the Monroe Sensatrac shocks that were in the Jeep and replaced them with Bilstein 4600 monotubes. Then we double checked the tire balance and got a front end alignment. We added cam bolts in the lower control arms and dialed back the caster to about 2.5 This is not recommended unless you are running a stock, no-lift set up, but my alignment guy (specializes in 4WD) says this has been shown to be effective in reducing the chances caster flutter on the JK model.

The overall result … this Jeep drives and handles like a brand new Jeep … there’s not a shimmy or shake at any speed, under any amount of braking, even on some pretty rough pavement.

A couple of comments about the track bar kit …
1. We were unable to reposition the damper on the new bracket that came with the kit, because with no lift on the suspension, it just won’t fit. But we welded the bracket on, anyway to reinforce the stock bracket, ground a little clearance off the bottom, and put my old damper (Rancho RS 5000) back in there … it was stiffer than the one that came with the kit anyway.
2. The concern about having to “customize” the differential cover was a non issue … the JKS cleared the differential completely. Not sure what would happen if I decided to disconnect the sway bar and do some rock crawling, but that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, so for now we’re good.

For everyone reading this … remember that there are two components to a death wobble … there is whatever triggers the wobble and then there is the full blown oscillation that shakes your arms loose at the elbows and sends you home for a change of underwear. The JKS Track Bar and Kevin’s bushings are rock solid, and a good investment, but you also need to find out what else is loose … look twice and look again … sometimes it is not real obvious and it may be a combination of things. Just be prepared to spend some money, especially if you can’t do the work yourself. But don’t give up … there actually is a happy ending to the story and a cure for death wobble.

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Anas December 18, 2011 at 2:46 am

Hi, kevin
I m driving a jeep grand Cherokee WJ 2001 and i have experienced a death wobble.i replaced two steering stabilizer the problem is still there, i have checked all my bushes they seem to be fine, could it be my shocks or any bushes, and further i noticed that there two nuts missing on the steering box are they suppose to there? and how risky is it to drive with a death wobble.
Thanks anas

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kevin December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm

It’s VERY risky to drive with Death Wobble, Anas. Did you already read the entire article, and go through the Jeep, point by point? And, what nuts are missing??

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Rick Allen December 15, 2011 at 11:33 am

I cured my death wobble issue by replacing the worn out heim joint in the trackbar and setting the alignment my self. My xj is a 1993 with a 6.5 lift, i installed a high clearance long arm kit from rusty’s offroad with adjustable upper links (do not run it as a 3 link system you will be right back where you started) I set my caster at +7 deg and my towin at 1/8 inch. I have a steering brace and backing plates behind the steering box. I do not run a steering stabilizer, I have not had any death wobble for 38,000 miles so far. just the occational wander every now and then, probably time for another new 3/4 heim joint. The best upper arm bushings i have found that last are the factory replacments (upper mounts on front axle.

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Rick Duff December 14, 2011 at 10:57 am

Hi, I’ve got an 06 F350 w/ 150k.
The front end breaks into oscillations sometimes.
When it does, it between 60-70 mph, is a LOT more likely on concrete as opposed to asphalt .
Death wobble or is it something else.

Thanks for your time.

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kevin December 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Most definitely Death Wobble, Rick! Wish we knew more about Ford trucks, however, the Jeep article that was written will help you resolve it even so.

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Dannygirl December 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Hi kevin, So far so good on the corrected death wobble, thanks to you! Have a wonderful holiday season and thanks a million ! Your so right another jeep staying with her loyal owner! Before you and your help I was definetly fixing the problem and she was for sale. Now with your help-she isnt going anywhere but back to her heated garage!
Thanks a million-if I said it once I will say it a million more times”Your A Good Man”

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kevin December 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Thank you very much, Danny! Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you! Happy we could help!

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adrian December 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

i have a 88 cherokee chief stock… DW at 45+, yes i have read… however i want to lift… but i want to fix DW and keep stock for 3 months just to get by, through NE winter, i want to upgrade track bar but have it be adj for 0″-4.5″ might be asking for alot but i want to fix DW but i dont want to have to up grade when i do a 4.5″. i just dont want to buy 2 different track bars within 3 months… thanks kevin

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kevin December 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm

All of the items in the Death Wobble Cure kit will work for 4.5″ of lift. The only reason why it WON’T work on a stock-height vehicle, is because the thickness of the beefier track bar we include, rubs slightly on the differential cover when you hit bumps.  This can be remedied at least three different ways:

1) You can shorten the control arms by 1/4″ in length, and that should alleviate the problem completely.  
2) You can tap the cover inward about 1/8″ where it rubs, so that it clears the track bar.  There is nothing but air behind this portion of the differential cover, so there is no worries about it contacting anything rotating on the inside of the differential.
3) The track bar can be lengthened slightly longer (1/4″ usually does it) than it’s “proper” length, which will move the axle to the passenger side slightly, allowing the differential cover to move upward/downward without contacting the big, beefy track bar.  Your alignment will need to be reset after the install ANYWAY, irrespective of whether you lengthen the track bar or not, and this will NOT negatively affect the alignment of the Jeep.
4a) You can add on a set of 3/4″ coil spring spacers, which will raise the front of the Jeep up a bit.  It may not COMPLETELY solve the possible rubbing, but it will help substantially.  The part number for the XJ, MJ, ZJ, and TJ is KOR-KJ0-9107 and is available here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_39&products_id=1112
4b) The WJ Grand Cherokee spacers are part number KOR-9712-A and can be found at http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_39&products_id=142

That should get you going nicely! You’re going to love the FAR better steering response, too!

