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Old 08-12-2012
dzJeepChic's Avatar
dzJeepChic dzJeepChic is offline
(Diane) (KD7JPC)
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Vehicle: '92 XJ
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Default Chrysler addresses "Jeep Death Wobble"
Chrysler has taken steps to kill the so-called "Jeep Death Wobble"

After several hundred complaints were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by Jeep Wrangler owners who experienced a severe vibration in their 2005-2010 model year vehicles, two members of Congress from California urged the company to address the issue, which it has now done by issuing a technical service bulletin (TSB) that recognizes the problem and suggests several ways to fix it.

The TSB maintains that the problem, a vibration in the steering system transmitted through the steering wheel, is not unique to Jeep products and is possible in any vehicle equipped with a solid front axle. It offers several causes for the issue, including the installation of aftermarket equipment, incorrect air pressure and worn steering and suspension components.
My '92 XJ Clifford
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Old 08-12-2012
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matt@expaz matt@expaz is offline
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Default Re: Chrysler addresses "Jeep Death Wobble"
Wow, that's timely! I almost had to cancel my trip today because of this problem. On the way to Patagonia I had to slow way down and pull off because my front end and steering wheel was shaking so badly, I was afraid I would not be able to keep it on the road. This happened at about 35-45 mph and after I hit a bump. We looked and checked the front end. Nothing looked damaged or broken. Then we grabbed the bumper and started shaking the Jeep side to side. Something was really clunking. I'm not a techie, but we seemed to narrow it down to what I'm calling the steering stabilizer (but that may not be the correct name for it). It has a ball and joint type socket on one end. This was very loose and every time we shook the Jeep, it rattled (maybe a bushing gone?). My guess is this is causing the Death Wobble. I will be seeing the Jeep dealer soon about this and I'll let everyone know what they say. After we stopped and shook the Jeep, it performed fine for the rest of the day, though I drove the back roads home so I wouldn't have to go on the freeway.
"Life's not about how fast you can blast through it, but how slow you can go."
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Old 08-12-2012
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theksmith theksmith is offline
(Kristoffer) (K1KRS)
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Default Re: Chrysler addresses "Jeep Death Wobble"
 Is the vehicle equipped with aftermarket components or other modifications (e.g. lift kits,
wheels, suspension components or tires) that can affect the performance of or wear upon
steering components?*
 Check the air pressure in the tires and ensure they are inflated to the recommended pressure.
This value can be found on the tire placard located on the driver’s front door enclosure.
 Inspect the tires for signs of unusual or uneven wear, cupping or other damage.
 Ensure that the tires/wheels are balanced within specification
 Inspect the steering damper for excessive wear or damage.**
 Inspect the track bar for excessive wear or damage.**
 Inspect the tie rods for excessive wear or damage.**
 Inspect the drag link for excessive wear or damage.**
 Inspect the ball joints for excessive wear or damage.**

* Installation of aftermarket steering and suspension components or wheel and tire assemblies that are either not compatible
with your vehicle or not designed for on-road use is most often the cause of steering system vibration, in which case you may
consult your aftermarket equipment manufacturer or vehicle modifier for repair suggestions

** If any of the steering or suspension components are replaced, a front end wheel alignment is required.
i think they've done a good job of listing the items in the correct order from most common to least. i'd add "unit bearings" to the bottom of their list though of items to check for excessive wear.

in our community of lifted/modified rigs, the culprit is often not as simple as a single component. people purchase used vehicles where all of the front suspension and steering components are worn just to the edge of "within spec" - the vehicle is fine there until you put on an aftermarket lift, larger tires, and offset wheels. these aftermarket changes stress things in ways never intended by the factory engineers. those additional stresses combined with the multiple worn factory components push the vehicle to it's limits and you can end up with death wobble.

on an older rig, sometimes a single component will be the most worn. you might easily find it, replace it, and fix the problem. then the wobble comes back a couple months later... only to be chased down to a different worn component. this continues until a good portion of the suspension/steering has been replaced or upgraded. then, whatever the last item put on is credited with being the "real fix" and Jeep folklore is spread over the internet as to what will fix everyone's death wobble.
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