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Death wobble, possible causes?


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I just replaced the steering stabilizer on my MJ a few weeks ago (it had terrible death wobble around 50-55 mph or when I went over a series of decent sized bumps) The new stabilizer got rid of the death wobble for a few weeks, but it's starting to come back a lil bit if I accelerate too fast around 55, it's nothing major a slight wobble not like I'm gonna' be thrown outta' my Jeep.

I've noticed that my MJ pulls to the right a bit, so maybe it could be alignment related?

 

Any ideas on what my cause death wobble, or help fix it?

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Here's a good article: http://jeep.off-road.com/jeep/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=261532

 

I haven't experienced death wobble in my MJ (yet), but I had it bad in my old ZJ. Balance & alignment would temporarily fix it, but it'd always come back. Finally upgraded my track bar and that seemed to fix it for good before I sold it.

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if I accelerate too fast around 55, it's nothing major a slight wobble not like I'm gonna' be thrown outta' my Jeep.

Then what you have is not death wobble. You have wheel shimmy, caused by tire balance, and 55 MPH seems to be the magic speed where it shows up. If you accelerate to 65 or so, it probably disappears, right? If you had death wobble, there would be no way you could describe it as "nothing major," and you would NOT be able to drive through it to a faster speed.

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How many miles are on your MJ? I had an aribag helper kit installed on the rear of my MJ, and I got to talking to the mechanic, and he mentioned something about the infamous death wobble. He said people with 100K or higher miles on their Jeeps put on a lift kit, don't replace the bushings, and are surprised when it "shimmys" or "wobbles". I had a '95 XJ that shimmied so bad one time I had to slow down and pull over, it felt like the front end was shaking itself apart. When it did the same thing a few hours later on the return trip, I knew something wasn't right. Not sure what eventually fixed it, but I ended up getting the tires rebalanced, new Bilstein shocks front and back, new steering stabilizer, and had the front end checked out by a reputable off-road shop, who replaced the track bar and some of the bushings. Once all that was done, it never shimmied or wobbled again, and tracked straight and true, even over rough rain grooves, and metal grates on lift bridges.

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Thanks for the tips guys!

 

alignment and a new trackbar were on the list of things to do for my MJ, but now they're definitely bumped up to the top of the list

 

any lift on your Jeep?

Right now it's lifted somethin like 4" in the back (SOA courtesy of a modified rear axle out of a '94 cherokee) counting the days til the front's lifted to match :yes:

 

Eagle - thanks for the correction, it helps to use the right terms if I want to find out causes, lol. I did have death wobble, now it's more of a shimmy (there were times when I thought I was going to be thrown outta' my MJ, and the brakes would go out...)

 

How many miles are on your MJ? I had a '95 XJ that shimmied so bad one time I had to slow down and pull over, it felt like the front end was shaking itself apart. .

My MJ has just over 89K miles (on an '88, I was surprised!) and that's exactly what my MJ did, it hasn't been as bad lately, but i've also replaced the rear shocks and am about to put new trackbar, shocks, and springs on the front.

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So you have a SOA lift in the back, but nothing up front? I would think that would put even more weight/balance on the front wheels? Also, even though miles-wise your MJ is low for the year, there's a good chance some of those stock rubber bushings need to be replaced, if anything, due to time, not miles. If you're going to put on a new track bar and front shocks anyway, that could go a long way towards fixing the shimmy. However, with the SOA lift in the back, and no lift up front, my guess would be you'll still have some work to do...

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If you're going to put on a new track bar and front shocks anyway, that could go a long way towards fixing the shimmy.

Sorry, but I have to disagree. While a new track bar and/or new shocks might (or probably might not) help with death wobble, in this case it has been established that the original poster does NOT have death wobble. He has wheel shimmy, which is always caused by tire balance (unless there's a bent rim). Track bar and/or shocks won;t do anything to eliminate shimmy.

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