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nancy December 12, 2011 at 11:31 am

My ’03 wrangler has 29,000 miles on it and normal sized tires. I have the scary “death wobble” when I go 50 mph, but not at lower speeds. A mechanic has told me that it is probably caused by rusty front brakes which overheat and cause the wobble. I have had a new steering dampner put on but haven’t yet had the front alignment done…what do you think abut it being the brakes?

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kevin December 12, 2011 at 11:36 am

I’d suggest you MAKE SURE to take it to another mechanic!! He’s either actively attempting to take advantage of you, or he’s not knowledgeable about the cause, and making guesses without any sort of proof (which come out of your pocket in the form of dollars). There is no possible way it’s brake related. Find someone locally who has Death Wobble experience…this guy is not it…and you’re going to be training him with your own checkbook. :-(

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Will December 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I have a 2006 Jeep TJ x and only a few days after buying it, used, I experienced a death wobble, more than once. The jeep is TOALLY stock right now. I brought it back to the dealer (Carmax) and they replaced the worn out lower control arm bushings on both sides, this did NOT fix it, as well as installed a new steering stabilizer (Don’t know what kind but probably stock). I haven’t had a death wobble since then (two weeks), and I have tried many times to induce it (train tracks, pot holes, etc) to make sure they actually fixed it, and it seems to have been fixed. However, I can’t help but worry myself that this is only going to mask the problem until the real issue breaks the stabilizer again. I had someone turn the wheel side to side while parked and noticed the axel side track bar bushing has noticeable play, about 1/8 inch of squeeze on the bushing, but the dealer says this is normal. Am I just being paranoid or should I just have the track bar bushing replaced with better ones? Or will the stabilizer be enough? Still no death wobble but I feel like it’s trying. I also had my alignment done and wheel balance (stock sized tires)

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Will December 12, 2011 at 11:01 am

P.S.
I just got back from camping in the desert and on the freeway just outside Phoenix I hit a bump on the right side and the wobble started. It wasn’t full force but I think it was just the new stabilizer holding it back. Happened a few more times until I got to the dirt. On the Jeep trails I felt a strange knock in the steering over heavy bumps, especially when the wheels were turned. I don’t feel a knock when turning left and right quickly it’s only caused by hard bumps on the front end. It feels like something is loose but I can’t see what it is.

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kevin December 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

Something probably is loose, Will. You’d likely benefit from having someone diagnose the problem (perhaps at Carmax?) until they can identify what’s loose. One of our JKS track bars with SuperDurometer bushings will probably remove some of the looseness in your track bar, however, it may or may not remedy the loose “clunk” you’re feeling.

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Will December 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Thanks for the info! Could you take a look at this video I shot of my axel side track bar mount and tell me if it looks like it could be the culprit?
http://youtu.be/LjzRgvxclVw
The guys at carmax said everything was fine and this was a normal amount of play but I am suspicious that they just don’t know what they’re doing (or don’t want to do the work since it’s free of charge lol)

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Dannygirl December 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Just wanted to let you know the jeep is finally fixed! Mechanic figured out problem!After all the money and time I have invested, it turns out when the tire shop put those new tires on, they apparently never balanced them! That was the whole cause. All those new parts I guess werent a waste but I dont think I needed them. Now my big decision is; do I call the tire shop and compain since they include in the price to balance all four tires and told me they did? More than likely a waste of my breath to do that!Just wanted to tell you thankyou for all the help.

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kevin December 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Great news! However, I’d be willing to bet a LOT of money that the balance of the tires was NOT the ONLY thing setting it off. However, I’m happy that you were able to get it fixed now that you got the combination of parts and alignment and everything else correct, and that you’re not having any more problems with it!! Yay…another Jeep saved from the auction block!! :-)

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Dannygirl December 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm

You are the greatest.Just today I called the shop that did the allignment on saturday and told them it was still an issue. Told them all about your site and printed out all your great info.They are willing to go thru all the steps to figure out a solution.If you could speak to the mechanic personally I would be forever greatful.Merry Christmas to me (of course to you and your family as well) I dont want you to think I would ever sell my jeep with the issues at hand,im just so disgusted with it that once it was fixed correctly,I want to sell it.The funniest of all-I get so aggrivated with and wont drive it till my next mechanic visit and suddenly I get behind the wheel and remember all the reasons I fell in love with it the day I took my first test drive, I LOVE MY GIRL! I take her to the shop on Thursday morning and will bring along your article on the death wobble.It seems the average mechanics in my state are not so aware of the death wobble!Oh thanks a bunch once again.I will e-mail you with my phone number in the am. You have no idea how much you are appreciated!

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kevin December 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm

You’re very welcome, Danny! It’s our pleasure.

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Dannygirl December 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm

This has turned into alot more money and headache than I ever imagined. Its impossible to afford taking it to the dealer and pay 90.00 an hour labor and them probobly still not fixing the problem in other entries I read.After replacing so many parts I cant hardly afford to buy your package which I wish I would of from the start. Right about now I wish I lived in Phoenix I would Have you do all the work on my jeep and BE DONE WITH THIS NIGHTMARE ONCE AND FOR ALL! i AM OPEN FOR ANY AND ALL SUGGESTIONS AT THIS POINT.Out of all the men in my family not one will take a minuete to read your article on the death wobble, if they did this hell would be over.Then you will see a for sale sign in my lil yellow beauty!Thanks once again!

