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Death Wobble Poll - Part 1

What is the MOST probable cause of death wobble?  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the MOST probable cause of death wobble?

    • Tire balance
    • Worn/loose track bar
    • Worn tie rod ends
    • Worn ball joints
    • Improper caster angle
    • Worn control arm bushings
    • Incorrect toe-in
    • Other

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After yet another exchange on the topic of "What causes death wobble?", I thought it might be interesting to get some feedback as to exactly what our members think is/are the cause(s) of death wobble. I'm especially interested to see if there is any consensus, or if opinions are all over the map. Hence, a poll.


I don't see a way to do a 3-tiered poll, so this is Part 1 of three different polls. Please vote for what you think is THE most important factor contributing to or causing death wobble. Two parallel polls will ask for your second and third choices -- please be sure to vote in all three. At the end, I'll score the results. Each first-place vote will be worth 3 points, each second-place vote will be worth two points, and each third-place vote will be worth one point.


The poll will stay open for one week.

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I voted for tire balance, even though I don't think that is the cause of a "true" death wobble. I think that most of the "I have death wobble" threads on here and most of the internet are unbalanced tires blown out of proportion.

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my personal experiance was the track bar being bad. actually the bracket welding to the axle cracked due to previous owner booger welding a relocation bracket to it. got a new adjustable end and burned on a new bracket and was golden.


the second i belive is caster angle, it can get royally messed up when lifting and not getting a proper alignment (with the adjustments) or adjustable control arms.


the third i belive is control arm bushings due to if the axle is allowed to move too much it could cause all kinds of weird problems, and they are kinda hard to check when just looking at them. and they usually never get replaced. poly bushings suck, rubber is the best

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I've had shot U-joints cause it as well.



"Other" wasn't an option.

My bad. It was supposed to be, and I'll make sure it shows up on all three polls


Gents, it is not necessary to respond in this thread or to explain your votes. I'm not trying to re-open the debate, I'm trying to collect raw data so we can try to get an objective assessment of the current state of understanding of death wobble. I can't stop you from responding, but in all honesty I think for the purpose it would be better if y'all would just vote, and NOT discuss.

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I voted Tire balance as most common but:


I had to change over to the stock aluminum wheel with 4 ply tires on the front of my "wing and a prayer" Comanche from 6" steel 6 ply. Both pairs of tires were 215/75/15. The aluminum wheels are 7" so the track up front is now wider and reducing unsprung weight. Could this be affecting "Harmonics" by the lesser unsprung weight witht a wider track? In other words allowing harmonics too intensify with lower input dynamics.


I did find that the Sticky weights were missing rom the rim so the tires are out of balance. Since the tire swap this thing Death Wobbles severely at 45mph on an average of 5-6 times in 25 miles. I 'll try to post again after I get 2, new, BALANCED, 215/75/15, 6 plys on steel for the front.


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Having dealt with and gotten rid of death wobble, it's a combo of a couple things. Lifting the Jeep changes the caster angle AND changes toe-in towards toe-out. Any play in the tracbar will increase the vibes. Power steering also adds to it. I had to take my PS belt off my '86 when I came back from Ouray to stop it from wobbling so bad I couldn't control it. (the wobble makes the steering column twist slightly, which reacts like turning the wheel the opposite way. The harmonics then make it go back past center, so then the steering box reverses the pressure to the opposite way and it picks up speed till the wobble gets out of control.


Ever pushed a shopping cart with the wobbly front wheels? Same process to fix.


I took out the spacers on the back of the lower arms (at the frame) to put it back closer to OEM caster and adjusted for more toe-in. Wobble disappeared.


My '87 is lifted 5.5" and I put in lower arms, coils, YJ hoses, an adjustable tracbar and only adjusted toe-in. (need to do a camber adjust/alignment after I get it back on the road)

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