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Dannygirl December 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Kevin-yikes I still need your help!Another quick rundown of my situation.Rotated tires at the first sign of death wobble.Got worse so we rotated them back.Decided to get new tires since I needed them anyway.Still no change.I then put in a heavy duty stabilizer bar.Nope not that either.My buddy shook underneath when he had it up on his lift and the only thing that felt loose was tie rods.Replaced them too, guess what wrong again.Then I stumbled upon your site and immediatly ordered a trac bar that nite.Recieved it in two days and had my buddy put it on.Then my traction control lite came on as well as my esp-bas lite.Steering wheel felt 90% better.Didnt drive it except to the alignment shop. Guys fixed it all up and all dash lites went off.Great thought for sure we fixed the problem,guess what -the second I got my speed increased the devil showed itself again in the death wobble.I once again parked it and dont intend on driving it! Is it possible the tire guys didnt balance tires ? What should I try next? Any suggestions! Thanks again for all your time.Your obviously a good man!

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kevin December 5, 2011 at 11:24 am
Dale Bielecki December 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Kevin: My 02 Grand has a Rough Country 4″ lift with OME stabilizer, JKS track bar, Bilstein shocks and BDS adjustable upper control arms. I’m running “Yokie” Geolanders {255-70x 17} at 28 psi. I’ve had my jeep to my local shop {reputible, 32 years in 4×4 business} several times to have them “exocise” the DW Demon to no avail. I also have a BDS dropped pitman arm on the vehicle. It’s going back again for another exocism this weekend. Any suggestions? We’re thinking of taking some castor out of it and I’m wondering if putting the stock pitman arm back in will help. Any suggestions I could pass on to them. Thanks. Dale

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kevin December 5, 2011 at 11:21 am

Dale, I would definitely remove the dropped Pitman arm. That’s probably not the cause of the problem, however I’m sure it’s not helping in any way, shape, or form. you would also benefit from our secondary steering stabilizer kit, for the WJ Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is part number KOR – 2092, available on our website here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=18_69&products_id=664 (that Link is for the 1.25 inch OD aftermarket track bar, like the JKS bar you have, not for the stock trackbar, for the reference of whomever else may be reading this in the future, who has the stock track bar. That part number is KOR –2082, located here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=18_69&products_id=665 )

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Dannygirl November 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Wow am I glad I found you.What a nightmarethis has turned into.About a month ago I hit a hump in the road (about 40mph)and my 08 wrangler shook hard over the bump and continued to shake for 30 seconds after.Thats all it took and here I am. My friend rotated the tires for starters,not it, got worse,rotated tires back,still there.Bought new tires still there. Guy at tire shop told me needed front end stabilizer,not that either.Put her up on lift today and looked for anything loose in front end, he found it, I think its this trackbar you talk of. Now I thought I read that you can tighten this,he replied that they cant be tightened due to no bushings?( I could be wrong )So anyway is it that long bar with lots of play that is located up front,the one that is closest to you while under it ?Should I have him replace anything else while he is doing this repair?After reading all the troubles people have with 08wranglers it might be time to unload it , sooner than later.thankyou for great info , had I not fallen upon your site I coulda broke the bank!

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kevin November 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Actually, it’s a VERY solve-able problem…so no need to pawn it off on someone else. Just replace the track bar with a heavy duty one, like the JKS bar we sell on our site here:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_41&products_id=773

…and then upgrade to the SuperDurometer bushings here:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_41&products_id=1079

After that, make sure the stabilizer is in good shape, and replace it if not. We sell those here:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_66&products_id=417

And you need this bracket too:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_66&products_id=1102

Alternately, just get the entire kit, and have EVERYTHING you need to remedy the problem here:
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_66&products_id=1086

An hour worth of install labor is all that’s needed, assuming they know their way around a Jeep, and then an alignment, and you should be golden.

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Dannygirl November 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

Hey a big old thankyou for taking the time to help not only myself but the entire jeep family, you gotta be a good guy! I will let you know how things work out.Thanks again you saved me lots of time and money I dont have!

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kevin November 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

My pleasure, Danny! Thanks for the kind words. :-)

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Dion November 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I have an 89 jeep cherokee that had a problem with death wobbles. I rebuilt everything under the frontend during a restoration and still occasionally got the wobble. One day I was looking around saying to myself, “everything has been replaced” but then remembered that I had my rotors turned instead of replaced. I bought a new set, put them on and now the jeep steering is smooth as silk. No more death wobble for over a year. It makes sense; If the rotor is warped, to get it straight, metal has to come off one side more than the other; then it is out of balance.
Who knew!

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kevin November 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Interesting. That’s the ONLY thing you did, after replacing all the parts? This is the first case I’ve ever heard of that…but thank you for posting up!!

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max November 21, 2011 at 12:56 am

hey i have a 2000 jeep grand cherokee wj for three years now and i want to put a lift kit in. i was looking at an old man emu 3.5 inch lift kit or a simple 2 inch bb lift i want to know am i going to have problems with the 3.5 inch kit and going to have to change my drive shaft etc. if so what. and if i just put on the 2 inch bb lift will i be fine i also want to get some basic pro comp wheels n tires but dont know what size/ tire n wheel setup i can put without putting added strain on my stock axle gears patrs etc. plz help me out guys i live in nyc by the way.

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kevin November 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Max, there is no magical height of lift that you can stay under and have death wobble not be a problem. Death wobble can happen in a stock height Jeep. To the best of my knowledge, old man emu does not sell a 3.5 inch lift kit. That may be something that a vendor is putting together, but it’s probably not made by OME.

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Woody November 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Kevin,

Can you recommend anyone from the Augusta Ga. or Aiken, S,C, area that uses your parts and can understand your methodology. . .if this DW is not cured I will sell this Jeep !

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kevin November 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Woody, I don’t know anything about these shops, and we don’t have anyone we’ve used already in that area. But here are a couple of names that may be able to be helpful.
Sandy’s 4 X 4 Inc
1471 Reynolds St, Augusta, GA 30901
(706) 724-4294

Line-X of Aiken-Edgefield-Augusta
North Augusta, SC 29841
(803) 278-1600

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ryan November 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm

well come to find out my steering box is broke

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kevin November 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm

A broken steering box is a real big problem, obviously, but it PROBABLY cracked as a RESULT of Death Wobble…not vice versa.
(which is another reason why getting DW fixed right away is SUPER important!!)

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Barry November 14, 2011 at 8:46 am

Just curious , after reading the posts here, thought I’d mention mine .
October 2010 JK wrangler purchased new , done very little off -road, 50000 klms on the clock , mostly towing work trailer.Stock, no alterations.
Just recently , while rounding a slight downhill curve , went over a small bump , and it went totally spastic. Couldn’t do anything to stop the shaking , only bring it to a complete stop.
Cleaned out my pants,(well , not quite that bad but close), and took off very very slowly, ( after 40 years of driving , and over 40 different vehicles) , I’d never experienced anything like this .
Sent it off to the dealer, he told me he couldn’t find a problem . Got him to do wheel alignment and balance check, he said alignment was slightly out , and one wheel out of balance.
Now it just wobbles almost to the point of going spastic.
Legal eagle tells me if an accident occurs because of this , I’d be held accountable .
My confidence ain’t improving .
Chrysler wants me to take it back to the dealer, wants me to prove it happened,,,,, yeah right…..they must think I could have jumped out and shot a video while it was happening .
Anyways , just curious to hear a bit more .
Thanks ,, great read ,, think I’m a tad enlightened.
Happy wobbling .
cheers.

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kevin November 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Well, you came to the right place, Barry. Jeep may well claim ignorance that their vehicles have a problem with Death Wobble, but everyone here knows the truth, as do you, now (unfortunately, lol). The JK Death Wobble package is the best stuff we’ve got to cure the problem, replaced all in conjunction and at the same time, and cures the problem probably 95% of the time, the first time. The part number is KOR-9906-JK and here is a direct link: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=42_66&products_id=1086

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Barry November 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Thanks Kevin,,, but what do I do ?,, mine is stock standard ,, no lift ,,,,,,, and what do I do if I lift it later???

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Jonifun November 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Hi I’m a massive jeep fan and have a zj lifted 4″ with my own custom made £8 lift kit. I read your info on death wobble wondering why there is no mention of setting correct castor angle for steering as this will totally eliminate death wobble even with many other parts worn and loose. When you take your jeep for wheel alignment most workshops if any ever check this setting probably due to this not being adjustable on many vehicles. But jeeps usualy have adjustable length lower arms and so it is easy and free to fix death wobble if you have an angle measuring tool. A Protractor and a weighted string works well. There is a flat place below the bottom ball joint to work from and a backwards tilting castor or steering angle of 6-7 degrees from verticle is a good place to start. Zero toe (front wheels parallel) is also helpful. I have used this setup with huge success on several jeeps I’ve even been invited into a Chrysler workshop to show their technician what I did to mine. My jeep has done 221000 miles and is going strong on big TYRES jacked up without any wobble whatsoever and its totally down to castor angle setup. I got my setup advice from a Honda civic race car specialist who sets up track cars and I have never looked back. Ten minutes work ended several years of wobble at no cost beyond a few pints at the pub for the Honda man a few days later.

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kevin November 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for your feedback. We’ve found that a caster setting of 4.5* to 6.5* is just fine. Adding more caster does NOT cure Death Wobble…it’s only one component of the alignment…and most Jeeps do not have adjustability on their lower or upper arms…some TJs and some ZJs had cam bolts, which helped, however, once you add lift, you’re going to max those out pretty quickly anyway. Yes, they help. No, they are not the “magic bullet”. Don’t get me wrong…on your rig, it obviously helped cure the problem, and I appreciate the feedback…however, I don’t want people to mis-read your e-mail and think that a caster setting of between 6* and 7* will magically fix their Death Wobble problems, even if they have parts that need to be replaced. We’ve tested caster settings anywhere from 3.5* to 8.0*, and found that changing it has VERY little to do with curing Death Wobble on 80+% of the rigs we tested. To reiterate, 80% of the time, caster was NOT a factor. Toe-in, proper steering dampening, wheel offset, track bar tightness, and tie rod ends are probably 95% to blame for the problem. Caster was less than 20% of the time to blame…and it had to be WAY off in order to affect it at all. Hell…we even had a rig with 4.5* NEGATIVE caster (the upper ball joint was IN FRONT of the lower ball joint!!!), and it STILL didn’t have Death Wobble!!

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Dustin Weller November 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Kevin….Need help… 2005 wrangler X, 77,000 miles. 33″ tires no lift….have a vibration that only happens between 35 & 42mph. doesnt matter what gear I’m in, or what the road conditions are. If I accelerate quickly through the range it seems to be mild. If I slowly climb through the range the front end/ steering wheel/ shifter along with everything else shakes like h**l. had the tires balanced and front end aligned… any suggestions?

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kevin November 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Hmmm…odd. Stock wheels, or aftermarket? What’s your toe-in setting? Are you certain that your tires are not out of round?

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Alex November 4, 2011 at 5:32 am

Where do I begin. JK 2008 4″ lift MTZ 315/70/17 (30% life left). I really don’t know which kit lift I have since I bought it installed from the dealership. My guess is the pro-comp explorer (a favored brand from a local shop) Ok specs out of the way now the problem. I’ve gone to local “experts” and 4×4 places trying to fix the death wobble. Everyone says that my tires are culprit of my problem, that most likely my tires are “out of round”. Nothing seems loose in the front end. The last shop I took it to did the 10 to 2 steering tests and nothing seems loose. Before I spent another $1k+ in new tires can you or do you know of a reputable trustworthy shop in the south florida area.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my post.

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kevin November 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I’m sorry, Alex, but I don’t know of a good shop in that area. However, tires being out of round would not cause DW…not at all. In fact, I’ve got some crappy, REALLY out of round tires on my 2008 JK, which has 3.5″ of lift, and I don’t have Death Wobble at all. My steering wheel shakes back and forth due to the stupid tires, but that’s not Death Wobble. DW is caused by a left-right looseness, not a rotational out-of-balance. So, keep finding new shops until you find one that finds the cause of the problem. Hand them a print out of the Death Wobble article above, and ask them to go through it for you. I guarantee that its’ curable!

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tim November 3, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Hey kevin i have a 1991 jeep cherokee xj i bought it with a 5 half sky jacker lift it had 30s on it and i never had any problems, until i went mudding ever since then I cant get it to stop. I recently put 35s on it. now my question is i have aftermarket lower control arms and oem upper does that make a big difference or not i do have the lower bushing replacements.

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kevin November 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I’m thinking you probably bent something while you were mudding it. Could be toe-in related as well. It’s best if you have adjustable upper AND lower arms…that way you can push the axle forward, where it belongs, and where it fits a decent sized tire…rather than having the front axle be “pulled” backwards toward the driver, which is what happens when you add lift, but don’t extend the arms outward.

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tucker November 3, 2011 at 9:39 am

Please help. I have adjusted almost everything. I just put a 9 inch rough country lift on my 1999 jeep grand cherokee. It has 31×10.50 mud tires on it. I cant seem to figure out what is causing it to do the whole death wobble thing. I took it to a 4×4 expert shop and they couldnt tell me anything except maybe it was the front upper control arms. So i adjusted the so they were shorter and it brought the top of the axle backward. It still didnt help. If you have any advice please help me.

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kevin November 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Did you already go through the entire list above? If so, what are all your settings?

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Adrian November 3, 2011 at 8:05 am

everytime i come to a stop with my jeep grand cherokee 97. it always vibrates like crazy and sometimes it wont go. i will have to put it in park and then back in drive. and all you can hear is it reving up.

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kevin November 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

That’s not Death Wobble…not sure what it is…but definitely not DW.

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w morash November 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

i stumbled across ” my fix” for the death wobble while browsing online. anything over 80kph on the highway and the jeep( wrangler) shook so bad it was scary. only way to stop it was to reduce to an unsafe highway speed. online someone listed changing out factory urethane control arm bushings (soft), on a cherokee, to polyurethane bushings (firmer). the only one i didn’t change was the one right next to the front differential (pita). death wobble instantly gone.

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kevin November 3, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Interesting. You must have had some REALLY bad bushings in there in order for poly bushings to be the ONLY thing that solved the Death Wobble problem you were having. I’m guessing that they were to the point that ANY new bushing (poly, rubber, factory, etc.) would have had a similar effect. I personally don’t like poly bushings in the control arms, because poly transmits a lot of “NHV” (Noise, Harshness, and Vibration) to the cabin…you can feel every little piece of gravel you run over in the floorboards because it no longer has that rubber “isolation damper” in the linkage. Agreed, it tightens up the linkage, however, the price to be paid is generally pretty high if you daily drive the Jeep, or take it on longer trips. I’d recommend this as a LAST DITCH ATTEMPT ONLY!!! If you have bad control arm bushings, replace them with factory Mopar rubber bushings, or Moog brand…not Chinese AutoZone / CSK / PepBoys bushings.

There is a reason why the factory used rubber bushings when building the Jeep. Poly bushings are WAY less expensive, and we all know that auto manufacturers cut corners any time they can find a shortcut…yet NO auto manufacturer has EVER used poly bushings in control arms, so far as I know…and there’s a reason for that, lol. Poly works well for track bar bushings, and for steering dampeners, but NOT for anything that’s going to take hits from the suspension, because it’ll transmit it directly back into the uniframe. Poly also doesn’t flex, so if you do ANY offroading at all, you’re going to go through poly bushings constantly, whereas rubber conforms during articulation.

Can you tell that I don’t like poly bushings in most all applications? Keep poly in your track bars and your steering stabilizers only.

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JOHNNY October 30, 2011 at 6:08 am

I HAVE A 07 DODGE 2500 MEGA CAB AND WHEN I TAKE OFF THERE IS A WOBBLE OR SHIMMY IN THE REAR AREA!! IT IS 100 TIMES WORSE WITH A LOAD! THE DODGE PLACE HAS NO ANSWERS CAN U RECOMMEND ANY THING OR ANY WHERE TO ASK????????

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kevin October 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Does not sound like Death Wobble to me…sounds like a bent driveshaft or a bad motor or transmission mount.

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bryan October 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm

kevin, i just wanted to let you know i figured out the problem with my wj. i had a rough country dual stabilizer and the center bracket that both stabilizers conected to was flexing from side to side, thus wasnt doing its job. i moved one stabilizer to the stock location and no dw. it still has a little shake from time to time so im going to try your stabilizer set up next. thank you for the help and your extensive knowledge on jeep dw. you have an awsome thing going here and i very much appreciate what your doing!

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Pete Johnson October 28, 2011 at 12:59 am

I have dw on my 89 cherokee with just a 2 1/2 in budget lift. Spacers and add a leaf.
I have switched the track bar, stabalizer, had it aligned three times total, by 2 different shops, the DW always comes back. The weird thing is that it seems if i leave the jeep alone for a while, or if i physical lift the car up, like to work under it, the DW goes away for maybe a wk or so. At first, I thought the alignments themselves were what was fixing the jeep, but then after clutch went out, and i had to lift the car up to work on it, when i dropped it back down and was driving around, i noticed the dw was gone and it didnt come back for almost 2 wks.
as i side note, I also have 5×5 spacer adapters and 18in JK wrangler wheels with stock tires on it.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Pete

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kevin October 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Pete: If you still have the stock wheels/tires, can you put those back on, to see if it changes anything? Odd how lifting the Jeep up seems to affect the DW…almost like something is worn, and allowing slop once you hit a bump, and it may “reset” when it’s in the air?? Odd. Does the alignment shop know how to modify the settings from stock for a lifted vehicle with a larger contact patch of rubber on the road, and a lift, and wheel spacers, and such…or did they just set it to stock specs, like most alignment shops not familiar with 4x4s do?

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Jr. Tirpak October 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Kevin,
First, THANK YOU for an Excellent collection of knowledge-packed, no-nonsense web pages. You and the folks posting here have given me hope that I’ll be able to keep my ZJ safe on the road for another couple of decades.
I have a stock ’93 ZJ, no lift. Lots of wear from daily 4WD driving on our ranch “road”. Will your Track Bar Conversion Kit work with stock configuration? If so, will it also allow me to lift the Jeep later and add longer control arms, etc?
Best regards,
Jr.

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kevin October 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm

You’re very welcome, JR! The only reason why you’d NOT be able to use the Death Wobble package, or the Track Bar Conversion at stock height, is that it’ll rub on the differential cover, but that’s fixable several different ways:

1) Add a little lift to it…1″ should do it.
2) Recess the cover slightly so that it clears the track bar
3) Adjust the track bar so that the axle is slightly offset to the passenger side, and it should clear
4) Slightly reduce the length of your control arms (if you have adjustable ones).

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Jr. Tirpak October 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Kevin,
Thanks for the quick response.
Do you still carry the Ultimate 1″ Leveling Kit for ZJs?
listed at http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/zj/zj_10kit.html
Regards,
Jr.

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bryan October 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm

hey kevin, sry i forgot to ask about my tires. i bought wheels with a 4″ offset and still have the factory size tires with cooper discovery m/s. they are a radial type tire and when i put them on before the lift they seem to wonder. it still has that feeling of moving around with the lift on but worse, do you think this could be the problem.

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kevin October 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

I’ve found that, in general, the less backspacing you have, the more “wander” you have, just by nature of physics, for what it’s worth. Can you put the factory tires on the factory wheels and see if that changes anything? Please refer to other question on your first comment too.

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bryan October 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm

thanks for the response, any information you have is greately appreciated. they printout they gave me is measured in degrees. the left front toe is set .10 degrees inward, right front toe is .11 degrees inward. the left caster is 6.4 degrees back and right is 6.2 degrees back. my left front camber is slightley out at .8 degrees in. the right side is .4 degrees in and is showing fine. i will try the stock wheels but if that dosnt work for the dw i dont know what else to do other than maybe a long arm kit. ive checked the front end many times and its as solid as it can be. tho i can say the stabilizer i have isnt very impresive for its size. thank you again for your time.

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bryan October 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

hi. i recently put a 4″ lift on my 2000 wj and ive been fighting death wobble since the day it was put on. ive had it aligned twice and replaced the tie rod new dual rough country stabilizer and the jks track bar you recommend with the harder bushings. its alot better than it was but its still there and im not sure what to try next. the only thing i can think to do is upper control arm bushings, they dont seem to be bad bu tim also not sure how stiff they should be. you can move them slightely if you twist them with your hands. what do you think about this.

thanks

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kevin October 24, 2011 at 11:40 am

What is your toe-in setting, Bryan, according to the alignment spec printout? What about the caster setting?

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Bill October 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Hi. So i have a 2002 Trail Blazer (LTZ if it matters).
I was in a front right collission and incurred $4,000 in body damage & repair.
So the body shop tells me the wheel alignment is covered but “you need tie rod end & ball joint” (right front) so the alignment won’t hold…he wants to know if i want him to repair the TR & BS so the alignment will hold.
I said “no thanks…not right now”.
So here’s my question for you…Am I suicidal riding around with a (supposed) bad tie rod and ball joint? (worse yet am I gonna be a danger to other drivers?)
Thanks!
Bill

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kevin October 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

You’ll have sloppy steering, unresponsive steering, and a wandering vehicle if the Tie Rod Ends are bad. Definitely replace them, and then get it aligned!

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Robert October 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Hey Kevin, I have a question. I have a death wobble on my jeep wrangler, 1991 straight inline 6. It’s on 38s with a 9 1/2 lift. I have a new universal trackbar dual stabilizers new pitman arm n I replaced all of the swaybar bushings and both front u joints n am still on. A death wobble. I. Do need an alignment tho. What should. I. Do thx rob

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kevin October 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I would get the alignment done ASAP…that may be your ONLY problem at this juncture…

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Randall Matlock October 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Man wish I would have read about this problem before I bought my XJ. I bought a 1988 pristine XJ off of a preacher. Paid 1600 dollars for it not rust, perfect. I thought it was a steal and about 300 miles into owning it I was on a really bad stretch of road and then it happened. The wobble was so bad I thought I was dragging something with four flats at the same time. I thought it was a shock problem at the time and made a mental note to lift the jeep and put shocks on it at the same time. Months went by before I put the lift on and the only time I got the wobble was on this certain patch of road that had many bumps close together, otherwise no wobble. I went ahead and put new shocks (Rough Country) with a 3 inch rough country lift, and also replaced the stablizer with a Rancho 5000. The problem still occured on that patch of road but still nowhere else. As I began to drive the jeep more the problem began occuring on any patch of road particularly when I drove above 50mph and when I hit a bump just right. I have to come to a complete stop, etc. I read online that the tracking bar needed replaced so I laid underneath the vehicle and noticed some slop in the ball joint of the tracking bar so I replaced it, and the problem was worse and happened way more often. Also I rotated the tires and had the tires rebalanced at the same time the tracking bar was replaced. I then got underneath the jeep again and noticed some play in the outer left tie rod so I replaced it and that made it way worse. With that now I can only drive below 50 or it goes right into its horrible wobble. I have not got an alignment but will do so next. Kevin I do notice that on the left side, where most of the problems seem to be, the u-joint on the wheel side looks worn on the outer side. Basically it looks like something has been dragging on the metal and the seal is not on the u-joint hub and has a large groove in it. I got the thinking that maybe the bearings are out and it is causing the axle to move back and forth and causing a weight change on the wheel causing this. Not sure, any advice?

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kevin October 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Randall:
When you swapped out the tie rod end, you probably accidently changed the toe-in setting, making it worse, and that made the Death Wobble worse. A proper front end alignment may well fix the problem.

The U-joint probably needs to be replaced if it’s rubbing…get that handled quickly before it comes loose on you under force. There is currently very little force on it, driving around in 2wd…but you need to get that handled right away.

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Gerard Barbaro October 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Thanks, Kevin for all your comments on ‘death wobble’. I have a Suzuki Samurai with a lift kit on it. I Replaced the Z bar (cheap piece of…..!) with a custom #8 strength bar with heim connectors. The passenger side wheel had an already installed ‘lift’ arm so I could set the new bar almost level with the other side. I also replaced the steering stabilizer with one from a 4×4 shop but i still have a death wobble going over irregular bumps at very low speeds (10-25mph) At high speeds I’ve never had a problem. I’ll try the inspection as you suggested, and try the alignment along with the tire pressure test to see if it fixes it. I know your a Jeep Man, but this site is the best advice I’ve seen yet on death wobble problems. I have the freeway vibration soo bad I can’t go more than 50mph. That totally Bites!

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kevin October 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Awesome, Gerard…post back as to what solved the problem for you, if you would…so that others can benefit.

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Massey October 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

Hey kevin,
I so appreciate your website!!! I have been so frustrated! I have had my 1996 Jeep for 11 years and the “death wobble” has NEVER occured until I had just my front right tire replaced. It happed about 15 min after I got the new tire. I came back, had it rebalance, left…same violent side to side shake. Went back and they switched the new front right tire and the back right. Still death wobble. Is it because of the way they raised it to put on the new tire? Did they f**K up the geometry in something?? I feel like they should fix it! what should I do and what should I tell the guy that put on the new tire?? Oh, and my jeep has a 4 1/2 inch lift and 32 all terrain tires… THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

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kevin October 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Try shifting the tires from the rear to the front, and see if that changes anything. One of our local customers has a ’97 ZJ, stock height, and never had DW until a tire shop installed a used tire on the right front. Turns out that not only was the tire the wrong size (215/75r15 instead of 225/75r15), but it also was starting to separate. Not sure which of those two problems caused the DW, but after getting the proper sized tire and a rotation, the DW went away.

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John Dolde October 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Kevin,
I just installed a Trailmaster 5″ lift kit on my 2007 JK (actually about 4 weeks ago) and it drove very well for the first two weeks after getting it aligned at a local shop I trust very much as they install lift kits and seem to know what they are doing. In any case about two weeks ago I started experiencing the dreaded death wobble and have some concern that I might have some other worn suspension parts, especially since the vehicle has nearly 90K miles on it. My question actually revolves around the track bar that came with the kit, it is a lot larger and heavier than the factory track bar, is it possible that it could still be a part of the problem? I know you said there were two other manufacturers out there with stiffer bars but mentioned no names. I am definitely going to spend at least a half to an hour under the Jeep this evening inspecting all of the suspension components. I am also going to lower my tire pressure as I have been running my Mastercraft Coursers with about 40-45 psi and am hoping this will help based on your write up. Any additional advice would be greatly appreciated. Heck I may even give you a call as well!
Thanks,
John L. Dolde

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kevin October 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

John:
It’s possible that the BUSHINGS in the new track bar are more problematic than the bar itself. If the bar is substantially larger (beefier), then at least you’ve gotten away from the “accordian-effect” of the thinner factory track bar. However, if the bushings are allowing movement due to the hardness (durometer) of the poly or rubber used in the bushing, even the beefiest track bar won’t help.

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Carla Lukens October 6, 2011 at 7:54 am

I am changeing the ball joints on my 2001 Dodge Ram 4×4 off road. My question is how do I get the damn lower nut off the lower ball joint? I have tried pressure, heat and a pickle fork but the whole ball joint turns and I cant break the nut loose. I have looked everywhere online and doesnt seem that anyone has this problem? What else can I do????

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kevin October 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Typically an impact air ratchet and a pry bar to keep pressure on it is a good way to separate it. Sometimes they can be a pain, to be certain.

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Denny October 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Kevin,
Thank you so much ! your product is number one.
many thanks,

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Rick October 2, 2011 at 9:07 am

Kevin,
I discovered the forum and decided to chime in. My wife and I recently experienced DW with her stock 04 Wrangler Rubicon. I rotated, balanced the tires and replaced the front shocks and most of the DW is gone at this time. I still notice some light shimmy somewhere around 50mph. I am going to replace the stock steering stabilizer and also the bushings on the sway bar as you recommended. I read through posts and saw different comments to check the steering linkage for wear. My father taught me, when I was growing up, the best way to check for wear on linkage and all steering joints on the front end. The vehicle tires need to be on the ground or ramps and not suspended. Have someone unlock the ignition, don’t start the engine, then turn the steering wheel back and forth quickly while you are under the vehicle. Watch each connection for movement and replace anything that has the slightest amount of wear. Years ago I had a small Japanese pickup that would from time to time develop DW. I finally purchased a shop manual after many trips to the shop without results and I discovered it required to torque the front wheel bearings to a specific number. What a surprise something overlooked so simple helped until the pickup had over 100K then I discovered an adjustment bolt on top of the steering box had to be tightened down. I enjoyed your site and decided to leave a few comments on my experiences with DW.
Rick

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brian waibel October 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

will this death wobble kit even work if i only put 4in coil springs on /i had 33in tires on and know put 235-75-15 tires back on and now death wobble ugh ugh

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kevin October 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Brian: Will you please re-word your questions? I’m not following…

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Wanda September 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

Kevin,
Do you have a shop where you or employees work on Jeeps – if not can you recommend a reliable place. I live here in the valley and have had some experience with some of the off road shops and have not been impressed. I am in need of a track bar and am not able to do the work myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Wanda

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kevin September 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Wanda: Give my buddy Doc a call at (623) 939-9353 and he can install it for you. He does great work!

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Wanda September 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Kevin~Thank you ~ I will give him a call! :)

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Enrico September 26, 2011 at 7:02 am

My 37/12.5/17 BFG m/t km2 were at 40 psi… dropped them to 25 ( not even to 18psi) and the death wobble is gone… just added another 2 inches and went from 35′s to 37′s and have been regreting it for 3 weeks… I haven’t even been driving it.. I mean It was that Bad… So I was about to put the 35′s back on… and then I stubmled upon your site through google and I saved it to my favorites… I just wanted to say thank you very much… I’m here in Italy and nobody has a clue about jeeps ;-) I’ve ordered XD Monster 22′s with some Toyo 40/15.50/22 and was having some serious doubts about dumping the extra 20 grand including a trraflex 6″ elite long arm lift kit… long story short I was afraid after already paying for the items and awaiting their arrival from the US, that they would become Garage Ornaments and I would have Thrown away a wad of cash. I hope this works for the 40′s as well… I also ordered a high steer kit and a double steering stabilizer anticipating problems…. Hopefully it will be as simple as putting the right pressure in em’ and I’m on the road….

Thanks again,
Enrico from Sardinia

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kevin September 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Outstanding, Enrico…glad we could assist you!!

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dee September 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm

i have a 96 dodge 2500. its lifted on 44″ super swamper tsl’s and it has a really bad dw. i got the front end alined, new track bar, all new steering arms, all of the ball joints are good.. i have done everything and have spent alot of money.. and i cant get the dw gone.. i just need a new direction to go, i do not know what else to do.. any pointers??

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kevin September 23, 2011 at 10:33 am

Sorry…right now the extent of the knowledge we have is specific to Jeeps, but if you follow the instructions, you’re going to be pretty good…because a lot of the components are similar.